Push Me – Pull You : The Push-Pull Cycle form blogger Haven’s Beyond the Borderline Personality

http://www.downwardspiralintothevortex.com/2012/03/push-me-pull-you-push-pull-cycle.html

Brought to you by a fellow blogger who I highly regard and respect.

Push Me – Pull You : The Push-Pull Cycle

The Push-Pull cycle in Borderline Personality Disorder is complicated. There’s a million different variables that lead into and cause various episodes of this; love, fear, abandonment, dissociation, object constancy, splitting, etc. I’ve talked about the push-pull cycle, mentioned aspects of it in various places, but I don’t believe I’ve tried to pull it all together in one place. So let’s do that.

Push-Pull – is a chronic pattern of sabotaging and re-establishing closeness in a relationship without apparent cause or reason. It’s that back and forth feeling of wanting to be close to someone, letting them into a more intimate and vulnerable position in our life, being suffocated, or becoming afraid of that vulnerability, needing to escape [potentially] being hurt, fearing the loss, acting on that fear, and then desperately trying to get that person back from fear of that abandonment, often by apologizing profusely and doing everything we can to be perfect for them again. Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

Often for me this breaks down to two key factors; wanting to be intimately close to someone, and fear of being hurt/abandoned by them at the same time. The closer you allow someone to get to you, the more vulnerable you become to the reality that they are now in a position to hurt you more than other people. If you keep people at a distance you have a safety zone, an emotional buffer. But this doesn’t allow for true intimacy.

It’s that whole threat of intimacy. I want to be close, but I want to be safe too. The closer someone gets, the more able they are to hurt me. So someone gets too close, I push away. Half the time I think it’s for their own good! I know my issues. I’ve ruminated on the millions of possibilities that could happen if someone gets close enough to see the “real me”. The illusion of perfection will be shattered in the tarnished portrait of the bad person I really am. For as much as I want love, want to love, I don’t always believe I deserve it because I know how much has happened to me, everything I’ve done, all my baggage is too much to place on another person. What right do I have to unload all of this onto someone? So pushing away really is for their own good after all. Of course I’m rationalizing, but it’s true to me regardless. But then I’m left alone, I get lonely, and I miss the closeness that was there, and I want to pull back.

For the most part I think it’s a fear response. Fear that we will be left, that we aren’t worthy of being loved, that people are lying and trying to use us… an endless list of other things. We need reassurance and it takes a lot of energy to show us that. Unfortunately it’s a part of our nature to need this. It’s also a part of our nature to feel smothered by it, push it away, fear the loss of it, frantically try to retrieve it, and repeat the cycle endlessly, for as long as someone will let us.

From my article on Baiting and Picking Fights:
There’s something else though. An element of, if the other person will allow me to push, stay with me through the hurtful things I do, it ‘proves’ that they won’t abandon me. The more we can push away, the more baits and barbs we can throw, the more fights we can pick, the longer they show that they’ll tolerate it or try to work it out with us, the more we can believe that they mean what they say and aren’t trying to deceive us … If we can make someone we care for SO ANGRY, they’ll either prove us right, or prove us wrong. Either way we’ll know something for sure, and it stops (momentarily) the constant second guessing going on in our heads. Believing someone, trusting someone… I know I’ve been hurt so badly that I can never fully do this. That doesn’t mean I don’t want it. I just have to test the fences to be sure.

I think what triggers unstable behavior in relationships is the magnitude of intimacy. The closer the relationship, the more invested we are, the more frightening the possibility of it ending becomes. Funny, that this is almost always a self-fulfilling prophecy. We become frightened something will happen, we act in ways to push people away, to distance ourselves from them, before they can hurt us, and this very act is what starts the downward spiral into the destruction of the relationship. It sounds clean cut when you look at it like that, but it never is.

The pushing away is gradual. Often we don’t even recognize the things we do that manifest as pushing people away. Our thoughts and actions seem quite rational to our traumatized mind. No one sees it coming, not even us most of the time.

Hypersensitive to feeling trapped! This is one of the biggest triggers that makes me push away in relationships. It’s coupled by the sensation of being smothered. Boring-Ex smothered me. He’d coddle me. I would see him and I would have no room to express myself, be myself, I would lose myself because he would criticize when I did express myself. His personality was so overbearing that I could feel the air being slowly sucked out of my lungs whenever I was near him. I didn’t feel like I could be me, and the only way I knew to reestablish that was to eliminate the problem that created this deficit; the relationship. I did try talking to him about these things, but he wasn’t the kind to compromise.

That’s not to say that everything that goes on is purely in our own minds and created by our fears. Things are often brought about by how the other person treats us. I’ll do so much for people, pull people close, meet their needs and demands, and then eventually I’ll flip. I’ll be completely overwhelmed by what someone else wants when it’s not what I want. This often happens because I’ll take on so much responsibility for “our happiness” that I don’t express what I need in a constructive way. Instead, I’ll feel like I’m losing my sense of Self to their needs, not my own, that what I’ve just been doing is now too much, being taken advantage of, a demand instead of a desire, expected not appreciated and I’ll have to Push away to regain control of my own situation. It’s not quite the same as the traditional Push-Pull explanation, but the sentiments match up. It inspires feelings of resentment and resistance coupled with the borderline flipside desire to not be abandoned and needing approval. Can’t be too aggressive otherwise we’ll push people away irrevocably, can’t be too passive and just let things slide because then we’re just being taken advantage of and the resentment builds to explosion.

A Non may have done nothing wrong, they may have unintentionally triggered us, or they may be someone that we’re afraid to get too close to because we can see the potential for an intimate relationship. Seeing the potential doesn’t mean we’re prepared to deal with it though. For me, and for many with BPD, there is a lot of abuse, a lot of hurt, a lot of pain in our past, and each new relationship is an opportunity to repeat that process. We have to move slow, emotionally. I often move fast physically to stave off the emotional intimacy that I really need. When I sense things getting too close, closer than I prepared to handle, I need to reestablish a safe zone, I push back. Sometimes this just means taking some space, sometimes it manifests as baiting and picking fights, sometimes it means dropping off the radar completely until I’m ready to rejoin humanity. What I want is to be close, but not too close. I can’t figure out how to do this without pushing away and pulling closer. Allowing someone in, and then forcing them back out.

How do you cultivate trust when you’ve been so wounded? How do you cultivate trust when you don’t actually know how to trust?
Finally, this also happens when we plain just don’t want to be with someone anymore. I’m not going to lie. This is exactly what happened with Boring-Ex. I wasn’t attracted to him when we were together. The only time I was attracted to him was when we were breaking up. I absolutely believe this was because I was more afraid of The Loss and not necessarily the loss of him. So I would pull him back to me, despite the fact that I knew deep down that I didn’t really want to be with him. It still FELT like I did. In the moment I absolutely believed I needed to be with him. It was the fear of that loss that triggered my need to pull him back to me though.
The Push-Pull cycle is insidious. It sneaks up on you. Neither person may notice it at first because it begins so small. Only once it escalates do you really realize what is happening.

Virginia Emergency Custody Order Law, How I feel I was falsely detained and held under false pretenses last week.

Last week after injuring myself self inflicted on wednesday evening I fell asleep due to this type of coping mechanisms natural release of opiate like endorphins in the brain it calms and relaxes me. Though when severe enough i do not just relax i fall asleep. I woke up 6 hours later in the middle of the night and bandaged myself knowing that most of the time the emergency room will not stitch anything after 6 hours. It had been just over that when I awoke. So I saw no sense in wasting the time to walk there or the resources of emergency medical services to get there when in fact it was not an emergency since past experiences have been that they could not stitch the wound. I called my mental health support service worker in the morning and they urged me to seek treatment at the emergency room anyways and I told them I would. I changed my clothes to ready myself to leave and made another phone call to speak with the director of the mental health services agency where my services were just to reassure them I was okay and I was heading there. While on the phone with her there was a knock at the door and I answered while still on the phone. It was the police here to do a well check. I explained to them I was getting ready to head to the emergency room and I was going to be walking there. I was okay and yes I was going. The officers had with them a medic team and offered me the ride there. I asked if I was under an emergency custody order or a temporary detention order and they said no. I rode to the emergency room with the understanding I was going there for medical treatment and that I was clearly at that point over my crisis and no longer at risk but that I just was going to be sure all was okay with the wound and they could not do anything for it.

Once there after already being searched by the police at my home before entering the ambulance I was then harrassed by a male nurse who said I needed to be searched by security and change into a hospital gown. I said they were not searching me I had already been searched. Now there is 2 bigger security guard men and a male nurse demanding I be searched as I say I refuse and they harrass me claiming policy and all this. I state I am there for medical treatment not mental health. Then then say I will be seeing mental health and must be searched I asked them to back up because they were right up in my space and I felt they were intruding into my personal bounderies. they continued to violate myspace and insist I would have to see mental health. I finally stated I would see mental health and then would leave and not get medical treatment since I was being treated this way. Which a security man then said I was on an eco. I had not been on one nor was I told before this point. at this point i said I was not on an eco and I was leaving. He grabbed my arm and said I was not going anywhere that i am on a verbal emergency custody order (eco). I said there was no such thing. and they refused to let me leave. two security guards stayed there for quite awhile as a intimidating tactic before one finally left and the other sat in a chair. Meanwhile the eco was never obtained until 11:20am. I got to the hospital between 9:30-9:50am some time. I feel I was violated and this law was wrongly used to intimidate and falsely gain an order against me much later under the pretense of my symptoms of my ptsd having to deal with controlling intimidating men with the abuse of their power. The used my reaction to their intimadation to obtain the real order and held me until they could get enough of it to get an order against me. They repeatedly caused me to experience the fear and put up my natural defense to protect myself by refusing to be searched by more men after already being searched by 2 men. This was undue search and caused my ptsd symptoms to manifest and defend myself by creating the fear we all naturally are given for a reason but mine and many others with a background of abuse have a more easily brought out fear that makes me automatically defend myself.

The following is the law in Virginia:

§ 37.2-808. Emergency custody; issuance and execution of order.

A. Any magistrate shall issue, upon the sworn petition of any responsible person, treating physician, or upon his own motion, an emergency custody order when he has probable cause to believe that any person (i) has a mental illness and that there exists a substantial likelihood that, as a result of mental illness, the person will, in the near future, (a) cause serious physical harm to himself or others as evidenced by recent behavior causing, attempting, or threatening harm and other relevant information, if any, or (b) suffer serious harm due to his lack of capacity to protect himself from harm or to provide for his basic human needs, (ii) is in need of hospitalization or treatment, and (iii) is unwilling to volunteer or incapable of volunteering for hospitalization or treatment. Any emergency custody order entered pursuant to this section shall provide for the disclosure of medical records pursuant to § 37.2-804.2. This subsection shall not preclude any other disclosures as required or permitted by law.

When considering whether there is probable cause to issue an emergency custody order, the magistrate may, in addition to the petition, consider (1) the recommendations of any treating or examining physician or psychologist licensed in Virginia, if available, (2) any past actions of the person, (3) any past mental health treatment of the person, (4) any relevant hearsay evidence, (5) any medical records available, (6) any affidavits submitted, if the witness is unavailable and it so states in the affidavit, and (7) any other information available that the magistrate considers relevant to the determination of whether probable cause exists to issue an emergency custody order.

B. Any person for whom an emergency custody order is issued shall be taken into custody and transported to a convenient location to be evaluated to determine whether the person meets the criteria for temporary detention pursuant to § 37.2-809 and to assess the need for hospitalization or treatment. The evaluation shall be made by a person designated by the community services board who is skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness and who has completed a certification program approved by the Department.

C. The magistrate issuing an emergency custody order shall specify the primary law-enforcement agency and jurisdiction to execute the emergency custody order and provide transportation. However, in cases in which the emergency custody order is based upon a finding that the person who is the subject of the order has a mental illness and that there exists a substantial likelihood that, as a result of mental illness, the person will, in the near future, suffer serious harm due to his lack of capacity to protect himself from harm or to provide for his basic human needs, the magistrate may authorize transportation by an alternative transportation provider, including a family member or friend of the person who is the subject of the order, a representative of the community services board, or other transportation provider with personnel trained to provide transportation in a safe manner, upon determining, following consideration of information provided by the petitioner; the community services board or its designee; the local law-enforcement agency, if any; the person’s treating physician, if any; or other persons who are available and have knowledge of the person, and, when the magistrate deems appropriate, the proposed alternative transportation provider, either in person or via two-way electronic video and audio or telephone communication system, that the proposed alternative transportation provider is available to provide transportation, willing to provide transportation, and able to provide transportation in a safe manner. When transportation is ordered to be provided by an alternative transportation provider, the magistrate shall order the specified primary law-enforcement agency to execute the order, to take the person into custody, and to transfer custody of the person to the alternative transportation provider identified in the order. In such cases, a copy of the emergency custody order shall accompany the person being transported pursuant to this section at all times and shall be delivered by the alternative transportation provider to the community services board or its designee responsible for conducting the evaluation. The community services board or its designee conducting the evaluation shall return a copy of the emergency custody order to the court designated by the magistrate as soon as is practicable. Delivery of an order to a law-enforcement officer or alternative transportation provider and return of an order to the court may be accomplished electronically or by facsimile.

Transportation under this section shall include transportation to a medical facility as may be necessary to obtain emergency medical evaluation or treatment that shall be conducted immediately in accordance with state and federal law. Transportation under this section shall include transportation to a medical facility for a medical evaluation if a physician at the hospital in which the person subject to the emergency custody order may be detained requires a medical evaluation prior to admission.

D. In specifying the primary law-enforcement agency and jurisdiction for purposes of this section, the magistrate shall order the primary law-enforcement agency from the jurisdiction served by the community services board that designated the person to perform the evaluation required in subsection B to execute the order and, in cases in which transportation is ordered to be provided by the primary law-enforcement agency, provide transportation. If the community services board serves more than one jurisdiction, the magistrate shall designate the primary law-enforcement agency from the particular jurisdiction within the community services board’s service area where the person who is the subject of the emergency custody order was taken into custody or, if the person has not yet been taken into custody, the primary law-enforcement agency from the jurisdiction where the person is presently located to execute the order and provide transportation.

E. The law-enforcement agency or alternative transportation provider providing transportation pursuant to this section may transfer custody of the person to the facility or location to which the person is transported for the evaluation required in subsection B, G, or H if the facility or location (i) is licensed to provide the level of security necessary to protect both the person and others from harm, (ii) is actually capable of providing the level of security necessary to protect the person and others from harm, and (iii) in cases in which transportation is provided by a law-enforcement agency, has entered into an agreement or memorandum of understanding with the law-enforcement agency setting forth the terms and conditions under which it will accept a transfer of custody, provided, however, that the facility or location may not require the law-enforcement agency to pay any fees or costs for the transfer of custody.

F. A law-enforcement officer may lawfully go or be sent beyond the territorial limits of the county, city, or town in which he serves to any point in the Commonwealth for the purpose of executing an emergency custody order pursuant to this section.

G. A law-enforcement officer who, based upon his observation or the reliable reports of others, has probable cause to believe that a person meets the criteria for emergency custody as stated in this section may take that person into custody and transport that person to an appropriate location to assess the need for hospitalization or treatment without prior authorization. A law-enforcement officer who takes a person into custody pursuant to this subsection or subsection H may lawfully go or be sent beyond the territorial limits of the county, city, or town in which he serves to any point in the Commonwealth for the purpose of obtaining the assessment. Such evaluation shall be conducted immediately. The period of custody shall not exceed four hours from the time the law-enforcement officer takes the person into custody. However, upon a finding by a magistrate that good cause exists to grant an extension, the magistrate shall issue an order extending the period of emergency custody one time for an additional period not to exceed two hours. Good cause for an extension includes the need for additional time to allow (i) the community services board to identify a suitable facility in which the person can be temporarily detained pursuant to § 37.2-809 or (ii) a medical evaluation of the person to be completed if necessary.

H. A law-enforcement officer who is transporting a person who has voluntarily consented to be transported to a facility for the purpose of assessment or evaluation and who is beyond the territorial limits of the county, city, or town in which he serves may take such person into custody and transport him to an appropriate location to assess the need for hospitalization or treatment without prior authorization when the law-enforcement officer determines (i) that the person has revoked consent to be transported to a facility for the purpose of assessment or evaluation, and (ii) based upon his observations, that probable cause exists to believe that the person meets the criteria for emergency custody as stated in this section. The period of custody shall not exceed four hours from the time the law-enforcement officer takes the person into custody. However, upon a finding by a magistrate that good cause exists to grant an extension, the magistrate shall issue an order extending the period of emergency custody one time for an additional period not to exceed two hours. Good cause for an extension includes the need for additional time to allow (a) the community services board to identify a suitable facility in which the person can be temporarily detained pursuant to § 37.2-809, or (b) a medical evaluation of the person to be completed if necessary.

I. Nothing herein shall preclude a law-enforcement officer or alternative transportation provider from obtaining emergency medical treatment or further medical evaluation at any time for a person in his custody as provided in this section.

J. The person shall remain in custody until a temporary detention order is issued, until the person is released, or until the emergency custody order expires. An emergency custody order shall be valid for a period not to exceed four hours from the time of execution. However, upon a finding by a magistrate that good cause exists to grant an extension, the magistrate shall extend the emergency custody order one time for a second period not to exceed two hours. Good cause for an extension includes the need for additional time to allow (i) the community services board to identify a suitable facility in which the person can be temporarily detained pursuant to § 37.2-809 or (ii) a medical evaluation of the person to be completed if necessary. Any family member, as defined in § 37.2-100, employee or designee of the local community services board as defined in § 37.2-809, treating physician, or law-enforcement officer may request the two-hour extension.

K. If an emergency custody order is not executed within six hours of its issuance, the order shall be void and shall be returned unexecuted to the office of the clerk of the issuing court or, if such office is not open, to any magistrate serving the jurisdiction of the issuing court.

L. Payments shall be made pursuant to § 37.2-804 to licensed health care providers for medical screening and assessment services provided to persons with mental illnesses while in emergency custody.

(1995, c. 844, § 37.1-67.01; 1996, c. 893; 1998, c. 611; 2004, c. 737; 2005, c. 716; 2007, c. 7; 2008, cc. 202, 551, 691, 775, 779, 782, 784, 793, 850, 870; 2009, cc. 21, 112, 383, 455, 555, 607, 697, 838; 2010, cc. 778, 825; 2011, c. 249.)