There are a few blog posts I want to do. I want to put up the skills I’m learning in DBT, I want to look at some of the stuff I’m doing to actually try and stuff, but for now I’m going to talk about relationships and BPD because that’s what’s on my mind. This is a bare long post. Sorry.
The Internet is literally full of people giving their opinions on dating people with BPD. Most of these opinions are pretty fucking negative. There are websites devoted to “How to tell if you’re dating a crazy, borderline girl”, why you should never get involved with someone with BPD (it’s been suggested that we have no empathy and are actually evil), and even a “How to train your borderline” site for those stupid enough to take us on. Apparently we make bad girlfriends, boyfriends, fiancés, husbands, wives, partners, whatever really.
Now, I really fucking hate the internet sometimes. It seems to be full of guys that hate that they got dumped, seeking revenge by writing out how their ex “must have BPD”, but at the same time, some of the hateful articles out their do have some elements of truth I guess, and that’s what makes me really upset.
I’m starting a new relationship right now. I have no real expectation of where it will go. I like Gym some ridiculous amount. He makes me laugh and tells me nice things and is very silly and jumps around my bedroom with me and thinks it’s a good idea to take leftover drugs at 4am because its lolz and I find him bare attractive and its all kinda good right now. I didn’t want to like him. I was looking for an easy fuck. I was ready to inevitably feel a bit rubbish or decide that maybe he liked me too much and run off. In the end though, he won me over. And it was all him – he kept asking me out in a joke/serious way until I eventually got annoyed at him and gave in. We are not the world’s most romantic couple, but we’ll do.
The problems come in when I think about how I relate to him. I knew exactly how to get him to want me and on some level and I do believe I kinda manipulated him to catch him in some sort of web of my spider-evilness. I don’t know how much of it is premeditated because it doesn’t feel like some sort of plan, but sometimes it feels that way. It feels like it’s a mixture of the perfect amount of filth, the perfect amount of nonchalance, the perfect amount of emotional distancing. It’s about being physically attainable, but mentally cut off. You show the right amount of flesh and the right amount of guarded psychological distress and you’re in. Its basically shouting, “I’m emotionally vulnerable, will sleep with you and expect nothing in return.” I think a lot of guys don’t expect that. I’m really upfront and confident in what I’m doing and men seem drawn to it, often because they secretly think that they can break through all the emotional defenses and maybe get to know you. You make yourself super buff so you know and they know your fucking desirable, then you feed them a slight bit of emotional drama and suddenly they’re interested. It like they good “hot AND deep…. Shit she’s different and worth knowing.” Men can be very predictable.
What makes me sad is this is what they say in all these helpful “How to spot a borderline” articles. At first, we manipulate you with sex and being damaged. I don’t exactly do it on purpose, but at the same time, it is kinda what I do. I don’t think, “here, have this calculated amount of my drama”, but instead I try to hide the drama as much as I can. Unfortunately, a body covered in scars (old and new), regular psychiatric appointments and having mental health workers visit you daily can sometimes make hiding it hard. And I don’t look like a stereotypical sket either. I wear DMs almost everyday, cut up t-shirts, and long sleeves, it’s just I also wear a lot of eyeliner, lipstick, tacky jewellery, shorts or little skirts and have my belly out. I look obvious and I like to think it makes it seem like I’m hot, but don’t give a fuck. It might not though. And that’s just how I dress for everyone. Saying that though, every time I go out is an opportunity to meet a boy so that’s not saying much. Still, I dress with getting men in mind so I guess that this is me behaving seductively. I feel like a right idiot writing this. I don’t think I’m necessarily super attractive or anything; I just work what I’ve got.
Apparently, this sort of behavior is common in people with BPD. As a group, it seems both people writing for and against dating someone with BPD, sexuality and seduction are apparently something we do well. I don’t know if I do it well, but I know I can be a tad… inappropriate (?) to get a man’s attention. You can read a lot about how people with BPD use overt sexuality to get what they want. It’s a validation thing. It doesn’t really matter if you even like someone, they just have to want you to validate that you are attractive because they would sleep with you. You crave the validation that you can be attractive and people would want to be around you in some way, so you pick the easiest way to seek validation from people you don’t know – look shit hot and flirt like a motherfucker. When you’re turned down, you feel like fucking nothing, but most of the time you get at least some positive attention. I really hate that I do this because really, it can make you feel worthless in the long run, and also it’s gross and also it makes me a bit of a bad feminist. I disagree entirely with the idea that anyone’s worth is based on his or her levels of physical attractiveness in the eyes of others, but I apply it to myself anyway. I wish I actually didn’t give a fuck rather than sculpting an image like I don’t.
My next phase of starting a relationship is one you don’t see on the sites warning you away from people with BPD. It’s the “SHIT! RUN!” phase. You start to actually like someone and worse of all, they start to like you back. Except they don’t like you back because you suck so much and all they actually want to do is hurt you. Liking people is something that comes naturally to me. I actually pretty much like everyone, especially when they’re new. There are rules to like people (obviously). Like, if they are someone else’s (because yes, people are kinda possessions in my mind), then you can’t get too close because they’ll always be someone they like more and you’ll always be inferior so are likely to want more than they can give because other people are in the way, so you distance yourself because they can’t like you enough. You don’t want to get caught out liking someone who hates you, so you let them lead to start with. You don’t start conversations, text first or call people because they probably hate you and would find it annoying. Sometimes, when you get really caught up in someone, you break this rule with disastrous consequences. You break it when you at your most agitated, say and do thinks you regret and punish yourself for doing it later, then resolve to deliberately stay out of that persons way even more so you can’t be vulnerable. You have to take the stance that they probably don’t like you, so you protect yourself by being proactive and deciding to not like them first. This is how I make friends and to be honest, it doesn’t work very well. It takes a lot of effort to get me to loosen my grip on the rules, and generally a lot of time. In this phase, you have to be prepared to run the fuck away from people. At all points, you have to have an escape route planned. If someone actually likes you, they’re lying so you have to run. If you actually like someone, you’re vulnerable and you have to run.
I actually find myself asking people, after years of knowing them, if we can be friends now. This more often then not shocks people a little as they thought we were already friends. I however, thought they hated me the whole time.
The next phase is what I think of as the test phase. It’s not tests you plan or want to give (in fact, I try really hard to avoid them because I think they make me a bad person), but once you like someone enough and start to believe that maybe they like you, they start to play on your brain. When you get distressed, you want them to fix it, but you have no idea how to ask or what it is that needs fixing, so you start acting out. It seems pretty common for people to have an increase in BPD behaviours when starting a new relationship and I don’t think this is because we’re all horrible and manipulative. For me, it’s just I want to get someone to understand how much I hurt and to believe someone cares, so self-harming and other impulsive behaviours start escalating, and you start pulling people in to help you. It’s those blood all over you, pills across the floor, in need of hospital attention moments. If someone helps you, then maybe for a little while you think they understand, care and that maybe they can fill whatever it is that is missing. So you act out more, desperate for someone to understand and then fix you. They can’t fix you, but you hope anyway. It’s kinda like you’re testing them – seeing how far you can push someone to know they care. In the moment though, what you’re thinking is “shit. I’m vulnerable because I like someone and they hate me and I got everything wrong. Best do something to feel better. Well now I need help so I’m going to involve the first person to pop into my brain. Of course that’s the new person I’ve been upset about. Now they’re coming to my rescue. Maybe they care.” It’s a temporary release from the constant stress of not knowing for sure if someone likes you.
There’s also the obsessional, idealization phase. This one’s on those horrible websites too. The new person seems to do everything right and they quickly become the centre of your world, so you treat the accordingly. You shower them with everything positive you have to give, not for some manipulative, mean way, but because that’s how you genuinely feel. There is nothing they can do to change the fact that they are amazing, even if they really fuck up and you know that. They get all your attention, all your thoughts, all your time. You change your whole identity to fit with them, which of course doesn’t make a difference because you don’t have a real identity anyway and they are so perfect that you want to steal their identity for yourself. You start to rely on them because they are so different from people that have come before and they can give you everything you need and will save you from yourself because they have the answer to the unknown question that’s been bothering you your entire life. Apparently, this makes people feel wanted and special and is all part of the evil borderline’s plan to ruin someone’s life by luring them in through being nice.
But like everything, this phase ends too. This is kinda where I think I am right now – that place where things start to change, inbetween the two phases. Every little thing is a sign that the other person hates you and wants to hurt you. I think it’s to do with beliefs. If you fully believe that you are awful, then you fully believe your can’t be liked. Everything becomes an attack. Youget over it because the other person does something lovely or you forget about it or whatever, and suddenly, you start to feel happy and comfy again and it’s all good. Again, it’s not even thought about, it’s just how you feel at the time. It’s constantly being on the look out for slights against you that prove your own opinions of yourself. When you get signs, everything is over; when you don’t, everything seems perfect. You’re always waiting for those signs that they’re going to hurt you though, and it’s better if you can push them away before they that happens. You avoid the future abandonment by pushing away the person who might abandon you. Then they prove they’re not going anyway and you stop pushing.
Today was a bad day for Gym and me if you hadn’t guessed yet. I got upset because he woke up unhappy and therefore he was bored of me. Yesterday, I decided he didn’t actually want to sleep with me enough so he thought I was ugly. The two thoughts together wound up in me telling him I’m considering breaking up with him because he is done with me and won’t admit it to me yet. Obviously, he responded by saying I’m an idiot and he really like me and thinks I’m super hot, but I didn’t believe him and we had this massive talk where he decided I have to just try and talk to him more about my worries rather than ruminate on them till they get too big. Maybe then I’ll trust him. Although I don’t think that’ll work, I eventually agreed to try because I actually like him and didn’t want to upset him. It was ok for a while… until I was trying to explain why I was sad again because I felt like I was ruining his day because I made him an omlette, but it was too big and he got too full. Yes, this really upset me because I ruined everything and he hated me. He told me he didn’t want to have the same conversation again because it was just long and went round in loops. I took that to mean he finds me boring so asked him to leave. As he was walking to the front door, I started raging, which he heard so came back. It went down hill from there. I was shouting and swearing and hitting myself in the head and crying and telling him how much I was failing and how much of a cunt I am and how I just fuck everything up and how much he hates me. I went on and on till he got super angry at me and started shouting “I just want a normal girlfriend. I want a girlfriend that can trust me and doesn’t tell me to leave when she’s upset and actually believes I want to be near her.” Even in his anger, he’s kinda nice. He was shouting “Why do you just think you suck at everything? You could do so much. You’re so smart, but you don’t think you can do anything when you could do anything. It makes me so angry.” The normal thing stung though. He hates it when I get worked up because he thinks I just shut down and make it difficult for him. I don’t know if I do, but still. Then he got really angry because I wouldn’t tell him I wanted to see him. I never ask to see him. Ever. He has to make the call to see me. He told me over and over to give him a straight answer, but all I could say was “There is no right answer. If I say yes, then I’m pressuring you to see me. If I say no, then I’m not giving you the attention you might want.” Eventually I just said no because it was easier than actually saying I wanted to see him. I’m vulnerable if I admit I want to see him, plus the prospect that I might become a burden is something that I’m so scared of, I’d rather not see him at all. Again, he was pissed because he just wanted me to be able to tell him I want to see him to show I care. Got that wrong as well I guess. I then asked Gym if he thought I was cut out for being in a relationship, to which he responded, “No one likes to hear this, but I just don’t think you’re trying hard enough. You’re doing everything right, just not enough.” Again, I freaked out. That just means I’m doing it wrong because I’m actually trying really hard, but it’s just not enough because I’m not enough and I suck etc.
So yer, I’ve been really worried about how BPD affects my ability to form healthy relationships. The Therapist told met trust issues are part and parcel of BPD. On top of that, a lot of this stuff seems pretty standard as far as the internet tells me. However, that doesn’t make it easier. All the information I find seems to say it is possible to have a relationship with someone with BPD, but it’s hard work. I don’t want to be hard work. I don’t want to be difficult. I want to be worth it and it just seems like I’m not. In a lot of ways, I’m beginning to think that maybe I just shouldn’t be in a relationship. Possibly ever. I’m upsetting someone I care about because I don’t know how to trust him, assume and look for the worst and have so little self-worth I can’t imagine that he even likes me. It upsets him. I find it difficult to understand why because it’s not like I don’t like him. I duno. I’m just worried I’m broken in some fundamental way that makes this all impossible. It doesn’t help that he really doesn’t understand BPD and thinks I don’t actually have it. I’m just really scared if I don’t shape up quickly, he’ll leave because I can’t give be a satisfying, “normal” girlfriend and he just has a bad time with me. I don’t know how to be different, but if I don’t learn how, I’ll probably be alone forever. I’m fucking up something good because I can’t hack being alive. Urgh.
Happy Valentine’s I guess.