Struggling with old emotions and could use some advice

I have to explain before I go into what’s going on so you understand, so please bare with me.

People with borderline personality disorder have this thing we do where we latch on to someone and make them the MOST important person in our life. We put them on a pedestal and think they can do no wrong. We look to this person to help regulate our emotions as well; we think we can’t live without them. This “favorite person” can destroy us by doing things like not answering a text fast enough or by having other friends etc., but the second they text back or ask us to hang out, we feel on top of the world again. Our fear of abandonment plays a huge role in all this. As someone said in a video I watched about favorite person, “we want them to live in our pocket.” Without awareness on both sides, this is a recipe for disaster and usually ends up with the favorite person ending the relationship because we are just too much. Or us cutting (aka splitting) them out of our lives because they didn’t live up to our unrealistic expectations (that they probably don’t even know we have). We can go back and forth from putting them on a pedestal to devaluing them pretty quickly.

Before I became aware of what a Favorite Person was; I had one who I didn’t treat very well. I didn’t respect her boundaries and I put unrealistic expectations on her. I tested her friendship to see if she really cared about me and because of my extreme mood swings made her walk on eggshells. She had her own struggles but a lot of our conversations ended up about me because I looked to her for validation. It was a very unhealthy relationship, but underneath it all we loved each other like sisters…it’s just that my untreated BPD was in control of me.

I won’t go into details, but I ended the friendship because in my eyes she wasn’t putting me first in her life. Now after therapy and learning about my symptoms I have realized that wasn’t true. At the time, I only focused on what my BPD was telling me… that she was rejecting and abandoning me. Of course, that wasn’t true at all, but by not having any healthy coping skills, everything went to hell in a hand bag.

I sent her a one paragraph message and deleted her from my life. This was almost 2yrs ago.

A few months ago, I learned thru a mutual friend that she was asking about me, so I reached out. We talked about what happened and why. I educated her on what favorite person in the BPD world is and am hoping she understood. I told her about all the therapy I’ve recently gone thru and how I’ve learned healthy coping skills. That I’m really working on myself and that I changed a lot (I’m really not the same person I was back then). She tells me she is proud of me. I don’t know if she’ll ever get to the point of following me on Instagram or joining my Discord server again, but at least I can talk to her again in DMs here and there.

We were talking tonight in DMs and in the middle of a topic, she logged into a game and stopped talking to me. I fought the urge to say something like, “oh you’re in a game, I’ll leave you alone” or saying something to make her feel bad. These things only bait and are a desperate attempt to bring the attention back to me. It’s not manipulation, but can be interpreted that way. Manipulation requires planning, but this was impulsive and survival.

I felt that fear of abandonment in my chest again and it scared me. Voices started in telling me that she hates me, she doesn’t want to be friends, she doesn’t care about me and all the other horrible lies they tried to make me believe. I struggled, but I’m ok now.

I know that I did good by not falling back on unhealthy coping skills but the fact that those same familiar emotions and fears came up so fast scare me. I’m not really sure how to handle this because the last thing I want to do is hurt her again. At the same time, I don’t want to fall into that black hole of despair and pain I felt almost 2yrs ago.

I really don’t know how to handle this…

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Hey Rosie

I was just going to talk to you later but I think I will respond to you here instead, We have spoken so much now about how much you have grown since that friendship ended and how much you learn’t why it went wrong, you have done amazingly well and lets face it you cope with me as a friend so you must be pretty darn good.

I know I always seem to try to be also (for want of a better word) pulling you away from the bpd thing, I am always looking for other alternatives because I feel like sometimes its a way of blaming yourself for things and sorry just because the cap fits doesn’t mean its yours or that you have to wear it.
It was rude for your friend to log into a game and stop talking to you mid topic, if you were sitting chatting and they starting reading a book you would say something and that to me is no different so I really dont think that, that is something that you should not be irritated by.
Now where the problem arises of course is that you then go on to think that she hates you etc isnt it?

We have these back and fourths a lot where I get paranoid and then you get paranoid (yes readers a perfectly healthy and happy friendship lol) you are amazing at talking to me in those moments so perhaps we could practice “talk to yourself as if you were talking to me” method. literally talk out loud to me as if it were me with the problem (your partner wont mind. lol) I think it could work.
Anyway thats my idea, also the next time your friend does that, just say, “if your busy we can pick this convo up another time” maybe it was an error on her part.
Love you my friend.
xxxxx

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I get it… she was just straight up rude and if you had done that I would have said, "Hey what the heck!” There is a difference though, you and I have an HONEST and real friendship. We hold each other accountable and we don’t tip toe around each other. You have taken the time to learn about BPD and you are very, very mindful of how you talk to and treat me. You actually ask me questions about stuff. I appreciate that more than you’ll ever know. I feel like she never had the time or want to learn about me like you (and others here) have. She’s told me that her daughter has BPD, I’ve always questioned if that is true, because she seems to know nothing about it. I would learn everything I could about it if it was my child as I think most would.

With her it’s different. I feel like I need to prove to her that I’m not the same person that hurt her. However, I don’t feel like I can tell her how I really feel and that’s a big problem. Will I ever get to that place where I trust her? I feel like if I say or do the wrong thing, she will leave. Part of me doesn’t care, but the other part of me is terrified of going thru the same emotional torment I went thru last time. So, I keep my mouth shut and just get thru it. Is that a healthy friendship? No, it isn’t.

I think being a part of Heart Support this past year has taught me a lot about myself and I have really great friends now who genuinely care about me and want to see me happy. I don’t need this drama in my life and I’m really thinking about not pursuing a close friendship with her. We forgave each other, and I think that all I needed was to tell her what happened and make her understood that I don’t hate her.

I understand what you mean about “pulling me away from the bpd thing.” She was rude and that wasn’t cool. I’m not using my BPD as an excuse; I’m questioning the ability for her and I to have a healthy friendship. Leaving our conversation without telling me triggered my BPD symptoms, but I handled it with my new coping skills and I think I did a pretty good job. I just don’t want to feel that again, so I’m guesting if I should put effort into this or not. She has her own mental and physical challenges that have played a role in all this too.

Love you too!

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Good afternoon Mystrose,
Just wanted to let you know that I believe you handle this extremely well and you should feel proud of yourself and the growth you’ve obtained by seeking ways to better yourself. Truthfully, I think you should not put to much effort on people who don’t want to see you grow as a person. Real friends will be excited with you and give encouraging words in your time of need. Being able to have that time to explain the things that happen and why things turned is plenty for you to see where that friendship stands. Sometimes we will not like the results and yes it will hurt, but just remember that it is temporary. For me, I think I also put my friendships on a pedestal and it wasn’t until I decided to go back to school for a career change in health care. I like to think I have a decent amount of friends but only three of them were genuinely excited for me. My own family was questioning this decision of mine. To my point, put your time and energy into people who want to see you become great. You sound like an amazing person and deserve friendships that will be there to help you heal when you need it and max your excitement level when your happy. Remember all of the progress you are making and continue to stay positive. Thanks for sharing and hope to see you around.

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Hi, sorry, I’m late.
First of all, I can imagine how difficult it must be to open up again to someone you’ve split with. Folks without Bpd find that difficult to do as well, so it must be so intense for you, especially as she was a FP.

And it must be terrifying to risk it all again, having actually been hurt before by something that happened. You’ve grown so much, and I’m proud that you’ve been using the heck out of those coping skills!

So what can you do? let’s see: Trying to remember there are different types of friends, with different types of roles. You’ve both forgiven each other, which hopefully soothes some old wounds a bit, but it may also be that you’re more like friendly acquaintances. That way you sort of expect her to be unpredictable, and expect her to be a little less mindful because they simply don’t have the knowledge to do better.right now. (time frame to show that she’s not a bad person for not knowing, but maybe her own struggles make it difficult for her right now to do more).
Maybe we can figure out away to make her disappearance a sort of game for you. Like… have a prediction going for when next she’ll popup.
But of course, your mental wellbeing is most important. If being her friend is making you feel uneasy and hyper-vigilant to the possible risk of rejection and hurt, then you have to weigh the benefit of maintaining a close long-term friendship vs a more casual one.
(hope this made some sense!)

Much love :slight_smile:

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This is exactly it. The day that started the split (I tried for two days to not let the split happen, because this was going to be the 2nd time), I spent almost the whole day glued to my partner because I wanted to end it all and I was so down I could hardly breathe. I was in major destress and he almost took me to the ER. I don’t want to feel emotions that extreme ever again. That was the reason I split.

I’m really scared of going thru that again. After what happened the other night and feeling those emotions come to the surface again, it showed me just how easily and fast things could go down hill again.

I think this is the best way to leave things. I’m not going to try and re-ignite our old close friendship because I really don’t think we’ll be able to ever get to that place again. I know that she is hesitant as well because I abandoned her two times already and she is probably afraid to say or do something wrong too.

Such an unhealthy relationship already…

@Lisalovesfeathers said something to me yesterday that really make this decision easier. She reminded me that if you can’t be honest and yourself in front of your friends, there is a big problem.

So, thank you for your reply @Sita :hrtlegolove: (the game made me lol)

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