On Anxiety, non-monogamy, radical self-reliance and gaslighting:
Eliza Grace

YAAAAS! One of the reasons I am here reading this was out of a response to something an NVC facilitator said about my requests as someone with Borderline Personality Disorder. They flat out said my requests are “shitty requests”. I see that NVC has a lot of black and white terminology: requests vs. demands, jackal vs. giraffe, head vs. heart. Black and white thinking is a trait most people with BPD share. I cannot effectively communicate with someone who practices NVC because it marginalizes my needs, because they program themselves to communicate in a way that is based in what is considered disordered in me, black and white. Therefore, NVC effectively reinforces that my needs don’t matter by implying I am inherently flawed due to my wiring. When that happens, my requests are going to be interpreted as demands, I will come off as a “jackal,” and I am speaking from my head. This interpretation is partially due to the fact that, like you said, not everyone experiences the full range of emotional intensity. Because of this, when other’s confront that level of emotional intensity via empathy during interactions with me, they often place all the responsibility on me to get my needs met. My needs require other humans to be present. Often times, I’m met with an unwillingness from others to confront those levels of intensity within themselves when faced with mine. That level of unwillingness further enforces it’s not okay for me to feel my feels, to have my experience, AND have my needs met. My needs aren’t considered important because I need others in ways they are unwilling or incapable of being present. And how that translates inside my head is: “I need to have fun and be happy, but in no way will that ever involve you. Because I can’t get my needs met by meeting your needs. You need too much. Besides that, I am more deserving of fun and happiness than you because I have more agency to control my emotions than you have.” Often times this mentality leads me to meet the needs of others at the expense of my own, being unnecessarily left behind with feelings of abandonment, confusion, disappoint, and betrayal.

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