*Contains very bad language*
*Names have been changed*
*Personal post, but you may relate to some of it*
What I wish people without BPD knew is, without walking on eggshells, be careful with your words… particularly if they’re written ones. Because the words you choose to write to me will be forever etched in my mind, and replayed over and over again in times of crisis.
It’s different writing to me than speaking to me. In person conversation is spontaneous. We can sometimes say something without thinking. But writing…. there’s an opportunity to step back and think what to write and what not to write. Okay I admit I’ve written many things I’ve regretted, whilst in emotional mind. Sometimes the adrenaline pumps, or you’re crying your eyes out and not thinking straight, and if you don’t have the awareness to take that step back, you’re going to say something you might regret, or that might hurt someone’s feelings. I’m aware everyone makes mistakes.
But most people don’t have BPD. They’re not impulsive. They’re not taken over by their emotions to the same degree. They’re likely more ‘rational’ in difficult times, so they should know better. The trouble of course is they don’t understand the impact their words will have on someone with BPD, as they don’t have the same problem of replaying hurtful words as they harm themselves.
Below are some of the many harmful words which replay through my mind when my thoughts are snowballing. There are others, but these are just a few:
“Hi, if I don’t hear from you today I’ll assume you cannot meet and make other plans xx”
The reason to not be like this with someone with mental health issues, is you have no idea what they’re going through. The person who said this to me asked about midnight, and then sent this about 10 /11 am the following morning. I hadn’t had time to read her messages, let alone think of my answer. It wasn’t about meeting that day, it was a couple of days in the future! All this will do is get my back up. It’ll make me think ‘ well, if you want to make assumptions go right ahead, OR you could have a little empathy and check everything’s okay with me instead of getting bolshy’.
“Ellie. All your friends care about you so much and we are all really worried about you. You are not gonna like what I’m going to say but it’s only because I really care about you! This obsession you have with Nick is not normal, I know you say it’s more complicated than that, that’s fair enough but I’m just worried about how this is all effecting you, you seem really depressed and I’m worried it could get worse and you might try and kill yourself – I know that’s extreme but it sounds to me your statuses are a cry for help and I really think you should seek professional help maybe counselling or therapy. Your problems won’t go away unless you confront them and I know that can be extremely difficult but you can do that, you have a great support network around you and I think sometimes you forget that”.
I can never forget how this girl very openly accused me of being mentally ill. She bluntly told me that I was obsessed with someone and it wasn’t ‘normal’. Some think being blunt or direct is a good thing… it’s ‘just being honest’ – but actually sometimes it’s just plain rude and hurtful. I was not obsessed with that Nick guy. If that was how she chose to view it then that’s her decision. Maybe she was obsessed with the situation. She always seemed to have a lot to say about my personal situations, and got stressed out over things that should’ve only stressed ME out! All that was happening was I was trying to survive a highly upsetting experience with a complete and utter jerk. And when I was younger I did the thing young people sometimes do, and expressed my feelings on social media. I did that, so that my friends didn’t feel pressured into helping me. I couldn’t directly turn to one of them and say, can I talk to you. So she was right, the statuses were a ‘cry for help’, but not in the dramatic way she meant, only in the sense of ‘if anyone’s available to talk, I’m not in a good way’.
She didn’t know the details of what I was going through. But to be honest if she was that concerned I might ‘try and kill myself’ then that’s an in-person conversation. It just sounded harsh and emotionless in a message. What she didn’t know is I was already receiving help. But things don’t magically fix themselves with psychological help – there will always be ups and downs. And I was confronting my difficulties – I do it every day! She also made it sound like I took my friends for granted, which was the furthest thing from the truth.
Bottom line, some things should only be said in person. Writing lives forever. This was one of those things.
“Try and help me understand coz at the moment I feel like you don’t even wanna be friends. The other night you only invited me coz Laura couldn’t make it, otherwise you only ever invite Laura. Is there something else bothering you? I think with the Nick stuff we just need to agree to disagree x x x”
This wasn’t true. But so what if it was? So what if I only invited Laura… maybe she was being supportive whilst everyone else seemed to be against me. I don’t actually know where Holly got these ideas from. She obviously had some deep-seated jealousy issue. She was bothering me, that was the answer to her question. And I was happy to disagree with her on the ‘Nick stuff’ – she didn’t know what she was talking about anyway.
One thing not to do with someone with BPD is falsely accuse them of things. Even though we know the truth it will still mess with our heads, and we may doubt ourselves. We’ll also harbour thoughts, such as ‘well, if you think that of me, you obviously don’t know me or think very highly of me‘ and then we’ll be more prone to splitting with you. And that’s something very hard to recover from.
“Can I be really funny and ask you not to chat about him to me as well as it just stresses me out because he’s told me to my face he’s not interested in you and I’ve told you this but you’re not listening that’s fair enough but I just don’t like this stressed feeling I get coz I think you’re gonna get hurt. Hugs x x x”
Can I just say really blunt cold things that show I have no understanding of mental health issues or how to talk to people or how to use punctuation and then I’ll make it seem so much nicer by putting ‘Hugs x x x’ at the end…… I had just made a really flippant comment, a joke about the guy, and she replied with this. She banned me from talking to her about this person and situation, because it stressed HER out thinking I was going to get hurt. She showed no hint of thinking about the stress and pain I was feeling, given that I was in the middle of it. It was such a selfish view.
If you don’t want me to talk about something anymore then there’s likely a much nicer way to say it than that. I’m sorry Holly wasn’t taught about tact. It was quite funny that she said I wasn’t listening when she would be the world’s guiltiest person in regards to that. Basically don’t be a bitch to someone like me. To ban me talking about something that I’m going through which hurts me, is to tell me it’s wrong to talk about things, and that I should deal with it alone. And unfortunately my way of dealing with things like that alone, was self-harm.
“Ellie I’m really worried about you. Nick has contacted me and we are both really worried about you. You are harassing Nick and he’s close to a restraining order. Please use the time we would have met tomorrow to talk to someone and arrange more therapy or to up the therapy as it’s obviously not working. You really need to get some more help. What you’re getting now is not enough! Hugs! Xxx”
She didn’t want me talking to her about things, yet she’d happily talk about me behind my back with him. This was an issue blown completely out of proportions by two narcissistic arseholes. Holly loved ‘drama’ so would relish in the concept of ‘harassment’ and ‘restraining orders’. Nick meanwhile was a jerk. He thought he was that special, that he had his own ‘stalker’. It was after my final contact with him. I was NEVER going to get in touch again, and never did! Just like with Holly they jumped on the drama train after it had left. They may have thought it would make me continue to pay attention to them, to try and ‘fix’ things, but no such luck. When I’m done I’m done.
“…. arrange more therapy or… up the therapy as it’s obviously not working”. Fuck you Holly. You don’t know the first thing about therapy – you could have done with some yourself! What exactly did she mean by ‘up the therapy’ – yes I’ll have a stronger dose of therapy today. Shows what a complete lack of understanding about mental health she has. To have that kind of comment thrown at me, when I had worked SO hard to improve myself, was extremely upsetting. I’d been in therapy for a good couple of years, doing DBT. I was still in therapy. It was enough. The only thing making me as mentally ill as I was at the time were people like Nick, Laura and Holly herself. I can’t believe the way she used to talk to me back then. And she’d always make it seem like she cared, and she’d put ‘hugs’ at the end. Which is the equivalent of ‘Fuck you! * Smiley face * ‘
Many times I could’ve said to Holly that she needed help for her narcissism. But I didn’t. I had self-restraint. I’m not rude like that. But she had a disease that made her blurt out anything that entered her mind. She felt okay telling me ‘you need serious help… you’re mentally ill’. She ought to be made to attend lessons on mental health and how to be a sensitive, kind person to her friends.
Never write anything like this to someone with BPD. It’s rude. You don’t know what you’re talking about, and you won’t be appreciated for it. Also don’t talk behind their back with the person causing them a load of pain, and then challenge your friend – it comes across as you ‘ganging up’ on your friend. You’ll lose their respect.
“I’m really sorry I’ve had to remove you as a friend on Facebook. I get a bit paranoid when I visit your profile to check you’re ok and find you have hidden your statuses. It makes me wonder what I have done and I have so much stress going on at the moment that I know it’s such a small thing but I can’t handle it at the moment. I think not being Facebook friends will be easier on our friendship xx”
She got paranoid. SHE got paranoid. And it was paranoia. Please don’t use social media as a weapon against people who have BPD. If you have a concern or are paranoid about something, please just ask. Had Holly asked then I could have checked my settings, found out what the issue was with her, and seen if anybody else had the same issue. But since she removed and blocked me I couldn’t do anything about it. What she did was rash. It was dramatic. It was immature. Funnily enough she’d go on to accuse me of always falling out with her and blocking her as a friend over and over again. She was the one who did that. She uses Facebook as a weapon. Even when in a relationship… if they have an argument, she’ll unfriend them and become ‘single’, to make a point. And then have to re-add them, and rejoin the relationship. I know she’s done that three times at least with one of her boyfriends. It was her preferred method of communication and control… it was actually drama-stirring. One thing she did a lot was talk about all the stress SHE had, using it as an excuse for her behaviour. But her behaviour stressed me out. So she was just passing her stress onto me so she didn’t have to deal with it and I did. This was selfish.
People like me react intensely to these passive-aggressive gestures on social media. Whenever people have disagreed with me on something they’ve removed themselves from my poetry group that I run. It’s like a great big cyber ‘fuck you!‘…. and it really hurts. I still remember when Holly removed me as a friend and I had no clue why. I was sat at 3am, a big ball of anxiety and confusion. Behaviour like that, intended to send a message to someone, it really does if they have BPD. Sometimes a gesture like that is enough to make me harm myself. It’s rejection… abandonment…. two things people like us can’t tolerate. It’s also a loss of control, as you feel they’re about to start talking about you publicly to their friends, and there’s nothing you can do about it… you’ll never know, as you’re not friends anymore. It’s not nice, so don’t do it. Just talk to us and find out the truth before assuming things and acting off of those assumptions.
“Hi not coming tonight, just been put in a bad mood so won’t be good company anyway hope you guys have fun xxx”
This was sent to all my friends, and the comment was aimed at me. I was the one who had apparently just put her in a bad mood, by trying to help travel arrangements against her wishes she claimed. 1. It’s not nice to bring other people into your ‘arguments’, no matter how subtle it is. 2. Way to make me feel like shit. That was the last time I’d ever help with plans. People never appreciate kind gestures.
“Glad you had a good time I was exhausted last night and everyone was making me grumpy then you asked Em to give me a lift when I had asked you not to”
This was what she said to me the next day. I hadn’t been asked not to. I had been told she didn’t like to ask. But actually I never got round to asking. My friend Em was the one to offer. So up yours Holly! Despite me being the one with BPD, which can involve impulsiveness, I actually took time to cool off and let the words echo for a bit. A few days later I said I was a bit upset about it, and she said she’d forgotten all about it. Yeah, great for you Holly… convenient memory loss.
“I’m not even gonna discuss this you’re making an issue out of nothing”
“It’s only an issue for you I’ve moved on and have invited you along to group events you need to move on and stop making it an issue and discussing it and making it awkward for our friends”
“I’m not discussing this anymore on here or in person”
Each of these statements came after she created an argument with me over her phone number, and she decided the place to do that was in a group message on Facebook, instead of in private. When challenged on this (in private), she shut me down like this. She wouldn’t hear that she was hurting me with her actions. It was an issue to me, so it should have been an issue to my friend had she been one. If it would impact our friendship then she should’ve wanted to talk about it to clear the air. She claimed I was making it awkward for our friends, when she instigated the whole thing, showed me up to them, bitched about me to them, and then she carried on socialising with them whilst I was ostracised. How fair was that? She was a narcissist and a bully, no doubt about that.
Shutting someone down who has BPD is one of the worst things you can do. Telling them you’re not going to talk about it anymore. All that will do is make someone like me stuff it down inside. The pressure will build. We won’t be able to contain our feelings and thoughts on the subject. We need to feel heard and validated. Imagine if someone hurt you by showing you up in front of all your other friends, and you told them you found that upsetting and asked if they could just come to you next time, and their response was ‘I’m not talking about this, this is only an issue for you and doesn’t matter to me!’ How would you feel? You’d probably ditch the ‘friend’. Us BPD sufferers have a hard enough time stopping our emotions bottling up and bursting out, but if you give us a reason to resent you, I promise it will build up and eventually will come out in a way much worse than if we just discussed it like adults in the first place.
“We had a friendship but it’s gone downhill one thing after another first you thought I was after Nick then Liam and wouldn’t believe me when I said I’m not. I know you used to bitch about me to Rachel. Then you keep falling out with me as a friend and I just cant deal with it anymore.”
More false accusations and projection. Here’s a tip to those without BPD. Just because you can’t handle flaws in your own personality or behaviour, that does not give you the right to project them onto someone else, someone you perceive to be better than you, therefore wanting to drag them down to your level, in your eyes.
Do not accuse me of bitching about you to someone who you also claimed bitches about EVERYONE including her now husband! I didn’t bitch about Holly. I have since. But not to Rachel, as she’s no longer in my life either. But I definitely never bitched about Holly to Rachel, as I knew they were good friends also, so anything I said to Rachel would get back to Holly, as Rachel was not the most trustworthy secret-keeper. I was on the receiving end of a bit of stirring I think. The two of them clearly talked about me behind my back, that much is evident. And any bitching that occurred was likely Rachel’s thoughts blamed on me. Moral of the story – do not play someone’s friends off against each other. Whoever was responsible out of the two of them, threw me into uncertainty. And I no longer trust friends.
“I think I have grown up a lot in the past year I know life is short and how important it is to live in the moment and be positive. You always seem to have a lot going on truth is everyone does it’s just the way you deal with it you’re very different to me and I think we’ve just grown apart as friends which is fine that’s life. I think you make life very difficult for yourself by letting things get to you”
This was a big one. This is one that I can recite in my mind’s eye almost in full. Particularly the thing about I always have a lot going on. I always had time for my friends. I didn’t always have a lot going on. But I did on the day of this conversation – I was preparing to go and have an MRI scan of my brain, to see if I had a tumour. Which I did it turned out. So the insensitivity of that comment cannot be forgiven, partly because it was never acknowledged or apologised for. But can I just say THANK GOD I’m different to Holly!! And thank God I’m free of her. Just thinking about her causes me stress and anxiety. She takes drama with her wherever she goes. And with BPD drama is the last thing you need in your life. You need stability and predictability, not always waiting for the next attack to come.
But that last comment… “I think you make life very difficult for yourself by letting things get to you”… that’s the worst thing you could say to someone with BPD. You make life difficult for YOURSELF. Thanks for that scar Holly. Letting things get to me. Do you think I choose to be hurt? Some people would say, ‘yes you do. It IS a choice’. These are the people who don’t truly understand mental health issues. They don’t understand depression and they don’t understand BPD. What this comment did was communicate that Holly wasn’t prepared to filter her words, think about her behaviour or take responsibility for hurting me. The problem to her wasn’t her actions, but how I reacted to her actions. Instead of her doing something that hurt me, I just let it get to me. This was the behaviour of a narcissist. They always blame the victim. And unfortunately a lot of people side with the narcissist and don’t believe the victim. I’m a casualty of that.
Sorry to drag you into this I know you have a lot on with the wedding and baby but I feel if I message Ellie directly she will turn it into a conversation and I’m sorry to say I really don’t want to hear from her again, I still think she is a lovely person but I’ve outgrown the friendship. The falling out and blocking me as a friend time and time again, criticizing me as a friend and not having any trust and all the negativity it’s just not the kind of friend I want in my life, I’m happy for you to forward this message to Ellie and hope everything’s going well for you and Chris xx”
After falling out with me we stopped talking for about 9 months or so. I then stupidly wanted to clear the air with her, even though she was the one in the wrong and should have been the one to apologise and sort things out with me. She refused to speak to me. And in fact after receiving my message on Facebook she blocked me immediately, which showed her negativity, her immaturity and the grudge she was obviously still holding towards me. Instead of speaking to me or just quietly ignoring me, she decided the right thing to do was to talk to my best friend about me, behind my back. Despite our issues having started and continued because of her involving my friends in her issues with me, she thought the right course of action was to drag my friend into it… my friend who was in the middle of the most stressful time of her life! She showed no care for my friend, and after a couple of messages aimed at me, she blocked my friend… she just used her to get at me. And boy did it have the effect she wanted….
I can’t get over this message she wrote. There was no need for it. If she didn’t want to hear from me again, all she had to do was say so to me, or just ignore me. What she did was bitchy and again, immature. And passing stress onto someone else. She claimed I was still a lovely person BUT…. and then listed all these apparent bad qualities in me. Apparently I fell out with her, not the other way around. I kept blocking her, when it was she who did that. Criticising her as a friend, that was her interpretation of me asking her not to address our issues with the group in the future, as it hurt me. She took that as a criticism, rather than saying ‘yep, that was wrong, sorry I hurt you’. I didn’t trust her for very good reasons – when you’ve hurt someone it takes a long time to rebuild and re-earn that trust. It’s not just a given, you have to work for it. You have to WANT to work for it. And she didn’t. She gave up. I was ‘negative’ for many good reasons at that point in my life. But at least I was honest about my negativity. She was the world’s most negative person, yet she pretended she was all happy and positive. She was a liar. She was fake. What she did by writing this to my friend was harmful, toxic, and damaging to my friendship ultimately. Don’t ever involve other people in disputes, not like this. And if you’re going to, then expect the same back!!
“Hi Em, I was hoping to say this in person but seeing as we’re not meeting it’s probably easiest to send quick message I just wanted to apologise for being so distant it’s just Ellie still won’t leave me alone so I’m trying to make it so she can’t contact me but hope you’re all ok take care sorry you can’t meet tonight hope you’re ok xx”
I opened a new account and messaged Holly, to have my say. As it was trademark of her to have her say and then prevent me from having a say. I initially asked my friend to help me out, but she chose not to, so I messaged Holly myself. I asked her not to involve my friend anymore. I let it be known I didn’t want to hear from her again either. I set her straight on a couple of things and made it clear I was only acting with the kindest intentions and it was regretful that she didn’t see this. Holly didn’t reply to me. I didn’t want her to. In my mind that was closure. That was having my last say on the issue and forgetting all about her….. But she had to get one last dig in….
She messaged my friend AGAIN, and said this. She was hoping to say it in person, therefore she intended to bitch about me to my friends without me there. That was her intention. She was blaming her distance with my friend Emily, on me ‘not leaving her alone’. Get your head around that one! I had sent two messages in two months, and then that final one in response to her nastiness. It was final. It was clear if she read it, that was it, she’d hear no more and I didn’t want to hear from her directly nor through anyone else. The point here is that she knew full well that was it, unless she can’t read! She wanted to continue the drama. She wanted to hurt me. She wanted to disrespect my wishes for her to not involve Emily. Because I’d disrespected hers by contacting her again in response. And she’s immature remember – tit-for-tat. She wanted the last say, the ‘power’, and to leave me in a state of chaos. Which she very much did. I know she badmouthed me after we fell out. It’s what she does best. I know this one existed for instance:
“Enjoying the peace and quiet. Some people are so toxic”
She was of course referring to me, as it was at the time we fell out and she blocked me. She thought I was toxic. But she thought everyone who didn’t kiss her arse was toxic. I know I’m challenging. I know I’m a pain in the arse sometimes. I know my depression and self-pity can be draining. But I wasn’t the toxic one in that situation. Unfortunately she was pretty good at convincing others that I was. She’d always slap a smile on her face, act innocent and friendly, and act like the victim, yet be positive and carefree about it, just so that people thought I was the problem as I was the ‘negative’ one… the one staying away from our group of friends. She wrapped them all around her little finger. It’s what people like her do. People with BPD can be difficult at times. Narcissists are toxic.
“Ellie. I don’t know why I’m getting all these messages about stuff. We sat down that time and talked and “sorted things”. I don’t understand why there has been any need for these messages from the start. You asked Laura to speak to me she did and then lied to you not that you seem to accept that fact. Holly spoke to you and told you what I said and again you chose not to accept it. You asked me whether I liked you and I said I didn’t know you and that I’ve got so much going on atm I’m not interested in getting to know someone new. But how dare you message my ex gf and best friend. Its got nothing to do with her. How you think messaging me all the time is going to make me like you I don’t know.”
I made a mistake. One I learnt from. That’s the point of mistakes after all! I sought help from the wrong person. They didn’t help me, and they blabbed and landed me in deep shit. And then this nob of a guy decided to take it all out on me. He didn’t understand that I had mental health problems, worsened by a pathological liar of a friend, and a blunt, stirring bitch of a friend, who totally cocked my mind up for me. And he was blowing hot and cold, and was a blunt bastard himself at times. I didn’t know the truth. He wouldn’t tell me the truth. He would tell the ‘truth’ to Holly. And he would tell something to Laura. But he wouldn’t talk to me himself. Immature. And then he expects me to KNOW the truth, when told two completely different stories. Okay he obviously thought I should know the clear truth is that he wasn’t interested, because that is of course the most likely answer – who the fuck would be interested in Ellie?? I was young, and didn’t have much experience with men. Ha, still don’t!!! But I deserved to be treated with more respect than any of that.
‘How dare you?’ – the worst words you can say to someone like me. I hate to upset people, make mistakes, do the wrong thing. And this is a very patronising teacher-ish tone to take. I can’t forget this. It makes me feel like I’m the size of an ant. It makes me feel like I’m a terrible person who doesn’t deserve anything good in life.
But the killer line from that message, which is the main scarring phrase whenever I’m in distress…. ‘How you think messaging me all the time is going to make me like you I don’t know’ – who the fuck says that to someone?? People with BPD often do send multiple messages to people, particularly someone they like, because they worry they’ve ruined something and are going to be abandoned for it, so they try to fix it with more messages. They also need more reassurance than most people, and this is a way to try and attain that. We are aware of how annoying it may be. We hate ourselves for sending yet another message, but the fear of abandonment is so huge and sickening that the only way to quell the anxiety is to try again to get them to talk to you, so you know they’re not leaving you. What Nick said to me was the cruellest, most disgusting thing anyone’s ever said to me. I’m fully aware nobody likes me, and nothing I ever do will make anyone like me. A part of me wishes he felt guilty about what he said to me and would apologise for it. But I know there’s more chance of pigs flying than that. Do people sometimes say things like that, and then reflect on it and think ‘I shouldn’t have said that, that was really unkind’? I would. Do ‘normal’ people not self-reflect like those with mental health issues do? He likely forgot what he said as soon as he said it. The more I replay that last sentence in my head, the more I want to harm myself. Because it’s true. And it must be what everyone thinks of me. People don’t want me to talk. They want me to leave them alone. They want me to BE alone. This is what these people from my past and present, teach me.
“Could you please, stop talking to my husband I don’t think it is appropriate for you to be sending him suggestive messages like you do.”
Sent by the ex-wife of someone I really liked. They had split up. If I’m understanding things I’ve heard since, she had actually already moved on herself, and was just trying to mess things up for her ex, and claim him as hers still. I didn’t intend to fall for someone who had been married. I would never in a million years have gone after someone married. I would never be ‘the other woman’. Ever. We were just flirty. He was helping me through my break-up with his friend, by boosting my confidence. That was all. And this was after they broke up. She didn’t need to make me feel like shit, as they weren’t together still so her ‘husband’ could talk to whoever the hell he wanted… especially if she had already moved on! She chose to make me feel like crap, and it worked. But I know I did nothing wrong. Other than fall for him, as he turned out to not be a decent person to me. Maybe she thought I was the reason their marriage fell apart – he did cheat after all… a good reason to have not ended up with him myself. Maybe she thought it was with me as well. It wasn’t. Nothing happened with him… thankfully.
“I don’t like you overreacting to me cancelling.”
Speaking of. He would make plans with me, and cancel last minute – one time I was at the bus stop, minutes away from meeting him. Another time I turned up at his place of work as planned, and he had completely forgotten our plans, and made a lame apology and turned me away in front of a colleague, for me to find a bus home. That was the day I had enough and wanted to throw myself off the nearby bridge. It was sad that I was so used to him cancelling that I came to expect it. But just as much as you expect it it’s still disappointing when it happens. You spend all day in anxiety wondering if you are actually going to meet, and then the inevitable let down last minute. Sorry, that will take its toll with someone like me. And what may seem an ‘overreaction’ to you, will be a normal reaction to me. I think it’s quite normal to be pissed off with someone who KEEPS standing you up and wasting your time. He probably got an under-reaction actually! An overreaction would be me storming to his house, banging on his door, shouting so the neighbours can hear, and threatening to kill him unless he sees me – THAT would be an ‘overreaction’.
Someone with BPD being told they’re overreacting is heartbreaking, because we’re feeling so much pain already, to then be invalidated and told what happened wasn’t a big deal and didn’t deserve the reaction that naturally came to us…. Again it’s like with Holly… not taking responsibility for what his actions or lack of actions did to me. He thought being disrespectful, rude and cancelling on me all the time was acceptable and the problem was how I reacted to it. Screw him! Why don’t people take responsibility for their behaviour and words, instead of piling the guilt onto me!?
“I would love to be able to sit down with you and have a coffee to find out how things have gone for you but I’m busy working. The big reason for me leaving and not being in touch as much. The big event in my life that I’m extremely proud of. If that isn’t good enough for you for having a friend like me then fine. I just figured I’d put you straight before you make up false ideas about me.”
Dan hurt me with this, as yet again he assumed things of me, like I was selfish. He had no clue how proud I was of him for his achievements career-wise. I was always cheering him on, despite how poorly he treated me. Just like his friend Jon… despite how HE treated me I always had his back. I was always quietly cheering on his successes. I was so proud of Dan. And his implication that I wasn’t was extremely hurtful. My issue was that he wasn’t able to read the emotions in my messages. I couldn’t convey them right. More than anything I was upset how things were between us, and I was so proud of him that I wanted to SHARE in that with him. I wanted him to know, but he kept me at arms’ length. I think he’d just been a bit short and sharp with me, and I was upset by it, and this was his response to that. It broke my heart, that he thought the exact opposite of me to the truth.
“No it wasn’t a test. And yes I was going to come see you. I honestly didn’t know about this. But know what, think what you like. I’ve got work to do.”
Men in his circle had a habit of ‘testing’ me to see how I’d react. Just like Jon he’d stand me up. That’s fair enough (well it’s not really!! It’s NOT acceptable)… but to say ‘Know what, think what you like. I’ve got work to do’ was not the kindest response. The trouble a lot of my ‘friends’ in the past had is they weren’t aware of my BPD. I do wonder what difficulties I may have avoided had they understood I wasn’t simply some needy, emotional mess and that it was part of a mental illness beyond my control. But then maybe some people like Dan, would always be insensitive bastards who don’t give a fig how they make someone feel with their words.
“I know you said that I don’t need the added stress, but it is already starting to stress me out.”
I had just acknowledged in a message that I didn’t want to give her more to think about. I’d said that myself. I was fully aware of the stress at the time. I was also stressed at the time, having to organise my own dress for the wedding. Plus having Holly be a bitch behind my back. And the fear of seeing two people together at the wedding, who I couldn’t face seeing. I had enough stress of my own. And I knew I was a burden. In fact before this message I already decided I didn’t deserve friends and people would be better off without me around. That’s why it hurt when I got it. I was ‘stressing her out’. Forget the fact I defended us BOTH to Holly and told her Em didn’t need any more stress at the moment and how annoyed I was that she’d caused that for her. That’s obviously irrelevant!
I was trying my best to not inflict myself on others at that time. I kept a lot to myself, through the wedding and beyond. I wanted her to not be stressed. And she was accusing me of stressing her out. This has stuck with me for three years, and cuts like a knife when I think of it. It was the first time she’s ever said anything that’s scarred me. And I no longer like to inflict myself on people. My issues stress others out. I’m sorry about that. I’m sorry, I know you all want me to suffer in silence on my own. I just thought that’s what we’re here for on Earth… to lessen the load and make each other’s lives more bearable. I’m sorry that’s not the case. I’m sorry I’m alone. I’m sorry I’m such a burden. These are the thoughts that make me suicidal. They trigger the thoughts of ‘I’m such a burden. I have to suffer alone. I am alone. The size of the pain I feel from the things that stress others out, is too big to hold inside me. I want it all to stop. I want it to end. I could make it end. Then I wouldn’t be a burden to them anymore’.
Implying that someone with BPD is stressing you out with their issues…. please don’t do that. I get it, okay, I get it. You’re fed up with hearing about our pain… our problems. You’re sick of it. Just thank God you’re not the one experiencing it. You wouldn’t last a day. A problem shared is a problem halved. A problem shared, and thrown back for stressing the other person out, is a problem doubled. It’s worse than before we opened our mouths, reached out to our friends and said ‘please help me!’ … just remember that when you’re stressed out over OUR problems in life. We’re living it. It’s a million times more painful and stressful for us. And if you admit we’re stressing you out with it, not only will we never open up to you again… it will double the burden on ourselves.
“I would rather be with someone that could embrace their emotions than to pretend they didn’t exist or worse vow to ignore them, and to take into account my own feelings, which I figure was not considered in this equation.”
Let me tell you why this was hurtful – I had just opened my heart to the guy. I had also just lost my friends. The woman he ended up with betrayed me badly. She was one of my best friends. I had just told Liam what his friendship meant to me and that I’d miss him. And he said nothing even resembling the same about me. He just told me how amazing his new girlfriend Rachel was… forget the fact I knew the truth about Rachel, having known her three times as long as him! He claimed I didn’t take his feelings into consideration. Shove that where the sun doesn’t shine! If he thought that then he never knew me at all!
And the point that would hurt someone with BPD…. “I would rather be with someone that could embrace their emotions than to pretend they didn’t exist….” – we have issues with our emotions. ‘Embracing my emotions’ is what I went to therapy for. It’s a work in progress. Sadly his girlfriend also has BPD, so therefore struggled with her emotions… that’s what really rubbed the salt in the wound. He likely didn’t know about her BPD at the time, as they’d only dated as long as they’d been friends which was two months. Had he known that we met through DBT for the SAME issue with emotions, he might not have been such an insensitive twat towards me. I won’t have him or anyone else commenting on what happened. Only I, and my family know the truth… about me, about my feelings for him, why I never told him how I felt, and how wrong it was the way Rachel swooped in there, against my knowledge of her feelings for him, perfectly aware of how I felt for him. Nobody will change my mind. And nobody has the right to tell me what happened was okay and I should be happy for them. Nobody. I will heal in my own time, at my own pace, in my own way. And if I ever forgive Rachel it will be for my own sake, not hers. I will never condone what she did, and anyone who is friends with her should be cautious. She’s not to be trusted.
“I do understand it’s for your mental health but unfortunately I have a lot of my own stresses. Life isn’t exactly plain sailing for me at the moment. I haven’t seen Wayne to even have a conversation since Saturday as I’ve barely been home. I’m hoping tomorrow to be able to maybe have time to watch a film or something after I’ve been to dad’s and sorted out my car and paperwork. Maybe you should ask someone else to do it as I can’t get my head round anything at the moment. X”
I asked my friend to help me. She said she would. She kept finding reasons not to. If you’re not intending to do something don’t pretend you are. I’m sick of people letting me down. I was harming and wanting to die, and she was going to help me. It was simple. It wouldn’t have taken five minutes of her precious time. I wasn’t worth it obviously. It made it seem like I was selfish for asking her to help me. It was so rare of me to reach out for help. And the one time I did, that’s what I got. Unfortunately this pattern has continued in my life. Nobody actually has my back. They make the sounds like they do, but when push comes to shove they either can’t be bothered to do something that would help me, or they ‘don’t want to get involved’.
“Ellie, you are one of my best friends and have always been there for me. I will always be there for you and think a lot of you but I will not hear any more on the Holly issue”
“I have no idea what has gone on or been said. Obviously some stuff has happened that I don’t know about and would rather not get involved with. She has not said anything about you that I know of – and I’m offended that you’d think I would get involved with anything said.”
“I will not hear any more on the Holly issue” – okay then. Hush my mouth. Funny that she stopped me talking things through with her, yet clearly kept talking to Holly about me, from accusations I was to later receive from Holly! Double standards. If it’s Ellie she’s not allowed to talk, but Holly, sure. I understand people not wanting to get involved or take sides. But given that Holly was badmouthing me behind my back to my friends in group messages, I would expect MY friends to hear my side of the story also. I’d never want friends to take sides as such, but there comes a time when you don’t want your friends to sit on the fence anymore. You want them to have your back and DEFEND YOU! My friends could have been the ones to sort the issues between me and Holly. Had my friends stepped in and given her advice to stop being a bitch to me, and actually spoken up for me, then I might still have been friends with Holly. Because they did nothing, said nothing, it told Holly what she did and said was okay. It alienated me, and ruined any hope of she and I reuniting as friends. Though they didn’t want to get involved or take sides, they may have held the key to the continuation of our group of friends. Having said that, Rachel actually put the last nail in the coffin with her choice of actions the following month.
Rachel knew Holly had spoken about me, and lied to me. But I was soon to find out that’s nothing new. She does lie. I can’t guarantee how involved she got or didn’t get. I don’t trust her words anymore. All I know is that was a comment to guilt-trip me. When she met me and apologised for betraying me, she guilt-tripped me by crying and saying she was suicidal. I comforted her. I shouldn’t have. I had more reason to cry and feel suicidal thanks to her. I apologised to her for offending her, and she was like ‘I’m going to bed now. Hopefully you’ll feel better in the morning’. She was letting me know I was in the doghouse. Whatever. She always had a moody tone. Even Holly commented on it once.
“Because its getting too complicated. I don’t understand why I can’t just walk from here and meet you there. I’ve got enough stress at the moment without a night out which is meant to be fun being stressful. You guys will have fun anyway. Xx”
I would somehow usually end up in the centre of organising plans, as people didn’t talk to each other. She would often throw selfish comments out there without thinking of the consequences. We all had stress. Just because I didn’t shout all mine out at the time like she did, didn’t mean I was okay. I wanted a fun night out too, and having to organise everyone else wasn’t exactly stress-free or fun for me!! On the days I miss my old group of friends, I remember what a nightmare it was trying to help organise getting to places, times etc, and being the brunt of everyone’s hissy fits and getting no thanks for any of it! It really stressed me out in the end.
“I have obviously taken what you said the wrong way but that was the whole point in calling you – I was about to admit I was wrong. I guess more than anything I was surprised it was newsworthy! Please cut me some slack, I have a hell of a lot going on at the moment. X”
Rachel phoned me and accused me of showing her up in a group message, just days after I fell out with Holly for her having done that to me. I have no idea what got into her. I simply commented on the fact I heard she’d had a drink, and I missed it….. all my friends met up for Holly’s birthday, but having been upset by her I decided against going. So I missed out. I felt left out. So I was simply asking about what I missed. I told her there was absolutely nothing in it. And with everything going on for me I got overwhelmed, she wasn’t listening to me and I swore down the phone and hung up on her. It’s the only time in my life I’ve done that. But I’m sick of false accusations. There was less than 0% malice in my comment…. I simply wanted to feel included. She kept texting me afterwards. In the end she said it was probably about 95% her fault and 5% mine. I stand by the fact it was 100% her fault. Complete misunderstanding on her part. And was really upsetting for me.
But “please cut me some slack, I have a hell of a lot going on at the moment” probably wasn’t the best way to sign off her text. It’s like ‘give me a break‘. Why?? Why should I give you a break? I’ve been excluded from my group of friends because Holly was a bitch to me in front of you all and none of you defended me! I missed out on a meet up, so try to feel included… you then phone me and accuse me of doing what Holly has just done to me!! It’s the furthest from the truth, and it shocked and upset me. Why should I cut YOU some slack, for offending me under those circumstances? Why?! You had a hell of a lot going on? What about me? No, that’s right. My friends keep telling me how much THEY have going on. How stressed out THEY are, and can’t for ONE minute stick themselves in MY shoes before having a go at me and implying I’M selfish.
Friendships are hard with BPD. That much I’ve concluded from this post. I have moments of thinking of giving up on them entirely. That’s where I am right now. Yes there are good moments, and happy memories. But in between those are doubts, fears, arguments, bad memories, chaos, anger, loss, betrayal, disloyalty, scars, misunderstandings and isolation. Splitting.
Looking back on what I thought were good friendships, seeing how they ended, how people treated me, and wondering if they knew the damage they were doing to me and my outlook on life…. would they have done it? And knowing that sadly the answer is probably yes. Not even your closest friends look out for you. You’re truly alone in this world. That belief that has been instilled in me by my past experiences and the way people treated me, is enough to put me off of forming close friendships with anyone. I can’t trust or count on anyone. The world is selfish…. my old friends looked out for themselves and not me…. I gave… but ended up being the one labelled as ‘selfish’. I know they say life isn’t fair, but that’s just taking the piss.
The harmful words that people say or write to me, will never fade. I’m a very visual person. The looks on people’s faces… the words they wrote to me, or about me… the images of my distress and of harming myself because of how someone made me feel…. are always fresh in my memory. I can’t escape them. Most people would drink or take drugs to forget, but I don’t have that option. So I just have to sit with those feelings and memories. None of you without BPD will EVER understand the struggle it is to live with that. So be thankful you’re not inflicted with such constant, intrusive, overwhelming emotions and loneliness, whilst being misunderstood by your closest friends, feeling like a burden and thinking the world would be better without you in it.
And more than this….. JUST THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK / WRITE …. AND JUST BE KIND.
Thank you for reading xxxx