I’ll never forget this moment. If I had to describe it one word I would say that it was traumatising in itself. An example of another ‘insignificant’ moment that meant the world to me and will probably haunt me for a lifetime…
It was one, two or three weeks after I’d seen my new psychologist for the first time. The first session was bearable and the purpose for me seeing her was established – I was stuck in this small town, with no one to talk to, enemies all around me and I needed to work through my divorce… I told her one of my greatest fears, suddenly resurfased because of these God-awful circumstances, was the fear of ‘losing’ myself. I’m not sure if she got it, but I tried to explain to her… It would be as if I had never been…as if the past 10 years of my life hadn’t existed, as if I never had escaped my home, never survived in the real world, never committed myself, never got better…. Because those were all things that I ‘remembered emotionally’ as part of my attachment to my husband – who was currently leaving me.
I tried to communicate my fear, but I’m not sure if she saw the real terror in my eyes. I remember in that session I still had much of ‘me’ in me. I wasn’t yet completely sure who I was (far from it!) but I had seen and collected parts of myself…during these 10 years… and I had picked them all up….like pieces of beautiful broken shells…and I had kept them…and I had started to glue them back together…and I had started to like…perhaps even love…the broken image I was starting to see…but now…you see that image was attached to my husband who was now leaving. And it was as if I could FEEL the sand in my heart – on which the image was laid out – starting to slowly fall through the fingers of time…and it was a horrible feeling. I could feel the emptiness starting to creep back in – to take over and fill the space in my heart which had always before belonged completely to it. It was like having icy cold fingers inside of my heart. I don’t think anyone without BPD could actually ever understand the pure horridness of this feeling.
Anyway….so it was one, two or three weeks (and sessions) later when she looked me dead in the eyes all of a sudden during a ‘normal’ ‘conversation’ and asked me: “So who are you?”
I froze. I had nothing to say. I instantly snapped into feeling like an imposter. She was right. Who the hell was I? Who am I? I kept quiet, bound by a confusion of feelings that wrapped around my mouth like a chain. She asked, without any remorse, completely unaware(I think) of the pain she had just caused…”Is this a difficult question?” It would’ve been better if I could’ve related to the empathy that she had tried to express at this point but how can one ever really truely empathise if you haven’t felt what another has felt? I hung my head, spontaneously. “I don’t know” I mumbled. Instant Shame, even guilt perhaps. “Try… she said”.
“I am a successful business woman.” – I said what I wanted to be true, but I couldn’t remember if it was. “I am intelligent.” – I copied what my very first psychologist had made me remember – it was the one piece of my self that she confirmed, affirmed and gave to me to hold on forever as a present wrapped in golden unforgettable words. And then I kept quiet. I didn’t have anything else to say.