“Love”… the most elaborate method of self-harm.

I asked her if she believed in love, and she smiled and said it was her most elaborate method of self-harm

                               -Benedict Smith

 Did Haddaway sum it up best… “What is love? Baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more.” What is it about love that is so confusing? Why is it that we try so hard to find it, invest so much to grow it, hold onto it so tight to protect it, then hurt so badly when it moves on?

That’s simply the way love works… it’s how we’re wired. We don’t take classes or read books on “how to fall in love”… maybe on “how to fall in love with the right person”, but not on the pure emotion of love. That is innate. It’s like breathing, if it doesn’t happen eventually, you’ll die. So why is it so difficult? So awkward? So…scary?

Love can change a person the way a parent can change a baby — awkwardly, and often with a great deal of mess.

Lemony Snicket in Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Cant Avoid

It all comes down to hurt. To pain. Most of us have felt the pain of losing love to some extent. As a child you maybe lost a pet, or even had a favourite toy break. It might sound silly, but as a child a toy receives the most genuine and pure love there is. No expectations, no drama, and no hurt feelings. But losing that toy, or that pet… it plants a seed in you. Deep down in your heart you’re now nurturing and growing fear. How much it grows depends entirely on how much you water it.

That girl looks the other way when you say “Hi”.  That boy laughs when you drop your books. Your friends are all getting hit on, but not you. These are all things that water that fear. And as that fear starts growing it takes up more and more space in you. You become to timid to say Hi to the girl. You avoid the boys all together… and don’t even think of going to socials. Life begins to feel very lonely.

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But when you find people that you love, whether it be as friends or as partners, you start watering another seed… and that’s trust. Compliments, acts of kindness and appreciation, support. These are all things that water that seed of trust, and a friendship becomes close when the “trust” chokes out the “fear”. Then you freely exchange “love”. You have confidence, and life suddenly no longer feels lonely.

Sounds simple, right? Well, for me it’s not. I have serious trust issues. And by serious, I mean SERIOUS!! The “great deal of mess” I fully understand. And because I can’t trust, I also developed fear issues when it comes to love. I’ll very easily trust and love to a point, but it will go no further. I won’t let it. The fear of getting hurt, or burnt is far too strong. I just bottle it in, and direct all my energy into hurt and guilt and hate towards myself. This self punishment is being done in preparation to soften the blow that is coming. But it doesn’t soften it at all. If anything it makes it worse, because now I’m hurt AND beating myself up over the whole thing. Love, Trust, and BPD are a bit like oil and water… they don’t want to mix. It takes time. It takes patience. It takes understanding. And most importantly it takes a partner that will be willing to stick it out through thick and thin. In the end, it will be worth it. But fasten that seatbelt, cause it’s going to be a rough ride…

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