My World is Your World – Alienation

In my research I stumbled upon a site called Out of the Fog that lists an incredible amount of Traits and Characteristics associated with BPD. I thought I’d take a look at a number of characteristics they mention that I have not yet covered, link back to ones I have covered, and expound on ones that I can add more to. I’m going to make this a new blog series because as anyone suffering or knowing someone suffering from BPD knows, the traits expressed with a Borderline Personality Disorder are multiple and varied. So let’s begin shall we.
 You don’t need them. Only me.
— Alienation – “Alienation means interfering or cutting a person off from relationships with others. This can  be done by manipulating the attitudes and behaviors of the victim or of the people with whom they come in contact. The victim’s relationships with others may be sabotaged through verbal pressure, threats, diversions, distortion campaigns and systems of rewards and punishments.”
I hate that they use the word victim. It sounds like we choose to feel and/or act a certain way and need to be malicious purposely.  
This is something I’ve had done to me as opposed to doing to others. Having had this experience probably contributes to why I try not to do it to someone else.
At least I try not to alienate people from others. That doesn’t mean I WANT someone to have other relationships with people. I do get a lot of anxiety at the thought of friends making new friends, of going out and doing things without me. I’ll put myself in positions I don’t want to be in because I am afraid that they’ll forget about me.  It makes me very afraid that I’ll be replaced, that I won’t be needed, that I will eventually be pushed aside in favor of someone new. I have managed to find a way to express this in ways that I can be reassured that it won’t happen. I am now able to talk through these things so that others know how I’m feeling and why I’m so anxious without acting out. It allows them the chance to understand me and reassure me that it won’t happen. I can’t promise that I don’t need this more often than most people, I do. Talking through it doesn’t make those feelings go away, doesn’t prevent them in the future, but it makes it more bearable.
I understand where this comes from. That fear of being left behind. This fear is so intense that someone with a Borderline Personality Disorder will act to keep another person as close to them as possible. They might say things; do things, which make the other person doubt themselves. Doubt that they are good enough, talented enough to be appreciated by someone else. YOU’RE the only one that can truly appreciate them. So they’ll need you more.
Another thing is planting seeds of doubt. Making the other person consider the possibility that a new person, old relationship, is tainted, that their motives are not in their best interest, they’re out for themselves, not for their friend, selfish, are waiting to take advantage of the person.  If they think their ‘friends’ aren’t trustworthy, you’ll be the only one that they can come to. Rely on.
Threats can come along the lines of leaving, self-harm, even threats of suicide. Pulling their attention away from somewhere else because you NEED them to be there. If they’re not there, something really terrible is going to happen, either to your relationship or to you.  Leaving, even for a short time causes someone with BPD to feel that crushing weight of anxiety rising up into her throat, choking the breath from her lungs.  We have to make them understand and the only way to really show how devastating this feels is to show them in a way that is too extreme. Effectively keeping them from doing whatever it was they were going to be doing. Cutting off their ability to go out and leave you alone. It is completely out of proportion. For any person without BPD it’s normal to go out with friends, have other healthy relationships that thrive in a way different than with their significant other.  
Inevitably {if they really care} they will give attention/act in a way that is what we want/need However it maybe be extreme enough that it makes us feel guilty or ashamed or angry. Forbid anyone else should find out about it, ask us about it. We wouldn’t blow up at them though. No, we’d downplay the whole thing. Make it appear as if the person we cried to for help was exaggerating, blowing things out of proportion, discredit them to the people around them. Make them look like they’re crazy, not us. Or try. This could easily come back and bite us in the ass when the other person decides to convey this to the other person.
Growing up I was told that people would get bored with me and leave. ‘Yeah things’ll go great, til he/she gets bored with you. Enjoy it while it lasts’.  Thanks, daddy. That’s always in the back of my mind. Maybe all of this is some convoluted way of keeping things interesting. It’s definitely a way to try to make someone stay, even for a minute more.
However, one way or another, this is going to fail.  Regardless of how we cling to the attention any way we can this really only works to sabotage the very thing we’re trying to keep. If someone is only focused on us, the attention we need will suffocate them, scare them, put so much pressure on them that the weight of it makes them crumble. Either the other persons needs will be remembered, or we’ll freak out at being the center of someone’s world, feel suffocated and push back….
*** I should note that this is not always how I feel or always how I act. I’m trying to paint a picture of how someone with BPD may act/react/feel mingled with my own reactions and gatherings. For instance, with Boring-ex I couldn’t have cared less what he did. I knew I was his primary and had so little interest in him that it was almost a relief when he would go out without me. On the other hand, Evil-ex would alienate me from the few people I formed friendships with, punish me or incite my insecurities if I did, make me too afraid to go out for fear that he’d leave… made me rely on him which made it all the more painful when he didn’t think to include me and left me alone.

5 comments on “My World is Your World – Alienation

  1. While I do have the intense fear of abandonment/rejection, I don't really feel this "you don't need them only me". At least not that extreme. I just want to be a "part" and as long as I feel secure in my "part" then I don't care how many other "parts" there are. This is one reason why most of my relationships consisted of my partner having multiple partners and feeling free enough to share that with me. It made me feel special and I had "more" than the others because I "knew". My "part" was secure while they could be easily replaced. Finding a woman who will not only allow you to fuck other women but find you other women to fuck is rare. Thus my "part" secure. Twisted logic I know but what part of our logic is not twisted.

  2. idk, for me it really depends on the person and how secure I feel. With Boring-Ex I didn't care what he did, then again I had absolutely no doubt that I was primary to him. Evil-Ex constantly cheated on me, degraded me, alienated me from my own friends, did things to make me insecure when I did go out, so much so that he would be all I had to rely on, which made him going out and not including me all the more painful. I can start out that way, that being secure in my part, but only up until the point where I haven't formed a strong emotional attachment. Once I'm so attached I begin to freak out about losing someone to other people, needing more attention for me. I'm actually not one with the 'you only need me'. I do need a lot of time to myself, but I also need that reassurance in a healthy way that I won't be replaced. I haven't had very much of this.

  3. Is there a caged survivalist aspect to attraction for you? There's a need for keeping the good graces of Evil Ex as he controls more of your reality whereas Boring Ex controls nothing or relinquishes control to you hence there is no need to win his favor in anyway. Is this a reasonable assumption?

  4. @Anon… I would say that is a very reasonable assessment of a very unreasonble phenomena. Moreso, I think it had to do with maintaining the favor… Evil Ex would prize and punish with the control. He might not always succeed when he tried to control me b/c I am not easily controlled but that he tried and succeeded in aspects showed a dominance that made me reach for its approval, and fear losing it. Boring Ex never tried to control me, or assert himself, which is maybe a lot of what I found boring. This lack of trying I think translates into submissiveness in my eyes and that to me is also boring.

  5. How then would you characterize someone who respects you for who you are above all else? Just to play the devil's advocate. Supposing it was Boring Ex all this while who had no fear of you and could accept you in all your glorious complexity whilst Evil Ex was just the excitement of potentially exorcising the unresolved daddy issues, something which you seriously need to get over with in your struggles to better yourself?

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