Borderline Personality Disorder Impairment 13 – Alternating between over involvement and withdrawal.
My Sad Story
I will, of course, because it only seems natural to do so, refer to my past love affairs when thinking of involvement and withdrawal. When I attended college, I had two love affairs. They both started and ended the same way. With both, they followed the usual pattern of attraction, exploration, and feelings of what seemed to be love. From the beginning of both affairs, it started with infatuation, and I was immediately involved up to my eyebrows, or perhaps, it was the parts of my body below my eyebrows. These love affairs occupied most of my daytime thoughts and nighttime dreams. Perhaps, it was mostly hormonal and desire based. Perhaps, I was no different than other young men in their late teens and early twenties in this regard; however, the way I became uninvolved or withdrew was probably different than most. In each case, an old flame had returned and the femme fatal had given herself permission to see this person one more time to reexplore this old love affair. Instead of fighting and competing, I withdrew and never saw or contacted this young woman again. Perhaps that too was natural, but here is where it gets interesting. There was no heartbreak. I simply ended the relationship, walked away – no tears, no regrets. It’s as if there was a backdoor that I had left open just in case it did not work out, and I simply walked through that door, closed it, and went on with my life.
The Silver Lining
Once we become aware of our tendencies to get involved too deeply, too quickly, we can take steps to slow down the process and consciously build in an evaluation system before we act. We can consciously develop the practice of practical evaluation. The same applies to withdrawal. Before we give up when the going gets tough, we can realize our tendencies and consciously evaluate what we have, what the problems are, and develop conscious plans to overcome these problems in order to hold on to what really matters. Because we have to develop these strategies in order to survive, we are one step ahead of everyone else who tends to act impulsively from time to time and do things they will later regret.
Thank you for love freely given;
Thank you for the memories,
For those moment together,
When lips met, hands touched, and hearts engaged.
Thank you for the shared moments,
That kiss in the park,
That dance in the rain,
The snuggle in a cold car in the depths of winter,
For dreaming young dreams together.
They are gone now,
Along with the loss and feelings of rejection,
The anger and the sorrow.
All that remains is wisdom gained
From loving and letting go.
I now can see the patterns
That I myself created,
The hanging on to something perfect that was not perfect,
The hopeless struggle to be someone I could not be.
I am older now and wiser;
I now choose who and how to love;
I can now be true to myself and to the one I choose to love.
My Five Suggestions for Borderliners
- Before we get involved or withdraw in anything either of the heart, the mind, or even of the soul, we evaluate. We make a list of all the reasons we want this person or this thing in our lives.
- We then make a list of all the difficulties we may encounter if we pursue this path, and all the reasons not to get involved including our feelings and the potential for hurt. Usually every good thing has a possible negative side to it.
- We evaluate each of these items. We make sure we have the same number of pluses and minuses on each side. We then put a value based on 1 to 10 for each item and add up the scores.
- We make a rational conscious decision to either get involved or withdraw. This decision is not set in stone; however, it also is not to be taken and overturned lightly. We have decided that this course of action is the best one for us at this point in time, and we stick to it unless there is a definite reason to take another course of action. Before we do this, we repeat the evaluation process.
- We develop a plan to make our decision, hopes, and dreams become a reality.