First things first, please accept my apologies for being missing in action the last few weeks. I have been away up North and before that I was in a bit of a mess, so I took a much needed break. I hope you are all well and if not, I am sending my love virtually to any of you that need it as always.
I wanted to talk a little about attachment issues with those of us who live with BPD, but if you don’t have that diagnosis and just relate to the content, this is for you too. I certainly don’t want to leave anybody out. As a (definately) not professional I can only talk about my own experiences of attachment issues. Your experience may be different and that is totally fine of course.
As a child I can’t recall any point where I had these issues. They developed gradually over the years of my late teens and adulthood – remember not all BPD cases are caused by traumatic childhoods – and were insidious. I didn’t know the way I thought about my inter-personal relationships were different to anyone else; I thought that MY thoughts were the same as the rest of the population. It was only when I was asked about the way I thought by professionals that I realised there was an issue. As it turned out my mental conversation with myself was problematic, especially when it came to my relationships.
As I explained in a prior post, a huge part of my mentality is the weight that I place on loyalty. It is something I work on every day. You may wonder why it is something I deal with daily, and my answer is that my mind is always just throwing out little curve balls, testing my resolve as well as my faith in people I care about. This is important I believe to my problems with attachment.
For instance, I may have a friend who has gained my trust. As soon as I become ‘attached’ to that person, i.e. I trust and care about them dearly, my mind switches from ‘Will this person be trustworthy?’ to ‘What if this person leaves me?’ within no time at all. It is hugely frustrating, and has made me wonder in the past whether having friends is really worth the mental wrestle that inevitably occurs. Just to reiterate, this questioning of trust, of loyalty, which then turns to questioning whether I deserve them, whether they really care as much as I do, whether they will leave me; is not a passing thought that may occur every once in while, or something that occasionally takes me by surprise. These are thoughts that are on a loop throughout the day, thoughts that I have to question every time they occur. It is exhausting.
If you are someone who doesn’t experience this, then it may seem almost far-fetched to believe that thoughts like this are as regular as I describe, and I wouldn’t blame you, but rest assured, they are. As well as those bothersome thoughts, I will analyse and examine every single interaction I have; I will dissect them to make sure that I haven’t missed a cue that something is different or that there is something negative during that interaction. I will examine my own behaviour to make sure that I am behaving in a suitable manner, without being too loud, or too quiet, or obnoxious.
I have been working very hard to try and question the negative thoughts I have. I have learnt that I don’t need to question them very much as sometimes a simple ‘But what if that thought isn’t true?’ will be enough to change my thinking, at least until the next one anyway. I have also learned to accept that just as sometimes I can send the thoughts away quickly the reverse is also true, sometimes there is just no letting them go, regardless of how ludicrous they are. My mind is in a constant flux of rational and irrational, and accepting that is a very important step, or at least it was for me.
that’s enough from me for today, please feel free to comment with your own experiences, and I’ll see you next time.