If you read my About Me (Version 2012) you’ll know I left Facebook. The main reason was that people would make comments that upset me when I would write a post that was basically a rant on things that were bothering me. I recently opened a whole new account and have been quite picky about who I’ve “friended” on it.
Below is a post I wrote this morning because things have not gone as swimmingly as I hoped. I have edited it slightly, but I think I did a fairly clear job of explaining what I really do need from my friends. The reason I wrote it is because I have been told by more than one person that my definition of friendship is unrealistic and that what I expect from my friends is not possible. I really don’t think I do ask too much from my friends. I think it’s more a matter of not understanding the way a mental disorder works.
I have a mental disorder and was in crisis for several months and am still teetering on the edge of it. I use Facebook to vent because I can’t vent the way I’d really like to. So I will say crazy and sometimes cruel things. Having someone post something encouraging always helps whether I acknowledge it in a comment or not. Also, it sometimes (or rather, it usually) takes a while for me to process things other people say to me. If you say something that you mean to be encouraging and I don’t take it that way, cut me some slack. Believe it or not, I don’t have control over the way I react to things right now (or at least not much control). If I say something that hurts you, I really, really don’t mean it. It honestly is the disorder talking. I will be starting a therapy program very soon that should help. I have been picky with who I’ve been “friending” with this new Facebook account and have obviously made some mistakes. I was “friending” people I thought would be able to be understanding and be able to cut me slack when I post things that are harsh or whatever. I have been wrong with one or two. So here are the rules I have for Facebook:
1) I’m going to vent on Facebook because it’s better than venting on my kids or husband. If you can’t stand seeing it, “unfriend” me.
2) I also vent to reach out for encouragement. If you don’t have something encouraging to say (and saying something encouraging NEVER includes pointing out how wrong my thinking is – I know how wrong my thinking is and pointing it out will only upset me a great deal) don’t say anything at all. Saying something encouraging is saying something like “I care about you”. But please don’t lie, because I’m not an idiot. Like you would allow a child with major ADHD bounce off the walls a bit, allow me my ranting and just let it roll off your back.
3) Please don’t believe anything mean I may say. I really, really don’t mean it. Anyone who really knows me knows I would never hurt someone else on purpose.
4) Please be patient. This is not a disorder that just goes away. I will probably have it forever to some degree. So decide if you want to remain in my life.
When I became friends with someone who was schizophrenic, I researched his disorder to learn about what he was going through and I did it because I cared about him and wanted to be his friend. And I would do that for anyone else. Unfortunately, no one of my friends seem at all interested in learning about my disorder and I find that very hurtful, like my struggles aren’t worth learning about. I would absolutely be willing to learn about any of yours.
There you go. A slightly better worded version of what I put on my Facebook wall for all my Facebook friends to see. A few people clicked the “like” button and it encouraged me. I am going under the assumption that they did that to show me support.
One person who I thought I may have made a mistake in friending told me that her comments to me, which I had found hurtful, were because if she didn’t comment it would have been like seeing me drowning and just walking by. She also said that she thought I wanted people to just stand on the dock and wave as I drowned.
She didn’t realize that is basically what I need. Watch me for a while and I may look like I’m drowning. And on occasion, I feel like I’m drowning. But I am finding my footing and God is, and always has been, holding my head above the water. What I need from the people who care about me is for them to stand on the dock and wave at me, but also to say “I’m here for you and I’m not leaving.” That is what I really, truly need from those who say they care about me.
The primary issue that someone with Borderline Personality Disorder has is an issue with abandonment. Ditching me because I was too much to handle, as some unfortunately have done, pushed me over the edge back in June to where I very much wanted to take my own life. My fall into crisis mode actually started back in December, I think because of a series of circumstances, but back on that day in June I hit the bottom and bounced several times. God truly is the reason I didn’t swallow those pills and why I haven’t done anything since.
There’s another thing I’d like to add and it’s addressed to one specific person who is, or at least hopefully still is, subscribed to this blog.
Trust is an issue for many and certainly, for obvious reasons, for people with BPD. For me, trust can be restored. And the way that happens is a way that I wonder if it’s unique to me or if it’s something common for all or most people with BPD. Basically, all I need to hear are the magic words. The big problem here is, I don’t know what the magic words are. But I am certain that if certain words are said to me they will make everything better.
You see, back on June 20th, the day of the “7 percocets”, the day started with an instant message conversation with someone who was sick of trying to be my friend. It was a brutal, brutal conversation. She hurt me to the point that I am actually afraid of her. My heart races just when I see her name on Facebook (I am not Facebook friends with her but we have mutual friends) or on Pinterest (I haven’t “unfollowed” her there). She is the primary reason I can’t go back to my church. We tried to go a couple of Sundays ago. I went into a panic attack half-way there and my husband had to turn around.
This is a woman I need to hear magic words from. Then maybe I could go back to that church. We wouldn’t even necessarily have to be friends again, but we could maybe then co-exist in harmony.
Now the best friend of this woman I’m talking about also brutally hurt me. Magic words from her would be nice to but I don’t know if they’d be necessary because we weren’t really close as friends.
I realize that both these women most likely don’t realize or agree that what they did hurt me to the extent it did. They took no time to learn about my disorder and in the condition I was in, I was helpless to explain. Plus I didn’t really know that much myself.
I’m sure I hurt them as well, but as I said above in my Facebook message, it was never intentional.
It is required by God that conflict between Christians be resolved. So what to do… Neither of these ladies has tried to contact me. My BPD gives me all sorts of reasons for that. I absolutely cannot call them or contact either of them directly in any way. I just can’t. Like I said, it’s basically like I’m afraid of them now.
So I am going out on a limb (or at least it sure feels like one to me) and taking the first step – I realize it’s a teeny, tiny step, but I really am not capable of anything bigger – and saying:
Michelle, I need some magic words from you because I need to resolve my issues with NECF and there’s no way I can do it if I don’t resolve things with you first. I know it’s unfair and a lot of pressure to ask you for words that neither of us know. But I do know our Father can give them to you.
So I leave it up to you.