Thursday, April 30, 2015

Something About You & I: Romance & Options, Part III

And now we come to Pete. My kryptonite. I'd be lying if I said I didn't still have feelings for him. I know we'd never work long term, but that doesn't mean the feelings just go away.

I haven't really talked about what's been going on with him because frankly I didn't want to deal with all the judgement. After four months of crippling silence (no way to even leave a vm) he finally picked up one of my calls. We talked twice that day. Before hanging up he told me we'd talk later that week.

Then nothing for close to two weeks.

Because of the past, because of the number of times he's avoided, hidden, and ran; I find it very difficult to trust him. I question what he tells me and I never know if he's just too scared to tell me he doesn't want me around.

Ten days later he texted me, apologizing for not talking and that things had been tough. He told me he'd call me that week to fill me in. I wanted to believe him. I wanted to believe because I know deep down he doesn't do it on purpose, he's not intentionally cruel.

He never called, and I finally got a hold of him again this past Monday. He told me he'd call me the next day (Tuesday) a bit after 7pm. Instead of leaving it at that I had to ask him if we were friends and if I could see him in May (we had talked about it when we had our initial contact). He then did what he does when he usually doesn't want to tell me the truth. He avoided the question. Eventually he said, "we're good," but I was still left with an uneasy feeling.

Tuesday came and no call. He didn't even reply to my texts. I found out later he had hung out with his friend, and I got an uneasy feeling knowing he couldn't even text me to tell me that, or that he had to postpone the call.

Here's what happens when he does this. I get intense. I send him multiple messages, hoping he'll respond to one. He has a hard time dealing with my intensity. It's a catch-22.

I'm scared. I'm scared he's doing this because he doesn't want to tell me that it's not a good idea for us to be friends. I'm scared he regrets talking to me again and now he's trying to push me away by leading me on and avoiding me. I'm scared his friends are telling him to cut me from his life. I'm scared to confront him straight on about this.

I wish I could say that I was overreacting, but his track record has proven there is truth to my fears. That even after all that time apart there's still stuff he has that brings out stuff I have.

So why do I bother? Why do I keep coming back? Because despite what anyone says, he's worth it. He may not be a good long term partner for me, but he is worth my time and effort as a friend and human being.

I don't condone the things he's done, but I know they weren't out of malice. I know what it's like to abandoned and accused of being awful things because of what I've said and done when I wasn't controlling my disorder. I also know there are people who have stuck by me.

Of course he may simply not want me around. He certainly has other friends who are closer and he's known longer. I may be wasting my time, but in the end every moment is worth it.

I probably should dial things back a bit, but I'm scared if I do it'll be another four months before I talk to him again. I wish he'd talk to me, so I knew what he wanted. There's potential I'll get really hurt. I admit that.

But some people are worth the pain and tears.

Walking Out With My Head Held High: Romance & Options, Part II

When I started dating Gordon I wondered if I really liked him or liked that he was the next thing after Pete.

A lot has happened between us, and now something is perfectly clear. He is not someone I want to even be friends with.

I understand my actions in a lot of cases were wrong, but I in no way control his reactions to those actions. I do not make him drink, as he says. I do not deserve to be verbally or physically abused (he shoved me after forcefully taking my phone from me). I don't deserve to be yelled at and treated as less than human.

It's funny, people like to tell me I use my disorder as an excuse or a crutch. When in reality my disorder gets used by other people far more often as an excuse to treat me like shit, dismiss things I say, and attempt to make me question my sanity.

I feel bad for Gordon. He seems to need a lot of help and he doesn't realize it. I know I'm difficult to deal with, but the things Gordon has said and done go far beyond not dealing.

Option B gets a big red X.

I Go On Too Many Dates: Romance & Options, Part I

I went on a date. Okay, a few. All with the same person. Contiuing my name trend, I'll call him Rob. I met Rob at an event I attend, and for the first time in a while I found myself properly asking someone out rather than just falling into it at dangerous spontaneous levels.

Cute, smart, quirky; yes, I quite liked this one. The on our third date Rob dropped a bomb shell, "I don't ever want to have kids." Oh. It felt like someone had popped all my balloons. In reality I shouldn't be that upset since we only went on three dates. However, as most of you have probably come to realize, the feelings and emotions of a Borderline are felt with 100 times the intensity of the average person.

I asked him questions hoping for a loophole; I wondered if I should just ignore it and hope he changes his mind; and I even considered abandoning my wants. In the end however I couldn't in good conscious continue dating him. Not wanting kids has been a consistent deal breaker for me. We're still friends, and I'm sure we'll hang out, but in the long run he's not option C.

I suppose I should be proud of myself. We Borderlines are so scared of being alone that we will cling to any relationship. For me to be able to break it off Is a pretty big step.

So for right now it's, D: None of the Above.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Upstarts and Broken Hearts

I haven't talked about this because I was a bit unsure. Gordon broke us up. Okay, I realize breakup isn't the best word as we technically weren't  in a relationship, but it's the best I have. The reason I was unsure was because not long after we were intimate with each other and both agreed to being "confused." Though I'll tell you different it's very hard for me to have "platonic" intimacy. I can do it, but when I involved with someone and they "breakup" with me and then continue to be intimate, it gets confusing. Many people pointed out this issue when I was dealing with Pete. They thought it was unfair he wouldn't be clear with me about where we stood, but continued to have sex with me.

It's not secret that when it comes to relationships I often struggle with splitting. However, the level of splitting differs in each relationship. For example, when dating T I never cast him into the "Borderline Bog". With Gordon the level of splitting is really high. Higher than it's been for a lover in recent memory. Aside from stress, annoyance, and hurt for both parties; splitting also causes me to question myself. I love intensely, fiercely, loyally, and without reserve. However I often question if that love is real or if it's born from a fear of being alone. Gordon is the first guy I've been with since Pete, and he's the person I spend most of my time with.

There are times when he's totally sweet, fun, funny, and I love being around him. Then there are times he is cruel, harsh, unsupportive, and I want to run away from him. This is where the gray is really important. Instead of seeing him as two separate people, Evil Gordon and Good Gordon, I need to see him as a human being who not only has faults; but has faults that have probably been caused from a really tough life and lots of shitty experiences (seriously, this guy has been  through a lot). I admire him a lot, and that's not the pedestal talk. I truly do. While he has said some pretty harsh things they have either made me think or made me more determined to prove myself and reach my goals. I also know that if I wait long enough he'll usually apologize for being a dick.

Still, he sometimes says stuff that's hurtful. For example, last night I mentioned that I had committed to starting a daily mindfulness practice. Mindfulness is the core of DBT and dealing with BPD. The more I practice mindfulness in my daily life, the easier it is to use in times of crisis. When I told him this I wasn't looking for cartwheels and confetti, but perhaps an inquiry as to what exercise I did or maybe even asking how mindfulness helps me. Instead he just said, "okay," and "what do you want me to say? Congrats you decided to do something." When he tells me about a new recipe he came up with I show interest, listen to him describe it, and maybe even comment about how it sounds. I do not dismiss it with, "big whoop. You're a chef, that's what you do." However, on the other hand part of me feels that he does this as a way to subtly force me to self-validate. Whether or not he meant to, that's what ended up happening.

I know the more I work on me, the less horrible Gordon's negative traits will seem. It's really tricky to tell if I like him for him or because he's available and I don't want to be alone. I don't even know if he's gonna wanna be with me in the end. I do know when he's not around I miss him, and most of the issues we have are either caused by me or by my reactions to him. Being patient will go a long way with him.

I'm not really sure what to think right now. As always, one day at a time.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Goals

Yesterday I was asked if I had any goals in life. The question came across as harsh, and as though the person asking thought I was drifting through life aimlessly.

It hurt. It hurt because I've always been called goal oriented, but it hurt even more because I've had goals since I was 16. I've had goals I have not given up on even though I deal with internal monsters. It hurt because I was just thinking that morning of my goals, and how I'm back on track.

Short Term Goals (1-6 months)
Pay people back
▫Move out
▫File for bankruptcy

Mid Term Goals (6 months-1 year)
▫Buy a car
▫Graduate from DBT

Long Term Goals (1-5 years)
▫Become lisence eligible
▫Have a child
▫Advance my career working with youth
▫Travel

Do I have goals? I got more than a Bruins game.

On A Life Lesson

For those who don't know, instead of resolutions I do "life lessons." These are a few sayings/reminders I try to base my journey on for that year. I don't remember the year, but one of those life lessons that has always stuck with me is,

"The only person who has the right to judge my progress is me."

There are a few reasons this is important to me.

1. There is a saying that tells us to not judge someone else's story because we do not know their journey. The only person who knows the entire path I've traveled, is me. Not even my parents know. Because the internal journey is just as important as the external journey.

2. My journey is not a smooth open road ride, but rather an intense off road excursion. I'm going to have bumps, and I'm going to fall. I'm the only person who can measure the scars and rebounds of my mistakes now versus my past.

3. No one knows the internal. When I'm quiet on the outside, I could be processing on the inside. When I'm angry on the outside, I could be hurting on the inside. When I seem like I don't care on the outside, I could be ashamed on the inside.

Life has decided to throw a lot at me, but I always make it through. I have been hurt by a lot of people, but I still remain compassionate and caring.

Because love is the best thing we do.

I choose to see the good in people, and it's rare I completely cast someone off. There are people who no longer speak to me that I still care about. It's not because I'm emotionally torturing myself; it's because I know their reasons were partly on me (I'm not putting myself down, it's a fact). Just because I get nostalgic about my past, does not mean I'm not invested in my future. And those who truly did hurt me, abused me, do not get a second thought.

I know I have work to do, I know I make mistakes. This past summer I went through all my diaries from 10-20s, and it reminded me of that life lesson. Because while I still have some of the same faults, the person I used to be is not the person I am.

▪I used to say really racist, sexist, body shaming, slut shaming things
▪I'd never take responsibility for things I've said. Recently I've spent a good chunk of time making amends to several people. And just the other day I read an article where I recognized I was guilty of saying the things in it, and I shared it.
▪I'm in several BPD groups where I show compassion when others are confused about behaviors. I always wonder if something else is going on when someone is lashing out, and I make sure people know my issues do not reflect theirs.

I've controlled the wheel of this ride for my whole life. Others have just been passangers, getting glimpses of the scenery and the mud.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Shut Down.

I sometimes have a habit of posting private conversations between me and a partner online. I take to Facebook and air dirty laundry, looking for support and validation. I do this not to try and cause issues, but because I often feel unheard.

I've noticed a pattern with Gordon, and it's a pattern that often has me going to FB for solace.


  1. Gordon says something that is upsetting, unsettling to me.
  2. I express my feelings.
  3. He says something that makes me feel like there's something wrong with how I think.
  4. I go on Facebook to see if I'm alone
  5. He insists I took things wrong, and then comes in with a bunch of information he did not previously tell me.
  6. I try to have a discussion with him (after tons of fear).
  7. He gets angry, makes sure his side is heard, and then shuts down the conversation.
  8. When I try to communicate he says something like, "I don't understand why everything has to be a long, drawn own conversation."
I don't think he's ever validated my feelings, admitted he could be wrong, or even acknowledged that he understood where I was coming from. He rarely even seems interested in hearing my feelings. In order to talk to him I have to literally build up courage. Most often our "arguments" end with him shutting things down, me feelings bad, and then me apologizing.

Of course, I'm sure he would explain things entirely differently. I'm sure he doesn't recognize how his communication tactics are upsetting, and make me feel unheard. The last person who made me feel this way? The person who sexually and emotionally manipulated and abused me. I'm not saying Gordon does this to me, but I don't want someone who claims to care about me making me feel the same way someone like the former did. I don't want to feel like I have to stay in the darkness.

It seems like Gordon only care about having his views heard. Dominating the conversation, and then deciding he's has enough when I try to express myself. I don't know what to do. I don't know how to handle it. I've been told to just keep to myself, not talk to him unless I have to.

"And this is the tale, you see, of the sociopath and me."

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Whiplash

I'm not even really sure where to start. I suppose it's because I have a lot on my mind, and it's all sort of jumbled together. I guess with that being said, I'll apologize if this post is a bit nonsensical and long winded.

When I first moved in with Gordon things were great. He was happy to have me there, and happy he had someone to talk to and hang out with. Then we developed feelings for each other, and against my better judgement we started dating. After that things started going down hill and he got a full dose of what it's like to get close to a person with Borderline. There have probably been more bad times than good, and it's all my fault. I've been exhibiting the classic BPD behaviors; causing Gordon to have whiplash as I go between putting him on a pedestal and kicking him in the dirt. I've stressed him out, annoyed him, and worst of all caused him to be reminded of his abusive ex wife and the person he was from that time. That's a horrible thought for me to swallow, and an even more terrifying feeling to have. I don't like to think of myself as abusive, but I know I have been. I know some of my behaviors in relationships are things I'm not proud of, and in the end I just end up feeling terrible about myself. My issues with Gordon include my typical relationship hardships; I test people, I have crippling fear of abandonment, I'm a pro at splitting, and I'm super sensitive. However, there are also certain aspects unique to this particular dynamic that also play a factor. Time for another handy bullet list!

  • He Takes Care of Me: Though it may not seem like it, I've been taking care of myself for a very long time. Sure I've gotten help from others, but in the end I'm always the one who has picked myself back up, found a better situation, gotten myself out of bad situations, and not given up. Even when I've lived with other people I've still generally kept to myself and did not ask much from them other than having a place to live. Then I move in with Gordon and he's cooking for me, giving me money, and I feel completely helpless. I feel helpless and I feel bad. He gave me a place to live with literally no warning, and that's all he should have to do. He shouldn't have to cook me dinner or buy me T passes or help with my laundry. Yesterday we went food shopping together because I had asked him to help me find things that will last. I had a few things on my list I wanted to get, and I told him I wanted help with stuff after I got what was on my list. I became angry and resentful when he started asking me about the items on my list. I didn't want him to, I just wanted to get the stuff and have him be silent until it was time for him to start helping. I felt embarrassed that I'm at an age where I should be able to do this on my own. I have been for over a decade, and here I was feeling like I was being reverted back to childhood again. I wanted him to stay silent as I got the stuff on my list so I could hold on to some sense of independence. By the time it came time for him to suggest different dishes I/he could make I was already in a bad mood; then add in the fact that most of the stuff he suggested included cooked veggies (something I don't like), and pretty much the whole thing was a disaster. I felt embarrassed at myself, and what do I do? Try to make the feeling go away by projecting my feelings and embarrassing him. As we stood at check out I loudly made snide comments aimed at him, and I thought myself pretty clever. Of course I just ended up feeling terrible.
  • He Takes Care of Him: When I was with Pete I was always doing things for him. Cleaning his apartment, buying him things, making him food, I even helped him with his job search. Some people saw this is a negative thing. Can't Pete take care of himself? For me, however, it gave me a sense of worth. I feel that there is not much I can offer in a relationship and so doing things and helping people makes me feel like I'm contributing. Gordon doesn't need that. He doesn't need it and he wouldn't/doesn't show the same kind of appreciation that Pete did when I do do stuff for him. 
  • He's a Dick: He's harsh, he's cruel, he doesn't hold back, he sometimes loses all his tact, and he really doesn't give a shit if a behavior is mine is because of the BPD. He's said things that have brought me to tears, but it's not because he saying them; it's because of the truth behind them. Now, admittedly he's said things I wish he hadn't or he'd at least worded a bit kinder; but on the whole the things he says upset me because I know they are true. I'm used to being with people who lie to me, avoid me, and don't stand up to me. Gordon speaks his mind and doesn't really care about my feelings in that moment. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Okay, here's where things get complicated, and honest. I'm really good at being insightful and aware after the fact. I reflect really well, but I still have trouble controlling myself in the moment. I think subconsciously I've been using this as an excuse; mind you not a fully aware excuse, but an excuse nonetheless. After Gordon and I got home from the supermarket he made a comment (after some discussion) that I would probably behave the same way again at some point. I got angry and defensive, but I knew deep down that he was probably right. It's not that I'm incapable of not acting out, but I think I've been using the fact I'm aware/insightful after the fact as an excuse to make it okay. In other words I do something and then after say, "this was wrong, this is why I did." It's great that I'm able to reflect so well, but if I stare at a reflection over and over the mirror is going to start to get dirty. My reflecting and insight does me no good if I don't apply it to the next time. Gordon is a dick, but he's a dick who forces me to look at myself on a deeper level than anyone has ever before; and that scares me.
  • We Are Living Together: This is something that I was worried about from the beginning, but Gordon did not seem to be. I think it's because he didn't realize how difficult being with someone with BPD can be. Having to both get used to being someone like me and having someone like me around All. The. Freaking. Time. Is pretty damn near impossible.
  • He's The Polar Opposite of Pete: Pete was a coward, Pete lied to me, Pete kept a fantasy going, Pete could barely take care of himself, Pete only turned me down for sex once, Pete was constantly praising me, and Pete never told me when I was out of control. Gordon doesn't give a shit, Gordon is brutally honest, Gordon won't give in to me, Gordon won't kiss me just because I want it, and Gordon uses his compliments sparingly. 
  • He's Secure in Who He Is: Let's face it. I like guys who are a bit unsure and not confident. It means I can use my idealization to make them feel amazing, and in turn it makes me feel good. Gordon, being a pretty confident person, doesn't need this and has no problem pointing out that constant praise can be just as annoying as the opposite. A pedestal is for a statue, not a person. 
  • He Has No Problem Making Sure We're Separate People: When I'm with someone I need to be with them all them time. When Pete wouldn't go out dancing with me, I wouldn't go out. I become needy and dependent. Gordon goes out with me, but he has no problem telling me no, and he has no problem letting me know that there will be times he wants to go out without me. I take this as rejection, when really it's healthy and how a relationship should be.
Gordon forces me to look at myself more deeply and honestly and that's honestly something that scares me. I admit there's stuff about Gordon that's hard to deal with. He can sometimes be a bit too honest, he's harsh, and he comes across as selfish and hypocritical. But who am I to judge? I've said and done horrible things not just to him, but to most people who get close with. I've bullied, verbally abused, threatened, and all sorts of awful things. The difference is Gordon refuses to put up with my BS, and he refuses to allow me to use my disorder as an excuse for my behavior (there's a fine line between excuse and awareness). It's great that I know so much about myself internally, but it also makes it easier for me to quietly ignore the more difficult truths. Gordon has been an external representation of my internal monologue. That's exactly the type of person I need. I like Gordon. I have feelings for Gordon. I'm scared I've ruined any chance I have of being with Gordon. Gordon is all about the gray and that's something I need in my life. He has no problem saying, "I don't know." He doesn't lie to me, he doesn't sugar coat, and he make sure that I'm reminded of one of my life lessons, "the only thing certain in life, is that life is uncertain."

Not being in therapy also doesn't help either. It's something I'm working on, but it's still a big problem. DBT skills are something that need to be practiced everyday and being in therapy makes that a lot easier. If I'm able to practice my skills I'm able to get into wise mind easier. If I'm able to get into wise mind easier, I'm able to look at situations and things said to me in a much different way. I may not suddenly adore Gordon's sometimes harsh words, but being in wise mind means I'd be less likely to make the situation worse by one-upping him; I'd be more likely to patiently wait it out and most importantly hear what he's trying to say through the words.

If there's one thing he's right about above all else, it's that I need to work on myself. I am technically still getting over Pete (albeit at the tail end). I tend to lose myself when I get into a relationship, and the reality is I'm actually a smart, independent, strong willed, progressive person. In a relationship I either smother or want too much attention. I want to bring this person to a relationship. I want to be okay being alone even when I'm with someone; I want to be self confident enough to not need constant outside validation. Gordon forces me to be that person, but I need to do the work as well. I'm honestly scared that if I'm not with Gordon now, someone else is going to come swoop in and make him her own.  I don't know what's going to happen, I just know that Gordon has forced me to thing about a lot of things. If he's willing to give me another chance, I'd honestly want it. If not, then it's something I'm going to have to deal with.



Wednesday, April 1, 2015

What Are You Thinking?!

Perhaps one of the biggest things I struggle with internally is how quickly my mood can change. I have no "simmer" I go from cold water to boiling in the blink of an eye. What's worse is I can almost physically feel the change. It's sudden, and I have a lot of trouble stopping it. The times this happens most predominately is when I'm dealing with rejection.

There is a type of irrational thinking where a person compares something that's happened to them in the past to a current situation. To give a simplistic example; let's say a young woman was cheated on by a guy who always wore blue shirts this may cause her to distrust any man who wears blue and she assumes they will all cheat on her. This happens to me more than I care to admit (the thinking, not the particular color clothing). Unfortunately sometimes it happens with the same person.

Gordon told me that he's always up for sex. Yet, the first time I tried to be seductive with him he turned me down. Obviously that's his right, and me being me I'd never take that away; but since it happened shorting after he made the, "always up for sex" statement, I felt a sense of rejection. After that if I wanted sex I asked for it in a loud/comedic way. This way if he said not I could just say, "Haha, I was just kidding." It turned out he didn't find this funny and I "killed the mood" (thought ironically he still had sex with me).

So, I decided, okay I'll try being sexy and seductive again. Twice I've tried and twice I've been turned down (and that doesn't include the first time). Now, most people would view these as three separate events that happen to have something in common. In other words, they would see that yes they were turned down each time, but also that it was probably either for three separate reasons or it has nothing to do with them. You would think, with how much I advocate for consent, that this would be the line of thinking I'd go with. It would probably also mean that you haven't been paying attention in the Hazel's life 101 class. Obviously there's something wrong with me, obviously it's personal, and obviously I should never try to be seductive again because look what has happened every single time. That's the other part, I'm sure there were times where I was seductive and it worked, but the all or nothing thinking causes my brain to conveniently forget those times.

Okay, kids, time for a brief Hazel history lesson. I am both ashamed and not ashamed to admit that I've used sex, seduction, my looks and body to get what I want. In middle school and high school I was severely bullied and never really seen as attractive. Then sometime after HS when I was about 18 or 19 (and met a certain group of friends) I suddenly blossomed and came into my sexuality. Not too long after this I started escorting, and I was able to easily afford things. It came to be that the thing I was given the most attention for was my body and so I came to assume that that was the only thing I had going for me.

Being rejected is a really difficult thing for me to handle. Being rejected sexually is damn near impossible. My internal dialogue tends to do splitting on my splitting. I feel rejected, and my thoughts go between.

"Are you kidding me? Who turns me down for sex? I'm hot a shit. Ugh!"

and

"Welp,  guess my days of being sexy and attractive are over. I'm an ugly loser and I'm just not going to try having sex every again because it's apparent I've lost my touch and no one wants to have sex with me again."

Then my poor rational mind is back there somewhere trying to reason with my emotion mind, but it's lying trying to hear a whisper at a rock concert from five rows away. Impossible. Then there is poor Gordon, who no matter what the reason, has every right to turn down sex any time he pleases. I recognize this in wise mind, but my BPD sure doesn't; and that can cause problems bother externally and internally.

Externally I seem like I'm selfish, hypocritical, manipulative, attention seeking, and completely dismissive of someone else's feelings and rights.

Internally I feel ashamed, angry at myself, self-deprecating, guilty, and frustrated.

Side tracking a bit; the other day I was talking to Gordon and I mentioned how someone had pointed out how insightful and aware I am about my disorder. This is a particular compliment I've heard from both friends and therapists, and it's something I'm really proud of. When I told Gordon this he was very quick to remind me that I still struggle with the "in the moment", and my insight usually comes only after I've already done the damage. This isn't something I'm oblivious to, but the way he said it made it seem like he was down playing this particular point of pride.

While it may not seem like being aware and insightful after the fact is a very useful trait to have (hindsight is 20/20, right?), it's actually extremely useful and helpful; particularly in therapy. Being insightful and aware means I am going to be open to skills being taught in group. It also means that when doing the dreaded Behavior Chain Analysis (seriously, I hate them) in DBT, things are going to go a lot more smoothly leaving more time to work on other stuff.

I know I have a lot of work to do. I recognize this. But some of the stuff Gordon says to me just comes off as a little too blunt, and it's not helpful. I get he's trying to help, or maybe he's not, maybe he's being harsh for the sake of being harsh. I think he's just not used to being around someone who doesn't need to be told their behaviors are wrong.

At least he's not Pete who always pretended everything was okay and had to be in a different state to give me bad news. That's part is good, but I feel like he's the opposite end of the spectrum from pete. Like I went from coward to sociopath. I recognize a lot has to do with my reactions and line of thinking. That's why DBT is so important, it will help me be a lot less sensitive to criticism.

One day at a time.