How do you let go of an attraction?

Words like “infatuated”, “enamored”, even “obsessed” don’t begin to describe the level of love – or emotional commitment – people with BPD feel towards someone. That all sounds very impersonal so I’ll rephrase: If you have BPD and are in love with someone, chances are, your feelings of attraction are so strong that you can’t picture your life moving forward without this other person. So what do you do when you inevitably have to let go of this attraction?

In previous blogs, I’ve referenced a girl I liked in college that I still have a crush on. For the record, I finished college 10 years ago. “Wow”, you’re probably thinking, “after ten years it’s time to move on and find someone else”. That’s a fair criticism if I was “normal”. Unfortunately, I have BPD and these things just don’t go away that easily. Once we BPDs get our emotional talons stuck on someone else – or our fantasy about someone else – it is almost impossible to let go unless we are forcibly pushed away by an outright rejection or some other traumatic event.

I’m not married and have no girlfriend. This is probably why I hold onto my fantasies about this girl in college: it’s more comforting to live in la-la land when reality is painfully lonely. Even worse, I can’t forgive myself for not ever asking this girl out or pursuing a relationship all those years ago. To be honest I was a bit of a train wreck at the time, but would have definitely fared better had I been in a solid relationship with this wonderful woman.

Facebook is great for socializing. It’s also great for checking in on people we still like and wish we had another chance at. The particular girl I’m referring to is now happily married with beautiful children and a loving husband. They have their own home and are piecing together the building blocks of a new family. While I’m sure there are days when things suck and the thought of changing another baby diaper breeds contempt, life really looks good for her. I’m very happy that’s the case, because she is the type of person that deserves that kind of happiness.

In my adventures with eHarmony, one type of person I’ve frequently been matched to are social workers. I’ve never visited a social worker in my life because my BPD outbursts shot me right into the big leagues with psychiatrists. Still, social workers are important contributors to the well being of the people they treat. From eHarmony.com’s perspective their outgoing, people-centered personalities balance out against my reserved, introverted, somewhat narcissistic disposition (see I said it 🙂 ).

Well, as it turns out, my crush from college is a social worker. That throws a little salt in my emotional wound in an ironic way: at a point in my life when I thought my taste in women was underdeveloped and ill-informed I actually did pick one person with whom I’d be highly compatible with based on personality type. This second kick in the ass hurts more than the first in a “reality bites” sort of way. I knew in my gut she was right for me but nothing ever materialized. Wow, what an opportunity I blew!

Now it continues to haunt me in an obsessive way that sufferers of BPD know all too well. Seeing her smile melts me now just like it did back then. A loving embrace with her children makes me long for the joys of being a parent with the RIGHT partner, someone like her. Her beautiful, down-to-earth appearance is insatiable and mesmerizing. She’s the type of person that’s easy on the eyes after slipping into a puddle of mud, just getting out of bed, or getting pooped on by a flock of pigeons. Yeah – that amazing, and I won’t even begin to wax poetic about her happy, easy going personality: the type of person who doesn’t mind having cereal for dinner one night but also knows when it’s time to look good and go out on the town. Oh, and did I mention, she’s wicked smart, too?

See what I mean? This BPD sh*t is insidious. I suppose a “normal” guy would have dismissed this crush upon college graduation. Once you’ve got that magical diploma in hand, a world of possibilities presents itself before you. You can continue pursuing higher education, get your first job, or take time off and travel. Unfortunately, starting a relationship with someone still in school isn’t a great alternative, because just as you are looking forward to a bright future of your dreams, so are they and most of the time these visions don’t match.

On top of that, my current entrepreneurial activities promoting online gambling probably aren’t what she’d picture as ideal material for a potential husband. I don’t know what her husband does, but I’ll bet you ( 8) ) top dollar he IS NOT involved in any sort of vice activity. So in reality, even if we bumped into each other again – say five years ago at around the time she married – chances are it probably wouldn’t have happened.

For people with BPD, sometimes it’s easier to live life in “what was” opposed to “what is”. I’d probably be a sh*tty husband and a lousy, moody, irrational parent. Heck, my cat hates me most of the time and resorts to urinating on my clothes when my BPD flares up. Yeah, she gets that mad/hysterical. Maybe my cat has some issues, too. 🙂

How do I put this girl aside and move forward? I honestly don’t know. Every girl I’ll meet in the future will be compared to her plus other women I though might have been my soul mates. It will be a difficult screening process for sure. Those of us with BPD make it extremely difficult to land a good – but not perfect – partner because our expectations are sky high and we tack on comparisons to every other member of the opposite sex we adored in the past.

There is no moral of the story for today’s blog. I’m just stuck lamenting my crappy life, crappy decisions, and chronic illnesses that have ruined me and turned me into a fifth-class citizen worthy of no one with a good heart or physical beauty. I hate myself and my life and I loath the fact I have no life partner. Why must it be this way?

3 Replies to “How do you let go of an attraction?”

  1. Hey there. I just found your blog after deciding to look for people out there like me.
    I’ve been in treatment for BPD for over 2 years now, and can confidently say I am not the borderline person I used to be. That is thanks to the type of treatment used – DBT. If you don’t know what it is, please look it up. I started DBT upon entering an inpatient treatment for women with BPD, and am currently off all medications (a miracle, my mom would say), and am worlds happier, emotionally stable, and focused than I have ever been in my entire life.
    I think everyone has a hard time letting go of that first “the one”, even more so for borderlines. From my perspective from “the other side”, if you will, I want nothing more than for you to see that it doesn’t have to be this way. Maybe with some radical acceptance, and not over thinking it, you can begin to let go of the “what ifs” that can eat you raw, and start working on making today better.
    I was beginning to think there was no one better than the first guy I dated at the age of 20. We talked about moving in together, getting married, and what our children would be like. He was even my first sexual encounter. But of course, my illness prevented anything good from happening with that relationship, and I broke up with him from a different inpatient facility near home as per the urgings of my therapist at the time.
    Today, however, as I said, I couldn’t be happier. It was my tendency “back then” to break off all contact with anyone who offended me (thanks to black and white thinking), and haven’t talked to that guy in 5 or 6 years. He just contacted me the other day asking how I’ve been, which triggered a LOT of emotional baggage and assumptions. But, again with the help of DBT, I am able to somewhat table this whirlwind of thoughts and examine this from a whole new perspective. It’s not a bad thing, and I can safely monitor my emotions from the sidelines, with the help of my current therapist.
    Sorry for all the talk, but I just wanted to convey that I have been exactly where you are, and have successfully made it out on the other side (with an incredible boy friend to boot – no comparisons necessary). I hope you’ll get in touch if you feel the need to discuss further. When I was first getting treatment, I couldn’t have enough emotional support.
    Thanks and good luck.

  2. Hey,it seems as if we’re living the same life.I’m going through a very similar situation right now,with the only difference being the person i’m totally consumed by isn’t a crush but actually my wife, and someone who I have been with for the past 18 years.Although they say people like us(persons with BPD)often try to pick companions who will not allow them to have an emotionally fulfilling relationship,I would say that I had a relationship just like that with her in the beginning,she showed me love like no other woman had ever shown me,but unfortunately because I was never used to love,it seemed strange to me and I just couldn’t deal with it,so I cheated on her,I argued with her, and I behaved completely the opposite way of how you should if you want to appreciate someone who should be appreciated.She loved me so much that she put up with it for several years,until I did something that really broke her and pushed her over the edge.It’s when I lost her that I realized the TREASURE that I had,and trust me that’s when the BPD really came out in me. I lost all control I would do anything to keep her,I stalked her and did things I didn’t even know I was capable of.Eventually it came to a point where she started treating me like dirt and it seemed I had lost all self respect,because I still was trying to pursue her.She then did something almost unforgivable, she put my private confidential information out in the world for everyone to know and some other stuff that I don’t even wish to talk about. That’s what made me begin to look in to myself and realize that it’s not healthy to put someone above yourself, and ultimately that’s how persons like us need to think. We are number one. We are created in the image of God, so we are very important and we should look at ourselves that way.In order to love others in the right way,you have to first love yourself.I see where you have said a lot of negative stuff about yourself in this blog, and I just want to tell you my brother,that none of that is true,you are a child of God and God LOVE’s you more than can be explained.If you speak and think of yourself negatively,you will be negative,try to change your mindset,renew your mind.Love yourself!! I’m currently going through a form of therapy called schema therapy,which is working great for me right now,and I know would be great for you as well,because you are just like me. Read up on it online and try and find a therapist who specializes in it. Trust me you won’t regret it.You have a wonderful future ahead of you. Your soul mate is out their waiting on you,you just need to adjust your mindset and she’ll be yours.That’s what im doing now,and I know my soul mate will be mine very soon. God bless you!!

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