I finally found the Courage Required, after a fair bit of procrastination. I guess what I needed was the right level of motivation, should I say the requisite level of anger and hurt to actually get off my butt. The amazing thing is that it turned out okay. Somehow the ice melted after about 20 months of frost, and that feels good.
Regardless of the part that the other party had in freezing, or allowing the ice to melt, I realised that I could make a difference. I spent 20 months thinking my hands were tied. I had tried to correct things on several occasions but if anything had just made things worse so I backed off completely. Relationships are always difficult with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) perhaps because I find it hard to know where I end, and the other person begins. I think it’s all about me too, and it must be my fault. I can be impulsive, and while I see myself as what is known as a Quiet Borderline, in that I direct my anger inward rather than at other people, I still struggle at times (especially with family) to keep my cool.
It didn’t help that I thought the other party blamed me for something that happened in the period of frost. While the ‘logical Cate’ didn’t blame herself, I think the ‘deep down inside Cate’ suspected that I was to blame and so felt very bad. I could say “he’s wrong and I’m not to blame” but in the quiet moments I seriously doubted my own innocence. I actually thought that blame, and a sense that I was seen as a ‘psych patient who doesn’t straight’ mentality was to blame for the ice build up. In reality, I don’t know what it was, and just perhaps it actually had nothing to do with me, and was about stuff the other party was dealing with. Another issue with BPD is that you think the whole world revolves around you.
What made the difference in the outcome for me is that, I didn’t act on impulse. I waited until the hurt and anger cooled, and then because neither of us do telephones well, I wrote a carefully worded email. I made sure that I didn’t apportion blame on or accuse anyone, or get too emotional. The termss mindfulness and managing my distress spring to mind.
After I pressed send on the email, I started to panic. I had no idea what sort of response I would get but suspected it would be harsh to say the least. Actually then I really started to worry. I was feeling very alone in what I was facing, just wanted someone to tell me it would be alright and that they were on my side. But I expected the worst, and expected I would simply make the distance between us grow.
Actually I was surprised. Sometimes people just blow me away. When I least expect it, everything turns out okay.
Don’t get me wrong, I am being cautious. I need to continue to be mindful of what is mine and what is not. I need to continue to not throw emotion in the other’s face. I need to continue to choose my moments, and my words carefully. But for now, I am cautiously optimistic that the relationship can in some way be repaired. And for that I am very thankful.
“That is why we have to make room in our lives for people who may sometimes disappoint or exasperate us. If we hold our friends to a standard of perfection, or if they do that to us, we will end up far
lonelier than we want to be.”
― Harold S. Kushner, Living a Life That Matters: Resolving the Conflict Between Conscience and Success
- Courage Required (infinitesadnessorhope.wordpress.com)
- Cate’s Crocodiles (infinitesadnessorhope.wordpress.com)
- BPD – Why It’s Hard To Talk About (infinitesadnessorhope.wordpress.com)