I feel in a state of unrest. I wrote a blog post earlier and deleted it as it was rubbish. When things go swimmingly well I think they will always go swimmingly well. When things go pear-shaped I think they will always be pear-shaped. When in one state it is difficult to summon up memories of ever having felt anything different, or to imagine feeling anything different in the future to my current state of emotion. That is because of the all encompassing way someone with my personality and illness experiences any given emotion. I am ALL. I am NOTHING. I am this NOT that. Here, and only here. Right here, right now, never anything else than this.
This affects relationships and attachment behaviours. The thing that defines BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) and differentiates it from other disorders is the push-pull dynamic that manifests in our relationships and friendships. When we are in one emotional state [needing/wanting/approaching/craving] we will PULL people towards us.
That pulling does not involve ropes tied round waists and physical force. The pulling is psychological. We cannot help but draw people close when closeness is what we are emotionally driven and compelled to obtain. We don’t consciously think I must have people close to me right now, who can I bring towards me, who can I bond with, who is about etc. I guess we will show openness by things such as heavy use of social media, texting friends, making phone calls, answering emails in detail, asking questions, being attentive and chatty etc. That increases the likelihood of more contact being reciprocated as we are looking outward and socially active and cooperative.
To a point this feels LUSH, if we are wanting the comfort and closeness of people around us, our hearts merging with theirs, the pleasure of sharing things and connecting well. If we are getting a level of interaction which is compatible with our emotional needs for emotional intimacy and sociability then we will feel satisfied and happy and our moods will lift and we will give more because we are feeling good and everyone benefits.
The trouble is, we are not constant people with constant personalities and constant moods and attitudes. Our identity shifts in chameleonic ways which I imagine are difficult to adjust to. That is why we are called unpredictable. After all these years I have still not been able to establish any patterning to my moods. They just change constantly in all sorts of directions and I just sit on this rollercoaster and ride the thing as best I can. So if I cannot predict the shifting sands of my personality, no one else can be expected to either.
The opposite of the PULL is the PUSH.
Too much social contact and too much conversation and too much supporting and too much giving and too much sharing about ourselves gets very quickly tiresome. My water line of what I can tolerate can be breached very suddenly. One text too many. One question too many. One favour too many. One person asking how I am too many. I suddenly and very irrationally hate it. It isn’t logical. It isn’t really fair on the other person, but unfortunately it is just how it is for me and it happens like that clicks fingers
I reached PUSH mode earlier today. I had one message too many and it made me want to SCREAM at the top of my lungs LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE. This is blunt, but honest. It did. I deleted the messenger app on my phone, put an announcement on Facebook that I essentially don’t want to talk to anyone till I’m back from France and that was that. I’ve had no contact for hours.
The sudden ferocity with which I can decide ‘enough is enough’ socially and I want to be left alone surprises and overwhelms and shocks even me, so I cannot imagine how my friends take this. I think they feel rejected and pushed away and hurt and maybe pissed off, but I don’t know. I think the thicker skinned friends will be more philosophical about it but others will take it more personally, as though it is about them, when in reality it is never usually about any one individual-more typically across the board and a reflection of my psychological dysfunction.
Today was a huge SHOVE away to everyone except my immediate family. So what if you’re a best friend or someone I never speak to. I am sick of humans. I am sick of how humans make me feel. I am sick of being encroached on by anyone else or anyone wanting my time or love. When I am happy and in pull mode, I will love and love and love and care and care and care, but when my capacity for doing that is exhausted I have to replenish myself somehow and I do that via social retreat and withdrawal.
PUSH PULL PUSH PULL.
The most famous book ever written on Borderline PD is named ‘I HATE YOU, DON’T LEAVE ME’, and you can buy it on Amazon. It is not just a funny catchy title. It is a very real aspect of the condition. I can think someone is fucking lovely and adore them but get to the point where my emotional capacity is exhausted and then I can’t talk to them. It is only temporary and soon I will be subconsciously pulling them back again, but I can’t keep socialising through a push phase. I will get ill if I do that. My pushing away behaviour is the only thing I can do for my mental health. But still people find me frustrating and possibly also offensive and hurtful, which leads them to back away from me.
I don’t know what the solution is. I am not constant and never have been. I am not predictable and never have been. My moods and social patterns will never be constant. Therapy does not really help smooth out the jerkiness of these two social extremes. I bring the push-pull dynamic into the therapy relationship too. Most clients with BPD do as it is one of our characteristic behavioural traits. At the moment for example I am in a phase of craving emotional comfort and relief from my psychologist so seeking her out a great deal, yet I am not doing this clinginess fully comfortably and I am simultaneously fed up with therapy and the extent I am expected to change which is leading me to resent her a little (which isn’t fair as it isn’t her fault-the point of therapy is that the client changes!) but therapy is hard and I need her lots but I also feel like I can’t change so am also sick of it.
Are you confused?? I am!
This is everyday life with this most confusing condition.
Push you pull you want you hate you leave me don’t leave don’t be long stay away long yes please no thanks and ALL THAT BPD JAZZ jazz hands pushing you away until I get tired of that and miss you and want you right back again-sigh