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Discussion in 'C2C FINS' started by Big E, Feb 16, 2009.
I just realized that you, Eric asnd I are gonna be the "old farts" on this trip...
I can't remember if I'm older than E or not, but yeah...thanks for reminding me...
E is older...but not by much... We may have to have you 30 somethings sit away from us cool 20 somethings so that you don't make us look uncool...
I'm still 29 damnit!!!!!!!!!!!
The poor lad has gone senile...
It's cool, we can talk about how the world is going to hell an a hand basket and how the young generation doesn't mind their p's and q's.
Oh - and by the way - my birthday is April 29th, so I expect LOTS of presents from everyone coming.
me too mines may 8th! lol
A teeny bit OT: Has anyone been in touch with Ken to see if he feels up to driving to the party?
Nope - I'm older than all y'all - I'm turning 36.
Skeet talked to him awhile back, he didnt know if he could or not.
Everyone ready to watch Sick
im 22 too mary.....LOL
Thanks E. I'll shoot him a PM. Is Sean coming?
i see that pic mary and iam happy i dont have red hair hahaha that goatee looks terrible
No he has to be a best man in his buddies wedding.....sigh...priorities...
And Manda too? Seriously, I don't mind revealing my age. Once you get this old, you don't care anymore.
You don't have the goatee anymore Chris? Wasn't that timewarp who was running around spraying everyones hair red? And how did he get you? Most of the time you were sitting with your foot in the cooler at the Meadowlands.
36? Look out, Grandma is coming through with her walker!
And its almost my birthday too! October 13th! Gimme presents!
Boy - you guys are dropping like flies. Borderland Wolf's bout to be banned too.
Borderland Wolf with my best friend Phil.
Wow. Look at my hair in the picture. HAHAHAHA
ABSTRACT: This paper is a narrative, exploratory, descriptive, and investigative profile of Borderline Personality Disorder (BP). Its purpose is to expand the existing description of behavioral characteristics of this disorder and to include a deeper emotional and interpersonal understanding of borderline symptomatology. The self and object-relations schools are recognized but treated as being limited to the post-birth biographical experiences. This study includes the expanded perinatal, preconception, transpersonal elements and interpersonal aspects of Borderline Personality etiology.
BPs are characterized by lack of emotional commitment, hypersensitivity, feelings of emptiness and worthlessness, submissiveness, defense mechanisms of splitting and projection, and a strong need to control. Relationships have an "on the brink" and destructive quality. Repetitive cycles of regressive behavioral patterns are present. Excessive superego demands are combined with a deflated false self. Feelings are not discharged easily.
The borderline has a deep, underlying terror of catastrophic annihilation, which may have its earliest roots in trauma surrounding the blastocyst's need to connect to the uterine wall and even to trauma surrounding conception, involving the egg's rejection of the sperm. Consequently borderlines may be hypersensitive to withdrawal and yet insensitive as to how their behavior affects others. Besides prenatal rejection, childhood abuse and generational factors play a part in forming the BP.
The process of therapy is long term because of the chronic nature of the disorder, and the therapist must take into account the BP's terror and fragility during the release of Pain. However, treatment can be very successful and motivational and can lead to achieving workable and happy lives. This happens by releasing the Pain, regaining identity in the real self, and, through the therapist's acceptance, eventually gaining the self-acceptance which alone is capable of overcoming the inordinate en utero survival demands and abandonment that they experienced. This article presents a profile of the Borderline Personality Disorder (BP). However, it is not the only one possible. I have chosen to include only the pathological aspects of the disorder because I wish to discuss the therapeutic process as regards those pathological aspects. I do this with full recognition that healthy behavioral aspects of the disorder exist.
Some Characteristics of Borderline Personalities
Borderline Personality Disorder clients cannot sustain emotional commitment. They change emotions in midstream and have difficulty holding on to feelings of love. Love turns to indifference, estrangement, and perhaps back again to love.
This dysfunctional cycle has its roots in early childhood. Borderlines lose their love for the parent of the opposite sex when the idealization of that parent breaks down. As a child, the BP experiences the opposite-sex parent as being narcissistic, cruel, and abusive. The child's love turns to hate and distrust. The opposite-sex parent falls from the idealized pedestal and crumbles in the BP's eyes and heart. In parental relationships the BP feels as though he or she has never really possessed mother. Mother is experienced as the one who abandons and is inaccessible as a real person. For the BP this is experienced as a catastrophic loss and, as a consequence, may ultimately result in a serious depression.
The BP feels eternally alone and abandoned. There is an endless search for the love that never was or has died. The BP begins to lose or withdraw feelings of love from current relationships when the impaired self is activated by family frustrations, stress, and so on. The BP is driven to replace lost nurturance and sustenance, whether or not the experience of loss is misperceived or real. Temporary commitment, emotional withdrawal, and the search for a perfect, all-loving, non-exploitive love object is the continuous and dysfunctional emotional cycle of the borderline.
Many borderlines have a perfectly working, pleasant, alluring, seductive, competent, superman/woman facade. It is sometimes difficult to differentiate which self is being presented by the borderline - the false front, the authentic self, or the impaired inner child. In many interactions the BP is not emotionally present. Relating is from only pieces or parts of the self. To the trained observer it is obvious that the missing aspects of the personality have not been felt, recovered, and integrated into a solid whole.
It is not uncommon for borderlines and narcissists to turn to drugs, alcohol, and sex in order to deny and repress emotional pain. These activities loosen the ego's control on impulses and feelings that otherwise would be too painful to assert. As such, the pleasure principle overrides the reality function of the ego.
Borderlines have a strong need to control. For them the loss of control signals the onset of some type of emotional or interpersonal breakdown. When borderlines feel the world threatening to cave in, they become involved in external distractions that symbolically provide support, affiliation, and the promise of salvation. The fear of being controlled by others will make the borderline hypersensitive to a therapist's style and interventions. It is easy to make inadvertent mistakes when relating to borderlines because of their hypersensitivity to parental control.
Due to the borderline's hypersensitivity, a therapist's spontaneity may be inhibited for fear of crossing the borderline's diffuse, undifferentiated boundaries. When boundaries are unconscious, sometimes the only way a therapist can discover them is by an inadvertent violation. If this occurs, it can trigger paranoia and a negative transference towards the therapist. Unfortunately, for both client and therapist, the end result can be a "no win" situation with the client generally terminating the therapy prematurely. When such a hypersensitive situation does occur, it is in the best interest of both parties to process their interaction and discover the etiology of the hypersensitivity to control.
Other characteristics of BPs include the following:
• There may be a pervasive feeling of worthlessness, emptiness, and unfulfillment.
• Relationships have an on again/off again, destructive, and "on the brink", quality.
• There may be a fear of ruining primary relationships. The partner of a borderline may react to the BP's emotional chaos with anger and rejection.
• Borderlines test their partner's level of frustration-tolerance and anger. Borderlines can push partners to the limits of their rage and reactivity.
• There may be a need for an inordinate amount of assurance and affection to compensate for the heavy rejection experienced internally.
The BP has an empty core at the center of identity. The feeling of emptiness (American Psychiatric Association, 1987) may have its roots in a very early gestational trauma (Hannig, 1981). In this stage the blastocyst-not yet even a embryo-is not attached to the uterine wall. It has no external source of emotional and physical nourishment and may, in fact, exist in an empty world (void) disconnected from its maternal source. The blastocyst's drive to survive depends on the ability to attach itself to mother's body (uterine wall). The need to connect is very strong while the failure to connect en utero may lead to emotional and physical disintegration and death (spontaneous abortion). Trauma during gestational attachment creates disordered adults who have difficulty connecting emotionally with other people. The bad, rejecting, destroying uterus is a real threat. The BP is constantly seeking a connection with the good womb in order to escape or avoid the death womb.
As a result, with this type of early trauma, we see the development of the splitting and projecting mechanisms of many borderline-narcissistic characters. These good-womb/bad-womb aspects are projected onto a therapist or a therapy group and thus may create difficulties in the formation of a therapeutic alliance. As a therapist, I have been the object of good-uterus/bad-uterus split projections of clients. In one particular therapy group a borderline female projected the good womb onto me and the group while projecting the bad uterus and bad parent onto her partner. In contrast, her narcissistic partner projected the bad womb onto the group and his wife while the good womb and good parent became his profession.
Other Aspects of Borderline Personalities
Some of the other aspects of BP Disorder include the following:
• Repetitive cycles of regressive behavioral patterns are present The BP may make demands for intimate partners to satisfy a deep need and to alleviate the suffering for a lost, once-loved parent. If these demands are excessive, it may cause distance and eventual rejection.
• To varying degrees, borderlines are able to be in a relationship while being partially or fully detached emotionally from the partner.
• There is an inability to be assertive in a healthy way. When feeling threatened or anxious, the borderline can become hostile, defensive, accusatory, and provocative.
• Borderlines eventually transfer negativity onto their mates; that is, they lose love, withdraw, and become aversive to touch and sex. Borderlines may transfer positively to extramarital symbols that are unavailable, with the hope for fulfillment.
• Pathological fantasizing or obsessing may become an escape from depression, accompanied by paranoia about being helpless, immobile, and unlovable.
• There is a love/hate ambivalence toward the opposite-sex parent and a feeling of abandonment by the same-sex parent This leads to the deflated quality associated with depression.
Borderlines can sabotage relationships by clinging, withdrawing, provoking, and acting inappropriately. At times they not only appear to be out of touch with reality but are also competitive, resistant, and perhaps passive-aggressive as well. BPs may be only vaguely aware of their self destructive behavior through the diminishment of their caring, empathy, and sensitivity.
Lower-level borderlines have difficulty fully and permanently committing to something or someone. Socially and occupationally, nothing is appealing and a lack of enjoyment/satisfaction may be present in his life. A BP may know what he wants to do but cannot find the motivation to make the move. Satisfaction seems "out there" somewhere.
In a regressive phase an aversion to touch, kissing, and sex can occur. A female BP may dishonestly submit to her partner's needs or expectations and then withdraw into gratifying fantasies or obsessions. She may seek symbolic freedom by escaping through an extra-relationship sex or emotional triangulation. Destructive behavior protects the BP from her primal pain and prevents her from fully living her life.
The female borderline feels undeserving of love even though she is able to elicit love feelings from others. She blames herself for not getting love from her parents, as if it were her fault, rather than realizing that her parents were incapable of giving love.
Any feeling that a client has difficulty expressing can be expressed by the therapist as a means of making the client more aware of what he or she is having difficulty in expressing. Thus, the therapist can role-play the unexpressed feelings of the borderline and have the client express them as affirmations. As real feelings emerge, the borderline becomes terrified of "going crazy' and never being able to come out of it.
Many borderlines are angry because they feel their lives have been wasted. Support and empathy from the therapist are necessary to help them come to terms with such issues.
Some borderlines express themselves through symbolic images as part of their detachment from real feelings. They may waste valuable therapy-session time by symbolically talking about or explaining their feelings through images while leaving little time for actual feeling. This is part of their self-destructive tendencies.
The borderline can place excessive superego demands on himself by not living up to internal ideals for performance. There may be complaints of falling short of social and occupational expectations. The BP's internal critic says, "You are just not good enough." To the borderline, life feels cruel and unfair and there may be an inclination to complain and protest.
The Deflated False Self
A child needs to feel and express love to the parent of the same sex. If the parent is not available to receive that love due to some distraction - such as death, family illness, work, addictions, care of another sibling, or the narcissistic demands of a mate or parent-then the child will never have the opportunity to fully express love to the same-sex parent. The child will begin to transfer all that need to love on the opposite-sex parent, who then becomes everything to her. If the opposite-sex parent fails to be perfect or is pathological, the child's love turns to hate and devaluation. Feelings of betrayal, abandonment, loss, and loneliness arise which can lead to depression and acting-out behavior to avoid Pain. A high-functioning borderline will choose defensiveness in the form of a false self/facade because of the dominance of buried trauma and childhood Pain.
Some borderlines portray a deflated false self by choosing a ragamuffin, orphan-like look in contrast to the ostentatiousness and overdressing of the narcissist. Borderline lifestyle is usually plain and utilitarian, with less importance placed on appearance. In contrast, some narcissists conform to the trendy, outlandish, and the ostentatious, thereby over-valuing their appearance. The narcissist overdoes it. The borderline underdoes it. Some borderlines have a narcissistic front superimposed onto the deflated self, thus revealing how certain aspects of these disorders can overlap and interrelate. However, generalizing should be avoided since there is a wide variety of appearances presented by borderline personalities.
The deflated false self of the borderline is unreal (Masterson, 1988). The client is deluded into believing that this horribly low self is the real self. The BP comes from a false-self-oriented family structure which reinforces the belief that the false self is one's true identity. It is as if the child's head is opened up and a depressed, unhappy, disconnected, alienated personality is implanted, completely destroying the real self. The borderline identifies with, and glues himself, to the false, denigrated, and self-loathing personality. This personality is an unreal mask that the BP wants the world and the therapist to accept as the real self. It represents self-deception and denial of the inner person, who therefore remains completely hidden from the self. A real self is a creature of hope, enthusiasm, joy, and love. But the borderline's belief is that the unhappy mask is actually the real person.
Because there is a deflated false self, feelings are not fully discharged easily. The natural, innate crying response is weak and whining. Consequently, depression may persist. Some borderlines can discharge rage fully, but when they are in the midst of a breakdown or regressive stage, primitive defenses will prevent the full emotional discharge of Pain or anger. Lower-level borderlines have difficulty discharging Pain and getting clear. Full discharge usually occurs only in the more advanced stages of therapy.
At the beginning stages of therapy the borderline has a minimal capacity for forming a therapeutic alliance. The ego is weak and immature, and there is a deficit in alliance-forming capacities. When a narcissistic overlay to the borderline's personality exists, therapeutic alliance becomes more difficult because of grandiose claims-i.e., "There is nothing wrong with me." Even though the borderline's deflated side of the self is aware that something is wrong, the dominating side of the inflated self wants to deny it.
The borderline has a deep, underlying terror of catastrophic annihilation and excruciating fears of rejection and loss of object love. Escape feelings are present and bonding may be difficult with the therapist. Many borderlines will go from one therapist or therapy to another, much to their own consternation and the frustration of the therapists. The borderline may possess these wanderlust behaviors and inclinations, thus being unable to root or emotionally bond to people and places. This may involve a narcissistic need for the perfect mate, the perfect place, and the perfect therapy. Many borderline-narcissistic types were raised by a parent or parents who sought to inflate their own egos by over-estimating the perfection of their children.
One borderline female relates how her mother reacted when the daughter accomplished something by saying, "Of course, what did you expect . . . she's a Smith!" It is as if perfection is the norm for such a special, gifted family member. Such egoism puts strain on the borderline who feels "not good enough" or feels like a waste in many areas of her life. It is one thing for a parent or grandparent to be impressed when a youngster is behaving cute and precocious. "Oh, he's a genius!" comes as a pleasant surprise rather than as an expectation of parental egoism. The borderline is expected to be special and successful, even though she is not given the emotional nourishment (love) needed to feel good about herself.
Some borderlines feel good in their false selves - their facades and defenses while others do not. Distorted views of reality make for unawareness of the damage being done through denial. Destructiveness, conflict, and chaos are the hallmarks of the narcissist/borderline nexus. When confronted on their choices, destructive behavior, and defensive thinking, the borderline perceives the therapist as a disapproving, withdrawing parent. When that happens, the BP goes through a cyclic round of acting out and provocation which may involve criticism, rejection, and devaluation of the therapist, as well as other love objects. Sometimes this cycle of resistance, therapeutic confrontation, and the working through of underlying Pain can continue for years.
Behavior of Borderline Personalities
Borderlines are super-sensitive and hyper-vigilant when they suspect a love object or partner of withdrawing sexual, libidinal love supplies (Lachkar, 1992). Even if the partner or love object is not withdrawing, the borderline may project displaced maternal withdrawal onto the partner. In some cases there could be an actual partner withdrawal, combined with the borderline's projected withdrawal, that operates to trigger a regressive withdrawal into a symbiotic world of erotic repression. The BP may cease object love and choose symbolic partners, excessive masturbation, pornography, drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, sexual blocking and/or occupational failure. Libido is drawn back into the self and acted out destructively. Withdrawal continues until physical symptoms become manifest.
The male BP will be inconsistent and unstable in his thinking and feeling toward the partner (love object). He may feel love, warmth, and satisfaction when the two of them are making good contact. But when he perceives this partner as being preoccupied, it activates primitive withdrawal defenses. He will go into emergency repression to suppress the upwelling of agonizing, brutal, annihilating desertion trauma. Near-psychotic episodes could be imminent if the borderline is not contained in the framework of a therapy that allows for the release and integration of catastrophic Pain. The regression must be handled carefully and expertly. The therapist needs to have a deep understanding of the borderline's Pain. Accurate interpretations and reflections will facilitate the necessary release of emotions while providing support and reassurance to the client.
Withdrawal of self, feeling, and libido are hallmarks of BPD. Conversely, assertion and self-retrieval allow the false self to give way to the recovery of the real self. The borderline may activate very painful obsessions towards the good womb, maternal love object. The BP will engage in accusations of rejection, neglect, and abandonment toward parental love objects, especially the therapist. When erroneously perceiving any inadvertent slights, the borderline will believe these so called infractions were intentional and may abruptly withdraw from the field of action by feeling hurt and perhaps angry.
Some borderlines form strong therapeutic alliances while others become quite ambivalent when sensing any kind of betrayal, rejection, or abandonment. The terror existing deep within the BP is easily masked by a pseudo-independent, emotionally detached facade. Some borderlines, though not sexually abused, may have formed emotionally incestuous love/hate relationships with the opposite-sex parent. Failure to bond satisfactorily with the same-sex parent (girls with mothers, boys with fathers) could lead to an over-involved, high libidinal investment with the other parent. Guilt and shame usually become strong components within the relationship as the child begins feeling responsible for the parent's well-being.
Outward Appearance and Behavior
Borderlines may exhibit speech behaviors that unconsciously hide shame-based feelings. Mumbling, impoverishment of speech, circumstantiality, excessive symbolic abstraction, questioning, and intellectualizing are some of the noticeable speech peculiarities of the borderline personality (Othmer and Othmer, 1989). The BP may engage in excessive, long-winded, abstract, cerebral, off-the-point descriptions of feelings without being able to directly label and express personal emotions. Speech tone may be an inaudible whisper, thus forcing the listener to frustratingly request a higher intensity of tone. Hiding feelings behind questions that have little relevance to the current focus can derail the listener and cause defensiveness. A weak and vague speech pattern gives the appearance that the BP is searching frantically for words, thus leaving the listener unimpacted and wondering what is being conveyed. Excessive symbolic, unnecessary verbal elaboration may hold the listener's attention but begs the question, "Where are the feelings?' The borderline may also use distancing, accusatory "you" statements rather than 'I' statements in order to shift the focus away from internal, anxiety-provoking, painful emotions.
Physical appearance for some borderlines is bedraggled, not quite put together, and inappropriate in dress and style. Some BPs have no sense of appropriate grooming while others may appear quite neat. There is never the sense of the exquisite, as in the case of some narcissists. Facial expressions vary from depressed to open and cheerful. Biting the lower lip, nail biting, and nail picking are signs of anxiety. Omissions and thought disruptions may be common in borderlines. Omissions are a form of forgetting. Anxiety or depressive thought disorganization can lead to repetitive patterns of destructive behavior, such as losing keys, forgetting to lock and close doors, missed appointments, incomplete communication, and so on. There may be a tendency for some people to follow up and fix the borderline's omissions and forgetfulness, which in itself can be destructive, annoying, and corrosive to relationships. Family members may experience themselves getting tired of the BP's idiosyncratic and peculiar behavior. During the regressive phase of a borderline's near-psychotic breakdown, she will engage in very destructive acting-out behaviors with little or no memory recall of the events, much to the consternation and dismay of the family members. Some borderlines feel they have never fully recovered from such near-psychotic breakdowns.
Hypersensitivity to Withdrawal, and Insensitivity
Borderlines can be completely devoid of any sensitivity as to how their behavior affects others. Because they are deep into their own worlds, there is very little, if any, capacity for caring about how others may feel towards their interpersonally and emotionally insensitive behaviors. For example, a female BP seems to be intermittently and cyclically at war with an intimate partner and is never quite aware of how she influences and drives him to extreme anger and even destructive rage. The partner may have to explore the depths and range of his own Pain and rage just to become less reactive to the borderline's destructiveness. If that does not work, then complete and total withdrawal from the relationship becomes the only open choice. The borderline is capable of provoking a partner into exploring the depths of hell and the heights of transcendent heaven. This occurs because the borderline lives in the realms of extreme emotional swings, instability, and contradictions.
It is common for the borderline to lead a loved one down one emotional direction, and then suddenly and dramatically shift into another direction. Borderlines push emotional soft spots and trigger reactions in other people. The partner of a borderline may constantly have to monitor herself for emotional reactivity to the borderline's hurtful and insensitive behavior. In essence, the BP is a problem waiting to happen. Involvement with a borderline person will eventually lead to a painful emotional roller-coaster ride. It is not uncommon for a partner of a borderline to wonder, "How did I ever get involved in this mess?'
One husband of a borderline remarked, "I found myself caught up in a spider web with my wife being the black widow and I was the prey." For this borderline there is so much hurt, devastation, and damage inside that her borderline world is similar to a complicated, intricate spider web. She desperately wants someone to come into her inner world to help unravel the tangles of Pain and destruction. She is lonely and unfulfilled. Only careful, slow, and neutral empathy and expertise can allow her to descend into and recover from the nightmare of the long-lost, damaged child who was never loved fully or appropriately by her family. Then, by feeling her Pain, she can be reborn into a new world with a new self.
In a female borderline there can be a submissive side to her personality. She may give overt agreement or dependently collude in permitting others to behave in ways that disturb or even deny her true identity. She may be unable to set limits to behavior that violates her boundaries. Her false self may give the impression that it is alright to hurt her, as she pretends not to be disturbed by such infringements. She may also send wrong or misleading signals to her love object. Thus, in her passive-dependent collusion, she actually reinforces abandonment and betrayal, much to the confusion of her love object.One woman compliantly submits to her husband's sexual demands even though she does not feel sexual. In fact, she resents him for wanting sex when she is actually feeling non-sexual. But she shows no overt displeasure to her husband, who believes therefore that she is agreeable to sex. Guilt about not being a good wife inhibits her from openly discussing feelings with her husband. So she performs undesired sex and avoids working the problem through with him.