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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Word of the Year

I stopped making new year resolutions a while ago. Instead, I have taken to finding a word that I want to committ myself to for the year. The goal is that throughout the year the word will help keep me oriented and centered. When I begin to lose direction, or a sense of purpose I will think about my word and it will redirect me.

First year my word was endurance. It was the beginning of my mental health journey. I had not started treatment until about 9 months into the year. So whilst I was still unaware of my depression and my BPD, all I knew was that I was weak and that I needed  that word to keep me going. I had no idea what was plaguing me, but I knew I just needed to endure.

The second year my word was study. After finally being diagnosed the year before. I wanted to study myself, study my actions, and study my bible. That year was a year of self awareness for me. 

Last year….well….. 2016 started off with anger like I have never experienced before. 2015 ended with me storming out of one of my sisters house, walking the 2 hr walk from her house home, in the winter, with no coat. Then wanting to die of hypothermia, so sitting on the roof of my building while people called me worried about where I was. Then 2016 started with me telling my other sister about how I felt and her hanging up on me. And me smashing my practically mew phone against the wall. Then texting her from my moms phone that I hate her and that I hope she dies. So the first half of 2016 was characterized by so much anger and just lostness that a word of the year slipped my mind. And if it didn’t, well I sure don’t remember it so it doesn’t matter. 

My word for 2017 is Love. No one will ever reach a point of perfect love, the way we define perfect. But I hope to strive for a mature love. Love for myself, love for my friends, and love for my family. May Love shine through me this year. 

“You must love in such a way that the other person feels free.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

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!

Things I am Learning

1. While healing there is going to be pain, but absolutely no one is responsible for alleviating the pain. The pain is part of the process and learning how to carry it fosters growth. There is also a tremendous amount of inner beauty felt when another day goes by and you have carried the pain gracefully, and in a way that makes you proud. 

2. Forgiving yourself for the times you didn’t know how to carry the pain is crucial. The people affected by those moments are entitled to their thoughts of you, and have the right to resent, dislike, and not forgive you. All you can do is sincerely apologize and release the guilt. Guilt won’t help either of you, and you have the right to change and move on. 

3. Boundaries are SUPER important. They really do keep both parties safe. Create boundaries, and ALWAYS respect the boundaries of others, no matter how close you feel you are. We are all separate people. SB: I think with the fall of man came the imperfect union of “being one flesh.” Yet we’re still created with that hole, maybe God is the only one we can enmesh ourselves with to fill it. So respect the boundaries as time, patience, love, naturally renogotiates those boundaries, not your forcing it. 

4. Your mom has boundaries too that also need to be respected. 

5. Cry a lot when no one can hear you or see you. Crying breaks the heart of those who care about you. It’s ok to cry in front of people and sometimes ask help from people to help carry the pain even if for a minute. But when time and personal growth is the last remedy to the pain, cry the tears that are always threatening to fall, and create joyful memories with all the ones around you who care about you. 

6. Don’t make people pay for others mistakes.

7. Lastly, be ok in the in between of no longer wanting to die, but not yet knowing how to live. As you can see, you got to the point where Suicide stopped being an answer so more growth awaits if you just stick it out. And when suicide does fleetingly pass, breathe, your hurting and your body is telling you it needs you, listen.