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.

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