Lucid Analysis: Trials in Therapy – Abandonment Trauma

First I’d like to say Hello to all the new followers that have joined me recently! ::waves:: I hope you like it here, or at least find it interesting here. Say hi, leave me comments, or yanno, keep lurking. Friday is my on-going series that I call Lucid Analysis: Trials in Therapy. I discuss and dissect the things that I have been going over in therapy. That said, let’s get to it.
Yesterday I saw Psychiatrist and Therapist. No new developments in my meds. I’m happy with the Pristiq. Still going. I told her I had a meltdown the night before. It hasn’t happened in a very long time though. She said things like that will occasionally happen along the road to recovery. It doesn’t negate the progress I’ve made so far.
Therapy. I don’t know how to describe how I felt going in to therapy.   Resigned, I guess. I was so exhausted and so emotionally drained that I don’t think I had room for the anxiety or worry about disappointment.
She asked how things with me and Tech Boy were going. I told her about my meltdown Wednesday night. I told her how he told me he was going out of state this weekend and that I snapped (not at him). I was frustrated and disappointed and just broke down and cried. She asked me why I got so upset. I told her I guess it was because I was more attached to him than I thought and for once I’d like someone I invest in to invest something in me.
Then I told her how I finally yelled at Friend.
When I was done she clearly had an “Ah, ha” moment.
What Tech Boy did triggered me, but who my real anger was directed at is Friend.
Trigger. I have abandonment issues. Surprise!
Therapist said that she’s been wondering where my anger has been for a few weeks now. I’ve been avoiding, I’ve been repressing, I’ve been bottling and trying to not let anyone see what really bothers me.
Last week when I was at Friends’ house. After his wife went to bed, we were sitting on the couch watching bad movies like we always do. I stretched out as is usual for me. He started rubbing my leg. Running his hands up on down my calves. Gave me a foot massage. It got late and I sat up to leave, he leaned his head into my neck and just hugged me. I haven’t let this happen in months. I’ve very purposely been maintaining this boundary between us. I was lonely. For an hour it felt good to have someone pay attention to me. To be close to me. I wanted that again. But it brought back all the pain of the last year from the ending of the more intimate aspects of our relationship. And how ultimately, he abandoned me emotionally when I was in a very vulnerable place. With no warning. With no regard for how devastating it would be to me. Instead of talking to me about what was going on, explaining, he dropped off the Earth, quit talking to everyone, including me, for a week. No texts, no communication, nothing. While I was extraordinarily confused and in pain. He just left me like that with no consideration.
Yes. I am angry at him. I’m pissed. And then on top of that, afterwards while I’m working on trying to maintain our friendship and heal, every week after week he rubs it in my face that he’s working on his failed marriage. In front of me he acts all cuddly and kissy and ‘I love you’ with his wife. Rubbing it in my face is tactless and not okay. Especially when the utter indifference is so clearly written all over her face and body language. Not to mention she’s told me directly that she is traditionally a very selfish person with no regard for how anyone else feels, including her husband. So yes, that hurts. I finally told him so.
Therapist thinks it was about damn time too.
I’m so afraid of hurting him, and losing my friend, that I’m hurting myself and losing my mind (ok maybe a little exaggeration there).
I have a lifetime of abandonment trauma. From my parents not being there, from moving, from friends moving, from people dying, from friends that I thought I could trust doing unspeakable things to me, to losing people that I cared for and loved deeply.
None of this has anything to do with Tech Boy. He’s just a guy. A guy I like and is fun to hang out with, but he’s not the love of my life or anything like that. The problem with triggers though, is anyone can set them off. He doesn’t know my issues and did so accidentally. Hell, I’m still working on how to sort through and connect all my issues. None of this really has anything to do with him though. It has to do with my fears and my trauma… and a lot of anger that I have towards Friend and the people that have abandoned me in my life.
Therapist introduced me to a new concept this week. It’s the concept of having a Healthy Adult, an Inner Child, and an Outer Child. We all know the Healthy Adult is the fully functioning, responsible person that we are supposed to be. The Inner Child is the part of you that is vulnerable, that is all about feelings, and craves safety, security and wholesome, loving relationships. The Outer child is the self-sabotaging nemesis of your personality. Therapist gave me a book to read called “A Journey from Abandonment to Healing” by Susan Anderson.
Imagine a parent leads a child into the woods. In the woods there’s a rock. The abandoning parent tells the child to sit on the rock and wait until they come back and get them. The parent never returns. The Inner Child does as she’s told, waits and waits and waits, vulnerable and exposed to the elements. Scared. Feeling. Alone. The Outer Child, however, refuses to stay on the rock. Outer climbs down, picks up a hatchet, and goes on the warpath.
Here’s a blurb from her website about the Outer Child.
Outer Child acts out your inner child’s feelings – especially your abandonment feelings – without giving you, the adult, a chance to intervene. When you feel hurt, angry, or insecure, Outer acts out these feelings in ways that sabotage your relationships. Outer works like a bungling undercover agent in trying to protect (overprotect) you from abandonment. Stealthy, quick, and misguided, it intercepts love before you ever know what happened.
Outer is the impulsive, obstinate, self-centered ten-year old within all of us. Outer wants what Outer wants NOW, and overrules you, the adult, in getting it. Outer prefers to binge on candy when you are steadfastly sticking to a diet (or so you thought). Outer says yes to a third glass of wine when you, the Adult, had decided on a two drink minimum.

Outer child is born of unresolved abandonment. It wreaks havoc in your relationships when it acts out your inner child’s primal fear of abandonment. For example, it aims its emotional suction cups at our prospective partners and scares them away.

Outer fights change – especially change initiated by you, the adult. Outer balks at doing the right thing and only wants things that are bad for your health, figure, or bank account. By bringing Outer out of the bunkers and into the daylight, you get to subvert its mission, rather than let it subvert yours.
Outer is fueled by emotion. Take anger. Outer either overreacts or under-reacts to your anger. For example, abandonment survivors tend to be too insecure to risk expressing anger or assertiveness to someone because they fear it might break the connection. Outer takes advantage of this fear and gets you to take your anger out on yourself, damaging your self-esteem. Conversely, Outer takes your anger out on innocent bystanders and makes you look like a monster.

Outer is the “yes but” of the personality. If you let it, Outer ties your life up in knots.

Outer child likes to play games, especially in relationships. It wears many disguises including “hard to get” and “Florence Nightingale” (where Outer panders for ‘love-insurance’ by over-caretaking). It poses as your ally, but is really your gatekeeper. Its covert agenda is to maintain your patterns – albeit your most self-defeating ones. By deconstructing your Outer Child defenses, your Adult Self has the opportunity to guide your behavior, rather than remain driven by your hidden nemesis.  

For the past few weeks, maybe month or two, I’ve been rooting pretty firmly in my Outer Child. I’m indulging my Outer Child with Tech Boy. He likes to drink, and gamble, and is all about in the moment gratification. I’m letting myself get swept along with these things, rushing physical intimacy, doing what feels good RIGHT NOW, instead of what is healthy for me in the long run.
Surprisingly she doesn’t think I need to stop seeing him. But I do need to change my approach with him. Start over in a sense. Really take time to get to know each other. Do healthy, adult things, not just uncontrolled indulgences. Make healthier choices and base my actions off of those. I won’t see him this weekend, I won’t see him next weekend (It’s Christmas, I’ll be going out of state to see my family). It’ll give me time to take a break and figure out what it is I want to do.
I love my Therapist. I’m starting to believe she really does know me.
Homework: I’ll be reading this book this weekend. You’ll be getting a book review when I’m done as well. I’ll post the Outer Child Inventory a little later. I find it enlightening.
We didn’t talk about what I should do about Friend. I have no intentions of talking to him right now though.  

Lucid Analysis: Trials in Therapy – Borderline Ambivalence

Therapy last night was kind of a downer. Mostly we talked about Tech Boy and my hesitations about the whole thing. I told Therapist what I told you about my weekend with Tech Boy and how I’m vacillating between like and dislike.
Therapist wishes I had refrained from physical intimacy with Tech Boy. Taken it slower. I don’t know. This doesn’t seem like a big deal to me. Physical intimacy is safer than emotional intimacy. Which I am taking very slowly.  I think I’ve had enough physical traumas that my body doesn’t feel sacred to me. I’m dissociated from a lot of the things I do to it, with it. Bodies heal; it’s the mental imprint that is the problem.
Therapist was concerned though because the chemical reactions in the brain don’t distinguish between good and bad choices. That oxytocin the brain releases when you have positive physical contact doesn’t discriminate. Just because it feels good, doesn’t mean it’s good for you. And I’m addicted to this feeling. I’m addicted to human contact. I don’t mean that in a metaphorically poetic kind of way either. I start to jones for it. Without it I get anxious and empty. I crave it. This is probably my own true weakness. It makes me melt and the world is all better, at least for the moment.
I don’t think I have the capacity to fall in love with him. This could be total crap but right now I’m in flight mode. Although, just because I don’t think I’ll fall for him doesn’t mean he can’t hurt my heart on a smaller level, and he already is. Therapist sees my ambivalence. How I miss waking up next to someone, next to him, and yet I have all these concerns that make me want to flee.
Ambivalence.
I swear anytime Therapist or Psychiatrist use this word when they’re talking to me I hear this quote from Girl, Interrupted:
Susanna: I’m ambivalent. In fact that’s my new favorite word.
Dr. Wick
: Do you know what that means, ambivalence? Susanna: I don’t care.
Dr. Wick: If it’s your favorite word, I would’ve thought you would…
Susanna: It *means* I don’t care. That’s what it means.
Dr. Wick: On the contrary, Susanna. Ambivalence suggests strong feelings… in opposition. The prefix, as in “ambidextrous,” means “both.” The rest of it, in Latin, means “vigor.” The word suggests that you are torn… between two opposing courses of action.
Susanna: Will I stay or will I go?
Dr. Wick: Am I sane… or, am I crazy?
Susanna: Those aren’t courses of action.
Dr. Wick: They can be, dear – for some.
Susanna: Well, then – it’s the wrong word.
Dr. Wick: No. I think it’s
perfect.
It is kind of perfect.
Therapist quite clearly doesn’t like this guy for me. She wants better for me. But she won’t tell me what to do and she doesn’t think I should just run away. I need to find more of a balance in my actions. Not an all or nothing response. Therapist thinks I should bring up the discussion we had about depression and mental health with him. And I have to say I agree (I’d already been thinking about this). This is clearly an important issue for me. I should give him the chance to elaborate and explain, and not shy away from providing my real opinions on the matter. Either it will open his eyes to an opinion he hadn’t considered before and he’ll be understanding (because maybe he’s never been exposed to someone who needs medication or has suffered with depression), or he won’t and that will be even more telling.
Ultimately though she doesn’t think this guy is right for me. In fact, she really likes Friends personality for me. She thinks I shouldn’t deviate too much from that. From what I know is good for me. I had so much easy and natural chemistry with Friend. That’s almost absent here.  She thinks maybe I’m using this ‘relationship’ with Tech Boy as a way to get over him still and to assuage my loneliness because clearly I know this guy isn’t right for me.  However, this is what friends are for. To help keep you company and take away some of the loneliness. It’s just not the same though.  
She thinks at best this is a transitory relationship. Those aren’t necessarily bad. What’s important is I decide whether or not it is healthy. I’m dissociating from my feelings in this already which is an indicator that this is not going to be a healing relationship for me. I’m feeling distant from the situation and I’m uncertain of my own feelings.  Right now I’m just sort of going with it until I can be certain, or at least give him a chance to explain and find out more about him. I know, I know, it takes me a little while to build myself up to ending things with people. Plus I have to do it in a fairly neutral way to maintain a decent working relationship. Anyways, so I can probably keep myself distanced from him while remaining in touch without throwing myself over the edge. Continue developing emotional space from Friend, use this as a transitory relationship to assuage my loneliness and {insert psych babble}, until I find someone better or that I actually connect to, or just can’t deal with it anymore. Then end. (That’s how I felt last night anyways).
Right now though I’m hurt and upset and really fucking angry. It’s stupid. I’m going out for Happy Hour with some of the guys from work, including Tech Boy. I figured we’d be making a night of it so at some point afterwards we’d probably head over to my place for whatever and so I could actually talk to him. Newp. Apparently he has a friend coming in to work on his car tomorrow so he’s taking him out after Happy Hour to a place I introduced him to. Which means I probably won’t see him one on one at all this weekend. Ya know what? He doesn’t see me as someone “he’s with” so he doesn’t think to consider me or include me or whatever. Fine. Fuck it all. And fuck him to. I’m furious.
That’s at least a solid emotion though. As I was telling Therapist it’s been a little weird for me. My meds are clearly doing the job they’re supposed to be doing. My mood is more up and I’ve been steadier. It’s just, in a similar situation, before I know I would have had some very strong emotions. However, I actually feel pretty emotionally steady. A little up and down, but nothing I’d consider extreme. Relatively stable. However I’m having some emotional confusion b/c of it. Knowing I would normally feel one thing, but feeling relatively steady instead, it makes me feel kind of confused.  I guess it’s good that I’m not flipping out, it’s just a strange sensation to not be feeling something that is so familiar.

Lucid Analysis – Trials in Therapy : Stop the Borderline "stuff"

Therapy is hard sometimes. I guess if it was easy it wouldn’t really be necessary though.
Therapist earned bonus points this week. I told her about the other night with GF (Read the story HERE)and my worries with Tech Boy. She called me out on that one. Therapist doesn’t like to use labels very much but this is what she considers “Borderline stuff”.  I’m afraid of where things may or may not be going with Tech Boy, so instead of working on that, I’m pushing away, and going to someone that I feel is safe. GF is in and out of the picture a lot. As soon as I mentioned her Therapist was like, “GF? This is going to be trouble for you.”
I want to be friends with her, but I’m still very physically attracted to her and I enjoy the emotional comfort she provides me. Coupled with the fact that she very clearly feels the same way about me, but won’t leave her current girlfriend making it impossible for her to get too close to me, it makes her an emotionally safe place for me to fall back to. That doesn’t mean it’s healthy.
What it makes it, is me avoiding the actual issue. Which is figuring out how I feel about Tech Boy. I just, don’t know where this is all going. Physically I’m very attracted to him. It’s pretty impossible not to be, he’s a hotty. But we don’t have all that much in common, our personalities are pretty different, our general approach to life is different. He’s not the kind of person to overthink things and just takes things as they come. I overthink things to death, beat them over the head with a shovel just to be sure, bury them, dig them back up, and then perform resurrection rites.
I have a few red flags with him. Last time we went out he mentioned he liked being a jerk. “It’s fun to be a jerk. Say and do what you want, without tip toeing around other people’s feelings all the time, it’s just freeing.” Or something like that. This of course doesn’t apply to people he cares about and works with but still. Of my course my immediately reply was, “Just don’t be a jerk to me. I won’t deal with it.” Him, “Have I been a jerk to you?” Me, “No, just sayin’”.  Gah. On the one hand I don’t like people that are push overs. If I can walk over you (not that I would), I probably will judge you as not having a strong enough personality to deal with me. On the other hand, I have an uncanny ability to choose jerks (who turn out to be very abusive) and people that I can’t trust and this scares me.
Semi-drunkenly the other night I mentioned that I was pretty guarded. He said I seemed to be pretty open with him. I mentioned that I just have sort of a hard time talking about emotional stuff. He said he wasn’t the emotional type either. This is a conversation I’ll have to have with him in the future, and sober, but it worries me because I’m afraid that means he won’t have the ability to deal with me. Therapist gave me sort of a reality check here. I don’t know what he’s been through in his past. I don’t know him very well so it may be that he has his own baggage that he’s been injured from or trying to recover from. Like me, maybe he just doesn’t put it all out there at first and puts on more of a ‘tough guy’ mask to sort of overcompensate. Maybe, maybe not. The point is, I don’t know because I haven’t spent enough time getting to know him yet. Give it time and see what he has to say about himself as I get to know him.
So those are the fears. The reality, he’s treated me very well. Therapist thinks that he’s making good decisions with me. Taking things at a good pace. I worry that things aren’t moving fast enough. I always worry that things aren’t moving fast enough. I just want to know where things are going so I’m not confused and second guessing things all the time.  As I was reminded though, I can’t know where things are going until we actually get there.
I worry about him liking me and wanting to be with me, so I start to freak out and reach for someone that I know I have these things from, and while I’m doing this he texts me to spend the weekend together and go on a trip out of state. It doesn’t take a genius to see who the irrational one here is.
Sabotage. Therapist thinks I’m trying to sabotage myself because I’m afraid of him getting too close. That’s why I let GF come over and set no boundaries of ‘just friends’ with her. She reminded me that I wouldn’t be having all these fears if I didn’t like the guy. What I’m trying to figure out is how to keep myself safe. Safety is very important for me. This shouldn’t be surprising considering the abusive relationships I’ve had in my past. But just because I have had them before does not mean that this is one of those. Clearly he likes me. He’s not seeing anyone else, so I should give him the same respect that he’s giving me. I should allow him the chance and get to know him better.
Therapist kind of kicked me in the ass on this one. This promiscuous borderline bullshit isn’t healthy. I have no impulse control when it comes to physical closeness but it’s major source of emotional turmoil for me as well.  My goal is to be healthy and part of that is learning to be healthy in relationships and forming relationships that are healthy. That’s not just picking good people though. It’s also correcting how I act and think in those relationships. So no more GF for now. Geezus! No more GF! Period. Not ‘for now’. Gah.
She wants me to make sure I’m not acting on my bias against men as well. I seriously laughed when she said this. It’s true. I am biased against men. It’s not that I don’t like them, but I have some serious trust issues, and most of them are triggered from men I’ve been with. Women feel safer to me. That doesn’t mean I can’t find safety with a man though. I just have to be careful and not rush things.
We talked a bit about my going home for Thanksgiving, but I felt like this part of the conversation didn’t really go anywhere. She said my anger at my friend for cancelling on me was justifiable. I stayed in an uncomfortable place longer than I had to and at the last minute it turns out I didn’t need to. Plus I miss her. I haven’t seen her in a very long time. Oddly, she’s one of the very few people I feel like I will always be friends with. We may not talk much but I feel like she’s always there. Her, my friend in Texas, and my sister. Those three.
I still don’t understand why I get so damn angry at my mother though. She’s a nice woman. My parents love each other, they get along great. There isn’t any weird tension between them. My mom just misses me and wants to do things with me, but it drives me up a bloody wall. She’ll offer to take me shopping or something nice and reasonable and I want to snap her head off. Everything feels like nagging and invasive prying or the most inconvenient timing. What sucks is I know she means well and just wants to love me. And I know I hurt her feelings with how sharp I was. I don’t understand why I still feel this way towards her. Nothing I do to tell myself that I shouldn’t be so angry works either. IDK, maybe something for next week’s session.

Addition: (Forgot to include this): I also told Therapist that Tech Boy and I had sex. She was a little concerned about this. And surprised. I’m not sure sex is something she herself is very comfortable with. I definitely pick up on that. She was concerned that I felt alright about the choice to do this. I feel like she thinks it was too soon. But how soon is too soon? We were dating for 4 or 5 weeks, but I’ve known him for like 8 months. How long is appropriate? So, yeah, I guess I’m alright. I’m not flipping out about it so it’s fine. Honestly it almost feels as if we haven’t done it at all. Except my libido is starting to shoot through the roof. Is that strange? I know we had sex, but it doesn’t really feel like I’ve internalized it. Other than now I’m a little more crazy about the little things like how often he texts me.  She asked if he was gentle. Um, not really. I’m not a very gentle person though. It was fun. I think her concern was did I feel threatened at any point. Which, no I didn’t. I don’t think he’s out to physically hurt me or anything. She worries about me so she wanted to make sure. She also knows I’ve had problems with men in the past. For a very, very long time I had problems with men even touching me. Hell I still have problems with men touching me, but it’s not so bad if it’s one I know or am close to. So right now I’m going to say I’m fine. I don’t really feel like it’s a big deal.
We’ll see how I feel tonight though. He’s staying over so we can leave early in the morning to take a trip out of state. I’m kind of excited =)

Inexplicable Emotions

Thanksgiving was bad, but not as bad as usual. I only started to throw up once and stopped myself. I picked at food steadily but didn’t over stuff and completely skipped dessert. Good job I suppose. I even only had 2 drinks <~~~~ Major shocker.
Friend texted me a lot. Last year his wife flipped the fuck out on him and me because Thanksgiving was “family time” and “no matter how close you are to Friend you are not family”, (though Friend constantly regards me as such) therefore none of his time should be spent speaking to me at all. Last year we sent a grand total of 8 texts to each other.  This year he spent the entire evening after dinner texting me practically until I fell asleep and not a word from the wife. He’s been texting me a lot since I left New York. A lot since I started seeing Tech Boy. I feel like there’s some holding back and underlying emotion that he’s not expressing. I’m not sure if I find this incredibly amusing or achingly sad.  I haven’t been as consistent or available with him as I used to be and I can tell he’s starting to miss me. I’m torn between wanting to be there for him, because without me he’s essentially left with only being very close to his horrid wife, and thinking that he made his decision so he’s going to have to live with it and deal with the fact that my life is going to move forward without him.  Or with him in a diminished place of importance. 
Tech Boy texted me a lot yesterday too. He spent most of the night with friends boozing it up. The thoughts running through my mind? “Drinking + house party = who’s the girl from back home that you’re going to end up in bed with?” What did I actually say? “Catching up with friends is great, have fun!”
Inside does not match the outside. Thoughts do not match the behavior.
I think this is one of the reasons Borderlines come across as so inexplicable at times. And why when we do blow up it appears to be ‘at random’ or ‘out of nowhere’.  I know what a person wants to hear, I know what to do that will make me look more attractive to someone; however these things are often in opposition to what I want, think and feel. We do what will win the approval of the other person, so as not to lose them and to draw them to us more, even though ultimately those things build up and drive us slowly crazy over time. We can hold this and everything will be fine, until it’s not. It’ll build and build and build, and usually that final thing that makes us snap is seemingly little, when the other person doesn’t realize just how much build up went into contributing to that explosion.
 Like right now I’m ready to explode all over the place.
Last night my cousin asked me when I was going back to New York because she wants a ride to Manhattan. She’s nice enough but I really don’t want to have to adjust my travel schedule, wait longer to get on the road, and then have to make inane small talk for 8 hours. Also, driving other people around makes me incredibly anxious. I’m not a chauffeur. But she’s family so I felt obligated to say ‘yes’ though I did leave myself an out and say that I may leave earlier than expected depending on when I can see my best friend…
Who is also Borderline, and prone to making excuses, and flaking out on plans. I love her to death, but the rest of my stay here is entirely dependent on her. If she cancels on me at the last minute I’m going to be furious. She took longer to text me back than usual and I could already feel the anxiety and irritation taking over.
Then I went shoe shopping with my mother who chats away incessantly trying too hard to relate to me. She’s curious and wants to understand my Borderline problems. But every time I start to explain various things she tries so hard to make it sounds like she’s been in my shoes. It’s infuriating and pisses me off. Every time I spend more than a few minutes alone with her my stomach starts to turn in knots and I get physically nauseous. I can feel my blood pressure rise and all I want is to stuff my new shoes that she’s trying to walk in straight down her throat to make her shut up.
But I keep my mouth closed.
Little thing after little thing, builds and builds, and I’m ready to flee this awful state.

Lucid Analysis – Trials in Therapy

This has been a week of health stuff.
Found a real doctor this week. No I haven’t been sick, but I haven’t had a primary care physician in a very long time so I figured it was about time to get one. He was very nice and seemed really on the ball. Something odd I’ve noticed about myself… the only time I am ever self-conscious about my scars is when I go to the doctors. Whenever the nurse reaches for my arms to take my blood pressure I can almost see her biting her tongue as her eyes run over the deeply pronounced white lines running up and down my arms. As I’ve mentioned before… I don’t hide my scars, they’re a symbol that I’m still alive, that I made it through a very rough time for me. I don’t purposely wear long sleeves or lots of bracelets so I often forget that medical professionals will actually take a look at me and pass some kind of judgment. At the same time when my new Doctor actually asked me, “Are those scars self-inflicted” I was a little impressed. Most people avoid it. Of course I answered truthfully, yes they are. All he said after that was, “Do you have someone you can talk to about anxiety and stress?” “Yes, I have a therapist.” He seemed satisfied with that.
Yesterday was Psychiatrist and Therapist day.
Psychiatrist extended my leash to two months! When I first started going it was every two weeks, then  fluxuating between every two weeks and every month. It’s been once a month now for a while. Yesterday she asked me if she thought I would be ok going two months and instead of coming into the office for my Rx, she’d give me a refill. Progress! Seriously, Pristiq has been nothing short of a miracle drug for me. Nothing, nothing, has helped me out the way this has. No side effects, and my baseline mood has been Okay! Not Depressed, not even mildly Depressed, but Okay, even Good some days. This, in and of itself, is extraordinary for me.  
This is especially great for my productivity at work. I’ve accomplished enormous amounts of work and the fast pace, high stress doesn’t seem to be getting to me at all.
Therapist has really noticed the improvement in my mood as well and she’s quite proud of me.
Though she is noticing that I am avoiding my feelings and avoiding thinking about the future. At this point I really feel like I’m just living day to day. I don’t see the future for myself. I don’t know where it’s going to go. I have no goals, no expectations, no path… except to keep on doing what I’m doing. One day at a time.  
She’s concerned that I’m not putting any thought into what I want out of my relationship with Tech Boy. I mean, first off, it’s a little early to call it a relationship. It’s definitely too early to think about whether I see a future with him. Putting that kind of pressure on it takes out the fire. I just want to feel. I like playing house but do I think he can really handle who I am? If I’m honest, we’re very different people. We’re both engineers, both very athletic, like the outdoors, scary movies, and cooking (and he’ll eat just about anything which is a total bonus in my book), but he doesn’t read, is more into parties and drinking, hunting/fishing, paintball, electronics… yanno, real guy stuff. He doesn’t satisfy that artistic creativity and mystical spirituality that I adore. The element of fantasy that I like to lose myself in. These are things that I really bonded with Friend over. However, where Friend was too soft and I wish he’d be more aggressive, Tech Boy seems to have a more natural aggression which I enjoy. Hell, Lady Friend had the art, the spirituality, the intelligence but a complete lack of aggression and I couldn’t keep hold my interest. Is it all a trade off? In the end do some things not mean as much as you think? This is why I can’t really think about a future… I come up with lists and ruminations of all the things I want and compare and contrast and is this right and will I miss that if he doesn’t have it or what if I decide that there is a thing, something I really do want, that he doesn’t encompass, but we’ve already gotten so involved that I can’t just end it and it’s too late. I’ll have hurt him and driven myself crazy in the process of obsessing about how things should be but in reality never actually are. Bloody hell, I’m going to do this anyways, but I’d like to at least enjoy the ride for a bit first. Is that too much to ask?  
Therapist kept talking about making sure to take it slow and really get to know each other. Asking if he’s respectful and this and that. Then she said, “You’ll set appropriate boundaries though right? You’re good at that, right?” I actually laughed, “No.” I may have a massive amount of internal conflict when it comes to being physically intimate with men, but it doesn’t stop me. I have an uncanny ability to ignore what is best for myself and do what feels good in the moment. Especially as I know I will use physical intimacy as a means to avoid emotional intimacy. If I can distract someone with my body they won’t think to get close enough to actually see me. Keep their eye focused on the superficial and they won’t see all the damage buried below the surface. They won’t see what’s bad in me. Sometimes it’s just easier to have sex than it is to talk about things I’m not sure I want to talk about.
Bleh.
I’ve been avoiding writing my letter to Friend too. Honestly I haven’t done this at all. I don’t want to. I don’t want to think about how I feel about him. I don’t want to feel anything about him. I don’t want to bring those feelings back to the surface because frankly, it still pisses me off. I’m still angry at him, I still have a lot of resentment towards him, a lot of disgust and hatred towards his wife. How they handled everything with me was incredibly selfish and insensitive. I was good enough to shoulder all their problems, be there to take care of them, be his sole support system, but when all was said and done, they completely tossed my feelings aside and changed things so abruptly it was like running into an emotional wrecking ball. And I was expected to just accept it and move on.  Because, yanno, that’s how I roll. Wrong. Grr. Ok, clearly I have a lot of feelings on the subject, but still. Therapist thinks I should tell him! She thinks I should write this letter and actually express these feelings to him! Is she kidding? No, I’m not going to do that. I’m not letting him that close to me again. He doesn’t get that kind of emotional ammunition anymore. He decided he didn’t care about me enough so he’s not privy to the more vulnerable places I have. Therapist thinks that if he was really as good of a friend as I think then he’d be able to handle it and acknowledge how I feel. Yeah? And what if he doesn’t. What if all he has to say is too bad, it was fun while it lasted but you were alone there? I can’t handle hearing that. Close, but not too close, and that would definitely be too close.
Still she thinks my ability to remain friends with him, has been good for me in many ways. While at the same time it has probably extended my grieving period because I see him so frequently and he talks to me every day. It’s important that it didn’t just end. So many of my relationships just stop (or explode) and I never speak to that person ever again. Sometimes by choice, sometimes not, but it’s pretty typical. That I am able to continue working through my feelings and issues with him and remain friends with him allows me to face my pain on some levels and forces me to deal.
She’s also still concerned about my throwing up. I was doing really well with no bulimic instances for a bit, but then I did on Sunday after Tech Boy left and again Wednesday night. I was really lonely and I just needed something to do to fill the space. She thinks I’m doing this as a way to avoid dealing with the emotional emptiness I’m feeling from the loss of prior relationships. It’s a theory. Instead of dealing directly I’m trying to fill the void in other ways. Maybe, maybe not. I just don’t want to get fat. I don’t want my flaws to be visible.
Therapist set some Homework assignments for me and for the life of me I can’t remember what they are. I need to start writing in my journal every day again. She definitely wants me to write this letter to Friend – which btw, I will NOT be reading to him. It was something about Friend, something… GAH I can’t remember. I hate that. I’ll have to call her. Ugh.
Ok, that’s it for now.

Lucid Analysis – Trials in Therapy

Another night of therapy comes and goes. Therapist is so positive sometimes I wonder if she listens to me or is able to be realistic. Then again, maybe I’m too ready to believe the negative. I expect the worse without hoping for or even thinking towards the best.  Every week she tells me I’m a good person and a good friend, a joy to work with. I hear her words, but I still feel like she must be talking about someone else, some other idea of me that only she sees because I am a bad person. Though the people around me seem to support her to. I don’t know how to see myself as ‘good’, or at the least ‘not bad’. 

Therapist asked about the situation with Roommate. I talked to Roommate a few days ago. She thinks staying the full 6 months until the end of our next lease cycle is very reasonable. It’ll even give her more time to save and be more financially secure as well. That’s a huge relief to me. The holidays, especially December, is such a hectic time for everyone, and so fiscally strenuous, I couldn’t think of a worse time to add more stress. We ended up having dinner together and just spending a couple hours chatting. She also brought up that she wants to hang out more because we haven’t been doing that for a while. I can’t tell you how much better that made me feel. I’d been thinking the same thing, but you know me, I don’t think anyone remembers me when I’m not around, so to hear that she does think about me and wants to hang out more is reassuring. It gives me hope that even when she does move out we’ll be able to stay in touch and that she wants to make the effort to keep me in her life.
Reassurance. I hate that I need so much of it sometimes. I’m always afraid to ask for it. The thought of coming across as needy or clingy grates at me so I bury how much I need to hear certain things. This creates its own problems of self-doubt and loneliness though. Traits that I feel make me weak and bad. If I feel these things are bad, I can only believe that other people will believe it too, and who wants to be around someone like that? So I put on a mask of stone and solitude and slip slowly into myself. And really, who wants to constantly expound on the importance of having a particular person in their life? I’m sure it would get annoying after a while. I just can’t allow myself to come across as the kind of person that needs this. I don’t want to be an annoyance or a burden. A burden. That’s what I imagine having to provide this constant reassurance would be. I don’t want to be a burden on the people I care about. I should be able to take care of them, not a burden when they’re dealing with their own stuff.
Therapist was thrilled that Roommate gave me this kind of validation though. She also noticed that I didn’t seem to be personalizing Roommates reasons for moving out, and amazingly, I realized she was right. Roommate and I are good friends, she still wants me in her life, in no way is this meant as a way to surreptitiously end our friendship, she’s is just approaching a time in her life where she needs to take a new step. I’m going to miss her, I’m still not sure what I’m going to do and I can’t even conceive of living with someone else yet, but at least I don’t feel like it’s my fault and I don’t think I’ll lose her friendship.  
Therapist doesn’t think I’m an alcoholic either. Yay for me. If I were to start drinking multiple bottles of wine by myself every weekend; that would be a concern. If I wanted to stop drinking, but felt compelled to pour myself another glass and couldn’t stop; that would be a definite problem. The choice to sit down and drink, even a lot, as a conscious decision is pretty normal, though possibly not the best judgment. So she’s not worried about that so much, surprisingly, my trying to pick a fight with Friend was. That was what she found interesting. She said clearly I still have a lot of anger towards him that I’m trying to repress. And she’s right. I still have moments where I don’t understand why he would remain with someone like her when there seemed to be so much more passion in our attraction. That he does makes me feel like I must be even less worthy of a person if I rank below that. The displays of affection he/they put on in front of me, is like a constant jab reminding me of what was taken away. It’s compounded by the fact that I have so little respect for the kind of person that woman is which makes me doubt how much I can really respect myself. It’s the power that these things still have over me that really makes me angry. Alcohol sort of releases that cork that I’ve used to help bottle up my feelings. We talked a lot about expressing anger. I don’t often see my anger expressed in a healthy manner. I rage, I drink, I pick fights, I cut, when I was younger I would kick down doors and put my fist through walls and windows. I do have one healthy outlet for my anger, and that’s the gym. Running and working out are at least one way to channel that aggression into a constructive outcome. Therapist had a homework assignment for me but she forgot it at home so next week we’ll see what my formal assignment is. This week I’m to start getting back into my journaling which I’ve sort of let slip. Bad girl.
Med Update: The Pristiq seems to be working well for me. My weight is fluxuating a little, but I think this is more due to stress then the medication. My energy has been really good too. My mood does seem to be a little higher on average. My head is clear. I can concentrate better. I’m more productive at work. And so far it doesn’t seem like I’m having any side effects at all. Except the dreams. I’ve always been a vivid dreamer, but lately my dreams have been EPIC. I feel like I’ve lived days and nights between the time I lay down and the time I wake up.
Then again, that might just be the excessive sleeping I’ve been doing.  That’s been a switch from my insomnia for sure. For the last few weeks all I’ve wanted to do is read and sleep.  I found myself falling asleep at 8:30p the other night! I think I must have turned 70 at my last birthday haha. I’ve been so stressed out from my job and from people it’s all I’ve had the strength to do. I’ve almost completely withdrawn from the world around me, losing myself in the escapism of my books. Except for this blog I’ve shunned tv (not that I watch tv), movies, and even the internet. Therapist sort of dismissed this as needing some down time. I’m not so sure. I’ve been completely incapable of facing the real world. Completely cutting myself off from the outside. As soon as I’m home from work I shut down and retreat into the fantasy world of my books. Or maybe I’m just a little obsessive and this book series is really JUST THAT GOOD. Haha. Nah, idk.  I do feel like I should make an effort to get back out into the world though. Maybe branch out and expand my circle of friends. I still fight with myself regarding how close I should be to Friend. I’m afraid of losing him, but I don’t know how good it is for me to have him so close. I do know that spending more time with Roommate is a wonderful idea though and we are already making plans to do stuff this weekend =)
All in all therapist thinks I’m making a lot of progress. I’m in a pretty stable place, even a pretty stable headspace for me. I do sort of feel like I’m floating though. I’ve had many days where I question what my purpose here even is. I feel like I’m living each day simply to see the next and I wonder if that’s enough. Is that all there is? I’m missing something. There’s a hole somewhere that still needs to be filled to really ground me to where I am, and I’m just not sure what it is.

Day 1

On my new meds and so far….
I’ve been too tired to stay awake at work. I took a nap in my car at lunch.
Sitting up straight was exhausting.
Clearly I couldn’t go to the gym even though I didn’t go yesterday so now I have guilt on top of fat.
The sound of human voices makes me want to rip out peoples tongues and shove them straight into their lungs.
I want to break… everything. Everything. Throw things against the floor, put my fists through walls, and tear the shit out of everything that so much as comes within my peripheral.
HULK. SMASH. RAGE.
I swear by all things unholy that the next person that tries talking to me in IRL is going to experience first hand what my fist tastes like.
I want to tear the world down and watch it burn.
On top of everything else, I’ve quit drinking.
ARRRRGGHGHGHG GRRRRRRR!

Pulling Punches – Baiting and Picking Fights

  Baiting and Picking Fights – “Baiting is the practice of generating a provocative action or statement for the purpose of obtaining an angry, aggressive or emotional response from another person.”
This is what I associate with Pushing away and Pulling back. That back and forth feeling of being suffocated, needing to escape being hurt, fearing the loss, and desperately trying to get that person back, often by apologizing profusely and doing everything we can to be perfect for them again. Repeat.
That’s the resulting cycle anyways.
It starts with something small. Gradually growing into something else.  Baiting and Picking Fights is HOW this cycle is fed.
I know I have a very caustic tongue. I’m not physically violent towards anyone, but I know how to wound your pride, your ego, and your heart. It’s not necessarily a big explosion, though eventually it may get there. It’s small steps, little barbs. Small hurts, followed by tearful apologies about how we’re such bad people… For me the fear that’s generated turns my stomach and flips my heart. The person hurt is really wonderful, we don’t deserve them, we’re so sorry that we would even think to say such things, act that way. The thing you need to keep in mind is, we absolutely feel this way, at least I do. I don’t set out with this in mind. I don’t wake up in the morning and think, ‘Gee, today seem s like a good day to fight with so-and-so to see if he/she’ll leave me.’ It just happens. It happens gradually as we get closer to someone. And it’s always with someone we’re close to. The fear of being hurt by staying, coupled with the fear of being abandoned by leaving. I’ve never figured out how to find a way past this. I don’t mean to be this way, and I can see myself doing these things, which is why I know I’m such a terrible person when I do it. I try to make up for it, but I can’t seem to stop myself from doing it again when something sets me off. It’s generally not out of the blue though it may seem that way to the other person. I know for me, I’ll be triggered by something, read more into something than was there, feel like I’m losing myself to them and need to get myself back.  I’ll bite back quick and hard and there’s really no thinking about what comes out next. Over the years I have learned to temper a lot of these reactions. I’ve learned to hold back, not be so quick to lash out. However this has the effect of allowing me to internalize the hurt I feel, bottle it up, ruminate on the things I want to say from it… it gives me time to tailor a harsher response when something bigger does set me off. I’m trying to fix this too. I’m trying to write down the responses I want to scream out. Release my anger onto paper. Come back to it. Find a better response, a calmer response, and then come back to it for discussion when I feel like I’m more in control.
There’s something else though. An element of, if the other person will allow me to push, stay with me through the hurtful things I do, it ‘proves’ that they won’t abandon me.  The more we can push away, the more baits and barbs we can throw, the more fights we can pick, the longer they show that they’ll tolerate it or try to work it out with us, the more we can believe that they mean what they say and aren’t trying to deceive us … If we can make someone we care for SO ANGRY, they’ll either prove us right, or prove us wrong. Either way we’ll know something for sure, and it stops (momentarily) the constant second guessing going on in our heads. Believing someone, trusting someone… I know I’ve been hurt so badly that I can never fully do this. That doesn’t mean I don’t want it. I just have to test the fences to be sure.

Lucid Analysis: Trials in Therapy – 5

Therapy last night was an ordeal. I was exhausted and run down. I didn’t feel like talking. I honestly didn’t want to be there.



Bottled



Sometimes I wonder if my therapist understands me at all. She keeps going on about Friend. I’ve been more down than usual, she thinks in part because it is their 10th year anniversary and it keeps coming up. I mentioned previously that I have no intention of attending their gathering.  Did I mention that Friend asked me to babysit so they could go out to dinner one night? Seriously? As soon as he asked me I wanted to punch him in the face and scream at him. My self-control is better than that now and what I ended up saying was ‘no, babysitting really isn’t my thing’. Which he knows so it was a plausible excuse. Yet he still asked me (Asshat).  I instantly feel guilty for not doing it, but I’d hate myself and trigger myself into doing something stupid if I did. I want nothing to do with this event. I say good for me. Yesterday the wife IMd me to help her find an anniversary present for him. WTF?!? Either I’m really that good at hiding my hatred of this whole thing, they’re utterly oblivious to my residual feelings (Friend) or intentionally poking at me because wife is a huge bitch (Yes). Therapist thinks their insensitivity is causing me to spiral down. If Friend was really caring he would know that this bothers me and not put me in a position to make me uncomfortable. Dick. I just kept saying, ‘it’s whatever, he’s a guy, what am I supposed to do about, he’s just a guy’.  Considering how close we were, and how much I cared about him, maybe even loved him, that I’m Splitting him into the all bad category in my life is my inner Angry Child acting out.
I thought this session was a complete waste until about 5 minutes before it was supposed to end. Then she started to upset me. Whatever she was saying made me face how I was really feeling. I had to confront the fact that I was feeling jealous, hurt, because such an intense part of our connection changed and was basically abandoned. She said I need to pay attention to those feelings of hurt and jealousy. Don’t dismiss them. That I am feeling these emotions means that I am lacking something in my life. I’m missing those things that would counter those emotions. I need to find something healthy to fill that void.
Note: Pay attention to my feelings. Negative emotions indicate a lack of something I need.
Therapist again, brought up the idea that maybe this relationship is no longer a healing relationship for me. That continuing to spend so much time with him, talking to him may be triggering my depression. What I had to make clear to her was I’m always depressed. I’ve been depressed since I was 12, this isn’t new. I did finally have to admit that he was contributing to it though.
Homework: Get out. Begin to form new relationships outside of him and the people connected to him.
I honestly have not felt ready for this, but after this session I think I should. I’ve been casually chatting with a woman I met on-line (don’t judge). Last time we communicated she gave me her phone number. I’m going to text her at lunch and see if she responds. I brought my phone charger to work so I couldn’t sabotage this plan and use my phone dying as an excuse to not do this (I need a new battery). That I’ve been so hesitant about this has meant to me that I’m not ready to be involved. Last night I came to a place that I think I can at least reach out, is a step in a healthier direction. I’m going to try. Maybe nothing will come of it, but at least I’m making an effort. I even have little thoughts and visions of double dating with Roommate or some other friends that live out by her. That’s good right? A little vindictive part of me hopes this makes Friend jealous, but it’s just a little voice in the back of my mind.  
Also, Sunday I did hang out with another guy I’ve known for ages. When I finally got home I was starving b/c I hadn’t eaten since my run. Poured myself a glass of wine and had dinner, then a snack, then more food until I binged out completely. Purge. Your last thought before going to bed should not be “this is how bulimia is supposed to work”::headdesk:: Therapist was obviously concerned about this. That my bulimia is coming back regularly is an indicator of my depression and my feeling out of control. This is most likely the result of my emotions revolving around Friend. Going out makes me worry I’m abandoning something and that’s scary for me, because my going out, will make him jealous, angry and push me out. She hopes he’ll tell me that I am important to him and that he will not discard our friendship because I am making new ones. I need to get past this.
I had no intention of really talking much this session. I don’t feel all that connected to Therapist and I didn’t want to say anything. For the beginning of it I was aloof, detached, I couldn’t focus on what she was saying, and honestly I did not care. I know it showed. She mentioned I seemed disgusted. Around mid-session I was starting to get angry, very angry, but still detached from my deeper emotions. I was lashing out about the wife and even swearing. I KNOW Therapist was trying to push me past this. She was actually trying to upset me, but in a direction away from anger. By 5 minutes to the end she did it. I shifted again and she actually made me start to cry. I hate this. HATE this. I hate myself for not being able to control this. I do have to admit that these were feelings I needed to face and work through. She ended up keeping me in session for a half hour after our time was up because she wanted to continue helping me work through this. I was ready to run out the door by this point and I practically did. I felt more connected to her at the end.
On a different note, when I told her about my tattoo consultation she was a little worried that I was going hypomanic because my excitement and up mood was so unusual for me and disproportionate to what that should have inspired. She’s not worried that it’s an impulsive decision. She is a little worried that I’m completely unconcerned with how much pain it’s going to cause. I have very little fat on my ribs and the majority of this piece is going to be right there, which is a notoriously painful location for tats. My other tattoos didn’t really hurt at all. Pain is normal for tattoos though. It’s really just something you have to accept if you’re going to have them done.  Maybe I’m rationalizing, but it is the reality of the thing.
She also told me to come in Thursday if I felt I needed it. I doubt I will but that she’s suggesting two sessions a week again is disconcerting. Sigh.

‘Holidays’ with the Family…

I know today is supposed to be my Trials in Therapy day, but in order to understand what we talked about I need to give the background. I’ll either post my Lucid Analysis later today or do it tomorrow. Background first, therapy second.  Sorry for the change up =/
So this past weekend I got to fly home to visit my family. This is not my favorite thing ever. Not the seeing my family part; the catching a late flight Friday after work and an early flight Sunday to get back. This translates into a 1.25 day weekend that isn’t spent in airports and planes. I’m anxious about leaving NY because I feel {relatively} grounded here, and sad before I even get home because I know I’m just going to have to leave practically as soon as I get there.



We have matching tattoos



Saturday rolls around. My sister is ridiculous late getting home which makes me anxious. This is going to cause us to be late to the family gathering which makes me panic. I CAN NOT be late to things. Can not. I’ve managed to beat out most of my OCD tendencies but I can’t let go of my preoccupation with time and being on time (maybe I’ll talk about this later). She finally gets home and I’m elated. Of everyone in this world she is the only one I never detach from. She grounds me and stabilizes me. Which is kind of ironic because I’m BPD and she’s bipolar so between the two of us we have all the rollercoaster emotions. All of them. Her BF didn’t come up with her. That was a little disappointing since I’ve gotten used to seeing him for family things. Plus he’s just a good guy and ridiculous funny.
 We went to my family gathering where we immediately started drinking. This does help calm me down through the barrage of family questioning about the new job, how I’m dealing with my PD, how I’m doing in NY, etc. It’s really overwhelming to be bombarded with so much attention like that. Blessedly my sis and I were able to break away from the crowd for some much needed catching up.  I was doing really well all day with watching what I ate/drank. Dinner came and went. Even then I did very well. After that I got up to catch my breath for a bit and completely binged out of nowhere. I had no intentions of it, but I couldn’t stop myself so I didn’t. The inevitable purge followed. That was my only slip up though. Once during the whole day is good for me when it comes to family foodie gatherings. Meh. Wasn’t very social after this.
Plus Friend was texting me about his fun male bonding stuff which stupidly makes me very jealous and feeling left out. I’m depressed, sad, and angry that he can have a good time without me. Not to mention incredibly anxious that since he’s making guy friends he won’t need to be friends with me now. With other people to do stuff with he’ll abandon me and I’ll be alone again. What’s even more dumb is one of my other buddies that he went with actually invited me to do stuff with them next time. Instead of being grateful I feel guilty like I’d be intruding. Like he’s only asking me to come because I said it sounded like they had a lot of fun and that must have guilted him into it and not because he really wants me there. 
Sunday I was flat out horribly depressed. Leaving my sister. Spending 8 hours in airport/planes (had a connecting flight). This did not translate well when my first flight was more turbulent than any other flight I’ve ever been on. I was in tears and wanted to grab onto the guy sitting next to me (he was kinda cute).  I DO NOT want to die. This thought terrifies me. I am in the unfortunate position of knowing way too much about planes/jets/spacecraft. Ok, so I do know how safe aircraft are designed to be, and I do know just how much punishment they can take before an emergency happens. However, I also know all the workings inside and out and as a result know just how much can go wrong as well. Flat out panic attack. Fortunately I manage to keep quiet from a lifetime of suppressing my emotional manifestations. Got off the plane, headed straight to the bar. Where I met a few guys and drank way too much. This did help my passing out all through the 2nd flight.  Much more pleasant experience. An old buddy of mine picked me up at the airport where he managed to trigger me about some friends that messed me up and I ultimately did away with (which doesn’t make me feel less abandoned by them because what happened truly was not my fault but if they really cared about me they wouldn’t have done it). I came back to an empty apartment because Roommate was doing the Easter thing with her family. Fail. By then I was ravenously hungry, got take out and ate everything I could get my hands on. Which only worked to freak me out about how much I had just consumed and unsurprisingly I had to purge it all. ::sigh:: Not my best day ever.  Not my best weekend ever. Holidays with the family are always rough for me though.
I was going to make light of my holiday weekend bulimia but I realized this was self-defeating and my goal was to NOT do these things. I need to encourage myself to do better, not set myself up to fail. As far as this goes, I actually did pretty well {for me}. Next time maybe I’ll be able to do better.