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    Chavy
    Participant

    I have some of the borderline personality traits. I am having a really really hard time with navigating some of my relationships bc I get hurt/angry very easily. For example, if a friend hasn’t returned my call/text right away (a day later), I start thinking all kinds of reasons why they aren’t getting back to me and start feeling really angry and annoyed at her. This actually happened recently: i had texted my friend once on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and got no response. I then texted one last time that I’m upset or miss her texts. She then texted me Thursday night and Friday to which i was too upset to respond to. I didn’t respond yet. I have another friend and I know the relationship is getting intense bc of all my anger/pain and frustration. I suggested to her that we take a little break from our friendship. She agreed. I know you might tell me that people are busy, and I know that. But I just can’t seem to wrap my head around it. My friend that hasn’t been answering me has a full time job, but don’t most ppl have jobs and still get back to others? I know i”m purely in emotion mind now and I’m in a lot of pain. Anything, the slightest thing that someone says or doesn’t say invokes hard and intense emotions in me. Taking out the borderline, I’m sweet, kind, sensitive and thoughtful. But all this anger and pained feelings is really messing things up to the point that any slight thing, is like a 3rd degree burn. I would appreciate any suggestions and of course validation.

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    anonymous
    Participant

    Wow there does seem to be  lot of pain there. I’m sorry for what your going through ,and hope you will be able to figure things out soon.

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    Chavy
    Participant
    Topic Author

    In response to anonymous's post #6215:

    Thank you. It’s very very painful and hard. I’m in the midst of an unhealthy relationship where I’m torn about. I think the unhealthy part is more to do with me 🙁 I’m going to discuss this with my therapist.

    This friend of mine told me her boundaries and the things she wants me to respect. She doesn’t want to talk about people (who she was visiting…), about therapy and she doesn’t want to have the pressure of me asking her when we can talk bc we mostly text. But today, the texting conversation really got intense. I asked her if she’s working at the end of the day to see if she has time to talk to me. She told me not to ask that bc that’s part of the rules. I told her I was simply asking. If I don’t ask her when she’s available to talk, how will we set up a time to talk? I feel like i’m walking on eggshells when texting her and this relationship seems to be more about her “rules” and what I can’t say (though she did tell me topics we can talk about). The reason why I’m keeping it and holding onto it (before she blocks me again), is bc she is a big source of emotional support for me and she’s generally available to text when I’m feeling lonely. So feeling lonely, the intensity and having not much else to talk to, are the biggest threats. But maybe I should and could try to stay in this relationship in a healthy way? On reason for this would be because if we break up, it will just be “another relationship that didn’t last and went down the drain.” But if i do stay in it (before she blocks me), I would need to do a lot of work on myself.

    What do others think?

    Hey Chavy, Argh this sounds tough and it is. I’m not a personality disorder expert at all but I can try to shed some light and assure you that we care.

    First off, you’re ahead of the game that you know you struggle with these tendencies. Don’t lose sight of that positive even though that awareness is causing you so much pain.

    Second, these “rules” do sound intense and not necessarily the signs of the healthiest relationship on either party’s end. No judgement, just something to think about.

    Third, sounds like a real (maybe underlying) issue here is the loneliness and desire for not only connection but also satisfying self occupation. To this I recommend getting involved in some things that will both build connection / relationships and also decrease the loneliness / boredom. Volunteering? Meetup.com? New hobby? Sport?

    Fourth, work to build variety for emotional support. Books or audiobooks that can help strengthen your core, exercise, meditation, yoga, relationships that are good for some types of support and not for other kinds.

    Finally, learning to tolerate the boredom, loneliness, anger, intensity of emotion and all is a worthwhile endeavor as it will come up in many different life situations regardless of personality issues or not. So try to take each situation as an opportunity to fine-tune this “skill”.

    Hope this is helpful!

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    zissy
    Participant

    I agree with Fay , her wisdom and deep intellect really hit the mark here . From a non prof view I would say perhaps lower your expectations of ppl ..usually when we expect so much from others is when we tend to hurt ourselves the most . Relationship s tend to thrive when there is peace , freedom for others to be themselves and calmness .

    No one likes to be pressured to respond or what they should.talk about ..as soon as these unhealthy vibes enter it usually makes another person want to run …loving yourself , taking care of you and what makes you happy is solely your job to figure out ..when.we heal ourselves and come into friendships by just offering ourselves then we can have the gift of friendships . It’s not anyone else job to fulfill loneliness and needs . Plus any friendships that make you feel unsafe , or walking on eggshells is not a friendship for you ..learn to love the person in mirror before you expect others to love you ..finding happiness within is the key to any healthy relationship .Hugs 

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    avacad0
    Participant

    Hi Chavy, I really understand you! I too have these tendency to get too intensely involved in relationships that speak to me. I don’t actually have a diagnosis of BPD but I grew up with severe emotional neglect and boy am I struggling!

    I agree with fay that this friend does have very strict rules about the relationship, if you feel that this is a friendship worth pursuing, why don’t you tell her how you feel? After all you are a person as well and you are allowed to speak up for yourself.

    Last but not least, you are probably struggling with feelings of worthlessness (which i can relate to) and are trying to fill that void. Know that you are not alone. Try to reach out to kind and compassionate people who you can discuss your feelings with, without having to be so scared of rejection. I learnt over the years to smell out those people and to try to reach out to them. I do sometimes get too intense but I know that it is something that I struggle with and I try to be kind to myself and then I take a break and reach out again in a more healthy way. Kind people usually overlook a passing intensity and some of it is only in our heads.

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    Chavy
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Thank you so much @Fay, @Zissy and @Avacad0 for your support, validation and advice.


    @Fay
    , you are right that the underlying issue is loneliness/boredom and a hunger for more and more connection (which I think is an obsessional thought). I have been working on my intense feelings of emptiness and boredom and have b”H gotten better at tolerating them, though I do need a lot more practice. It’s hard for me to be alone for long periods of time even if I’m doing something. In terms of hobbies, I did think of knitting and reading  (which I’m already doing). I would love to do scrap-booking of any kind and organizing. I also really enjoy working on Word and helping others out, which reminds me that I’m also helping out a family when i have the time.  I was going to go yesterday, but it was snowing. In terms of cultivating new relationships, I would try meetup, but I’m not sure if I would feel comfortable bc it’s secular.

    Like @Zissy said, I also really think that I first need to learn to love myself, nurture and invest in myself.  Maybe once my core is more solid, then I can confidently navigate relationships. In terms of my relationship, I did tell her how I feel, but she said she needs me to please respect her boundaries. For example, I asked her if she’s tutoring today and if we can speak. Her boundary is not to pressure her to speak. (I have done that in the past because I felt desperate for connection). I was upset and told her that I’m simply asking. She responded by saying that she felt pressured. I responded back by saying “i’m sorry, would you be able to tolerate maybe those slight feelings of discomfort? I just don’t want to feel like I’m walking on eggshells.” She then said that it’s not about tolerance, but about respecting her boundaries and answers.”

    I’m putting this here bc I think I did go wrong by pursuing the conversation instead of simply saying, i’m sorry and I’d love to talk when you’re available. Had I stopped and taken a step back  I could have said the above…


    @Avacad0
    , thank you so much for your non-judgmental validation. It means so much to me that you’re so caring and can empathize with me. I b”H do have a few friends i feel comfortable reaching out to. And, as I mentioned above, I did explain to her my feelings. But the relationships seems to be about her “rules” and not like a flowing comfortable one.

    @chavy you’re figuring this out and sometimes the closer we get the more difficult it is because you can identify the issues spot on whereas in the past you may have been more inclined to meet the issues with denial and avoidance.

    Keep trying to make a step back and identify the patterns and identify where YOU can become healthier, happier, stronger,  independent etc, and try to get caught up less in the exact details of her response, rules, your response etc. That’s just a distraction.

    This is perfect!

    I would say perhaps lower your expectations of ppl ..usually when we expect so much from others is when we tend to hurt ourselves the most . Relationship s tend to thrive when there is peace , freedom for others to be themselves and calmness . YES, YES, YES, everything thrives in this place!

    …loving yourself , taking care of you and what makes you happy is solely your job to figure out ..when.we heal ourselves and come into friendships by just offering ourselves then we can have the gift of friendships . It’s not anyone else job to fulfill loneliness and needs .

    These are concepts we can all use help with and it’s a journey!

    I’m thinking of some books that you may enjoy and would help with this but I’m having a brain freeze. I’ll lyk if/when I remember. Let us know if you find any?

    Also, love that your trying new hobbies. Keep at it. Meetup is secular but you may find religious people there as well. You never know! Love yourself more. Judge yourself less. And, of course keep us posted 🙂

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    Chavy
    Participant
    Topic Author

    In response to Fay Brezel's post #6306:

    Thank you @Fay!

    What do you mean by saying “that’s just a distraction?”

    I know, I need to work on loving myself more and nurturing myself. I know this is a heavy duty question, but how does someone come to loving themselves more?

    And, as far as this friend goes, I haven’t spoken or texted her since Wednesday. I’m feeling a huge urge to text her bc i’m lonely (even with my hobbies), but I’m scared to bec my anger will probably flare up again and/or I’ll realize she blocked me and that will cause more negative feelings. I’m really in a bind about contacting her. Either way, I’m left feeling upset. What do others think?

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    zissy
    Participant

    It’s amazing how well attuned you are to your emotions ! It’s a great level to be so aware . I believe we get to loving ourselves , when we accept that only we are in charge of our happiness and searching within what moments truly make us happy that is not in relation to another person and making self care a top priority !! For example when moments get too emotional hectic for me , I’ll take a bath with candles and soft music and just really take a few moments of mindfulness just so I can connect with me again and what I know true about myself .

    Loneliness can make us feel urges to do things that we will probably regret later , so when you feel that the hardest , call a good friend or family member that does care about you and share . Or one of my tricks is to do acts of chesed when I’m down Bec feeling fullfilled that I’m making a difference in some one life , is the greatest anti pain med  ever , plus you can really form some.great bonds when.your a part of something.

    Moving on from.an unhealthy relationship is traumatic but prob the healthiest and wisest Dec you’ll ever make for yourself ! Hugs

    What do you mean by saying “that’s just a distraction?”

    The heavy focus on this friend (and/or other relationships)/ her response/ your response / all the drama and chaos it’s creating in your life may be a distraction for some other things you fear you are incapable of facing or exploring. Something to bring in to your personal therapy perhaps? I could be completely wrong, it was just a thought I had as I was reading and feeling into how much pain all the details of these relationships create and how much space it takes up in your life.

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    avacad0
    Participant

    I definitely agree with @fay that the heavy focus regarding this friend can be a way to escape from deeper stuff. Been there, so I understand what she’s referring to. Many times when there are underlying traumas we tend to look for ways to avoid dealing with them. I too tend to get very focused and pained in unhealthy relationships. It is excruciatingly painful! know there is ways to work through these feelings. And it is worth it! It is so liberating when you figure out the reasons of why we act and react to certain relationships. It is constant work but many people strugge with this (including myself) so you are not alone.

     

    Good Luck in your journey!

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    Chavy
    Participant
    Topic Author

    In response to avacad0's post #6325:

    This is an interesting observation and thought. I don’t think I actively thought of it like that. Now that I’m thinking about it, I do tend to text her or others when I’m feeling bored, empty and in need of social contact, which brings up a whole other point that it’s hard for me to be alone for long periods of time. I tend to think and think and think some more and then ruminate and obsess… you got the picture. I am trying to engage in hobbies like we spoke about.

    But in terms of a distraction, I think that’s the only one, at least for now. But I will try to make time for that in therapy. Thank you @Fay for that observation and thank you @Avacad0 for your empathy and validation (as always :))

    Whoa, this is definitely a difficult area to navigate – as are most complexities when it comes to relationships.

    Something that I find helpful when starting to feel frustrated about the way a relationship, or even a conversation is going is to check in with the purposes and effectiveness of the communication.

    Am I trying to get information, or am I trying to establish a relationship & If I am, is it on healthy terms. There’s some great Interpersonal Effectiveness skills in the DBT manual that can be extremely useful when navigating these challenges.

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    Chavy
    Participant
    Topic Author

    In response to Yehuda (Hudi) Kowalsky's post #6371:

    That’s very true and something to keep in mind when interacting with people. I am learning the Interpersonal skills module now, so I hope it’ll be helpful.

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