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Author Topic: BPD BEHAVIORS: Emotional Immaturity  (Read 35962 times)
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« on: August 03, 2007, 11:19:59 AM »

Here are some characteristics of emotional immaturity from When the man in your life can't commit by David Hawkins:

1. Volatile Emotions Emotional volatility is indicated by such things as explosive behavior, temper tantrums, low frustration tolerance, responses out of proportion to cause, oversensitivity, inability to take criticism, unreasonable jealousy, unwillingness to forgive, and a capricious fluctuation of moods.

2. Over-Dependence Healthy human development proceeds from dependence (I need you), to independence (I don’t need anyone), to interdependence (we need each other — see also the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey).
Over-dependence is indicated by: a) inappropriate dependence, e.g. relying on someone when it is preferable to be self-reliant, and b) too great a degree of dependence for too long. This includes being too easily influenced, indecisive, and prone to snap judgments. Overly-dependent people fear change preferring accustomed situations and behavior to the uncertainty of change and the challenge of adjustment. Extreme conservatism may even be a symptom.

3. Stimulation Hunger This includes demanding immediate attention or gratification and being unable to wait for anything. Stimulation hungry people are incapable of deferred gratification, which means to put off present desires in order to gain a future reward. Stimulation hungry people are superficial and live thoughtlessly and impulsively. Their personal loyalty lasts only as long as the usefulness of the relationship. They have superficial values and are too concerned with trivia (their appearance, etc.). Their social and financial lives are chaotic.

4. Egocentricity Egocentricity is self-centeredness. It’s major manifestation is selfishness. It is associated with low self-esteem. Self-centered people have no regard for others, but they also have only slight regard for themselves. An egocentric person is preoccupied with his own feelings and symptoms. He demands constant attention and insists on self-gratifying sympathy, fishes for compliments, and makes unreasonable demands. He is typically overly-competitive, a poor loser, perfectionistic, and refuses to play or work if he can’t have his own way.

A self-centered person does not see himself realistically, does not take responsibility for his own mistakes or deficiencies, is unable to constructively criticize himself, and is insensitive to the feelings of others. Only emotionally mature people can experience true empathy, and empathy is a prime requirement for successful relationships.
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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2007, 10:24:51 PM »

My experiences with my ex were always baffling to me then, I always thought she was trying to relive her teenage years. She never thought of the feelings and harm she did to me or our children. It was like she was in another world of her own at times and very driven to fulfill all her desires and needs. The only time I saw her express shame and guilt when she found out how her behavior had effected the spouse and children of others or when she found out she had been really lied to and manipulated by a game player that abused his wife or children. It was like she could have empathy to others that were abused but not to the ones she abused surrounding the very same behavior.

LA
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« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2007, 04:37:14 PM »

According to the Developmental Theorists (with whom I totally agree based upon my own BPD experience) the previously developing healthy authentic psychological self is effectively killed (Melanie Klein - anxiety of the death instinct - which I write about in my ebook, The Legacy of Abandonment In BPD) which results in what I call the "core wound of abandonment" and results in the loss of this self and this is believed to occur by the age of 2 years in most cases - between 2 and 3 years of age at the outside.
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« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2007, 05:13:43 PM »

People with Borderline Personality Disorder, unless and until they make a lot of progress in recovery with skilled professional help, are by the very nature of what BPD is - emotionally immature. Emotional development is arrested at the time of the core wound of abandonment (as I call it) or abandonment trauma (Masterson). This means that the authentic self is lost and in the space it leaves rises up a false self - which I have written about in my ebook called, "The Shadows and Echoes of Self - The Rise of the False Self out of the Core Wound of Abandonment in BPD".

This false self has really one major role - to protect from further pain, intrapsychic injury, and above all else to be on guard for and try to ward off any future feelings of abandonment, betrayal, or loss.

The false self just is what it is. It is maladaptive. It doesn't have the capacity or ability to mature. It is a very young primitive response to having been effectively annihiliated.

When I was borderline, my God, for so long I didn't get it at all and thought everything was everyone else's problem but when I did "get it" in therapy and when I came face to face (around the age of 34 - over 15 years ago now) with how immature I really was it was like I was the last to know and I was devastated.

I was able though therapy with very skilled professionals reclaim my authentic self, re-parent it, understand and define it - and recover from BPD.

However, looking back at my borderline years, it is obvious to me now how they were they were epitomized by a very lost dissociated from young me (my inner child) who was split off from my false self (inner child versus false self of borderline usually an internal war zone of agony) was chasing the "mommy" I never had (never bonded or attached to or was nurtured by etc) in and through every single person I ever knew or tried to relate to. It was a nightmare when I started to realize all of this.

I had related to others totally (emotionally) from a very young child place, the neediness, the demandingness, the false sense of entitlement, the narcissistic stage in childhood of "me, me, me - the world does revolve around me right?" This is where all borderlines relate from until they learn how to cope with that and change and heal that in therapy. Something by the way that is exceedingly difficult and painful.

Where there can be some confusion regarding the maturity level of a person with BPD is that there are compensatory strategies employed by the borderlines that make them seem much more competent than they are. These strategies come from the borderline's usually very well-developed and strong intellectual capacity. So there is a huge gap between the development of a borderline intellectually - borderlines learn intellectually and master things and get degrees etc and the reality of what is the arrested psychological and emotional development.

I don't want or mean to sound harsh but as a person who recovered from BPD I have to say, borderlines (as was I then) are emotionally immature. And that won't change without intensive therapy. So again, my message to nons is please do not fool yourself into thinking that you can love them ENOUGH to produce some kind of increase in emotional maturity. From my experience on both sides of BPD it definately does not work that way.

To sum it up simply, because of all that happens to those who develop BPD they are not able to mature emotionally. They are caught back at very young ages of abandonment trauma and until it is resolved once and for all in therapy they will not have even the insight into the reality of how much they emotionally lack.

The lack is real. The lack is formidable. The lack requires professional help to be addressed appropriately.

By the way, in lots of the email I get from non borderlines from my web sites, they often feel a dilemma about whether or not to leave a relationship because, among other things, they get stuck on the notion that if they try hard enough they can change the borderline - mistake number one. They also get stuck with a huge "what-if". They email me and ask, "what if I let go now, or give up now, and he or she gets help, changes and becomes a wonderful human being - becomes who I see they could be and who it is I know I love" kind of thing. In countless emails I reply with the following hard-won insight:

If a non borderline sticks with the "what-ifs" he or she will be STUCK. The non will be stuck in all the suffering that we all know so well. The way to unhook from this or any other "what-ifs" that might have you STUCK is to begin to educate yourself (if you haven't already) about Radical Acceptance. Because nons have to learn to start their thought or decision-making process re to stay or leave, for example, from the foundation of "this is what IS right now - period" Can I put up with or live with it or not? Does the pain of it outweigh any possible benefits?

Borderline immaturity is ingrained in what it means to have Borderline Personality Disorder. You, as a non borderline, cannot will or wish it away. You cannot change it. You also likely cannot live with all the pain that it continues to cause you either - it is the classic no-win rock and a hard place.

It is important to radically accept where your borderline is at and who he/she really is - right now - for example, if they are extremely emotionally immature, radically accept that. That means you just sit with that reality. You do not judge it. It isn't a good thing or a bad thing, observe that it merely is what is.

Radical accepting the immaturity of the borderline in your life does not mean that you resign yourself to it or that you decide you will just put up with it.

Not to be a walking commercial here but in one of my ebooks for Non Borderlines, "The Other Side of BPD" I introduce the concepts of Mindfulness and Radical Acceptance and explain how these two concepts (generally) and as defined by Linehan (who created DBT Skills Training for borderlines) and how they can and will help non borderlines to begin to suffer less and be able to create a foundation from which they can then begin to clarify what they need and how to go about achieving it.

Borderline Personality Disorder, in my opinion, is a relational disorder. At the heart of it is the enduring emotional immaturity that essentially defines it and that is a direct result of the core wound of abandonment that arrested the borderline's emotional development at 2 years of age.

It is not practical or reasonable, really, I say to you gently, to expect to have the healthy intimacy, mutuality, or reciprocity that are the hallmarks of healthy relationships with someone who has BPD - simply put, that's the bottom line, sadly enough for all concerned.
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« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2007, 06:07:05 PM »

Hi A.J

Thank you very much for this insightful post.

It's great to have someone who has recovered from bpd to share thoughts with us all here.

As u may have noticed, many of us are still trying to understand the why and the how of the bpd behavior.

I'm one of them.

Thank you again for your post, and I hope we will have the occasion to read more from you !

Take care

Vince
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« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2007, 06:31:56 PM »

Hi A.J

Thank you very much for this insightful post.

It's great to have someone who has recovered from bpd to share thoughts with us all here.

As u may have noticed, many of us are still trying to understand the why and the how of the bpd behavior.

I'm one of them.

Thank you again for your post, and I hope we will have the occasion to read more from you !

Take care

Vince

Hi Vince,

You are welcome smiley

I know from my own web sites and all the mail I get from nons that the trying to figure everything borderline out is a major place that keeps nons STUCK. I also know this from my own experience. I was the child of 2 borderline parents. Then had BPD - recovered from BPD, and then of all things, I ended up in a train wreck relationship with a borderline-narcissist (God has a funny way of inspiring me to grow or what?) My point is that as much as I know about BPD from the inside out and both sides, I too ended up not only with a borderline but trying to rescue her and trying to figure her out.

I think this is the major reason I KNOW that even if we can figure it out, even if and when we really understand it - nothing changes, and unless we are willing to let go - pain just increases and we go around and around...

It is very human to want to know why isn't it?
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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2007, 04:45:42 AM »

A.J.Mahari... thank you! Fantastic post!

I had just been reading about radical acceptance on the other thread you started, and to be honest I hadn't quite understood the concept, then I read this post and I think I am starting to comprehend what radical acceptance actually means in relation to my SO.

I have researched BPD extensively (like a good non lol) and although I had a pretty good grasp of the issues my SO faced and we have even talked about her behaviours together (she is committed to therapy) I still floundered a bit.

Then I read this...

Quote
This false self has really one major role - to protect from further pain, intrapsychic injury, and above all else to be on guard for and try to ward off any future feelings of abandonment, betrayal, or loss.

...and I thought "YES!". This is exactly how my SO tries to describe what is going on in her head when she starts acting out (or in).

Quote
When I was borderline, my God, for so long I didn't get it at all and thought everything was everyone else's problem but when I did "get it" in therapy and when I came face to face (around the age of 34 - over 15 years ago now) with how immature I really was it was like I was the last to know and I was devastated.

However, looking back at my borderline years, it is obvious to me now how they were they were epitomized by a very lost dissociated from young me (my inner child) who was split off from my false self (inner child versus false self of borderline usually an internal war zone of agony) was chasing the "mommy" I never had (never bonded or attached to or was nurtured by etc) in and through every single person I ever knew or tried to relate to. It was a nightmare when I started to realize all of this.


This, too, is exactly how my SO percieved both myself and her previous female T. It has taken us months to get her to even try and react to me as her adult partner rather than her mother, and months for her to accept that she does react in an emotionally immature way to me most of the time... she didn't like it at all and fought it for a long time!

Quote
If a non borderline sticks with the "what-ifs" he or she will be STUCK. The non will be stuck in all the suffering that we all know so well. The way to unhook from this or any other "what-ifs" that might have you STUCK is to begin to educate yourself (if you haven't already) about Radical Acceptance. Because nons have to learn to start their thought or decision-making process re to stay or leave, for example, from the foundation of "this is what IS right now - period" Can I put up with or live with it or not? Does the pain of it outweigh any possible benefits?


This is a perfect way to describe my choices at the moment... I am so fed up of friends and family telling me I am insane to stick it out, and that I should just leave now. I struggled to explain that the future that we could have, and the person I know she is and can be, outweighs the behviours and BP issues that are present at the moment. I used to say "I have a great tolerance for pain, and I haven't hit rock bottom yet!", but I guess I can see how that wouldn't reassure anyone  :smiley I think I got that from my years in recovery and through AA... I will definitely be explaining it differently from now on  wink

Thanks once again for your input, much appreciated, hope to see you around the boards much more

Bish x
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« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2007, 03:45:16 AM »

Yep, the miracle is that some bpd like you AJ make it and realize their problem.

My xgf would always refuse to admit. Even when I faced her with the facts. Even when I forced her to see she was manipulating facts, by making her read her own previous messages.

She would not admit. NO way. No win. On the contrary, she was trying to have me think I was the mad one. The one with mental issues.

So, it's great to see there is a way out. Altnough I tried so hard in vain to have her SEE that I feel sad I could help her. But I accept it now.



 

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« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2007, 11:32:02 AM »


My ex is a high functionning type. Most of the people won't see how fragile she is. She displays an enormous amount of energy to hide it, even to very close friends. She manages to arrange her world so that no one will see. And it works. Most of the people see her as a strong person. But beyond the masks of conventional smiles, there is a fragile, frightened little kid.

Very few are the people she let come close enough to perceive what she spends so much energy to hide. And fewer actually grasp the suffering. And unfortunately, those people who see, who hear, who pay attention, are soon rejected. At the same time, they are the only ones would could lend a hand.

I’m among the few people who did grasp the suffering. Many times I felt immensely lonely, if not out of my mind, being the only person in her surroundings to see beyond the masks. But she let me see it. And soon rejected me precisely for that. I guess that she was tremendously scared.

Now, I have accepted that I cannot tear down those walls for her. It’s her journey. I live my own life outside, knowing that she knows that I’ve heard. And if one day she escapes her glass prison, maybe she’ll come to me and reach my hand. Still, I won’t wait for that to happen, and I might no longer be there if it does. I have my own journey. Outside.

Still, every once in a while, I wonder what could trigger enough will, enough strength for this frightened little kid inside her to tear down those walls that she continues to build so carefully. What could make her no longer feel that she’s protected by these walls, but imprisoned by them…

AJ, you're a living proof that escaping the glass prison is possible.
Thanks for providing this hope, not only for the BPs, but also for the Nons.

- yoo
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« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2007, 04:29:31 PM »

I noticed this immaturity when we started playing checkers and backgammon.  If he won, he reacted fine.  But you couldn't 'kid' around with him if he lost.  Like when I would kiddingly go "Yeah!  I won!"  In a very serious way, he was hurt (he's 49).   After a while I often would 'let' him win.  Then I just stopped playing.  I had to be careful I wouldn't hurt his feelings (about checkers-for goodness sake).
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« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2007, 12:17:24 PM »


Still, every once in a while, I wonder what could trigger enough will, enough strength for this frightened little kid inside her to tear down those walls that she continues to build so carefully. What could make her no longer feel that she’s protected by these walls, but imprisoned by them…

AJ, you're a living proof that escaping the glass prison is possible.
Thanks for providing this hope, not only for the BPs, but also for the Nons.

- yoo

You are welcome smiley

In my experience, what triggered enough will and strength in me was getting in touch with all of my abandoned pain. When I got to the place where there was no more denying that I had all of this pain I was then able to live the dilemma of the reality that to have BPD is very painful and to start to face that pain and work in therapy to heal it is is equally, if not more painful, at least in the beginning. One has to hurt enough and one has to find faith from somewhere that they can survive that rock and a hard place of pain no matter which way you turn or what you do.

For me it was also coming to learn, through the process, that the pain was the pain of my inner child and that she and I were not connected and that we needed to be connected in order to recover.

There is always hope. The journey of recovery from BPD can be long. It is not easy. But, as I have said in many things I've written to those with BPD, there is only one thing really, more painful in the long run than therapy and facing the pain and learning how to grieve it and soothe it - and that's staying borderline.

Take Care.
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« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2007, 12:43:59 PM »

AJ

thanks for your reply. It really brings a lot of hope.

Did anyone else but you hear the inner child inside ? If so, did it help in any way realize this need to connect with her or was it only personal journey ?

As concerns my own personal experience as a Non, I feel that over the time, I sort of heard her inner child. Not that I was wiser than anyone else, but I simply paid attention. And although I never really expressed anything, she felt it. And it seems that it was too much for her to deal with, having someone paying so much attention to that. It was too hard. And sometimes I believe that rather than helping, my own behavior made things worst. One way or another, I did my best, with what I knew at that time...

Anyway...

I'm really glad that you escaped your own glass prison and that you share with the community such a positive experience and the hope that comes along.

- yoo
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« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2011, 05:59:35 PM »

I have been reading a lot of unsuccessful attempts to help loved ones.  Does anyone want to share a success story.  My daughter turns 18 tomorrow.  We are debating on whether to make her leave home because she dropped out of school and cannot say no to her impulsive whims. She is 18 and does not seem to be able to keep a job.  She does not drive because we will not give her gas money and worry about her drinking and driving.
She steals from us and does absolutely nothing to help around the house.
Her self esteem is rock bottom and she has gained about 40 pound. She does not keep friends for more than a couple of months, then she moves on to a new set.  As the years go on her cricle of friends have become pretty shady and only seem to be gtting worse.
I love her sooo much, but the whole family is soooo worn out! '
I want to try medication and then DBT.  Anybody have any feedback?
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« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2011, 09:54:35 PM »

here is our story

these are links to our most recent threads:



http://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=138842.0

http://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=140551.0

http://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=140660.0

my daughter was dx very young...12.  we have presented opportunities for healing non stop, relentlessly hopeful, believing in her...now she is 14, graduating from residential treatment and due home soon.  the journey continues with open minds, open hearts, open arms.

lbjnltx
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« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2011, 11:18:56 PM »

Hello, That post was quite interesting I thought. Most of the emotions on there describe how my emotions work ( I have BPD). One thing that was said in there though about being insensitive to others feelings is not correct about me. I often care too much about others or love them very deeply. I am also not selfish, I try to do as much as I can for others and focus on them rather than myself. I do have a big anger problem though and my anger seems to come often and sometimes for no reason at all or it's something I shouldn't be angry about. I'm not sure why it happens but I would like it to stop. I hate having a bad temper. Does anyone else here have an anger problem?
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« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2011, 11:05:10 PM »

BPD's and emotional immaturity...found this info online that seemed to fit.

Immature people may demand immediate gratification. They cannot wait. They may seem thoughtless and impulsive. They may be loyal only while you are useful. They have chaotic social and financial lives.

Emotional Immaturity

LOVE -Love is NEED.  Demands affection and love but avoids any sign of “weakness” and has difficulty showing and accepting love

EMOTIONS-Cannot handle frustration or criticism; jealous, unwilling to forgive, fluctuating moods, temper tantrums, fears change

REALITY-Avoids and denies bills and relationship problems which demand integrity, seeks people to blame

FEEDBACK-Does not learn from experience, good or bad experiences are casued by fate, little or no personal responsibility

STRESS-Avoids reality, pessimistic, angry, attacks people when frustrated, often anxious

RELATING-Dependent, easily influenced, indecisive or snap judgements.  Is not responsible for own actions or deficiencies.  Hyper sensitive to criticism but insensitive to others feelings
          
Immature adults are not children not teenagers. They are often self-centered and selfish adults. They may have little regard for others. They may be preoccupied with their own feelings and symptoms. They may demand your constant attention, sympathy and compliments. They may avoid participation if they can't have their own way or be the best. They may be obsessed with impressing people.





This is exactly why I see myself as some type of monster, and get suicidal because it makes me hate myself for what I put others through.
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« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2011, 12:39:16 PM »

My ex ubpdgf was pretty much incapable of emotional maturity. She was very childlike in the way she responded to other people's problems, often saying she couldn't deal with it because she was stressed or tired. She accepted very little responsibility for her own actions and the pain they caused others. This included blaming her infidelity on me not being there enough, or even blaming work colleagues for her own inadequacies.

If she was given any criticism she took it to heart and would get very emotional. This included in a work environment (she is a writer so comments from editors did not go down well!) or even basic domestic things such as doing the cooking, washing up or cleaning (she never did any of these and if I tried to discuss them with her I faced a verbal onslaught). Every time we discussed bills she got upset and actually started blaming me for how high they were saying "you are going to have to change the way you live in this flat."

She was constantly anxious about social interaction, saying people found her boring and as soon as they got to know her they would lose interest. She said she only felt relaxed when drinking.

She was very demanding of affection but would be picky about what she wanted. She would constantly say "can I have a hug" or "please kiss me" but then snap if I did something else, for instance stroking her hair, she would tell me off. If I was late home from work she would get really upset and say she had been lonely. If I got home too early she criticised me for not warning her.

Interestingly she would often talk in a childish, baby voice, usually when she wanted something. She would say things like "chocolate" or "beer" and expect me to then go out and buy her these things. rolleyes
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« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2011, 09:27:21 AM »

Keep in mind that most of this is all due to physical and chemical abnormalities in the brain. This doesn't excuse the behavior but shows how it develops and how well entrenched it can be.
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« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2011, 01:20:43 PM »

Thank you for this topic... I needed to read this!  xoxo

WhiteDoe
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« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2011, 11:08:47 PM »

Whoa this thread is a lot to take in but its very validating to what I have experienced with my ubdp husband.  Making a mental to note to come back and finish reading, I had to stop myself at the second page  tongue
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