This is a really touchy subject for me, even still unfortunately, but I’ve been meaning to write something and have it at least be informative in some sense to my “newfound” disorder so let’s try and write this without too many emotional tangents. [Future Me: Oh boy how you fucked that up] Most people are well aware of the differences between crushes and love, also able to differentiate all of that and even just infatuation. People These past years the lines between all of these have been deeply blurred. Growing up we start off these feelings for other people in crushes, which when you really think about it is essentially just a well-intended and usually harmless obsession. Most people have had several crushes while at school or growing up and then after some point they grow out of that process of pining over people in particular, at least in the way that you would over someone who you have almost no choice but to see everyday. With a few exceptions; such as the occasional office crush or gym crush.. but ultimately that method of obsessively thinking about someone who you really don’t know all that well, or haven’t expressed any romantic interest in before, tends to fade away as people just start to ask out the people they feel attracted to, they try online dating, whatever.. However, I didn’t really grow out of it. Well at least not until recently I guess, but it’s not so much that I grew out of it and began to favor more mature ways of going about feeling those feelings and expressing them, it’s just that I just eventually became too exhausted from obsessing over people I liked. Crushes give me this euphoric high, it sparks this intoxicating and addicting feeling of mania that I love feeling, but with every high and addiction that feeling eventually kicks. And once it does that feeling is so painful and gut-wrenching and I end up becoming self destructive as just some way of distracting myself from that pain. I couldn’t do that anymore. You can only be hurt by the same pain over and over until it doesn’t hurt anymore it just tires you out.. It defeats you and makes this all seem pointless but really that pain was all I knew. So it took a lot to really kick that habit, well as much as I was able to kick it.
Then there’s favorite people, which honestly the description I gave above about crushes would work well with these too for people who aren’t familiar with the term. Except it’s not harmless. It hasn’t been in my case. For people with Borderline Personality Disorder, a favorite person is someone that you assign as the most important person in your life; they’re your confidante, your anchor, your guide, your other half, and either the best or the worst person to have entered your life depending on what day you ask. If you remember having those crushes and longing for them to notice and reciprocate the feelings you’re feeling without really ever telling that person about them, that’s essentially how having a favorite person feels like. Day in, day out.. “Do they still like me?” “Am I being too annoying?” “They seemed short with me lately, are they distancing themselves from me?” It’s this constant need for attention, or more accurately validation, and fear of being abandoned that takes over your life, and if not kept under control it takes over theirs too. The fear of abandonment never really made much sense to me, I never understood why I was so afraid of them leaving me this whole time when I always saw it as inevitability. Just like how I know for certain I’m going to die one day, I “knew” that every time I either got back with my favorite person or assigned someone new to take over that role, it was going to end in hurt and/or abandonment. And I was right… Every single time. Not because I’m some incredible psychic or predictor, I drove them away. Discounting the people who ultimately had bad intentions when getting close with me, the ones that really just liked being with me and that I got attached to. Every single one of them I pushed them out of my life. I became too needy, and messaged them constantly needing some sort of attention and almost just as quickly I withdrew almost completely. I mean, how would you possibly feel if your best friend asked you day and night for your attention and said they needed you any time you withdrew even just a little and then just suddenly without warning wouldn’t talk to you at all, unless you initiated the conversation. I gave them emotional whiplash, demanding or just really really hoping they would help me feel better or happy which was an impossible feat and I blamed them for not being able to do something that was impossible to begin with. It wasn’t fair to them and almost as a means of trying to get back control I would be the one that left. I didn’t want them to leave because that meant that I wasn’t worth staying, and since it was an inevitability to me, I had to be the one to do it just to have one last final say in this unstable and “out of control” relationship/friendship I was in. It’s awful, I know. I’ve been well aware of how selfish and hurtful to the other person this was, but I couldn’t stop it. I tried. God I swear I tried so hard to stop.
I’d like to clarify, since in my past posts when referring to my favorite person I usually was referring to a specific person. However having had distance from that relationship I’ve been able to see this long list of favorite people I’ve had in my life both before and unfortunately a little bit still after; some of which started off as crushes, some were completely platonic throughout, and most of them were some confusing mix of the two. I only want to clarify that I’m talking more generic when saying my FP’s because when I did reference this person I tended to let my emotions shift how I would talk about that topic. I held some bitterness, at first it was bitterness because I felt they caused this.. that if only they had treated me the way I had been asking them to treat me that it wouldn’t have ended this way, that I would’ve been supportive of their happiness but instead it felt like they had to acquire it at my expense. But the truth is, I was bitter to myself, for not getting out of the situation sooner even knowing it was doomed to fail from the beginning. I didn’t want to hurt them, I wanted things to be perfect to make up for the years of pain we BOTH had to endure because of this friendship. I blamed them to not accept that, and I also used bitterness as a way to not admit the even bigger truth behind that… which I was really just broken up about losing them. I still am, but the main thing that’s kept me going with that.. well initially was loads and loads of denial, feeling as if they never really left my life.. that we just weren’t talking at the moment and that’d soon resolve itself and we could be friends again like we used to be, but after that denial had to go away, knowing that I wasn’t there to do any of that to them anymore. Knowing they actually had a chance of happiness, and at least from the last I had checked it seemed like they found it.. it means this was the best thing for them. And for me too. Doesn’t make it worth it, but it makes it easier. To get back to my point earlier, these lines between crushes, a favorite person, or someone I was in love with. They all felt the same to me and I had such a hard time knowing which feelings were real and which were passing phases. Also god damn it I did it again, I cant simply reference something without letting all the other shit spill out.
So what is love? And how are these feelings any different from crushes, infatuation, or the feelings that I end up having with my favorite people? They all feel the same, and there were moments where I definitely confused the strong feelings of happiness I got when I got good morning texts, messages that said “hey this reminded me of you” or “this made me think of you” from people that meant a lot to me. Before I said there were two times I thought I was in love, I thought I was in love with one of these favorite people because of those feelings, but I see now it really was me mixing up those feelings. The other person I still do genuinely believe I was in love with them but our situation was too complicated at the time, and when we tried again we were going forward hoping the past feelings would come back but they never did. So love is something for the longest time I never really had a good grasp of. However, I do think I found someone I do genuinely love. They are the biggest reason I didn’t just ultimately crumble and break apart the past couple of months because I was so fucking close to. I had hit my breaking point, and things just continued to get worse and worse but among the darkness there was one helped make the path so much easier. I would even go as far as to say they actually helped me feel what genuine happiness was like. But obviously just because I found someone I loved, that doesn’t mean any of the other shit I was dealing with was just going to go away. How do you explain to your significant other that while ultimately you’d want nothing more than to just be with them and COMPLETELY forget everything before that has been weighing me down for so long, but instead I can’t help any passing moments to think about and miss someone who hasn’t been in my life for months now and whom I most likely never cross their mind anymore. Well, I don’t know but I sure as hell tried.. and they’ve seemed to be really understanding through all of this. Weirdly my last two relationships were well aware of this entire situation, one mainly just because they knew the person but both because it’s not something I wanted to hide. This person has been a big motivation for why I’ve wanted to continue treatment and not give up, despite this being really difficult and at times seemingly pointless. DBT therapy isn’t like any other therapy I’ve done before, it almost feels like a god damn boot camp and I don’t really get to talk much about how I FEEL, it’s more focused on what I end up DOING so I suppose that’s why I let this post get so flooded with said feelings. Perhaps that’s what love is though, during these hard times.. because I do feel like I’m relapsing.. something I haven’t done since before I wrote the last post, that during those times I still feel motivated to come out of it. Instead of going back to old friends, old feelings, I am allowing myself to feel this so I can go back to directing my attention and care towards the person who really deserves it. I want to be better for them, for me, for everyone in my life who I haven’t already pushed away. I really don’t want to hurt them. I couldn’t live with myself if I let this disorder of mine take one other person and relationship down with me. Especially someone who’s done nothing but try and help pick me back up.
Post Freak Out Edit: Wow I didn’t want to write about any of the stuff I ended up venting about. I wrote this to try and feel better when something tiny caught my eye and it sent me into a spiral. What the fuck happened? I tried to make this an informative piece, void of all my personal crap that infested my previous posts, but I suppose everything I didn’t know that was just creeping underneath the surface was waiting to come out, and man did it come out alright. All of this went just as awfully as I expected and feared it would. With this post. The aftermath.. What’s the point in trying to change, when all it takes is one small thing, one tiny recollection to undo months of effort? I tried my best to get rid of all triggers I had, but that only made it so when a new one arose I was completely unprepared for it.