Today’s #SameHere🤙Hero: Sharon Simon, a gifted comedian. I mentioned after our comedy event, we’d start to get more comedians involved. Sharon is the first of many whose stories we will share.
I got a chance to connect with Sharon for a few hours via phone, & her self awareness is beyond admirable. She struggles w something called Borderline Personality Disorder. This is understood as a learned behavior – that mainly arises from childhood neglect & treatment by others. Those w Borderline fear abandonment almost above all else, bc of what they experienced as youngsters – & therefore their perception of events they experienced often differs from friends/loved ones, as self-protection mode convinces them of different realities. I’ve lost a number of relationships (friendships & romantic) to those who struggled w Borderline, bc many who struggle make it difficult to allow ppl close to help them. In Sharon, I am so proud to bring a story of strength & hope…someone who has fought for yrs to understand herself & her challenges, to be the amazing person she is today. Her story:
“It is my belief that anytime a sensitive child’s reality is denied, there is a potential to develop traits of Borderline Personality Disorder. In my case there were severe conditions. My father’s negative reaction to my birth, my body not being healthy & as I got older, the reality of me being the only Jewish girl in my class, all were hard, & filled my mother w fear regarding my future. So when I met a Jewish boy, a couple of years older, from a couple of towns away, my mother was overjoyed & at first encouraged me to take him as my boyfriend.
Over time he was not only my keeper & my molester, but he told me all of who I was supposed to be. He did this to ensure that his homophobic brother would not know he was gay. My mother cried to me – telling me why it was important I never tell anyone what I was going through, & I obeyed. I lived in a little corner of my brain where I hid, wishing I would die so my father would be happy & my mother would stop making me be the person this boy wanted/needed me to be.
I spent hours upon, days, weeks, months, years, being pushed further & further into this little corner of my brain as I was put down & accused of being selfish & a liar when I was unable to please this boy – in my youth not being able to grow big enough breasts & my dying insistence that I had more value than that.
After a self abusive outburst where I first hit myself, I learned that I had the power to get the abuse from others to stop, if I actively abused myself. So I did, in more & more ways. I learned to deny my own reality & agree with them that my lack of attractiveness & composure was grounds for me not deserving to live. I was only able to understand reality through the eyes of others. This lead to me being vulnerable to abusive friends & lovers throughout my young life.
Being that I didn’t know anyone else who spent their afternoons banging their head into walls, begging g-d to kill them, I asked my mother to please send me to a therapist or hospital. Not only wouldn’t my parents allow this, but after visiting the hospital for a concussion, while I was in college, my mother cried that my father would find out &, although dangerous to my health, I left. I went to the Rutgers clinic asking them for help, their response was I was too sick for a college clinic, & that my parents should be the ones helping me.
After graduating, as an adult I tried many forms of therapy all designed for the wrong diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, all making me worse. At a time when my suicidal ideations intensified, & I was pleased to have a suicide plan, I followed advice of others & checked myself into a hospital. My first night there was the first time I felt safe or any sense of self love.
Progress for me started with two years of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, but my tools are always growing. I exercise, do yoga, & meditate. I write gratitude lists & keep busy helping others. Comedy helps me laugh at pain in a way that turns it into something positive. I understand that not everyone has my best interest in ming & I keep myself safe by not buying into the opinions of others.
Throughout my life I have had an easy time weaning out who does & does not have my best interest by simply telling my story. Now, as a person involved in the peer movement, I am pleased to know the power of my #SameHere story. Through my life’s work I can share w people the power of focus, love, & forgiveness.
The power to know anyone can change, anyone can get better, anyone can have a life worth living is why I share & will continue to do so.”