"The Self- Oiling Machine"
by Edie, 47 year old DBT Participant
The dilemma I am trying to understand is why we borderliner’s feel hurt and wounded all the time and always need "attending to." By this I mean we always need other people to be aware of us, to reinforce us, to pay attention to us, to understand us, all the time! Or is it that the normal person has the same need to be "attended to" but they seem to have a built in mechanism whereby they can attend to themselves, like a self-oiling machine that self-oils itself every ½ hour so that the machine will not overheat.
I think we can only do this by using the strong power of mindfulness.
To prove to myself that this can be done, I am putting a beep into my palm pilot that will go off every ½ hour to remind me to validate myself. In other words, since our self-oiling machines are not working properly, we must learn to self-oil manually. It is important for us to remember that any work that is done by hand is always more valuable than work done by a machine.
Normal people seem to have a built in "self-attender" while we borderliners somehow do not and therefore continuously need "oiling" from others. When they don’t give it to us, we are really hurt. The oil we borderliners need is to be able think about ourselves and all the good things we really do embody without caring about what other people are thinking of us. Why do we constantly need to get this oil from elsewhere where it may or may not be given to us? Why can’t we just oil ourselves?
We borderliner’s may just be able to get to a higher plateau than other people if we can just learn to overcome this deficiency. At least we can start to slowly recognize and penetrate the deficiency and start the healing process. This will allow us to be able to manifest the benefits normal people get from their self-oiling machine. After a while, I will move up the self-oiling beep reminder to one-hour intervals.
It may be that since we have messed up for a while, that we have eroded the normal sense of "I". I feel sure that, by practicing this, it will surely repair.
I am happy to tell you that I tried this today and it felt great. I realized that I wasn’t looking around so much when I was in a public place with lots of people because I wasn’t looking for them to validate me. I was doing it myself!