Hi, I’m Leif E. Greenz. In today’s video, I’ll be talking about how borderline personality disorder (BPD) and complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) can lead to what I call “toxic empathy,” which is essentially empathy that doesn’t serve you — or worse, empathy that destroys you.
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I’ve notoriously made friends with lots of shady characters who use, abuse, and exploit me. Why? What is it about toxic people that PTSD and BPD sufferers are so drawn to? Today, we’ll set out to find the answers.
In the second half of the video, I’ll discuss how to make room for healthier relationships. I’ll also introduce the dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) concept of relationship circles and help you decide which relationships should go where.
Thanks for watching. Please feel free to ask any questions or submit video requests in the comments and I’ll be sure to reply.
Leif E. Greenz
Last night, I invited y’all to suggest topics or questions for blog posts via my contact page. The first question landed in my inbox this morning. It’s a complicated one.
Rebecca H. writes:
“My question to you and one I’ve struggled with in the past is the line between feeling gorgeous and sexually empowered and the feelings of being a vessel men use and abuse for their own gain . . . In the U.K., stripping is one of those ever growing things and more and more clubs and bars are opening. It’s one of those topics that most women cannot agree on. Is this degrading or are we showing how strong and beautiful we are by getting naked for paying men?”
This is a difficult question to answer because it’s one that must be addressed on a case-by-case basis. There’s no single opinion about sex work among sex workers. Our stories and experiences are too varied. Some people are forced into sex work. Many enter the industry by choice. Others do so out of desperation. And these factors are just the tip of the iceberg. Sex work comes in a multitude of forms — stripping, fetish work, camming, prostitution, the list goes on — which makes it impossible to pin down.
A few months ago, a friend suggested that I write something about shame. I’ve resisted doing so until now because a.) shame is an enormous topic b.) it sucks and c.) it permeates pretty much every facet of my life, so WHERE WOULD I EVEN BEGIN???!!!
(Caps aren’t appropriate for professional writing, Leif.)
(Fuck you, subconscious parenthetical voice.)
The following is the result of me trying to fit a bunch of thoughts about love, sex, and intimacy into a single piece. It came out as a poem… or a list… or something. It’s a quick and probably painless read that dips into things like saying “I love you” too quickly, unfortunate standards around intimacy, and ineffective healing strategies.
Can I plz sleep inside ur skin, bb?
Hi. This, on the surface, is a story about the uncomfortable process of falling in love. Dig a little deeper and it’s a story about how trauma complicates love. Be warned: this is a rough draft with minimal edits. Also, I glossed over certain traumatic details because I don’t feel like dealing with them right now.
Sex. It’s great, except when it’s not. I love it and hate it, crave and despise it, hide from and run towards it. It’s complicated. It sucks. I’m working on it.