Today I planned to meet up with a couple of people whom I believe screwed me over, and naturally I was apprehensive about the encounter.
Why, you might wonder, was I meeting them in the first place?
I was meeting them because I have this habit of permanently falling out with friends over intentional or unintentional infractions of the friendship and consequently don’t have many left, so I have to learn how to handle people better and forgive and accept their failings as they probably accept mine.
I’m not very good at forgiveness, you see.
‘You have to be mindful of who you let see your ‘child’!’ my counsellor Aunty C urges, ‘some friends can be trusted to this end, but you can’t be super close to everyone! You have to protect yourself whilst figuring people out!’
She’s right. I’m not much for casual friends. And If I meet a ‘kindred spirit’ I tend to spill my guts, show my vulnerability and then when they can’t resist the temptation of fucking me over and/or letting me down, I furiously see them off with my (metaphorical) sawn off shotgun complete with a 20 ft flame thrower attachment. And they, understandably, run. Never to be seen again.
You would think that someone in my position would do everything they could to hang onto friends wouldn’t you?
During my therapy prep session with the Perkies earlier this week https://sistasertraline.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/holy-moses/, I was asked a series of questions about whether I was (a) terrified of being left by men/family/friends, (b) whether I ever begged them to say, and (c) whether I ever used emotional blackmail on them to make them stay.
I believe my answer them was something along the lines of ‘I’d rather cut my tits off and hang them on a barbed wire fence.’
That caused a bit of pinkcheekitis I can tell you. Bless! 😉
It was then that I started to think that I might not be BPD after all.
Then I remembered. I did used to do those things when I was young, green and vulnerable with no confidence in myself whatsoever. Then my mum died and, in my fury and outrage, I turned to stone. Then when anyone messed me around or let me down (especially men), I wouldn’t cling to them. I dumped them so hard their ears bled. I essentially despatched them before they got chance to despatch me. Even if they never intended to in the first place.
I was one cold bitch. And I loved it. I gloried in my intractability, my formidable reputation, my ability to show no fear, and my merciless resolve to never, ever forgive them for what they had done.
I felt STRONG. I was respected. No one dared cross me.
And decades later, when I finally unravelled, my so called armour collapsed like a wet cardboard box, leaving little peeled prawn me quivering and trembling alone in the barren landscape of my reality wondering how the hell I was going to protect myself now.
I’m starting to realise that I had it all wrong. As in keeping out anyone who let me down, I also kept out not only their potential goodness, but the good people who could have had a positive, supportive role in my life, because, from a love perspective, I am essentially alone now.
And without being cringy, corny or a God botherer, it’s only since I’ve been using my beads and praying that I’ve seen any kind of positive shift in my life.
When I had a rather intimidating family get together the other week, I prayed for help in getting through it, to not deliberately sabotage it by make things awkward no matter how annoying they were, to not take offence at any tactless/dumb/hurtful thing that might inadvertently be said, and to let them in, if only for that day.
And I survived it. They thought it was a great success. I was exhausted, but exultant and relieved it was over.
My pow wow with the Perkies? I prayed to be patient, trusting and to remember that they were, and are, trying to help me. It’s not their fault that they are young, lovely and normal! And apart from one or two awkward moments it was fine.
Today was going to be hard though. Because those naughty Mind Monkeys were at it again, telling me that Friend 1 was the instigator and was now shitting himself because I might drop him in it with Friend 2, so perhaps I should do just that, hmm? Serves him right hey! And they reminded me that Friend 2 was nervous after getting a chilly reception from me last time our paths crossed, and wouldn’t it be a good laugh to keep her on tenterhooks all day by way of punishment? After all, she complicit too, so deserved to be jerked around.
It’s hard to resist those prankish primates with their mischievous, amusing, destructive ideas. They kept tempting me with sharp, witty, faux innocent one liners to smack my friends down with, reminding me of their weaknesses and that I should punish them so that by the end of the day, they’d know that they’d been Tangoed per se.
Actually no. If I went down that route, no one would be speaking to anyone by lunchtime, so whilst I was sorely tempted to exact a little revenge, I asked for help in keeping calm, not being cruel, getting over what had gone before and, without putting my ‘child’ in danger to let myself be softer and to try to see the good inside them. And, if possible, to forgive them.
And apart from one teensy weensy bitch slap (Look, it was more of a pat than a slap, OK?!) which only happened because someone decided it was a good idea to resurrect a point of contention, it went fine. I was a bit stiff and uncomfortable at first, but by the end of the day everyone was happy, relieved and it was evident that we had finally put the entire matter behind us.
I think I’m over it. And it might not sound like a big deal to a normal, balanced, non BPD person, but for me it really is.
Getting over shit and not holding onto anger, bitterness and the desire for revenge seems to be at the heart of my potential recovery.
Then I saw this on today’s Reader Feed.
I don’t know what this consists of, how it’s going to work or whether it will be useful, but I’ve decided to give it a go, as God knows I need all the help I can get.
That said, I’ve just played the first video and if I was a cartoon I’d have a huge question mark above my head right now.
You’ll know what I mean when you watch it. 🙂
Strange days indeed, as I’ve said more than once of late…
If you too have an issue with forgiveness and feel ‘stuck’ because of it, drop your weapon of choice and join me.
Not for the wankers who’ve hurt you, but for you and your well being.
Because you’re worth it (flicks hair Cheryl stylee).