Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Splitting (or, How To Idealize A Past Relationship To The Point That It's Basically Unrecognizable)

I had a weird moment the other day where I had ran out of my medication for a couple days and ended up sitting in the Meijer parking lot, texting a friend to try and persuade myself not to go in and buy an X-Acto Knife. I think I've mentioned here before that X-Acto Knives are the ultimate cutting utensil, for Serious Cutters. This is because it's almost too easy to use and can result in what we in the SIV Community call a "whoops cut".

I'm sure you all know by now that cutters are not trying to kill themselves and failing, the cutting is just a coping mechanism thanks to good ol' endorphins. A "whoops cut" is when you accidentally cut too deep or in a bad spot and as a result you may need medical attention or even die. I've only had one "whoops cut" in my day because I'm (ironically) really cautious whenever cutting. Be smart about being stupid! This is one of my mottos. Another being, "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail." Thanks, Ben F.

Sorry to disappoint but I don't have an exciting story about this. It was basically I fucked up and was zoned out too hard, I lost a lot of blood, I practiced some of the first aid I'd learned and destoryed a towel in the process and missed school the next day. I probably should have gone to the hospital, really, but I didn't want to freak my mom out. Funny how willing we are to silently suffer as opposed to, oh I don't know, ask for help when you're bleeding constantly for 24 hours.

Anyway. I ended up talking myself out of it. I've gotten to the point where I turn the logical part of my brain on and it goes, "Hey, you feel like shit because you haven't taken your antidepressants for a couple days, ding dong." Then I realize, hm, that little voice is probably right. I guess I'll give it a shot. Then voila, like magic, I feel better after a couple days of resuming my medicine.

SSRI's are super fucking helpful. I can't really function without them, honestly. Well, I can at absolute bare minimum. Like, I can make myself go to work and force myself to buy groceries and shower and eat but that's about it. Anything beyond that is out of the question.

However, they don't fix everything. For example, one of my bigger problems I've been struggling on and off with, even when properly medicated, is my tendency to focus obsessively on a past relationship.

It was triggered recently when I saw them, in person. Someone had told me they had moved back to town. Truth be told, me thinking about this person is normal at least once a month. But after spotting them - in the flesh! - I've been coming back to them every single day without fail. Usually a few times a day. I fantasize that they, like me, think of me incessantly and wish they could have me back. I imagine scenario after scenario in my head of how we just happen to run into each other (even though I rarely leave my house for anything other than work and the one time I did see them I basically sprinted away), and suddenly it's like the fire never went out, the full moon is above us and I never refused them.

This is fucking crazy.

It's seriously fucking crazy.

I know this yet I can't stop doing it. Whenever I'm lonely, bored, angry, depressed - I think of them and their eyes, their hair, their laugh. I remember all of the beautiful tiny moments, the words that proved they deserved my trust and the gestures that won my heart. Truly, I did once love them. Immensely. But it's been literally years and no reasonable person in their right mind would think anything remains there. The problem? I'm not a reasonable person in my right mind. I'm a fucking crazy person who convinces herself of bullshit fantasies because she hates the monotony and doldrums of normal life. A vision in which she's swept away by a tall, dark past love to some other universe than the crippling and repetitive one she's trapped in is infinitely more attractive than facing reality.

So how does one deceive oneself so thoroughly that it takes seemingly infinite focus to override the fallacy? Well, start with focusing only on the good. In Borderline Personality Disorder, the phenomenon of seeing someone or something as "all good" or "all bad" (black and white thinking), is called "splitting". I've mentioned this here before because it's one of the most clear indicators of BPD. In the case of the dashing ex, whenever I consider them, I only think of all the wonderful, soft, exciting, inspiring, breath-taking moments we shared. I forget the messy split, the desperate attempts to seduce, the paranoia, the horrid guilt of hiding this relationship from my husband.

It's easier to sweep all that under the mental rug. Whenever I remember it, really turn it over in my hands, God, does it hurt. How I was the one to initially reject the affair, expecting them to continue to pursue me (as I am, of course, irresistible), only to discover that it was so incredibly easy for them to give me up. As if I never mattered in the first place.

One of my greatest fears is that to others, I exist only as a sexual being. For so, so long, almost every single friendship I began resulted in the other person becoming romantically or sexually attracted to me. It's easy to base your worth off of this. Since this was the majority of the attention I received in my teen/adult life, this is what I began to use to equate my worth despite knowing I am so much more. When not acknowledged or so easily shut down, as was the case with my ex, it made me feel absolutely worthless. Fucking ironic, right? The very thing I don't want - to be seen as a sexual object - ends up being what determines my self value. I don't know. I feel like this whole thought process is muddled and not explained well. In honesty, I don't completely understand it myself. Probably something like "blah blah childhood trauma, blah blah rape victim, blah blah who cares but goddamn I'm a mess."

Jesus, what a rabbit hole we fell down, huh?

I guess the reality too is that if I let go of this idealized version of this relationship that happened, if I stop obsessing over this fantastical story I've crafted in my head, it will erase all that was. I miss this fuckface so much. You know those commercials and gifs and whatnot that show you typing messages to someone only to erase all of it? Yep, that's me. Fucking frequently, I might add. What I wouldn't give for them to message me first. That would make it real, though. And everything goes exactly the way I want it to in my head.

In the real world, they are happy without me and probably have forgotten everything we ever said or shared. They genuinely probably never think of me. Then there's me, on the other side of the screen, scrolling mindlessly through their Facebook feed, looking for some kind of code or hidden message in their status updates. Something that says "I miss you." It's never there. And it never will be.

I can either let this completely pointless fantasy relationship go or continue to let it consume any free time I have. Both sounds shitty. But fuck me, right?

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