As I have admitted in a previous post, Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman…With BPD!!!, I am terribly sensitive to rejection, have low emotional stress tolerance, and fear abandonment on many, many levels (abandonment is not just about physical abandonment but emotional abandonment and invalidation). Can you smell the vulnerability?! Most days, even when I am feeling well and in charge of my emotions, a sense of vulnerability sits in a little box on a shelf in my mind, reminding me that it’s presence is with me. And all that vulnerability is tied to feeling vulnerable to my relationships with the people of the world.
In Borderline Personality in the Medical Setting: Unmasking and Managing the Difficult Patient, Randy A. Sansone and Lori A. Sansone assert that BPD “…individuals appear to be exquisitely sensitive and responsive to both internal and external stimuli.” “As we have previously described in patients with BPD,” “…there is a heightened awareness and scanning of the external surroundings; this state of heightened external alertness may explain the seemingly exquisite interpersonal sensitivity of these patients…”. (I simply copied and pasted that quote, so do not sue me if the quotations are incorrect! LOL) I find this assertion to be amazing because I could never put into words (to my satisfaction) how sensitive I am to both internal and internal stimuli, nor able to describe how hyper-aware I am of my surroundings (regarding people, mostly), constantly analyzing all the options of what people MAY be thinking about me. And this is where I become judgmental. Making any sense yet?
Being judgmental is a defense mechanism (a maladaptive one, at that!) that says, “You fear rejection, do not deal well with the emotional stress that comes with rejection, cower in the face of any sort of abandonment & invalidation, and just feel vulnerable in general. Why allow others to beat you to the punch? JUDGE THEM FIRST and then they cannot judge you!”
Too bad nothing that sounds so easy is ever that easy…
Basically, it is a snowball effect…I fear the judgment of others, so I judge first, but because I am judging others, I assume they are doing the same to me! Crazee!!! I know.
The problem is that beyond the moral implications, being judgmental is unhealthy and eventually eats away at everything light and good in my soul. It eventually:
- creates stereotypes which causes an entirely new blog subject (I am currently afraid to death of looking like a “stereotypical southern woman”…unkempt hair, wears clothes that do not fit one way or another, and wears pajama pants to go shopping. And I am not referring to the care that money can buy. I am not talking about an expectation to wear make-up, hair fresh from the salon, or clothes from a fancy store. Lord knows many people do not have the money to visit salons or buy name brand clothing. It is about looking like I do not care enough to, well… care. I feel like I am digging a hole. Oy.)
- makes me fear people even more (like I need THAT!)
- makes me more emotionally reactive than I already am (Why did you look at my toes?! You think I am not pretty enough for red nail polish, right?! I knew I was not worthy of Ravishing Red!)
- and the list goes on and on and on. Oh…the constant dialogue I have in my head! =)
I guess I am sharing this because I know I tend to handle an issue better when I admit it out-right, rather than admit it to myself and then try to handle it on my own. Somehow, handling issues on my own never works our for me…or anyone else, really.
There is freedom in saying, “I am ___.” No if, ands, or buts…just admission of who we are, who we want to be, and how we are trying to get there.
Please do not judge me! Bahahaha!!!
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