Coping With Abandonment Issues (and I think P!nk "gets" us)


Yesterday, I had to drop my boyfriend off at the airport. (I wrote about how my fear of abandonment has been triggered, here, the other day.)

He's only going away for a little over a week, but trying to calm my inner child (and nervous system) with that bit of information is challenging.

Here's a pic I took of the walkway back to my car.  The way the phone captured the depth of the journey accurately captured how I felt in that moment.


Image I snapped at the airport yesterday
Thinking about him going away was terrifying enough. Watching him go through security even more terrifying.  Even though I have been through this so many times before, and for even longer periods of time (see my post on when he went away for a month!), I still notice my body and mind reacting in similar ways.


There is good news, though.  Now that I have a lot of practice coping with his departures using Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills, I am able to handle these situations much better and even recover more quickly.


I notice the sensation in the pit of my stomach -- that "fear" feeling, that emptiness feeling in the evening...that scary feeling that I'm not sure who I am or how I am supposed to behave with him not around.

Last night, I used Wise Mind to acknowledge that these thoughts, feelings, and sensations are clearly components of my Borderline Personality Disorder (Emotion Regulation Disorder).  I acknowledged that while uncomfortable, I've experienced these before and have emerged feeling better.  Yes, I've experienced these before and know that they are only transient. These, too, shall pass, and I will feel better soon.

Most of what goes through my head when I have these episodes are thoughts and feelings that are just that: thoughts and feelings -- not always necessarily facts. This acknowledgment is soothing and comforting.

As I'm writing this to you, I am experiencing a dialectic: One part of me wants to scream and cry, and stomp and talk about how unfair it is that I have to go through this. The other part realizes how ineffective that would be, and that my ultimate goal right now is to feel well
.
I'm listening to the latter, but my ears are taking refuge in songs like this one, from P!nk, who really seems to get the whole BPD experience. I can actually relate to many of her songs.
This one, "Please Don't Leave Me" is particularly apt:


In addition to mood matching with this song for validation, I plan to shift to activities that are considered Opposite Action to change my mood, such as watching funny television shows and going for a walk.  

Fortunately, I also have DBT group today.  I also intend to keep social plans with THREE different people this week, though the anxiety is building up inside. I know I will feel better if I follow through and spend quality time with other people.

I suppose I can even distract, immerse myself in the experience, and even be a good listener for other people instead of focusing on this passing difficulty.

I'll keep you posted.

Thanks for reading.
More Soon.

7 comments:

  1. I also relate to pinks songs. I bet she has this too and expresses it through song.

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    1. Thank you for your comment. I'm not sure that she has it - have never heard her speak about it, but I think many of us do relate to her expressions of her dialectical emotional experiences. Thank you for commenting!

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  2. Katrin D. (toivoton)August 28, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    I love Pink because I can so understand her songs and find myself in them. I also find "Leave me alone (I'm lonely)" shows so much...

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    1. Hi Katrin -- thank you for commenting. I love most of her songs, too, because as you've expressed, I find myself in them (relate to them). I haven't heard the one you mentioned. I will check it out. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Ok, as much love P!nk's music,and feelsometime I can relate to some subject matter,but I feel that way about alot of music I love that helped me get through or related to feelings I was having. A lot of people go through insecurities and divorces, and traumas, and do not have BPD. I think it is quick assumption to declare BPD as a cause for her emotional out pour. I didn't like when Megan Fox pulled this crap either..if a celebrity comes forward with their diagnosis, by all means, allow them to be a beacon of some kind I guess,if they are raising positive awareness for the cause, but until that occurs, I don't think it's responsible in our journey in the battle with this disorder, not to stick to facts.
    I am not fond of the whole Marilyn Monroe/Princess Diana speculated assignment of BPD also. I don't know why Marilyn Monroe is so idolized anyways? She was a victim of her circumstances, but did she do anything positive for the world besides sleep with presidents and overdose herself to death....what a role model for thousands of girls posting her quotes on Facebook like they are cool, just ugh..*facepalm*

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    1. Hi Sammy, thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. I think I was pretty careful to be clear that Pink's song lyrics tend to appeal to those of us with BPD -- not assuming that she has Borderline Personality Disorder. I do tend to agree with you about the re-sharing of Marilyn Monroe quotes, due to her tragic, untimely death, but since it was never concluded as to her cause, we don't really know what happened. I see Marilyn as a soul who struggled much like many of us with BPD, with issues of identity disturbance, anxiety and depression, and abandonment fears and issues. Whether she had BPD or not, we'll never know. It's as you said - there are so many people suffering on this planet and exhibiting a symptom or criteria of BPD here and there, but it doesn't mean that they have the diagnosis (or even close). It does mean that we all share some very common experiences of both pain and hope. Thanks again for writing.

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  4. Ha, it's so true. Back in November, I had a particularly rough event happen that ended with me crying "please don't leave me" over and over again. At my therapy session after the event, I played this P!nk song for my therapist. It was so incredibly poignant. We both were pretty much had a moment of silence after the song ended.

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