So you have BPD, and your ex calls. Your ex that you’ve been with, on and off, in hell, for two years. If you answer, you’ll say yes. Whatever it is – come on over, I miss you, I hate you, I’ve been fucking your college roommate…you’ll say something but ultimately what you’ve said is ‘yes’. Yes I will listen to you and let you influence my day. My life. My emotions – my turbulent unhelpful little gremlins.
But you see that name. It’s filled with everything – the wonderful times, the alluring look of their face, the heartache, the familiarity, and the safety of the known. All the horrible things are yet to come, and it’s hard to remember them in that 3-second window in which you have to make the decision whether or not to answer the phone.
Solution: change their name in your phone.
Instead of First Name Last Name is calling, change it. Change it to “don’t answer me”. To “are you sure you want to talk to me?” To “answering will cause you a lot of hell”. Change it to something – anything – that will remind you that you might want to second guess answering.
You can always call back later. This will help with that first, ineffable step that is so hard with BPD. Our emotions jump all over us in every possible way, and it is so hard to be mindful enough to remember to fight back. Changing their name (it’s just a computer database – you have the power, in this amazing, digital world) will give you back a little bit of that presence of mind.
P.S. If you’ve associated the name with a picture, delete the picture. If it’s because you have their email stored with their name, separate the email from the phone number, and have an email-less entry in which you store their phone number, and another entry with their real name associated with their email.