Monday, 21 April 2014

Not all Memories are to be Feared

I used to fear remembering my childhood. There was too much pain. One thing I have learned in managing the symptoms of BPD is that even in one hour of time, there are different shades of light and dark that make up my experience. As I have developed skills to enable me to cope with distress and painful emotions I have tried to 'redeem' the good things from my past. I started with music. I love music too much to allow the bad things that have happened to me, stop me from listening to music that can bring me real enjoyment in the here and now. Things like places to visit, films, music don't have to attach to negative memories.

I have a tendency to ruminate and I used to 'wallow' by listening to what I call 'slit your wrist' music - but as I have started to recover I realise that feeling wasn't within the music or the experience I am remembering - it was coming from me. Different visual and musical arts express the range of emotions, that's what draws me to them. It's great to find outlets for my overflowing emotions. Or should I say, it's great to find 'safe' outlets for my overflowing emotions. That is what has been so liberating about redeeming expressive things like photos, paintings and music.

Recently, I have started to move on to redeeming my memories of favourite places. And there have been many. I come from a beautiful island - Ireland. There is so much to see and we did get out and about as kids. Today is a Bank Holiday and it is sunny the kind of day we would get in the car and drive (not far - nowhere is far in Ireland) down to the coast or into the country to visit amazing places. I love history and history was all around me growing up. For so long the enjoyment and escape I enjoyed in visiting these places was lost as I was overwhelmed by painful things from growing up. It is so vital to reclaim those things that actually fed me emotionally and kept me going, even when I didn't realise it at the time. I wanted to share two particular places that have been so special to me.

This is Portavogie Harbour. We would end days out sometimes here where we would buy 'potted herring' take them home and have them for tea. The fish here was always snap fresh.

Mount Stewart is my favourite historic place to visit. We had school trips and day trips as family to this wonderful house with amazing grounds. It is on the shore of Strangford Lough as well. Strangford is famous for having 365 islands and being a unique area of natural beauty because it is a sea inlet.

In places like this I could escape and enjoy imagining life in different worlds from my own. They provided a sense of safety for me that helped me to survive. In addition, they helped to feed my creativity - something which has stayed with me into my adulthood.

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