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 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.