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Hello love,

What always gets me is seeing people moving on. Social media is usually not a good idea for us, because it can really drive home how much we aren’t like other people. Even if what we are seeing is just a filtered and glammed-up facsimile, not everything is fake, clearly. Seeing people get married, have kids, start new jobs, get promotions, go on vacations, and accomplish the milestones that we always dream of. Each one can be like a blow to the heart, opening up a gaping canyon of longing and inadequacy and sorrow.

What’s even worse is knowing that we have to keep these feelings to ourselves. We know that they are unreasonable. It’s part of feeling trapped, of being voiceless and powerless, because the things in our heads don’t make any sense. We don’t want to hurt others or ourselves. WE don’t want to be vulnerable and show them just how much they are hurting us. Because it does hurt, even if it doesn’t make any sense. Knowing that it’s stupid doesn’t make the feelings go away. Sometimes, knowing that we are being unreasonable can make it worse, and just start an endless spiral of misery.

But what I’m learning is that even if we can’t see the reason, there probably is one. My love, we’ve been abandoned and betrayed and hurt in ways that we never thought possible, never saw coming. At least when you can anticipate it, you can prepare for the damage as best as you can. No wonder we are jumpy. No wonder each small sign that we aren’t the centre of someone’s world feels like proof that we mean nothing to them, and that they are getting ready to abandon us completely. We long to be someone’s special someone. Whether friend, lover, student, child, or sibling. We want to be number one to just one person, just once.

This burning jealousy can make even the sweetest things turn sour. This trigger-sensitive scorched-earth policy when it comes to relationships makes us feel like we can keep control. Control means safety, and when our worlds feel like nothing but one painful event after another, we’ll take all the safety we can get. No matter the cost, because no cost is too great if it means avoiding the pain. Even if the cost ends up being more pain in the future.

For example, yesterday I attended a group that I haven’t been to in a while. There are some people there who have always made me feel special and loved, and I was excited to see them. But, because of the way I ended up sitting with one of my friends, one of my other friends, who’s also a group leader, ended up sitting beside her and not me. And low and behold, my friend got one of those extra special hugs that I was looking forward to, before me. And one second later, the leader also gave me the same kind of hug. And yet, that jealousy raged so bright. In the moment, I could even tell myself that this was just a borderline paranoia, and it was a false assumption. But it didn’t make the feeling go away. Even now, the next day, I still feel angry, jealous, and hurt. At least I know not to act on it, but again, the feeling is still inside of me, making me freeze and not move a muscle so that no one sees just how screwed up I am.

Honestly, I should make a list of all of the weird borderline moments I’ve had. With a lot of distance, they start to become almost funny. But my hope is that if you have these thoughts too, you’ll see that you’re not the only one, and even if it doesn’t make the feelings go away, you’ll feel a little less stupid for feeling that way.

As survivors of emotional third-degree burns, everything can feel like pain, and that can make it difficult to figure out where exactly our triggers come from. Our minds are working double-time to protect us, but this protection can lead to more damage, and that’s what’s so frustrating and hard to reconcile.

One thing that has helped me, other than this online journal, is having a person in my life that I can share these weird feelings with. She’s also neurodiverse and traumatized, and we can talk daily about the anachronisms that come with being people like us. Now, it’s not easy to find these people. We borderlines fall in and out of love like a wild fire, and we give away our entire selves to anyone who shows us tender care. More than that, it’s hard to find people who can actually handle being our sounding board. It can start with a good therapist, which in a way I think might be a good starting point. Depending on how your system works, it can be frustrating but relatively simple to change therapists until you find one that you connect with. Not changing for scorched-earth reasons, but really meditating on whether you can open up to this person, and be honest when your social paranoia creeps in. Can you tell your therapist when you’re worried that you’re letting him down because you didn’t do your homework? Can you say that you’re feeling jealous that the person who just walked out of their office is more attractive than you? Even when the weird feelings come, can you be honest?

Practicing with a therapist who is supposed to be caring but not entangled with your personal life, as well as being trained to really help you and not criticize your self-talk, can be so helpful when it comes to trying to dialogue with your safe person.

My safe person has been privy to most of my weird desires, impulses, intrusive thoughts, rages, and sorrows for the past couple of years. We witness for each other, pray for each other, and testify for one another. The reason I also need a therapist is that I need someone who’s trained to help me, but the reason I also need a friend is that therapists are only available for certain periods of time. A safe friend can be a starting place for learning how to manage those other kinds of relationships that we crave so much. Again, it’s not easy, but it can be a good investment for those times when you feel like you can handle the search. Having someone who can hear your voice and empathize can really help you feel less trapped. If nothing else, write it out! Be your own sounding board! Have your own private or public journal where you can let everything out, no matter how stupid your thoughts and feelings might seem. Someone needs it. Whatever thought you’ve had, there is someone out there, or someone who knows someone, who’s done the same thing, and your first-hand account can be a life changer for them. That’s why I do what I do. There’s nothing more soothing to the soul than really being seen. Not just on Instagram, but in someone’s soul.

Thanks for Stopping by!

I hope you liked what you saw. What did you think of the topic? Leave a comment and start a discussion with your thoughts! Don’t forget to like and share with your best friends, mortal enemies, and everyone in between. Come back later to see if your icon appears in my subscriber cloud! Even better, validate my work by leaving a tip to support this (not actually) starving author. You can also support my company, Planet Hope Christian Enterprising, by donating to our crowdfunds on at GoFundMe and FundRazr down below. We are a non-profit providing pay-what-you-can creative and communication services to individuals and organizations – including you! By donating, you can help us reach our goal to provide top-rate creative and support services to charities and others who would like our help. But we can’t do it without your support, so even if you can’t give financially, please like, share, subscribe, and comment. Many blessings to you today and every day.

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“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him.”
~ Romans 15:13

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