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Author Topic: Hurting a Friend to Save Myself, Seeking Support  (Read 313 times)

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What is your sexual orientation: Gay, lesb
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Friend
Relationship status: friends
Posts: 18

« on: June 06, 2021, 11:03:46 PM »

Recently made some emotional boundaries with a very close BPD friend surrounding the topic of me moving. I feel so guilty and confused about hurting them.. but I've felt so trapped and overly tied in with this person emotionally that I feel like it would be counter productive to backtrack now after going through all this hell and stress to create this bit of space.

I'm just so exhausted from the pressure surrounding their fear of abandonment and also sooo emotionally drained from the years of endless crises.

They keep wanting to talk but every time I feel close to having a conversation, another detail of my move will come out and send them off to being dismissive and then later remorseful and begging for forgiveness and begging to talk and saying its all a misunderstanding and they just want to talk so everything can be fine.

The more they want to talk the more stressed out it makes me and the further away I want to push them.

I really don't want to talk. I feel bad because up until a few weeks ago, they weren't aware of what a strain the emotional hurdles have been for me. And my nervous system has now reached an absolute breaking point over the last few weeks (dealing with reactions to the subject of me moving away) and I just want some serious space from them and I feel terrible for hurting them so deeply in the process.

I feel guilt since they never knew it was an issue and now all of the sudden I'm basically disappearing because of it.

I'll send a boundary setting text such as "I am realizing a lot in therapy and I need time and space to delve into that and to take care of myself" and my heart will race and my breath gets short and then I send it and feel such avoidance of their response that I just turn my phone off.

It's incredibly stressful and heartbreaking to observe their pain. I cannot take any more of the never ending intensity, even though they're one of my best friends ever and I love them so much. I can't imagine going back now and I imagine I will have to keep telling them again and again that I want space.

Just so much guilt and painful empathy.
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 112

« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2021, 07:54:25 AM »

This may not be the best worded reply and likely doesn't touch on all angles of what you have described, but you need to understand that you are not the one causing the hurt.  Certainly not in the sense of randomly choosing a happy innocent person off the street and harming them with your actions.  Whether you do, or whether you do not, this person is going to hurt.  You just happen to be the one present and interacting with them, there to observe it.  It's kind of like the, "If a tree falls in a forest and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" thing.  I think that is what you need help defining in your mind.  With normal healthy people you can work with them to solve a problem and have a positive outcome, but with BPD people it is next to impossible.  If doing something good for yourself is causing both you and the other party to hurt with no end in sight, than you need reexamine the source of the hurt.... and it is not you.

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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Inlaw
Posts: 1055

« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2021, 01:19:23 PM »

I like what Couper said, and I think they said it well.

The other thing to consider is that a clear message, repeated and enforced, is the best message for your friend. Where are you? What do you want? Figure out how to communicate as succinctly as possible, repeat as necessary, and make sure your actions follow.

Your friend will still be upset, like Couper said, but this is the most humane, clear way of communicating that leaves the most room for healing, if that's meant to be.

Also pay attention to your body. That tension when you go to send the text? What's the emotion behind the tension? Is it truth, or is it just the feeling? Look at the feeling, feel it, then decide what to do.

You've got this.   

   Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? ~CS Lewis
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