Hi, all. I am new to this group and have been really struggling. I feel like my anxiety/fear of abandonment is consuming me. My partner moved an hour away to live with me, and would like to make new friends as a result. Of course, logically, I understand this. However, I'm so caught up in my anxiety about my partner meeting someone else and leaving me. I know skills I can use to cope, but I feel like connecting with someone who understands would be a big help. Does anyone else have the same fear of being left/abandoned for someone else? How do you cope and be a supportive partner to the person you love?
Welcome to the Borderline Personality Disorder Support Group! Glad you're reaching out. Ultimately, whatever you go through in your relationship doesn't add to or take away from your value, your worthiness, your rights to security, health and happiness. One of the things I like about the relationship that I have with my partner is that we are being ourselves, together. I'm happy to have some love and support, but ultimately I'm responsible for my own experience and how I process it. Learning to love and appreciate ourselves takes long term time and effort but it makes being with ourselves and others more enjoyable and much less effort. When I'm symptomatic (or "getting weird" as I call it), I'm up front about it with my partner, and don't look to them to offer solutions. I just let them know so that if I behave in a way thats "off", they know where it's coming from, while in the mean time I look to address the trigger and/or source of my symptoms. The self love piece is gigantic, imo. Whenever I've made an effort to do something positive or to honor my long term commitment to recovery, I reward myself in some way, whether it's a nap, or a nice cold beverage, or just acknowledging myself internally. Learning how to give ourselves the love and validation that we may have lacked growing up isn't an instant fix but it's important, as no one else will ever be able to give us "enough" to heal that wound; getting wrapped up in "needing" that from someone else creates chaos and destruction. Just my thoughts! Good for you for taking responsibility for your feelings and looking for positive solutions. Welcome once again. <3
Thank you so much for your comment! I appreciate it. I feel like I need to commit more to my recovery, which involves the self love you mentioned. Instead, I focus so much on my anxiety. I'm a big believer in rewards for positive behaviors, but I never thought to reward myself in that way. I think I'll start! Again, thank you!
Hi vjb, glad you are here. I am sorry that the anxiety/fear has kicked into overdrive. You definitely are at an advantage to already understand the cause and to already have the coping skills. But it is helpful to have this group for those times when our feelings supersede our logic. Is this fear of abandonment new or has it been a part of your story from the past? Have you discussed the fear of abandonment with a counselor?
Hello. Thank you for your comment. This fear has been prominent in my relationships. I have been seeing a counselor now for over a year.
@vjb777 glad to hear that you are working with a counselor. Do you feel like you are making progress with understanding the roots of this and learning how to overcome? It definitely takes time but I hope you are feeling good about this process!
I feel like it has been helping, but you're right. It's definitely a process. For me it's been a slow process, because anxiety has been a road block. What seems to work for/help you with overwhelming emotions?
@vjb777 I hope you will keep at it until that road block is cleared! There are a few things that I have found to be useful routine practices: CBT and journaling. What about you?
Thanks for sharing! I have a DBT skills book that has taught me a variety of skills. I highly recommend a DBT book if you haven't tried it and are struggling.
@vjb777 Good to know. I’m generally familiar with DBT but have not invested specifically in learning the techniques. Just from what I have read, the techniques make a lot of sense to me. Is there one in particular that you find effective?