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    Chavy
    Participant

    Hi all,

    So, recently, one of my friendships ended because I was too needy with her and this friend’s therapist urged her to end our relationship. It was an intense attachment. I was able to keep my intense feelings towards her at bay, but then I slacked off and it slowly ended. I would call this a codependency relationship because I’m kind of hung up on that terminology, but my therapist isn’t so.. Anyways, our relationship is no longer active (aside from meeting her in the street or by a community event) and I’m wondering if anyone ever had or experienced this intense kind of relationship where it got unhealthy because of a parties emotional needs and therefore had to end. Also, I have borderline and I think that my intense relationship is a result of that.  And this all bleeds into my intense yearning for a motherly figure. My mother defitnity does try, but she’s not as empathetic as I would like her to be. So, how do you go about this/cope/manage and deal with this?

    Thank you!

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    Rivkah Kaufman
    Participant

    Hi Chavy,
    I want to commend you for your honesty in sharing this – I can imagine that this was not easy for you. In terms of your relationship ending and your intense need for a motherly figure, your awareness that you have this pattern and this need is excellent; it’s an important first step. You correctly identify this intense need as stemming from a borderline personality disorder, which in itself can develop from unmet needs for nurturance perhaps at an earlier point in your life. You mention that your mother is not as empathic as you’d like her to be; hopefully, you and your therapist have explored aspects of your childhood, family life, and environment growing up that either caused, reinforced, or exacerbated your intense attachment need. You’re also aware that you need to keep your “intense feelings at bay,” because they can – and in your case, did – end a relationship. You know how and why it happened, but not what to do about it, other than what you’re already doing – going to therapy. The truth is, you are doing what you need to do, Chavy. Keep going to therapy, explore the need, understand your emotions and how to regulate their intensity. If you are not already doing so, I recommend incorporating DBT therapy, which emphasizes the importance of a dialectic, or balance between extremes, as a way of maintaining a reality-based outlook on your experiences and emotions. For example, your intense needs, when not regulated, stem from emotion mind, a part of you that when activated, does not allow you to think clearly and recognize the reality of the way things actually are, rather than the way you want them to be. Or maybe you recognize the reality, what’s known as the wise mind perspective, but don’t want to accept it. Whether you’re blinded by overwhelming emotion, or willful defiance, or a combination of both, these are the attitudes that increase your suffering. A willingness to cultivate a wise mind state – acceptance of the way things actually are – followed by a concerted effort to learn emotion regulation, mindfulness, and interpersonal effectiveness skills, will set you on the path to strengthening your emotions and easing your suffering. I’m attaching a great resource for you to work on, alone or with your therapist, in case you don’t already have it. https: projecticee.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/lin-c-dbt-handouts.pdf.
    Good luck!
    Rivkah

    In response to Rivkah Kaufman's post #8695:

    Chavy,

    This sounds so painful.

    I’d like to share my perspective but before I do, I want to say that Rivkah Kaufman gave you some great tools for regulating your emotions. They are considered the gold standard of care. Btw, did you know that Marsha Linehan suffered from emotional dysrgulation herself and created this to treat herself?

    Here is what I would like to say and ask you to think about.

    You wrote “Also, I have borderline…” Is it useful for you to label yourself borderline?  Instead of saying you have Borderline, can you rephrase that? Can you say to yourself “When I was young, my attachment needs weren’t met. All the struggles I’ve had in my life and face today are linked to the emotional  starvation I experienced when I was young. Anyone who received the type of mothering I received would probably feel the way I feel, and struggle with the things I struggle with. I’m not crazy. I’m normal but grew up in a crazy way. I’m doing the best I can.”

    This type of self-talk creates a mindset of acceptance, compassion and love.

    Here’s another thought. Freud explained that we repeat what we don’t repair. What’s happened with your friend sounds like a repetition.

    You described your friendship as an intense attachment. Your attachment needs weren’t met in childhood and you were seeking fulfillment of those needs from your friend. It was too much for her and she had to break off the relationship. The very thing you fear – abandonment – is what you recreated in the dynamic between you and your friend. We repeat what we don’t repair.

    How is your relationship with your therapist? Are you attached to him/her? Are you securely attached? This is something you might want to talk about in your sessions if you haven’t already done this. It’s super important and the bedrock of a successful treatment.

    I know you feel things intensely and you’re doing the best you can. Take good care of yourself by continuing therapy and learning how to attach to yourself in a meaningful way.

    I believe you can do it!

    Michelle

     

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    Chavy
    Participant
    Topic Author

    In response to Rivkah Kaufman's post #8695:

    Hi @Rivkah!

    Thank you so much for taking the time and replying. Your support and everyone’s on this forum, means a lot to me. So me and my therapist have explored where my intense need for an intense emotional connection. She’s using Marsha Lineham’s BPD theory, that my emotions weren’t validated as a child and my emotional needs weren’t met.

    Also, in terms of my friendship, I kind of knew what to do, but it felt too hard to do it. For example, me and my therapist came up with different things for me to do instead of reaching out to her, but I didn’t do them as much as I should have.

    And, ya, I have been in DBT for a while, so I really know the lingo, b”H. In terms of what  your wrote about emotion and wise mind, I find that my emotion mind is very very overwhelming and does refuse to accept reality at times.

    Thank you for the link! I actually have these sheets in a DBT loose leaf. I’m going to read through what you wrote again because there’s so much there!

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    Chavy
    Participant
    Topic Author

    In response to Michelle Halle's post #8697:

    Thank you @Michelle! I so agree with you that (we) I shouldn’t say I have borderline, but rather observe and describe it just by stating the facts (a DBT term!). At times, I would tell myself how this stuff is so not normal or shouldn’t be this way, but I’m seeing now more clearly that it is like a math equation. I didn’t have (most) of my emotional needs met when I was a child, there fore (=) I have a harder time with relationships.

    Thank G-d, my relationship with my therapist is very good.

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    Rivkah Kaufman
    Participant

    In response to Chavy's post #8703:

    Your welcome, Chavy!

    Hi Chavy,

    It seems like you have gotten some pretty solid and sound advice. You also seem to know yourself and your triggers really well. Saying that you have BPD is not only a label, but also an awareness which is primary and paramount to being able to get the help you need. Your difficulty in relationships and your craving for a motherly figure in your life is a healthy response to an unhealthy childhood. It sounds like you and your therapist are doing some great work together. However, your friend, may have her own struggles and triggers which may make it difficult for her to engage in the relationship you have with her.

    Difficult and challenging times when losing someone close to you is actually a healthy and natural response. While, you may have BPD, you are a healthy human being with feels an emotional response to emotionally challenging situations. Let’s acknowledge those feelings and permit those emotions to exist. That is a starting point, but quite a significant one.

    Hope you find this helpful,
    Chaya Rochel

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    Chavy
    Participant
    Topic Author

    In response to chayasatt's post #8709:

    Very very true!!!! Just allowing those feelings to be.

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    Balance123
    Participant

    Hi,

    All the above being said, I think giving yourself permission to mourn the friendship is very important.

    Going through a breakup with a friend is tough tough stuff. It is hard and possibly bringing up a ton of emotions. Be kind to yourself and try not to blame yourself. It happens to everyone, most of us have been through a friendship breakup and they truly suck at best.
    practice a lot of self care and allow crying, anger and all the other hard feelings in, hard as it sounds, the way out of those feelings are through them.

    I am really sorry this has happened to you.

    xox

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    Chavy
    Participant
    Topic Author

    In response to Balance123's post #8729:

    Thank you so much!!! The bad part is that I unfortunately keeping contacting her from my urge impulses 🙁

    @Chavy, just following up on this thread.

    Sounds like a doozy because there’s some obsession/ruminative thinking plus what you’re calling some BPD traits. Fortunately there are tools for handling all the stress and disappointment that can bring, it just takes determination and courage to keep getting over certain obstacles that seem to constantly crop up.

    Sounds like you’ve come a long way!

    Remember you deserve joy & love in your life no matter what happens and how many times it seems beyond reach.

     

     

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