Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ask Haven: Insecure - Is it me? Is it him/her? ... and a quick note about my inconsistent posting!

Hello Dear Readers,

It’s been another one of those weeks. Except instead of an actual storm there was just a storm of activity for me. My personal life has been well, pretty wonderful, actually… and work has been intensely busy. I hate, hate, hate, that when my life gets busy, my blog research gets the shorter end, but I will never forget you! I actually tried to break down my currently used time during the week:

There are 168 hours in a week, 120 during the work week . I usually don’t write for my blog on the weekend. I try to get to e-mails, comments, have an actual life so I don’t go crazy from loneliness, and whatnot if I’m able but I don’t usually write up my articles on the weekend. 103 hours a week belong to absolute essentials (work, gym, sleep, driving, eating/showering, etc). Leaving 17 hours left to do anything else. I usually spend 10-15 hours per week on my blog. But if I work even a few extra hours (which I’ve been doing a lot of lately), or want to see friends at all during the week, that means the only time I really have to cut into is my blog time or my sleep. I rarely, let this happen, but I had a big convention all weekend and also a date with New Girl on Monday. So hey! You’ll have fun stories of adventure and drama that I will share soon! And for once it wasn’t me being the crazy one.

My point is when I miss days writing for you, I’m not trying to be negligent, I feel guilty, and okay yeah, some social time takes precedence for me on the rare occasion b/c let’s face it, I might implode in a hulk smash rage of inwardly directed explodey-ness if I don’t have company… but I’m not blowing you off, and I’ll always come back.

I’ve also been getting a lot of random questions from Readers so what I’m going to try to do is if I have a busy day, I’ll at least try to do some Ask Haven’s. They’re not quite as formal, but I think they’re helpful. At least I hope so. And then when things normalize a little I have some really important series coming up! Spoiler Alert: Wonder what the difference between Borderline Personality Disorder and Bipolar Disorder are? We’ll get there…. But in the mean time:

Dear Haven,

Why does my Borderline partner make me feel so insecure? I’m not naturally an insecure person but sometimes when I’m with her, especially if she’s hurting, I start to feel insecure. Is it her? Is it me?


Dear Insecure,

I’m sorry to hear that. I wish I could say I was surprised to hear that this is an issue for you, but I’m really not. Is it her/you? Well, relationships are always about both. I really can’t make that judgment without knowing you both b/c it really does depend on the kind of person you are (are you an extra sensitive kind of person? Fairly average in your feelings of sensitivity, etc.), and depend on the kind of person she is and how she expresses her Borderline traits (is she more prone to Acting In? Acting Out? Is she very demanding of attention? Tend towards putting other people’s needs before her own? Self-suppressed?).

What I can say though, is that this is not uncommon. We are very emotionally overflowing, people. We tend to have a lot of self-esteem and self-worth issues. From there we accumulate a lot of our own insecurities. Being emotionally reactive the way that we are, our insecurities and fears are triggered much easier than most people would expect and our reactions and the behaviors that come about because of our emotional reactions are far more intense than people are often used to. The things that trigger us and make us react are really just a symptom of the real problem though, and I think a big chunk of that come from a deep psychological need to avoid shame. We can react very strongly when we are scared or threatened (perceived or for real), and how we act tends to be directly related to avoiding feeling the shame that is so often inspired in us. It’s crucial for our perceived sense of well-being that the problem not be with us, which tends to make us turn things around to be the fault of the person that we perceived to be threatened by.  It’s important to understand that these feelings are very real for us, they’re not just some way to consciously avoid being responsible for ourselves. There isn’t a conscious thought process of, “I don’t want to take responsibility for ourselves,” how we react and lash out, feels like a very necessary and relevant reaction… even if in retrospect we see that it was out of proportion and then we come back and apologize profusely. In that moment, what we feel is overwhelmingly real, and as a result it’s not surprisingly that our ability to deflect insecurity away from ourselves can be reflected to inspire insecurity in the people around us.

If you’re not used to this, it can definitely make you wonder if it’s something you’ve done, if it’s something about you that creates this… and the answer to that is no. You are not responsible for his/her feelings. You may happen to trigger them or set them off (this is not about blame! What I mean is only that in human interaction people knowingly/unknowingly can trip memories and issues in our mind that create reactions – it’s not about fault, just an observational understanding of what can occasionally make us react). This is why I feel it’s important to be able to GENTLY be able to hold us accountable for what we express and get to the real root of it in order to reduce these negative expressions that create insecurity in you and in the relationship.

The one bit of reassurance I feel confident in giving you though, is that this isn’t usually a conscious, calculated decision. We don’t try to purposely manipulate and make someone insecure around us if they’re someone we really care about and love. It’s the result of our emotional reactions, not a purposeful desire to wound. I’m not saying that some people aren’t purposefully manipulative, but if it’s someone we really care about it’s not a thought out, intentional drive to destroy our partners self-esteem… though it can be a by-product of our impulsive emotional reactions.

I hope this help and good luck!


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