Friday, July 15, 2011


I'm contemplating quitting engineering and going into clinical psychology.

Currently all I know is that I detest the work I'm doing. Doing this kind of work has made me nothing but miserable for the past few years. I love school. Psychology fascinates me.

I'm not going to up and quit my job today or anything. I think it would be something good for me to look into though.

Eventually I would probably focus in personality disorders, mood and bipolar spectrum disorders.


Sexual Deviation: A Diagnostic Criteria in BPD

I’ve been reading again. This time I found two articles discussing sexual behavior in those with a Borderline Personality.
I couldn't find good picture today

The first was Sexual Behavior in Borderline Personality: A Review by Randy A. Sansone, MD. And Lori A. Sansone, MD. According to the DSV-IV, various forms of impulsivity are associated with borderline personality disorder, including sexual impulsivity. The existing empirical literature indicates that patients with borderline personality disorder appear to differ from patients without this personality disorder in a number of relevant ways. Specifically, those with borderline personality disorder are more likely to exhibit greater sexual preoccupation, have earlier sexual exposure, engage in casual sexual relationships, report a greater number of different sexual partners as well as promiscuity, and engage in homosexual experiences. In addition, patients with borderline personality disorder appear to be characterized by a greater number of high-risk sexual behaviors; a higher likelihood of having been coerced to have sex, experiencing date rape, or being raped by a stranger. Overall, the psychological themes relating to sexual behavior in borderline personality disorder appear to be characterized by impulsivity and victimization.

Impulsivity is represented by: greater sexual preoccupation, earlier sexual exposure, more casual sexual relationships, a greater number of different sexual partners, promiscuity, and homosexual experiences.

Victimization is represented by: a greater number of high-risk sexual behaviors; a greater likelihood of being coerced to have sex, date rape, and/or rape by a stranger.

The authors created a compilation of 12 databases from both psychiatric and non-psychiatric sources and found that those with BPD reported approximately twice the number of different sexual partners. One clinician noted that more than 25% of his outpatients with BPD exhibited promiscuity which was decidedly uncommon from his non-BPD patients. In another empirical study it was shown that women with BPD showed evidence of greater sexual assertiveness, erotophilic attitudes, sexual esteem, sexual preoccupation, and sexual dissatisfaction. The article goes on to say that individuals with BPD reported earlier sexual experiences as well as a greater likelihood of date rape.  It also showed those with BPD as being significantly more likely to report having been raped by a stranger and having been coerced into having sex.

In reading this article I was amused that they described patients as “suffering” from promiscuity. Really? Because getting laid a lot really sucks. I was also fairly angry that it stated “patients with BPD exhibit heightened sexual impulsivity as well as a vulnerability to homosexual experiences”. Vulnerability to homosexual experience? As if it’s a bad thing? This article was written by a close minded bigot as far as I’m concerned. Clearly I’m not heterosexual. Frankly, I’m more vulnerable in heterosexual relationships than I am in homosexual ones. This makes me really furious that there would be such anti-homosexual sentiment in a recent medical publication. It’s 2011 for fraks sake! I think what they meant was ‘being more open to homosexual experiences’.

According to this article there are only 2 studies that seem to counter these trends. The only real conclusions that this article seems to draw are that people with BPD may have a higher risk for sexually transmitted disease. Well, sure, that follows, but it doesn’t get into any psychological reasoning for WHY this behavior seems so common.

In fact I think the last two sentences are the most relevant, “ In summary, the psychodynamic theme of impulsivity, as described in the DSM IV, appears to be a legitimate sub-criterion in many patients with BPD. What seems to be missing in the current descriptors is the undertones of victimization that also characterizes the sexual behavior of these patients.”

Basically it says that the criteria of impulsivity is a good indicator for BPD, especially in terms of sexual impulsivity, except it should also note that there is an increased risk of victimization and/or feelings of victimization. This at least I find useful.

I’m not going to lie. I think about sex a lot. And I do mean, A LOT. My sex drive is uncommonly high from my observations amongst my own friends and I often fantasize about seducing those around me. Not for any real attraction to them, often just out of curiosity to see if I could, though in my defense I very rarely act on this.

In another article by Sansone and Wiederman they assessed two types of sexual impulsivity 1) having sex with individuals whom respondents hardly knew (casual sexual relationships) and 2) promiscuity. Again, the goal seems to have been to determine if there was genuine empirical support for sexual impulsivity to be a diagnostic criterion. While many of the findings from the previous article supported this, findings from Dr. Zanarini found that 41% of  his BPD patients avoided sexual relationships entirely. So who do you believe? Well, that’s the point of this article.

The items for the current study relating to sexual impulsivity were as follows: 1) the Personality Disorder Questionnaires** item referring to casual sexual relationships: “I have done things on impulse that can get me into trouble…[such as] having sex [acts of a sexual nature] with people I hardly know”) and (2) Self Harm Inventory item 11: “Have you ever intentionally, or on purpose,…been promiscuous [i.e., had many sexual partners]?”.

Yes, and yes. Surprise. Now does having done these things mean you are one step closer to having a Borderline Personality Disorder? Not even close. Don’t forget you still need at least a couple more impulsive traits and 4 other DSM-IV diagnostic criteria. You may just enjoy sex.  Congrats. More power to you.

Promiscuous: I certainly am. I don’t seem to manage casual sexual relationships though. I’ve had many that I intended to be as such, but they always seem to progress and evolve into something long term so they’ve never ended up being truly casual. Even my promiscuity involves being in relationships of a significant duration. Sooo, what? I’m not as slutty as the stigma would have you believe.

Anyways, through all the technical jargon and statistics in these articles the general conclusion was this: The prevalence of these behaviors was approximately doubled among those with Borderline symptomology.  The data supports the concept that a substantial minority of patients with borderline personality disorder evidence casual sexual behavior as well as promiscuity and thereby supports the inclusion of this criterion in the assessment of Borderline Personality Disorder. 

These studies only compared those with Borderline impulsivity to those without a borderline diagnosis. I’d be curious to see how this compared to other personality disorders or personality types that were marked by impulsive behavior.

When I found these articles I was expecting something more along the lines of explaining and understanding why this phenomena is greater in those with BPD. Instead they were more a clinical study to justify the diagnostic criterion. So next I think I want to: Look at the study that provides counter evidence. Understand the ‘why’ behind this kind of behavior.

Going from my own personal experience I’m not going to argue their findings. I can’t. I have no reason to. The whole point of this blog is to be honest about my journey through this disorder after all and frankly, I’m not really ashamed of anything I’ve done in this arena. Have I had a lot of partners? Compared to some, sure. Am I impulsive and promiscuous? Well, yes. Am I preoccupied by thoughts of sex?  Definitely. Does that mean everyone with a Borderline Personality Disorder is? Not at all. However, now that we’ve determined that this is a valid diagnostic criteria, let’s look at why we crave this kind of attention. I know I have theories already.

My final question: How can two articles about BPD and sex be so bloody freaking boring. Yeesh.

** PDQ-R32 or PDQ- 48

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Quotes from the Borderline

"When we are dealing with human beings, no truth has reality by itself; it is always dependent upon the reality of the immediate relationship."

     ~ Rollo May, The Origins of the Existential Movement in Psychology, in Existence

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Consumed By You, Consumed by Me: Engulfment

Love vs. Obsession. This may be where I confuse the two. I didn’t have a term for it before, but Engulfment seems to fit with Borderline Personality Disorder, many Personality Disorders actually.
Engulfment - Engulfment is an unhealthy and overwhelming level of attention and dependency on a spouse, partner or family member. It’s a distortion of reality in the mind, in which the status of a relationship takes an inappropriate level of priority over the every day, physical and emotional needs of those involved. A level of crisis is inferred on the status of the relationship and a "fix-it-at-all-costs" strategy is deployed to deal with any weaknesses in the relationship - real or imagined.

There is often immense pressure placed on those being engulfed to behave in ways that put them at the center of the PD’s world. They may demand time, resources, commitment and devotion beyond what is healthy. Relationships with outsiders, family and friends may be seen as threats and be frowned upon, resulting in Alienation. Even normal habits or routines, such as work, hobbies, interests which take a Non-PD's attention and energy away from the PD-sufferer may appear threatening. Acts of independence by that person may be met with begging, argument, threats, even acts of retribution and violence.

People who are on the receiving end of engulfment may find themselves compromising other relationships or competing interests in order to "keep the peace" with a partner or family member who is embroiled in engulfment. They may fear the consequences of displaying independent thought or action. They may fear violence, intimidation or rage if they do not give the person what they want. They may long to leave the relationship but be afraid of the consequences if they do.

I’ve only really done this twice; with my high school best friend/boyfriend (whom I won’t talk about) and with Evil-Ex. With Evil-Ex it went both ways. In the ebb and flow of our dependence and counter dependence; the emotional highs and lows, it would be one or the other of us that tried to hold on. The more evasive and subversive he was, the harder I would hold on, trying to fix everything, trying to compensate for anything that I perceived as needing to be fixed; the more I would try to engage him in our relationship. When I had enough, or needed my own space to find myself, when I was my typical strong assertive self, in other words, when it appeared I didn’t need him, the tables would turn and he would try to engulf me. It was a game for him. For me it was like oxygen. I needed him to keep breathing normally. He needed me to assuage his own ego.

When things were rocky it was like someone clutching my heart in a death grip and drowning it in a bath of ice. My lungs would constrict and I couldn’t think of anything but making whatever wrong I had done, right. It was unendurable panic. All I wanted was for things to ‘be back to normal’. The more he would sneak around; the more he would try to make me feel crazy, jealous, worthless, the more I wanted to prove him wrong. To prove him wrong, I had to fix whatever little flaw I thought he saw. My self-worth rode on the approval I received for doing something that brought back the balance. What I couldn’t understand at the time was; there was never a balance in the first place. There was only him driving me to madness and me wrapping the insanity around me like a shroud.

That’s what being engulfed in someone feels like. It’s an obsession. A thick fog of madness clouding your mind where the rest of the world becomes occluded in the mist and you can only see the figure you focus on two feet in front of you. Nothing more, nothing less; nothing else matters. All the while trying to maintain a grip on who you are. Wanting more than life itself to have the person you love, love you back, treat you well, do you right, without having to lose who you are in the process. Except exerting who you are, who I was, was exactly the thing he did not want to see. He wanted me to be the ideal picture of a hot brainiac gamer chick that was utterly devoted to him. Anything other than that; having anything in my world other than him, was proof that I was out to do something against him. If I wanted to have my own friends, it was because I wanted to cheat on him. If I wanted to stay in and watch a movie, it was because I wanted to keep him from his friends. Just small examples of his logic. To be honest there were times I didn’t want him to go out without me. Though in my defense, often I knew when he went out he did it with the intention of cheating on me, or playing games with girls to boost his own ego. I should have left, but I couldn’t, so I went crazy instead.

Everything he did was ‘for’ the relationship or for tearing it apart. Or so it seemed to me. Even when they were simply everyday things that had nothing to do with anything. All actions felt like they had impact on ‘us’.

My world became filled with self doubt. I would compromise anything that I wanted simply to keep some stability and ward of retribution as he was a very vengeful person be the slight real or imagined. What was wrong with me that I couldn’t make him happy? What was wrong with me, that he would do these things, look for these things elsewhere, instead of with me? The honest answer: It was him, not me. Oh yes. I acted in ways to hold onto him that were less than acceptable and no, I couldn’t extricate him from any aspect of my life, but not until he had burrowed himself in and pushed my buttons so far inside of me that I didn’t know how to trip the switch to my own sanity.

Of course, my ex was a malignant narcissist. Not exactly the pinnacle of normalcy in his own right, which probably contributed to why our cycles of love and hate perpetuated as long as they did.

The real bitch of it all… I rarely felt so alive. All the craze, all the torture, all the heart pounding highs and crushing lows, I knew, without a doubt knew, what it was to be living again. He’d taken away the numbness I felt, the empty hollow life I had been living and filled that shell with something so devastatingly exhilarating that I was afraid to stop feeling again. Despite the fact that what I was feeling was making me fall freely to my own early grave.

I knew this and I would assert myself once more. This only worked to make him angry, worked against me. He couldn’t control me directly, so he worked to control me in other ways. Had I been a weaker person and allowed him to mold me into the placid plastic doll that he wanted me to be, I could have saved myself so much heartache. I wouldn’t allow it. I won’t allow it. No one will ever tell me who I am allowed to be, who I’m supposed to be. If I choose to change that’s one thing, but it will be my choice, or at least, doing by my own hand subconscious or otherwise. There are times I would be what he wanted me to be, but I wouldn’t give up myself completely. It wouldn’t have mattered if I had. I knew this. It would have ended things sooner had I given in, given up; he’d have gotten bored. So would I.

No matter the trauma and abuse, I fought. I fought for him, or I just plain fought him. That’s how consumed I was with our relationship. And nothing anyone could tell me could make me feel that this was not what I wanted, despite the fact that cognitively I knew, I TOLD myself, that things were not okay. When you’re engulfed by someone, with someone, there’s no logic, there’s only the feeling of utter consumption.

Engulfment is the loss of self through being controlled, consumed, invaded, suffocated, dominated, and swallowed up by another. Fortunately it is possible to extricate yourself. It’s not easy, but eventually there comes a point where you just can’t take anymore. One person or the other needs to take a stand.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Threat of Intimacy

Acting on Impulse. Reckless Sex. Being Promiscuous.

It’s all the same right? Not quite.

Impulsive behavior, or acting without thinking about the consequences of a behavior, is one of the symptoms of BPD listed in the DSM-IV. Impulsive behavior can include many different types of acts (Spending Sprees, Shoplifting, Drinking&Drugging, Dangerous Situations, Stripping, and  yes, Sex), but reckless sexual behavior seems to be a more common one among people with BPD (and Histrionic PD).

“People with BPD are most at risk of engaging in impulsive acts when they are experiencing intense emotional responses, or when they are disinhibited by alcohol or substances. Intense sadness, fear, jealousy, or positive emotions may lead to impulsive sexuality.

Why might people with BPD be more promiscuous? One possibility is that people with BPD use sex to combat feelings of emptiness that are associated with the disorder. When feeling empty, numb, lonely, or bored, sex may generate positive emotional responses.”

I’d like some intense emotional response on top of my intense emotional response please. With a cherry on top. What? No cherry? Yeah, that’s gone. It’s almost like a drug. When you’re already so emotionally driven, adding a situation that is even more intense can push me into an almost emotional high. If it’s someone I have a strong attachment to, the world slips away in a rush of touch, sweat and sensation. As someone that longs to escape the mundane and boredom that often suffuses my life and drives me to depression, sex, is the ultimate escapism.

“These patients struggle with feelings of depression, loneliness and isolation; they’re caught in a spiral of self-destructive behavior that eventually sabotages their lives. Lacking a stable sense of self, they attempt to compensate by seeking satisfaction in material possessions, superficial friendships and impersonal sexual encounters. They substitute empty lifestyles for real lives and shy away from channeling their energies into personal growth and fulfillment.”

I wouldn’t say I channel my energy away from personal growth and fulfillment. I wouldn’t say it, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t strictly true; at least in areas concerning healthy relationships. I have a lot of incredibly fulfilling hobbies and pursuits so I know this isn’t pervasive in my life but I can see the patterns of it in some aspects of me. The relationship aspects of me. Cognitively I know when I have a good thing going for me. Hell, cognitively I know when I have a bad thing going for me. But I get so swept up in not wanting to be alone, being bored, needing to fill the time, the space, the emptiness that I act without regard for the consequences that will inevitably follow. It’s not that my life is empty, it just feels so hollow some days and I’ll do anything to fill the void. Heh. I just don’t know what I want. Don’t know how to internalize what I should want. It’s easier to figure out what other people want.

I wonder if there’s an aspect of:  if I can give someone what they want, maybe I’ll have that feeling of satisfaction as well. I’ll understand what it means to have something I want, vicariously. I’m good at knowing what other people want. It’s very natural for me to quickly deduce what will make someone happy, make their life easier, turn them off or turn them on. It’s almost a game figuring out how to give that to them. It’s fun for me, for a while. Except it’s not really for me. I do things for other people, elsewhere, lock myself into some convoluted commitment and suddenly I’m trapped inside my own skin, clawing to get out of the situation I set myself up to fall from.  It’s like wearing a mask made from someone else’s desires. I forget what my own face looks like underneath.

A lot of people have occasional doubts about their identity and self-worth. There are times I’m not sure I even know what these things even are. Some days I am absolutely confident in my sense of worth. I do know I have value. Unfortunately it’s often after receiving validation from someone that I’ve done something for. Sex is the ultimate validation of desire isn’t it? It’s a very visceral display of approval for the things I can do. I wonder if I don’t seek this kind of attention to validate my own sense of worth. If I can get someone to want me enough to be with me, than I must be doing something worthy of their appreciation. Something, alright. In this manner it skews my tenuous sense of identity. I am who I am, and that’s whoever I need me to be. Or whomever I perceive that you want me to be. Ok, not to such an extreme. I’m not quite that kind of chameleon, but I can be. I just don’t want to be.

One psychologist postulates that adopting this sort of false Self is a way to cope.

“People dominated by false Self adopt an illusion of coping, which substitutes for genuine self-assertion. They depend on others to constantly provide them with a sense of internal security, a way of relieving feelings of worthlessness. The borderline personality is constantly on the defensive, guarding against intimacy out of a twin fear of being engulfed and abandoned. While it’s natural to feel anxious about a new relationship, most of us realize that we need love in our lives. The borderline, however, is incapable of handling closeness and substitutes inappropriate relationships with unavailable partners.

The threat of intimacy may lead a borderline patient to become promiscuous. Since her fears make her unable to make a lasting commitment to one person, she goes from one lover to another, acting out the fantasy of somebody taking care of her. Sex tends to be mechanical, in order to avoid the powerful drive to emotional intimacy that accompanies sex. What she seeks is not orgasm but being held, as if to compensate for her not having been held as a child.”

The threat of intimacy. This rings so true to me I can’t emphasize this point enough. I just like the phrase: the threat of intimacy.

“In addition to engaging in reckless or impulsive sex, there is evidence that people with BPD are more prone to being sexually promiscuous. This differs from impulsive sex in that promiscuity is the act of intentionally having multiple sexual partners (rather than having casual sex on a whim).”

So there’s the difference between just being sexually impulsive and being sexually promiscuous.

For example, as soon as Boring-Ex and I broke up, I was able to begin involvement with a girl I’d liked for years… and her girlfriend… and the misguided drama polygon with Friend… and my best female friend at the time. For the record, let me state that I operate in a group of people that view polyamory as almost the norm and no we’re not mormon. It’s not unusual for my friends to have open marriages and multiple partners so I don’t actually view this as being very deviant. My Therapist would disagree.  

I don’t mind being the secondary relationship of a poly couple. At least in the past I haven’t. It allows me to maintain my illusion of intimacy while not having the focus primarily upon me. When you’re involved in a polyamorous relationship and you’re not the primary significant other, there’s a safety from that threat of intimacy that arises. I was close, but not living with her. When I needed space it was fine because odds are her other girlfriend needed attention… and on it went. This works great, until it doesn’t, and I want more than I’m able to have. The question though: Do I want more because I really want more, or because I know I can’t have it? Hm.

I don’t necessarily want to have multiple partners. What I want is to be close, but not too close. I can’t figure out how to do this without pushing away and pulling closer. Allowing someone in, and then forcing them back out. I don’t set out to be promiscuous, I’m honestly not even sure it’s my fault. Or how it happens. I hermit away and I don’t have to worry about any of it. I’m secluded so I have no people to bother me. Really it’s as soon as I start putting myself out there that people begin to take an elevated interest in me. When I’m actively seeing someone though, it’s like a red cape is waved in front of the eyes of the bystanders that shouts at my potential unavailability and they begin to charge. My problem is, when faced with a fight or flight response, I tend to fight. I don’t run, I don’t stop, I don’t say no. I engage. With only vague thoughts that I could end up emotionally maimed, the act is practically impulsive. I don’t think about other people when they’re not in my immediate vicinity (people I’m not very attached to), because it’s like they’re no longer a part of my life. For as much as I hate to be alone, and want to have someone near, I do not attach easily. This is my problem with having a lack of object constancy. But when they are around…  Once I do finally attach my thoughts border on obsessive and I can’t extricate my mind. Once that happens there’s almost no thought or desire to allow anyone else near me and the problem of promiscuity disappears as quickly as it, came::grin:: What I’m getting at is, I don’t set out to be promiscuous, it just sort of falls in my lap. Or I fall into its lap. I don’t know. I blame the booze.

What I really want is to be close, and able to embrace that closeness without the terror of impending abandonment gripping my heart. That’s all I really want. My problem is I have no idea how to go about getting it. I’m trying. I’m actively focusing on things that are considered healthy in this new relationship with my Lady Friend. It’s so incredibly frustrating to know that what I’m doing, I have to do, because I’m simply incapable of being normal naturally. It shouldn’t be so hard to seek happiness. I know I really shouldn’t be seeking happiness in someone else. Everyone wants to be loved. It’s not really a matter of finding someone else to make me happy though, so much as finding someone that I can be happy with myself, with. If that makes any sense.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mirror, Mirror - #Trust30: Day 3

Mirror, Mirror by Esther Poyer

“Truth is beautiful, without doubt; but so are lies.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mirror, mirror on the wall… find the nearest mirror. Look. Keep looking for 3 minutes. Write about what you see.

I find this exercise repulsive. It very much hit me in a depersonalized space and exemplifies my unstable sense of identity so I decided to cross post it here as well.

The thought of looking into my own eyes only to see a stranger staring back at me is, disconcerting. I recognize the girl on the other side of the mirror.

She has my father’s eyes, my mother’s nose. Cherry black hair and more metal than half the machines out in my shop, but she isn’t me. Is she? Maybe she is and I just can’t see, beyond the surface layer of skin and sinew that binds me up inside.

I’d find her attractive if she wasn’t so comfortably unfamiliar.

Floating two feet to the left of me I sense my motions walking through a world detached from the rest of me. Too often it feels like watching some other force pilot a body I recognize as my own, watching the reactions to my movements to guess the next step that someone else will be taking. It’s worse when I think about it. The detachment more pronounced. Staring at myself is all the more disconcerting for the knowledge that I should know who this woman is. Cognitively I know that I should see her and internalize that she is me, and cognitively I do know what she is, but I have no attachment to my reflection. She’s who I want my physical Self to appear to be. But is she really me?  Hm, in part I believe she is. Certain things draw my eye. I am attracted to certain things, so naturally I want to incorporate those things into my Self. Isn’t that how we develop our personalities and self image growing up? We see things we appreciate, mimic them, until we make them our own. I’m well past the mimicry. What draws us is integral to that which we are so what I see is who I want to be. On the outside.  Fortunately for me, I can’t see my insides reflected on this glass. A sight I’ve seen before. That is a part of me, that should stay where it belongs. Blood and tissue, fat and tears; things I work to keep from my mirror. I don’t want to see what I know is actually there. Don’t want to see who I’m afraid I might be. I don’t want to look. Nothing you can do, can make me.

Eyes lie. Tell me this is someone I am, who I should be, who I can be. Maybe this time she speaks the truth, but her words have proven false so many times I no longer know the sound of those that ring true. Pretty words from soft lips look like promises wrapped in straight jackets of gold. The madness she feels is real. Truth.

Writing this was very triggering and I had to stop.  


crossposted: Asylum

Let's talk about Sex

Disclaimer: I’m going to be talking about sex. If you have delicate sensibilities; I will offend them. You’ve been warned.

Let’s talk about sex. **Cue that awful song**

Now that I’ve gotten that stuck in your head. Moving on.

Because it’s been on my mind a lot lately: Sex. Borderline Personality Disorder has something of a reputation. Part of the stigma surpassed only by Histrionic PD.  Sexual Impulsivity and Promiscuity. 

I don’t do things by halves. I either have no partner, or I seem to open myself up to the world of them. I am either completely abstinent or completely promiscuous. I enjoy sex. It’s fun, it’s hot… it’s pretty much impossible to do alone. Which makes it comforting. Until the thoughts of my partners motives begin to intrude into the warm cloud of lazy euphoria that flows through my body after a wild romp.

My feelings are mixed. I love it, and I hate it. I am constantly at odds with myself over what I want. Sex, is not intimacy. Intimacy is frightening. Sex, on the other hand, is a comforting diversion. A substitute of sorts. The appearance of closeness, the act of closeness, with the ability to distract from actual emotional closeness.

Borderline Personality Disorder is a disorder of emotional dysregulation that affects relationships and the ability to control your behavior. It’s not surprising that this would also have a major impact on our sex lives. How it affects our sex lives can vary though.

Research has demonstrated that women with BPD tend to have more negative attitudes about sex than women in the general population. For example, women with BPD report more mixed feelings about sexual relations, and are also more likely to feel pressured to have sex by their sexual partners. In addition, women with BPD report more general sexual dissatisfaction. Much less is known about how BPD affects men’s attitudes about sex.

There may be a number of reasons for these more negative attitudes about sex. First, many women with BPD are survivors of child abuse, which may contribute to overall negative reactions to adult sexual experiences. Also, women with BPD are more likely to experience a great deal of conflict in their relationships, so they may feel less positive about sex because relationships in general feel less fulfilling.”

My attitudes about sex are far from negative. I love sex. My attitudes about my partners and how I relate to them afterwards, well, those might shift. Talk about a discrepant mentality. I distrust peoples motives when they try to get close to me. Especially with men (sorry, guys) I’m fairly certain that I’m only wanted to be used. I don't actually want to believe this though, but in order to figure that out sometimes I test the waters to test my theory, only to be disappointed when the men I know are not chivalrous and chaste. What do I really expect? Someone that just wants to be friends with me for my mind? I’ve proven my own theory true so often, but would it have been proven if I hadn’t have pushed? It’s never a plan though, it’s almost always in the heat of a moment. One that I wish I had thrown a bucket of water on in the end.

So it seems to me that there is healthy sex, impulsive sex, promiscuous sex, and avoidance of sex. Healthy and avoidance I’m not as familiar with so we’ll save those for their own post. Over the next couple days I want to explore this issue further.  

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Memoirs on a Sunday: Confessions

Ok, maybe not a lot of sex, but definitely some confessions. 

Friday was my usual night hanging out with Friend. Last week things got a little, familiar. I’d asked him to rub my neck, which he did, along with my back, lower back, butt, thighs and calves. Basically a full body massage, but then just relaxing back at the end of it, he sat close, much closer. The way he touched me bordered on, inappropriate, but not quite. The hint and promise was there. The voice in the back of my mind, laughing at his reactions to me was there too. She’s a vindictive little brat sometimes, but she’s strong and she likes to stay in control. Which she did. Watching him squirm as he pressed himself next to me. She laughed. I knew…. This wasn’t going to go anywhere. I knew.

I’m playing a game here. Except I can’t play this game. Part of me still wants him. A lot of me definitely wants him to want me. Which he can’t have but he does want. It amuses me to give him a glimpse of what he can no longer have. I want to drive him just a little bit crazy, teasing, except I can’t stop myself from going a little crazy too. Therapist thinks this is part of the reason I spun down so hard earlier this week. This is making it very difficult for me to move on. Very difficult to maintain my boundaries, my sanity, when the messages I’m given are so crossed and confused I can’t settle into my own skin, just want to crawl out of it.

This is beyond unwise, not to mention unhealthy. Who needs mental health? Oh, wait. I am also starting to get the twinges of guilt. Lady Friend and I are progressing nicely, we’ve passed that first time together so I feel more comfortable in our pace. We’re not ‘official’ or whatever the kids are calling it these days, but I foresee it in the not so distant future. I’m trying to hold off until after I go on vacation to formalize anything. Why? Honestly? Because I plan on being as uninhibited as I please and I want the freedom to do it. Unfortunately my conscience seems to have other plans for me.  I’m starting to feel those tendrils of attachment reaching into the lighter areas of my brain that tell me I have a good thing and not to fuck this up. That’s the challenge now isn’t it. Not fucking it up. 

Yesterday was another testament to my inability to not fuck with myself. Myself? Maybe I should consider those around me while I’m at it. I mean to. I swear it, but it happened anyways. 

Yesterday after getting no sleep and having incredibly violent mood swings I calmed down enough to make food for Club Boi’s Baconpalooza party. It’s a thing, just go with it. Yes, I’m strict vegetarian, but I cook meat for friends. No, I can’t try any of the dishes I made. 

Backstory: Club Boi and I have known each other for almost a year. We met on vacation last year. He was very obviously crushing on me (though he was with his current live in girlfriend unbeknownst to me) and one night after a rowdy night of partying he kissed me. That’s it, just kissed me, though he made it obvious that he wanted there to be more time spent. I latched onto Friend for ‘rescuing’ and found myself disentangled, reentengaled, otherwise entangled? Frying pan. Fire. Jump. All in the past. Club Boi and I from then on are only friends and one I keep at arm’s length-ish. We’ve been chatting more as our paths cross lately, and I’d hoped he’d gotten over his crush in almost a year so I didn’t think it was much of an issue. So there’s the background. 

Back to the party. I was, um, colorful ::grins:: the entire time. As soon as I got there I cracked my bottle of wine, put my dancing shoes on, and found my groove. I had all kinds of anxiety about the size the party was supposed to be (too many people are not good for me), the fact that my moods were mode shifting like mad… but it was fine. I drank, and drank, and had a nice continuous mellow buzz the entire time. No sloppy drunk, but definitely loosened up and relaxed. Almost happy. Dancing. People watch me dance, I’m hard to miss. Even if I’m just swaying to a beat, my motions are so fluid and I have hips that are hard to miss. I’ve mentioned before I was a stripper for a time, but even without that kind of dancing I seem to attract the attention various men and women in the area. No one else was dancing, not really. I didn’t care. I was in my own little world. Where that world was I have no idea. I felt like I was watching someone else pilot my body. I dissociated hard, but not in a way that was unpleasant, if that makes any sense. Alcohol doesn’t help. It exacerbates the problem if anything but anywhere is better than being stuck in my own head in the middle of a crowded party when my mood was boarding on Hulk Smash earlier in the day. And it was nice. Nice, mellow, free, floating, and somewhere outside of my Self.  

Lady Friend showed up eventually which helped get some of the men to back off. Some. Can someone please explain to me why guys continue to hit on a woman who is clearly with another woman? Doesn’t that just seem futile? Maybe I should have been a bitch, but in general I’m just not. Not unless I have to be, and I certainly had no need then. So Lady Friend and I cutes-ified it up all night. Me dancing, watching Friend watch me as he sat next to his lump of a wife. No, he’s not subtle. I was amused. And distracted. I haven’t quite hit familiarity with Lady Friend yet. It’s so disconcerting to look into the eyes of someone you’re sleeping with and recognize them but feel no connection to them. I see these liquid blue eyes staring back at me, but on some level I don’t recognize them, haven’t internalized them. There’s no ‘mine’ there, yet. She’s still very separate from me and I don’t know how to make the switch in a relationship that’s healthy. Not that I’ve had much opportunity to try. I really want to try this time. I’m worried about what it will take though. What will be the thing that jolts me into bridging the gap between our collective presences. ::sigh:: Therapist says I need to stop worrying about the future and just enjoy the time we spend together. It will happen when it happens and that’s going to be in its own time. If I fret about the ‘when’ then I will forget to enjoy the now. Which will only make it harder for that potential ‘when’ to arrive. ::double sigh:: Why can’t I predict the future already?!? Grumble. 

Finally after we’d gone out for real food I drove Lady Friend home. I had every intention of going home myself but realized that I was still a little too, um, well drunk, to drive. So I went back to the party to try and sober up. Bravo to me I say. There was a time not too long ago that I would have seen that 0.12 on my purse breathalyzer and said ‘screw it’ it’s only a 45 minute drive. That louder girl in the back of my brain reminded me that in fact, No, I did not want to potentially spend another night in jail due to drunk driving. I learned that lesson. We’ll let that be a story for a different day but know that lesson was most certainly learned. So here’s to learning from my mistakes. Cheers. I went back. 

In my mind I had this perfect idea of kicking off my clothes (I was wearing a bathing suit) jumping in the channel and floating in the water, smoking a cigarette, chatting with Club Boi. I got my wish, exactly. The party had quieted down. The water was serene and gentle. The only light from lanterns reflected on the water. Just me and Club Boi chatting in the water by the glow of my Turkish cigarettes. For just a moment, when I wasn’t floundering to stay afloat, I felt connected. It’s those small, tiny, moments that I look for. Those moments that bring me down to earth and ground me as I braced my feet on the side of the dock. We were reminiscing about last vacation and a private view that I’d shared with him, and the potential for this upcoming vacation (yes, me and all of my friends take one giant vacation together. It’s really pretty amazing). The wind had picked up to bring just a bit of a chill. As we huddled closer and closer together I should have seen the kiss coming. I hadn’t been expecting it, not really, not with his girlfriend right in the house. But there it was. And again. And again. I don’t know why I didn’t stop him right away. I honestly don’t. I’m not attracted to him in that way…. But I like that he’s attracted to me.  In those tiny little moments, I’m in those moments. I know it doesn’t make much sense, but for someone that dissociates as hard and as constantly as I do, I cling to them. The attention is nice too. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think so. How stupid can I be? I only feel mildly guilty about Lady Friend. Slightly more guilty about his girlfriend, whom I like a lot. More concerned about the amount of trouble I’m potentially setting myself up for. I have no idea how I’m going to get myself out of this when the time comes that we are actually alone on vacation together. 

I feel better when someone is touching me. It’s harder to lose my hold on reality when someone is helping to hold me here. Maybe that’s why I don’t care. Or don’t care enough to not do what I do. It’s disconcerting. He’s just using me.  Or trying to. I know that. What I don’t know, is why I allow it. I know I shouldn’t be so permissive, but I can’t seem to help it. Don’t want to help it, while at the same time….

I asked to get out of the water, feigning cold and chill easily enough. We dried off and I went to crash on their couch for the night. He actually came in to sort of tuck me in. It was touching really. If touching me hadn’t been his goal. He gave me a quick kiss goodnight before I passed out completely.

I wish I had a better explanation than “I’m being slutty”. I don’t often have the opportunity because I’m relatively anti-social. I don’t know. I don’t really think that’s it. I’m just, a mess of a human being. And yes, I do need attention. I need to not be alone. Surprise. 

I do what I do and I don’t always know why.

I wish I did.

And that was most of my weekend. ::sigh::
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