Grieving for a friendship: Creating safety

Part 1 Grieving for someone who is alive

Part 2: Creating Safety

Strong relationships require effective communication and respectful boundaries. They should be a space where you feel encouraged to share your perspective and be authentic to your values. So losing a friendship that you once felt safe in or had invested a lot of your soul into can be devastating when it is broken.

Loss is extremely hard to deal with. For me it feels like a black hole that is filled with concrete which I am carrying around every day. It resides in my chest, a place where I think hope and radiance once lived.   

People with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) are very good at adapting to what a person wants from them.

But we are not so good at having our needs met. We also struggle to meet these needs ourselves. Perhaps you have tried to communicate your needs of love, safety and security and have felt unheard or invalidated.  Perhaps you asked for something reasonable and your request fell on deaf ears.

It takes a lot of skill to effectively communicate your needs. Unfortunately, people with BPD may have not had many opportunities to practice these skills effectively. Hands down I am a poor verbal communicator of my emotions. (Hence why I blog so frequently)

Therefore, during the anger stage (which I described in part 1) it is so important for us to understand why we are angry at someone. What needs have not been met from the relationship?

Anger is just the tip of the ice berg the big emotion we see that potential hides our underlying feelings and needs. In this situation your might feel lost, destroyed, confused, devastated and unloved. These emotions might even trigger you to feel overwhelmed and hopeless.

There before you start to unpack the loss of a broken friendship. You must meet your own needs that you are seeking of comfort, warmth, respite, acceptance, validation and support.

The first steps to mending a broken relationship is mending yourself.

Action Points

  • Seek help. Immediately I sought help from both formal (psychologist, psychiatrist) and informal (close friends) supports.
  • Put more resources in place. Interpersonal conflicts can lead to irrational thoughts and actions. Do you need to have contact with a mental health team? Perhaps a suicide crisis number on your fridge. 13 11 14
  • Stay somewhere safe. I encourage you to think is there a place you can go where you feel safe. Some days I leave the house for the day to be around people. I stayed several nights at a family members place, so that I could be supervised while my husband was at work.
  • Health care professionals be alert: Depending on the persons needs and safety, interpersonal conflict is a time that it would be suitable for a consumer to have a brief admission to an inpatient setting. Suppressed emotions regarding rejection and trauma will most likely come out of this experience for the person. They need to be surrounded by validation and professionals of hope to help empower them to feel safe.

Next Blog – Evaluating your options, regaining control in a lost situation.

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