I have a lot of mental health problems, which makes being in a relationship difficult for me. But none more so than my borderline personality disorder, due to the attachment issues that underpin it. Thus, I thought I’d write an article about the difficulties of meeting my partner in order to highlight this problem I have.
What Do I Mean By Attachment Issues?
Simply put, attachment is the strong emotional bond between two or more people, which causes them to seek closeness with each other and whom they feel secure with when in their presence (Simply Psychology). According to Bowlby’s theory on attachment, attachments are an intrinsic need for an emotional bond with one’s mother that go beyond the need for nourishment (Learning Theories).
Basically, the attachment you have with your mother (or as is more common nowadays, your primary caregiver) functions as a template for all your future attachments with other people. Thus, if you have a poor attachment with your mother, and to an extent, your peers, during childhood, you’ll struggle with relationships as a result.
I was bullied relentlessly as a child for not being white, abused by my teachers and other adults, and I was emotionally neglected by my mum. I didn’t trust anyone in my life because my friends would talk behind my back and use me, so it’s not a surprise that I developed borderline personality disorder along with being suicidal by the time I was eight years old.
My Story: Meeting My Partner
I don’t know why this always happens to me, but I resent having to meet my partner, and pretty much every time we arrange to meet. I often hope that they’ll forget so I’ll stop messaging them a couple of days before on the run-up to our meeting, but they never forget (I honestly don’t know why I keep acting like they’ll forget at this stage, they never have after all this time).
Every fibre of my being wants to keep me rooted at home in my safe little room, and every fibre of my being is acting like it’s going to be a horrific experience. My partner is the best person I’ve ever met, I’ve never met anyone as supportive as they are, it’s that kind of unconditional support you expect parents to give their hurting child.
But it’s more than that. My partner is the only person I’ve ever properly connected with. Plus, we share the same kinds of views and a weird as fuck sense of humour. But still, every fibre of my body is trying to keep me rooted to my chair rather than spending time with them.
Even as I’m writing this on the train to meet my partner, I already know that I’ll most likely have a good time, and my experience with meeting them supports this as more often than not, I’ll have a good time: even though the feeling will be fleeting due to my chronic depression.
Knowing all this, I still go through this exact same process every time we plan to meet. Even though the evidence of our past arrangements to meet tell me it’s a fact that I’ll have a good time, I still can’t stop this process from happening. Every. Single. Time.
Clearly, it’s a combination of my anxiety disorders and borderline personality disorder, which makes it immune to logic, reason, and the evidence of my past experiences. I just wish I could overcome this problem because it makes things very difficult and, as I said, the evidence doesn’t justify the existence of this process.
What makes this even weirder is that I can barely go a day without talking to them online through one of the messenger services. We basically talk every day about anything, from something specific like what’s in the news, asking how their day is going, or more often than not, just to talk about some random shit or use one of the many, many, nicknames I’ve created for them over the years. Yet, even though I talk to them online on a daily basis and I find it weird when we don’t talk, meeting them is another ballgame, and I just don’t know how to fix this part of me.
Have any of you guys experienced something similar? It’s kind of like an unexplainable fear of something, but it’s something that is mundane and you’ve done countless times before. Is there a way to overcome this?
Just got back home – as predicted, I had a good time; the food was nice, we had a few laughs, we talked, and watched the first two episodes of the Alienist on Netflix: although I did have a bit of an upset stomach running up to leaving, but I believe that’s linked to my anxiety disorders, but I’ll leave that less than pleasant topic for another blog article, if you’re lucky.
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Unwanted Life readers.