Using a real time blog I realize my thoughts may be very random. I am sharing my processing of this with you, the reader. I've thought back to some previous therapy I'd had earlier in my life. Intellectually I know that witnessing my mothers suicide attempt not only caused this "fracture" but left a little 4 year old boy thinking
"What did I do to make her want to kill herself?"
I've carried this over developed sense of responsibility for others. Then I resent it. Very much part of building intense relationship and tearing them down if someone gets too close.
I've never been a big fan of social media. Yet without twitter, face book and e-mail I can't imagine how lonely I would be. Right now, loneliness is a big one for me. Not physically being alone, I have my kids wife and Dad to help with that, but emotionally alone. It's like being on an Island and you can see the boat, the people on it and everyone can see you but no one recognizes you need to be rescued. They sail on by, waving and smiling as you are crying out. You never forget that boat left you but everyone goes on with their lives and your still alone on that island.
Yesterday I was turned on to a great Video called "An open letter from those with BPD." It was dead on and I could talk about each sentence in this letter but I will focus on a few today that apply to this feeling of loneliness. What we go through and what we want you to know. Again, I'd highly recommend googling this document or looking it up on You tube. At it's base, it seems to me, that this sentence gives a great overview to BPD.
But please know that at the very same time that we are pushing you away with our words or behavior, we also desperately hope that you will not leave us or abandon us in our time of despair and desperation.
In Borderline Personality Disorder, many of us experience identity disturbance issues. We may take on the attributes of those around us, never really knowing who WE are. You remember in high school those kids who went from liking rock music to pop to goth, all to fit in with a group - dressing like them, styling their hair like them, using the same mannerisms? It's as if we haven't outgrown that.
Sometimes we even take on the mannerisms of other people (we are one way at work, another at home, another at church), which is part of how we've gotten our nickname of "chameleons." Sure, people act differently at home and at work, but you might not recognize us by the way we behave at work versus at home. It's that extreme.
Another thing that you may find confusing is our apparent inability to maintain relationships. We may jump from one friend to another, going from loving and idolizing them to despising them - deleting them from our cell phones and unfriending them on Facebook. We may avoid you, not answer calls, and decline invitations to be around you -- and other times, all we want to do is be around you.
This is called splitting, and it's part of the disorder. Sometimes we take a preemptive strike by disowning people before they can reject or abandon us. We're not saying it's "right." We can work through this destructive pattern and learn how to be healthier in the context of relationships. It just doesn't come naturally to us. It will take time and a lot of effort.
The mind is very complex. A certain song, sound, smell, or words can quickly fire off neurological connections that bring us back to a place where we didn't feel safe, and we might respond in the now with a similar reaction (think of military persons who fight in combat -- a simple backfiring of a car can send them into flashbacks. This is known as PTSD, and it happens to a lot of us, too.)
I have "theme" songs. Many...and each one is special to me in a certain way (Hence the daily videos) Today I really want to share a song that I listened to a lot and still do. Now I know why it speaks to me the way it did. In closing let me share 2 things from the letter
You may be frustrated, feeling helpless, and ready to give up. It's not your fault. You are not the cause of our suffering. You may find that difficult to believe, since we may lash out at you, switch from being loving and kind to non-trusting and cruel on a dime, and we may even straight up blame you. But it's not your fault. You deserve to understand more about this condition and what we wish we could say but may not be ready.
The best thing we can do during these times is remind ourselves that "this too shall pass" and practice DBT skills - especially self-soothing - things that helps us to feel a little better despite the numbness. Boredom is often dangerous for us, as it can lead to the feelings of emptiness. It's smart for us to stay busy and distract ourselves when boredom starts to come on.