I’m starting this blog to help recall my memories from childhood that led to a compulsive shoplifting addiction that has become full blown in my life, to my great surprise, at the age of 47. I have a fairly new therapist and she is helping me to analyze and interpret how events of my past and present affect my behavior each day. I got in trouble for my shoplifting. I’ve had some close calls and they didn’t end up prosecuting. But I did get a larceny-over charge. They put me on probation and required therapy. The case is now dismissed, but in spite of all this, I still steal. Sometimes it’s stuff I need, like food. Most of the time though, I don’t “need” the things I take. The next time I get caught, I will go to jail. Probably 3 months. But still, I steal.
I was diagnosed with Major Depression, Anxiety Disorder, and a Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). The Borderline symptoms come up apparently when I am under stress. I have the ability to become very angry–rage–when I’m having trouble with something or if I feel threatened in some way. My self-esteem is very poor. I have mood swings. My best friends are my cats. I’m crazy about them. I live with my boyfriend–the first man I’ve ever really lived with. He is a good man at his core. But he has a lot of mental health issues that he’s never addressed either. He’s a heroin addict–sober only for the past few weeks. He doesn’t treat me like I’m special. He doesn’t treat me like a lady. He doesn’t hug and cuddle me and tell me I’m pretty or cute. Instead, most of the time, he berates me.
I’m at a crossroad right now. I’m trying to get a teaching position and I’m hoping that I am able to get a new job for the fall of this year. I am currently unemployed, living on food stamps and a hundred dollars a week from the Department of Unemployment. If I get a teaching job, I can support myself quite easily. My next step is to get my own apartment and decide at that time whether bringing Michael, my boyfriend, is in my best interest or not. I’m thankful to his family for embracing me through a very difficult year.
My father died just a few months ago, and a month before, my aunt Tina died. She played a very big role in my life. 6 years earlier, my mother’s battle with lung cancer came to an end. Two months after that, my grandmother Mema died at the age of 92. I don’t have a lot of family left. I have my two brothers, but I don’t get along with either of their wives, so those relationships are no longer really genuine.
Just as an aside-I am not taking time to plan out my writing here and I’m not revising it. Maybe I will at some point, but right now, I want to remember my story, and then tell my story to help my therapist understand me more, and I hope to learn more about myself along the way.
I’ve come to understand, fairly recently, that I have deep dark feelings, secrets, and needs that I’ve never spoken about before. Not my mother, not my Aunt Tina, not my psychiatrist of 23 years (Dr. Freeman)! In fact, only *after* leaving my therapist, Dr. Freeman, was I able to start to share these “secrets” with my new therapists. There are several things that I’ve only ever shared with my current therapist, C.P.
I’ve also come to understand that I’ve lived most of my life in a sort of detached way. I’m not sure how to describe it exactly. I’ve always had highs and lows. I used to take tantrums growing up because I became so incredibly frustrated with how my parents were interacting with me. I’ve engaged in self-injury since I was in elementary school. But many many times, now that I can look back, I feel like I was operating in a very naive sort of way. I lacked emotion intelligence.
I envision now a daisy flower floating down a stream looking sweet and pretty, but oblivious to the treacherous rocks that she is about to encounter. No “antenna” one of my first mental health counselors first noted. This pretty little flower missed all the clues that told of many upcoming rolling rapids! Banging against the rocks because of the energy of the water flow, her petals became wilted and torn. Eventually, a lot of them just fell off. In the end, the pretty little daisy ended up all washed up in the mud of a small empty bank of the stream where no one noticed her. It’s not that people didn’t like the pretty little flower. They just weren’t aware of her injuries, her pain, her loneliness.