Brand new to adulthood.
Brand new to college.
Brand new to bisexuality.*
When you caught my eye,
I was not looking for friendship.
I remember feeling startled —
You took my breath away.
So I left my new roommate,
And I follow you to the elevator…
You laughed at something dumb I said.
Did you realize you had a grip on me?
You held the power in our friendship?
Congrats Z — you were the first,
The one & only,
Close friend I ever fell for.
To be fair to my poor lesbian heart,
You were exactly my type,
And I never wanted friendship.
My crush was killed by your straightness.
It was painfully obvious as I got to know you.
Once I realized you’d never return my affection,
I dragged my feelings deep down until they died.
But I never forgot my initial attraction,
And I never forgave myself.
And as sick,
As it is,
I don’t think I ever forgave you either.
The only best friend I fell for?
Of course you’d be the one to hurt me.
I thought you’d be disgusted by me,
Never wanting to be my friend again.
And that was worse,
Worse than not having your romantic love.
So I didn’t tell you the truth.
I never told you the truth about anything.
I never believed you wanted to be my friend.
I need understood why you would.
Even on the sidewalk after that party,
Drunkenly crying to you about my broken mind,
I still never told you the truth.
There was no real link.
None at all.
No link from my trauma to you.
No connections from the LDS church,
Nor any type of homophobia from you.
But my crush scared me,
It wasn’t an innocent crush of childhood,
It was an actual interest in another woman.
And you were a thinker.
Like me — you kept thoughts to yourself.
You were my first close friend like that.
And it drove my Borderline CRAZY.
Borderline needed to know what you were thinking —
Especially when I could see it —
Could see the gears working in your head,
But no words forming, nothing coming out.
I saw you as this wise, sweet-natured, full-of-life soul —
Who was keeping all of those secrets for herself.
“She’s realizing she doesn’t actually like you,
There’s plenty of other friend options at USU.”
“She’s thinking about something wrong you did,
Or better yet, something wrong you said.”
“She’s asking herself why she’d ever be your friend,
Does she even consider you a real friend now?”
If she finds out you had a crush on her,
She’ll leave you immediately.
I always guessed what you were thinking,
Every second you weren’t speaking.
Thinking you secretly hated me,
As pathetic as that sounds!
You never acted like that —
Never gave me a real reason to believe it.
But my Borderline didn’t care —
It was an easy delusion to create!
Every time you didn’t communicate,
Or speak the blunt way I wanted you to,
I’d harbor deep feelings of anger towards you.
Not towards you as a person, Z,
But to the secrets in your mind.
I didn’t know I was crazy,
So I thought everyone was crazy too.
Your thoughts must be as crazy as mine,
And thus a danger to me.
It was all twisted up,
Tied up in a confusing bow.
It was a knot in my mind,
Knotted beyond distinction.
I wanted your friendship,
But I also had a crush on you.
Ruined our friendship.
And you didn’t even know it.
It made our friendship gross and unholy.
I had to keep you at an arm’s distance.
When we first met:
Did you know?
Did you notice how I looked at you?
When we played those board games,
In the freshman dorms’ basement,
Did you know the power you held over me?
*Upon reaching adulthood and freedom from repeated homophobic-related trauma, I decided I was bisexual. I had never experienced romantic or sexual attraction to men, but I was still holding out hope it would develop with time. I decided I’d let myself have some “fun” in college and act on my same-sex attraction.
Borderline Personality Disorder Symptom: “Idolization of a friend, family member, or other loved one. They feel intense closeness towards that person and place them on a pedestal. This can quickly and unpredictable change to intense anger towards that person (called devaluation).” [Source]
Idolizing & Devaluation: Believing Z was superior to me and I was undeserving of her — even platonic — love. Thinking she was too beautiful and intelligent, while I was nothing.
Anger & Fear: Believing Z would abandon me if she knew the truth of my sapphic crush.
My BPD Signs/Clues: Constant quick temper with Z all throughout our friendship. My flip between idolization and anger presented whenever Z would hesitate to immediately answer me. I would react with an, “Just tell me what you want, Z!” or “Will you ever just say what’s on your mind? God, it’s annoying!”
Author’s Note: Looking for Borderline signs in friendship dynamics is (in my opinion) the most full-proof way to nail down symptoms you, the Borderline person, can’t avoid. My relationship with Z was simple: I had a crush on her and she did not return it because she was straight. Any normal person would move on — but my Borderline clung to her “rejection” as further proof I was worthless. I presume this delusion clung on for years because my disorder’s “initial trauma” was a homophobic-related event during early-childhood.
I truly thought she’d abandon me simply because I had a harmless crush on her. A crush I never acted on! Never even voiced! Never even remembered until I removed an amnesia wall blocking my first reaction to meeting Z!