Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I'm Tellin' Ya'll It's Sabotage!

The other day Gordon told me that it feels like I've been trying to sabotage our relationship since we put somewhat of a label on it. We had been fighting a lot the past week, and he was stressed and frustrated. Of course I'm trying to sabotage, it's a pretty common BPD feature, but despite what he thinks it has little to do with the label and more to do with closeness and intimacy.

Chances are, even if we weren't "dating" I'd still go into sabotaging mode. Mostly because we were getting intimate and I was developing feelings. More so, however, it's about my inner turmoil and what I feel that I deserve and don't deserve.  I feel like I don't deserve someone who will treat me well. I recently had a conversation with a friend who also has BPD. The following is a reply I sent to something she said, and I think it sums up this situation and my emotions pretty well.

"You know if I said this someone they would probably reply "it's your Borderline that doesn't think you deserve him"....but I get it, I really really do. Because we know ourselves, we know how difficult we can be, and as much as we drain people and people are judgmental; we probably judge and drain ourselves the most. It's really difficult to live with ourselves sometimes, so why would anyone else want to?"

Friday, March 20, 2015

Blink of an Eye

"For someone who is so black and white you sure see a lot of gray that isn't there."

This was said to me by Gordon after I took something he said the wrong way. What he doesn't realize is this is exactly what Borderline B&W thinking or splitting is. By me taking everything he says out of context I am creating a negative devaluation image of him. He is now "bad Gordon" and everything he says is against me and to hurt me. Even the most innocent of comments will be twisted around to seem evil and malicious.

Obviously the best course is to stop, take a breath, and consider that this is not the case. However, with external BPD behavior comes the internal battle. The feeling of guilt and shame. Feelings so overwhelming the only way to combat them (in the Borderline's mind) is to lash out even more externally.

This is also paired with stress related paranoia; a symptom of BPD that can be very scary for the sufferer. This is usually when I feel most trapped inside my own head.

I am sometimes amazed at how quickly my mood can change. In the blink of an eye. This is where BPD gets confused with Bipolar. I've literally gone from happy, upbeat, confident, and in a great mood to angry, bitter, depressed, and like all my confidence and positive energy was drained in the blink of an eye. From hot to cold with no in between. Even rapid cycling bipolars do not experience mood shifts this frequent.

I've been practicing more yoga and trying my best to implementing DBT skills, but the hardest thing for me is learning not to rely on outside validation. I'm still dwelling about what happened with Gordon and I recognize this is my BPD still at work; not wanting to move on.

It's scary. Every time I have an outburst I wonder, "did I just blow it? Is Gordon slowly becoming uninterested in me? Is this the straw that broke the camel's back?"

Then more panic, more worry.

Outside I'm silent, but inside I'm screaming.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Rainbow

My last three major relationships pretty much started with a lie. None of them were ready for something serious, but me being be I pushed them into it. Of course I always ended up getting hurt in the end.

So of course it would make sense that I was the one to initiate the next step for Gordon and I. I'm so used to the, "ya I really like you, but I'm not ready to date," so why would I believe that it would be any different for him? We're in an "it's complicated" relationship right now, because it is.  In my heart I want to date him, but knowing my luck he'd just be, "nope. Not ready for that," and I'd end up feeling like a fool. I'm also trying to take it slow because I'm still dealing with Pete, and right not Gordon is giving me a place to live.

Slow? HA! It's like I am incapable of taking things slow. My brain is all chill and my heart is all, "GO GO GO!!" Of course I'm looking at Gordon as if he's some sort of untouchable God, and that has made me lash out at him. I've pushed and fought because I feel like I don't deserve him. Or maybe I'm just giving him the pedestal status like I do every other guy I'm with.

But you know what's different about Gordon? He wants to like all of me. Not just the best parts, he wants to learn about my BPD and he wants that part of me to like him.

There's is one thing I stand by if you date me. It is easy to love a person when they are at their best. If you want to prove you truly love me, then love me at my worst. Love me when I'm screaming at you and hurling insults. Love me when I come back and start hating myself. Love me when I'm paranoid. Love me when my BPD has taken complete control.

Love me when it's hard.

Because if you can walk through the storm and prove you're strong enough to stay, then there is a rainbow at the other end.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Mortified

I realize that writing this here is probably not the best way of letting my feelings be known, but honestly I'm just to chicken shit to say them in person. Mainly because I know if the tables were turned I'd flip my shit.

I don't know what's going on with Gordon and I. We're in this weird limbo I felt when I was with Pete. We go out, we've had sex and fooled around, we cuddle, but we're still "friends". He's made his intentions very clear. He likes me and he wants to date me. I told him I am on the fence, and here's why. It's not that I don't like him, but I think dating him while I'm staying at his place may potentially cause problems (even if he thinks they won't). I'm also in a situation where I want to make sure I like him and not just the next thing after Pete. I can only really do this if we're apart for more than 12 hours.

Last night he helped me out with some stuff and it was such a big deal for me because no one has really helped me that much before, and remained patient with me the whole time. I happily said, "OMG I love you!" in the way I would say it to a friend that just brought me my favorite latte. Later that night we were laying in bed together and he said, "love you, hun", but not in the way he'd say it to a latte bringing friend. This sort of set of triggers for me. Black and white thinking? Getting attached quickly? Can you guess why something like this might send up a red flag for someone like me?

That's not the part that if the tables were turned I'd flip out, not that's something much different. Frankly I feel like a douche bag talking about it, but he understands that sometimes I communicate best through writing. So, here goes.

Last night (before the "I love you" debacle) we went out dancing. I'm pretty much straight edge so opted for a Red Bull, he on the other hand had a couple of alcoholic beverages. He claims that he wasn't tipsy (and I believe him), but he was acting drunk (enough so that I had to question his sobriety). So what did he do that got me so upset? He seemed to have a complete lack of awareness of what was going on around him, in conversation, and with me and for some reason that really bothered me.

  • A friend of mine came back over from talking to a guy. I asked her, "good or bad" and she indicated that it was good and he was cute. Later the guy accidentally bumped into my friend and she expressed happiness over this. Paying no attention to the situation, Gordon placed himself in a "protective" way between me, my friend, and the guy. He didn't get the hint as I tried to subtly get him to move. 
  • While having a conversation with a different friend about another event in the area my friend mentioned that a variety of types go to the event (spinners, burners, goths, etc). Gordon, again, paying no attention to the conversation said, "Cureish", referencing the band The Cure (I'm guessing he meant "Old School"?). Since we were talking about types of people (or better yet, certain circles) this confused my friend.
  • While talking to the first friend (a very pretty female, by the way) Gordon kept touching her (ie-touched her arms when looking at her tattoos, touched her chest when looking at her piercing, put his arm around her). I have a huge problem with this. Not because I feel like I have a monopoly on Gordon, but because I strongly believe that you should ask someone's permission before touching them. Especially in this situation. It was the first time Gordon had met my friend and he had not way of knowing if she'd be okay with being touched by a stranger (I even asked if I could give her a hug). My friend didn't say anything, but she was also drinking and hey isn't that how victim blaming stops, "well, she didn't say anything..."?
  • At one point I was just super annoyed and Gordon wanted me to look at him so he could make some stupid faces. I didn't want to because they just would have embarrassed me since I was in such a highly irritated state.
  • I like getting complimented, but Gordon would just not stop. It was to the point where it was obnoxious. I realize this is hypocritical of me because when I'm dealing with idealization of a person I won't shut up about how amazing they are. I guess being on the other side I can see why it would make someone uncomfortable. 
  • When I'm out someplace I tend to constantly be looking around. This is partly due to anxiety of being there and of seeing certain people. I hate being constantly asked if I'm okay or what's going on. If I have something to say I will address you directly.
Again, I feel like an asshole for being so nitpicky. When we left we walked home and I calmed down a bit by the time we reached the apartment. Then when we were laying in our beds (and he was still complimenting me) I looked over after he fell asleep and my heart just melted.

I make no sense. This disorder makes no sense.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Fraying the Rope

Hooooo boy, where do I start?

How about with my pattern of relationships?

The last "long term" relationships (keep in mind my longest relationship has been ten months) all had one thing in common. None of them, in some capacity or another, were ready for a serious relationship.

"But Hazel, that's not your fault. If they aren't ready then they shouldn't tell you yes."

While that may technically be true, I make it very difficult to say no. I push, I beg, I plead, I threaten, I manipulate, and I don't stop until I get what I want. I'm not saying that those guys didn't like being with me or didn't care for me, they just weren't ready for the level of seriousness I was. Then when they broke up with me the same thing happened each time. I freaked, I tried to keep them close (I don't need space, let's go straight to friends!) Then inevitably I push them to cut me out for some time. While each case was a bit different, that's the general process of things.

Next comes what I'll call the, "stubborn pining stage." No one can touch me again, I'll never find someone like him, I'm never going to get over him, etc...etc. Every guy I compare to my last and of course they never quite stack up because the guy I lost is a God in my mind that can never be replaced.

I've taken different amounts of time after each breakup, but eventually I do find someone. What comes next is a pattern I didn't really piece together until recently. When it comes to letting go I have to fray the rope a little at a time rather than cut it with one snip. The hardest thing for me is being physically intimate with someone else. I know this is because of my sexual past and my body image and self-esteem issues. Part of it is still being emotionally connected to my ex and being afraid that moving on means I'll never get them back; and part of it is knowing I have to move on and Goddess help a Borderline in transition. Eventually, at some point, I have sex with someone else. Wanna know what happens?

I cry.

I cry during sex. Not cause I'm not enjoying it, but because I know I'm letting go more. That terrifies me. It terrifies me because it's change, because it means I might be opening up to liking someone else, it means I'm opening myself up to possibly getting hurt again.

I cry because I fear the same pattern.

I cry because of splitting, because of black and white thinking, because of going too hard too fast (heh).

I cry because of change.

One of the hardest things about BPD recovery is learning how to live in the moment as well as see through the fog; particularly in relationships. In the moment means hurting (which I'm allowed), but at he same time need to see ahead and know that I've always made it through.

I thought I'd never get over T and I did. I thought I'd never get over J and I did. I thought I'd never get over the dozens of crushes and lovers I've had along the way, and I did.

In the moment it seems like it will never be okay, but it always is.

The gray. That's what I need to see, the gray.

Gordon and I had sex this morning. I was ready, but I still cried. I knew I was going to, and when he noticed he stopped.

The truth? I like him. The worst of my BPD has come out around him (last night I flipped after dinner, accused him of trying to make me fat, and smashed two plates). He cleaned it up, asked if I was okay, and didn't get mad. That's what he does every time I have a moment (my BPD is harder to control when there's not structure in my life and I'm under a lot of stress). Afterwards we talked, and here were some of the things I told him:

  • When I behave in extreme emotion mind he needs to be stern with me. Being all nicey nice is just going to reinforce the behavior and cause my brain to think, "how much further can I push?" When I flipped in my therapist's office my therapist didn't kick me out but he wasn't all, "it's okay. There, there." That's how Gordon needs to be with me.
  • The fact that Gordon is confident scares me. I have low self-esteem, and I don't feel I have much to offer other than sex in a relationship. What I can offer is that Borderline idealization. That endless praise that's the other end of splitting. This makes me feel like I have something to offer, and this is why I tend to end up with guys who either have low self-esteem issues as well. If I can't raise my own self-esteem, I'll raise someone else's
Gordon and I aren't dating, but I can see it going that way at some point. For now though, I'm still fraying the rope.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Stay Sane Inside Insanity

I've been meaning to write this post for a few days now, but I've honestly not been in a good head space at all. I've honestly not been dealing with this whole Pete thing well at all. No, I don't want to say that because then I'm not giving myself any credit. My ability to handle it comes and goes in waves, and unfortunately these past few days were a great big wave of, "not at all."

I guess in order to fully explain (and trust me, even I don't really get it), I have to attempt to explain how my mind works. Let's start with the fact there is a new guy in my life, we'll call him Gordon. I like Gordon, I'm pretty sure Gordon likes me and there is definite chemistry. I am not, however, in anyway ready to get into something serious. So Gordon and I have been fooling around a bit, mostly above the waist stuff and I like it; it feels nice, but it also triggers thoughts of Pete; which in turn cause me to attempt to contact him over and over even though I told myself I wouldn't (he actually picked up, thinking I was someone else and then promptly hung up on me). Stop, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Hazel, why would you waste your thoughts on him? He lied to you, he abandon you."

Let's clear some stuff up. This isn't about me being in love with Pete and this isn't about thinking we will get back together (I know deep down we never would have worked). This is about closure, or lack thereof.

Borderline Fact #34
We don't like not having a solid foundation.

I've been abandon before, or rather people cut me out of their life. The difference with them was that I was either told they were doing so or I had a source to stem things from (e.g.-a fight). With Pete I didn't get that. Not only did I not get any warning, but there was no fight and our last conversation was pleasant. I have no foundation, nothing to hold on to, no comforting closure. If you've been reading my blog I bet you can guess what happens next. Complete inner turmoil and conflict.

I know I'm difficult to deal with, and I angrily blame myself. If I wasn't so intense, so pushy, so needy this would not have happened. Obviously the only way for him to get space was to do the cruelest thing possible; but being left with nothing is incredibly difficult to deal with. Not knowing if he plans on talking to me again, not knowing if he's angry with me or if he hates me. I know, why should I care? Hello, have you been paying attention? I feel very, very intensely. So imagine taking that intensity and throwing it out into the void with nothing below. Just falling through an endless canyon of unanswered questions and the only way they will be answered is out of my control.

I hate not having control. I hate not having some sense of stability.

That's why when Gordon kisses or hugs me it triggers thoughts of Pete. It's not because I'm pining for Pete (though of course my brain is going to focus on and highlight the good things about Pete, making things even more difficult). I used to think feeling guilty about doing things with Gordon was because I felt like I was betraying Pete, but it's not.  It's about triggering everything that is unknown, but there's also something more; something more that I didn't realize until yesterday.

What this is partly about is my lack of self-worth. I've talked before about how a Borderline will stay in an abusive relationship because of that intense fear of abandonment. An abusive relationship is more desirable to the Borderline than being alone. It's fucked up, but isolation and abandonment is literally the thing we fear most.

So how does my self-worth play into this? Gordon is great; he's sweet, patient, caring, kind, and most of all he's shown me that he can deal with my BPD at its worst. So what's that problem? The problem is I feel like I don't deserve it. I can't look Gordon in the eye and I jump back at his touch not because he did something wrong, but because I feel like I am undeserving. I feel that I am so difficult to deal with that I don't deserve someone like him.  I want to reiterate that we're not in a relationship, I still need to deal with stuff on my own. I have such low self-esteem and mixing that with feelings of guilt, shame, regret, anger, hurt, confusion......welcome to the mind of a Borderline.

The last thing I want to mention is this. A friend said something that upset me, and while I know she was only trying to help, it still triggered me.

Six years ago when T broke up with me I drove to his house in the middle of the night, completely disassociated. Recently I talked about how I want to drive to Pete's work and wait for him. My friend recently compared these too things and here's why it upset me. One of the best lessons I learned in therapy is the difference between thoughts and actions. Thoughts are thoughts and feelings are feelings, it's what I do with them that is important. Yes, the thought of driving to Pete's work has crossed my mind, but I haven't and comparing the thought of doing something to the action of doing something as if they are the same was unfair.

Honestly though, I'm being unfair to her. Dealing with a Borderline is incredibly difficult. I don't even know how to deal with myself. I can't say to someone, "when I'm like this, do this," because I'm so inconsistent. I think right now things are just more difficult cause there's so much change going on in my life; and change for a Borderline, no matter what capacity, is incredibly difficult to deal with.