Therapy is hard. I talk about things I wouldn’t normally talk about. Things that I would usually keep to myself, bottle up, and hide away. Which is good. Having someone that is utterly uninvolved in my real life to brain dump to, who is supportive, and constructively helpful is so many kinds of reassuring. I find myself getting worked up about something and thinking, “I really need to talk to Therapist about this.” She has no involvement in my outside life, has no one that she could or would speak to about me, her entire purpose is to listen to me and help me. To be there for me, when I have things to deal with that I can’t with anyone else. It’s still hard for me to express myself sometimes, but she listens. And sometimes that makes all the difference.
I have a wedding this Saturday. It’s going to be a huge all day affair, with everyone from a certain crowd of people. A certain crowd that includes Friend and his wife. This will be the first time I’ve seen them since our friendship ended. I have no clue how this is going to go. With other people who have had serious problems with him and ended the friendship he has been very disrespectful. He’ll poke at them on social media sites, address them in comments, greet them in public… all very polite as if nothing was wrong… when these people have had severe enough issues with him that they have asked him repeatedly to not interact with them. He likes to apologize for things, until he finds out he’s actually been the cause of actual harm. Then he tries to make every excuse in the book as to why what he did wasn’t really that bad and acts as if the other person is making too much of a big deal of the thing. He’ll say things like, “Gee, I’m just being civil and polite by saying hello,” when really he’s forcing his presence on people that he’s wounded and disrespecting their boundaries. He's so passive-aggressive! I’m worried he’s going to do this to me and I’m worried about how I’ll react.
Traditionally I’m very good at keeping a calm and aloof façade in public. The others that I mention refuse to acknowledge him in any way even if he speaks to him directly. They ignore him and move on. To me this is too dramatic and I can see myself being civil but curt. If he says hello, I’ll say hello back. If he asks me how I am, I’ll say fine. And that will be the end of my tolerance. Anything after that is going to get a very catty response in a very polite voice with a lovely glowing smile.
Therapist thinks it’s good that I think about the worst case scenario and have a plan for it. She was actually more worried about his wife, who has a history of going manic when overstimulated and punching people in the face (i.e. the woman I greatly cared about who was a good friend of hers who had done nothing to her). I honestly expect less of a problem from her. If she knows someone dislikes her, she talks about them behind their back profusely but doesn’t usually engage them.
Which is something else that destroyed my spirits. Last weekend I had a small gathering for Memorial Day. Two of the people I invited see Friend and his wife on a regular basis because of an event we do. I mentioned I missed going to those but I probably would never go again (Because it’s held at their house). He said, “Yeah, I heard their version of what happened.” I gaped at him for a few seconds before telling him that I’d like to hear what they’re saying but I didn’t want to talk about it then. Tech Boy was there, as well as Doc and his girlfriend. They don’t know about the history there and I have no intention of sharing all that trauma. So I know they’re talking about me and knowing how Friend’s wife is, I can only imagine the exaggerated load of lies and bullshit she’s spinning. She is absolutely the type of person that believes every story deserves a bit of embellishment. And by ‘a bit’ I mean enough to make what actually happened almost unrecognizable. My heart dropped into my stomach and my mood plummeted into depression and anxiety instantly. I wanted to vomit. I smiled through it, changed the subject, and tried to steer the party in a different direction. Bottling, bottling, bottling. Not good. I’m furious. Seething, raging, anger. Fury.
I have no idea what bullshit they’re telling people. I did find it amusing that my buddy expressed it as “their version” of what happened, which indicates to me that he’s well aware that they may not be entirely truthful. There’s that at least. Frankly, anyone that really knows me isn’t going to buy their bullshit and I have that piece of mind.
Adding rage to the resentment I feel is just not a good combination though. His wife is a social bully. She makes sure everything is held at their place so she can control who comes and remain the center of attention. People put up with her because they have no way to avoid her. It makes me angry because I can no longer see a whole crowd of people I like as often as I used to. Therapist asked me if I was not invited or what… I really didn’t understand why she felt it mattered if I was invited or not. Even if I was technically invited under the banner of our group (which btw I am), I know I am not welcome at there house, nor would I want to go anywhere near them. My level of frustration as she kept asking about this was intense and I didn’t see why it mattered at all if I was invited or not. I’m not going. I want nothing to do with them.
Therapist thinks I might find closure when I see him. If I see pain or regret in his face it might make things better. Better? I don’t want things to be better. I want to be angry. Anger makes things easier to deal with. It’s like a wall of fire shielding me from the oncoming hoard.
So how about a spot of good news. Well, sad news mixed with positive movement. Roommate is moving at the end of the month. It still doesn’t seem real to me, but I’m accepting of the change at this point. Remember I mentioned Doc in a post about Evil-Ex? Well in the last couple months I’ve been hanging out with him and his girlfriend almost every weekend. I adore them. I’ve known Doc for about 5 years and girlfriend for a couple though his girlfriend and I haven’t been closer until recently. She’s an absolute doll. And going to be moving in with me once Roommate leaves =) I’ll need to think of a moniker for her (I really want to call her Dr. Girlfriend b/c she’s Docs girlfriend and the imagery makes me giggle but it’s not a very accurate idea of her). Anyways. So we’ve been hanging out quite a lot and I knew she was unhappy with her current living situation. A couple weeks back Roommate even suggested I ask her. I’ve been sort of waiting for the right time and I didn’t really know how to do it, but I managed it and they were both very excited by my offer. She texted me a couple days later to make sure I was serious, which of course I am, and she told me this was one of the best things to happen to her in a long, long time. And the best part of all of this, she already knows about my BPD, my depression, my everything. Having dealt with a lot of her own problems she totally understands, isn’t worried about any of it at all, and is actually relieved that I am so accepting of her. I don’t have to hide what is happening with me (not that I talk about it all very much outside of therapy and this blog), but it’s really comforting to know that I don’t have to sneak around in my own apartment with these secrets held over my head.
My apartment is my safe space. It’s the first place I’ve lived in New York and only the 3rd place I’ve lived ever that actually felt like I wasn’t in danger or felt trauma and abject loneliness walking through the door (the 1st and 2nd places were when I lived with my brother and sister respectively at University). I think she really needs a space like that too, so I’m really happy that she is excited by the prospect. It doesn’t change how much I’m going to miss Roommate, but it definitely makes the transition less scary. So there’s a definite bright spot in all this gloom. I’ll get a very sweet new roomie and a lot more time with Doc. Therapist is relieved for me too. I’d been avoiding the prospect of roommate hunting because it’s too sad thinking about Roommate leaving. I was prepared to just pay for rent and everything myself for as long as I could. This really relieves that stress.
And of course Therapist asked me about Tech Boy. ::sigh:: So here’s the thing. He made me cry on Friday. I was super excited to see him all day. We were goofing off and being all cutesy. He kept telling me how pretty I was and going on about how I had great curves but was still muscular (I really like that he’s an athlete and appreciates how I work out). He’d been drinking watching hockey and whatnot (I only had a glass and a half of wine, so practically nothing) and he made a really callous remark, in jest, about something that I’m self-conscious about. He didn’t know I was self-conscious about it. Hell, he doesn’t know I’m self-conscious at all. I know he was joking around, and he didn’t mean to upset me, but the remark really fucking stung. My mood switched instantly and I pulled back from him. It took me a couple seconds to compose myself but I told him that was hurtful. He apologized instantly and I tried to suppress how I was feeling. I tried pushing it down. I tried to watch the match and not look at him, but I could feel the depth of sadness and hurt overwhelming me.
Have you ever cried silently before. No heaving sobs, no deep breathing, no runny nose or shaking shoulders, just tears spilling from your eyes. I couldn’t stop them and I hated that more than anything. He kept trying to get me to look at him. Trying to tilt my face or take my hand from shielding my eyes. I wasn’t having it and after a minute or two of that I went upstairs to the bathroom. It was either sit alone in the bathroom crying or leave his place altogether.
I hate that he saw me crying more than I hate the reason he made me cry. I hate showing that kind of hurt, that kind of vulnerability. I don’t deal with it well. I felt so worthless. In those moments I wanted to cut up my arms and punish myself for being weak. I haven’t had such a strong urge to cut in a long time. I didn’t. But I wanted to.
Shortly after he came in. I was still trying to stop the tears and still didn’t want to look directly at him. Didn’t want him to see the shame pouring from my eyes. He wouldn’t let me get away with it. He cupped my face and told me how sorry he was. He was just joking around. I always come across as so confident he had no idea I would be hurt by what he said. I try so hard. I try so hard to stay in control of myself, but my body just won’t be what I wish it would be all the time. I’m not perfect, I try so hard, but I still have flaws. He doesn’t think they’re flaws, he doesn’t expect or even want me to be ‘perfect’. Perfect isn’t a real thing anyways. He gave me a few minutes to get myself cleaned up and I went back down and sat next to him. He was very clearly distraught and I told him it was okay.
Remember how I always say “Know Your Triggers”? This is clearly one of mine. Anything body related opens a massive wound for me. This stems back to my parents, when my eating disorders began, and the pressure I felt growing up to be perfect but never being good enough. Huge, huge wound. I knew this. He didn’t. Now he does.
Needless to say Therapist was very concerned that I felt the need to hurt myself. She’s also concerned that I feel self-conscious around him now. I always feel self-conscious to an extent but it hasn’t been nearly the terrible thing it has been in the past with him. Now though, I’m terribly aware of everything I don’t approve of which I’m sure he’ll see. Therapist tries to reassure me that he clearly adores me and he doesn’t seem to perceive me that way. Therapist tries to bring me back to a place where I can recognize that because this is such a large wound it is also something I am hypersensitive about. It’s a much bigger deal to me than it might be to someone else. That doesn’t make it hurt less, but it helps me recognize that he wasn’t trying to be intentionally harmful.
I know he felt blindsided by this and it was out of the blue for him. I didn’t explode at him or anything, I was just clearly in a kind of pain that he didn’t recognize in me. Knowing what your triggers are is important. Helping your significant other understand what your triggers are is equally as important so that they don’t trip them. Because often people will hit your triggers, without knowing, and the upset they unintentionally caused can build to explosive proportions they never saw coming. We still haven’t really talked about it but I’m sure it will come up at some point and I’ll have to explain myself. But at the very least, I think it’s safe to say that he won’t be doing that again.
When we finally went to bed he was super affectionate (and has been even moreso). We had sex for hours. TMI? Please, not here. I'm not sure if it was to make me feel better or to make him feel better. Or comforting for us both.
The last thing I wanted to be was self-conscious for this wedding. I was already having doubts as to whether I’d be able to handle going and I’m definitely having moments where I think I may back out. But my dress is seriously adorable as are my shoes and accessories. I just, want, to not be so affected by everything =( It’s so hard sometimes. But I can also see how I’m reacting better than I would have before. I didn’t hurt myself. I didn’t storm out. I did communicate that I was hurt. I didn’t socially isolate myself the next day (even though I really, really wanted to). I’m managing. I’m coping better. Still a ways to go but I’m getting there.
Therapist also went on about how my mirror was broken. The mirror that I see when I look at my reflection is not what is accurately shown. I know this. I can look at myself in the mirror and to my eyes see my reflection alter over the course of a minute or two. I don’t know how to see accurately. I don’t know how to look in a mirror and see what is actually there if my eyes don’t do it for me. How do you make your eyes see differently? Something I need to keep working on.