I struggle with friendships.
Maybe it’s me, or the BPD or the all or nothing thinking or the fact that sometimes I don’t feel human or even that I fear abandonment.
I just struggle. Simple as that. But that isn’t the way I want it to be.
Sometimes I relate to other people how I relate to myself. I’ve always stuck with my moral of “treat others the way you would like to be treated”. Unfortunately it doesn’t always work the same the other way round, because people treat other people, including me, like shit even if you are nice to them. I see it in black and white terms, if you’re nice to someone they should be nice back. Not in a sickly sweet way, but a mutually respectful way. It all seems so simple.
Still, I continue to treat people the way I would like to be treated and it leaves me being taken advantage of. I would never treat someone who I considered to be a friend badly. Even if I was in one of those BPD moments where they had pissed me off and the tables have turned from love to hate (because, you know, there is no in-between).
When there is a struggle in a friendship, if someone is treating me badly or has not been there for me, I see it as my fault. It’s probably not all my fault, but I blame myself anyway.
I know I am a pain to be around sometimes. I’m aware that sometime I say things in the heat of the moment, for example my suicidal thoughts are no secret to previous friends. But I kind of thought that I should be able to tell friends these things, because they are your friends.
I know it is hard to hear some of the things that come out of my mouth, and I don’t want to share these with people I love. But friends in the past have always said “don’t hide it, we want to help, we need to know when you are feeling this way” so I’ve shared the truth because it seemed like it was what they wanted to hear. Turns out they were wrong and I was wrong – no one wants to hear some of the things I have to say and then they abandon you and then your BPD gets worse because you come to expect it of everybody.
Abandonment is scary. I’ve been abandoned enough times now that I expect it of everybody. Nothing is permanent, everything is temporary, in the end I’ll be minus a friend once more and it will be just me.
There are different kinds of friends.
There are friends you see once in a blue moon. We see each other, we have a great time and dinner and then that’s it, forgotten for another six months. I miss them when they are not there.
There are the fair-weather friends that are all take and no give. The ones that only want to know you when you are high functioning and can’t deal with you otherwise. They don’t check in to see how you are, despite you being there for them when they are having a rough patch or two and you’re coping with your own shit at the same time, because, to me, that is what friends do. I don’t even know why I would class them as friends, maybe they are just people I know.
I don’t know the difference between friends and colleagues. Maybe they are just more people I know, despite sometimes socializing outside of work and just because I am friendly and they are friendly doesn’t mean they are friends. Some know about the BPD, some don’t because it’s too difficult to explain and I’d have to direct them towards my blog and then the whole world would end up reading and I don’t want that. Not to mention I know they would gossip about me.
I don’t have childhood friends because all of those friends have been fair-weather friends and I have been ill and tainted with traits of BPD since forever. Even the friends I made in the nut house when I was 13 years old I don’t hardly speak to anymore. Again, they can all be put in their categories – the ones that wanted to put the past behind them and forget it ever happened, leaving you behind with the memories, the ones that were “cured” and live a normal life and the ones who didn’t make it at all. They will forever be in my heart.
Maybe it’s my fault. I can be aloof and I take a back seat during social situations because I’m scared of losing what I gain, despite never even gaining it in the first place and being abandoned again, as well as being scared of people hearing my voice and judging what I have to say. Maybe I am a bad person. Maybe I am a poor friend and that’s why I don’t have friends. Maybe I’m just too unique in this world for people to understand and put up with me.
More recently there are the blog friends. Once this was a strange concept to me.
My Auntie married a man who she met over the internet on one of those dating sites. This was before the days of it being the mainstream and I wondered how anyone could ever have a relationship with someone they met over the internet, because it was not “real”, how could you get to know a “real” life person over the internet?
Now I totally get it. The friends I’ve made here I consider more “real” than anything else. If you like me even though I say exactly what is on my mind, share all of my dirty little secrets, let the words tremble through my typing fingers from my brain with no filter to sensor out the bad things than I appreciate that more than anything. If you are having a bad day (or bad week, or bad life) and still find the time to sympathise and send hugs, it is the most amazing thing to me. I’d guess the friends I made here are real. More real than anyone in the real world, despite the opportunity there is to be fake over the internet.
So maybe my struggle with friendships is not a struggle at all. Maybe I pick the wrong people. Maybe I shouldn’t try to be friends with everyone, although that doesn’t mean I can’t be nice.
I don’t know where this is coming from. Or I do, I’m just tired now.
The thoughts of two-thirds of us xox