Do you ever read something that someone else has written and just nod along, thinking “Yup. Me too. Oh. My. God. That is me!!”? Well, I have never had so many experiences with thinking this, as I have of late. Since being diagnosed as having EUPD (Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder), I’ve done the only natural thing. I have looked up every blog/forum/medical site I can. With every one I read, I sit in awe of how many times I think “That is just me!”.
In my previous blog I listed some of the more commonly talked about traits of someone with BPD/EUPD:
- An intense fear of abandonment
- A recurring feeling of emptiness
- A confused or unstable self-image
- Sharp fluctuation between different moods:Strong irritation, fear or depression that may last from a few hours to a few days at the most.
- Stormy relationships that swing between intense admiration and extreme contempt
- Intense, heated anger that is disproportionate to whatever triggers it
- Short-lasting, excessively suspicious ideas or temporary feelings of detachment from reality
- Impulsiveness that leads to abuse of drugs, sex,food or money, for example
Identifying with this list was a bit of eureka moment! Since reading up different forums/blogs on BPD/EUPD, I have discovered other traits and other people’s experiences that I can relate with. The biggest eureka moment came when I read about the fact people who have BPD/EUPD tend to have a favourite person/s.
I read a blog on TheMighty about it, and I just couldn’t believe what I was reading. Here is a quote from their blog, that just made me sit up and take notice:
If you live with borderline personalitydisorder (BPD), you may have come across the term “favorite person,” or “FP” for short. Though the concept of having a favorite person is one familiar to a lot of people in the BPD community, others might hear the term and think, “Oh, it’s like a best friend.”
While a best friend can be an FP, it’s usually so much more than that — and it’s important to know the differences. To over simplify, best friends are people you love and count on, but a favorite person is someone you have an emotional dependence on, someone who can “make or break” your day.
Some people in the community then go on to give their interpretation of what it means to them:
1. “Having a favorite person for me is the constant shifting between idealization and devaluation. When anything changes (the tone of their voice, body language, etc.), the shifting only goes between the two extremes. It’s like I’m the happiest when they tell me they love me and they are there, but I have self-harming and suicidal thoughts when anything changes.” — Salma H.
2. “It’s like being in love without the romantic wishes. Platonic love. You might not even know the person very well, but you still idolize them so much. You create your own image of who they are, so for you, they become exactly who you need.” — Lena M.
3. “It’s dangerous. It’s needing someone so bad it’s physically painful when they leave. It’s apologizing for every tiny thing because you don’t want to give them a reason to leave you. It’s picking fights just to make sure they’ll stay. It’s awful.” — Hannah D.
4. “[They’re] like my drug. Whenever I get their attention, I’m happy for a while. But when I don’t, it’s like the world’s falling apart and I don’t know what to do.” — Jordie W.
5. “[A]favorite person is the calm port in the storm, the low energy vibration person that can level you out just by existing. [A] favorite person can also be the one who we hold up high and try to emulate. The favorite person is the one who makes us feel happy. Also, can be the one who we lash out at and feel the worst about it because we don’t want them to leave.” — Jennifer R.
OMG, I DO THIS!! I can’t believe it. I have done this my whole life. MY ENTIRE LIFE! I have sat and taken stock of all my past relationships, friendships that have gone back to primary school, and I have quite literally always had a favourite person.
I have actually spoken about this in previous blogs when I reference the fact that I don’t have much tolerance for people, and I don’t care to be liked by all, but there are some people who I really respect/admire,and I need them to like me. This is them! This is my favourite people. I latch onto them, I need them to make me feel validated and happy. I put them on a pedestal, worship them and idolise them, then, all it takes is a harsh word, sideward glance or worse, rejection, and I hate them.
The feelings for these people are intense. The fact that I can care for them so much, and then go on to hate them greatly, but then flip back to idolising them again. I know it’s happening, deep down I know, but I can’t stop it. It’s like an impulse. Part of my OCD. They are my obsession. Do they like me? Am I bugging them? Am I talking too much? Do they like what I’m wearing today? Do they think I’m clever? Do they think I’m stupid? Do they think I’m silly? I measure myself against how they make me feel. If they make me happy, my day is a happy one! If they don’t have time for me, or make me feel silly, I hate myself! I start to question who I am. My very existence. What even is the point? If I can’t be enough for them, how can I be enough for anyone??
And there we have it! My eureka moment summed up! Another one of my ‘issues’, where I know and understand what it is, and I can work towards fixing it. How exactly do I fix it? I have no idea, that will be for me to research some more, and I’m sure I’ll do another blog on what I find, and my progress.
In recent years I have had more than one favourite person, and they’ve all left me. Reading these blogs, and rationalising aloud how I am and how I identify with other people’s experiences, both with being someone who has an ‘FP’, and from the other side of people who have been the ‘FP’,I get why they’ve left. It doesn’t stop it from hurting. Believe me it hurts. I just now fully understand why they had to go. I have been too intense and far too emotionally draining.
I have attempted this blog many times over the past week, and I think what I want to achieve by writing this, is to let those of you closest to me understand me a little bit more. Not only that, I would like to say something to all of my favourite people, past and present **warning there is a lot of gushy feelings up ahead, if you’d rather not lose your last meal, skip to the next part**;
I want to say thank you! It’s not easy dealing with someone like me. I know this. I have to live with me, I don’t get a break…. Thank you for all the times you have listened to me ramble, for reading my walls of incoherent text, all of my rants, and for dealing with my impulsive moments. But most of all, I’m sorry! I get that this may be too little too late, or it may just never be enough, but I am. I’m sorry for wanting you too much, and probably suffocating you. I’m sorry for putting all that I am on you, in the hopes of having you shoulder the weight I carry. I’m sorry for expecting you to just always know how I’m feeling and being upset/angry when you don’t. I’m sorry for always expecting to be your first/last thought. I’m sorry for always looking to you to make my day better. I’m sorry for being emotionally draining and for causing you no end of frustration… If we are no longer in touch, then I am definitely sorry for that, but I get it. If you are still around, please bear with me! I know it’s tough, but I’m working on it, and I can only get better. I promise to give you space, and leave you be!
In my quest to better understand the whole ‘FP’concept, I came across a blog about a man, Brian Barnett, who has BPD. Brian describes what it’s like to have an FP, and what it takes to get over them. In one part he states:
Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder does not mean becoming superior to human.
Recovery only means reaching a state of authentic, permanent,emotional health and balance. This happens because one merely ceases to operate from a foundation of distorted perspective, and moves to a foundation based on reality and harmony.
Let me repeat that.
The definition of recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder is not a state of feeling good all the time. Rather, it is achieving authentic emotional health and balance.
Authentic emotional health and balance is not synonymous with feeling good all the time.
The meaning of authentic emotional health and balance is experiencing feelings appropriately, to the appropriate degree, for the appropriate situation.
His words bring me no end of comfort. Not just because he talks of how to get over an FP, something I desperately need to do, but also because he’s talking about recovery. There is hope for me! I wont always be this way. I can definitely work toward being more balanced and feeling more ‘normal’.
Today has been a horrible day. Like seriously, horrible! So, what have I done? Yup, that’s right, I have wallowed in how sad I’ve felt. I have then looked to my FP to make me feel better, who quite frankly, has given no fucks what so ever. This upset me to the point of tears. By the time I was driving home this evening, I realised what I was doing. I thought about this blog, and all of the stuff I’ve been reading about FP’s and it hit me! No wonder they don’t care! They’re tired. I’ve emotionally drained them with my being overly intense and neediness. I then began self-loathing. Having an internal argument with myself, going over my interactions with my FP today, scrutinising the language I’ve used, the way I’ve made myself feel, the fact I’ve blamed them….it’s all mental.
Hindsight? It’s a wonderful thing! Unfortunately, all it means for me is it’s usually too little too late! I cannot wait to look back on this blog in like a years time, and be able to reflect on how far I’ve come. I want to be in a place a year from now, where today feels like a distant memory! Where the very notion of having a day like to day is just out of the question.
If you know me personally, I hope this blog has given you a bit more insight and allows you to understand me a bit better. For anyone else, I hope this has been helpful to you, and I’m happy to hear of your experiences and to hear if you too have or have had an FP!