I experience a lot of difficulties in relationships, whether that be with family members, friends, partners or therapists. I tend to create these false realities in my head about their thoughts, feelings and intentions towards me. Though these ‘realities’ have absolute no solid evidence to back them up, at the time they feel 100% true to me and there is no getting me to believe otherwise.
I become somewhat delusional. I call it ‘interpersonal paranoia’.
I didn’t realise the extent to which this happens for me until I read back on some email exchanges between myself and my therapist from a few months ago. In the emails, it is clear that I was experiencing intense emotions towards her, such as anger, sadness, fear and envy, and was not coping well as a result.
I thought she was trying to make me suffer and that she was acting in certain ways towards me with ulterior motives. I thought she was doing things to me ‘on purpose’ and that she had some big plan or scheme against me. I was so convinced that she was breaching boundaries, out to get me, and flawed in her professionalism that I even contacted her colleagues and other professionals to try and take it further.
Even worse, when they didn’t back me up in the way I wanted them to, I thought they were ‘in on it’ too. In reality, they were all just trying desperately to help me see what was real and what was not. I was totally delusional and nothing could break through that fog of insanity shrouding me.
The truth is that I had created this reality in my head that was founded upon nothing besides distorted thinking. In fact, reading back over the emails I could not find a single piece of evidence supporting what was going on in my head at the time. This is despite the conviction that my internal experiences in the moment felt like the most real and justified ones in the world.
However it is clear looking back that my reactions were genuinely off the scale. My poor therapist must have felt like she was trapped by me in a corner. I was making no sense whatsoever and my perspective was founded in nothing. I can see how she may also have perceived me as threatening, as I continually doubted her professionalism and intentions and my anger levels were scarily high and motivating me to ‘get to the bottom’ of it all.
Like I said, I was totally and unquestionably delusional.
This recognition has thrown me. I have been reading and reading back on hundreds of exchanges and the pattern just repeats itself over and over. Now I feel like I don’t know what is real and what is not, and am realising that so much of what I think is real in my head could not be further from it, in reality.
Borderline Personality Disorder is named as such because back in 1937 people like me were described as being “on the borderline between psychosis and neurosis”. I never quite understood the reference to psychosis here and it often got me feeling angry. But psychosis refers to losing touch with reality, and this is exactly what happens to me in the situations I describe.
For the first time I think I am starting to understand the extent to which this is applicable to me, how delusional my thinking can get when in these interactions, and how ill I can become when in that state.
It is scaring the shit out of me.