I find that I like to keep things of those I love. I knew that I did this, but I actually stumbled upon it while doing other research online. It’s linked to object and emotional constancy in borderlines.
Because of the inability for borderlines to hold onto loving feelings from a partner, for example, they may often keep things from that person in order to “remember” them when they are not physically present.
Long story, but I used to keep every chocolate milk bottle from times I’d see my boyfriend. I had them all lined up on my bathroom sink. He bought it. I knew he touched it because, well, he bought it. I drank it, but it was the only thing I had that was somehow related to him. It was like his love for me was in those bottles and if I threw them away, I’d throw away the love and I’d have nothing else. I also once kept a partially drank bottle of water of his that he left. We went through a rough time once and he was gone for a few days. I was so heartbroken, and that bottle went with me everywhere. It was like the remaining existing drops of love-water, and I was in the middle of a 110 degree dry desert of heartbreak.
I’ve since thrown away the chocolate milk bottles, though I may still have the lids. I remember when I finally threw the bottles away. It was really hard. I only did it because I had so many. I threw some away and kept some. Then I threw the rest of the bottles away but kept all of the lids. I think I may still have the lids. I’ve since accumulated other things, but things he’d actually given me as gifts and such…plus a couple of extras that I just can’t get rid of because they had something to do with him.
I’m not sure if everyone does this on some level or not, but I can almost guarantee that these objects I collect have much more value than a simple sentimental meaning. Like his existence is connected to them and heaven forbid I lose them, I’d feel like a piece of him went with them and somehow in my mind, a bit of his love for me would be gone. The more I can accumulate, the more I can “keep him alive” when he isn’t here.
I feel silly having shared this, but this is me.