I have been doing a lot of self-reflection as of late. I think the more you grow older, you start to process things at an urgent level to grow out and set yourself up to become the best version of yourself. You have a handful of experiences under your belt such as relationships, friendships, social circles, degrees and so forth. You learn a lot about yourself through connections with others. Some have been life-changing in a positive or negative way. You start to understand pros and cons of your experiences, and life becomes a balancing act that can be proven quite challenging at times. But you survive to the best of your ability. Your best of abilities change depending on what life is throwing at you during that time.
One of my biggest life-changing experiences was through a negative experience at the time. Adapting to relationships when struggling with a BPD diagnosis was challenging for a whole range of reasons. However, abandoment was the thing I feared the most due to my mental make up. I tended to attach myself to people I knew deep down would probably leave, however, my greater expectations got the better of me and I convinced myself that everyone would love everyone unconditionally. I was not aware of my own boundaries so it was easy for me to cross others. I assumed I knew how people felt. My own self-hate splashed onto my partners during crisis melting point making it impossible for them to understand me. And do you know where most peoples mental illness behaviours stem from? Not danger. People experiencing mental health issues aren't 'dangerous'. We are SCARED. INTERNALLY SCARED. I believe we have to keep that in mind when we come across someone in distress.
Being on the other end of recovery, there is no reason to blame the other person when a relationship tends to fail. Blaming is a coping mechanism we use to be able to shield the distress from us and reflect it back on to someone else. I made that mistake in the past and it hindered my recovery. Its the only skills I knew at the time. When in reality we should be questioning our own selves. We have feelings that are valid during distress if someone has HURT us (anger, sadness, despair, stress), but the way someone hurts you say more about the relationship they have with themselves. I believe we are all humans who are work in progress, over humans who are built to ruin each other. I don't think anyone goes into a relationship wanting to destroy someone else. If they show behaviours to do that, it's their own self they are destroying. Its the internal hate for themselves mirroring back at them through the connection they have made with you. I don't think anyone is born inherently evil. People do hurtful things in reactions to own pain. Once we begin to understand that, we can detach from people whose morals and values don't align with our own truths.
I met someone who showed me something in the most painful way through their own hurtful behaviours. Behaviours I believed were my fault. Behaviours I started to take accountability for on top of my own mistreatments of others. Behaviours that are driven by our own thoughts, feelings and emotions. We are all human beings at the end of the day, clawing at each other for survival as that is the only way we know how to cope. But once you start reflecting your own self, learning about your own behaviours, flaws and also learning about your own strengths and what you have to offer, that is when you will be able to connect with people on a deeper level. That's when you will start to feel like you can survive in a safe way.
When looking in the mirror and seeing your own self-reflection, question your thoughts, feelings and emotions. Start to own them, even if you did fuck up along the way. Even if you didn't express them in ways society demands as 'normal'. It took me crumbling into a pile on the floor to pick myself back up and become whole again. I was the only one who could save myself from the pain I endured. I let people in who could help me heal, and spat out the ones who made the painful sting. But never apologise for being who you are, as there is only one of you. No matter what anxieties you have when it comes to reflecting your past and thinking about your future. Its about who you are now and nourishing your own growth at your own accord.