Earlier this evening I got triggered by something small (welcome to BPD) and had a rough hour or so. I withdrew and cried. I hid in a closet and felt like I was in emotional hell. I wanted to scream, break things, and cut myself. But I held one of my cats, rocked back and forth, and told myself, “I’m on fire right now, but it will go out in a few minutes or hours.” I told myself over and over until the urge to put the fire out in a destructive way passed. IT was exhausting, but it worked.
Then I went outside and watched the trees moving in the breeze for about ten minutes. After that I had a very honest and wonderful conversation with my boyfriend.
It’s probably worth mentioning that my boyfriend also has depression. I’ll go into more detail about this in the future. It makes for unique and interesting challenges in a relationship. I mean, I know we’re not the only couple who both have mental illnesses, but it’s not something every couple deals with.
Anyway, I think it made a big difference that I waited until I de-escalated to have a conversation. I also tried to say things in a neutral and non-accusing way. A lot of things I’ve read about communication act like this is as simple as using “I” statements but it takes more than that. When I figure out how to quantify it, I’ll write a post on it. 🙂
My therapist told me that when we communicate with others we should treat it like a gift–we present it to people the best we can and let them take it. After that we have to let it go. If they don’t like it, if they don’t use it, if they react to it in an extreme way, we can’t take responsibility for it. We did our part.
That’s not easy, and it’s something my boyfriend and I both need to work on. We both feel awful when the other is hurt or reacts badly to our truths. I think this is especially painful for him because I react so extremely to things and am very sensitive. He hates to see me in pain and often feels guilty, like my reactions are his fault.
I am happy about the way we communicated tonight. We weren’t argumentative, emotional, or illogical. I felt closer to him after and he said the feeling was mutual. Success!!