Intrusive Thoughts

Okay readers, let’s get into some heavy shit.

I used to think shit like this wasn’t all that heavy because the world is a place full of terrible possibilities and outcomes and so I used to think that ruminating on intrusive thoughts was normal.

Let me digress: when my mom and my stepdad first met, they have this fond story about how their first conversation included such profound arguments as, “Is man inherently good or evil?”

I never found out what they believed but my guess is that mom found them evil and greg found people inherently good. This guess is entirely buried in my personal experiences with each of them separately.

But the concept stuck with me. And people with BPD lean toward black and white thinking. So to me, it became, “Man is either inherently good OR inherently evil.” I didn’t account for the fact that both can be true and that it’s our actions in the world that make that determination. Not our thoughts.

Intrusive thoughts are scary unwelcome thoughts and everybody has them. A good example would be when, years ago, I was laying with my dog and I thought, “What if I just jam a pencil into his eye right now?” SEE!? Scary!

People with mental illnesses, especially OCD, can obsess over these thoughts. For me, it starts with, “Why did I just think that horrible thing about my dog whom I love?” And shame follows and then the feelings can snowball until your curled up on the floor wondering why you’re the world’s worst human.

I have to consistently remind myself that I would never actually do anything remotely close to hurting my dog and that the violent intrusive thought I just had does not reflect on my character as a person.

It seems easy enough. And, if you’re neurotypical, you may have these thoughts and say, “WTF!?” to yourself and move on with your day. But with OCD we get lost in our obsessive trains of thought.

I don’t just have OCD, though. I have a full-blown, is anything even real?, personally disorder.

The best way I’ve found to explain it is that I am just never 100% in control of my personality and can shift, 180, to a completely different person with any trigger (and I don’t even know what all of my triggers are, so it can in theory happen at any time and it’s scary!)

But I’m learning that the weird and intrusive thoughts I have don’t make me a bad person! It’s how I handle and act on said thoughts that matters.

I still have to be wary of my intrusive thoughts, because they can get scary! I know in my heart and my brain that I am not capable of hurting another being. But I cannot always account for when I have a Borderline shift in personalities because I become a completely different person who has no control over her mind and body.

Basically, when armed with the realization that you literally can do anything good or bad, you have to temper yourself, “Okay, but what would be the most preferred outcome?”

In the case of my dog, we just continued to lay together and nothing happened and he had no idea I had even thought that. And you didn’t either, except that I told you.

Growing up with a narcissistic mother I learned to value truth above anything else. What is real and true in this world is all we have. And yes I briefly thought about stabbing my dog with a pencil, but the truth is that I would never do something like that and I need to work on not giving my intrusive thoughts nearly as much headspace and I have in the past.

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