Sunday, February 13, 2011

Today Is The 6th Day Of The Rest Of My Life

My new life as a non smoker. That's right, I did it! I quit smoking 6 long, hard, stressful, frustratingly slow, days ago. Days where I had to just hold on and know that tomorrow would be a little less horrible than today had been. Riding out cravings that had me gripping white knuckled on to anything near me. Trying not to be too bitchy with anyone who had the bad luck to come in my path. Reading to rags 7 Steps to a Smoke-Free Life, which is an excellent book for any of you who may need a little help along your own obstacle course of quitting smoking. In fact, that book helped me not fall off the wagon during a very bad time in my house right now. It recently came to light that Princess has not been handling her stress in a healthy way: She has been cutting herself. Now, in case you missed it, for all my crabbing about her bitchy ways -- and they can be very bitchy -- that little girl is the light of my life. I would die for her without even having to think about it. She is the reason I'm still on this planet, because she is still on it and I know I can't leave her until she no longer needs me. She and her mother have a very rough relationship, to put it mildly. Very mildly. I know that somewhere under all the hurt, misunderstanding, and loads of hate they have for each other at times, there is a drop of love. It may not be much, but at least it is there, and I hope that someday, when Princess is older, they can try to build a relationship of sorts, because this one is not very good. They are such oil and water it stresses me out sometimes trying to keep the peace around here. Sugarbowl's Borderline Personality Disorder makes things so rough, especially when she has not been taking her meds (which she has not taken for a while now) that it can be a lot of work keeping her from going over the edge about a perceived slight. If you have ever dealt with some one with BPD, you know how incredibly difficult it can be. When her BPD is fired up (it seems like she is good for awhile, then it breaks down and she is ultra sensitive and ready to take everything the wrong way and go into a HUGE RAGE over it) I feel like I have try to keep their dealings as minimal as possible. I try very hard to say things with as little negative inflection in my voice as possible, and if she still takes it as an attack, I have to hold back my own temper, and explain that she has misunderstood what I was really saying. And even then there are no guarantees that it will stop a rage. They will cling to what they think you meant, regardless of what you did mean, and fight with you about how they took what you said. It does not matter how many times you explain that that is not what you meant, they have their BPD up and can't be rational until it calms down again.

In all this BPD mess, I have a voice because I can lose my temper and throw down with Sugarbowl if she pushes me too far, which is saying something because I am very slow in getting to that level of anger. Princess can't say a word, or even twitch a facial muscle when her mother gets angry at her, and that repression is coming out in the wrong way. Communications came to a screeching halt for a few days because Sugarbowl was angry at me (and indirectly at Princess too) because I told her that Princess is cutting herself because of her mother. I should have made it more clear than that because Sugarbowl took that to mean that it is her fault, which is not what I meant. I meant that the problems she and her daughter have are not being handled in a healthy way, and I was trying to give her a heads up before Princess goes to counseling (she has an appointment) and she hears all this from someone else. I'm hoping that we can get through all the ugly that is on the horizon for us and come out the other side with some healthier ways of dealing with each other. Sugarbowl is going to look into counseling, but I would rather she take her meds on a regular basis, if I had to choose. All the counseling in the world is not going to change how she acts when in a BPD rage. I accept that she has Borderline and gets angry easily, but I do not think that is a free pass to do and say horrible things to people and not be held accountable for it. She may not be able to control the shortness of her temper, but she can control the words that come out of her mouth and her actions when angry. Princess does not have the luxury of being able to stand up to her mother like I do, so I have to run interference when Sugarbowl is raging. Right now Sugarbowl is upset about being told that Princess is hurting herself because of her mother, and doesn't want to say anything to Princess in case it adds to the problems she is having -- also as a passive-aggressive way of punishing Princess because her feelings have been hurt because she doesn't want to admit that she has hurt her daughter that deeply. I am the go between and the tension in this house is through the roof. I would rather we all not talk to each other than have any raging fights. As stressful as not talking is, the rages are a bajillion times worse. I think I deserve a HUGE pat on the back for not starting smoking again in the midst of all this crap. But I already broke my arm patting myself on the back, so I'm good. Besides, my focus is on Princess, and knowing that she is going to need me for some time to come makes me want to quit because I'm going to need all the time on this earth that I can get. That is helping me resist the sweet siren call of cigarettes. And what a sweet siren call that is! Darn you, cigarettes! Why do you have to be so delicious?! I look forward to the day that I no longer enjoy the smell of cigarettes. Pray for me.


Tippy Topple said...

I'm not trying to butt into the details of your business too much, but I thought I would offer a suggestion. You mitt want to try to see if there is a Clinical Psychologist in your area that specializes in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for your wife. This therapy model is specifically for BPD and may help your wife.

Muffie said...

Blinbeard, I congratulate you on quitting, and for the fact that your stressors have not caused you to backslide. I, too, feel that your sister needs to attend counseling with your niece. If only Princess goes, there may never be a resolution. With your calm demeanor, perhaps you could also attend and act as a buffer.
As a teacher and principal, I used to see a great deal of "cutting" in adolescent girls, and "choking" in boys. Their brains aren't fully developed, and they just cannot handle pressure; so they turn to other means of escape.
I will keep you all in my prayers, and please let us know how things transpire.

MS Day Dreamer said...

good luck. both with the quitting smoking and the situation with your sister and neice.
I quit smoking in 2000 (for the 2nd time.) It isn't easy. But hang in there.
I don't know much about cutting. Other than a few things I've read, and some things I've seen on tv. I recently found out my neice had a problem with cutting. Hers was a stressful reaction to a tense relationship with her mother. My brother & my sister-in-law divorced when the kids were about 10 & 12. My brother remarried to a very sweet woman that really cares about both kids. Their mother well... her main interest is in herself. She had her own issues, and took much of it out on her neice. Going from telling her she was worthless and she hated her and wanted nothing more to do with her, to wanting her to come over so she could act as a caterer/wait staff for a dinner party. Her relationship with my nephew was totally opposite. He was her bud, and she would take him around the world on vacations so she didn't have to travel alone. I always felt sorry for my neice because of all that. I never knew she had an issue with cutting.
My neice is now 27 and doing well. She's become a very fine person. And seems to be in a much better space.

So again, good luck.

Webster said...

It would be my hope for Sugarbutt that her counselor makes taking her meds a prerequisite of continued counseling. And if you could find one who specializes in DBT, then all the better. I also think they need to be in counseling separately first before doing it together.

CONGRATULATIONS on six days without a cigarette. FWIW, I will be thinking of you and sending you strength to continue.

Linda said...

Congrats on the quitting!! I social smoke but I am doing my best to stop that. I do hope things get better with your sister (or wife?!?!?! WTF was the first commenter reading??) and Princess!

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