Hopeful55 wrote:Hi again ThisEndUp,
Very good post, oh man, you have me crying here, because I didn't realize how empty and alone I've been in my relationship until yesterday--and this thread is provoking me to see how sad it truly is not to have anyone--to have to constantly wear the 'mask' not only at work, but in front of EVERYONE.
My boyfriend last night and I were talking, and I let him know that I was feeling lonely and disconnected....his response...."this again!? what can I do?? The only person who can fix you is you"
He has said this to me before, but yesterday the conversations on this forum popped into my head.
I'm wearing a mask in my relationship too..he doesn't want to see the 'real' me
First I want to tell you my perspective of what your boyfriend is saying. You told him that you felt lonely and disconnected. Now I understand that this is a very complex problem. Because BEING alone is not the same as feeling lonely. And feeling disconnected takes it to a whole new level of complexity.
In a way here you are talking about being disconnected from the very essence of your being.
A lot of people are not that disconnected from themselves. They feel alone or misunderstood sometimes, but that is not the same as feeling completely alienated within your own mind basically. Most people who have a sense of connection, have felt it for so long, that they dont understand anything else. In other words they have never felt what you feel, or if they did cant recall it, so in that sense they do not understand. Imagine it like this.......have you ever been lit on fire? Most likely not. Very few people have, but there are people, unfortunately, who have had this experience. I can imagine it to be an aweful and painful experience, but no matter how hard I imagine it, I will never be able to truely and fully understand what it feels like to be on fire.
In your case there is another element to this. And that is how it came to be. To really understand anything fully we need to know how it came to be. But for the most part the majority of people dont really care how something came to be. For example: do you care how an apple came to be? Do you care how a piece of paper came to be? No. Why would you care unless you had somekind of vested interest in it. Like if I were an apple grower and made my living from it, then I might care to know how an apple came to be.
Most people walking around dont really delve into their pasts trying to discover how they came to be. One doesnt have a need to do that unless there is something about them that isnt working. But if someone DOES want to do that, then they need other people who also have the same need to understand how they came to be. These people would be like the folks on this board, or therapists , counselors, and you.
Another thing I want to say is.....if I asked you to explain to me why a winesap apple tastes a lot different then a fuji apple. My answer would be.....this is way beyond my understanding and expertise. I only eat apples I dont understand them. You might want to ask a horticulturalist.
Its not that I dont love and support you here in turning you away. Its just that the problem you are coming to me with is completely out of my league of knowledge or understanding. If I were to try to help you I would more then likely be doing you a disservice.
I think this is what your boyfriend is saying. Its not that he doesnt care. Its just that he feels completely useless in helping because the problem is so complex. He is the way he is ( connected to himself) but that doesnt mean he knows WHY he is connected to himself.
So I dont want you to feel like he doesnt care about you. I dont think that is the case at all.
But he is right in the sense that some people, therapists for example, really want to know how you came to be. A whole field of study exists regarding how people came to be ( psychology) and these people are the experts.
I have to say something else here. And that is that there is NO greater expert then someone who was like you and changed. There is no better teacher and no better mentor. These people are even fewer then the experts. But they do exist. Another way for me to put that is to look at alcoholism. There is no one better to mentor an alcoholic who wants to change, then an alcoholic who has changed and is now sober. These people are gold.
I am not a Borderline. But I did have an abusive childhood, had some issues with disconnection ect....but not to that degree. I have managed to work out a great deal of inner conflict and to learn to cope with lifes ups and downs in a way that makes me feel at peace with myself.
I know a common problem in many mental health dysfunctions is having an outer focus or a focus on other people rather then being able to focus on ones self.
Telling your boyfriend how you felt was not wrong. And you did not walk away empty handed.
I say that because I imagine that you were focused soley on his response to you and not at all on yourself.
If you do that, it seems you lost yes??
But if you focus on yourself then you would need to see what you really learned from the conversation.
I want you to note my perspective about him compared to your own.
If I were to sum up yours it would seem that in the end....you are unloved and he does not care.
But in my perspective you ARE loved and cared for by him.
I believe I came up with my perspective because I focus on myself and not on others.
So when you tell me what he said I ask myself...Why would *I* say that? And the answer would be only because I did not know the answer myself as to why someone would feel disconnected.
then I ask myself ...If I said that would it mean I didnt care? The answer is no.....it would mean I cared very much. And I would feel very bad that I could not help because of my own ignorance.
I would do what I could to help which would be to refer you to someone who IS an expert. I would give you the only thing I could in doing this.....the only thing I had to offer. My best
My question to you is.....did you ask yourself any of these questions? Or did you just judge the whole thing on the surface? I asked for help and he pushed me away?
Because I do not see that he pushed you away. But I DO understand why you might see it that way.