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    Rose Tattoo, I hope you don’t mind me adding a note to Anita’s question at the end of this post.

    I re-read my post and realized that I made it sound like we never truly fall in love. I didn’t mean to say that. We do fall truly in love, and it’s wonderful when it happens! I was thinking more that sometimes liking someone and the hormones in the beginning stages of a relationship can be confused with love.

    [Anita, I’m not sure what the protocol is for replying to other replies. Thanks for your offer to share. My urgency was concern for Rose Tattoo and other people’s heartache. I was putting emphasis on how she and they should not let themselves be taken for granted. I wish that relationship health and well being was something that was taught in schools or that people just grew up talking about openly. Maybe then people wouldn’t feel so alone in their experiences and struggle, and would feel less fragile when relationships end.]


    Hi Rose Tattoo,

    Like anita’s post above, I do hope that you’re doing much better in your healing process. I hope the women’s group and reduced panic attacks are helping.

    It does get better. I’m finally starting to feel ok 2 years after my own breakup with an EU type (emotionally unavailable!).

    I really think most of the time the problems we have in our relationships reflect problems we have with ourselves- although it does sound like this guy was doing his best to be selfish and deceitful.

    If you’re noticing this pattern of jealousy and unavailable men, you really need to ask what you were getting from those relationships. The most important relationship you’ll ever have is with yourself. The way you treat yourself will determine how you treat others and deal with problems in every single relationship. For example if you’re impatient with yourself, chances are you’re impatient with others. If you felt jealous and controlling in your relationships, maybe you’re actually trying to get acceptance from yourself and feel you’re not in control in another part of your life? Sit down with yourself and ask these hard questions, and ask them often. You need to truly love and accept yourself first before you’ll feel comfortable accepting love from someone else and not questioning his intentions or whether or not he’s cheating. When you question your own self worth- you question other people’s motives and actions.

    I highly recommend a break from dating for a little while. Spend some ‘me-time’ doing things you love, hang out with friends and family who you didn’t see much while you were dating, and be darned kind and amazing to yourself. See if you can be kinder to family and friends, and practice mindfulness in situations that normally stress you out.

    Also, I would say guard and protect your heart. We (men and women) give too much of ourselves too soon, without knowing how we really feel. I think most of the time we’re not actually in love with the person, but with that love chemical (oxytocin?), and the feeling of being wanted. We mistake that feeling for real love, even if we’re not really compatible with the person or they might be bad for us. By the time we catch on that it’s not love or there are serious problems, we’re already in too deep. From now on, make him prove that he is worth your kindness, care, concern, time, and love. Until he proves that he is not going to take advantage of you, mistreat you, or use you, don’t give your heart away. I’m not saying to be detached and not invest in the relationship, just use this time to judge his character, be your authentic self, and continue to do all the things you love and value. Slow down, put boundaries in place, and use this time to get to know him and ask questions, and pay attention to every single red flag. During the hearts-off time, if he does anything that shows he will mistreat you, it’ll be easier to walk away. It’s not being mean, it’s protecting your heart. Please protect your heart!

    Love starts with you. You are loveable, and you’re so worth love and respect (especially your own)!


    Hi Sann,

    I agree with Aurora Borealis.

    Without seeing a doctor, someone for counseling or therapy, it’s hard to tell if your BPD is affecting how you view your circumstances, and has something to do with your school and work difficulties, and finding your passion. Give yourself a chance at finding your passion, and see someone about your BPD. See if they have services available at low cost for treatment where you live.

    Counseling might also help you deal with your lack of self love and search for fulfilment. Rather than waiting for the ideal job and life conditions to happen for you to be happy, I would say you deserve to be happy right now. What can you do right now to be happy? Thinking this way empowers you. You don’t need to have a degree or wait for a herbalist job to be happy. You’re right, many people work shitty jobs to sustain their families. On the other hand there are also people who have prestigious jobs and financial resources and feel shitty inside.

    You can’t always control your circumstances in life, but you can choose to love yourself in every moment, thought, and choice you make everyday. I think that will be more lasting and fulfilling than any job. Learn coping methods for BPD, and don’t be afraid to ask for help (from friends, family, faith community, or a community group).

    Wishing you the courage to love yourself-



    I’m sorry that you’re going through this. It must be doubly frustrating to be far away from each other and have him become more distant.

    No relationship is ever going to be perfect. There will be times when you have to make compromises. There will be rough times and better times. But you’re right: actions do speak louder than words. Effort and communication should go both ways and be open and honest. I feel like after almost 2 years together and talking regularly, you should definitely be able to talk about serious things like the future, and him being distant in the relationship. What’s missing from your post is his feelings. Besides saying he loves you, has he told you how he feels about being together? Does he say he doesn’t want to talk about it? Just be strong and brave and have this serious conversation! It’s not fair to you or him to keep acting like everything is ok when it’s not. It’s super stressful for you, and he may be wondering why you’re asking for attention. Not saying anything is the quickest way to have your feelings hurt even more and possibly start resenting him for hurting you. May I suggest you consider three things? 1: Be honest with yourself about what you want in this relationship and how it makes you feel (it sounds like you’ve already done this). 2: Be honest with him, and give him the same opportunity to express his feelings and needs. Tell him why this is important to you. Agree on a good time to have a serious talk. Be honest with your answers to his questions, and ask him to be honest when answering your questions. 3: I don’t have a better way of putting this- know what you’re willing to put up with and what you won’t compromise on. For example: If he consistently doesn’t change something he said he would, doesn’t have a good reason, or always has an excuse; know when enough is enough for you.

    Maybe he is just busy but he should be truthful about what these new activities in his life mean for your relationship together. A really good quote I read somewhere: ‘A relationship isn’t about who you were in the beginning but who you become when you’re together.’

    Instead of thinking of how things were in the beginning and before he was busy (because things are usually great during those times), ask if you like who you are when you’re with him, and if you like who he is now and how he treats you after 2 years. Best of luck my dear!


    Hello dear Lapedrazza,

    I’m sorry that you are going through this my dear, and that you feel broken right now. Your story reminds me so much of my worst dating experience. I apologize in advance for rambling and possibly going into a lot of detail. I don’t want you to feel alone. If sharing my experience helps you, then I’m happy to give a lot of detail.

    My broken heart story still fills me with shame. I dated an old friend I hadn’t seen for years after we reconnected at a concert. We met up again and he immediately asked me out and started pursuing me. I couldn’t believe that he liked me! Early on we talked about our expectations for the relationship and he said he wanted to take things slow and I agreed. We went on a couple dates and I thought things were going fine. I did think it was strange that he told me not to hold his hand in public and that we never went on group dates or hung out with his friends. It was just me and him, and usually at his place. When we had dates close to the time I got off from work, he would offer to pick me up, but he would never pick me up in front of my work. He would tell me to walk a couple blocks away to meet him. In the beginning we were always in touch but soon he became distant: not returning texts, not having ‘real’ meaningful conversations any more (in the beginning we seemed to talk about everything). He was fine with physical contact and making out and had no boundaries there, but I just couldn’t figure out what was going on in his mind and he wasn’t willing to tell me. I asked him straight out what was happening in our relationship and he said everything was fine but he freaked out when I used the word ‘relationship’. I was upset by his reaction, but I just pushed down my feelings and concerns.

    Then he became downright rude- correcting me rudely when we were in public, pretending to fall off his couch so he could get away from me when we were at his place kissing, offering me a drink from his pop can when we shared a meal and then purposefully drinking from the opposite the side I drank from, not offering to pick me up for our dates when he knew I didn’t drive (and he had always picked me up before), ignoring me when I saw him in public (we share a circle of common friends), offering others he knew a ride home if we ever left a public place together so that people would know there was nothing special about him driving me home- I could go on forever. After five months of these games, I finally ended things with him over a phone call. And you know what he did? He pretended he was upset and sad, and surprised: it was my fault that I felt this way. He bold-faced lied to me and said he had told me he only wanted a very casual relationship, that he wasn’t ready for one and that he had told me this. Then he said we were so compatible. He said things might have worked out between us if he didn’t have a career. He said he hadn’t had a girlfriend for 8 years (on our first date he shared how he had a bad break up from his girlfriend the year before we reconnected). He also asked me what he had done wrong. I just couldn’t believe this was happening. I felt blind-sided. Was I going crazy? Had I misinterpreted him? After I told him he had hurt me and asked to meet him to talk in person (yes, after all that I still met up with him to talk to him- but it get’s worse) he made us meet at a packed coffee shop and practically stared at me like I had two heads the whole time I tried to stutter and stammer my feelings. He told me he would like to stay in touch in case one of us ever wanted to ask what went wrong in the relationship. He never said he wanted to be friends, he never said he wanted to get back together. Here’s the ‘it gets worse’ part: these silly coffee meetings continued for a year after our break-up. He would send sporadic texts that I usually had to follow up. When we met he was cold and quiet, repeating the same empty, guarded conversations. I think as long as I was playing nice by his rules, he reached out to me. The last time I saw him among friends in a public place I was polite but didn’t go out of my way to talk to him or sit with him as I normally would. It’s been months now since we last spoke and that’s fine. It took nearly 2 years before I could say I’m okay with not having him in my life. I still feel hurt and angry with him sometimes. And angry with myself.

    How did I miss all the signs? Pretty stupid of me, right? I must seem crazy for putting myself through his games, and staying for more each time he proved my feelings didn’t matter to him. When I look back I am convinced I was dealing with a narcissist,or a psycho, or a very manipulative person at the very least. Someone who also happened to be too cowardly to tell me the truth about his changing feelings or just walk away and leave me.

    My healing is ongoing. I went to counselling- for more than a year. I was dealing with the death of a dear loved one when all this drama was going on, and we started exploring other areas of my life and my grief. I like to tell myself that I wouldn’t have let myself be treated like that if I had been in a better frame of mind and not grieving. But this was my first relationship. I wanted him to like me so bad- I was even willing to be mistreated. In counselling I heard many things that I didn’t like to hear. The most integral part to my healing has been facing these things I don’t like to hear, and meditation (two things I have never liked doing). I also tell myself affirmations-small or big truths about myself that I’m working on accepting.

    Why did I stay so long? Why didn’t I speak up for myself? I suffer from people pleasing. I thought that my ex/non-relationship partner was the manipulative one, but people-pleasers act and think in ways they think will make others like them. This wasn’t honest of me. I wanted him to accept me because it would mean that I mattered. When other people liked me, I felt good. When other people didn’t like me, I felt terrible. The greatest gifts I have given myself are: saying no, and to stop editing the real me into a version I think will be more acceptable. I am learning to love myself. accept my short comings and face fears. I can’t choose the things that happen to me, but I can choose how I react. My people pleasing comes from a place of fear. I don’t have to live in fear.

    During counselling we talked about what that relationship meant for me. I wanted him to like me because that would mean that there wasn’t anything wrong with me, that I wasn’t going to end up alone. I’m afraid to be by myself because I think this means I’m not worthy of love if people choose not to be with me. But I can’t control other people. I can’t control how they act, I can’t make them love me, I can’t make them stay, all I can do is love them. The longest relationship I’ll have is with myself. It’s not my parents or siblings, or best friends. People come and go. Some stay for a long time, some stay briefly. I’m the only one who I have to live with day in and day out- I’m the one I have to be accountable to. I shouldn’t give up on others and the hope of happy relationships but I should learn how to be true to myself and kind to myself. Being unkind to myself leads to being unkind and impatient with others.

    All those signs I missed (feeling sick, feeling upset) were my ex’s way, and the universe’s way, of letting me know that the relationship was not healthy. I just chose not to listen and kept hurting myself. Love is not going to be perfect but love shouldn’t hurt. You shouldn’t have to be someone’s secret love. Someone who truly cares about you will be proud to show you off and be proud to be seen with you. Someone who truly cares about you won’t continue to do things that hurt you. Someone who truly cares about you won’t ask you to give 100% of yourself when they are only giving you much less. When you keep ignoring signs and your intuition, the universe will keep finding ways to remind you until you’re finally forced to slow down and listen.

    Finally I had to forgive him and accept that although I did things that were wrong, I didn’t deserve to be hurt. I am worthy of love. I actually feel sorry for him. He may be a very sick person. Some days I still think of him with pain and anger- but it gets less all the time.

    I’m so glad that you are going to counselling Lapedrazza. I think you should also indulge in self-love. Re-discover your passions and loves and the things that make your heart sing. Face your fears, accept the things that you don’t like about yourself and practice letting go. Know what your fears and passions are, and get to know who you are so that next time you are faced with a bad relationship or challenge, you can respond with calmness and patience, and focus to think clearly and trust that you will make a choice that is good for yourself and the other person. You deserve to experience real love- your mind, body, and soul deserve 100% of your love and commitment 100% of the time.

    Reading ‘Fear’ by Thich Nhat Hanh has been a wonderful guide for me on my own self-love journey. Keep searching: read, write, think, trust in time and devote time to healing. You will heal from this and the pain will grow less and pass one day, I promise!

    My best wishes to you in your journey to healing from this pain-



    Dearest Yohannes,

    My heart is breaking for you and the light that you don’t know you bring to this world.

    A little over a year ago- I lost my little brother to suicide. He took his own life because he thought that we (his family, his friends) would be better off without him. We aren’t. Our family was devastated and my world is shattered. When I think of this past year, most of it was a blur and I don’t know how I made it through. I’ve been going to counselling and met mothers, fathers, siblings, and children of people who took their own lives. They may still be breathing and living but their lives stopped and changed forever when they lost their loved ones.

    The reason that I tell you this isn’t to give you guilt but to share my story, and to share with you my hope for you and people who are hurt and in pain. I don’t have all the answers but I can share with you what I have learned about my brother and suicide over this past year.

    My brother was a very sensitive, kind, and considerate person. From what you’ve written, I know you are too. Sensitive people care to a point where they can become immobilized by thinking of the pain that exists in this world, and pain they are experiencing. 1. Accept that you are a sensitive person. There is nothing wrong with this, except that you will be very hard on yourself and extremely kind and forgiving to others. I can guarantee that you accept the shortcomings and faults of others quickly, but are slower to forgive yours. You see the good accomplishments, good traits, good everything about others but maybe not in yourself.

    You might ask yourself: why should you be kind to yourself- when you feel so broken and hopeless? The answer is: Just because you are alive. A counsellor gave me this answer a couple of months ago- and I didn’t understand it at the time but the more I thought about it, the more sense it made. It’s not the number in my bank account, my accent, or my weight or height that make me a person. If we removed all of these things: talent, intelligence, skin colour, beliefs- without them we are all still human because we share the same hopes, and fears and have the same needs. We all need to feel and give love, we need to laugh and feel secure. 2. You deserve to be happy, and should be kind to yourself, just because you are alive.

    What does success mean? What did it mean 30 years ago? 100? What does it mean to someone who was born having everything? What does it mean to someone who was born with nothing? Just as an example: does the Queen of England feel happy and successful? Or does she wish her path hadn’t been chosen for her? I read a quote/or saw a movie- I can’t recall which it was or where- and came across this touching thought. There is a group of young children who have grown up together. The main character, a young boy is troubled that one of his friends is disabled and tells his aunt how other people make fun of the child with the disability. He asks her why God made his friend with a disability. The aunt answers: Maybe God doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with them the way they are. I don’t mean to offend you with reference to God if you’re an atheist or believe in many gods- but this observation is true without a deity. There is nothing wrong with someone until we believe they are limited somehow. 3. Your success and happiness belong to you. Don’t give it away to a person, thing, or ideal that won’t treat it with care.

    And last of all 4. We are all struggling with you. Maybe we just overcame a struggle or will be challenged in the future. This world holds so much joy and so much sorrow. Especially in the things we can’t control: where we were born, the experiences our parents had, war, natural disasters… Our society has a way of painting the world rosy- we grow up reading fairy tales and graduate to top 40 lists. Maybe it’s just the media’s way of letting us escape from the frightening news stories we fall asleep to- but it’s not real. Everyone faces challenges. The good thing is that challenges pass too. That’s the one thing that God/mother nature does consistently- times of famine are replaced with change and growth. You are in a time of change and growth. Your 30s can be scary- you leave your irresponsible 20s behind and face real adulthood and responsibility for the first time. Don’t be immobilized by fear. Remember your sensitive self? Your sensitive self in combination with this vulnerable part of your life can lead you to dwell in fear. But the whole world would grind to a halt if everyone dwelt in this fear. You look at some people who optimistic, charming, or lucky. Whatever you call it, they just seem to have a good life or deal with setbacks better. But remember that we are all struggling- you don’t know what that lucky person is dealing with, or is going to go through. You don’t know what that optimistic person went through to get that way. There is nothing wrong with the way you were put together- or the choices that you made that led to your existence and experience in this moment. It just presents you with different challenges. But you can overcome them.

    In the same way you would respond with love to your girlfriend or someone else who was asking you for help- respond with love to yourself. Recognize and honour your sensitivity by giving yourself a time to worry and then time to stop worrying. Realize that your thoughts can run away yet get nowhere like a hamster in a wheel. You have to give yourself time away from the hamster wheel. In your moments of strength or when you’re feeling less weak, talk to someone about how you were feeling. Tell someone how you were feeling and that you were thinking of suicide. The world is becoming more aware of the struggles and situations that face people who are feeling like taking their lives. There are people who care, and who are trained to help you see a way out when you can’t. This is the Canadian Mental Health Association Toll free 24/7 number 1-888-787-2880. If you live in the US, you should still be able to access them. Other ways you can take a break are: Force yourself to get out of the house or just go to a different room. Eat out if you’re always staying in- stay in if you’re always eating out. Read a book- read just one page of a book. Advise yourself the way that you would if you were talking to your girlfriend. If she was struggling with setbacks or fear, what would you tell her? Come up with strategies for yourself to get through the challenges that you are experiencing. Even if you don’t know how you’re going to get through today, the important thing is to think of something else and distract yourself, even just for as long as it takes to write down or think about overcoming challenges. Give yourself permission to change how you’re feeling. Give yourself permission to be happy. Volunteer to hold puppies, volunteer at a homeless shelter, or to clean up a neighbourhood. When you can’t commit to taking care of yourself- let your sensitive side take over in caring for others. Giving to others is the quickest way to find worth and meaning in the world. It will also give you something to look forward to.
    *Your perception can change. When you feel stuck or find yourself feeling weak or thinking of suicide- remember your loved ones- remember that you are worthy of happiness, remember that you own your happiness and success and you can change what it means to be happy and successful. It’s enough just to be alive. Remember that your struggles and limitations do not define you. You are so brave to ask for help and to talk to your girlfriend. You are so brave to face these thoughts instead of pretending everything is ok. You are a kind person to put others before yourself. You are worth more than you will ever know. The world is a better place because of you. Thank you for sharing what you are going through. My thoughts and prayers are with you for you to overcome this challenge and discover how strong and resilient you are. Yours in prayer, A. Mercy

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