A moment in a thought

My thoughts, in my life, of adoption and other such things

Oh the joy’s of M March 4, 2007

Filed under: Friendship,Uncategorized — Jessie @ 2:56 pm

I am so very frustrated right now.  I feel that yucky jittery, nervous, angry feeling, and I do not like it one bit. 

The thing is, for everything in my life right now, I shouldn’t have this feeling.  I am sohappy otherwise.  I am sitting at my Meemo’s house, dog sitting.  I am comfortable, I am happy.  I am peaceful, and trying to get my homework done. 

Of course, something would have to come along to ruin my peaceful state of mind.  My friend M. 

M is a borderline in every sense of the word.  Yes, I too also carry the diagnosis for borderline personality disorder.  But there are many different levels to the disorder, many different functioning levels, many different wellness levels.  I have always been very high functioning, I have always also, relied on just about no one but myself to get through things.  I have  worked my a$s off in therapy for several years now to get over the diagnosis.  And while I still carry some of the borderline tendancies, and probably will for a long time.  I no longer consider myself a ‘borderline’, I no longer consider myself crazy, or ill.  Anyone who has known me for longer than a year or so, would understand that change.  Do not get me wrong, I don’t consider myself ‘cured’,  just in recovery.  

M will never get better.  It isn’t because borderlines are untreatable, I have proven otherwise.  It is because she refuses to help herself.  She expects everyone else in the world to cater to her every need, and if, heaven forbid they don’t, they get exiled until she decides they are worthy of her again.  Yes, M is a borderline, the type of borderline that makes those who are working hard in recovery look bad.

I like the person that M is, I really do.  We have been friends for a long time, met in a treatment situation and bonded immediately.  She was the first person that I ever met that ever understood so many of the things that were going on in my head.  The only person that I ever really felt comfortable opening up to with so many of the things that I had previously thought were just plain crazy.  She helped me in my journey of recovery in the sense that after talking to her, I felt comfortable opening up to other people about these things, namely my therapist, which really allowed me to work through them.  I appreciate her for that.  We used to have a great many things in common, our minds worked so similarly in so many different ways, that while we always handled things differently, we understood each other.  We used to be together all the time, hang out smoke pot, go to highland park conservatory (my favorite place in the world) and just talk about things, life, whatever.  When things were like that, all was well, never perfect, but well.

The thing is M always expected a lot of things from me.  When I didn’t have any confidence and no real voice of my own it didn’t bother me.  It isn’t like I had anything better to do than sit in hospitals or drive her to emergency rooms or be at her every beck and call when the ‘meltdowns’ hit.  Being a borderline as well I understood the meltdowns, although I never, ever really had them myself.  At least not to the point where I needed hospitalization or felt the need to drag everyone else into it.  I more just did it silently and in my own company.  I didn’t always like doing these things for her, and we got into plenty of fights on it, but I did it anyway. 

That is until things started to really change.  I started to recover, she did not.  If we could have gone through this recovery process together, I think a lot of things would be different with us now.  However, this is not the case.  There wasn’t ever any effort on her part, while I was working my tail off in therapy, she was busy being consumed by the drama of her own life.  While a great many things were changing within me, she just stayed the same.  I met her when I was 20, and her 21 almost 22.  We are now 24 and 26.   I am looking at a normal life, she is looking at death.  Yes, death.  She is chronically suicidal, something I can sympathize with as it has only been recently that I have spent more than a day without thinking about it.  However, she is chronically suicidal and flirts with death by her own hand, sometimes its for attention, sometimes its for real.  She is also killing herself slowly, if she doesn’t go by an outright suicide act, she will go by one that is slower, more painful, and not listed as suicide, but suicide none the less.  She has soft spots in her brain from all the drug use (she blames this on all the psych meds she has been on, while ignoring all the self inflicted drug damage).  She is also anorexic, which is causing a myriad of heath problems including the newest, kidney failure.  She found out a few days ago that she is in severe kidney failure.  The fact that she is eating nothing, weighs nothing, and is on several medications for the neurological problems, she blames only the medications.   And is refusing to enter treatment for the eating disorder.   Stating that she doesn’t fit in with all the ‘popples’ and other ‘eating disorder girls’ because she is a lesbian and has gender identity issues. 

I feel for her, I really do.  It is hard to watch someone you care about go through all this.  But despite everything I am finding myself in quite the predicament.  She needs a friend, but I can only do so much.  I cannot fix her, I cannot make her better.  I am tired of being used and abused.  She is in crisis all the time, she expects someone to fix her all the time.  She expects me to drop everything I am doing, at any moment, and cater to her just because she is in crisis.  If she weren’t in crisis every other day, it would be one thing… but sheesh!

 I got a phone call today, an interruption to my peace quiet and serenity, with her in tears.  She can’t take it anymore, she cut herself badly and doesn’t know what to do.  She wants me to come get her, take her into the city so she can buy weed, and just get high and forget about the world.   I do not want to, I don’t want to deal with it.  I want my peace and serenity.  I do not want to get high, I do not want the responsibility of fixing her and putting her back together again.  I have my own stuff, I don’t need hers too. 

I tell her, as calmly as I can, that I cannot, I am in the middle of a large project that is due tomorrow.(which is true)  I cannot come to get her right now.  And so switches the tears to the wrath and anger.  How dare I?  How dare I choose homework over her, I must not care about her!   I continue to explain calmly that it has nothing to do about caring about her, it is just that I cannot do this right now.  I tell her that she needs to start learning to help herself, that just because she wants me to be there for her, does not mean that I can always literally “BE THERE” for her.  I get yelled and screamed at, called names, told to F off.  That this is how her best friend treats her when she needs her, and on and on.  I have heard it all before a million times.  Every time I stand up for myself.   

The point of all this is I don’t know what to do.  It just sounds so easy to walk away from her and her entire situation, but I find that difficult to do.  I just feel overwhelmed by her, have always felt overwhelmed by her.  I guess it was one thing when we actually had things in common.  Now I just feel dread everytime my phone rings her ringtone.  I am trying to go to school, work, lead a productive life.  The emotion overload of this reunion and the BPD triggers because of it are finally now subsiding a bit.  I am finding myself finally at peace with myself and what my world has become since my Meemo.   I do not need the added stress of her.   

I have a few days, a few days before she calls me up and apologizes for losing it, again.  A few days before I have to explain to her, again, why she cannot just expect my world to stop because hers has.  I am getting tired of this game, of the emotional overload of it.  I just don’t know what to do to stop it.  I cannot help someone who doesn’t want to help themself. 


4 Responses to “Oh the joy’s of M”

  1. Just Me Says:

    It may be time to break the part of the cycle where you explain to her — again — why you can’t always be there for her. It may also be time to break the part where you feel guilty about not being able to rescue her every time she needs it. (And believe me, she needs it — and you know what I mean. In her world she is absolutely going to fall apart immediately and irrevocably unless you do exactly what she’s asking for … now.)

    What really happens is that she doesn’t fall apart immediately and irrevocably when you fail to react. And you both know that, too. I think you have exactly the right attitude — loving, giving, caring and fed up. I suspect that you aren’t really recognizing the ‘fed up’ part for what it is — it is your instinct telling you that helping her, again, is not what she really needs. It is not that she overwhelms you, it is that you let yourself get overwhelmed by her.

    Maybe the best way for her to learn what you already know (and what I’m painfully learning, too). She needs to be there for herself. She needs to find ways to comfort and soothe herself in times of emotional distress. As long as you are there to relieve the distress, she has no need to do it herself.

    So when she calls and apologizes, say “thank you for apologizing. You know, it really does overwhelm me when you call like that — it sends me back into my own emotional overload. If there are times I can help you you know I will. But there are times when I have to say no and I’m glad you’re showing me you understand that at least a little by apologizing to me.”

    So you give her:
    1) The truth — it overwhelms you.
    2) No excuses — you get to be true to yourself (which I think you would be anyway)
    3) Validation to both her (for apologizing) and yourself (for knowing your own limits).
    4) A little praise for her for managing to get through this without you (even if she found someone else to “save” her, she DID manage to get through it without you).
    5) Praise for trying to repair the damage she caused by coming to you in a state of panic, again. She knows she does this to you — that’s why she apologizes. It’s great to let her know she’s doing the right thing by apologizing.

    It isn’t your job to help her want to help herself. It isn’t your job to play her game. It is your job to take care of yourself by what you did. And it is taking care of yourself to acknowledge to her the impact she had on your weekend — the disruptive impact. It’s not a judgment on your part, it’s a statement of fact — it is distressing when she calls you like that.

    I suspect it would not be you being true to yourself to turn your back on her. You just don’t sound like that type of person, and I know when I deny the part of me that WANTS to save everyone in the world that I feel sad about that. But I now know that wanting to save everyone is a good thing. Actually saving them when I can’t or when it would cost me too much is not always possible, but the instinct is always right.

    I have never heard anyone describe themselves as a high-functioning borderline. I feel exactly the same way. (Though god knows I have been a very non-functioning one at times in my life, too.)

    I will share one thing with you … I do think it is possible to be cured of being borderline. What isn’t possible (or even desirable in my opinion) is to be cured of being very emotionally sensitive. I remain extremely emotionally sensitive, but my therapist tells me I don’t really meet the criteria for the diagnosis anymore. That’s huge to me.

    What I continue to have is the emotional sensitivity and some borderline behaviors, but I don’t think I have to consider myself “a borderline” anymore. 🙂

  2. Jessie Says:

    Just Me,

    THANK YOU! Thank you so much. You just put everything into perspective for me so well. No, I really DONT not want to be a part of her life! I just don’t want to always have to deal with everything she throws at me. Thank you. Thank you for your advice. Thanks for the hope.

  3. object Says:

    Ohyeah. I realized it object sex be someplace else ifyou just as she looked at the.

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