I have been trying to work my episodes out using my DBT skills the last 6 months, and its been very good for me but I have missed writing and putting my soul out on paper. Today the jarring lightening bolt strikes on the side of my head are piercing and I need a little old-fashioned written therapy. The pains up and down my side, the jerks of pain on the left side of my head and the incessant chiming and evil merry-go-round in my head has been palpitating for days and even for all my skills its muted till I relax or am alone in bed and the voices will not stop. This morning I was frozen to the bed, listening to my litany of abhorrent thoughts duck and dive through me with the icicle of sharpness scraping through my head.
In a relationship, if I can call what I have a relationship, I vacillate on taking my cues from DBT class which is to assess what the relationship means to you and act according to the charts, whether you stand your ground to make your point with little emotional investment in the relationship or acquiesce without harming oneself to maintain the relationship, of course, bringing in all the emotional and distress coping skills to not take oneself down the wrong path.
My boyfriend who is a good person, he is a good person, he gives and he is thoughtful and will physically be there for you. The caveat is on his terms, which is fair, his body, his life, his terms and one is taught to have no expectations and the only actions controllable are your own. Choose to accept or to walk away but not to blame or expect. If I need help moving, if I need financial assistance, if I need external distraction 150%.
But the rules reside in his court and his alone. I am the flawed one and in accordance with that I don’t get a full vote on anything, not even on my own feelings. I am told regularly what a sacrifice having a relationship with me is, that the fact that this is not a “normal” relationship taxes him and by that fact I owe him appreciation and that I have no right to have issues with him to discuss or even mention if my feelings are marred. So we are on different ground, I am the adopted stray or the half price item on the shelf that can be returned anytime if malfunctioning, or if your stray acts badly sent back to the kennel. That I need to keep this in mind when I have an episode, that he can only take so much and that my “acting” this way warrants my being given a warning that our relationship is predicated on my controlling my mental health and never voicing any hurt or injuries I may feel against him because for all he does for me, I have no right and if I do they are caused by my actions, my flaws and my inability to understand him which then “disappoints” him because stupid, mentally flawed me is “disappointing” for not understanding, for not appreciating, for not knowing that how I thing is wrong, that by not seeing it “the correct way”, marks another ground for dismissing me for being a lesser human being because there is only one way, his way.
My boyfriend is perfect. Not once in 2 years have I been able to bring up injured feelings or hurts without being lambasted about how I bring it on, I cause things to happen, I am the one at fault. There has never been an apology from his side, not once, not once has there been an acknowledgment that I can have a say in the relationship without being warned that any more of this nonsense from me predicates him leaving. All our talks round back to, because of my disadvantages, I need to be grateful for what I am given and for my flaws and disappointments, I need to behave. That the way he conducts himself with me is all for my benefit and how dare I ever mar the surface of his world by bringing my trivialities to the table. That he has enough on his plate that I should know that having a life threatening mental illness that needs support taxes him and I am to take it outside of our sphere because he has enough to worry about and my job is to make sure our relationship is an asset of positivity for him or he will discard me.
And I have tried to swallow and I will continue to swallow the hurts and bruised feelings that I have, which is normal in any relationship but ours, because he is perfect, there is no possible way his mind he can be less than so in a relationship as he says all the time, “he knows people” and he knows himself. Yes, he is a bit full on that front, there is no teaching an old dog new tricks, it is what it is, so anything I see I try to shut up. However, should I disrespect him, say something off colour, make a comment that makes him feel hurt, I am lectured till I am on my knees begging forgiveness. If the tables were turned and I felt an injustice, it is my fault, my doing, my making and he is not wrong, not liable, not ever possible he could have done anything less than perfect, because do remember I am being given a favour so suck it up and don’t be a “disappointment” for thinking he could ever cause me any hurt feelings.
He planned a week vacation with his brother and family, and I am all for family, its great, took the time off, put it together, and his brother, due to a mental illness of his own, had to cancel the day before. So he had the week free and I had a week in Paris with accommodations and food paid for so I invited him, to no avail he had to work and the plane ticket was too much. Though then he did take 3 days and went off on a trip of his own. But of course it was only 3 days and I am sure he spent less than the $600 ticket to Paris. You think?
When we are together his work is paramount and he is busy, all the time, no time and I do understand, so I shush, all the time shush. But if a friend wants to go roller blading, he will find the time, if friends want to go out on his boat he will find the time. If I go out-of-town, he will always go away on a trip but when I come back, he’s busy, too busy.
He said he was busy this week, had to get his things sorted out, two days after I left town, he’s going away for 4 days. We had a week planned together next week which got put on hold for a friends party but that still leaves us 4 days, I am pretty sure he will be too busy for that, I will let you know. So when I am in town it’s always busy, when I am out-of-town, all of a sudden its free for him to go away, no phones, no computers, inviting friends.
And the Buddhist way is to understand that you cannot control anyones actions but of course it hurts, hurts a lot. And I made the mistake of bringing it up, knowing all that I have written above, you know, I know, I needed to shut up and just carry on. But with a rough previous week, PMS and just coming off the pill, poor sleep, an episode was eminent and I could not control myself and out it all came. I know better, I know better that talking always makes it worse because on top of my hurt, I will not get understanding, I will find out all I am wrong, all I need to be grateful for and get a warning that any more episodes and I am on the street. It also feeds into my episode hearing how I am wrong, how I am unappreciative, how I am disappointing, how I have only a few chances left which is cocaine to the episode, sending it even further down and the pain is excruciating. Once the mental pain starts, the physical pain starts to set in and then it is past any relationship woes, its down to BPD survival and managing the episode as it crests (and LOL God forbid I ask support from him to make it through, I am meant to make our relationship an oasis of positivity and asset), chanting to myself everyday that this too shall pass, just a few more days, clutching and un-clutching the knife wanting to cut, deriving all my emotion regulation and distress tolerance skills I learned (in the class he paid for, I told you he was there physically).
Don’t get me wrong, I know it sounds horrible and on that level it is. I think I stay because I do love him (love never enters his equation so it will not be said) and I do feel like the charity case, that I deserve this coming from the half off bin. The other piece is, other than the ultimatums, I can handle the rest by off setting it with the 90% good and knowing that I can control yourself by walking away and not engaging. Buddhism teaches not to blame the other person, I am in control of how I feel and I need to take responsibility for my hurts and not place it on someone else, I have the choice to step away from conflict.
The ultimatums make me wonder if the work going into this and I have done a lot of work will ever go to somewhere solid. It takes a lot to bring yourself back from the brink of death twice. To find a reason to live everyday and to beat the monsters back everyday. But it comes down to the fact you can’t see mental illness, crazy is crazy regardless of whether its an illness. I know he doesn’t believe I am sick and I know he doesn’t believe that all of this is not just a figment of psychiatry. How I would wish him into my head one day so he could run screaming by what he could hear and see. I will never make him understand and I need to accept that. Any argument we have will always be an oxymoron that though he doesn’t believe I really have an illness, he will use my ilness to let me know how much I need to appreciate what he gives to my non-illness. The end is I need to always know that though I am working to make this last forever regardless of everything above, his link to me is on a tether based on my “good” behaviour, having him in a relationship is a right that can be revoked at any time, it is not through good times and bad or in sickness or in health.
I feel better, writing therapy is always good. Shut up, soldier on, stay true to the fact that the goal is to be healthy, not rely on others and be OK alone. Have no expectations and mitigate my hurts to myself and my therapy.