My life started to give me much needed and valuable freedom of choice when I finally put major emotional, cognitive, behavioural and physical boundaries in place. Previous to that I was forever delving into people’s private lives, hemorrhaging at emotional paper cuts, having concrete, rigid and inflexible ideas on everything and having anger management issues at lampposts and letterboxes.
Other People’s Boundaries: I used to think if you were my friend you would tell me everything about yourself simply because I had this uncontrollable urge to spill my guts to you. Now I choose to tell certain people certain things in a certain way and when I get that warning signal in my gut, I know it is not a good idea to share that particular story. I finally learned this from sharing a story I should have left well alone during a peer workers course I undertook for my employment.
At what point in therapy should an experienced therapist tell a long-term client with a Borderline Personality Disorder diagnosis, in an unsolicited manner, that they love them?
This is what my therapist said at the last session I had with her. I do love you.
It was a major catalyst, amongst other things, for my decision to leave therapy back in April. Our email relationship limped along for few months until I finally pulled the pin. That occurred this morning.
The overwhelming sense of freedom, relief and empowerment is tinged with much sadness, grief, loss and longing. I loved her dearly and she said she loved me, but only in the context of a therapy client within her four walls. It was not a marriage proposal and we are not going to walk off into the sunset and live happily ever after in a house with a white picket fence.
I can live with that. Finally.
When I listen to the eerie, haunting music of Sigur Ros, an Icelandic band, it takes me to a place of yearning, grief and loss and longing that I cannot identify and don’t understand. This is what my children would call Mum’s sad, weird, drunk music. I used to listen to it in 2004 when I was not a well person.
How can you yearn for something that you don’t know exists?
How can you identify something when you are unaware of its existence?
How do you grasp onto something when it appears to have no substance?
If I discover and hold onto what it is will I be happy?
Do I really want to find out what it is that I am looking for?
Ten years ago, I went to a David Cassidy concert in Perth and pressed myself up against the stage for him to come down and hold my hand, which he did. But apparently I held on for so long he had to scream in my face, “LET GO!”
That was the best advice I have ever received. I have finally taken David up on his offer and would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his insight and wisdom. I have let go. I have let go of all that emotional baggage I have been carrying around with me for nearly fifty years.
Imagine carrying fifty kilos of rubbish on your back, an amount that has accumulated with every year you have lived on this earth, then picture yourself dumping it forever down a deep, deep shaft.
After embracing mindfulness and acceptance I have done that and the feeling of freedom that entails is quite an intoxicating experience. That is not to say my problems have vanished in a puff of blue smoke; quite the contrary, they are still there only now I have a different attitude towards them. I am not carrying them on my back. They appear to have taken on an amorphous, abstract quality whereby they exist somewhere in space and time but are no longer part of me. They are a separate entity that has no power, no legitimacy and no control over my thoughts, feelings, actions and behaviours.