top of page

Living with a Borderline parent — part 3. My dog – my love. My dramatic ways out of conflicts.

Updated: May 16

The subject of my dogs has always been sensitive. For you to understand this post better, my emotions, how I connected things, you need to know two things first:

1. My experience with my first dog, Poli.

2. What happened on the day of cortisol injection.



MY EXPERIENCE WITH MY FIRST DOG, POLI.


Poli died when she was 2 – 3 years old. I was taking evening classes at the university that day. I had a feeling. I wanted to skip the last lecture and go home. But I didn't. I already had a mobile phone back then. The operator allowed for 3 free messages per month; otherwise, it was highly expensive. That's how long ago it was 🤣.

I came back home and saw my dog lying and breathing heavily in her bed, in the hallway. My parents eating french fries 🍟 just around the corner from her place. On my question about what happened, they replied that she got scared. My dog followed me to my room and lied down. She passed away within minutes. The autopsy showed that her kidneys were smashed, and both hips were broken. She died due to haemorrhage till her abdomen (blood in her stomach). 


During the next month, I was, gradually, finding out what happened to my dog. You don't get broken bones, kidneys, and blood in your stomach because you got scared. I heard different versions: she got scared, he pushed her with the bumper, it was one tire that rolled over her tail… but none of those explanations would be true and, what was more important, they would not indicate my parent’s fault. That they made a mistake. That they ignored her, forgot about her. That she was not significant. THAT SHE WAS IMPORTANT TO ME. The fact of taking her to the vet was explained “So you could say your goodbyes with her”. So they knew she was dying and still… eating french fries 🍟 in the kitchen, just around the corner from her place. No comment.


There were no words to describe what I was feeling and thinking in that horrible situation. I didn’t think. I was frozen… I had a short circuit in my brain, probably. It was beyond my comprehension: what happened to my dog, my parents’ reactions and comments. I felt as if I was outside my body. I was so shocked that I didn’t feel anything. If I had felt at that very moment, I would have died of excruciating emotional pain, together with my dog.


Poli was dying for 2 hours, while my parents were eating french fries in the room next to her.


She was driven over by a car. I don't mean hit. It didn't hit her. My parents stopped to talk to a neighbour who was in his car. They all forgot about Poli, who, I assume, as I never found out the whole truth, lied down in front of the car. Once they were finished, the neighbour started the car and started rolling forward… Over her.… Crashing her kidneys, braking her hips. My dog walked, WALKED!, home after that. They didn't carry her. She WALKED to my room after me.


She was dying… she was in shock… and they were eating french fries.

That was what living with a Borderline parent and the Shadow man looked like. I was 20 then.


The consequences of that? Where to start, right?


The disappointment, powerlessness were present since forever. The feeling of loss and grief was excruciating. There was no one to hug me, to cry with me, to be with me. I was alone with it. My boyfriend and I were broken up, and he thought it would be fun to say that he was already seeing other girls, which turned out not to be true. It was just to make me feel jealous. You can imagine how devastated I was. And all I wanted in my life was love and be loved. And it was taken away from me, just like that, over one afternoon.


Poli was the only love I felt and received in that borderline house. The only love I had in my life. She meant all to me, and I meant all to her. The kind of relationship we had, people wished they had with their partners-humans. And I lost it… I was lonely and unloved again… Empty and cold… I was hollow on the inside, again.


In my later life, I got a dog. Same breed, a collie. She even has the same colours. I tried to get a blue-merle, as I was afraid that I’d pour my grief on the new dog. But the universe decided something else, and I got a tricolour again. Joy is very different from Poli. Quiet, careful, avoid conflicts, no aggression what’s so ever. I’d describe her as a Flower Power with a joint in her paw. Poli was more of an action girl, was not afraid to “tell off” if someone did something to her that she didn’t like. She was more like Cat Woman. The things that were the same were sensitivity to me, my voice, my moves, gentleness, deep bonding to me, ignorance towards my mum. She was like air to those dogs. They could stand next to her and behave as if she wasn’t there. Amazing.


See now:

Poli — telling off, growling and nipping at other dogs who tried to “take her”. A tough little girl.

Joy — avoiding conflicts, being submissive in case of any “take her” by lying down or sitting down. Not so tough.

Were they reflections of me in different environments? At my parents’ home, I’d be fighting for my survival, standing up against my mum. Once I moved out and distanced myself from them, I became softer, trying to avoid conflicts, as I was tired of all those arguments I had every day for 25 years, and more submissive or even pleasing towards my partners, probably, to also avoid conflicts and arguments.


(It's a bit of a description 🧐, just bear with me 😉.)


Dog's love.
Joy, day after my operation.

Joy has been with me through thick and thin. We have had a great life together, full of love, acceptance, respect. I never hit her, she never even showed a single tooth on me (didn't growl, showing her teeth). She has been with me even when I was, what they like to call it, depressed. It lasted 2 years. Those 2 years I can't even remember, as if I was completely disconnected from life. I was disconnected from her as well. We didn't play, didn't train. Just empty walks that even started feeling like a burden… What did Joy do? She stayed. How did I know she chose me despite my numbness? I broke a bone in my foot and couldn't walk. Some other time, I was operated on, and I couldn't walk. Both times I asked a friend, to take in Joy. They had known each other since Joy was 2. My dog was there many times but… In those two situations, when my friend came to pick her up, Joy would run from the friend's car back to my flat to hide in the bedroom. She'd refuse to put the collar on and leave the flat. She'd take off the collar just two steps outside the flat to run back. Once made to go with them, she'd refuse to eat or go out and do her “needs”. After two days, they brought her back. She'd lie down next to me on the sofa, looking at me with her soft eyes. This dog has been and still is, so far, the only family I have here.




WHAT HAPPENED ON THE DAY OF CORTISOL INJECTION.


Long story short, I became unemployed, torn off an ACL. Was unemployed for 3 months, looking actively for a job. After those 3 months, I was operated on, ACL reconstruction. I was on sick leave for 2,5 months. The first day after my sick leave, I had to call the unemployment office to update my status. 


There's a saying in Polish: “Overeagerness is worse than fascism”.


The unemployment office told me to give away my dog, or leave her in a dog hotel, 5 days a week, for longer than 8h, maybe even 24h or 48h or more, to look for and get a job as a flight attendant. The system showed 0 positions as a flight attendant. No surprise to me. The Swedish airlines went bankrupt long time ago. Despite that, she still made a note that I refused to take jobs longer than the typical 9-5 due to dog reasons. The rules are not made for a single person, with no family at all, with a dog to be unemployed. Such a person has to abandon the dog in the name of a job that there is not. My first day to change my status from “on sick leave” to “active” I was already told that I didn't do enough to get a job, and needed to get rid of my dog…


I came home. Pain in my knee after a cortisol injection. Angry after the phone call with the unemployment office. I poured my emotions out to my friend/flat mate to hear: “Rules are rules. They are strict, and you might need to give your dog away or to a hotel to continue receiving the financial benefit”. And that was all my friend said to me.


I felt hurt and angry.


Hurt — my dog is my only family here, she's been with me when she should have left me, I love her, and she loves me, we have a bond that could wrap up the whole universe and back! I took her life into my hands 12 years ago, and I am responsible for her! It's not a toy to get rid of when things don't go as planned!


Angry — WTF? Haven't you seen what she means to me? Haven't you seen the bond we have? What are you talking about?! How can you just say “rules are rules” in this situation?!



LIVING WITH A BORDERLINE PARENT.


I left my friend in the kitchen and didn't talk to him that evening any more. The thoughts I had in my mind were:

“If I yell at my friend and show my anger…

— what if my friend tells me to move out now?

— what do I do?

— where do I go?

— I need to move out,

— I need to look for a place starting tomorrow,

— I need a job tomorrow,

— I need to pack up my stuff.


I became dramatic in my thoughts. It was a panicky flood of thoughts. All with intensity: I needed to do this, right away to secure myself, in case the worst happened…


I was angry and dramatic! So I tapped, tap tap tap 🫳 🫳 🫳.



(tap tap tap 🫳 🫳 🫳)

I tapped that my friend had no compassion, no understanding, no emotions.

“Who the fuck are you? When we met when I was bullied and discriminated at my old job, you showed understanding and compassion, but now? Were you abducted and replaced with someone else?” And that little smile on the friend’s face when they said it.


The question that help you to get to the core issue is “What does that remind you of?”. It reminded me of the situation when my Poli was dying. I saw similarities:


My parents: in the kitchen, eating, making a stupid comment, ignorance, no understanding for my emotions, my relationship with my dog, no compassion.

My friend: sitting in the kitchen, eating, making a stupid comment, ignorance, no understanding for my emotions and my situation, my relationship with my dog, no compassion.


My mum: — didn't grief after Poli, she was mechanical, cleaned the flat from any signs of Poli; — didn't like my relationship with Poli, my connection with her; — was jealous of it as it represented all she didn't have in her life: love, respect, acceptance.

My friend: — being jealous sometimes about my connection with her, getting “kisses” on my nose, coming to my bed in the morning; — didn't have love or acceptance in their life either


My mum: — seemed to be happy when I lost my Poli, as if I (again) was on her emotional pain level: lonely, not feeling love.

My friend: — the face expression, that tiny smile seemed to say: “you might have to give up what you love, you might lose what you love, you might not have it any more, just like me.”


My mum: — “I don't have it, you don't have it.

My friend: — “I don't have it, you might lose it and not have it.”



(tap tap tap 🫳 🫳 🫳)

I kept tapping and words were just flowing out of me. Seeing some similarities. Seeing how the words, facial expressions, tone of voices were reminding me of that horrible day. The emotionless, mechanical comments. My subconscious mind made the connection with the traumatic experience concerning Poli and reacted. It activated my red button and I exploded. I relieved the traumatic experience. Right there and then.


The subconscious mind doesn’t live in time and space – they don't exist to it. That is why we get triggered. When a situation is similar enough to the one that caused us a certain intensity (sounds, places, colour, beings etc) the subconscious mind starts the emergency protocol, and we freak out. Sounds blown out of proportion? It is 🤣, in a way. For those watching and being on the receiving end, it looks like a hysteric attack, overreaction (we hear that often, “you’re overreacting”). But, try to look from the subconscious mind’s point of view: this horrible, terrible thing, that hurt you to the bone and made your heart die down, that happened X years ago, is happening again! I need to engage emergency protocol! Refusal — on! Anger - on! Emotional pain - on! On? No, engage protocol to stop the emotional pain! So painful that we need to do something!

A - fight

B - flight

C - freeze

Activate plan B flight - on! 


And I left the kitchen.



Back to tapping. (tap tap tap 🫳 🫳 🫳)

When you tap, things just come up. The illogic becomes logic. The dots/situations are connected by your emotions and physical reactions. Your body remembers. Of course, it doesn’t make sense… to others. It makes a perfect sense to your subconscious, your gut feeling, your physical reactions, your senses.

I realised that I experienced comparable jealousy in my old job. My colleagues would comment, with “oh, I’m just joking” tone and making sarcastic remarks about my life, how I lived it, what I did and didn't do, as they too were jealous. I was the poor, little Polish, who came to Sweden, got a job she should be thankful for, lived in a basement flat, had an old car and… How did she dare to be happy? Whereas we, born Swedish in Sweden, with good jobs, houses, Volvo cars and Ikea furnitures, were so unhappy. She had next to nothing, we had it all…


When you tap, things just come up. You start seeing what you blocked before, what you didn't want to see and understand. You see connections between situations that at first seemed not to have anything in common.


Is this true, that my friend and colleagues felt that jealousy or had those thoughts? We don’t know, but it’s not important. The essential is your perception of a situation. The EFT therapy sessions are for you, about you, not someone else. It’s your feelings, emotions, physical reactions, thoughts and how you connect situations and experiences with each other, that are important, as these things lead us to the core issue, the hidden treasure. We are dealing with your emotions, not lady's “Bitch” from your work or lady's “Fuck-off” from your child’s kindergarten. It’s not them paying for your therapy.


However… If we think about it for a second, my friend had lots of understanding for me and my situation when I was bullied and discriminated at my old job, but my friend didn’t relate to the dog situation. How come? It’s possible, that my friend went through a similar situation: rejection, being unseen, misunderstood, an objection of sarcasm etc., so they could feel compassion for me in that situation. They didn’t relate to the dog situation as they never had a dog. This is an example of how people filter for (negative) things, how that filtering sneaks into our lives, and how it “guides” us. How it makes us see things it wants us to see, and we don't even realise.



(tap tap tap 🫳 🫳 🫳)

I kept tapping


“So because of jealousy, you wish for someone else to lose what they love? To suffer? Because you're unhappy, so others should be unhappy as well? It's your suffering. There's nothing I can do about it. I am not responsible for your suffering. Only you are responsible for it. Only you can do something about it. I cannot give you some of my happiness. I cannot give you some of my love. You can't take my love and my happiness to fill in your emptiness, so you become less miserable. You can't take it from others, like you take a cup of coffee or a phone number, to fix your issues.”

.

.

.


When you tap, things just come up. Some deep things can come up, that you were not aware of before. Not that you block them, you simply are not aware of them. Or maybe it is avoidance? 😉



(tap tap tap 🫳 🫳 🫳)

“I thought that I had one or two issues from my childhood. I have been more and more aware of how much my parents damaged me… It's not only one or two issues. It's a whole… ocean of them.

I believed, subconsciously, that once I had fixed those two issues I'd be ready for a relationship, I'd find love, I'd be done. But that belief had fallen down, like the Berlin's wall… Does this mean I'll never find love? I mean, if I have millions of red buttons (triggers) I might not manage to heal them all in this life. Will I ever be loved by someone? Look at the today’s society. They change relationships more often than the underwear. They don’t spend time on trying to communicate, fix issues and misunderstandings. Let alone have compassion for a person with a trauma and willing to work on the relationship…”


(I cry 😢)



(tap tap tap 🫳 🫳 🫳)

“My parents have damaged me on so many levels. And I have not been aware of it for so long… I kept repeating negative patterns for 37 years. I have had toxic relationships because of my childhood trauma, my borderline parent - mum, and my Shadow man parent - dad. I have wasted so many years on repeating things that would cause me pain and hurt. Emotional, psychological and sometimes physical. Is even my life enough to heal all those wounds? Seems like two lives are needed for it. It's heavy…“



This tapping session was heavy. I got calmer, but was still emotional. Not all is solved with one tapping session, where you leave blissfully calm and “unbroken”. But one tapping session often brings a physical and emotional decrease. The day after, I started tapping on the situation from the beginning, stopping on things that felt intense.


I felt this anger and hurt. You see, as a child I was not allowed to get angry. I was told to suck it up. I went from anger through sadness, powerlessness, disappointment, and resignation to… Being pushed over the edge.


My parents, especially my borderline parent mum, would push my boundaries to the limits and beyond. She'd not leave me until she saw me break. And I would break and collapse. Each time. I was a small child, put against a wall… To break, to give up. And she succeeded each time. She'd throw me over the edge. And I learned that once I feel anger, I jump over the edge. I have dramatic thoughts and take dramatic decisions, just like in the situation with my friend. I panic and try to find a way out to survive without collapsing… AND I RUN. 


Once I moved out, and distanced myself from my parents, I started running away from anything that would cause me pain, hurt, anger, frustration. I'd get into toxic relationships to be able to literally run away from them. As if showing them: “Look! I can run away from you!” Because I couldn't run away from the abuse when I was a child.



I finish here. This post has to end somewhere 😉. Yes, it feels as it finishes without climax – just like most of the intercourses with most men 🤣. It finishes here, but the tapping continued and contributed to another post, “Living with my Borderline parent — part 4. My dramatic ways out of conflicts.”


How did it go with my friend? I said in a very loud voice (I wasn’t yelling. If I was yelling, I would have known about it 🤣) that I was angry. That his comment hurt me and made me angry. That it was stupid and that my friend apparently didn’t understand what my dog meant for me. I said (not yelled 🤣, although the neighbours could have mistakenly taken it as yelling) I didn’t want to hear any explanations and needed time to deal with the emotions. After two days, I reached out, just asked how the day was going. We are fine. No one had to move out, get a (whatever or different) job, stop being friends or hire an assassin to get rid of the other person. Life resumed as normal. No drama. What argument??? 😉


A few weeks later there was a new incident involving my dog. A neighbour who gave her a chicken bone. These pieces can get stuck in the dog’s throat, puncture their gastrointestinal tract, or cause choking. My friend said a very Swedish thing to say "De menade väl" (they meant well). I could have exploaded, and I honestly think I had a good reason to do it, but I didn't. I looked at my friend and said in a calm... CALM! Me, whose heart would break and die together with her if that had taken place. Me, who before would get from 0 to 10 on the intensity and boiling level in 0.3 seconds said in a calm voice:

-- "So you mean that if she was dying here, on your carpet, you'd say to me "They meant well" and thought that it would be a sign of empaty from your side and a consolation for me?"

My friend left the room without a word and I didn't carry it with me for the rest of the evening, like in that anecdote about two monks and a woman. You know that anecdote? The monk story: click.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


If you, like me:

– have negative experiences, repeat certain negative patterns, for example dating the worng kind of people, and have beliefs about yourself that make you unhappy,

– relate to my stories somehow:

– the borderline parent - growing up in an environment of sudden outburst of anger, frustration, emotional instability (aggression, silence, positivity, aggression), push-pull emotions,

– unhappy relationships,

– feeling of lack of love in your childhood or adult life, feeling of not belonging, emotional burn out (especially in romantic relationships),

– sexual assault, bulling, discrimination…

– helplessness, powerlessness towards people and situations,

– disappointment and mistrust towards people, love, doubt you’ll ever find love,


and you would like to:

– learn to recognise and get rid of as many as possible triggers, red buttons, negative patterns and beliefs,

– neutralise these sons of bitches,

– work with a therapist who has compassion and capacity to listen (click The kind of therapist I am to be)


in order to

– have a better live, 

– learn to deal with the rest of the triggers on your own (who wants to go to a life-long therapy? No one),

– be happier, lighter and…

– accept yourself as you are, with the buttons or without them,


Get in touch with me on

Email: LoveYourLifeEFT (@) gmail.com

Tel, WhatsApp, Telegram: +46 727 919 609

Or book your free information session on https://loveyourlifeagain.setmore.com/

Comments


bottom of page