The Familiar Taste Of Poison

This song represents a few different things for me.

We long to be free. But during agonizing, vulnerable times, we’re unable to resist the pull.

The Familiar Taste of Poison

“Drink the wine, my darling” you said
“Take your time, and consume all of it”
But the roses were only to drain my inspiration
The promises were spoiled before they left your lips

And I breathe you in again
Just to feel you underneath my skin
Holding onto, the sweet escape
Is always laced with the familiar taste
Of poison

I tell myself that you’re no good for me
I wish you well, but desire never leaves
I could fight this till the end
But maybe I don’t wanna win

I breathe you in again
Just to feel you underneath my skin
Holding onto, the sweet escape
Is always laced with the familiar taste
Of poison

I don’t wanna be saved
I don’t wanna be sober
I want you on my mind
In my dreams, behind these eyes
And I won’t wake up
No not this time

I breathe you in again
Just to feel you underneath my skin
Holding onto, the sweet escape
Is always laced with the familiar taste
Of poison

A familiar taste of poison

BPD & Attachment

Those of us with BPD have unstable patterns in relationships. Until I started therapy, this fact didn’t even appear on my radar. I was living it, but not consciously aware of these patterns. It was only when I started therapy that it was brought to my awareness. I see it play out in my relationship with my psychologist as well.

One of the criteria for BPD in the DSM IV is:

(2) a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.

This is also known as “splitting”, and is a common defense mechanism for those with BPD. In one article I read, the author referred to us as being emotionally 2 or 3 years old, with a lack of object constancy. Object constancy usually develops between the ages of 2 and 3, and is a normal developmental stage in early childhood that those of us with BPD haven’t quite mastered. What is object constancy? Out of the Fog puts it this way:

An inability to remember that people or objects are consistent, trustworthy and reliable, especially when they are out of your immediate field of vision.

You can read more about this on their website.
http://outofthefog.website/top-100-trait-blog/2015/11/4/lack-of-object-constancy

This is how this looks for me:

I become so attached (obsessively so) to anyone who shows me an ounce of care. They become my whole world. Then, it starts. One little word, one small action, and I feel it all crumble down around me. The feeling that I’m being abandoned or rejected is all consuming. If I don’t hear from someone for a while, I start believing the worst. No longer are they this perfect hero, but now just another person who has rejected me, or is going to abandon me. So I withdraw and push them away. After all, it’s better to pull away myself than have them walk away.

I adore my therapist, and after almost 5 months she still has that place on the pedestal of my mind. But there have been occasions where I’ve found myself withdrawing. Wanting to push her away. She refers to it as “push-pull”. If I don’t hear from her for a time, I get extremely distressed, and I find myself trying to erase any trace of her from my mind. Anger. Pain. But never hate. A few minutes or hours later though, she pops back into my mind, and I long for that connection to her again. It’s extremely frustrating.

I wrote this letter to my therapist last night. I wasn’t going to even send it to her, but I feel it perfectly represents all I’ve written about in this post. So I’m publishing it here.

Dear (therapist),

I don’t mean to be a burden. I don’t mean to doubt you, your words, or your reassurances.

For the past two days I haven’t been able to get the idea out of my head that maybe you’re angry with me. That maybe I did something wrong. Knowing that I can’t ask you that question. Thinking that if I contact you and ask you that question that I so desperately want the answer to, that you’ll get angry and put up more boundaries. Thinking that I’ll have to wait to see whether I hear from you, or if you show up, to know whether my fear is just another projection.

I don’t want to be like this. It’s hard for me. Excruciating would be a more accurate description of the anguish I feel. It’s like having a knife twisted, pushed and pulled into my heart and stomach, over and over again. It stops for a little while, only to start up again when something triggers the abandonment fears. I don’t mean to constantly want and demand your attention. I hate it as much as I fear you do.

You’re not doing anything wrong. You’re doing everything right, and more. It’s me. My mind can’t quite grasp that when you send me an email, or text message one day, that it’s equally valid a few days later. That you haven’t changed your mind. That you still care. I’m trying hard to change that. You should know though that I hold onto those kind gestures, and look at them, reading them again whenever I’m missing you. They keep me going. They keep me strong.

I’m sorry for being too much. Even though in my own world and life, I never feel like I’m enough.

How do I tell you that you’re my life line, when I’m terrified that revealing that will make you pull away from me… Fearing that I’m too dependent? Would it be okay if I told you that if it wasn’t for you, I don’t think I’d be here writing this letter? I don’t think I ever told you this…That first day I came to see you…I had decided that if our meeting didn’t go well, and I thought you couldn’t help me, that I was going to end my life. That you were my last attempt at staying alive. The others made me feel hopeless, that I couldn’t be helped. That I couldn’t be saved. Perhaps that’s why I’m so attached to you. Why I feel this bond with you. You saved my life that day. You saved my life a few weeks ago. You save me when I’m unable to save myself.

Thank you for all you do. Thank you for caring for this woman who’s still a little girl inside, working on growing up and soaring. Becoming the woman I can be.


Rayne

I Don’t Know How To Live

My morning started off with my dad and stepmom fighting. Or should I say, he was fighting with her. Which is normal, couples fight. But he has a tendency to become verbally abusive. His words are harsh. I personally felt the weight of those words myself throughout my life. As usual, I became extremely anxious. Despite the fact that I detest conflict, I stood by my bedroom door, listening. Not because I wanted to hear what it was about, but in case it became more than just verbal (it’s happened before). That’s the way it’s been for as long as I remember. When he would fight with one of the women in his life, I’d be on high alert, not wanting to be too far from what was going on, despite the fear and anxiousness gripping me. While my body wants me to run far away and hide, my greatest concern is making sure he doesn’t physically hurt them. But what can I really do? I’m just one small person and he’s a giant of a man. A man who scares me. All I know is that I feel ready to jump in and protect. This morning though, I decided I’m not going to continue listening. I don’t want to care anymore. I’m too tired. They still thought I was sleeping. I went to go sit outside on the balcony and just shut down. Lost somewhere, but nowhere at the same time. When they eventually left for work, I felt so guilty. What if he had hurt her? I wouldn’t have known. I would be responsible.

I realize, rationally, that’s not entirely true, that I can’t be responsible for other people’s actions, but my emotional mind just can’t grasp that.

Throughout my life I’ve felt responsible for others. Trying to take care of them. My stepsister, half sisters, parents, my grandmother, even friends. Now I’m at a point where I don’t really have anyone to ‘take care of’. Of course, there are people I still feel responsible for, that I wish I could protect and save, but I don’t have the power necessary to do anything about it. For example, I can’t help my mom who’s in a bad financial, physical and emotional place. I’m not a superhero, I’m just one person.

I realized that I don’t know how to live when I’m not living for others. I feel like a ship just floating around on the vast ocean, with no destination. Nowhere to be. I feel lost. Empty.

Of course, I’m no saint. I have my moments of selfishness, where I want certain things, and things done my way. But they’re few and far between.

Why do I feel this excessive need to take care of others, even if it means neglecting my own feelings and desires? I don’t know how to live for myself. I feel shame even just thinking of doing that. I feel guilty. Why? Am I subconsciously compensating for something? I don’t know.

In an email my therapist sent me on Friday, she wrote “take good care of yourself”. I loved those words. To me, they represented that she cared. But I found myself thinking, “how do I do that?”

How do I really live, and not just ‘exist’? I’ve been trying to figure this out since leaving my relationship and moving to this new city a few months ago. I have this opportunity for a new life, yet I feel stuck. I don’t have the answer. And it’s damn depressing.

Finding Strength In Unexpected Places

Have you ever had one of those moments where you’re feeling completely broken, and while watching a TV series, movie, listening to a song, or even reading a book, you’re hit with words that seem to be just for you in that very moment? Injecting you with new hope and strength.

That happened to me last night. I was watching The Hunger Games movies (yes, again – it’s my guilty pleasure) and in the 3rd installment I heard the words I really needed to hear. I had to pause the movie, because I was crying so much. It felt as though I was the one being told these words to. It was healing. Inspiring.

I’ve decided to share that quote here, as well as another fairly recent one that has been a source of comfort and strength. I hope you also find some inspiration in these words.

Child

Strength

We find strength in unexpected ways and places. What quotes, movies, or songs have given you new strength and hope, or inspired you? Please share them with us.

Parts Of Me

Today was one of those days where I wanted nothing to do with my therapist. All I wanted to do when I got her session confirmation text message was to cancel it. What stopped me? The different parts of myself all bringing their own voices to the thought. Arguing back and forth, pulling in different directions.

I’ve recognized 4 distinct parts of myself. There’s the little part, the one that’s terrified of having the connection to therapist cut. That’s scared whenever she needs to be away from her, and can’t bear “goodbye”. The thought that therapist will disappear and isn’t around anymore. Who doesn’t understand why she has to go and leave her all alone.

Then there’s the insecure girl (she feels about 8 years old). The part that doesn’t quite know whether therapist can be trusted. That isn’t sure whether she’s cared about. That’s scared of the connection she feels. She’s also a little scared of therapist herself. She’s the shy one.

There’s also the rebellious and angry teenage part. She feels like she doesn’t need anyone or anything and that she’s better off alone. She longs for connection, but afraid of it. To her, connection means getting hurt. So she pushes people away. She uses anger so that she doesn’t feel the pain.

Lastly, there’s the adult part. The one that knows therapy is valuable and helping her move forward, even when it’s uncomfortable and hard. The one who truly values and cares deeply about therapist. She knows the connection is a healthy and necessary one. She likes learning things about herself that she maybe wasn’t aware of, and wants to grow and become the best version of herself.

Sometimes all these parts of myself seem to collide into one big confusing mess, and other times there’s a dominant one that seems stronger than the rest. The teenager was especially active this morning. She had built up walls around herself. But once again, a few minutes into the session, my therapist somehow managed to pull those walls down. Broke through the resistance and fear.

So while the teenage part was the dominant one, the littlest part was panicking about not seeing my therapist today, and the adult part was providing the rational thought. I didn’t cancel, I showed up to the session. Then it seemed it was the teenager and the child competing against one another in the first few minutes before and during the session.

Why do I feel this need to pull away? I figured this out right before the session. I think it’s because of the current situation. I have to go 2 weeks between sessions for the next while, and that’s really difficult for me to cope with. In other words, I hate it, and I don’t care if anyone says I’m overreacting or being silly.

It’s not just in the therapy relationship that this happens though. It seems to happen in my other relationships as well when I really sit down to think about it. Although the littlest part doesn’t seem to feature with anyone other than my therapist, and my wonderful friend, Imani (sorry for pushing you away the past few days).

Writing all this makes me feel ridiculous. But then… wait, I hear a voice… I DON’T CARE how I sound!