I am a notoriously needy person. Not all the time, though. Really, my neediness and clinginess is only apparent in my intimate relationships, and occasionally my friendships. One of the biggest symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder that I struggle with is an intense fear of abandonment – whether real or perceived. I fall into a panic induced spiral at the mere thought of being left by the partner I love, and due to my being undisciplined when it comes to my mind and my thoughts, that spiral leads me to lash out and accuse my partners of trying to leave me, even if there is no proof that they are going to.
Being in therapy and talking about my neediness has brought up a lot of awareness about my childhood and how all of the fear I have around being left is due to the inconsistency in how I was raised. Because of my initial disposition, my experiences with the caretakers around me, and the subsequent structure of my brain – I’ve been convinced that not only are my thoughts, interpretations and assumptions real, they have everything to do with my partner. And in reality, they have nothing to do with my partner. Really, it could be anyone and I’d still feel exactly the same. At least for awhile. (I do believe some growth can be done in a relationship, if the other person is at a place in their life where they can deal with the stressors of loving someone with BPD)
Society is also really hung up on the idea that two halves make a whole, and while that is mathematically correct, two whole people equal one healthy relationship. My inclination toward latching on and society’s reinforcement of that unrealistic ideal, has all accumulated to my symptoms getting progressively worse. Now I am letting go of the fantasy world and realizing the limitations of the people in my life and creating a cohesive sense of self throughout it all.
I’m not clingy or needy in any other aspects of my life. I’ve run businesses, I’ve been an actress since I was a child, I’ve written a book and I’ve created amazing entrepreneurial endeavors out of nothing in the blink of an eye. I’ve always been strong, ambitious, and creative; I’ve always been able to compartmentalize to get stuff done. This is the one thing in my life that I feel so intensely that it’s hard to ride that wave. Although I know that the feelings will pass, my compulsions and impulsive actions tend to get the better of me. The more I allow that to happen, the worse my symptoms get. The more I work on resisting the urges to lash out, the better everything will be.
Here’s to remembering that we don’t need anyone but ourselves. We aren’t needy, helpless children anymore. We’re strong, capable, incredible adults.