I get attached to people very easily. Especially if they appear warm and welcoming. I can be a very needy person at times, especially when I’m feeling low. I have a tendency to attach myself to one to two people at a time and spend ALL of my time with those people. I have worn people out before, and I have lost friends. Right now, in my third year of university, I am falling into the same attachment patterns, but I just can’t seem to stop myself.
So I have this friend. Let’s call him Henry.
Henry is like the essence of “goodness.” He loves everyone, never says a bad word about anyone, is open, accepting, honest, and tries his hardest to be there for everyone. He’s the type of guy who can’t leave a girl crying alone by herself. He’s the type of guy who will think the best of you even if you have just admitted to him that you’ve done some pretty terrible things. He’s the type of guy who gets up from a table with his friends because he sees someone sitting alone and he wants to say hi and check that they are okay. He’s the type of guy who will clear his schedule if you say you desperately need someone to talk to. He’s the type of guy who will skip class even if he is failing it to talk to someone who is having a bad day. He’s just a good guy.
So, of course, it was easy to get attached to him. He wouldn’t say no if I needed him. He wouldn’t push me away no matter how weirdly I acted. He welcomed everyone with open arms, and I ran into them. Metaphorically speaking. Finally, I thought, I have found a friend who can take all of this need. Someone who can physically be there for me in my darkest moments when my boyfriend can’t. Someone who can help me escape the hell I live in every day. One problem.
It wasn’t fair to him. Because he’s the kind of guy who can’t say no. So, when he finally did one night, I realized that I had pushed too far. He said he was just too tired to hang out. And I knew. I was draining him.
A million thoughts swirled around in my head. Has he finally had enough of me? How exhausting I must be for him to say no. Did I ruin this relationship? Am I just a nuisance? Have I always been a nuisance? Has he wanted to say no this whole time? Does he just hang out with me because he feels bad? Does he even want to hang out with me at all? Are we even friends? Have I forced him to hang out with me? Am I just a terrible person?
I felt intense guilt and shame. I felt so much guilt, in fact, that I decided in that instant that I would distance myself from him. I wouldn’t bother him anymore. I would cut him out of my life. I wouldn’t be a nuisance. I had to suffer, but I didn’t have to make other people suffer too.
But I was wrestling with this. The need was so strong, the need to escape the void, and it was so tempting to contact Henry again because I knew that he would try to be there for me. I was torn – I either wanted to be good friends or nothing. I didn’t know if I could handle anything else.
Last night I had a conversation with a girl I met recently who also has Borderline Personality Disorder. I confessed to her how I felt, and she said that I just need to work on getting away from the “all or nothing” thinking and try to be friends without spending ALL of my time with him. I will try this. I have new rules for myself.
1.Always ask to hang out. Don’t push if he seems busy or tired.
2.Don’t ask to hang out more than twice a week, three times maximum.
3.BEFORE ASKING to hang out when in need, try other friends first or self-soothing techniques. Let asking Henry be a LAST RESORT.
I hope my plan works. I am going to try my best. Because I don’t want to cause others pain or stress.