Through a series of events that I would have never expected to happen, but that I dreamed of happening countless times during mid-late 2019 and early 2020, River and I are back together. Combine this with Toronto's stay-at-home order and my broken shower and I'm currently finding myself around another person 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I don't know how it's working, but it is.
As a result of this, the loneliness that I often feel as a result of my BPD is, understandably, non-existent. Yes, there is the cliched description of mental illness as a feeling of loneliness in a room full of people, but for me, that isn't the case. When borderlines feel lonely, we either lash out or internalize our pain. Either I convince myself that it's my fault that people don't want to talk to me, or I get angry at other people turning their backs on me when I try my hardest to be a good person.
Take my relationship with the people I met when I first arrived in Canada for instance. In a similar style to the people you meet in your first year of university, we fell together for no other reason than proximity. Had we not been in the same place, we simply would not have been friends. We were different people, we still are different people and all but one of them have stopped talking to me over the course of my time in Toronto. Do I know why this has happened? No. Do I blame myself for why this has happened at this current moment in time? I don't know, and I also don't know how I will feel about their decision to cut me out of their lives and refuse to talk to me tomorrow.
My exploration into the state of my borderline loneliness comes as a result of my current listening to Bret Easton Ellis read his most recent novel, White on Audible. Within the text, Ellis discusses a question that he is often asked about the protagonist Patrick Bateman. What would Bateman be like today? Between discussions of whether he'd spend his time trolling on social media or "get away with the murders he tells the reader he's committed", he highlights what Bateman would consider being the worst possible critique against him and his character, having no one pay attention to him.
The reason I discuss Bateman in terms of this loneliness and lack of attention, other than the suggestion that Bateman lived with BPD, is that in its purest form, what is loneliness if not feeling as if the people in your life aren't paying attention to you? In attempts to curb or ease our loneliness, we seek the attention of others. Whether it's by reaching out ourselves or hiding away or expecting people to come to us. In our basic desire to combat this natural feeling, we want people to pay attention to us.
As a borderline, the idea of reaching out to people for company and attention is one that I have vastly divided opinions on. When I am at my loneliest, I hide myself away. There is only so much effort I'm able to make and, although I rationally know that people have other things going on in their lives and that their actions are not a personal slight, the thought that I'd rather lock myself away than keep trying to connect with people who have no time for me is a strong one. Even now I'm considering it, especially in regards to certain people. No matter how much you love someone, the pain of wanting to be loved in return whilst simultaneously wanting to close myself off from them to limit future pain is a classic BPD trait that I will probably live with for the rest of my life.
Fear of abandonment, it's BPD 101.