Splitting – a visual representation

Borderlines are often described to take each moment as it is. I find that I only partially agree with this statement. For example, if the Boyfriend is late to meet me, I am focused on the fact that he is late. I experience some sort of amnesia towards the fact that 9 out of 10 times, he is not late. However, it’s untrue that I’m only thinking of the fact that he is currently late. Rather, I become acutely aware of all those other times he has been late. Every single past memory and resentment and sense of abandonment I’ve felt about him being late rushes to the forefront of my mind, and it’s like a tsunami of hurt just crashing over me. In that instant, I’m re-living every single late moment, all over again.

Splitting not only keeps me in the operating moment; it keeps me in all related moments or moments that are associated with similar feelings. When Boyfriend does something sweet, I think he is the best person in the world because I relive every single past memory of him doing something nice for me, and my tunnel vision only allows me to focus on these good memories. When Boyfriend does something that hurts me, I think he is the worst person in the world because I suddenly recall all the other times he has hurt me before.

To put it pictorially:


There isn’t always just “Good” or “Bad” Boyfriend, though. For me, there’s also a more complex division of facets or aspects, which I will name in the form of numbers so it’s easier. There’s Boyfriend 1.0 whom I cuddle with and share safe, sweet moments with. 2.0 is the one who engages in intellectual debates and discussions with me. 3.0 is physical/sexual. 4.0 is the one I hate and hurts me and gets into fights with me. 5.0 is my best friend whom I share random parts of my day with. 6.0 is the one who has done some skeevy things in his past that I disagree with and dislike. And each aspect feels like a wholly different person altogether.


The realization struck me because I was having a particularly intense, somewhat aggressive discussion with him about a topic I felt somewhat personally about. Because 2.0 was being so coldly calm, unemotional and logical, I began to feel put off and hurt by 2.0’s hostility. In my mind, he was slowly starting to close in on and morph into 4.0. Yet, abruptly, he switched into 1.0 and asked me softly whether I was okay. The sudden shift took me by surprise. It felt like an entirely different person had swum up to the surface and interacted with me.

And it’s been freaking me out because I’m starting to wonder who is Boyfriend? Boyfriend is a combination and amalgamation of 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0 and 6.0. But I don’t know the “real” Boyfriend, because I only ever see one side of Boyfriend at a time. In a way, I feel like the Sun or the Moon—only ever seeing one side of the Earth at a time.

Will I ever learn how to hold all those facets together? I don’t know. And I don’t know if I want to or not. I feel like a newborn learning to get used to a world outside the womb… part of me just wants to crawl back in.


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