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How I Have Been Surviving a Painful Experience

Earlier this year, I had something happen to me that hurt. That really, really hurt. I am still 'recovering' from it (whatever that word means). I can't 'move on', I can't 'get over it' and I can't 'forget about it'. I can't do any of those things that society or other people might tell me to do. This incident rubbed salt into past wounds so deeply that the sting continues. The event made the floor drop from beneath me, shattered my confidence and left my confidence in myself in tatters.

I'm not going to get into details about what happened exactly because it is too personal. However, it involved rejection and abandonment to the highest degree. If you have BPD, or relate to this diagnosis, then you will understand just how terrifying and painful these two things are.

Over six months have passed since the incident happened and I am still hurting, even though I am coming out of the other side. All the while, I have managed to complete my book, start a new job and move house. I honestly don't know how I have managed to do all that whilst my heart has been aching and my mind has been searching for answers that never came to me, and which I never found.

I wanted to write a little bit about some of the things that have been, and still are, helping me survive this agony.

1. Retreat

I have been retreating into books, films, TV and video games that bring a sense of comfort. I have been re-watching films from childhood that make me feel safe. I take comfort in knowing the characters, the words, the endings and in no surprises. Nostalgia is soothing for me and I rarely feel like exploring anything new when my emotions are raw and excruciating. I can't cope with a surprise sad ending in a book or scary content in a TV episode (or worse, something that reminds me of the painful event) when I am already trying to process so much.

2. relate and remind

Thankfully, during this time I have been able to fall back on my love of books to relate to other people (both fictional and real) who have been through heartbreak. I have been reminding myself as much as I can that I am not the only human in the world to have been through this kind of hurt and have gone on to feel better.

Somehow, this knowledge that humans from ages past and all corners of the globe feel pain is soothing; I have been telling myself that to feel hurt is to be human. I have also been reminding myself that to love someone is to open myself up to the possibility of pain, and to take that risk takes courage. And I know that courage is something I have and something that I am happy to have.

I have also been trying to remind myself that time, more often than not, is a fantastic healer. I might always feel sad about this, but I am unlikely to feel this heartbroken for ever.

3. Reasons (stop trying to find them)

I have cross-examined myself and all of my actions in an attempt to unpick what my part in this could possibly have been. I have beaten myself up over any possible 'wrong doings'. I have reached out in the hope of finding answers. It was fruitless. All of this was pointless. It's time for me to stop seeking 'a reason'. Life is too complicated, and other people are too complicated, for a neat reason to be nicely packaged up for me.

I cannot understand what happened and I need to let go of trying to understand. That's a process and a commitment; it means actively *not* seeking answers and it means re-directing my energy when I find myself ruminating on this situation. I know this hurts, and I accept this hurt. There is nothing I can do to change this except invest in myself and invest my time, resources, love and creativity and in the people around me and my life.


If this post resonates with you and/or something you have gone through, I hope it can bring a little bit of ease or comfort to you. Thank you for reading. - Rosie

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