Friday, March 23, 2012

Lucid Analysis – Trials in Therapy: It’s an Average Life

My apologies for my posting being a little erratic. Bear with me. I’ve been crushingly overwhelmed at work lately. I usually write my posts first thing in the morning but with the shear amount of work I’ve had to do I simply haven’t had the same kind of time as usual.  I haven’t had time to write, I haven’t had time to read other blogs, or comment the way I usually would. I’m starting earlier, leaving later. I’m exhausted. Overwhelmed. Honestly I feel like I’m about to crash and burn. I’m trying to juggle everything but it’s hard for me to do so much. Especially this time of year. It always seems to sneak up on me…
End of March, beginning of April is a notoriously bad time of year for me. I’m always depressed, but this is the time of year that I plummet, hard, for no apparent reason. Therapist seems to think the time of year is triggering for me because of how pressured I was growing up. My parents raised “super children”. We were so over stimulated with activities, constantly involved in sports, clubs, and instrumental lessons that we didn’t have enough time to just be kids. Our lives were scheduled and structured away. Because of this I may have built up such a store of pressure and tension, after a while I can no longer maintain it and I just start to drop. I can’t say I agree with this theory. It doesn’t feel right to me. It feels like I’m on a really slow mood cycle. Like a long Bipolar II downswing… always depressed, depressed, depressed, slowly spiral down, deeper depressed, bottom out severe depression, little bit better, little less depressed but still depressed, depressed, depressed, depressed…. Repeat ad infinitum. It’s been this way since I was 12 years old at least. Yanno, puberty time. I think it’s a chemical problem. I think the stress and pressure of my upbringing affects me all year round.
It makes me think about how I would raise children differently were I to ever have any. First of all, I’m terrified of having children for a multitude of reasons, but mostly because I would feel supremely guilty if I passed on my genetic predisposition towards mental health issues.  Maybe I’ll do a post on why I don’t think having kids is a good idea for me. I’ve thought a lot about it.
I finally worked up the courage to request some vacation time. I hate requesting time off. I feel guilty. I feel like my boss is going to judge me. I feel like it’s going to reflect poorly on my performance. Ugh. But I NEED a vacation. Desperately. I’m going to visit my Sister for a couple days. Then I’m going to visit my best Borderline friend from University (Zoe). Then it’s off for a day or two with the rest of my family for the Easter holiday. I’m so, so, so very excited to see my sister and my friend.
Something that irritates me a little about Therapist is she tries to guess how things will effect me. Like she thought this time of year would be less triggering for me to visit my family. Visiting my family is always triggering for me regardless. This time of year in particular is especially bad for me. Why not just ask me how I think this trip will trigger me?  Rant over.
Sister was so happy to hear I was coming out. Things are better for the both of us when we’re together. Sister is bipolar. Right now I believe she is un-medicated as well so it hasn’t been the easiest time for her. Just being with her makes her feel better, steadier.
It’s funny. People tell me this all the time. On the inside I feel like I maelstrom colliding with an earthquake, overwhelmed and incapable of dealing with too much, but on the outside I manage to have an air of serenity and solidity. I don’t know how this happens, but Zoe feels the same way.

Quite a pear. Har har, get it? Oh geezus someone get me a drink

She called me last Tuesday. Her and her fiancé/girlfriend are getting married in August. She asked me to be her Maid of Honor. I’m absolutely delighted. Instantly I started thinking of things I’d have to say in a speech. Talking to her that night was eye opening though. I love this woman, but sometimes talking to her really hammers home just how hard I’ve been working to overcome my Borderline issues. Over the course of our conversation she was teary and nostalgic about me being the only one she could possibly thing of to be her maid of honor, to talking about prospects for a family, to being sad and feeling rejected that her fiancé might not find her attractive, to getting drunk, to telling me how much she used to have a crush on me, seriously almost in love with me for the longest time (this was actually mutual but we didn’t really realize it at the time – we both the other was out of our league, haha, and we also had so much value on our friendship that we wouldn’t want to ruin it), to actually getting into a fight and “breaking up” (they didn’t really) with her fiancé, overdosing on pills, alluding to ideas of suicide and apologizing for not being able to handle it all…. If anyone thinks that I don’t know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of the Borderline craze, let me assure you, I’m very familiar with it. It’s scary, but at the same time, it doesn’t bother me. It’s not that I don’t take it too seriously, I definitely do, but I know that what she really needs is to know that she has support. I know all too well what it feels like to actually go through that. She apologized the next day. I told her as long as she’s ok she has no need to apologize. I’d rather her talk to me while that’s happening so I can know what’s going on. Even now she worries that if she gets ahold of me too much though she’ll seem too needy. Then there’s me with my lack of object constancy, I just don’t think she thinks about me because I’m not right there to be thought about. Us two, we’re just so silly. I love her to death.
Her and Sister are the two people in my life (obviously not including all of my wonderful Readers that have shared their lives and experiences with me) that have understood me and accepted me unconditionally. Having that kind of support is invaluable.
Therapist worries that seeing Zoe will be triggering for me. I look at how she still gets sometimes and remember just how bad I used to be, but I’m not worried. When we hang out it’s not like we have cutting contests or anything. We just vent and watch our terrible movies and enjoy the comfort that is each other company. Seeing her is like the opposite of a trigger. It’s a Safety. 
Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like if we were together. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if my life were regular. I wonder about a lot of things. I just can’t imagine it. People sometimes ask me if I wish my life were different. But there really is no answer. Even if I didn’t have these mental health issues that’s no guarantee that my life wouldn’t have taken a turn for the worse in a different way. I don’t know any other way. How can I hope for something that I’ve never experienced? It’s futile besides. All I have is this one life and what I’ve already lived is something I can’t change. All I can do is move forward.
Things with Tech Boy are going very well. I’m worried I won’t get to see him this weekend because his best friend is coming out to visit. Otherwise things are nice. Normal. It’s a little scary. Therapist recognizes that this is a very different approach to relationships for me. Slowly building. Not jumping into things full force. He’s a progressive thinker. He lets me express my opinions, hell he even agrees with my opinions most of the time. It’s nice. Boring-Ex used to refuse to talk to me, actually told me he didn’t like talking to me, because I would get “worked up” about some subjects. I wasn’t “worked up”, I was passionate about social injustices and significant political/social issues important enough to put my energy towards. I might get angry, but it’s a righteous anger… it’s a constructive anger… it’s not a personal off the hinge rage. It’s good to get heated about certain things. It’s good to be moved by issues that are important to you. How can you make a difference if you have no motivation to change something? He didn’t understand that. Tech Boy is really laid back and he doesn’t get worked up about things, but he doesn’t seem to mind that I do. It’s nice.
It’s a good thing I didn’t go into politics. I’m a lot of things, and those things include: strong willed, opinionated, outspoken, and very educated… with a healthy does of not giving a shit if other people don’t like my opinions.
I actually talked to Therapist about some of the political ranting I’ve been doing lately. All the ranting and writing I do really. She thinks my blog is really important. Important for me, and important to foster understanding.
I try.  

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I’m BPD, You’re BPD: Lovers - Coexisting on the Borderline/Borderline Relationship

Who doesn’t dream of having a partner that they can be utterly consumed with in the passion and heat of romantic affection? I want you. I need you. I love you. I want to crawl inside your mind and control every thought you have so that they’re about me. Always.
Maybe a slight exaggeration. I didn’t post yesterday, because I’ve been trying to think of how this relationships could work. I don’t like to be negative because I’m very much about hope. Like all relationships there are those that can defy the odds and lead to a truly loving and fulfilling union. That being said, I just don’t know if it’s possible for two people with Borderline Personality Disorder to be in a healthy and functional romantic relationship. I’m not talking friends with benefits here, or even just fuck buddies (which can work but not very well in my honest opinion)… I mean in a long term committed relationship, devoted to putting their partner first. (Their BPD partner first – I use this phrase specifically because I know a lot of people that function in open and poly relationships and I don’t want to discriminate against those life style choices.) That being said, I also don’t think these types of relationships would be cohesive to a Borderline/Borderline match up. Why is that? Aren’t Borderlines prone to cheating and being promiscuous? Wouldn’t this be perfect to satisfy that and still be with your partner? Here’s why:
When you’re dating a Borderline he/she often harbors a lot of jealousy. I’m usually very good at concealing this because I know it’s not rational, but let’s face it, we want our partners attention. We want to know that we’re the first person in their lives. It’s a reassurance that we need in order to feel as emotionally safe with our lover and the only way we can know for sure if they aren’t doing something to potentially hurt us, is if we’re there with them. It’s not that I don’t want my significant other to have friends, but on some level it registers as a rejection when they want to hang out with them instead of me. It’s stupid. I KNOW this. At least for someone like me who has major, major trust issues when it comes to men due to a history of past cheating and abuse it’s difficult to not bring some of that fear into the future. I think this is true for anyone who has been on the wrong end of a relationship gone sour, but when you couple that with the volatile moods of a Borderline you’re looking at a bottle of anxiety, tension, and internal conflict.
I want my partner to be happy. I know it’s not practical for them to spend all their time with me. Hell, I’d get irritated and feel smothered if they were constantly in my face. But I don’t know what’s happening when I’m not around. What did I do differently that made them want ot make plans with other people for Friday night when he/she usually asks to spend the evening with me? Why can’t we both do something together in a comfortable place? Why does she need a girls night? Why do boys night out always have to be at the most popular bar in town? Why? Why? Why? Questions, questions, questions?
I do this. A lot of Borderlines do this in a Non/Borderline relationship. Now imagine both partners doing this. Well, if they both do it, doesn’t that mean that they’ll probably get exactly what they want and always do everything together? Quite possibly. Win, right? Until it begins to feel so stifling, and controlled that one or the other (or both!) begins to suffocate.  Imagine being trapped in an elevator with the same person all day every day. Eventually you just need so of your own air to breathe. 

I do think there are some Pro’s to this relationship. Like a Borderline/Borderline friendship there’s a level of understanding that can be there.
This is conditional though. For it to be healthy, both Borderlines need a level of self-awareness where they can recognize in themselves the behaviors and thougths they have, so that they can also understand their partners. Unfortunately for many Borderlines this level of self-awareness is not the norm.
If one or both Borderlines are seeking therapy or trying to heal, their partner will understand implicitly the battles they struggle with and can be more supportive in that knowledge. If they’re not threatened by the thought of their partner “getting better” and “suddenly realizing that their partner is no longer good enough because they’re still disordered”.  
Working on communication is crucial for normal relationships, especially relationships with a Borderline, which makes it triply important for a Borderline-Borderline combo. Like the friendship though, their may not be that fear of being misunderstood. It may actually be easier to talk about your fears and concerns because the risk of being judged isn’t as great.

With friends these things can work because the level of emotional attachment isn’t so profound. There’s still an emotional buffer. When  you’re romantically involved with someone our emotions are often rubbed raw, from that person. The fear of abandonment and potential rejection increases exponentially for every emotional step closer we get. That’s why romantic relationships tend to be more volatile than simply friendships. Push-pull exists in almost all close relationships a Borderline has, but it’s usually most intense in intimate ones. When both partners are prone to the push-pull of romantic entanglement you’re putting a powder keg in a match factory and ignoring the sign that says “are you stupid?”
On the other hand, both partners may know implicitly the anguish of abandonment and because of that they are uniquely adapted to understanding the fear their partner would have. When you know how terrible something feels, and you love someone, you want to do whatever you can to make sure they don’t feel that thing.
It’s a huge mix up of: Push-pull that often leads to temporary abandonments but and ultimate understanding that abandonment for either partner would be excruciatingly painful and therefore is less likely providing an odd stability. Until you start overthinking the problem like I always do and have malicious little bastard thoughts like, “well if they know this hurts and they do it anyways, then they must be trying to hurt me on purpose (like Friend did).” Even though you know at the time they probably weren’t thinking about you when they Acted Out it still feels like they’re acting against you because even if they didn’t mean it that way, they are. Even if you know on some level that the partner won’t leave for good, there’s still the potential for an increase in emotional highs and lows like smashing face first onto a rocky abyss of euphoria and despair.
What a mess. Mess, mess, mess.
If both Borderlines are in treatment, healing, able to communicate with the understanding of what the other is going through, and aware of their triggers and behavior coupled with the empathic knowledge of what their partner is going through and a desire to have them be as happy as they can be because of the love that is there between you…. It’s like a fairy tale match up, except the evil queen is living inside our own head.
The potential for understanding is much higher here because your partner has or is experiencing the same things. If both partners are the kind to put the other person ahead of themselves it would appear that each person would do everything they could to ensure the others happiness. We should know by know though that this leads to bottling up of needs and it’s only a matter of time before that internal pressure begins to build. The potential for twice the volatility and therefore twice, three times, four times the potential for hurt is there as well. Unintentional or not, this is a combination that I can see causing a lot of pain.
The only semi-romantic relationship with a Borderline I’ve had is with BPD friend #2 that I talked about yesterday. We spent all our time together, I loved her (though by this point I wasn’t in love with her), but I would still do anything in my power to make her happy. She would get extraordinarily jealous when I didn’t include her in something, or had another girl in my life… she’d invite herself into plans, she’d rearrange her work schedule so I couldn’t potentially run into someone she didn’t want me to see. She would blow up, break down, I’d be blind sided, usually over something I didn’t realize would upset her, we’d both be hurt; until finally we sat down and talked it out face to face, usually over a bottle of wine, would we be able to pin point the problem. I cared about her happiness more than my own at the time so I would do whatever I could to ease her fears but it wasn’t always enough, especially as I wasn’t going to completely subvert my own needs and I wasn’t going to encourage her irrational thinking, in as gentle a way as I possibly could. While I loved the time we spent together, I never wanted to date her seriously because I saw how much pain she was always in from other people she dated and I was terrified that I would be the cause of that kind of pain for her. I couldln’t live with that so I couldn’t cultivate that kind of closeness. Even with that fear in mind this didn’t last long; only a couple months before she broke me and I dissociated from the world around me.
Ouch, ouch, ouch. I don’t want to discourage any couple. You can’t help who you love. But this can be a very unhealthy relationship for a pair of Borderlines if even one of them lacks a healthy amount of self-awareness or wants something a little different. Be careful. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to each other.
The thing Therapist encourages me to do most is to incorporate stability and steady, healthy, drama-free people into my life. Borderlines, whether we know it or not, crave stability and security because these are things we are necessarily born with.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Coexisting on the Borderline/Borderline Relationship – I’m BPD, You’re BPD: Friends

Can two people with Borderline Personality Disorder coexist in a relationship successfully? That’s a tricky question. It depends on the type of relationship. Obviously it also depends on the two people with BPD.

Two Types of Relationships:

1.      Friendship

2.      Romantic

*** Really there’s a 3rd type or relationship and that’s Family/Family with BPD (mother/daughter, father/son, brother/sister, etc), but I don’t have experience with this. If anyone would like to relate their experience with Family/Family BPD relationships, I’d love to have a Guest Post. E-mail me or leave me a comment.

Either way I think it’s safe to say that you need to be prepared for an intense emotional drain. We have a hard enough time dealing with our own emotions... throw another Borderlines emotions on top of that and imagine what you get.

I can’t provide a definitive answer for this because my experience is limited and I haven’t lived a full lifetime with all the other Borderlines but I have a reasonably good idea of how these things go.

I’ve had two friends with Borderline Personality Disorder.

One I’ve mentioned before (insert link to low-functioning). She’s like me in that she has anxiety issues and depression, but where I’m high functioning, she’s low. I met her at University and I’m eternally grateful that I did. I’ve had a crush on her at times and she on me, but we never knew back then. For us, having someone that ‘just got it’, the friendship we had, was more important than the potential loss that could come from pushing it further. To this day I love {not in love with her} this woman. I don’t see her very often since I moved but we still talk, just last night actually. Our emotional states were in absolute parallel all of the time. Synced. I knew how she was feeling before she even told me because it was how I was feeling too. Our situations that caused these emotions may have been different but we were still emotionally aligned. We could deal with our problems together without dragging the other down, because we were already there. We could lean on each other in a relatively normal way because when we were together we could talk each other down from the more acting out behaviors we were prone too. Plus our favorite things were wine and horrible, horrible bad b-movies that we could MST3K too so we were easily distractible. We both tended to internalize our emotions too. We were both chronically misunderstood by everyone around us, except each other because we clearly got it. Other than my sister she’s the only person I’ve ever met in person and been very close to that has absolutely understood me. She was pretty much the reason I knew about BPD in the first place and why I knew what I was before I’d been officially diagnosed. You could read hers on her face. I hid behind a mask. We could be there for each other, need each other, with no judgement, no misunderstanding, because we knew, really in our guts and brains KNEW, what the other was going through.  But we didn’t spend all our time crying around each other which I honestly have little patience for. I know this because…

Borderline friend number two was INSANELY INTENSE in her emotional state. She was not actually diagnosed BPD but I could tell. Her level of emo was beyond, and I mean out of this universe, beyond reasonable. For everything. I would see her destroyed again and again over girls that she was dating casually, had just met, or that wanted me instead of her. When we first met and began hanging out I could have fallen in love with her, there was a while where I thought I was but I was still with Evil-Ex and therefore utterly crazy from another angle, and she was with another girl that she knew she couldn’t keep. That’s not the point. The point is, she was completely emotionally extroverted. Every time she thought something was going wrong she would collapse (often literally) into a puddle of devastation and self-loathing. She was either elated, devastated, or devoid of emotion. Middle ground? Never. And I was always there for her. I was there for the puddle of weeping willows, I was the one she called crying at 3 in the morning, I was the one she slept with when she couldn’t stand the world, I was the one she took comfort in. Why were we friends? I’ve mentioned this elsewhere… When things were good, they were VERY good. We partied a lot, had similar creative interests and had wildly fun times. Everything we did was a production of epic proportions and it was the best kind of emotional escape. When things were bad, well, you see where this is going. I began to lose myself with her. Not in her, but my emotional state, what I needed, became secondary. I would do anything for her and she took complete advantage of it, not really on purpose, but she was needy and it was natural for her to take what was offered. I let her. We were friends for years and there was rarely any deviation from this. I had years of tidal waves of external emotion crashing in on me from her, while at the same time I was dealing with Evil-Ex. I was so emotionally overwhelmed that I was constantly at a breaking point. One night she made some incredibly bad decisions, which I knew how to prevent. She refused by help, then tried to come crying to me after 10 months of insanity we’d just extracted her (and therefore us) from. I broke. Completely. All the love I had for her, in an instant was gone. She tried blaming me for something after that, but I wouldn’t have the guilt from what she did. For the first time I saw exactly what she was continually doing to herself, to us, and everyone around her. I had loved her so much, but I couldn’t be her emotional punching bag anymore. This was the beginning of one my heavier dissociative periods.

My abandonment and rejection was so severely triggered. I made a lot of questionable decisions after this. Emotionally I was numb. So I took comfort physically. Leave that to your imagination. Around this time was the beginning of my physical relationship with Friend and the end of my friendship with K and Twiggy. I’ve had people tell me he took advantage of this state. I don’t want to believe it. Especially as he was going through a lot of his own shit. We were a comfort to each other.

I suppose it’s no wonder we became instant  best friends. We latch onto those that are willing to get close to us with a death grip and don’t want to let go. Stick two of us together and you have a vice grip with super glue. 

So I guess in summary, we can either be VERY good for each other or VERY bad. I think this properly meets the black and white thinking cycle.

On the one hand we have someone that understands our emotional highs and lows in a way that most Non Borderlines can’t.  There’s no judgment because we’ve been there so many times ourselves. We have someone that we can need and be needy with and that person understands the level of reassurance we need.

When you have someone that understands you like that, there’s less fear of them finding out and leaving you for it because you know that they wouldn’t want you to do that to them. There’s an emotional safety there because I was never worried about having to hide the bad parts of me, there was nothing for her to ‘find out about’ that ‘wasn’t good enough’ and leave me alone. She was the same way, so it was safe. We both needed someone solid to rely on, even if just to talk, over hundreds of miles apart. Just knowing you’re connected to one person, one person in the whole world, that understands what it’s like to feel the things you feel and accept those feelings without judgment, dear stars it’s beyond price or value to have someone like that.

However, if you’re not both on a similar emotional page, there’s the potential for the trauma of one to override the other person altogether. Our sense of identity isn’t stable enough to support that most of the time. When one of you is so constantly emotionally volatile that you don’t realize how much emotional energy you’re consuming from you both, it becomes a very one sided relationship and no one can maintain that forever. When you have such a hard time balancing and managing your own emotional state, it can be a relief to forget about your own issues for a while and take on someone elses. There’s a safe distance there, but after a while, there’s no pushing off your own emotional state forever and eventually the weight of both Borderline states at once is enough to drive anyone over the edge. And the second you try to step back to deal with your own stuff, if they’re not the type that is willing to help you at the same time, it could register as a rejection or an abandonment and then you have more problems starting to compound. Because we do share so many issues, it’s almost easier to trigger each other into feelings that we’re trying to heal.

If one or the other is lacking in a depth of self-awareness there is the potential for some phenomenal fireworks as the friendship crashes and burns.

And that’s not even touching on what can happen when things take a turn towards the more intimate…

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.
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