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 Post subject: Anger/irritation fundamentally changes what I believe
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 7:30 pm 
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So, I have a very pressing problem that I am hoping to get some insight for.

I feel like I am losing my mind over this. I have a friend - my best friend in the world - who I love dearly and want to do everything I can for. When I am feeling calm, cool and collected, I know that she is a great friend and a huge source of support for me and someone who deserves every bit of care and support I can muster for her. I want to give it to her and, during better moments, I sometimes can.

But all too often, she asks me to do something difficult. It could be any old thing that for some reason I find irritating or complicated, and instead of calmly trying to understand where she's coming from I start to completely change personalities. Suddenly, instead of being the calm, compassionate friend, I am a rage-filled authority figure trying to completely chop her down into pieces. It's like I forget everything about who I am and what matters to me. I am so tired of turning into this hurtful monster and I just want to know how to stop.

I also want to know why it is that any time I get this way, I seem to forget the things I believe when I am more calm. Like, even my belief that certain events actually happened, or my beliefs about those events, just goes out the window when I get angry and gets replaced by whatever helps make my anger seem most justified. That's how it feels.

I am really trying to breathe deeply and tell myself to be calm and to check my assumptions and ask questions and really listen to what she's saying. So far it has not been enough, I may just have to keep at it but I am hoping that you guys can offer some additional insight.

Please let me know. Thanks in advance.
-Ravens


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 Post subject: Re: Anger/irritation fundamentally changes what I believe
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:41 am 
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Ravens, I was ‘that friend.’ My exbpdgf left me. She exhibited the same behavior you describe, and though she never fully described the confused assumptions you have, I’ve read of it often with regard to BPD. I hope someone can help you, and can only view your behavior from the ‘outside.’ But as ‘that friend,’ we want to help.

You’ve described it so well, what if you described the same to your friend? What if you told her you have/ may have BPD? What if you warned her this may happen again? …had my friend only told me this, instead of pretending she was all-knowing …then feeling guilty after apologizing because she wasn’t, I’d still be there for her. As is, without her confiding those feelings to me, I couldn’t fully understand or help.

I know some friendships are comparable to a couple in love. I’d describe what you have (above) to her and seek help as you can for the bpd symptoms and behavior. If you want more than superficial friends, they’ll need to know. Keep in mind, what draws them to you is what they seek. If it’s healthy, focus on that.

Sharing my stress appeared overwhelming to my friend. It seemed she’d lash out at ‘me’ as if I were the source. I can understand her fears, but in the process she lost track of reality and fled. Now we’re both sad. Keep looking for help, and when you find it - learn to recognize it. If you trust it, keep trusting.


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 Post subject: Re: Anger/irritation fundamentally changes what I believe
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:46 am 
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"I am really trying to breathe deeply and tell myself to be calm and to check my assumptions and ask questions and really listen to what she's saying. So far it has not been enough, I may just have to keep at it but I am hoping that you guys can offer some additional insight"

IMO, what you are currently doing is pretty much what one with bpd needs to do. Have you had any therapy at all? Any meds....I found that medication could help me calm down....especially, in the "heat of the moment" It allowed me to see that my thinking and behavior were not appropriate for the situation. Recovery is a long process and, IMO, never ending . I no longer need meds except to help me sleep, but I need to be very much aware of my emotions and the particular triggers.

dagwppd

Anger is such a strong emotion...one that can creep up on us and over take us if we allow it to.


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 Post subject: Re: Anger/irritation fundamentally changes what I believe
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:15 pm 
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Hi Ravens,

If you want to learn more about this, it might be helpful to look up "splitting" and methods of coping with it.

Would you be interested in trying meditation? I find that it helps me to remain calmer and more in control of myself throughout the day.


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 Post subject: Re: Anger/irritation fundamentally changes what I believe
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:10 pm 
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Thanks to everyone for their support. I am sorry it has taken me so long to respond.

Yes, I have told my friend all about what I'm going through. Indeed, she was the one who suggested that I join this site. I have tried therapy - lots - but never with a specific focus on these particular difficulties. I also tried medication - lots - but again, never with a specific focus on these particular difficulties. I've just started reopening those doors and I have several big things on the way towards seeking help in moderating all of this.

As for meditation, it is definitely something I need to do more of. I appreciate the reminder.

As for "splitting"....if you are talking about multiplicity, I'm already investigating that! But I think it's a different challenge.

I'm going to keep looking for answers to this as the problem has been getting worse. Just today I actually told my friend "Please stop talking about this [her body image issues] because it's making me want to [insert really violent horrible thing here, aimed directly at her.]" I said it in this evil, nonchalant voice as if making this horrible threat wasn't even a big deal. She screamed at me then because she was so scared, and I don't blame her for one second - I'm pretty terrified of myself at the moment.

We are also roommates so we have no choice but to sort of "make up" really quickly when things go wrong, and it's hard because I know she doesn't want to forgive me so quickly. I wish she didn't have to, and that's why I have to be working as hard as I can to do something about this. So yes, I will pursue whatever options therapy and meds have for me, and I will try to put meditation back in my daily routine. Any other tips would still be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
Ravens


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 Post subject: Re: Anger/irritation fundamentally changes what I believe
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:49 pm 
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Ravens,

By splitting, I mean more that people with BPD have the tendency between having two images of one person- in one image, they think they're completely wonderful, an angel in real life. When things are going well, this image holds, but when something happens that they do not like, they tend to think of the other person as the opposite... some horrible monster. Rarely is there an in between, when reality is really more of a gray scale. We all have our demons, so to speak.

I've found that with meditation, I often wasn't very clear about what I need to work on, when in reality, I know in the back of my mind "I need to learn some methods of doing this [calming down from anxiety, coming back to a rational mindset when I feel triggered, etc.]"

I think another thing with BPD to keep in mind is that "Treat others how you want to be treated." seems to really be the golden rule. I have to keep asking myself this, so I know what is acceptable behavior.


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 Post subject: Re: Anger/irritation fundamentally changes what I believe
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:32 am 
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Mask,

Thank you for the clarification. I do think that is probably a part of the problem, but it also seems to be the case that I almost value my anger. My friend has observed that I seem to almost be PROUD of how angry and violent I can be. I guess I don't think it is entirely accurate to say that I am getting angry with her because suddenly she seems to be a demon; it's almost like certain things get said and then who she is doesn't even matter, she ceases to exist completely, and all that does exist is this anger - anger that I almost can't even claim to /feel/ persay because it almost seems to happen without my conscious participation.

All that being said, the idea that my perception of her is responsible on some level definitely has merit. I will try very hard to be aware of "splitting" her and see if that helps.

Thanks again,
Ravens


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 Post subject: Re: Anger/irritation fundamentally changes what I believe
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:40 pm 
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Ravens,
I read your post on the other thread, but i didn't answer it coz i really don't know how to answer your question. The one about not taking things personally.

Aside from splitting, you might want to check if there are UNDERLYING beliefs that you might have, especially about people and yourself. For example, deep deep deep deep deep down inside of you, you might believe that you are unworthy of any love. that's just an example, though it's probably not applicable to your case / situation.


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