Probably one of the biggest ways to tell that your borderline loved one is experiencing BPD symptoms is when they start pushing you away.
This is sort of a hard one to explain, but I’m curious to hear feedback from other borderlines as to why you push people away, or from non’s as to what it feels like to be pushed away.
For myself, it usually goes something like this. I’m fine and life is great and then I start to feel “off”, sometimes by a trigger I am well aware of, and other times by a trigger that I never noticed happened. My symptoms start intensifying, my thinking gets more and more distorted, and things start hurting more. Little things like someone not responding to my text message quickly (especially if my text was something where I felt like I was opening up emotionally), will start to worsen my symptoms. For myself, I try to talk myself through those moments, but it doesn’t really seem to matter because once BPD sets in, its very hard to get out of it. These “little things” keep happening, everywhere, and heaven forbid other triggers occur, and the whole thing just grows and morphs and keeps gaining more strength.
On one hand, I want or need that person SO badly that I feel like I will literally die if I don’t get them close to me. I guess I already feel abandoned at this time. This need for them, however, hurts and is terrifying. It hurts because there is no possible way in the world that they could be there enough for me to ease the emptiness and the need that I have, because it’s just too big and too intense, and so any attempt they may make just causes me more pain because it feels like they’ve failed me because they must not have cared enough, etc, because I still hurt. It’s terrifying because what if they don’t try? Or what if my need burdens them? What if this need is what causes them to say “Goodbye” because it’s too much for them to handle? It’s also terrifying, because the hurt is already too overwhelming, and if accepting their love and care does not help, and therefore causes more hurt, I just don’t know if I will make it. Again, it feels like I will literally die. This is a time that is the epitome of Marsha Linehan’s saying that “People with BPD are like people with third degree burns over 90% of their bodies. Lacking emotional skin, they feel agony at the slightest touch or movement.” This phase is like being one gigantic large severe open emotional wound.
This hurt and fear, and fear of more hurt and abandonment makes me extremely push people away, usually the very one(s) I need the most. I need loved, but I’m too sensitive, hurt, and afraid to accept it.
Another fear, at least for me, is that I worry I will hurt them. I know what I’m capable of. I know how sensitive I am. I know what I’m battling and the behavior I am trying to control, and what if that person gets close to me and I can’t control myself? I don’t want to hurt them.
So with all of these elements, I usually come to the destructive and counterproductive conclusion that I should just push them as far as away as possible until I’m “ok”.
And so now that leaves me with wondering about other borderlines; who relates, or who has things to add (I’m sure I missed stuff), but also wondering what this feels like for the non-borderline…for the loved one that’s being pushed away.
My boyfriend and I were sort of talking about this earlier today. He said he wants me to stop pushing him away and to let him in and let him help. I guess I have a hard time understanding that he would actually want to help. I tend to believe that no one wants to deal with this because no one ever has. My emotions were always a burden and I always got dismissed, ignored, and brushed off, or even verbally hurt for having the emotions and needs. However, I’m not sure how to let him in, how to communicate what I need, or…I just don’t know how. I also don’t want him to see me like that. He will think I’m crazy for sure. 😦
Is it more hurtful to push them away, or to let them in and to experience you like that suffering under the symptoms?????