I think this might be an important idea.
I was thinking about my friend and also about other people with similar traits, maybe including myself, and I thought she frantically avoids abandonment. I am leaving her house so that her daughter can have, essentially, the entire downstairs of a two-story house to herself (Family room, bedroom, study).
Otherwise the daughter might go and find her own place with more space and also that she can make her own. She’s getting married in about 2 weeks, but she has no job so far and her husband’s job is based in Silicone Valley. He’s working remotely. They are looking for a place south of here, although Daughter might not be able to find a job there.
It doesn’t seem a particularly wise plan and as was noted earlier, my friend is “adamantly opposed.” Well, fair enough, but the urgency may have something to do with avoiding feelings of loss.
My friend has a vegetable garden, and the dog one day stole two beautiful cucumbers from it. My friend’s reaction was pretty intense.
But what I thought about this was that the impulse to avoid loss is probably not connected with or owned and the feeling of loss itself may not be even really be felt. In her world, and mine probably, you aren’t supposed to feel such things, and the only thing that can be done is to pretend you don’t really feel them.
It becomes then, like an addiction. This force driving some of your behaviour that you don’t acknowledge and maybe can’t even feel, and what I think happens from there is the decisions you make in that state of please-don’t-leave-me may not always feel like your decisions. They are the decisions of this disowned state.
Later, you might wonder why your life is the way that it is. Why have you made the sacrifices that you have made? What led you to make so many concessions? You don’t know.
So that’s how the resentment starts up. You don’t entirely realize how you got into this position. You know you don’t like it. You know you have given up too much. It seems to be someone’s fault. Resentment at what you don’t have and jealousy of what other people seem to have, what might easily be yours too except you will give everything not to be left and in some cases you have.
Resentment and jealousy, because you don’t know why your life is the way that it is. Why it seems to be so constricted, so devoid of joy, why you don’t seem to be allowed to do anything, why you have no freedom.
As I write this, I want to state this isn’t really about my friend. It’s about a certain kind of mind that she reminds me of, but other people do have, even if she might not really. It’s a way of thinking, something that can happen to someone when they have relational trauma. You give everything to avoid the pain loss reminds you of, and then you resent what you have given away in its stead.
I think that’s the chronic anger that goes with some personality disorders–some of it, anyway. Narcissists don’t risk humiliation or vulnerability and what they give up instead is genuine connection. Borderlines avoid loss. When you cannot take risks anymore, you lose more than what you have retained by not risking anything.
This wrapped up into wondering why C is so often averse to being with me, why she has so often been angry when I came, why she often doesn’t answer the phone when I call, and she would often refuse to come to my house.
And I felt at those times she wants to. She doesn’t do it, but she wants to. I don’t know if I am right or wrong about that, but the feeling never went away.
She wants to be in my house, she wants to talk to me, she wants me to be there even though she is angry at me for being here. She used to walk out with me to the gate when I came to meet her, and she always got tears in her eyes when I left and her lower lip came out. It was a very young state. And we would walk for a little ways, and after a minute her posture would become very tense. She would often raise up her arms to fix her hair (raising your arms is so universal for “pick me up”) and then behave kind of aggressively towards me. Jostle me, perhaps. She felt she needed to get someone away from her, and I was the one with her. It was clear at those times she was angry.
Eventually, she decided this was too much for her, and she started sending me off with her cousin. After that, I hugged her goodbye in the hostel, and she got tears in her eyes, but there weren’t so many eyes on her and she didn’t become angry.
I think that fits in somewhere to all of this. Why would I feel at all of these times when she was angry that she is not really angry at me? Why would I feel she seems frightened to see me or talk to me, but I am not the person she seems frightened of?
Why would she be angry if someone were watching her, but not when there wasn’t?
Because someone in her life is always jealous and resentful. Someone is resentful of anything that brings her joy and not only neglects her, but deprives her of anything she finds for herself. “If I have something, someone will take it away from me.”
Someone will criticize or scold me or otherwise shame me into not having it.
I think that’s the sense she has.