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Looking well vs being well

A lot of people assume that just because you’re having a good day, or you’re smiling, it means that you’re better. It does to a certain extent, but for me, I’m still not 100%. I feel about 80 % better compared to before, but I don’t feel like myself yet, so there’s still some journeying to do.

I had an interesting group session today, which looked at mirroring emotions. For example, if you’re upset  and someone sees you and says ‘oh you look fine’ or ‘you look happy’, that’s incorrect mirroring, which means you don’t have the correct emotions being shown to you. In turn, this makes you feel worse or misunderstood. For me this is a common mistake my parents make, or have made in the past or are still doing everyday. Apparently, this mirroring is one of the key things which link mental health problems to BPD. It’s crazy to think that years and years of this mis-mirroring could be the reason why I am the way I am. This is not to say I blame my parents for everything, because I don’t. It’s also partly to do with how I coped at the time, which probably resulted in me having an argument or being really depressed and covering my true feelings.

When you’re unwell yourself, being around someone who also has mental health problems or has experienced misguided mirroring when they were growing up, can cause your mental state to worsen. It’s like a constant battleground, full of arguing and misjudged thoughts and feelings. It’s so draining and sometimes I feel so defenceless as to what’s going on around me. Having the choice  to escape these surroundings is one I do not have, I can’t just up and go as I have no money or stability to look after myself. But I know if I stay in the same situation for another 2 years, I’m only going to get worse. It’s such a tricky decision.

My friends and family don’t always understand the situation I’m in; having the pressure of paying money to your own mother and being well, all at same time so as to not to put pressure on her. It’s so confusing. My mum can’t work, so I feel guilty when I am unable to give her money, but if she was working, like my friends’ parents, I would not have to give as much. Some of my friends don’t give their parents anything, so why should I have to, just because my mum can’t work? I don’t want to feel like a lodger, I want my mum to want me to be around, without having to pay to stay here. It just makes me feel like a possession rather than a daughter and that money is all that matters. It’s constantly the topic of conversation. Another reason I feel reluctant to give money is because she’s always banging on about it, yet she still has money to buy expensive new things and flaunt them in front of me. Then the next moment, she will be moaning we have no money and how I “need to pay my way”. It’s just ridiculous.

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