So I had this friend, very unstable and after 13 years of being her emotional punching bag, I realised that the friendship wasn’t healthy and cut her out of my life. But I sometimes wonder about the things that happened to her, that made her like she is.
She was molested by her stepfather at age 3, and her mother is a total psycho. Looking back at her bursts of anger and self destructive behaviour, I see a lot of my own mother in her and I can’t help psycho-analysing her a bit – my verdict is this: Borderline Personality Disorder.
People with this disorder struggle with immense feelings of rejection and will do whatever it takes to be in control. This includes manipulation and sometimes violent outbursts, both verbally and physically. Somehow I can’t help but feel sorry for her, I myself having struggled with feelings of inadequacy and rejection for so many years.
So how come one person, like myself, can work towards a goal and try to figure out things and face the demons, but someone else, like this girl, can’t? If I look at our childhoods, there aren’t many differences, but somehow I ended up being a softie, while she turned into a raging lunatic when she didn’t get her own way. I ended up letting people walk all over me (I still struggle to stick up for myself and I hate conflict), while she bulldozed her way over everyone in her path.
I have had a steady job for years, own a car and property, while she has bounced from job to job like a bloody ping-pong ball.
What is the difference between us? In essence, I have no right to judge her. I still struggle almost weekly with depression and I realise that deep inside I still have anger issues, only I don’t take them out on others like she did.
After a lot of thinking about it, I have come to the conclusion that it is all in our attitudes and definitely in the way we think about things. I have decided to move forward and not be a victim, while she constantly lives in the past. I am not, in any way better than her, but I have learnt from her mistakes and choose to not make the same mistakes in my own life. Someone once said to me, “it can make you better or bitter. It’s your choice”. But how do you change your automatic thinking?
My therapist is trying to teach me to think differently, by implementing the three Cs into my thought life:
• Check – Check what you are thinking. Is it uplifting or does it break you down.
• Challenge – Challenge the negative thoughts. Be objective. If your best friend was standing in front of you, what would she say?
• Change – Replace the negative thoughts with positive, more realistic thoughts.
I have to admit that it is difficult to break the habit of years and years of negative thought patterns. I get tired. I forget to do the C thing sometimes and to be honest, sometimes I just don’t want to because it’s easier to go with what I know. It is also very very tiring to constantly watch what I am thinking all the time. However, I am trying and I can see my thought life slowly changing for the better.

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