Borderline Devaulation Sucks for Us Too

Since this weekend I’ve felt kind of lost and lonely. Disillusionment is upsetting. Devaluation doesn’t just suck for the other person; the non-Borderline. It sucks for the Borderline too. One day you get those little butterflies in your stomach, your heart pounds and you can’t help but smile. The next is only emptiness. The person doesn’t even look the same to you. Where they used to have a certain glow, now they just have 3 day old stubble. The bounce that lightens your step is gone, gravity feels a little stronger. I don’t want this to happen. Losing all of that is upsetting to us too. It’s like losing the sun and trading it for a year of night (Ok, maybe not my best analogy considering I prefer the darkness, but you know what I mean).
I’m weary. Very weary. I’m wearing different skin again. This skin belongs to someone sitting 15 feet back from everyone around her. I don’t belong here. I thought I might, but I don’t.
A Reader made a comment to me the other day. I said I couldn’t trust myself. She thinks I can: What is important is how you feel with him and how you perceive him. That is your truth and you can trust it. Trusting yourself doesn’t mean you get things right all the time it just means you honor yourself and what you need.
I love this sentiment. I think it’s beautiful.
The problem with being Borderline is the way I feel around him changes constantly. Especially now that I’ve had my rosey colored glasses unceremoniously knocked off of my face. When he’s not around, it’s as if he’s not even in my life so I can view everything objectively. I can look at the reality of the situation, analyze and annotate my notes on the whole thing and come to a very rational conclusion…. But when he’s with me everything changes. I feel his solid presence and his desire to be in my company. A tangible proof that I’m not alone and might not always be alone in the world.
Another problem with Borderline Personality Disorder is how we can’t help but base our opinions on the last interaction. Saturday by the time we left the casino I was weary, exhausted, and felt  like there was a physical wall between us. I saw him on Monday and he was sweet, flirty, and giving me the attention I wanted so I was conflicted about ending things completely. Maybe he just gave the wrong impression, maybe this, maybe that…. I doubt. We texted that night and he said some sweet things and I felt that glow and was happy with him. A few moments later he said something that I found to be heavy handed and disheartening… I was done talking to him after that. I haven’t seen him yet today, and I don’t want to.
This is a lot of why I feel I can’t trust myself. My feelings change moment to moment depending on how I last perceived them.
The important thing here is that my eyes opened before I began to fall for him. That’s what has tripped me up so horribly in the past. When I idealize someone so much, to the point where I am absolutely in love with them, nothing can stop my feelings for them. If atrocious and horrible things happen after I’ve fallen in love, I’m likely to put up with way too much abuse. My emotional rollercoaster will be compoundingly devastating because logically I know this is bad for me, but it is in extreme opposition to what my heart now wants. The contradiction is maddening.
If someone has done something ‘off’ enough that they’ve lost their value in my eyes, before I become attached, then this is not the same problem. My ability to invest in them emotionally becomes null. A cast iron gate has dropped along the road to a broken down town. From far away it still has a quaint appearance, but I’ll never get close enough to bother buying realty. I may stick around for a while, but only until I find something better.
This makes me wonder. Perhaps a new Borderline hypothesis.
How to determine if a relationship with a Borderline will last long or not: If things go so well that we idealize someone long enough to fall in love with them, then nothing will deter our emotions (this doesn’t mean we won’t still second guess things, push away-pull back, etc, but we’ll probably stay or keep coming back). However if someone we’re interested in has been devalued before we can form a deep emotional attachment to them, it’s easier for us to deconstruct everything immediately and perhaps walk away. Doesn’t mean there won’t be some strong emotional conflict, but it won’t have the chance to reach a point where our worlds will end if it isn’t forever.
Which makes me consider my next thought. The best thing for a Borderline who is trying to get over a past heartache is to cut off contact completely (I feel compelled to say, at least until we’ve fully moved on to someone else). No texts, no e-mails, no going out for coffee, nothing. The few times I’ve remained in contact with men that have broken my heart, The One and Friend namely, it’s taken me so, so much longer to get over them (if I can truly say that I have). It always feels like there might be some chance, or there’s too many opportunities to read too much into their words, too many times that hope can be rekindled, sparked for even a moment. Too many times for the last interaction to be positive and subsequently negative, and break our hearts all over again. But with say, Evil-Ex, even though we continued living together, we avoided each other completely, never spoke, and I moved on very rapidly. I’ve never, not once, ever considered going back to him or wanted him in my life in any way ever, ever again. We did have to talk occasionally by the nature of dealing with living arrangements, however by that point his mask had slipped so thoroughly that he could no longer sweet talk me which rapidly made him lash out and increase the rift of my devaluation. My point, time, space, and distance are the best things we could do for ourselves to get out of these situations.
I still have conflicting feelings about Friend. I haven’t spoken to The One in probably 7 or 8 years, yet he still haunts my dreams. Evil-Ex pops up in them occasionally too, but that’s never a matter of consequence so much as amusement. Even my subconscious sees them differently.
Don’t think this is just about Tech Boy. This is practically every ‘relationship’, ‘thing’, whatever, that I’ve had.
Bloody Fucking Hell. Seriously. So Tech Boy just stopped by my office. He asked me if I was coming down to break in a bit. I wasn’t planning on it, but I said it depended on how hard it was raining. So what’s he do? He offers me his jacket to keep me dry. ::head desk::
::sigh::
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Consumed By You, Consumed by Me: Engulfment

Love vs. Obsession. This may be where I confuse the two. I didn’t have a term for it before, but Engulfment seems to fit with Borderline Personality Disorder, many Personality Disorders actually.
Engulfment – Engulfment is an unhealthy and overwhelming level of attention and dependency on a spouse, partner or family member. It’s a distortion of reality in the mind, in which the status of a relationship takes an inappropriate level of priority over the every day, physical and emotional needs of those involved. A level of crisis is inferred on the status of the relationship and a “fix-it-at-all-costs” strategy is deployed to deal with any weaknesses in the relationship – real or imagined.
There is often immense pressure placed on those being engulfed to behave in ways that put them at the center of the PD’s world. They may demand time, resources, commitment and devotion beyond what is healthy. Relationships with outsiders, family and friends may be seen as threats and be frowned upon, resulting in Alienation. Even normal habits or routines, such as work, hobbies, interests which take a Non-PD’s attention and energy away from the PD-sufferer may appear threatening. Acts of independence by that person may be met with begging, argument, threats, even acts of retribution and violence.
People who are on the receiving end of engulfment may find themselves compromising other relationships or competing interests in order to “keep the peace” with a partner or family member who is embroiled in engulfment. They may fear the consequences of displaying independent thought or action. They may fear violence, intimidation or rage if they do not give the person what they want. They may long to leave the relationship but be afraid of the consequences if they do.
I’ve only really done this twice; with my high school best friend/boyfriend (whom I won’t talk about) and with Evil-Ex. With Evil-Ex it went both ways. In the ebb and flow of our dependence and counter dependence; the emotional highs and lows, it would be one or the other of us that tried to hold on. The more evasive and subversive he was, the harder I would hold on, trying to fix everything, trying to compensate for anything that I perceived as needing to be fixed; the more I would try to engage him in our relationship. When I had enough, or needed my own space to find myself, when I was my typical strong assertive self, in other words, when it appeared I didn’t need him, the tables would turn and he would try to engulf me. It was a game for him. For me it was like oxygen. I needed him to keep breathing normally. He needed me to assuage his own ego.
When things were rocky it was like someone clutching my heart in a death grip and drowning it in a bath of ice. My lungs would constrict and I couldn’t think of anything but making whatever wrong I had done, right. It was unendurable panic. All I wanted was for things to ‘be back to normal’. The more he would sneak around; the more he would try to make me feel crazy, jealous, worthless, the more I wanted to prove him wrong. To prove him wrong, I had to fix whatever little flaw I thought he saw. My self-worth rode on the approval I received for doing something that brought back the balance. What I couldn’t understand at the time was; there was never a balance in the first place. There was only him driving me to madness and me wrapping the insanity around me like a shroud.
That’s what being engulfed in someone feels like. It’s an obsession. A thick fog of madness clouding your mind where the rest of the world becomes occluded in the mist and you can only see the figure you focus on two feet in front of you. Nothing more, nothing less; nothing else matters. All the while trying to maintain a grip on who you are. Wanting more than life itself to have the person you love, love you back, treat you well, do you right, without having to lose who you are in the process. Except exerting who you are, who I was, was exactly the thing he did not want to see. He wanted me to be the ideal picture of a hot brainiac gamer chick that was utterly devoted to him. Anything other than that; having anything in my world other than him, was proof that I was out to do something against him. If I wanted to have my own friends, it was because I wanted to cheat on him. If I wanted to stay in and watch a movie, it was because I wanted to keep him from his friends. Just small examples of his logic. To be honest there were times I didn’t want him to go out without me. Though in my defense, often I knew when he went out he did it with the intention of cheating on me, or playing games with girls to boost his own ego. I should have left, but I couldn’t, so I went crazy instead.
Everything he did was ‘for’ the relationship or for tearing it apart. Or so it seemed to me. Even when they were simply everyday things that had nothing to do with anything. All actions felt like they had impact on ‘us’.
My world became filled with self doubt. I would compromise anything that I wanted simply to keep some stability and ward of retribution as he was a very vengeful person be the slight real or imagined. What was wrong with me that I couldn’t make him happy? What was wrong with me, that he would do these things, look for these things elsewhere, instead of with me? The honest answer: It was him, not me. Oh yes. I acted in ways to hold onto him that were less than acceptable and no, I couldn’t extricate him from any aspect of my life, but not until he had burrowed himself in and pushed my buttons so far inside of me that I didn’t know how to trip the switch to my own sanity.
Of course, my ex was a malignant narcissist. Not exactly the pinnacle of normalcy in his own right, which probably contributed to why our cycles of love and hate perpetuated as long as they did.
The real bitch of it all… I rarely felt so alive. All the craze, all the torture, all the heart pounding highs and crushing lows, I knew, without a doubt knew, what it was to be living again. He’d taken away the numbness I felt, the empty hollow life I had been living and filled that shell with something so devastatingly exhilarating that I was afraid to stop feeling again. Despite the fact that what I was feeling was making me fall freely to my own early grave.
I knew this and I would assert myself once more. This only worked to make him angry, worked against me. He couldn’t control me directly, so he worked to control me in other ways. Had I been a weaker person and allowed him to mold me into the placid plastic doll that he wanted me to be, I could have saved myself so much heartache. I wouldn’t allow it. I won’t allow it. No one will ever tell me who I am allowed to be, who I’m supposed to be. If I choose to change that’s one thing, but it will be my choice, or at least, doing by my own hand subconscious or otherwise. There are times I would be what he wanted me to be, but I wouldn’t give up myself completely. It wouldn’t have mattered if I had. I knew this. It would have ended things sooner had I given in, given up; he’d have gotten bored. So would I.
No matter the trauma and abuse, I fought. I fought for him, or I just plain fought him. That’s how consumed I was with our relationship. And nothing anyone could tell me could make me feel that this was not what I wanted, despite the fact that cognitively I knew, I TOLD myself, that things were not okay. When you’re engulfed by someone, with someone, there’s no logic, there’s only the feeling of utter consumption.
Engulfment is the loss of self through being controlled, consumed, invaded, suffocated, dominated, and swallowed up by another. Fortunately it is possible to extricate yourself. It’s not easy, but eventually there comes a point where you just can’t take anymore. One person or the other needs to take a stand.

It can stop now. Please?

Hard decisions are hard. Everything hurts. I’m so tired of everything hurting. 
Realized my time marker was mid-April not mid-March. Can’t wait that long with everything eating away at my insides. Told Friend everything that has been crushing me. Tearing me apart. It went exactly as I expected it to, and not as I wanted. That, I have to accept. Doesn’t make it hurt less. He’s not in love with me, which I knew. He does love me. Go to the ends of the earth for me, closest confidant and friend, blah blah blah. Doesn’t want to lose me. I told him I need him to stay away from me. I need space for a while.
::tears:: I hate how everything keeps changing. And I’m still left alone. I just want something to stay. It feels so cruel to me to have so much and then to have it change so suddenly. I just, can’t. I don’t know how to deal with this. Is like someone reached through my ribs, grabbed my stomach and twisted it up into my throat.

I get so invested. So attached. I don’t know how to not.

I needed to do this. I was so angry this weekend. Both him and his wife were texting me like mad to come over and worried that I wasn’t well. She wanted me to come over for dinner Sunday. I fought with myself and tried to excuse myself by telling her I was off food again (Cleanse, not a random fit of anorexia). She said she they really just wanted my company. ::sigh:: So what do I do? I make a pie. Homemade, from scratch, my own recipe that I’ve worked on for years and is the pinnacle of perfect, 2.5 hours, Dutch Crumble Apple Pie. Last week it was Chocolate French Silk.  I don’t know why I do this. Baking and cooking is one of my ultimate distraction techniques.  It’s a running joke that I make multi course gourmet meals, stunning, that I don’t eat. ::headdesk:: I was uncomfortable, couldn’t even look at them hardly, couldn’t even pretend anymore. No false smiles, no jokes… Though finding out that Bitter Melon was made of hate, did make me laugh out loud… left early, drove through the rain longer than I had to. Fitting.
Rage. He’s all understanding and infuriating. How am I supposed to stay mad when people are all caring? Fuck.
I was furious all weekend. Today I was calm enough to collect my thoughts but bordered on detached.  I should have felt something, a release, some relief, but I didn’t. Just a low dread waiting for the repercussions… which didn’t come? He really is a good friend. I’m crazy. Crazy people don’t get real relationships (this completely is not true, my rational brain knows this but it’s how I feel right now). I get, understanding? Which probably just hurt worse because for as wonderful and beautiful as he tells me I am, still not good enough. Heartache and hurt… and then nothing. Well, I have a mild headache but I think that’s from not having solid food for the last four days. And sleep, I should probably sleep.
Nothing. Damn. I hate that. Flip switch to not feeling is bizarre. One minute I want to curl up in bed, the next I can chat with Roommate and appear to be just fine. Except for the feeling like I’m floating two feet to the left of my own body. Glasses to in focus, two television screens framing the life I’m seeing. It’s not unpleasant, just, not normal.

Tired of hurting. Tired of being alone. Tired of things always changing. No control. No stability.

I feel too much. I wish I knew how to temper it. To experience things the way normal people do. I’m told, I know, it’s a symptom of my disorder. I feel too much. Can’t stop everything rushing in at me.
Knowing that, doesn’t stop it from hurting.

I don’t understand. Don’t understand. I’m not a bad person.  

I break my own heart more than anyone I’ve ever known. I can’t stand it anymore.

I can’t.

I can’t.

I can’t.

Everything hurts.