(I write about therapy in the order that conversations take place, but that doesn’t mean they’re in the order of importance. *** Skip down to the part starting with **** for the things that I think were most important from yesterday).
Yesterday was a short session in therapy. I was in a relatively good mood. Two things that bother me about Therapist. She steps on me when I’m talking. She interrupts what I’m saying and completes with her own thoughts that she thinks will relate to what I mean. This bothers the piss out of me. Just let me finish my thought without cutting me off please. Second, I often feel like she’s too nice. This might be me expecting people to be harsher because I’m used to harsher people but she seems to err on the side of bright and sunny and it feels like she sort of glosses over the deeper, darker aspects of things. This bothers me. Maybe I’m jaded. It’s easier for me to believe that grandma is the big bad wolf in disguise then to believe grandma really does just like my eyes.
Eh, whatever. So I went to the wedding I was so worried about last weekend. Friend and his wife completely kept their distance and I didn’t have to deal with them at all. Relief. There was one instance where Friend and I crossed paths but I just kept walking and didn’t stop to acknowledge him.
I also saw K and Twiggy. I have so much guilt and such a sense of loss when it comes to them. I miss them a lot. It’s my fault we’re no longer friends. I know they had some aspects of not taking responsibility for themselves but really the fault was mine. I was in a hugely upheaved place, just getting to know Friend, and I believe him when he told me the kind of person he was. I want to believe people are the kind of people they say they are. I don’t close my eyes to what they actually do, but I allow people the benefit of the doubt and I wanted to believe all the things he said about having a strong sense of honor and duty and love. I admit I completely allowed him to manipulate me with this picture he painted and since I didn’t know him that well I clung to that because it’s exactly the kind of thing I needed in my life. I wanted to believe it because it’s what I needed. And I let it color my perception of how things were unfolding. I let it color my perception of how badly he hurt K and Twiggy. I didn’t understand just how different his words and his actions were. I do now.
I was very sad one night and wrote K a brief message. I said I was so sorry. She was right about everything. It’s the first time she responded to me in well over a year. She said she didn’t know what to say and I told her she didn’t have to say anything if she didn’t want to, but she deserved to know she wasn’t wrong, and I was. That was it.
It took me a very long time, and a complete disillusionment of who I believed Friend to be, but I got there. Too late to fix things, but I don’t think it’s ever too late to give someone some piece of mind. I was extremely worried about this though, because she’s told me outright she wanted nothing more to do with me. I understand it. I respect it.
They’re really good friends with Roommate. At the wedding Roommate was my anchor. So many people that I know is very overwhelming for me, even without the drama of Friend, it’s a lot for me to handle. I need to have someone to be near that I feel calm with. If I would wander off to get a drink, that’s when they would feel comfortable catching up and chatting with her. My presence is clearly a problem for them. This made me feel extremely guilty and extremely lost. My guilt was more for Roommate though. I know how close she is to them and I don’t want to inhibit her enjoyment of the day and her friends, just because I’m around. Maybe it’s selfish of me to want to be around her, especially when I’m feeling anxious, but I do. She’s aware of this and she’s okay with it. It doesn’t bother her. It bothers me though because I don’t want her to have to choose between hanging out with people. I don’t want K and Twiggy to worry about me trying to impose myself on them like Friend has before. I want them to be able to talk to Roommate and hangout without having to worry about me forcing myself into their space and interacting with them when they don’t want me to. I understand if they never want me in their life again, I can respect that decision after all that we’ve been through, but I don’t want it to affect their relationships.
Ironically, by the end of the day Roommate believes that they probably feel the same about me. Twiggy was actually talking to me when our conversations overlapped. Nothing major but very civil and pleasant. It was a relief. I do miss them a lot. I wish we could be friends again. I don’t know if this is a small step in that direction or if it’s just a small true toward politely interacting for Roommate, but it’s better.
So things turned out much better than I was hoping for.
The next day was Docs birthday dinner. I ended up being even more stressed out about that because I was the only one preparing, the only one cooking, the only one doing everything. To be fair Roommate did help me clean the night before. But everything else was on me. I do take a lot on for myself, but if I don’t it won’t get done so what am I supposed to do? I was talking to Tech Boy about this and he said that I take too much on myself. I should ask for help. I had to really bite my tongue here. I am getting better at asking for help, but when you ask for help and people constantly fall through, there isn’t a whole lot of point to it. He said there wasn’t much he could do for me if I’d already made my mind up about people. Made up my mind about people? When I ask people for help, they say they’ll do it, and then they don’t, that’s not just jumping to a conclusion, that’s actually learning from experience.
Which is what was really fucking irritating. Last weekend, and this weekend, I told him I was feeling overwhelmed and asked if he could come by early to help. This past weekend at the very least I told him to be there by 330. He texted me around 330 with: 430, right? NO! Not right! Seriously, I told him flat out I was feeling overwhelmed and needed help, he said he’d be by earlier/as early as he possibly could, then showed up later than he originally said he would… and then a week later is telling me he can’t help me if I don’t speak up and have already made my mind up about people? People are really blind to themselves sometimes.
**** (Yep here)
**** Therapist and I were talking about how my relationships were going. How I seem to be forming a much tighter group of friends now that I no longer have the unhealthy and dramatic elements in my life. She also made some observations about the kind of people I thrive with and the kinds that are unhealthy for me. When my relationship is with a person who has a strong sense of identity, a strong sense of self, who doesn’t try to be like me or become me, I am able to retain the person that I am and develop a strong and healthy relationship. Like with Roommate. Roommate is a very strong woman with a clear sense of who she is. She doesn’t need me to be something for her, she is simply able to be herself and allow me to be myself with her.
This is in stark contrast to Friend. Therapist believes Friend was an extremely weak person. His relationship with his wife (who was the dominant element) was lacking in a lot of substantial and necessary qualities. All qualities that I embody or am I able to provide. I am very sensitive, hypersensitive, to what other people need. It’s very easy for me to see what someone is missing in their life, and if I care about them, it’s natural for me to want to fill that need for them. Without even thinking about it. Friend wasn’t strong enough to face the problems in his marriage so instead of fixing things with his wife, he turned to me for comfort. Instead of trying to work with his wife to gain the things he needed, he projected his needs onto me, and I easily slipped into the holes and filled the emptiness that he was left with. In essence, I merged with him and his needs. I lost a lot of who I was being the kind of person I knew he needed. A lot of that stuff was me, but it was me directed specifically towards making him whole, not making myself more complete. I poured myself into filling his needs and left myself empty as a consequence. And he let me. I provide the comfort, art, intellect, caring, and sex that were lacking in his marriage. With his wife’s initial approval. What man wouldn’t take advantage of that. Except he gave nothing back. He just took. He allowed me to give, and give, but whenever I asked something small or needed something he would find an excuse as to why it wasn’t possible. When things came time to change, instead of being careful with my feelings and treating me like a friend, or even a person, he disregarded me completely to hide from facing something difficult and left me in a lot of pain and confusion. A strong person wouldn’t run away from something just because it’s difficult. They’d face it and work through it. He was incapable of that. His own sense of self was so weak and so filled with holes that instead of just being able to accept one another, I wanted to provide for him all the things he was lacking and that I want the people I care for to have. I fell into his weak sense of self and effectively became enmeshed in it, merged with it. This is extremely unhealthy and something I need to be aware of.
It got me thinking about people, relationships, and BPD in general. Often I think I get so consumed with needing someone in my life, anyone, in my life, that it becomes more important than having the right people in my life. I get so wrapped up in not being alone, that I settle for people that are not good for me just to have someone fill that space. My priorities are all screwy, but it doesn’t occur to me to think in this way. I’m in a position, probably for the first time in my life, where everyone that directly influences my life are pretty solid, healthy people. Don’t get me wrong, everyone has their own problems and issues, but they’re the kind of people that have a strong sense of themselves and don’t require anything of me other than for me to be who I am. This is making a lot of difference. Getting to this point has been difficult because it’s meant going through a lot of people, a lot of friendships, and maintaining a stubborn distance from them. The thought of it has been terrifying (as you know), but after all is said and done, it’s nowhere near as scary as I feared it would be. In fact, I haven’t been happier. Having a steadier group of people, having a group of people that are a positive influence, is really important. The quality of people is not something to be underestimated. I think it’s important to try and take a very objective look at the people in our lives and choose who is actually the kind of person that we should be around, and not just a person whom we hope will be the kind of person that we need.
I often get caught up hoping, wanting, wishing, someone would come through and be the kind of person that I need, but if they actually were that kind of person, than hoping, wanting, and wishing wouldn’t be necessary.