BPD and FP (Favorite Person)

What is a Favorite Person(FP)?

When you think about who your favorite person is, you might think of your significant other, best friend or someone else. It just means that you love that person. It’s has a different meaning for people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

When someone with BPD uses the term “favorite person” to describe someone else, they are typically insinuating that this is a person they cannot survive without. For BPD sufferers, the favorite person is the person who is a source of emotional support and dependence. This individual has the ability to truly impact the BPD sufferer’s day in either a positive or negative manner. The favorite person to someone with BPD holds a critical role in their lives by holding the power to ‘make or break’ the successful navigation of daily tasks and struggles.

Source: https://mindcology.com/borderline/guide-bpd-favorite-person-relationship-dynamic/

One can have one or many FPs. People with BPD need constant reassurance, advice and help making decisions, among other things. We need to know we have someone we can turn to when things gets rough. Someone who won’t abandon us. We will shower that person with attention but will have problematic behaviors.

What to do if you’re someone’s FP

There’s a few things you should know, if you love and care for the person with BPD:

– Being someone’s FP is not a conscious decision. Basically, is like love. It just happens as a relationship develops (platonic or not).

– You won’t be told you’re someone’s FP. It will be recognized by their actions. It’s something you will learn in due time

– You will be a source of validation, approval, and advice. Someone with BPD has trouble with regulating emotions and having healthy relationships, so they will turn to you for help. There will be many calls and messages, that person will ask for help in many different situations.

– Be aware of jealously. People with BPD feel in a different way. They feel completely and utterly. So if an FP spends some time with other people or ignores messages, the other person might start devaluating the FP. Some people can become aggressive. In that case, it would be in your best interest of you would stay away from that person. There’s no other way to say it. That type of behavior is unacceptable and you should think of yourself first.

Other people will have a softer approach, sending messages when you fail to respond, asking for compliments or reassurance. If you are mad at them, etc. To be honest, it can get annoying and you’ll have to be patient. I find that when people love and support individuals with BPD, it gets easier. What you can do to manage this is to tell the person when you will be unavailable or will be having time by yourself. Communication is key in every relationship and it is crucial in this one.

– Lastly, don’t forget to put yourself first. You also have needs and, of they aren’t met, you might need help too; so take care of yourself. Define boundaries and be honest about what you want and don’t want to do. Again, communication is key.

My current experience with FPs

To be quite honest, I don’t think I have a favorite person now but I believe I did in the past. There’s really no one who can “make or break” my day. I live in a world of my own and it’s not hard to get away from problems the people I love the most cause me. I’ve been able to distance myself, almost detach from people. I only miss two people in my life. They are my sources of support and love. The thing is, something someone does can affect my day in the sense that they hurt me. It doesn’t have to be a person who is close to me. Acquaintances can hurt me. I don’t like to feel mocked. Thoughts about those occasions can affect my day but not entirely. I have this habit of pointing out that I have new clothes or new jewellery, so I can be validated for my look. I do that to the people I love and are closest to me.

I cut so many people off over the years, that I ended up with some loyal people. Cutting people off doesn’t come as easy now, as I don’t have black and white thinking anymore. I don’t idolize and devaluate people anymore. They are flawed and complex, there’s many sides to every person.

My past experiences with FPs

In the past, I had favorite people. It was usually a boyfriend or close friend. Some people could ruin my day or make me feel over the moon. I had love hate relationships, that could be tempestuous and unstable.

I remember going out every day with friends or a boyfriend. Then, all of a sudden, it would change. The person gaslighted me or started to ignore me. I would cut ties with that person and turn to someone else. There would abandonment feelings but I devaluated that person so much that I couldn’t have them in my life anymore. No idea of how many people I’ve known and loved. But I have loved intensely.

I could be aggressive, but only verbally. Hitting people is not a thing that I do but I could make a scene. Which wasn’t something I was particularly fond of doing but sometimes it wasn’t possible to contain it. All those feelings and emotions can take a toll on your judgement. They can be overwhelming.

In the end, having an FP and being an FP is complex and intense but it can be a wonderful experience. Your love or friendship with someone, how strongly you feel about them and how you see potential of growth in them. If you feel you can be progressively better for someone or if you can be a source of healing.

Remember, growth is your goal. It is possible to heal and overcome the obstacles you face now. Just keep going and make the best decisions you can for yourself.

Do you have a favorite person? How do you deal with it?

Images are a courtesy of Pixaby

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Night thoughts

Peace and joy in me. Listening to Daughter’s last album. They are an amazing band that you should check out, when you can.

Procrastination is one of my issues and fighting it is important. I will write another poem based on a prompt from #OctPoWriMo. Just need to push myself and do what’s best for me.

I’m sorry if I haven’t been writing about mental health. Sometimes it’s better to focus on other things that make you happy. Writing poetry is very good for me and people are actually enjoying my poems. That makes me feel good and fulfilled. Expressing myself in that way is a good way to channel my thoughts in short and not so short poems.

Two days ago, I went to the supermarket near my house. It felt good and not so uncomfortable. It made me feel like this battle can be beat. When I was there, in the waiting line, there was an older lady before me. She was struggling to get her groceries out of the cart, so I helped her. She was very thankful and said “I’m more helped by strangers than my sons”. It felt like she was venting and it made me feel sad. How hard must it be to not be helped or cared for by your own flesh and blood. It must be so painful and heartbreaking. You never know what your kids will become. No matter how hard you try, they can always resent things you did with good intentions. They can be selfish and uncaring, like a relative in their bloodline. It’s one of the reasons why I don’t want kids but I’ll leave the rest of the reasons to another post.

It feels good to interact with people but I also like to be alone. It’s so pleasant to be alone that I don’t really miss anyone but my boyfriend and parents. It makes me feel like some sort of heartless, egotistical monster. I feel that it’s wrong to not miss my friends but I can’t help it. And it doesn’t mean that I don’t love them because I do. Everything seems out of reach when you isolate yourself. Out of sight, out of mind. It’s very true in my case. I guess that I only miss who I trust the most and those people give me enough love to keep me going. On the other hand, I’m scared of losing my friends. It feels good to know that you have like-minded people to hang out, to vent, to learn from, etc. Maybe I don’t feel isolated because I talk to many people online and one of my friends calls me every day and we hang out online almost every day. He is a wonderful person who is also isolated and we have interesting conversations. I don’t feel attracted to him, nor is he attracted to me so the friendship works well. I don’t think that people that are dating should only have friends of the same gender as them, when they are straight. We can learn a lot about the opposite gender and their input is important. It’s also good to know that men aren’t all the same, they are complex and exist on a spectrum, like most things in this world. And that variety is important for us to see others as having nuance and complexity. Knowing many people helped me see that not everything is black and white, there’s also a lot of grey and other colors. I guess that’s why therapists say that sometimes borderline symptoms diminish with growing older. In that sense, I guess being 30 benefitted me a lot. You’re not an inexperienced 20 year old anymore. You have seen many situations and different people. You have seen predictable and unpredictable things. Everything and everyone are not as bad as you thought. With age comes more peace and confidence. You also care less about what people think and live life on your terms.

For the people that work, tomorrow is Friday! Yay 🙂

I love you all.

Image by zephylwer0, courtesy of Pixabay.

On being judgemental

Like everyone else, I have inner monologues. I challenge my thoughts a lot. I know they are not who I am and I don’t agree with myself many times. Certain thoughts are just so judgemental. It’s natural, they are judgements and the way I interpret the world but I don’t have to agree with them.

For example, a few days ago, I was on social media and I saw a post by a friend. Something harmless that didn’t affect my life in any way. I thought “I don’t respect her for doing that”. I understand where it came from, it was something I wouldn’t do but respect is a strong word. I challenged my thought. I told myself “Why don’t you respect her? Have you thought that people also don’t respect harmless things you do and it’s not okay that they do that? I mean, it’s a natural reaction but it’s still wrong to lose respect for someone because of trivial things”. Now that I’m writing about it, I understand it even better. It has to do with BPD. We idealize people and put them on a pedestal. Then, on a whim, we lose respect. In the case of my friend, I came to the conclusion that it was not right or healthy to lose respect for her because of what she did. Again, it was trivial and it was good for her, so I had no good reason to judge her for that. That made me feel more rational and in control of my thoughts. That thought wasn’t controlling my perception anymore.

People with BPD should be mindful of their thoughts. Challenge and rationalize them. Ask yourself why you are thinking that, does it come from reason or emotion, is it useful or just judgemental.

In meditation, we learn to not judge our perceptions, just observe them. I feel that, because I have a lot of frustration due to my situation, I am sometimes very judgemental and I don’t like that. Since I’ve been meditating, I’ve been more aware of my thoughts and less judgemental. That contributes to my peace and well-being.

But let’s be honest: we all judge. We judge to assess people and situations. That is very important. It’s a way to keep us safe and a way to associate with better people. As we go through life, we notice patterns. We have values and we observe and judge people we interact with. Some we would like to know better, others we want to stay away. When we are younger, we don’t make proper judgements because of our lack of experience. We associate with people that are detrimental to us and we learn from that. We learn to not associate with people with certain traits. But when certain traits are harmless and, therefore, don’t affect us in any way, we make shallow judgements. Judging just for the sake of judging. When we are frustrated, we are judgemental to feel like we’re better than someone else, to make us feel validated. “I would never do that, what is he thinking?”. That’s not where we should get value. We need to cultivate our positive traits that will make us feel empowered and good about ourselves. Things that enrich our lives and make us better people but not better than anyone else. We’ll be just us, unique and complex, striving to evolve.

Image by qimono, courtesy of Pixabay.

Outside ( observation, modularity of the mind and personality)

I’m outside now. There’s a wonderful breeze, something I never feel at home. The sun is shining, lots of people our out. Patios with many people having a beer or a soda and enjoying the sun. It’s a pleasure to be out. I want to capture this moment and keep it in mind next time I don’t feel like going out. That’s one of the ways of being more in control of my fear. I feel secure and protected with my boyfriend.

The second thing that helps me go outside, when he’s not around, is music. If I take my headphones and listen to music, I feel more calm and walking doesn’t feel like a challenge. I let music take me places and indeed it does. It’s great company when you are alone. A friend of mine suggested this to me and I’m glad she did, as it is very useful.

Now we are going to watch a movie at my boyfriend’s place. I’m not a fan of action movies so I will just listen to it and keep writing.

We have arrived. I like to watch him watch movies. He looks so calm and attentive. I love feeling his presence, even if we don’t talk. It’s like being with my best friend, a best friend that I love romantically. Someone I respect and that treats me right. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that I found someone like him. He has helped me heal, with love and compassion. He is very empathetic and kind. Most men are afraid of their emotional side but, not only is he not afraid, he is in touch with his feeling. Intuition is a trait he also has. He can guess things and make choices based on it. It has happened many times, he guessed outcomes of situations. At first, I would be apprehensive but then I would see he was right. In my opinion, being in touch with your intuition is a gift.

I had a cold apple cider outside. It tasted like heaven. I really like how it has some alcohol but it tastes like juice. I don’t like the taste of alcohol, I could never drink whisky or gin or other strong drinks. I don’t even like beer, unless it’s mixed with plenty of Sprite. It’s a good thing that I don’t like it, otherwise it could become a problem now that I stopped smoking. Drunk people annoy me a lot. Most drunk people become very irrational and hard to deal. I have absolutely no patience for that. As I’m always sober, they are in a completely different wavelength than me. People become stubborn and impulsive, total loose cannons. That scares me very much. I’m afraid of tough situations, fights, misunderstandings and awkward situations. I have humiliated myself many times, too many to count, so now I keep it low-key.

When you have untreated BPD, unless it’s quiet, you act out. There is chaos inside of you, that overflows and you do irrational things. I wish I had been diagnosed sooner but what has passed is past. I’ve come to terms with it. I know I’m not the person I was 5 years ago and I feel good about that. I’m not crystallized and I continue to evolve. That is very important to me, feeling like I’m growing. Knowing that I still have a lot to learn and not settling for less. Some people don’t have that awareness but I don’t blame them. There are so many mainstream myths about personality, people see it like something that is fixed when it’s not. The brain may be hard-wired to work in some ways but there is always room for change. You just need to acknowledge what you want to change and make an effort to re-wire your brain. The Buddha stated that there was no self and the modular theory of the mind come to that conclusion. It hasn’t been proven but it’s very interesting.

“Modularity of the mind is the notion that a mind may, at least in part, be composed of innate neural structures or modules which have distinct established evolutionary developed sources.

Source: Wikipedia “Modularity of the mind” article.

Every situation “activates” a certain module, they are sensitive to stimuli and they are meant to keep us safe, in order for us to pass our genes to the next generation. But now we live in a completely different time and our society is rapidly changing. For example, we crave sweets because they meant fruit and that was good for us. But now there are many processed snacks, which are not beneficial to us and that can make us obese. Another example of displaced instincts is road rage. Rage and anger used to be used to make a point in our tribe, when our ancestors were hunter-gatherers. We wanted to set an example and it was a way to warn others not to mess with us. Road rage is displaced energy. You are probably never going to see that person again and you still feel like you have to make a point. It’s completely useless and people still do it. People do irrational things because of it. We are yet to completely adapt to our new circumstances and I don’t know if we ever will, since society is ever-changing.

When I was about 20 years old, I started to notice how annoying and downright stupid some of my traits were. I came to that conclusion by observing others. People are like mirrors. You look at certain people and you see some traits you share with them. It is also useful to look at people, really look closely and understand what traits you would like to have yourself. I noticed that people who talked too much and monopolized conversations were too much to handle. Now I can have balanced conversations where everyone has a chance to talk and interesting ideas can be shared and thought about collectively. To me, those are the best conversations. People want to socialize but are not eager to talk, interrupting others and sharing too much. I value people like that and I surround myself with them. I feel so bored when people talk too much. There is no space for sharing knowledge and interesting ideas. I remember justifying myself a lot, I desperately wanted people to understand me and not judge me. But they would, ultimately. Then I would justify myself more and overshare, I would be even more judged. You don’t need to justify yourself to be understood and not everyone should know details about your life. You will find people in your life that won’t judge you and will listen when you need to vent. They will keep your secrets safe (but don’t tell them all your secrets, unless it’s your therapist, he/she can keep your secrets safe).

These are things I’ve learned in my 30 something years of life. I will share more of my thoughts of life spontaneously and I hope they can be of use to my readers.

The movie has ended, it’s now time to spend time with my boyfriend.

Can you share things you have learned so far about life and people? What are your views on personality?

Image courtesy of Pixabay.

After meditation comes investigation

Meditation is a complex and fascinating subject. I’ve been reading about it extensively and, the more I know, the more I want to know. I’m not looking for enlightenment nor do I want to become a Buddhist. I have found that such practice is beneficial for everyone, especially those with mental and physical conditions.

Though it is very beneficial by itself, there should also be investigation. Humans have many habits. Some are healthy and others are not. If we practice mindfulness meditation, we may release negative patterns of thoughts, actions and emotions. I say “may” because some habits persist even when we are mindful of them. This is where investigation steps in.

According to the Buddha, there are seven factors of enlightenment. They are:

-Mindfulness

-Investigation

-Energy

-Joy

-Relaxation

-Concentration

-Equanimity

The difference between meditation and investigation is their focus. Meditation is focused on experiencing the present moment, while investigation focuses on what is behind that experience.

Again, these are the factors of enlightenment (or awakening) but you don’t need to have it as your goal. You can simply seek refuge in some of the practices, as they can be very soothing for the mind and body. They can bring a sense of peace and tranquility to your life, and also be a catalyst for change.

Investigation is sort of being your own psychologist (I don’t recommend you to stop going to your appointments, this should only be a complement of your professional treatment). You sit in stillness and wonder why you do certain things that are not beneficial to you, analyzing your feelings.

“When mindfulness is thus fully engaged, then we have the capacity or opportunity for the second factor of awakening: investigation of the dhammas or dhamma vicaya. Vicaya means to investigate, to scrutinize or analyze. We can take this to mean an intellectual analysis, or we can regard it in a more meditative context as a non-intellectual scrutiny.

Depending on how we regard the analysis, the word dhamma here can mean something as precise as a very particular mental state, or can more broadly mean anything of significance in our lives.”

Source: https://www.buddhistinquiry.org/article/the-investigation-of-what-is-important-the-second-factor-of-awakening/

When an unpleasant feeling arises, sit in mindful stillness. Simply ask “what is this?”, without trying to fix or alter that feeling. Sit or lie with it and let it be, while being curious about it. Focus on your experience of this feeling and how it reflects on your body. See if any memories come up that could shed light on it.

This should be done in a very light way and with curiosity . Pressuring yourself to get answers is not helpful at all. Try to let your mind relax, that is the perfect state to receive whatever answer you are looking for.When you identify the underlying emotion, it’s time to accept it and to feel how it reflects on your body.

The Buddhist law of conditionality (or causal interdependence) is the most important of the Buddhist teachings. It states the following:

“The progression of causes and conditions is the reality which applies to all things, from the natural environment, which is an external, physical condition, to the events of human society, ethical principles, life events and the happiness and suffering which manifest in our own minds. These systems of causal relationship are part of the one natural truth. Our happiness within this natural system depends on having some knowledge of how it works and practicing correctly within it, through addressing problems on the personal, social, and environmental levels. Given that all things are interconnected and all are affecting each others success in dealing with the world lies in creating harmony within it.”

Source: http://www.abuddhistlibrary.com/Buddhism/B%20-%20Theravada/Teachers/Ven%20Payutto/Dependent%20Origination/Dependent%20Origination%20The%20Buddhist%20Law%20of%20Conditionality.htm

With this knowledge and if this resonates with you, it is also possible to ask: “what is this dependent on?”. It is important to keep in mind that you might not get an answer instantly, so don’t worry too much about it.

It’s very useful to investigate our thinking and what motivates our actions. Once we realize why some thoughts and actions come to be, they can dissipate and you will have room for new (and healthier) ones.

As someone recovering from BPD, I have to say that this has helped me immensely. You have truly useful insights and it helps you grow as person. Understanding your emotional landscape and your actions are the key for change and improvement.

Image by qimono, courtesy of Pixabay.

What is gaslighting and my story

I mentioned gaslighting in the last post and I think I should talk a bit more about it, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the term.

Gaslighting is a form of manipulation where someone twists events, in order to make someone else think he/she is crazy. If you have a mental condition it’s even easier to do, so we must be aware that this exists.

From the Wikipedia article:

Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, hoping to make them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the target and delegitimize the target’s belief.

This technique is mostly used by sociopaths and narcissists. Be aware if someone who hurt you always denies wrong-doing. Whether they realize it or not, it’s psychological abuse and it can affect the abused person greatly. If it happens to you for a long time ( and a long time is subjective) it can cause BPD, anxiety, PTSD, among other things. As you can see it’s a very toxic and harmful behavior.

I had one relationship where this happened constantly. I lost my mind. It is one of the most frustrating things I’ve ever gone through. You want to reach a consensus, a conclusion and the person just keeps hurting you, making you feel insane or too sensitive, twisting facts and offending you. No objective answers to questions. Analyzing you instead of answering properly and then hurting you with a negative perspective of you.

It made me become paranoid and more submissive. I cut all contact with everyone, he had jealousy issues. My life was a nightmare. I was very in love but very miserable. I was controlled and manipulated almost at all times. I was disrespected countless times until I couldn’t take it anymore. I’m not submissive, I speak my mind so I was being completely repressed. That had a huge impact in my mental health. I already had BPD symtpoms and all this abuse and invalidation worsened my self-destructive tendencies. I had major depression immediately after it and tried to commit suicide but, fortunately, I survived.

It left me with very deep scars. For years, my heart was completely broken. As I said before, I engaged in self-destructive behavior more and more. It was like I wanted to die.

My strategy for dealing with this is to stand my ground and quickly end the conversation because it’s foul play, don’t be tempted to play dirty as well.

I’ve been the toxic person many times in my life but I’m trying to change and heal. The best way to heal from this is to be away from it. Avoid people who use this strategy. If it’s your father, move as soon as possible. Don’t second-guess your sanity, stand your ground but don’t pursue arguments. The person will hurt you as much as they can.

I suggest reading this article about the seven signs that you’re a victim of gaslighting. It’s very informative and useful. Also, this article about gaslighting by parents to children and this article about the 10 signs that you are in a relationship with a narcissist.

Share your opinions below, they are greatly appreciated.

 

 

I found a new therapist

Good morning everyone. I woke up early today, which is good.

I have just scheduled an appointment with a psychologist. My current psychologist isn’t helping me and she isn’t validating me, either. She doesn’t take my calls during the week, which she should do, according to Marsha Linehan (the creator of DBT). She isn’t helping me, she seems very inexperienced with this type of therapy. When she stopped calling, I felt abandoned. I felt invalidated and hurt. But I started rationalizing it. She’s just my therapist, the bond we had was fake and she clearly doesn’t care so why would I?

I’m going to start therapy with a new therapist, which isn’t very good. I hate starting therapy, you have to tell your story again and it’s just frustrating. I’m doing it anyway, I need therapy. I hope I like her.

It’s not DBT but my psychiatrist said I would benefit from any type of psychotherapy. I’m going to buy DBT self-help books, maybe they can help me.

I feel a bit scared because I’m so convinced that DBT would help me a lot and I’m going to have a “normal” psychotherapist. At least my new therapist has experience with addiction, that gives me hope.

It’s always good to get to exchange ideas with someone new. To see other points of view so, even if I’m scared, I’m excited as well.

I hope it goes well. If it doesn’t, I’ll deal with it.

Image by PublicCo, courtesy of Pixabay.