The Storm From Within
By Gailsforum on October 30, 2012
There's two sides to every story...This is mine
The Storm From Within
My name is synonymous with chaos: Gail derived from ‘Gale’ is defined as a strong wind- A wind with a speed of from 34 to 40 knots (39 to 46 miles per hour; 63 to 74 kilometers per hour), according to the Beaufort Scale.
At one time in my life I was voiceless, afraid to express my opinion, constantly changing my mind and fearful of conflict, I was a chameleon constantly changing to please others and fit in. The problem with this type of behavior is that while things on the outside look normal and serene, inside you are in constant conflict-a storm is brewing…
I was constantly wondering what was wrong with me!!!
The fact is that trauma can cause someone to develop a personality disorder. After 82 posts on this Forum, I’m sure you can all agree I had my share of trauma.
In my case it is called Histrionic Personality Disorder, I was diagnosed with it about five years ago but I tried to forget about it and shove it back down in the abyss. “If I dismiss it then it does not exist.” I have made excuses for my behaviour and/or put up with the judgments. I was afraid people would stop loving me.
The American Psychology Association posted the following article about what causes a personality disorder: http://www.apa.org/topics/personality/disorders-causes.aspx.
The good news is that this disorder decreases in intensity with age, with many people experiencing few of the most extreme symptoms by the time they are in the 40s or 50s. I guess that means there is still a chance I could have a normal relationship (sigh!)
For many years I suffered in silence, afraid to fail and unable to articulate the pain I felt. I wanted to be normal, no abnormalities please but the truth is I knew, deep down inside I always knew.
How could I not know that something was wrong with me? My track record in relationships alone should have set off alarm bells. The great thing about this disorder is that it makes me a great story-teller and let me put your mind at ease – every story I write in this blog is true and in no way embellished.
I have worked hard at combating the symptoms one at a time. Unfortunately it still caused me collateral damages: I lost friends, destroyed some good relationships, exhibited dangerous behavior and yes I wanted more than anything to be the center of attention. Trying to be as normal as I could and fighting the storm within hoping it would dissolve and result in a subdued calm.
The reason I am talking about this now is because I know many people suffer in silence, afraid to be judged for having a mental illness or personality disorder. You are not alone my friend.
All I can say is look around you, normal is a minority group. We all have physical, emotional or social crosses to carry- from the person in a wheel chair, with anxiety or individual suffering from depression who becomes a loner.
I am blessed to have friends, family and co-workers who have stood by me and in some ways helped me to constantly fight this even though most of them do not know about this disorder. By supporting my crazy schemes, not judging my failed relationships and encouraging my growth I feel they have all had a hand in helping me cope.
For those of you who might read this and decide – Dear Lord she is crazy I’m out of here, all I can say is goodbye.
The reality is the only person I need to impress is me and that’s based on a personality disorder LOL.