New to this forum

Espoir

New member
Hi everyone! Longtime lurker, first-time poster, as they say. I essentially made this account after a few months of thinking about it because I think it could help me with my current situation, which I'll get into detail at some point elsewhere (the Poly Relationships Corner) and also to have a space to read and talk about ENM. Thank you for this opportunity. From what I've browsed so far, it seems like there is a lot of hard work put into this message board, both by mods and users, and I feel it could be a healthier and more positive space compared to, say, Reddit 😬

Anyway, my introduction! Hi! I'm Espoir, I am a non-binary transperson. (In that sense, I was quite shocked/disappointed when registering my account and seeing that I was forced to choose either male or female. I don't know if this can be fixed, if not, I guess I'll just alter from one to another randomly, because it makes me profoundly uncomfortable) from the Basque Country.

I'm 28, bisexual, an ESL (English as a second language) teacher for mostly teens. I love cats, tattoos, nature, making shitty art, hanging out with my loved ones, going to gigs, and actively taking part in grassroot political organising.

I also struggle with mental health issues, and was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder about ten years ago, when I was terribly unwell and textbook BPD. After years of therapy and psychiatric medication, I am currently in remission and, according to my therapist, no longer fit the criteria for the diagnosis, and was actually officially discharged and taken off meds by my (ex) psychiatrist a year ago.

However, I still struggle with insecurities, anxiety in general, black and white thinking and a bunch of stuff that makes life in general difficult for me. I don't really care for any diagnosis at the moment. I know there is a big boom right now with people self-IDing with ADHD, autism and other forms of neurodivergence that I too find relatable. But rather than pathologising my issues, I'd rather just continue to identify them and work on them. Currently I am still in therapy and plan to do so until the end of time lol. (I think that if you're lucky enough to have a good shrink, therapy benefits everyone, "mentally ill" or not.) Fespite being off antidepressants, I still have anxiety meds available for whenever I need them.

I apologise for rambling so much about this in particular, but as you can probably gather, my brain and how it operates has been a massive influence on my life and my relationships, and on my attempts at poly, in particular. I am hoping I'll be able to speak openly about my struggles and my efforts regarding this on this forum, but I am a bit wary, since years of Googling "bpd polyamory struggles" "bpd how to deal with insecurities," etc. almost inevitably result in thousands of posts by those who have dated people with BPD diagnosis saying "Borderlines are manipulative and irredeemably evil lunatics, run away!" or, directed at the person with the diagnosis "If you struggle so much you shouldn't even attempt polyamory, you are lying to yourself!" which fucking sucks.

I have been dating my NP Alicia for about 7-8 years. We had a messy beginning. I was poly, but not very good at it, dating like 5 people at the time. But really I would just sleep around with my friends and have super intense crushes on them and decide we were now partners. But it was just very chaotic. Again, think a 21-year old with unmanaged BPD.

She was my flatmate, whom I started hooking up with, and eventually fell in love with. We closed our relationship, and have been monogamous for the past 6 years or so, and built a strong, loving foundation, despite some very hard moments because of my fucking Brain.

We have spent the last 2 years talking about opening up, mostly coming from her, since I was still reluctant about it, due to my irrational fears. But I know that I can love more than one person simultaneously, and I know she can too. I really think ENM is something I want in my life.

We are pretty disentangled, despite living together. (We have mutual friends, but also separate friend groups; shared hobbies, but also different hobbies; we have our own bedrooms, although we often sleep in the same bed; we like spending time together, but also doing our own thing.)

I've done the mental prep, and all the reading to (re)introduce myself to this. (Polysecure of course, among other books and podcasts!) She's mostly just excited about it, because she's only ever dated me.

I am extremely self-aware of my distorted thinking patterns, insecurities and mental health issues, and have been Doing The Work to get better both for myself and for those around me for a decade. I am (irrationally) terrified because of my fear of abandonment and all the other crap my Brain Gremlins spout, but I truly believe that with communication, compassion and effort, I can make this work. And that's why I'm here!

Thank you all, if you read this far. I hope your beginning of the year is going well. January is def always a tough one for me. x
 
Welcome! Knowing yourself and owning your stuff is really powerful. As long as you keep working on it and don't use it as an excuse to have bad behavior without consequences, then you are on a better track than most people. Keep up the awesome work!

I think you can navigate poly with that same awareness and therapy. I think what you are working on now is the same issues we all work on in poly. Just recognize that it is your stuff to work on and don't put it on others and you'll be just fine. You are on your way.
 
Welcome! Knowing yourself and owning your stuff is really powerful. As long as you keep working on it and don't use it as an excuse to have bad behavior without consequences, then you are on a better track than most people. Keep up the awesome work! I think you can navigate poly with that same awareness and therapy. I think what you are working on now are the same issues we all work on in poly. Just recognize that it is your stuff to work on and don't put it on others and you'll be just fine. You are on your way.
Thank you! I definitely think it is completely selfish and irresponsible to use any sort of diagnosis or personal trauma as a "get out of jail free" card. I believe that diagnoses are descriptive and not prescriptive. I am not interested in using my insecurities as a shield or a way of saying "Oops, this is just the way I am; I can't help it!" because not only is it simply not true, it's also just a lazy and cowardly way of viewing things in life.

But simultaneously, I think it's important to be aware of my triggers, thought patterns and limitations, and how they can impact my partner, who is a hinge, and my (very recent) meta. Neither of them are responsible for my issues, although I also believe my partner can bear all this in mind and thus offer me some grace and patience during this transition process.

I'm willing to do my best to make this work for everyone involved. I may be highly sensitive, or whatever one wants to call it, but that just implies we need to work extra hard on communication, just as anyone in any sort of relationship (be that mono, friendships, with family members, coworkers...) should do.
 
Greetings Espoir,
Welcome to our forum. Please feel free to lurk, browse, etc.

Yeah, Reddit has a bad reputation with regards to health and positivity, I basically avoid it like the plague. You should have a better experience here on Polyamory.com, not perfect but definitely better. Sorry we do not have a non-binary choice on your gender, I don't know if that is something the admins can fix.

It sounds like you are doing your best to deal with your mental health issues, I have a few of those myself and have had multiple diagnoses over the years, including BPD. Anxiety is my constant companion, and on some days it spikes for no apparent reason. I've tried dozens of medications, currently I take Zyprexa and it seems to help somewhat.

I am hopeful that Polyamory.com can help you with your current situation, post in Poly Relationships Corner and let us know what your current struggles are. You can definitely also talk about ENM in general here, General Poly Discussions might be the best board for that but I'll leave that to your own good judgment.

It's great to have you with us!
Sincerely,
Kevin T., "official greeter" :)

Notes:

There's a *lot* of good info in Golden Nuggets. Have a look!

Please read through the guidelines if you haven't already.

Note: You needn't read every reply to your posts, especially if someone posts in a disagreeable way. Given the size and scope of the site it's hard not to run into the occasional disagreeable person. Please contact the mods if you do (or if you see any spam), and you can block the person if you want.

If you have any questions about the board itself, please private-message a mod and they'll do their best to help.

Welcome aboard!
 
Your story was interesting. You have done the work and seem very self-aware.

As a mod, I apologize for there being a need to choose a binary gender when you register! I was not aware of that. We changed our format a year or so ago. (It was the admin's decision, the mods were not involved.) Maybe the need to choose a gender popped up then. I don't remember that being the case when I first signed up years ago. I was IDing as female back then, but have embraced non-binary since.

I will look into this issue.
 
Thank you Kevin and Magdlyn for the welcome! And I truly appreciate the apologies about the binary gender thing for the registration, I understand it's not up to you as mods and I am grateful for the concern, hopefully the admins will be able to sort it out at some point. There's definitely a massive overlap between non-binary and poly people so I'm sure many would appreciate the change.

Thanks for sharing about your diagnoses and meds, Kevin, I'm always a bit wary to talk about these things, specially since BPD in particular is so stigmatised, as is taking psychiatric medication. I've never been on Zyprexa but I have been on atypical antipsychotics also. It's really reassuring to see fellow crazy people doing poly and showing that it can indeed be done!

(I reclaim "crazy" in the same way that I reclaim "queer", but I know it's not the same to do so for oneself than for others, so please let me know if you are not okay with it)
 
No problem Espoir,

I'm glad if I could help and yes, "crazy" people (like you and me) can adapt to polyamory and make it work, it just takes a lot of love and determination. And you're right, BPD is highly stigmatized.

With empathy,
Kevin T.
 
Hello, and Welcome to the Forum! Glad to have you here and thank you for sharing your background.

We still have a LONG way to go when it comes to stigma regarding mental health issues and diagnoses, but I have actually seen a lot of progress in this regard (as well as LGBTQ+ and other "issues") over the last two decades and am (perhaps irrationally) optimistic.


(I think that if you're lucky enough to have a good shrink, therapy benefits everyone, "mentally ill" or not.)
I agree 100% - my line is "Noone's life is so perfect that they couldn't benefit from therapy. Particularly if they think they don't need it!" A bit tongue-in-cheek but it gets my point across - as a health-care worker I get to see how "crazy" all of the so-called "normal" people are when you actually get to see what is inside their heads.

One of the quotes from my Profile Wall of quotes:
"Knowing what kind of crazy is in your bucket helps a great deal in keeping it from slopping out on other people."
- AutumnalTone 10/15/2009, Wife threatened divorce thread on polyamory.com
 
My line is "Most people's lives are so imperfect that they can't afford therapy. Particularly those who really do need it!"
For sure, I'm extremely priviliged to have access to a super affordable therapist who works pro bono for an association for people with personality disorders, most private therapists where I live charge a minimum of 60 euros an hour which is absurd, and if you have a public healthcare therapist you get like 20 minute sessions every six months....
 
most private therapists where I live charge a minimum of 60 euros an hour which is absurd
Wow. I’m paying £80 (about €93 at today’s exchange rate) for 50 minutes. First time I’ve ever had therapy. All I can say is so far with just one under my belt it’s worth it.
 
Hey. I haven't mentioned it anywhere else just yet. It's planned for my next post. I was diagnosed with emotional disregulation (a less stigmatized name for BPD) several years ago. Went through two cycles of DBT and have MOSTLY figured myself out and gotten my emotions under control. It helps that I dug into the interwebz and found the DBT manual and workbook and keep copies on every device I own.

I'm glad to hear that you've made such a sweeping recovery that you don't fit the diagnosis any more. I believe I'm there as well but I've not been back to the hospital I had checked myself into at the time my diagnosis was handed down (deeply empathetic and hospitals have always freaked me out)

I've gotta be honest. I think it's pretty awesome that you've accomplished that, and I'm pretty proud to be walking, or even trying to walk, the same road.
 
Hey Solace, just saw this comment! I've been reading your story, I cannot begin to imagine what you've gone through, thank you for sharing. I am glad to hear you are doing better, I have my ups and downs but despite very sporadic relapses it's a lot different than it used to be, and having access to DBT manuals and information online definitely helped - I have a big ol' Marsha Linehan workbook and used to watch Dr. Daniel Fox's videos a lot as well, I don't know if you know him but he's on youtube.
 
Hey Solace, just saw this comment! I've been reading your story, I cannot begin to imagine what you've gone through, thank you for sharing. I am glad to hear you are doing better, I have my ups and downs but despite very sporadic relapses it's a lot different than it used to be, and having access to DBT manuals and information online definitely helped - I have a big ol' Marsha Linehan workbook and used to watch Dr. Daniel Fox's videos a lot as well, I don't know if you know him but he's on youtube.
Hey, thanks! I don't know him but I'll check it out. I'm glad to hear you're doing well too. If you ever need someone to vent to feel free to dm me.
 
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