My heart’s made of parts of all that’s around me

And that’s why the devil just can’t get around me

Every single night’s alright, every single night’s a fight
And every single fight’s alright with my brain

I just want to feel everything

~Fiona Apple

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The fever hit again in the afternoon.

Yep, I’m fighting a cold guys. It started Saturday when I hit my goal of fourteen laps in forty-five minutes at the pool. It came full swing at me Sunday night and yesterday morning. But yesterday was also my first day at the job, so I couldn’t back out.

I got to the office at two and Mansie showed me a few things since she’ll be my supervisor. I wish I could tell you guys what it is exactly that I’ll be doing (truth is I don’t even know yet), but all I’m going to say is I’m the “New Media Intern,” and H, Mansie’s boss wants me to have as much creative freedom as I can possibly get. That’s what she said he told her. He did tell me he saw something in me and that’s exciting but also very scary considering how unstable I’ve been.

What does he see? What is expected of me? I’m too much of a perfectionist to not drown in my own questioning and self doubt. Maybe that’s why I’ve never responded so well to compliments.

****

I think the job has been a blessing even though it’s stipend pay, even though I have some immigration concerns, even though the pay is next to nothing. Why? It’s something that will keep me busy for ten to twenty hours a week. Keeping me busy, means I’ll have no time for tears.

At the same time, I’m afraid I’ll break down at the office. I’ve barely been there one day and already I feel I’m having to fight the Pretty Little Demons (PLDs) to the point of exhaustion. They’re a funny gang, these demons.

*******

There’s so much I want to write, but I haven’t been able to get my head around any of it. Or rather, as Fiona Apple sings in this lovely song, “the devil just can’t get around me”. Oh but it does. It just comes back with its gang of PLDs.

Speaking of devils and demons, I used to have night terrors as a kid and one of them was a recurring dream of the devil coming after me. It was like the devil lived in my closet. Damn Catholic superstitions! And now I’ve begun to have them again, only I can’t remember much.

****

I’ve been swimming as a way to pacify the PLDs but today with the cold, the coughing, the phlegm, I had to hold it off. The fever in my body is down today thankfully, but the fever in my brain burns on. A funny thing this fire–this raw emotion. Kiera Van Gelder, the author of “The Buddha & The Borderline: My Recovery From Borderline Personality Disorder Through Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Buddhism and Online Dating,” mentions this fire a lot. Ever seen the picture of the famous monk that set himself on fire? Kiera mentions that monk and says that that’s how she feels, though much less noble. That’s how I feel, like I’m burning myself alive. It shouldn’t have struck me as odd though because fire has always been a metaphor for intense and passionate emotions.

****

What did strike me ass odd was the fact that the emotion comes with a fight. An inner struggle that is almost unbearable sometimes. Kiera always comes back to the metaphor of a “burnt patient” with no “emotional skin” which Dr. Linehan, the mother of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), first gave in her manual on treating borderlines.

Last night, Kiera’s words stuck out and struck me:

I try not to let go of the mindfulness practice. I observe the emotions crest and clash, tidal in the coming and going of perspectives. Opposing forces battle within me: I want to get better. I want to die. I want to be loved. I want to spit on the face of everyone I see. Such drastic shifts exhaust me, and I know they baffle others. And it’s gaining momentum again. My mercurial self is clamoring for a foothold, and I’m slipping. Borderlines are experts at wrestling with demons; the problem is, we always seem to lose. Fight long enough, and it only makes sense to join the demons. What other choice is there?

Every single night I fight the gang of Pretty Little Demons, and they seem to have recruited new members in the last two months. Every single night is a battle with my brain as Fiona says. But it’s all right! The Mouse is having ping pong matches with them every day, and when I swim, I can drown them out a little. Sometimes, like on Saturday, I’ll get a crying fit while a do a lap, but it’s alright. It’s alright honey.

If there ever were “borderline girl” songs, they would be in Fiona Apple’s entire discography as it is a reflection of my very being. Thank you Fiona for doing what you do best, write about your PLD’s, sing about them, and smash your angry hands at the piano. Kiera, like Fiona, like myself are drawn to the creative fields. “What other choice is there?” Kiera asks but answers by knowing that she just has to “transform this despair into power”.

That’s what Fiona has done with her music and what it means to me. That’s what I hope to do.

********

Does life have to be a battle? I don’t know. Life just is. Yet seeing the way impalas run from a lion, seeing the way they clash their horns when fighting over a female makes me think differently. Seeing my own survival, seeing my owns demons clash makes me think differently. And I know that for some of us, it’s an all out war–those of us who, as Jill over at Not Quite Lost, mentioned “live in survival mode”.

addendum: I recently found out Fiona Apple’s fourth albums is complete and will be released soon! This song is from the new albums. Check this out! Yes, I’m going to marry her someday though neither of us cares for marriage.

And forgive my rambling, off-beat writing. These days I’m not so coherent.

********

Then brother get back ’cause my breast’s gonna bust open
The rib is the shell and the heart is the yolk
And I just made a meal for us both to choke on ….

And maybe I’d relax, let my breast just bust open

*************************************************************************************************************************

DISCLAIMER: I’m using the “borderline girl” phrase as sort of a mocking/sarcastic term. There’s no such thing as a stereotypical “borderline girl”. You can have a condition, but you are NOT the condition and these songs aren’t necessarily written by or about borderline girls; they merely reflect certain parts of my life as I see fit. This is what they mean to me, someone who has been diagnosed as having BPD and is only beginning to work with herself and her deadly emotions.

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*Trigger warning? Read tags*

This one is self explanatory. It’s “numb” by Portishead, lyrics written by the beautiful Beth Gibbons, music by the guys. And I can tell you, from my experience, that the “borderline’s” tendency towards feeling “chronic emptiness” is embodied in this song, for me at least. These songs are only here because of what they mean to ME. Please don’t take this as my interpretation of them as what they are supposed to mean for you, and especially not the writers themselves. They are not songs about “borderline girls”. I don’t mean overstatements and overgenralizations, so apologies ahead of time.

********

I just got back from Mansie’s surprise birthday party. It was wonderful! And I was ready to write one of my “Good Lists” for Saturday/tomorrow, but I had a trigger on the way home. B was driving me back. I’d drank a little at the party, and though no one from the activist group of friends besides C. and his girlfriend KJK, went out back with them. I went out and I smoked with the two of them, KJK and C, out in the back patio of the J. House. God, I’ve missed Mary J (yeah, yeah, I know it can be a depressant, especially with alcohol not to mention I’m on two different meds and took clonazepam to calm my nerves).

********

See, B and I were in the car when all of a suddenl, as if to break a momentary silence, he asked, “You ever been to Victoria, P?”

Victoria. Victoria. Victoria. Victoria. Victoria. Victoria. Victoria. Victoria. Victoria. Victoria. Victoria. Victoria. Is that enough times? God no. Victoria. Victoria. Victoria. Victoria.Victoria. Victoria. Victoria. Victoria.Victoria. Victoria. Victoria. Victoria. Not enough still? Victoria. Victoria. Victoria. Victoria. Victoria. Victoria. Victoria. Victoria. I’d say more. I’ve been to Victoria more than that.

“Yes, I have. Why do you ask?” I quietly replied. I got suspicious that someone had told him. I was still a little drunk, AM STILL a little drunk. He hadn’t drank all night thankfully.

“Uh, I was just wondering what it would be like to live in a place like that. I always pass by there when I go to the valley.” We’d been talking about the valley and an activist girl from there who was at the party.

“Yeah, well I know what it’s like to live there, at least from the times I visited. You remember L?” Tears began to swell.

“Yeah, the guy you were thinking of marrying and had the off and on situation with?”

“Yeah, he died,” I burst into tears.

“Oh no P, I’m sorry… When?”

“In March, at the end of March… and I don’t even know how he died! … Yeah, exactly… speculations… speculations…There are only speculations,” I couldn’t contain it. I didn’t want to tell him I suspect it was an overdose. It kills me, the speculation.

Poor B, he apologized for triggering… apologized to me so many times. He’d already had a bad night with Mansie, his ex. Good for me though; I was able to cry in front of someone besides my immediate family. He cried a little too. He told me about the death of three of his friends in an attempt to console me, and probably himself too. And also as a way to connect.

L was more than a friend, more than an ex-lover boy. He was family to me. I haven’t had the kind of connection I had with L with anyone in my entire life.

And when I got inside the house, I cut (just a bit), more like jabbed at my elbow with a pocket knife from my keys, and I downed four hydrocodones and a clonazepam–crushed the clonazepam. I’m still high and numb at the moment. High. High. I know, I know. Stupid. It felt good though; it helped–only momentarily, I know. It’s only momentarily relief. That’s all this shit provides. It’s superficial relief. I hadn’t done this since last September, this cutting business. It’s so ridiculous. It’s so ridiculous how much more numb I want to be.

********

Monkey Man L was raised in Victoria. I have endless memories of that place–beautiful memories, fucked up memories, lovely memories–all of of spending weekends, entire weeks with him there in VICTORIA. Oh yes, I’ve been to Victoria, Texas. I’ve been.

The good thing is I opened up a little to B. He told me about the loss of three friends. I didn’t let him get near me until I was in the doorstep in which I asked for a hug and he stumbled on his own words trying to comfort me again. He’s a nice guys, very sweet–a genuinely kiund heart.

As Beth Gibbons says in this song, I feel like “A lady of war” indeed. A constant war.

But I do need to write that Good List. So more on this in my good list because pleasant, or “good” and progressive things have been happening. I can’t think all black and white now, can I? Night. Night. Numb. Numb. Smile. Smile.

I’m going to go lie down have a conversation with Monkey Man L now. It was a long, eventful day.