BPD Awareness Month Post: “Love Me”

There is an important aspect of BPD I mentioned in the last post involving not having a clear self iof self, something everyone struggles with usually during their teenage years.

I found a great song by Katy Perry that expresses this need to learn to know and like yourself rather than taking your skin off like a costume and putting on another one in irder to be what someone else wants you to be or who you think you’re supposed to be based on what you perceive to be others’ expectation. Part of the bio social theory around BPD involves tthe child being very emotionally sensitive as well as growing up in an invalidating atmosphere where the child is not helped with understanding accepting and regulating his or her feelings.
These are the lyrics to the Katy Perry song “Love Me” that really capture both the lack of sense of defined self as well as the chameleon like attaching to the loved one and attachment issues; at the same time, most people can relate to this song as these are not just qualities embodied by people with BPD in relationships; we all experience some form of merging with the lived one and loss of self at times: I will interrupt to make comments. It’s a great song anyway and great as a self worth building song…

“I lost myself in fear of losing you”
(This may seem cliche but it captures the strange reasoning in love and attachment. If you were not validated enough and in the right ways, it makes sense to “lose” who you are out of actual fear that your lover/partner won’t love you. You were trained to be sensitive to cues from the caretaker as to how to be rather than to be seen as who you are and are becoming as your own person…)
“I wish I didn’t do
But I did
I lost my own, my own identity
Forgot that you picked me for me”
(This part just reinforces the idea of how easy it can be to lose your sense if self and “forget” that someone may have loved you from the start for those very qualities, which you may not even be aware of if these qualities were not validated…)

But now, I don’t negotiate with insecurities
They always seem to get the best of me
I found I had to love myself, the way I wanted you to…

…love me,
No more second guessing
No, there’s no more questioning
I’ll be the one defining who I’m gonna be
No concealing feelings, or changing seasonally
(Questioning, second guessing and changing for the other person capture this form of attachment; anxious insecure attachment where you hide feelings out of fear if being abandoned and second guess anything you’re thinking or feeling on your own as everything is seen in terms if figuring out frantically ways to not be abandoned)
I’m gonna love myself, the way I want you to love me

Sometimes I wish my skin was a costume
That I could just unzip
And strip
(This is a great line that captures what Kiera van Gelder discusses in her memoir of BPD about how easily she would unzip herself and put on the next “costume” that would fit the particular relationship she was in and match that guys interests, likes, even taste in food. It also captures how the emotional skin becomes so raw…)
“But who I am is who I’m meant to be
And it’s who you are in love, in love with

So now, I don’t negotiate with insecurities
They’re gonna have to take a back seat
I know I have to love myself, the way I want you to…

…love me,
No more second guessing
No, there’s no more questioning
I’ll be the one defining who I’m gonna be
No concealing feelings, or changing seasonally
I’m gonna love myself, the way I want you to love me

[2x]
No more standing in my own way
Let’s go deeper, let’s get closer
No more standing in my own way
(I want you to love me)

No more second guessing
No, there’s no more questioning
I’ll be the one defining who I’m gonna be
No concealing my feelings, or changing seasonally
I’m gonna love myself, the way I want you to love me

No more second guessing
No, there’s no more questioning
I’ll be the one defining who I’m gonna be
No concealing feelings, or changing seasonally
I’m gonna love myself, the way I want you to love me

The last part that isn’t among the lyrics already discussed is the idea of “standing in my own way”; that we all stand in our own way when we are too fearful of abandonment and too insecure about showing or getting to know who we truly are and that we define who we are, we are not defined by others. For many suffering from BPD as well as any others with self image problems, defining yourself and figuring out both who you are fundamentally, the aspects of yourself that don’t change as well as the parts that represent who you really want to be, is a great big challenge that can be accomplished in a healing and validating atmosphere; it’s never to late to discover who you really are and to like yourself for who you are, all parts of your self… This song captures that hopefulness.

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