Safe places, white spaces

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It’s been an exhausting week, with one thing after another hitting me and pretty much wearing me out. I mean, I’m getting married in two weeks – TWO FUCKING WEEKS – and while me and Other Half are pretty much ready and organised, it’s a pretty big deal. So with that, work, people and other challenges, I have been seriously lacking in spoons.

One thing that’s been on my mind this week is the idea of having safe spaces and places where you feel 100% okay when you’re there – until something or someone comes along and destroys it. I’m left wondering if this is exclusively a BPD thing, or if it’s something that people with other mental disorders might feel. If you’re reading this and it resonates with you, please let me know so at least I know I’m not alone in this really weird feeling.

Let me explain. My BPD means I see and feel things in black and white. There are no grey areas, nothing inbetween, just black and white. Good and bad. Easy and impossible. Love and hate. You get the idea. Even though I understand this way of thinking, I can’t change it – to me it’s just my natural way of thinking, I don’t know how else to think. Anyway.

Until I know a place, it’s not safe for me. It’s black. When I get to know and like a place, it’s safe. It’s white. And it will remain white unless something happens to change how I feel about it. There aren’t many black places for me – my old home was black simply because I never felt like it was mine, I didn’t want to move there and I never liked living there. White places include my home now, my in-laws’ home up north, a couple of places where I meet my friends, plus anywhere I generally feel safe to be on my own. Lots of white places compared to very few black places.

Until this week, when a white place became a black place, something that’s never happened to me before. It’s pretty distressing if I’m honest. It’s important for me to feel safe, it always has been. It’s all down to the mess that is my BPD, anxiety and severe abandonment issues I guess.

…I don’t suppose neurotypical adults freak out when someone from their past becomes a permanent fixture in a shop they frequent, do they? And I don’t mean, “Oh shit, there’s whats-his-face, I should probably go the other way,” I mean, “Well, I can never come back here ever again as long as they’re here, nope nope no nuh-uh never, I can’t breathe someone get me the fuck out of here-“ Just like that, white becomes black. I am no longer safe and I can never go back. It’s tainted. All because of one very small change, one person. So much damage over something I still don’t understand. Confusing and upsetting.

I wonder what it’s like to think in the colour grey. I envy the way it might feel.

In other (less depressing) news, I met the lovely TomSka off the YouTube on Friday! He was promoting his book Art Is Dead and I was lucky enough to be able to meet him at my local Waterstones. I had a load of fun beforehand with the people around me in the queue – somehow, my very dark sense of humour seems to translate better in person than on paper… anyway, it was awesome to finally meet the guy responsible for such gems as this:

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He’s a cool chap – I’m a massive dork

We joked about mental disorders, he signed my book and noted that I was shaking before taking a photo with me and giving me a huge fucking hug. Seriously, the man hugs like a professional, I would pay him for hugs. In a matter of weeks, I’ve managed to meet and hug two of my favourite talented and creative famous people.

I need to meet and hug more creative famous people. I have the taste now.


About Claire

Well-groomed tomboy. I have no idea what I'm doing, but I hide it well.
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One Response to Safe places, white spaces

  1. Gemma says:

    I feel like that about places. I have anxiety and depression though. But know that you’re not alone x


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