I Thank God

I have been thinking a lot about how I want to approach all of the emotions that have been bubbling inside of me over the last couple of days. As I rode the bus this morning, I realized that I just want to thank God. 
I have been in a lot of emotional pain. It hurts so much all the time, and I will be honest in saying that it is pain that I am use too. However, I think sometimes I just want to be pain free and so desiring that, makes me more aware of my emotions and thus causes me more suffering. 

It has been hard for me to get up. So I get to work an hour early because I know I need time to mentally prepare myself and create a game plan on how I am going to get through the day. Jupiter, my co worker, is an immense trigger. Just by her existing, and by me having this hunger for someone to fill my void, and the little girl inside of me now having chose her, makes her a trigger. So because I am around her all the time, I am hyperaware of the hunger inside of me, and am extra vigilant about controlling myself. And we have an awesome friendship, and I will give myself credit that I am doing amazing. I love our friendship, and so am mindful that even if apart of me feels like it’s not enough, nothing will ever be enough for that part, and to always be aware of not allowing that part to be in control.

So I get to work an hour early, sometimes I cry, sometimes I find creative ways to get out my anger. And once I have my emotions at bay, I check myself. I check my desires, my mannerisms, my unspoken attitude and gestures, ensuring that I am in no way protruding a sense of discontentment or need towards her. I do not talk to her either for this hour because I know I am not yet in a place where the adult me is in full control and if I speak from a child place then I may not be able to reel it in. 
I do this everyday. 

But here is the thing….

I DO IT everyday. It is getting done. I am slowly but assuredly coming to the acceptance that this is me. I have an emotional disorder, I am intense, I feel either everything too much, or everything too little. I hyper-attach to people in very unhealthy and enmeshed ways. But I am living with me, and I am even beginning to like and one day love certain parts of me. 

So I thank God because He is allowing me to be able to do it. By Thursday I am so emotionally worn that I tell myself that I am going to put on a movie for my students because I do not have the energy or mental capacity to teach. But then I see my kids, and God and ONLY GOD restores me and touches my heart in a deep place. I walk in thinking I am going to put on a movie, and staring at their expectant faces, I teach, and I teach with all of me. I give them all of me from places I did not even know I had. To my advanced kids, I check in on them and stand back in amazement as I beam in pride knowing that it was together that we did that. Together we pushed their minds further and they are excelling. To my struggling kids, I stoop down and take deep breaths as I patiently, with a patience that surprises me, come up with different ways to possibly help them understand what they have been trying so hard to get. Never giving up, even when I joke and say I will. 

I thank God for my favorite students who give the best hugs I could ever ask for on some of my worst days. 

I thank God for Jupiter who so lovingly lets me be me. I thank God that Jupiter is not afraid of me, that she knows how to set good boundaries, and how to keep us safe without even knowing that she is doing so.

I thank God for my therapist who helps me decode all of these interactions, and helps me understand boundaries. How “normal” people pace their relationships, and how when I feel I hit a boundary, it is not meant for me to push, or feel rejected by, but to respect and love that I am loved enough to not be treated with caution gloves but to be believed in and treat me normally. 

And I thank God for the chance to know Artemis, to experience love from such a deep place. There was a time when loving her hurt. But loving her now makes me always aware of my capacity to love. I love her so deeply and I pray for her earnestly to thrive, and grow, and experience love and friendship, and wholeness. 

There are a lot of things that I don’t like and that I regret but I thank God for the strength, support, and opportunities to change. 

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Between a Rock and a Hard Place

I am sad.
I am sad because I feel hopeless and defeated.
I feel hopeless and defeated because I don’t know how to continue with Jupiter.

Jupiter is my current coworker who I feel the same unhealthy attachment towards, as I have Artemis, and all the ones before her. My friends joke that I should stop leaving my house because clearly I have a radar that senses these people and that’s how I always manage to find them. But that’s besides the point.

I spoke to my therapist this week about how I just want to pull away from Jupiter completely because I am terrified of her hurting me one day. Lately, as my want for her has grown, I have found it harder to interact with her. I second guess everything I’m doing, and everything I say. I am so afraid of doing or saying something that may be unhealthy. The last time we were together we spent the first 15min in silence because I just didn’t know what to do. We’ve been on vacation for over a week and at the start of the break, I deleted her contact information from my phone so that I could not contact her at all. It’s the holidays and I felt like if I contact her then I would be ruining the holidays for her. Why do I feel that? I don’t know. Maybe because I always think so lowly of myself that I always fear that my presence is a contamination.

As school is about to open, and we are about to go back to work, I have been having dreams about us. Us being in the classroom, and her ignoring me, and me breaking down crying. Of course in reality we are perfectly fine on her end. She is not emotionally immature and so she is able to remember that I am real even after not seeing me or hearing from me in a week. Me on the other hand, I feel like I don’t even know who she is anymore.

I want her so much and I am ashamed. So what do I do when I know that following my heart will lead to an unhealthy abusive friendship, which will end with her leaving, but my brain doesn’t have the answer. I saw a Disney Short about the brain and the heart deciding where the man went. So if I have arrested my heart, and my brain is clueless, where can I go? I stay stuck.

If I just distance myself from her completely, after all she has shared with me, and the trust she has in me, she would feel hurt and betrayed. But if I stay and ruin it then I will feel rejected and abandoned.

God teach me how to be. I feel my insides shutting down. I am tired of hurting people, and I am tired of getting hurt. Teach me God how to get it right this time.

The Disney Short I was referring to!

A closer look into my break with my past attachment figure

If you have been following me then you have read my many posts about my last attachment figure, who I have taken to calling Artemis.

After many failed attempts to making our friendship work once she decided that she could be a friend but could no longer be in my life as an attachment figure, I asked her for a year long break back in March.

In March, the extent of my understanding was that I was too attached to her and behaved very unhealthily towards her. I figured that in a year apart from her, I should be able to lessen my attachment and thus be able to accept the new setup of our relationship.

About two weeks ago, I gained new understanding of what this break means, and I wanted to meditate on it before writing about it.

 

Shout out to my friends’ patience because they have been saying this since March, but it took me 8 months to understand and see.

In my mind, the goal of the break was that I would get healthy, that way when she comes back I will be able to emotionally handle our relationship without having the bad reactions that I use to have. After thinking about it two weeks ago, I realized that my goal was to essentially pick up where we left off, except I would be handling it better outwardly, even though inwardly I would still feel as hurt, abandoned, and alone as before.

Why would I want that.

Instead, the goal of the break should be to give myself the chance to find happiness outside of her and learn to live without her. The honest truth behind why this goal is hard for me hurts me, but I will say it nonetheless.

I am afraid that if I give myself the chance to experience life without her at the center of my actions and thoughts, then I will realize at the end of the break that I will be ok if we don’t resume a relationship. For as long as I love her like an object then I get to want her, need her, desire her, so strongly, with a passion that helps touch the always present emptiness inside of me. When she becomes a person, then I gain the freedom to say that despite the love that burns in my heart for her, our season of relationship is over.

I feel like I have a definition of love, colored with dependency. In order for me to feel loved, I need to feel like someone holds me in their thoughts and needs me. Similarly, I express love in that very stifling way, where I try to always be present and around.

So what do I do now?

I decided to start by actually following her on instagram. I visit her page all the time, the only difference is that now she knows that I am looking. I didn’t want her to know because I was trying to show her that I am less dependent so she could take me back. But now I know thats not the goal anymore. In the beginning, I needed to stay away from her page because seeing her with certain people, moving on, hurt me. Now it doesn’t. I literally just visit her page out of the compulsive need to feel close to her. Visiting the page is just a symptom of another deep problem. The symptom will always arise. Even when I stayed off for two months, at two months and a day I was back to obsessively visiting it. Therefore, I wanted to follow her, so I did. Whether secretly visiting, or visiting on and off, I still have to fix the underlying problem either way.

I will end this post by saying that I know that dependent love is not love. If I only feel ok about someone pursuing something for as long as it does not hurt me then that is not love. If I want someone to be somewhere, where they are not experiencing their full potential, but them leaving means I get inconvenienced, than it is not love if I don’t encourage them to leave.

I need to love myself by encouraging myself to go, to move on, to soar. I need to love myself by giving myself the chance to learn to love like God. It’s not about Artemis, it’s about me. It’s my fears, my needs, my issues. I will love Artemis, and every other “Artemis” that was or will be, as people, and not objects, when I love myself.

Goal Reflection #1

I have been super excited for Sunday. I could not wait to sit down and have the time to think about how I did on my goals and what new ones to set. So without further ado I am going to write how I did on each goal below the goal. If you want to know why I set each goal you can take a look at last week’s post Here.
Last Week Goals:

1. I will visit my last attachment figures (lets call her Artemis) social media page only four times this week.
-I visited her page five times this week which is still a SIGNIFICANT decrease from the amount of times I was visiting her page before my goal. This week, this goal helped me see just how often I was running to her page for comfort and coping. At the same time I miss her so much. But do I miss “Object Artemis” or “Artemis Artemis.” Definitely both. There are moments where I am eager to share a new hair product or talk to her about something I only feel comfortable speaking with her about. Then there are moments where the emptiness feels like it’s going to swallow me and I wish she were there to set up tent inside of her. This month is her birthday and I know that the best thing I can do is not wish her happy birthday. I think because I am still so confused, she will sense that and even that minor complication on her birthday is not ok. I don’t want her to have to think about if she should say thank you and what both saying it and not saying it will mean. She knows I know it’s her birthday and she knows I love her and thats enough.

2. I will let Jupiter lead our interactions this week by mostly only interacting with her after she interacts with me.
-Yea I failed at this goal at the beginning of the week. BUT BUT BUT something else amazing happened that I don’t know how to explain. On Monday and Tuesday I offered some options for Jupiter and I to hang together and she agreed but didn’t follow up with it. There are lots of reasons as to why that is, but the most important thing is that despite me knowing that, I still felt rejected and HURT. I had a very emotional therapy session on Wednesday as a result. And in that session I was learning how to accept when another person doesn’t want the same things out of a relationship that I do. How that doesn’t mean that the person doesn’t want me or doesn’t love and care about me. But that what I want from them they just are not in a position to give.

I don’t think I quite understand this yet. During session I was just super confused as to what that meant because if what I want is for us to be close friends and she doesn’t want that then that means she doesn’t want me. Session ended with my therapist informing me that I just don’t know what I want. The following two days though something happened in me that I have never experienced with an attachment figure. Jupiter was talking to me about some of her insecurities in a close friendship of hers and I was being a safe space for her to talk and sharing ideas on how she could make the best out of that close friendship. And it wasn’t until after that I realized WAIT. I just spent the past hour hearing her talk about her love for her other friend and their closeness and not once did I ever get jealous. Heck, not once did I ever cross my mind. It was like my only concern or care was her, and how she was feeling and at the end of it, I just went on with my workday.

I genuinely and sincerely just cared about her. And whatever friendship role I was playing it just felt natural and contentful. I didn’t feel the need to push for more, neither did I feel insecure that because she has all of that love for her friend, there is not enough love or care for me. She wasn’t an object that I needed to gain, but a person that I truly saw and care about. The joy in my heart at this realization is bursting from out of me!!! I, am naturally and organically forming a real healthy friendship with someone that I initially unhealthily bonded too. Me, I am doing that. And because of that, Thursday and Friday I didn’t need to be conscious of this goal and how to actively do that. I knew who I was in the friendship, where I belonged, and just lived my life in that confidence. Does this mean I will never have BPD related issues with Jupiter now, idk, but I know that there is hope that BPD does not have to control my relationships.

3. I will choose one coworker this week and take time getting to know them a bit better.
– I did this! It was awesome getting to know someone else and experiencing how not every friendship has to be close but that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be superficial either.

This Weeks Goals:

1. I will visit Artemis Social Media Page only four times this week.
– I am keeping this goal because everything I wrote about last week concerning this goal still rings true. I am a lot more bonded to Artemis than any other attachment figure because for a period of time Artemis actually tried and succeeded at fulfilling the longings of my heart, though they are impossible to continuously fulfill. Nevertheless, it’s like with her I tasted how good life can be to have those needs met, and I struggle with deeply believing that it is not possible to get what I want, and I struggle with accepting that even if it were possible she will never want to be in my life in that capacity again. I gave myself to her more than I have ever given myself to anyone else and so forming a healthy bond to her is extremely hard and extremely painful because it feels like a lot of loss. In therapy I try not to talk about her often because there are other parts of my life that need healing, but when she does come up it’s one of the rare times my therapist sees me cry because the emotions that come with her are overwhelming.

So again, my head wants to have a healthy bond with her because it understands how much more satisfying healthy is. Parts of my heart want a healthy bond because it loves her as she is. But the part of my heart where that lil girl resides very much would still be throwing tantrums and acting out if I let her, at the thought of having Artemis in a capacity less than what she experienced and wants. So with Artemis the baby steps are very much impactful. And if I can start lessening the dependence through less interaction on her page, then I am doing good.

2. I will be in control of my happiness not people.
– With my recent victory concerning Jupiter. I have to be careful of not allowing my interactions with her determine if I am happy or sad. I am going to set the tone for the kind of day I want to have and operate out of that.

I’m only setting two goals this week and am excited to see what I learn from them!

Recognizing Growth

I feel like I forgot how to write because I have not written in so long. But hey, I miss my blog so I am going to just jump in.

With me not in school anymore I am now employed full time as an elementary school teacher in a charter school.

I work with one of my old attachment figures, Marigold. From the beginning Marigold and I established very strict boundaries that gave us assurance and safety regarding our interactions. As time goes on Marigold and I are slowly becoming as close as we once were, EXCEPT this time we are building a real, HEALTHY, friendship. It’s amazing the way my friendships flourish when a portion of my being is not attempting to create an impossible attachment with the other person.

With that being said though, I have written extensively about how my relationship with my last AF and how she is not currently in my life right now. So with her being unavailable, and with Marigold occupying a friend spot and not an attachment spot, guess what happened?

Exactly, the little girl in me quickly found someone new to occupy that attachment spot in her life and that is one of the other teachers at the school, Jupiter.

Now as anyone with BPD can guess, the last place you want your attachment problems to be manifesting itself is in your work place. But the things with these attachments is that they form quickly and you can’t help their formation. BUT you can help how you MANAGE it.

My therapist and I have been working extensively on managing this attachment. In addition to our meetings, we have phone calls, and I text her when I just literally forget all the right things I am supposed to be doing because I am so overwhelmed by all of the wrong desires.

This past week has been really difficult because I am beginning to simply feel maxed out emotionally. I am with this teacher Monday-Friday 8am-5pm, we are in the same room, she is an extremely nice and naturally close person, and so on top of all of the stress of just being a teacher, I am also every second of every day managing my raging emotions on the inside.

My attachment is growing, and this week, everyday everything triggered me. Seeing her laugh with someone else sent my insides on a frenzy. Now imagine how many friendships a genuinely nice, close person has, and the amounts of laughs or conversations she shares with them, on a daily basis. A lot. By Thursday after school I didn’t have the energy to make it to the bathroom to vent my emotions in tears or silent anger, so I went to Marigolds room and just collapsed on her floor in tears. It was just us two in there but while in there, we thought everyone had left, but two coworkers came in to ask us if we were heading out with them and saw me on the floor crying. Marigold just told them I was fine and we’d see them tomorrow. In a school where teachers quit as often as the rainfall from the stress and teachers breakdown all the time, they just probably assumed it was from work so no big deal.

This week I have had so much anger at Jupiter. Moments in the day i’d just be screaming in my head “I hate you, I hate you.” Did she do anything to deserve it? Nope. But I know by now, that I’m just feeling rejected because I am not her everything and the most special to her so it’s just the imagined rejection influencing such intense emotions in me.

BUT HERE IS THE GOOD NEWS!!

Jupiter has ZERO IDEA that I feel any of the emotions that I do towards her. Both the intensely good and bad. We are friends, and I think because of who I am, people just tend to naturally open up to me quickly, so I have quickly become one of her confidants and she remarked how she’s surprised by how quickly she opened up to me because though she has a lot of surface level friendships not many extend beyond that level.

No one in the school, except Marigold, knows anything about my BPD because I have gotten so much better at living with it. Even through the intense emotions with Jupiter I have my coping mechanisms that I do that look normal to everyone else, but helpful for me. All my work gets done on time. I give my students my best when I am teaching them. Even Marigold who knows everything, on Thursday told me she had no idea that I was struggling so much this week because of how fine and upbeat I looked.

I learned something very important this week. I learned what it means to have problems. Everyone has problems, but I looked at my mental health as an inconvenience that keeps me from getting to my life where I can start experiencing the “normal” problems. So this week in session my therapist mentioned:

Therapist: how much better I am getting and how once I let go of my last attachment figure (she unfortunately still holds a big portion of me) I will be that much closer to experiencing freedom.

Me: You are only saying that because you don’t see how much I am struggling because I am internalizing a lot of it.

Therapist: Sweety, that’s exactly the point. You are not internalizing you are self regulating, taking care of your own self emotionally without external help.

Me: *eyes opens wide in realization*

Therapist: You are not yelling at people, hurting yourself, throwing tantrums frequently. Even in our relationship I feel less cautious around you and less worried for you.

Me: But how am I getting better when I am still forming these attachments

Therapist: Sweety, unfortunately that’s not really something that goes away. Whatever happened to make you this way, happened and so it is in your personality to form those attachments. That is not what is going to change, it is how you handle them that will, and the power that you allow them to have over you.

Me: oh so the attachments don’t go away, I just am growing to control them.

Therapist: yup

I am now looking forward to this week and everyday as an opportunity for growth. I am a normal person with problems that I am managing like everyone else. I am not sick, I have a vivid brain! It is my job to care for myself. Even if I did not have mental health issues, I would still have things that require me caring for myself.

I am setting up goals for this week and I look forward to checking back in next Sunday to discuss how I did with my goals.

GOALS:

1. I will visit my last attachment figures social media page only four times this week.
-She still occupies a significant portion of me in an unhealthy way. Because she is not present in my life she has become an imaginary comfort object for me. Seeing her pictures comforts me because I am imagining her hugging me when I’m down. Talking to me when I am angry. She is not a person to me, but an object and the day has to come when I have to stop using people as objects for my sanity. She is a beautiful, loving, inspiring, extra, funny person and I love her enormously. I want to love her for her not for me. And also, if I can get myself to the point where I stop believing that she is capable of being an object then it will make it easier to also not let that belief flourish with other people. Because she tried everything to be what I wanted her to be and couldn’t because it’s impossible. I need to learn that, and reducing the frequency with which I use her images as comfort blankets, forces me to replace those moments with moments of me comforting myself.

2. I will let Jupiter lead our interactions this week by mostly only interacting with her after she interacts with me.
-This may seem unhealthy because it is not how natural friendships develop but this is not meant to be a long term habit. The purpose behind me doing this is that I have been on the lookout for “natural” ways to interact with her and thinking of “natural” conversations to have with her. Instead, I want to improve my ability to be content with where we are now instead of planning on how to create a closer friendship with her. I will instead be putting my attention on my work and not on her. Basically this goal is about learning how to shift my focus at WORK from her to THE WORK. LOL!

3. I will choose one coworker this week and take time getting to know them a bit better.
– Again this goal is about easing up on the habit of only caring and focusing on one person and instead learning how to actively care and attach to a variety of people with a variety of depth to each attachment.

This was a super long post. When I created this blog it was for me and I never expected anyone to read it. I have gained some followers along the way and I just wanted to say that I appreciate you reading and I hope that me talking through some of the things I have learned and am learning can also help you!

Enjoy your Sunday!!

I Don’t Want to do This Anymore

I don’t want to do this anymore…..
I don’t want to look at pictures of myself and hate what I see because I feel i’m just not good enough for you to stay with me.
I don’t want to see you moving on and feel so low because I wasn’t valuable enough to be kept on the ride.
I don’t want to feel pain when I see you with your friends and family because I was just a temporary mistake that you mistakenly called sister, friend, daughter.
I don’t want to open my bible pretending that the words I read touch even the rim of the unwontedness and valuelessness that I feel.
I don’t want to search and find a power inside of me that will allow me to reject the rejector.
I don’t want to do any of those things because I want you.
I want to continue being excited to share with you important, silly, or even mundane news without the wake up call that, wait, we are no more.
I want to talk about the things I am proud of you for without feeling achy that it doesn’t matter.
I want to love you in a relationship with you, not love you by respecting your desire to be distant from me. 
I don’t want to know that sorry just isn’t enough for you to try with me anymore. 
I don’t want to do this anymore….
I don’t want to push past knowing that truly, I just am not enough for you to try with me anymore. 
I guess, between the lines of it all, I am really just saying that I don’t want to be strong anymore.