As I am on an internet-free holiday right now I asked you to send me questions back in March so I was able to prepare some posts and you amazed me by sending lots of ideas 🙂
So here we go!
How are you dealing with idealization and devaluation?
Tough question right at the start but fortunately I talked about this to my partner some time ago and still remember how I explained this problem to him. As a borderline I tend to seeing the world in black and white, even though I know exactly that this doesn’t make any sense – it simply happens, often without me even noticing.
Basically there are (few) people who I really like and I just glorify those people – that can go quite far so that I block out things I don’t like and see those persons through the famous rose-tinted glasses.
On the other hand there I people I don’t get along with and whom I mistrust. I don’t even assume that they could possibly do anything positive in order to protect myself from unexpected problems.
This starts getting difficult when one of these assumptions is belied – so for example when my partner does something to upset me or a colleague I don’t like has a nice conversation with me. It doesn’t just turn my image of this person upside down (which is exhausting enough) but my whole view of life, everything I believe in. One could say that the people who are somewhere in the middle and show me the famous grey in the world are those where I find contact most difficult. It gives me a sort of pseudo-security to classify people as either “good” or “bad” although I logically know exactly that we all carry both things in ourselves. I try to remember this but knowledge is often incapable of beating my feelings. This will definitely be a huge topic in my therapy – but I feel it’s going to get easier to have a stable, realistic image of others as soon as I finally have one of myself and this is what I work on every day.
Whilst I don’t know anything else and am therefore quite used to it I assume that it must be frustrating for the people surrounding me when I feel that someone is completely worthless or threatening due to some tiny little thing…I can only say that I’m sorry and doing my best.
What about dealing with closeness and distance?
Right one more contrast-topic 🙂
Basically I can connect this to the question above by saying that I seek closeness to the people I idealize and distance from the people I devaluate (gosh, that sounds awful but I want to be open…)
People can quickly be too much for me – be it due to too much time spent together without a break, too long conversations, too much physical contact, too many persons in one room or whatever. I can only enjoy closeness to a certain extent and with extremely few people (animals are much better).
I always used to fight in order to get more distance from people – it took three months of travelling on my own for me to get in a state where I actually craved human contact; it’s only since this journey that I’ve realized closeness can be something pleasant – before that I wanted nobody and nothing and distance from everything was my biggest goal. Today I can actually feel how much closeness I want and need: Lots from my partner, quite much from a few people and much less than is being seen as “normal” from most people. I am not a big hugger, I don’t really like going out with colleagues after work and even with my closest friends it’s enough for me to see them every few weeks. At the risk of hurting people I stopped enduring closeness that doesn’t feel good for me – too long has it harmed me to stay in a “too-close-situation” for the sake of others. The more I’m left alone the bigger the chance of my trying to connect with someone gets and everyone who knows me well is aware of that.
All in all I would conclude that too much closeness makes me feel as if I started to dissolve completely but too much distance is not good for me either. The hardest thing though, is the change between those two things.