…so I can’t stop changing all the time” ~ Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine

I’ll try and make this one a quicky because the one below this is a bit long. It was my first attempt at “scheduling a post” heheh. I had forgotten all about it until I saw a “like”.

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Anyway, I’ve been feeling ambivalent about blogging lately. VERY ambivalent. And the last few days I became painfully aware of how much of myself I’ve put out there. If it weren’t for my semi-anonymous voice, I don’t think I could’ve ever expressed some of this. And even so, I’m holding back on what I call some of the “darker stuff,” most of what the Pretty Little Demons feed me. A fellow blogger, well two actually, recently wrote about such conflicts when it comes to writing a personal or somewhat personal blog.

I submitted the photo and felt ecstatic at the reply I got from Broken Light , but I also felt very self critical.

“What are you doing? You only set up the first shot, even then it was a mutual take. You’re not even a photographer. You’re an amateur, a whanabe. What are you anyway? What are you doing exposing yourself like this? Do you want pity?”

No, I’ve always hated the pity people have showered down on me! This is fucking expression of art; it’s NOT a pity party! Besides, it’s cathartic, therapeutic even and what if I inspire someone? Quit being so overcritical P!

“Ok, ok. I’ll stop being so critical, so harsh. But really, are you this narcissistic? You need to tone it down! What if you embarrass your family!? hmmm? They don’t even know about your little drug adventures anyway, not most of them at least.”

Ugh. If embarrassment is the case, I’ve done that already and the only one I’ll really be embarrassing is myself. That’s been done too. I’m used to being uncomfortable, remember?

Here’s where I realize that the other voice is just my punitive parent trying to punish me for expressing myself (and hell even indulging myself), much like the guy in the video I shared in my Five Faces of Borderline post.

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Then today, something odd happened. I was feeling alright, well, let me go back a little…

Last night I hung out with my brother, my brother’s girlfriend, his girlfriend’s little daughter and a new co-worker he’s been showing around (he just got here from Britain and is originally from Iran). We went to a park in downtown called Discovery Green. They play movies on certain weekends. We packed up fruits, pita chips and other snacks. It was a beautiful starless night. The weather was gorgeous, slightly windy, slightly cool and NOT HUMID–so unlike Houston. And despite my worry about the Bell’s Palsy returning (yeah, my lips ain’t right) I had a great time.

Oh, we watched ET on a big projector they set up on the park hill!

On the way home, I sat in his girlfriend’s car while my brother rode with his Iranian/British co-worker in his co-workers rental. And for the first time, I warmed up to her. We ended up having a great chat on the way to my house. She seemed to have warmed up to me too, telling me about her difficulty with trying to stay in nursing school while having C, her little girl, and having to drop out in the end. We talked about our mothers and all sorts of fun nonsense.

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Then this afternoon, my brother stopped by again with his girlfriend and her little girl. He’d brought fish tacos for me and some other food for us to eat.

Well, we were having a good ole time, a good ole talk when all of a sudden, they started joking about drugs. I don’t know what prompted this. But it made me very anxious. See, my brother has never been a drug user or abuser like me. He’s very nervous about putting things in his body for fear of contamination. The only thing I think he’s done is weed and alcohol and alcohol is probably one of the worst drugs ever in my opinion, but anyway… weed, eh, I don’t really see it as much of a drug, though it is a substance and here I go contradicting myself. So yeah, I’m kind of the black sheep of the family in that aspect.

Then, out of nowhere, my brother’s girlfriend started saying, “I just don’t like to be out of control. I don’t like not being in control of my thoughts or my body. I even freaked out when I had to take a Vicodin after I had C. [her little girl].” She started to giggle but I didn’t. I couldn’t even FAKE a smile. It was a trigger.

Holy shit, it was a HUGE trigger. I began to panic. The mere words, “I took Vicodin…freaked…took Vicodin…freaked…took Vicodin,” sent my head spinning.

After what happened when I wrote the “Voluntary Hospitalization Post” I’ve been so wary of talking about anything related to painkillers, especially VICODIN. Of all things, why did she… of all things? (Vicodin is the same thing as Hydrocodone by the way)

So I quietly removed myself. I pretended I was too busy clearing the dishes to hear her. And once they were in the living room watching TV, I was washing the dishes, bawling my eyes out. I ended up having flashes of L and I downing painkillers. And after I was done with the dishes I went to my room to cry some more. I hope they didn’t notice but then again, I feel like running and telling my brother, “I don’t know what to do anymore”.

Good thing is I managed to cry just enough and re-enter the living room looking calm and collected. To a certain extent I was. I was being mindful of my thoughts and feelings–of everything around me. I was changing.

“I’m used to being uncomfortable so I can’t stop changing all the time”

This, my friends, is what it’s like to live with BPD. Any little thing can trigger you.

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Oh and I know I haven’t been coming up with anything funny as of late. Sorry. I think the recent overdosing/relapsing incident drained all the funny juice, well not all, MOST of the funny juice out of me, but I know I’ll refill soon and be a little funnier and less depressing with these posts.

p.s. FREE HUGS FROM COPYRIGHT BOUNCER BEAR Y’ALL! COME AND GET’EM! SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY ONLY!

HEY HEY! NO SHOVIN’ NOW. EVERYONE WILL GET THEIR TURN!

You know you’re borderline when you can not only relate to a comic book character that has of-the-charts anger management issues, but you suddenly feel deeply connected to this character as though he may be your long lost soul mate.

You wish he were real even, because then you wouldn’t feel so damn lonely. You imagine that the two of you would make the best of friends, so long as you’re a good dozen kilometers distance from each other when one of you ill perceives, imagines or exaggerates a slight and transforms in a fit of rage.

And you then imagine that the two of you, best mental friends forever (BMFF), would be able to stroll down Central Park sit down on a park bench and laugh and laugh and then SUDDENLY cry together, a long, hard cry.

As you sit there crying with Bruce, Bruce crying with you, Dr. Bruce Banner-Hulk suddenly hugs you and you hug him back, gripping tighter. And between sobs and drools, you cradle Bruce’s head, begin to stroke his hair and spit out, “I know man, I know what it’s like. I know exactly how it feels to wake up naked after a rage and feel confused and lost, not really remembering what happened, not knowing where the hell your clothes went or where the hell you are or if you’re still you or that dreaded other. I know Brucito querido. I know, oh dear god I do… And when you tell them not to push you there, not to take you back to that place you’d left because you fear you’ll loose control again if you go, fear what can happen if you abandon your new-found zen, you say, ‘DON’T, PLEASE‘. But you’re shoved inside a room, shoved between the wall and the Black Widow and her gun. Her tantalizing eyes intoxicate you and pierce your soul. Funny, because NOTHING can pierce you! Not even bullets! Not even the fire of bombs or radiation or torpedos! You say, ‘Please don’t. I’m done with that shit. Fuck off! I’m not going back there. I’m not allowing myself to go back to that level of rage. I’ve left all of that behind.’  You plead so much because you fear the other too, more than they do. See you’ve even tried to KILL the other, too keep him back at bay but he is YOU and he will NOT let YOU kill HIM  because your’re always angry anyway you say; you’ve merely learned to teeter on the edge of anger, learned to deal with that, to let the currents of anger swish you like seaweed swishes in the crystal blue. And then, SUDDENLY, it’s too late. You think you had it in your palm but the anger grows too big to hold: it takes control. POP POP–your muscles tighten; your veins flood; your fingers curl, only they’re more like claws than fingers now, and your bones pop. Everything swells! And you find yourself naked again, shaking your head in dismay, shivering body, fearing what you’ve done, hating yourself! Hating what you’d become even if only for a moment! So when everything around you begins to come back into focus, you grab the nearest person and demand, ‘Did I SMASH anything? What did I SMASH? Was it WORTH SMASHING? What happened? Answer me! Please!’ I know. Yo lo se querido Brucito… yo lo entiendo…”

This is exactly what comes to mind when I think of the Hulk as seen in the latest film adaptation of The Avengers, released this weekend but long overdue, anticipated for over five years.

The Avengers

A Brief Review and a Character Study

(minor spoiler alert)

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 Joss Whedon, screenwriter/director, did it right! Whedon pulled off a REAL believable non-cartoon, no bullshit Hulk in The Avengers (2012), what director Ang Lee’s disproportional body-to-head, Eric Bana-faced Hulk (2003) failed to do while flying across the Rockies and being shot by jet missles; what Edward Norton was left hiding in shame from in Louis Leterrier’s 2008 Hulk–ugh, and his overuse of the clichéd one liner, “Hulk SMASH!”

Yes, WE KNOW the Hulk SMASHES. It’s what the Hulk fuckin’ does! We get it! Thank you Joss Whedon for not having Mark Ruffalo or his animated counterpart speak such ugly words, not even once throughout the film. Thank you for handing that down to Captain America, who towards the beginning of the last, epic fighting scene turns to Hulk and says, “Hulk, you can smash now!” That’s how you slip those words in, by handing them over to another character: it builds irony.

In fact, thank you for not having Hulk speak at all with the exception of growls, screaming and that one time  when he finds Loki in Tony Stark/Iron Man’s mansion and Loki’s mocks him by calling him a brute and claiming, “I am a GOD”. Only then does Hulk reply with a quick smashing and a, “Yeah, a puny god” remark. This should be taken as a serious lesson: DO NOT INVALIDATE or UNDERVALUE HULK FOR HE IS BORDERLINE.

So thank you once again Joss Whedon for keeping Hulk’s angry vocabulary nearly absent while maintaining a complex character. Bruce Banner’s “I am calm” and “I am ok” vocabulary is layered and intelligent. Ruffalo does an excellent job of charming the audience almost as much as the charismatic Robert Downey Jr.

This is the thing, Whedon aims to excite and entertain us with bombs and explosions à la Michael Bay style–and that’s what summer blockbusters do, that’s how they still manage to cash in–BUT unlike Bay’s sole eye-candy (think Transformers), Whedon does so with thoughtful, well-crafted artistic flavor. He does so while tending to character development. And if there’s anything I learned from my own film obsession and my film studies classes is that a good film need not have an amazing plot, or a sensible plot even (look at Easy Riders, 1969) if it has good character development.

So yeah, this 2012 Avengers Hulk is the REAL DEAL HULK. This is what I like to call, the BORDERLINE HULK, the way Hulk should be! This is the Hulk that will live up to his true comic book origins.

Hulk is and always will be about the loss of rational thought our primal, basal reaction to stress can leave us with; it’s about human anger. Hulk, however,  is the epitome of human anger response gone to extreme proportions–gone wrong, gone dare I say “disordered”.

And to portray him in a whimsical somewhat childlike but not one-dimensional manner (with few exceptions) says something about the quality of this film.

There was just the right amount of sarcastic wit in this film, a bit of cheese but not over-the-top cheese. Yeah, there was cheese of all flavors. Enough cheese to fill up a school bus full of melancholically manic mouses, but not so much cheese to make them all throw up out the windows. And for good measure, there is a pinch of darkness in the film. Mouse likes darkness more than cheese flavor and variety even, but not more than coffee.

The Hulk in an ending scene from The Avengers 2012. Look at that face. Is that not the face of a hurting borderline? And isn’t that gorgeous, realistic 3D animation?

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We first see Bruce, played by actor Mark Ruffalo in Calcutta, India working as a doctor. He’s in this small, crowded shanty home caring for two sick boys when an impovershed girl runs in begging for him to help her dying father.

Of course this is all a lure, a lie the Black Widow also known as Agent Natasha Romanoff played by the sexy Scarlett Johansson, has created. The Black Widow has sent out and paid the little girl to deliver this deceiving message in order to trick him into joining the Avengers crew.

As fans may know already, Nick Fury, played by Samuel L. Jackson is the man in charge of getting all of these amazing superheroes (and demigod Thor) in a round table for round-house kickassery; they must save Earth from Loki, Thor’s adopted brother who’s filled with jealousy and has completely lost it, oh, and those evil creatures from Thor’s neighboring planet who are aiding him.

But the Hulk is reluctant at first, more so than pompadour sporting Captain America who also doesn’t want part in it and feels confused in the twenty-first century (with good reason). See, Bruce Banner/Hulk has taken a lot of shit from people, even more shit that Captain America has. That’s why he’s run off to India before they have to drag him back in to re-enlist as an agent (or a weapon of mass destruction depending on how you view it).

In the first half of the film Agent Romanoff/Black Widow tells Banner he must help because, “This is the Tesseract. It has the potential energy to wipe out the planet.”

Of course Bruce Banner is so self-doubting, so impulsive and quick to judge that he automatically assumes they only want the HULK side of him and completely disregards the fact that they need his scientific knowledge too. Black and white thinking ya’ll.

That is not the case, however, not yet, not until things have gotten really bad, not until that gigantic metal-covered slug teleports in from Thor’s neighboring planet and starts flying over New York City, killing hundreds and causing mayhem. (Why is it that every time something comes from another planet, it just so happens to land in New York City? Except for in Distric 9, good movie by the way–great social and political commentary.)

So when things get real bad, they will ask for the Hulk. But before then, when Black Widow is begging him to join because Loki has gotten the Tesseract–the energy thingy that could kill all living things–Banner replies to Black widdow, “What does Fury want me to do, swallow it?”

No Bruce, Fury merely wants your scientific genius for now! Jeez, they’re not all out to get you!

Remember what Captain America says, “We’re not your enemies Bruce!”

You sabotage yourself querido Brucito!

But you will help save people too querido Bruce, you will.

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Next

Part II: Why Bruce Banner/Hulk is suicidal and how the Mouse’s agressive vs. quiet borderline personality disorder (BPD) type and criteria matches up with his.

Why Hulk is indestructible but mentally vulnerable.

And…

Movie was great but why the hell aren’t they more like this second photo? Seriously, Scarlett is lovely and all, but she isn’t the only one with an ass.

Avengers, fo’ real.

Don’t remember where I found it. Sorry original artist. If I find your name I’ll post it.

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DISCLAIMER: By poking fun of mental health issues, I am not trivializing mental disorders. I’ve lived with a number of them most of my life, so I have no wish to trivialize and further stigmatize my own mental struggles as well as those of others. I am making fun of how others trivialize and misinterpret them. I’m merely a mental humorist and a poet (aw sheeeit, note what I just did there?). Besides, I just have to laugh a hearty laugh before I finally put the barrel in and pull the trigger. Also, this is more of a character study than a full film review.

Oh, one more thing: the “you know you’re borderline when…” meme was taken from Jaen Wirefly, LMSW & Nut Job’s blog. She has a great blog about borderline personality disorder, loads of humor too. Check it out, it’s a no bullshit, good information blog. If you don’t click, just remember I can go She-Hulk on you any moment.

“May is Mental Health/Borderline Personality Disorder awareness month.  😉

NOTE: This is not to be taken as medical advice. I am not a mental health professional. I am only a mental. 😉 The guy in the video and myself, however, are well intentioned and know this stuff from personal experience. Also, May is Borderline Personality Disorder awareness month.

I really enjoy most of this guy’s videos (see below). I can really relate to his type of BPD though I can’t seem to make out where his accent could be from…

Anyway, I wanted to share this one in particular. What he describes in this video is what some BPD experts refer to when they talk about “splitting”, although much of the time splitting is only used to refer to the extreme black and white thinking patterns (aka cognitive distortions) someone with BPD tends to have. Now, everyone has contradictory thoughts. And everyone criticizes themselves and then tells themselves they’re good and that they’re no good, but the difference is intensity–extreme proportions, severity and severance of self–and the problems this severe severance of self creates in the person’s life.

Internal splitting dialogue goes something like this for me in regards to self-perception:

“I am a wonderful person. I am worth a lot. I’m needed. I am a horrible person. I am completely worthless. I’m a burden to my family.”

or

“No, I’m not a liar. Why would I lie about that? I don’t like to lie. I prefer telling the truth, no matter what. I’m a liar! I’m a fuckin’ liar. Just admit it P, say it, say ‘I lie and I lie and I compulsively lie’. It doesn’t matter if it’s about the little things. It can be the big things too. How do you know? One day I may lie about something big. I lie to myself already and I lie to you!”

or

“I’m so kind and loving. I feel so empathic. I love to love and help others. I do great things for others! I enjoy it. I enjoy bringing a smile to people’s faces. I feel so heartless. I’m so fuckin’ evil; I need to be killed before I seriously hurt someone! What if I kill someone?”

or

“Everyone loves me! I’m brilliant. They tell me so all the time. I know just what to say to make people feel good and they appreciate me for it. Everyone, hates me. Hates me. Hates me. All I do is insult people in the worst possible ways. I’m such an idiot. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Why else would he be criticizing you like that P? Because you’re fuckin’ stupid that’s why. You’re mean and stupid. How can you be so stupid P? How can anyone ever love someone this stupid? So mean!”

or

“I LOVE YOU ALL SO, SO, SO MUCH. COME OVER HERE SO I CAN GIVE YOU ALL A HUGE HUG AND A KISS. I FUCKIN HATE YOU ALL! FUCK OFF ALL OF YOU. AND FUCK YOU ON THE WAY OUT THE DOOR YOU FUCKIN’ FUCKERS!”

Once the punitive parent has her way with me, beating me ceaselessly, I crash on the floor and whimper and twitch and am lost like a puppy that’s been kicked; that’s my abused child. Afterward, I become completely detached, empty–the detached protector has taken over.

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The borderline really believes these things though they are often contradictory and completely opposing thoughts–thinking patterns become ping-pongs bouncing in polar opposites. I am very much this way even though I restrain myself and am often aware of how ridiculous my thinking gets. BUT, I still somehow BELIEVE myself when I begin to think that I am this way and then that way. I do not allow for in-between in my self-view, my reflection. My world view gets tainted like a cup of water when a drop of blank ink is dropped into it. No grey areas in my view of situations come in when I’m having “an episode”. I jump from one end of the court to the next–no middle ground, no safety net.

The worst is that the beliefs do not go away; they settle all cosy in between my ears as I argue with them. They kinda just sit there and laugh. And I argue and argue. When that happens, the beliefs become so strong they turn into emotions; they become my Pretty Little Demons. And I end up feeling intensely like an open wound–so intensely that I just wish someone would shoot me just to end the intensity of emotions rushing through.

I imagine it’s worse than turning into the Hulk. At least the Hulk gets to kick some ass every now and then. Speaking of the Hulk, The Avengers comes out tomorrow! Wooop.

So splitting, I think you get it now. Kinda right?

Enjoy!

addendum: I find it funny that he places the “healthy adult” far off into the right corner. Like ole healthy adult don’t come out to play much. Also, he’s got pretty hands, don’t you think?