“Are you lacking attention?” Is what he asked. I was genuinely taken aback because of his question. I fiercely shook my head and replied “No! I am not!”.
I then came home and caught myself dwelling on his question. Am I indeed lacking attention? Do I crave it? Do I need it?
A lot of people that know at least a little about BPD will say that Borderliners all crave attention and that they seek it out in the wrong ways. As true as that may be I have always seemed to rebel against that statement/thought. I know that deep down inside I have always known that I do indeed crave attention. I have however never been able to admit it, especially out loud. Then this guy that I had just met asked me that question and it was stuck in my head all day long.
I was once again feeling extremely restless and I couldn’t sit still to save my life. I started cleaning the stove and the entire kitchen. It calms me down and it keeps my hands busy, what seems to really be bothering me these last few weeks. After I cleaned everything up I hopped into bed (middle of the afternoon, rainy outside) and I was just talking to a bunch of people on WhatsApp and it was like it finally hit me: “I do indeed need attention”. Me admitting this was (is) a very huge thing to me so it felt kind of “strange”.
It was like I was finally accepting the fact that I do indeed crave attention. I then messaged P and I literally said: “I need attention”, out of the blue. I told my best friend T about my new found clarity and it made total sense to her. We talked about it a bit more and it really helped.
I kind of feel like this is a huge accomplishment for me, which, it honestly kind of is. I’ve always (somehow) put “needing attention” on the same level as “being weak”. I’ve viewed it as being weak and that is one thing I absolutely hate, being weak. It takes a lot for me to admit to my weaknesses. That’s why in my own little world, in my head, I have no weaknesses and I am super awesome. But unfortunately I often have to pull myself back into reality.
Today I made a bit of progress. I finally admitted to something and I’ve started to accept it. There is this one guy J that keeps bugging me, wants to meet up and talk to me all the time and tonight I asked him wtf he wanted from me and I immediately started with: “I require attention, sometimes a lot”, once I said that everything else startdd pouring out as well. Mostly because I was hoping that all my issues would scare him off. But so far he’s still here, let’s see how long that lasts.
But look at me! I’m a borderliner and I need attention. I am 24 years old but often that little 6 year old girl in me shows her face. Those are the moments where it feels like I was instantly that little girl again. She was never there, my egg donor, that’s what I call her because she was never a real mother to me. On the rare occasions that she was there she would be glued to her laptop or computer and I often felt like I could have set the house on fire and that she wouldn’t notice. I was instantly sent back to feeling like that little girl. Seeing myself jumping up and down, trying to get her attention but always failing to do so.
This broke my heart over and over again because all that I wanted was her attention, presence and love. It took me over a decade, but I am a Borderliner and I need (extra) attention!!
100 Brownie points for myself for finally admitting to it!!
I feel like a tiny brick has been taken out of my huge wall and that I can breathe a little bit better. 1 issue down, 999999 more to go!
Look at me, I need attention!
Congratulations on taking down your issue! It’s definitely a breakthrough, I hope it makes your life that much better knowing and accepting that you need attention. It’s not a weakness, really: everyone needs attention. We’re social creatures, if we don’t have anyone’s attention, ever, then how can we create bonds? And it wouldn’t take you having BPD to crave attention after a childhood like that. I love reading about epiphanies like this, makes me hopeful. 🙂
Thanks for your words!
I seem to have this HUGE issue with the whole “weak” concept. It’s like it’s somehow been stomped into my head that I can’t be vulnerable, I can’t crave so much attention, I basically can’t do/feel anything that’s considered “weak”. I truly don’t know WHERE I get it from!
My best guess is that I’ve always had to be so strong and be there for everyone and take care of everyone that I have to be strong and I can’t afford to be weak/show weakness. And somehow craving EXTRA attention is something that my brain considers WEAK. And that’s why I have never been able to admit to it, at least not out loud, cuz that makes it REAL.
I have the same thing, though over the past year I’ve learned to lower my standards on bad days. I allow myself to be weak sometimes now. It really helps to think of how you’d treat a friend with the same problem, and remind yourself that you’re no more superhuman than your friends are.
I really have to work on that to be honest!! I’ve always had a hard time with that, really. Especially since I take care of so many people and they all depend on me.