Friday, December 9, 2011

Lucid Analysis: Trials in Therapy - Borderline Ambivalence

Therapy last night was kind of a downer. Mostly we talked about Tech Boy and my hesitations about the whole thing. I told Therapist what I told you about my weekend with Tech Boy and how I’m vacillating between like and dislike.
Therapist wishes I had refrained from physical intimacy with Tech Boy. Taken it slower. I don’t know. This doesn’t seem like a big deal to me. Physical intimacy is safer than emotional intimacy. Which I am taking very slowly.  I think I’ve had enough physical traumas that my body doesn’t feel sacred to me. I’m dissociated from a lot of the things I do to it, with it. Bodies heal; it’s the mental imprint that is the problem.
Therapist was concerned though because the chemical reactions in the brain don’t distinguish between good and bad choices. That oxytocin the brain releases when you have positive physical contact doesn’t discriminate. Just because it feels good, doesn’t mean it’s good for you. And I’m addicted to this feeling. I’m addicted to human contact. I don’t mean that in a metaphorically poetic kind of way either. I start to jones for it. Without it I get anxious and empty. I crave it. This is probably my own true weakness. It makes me melt and the world is all better, at least for the moment.
I don’t think I have the capacity to fall in love with him. This could be total crap but right now I’m in flight mode. Although, just because I don’t think I’ll fall for him doesn’t mean he can’t hurt my heart on a smaller level, and he already is. Therapist sees my ambivalence. How I miss waking up next to someone, next to him, and yet I have all these concerns that make me want to flee.
Ambivalence.
I swear anytime Therapist or Psychiatrist use this word when they’re talking to me I hear this quote from Girl, Interrupted:
Susanna: I'm ambivalent. In fact that's my new favorite word.
Dr. Wick
: Do you know what that means, ambivalence? Susanna: I don't care.
Dr. Wick: If it's your favorite word, I would've thought you would...
Susanna: It *means* I don't care. That's what it means.
Dr. Wick: On the contrary, Susanna. Ambivalence suggests strong feelings... in opposition. The prefix, as in "ambidextrous," means "both." The rest of it, in Latin, means "vigor." The word suggests that you are torn... between two opposing courses of action.
Susanna: Will I stay or will I go?
Dr. Wick: Am I sane... or, am I crazy?
Susanna: Those aren't courses of action.
Dr. Wick: They can be, dear - for some.
Susanna: Well, then - it's the wrong word.
Dr. Wick: No. I think it's
perfect.
It is kind of perfect.
Therapist quite clearly doesn’t like this guy for me. She wants better for me. But she won’t tell me what to do and she doesn’t think I should just run away. I need to find more of a balance in my actions. Not an all or nothing response. Therapist thinks I should bring up the discussion we had about depression and mental health with him. And I have to say I agree (I’d already been thinking about this). This is clearly an important issue for me. I should give him the chance to elaborate and explain, and not shy away from providing my real opinions on the matter. Either it will open his eyes to an opinion he hadn’t considered before and he’ll be understanding (because maybe he’s never been exposed to someone who needs medication or has suffered with depression), or he won’t and that will be even more telling.
Ultimately though she doesn’t think this guy is right for me. In fact, she really likes Friends personality for me. She thinks I shouldn’t deviate too much from that. From what I know is good for me. I had so much easy and natural chemistry with Friend. That’s almost absent here.  She thinks maybe I’m using this ‘relationship’ with Tech Boy as a way to get over him still and to assuage my loneliness because clearly I know this guy isn’t right for me.  However, this is what friends are for. To help keep you company and take away some of the loneliness. It’s just not the same though.  
She thinks at best this is a transitory relationship. Those aren’t necessarily bad. What’s important is I decide whether or not it is healthy. I’m dissociating from my feelings in this already which is an indicator that this is not going to be a healing relationship for me. I’m feeling distant from the situation and I’m uncertain of my own feelings.  Right now I’m just sort of going with it until I can be certain, or at least give him a chance to explain and find out more about him. I know, I know, it takes me a little while to build myself up to ending things with people. Plus I have to do it in a fairly neutral way to maintain a decent working relationship. Anyways, so I can probably keep myself distanced from him while remaining in touch without throwing myself over the edge. Continue developing emotional space from Friend, use this as a transitory relationship to assuage my loneliness and {insert psych babble}, until I find someone better or that I actually connect to, or just can’t deal with it anymore. Then end. (That’s how I felt last night anyways).

Right now though I’m hurt and upset and really fucking angry. It’s stupid. I’m going out for Happy Hour with some of the guys from work, including Tech Boy. I figured we’d be making a night of it so at some point afterwards we’d probably head over to my place for whatever and so I could actually talk to him. Newp. Apparently he has a friend coming in to work on his car tomorrow so he’s taking him out after Happy Hour to a place I introduced him to. Which means I probably won’t see him one on one at all this weekend. Ya know what? He doesn’t see me as someone “he’s with” so he doesn’t think to consider me or include me or whatever. Fine. Fuck it all. And fuck him to. I’m furious.

That’s at least a solid emotion though. As I was telling Therapist it’s been a little weird for me. My meds are clearly doing the job they’re supposed to be doing. My mood is more up and I’ve been steadier. It’s just, in a similar situation, before I know I would have had some very strong emotions. However, I actually feel pretty emotionally steady. A little up and down, but nothing I’d consider extreme. Relatively stable. However I’m having some emotional confusion b/c of it. Knowing I would normally feel one thing, but feeling relatively steady instead, it makes me feel kind of confused.  I guess it’s good that I’m not flipping out, it’s just a strange sensation to not be feeling something that is so familiar.

10 comments:

  1. First post ever at a Borderline blog.

    Yup, just out of a relationship after split black.

    90 hours net research and relised she has 6 of 9 criteria - maybe all nine.

    Would you like to dance...verbally of course.

    Mouser

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  2. Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you join the dance? Of course.

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  3. Tonight obsessing that it is my fault I was 'devalued' directly after the 'honeymoon'. If I just could have been the knight in shining armour forever H wouldn't have split me black.

    But how would that be possible over sya 40 years?

    BPD partners really have a positive then negarive effect on the male ego.

    All those coulda/woulda/shoulda thoughts I know are untenable but here I sit - run over by an emotional truck - three months from first date to close.

    Last thing I said was: so many dreams lie on the floor in little pieces.

    Nine days NC. Boy this is not fun.

    How's Tech Boy, Ex and the One?

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  4. Mouser, no one can be the knight in shining armour forever, with anyone, especially someone with BPD. It's simply not possible. The best you can do is weather it when it rears and hope that it swings back to white, which often happens.

    I'm sorry you've been hit with such emotional turmoil. I can almost guarantee that H's is high as well.

    Fortunately there is time now for you to find someone that needs a white knight forever.

    I don't talk about The One. Evil-Ex is hopefully dying in a puddle of his own filth. Tech Boy is fine though. I turned down a day of hanging out and drink with him and his buddy. I don't know how i feel about this. Kind of confused and not sure if I made the right decision.

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  5. http://www.bpdfamily.com/bpdresources/nk_a101.htm

    Haven, I've read about 150 articles over the past week or so - this one was one of the better one's from my PoV.

    Sort of impossible for the non to stay engaged because of push/pull around emotional intimacy. Start getting genuinely enarmoured and beginning to get secure and poof! pull back in avoidance of feared rejection later. That was simplified but I hope you catch my meaning.

    Add into the mix that (I have no certain proof) I now - after the fact cannot be sure she didn't begin extra relational intimacy (cheating) half way through the three months even though we agree as soon a we were intimate that we would break up with the other BEFORE seeing someone else. A first for me if it occurred. Her withdrawl during the last six weeks is consistent with my hypothesis.

    As a male emotional and physical withdrawal is all it takes to kill the relationship. Cheating even one time is not condonned in myself or my partner.

    Reading the characteristics of BPD it is this fact/fear that makes me go NC. I wonder if the impulsivity is stronger in someone with BPD than the knowledge cheating will kill the relationship from the inside and out.

    Do you Haven always give your notice of termination before you become involved, even casually, with another?

    I can't get my head around nons who stick around after they become aware the first time. It literally kills the relationship the very first time - declared or not.

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  6. Thank you for the article. It's getting late here so I'll read it in the morning.

    I imagine it's very difficult for a non-BPD to stay engaged. I've also heard that it increases the tension and makes them hold harder depending on how co-dependent they are.

    Impulsive behavior is a trademark feature of BPD, and Yes, it is often stronger, too strong, to be ignored or denied, despite what our brain may tell us is right or wrong. It wouldn't be impulsive if we could rationalize our way out of it.

    I am an exception in that I have no history of cheating in relationships. If I'm in a committed relationship with someone I always break up with them first, before I move to another partner. However if we're not in a committed relationship than I see this as free reign to continue doing whatever I want. This doesn't mean I don't feel guilty.

    I can't speak for the nons who stick around. I've had plenty of men and women not want to give me up, regardless of anything I've done. I have no idea why this is though.

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  7. You're a strong person. I think you'll get through it alright in the end :) AT least you have somebody. ^^

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  8. This guy is so typical! He reminds me of every immature dude who messed with the minds of me or my female friends when we lived in New York. I really don't think you should think there is anything wrong with you for attracting him (there are many of his kind) or finding his actions confusing. But he needs to go from your life as much as possible.

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  9. Borderline has many faces. One face is the person who really has three selves . . . The public person, the person with our loves or important ones and who we are inside. It is very hard to fuse the three and become who we should have been if we had the loving family as a child.
    Borderline is usually a disorder of parents,and they gave borderline to us, their children.
    We want, and need all the love in the world that we can get. Love is our savoir.

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    Replies
    1. Love is our savoir. It's also our downfall.

      I still struggle with merging the public and private selves. My private self is my private self. My public selves, and it really is Selves because there are so many.

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