I live with my sister, her, husband, and their son. Yesterday, I left to come to my daughter’s house to be here today to celebrate my granddaughter’s 11th birthday. Last night my sister Messaged me, “Lisa and DJ, Carine !!!!!!!!” with a link to a news story about a man and a woman who were murdered in their home. I thought she was just sending us a link to a news story because it happened near where Lisa and DJ live. 2 hours later, I saw a post by my sister’s daughter-in-law stating that Lisa and DJ had been murdered. That’s when I realized that my sister had been trying to reach out to me.
I lost my mind and became very loudly and uncontrollably hysterical. My outburst understandably scared the crap out of my grandchildren. Fortunately, the 3 younger children slept right through it. The 3 older ones were scared, confused, and very worried. They have never seen Grandma lose her shit like that. My daughter and her husband were visibly shaken and were trying to comfort me and get me calm enough to explain to the girls what was happening. My daughter was upset as we have known Lisa since the 80’s. Even though Lisa was only an acquaintance of my daughter, it’s going to hit hard when someone that is more than someone you’ve just heard of is murdered.
Lisa had been over at our house just a couple of days ago bringing Christmas presents to our nephew after coming back from another State where she had spent Christmas with her dad. My brain just couldn’t handle that image of her happy face with the fact that she had just been murdered.
A half an hour into my uncontrollable reaction, I started putting some facts together in my mind that just caused me to feel heartwrenching pain and worry for the others more closely affected. Lisa’s mom had found her daughter and grandson dead! OMG! She’s 82 years old and in very poor health! Lisa’s brother is in poor health and has already had a heart attack only a few years ago! He has just lost his only sibling! The nieces and nephews! They are only aged 2 through 13! OMG! How will their little minds even be able to handle this?!
At that point, my daughter gave me a sedative. A half an hour later, I was just numb with disbelief. That’s when I received a text from my sister responding to my text apologizing to her and asking about everyone. She asked me to not come home for a few days because I might take things personally if they are upset and get short with me due to the trauma that they are going through.
Logically, I understand where she’s coming because that is a BPD tendency of mine. At the same time it hurts that she doesn’t want me there. I want to be there for her; but, I don’t want to make shit worse. I already feel like the most stupid person on Earth; because, I didn’t get what she was trying to tell me with her Message with the link to the news story. I should have been there for her.
This morning, when I woke up, my plan was to do whatever I could to get in a better frame of mind for my granddaughter’s birthday party. I didn’t want to ruin it for her. I went across the street to a friend’s house to talk it out and drink coffee to get to a place where I could be mindful at the birthday party and enter into the experience for the sake of my granddaughter. As I was telling the friend what had happened he said, “So, it’s not like it was your blood relative.”
Then, my sister asked me to take down Lisa’s picture that I had put up as my profile picture with the words, “Rest in peace, Lisa”. Because my sister’s daughter-in-law had posted that Lisa had been murdered, I thought it would be ok to post what I did. I thought wrong. My sister told me that her daughter was upset that I had done that. I am not immediate family to Lisa.
I called the peer support line and talked with someone who would have a better understanding of what I am going through. And, I emailed my therapist asking for an appointment sooner than the one I have scheduled on the 31st.
And, the party went well. My grandchildren are all happy. I, however, am experiencing a mix of emotions. My older granddaughter offered me the opportunity to take a nap in her room. I did. Upon waking, I told my daughter that I wish I had my own apartment so that I could cry outloud alone. She offered me the keys to her van to sit out there and cry. I did.
I’m grateful for the compassion that my daughter, son-in-law, and older grandchildren have been and are showing me. It’s just this damn BPD has me feeling like people have invalidated my right to my feelings and have rejected my love and support.
I have reached out to people who get this BPD thing. I’m grateful for the reminder that everyone deals with grief differently and that the best thing to do is be gentle with myself and them.
This morning, I was reminded of how we humans have been and are promoting a violent culture. I was woken up to the birthday girl laughing and saying, “I will murder you until you die from the pain” while playing her new video game. Her little sister became upset as she watched and said, “You just killed it’s mother!” right after the little one had pointed out the cute pony. The older sibling asked her why she had killed the horse. The response, “Because it was there.” The older sister said, “You didn’t even pick up the pelt.” To which she said, “I can’t. I have no where to put it.”
I know, I know. It’s just a kid. It’s just a game. And, she is unaware of the circumstances of my friend’s death. However, the context that my brain is functioning in right now in the wake of the murder of someone I care about…
And, when I go home, there is a teenage boy who is already a loudly vocal player of games that are very violently graphic and worse than the cutesy game my granddaughter is playing. And…now he’s angry. His aunt was just murdered. You can bet that he will work it out through his game. While this is completely understandable, I am hypersensitive and hyper-emotional under NORMAL conditions as someone who has BPD. I have only been recently diagnosed and begun training into how to regulate my emotions and manage my interpersonal relations. The Universe sure enough has just given me a DBT Baptism by fire. Distress tolerance skills will be my life raft until I get my own apartment.