I have previously discussed this topic here and reading all your comments has pretty much helped me decide on how to go forward. Basically, I have a blind date with a man tomorrow night. He seems lovely – we have lots in common, his pictures look good (so it’s not really totally blind but I’ve never met him before). He is 12 years older than me, but then again I have always gone for ‘older’ men because I feel more comfortable and safe with them (unless I’m feeling insecure and threatened – I guess it depends on my mindset at any given time!!).
My biggest concern is my ability to start a new relationship, given the amount of scars on my body. If I could hide everything else – the anxiety I suffer from, problems with mood and interpersonal relationships – but I can’t hide scars. And anyway, SHOULD I hide those things? Or would I be living a lie? Then again, what man realistically would want a girl who gets anxious, paranoid, depressed and upset?
Should I improve my own self before I even consider going on dates?
And then there is the scars. How would a man feel about that? They could be worse of course, but they are still bad. I have cigarette burns on my left hand, most of them have gone white but you can still see them, and there are a couple that are red. Then on my left forearm, on one side, there are thin red ‘line’ scars, with thicker white ‘keloid’ scars. Then, on the underside of that arms, there is a mess of thin white lines, covering my arm, with three big red, deep, keloid scar that I had operated on, in the crook of my elbow.
On my other arm, there are a few random thin white scars, and on my leg, there are several deep scars, next to a couple of thin white line scars in one area, and in the right light, you can see a mish mash of thin white lines over the top of both thighs, with a very faint word… ‘FAILURE’.
I could probably explain it away as a breakdown several years ago, and going through a bad time, but is it really right not to let the person in on the whole story, what they really are letting themselves in for?
Yes, I try to be a kind, generous, loyal and protective person, but I know my disorder can make me frustrating, hurtful, tactless, thoughtless.
Anyway, above all of that, I am genuinely excited rather than nervous. That said, I have cancelled all previous dates I have organised so whether or not I go through with it is yet to be seen!
On another note, I went back to the dentist today. The tooth has completely fallen apart, so they have had to reconstruct it. I really worked hard on the DBT skill ‘imagery’ in improving the moment – I imagined I was on a desert island, and could feel the sand between my toes, the heat on my skin, and the sound of the waves. It really worked!! I’m sure if anything had hurt that they were doing, it would have immediately snapped me out of my calm state, but I managed to zone out of the dentist chair and to this safe place, therefore enabling me to cope with what I usually find a very stressful situation. I was also able to maintain control of my mind – in that I didn’t slip into involuntary dissociation, which is always a danger. It is a real breakthrough for me, to not rely on valium to get me through something – instead I controlled my own mind, through a self-learnt skill.
I have had a couple of not brilliant nights when I have let anxiety get the better of me. I couldn’t identify why I was feeling anxious, despite Jen trying to help me. Sometimes I feel like she, or anyone for that matter, could never understand the fact that I am anxious but for no reason. It doesn’t make sense, and people just say to me over and over again, ‘Well something must have caused it!’. Nothing did, that I can think of, and I can rack my brains over and over again with no answer coming to light. Then I start to feel isolated from people, because I feel like I can’t keep being anxious with no real reason, so it is easier to back away from them, instead of having to continually explain myself and how I am feeling.
About a week ago Jen asked me to keep our chats until after 9pm, unless it was important, because her other half had made a couple of comments about the fact she is always on her phone in the evenings. I understand, of course I do, but it doesn’t make it any easier for me, as she is the person I talk to about most things, on a regular basis – how to cook something, how to do my hair, what shoes to wear, how to train my dog, a weird rash (I shit you not!), picking wallpaper – Jen is the person I trust to make those decisions for me. Partly, probably, because I don’t have enough confidence to make decisions for myself, so it is easier to ask someone to make them for me. She probably doesn’t realise this is the reason why I ask her advice, and I do make a concious effort to try and make a decision for myself, or I have been trying, since the new year.
Unfortunately, I tend to take things literally, so much that last night she asked me if she had done something to upset me, because I normally let her know I’m going out but will catch up with her later, or the like. I thought about doing it – but stopped myself because of what she had said. I don’t have the skills to understand the difference between when things should be taken literally, and what you have to take things as they come and adjust them to your circumstances. Hopefully as time goes on, and through DBT skills, I can learn this.
Another thing I had discussed with Jen is the use of the term ‘darling’. This doesn’t really apply to that specific word, more to affectionate terms in general. I received an email from a man in holland, which addressed me darling. I wanted to know whether I should address him back in the same way, as I don’t seem to understand what different terms indicate.
She said that it is fine to address someone you are intimate with, or a close friend to, as darling, or love, lovey etc etc. This is acceptable because you are intimate with them, or close to them, and so it is okay to express your feelings through an affectionate name. The difference between an intimate friend and an intimate sexual partner, I am guessing, is how you include the word in a sentence, rather than the use of the word. So, it would be okay for me to address Jen, or Kim, as darling, but not, for example, Mr Joe Bloggs who lives down the street, or Mrs Smith who works at the supermarket.
So, I can’t use an affectionate term to someone I’m not close to, or don’t really know. With a woman, I could probably get away with it. But the danger comes, I believe, when it is to a man. I now understand that it could give them the wrong impression by indicating to them that I have affectionate feelings for them, and am using that word (is that correct?). Could it also come across as flirting?
I can see now how I have got myself into trouble in the past. By not understanding what the effect of the words I choose, or how I use them, can give the wrong message, or mixed messages to men. Couple that with a girl who liked to cuddle men, because they felt like a father figure and felt safe, and then couldn’t say no because she wanted to please – well you can see how I have got myself into situations before. Then again, there have been times when the promiscuous side of BPD has raised it’s head – normally when I am manic – and that sweet girl turns into someone who knows exactly what she wants from men, and will go ahead and get it. That girl, thankfully, has not been around for a long time, and I hope to keep it that way. I don’t like that side of my personality at all.