People with borderline personality disorder (BPD) often have issues with abandonment (Common Borderline Personality Disorder Symptoms). Last week I terminated therapy with my therapist. I struggled with the decision, as I know that those of us with BPD sometimes blame others for our emotional pain. Therapists are frequently used, in acute stages of BPD, as the reason for all of our emotions, both pleasant and unpleasant. This can bring up abandonment issues for those with BPD.My therapist felt annoyed with me for cancelling too many appointments. He was so angry that he refused to communicate with me about it, not even to say, “We can talk about this in our next session.”
I knew he had a valid reason to feel angry, but since he had never mentioned feeling annoyed with me about anything before, I was surprised and hurt by his refusal to talk to me.
Borderlines Often Have Intense Feelings of Abandonment
I asked myself, “Have I ever felt abandoned like this before?”
Many scenes flashed through my memory. Abandonment is usually a key issue with borderlines. I knew that I was feeling the pain of every time I had ever felt abandoned, not just the one instance with my therapist. He was not to blame for my intense feelings (Fear of Abandonment Due to Mental Illness).
I waited four days for him to communicate with me, hurting all the while. I finally decided that I did not want to work with a therapist who would abandon me when he felt angry with me. It was not the anger that bothered me. It was his refusal to talk. I cry when I think of all the good work I did with this therapist. He knows things about me that no one else knows, but it is time to move on.
Fighting Against Emotions Is a Way of Abandoning Ourselves
Though I think I made the best decision for me, I still feel a great deal of loss. Instead of fighting the grief and pain, I allow myself to feel whatever is there to feel. I have learned, in my 52 years of life, that avoiding emotional pain is what causes suffering. Sometimes I have hurt so badly that it felt like the pain might kill me, but it never does. I would rather let myself cry than fight against the tears, which hurts even more. I am not saying we should dwell on our pain, but that we should allow ourselves to feel whatever is there to feel, andlove ourselves through it all. Let’s not abandon ourselves.
Abandonment and Borderline Personality Disorder — No One Is Perfect
We’re all learning how to manage this thing called life. Therapists are not perfect. They laugh and cry just like we do. I know my therapist didn’t intend to hurt me. I evidently did something that pushed one of his emotional buttons, and he temporarily lost touch with his therapist role. That’s okay. I’m not mad at him, but I must take care of myself.
Have you ever felt abandoned? Do you fight against your emotional pain? What are some difficult things you have done to take care of yourself? Let’s talk.