Why do I suddenly hate food
Borderline syndrome : "I hate myself"
Friday. Last weekend. Go partying, relax, spend the Sunday in bed. We're glad. But for Johanna (that's what she wants to be called), weekends are hell. Sunday, when she's sitting alone in her one-room apartment, just waiting for that day to finally pass, it's worst. She'll be damn lonely then. The ticking of the clock is grueling. As if out of nowhere, this pressure arises, this inner tension that threatens to tear you apart, grabs you and shakes you. Johanna tries to scream, but no sound comes from her open mouth that could break the ominous silence in her room. At these moments Johanna takes a pair of scissors and cuts her forearms and shoulders until the blood runs dark red from the cuts. She hardly feels the pain.
Johanna is a borderliner. Your soul is sick. She suffers from a personality disorder, the clinical picture of which is difficult to pin down. People like you are emotionally unstable, only live and feel in extremes. Like most borderliners, you can't tell by looking at Johanna's disease. They are masters of everyday camouflage, playing something for their environment so that nobody notices that they are different. Johanna is an inconspicuous girl who seems as normal as anyone who practices normality in front of the mirror for hours.
A brown longsleeve hides the scars on her forearms. She has tied her dark blonde hair strictly back. And smiles. Today is a good day, she says. Although, in the middle of the high school stress, the pressure is almost unbearable at the moment and she actually doesn't know how to get through the next few months. "In the past I always wanted to make an average of one," she says and, after a short silence, adds: "Today I just want to make it somehow."
Earlier. Johanna often says that. It used to be before the illness that began eight years ago as suddenly as it attacks Johanna today. That was in seventh grade. Johanna felt too fat. A classmate gave her a book about an anorexic girl who refuses to eat until she weighs 35 kilos. An awakening experience for Johanna. “I wanted to be anorexic,” she recalls. But the pleasure in eating was too great for that. Johanna began to stick her finger down her throat. Eats. Pukes. Eats. It all began with "spitting", as she almost affectionately calls it. A borderline disease often hides behind the much more noticeable bulimia.
When she was 14, Johanna started her first therapy. Then another. She wandered from therapist to therapist. Nothing helped. “I was only treated for an eating disorder,” she recalls. Eventually she was referred to a specialized clinic. “There they said that I had many symptoms of a borderline disease.” At that time, Johanna didn't know what that meant for her life. Johanna just sat there and felt empty. Borderline, that sounded like a madhouse. Today she knows more about the disease. She's read books about it. She knows that borderline personality disorder almost always results from traumatic experiences in childhood. For example, if the parents divorce, one parent dies, or the child is subjected to physical or sexual abuse.
When she was seven, Joan's father died. Up until the father's death, the parents argued a lot. It was always loud at home, Johanna recalls. The relationship with her mother, who suffers from depression herself, broke down afterwards.
“I always had the feeling that she didn't care.” That is still the case today. Her mother kicked her three years ago. It's better that way, Johanna simply says. "We never got along anyway." Since then Johanna has been alone with herself and her body, this hideous shell for her. “I hate myself,” says Johanna. Nevertheless, she is always standing in front of the mirror. But the view of her body is distorted. Johanna cannot see herself. And so she gets the confirmation about the boys, about sex. "I only define myself by what other people say about me."
When Johanna is with other people, she takes on a role, imitates people who are popular. “I'm playing a life that's not mine,” she says. Her favorite role: Betty Rizzo from the musical "Grease". Outwardly cool. And yet so vulnerable inside. She has long since forgotten what the real Johanna is like. Adjusting takes strength, a lot of strength.
In the evening, when she has to be alone with herself again, Johanna is exhausted. So exhausted that she can't sleep. She lies awake for hours and feels the pressure slowly rising inside her. Johanna often sings when she notices that reality is beginning to slip away from her. But she is powerless against the panic attacks.
“Now I'm terrified of being alone,” she says. That's why she often just runs aimlessly through the streets at night, sits down in bars. She recently met a guy in a cafe. He always has time. And alcohol. Johanna goes there when her apartment and being alone become a threat again. The guy is older than her, they drink together all night. To the point of unconsciousness, then they have sex. Without feeling. Because for Johanna, like spitting, sex is a form of self-harm. “I hate sex because it almost tears me apart in pain. I could scream, want to stop, ”she says in disgust. But she only says: "hurt me, I want you to hurt me."
Johanna tells all of this with a smile that you don't know if it's not just thick make-up.
Alone, without help, Johanna will not be able to get her illness under control. She knows that. But Johanna is considered difficult to treat and was given up by her therapist. Your last chance now is a stay in a clinic. Johanna would go to therapy there, in which she has to bring out feelings from her childhood and work through them. It's upsetting, exhausting and takes time. She doesn't have that so shortly before the exams. And if she leaves now, she won't be able to graduate. Because when she was 17, Johanna went to the clinic once. During the summer vacation. She stayed until October and had missed so much material that she had to repeat the twelfth.
So she will go through with her high school diploma, even if the seizures will increase during this time and the pressure may become unbearable. And then? "Actually, it would be a good end to go away for three months after graduating from high school," she says. But she doesn't mean New Zealand, for many of us the end of the line longing. When Johanna says that today, she means the clinic. After graduating from high school, she will be admitted for twelve weeks.
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