Monday, March 19, 2012

Lucid Analysis - Trials in Therapy : The One

I’m so angry. I had almost 3 pages of this post written and my computer rebooted and I lost it all.

Being a responsible adult is a pain in the ass sometimes. Hence why you’re getting this Lucid Analysis today instead of Friday when I should have posted it. Work has to take priority and I’ve been caught under a ton of it. ::sigh:: Ok, well enough excuses.

I saw Therapist on Thursday. Again I went there thinking I didn’t have anything to talk about, or not really wanting to talk. In a surprising twist of fate my life has been surprisingly stable as of late. Nothing unusual or out of the ordinary… except for the dreams. I’ve been dreaming about The One, constantly, for the last week or two. I suppose I’ll have to give you the background that I gave Therapist. I’ve always said I’d never talk about him. He’s off limits. But right now I think I can deal with it. We’ll see if I regret it later.

**Trigger Warning – Sexual Violence/Rape

The One: We grew up together. He was my best friend since I was 13. He’s always liked me, but I didn’t feel the same way so we developed a very strong friendship instead. He was the one I shared all those adolescent hopes and dreams with. He was there for me through my eating disorders, my cutting, and my suicide attempts. He knew what I was going through and never left me. Of course, he was there for all the good stuff too. The late night talks. The silly shenanigans we got up to everyday after school with the other two guys we always hung out with. The four of us were always together all throughout high school and after. He was my confidant.

He was also the first person I ever fell in love with. I remember the day. The very moment, when I realized I was in love with him. It was his 16th birthday. He was with another girl at the time. I remember seeing how he treated her and thinking how lucky she was to have him… and then it hit me. I never said anything. I kept my feelings to myself as they continued to build. Nine months later he asked me out. He told me he loved me. Obviously I felt the same. I had for so long already. Three months after that he cheated on me. I ended it. And so began the next 2 years of the on again, off again emotional rollercoaster of a relationship that I had with The One.

We had the same friends. We saw each other every day, so it was very easy for us to fall back into each other. He would apologize, charm me with his words and confessions of love for me until I took him back. We’d break up, fight, then fuck our way back into that warm place I never wanted to leave. Eventually though, he quit even the illusion that he wanted to make any kind of commitment to me. He’d tell me how much he loved me, sleep with me, use me, and then leave me to wonder what was really going on.

Finally, just before we graduated I could take it anymore and I ended it “for good”. He met some chick, knocked her up, and quickly married her. All the while still telling me how much he loved me, that he had to marry her because it was “the right thing to do” but it was still me he wanted. Still me who he cheated on her with. Still me he called once they separated. I actually believed that he wanted to be with me, especially once they were finally splitting. Unfortunately I was also friends with his best guy friends and one drunken night he confessed that The One was just telling me whatever I wanted to hear to keep me warming his bed while he frigid wife went off and fucked her coworkers. I had enough.

I was furious. I hated him. Underneath all that anger, anguish, and heartache… I still loved him. Since the second I realized how strongly I felt for him, those feelings never left. No matter how mad at him I was, I still always loved him. Which is why I was never able to resist his words when he would charm his way back into my life, and my pants. When I finally decided I had to stop this, stop seeing him, stop allowing him in my life, I still loved him. We were 21 by this time. It took me 5 years to reach this conclusions, but I finally did.

I went over his house for the last time. We had a few drinks. Throughout the night I tried telling him that I wasn’t going to do this anymore. I didn’t want him in my life anymore. He got pushy. I told him no repeatedly, but that didn’t make any difference to him. He took what he wanted from me anyways.

Guilt. To this day I’m not sure I can call it rape or not, though everyone who knows would tell me it was. I’ve had enough fighting experience that I probably could have gotten him off me. But even as I hated him, hated what he was doing, I loved him. I loved him more than I loved myself. I would rather let him hurt me, than hurt him. That’s how destructive my love for him was. And why I needed to end it.

Somehow I managed to get out of there. I remember being terrified that I would get a DUI because I was beyond drunk driving him and could barely see the road through my tears. Once I arrived home I grabbed my favorite knife; ebony handle shot through with ivory and a 6” blade. I can still see the scars running up my inner thighs. Long white tears trailing up my legs. I never wanted anyone there again so I didn’t think anyone would ever see. It wouldn’t have mattered anyways. A day later my mind completely repressed the trauma. Not before I could write it down though and eventually find the memories years later.

How could someone do that? How could someone I loved, someone I trusted, for so long, do that to me? Someone who was supposed to be my friend, someone who was supposed to care for me, since we were 13 years old, how could he take all the trust I placed in him and do that to me?

I know everything was built on the lies he lead me to believe, but my feelings were real. I don’t feel like I’ve done justice to the shear extent of how important he was to me throughout my life but I don’t think I can now.

That’s who I’ve been dreaming about. What’s bizarre though, is my dreams have not been violent or anything traumatic except for his presence.  In my dreams we recognize that we knew each other, that we used to be a major part of each others lives but that we no longer are and that there is a distance of years between us. He’s always with a group of friends that I happen to be with. As the dream continues he is always politely friendly and eventually feels more familiar. These dreams are pleasant, which makes them… disconcerting.

As I told Therapist this she merely smiled at me and asked me if I know why I’ve been dreaming about him. I do. At least I think I do. All of this stuff is called baggage. Traumatic baggage, but baggage none the less. With everything that has happened recently with the ending of my friendship with Friend, and the evolving relationship I have with Tech Boy, these fears from my past are trying to re-exert themselves. Remembering these lessons from my past is a way to protect myself. Therapist thinks I do a remarkable job not projecting my past onto my present relationships. That doesn’t completely stop the fear that lurks in the recesses of my mind. The fears that sit in shadow trying to resurface in my subconscious where they can finally find some influence. I try to always give people a chance to prove who they are. To not hold them to the standards of my past. But that doesn’t mean I can easily let go of the lessons I’ve learned. I think these fears are reasonable considering all that I’ve been through.

I’m so programmed to protect myself that I look for those monsters lurking around every corner. Fortunately I have Therapist to help me look at the reality of my situation. Despite my best efforts, my relationship with Tech Boy is becoming someone I value a lot. It scares me. My subconscious is trying to remind me of that. Therapist is helping me see how it’s not so. Tech Boy isn’t The One. He’s not Evil-Ex, he’s not even Friend. When Tech Boy crossed one of my boundaries he showed genuine remorse. Even when I thought the subject was over he brought it back up, unprompted, and was genuinely unhappy that he did something that would upset me.   He doesn’t tell me pretty lies that he thinks I might like to hear. He’s never anything but honest, even if it’s not a truth I want to hear. He’s sweet, and solid. Every time I see him he surprises me with how considerate and thoughtful he can be. He likes me. Genuinely.

Therapist thinks this is wonderful. I’m not so sure. ::sigh:: He likes me, but he doesn’t really know me. I don’t talk about my past with him. He doesn’t know the things I been through in my life. He doesn’t know the things that have made me the person I am today. I have a very pretty surface, but the foundations that I’ve been built on are ugly. How can someone really like me if they don’t really know me? Don’t know what has made me who I am? I’m not a good person. I have a lot of bad things in my past. I know he’s not comfortable talking about such emotional things, but he’s surprised me before by bringing things up that aren’t comfortable because they’re things that needed to be discussed.

He’s mentioned my scars before. The first time I talk about them to someone is always a truthful but abbreviated explanation that gives them the option to opt out from a deeper conversation. Most people choose this. He did. Of course that was also months ago when things were in a slightly different place. My scars are a part of me. Not a pretty part, but they’re a part of me. How can you like me if you don’t understand me? How can I trust how he feels if there are all these things I don’t know if he’ll be able to accept? I need that acceptance.

At the same time, I don’t know how much of this stuff really needs to be said. I’m not the same person anymore. I’ve grown. I’ve changed. I’ve taken all these experiences and learned to do things differently. I feel like I’m lying about who I am by not letting him know who I was.

Some of this stuff I’ll have to talk about eventually. Therapist says I’ll know the right time to talk about things as they come up. I don’t have to dump everything on him at once, but every now and again if the time is right and the conversation comes up, I should be open and let him know who I am. And maybe it’ll encourage him to do the same. By being open myself, it provides the opportunity for him to be open with me. Shared openness is what builds trust. Building trust is difficult for someone like me who assumes that it won’t ever be there… but extremely important.

The closer I get, the harder it becomes. The more emotionally invested I allow myself to be, the greater the fear of the potential loss if it turns out he can’t in fact, accept the person I’ve been. ::sigh:: But that would mean that ultimately we’re not meant to be, right? We’d both be able to move on and find people better suited for us, yes? Cognitively I know this stuff.  That doesn’t make it any easier to accept when your feelings tend to dictate what you do. Then again, that’s what I’m trying so hard to change. All those impulsively destructive behaviors. I keep trying. It’s hard, and it’s frightening, but I keep doing it regardless.

Therapist is all cute about this. She thinks we’re going to fall in love and be adorable and happy. She’s a romantic like that. It’s undeniable that my feelings are steadily growing for him, and his seem to be for me. There are moments where I could swear he’s ready to tell me a few little words that would freak me the fuck out; like when I’m lying down with my head on his lap, just watching tv and he won’t stop staring at me, tells me how beautiful my eyes are, how gorgeous I am, holding me closer to kiss me one more time.  I love those moments, but I’m terrified for him to tell me that even if it’s were to be true.

I still have object constancy issues. I tell all this stuff to Therapist. When I’m in the situation I’ve been feeling more attached to the situation. I’m not depersonalizing or detaching from the time. I’m in the moment. But trying to talk about it, it still seems like I’m rehashing something I saw on a stage with a person that looks like me. If I’m just thinking about him I can miss him. Once I start talking to her and trying to analyze how I feel I’m no longer able to hold onto the emotion and my cognition takes over. I don’t know why this still is.

Therapist never would guess that. Any of these feelings really. No matter how turbulent I feel, I keep it all in. For all appearances I seem so steady and grounded. Solid. I don’t know if this is good or bad. It’s better for everyone around me, but it leaves me with a lot of doubt. People like the projection of me that they see, but it’s not very comforting when I know that who they believe me to be, isn’t all that there is to see.

Where’s the line?  

Amusingly, that night my dreams changed. I haven’t dreamt about The One again. Instead I’ve been dreaming about Tech Boy and oddly about the guys at work finding out about us. We’re kind of an open secret at this point I think. People have their suspicions but no one talks about it. I keep having dreams that the guys from work finally bring it up. Odd. What’s more confusing though, is that I’m sort of sad to see the other dreams go. How fucked up is that? It’s hard to admit, but that connection to my past provides me with something that I miss. I’m not sure what, and it leads right to guilt, but part of me still loves him in that way that everyone always remembers their first love and laments how it wasn’t meant to be.

I’m afraid of love. For me love and pain are forever entwined.

All I can do is continue to do things differently. Move slow, try to build trust, communicate the things that bother me so they don’t bottle up and explode…. Try, try, try. So much work. So much internal struggle. And yet, so far so good.

Sexual violence and BPD seem to go hand in hand. I wish I knew why. It’s not the cause of my symptoms, my BPD started years and years earlier. I do think it contributed to why I would stay in that kind of a relationship though. The obsessive thoughts, the intense feelings beyond reason and ability to function…. I don’t know the link, but one contributes to the other which builds on the future.

Dreams change and so do I.

Maybe it shouldn't.


  1. It is interesting. My younger brother, whose bpd is worse than mine (I think it has to do with his infant traumatic brain injury) has never been a victim of sexual violence (not that he remembers or admits to anyway). I was raped by my boyfriend at 14. I definitely had issues prior to that, but the intense self hatred and splitting happened after. I think the majority of our emotional issues stem from narc dad and hystrionic mom and our frequent moves. He also lived with dad after the divorce and I lived with mom, which is funny, because he ended up being more acting out and I acted in.

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  3. /hug.

    I think what you're going through with Tech Boy is completely normal. The slow building of trust, the fear of loss. Those are all normal things that happen in the beginning of a relationship. I know I feel those all the time. The thing is to live the roller coaster and know that even if it doesn't work out, in the long run it's the ride that counts.

    Keep your chin up and thanks for sharing.

  4. Hi, Haven. First time reading your blog today, but we sure have a sense of each other from another blog..

    Sorry to hear about The One and how he affected you. I do see you have a lot of how could he type of questions. I do believe you must have more of how could I type questions wrt your interaction and how weakened and irrational you were in the name of love. Your question of how can he like me if he cannot understand me is more like how can I like myself if I don't understand myself. I hope you will accept how weak you've been in taking care of yourself and in defining your boundaries in the past, and move on with forgiving yourself and promising to take good care of yourself in the future.

    Once you can do that, you don't need to worry about how can he type questions. When you think about it, given the cutting you are the individual who has been really hurting yourself.

    I sure hope you learn to love yourself soon. I know you are lovable.

    1. Sceli what you are describing is Radical acceptance.

      Its funny, when I read your response (Im SW too btw) at first I was really put off and irked by it. I reread it just now with the radical acceptance concept in mind and it made sense and no longer felt like a blow (yes, it was directed at Haven, but I feel like her sister in bpd and tend to take stuff like that personally - which is pretty characteristic lol so I guess its understandable). You are right. We did what we did we were who were, it all leads up to this moment, which is all we have.

      Haven, Tech Boy has shit he hasnt disclosed yet, and who knows, maybe its "worse" than yours. He wouldnt want you holding his past against him, so he wont you. He sounds reasonably empathetic for a hetero male.

    2. ::smiles:: Thank you Sceli. That means a lot. I do struggle with a lot of 'how could i" type questions. A lot of my self-worth at the time was based on whether or not he loved me, and I know some of that still bleeds into my relationships today. I am getting better about it. I've flat out told people that if they treat me poorly I'll kick them to the curb, regardless of how much I like them. Saying it is hard, but in a crazy twist of fate, they seem to respect that and know to not treat me poorly.

      It's difficult, really difficult to love yourself unconditionally when you've been told your entire life that nothing you do is quite good enough. Being better has always been a condition of gaining love in my life. I'm learning though. Slowly.

      Thank you Sceli.

    3. ::hugs:: I adore you Sarah. I've "known" Sceli for a while now, I know what she means when she says what she does. No worries at all. I'm sure you're right about Tech Boy. He's just lived a life so different than mine, I worry. I worry endlessly when people haven't had the same experiences and really how could he. But that doesn't mean he won't care the same. He's not very emotionally expressive, but he is surprisingly emotionally considerate in ways I'm afraid to hope of from anyone. I hope you're right.

    4. My paternal grandmother, for whom I blame a lot of my problems on lol (she gave me my huge boobs and abusive father) was a horrible woman and she saw the worst in everyone but she had a point in a perverse way. If you dont expect much from people you can be surprised when they do something nice.

      I try not to take it to the extreme I used to (in having such low standards, like my "friend") but there is something to be said about being pleasantly surprised. Just sometimes finding that gray area between pedestal and six feet under is tough. I think he sounds like a fella with a decent head on his shoulders and I would have no idea what to do with him, but you are doing something right and it is because of who you are, which is not just a projection. Being more introspective and honest through therapy and our little group therapy thanks to your blog is going to benefit us in positive ways where we learn to navigate that area between the inner loathing and the outward appearance of total competance and capability. Becoming more authentic as our outer and inner selves become more harmonic.

    5. Oh low expectations. I definitely used to have those. I often fluxuate between complete acceptance/no expectations and really high expectations. I'm either always thrilled about every kind gesture or constantly disappointed. That grey area, that balance, that's the goal.

      My Therapist used a term in therapy that I just remembered now. She said I was learning to integrate my feelings and behavior in a postiive way. Integration is what I'm trying to do. I'm going to have to talk about that term more I think. Integration is that harmony.

  5. Haven, you are amazing--you always blog the right thing to spark my own self-analysis into healthy directions. Nothing worth trying to type here, but the disconcerting dream I had this morning is going to be re-examined.... I think I was taking it the wrong way.

    Hugs, dear, & thanks!!

    1. Dreams are often so insightful in the most unexpected ways. I really love to dream. Even when they're unpleasant. ::hugs::

  6. What does loving yourself mean? In my mind it means treating yourself the way you would want to treat your little baby if you had one. If you would not cut your little baby you sure shouldn't cut yourself.

    If you would not let some jerk hurt your little baby, you should not let that jerk hurt you.

    I sound harsh, sorry, I really do care for Haven.

    1. Sceli, what may be hard for people to grok is that we know we shouldnt do the stuff we do, and that makes the beating urself up worse, because basically we flog ourselves for flogging ourselves (or sometimes for not flogging ourselves enoug) and its a hard cycle to get out of. Thankfully therapy helps us get outside of ourselves in a healthy way, instead of dissociating, and get perspective. She is doing awesome. Im quite envious in a good way.

    2. You have it spot on Sarah. Beating myself up is second nature. And then beating myself up for not being myself up or not know what is ok to beat myself up for so I do just to cover my bases... it's very ridiculous. I'm harder on myself than anyone else ever could be. When really I should be kinder to myself than anyone.

      I don't really have an answer for you Sceli. I'm not really sure what it means to love yourself because it's not something I've ever done. Right now I'm trying to simply be kind to myself. I know how I treat the people I care about, and I think I should treat myself more like that. So that's what I'm going to strive for. I wouldn't stand for someone hurting my sister, so i don't see why I should allow people to do something like that to me. Exactly like what you said for the whole baby thing. It's a good thing to think about. Something I have to keep reminding myself of.

    3. You owe it to yourself to foster openess between you.Why else are you having all this therapy,if not to live differently.He has the right to get to know you honestly,,before he falls totally in love with you,,which I am sure he will,,so he doen't feel deceived on any level.If he sticks around,,which I'm sure he will,,it will set set a more authentic flavour to your relationship....on an emotional level.

    4. PS How else will your beautiful emotional self catch up to your extrordinary brain? Maybe an opportunity has been recognised by the wisdom in your soul....

    5. Anon you're right. I owe it to us both to foster that openness. It's not easy for me. I've been doing it in small steps but it may be time to take a bigger one. I'm not one much for faith, but sometimes you have to leap into it anyways.

  7. I'll trade you, Haven. You can have my lack of fear and I get half of your ability to form attachment to others. We both come out way ahead.

  8. Deal!

    Somehow I think removing my fear would make me even more reckless though haha.


Leave me a comment! It makes me feel good and less paranoid about talking to myself =)

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