First let me say sorry, I haven’t gotten back to comments, I’m super overwhelmed right now and am in somewhat of survival mode.
So one of the main ways my Borderline Personality Disorder manifests itself is in the first criteria:
- Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. Note: Do not include suicidal or self-injuring behavior covered in Criterion 5
What the lovely DSM leaves out is impending abandonment. And for all purposes I’m using the word abandonment just because it is in the criteria and it fits how I feel but it is talking about the end/loss of a friendship. My go to used to be not to get close to people because then they could never leave you. It was pretty lonely, but it was safe. Out of the three people that are important to me, I’ve had to go through some hard times with temporary abandonment/loss.
With my sister it was when she got her new job and didn’t have as much time for me. The dynamics of our friendship/relationship changed. I had to carefully consider if it was “worth” bothering her when she already had so much on her plate. In the past I’d normally be the one receiving the support and having the bad days and bad moods; when she got into her job that changed and I found myself consoling and reassuring her. I don’t mind it but it was such a dramatic shift to finally realize she had problems too, and it wasn’t all about me. Sometimes, I think that stretch/change strengthened our relationship but sometimes I long for the past that I could call her up any time and she would try her hardest to make me feel better. My sister is family so odds are we will never truly be apart or leave each others life.
With my case manager, it was when she left (went on leave) abruptly with no explanation and also no timeline on when of if she’d be back. Unfortunately this coincided with the changes with my sister. I would just lay in bed, with my mom. I stopped going to school, I stopped going out, I stopped everything. I thought I was the reason she left, I had just disclosed some really personal stuff prior to her leaving. It was horrible for three or four months. Then my mom read in the newspaper that her son had cancer and it helped a little. I still missed her and didn’t have much support, other than the therapist they gave me (which I got again in addition later.) I never realized how important the relationship was until she left. I’ve been seeing my case manager for 5 years and for the most part it’s on my terms. I don’t think she would ever terminate treatment with me, though I sometimes wonder if I had an unsuccessful suicide attempt if she would. But we’re kind of tethered together until I don’t need therapy anymore.
And now with 20 somethings friend it is the most difficult. I never meant to get as close as I did to him. And in most ways I’m happy the experiences and emotions it has made me feel. But it’s a two way relationship and not just on my terms, he’s not family, it’s just different. I know he’s going away for school in the fall. And my insides are torn up on what to do about it. Wanting to cling, end the relationship, or just go crazy. Along with that I’m constantly obsessively thinking about the time we have left. After every interaction, I’m questioning if it’s worth it, if I’m pulling away, if he’s pulling away, what the discomfort is, why I feel so leery.
And then there is the stuff I am going through with the future and school, which mostly only 20 somethings friend knows about. I haven’t brought it up much with my case manager because I usually am focusing with her on how to deal with the loss of the relationship. People move on and grow apart, it’s part of life. But for a borderline it is excruciatingly painful and sets me into panic mode.