One of the many problems with BPD is the tendency to think that someone is either good or bad with no in-between and although my BPD is much less intense than it was a few months ago I found myself dealing with this problem again during the week.
Thing is I don’t just apply it to other people, I apply it to thoughts, feelings and actions. There isn’t a problem with anyone or thing I judge as good, its when I judge someone or something as bad that problems arise. From a young age I have had anger problems and at the age of 10 I remember drawing a diagram of my brain with two smaller brains inside, good brain and bad brain. This was how I differentiated between good actions and bad.
I was talking to child counsellors about this and said something like “when I’m angry bad brain takes control and I do bad things” thing is I believed that bad things needed to be punished hence my anger issues, a few years later I started self harming to punish myself for the “bad” thoughts and things I had done no matter how small it was.
When applying this to other people I would get so bitter and angry that if the name was mentioned I would go into an anger frenzy. All because that person did a bad thing and they needed to be punished, so I would ruminate on revenge fantasies but not actually do anything because I would be “just as bad as them”
This belief really came to light a few days ago. You may remember a friend of mine who had been in an abusive relationship with a guy who had also abused me, well she told me she was back in touch with him and I flipped out, full blown anger to the point that I nearly killed myself because I didn’t want to live in a world where people as bad as him could get what they want and their crimes go unpunished.
I was terrified she would go running back to him and turn on me but I was also angry with her for not calling the police and saying she still loves a man who had done such unspeakable things; in my mind she was just as bad as him for giving him the contact he wanted and not punishing him because what he did to me was an old crime but with her its happening right now so why the fuck isn’t she doing anything about it!
I sent her a long message basically saying she was being a classic abuse victim and I wouldn’t be able to trust her while she was talking to him; she’s in denial said she wants a friendship with him and that she still loves him and I was frankly disgusted but then when I had a meltdown and my mum asked her what was happening she denied saying anything like that, contradicting herself. It seemed all too familiar to another situation I believe I mentioned when someone twisted the story to their own agenda, to make it look like I was the one in the wrong for feeling and reacting a certain way.
Well I blocked her and she unsubscribed to my channel (much like anther girl who took down a website she built for me because we fell out as if to say that’s the end of it and they have the final say). I’m still fuming a bit but I’m more disappointed in her that she would fight to get back with an abuser and not fight at all for our friendship. In hindsight our friendship was doomed from the start, we both knew each other through him (lets call him A for now) and our friendship was based on our mutual history with A. So, yeah the foundation of our friendship was the guy who gave us Post Traumatic Stress, really not good especially if it can send me into meltdowns like that.
I guess I was hoping I could help her, I always cared for her even before we knew the truth, a part of me wants to try our friendship again but then I would be acting like her, clinging on to hope that there can be something good there (or in him) when there just isn’t.
I digress, the inner child insists on hating him and her for hurting me so much. Honestly I did feel pretty fucked over but I’ve also got to understand that it took me ten years to start my healing work from what happened with him. Her trauma is still pretty raw and I can’t force her to heal and move on, she needs to do that in her own way, in her own time, I’m at a different healing stage to her and that’s okay. She’s not a bad person just unhealthy, good people can be unhealthy.
I was back into voluntary work yesterday and found myself panicking over getting things “wrong” and making mistakes because my belief is that mistakes are bad and make me look bad but in reality everyone makes mistakes and mistakes can be good for learning so I tried thinking to myself “mistakes are good”. I repeated it a few times and it really helped me calm down and ironically make less mistakes lol but it was this that got me thinking about how I judge myself and others. For example (lets call my abused ex friend G) G, I judged her decision and actions as bad because, well, shit would probably hit the fan if she got too close to him again but I refuse to think of her as a bad person that would just make me angry and I’ll end up punishing myself most likely; besides its not her fault that he has such a strong hold on her, it’s what abusers do and I hope to the powers that be I will never have to experience an abusive relationship like that.
So instead of saying something or someone is bad I say healthy or unhealthy. Saying someone did something or is bad implies, to me, that they need to be punished thus sending me into rage mode wanting to hurt them but ending up hurting myself because I thought of doing something bad to someone and must be punished. So the cycle of anger and self harm goes. Instead if I describe something or someone as unhealthy that only implies there is healing work that needs to be done and ,like I said, good people can get unhealthy so I feel no need to punish them and may help them if it is healthy for me to do so.
With G I tried my best to help her heal but it was starting to hurt me and I realized the friendship is unhealthy for both of us. Me because it kept retraumatizing me and bringing me back to that state of rage and unhealthy for her because I would just be pushing her too much to be who I wanted her to be most likely and she needs to take charge of her own destiny and learn her lessons when she is ready. Who knows, maybe in another ten years we’ll both be in much better places and be good friends based on our personalities and mutual interests, not our history.