Stop punching yourself!

I sent an apology letter out to the friends I had raged on last week.  I’m not expecting much in response.  It’s a wonder they lasted this long.  So far one opened back up to me on Gtalk and one wrote a letter in reply.

The letter was fairly harsh.  That is to say; harsh yet fair.  It expressed some truths about why people are in SL.  If I had known someone who behaved as I did, I’d likely say the same.

So, that’s what gets me thinking…

Why would anyone want a friend with a personality disorder?

My first thought is that they didn’t know.  Nobody knew.  So when things started taking shape, people came to the realization ‘this is not for me’.  But, really, it wasn’t a mystery to be discovered.  I disclosed my diagnosis on the day I got it.  From that point on, everyone had the opportunity to decide what to do with me now that the picture has become clear.

There is a lot of information for people who wish to be friends with someone who has BPD.  Much of it splits between “Get out! Stop punching yourself! Run away!” and “Coddle like you would for a lost kitten.”

But, what’s the sensible thing to do?  How does someone expect to find even footing with a person who is known to have hurtful and damaging behaviour patterns?  I don’t see the logic.

Then comes the “They weren’t friends anyway” feedback.  Like hell they weren’t.  I don’t understand the talk about ‘fair weather friends’ I’m getting from others.  You don’t expect them to enjoy being abused day-in and day-out, right?

Then again, I don’t even understand what “friend” means yet anyway.  Everybody is different.  This single word description isn’t the piece to complete the puzzle.  Why do people have friends?  Why would they want friends who hurt them?  Are friends closer than I assume or further?

Thanks to my actions, my friends are further than ever.  Being in my presence is simply a painful experience and not the reason they go online and inworld.  Does that make them “not friends”?  I like them a lot.  I still want to see them.  But, to see them is to harm them.  So, it’s better for me to stay away.  But, is that a friendship?  What kind of friendship is it that the best thing I can do for those I like is to leave them alone?

I don’t know what I should expect out of a friendship.  “Your perception of reality is so warped you’re incapable of having friends.” is probably one of the cruelest things I’ve had told to me in a long time.  But, is it true?  If so, why would anyone want to deal with this?


About Imnotgoing Sideways

I'm a Second Life avatar with my own cookie jar! (^_^)y
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13 Responses to Stop punching yourself!

  1. Crap Mariner says:

    The fact that you are aware of it, warn folks, and try to smooth things out after incidents means much, I think. Shows honor.

    Why do folks stay? Because the trip’s worth the rough spots.


  2. Pingback: WHAT IS THIS CRAP? » Nothing unusual. Nothing strange.

  3. Storm says:

    We all have shortcomings; no one is perfect. I hope we all try to be the best we can, usually friends are worth it when it is a two way street.

  4. kattatonia Wickentower says:

    Immy, we’ve never been close but I’ve always liked you. I was vaguely aware that you suffered from something or other. Many people I know do suffer from something or other, including me. And despite the whatever, the friendships are worth it. Doesn’t mean it’s easy.

    If your actions caused the loss of some friendships, it’s no wonder you are punching yourself. Sometimes you can be your own worst enemy/critic/friend. Cut yourself a little slack, ok?

    It sounds like you already know that you are responsible for your actions, regardless of extenuating circumstances and have done what you could do rectify your actions. Now comes the tough part, living with the results. Don’t give up. Time may be needed for those you were close to to get over whatever happened. Some may need more time than others.

    In the meantime, be good to yourself. I think you are worth it

  5. Solo Mornington says:

    You made a good-faith effort to mitigate. That’s all you can really do.

    As to whether someone would want to be your friend, etc., you can’t really control that. You can only be yourself, and be a friend to others. Having been in this position, I think the sensible thing to do when trying to be friends with someone who has some kind of personality disorder is to make boundaries and communicate them. Not in a bargaining-with-BPD way (“if you explode we won’t be friends any more”), but in a supportive and self-protective way (“harsh emails will go unanswered, requests for assistance won’t”).

    Also: Don’t be ashamed. Stop punching *yourself.* :-)

  6. Those we are truly close to, truly care about, are the only ones we can really hurt. If you have no feelings for someone then you cannot be emotionally swayed by their actions or opinions either. That is the reason that family feuds go so deep and last so long, and why the emergency call of “Domestic Violence” is the most prone to go badly. So my message is, if your actions did not hurt someone or they had no response of import then it’s a fairly safe bet they didn’t have any (true) feelings for you in the first place.

    Why do friends stay around when you hurt them? Because life balances, and the depth of the pain is balanced by the height of the joy in the relationship. Yes, the needle may swing wildly from time to time, but then if it never wavers at all .. what’s the use in spending the time growing and developing that relationship anyway?

    Hang in there Immy. When the down is deeper than you believe you can tolerate, remember that soon it will have a balancing high that will live in your fondest memories forever.

  7. Dale Innis says:

    I wanna know what this terrible thing you do to nearby friends is, so that it’s painful to be in your presence an’ all. (I’m imagining you turning purple and emitting bright green flames, like with Foul Gift of the Demon Lord, because I have been playing too much WoW.)

    You are an interesting and creative person, and I sort of doubt you emit enough painful green flames to counterbalance that. It’s interesting to me that you’ve quoted one very mean thing that someone else said to you, but nothing bad that you said to anyone else. Just what is it you do? We need to hang more so I can find out. :)

    As kattatonia very wisely says, many of us (most of us, all of us) have one sort of disorder or another. If we all insisted on having only perfect friends, we’d be very lonely…

    • Imnotgoing Sideways says:

      I’ll use a good friend’s own words.

      “Facing what you face on a daily basis is tiring. It isn’t why I log on, it isn’t something I should have to deal with. The capacity at which I have patience for it is not infinite, and the more you try to care about it or change things, the more futile a gesture it seems to be. Dealing with your demons is stressful, when all I, and perhaps everyone wishes, is to have an enjoyable evening.”

      “You want friends, yet through your uncontrollable actions you seek to destroy those bridges and push others away. You want to be accepted, yet you purposely lurk on the outskirts of conversations and seek to be disruptive. Things grow quiet when you speak of your problems because it is an awkward thing to address, and a conversation few people would be able to respond to.”

      “I miss the old Immy. The not so crazy one. But it is hard for me to trust you when you cannot control your actions. You need to clear your mind. You need to take a deep breath and chill out. You need to surrender your insecurities and put to rest those nagging doubts in your head. Or else you simply will continue to spiral down a self-destructive path, hurting those you care about as you flail around fighting yourself. It is painful to watch, and painful to be caught in the effects of it.”

  8. Dee says:

    Immy: Pretty much all has been said. You know who you are. If you find it necessary, because of mood swings then warn potential friends. There is a common thread here and that is all agree, true friends are worth the mutual effort.

    What I find missing in the “good friends words” is the line “how can I help”. Now that would be a true friend in my mind. They are out there, you just have to keep at it.

    Oh and Stop punching yourself!

  9. Gem says:

    »Then again, I don’t even understand what “friend” means yet anyway. «

    I know too well myself how hard finding and keeping friends is. In my entire life, I’ve had just a dozen of close friends – those in SL included. People who listen to me as much as I listened to them, people who I can feel at ease with etc. But those same people also regularly tell me how difficult I am with my behavior patterns (like, strongly tending to be a hermit, being not really social or outgoing, etc) – and I wouldn’t want anyone else to be so painfully honest to me – with them, I know they mean well, and they don’t WANT to hurt me (as I don’t want to hurt them with my stuff)
    And during the about 4 decades of my life, I came to the conclusion that the definition I once read is 100% true: »A friend is someone who knows all about you and STILL loves you.” :)

  10. Lucifer says:

    “Things grow quiet when you speak of your problems because it is an awkward thing to address, and a conversation few people would be able to respond to.”

    This says to me these people are emotionally unable to deal with the problems of others impinging on their superficial online experience.

    They “like” you only when you fit with their criteria for fun.

    I honestly wonder how these immature idiots would cope if say, they had a child with developmental or psychiatric issues.

    Would they take it back to the hospital requesting a “fun” child instead.

    You haven’t lost friends Immy, you’ve shed dead wood, and good riddance to them.

    And I hope the fuckers read this.

    • Imnotgoing Sideways says:

      Thank you, but, I can’t accept that they weren’t my friends. I really did bad and I’m sure they’re doing what anyone else would do. Believe me, you haven’t seen the side of me that they’ve seen. I have actively destroyed their trust.

      They’re friends, not family. I can’t expect anyone to tolerate me while there are lives to be lived. They really were friends. I just made it impossible for it to stay that way.

  11. Maggie says:

    You’re defining yourself by your disorder. Don’t do that.
    To some extent you can define your weaknesses by your disorder, but not your self. If you just use it as an excuse rather than using it to define what you need to be aware of in yourself, you’re screwed.

    Somebody telling you the limit of what they can deal with isn’t making the decision not to be your friend unless you decide that that’s just not good enough for you.

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