Latching onto Identities

I’m really not too sure if anyone can relate to this, as it’s an unusual thing I’ve not seen anyone discuss before, and I’m not entirely sure how to explain it.

So picture this; you’re in the midst of writing a blog post, scrolling through reference articles or browsing twitter. You catch the glimpse of an image someone has posted alongside their article link, it’s a photograph of a guy sitting with his therapist, just a simple stock image really, nothing special.

But the guy’s hair is the most perfect shade of chestnut. His jumper is a beautiful gravelly grey, the folds and creases in it are deep and hollow and they just look so aesthetically pleasing.

The shot is well-framed, the colour balance and focus is good, but all in all it’s still just a standard stock image.

But now I want to be that guy. I want to have his jumper, I want to have the same haircut, I want the hair colour, I want the way his fringe falls in front of his eyes.

I want to be sitting in that little beige office with my head in my hand; I want to become him, as he is in that image.

Okay now picture this; you’re lying in bed and you haven’t moved for hours, you’re in the midst of a dark, depressive episode. You haven’t eaten, you got up once to smoke but even that was an empty, mechanical behaviour.

You’ve just exhausted all of the options you thought would fix this, having a coffee, browsing a humour site, searching for support in online forums, but nothing stuck.

You lie in the darkness ruminating on the past and your thoughts turn to one of your darkest moments, an overdose incident. For some reason your mind wanders to what you were wearing, you remember the shoes you boxed up months ago in a bid to declutter your life.

Those shoes. They looked good. You haven’t worn them in so long because they’re stuffed in the bottom of a bag that you never quite managed to take to the charity shop.

But damn those shoes looked so good on you. You start pulling together outfits in your mind, peering through the darkness at the piles of clothes on your floor, trying to discern which dark shape is the t-shirt that would go perfectly with them.

You want to rebuild yourself around these shoes. Your mind is racing with all the places you could go in them RIGHT NOW. All of the people you could become while you wear them. The different outfits that could change your whole identity.

You become consumed by the possibilities that something so small as putting on a pair of old shoes can have.

It’s almost obsessive in a way, researching into chestnut hair dye, ebaying grey jumpers, digging out the shoes to put them on (only to just get back into bed plus shoes), there is something in this primal desire that causes me to believe that once I get that, whatever that is, everything will be okay.

I become fixated on mundane or unachievable things (like somehow assuming the identity of a guy in a photo).

I think that because I struggle to see a concrete identity in myself, I have developed this ability (?) to latch onto imagined identities.

I guess kind of like Lenny in Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’, latching onto tactile things because he just wants to feel something nice in his hands – I latch onto the identity I think will save me from the pit of non-being because I just want to feel something nice in myself.

Anyway, that was a weird analogy coupled with a few weird metaphors and some dodgy explaining, so props to you if you made it through all that.

If anyone reads this and can relate then I’d love to hear from you as I’m very confused about this whole thing.

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5 responses to “Latching onto Identities

  1. Pingback: The Fragmented Artist (BPD’s Impact on Creativity) | THE BPD INFORMER·

  2. I have a similar identity situation. I can get fixated on someone or something, like your guy in the photo but I instantly become attached to it/them. If it’s a person they become a drug to me, I need to be with them all the time, if I can’t be with them in person then I have to stay in touch by calls or messages. It’s constant and if they don’t reply immediately in my head the world has come to an end. I take on the persona of that person, I like what they like, do what they do in every aspect and suddenly I instantly have all the same hobbies and interests. We are fashion twin’s. ( right after I’ve spent money I don’t have on a new wardrobe) I start drinking coffee even though I hate it but it’s their guilty pleasure. I have no bad intentions, only good, wanting to fit in and become best friends and quite quickly the intensity grows, my new friend feeds off me just as I do off of them but I always manage to take it that one step too far. I push the boundaries without thinking, in my mind I’m doing nothing wrong, there are no limits but in reality after a while my new best friend is starting to question herself about me. Her boyfriend starts making jokes and comments, to her about me which causes her to stop and take stock of the situation. I’m none the wiser until afterwards while she makes excuses not to spend as much time together, the calls and messages dwindle down. Of course I’m going out of my mind because I’ve finally found someone who gets me, (really they don’t, they just believe in the person I transformed into which was a clone of themselves) but I don’t see it that way. I wanted to be them, who they were, how they acted, I wanted to be in her shoes in her little family I wanted to be her through and through. But she cottoned on to me. She started to notice I didn’t like anything she didn’t, she got frustrated with my neediness and my depressive episodes, especially when she started pulling away from me. On the surface, I’m all nonchalant and as calm as I am able to be to start with, even though I’m suicidal on the inside, but I can’t contain it for long then my new best friend becomes somebody I used to know. Then the cycle continues. I have just a few friends and I’ve been single for 8 years now as no one can handle my intensity. I can’t even decide if I want to be with a man or a woman.

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  3. Oh, I hear you. I’m the same way. It’s exhausting actually. Not having a solid sense of self, and thinking that if I only looked like that person, I’d somehow magically be transformed and suddenly be happy.

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