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Author Topic: 8.06 | From idealization to devaluation - why we struggle  (Read 95769 times)
Clearmind
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« on: December 03, 2011, 02:19:04 PM »

US: From idealization to devaluation - why we struggle

for members that have exited BPD relationships


Why is the idealization phase so intoxicating and the devaluation phase so painful for many of us?

The bond between the pwBPD and their partner is often complicated by lifelong emotional wounds each partner is unconsciously trying to soothe with the relationship.  When the relationship breaks, these underlying wounds often surface and make the breakup very traumatic.  

Recognizing how our own thoughts impact us as adults and taking steps to heal from our own lifelong wounds plays an important role in our recovery.

This workshop is an opportunity to explore why we feel that our break-up is so traumatic.  Let’s explore:

  • What brought us into the situation?


  • What vulnerabilities exist within us ?


  • How does our own childhood play a role?


  • Is this dynamic evident in our everyday life?


  • How can you begin to heal?


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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2011, 01:28:39 PM »

I have read just about every article I can get my hands on, but I can't wrap my mind around the switch from idealize to devaluation.  In the initial stages, it seemed I could do no wrong.  I don't think my behavior changed any... .In fact I worked harder in this r/s than I have ever worked to be selfless and to give to him.  But he still tore me down and eventually dumped me out of the blue.  My question, I guess, is what causes that switch?  And is there any going back?  If anything I became more accommodating as the r/s wore on, but it didn't seem to help any.  I still got the verbal abuse (behind closed doors and over text) and silent treatment.  Every interaction was subject to a fight.  Totally different from how the r/s started.  What was heaven became absolute hell.
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2011, 02:42:14 PM »

For me, it was a very specific event that started it. I had to handle a personal issue and it had nothing to do with my xBPDbf. Further, it was very stressful and I didn't want to talk about it so I didn't respond immediately to his phone calls, emails or texts.

This freaked him out and he started to get very dramatic in his communications, which made me contact him even less. I think he processed that emotionally as abandonment.

It took about a week for me to handle my personal business.

In that week, he lined up my replacement. When we saw each other that last time, we were visiting old friends of his to meet me. He was all pumped up on adderall and we were THREE HOURS late. I was mortified and let him know.

When we got home, he was raging at me because I gave him driving directions... .totally split me black that night and the next day pronounced his love for his new supply.

It is the luckiest thing that ever happened to me.

M
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2011, 05:00:54 PM »

In terms of the disorder, closeness (intimacy) will trigger abandonment/engulfment fears. Splitting will follow as a means to cope; if you are devalued, then the attachment can be minimized and it feels better. The first cycle I saw was after our very first 3 months together. I went a trip I had planned before meeting him. It was just a week long trip with several women friends, and he stayed in contact by phone the whole week, but it triggered him. I noticed he was different when he came to pick me up at the airport. He said he had been feeling "contemplative". I learned over time the word "contemplative" meant he was splitting me black and withdrawing. What followed was loads of fun... .NOT!
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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2011, 08:01:34 PM »

This has helped me a lot, gonna keep re-reading as this definately applies to how my ex would behave/react.
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« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2011, 11:40:34 PM »

Makes perfect sense as to how things took place in the r/s.  it was a slow boil but once it finally boiled over, it's like the kitchen immediately caught fire!  There was no going back.  From that point forward, it was almost impossible for me to be happy in the r/s.  Nothing... . And I mean NOTHING that I did was right.  I was always wrong.  But I never thought I would be dumped so suddenly.

There were certainly events along the way where the anger toward me seemed to get greater and greater, but nothing that would have had me believe I was about to abruptly replaced.  It was traumatic!  Felt like a death almost.  Like Ellison, mine did the same thing with my replacement.  Lined her up and immediately moved from me to her. I never saw it coming.  I've made a whole lot of progress from those early days, but it still hurts.
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« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2011, 06:07:02 AM »

In some relationships, the idealization phase is the partner being in lonely child stance and the Borderline being in abandoned child stance.*Both need saving* Both need attachment to stave off the pain of being alone.  This is one type of bonding seen in this community.

In this bond, both people bring core trauma to the relationship. Mirroring reenacts the earliest childhood experiences to rise up and emerge into consciousness.

In idealization, there is a dual identification and projection for both people that they have found a perfect love- however, one partner (the “lonely child”) does not yet realize that the other partner (the abandoned child= Borderline) has no whole self- and is utilizing a fantasy of a part-time good in order to fuse with the partner's part time good and become one.

The lonely child has spent much of their life becoming “one.”  When a lonely child finds an abandoned child, both parties feel needed. However, rather than truly loving the individuality of both parties- the sad, fantasy aspect of mirroring magnifies the unhealthy *needs* of both people.

When the lonely child begins to question the reality of mirroring (reality testing) this raises core traumas into activation concerning both the questioning (uncertainty) and the hope (unfulfilled expectations) of the unrealistic attachment. "Lack of inherent trust" is found in both parties at this stage.

Reality testing causes the lonely child to pull away because certain things don't add up- as you say, "the idealization phase slowly erodes."

Pulling away, even while in the lap of comfortable luxury- triggers the abandoned child issues of the Borderline. This causes panic reactions of clinging behaviors by the Borderline to prevent the retreat of their desired love object. These immature demands can look like entitlement to others, especially to a lonely child, who has learned early on to be self sufficient and to self soothe- but the entitlement markers are highly charged and emotional to a Borderline, which isn’t Narcissistic grandiosity- it’s ego deficiency and panic.

The entitlement phase brings a hidden "angry and aggressive child" out from hibernation and into full view and this usually occurs when the lonely child least expects it.  The angry child that emerges is pissed and has delusions of persecution that are ideas of reference from earlier childhood trauma. It’s at this point that the angry child (Borderline) will become enraged and try to cast off shame.  They may attempt to harm himself/herself in order to scapegoat the lonely child- who unwittingly stands-in for the earliest attachment.  This triggers the lonely child's trauma from their earliest attachment as well.

The Borderline wants so badly to be whole that they demand that the lonely child create wholeness for them- which the partner succeeds in doing early on but then relaxes. The Borderline temper tantrum, with its ideas of reference being so very childlike and fantastic, perceives the relaxation of the partner as though the attachment is split up. In order to cope, the Borderline must now find another part time perceived good object to self medicate the emotions of feeling badly from the split.  If this cannot be accomplished, the surge of limbic fear concerning anger and abandonment causes such great pain that self harm is often inflicted for relief.

The lonely child is often very surprised by this. The anger and dysregulation are in contrast to what he/she perceives are necessary for the circumstances. (The lonely child fails to see need disguised as "love."  Therefore, the lonely child seeks to understand the Borderlines ideas of reference concerning "love" in order to cope with the neediness and begins a line of questioning.  The Borderline retreats.

Lonely child is "understanding driven" and gets drawn into the Borderline acting out. The lonely child now has a mystery- the Borderline dilemma of "who am I?" This is very likely the same way that the lonely child came into existence as an “understanding driven” child. Especially when he questioned the motives of his earliest attachments during infancy and adolescence.

The lonely child *understands* the need to be held, loved and understood – because that’s what he longs for in others. The lonely child feels that in order to deal with acting out of the Borderline- the lonely child must project the aura of grace, compassion and understanding upon the Borderline and also guide, teach and show the way- because after all, that’s what the lonely child would want someone to do for him. There was a large reason that the initial mirroring (of this fixer /rescuer ego) worked so well in the idealization stage- the relationship really WAS the projection of lonely child that was mirrored, not the deficient ego of the Borderline.

In the "upside down" world of the Borderline, the lonely child is the perfect attachment to fuse to and the hypersensitive Borderline is the perfect mystery for the lonely child to try to understand.  This is the reactivation of a childhood dynamic- that forms a needy bond.

The Borderline is a perfect template with which to project and identify with as a good object and also one to invest in to feel better about the “self.”

The understanding driven lonely child "imagines" (projects) onto the Borderline what he/she feels the Borderline identifies with. The lonely child often fills in the blanks with projective identification and the Borderline attempts to absorbs this- but it's impossible to appear as a self-directed person while taking cues and mirroring another self directed partner.

The Borderline scrambles to keep up with what is projected in a chameleon like manner.  All of this pressure to adapt and conform to the projection smothers and defeats the Borderline’s yearning for a perfect bond and triggers engulfment failure.  

Engulfment also means loss of control, annihilation fantasies and shame.  Shame activates the punitive parent that resides in their inner world, their psyche. The attachment failure has now become shame based for the Borderline.  It will soon become guilt driven for the lonely child partner.

Engulfment makes Borderlines very frustrated and angry- but Borderlines fear abandonment and choose to stuff away their fear and compulsively attempt to manage their pain. The impulsive gestures are a form of self harm that fixes the bond in a permanent chaos of action/reaction.  

Borderlines can be avoidant and passive aggressive and will do everything in their power to hide their strong emotions until they implode.  They swing wildly from abandoned child to angry child until they deflate into detached protector- who is basically a mute that doesn’t speak- or worse, speaks in word salad when confronted.

The swinging dysregulation pattern is unable to be separated and individuated and self directed. Because it cannot be self directed, it cannot be self soothed. There is no ability to defer these emotions to logic and reasoning with introspection *without* another person to blame.  This is where Borderlines are showing you the maturity stage at which they are developmentally arrested and remain stuck and frightened.

Excerpt
Devaluing is the BPD going into the punitive parent role to switch up the control ~ control was relinquished in the idealisation phase so we will attach. The further along we get in the rs ~ the BPD then feels like we are the persecutor for their failing part time self ~ devalue. Devaluing is more about projection ~ because there failing self makes them feel woeful, scared, fearful.

We all have punitive parents that exist in our heads. This is our Superego.  The criticism felt by both parties exists as guilt and shame inside our heads. This tape plays over and over and is a re-working of former traumas. It is also a huge part of what makes complementary traumas so attractive as binding agents to each other.  The lonely child has the “tyrannical shoulds” while the abandoned child has defectiveness schema- together they interact and drive each other crazy.

The understanding driven child cannot fathom how another human being does not have a “self.”  The understanding driven child has had much childhood experience with strong selves and has created a self to understand the motives of others. Lonely children have a need to have some sort of control over their destiny because so much was out of control in their childhood.

The Borderline’s idea of destiny is being attached to others for protection. The Borderline cannot fathom what it means to have a stand alone “self.”

Both parties are human “doing” for others rather than being- but there is more impulsivity in Borderline in the “offering” of themselves as objects.  (The lonely child is very particular concerning who he gives his heart to and makes decisions based upon careful consideration.)

The failure to find a healthy mature love activates the punitive parent in both people’s psyche- one for persecution and the other for failure to understand others (cloaked in rescuing behaviors)- this is the “flea” of each others psychiatric trauma that really is a very strong obsessive bond, and one of endless victimization for both parties unless one or the other becomes understanding driven toward self direction.  Guess who has the best chance?  Unfortunately, the mirrored good that the Borderline provided was a very strong drug- and the obsession is outwardly projected (as it always has been) by the lonely child in order to understand and consequently, control it.

It’s at this point that spying, engaging in testing and push/pull behaviors occur as both parties fight for control. Each pours salt in the others core wound.

The understanding driven child tries to understand the Borderline and the Borderline feels misunderstood and persecuted. The understanding driven child retreats to repair their ego and the Borderline lashes out and tries to shame him. The pendulum swings back and forth in clinging and hating and disordered thought and chaos.  

The lonely child tries to uncover what they think the Borderline is hiding from them (triggering bouts of paranoia) or missing (creating dependency issues.)  The angry child threatens to destroy the relationship (as well as themselves = self harm) which triggers immense anger and outrage for both parties. Their love object is broken.

Both parties are in pain- and their egos are easy to "pinch" because they both fear abandonment.   At this point, both core traumas are exposed and the partners are no longer interacting with each other except to arouse each other’s trauma wounds from childhood.

The false self of the lonely child, that the Borderline mirrored, has more ego- as it is directly tied to a “self” which involves coping mechanisms from childhood that mirrored back good.  It was a self that was capable and seeming to have all the answers in the beginning.  When the Borderline tries to destroy it as a failed attachment, it begins to crumble and the lonely child retreats and tries to repair it- essentially wounded to the core. This is also part and parcel of the injury of the smear campaign- and the lonely child may try to return to defend the "self" from being attacked.

Trauma for the lonely child occurs mainly because of perceived failure they cannot “understand” enough (essentially an obsession at this point) and trauma for the Borderline occurs because of anger and abandonment and shame that existed since infancy- and persecution by their inner parent superego for not becoming whole.  

At this point, both parties feel like failures.

Unfortunately, the repair for the lonely child’s self consists of trying again to fix the Borderline "mirror" to reflect the good.  Many attempts will be made by the lonely child (once again) to effect an outcome other than the failed attachment.  The lonely child will try to re-build the self and get the love object (Borderline) to return and resume their compliant mirroring.

Eventually, the fantasy begins to unravel for the lonely child, that they are alone- and the person that the lonely child fell in love with, (the person in the mirror,) was actually YOU.

Who really is the Borderline? Someone who needed you for awhile because they were scared to be alone.

They’re still scared. Forgive them if you can- they are modern day recreations of their own childhood fears.

Now- after reading all of this- You can’t keep going back for more trauma.  Idea The trauma bond must be broken.

After we've let fantasy go- we can turn the focus to healing.  It's good to wonder what our attraction must have been to this person. Whatever clues you have are generally good enough to give you reason that you’ve had experience with this type of personality before- perhaps within your family of origin.

Stop yourself from thinking that you’ve never been treated so poorly before this relationship. When you catch yourself saying you can't believe it. Stop and think. Chances are- you’ve just chosen to repress a few circumstances from childhood that were traumatic. Now the feelings are back on the surface and you’re going to have to address them.

Introspection involves a great pain. Let those feelings come up. Journal your thoughts when you feel anxious. Learn about yourself. We must address the pain from our childhood that has been left unresolved for too long. We cannot escape from pain if we are to have personal growth- and you've got to get this relationship out of the way in order to get at the real hurt.

Radical acceptance comes when you realize that what was mirrored really wasn’t you- it was what *you wanted others to give to you*   It was <<Understanding.>>

Try to give that to yourself.
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« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2011, 11:37:20 AM »

Yup. The post by 2010 described the dynamics of my relationship for five years  to a T.  To a "T", including the feeling I had that we were somehow wounded in a similar way, that sympatico feeling, that soul mate feeling.  Also, the need to understand, as the 'lonely' child who has learned to cope by intellectually 'understanding' and trying to provide understanding, and hoping that someone will provide that understanding to me in return.   Yup.  To a "T". 
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« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2011, 11:47:55 AM »

I need some clarity and have a question... .

Are you saying the "lonely child" is an NPD?

or is the "lonely child" a codependent? or neither, and something else?
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« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2011, 12:06:48 PM »

I need some clarity and have a question... .

Are you saying the "lonely child" is an NPD? (like mentioned in previous post)

or is the "lonely child" a codependent? or neither, and something else?

Both.

Each of us is a "lonely child". (Very good insight  Idea )

Whether we call ourselves codependents, or have narcissistic traits (which most of us likely do), or both, doesn't make a difference.

Even in case of real NPD's, it holds true for them as well.

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« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2011, 02:47:06 PM »

They’re still scared. Forgive them if you can- they are modern day recreations of their own childhood fears.

When I came to these lines, I read them and then read them again five more times.  Forgiving them is certainly one of the first steps to healing and moving on.  Thanks for emphasizing that.  "Forgive them if you can" . . . forgive her, I must.  For my sake.

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« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2011, 05:52:37 PM »

This is painful to read because it means accepting that I was screwed up before I even got into this relationship. I've always accepted my responsibility for the things that go right or wrong in my life. My fundatmental flaw, in spite of compensatory behaviour of high goals and high acheivements, was the lost and lonely child and, deep down, I've always known this.

The indealisation phase was so intoxicating I wanted to hold onto it forever... I was willing and complicit, it couldn't have failed.

Moving forward, ever so slowly but moving forward.
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« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2011, 10:55:46 PM »

WOW, great thread. It's funny because although my ex is unbelievably stunning and fun when I first met her I actually blew her off for some odd reason. We fooled around for about 2 months after being friends for 3 months then something just wasn't clicking with me. I didn't talk to her for like 6 months  and then ran into her at a place where she worked. (hooters) We started seeing one another shortly after that. This r/s lasted over 3 years. I guess what I am wondering if it is possible that I knew not to get attached to this person then finally after the second time just gave in or is there something wrong with me?. I come from a loving family, my parents are still together after 45 years. I think I grew up with a pretty normal upbringing and very close to my family and they do pretty well for themselves. I dont know. Just wondering why I may have fell for this type of person. I mean, I thought she was a normal person and I have always went out with attractive females so I dont know. Anybody have any suggestions?

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« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2011, 12:47:59 AM »

I resemble this thread.

Mind = blown

Overwhelmed by lightbulb moments... .(sigh)... .lots of sorting out to do.

Thanx so much Clearmind and 2010 and your writing moods!
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« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2011, 12:59:32 AM »

slvr, I fell for my partners looks and I didn't even know who he was at that time. It was a superficial attachment for both of us ~ it was not based on love.

For me I was mirroring my partners looks because I didn't feel beautiful enough. If he was with me then I must be worthy ~ someone as stunning as he liked me. As I said to you before in a previous thread I felt like Cinderella complete with the coach and coachman. At the stroke of midnight the illusion was over.

I was severely devalued by my father and his so called mates ~ not one part of my body was not criticised. My father left some terrible scars regarding my self image, esteem and worth.

My ex also picked on these same things ~ even down to my dress/hair/shoes - the works ~ again my childhood wounds were opened and I trusted my ex in the beginning because I too wanted to be protected just as he did. We were the perfect mirror of childhood dysfunction.

A child's trust of parent has to be earnt and it is not a given just because they gave birth. I have forgiven my father because he has his own set of issues.

The physical attraction was very strong and in the end that was all that was left.

Do you have a T?
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« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2011, 07:04:10 AM »

Last night, I spent awake. Crying, sobbing, and grieving for the lonely child that was once me.

My eyes are watering as I am typing this.

Thank you for identifying and getting my core worked up.

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« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2011, 10:08:18 AM »

I am shaking and tearing up at how dead on accurate this thread is with EVERY twist and turn of how my r/s developed.  It is unbelievable how every nuance was nailed exactly as it played out.  I felt like i was reading a journal of my life, but with a clairity and explanation that i have never had before.  That redefines all star post.  I hope it helped others as much as it helped me. From the bottom of my heart, and through tears of joy and finally a new understanding... . thank you.  

What really got me was the lonely child and abandoned child roles.  I could VERY clearly and precisely see myself and my ex in both of these roles.  Ad the interplay seemed crazy to me at the time but happened exactly as described.  2010 talked about lonely child yearning to become "one" with someone else.  I have actually used those words.  Huge point to cover with my T.   Enmeshment to the extreme is what I was seeking.  Soo unhealthy--and, in the end, destructive.  My goodness, I finally see how this all worked out.  And I definitely played an unhealthy role here.  I am ready to grow.

 you all.
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« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2011, 11:48:49 AM »

This is a very good thread.

Thank you to all who have participated.

Each of us is a "lonely child". (Very good insight  Idea )

I don't think we are all fit the Lonely Child and it's probably not too helpful to think of "nons' as all the same and of a particular type.  Some of us have things in common.  Some of us are very different.   

pwBPD are not all are the same, either.
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« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2011, 02:57:03 PM »

Stop yourself from thinking that you’ve never been treated so poorly before this relationship. When you catch yourself saying you can't believe it. Stop and think. Chances are- you’ve just chosen to repress a few circumstances from childhood that were traumatic. Now the feelings are back on the surface and you’re going to have to address them.

Introspection involves a great pain.

And there is a benefit in it being painful. Pain is what drives us to break through and get beyond our own coping mechanisms and search for the real causes of our struggles - to find and fix what is defective and live a life that is not marred by a fixable emotional defect.

But getting past the protective coping is the key... .and hard.  We can all see how a pwBPD struggles to do this.  We struggle too. We are often so fearful of pain that we do anything we can to avoid it - alcohol, get a new partner, blame others.  And we are often so fearful of facing our own weaknesses, that we look everywhere else but at ourselves.  But the bottom line is that the person pwBPD is gone now and all that is left is to fix ourselves.

If you are a member that identifies with the "Lonely Child" (more commonly referred to as the "Vulnerable Child" and want to understand what it is all about, read about Jeffery Young's Schema therapy. Here is a little blurb to get started:

Schema therapy founder Jeffrey Young, Ph.D., who is on the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, was one of the first students of Aaron Beck, M.D., the founder of cognitive therapy.  Young describes schema therapy as an active, structured therapy for assessing and changing deep-rooted psychological problems by looking at repetitive life patterns and core life themes, called "schemas." Schema therapists use an inventory to assess the schemas that cause persistent problems in a patient's life.

"Once we have determined what schemas a patient has, we use a range of techniques for changing these schemas," Young said. "These include cognitive restructuring, limited re-parenting, changing schemas as they arise in the therapy relationship, intensive imagery work to access and change the source of schemas, and creating dialogues between the `schema,' or dysfunctional, side of patients and the healthy side."

In Schema terms, 2010 described two deep-rooted psychological problems characterized by repetitive life patterns and core life themes, called maladaptive "schemas."   Maladaptive schemas develop in difficult situations and are often survival strategies that are functional within a specific setting early in life.  The problem is that they are maladaptive in other situations or at later stages in life.    

Schema Mode-Abandoned/Abused Child   The borderline patient is seen as being motivated by four or five maladaptive schema modes that make up an inner theater that is filled with pain and conflict. The Abandoned/Abused Child mode is the core schema of the patient.  This is a child who lives in fear and terror and who has no allies in the world.  People in this mode are quite frightened and troubled.  Jeffery Young, PhD and founder of Schema Therapy, stresses that psychologically and emotionally, borderline patients are little children around the age of 4 or 5.  In times of difficulty or high stress, it is helpful to try to see them as children instead of adults.  "Connection", for the Abandoned/Abused Child, is a matter of survival, and this drives much of the intensity that is found in the relationships of these patients.

Schema Mode-Lonely Child / Vulnerable Child  The  Lonely Child / Vulnerable Child is a maladaptive schema characterized by feelings of being lonely, isolated, sad, misunderstood, unsupported, defective, deprived, overwhelmed, incompetent, doubts self, needy, helpless, hopeless, frightened, anxious, worried, victimized, worthless, unloved, unlovable, lost, directionless, fragile, weak, defeated, oppressed, powerless, left out, excluded, pessimistic.  The Lonely Child is prone to act in a passive, subservient, submissive, approval-seeking way around others out of fear of conflict or rejection; tolerates abuse and/or bad treatment; selects people or engages in other behavior that directly maintains the self-defeating schema-driven pattern.

It has been pointed out how idealization is a vehicle that can connect people in these two schemas.  The Abandoned/Abused Child is desperately seeking a connection and in BPD that drives an overreaction (idealization).  The Lonely Child / Vulnerable Child is approval seeking and revels in it. The Lonely child is also prone to try to cling to the relationship long after it has turned bad as they are tolerant of and often feel deserving of bad treatment.

All of this is a bit over simplified in the thread, but it is an easy intro to a very powerful tool for personal inventory. Schema therapy is largely used for pwBPD tendencies or pwNPD tendencies.  The Lonely Child / Vulnerable Child schema can be present in people with either BPD tendencies, NPD tendencies, or other personality tendencies.  

But most importantly, there is another child... .the Happy Child.

Schema Mode-Happy Child: The Happy Child feels loved, contented, connected, satisfied, fulfilled, protected, accepted, praised, worthwhile, nurtured, guided, understood, validated, self-confident, competent, appropriately autonomous or self-reliant, safe, resilient, strong, in control, adaptable, included, optimistic, spontaneous.

The Schema model and the tenets of the therapy can help us deal with our early maladaptive schemas and move toward the "Happy Child".  

Here is an overview of Schema Therapy:

www.g-gej.org/10-1/schematherapy.html

This is a very thoughtful thread and it's great to see the participation. It should beckon a few to advance to personal inventory.  Personal inventory is the hardest and most rewarding step of all.  But like learning to ski or learning to dive - it's discouraging and painful on the outset.  
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« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2011, 03:20:46 PM »

I have been going through this dysfunctional dance with a friend and it is clear to me that I just keep trying to recreate the relationship that I had with my pwBPD.  I never saw my part in it before but now I do.  Thank you for helping me see what I was doing.  This thread was very tough to read and just what I needed.  Many thanks, Lila
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« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2011, 06:48:53 PM »

My Ex was with his wife for 16 years before they divorced and he met me.

His ex wife was very invested in maintaining the relationship at any cost and was fine with a very cold, 'roomate - type' relationship, she got her emotional needs met through her girlfreinds and treated him like an errant man-child she just put up with.  She did  not seek or demand intimacy from him.

That was NOT the case in our relationship.
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« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2011, 09:36:27 PM »

Each of us is a "lonely child". (Very good insight  Idea )

We are definitely not all Lonely Children   Smiling (click to insert in post) 

Here is a test. 

What is your total score?  Let us know in the poll above and tell us (post) whether you feel good or are you struggling from effects of the BP relationship?

For your entire adult life:

1= Never     2=Rarely     3=Occasionally       4=Frequently      5=Most of the time       6= All of the time 













Never

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1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1
Rarely

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2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2
Occas

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3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3
Freq

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4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4
Mostly

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5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5
Always

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6

6

6

6

6

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6

6

6

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Question

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I feel fundamentally inadequate, flawed, or defective

I feel lost

I feel desperate

I feel lonely

I feel humiliated

Even if there are people around me, I feel lonely

I often feel alone in the world

I feel weak and helpless

I feel left out or excluded

I feel that nobody loves me
     

To score:  Add the numbers you circled and divide by 10.   



Score

------------

0.0-1.5

1.6 - 2.5

2.6 +
Interpretation

----------------

Normal   

Abnormal 

Seriously Abnormal
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« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2011, 12:27:47 AM »

I am that lonely child. I am 46, and I have walked around with that for many years. I survived my abusive parents. Sexual abuse from my mother. I kicked heroin and alcohol. I work hard and am respected at my job, but I harbor the loneliness, resentment and loss of identity. I am that lonely lost child... .My xBPDgf filled those things as I strived to maintain her love.  She is so volatile, IDK? I used to ask why God put her in my life? As if it was a cruel joke after what I have overcome in my life she was/is the most difficult... .Laugh out loud (click to insert in post). Perhaps it is the final chapter and I have been given all the tools to free myself from a lifetime of bondage. I am affraid to do the work. face the core, cry... .what happens if I get to deep and dont make it out... .

need to think

thanks

Rich
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« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2011, 12:30:10 AM »

I was not accustomed to showing self love because much of this was not permitted as a child. For me personally, I was to serve my uBPD father and have absolutely no autonomy for my personal growth. I was never taught to set boundaries (and they were dismissed when I did have any) and was prohibited from looking after my needs and instead was required to put others before me ~ enter BPD.

The idealization phase was fantastic and all that I needed was mirrored back ~ fulfilled my own feelings of loneliness and worthlessness.   
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« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2011, 02:37:35 PM »

Codependency (or codependence, co-narcissism or inverted narcissism) is unhealthy love and a tendency to behave in overly passive or excessively caretaking ways that negatively impact one's relationships and quality of life. It also often involves placing a lower priority on one's own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others.[1] Codependency can occur in any type of relationship, including family, work, friendship, and also romantic, peer or community relationships.[1] Codependency may also be characterized by denial, low self-esteem, excessive compliance, or control patterns.[1] Narcissists are considered to be natural magnets for the codependent.

... .as well as BPDs.

I need some clarity and have a question... .

Are you saying the "lonely child" is an NPD? (like mentioned in previous post)

or is the "lonely child" a codependent? or neither, and something else?

Both.

Each of us is a "lonely child". (Very good insight  Idea )

Whether we call ourselves codependents, or have narcissistic traits (which most of us likely do), or both, doesn't make a difference.

Even in case of real NPD's, it holds true for them as well.

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« Reply #25 on: December 08, 2011, 10:11:00 PM »

I want to learn more about the "lonely child" and narcissism; they sound all too familiar. When reading about the lonely child, "understanding" and "obsession" really struck a chord with me. I have some  PD traits's to work on it seems. How do you come to terms with things that happened during your childhood though? I want to make changes and eventually have a healthy relationship.

What's the next step? I plan on ordering the book "Search For The Real Self : Unmasking The Personality Disorders Of Our Age by James Masterson" recommended by Clearmind.

It is a huge relief to know there are people out there that understand. THANK YOU!  xoxo
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« Reply #26 on: December 09, 2011, 12:54:08 AM »

Schema Mode-Lonely Child / Vulnerable Child  The  Lonely Child / Vulnerable Child is a maladaptive schema characterized by feelings of being lonely, isolated, sad, misunderstood, unsupported, defective, deprived, overwhelmed, incompetent, doubts self, needy, helpless, hopeless, frightened, anxious, worried, victimized, worthless, unloved, unlovable, lost, directionless, fragile, weak, defeated, oppressed, powerless, left out, excluded, pessimistic.  The Lonely Child is prone to act in a passive, subservient, submissive, approval-seeking way around others out of fear of conflict or rejection; tolerates abuse and/or bad treatment; selects people or engages in other behavior that directly maintains the self-defeating schema-driven pattern.

The analysis from which this came was brilliant, and I am catching up.

Radical acceptance comes when you realize that what was mirrored really wasn’t you- it was what *you wanted others to give to you*   It was <<Understanding.>> Try to give that to yourself.

Yes, it is understanding, but even more it is recognition, which perhaps is the same thing or at least in the same category. I am a "lonely child" in the analysis and what I crave is recognition and what I feel I got during the mirroring phase was someone who recognized me for who I am, which is what I always wanted since I NEVER got that in my family. And then of course the BPD wasn't really doing that after all. He didn't recognize me at all (as my T pointed out many times).

Diotima
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« Reply #27 on: December 09, 2011, 10:49:24 AM »

Excerpt
A Borderline, on the other hand, has a deficient sense of false self as well as limited ego functions and borrows the false self of others to fuse to as a security measure.  They value that borrowed “self” very much and it is never devalued and discarded- but rather, is absorbed intrapsychically and grieved. The concept of that good self is returned to often, if only in yearning and fantasy.

I am wondering about this (also related to my previous post). The BPD has a deficient or partial self and goes around mirroring others to feel more whole for awhile. I don't think, at least in my case, that my ex was mirroring my false self. I think he was eliciting something in me that was not recognized as a child but that it really is me and mine and it was brought out and experienced in this r/s--something incredibly valuable to me. This is not to say that the BPD had any clue the significance of this since he was feeding off it. What do you mean by the "false self of others"? Is this the same as the "borrowed self"? I just want to get clear on what you are saying. It is a false self for them I think, but it sure wasn't for me. I think this is why there is so much pain for the non--this mirroring brought to life something very real for us. It was the r/s that was an illusion and then a feeling that once the BPD does the disappearing act and goes on to a new host, they take access away. That isn't true, but it is the feeling. Hence the grief for us. I don't understand that the BPD grieves what they get from us at all given that they replace it almost instantly (mine always had new hosts lined up). Of course, when those r/s's broke up he wanted me back until I wouldn't take him back any more. Could you clarify all the relationships between the ideas in that passage?

Thanks much,

Diotima
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« Reply #28 on: December 09, 2011, 11:25:19 AM »

I am definitely the "lonely child" schema, as the child of a BP/NPD mother, my psychological coping mechanism was to either disassociate / detach entirely (like a turtle pulling into it's shell) and wait out the "storm", or to soothe, cajole, comfort the object of my need for love.

These days, things are a bit "better" for me - while still living under the same roof as my exBF (UBPD) I can see this dynamic much more clearly.

He is now playing out the idealize/devalue dynamic with a woman (an ex-gf from 15+ years ago) who wants to be with him, but is still married to someone else.   He will spend hours talking to her on FB, talking to me about her (boundaries?  what boundaries?), and then the next day (or even the same day/night) going off on a long winded tirade about how she isn't worth it, is (various derogatory terms) because she is married, etc.

He does seem to be a very small child trapped in the body of an adult, with the same level of emotional maturity of a small child.

Seeing this, understanding it, has lead to a wee bit more compassion on my part, but it also deepens my pain in knowing that I was indeed never truly validated in this relationship.

I think that's probably the key there - the lack of validation and true understanding of the "non" on the part of the borderline.  

Untreated, they lack the capacity to be truly giving without the expectation that you will always do what they want you to do (fill that seemingly endless void in their psyche)

Heavy stuff, indeed.
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« Reply #29 on: December 23, 2011, 06:19:49 AM »

Unfortunately, (or fortunately), I recognize myself in these posts. We have to know there is something that makes us fall for these type releationships (this is my second one) and it's most likely our own, not so great mental health.  I resemble the altruistic NPD, I'm afraid, and I think I got it the exact way described here.
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« Reply #30 on: December 23, 2011, 06:54:38 PM »

This discussion had summed up my r/s, for sure! I have definitely always been the lonely child. And I can see my H as the angry child. His anger/self has always been shame based.

In our r/s, the idealization/devaluation came in the form of ":)r Jekyll/Mr Hyde". Of course, I never heard about BPD until last year, so I could never understand how the pendulum could swing so far. And it always seemed like Mr Hyde would appear so suddenly, just when things would be going seemingly well. But, of course, when things were going well, I relaxed my stance quite a bit.

Schema model and the tenets of the therapy can help us deal with our early maladaptive schemas and move toward the "Happy Child".  

A lot makes sense now, in the context of this discussion!

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« Reply #31 on: February 29, 2012, 06:08:44 PM »

Much thankfulness to Clearmind, 2010, and Skip - I have read your posts several times, and am most grateful for the knowledgeable points regarding my role - my Self.
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« Reply #32 on: July 01, 2012, 10:46:06 AM »

What I didn't know was that I am a classic "Lonely Child," (captured in the recent, What Helped You to Heal post).  In reading that post, I saw myself totally clearly. I also understand why there was such a draw to the the BPD ex and why our relx was so insane.  

I have a few questions, though, if anyone can answer:

1. Does this mean the relx problems were equally my fault?  And the relationship's end? Yes, the dreaded and horrible question we all agonize about so much.  It seems from the post that it was both of us. But she's PD and I am not. How to reckon all this?

2. How to fix myself? I have a therapist, but she doesn't get any of this at all. Other than that, I really like her as a T, and it was hard to find her, so I am very hesitant to give it up. Does one need a T who really understands BPD to fix the self? That's a tall order, it would seem, and I live in the Bay Area, which ain't the sticks.

Okay, I guess I had a number of questions, and maybe they aren't dumb, but you get the idea.

Happy Sunday to you all.  Hi!
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« Reply #33 on: July 01, 2012, 10:58:01 AM »

What I didn't know was that I am a classic "Lonely Child," (captured in the recent, What Helped You to Heal post).  In reading that post, I saw myself totally clearly. I also understand why there was such a draw to the the BPD ex and why our relx was so insane.  

I have a few questions, though, if anyone can answer:

1. Does this mean the relx problems were equally my fault?  And the relationship's end? Yes, the dreaded and horrible question we all agonize about so much.  It seems from the post that it was both of us. But she's PD and I am not. How to reckon all this?

As you continue to grow and ''do the work''.You will see ''your part'' in all of this.You will begin to see what it is about you that attracts this and STAYS.The sad truth is,most of these relx are doomed from the get go.

2. How to fix myself? I have a therapist, but she doesn't get any of this at all. Other than that, I really like her as a T, and it was hard to find her, so I am very hesitant to give it up. Does one need a T who really understands BPD to fix the self? That's a tall order, it would seem, and I live in the Bay Area, which ain't the sticks.

Yes, i need a ''T'' who can dig deep into my past violent crazy upbringing to see where this all started for me.My answers believe it or not are in my childhood.Many many patterns i learned go hand and hand with my choices of today,tomorrow and yesterdays.

I  put me there. No one else did this to me.  I was even warned from her ex husband to run, within the first month!

Again i can only talk about my own opinion.I believe most of us that come here ''wanna vent'' and play the ''victim''.

But I wonder how many '':)O THE WORK''.
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« Reply #34 on: July 01, 2012, 11:47:14 AM »

I don't think that the anyone is saying that the two people are equally causing the problem.  I think the lonely child is so very vulnerable to the overtures made by the abandoned child (pwBPD), and why once the spiral starts, the lonely child gets so locked in and it is awful to extricated her/himself.

I don't think there is any version of this where the abandoned child/pwBPD signs on for and is able to engage in a stable, open, loving, affirming r/s.

If the pwBPD tries to engage with someone who is not a lonely child, or a lonely child who is recovering and not as vulnerable as she once might have been (which I think is my story), it may be that the full spiral does not play out.  It does not mean that those people get a lovely, blissful relationship.  In my case, I drew boundaries and separated myself after one or two loops.  So I've got nothing left of the r/s ... .I just escaped with somewhat less damage than I might have earlier in my life.  And for what it's worth, it was still intensely damaging.  I've been separate from him but still trying to undo the harm caused by the collapse of the idealization, which I fully and enthusiastically bought into; and trying to accept that the boundaries I drew were correct, that I wouldn't have that blissful r/s you speak of if I had just come back for more.

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« Reply #35 on: July 01, 2012, 12:38:06 PM »

Not dumb questions.  Really tough questions!  I'm struggling with these questions.  

I had an immense  Idea go on in my head when I read the description of the Lonely Child and Abandoned Child.  I am clearly the Lonely Child.  So clearly!

1. Does this mean the relx problems were equally my fault?  And the relationship's end? Yes, the dreaded and horrible question we all agonize about so much.  It seems from the post that it was both of us. But she's PD and I am not. How to reckon all this?

This question can have so many different meanings and purposes.  I'm tempted to cut to the chase and say - to you and at the same time to myself - why should it matter whose "fault" it was?

But for me to say that would be:

- cheating

- pretending that I'm further on in my struggle with this than I am;

- boring, in that it doesn't engage with my own confusion or with you.

I can only talk of my own experience, but I hope it's helpful to you and others.

It does matter whose fault it was.  Because this is a r/s that I put enormous effort and dedication into.  If there's something fundamentally wrong I've been doing, I want to know about it!  Otherwise I might do it again.  That's the key to forgiving myself for what happened.

I read this incredible analysis of the Lonely <-> Abandoned Child interaction, and one thing that jumps out at me is how partial, personal and individual my own expectations are.  I am not a "typical reasonable member of the human race" - if there is such a thing.  I am a typical Lonely Child...  Which is a particular kind of human being.  And I haven't been aware, I think, until reading the post, how much this colours my reactions to other people.

This is a bit frightening.  It means I don't have an authority to speak in judgment on my ex.  Because I don't represent humanity, or even the "good, reasonably well-adjusted" part of it.  (Again, if there is such a thing).  I am quite an odd person myself.  All I can do is be clear about how what she did affected and affects me, and hold to it: not as a final judgment, but as just my judgment - and let that be good enough.

This has been very difficult for me to do.  My particular flavour of Lonely Child is very good at never passing final judgment.  There is always more understanding to be gained, by hanging in there.  Loyalty and endurance DO get rewarded, in this world, often.  You DO uncover the treasure, after sifting through tons of dirt.  But my determination never to give up is a bit out of whack.  Exaggerated.  Sometimes some form of final judgment is needed, for action - for example, for me to definitely, finally, break off relations with my exgf. Which I never managed to do.

Lonely Children have grown up very fast, I think.  If there's one thing I'm good at, its grownup.  I might be ripping into million pieces inside, but I'll carry on.  In my Lonely Child persona, I am: resilent, enduring, independent.  Able to walk away from anything.  Including love; comfort; ease; luxury.  This is what Lonely Child is good at.  Until he/she falls apart, that is.  (And that's what this r/s has done for/to me: it's blown Lonely Child out of the water.)

So a pwBPD is incomprehensible to me.  It just blows my mind that someone can be so dependent on others, can get others to do stuff for them so easily and guiltlessly (a bit of envy on my part there, I think  , can trample on others so heedlessly.  It's hard for me to comprehend this kind of behaviour as a stable personality, rather than as a phase or crisis which the pwBPD will grow out of.

The lonely child feels that in order to deal with acting out of the Borderline- the lonely child must project the aura of grace, compassion and understanding upon the Borderline and also guide, teach and show the way- because after all, that_
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« Reply #36 on: July 01, 2012, 02:07:12 PM »

The post on the Lonely Child vs Abandoned Child, is the most helpful, validating, and clarifying article I have read to date on BPD. Thank you so much for posting. I am the Lonely Child. A year out and still reeling from the devaluation phase. Still trying to get back to the idealization phase, just didn't realize it until now. Wow! What a a ha moment.  My wife had no identity that was not mine. My interests were her interests, which I enjoyed, but found odd at the same time.  This makes so much sense to me. She would latch on and eventually spoil virtually everything I was interested in.

Now she is in her home country with new Mr. Prince Perfect, poor bastard. She has found her another lonely child to protect, mirror, and latch onto. Just them against the world. Until they turn on each other. At this moment I am so glad to be out of this dance and to see if for what it was. A great big illusion. No wonder I have been so confused by "her" behavior all this time.

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« Reply #37 on: July 01, 2012, 03:58:34 PM »

P&C: You and I seem to go to the 'so, it was all my fault then?' thing as second nature... .Got to stop doing that!  Thanks for your clarification. I need to read the post again, to see more clearly why I was drawn to the ex in first place. There is so much in the post, that it is hard to take it all in. And especially since everything I read in it is just one  Idea after another... .

Nonhere, this is so me: Lonely Childs have grown up very fast, I think.  If there's one thing I'm good at, its grownup.  I might be ripping into million pieces inside, but I'll carry on.  In my Lonely Child persona, I am: resilent, enduring, independent.  Able to walk away from anything.  Including love; comfort; ease; luxury.  This is what Lonely Child is good at.  Until he/she falls apart, that is.  (And that's what this r/s has done for/to me: it's blown Lonely Child out of the water.)  

I have always assumed that I am the strongest, most independent person in a room, however big the room  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)   I have spent my entire life cultivating strength, my self, and independence. It seems I had to, given some things in childhood, and it's this I need to explore more in therapy. With the ex BPD, all of this was blown to hell and back. Just like you, it's blown Lonely Child out of the water, in a way I've never experienced. Still trying to get my mind around it. She used my strength and self to give herself a self, mirrored it back to me, I craved understanding (no one has ever understood me, quite frankly; it's always been my job to understand/save everyone else), and then all of it was twisted and thrown back at me, and she was the victim, me the abuser. Sheesh, I thought I was smart,  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post), but it has hard to wrap my head around it all.

I have a complaint ( Smiling (click to insert in post)) about this board... . Some posters on here set the bar so high--in terms of understanding BPD and the nons who get involved with them--that your average or even above average therapist is going to fall short, very short.  I don't need a T to understand BPD necessarily, but I want them to have the insight into nons that some posters here have in spades. It is hard to find. If all the posters on this board were once involved with BPDs, maybe this says something about the high calibre of the Nons?  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)  There are a lot of really smart people here.

Okay, on with my day... .

Thanks to you all, and another Happy Sunday.  Hi!
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« Reply #38 on: July 01, 2012, 06:02:32 PM »

Can you expound on that mirroring part with the BPD? I too am very strong, like Teflon, especially in crisis and in "saving" mode... .this year, however, I was down emotionally due to two tragic family deaths (suicide and terminal cancer)... .and my best friend (ha) BPD was not present or available for much compassion, no wake, funeral, etc... .and I was still expected to support her and her cycles of conflict with family members... finally, this year I emerged stronger and less tolerant of her neediness and complaining, negativity, conflicts, etc. and was less responsive and "rescuing" about them... .just told her get over it, let it go, maybe look at it this way... .I think she did not like this lack of attention, availability, and turned the tides on me painted me black over a wrongdoing perceived 2 years ago... .and silent treatment and text "not working for me". poof. done. 30 plus years of supportive best friend... .please explain more about the mirroring so I can start to explore my role in this dysfunction and never repeat it again! Also, any insight on what happened?
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« Reply #39 on: July 03, 2012, 07:05:07 AM »

The fact that the Abandoned Child vs Lonely Child has been discovered by some of you gives me a great joy; for people wired to _
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« Reply #40 on: July 03, 2012, 09:18:02 AM »

I can certainly identify with the Lonely Child. I believe I've been running away since I was a child. My mom favored my brother over me and was often harder (sabotaging me to some degree) on me though I was a likable child. I used to go to my grandparents as a refuge or go hang out in the woods with my dog. Looking back I recognize it more as an escape than something I truly chose to do. It was a defense against a difficult environment. Yes, my mom may not be borderline but certainly very temperamental with health issues. Much like my ex pwBPD. Surreall how our r/s likely mirrored my parents' r/s, etc. It's been a gift to see my tendencies and that somehow deep inside I don't believe (or don't act like I believe) I'm worthy of someone who will treat me well.

I'm working to change all of that now. To engage life and live it the best I can. To regain my trust in others. It can be done. One day at a time.
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« Reply #41 on: July 03, 2012, 10:04:20 AM »

Non here:My particular flavour of Lonely Child is very good at never passing final judgment.  There is always more understanding to be gained, by hanging in there.  Loyalty and endurance DO get rewarded, in this world, often.  You DO uncover the treasure, after sifting through tons of dirt.  But my determination never to give up is a bit out of whack.  Exaggerated.  Sometimes some form of final judgment is needed, for action - for example, for me to definitely, finally, break off relations with my exgf.  Which I never managed to do.

My friends call me the most forgiving and resilient person. They act as if it is some valiant personality trait. In reality, it is like what you describe, and I guess there are very powerful positive things about this, but, in my 10 year r/s with my BPD/NPD, it was a living heck. I wanted to get out of that dirt, to stop looking for the treasure. I also could not manage to get out of the loyalty and put self preservation at the top of the list. I see now, it was self abuse. My Lonely Child was trying to win my fathers favor.

It just blows my mind that someone can be so dependent on others, can get others to do stuff for them so easily and guiltlessly (a bit of envy on my part there, I think  ), can trample on others so heedlessly.  It's hard for me to comprehend this kind of behaviour as a stable personality, rather than as a phase or crisis which the pwBPD will grow out of.



I also have had moments of envy about how he could just be so guiltless, and have probably said it to him a million times. "I wish I was more like you... .I wish I could be this sometimes... ."

NO. I do not wish that.

Rotgut:She would latch on and eventually spoil virtually everything I was interested in.

Rotgut, mine would latch on to things and then devalue them over and over until I just hid them. ANything sacred to me went underground for fear of being annhilated.

Acknowledgement: painted me black over a wrongdoing perceived 2 years ago... .and silent treatment and text "not working for me". poof. done. 30 plus years of supposive best friend...

Ack, I have a 30 year friend with BPD who did this to me, as well. She came back after two years, and I gave her a copy of SWOE. She read it and entered therapy.

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« Reply #42 on: July 03, 2012, 10:57:40 AM »

My Lonely Child came from never being validated or acknowledged as anything other than almost an object, even though I was surrounded by people and things looked normal. As an adult, I had some success and also thought I was made of teflon because I cultivated independence and strength through hard work - not inner work, just work.

If it weren't for this site and follow-up research, I would never have been able to identify my dad as a narcissist - not diagnosed, I know, but it quacks and walks like a duck. So I felt like a zero/invisible growing up in some ways, but tried hard to overcome this. I buried those feelings, like how I felt when I was in my second year of college and my father didn't even know what school I was attending. I was an hour away from home. He didn't sound embarrassed in the least. It was just normal to never show an interest in me even though we lived under the same roof.

Just a small example, but a series of things like this made me primed for a BPD r/s, plus a couple of histrionic friendships, which I could write a book about. My siblings have had similar experiences. Talk about putting your needs last. I am a middle aged woman and it has taken me forever to finally take an indepth look at myself and ask, point-blank: what about me? What do I want? What am I willing to tolerate? I thank God every day for this site. It's really all about mental health and "doing the work."

acknowledgement, mirroring is a lot of work for them, but it feels good to the non. It's like they are copying your best qualities because they're seeking a reward and trying to fill an inner emptiness. You're also getting a payoff that fills a void. It's like looking into a mirror and seeing the good - or at least stuff that may be entertaining, stimulating and you seem validated for your talents. I guess as the Lonely Child is  just happy that someone seems so interested in them and needs them. But they grow tired of mirroring and we grow tired of the one-way street. They always turn on you. The disorder is in control.  I read somewhere here on the boards that the devaluing happens really early on, but remains hidden for a while. You think you're golden, but you're not. You never were. You're just filling a hole and you're being conditioned to keep it up and not step out of line, with subtle cues you're not even aware of.

HazelJade, I agree with the thinking that all the processing post-BPD-r/s can be seen as a gift, a lot more so if total NC is possible. With the sudden rupture in the r/s, the focus can shift - but it's a ton of work to push them out of your head and turn the attention on you, because maybe it was never there in the first place.

I often think most people on the Leaving board kept a key part of their integrity intact, despite having Lonely Child traits and facing BPD emotional abuse, or they wouldn't be here, determined to heal and grow stronger.
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« Reply #43 on: July 03, 2012, 03:01:49 PM »

The Lonely Child v AC gave me goose pimples as I read it. I'm the Lonely Child and I've never seen me described before. I'm also attracted to other Lonely Childs and can see that they are strong, independent, sensitive people. I've been waiting all my life for someone to 'get me' in the way my ex seemed to. But he didn't.

I realised before I knew about the BPD that I was projecting qualities onto him that maybe weren't there. Because I loved him, was attracted to him, but most of all because I desperately want to be loved and noticed.

My parents were good people. But they were wrapped up in their jobs and my father, in particular was wrapped up in himself. I'm only just beginning to realise that he always put his needs above everybody elses. The thing is that's what men did in those days so it doesn't seem that unusual.

I was the youngest of two and my older brother demanded all the attention. I was never a problem really. And I was never really noticed. Except when I was meeting an egotistical need of my father's eg. acting in a play. That was about him having a talented daughter, not me being talented.

And my ex noticed me like nobody else ever had- it was uncomfortable, too much at times but it filled a gaping hole in me.

The stuff about always looking for understanding really resonates with me- I was always looking for it with my ex. He was always asking me for answers about why he behaved in certain ways then as time went on and I began to see that behind the crisis things weren't going to get better; that the issues we kept overcoming just brought new issues because he created them, he started to say I analyse everything too much.

I said no I don't it's just the way I am. Lonely Child vs AC. We didn't get each other at all after all.

And, ironically or maybe not ironic at all, now Lonely Child is completely unnoticed worse than ever before as BPD wipes out the fact that we ever existed to them. Playing out childhood all over. Painful but oh so familiar.

So... .What does an Lonely Child do once they know they are an Lonely Child? Apart from understand themselves quite a lot more and be wary of further dysfunctional relationships?





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« Reply #44 on: July 03, 2012, 03:58:07 PM »

Great Question! What does lonely child do now that they are aware and recognize themselves! I think we start to say/act/believe:

"WHAT DO I WANT... .from life, relationships,

WHAT CAN I DO FOR MYSELF... .

What makes ME happy besides FIXING RESCUING...

.what makes me feel good when I am NOT HELPING SOMEONE OR NOT FIXING SOMEONE?

Who am I?

What do I want to do?

How do I want others to treat me?

I can feel already, when we explore these questions, start to answer them and live by them, that we will NOT attract BPDs because, as my BPD friend who abandoned me told me "YOU ARE DIFFERENT". Yes, thank you, I AM! I have emerged and I am exploring who I am outside of a dysfunctional controlling relationship! Join the journey fellow Lonely Child!... .and maybe, just maybe, we thank our BPD experience for releasing us to higher possibilities!
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« Reply #45 on: July 03, 2012, 04:07:25 PM »

Was actually just thinking I may need to start posting on the Personal Inventory Board. It makes me a little nervous but I think these posts are possibly for there. The analysis is for me now and not for him.

I was much, much more comfortable analysing somebody else's f***d upness! Guess there's another big clue as to why I stayed in it.

My ex taught me a lot about myself in his behaviours. I need to give him that. And he taught me to be less understanding at times and, whilst I would never advocate BPD as a way of life, it did start me wondering if I forgive and understand too much at times. Never have guessed I'd end up here though.

So in some ways we can thank the BPDs. It means we are all getting somewhere I think.

Scary!
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« Reply #46 on: July 03, 2012, 05:35:25 PM »

The Lonely Child schema hit me. It resonated with me and though I help others lots, I have been disappointed by others that I try to understand. It's because they don't understand me back. I learnt now to help others but never at my own compromise and well being. It's still a struggle as I try to find a fulfilling life with an understanding and complimentary partner. All my life I've been making films that explore abstract ideas (trying to make sense of things) and interpersonal dramatic relations and I realize I'm only trying to understand others in a twisted way of understanding myself. I'm projecting my inner exploration.

Lonely would definitely be a feeling I carry through my life.

I would like to add what I believe Lonely Child is not a term that defines us but a term that is with us. Meaning that all types of personalities have an inner lonely child but it is more evident in some. And in order for BPDs to attract another, they need to be a mirror for someone who's in a lonely child 'stance' who will bring forth understanding. This understanding trait is what defines a lot of us on here and it is something that BPDs strive on. They know they make no sense and they know that an understanding person will latch on trying to make things work. It is devastating to a partner because personally, being understanding is what defines a lot of myself and the walls of understanding collapsed before me. It hurt when I realized that all my efforts where in vein. Not only that, but I was manipulated and crushed by whom I thought was a worthy person that needed... scratch that... DEMANDED it.
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« Reply #47 on: July 03, 2012, 07:34:26 PM »

There's so much good stuff on this post; thanks to you all.

I asked my T today--so, okay, I am a Lonely Child--what to do?  She suggested that I try to 'feel' how I might have felt as a kid in various circumstances, as a way of healing, somehow. I guess healing is the word? Unlike the exBPD, I haven't seen myself as in need of core healing in the same way. I didn't have a traumatic childhood, and no abuse; but general indifference characterized my growing up. So, I responded to that by becoming strong in so many ways, and I was definitely lonely. Okay, so I'll try to tap into the little squirt that I was back then, and feel the feelings, and then... .  maybe that will be enough?  Plus of course trying to do as NylonSquid suggested, and figure out what I want/how I want to be treated. And resolve never again to be roped into the Rescuer. Ooh, that is a hard one. I love to rescue. But unless we're talking about a little kitty cat or puppy, I need to resist the urge. There is something so compelling about rescuing a damsel in distress and then hoping/praying she loves me in the end... .  But I saw how that worked last time,     

So, feeling the feelings, and be more aware. That's about all I can think of now. I don't know if my therapist is very good, because I wonder if she should have more ideas? 

I was actually envious a little of my ex, when she started a 12-step support group, for all her problems. She had instant community and friends, and had such big problems that so many people joined in to help her. I never get that,  Smiling (click to insert in post)  I kind of wish I did. But I don't need it, I guess? But that's part of it. I never need anything or anyone, because I've always taken care of myself (no choice on that one).  "Healing" a lonely child is a bit complicated, it seems. At least to me.

Happy Tuesday.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #48 on: July 03, 2012, 08:28:12 PM »

Here is a question in reference to the Lonely Childhild

Has anyone found any good self talk type practice, or whatever to snap out of obssessing about where the ex is and what and who, etc?

I find myself doing it, even if I kind of dont care. It is like a habit.

I have Limited Contact, due to our son, and ex mentioned he has plans for tomorrow evening, that he has a 4th of July party to go to.

I got stuck. Just for a second. And I wondered. thank God I did not ask any questions, just wondered for a minute when I hung up. If he found the replacement yet.
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« Reply #49 on: July 03, 2012, 09:35:56 PM »

Yes, the Lonely Child/Abandoned Child schema rings so true for me and my exBPD, too.  It was almost overwhelming to read... .so dead-on accurate.  I'm going to have to read it again (and probably again and again) to fully grasp it.

Kind of off-topic -- but -- I wonder if 2 Lonely Child's (recovered or recovering) would make for a more stable relationship?
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« Reply #50 on: July 04, 2012, 09:17:00 AM »

For me the lonely child in me /is seeking somebody who recognises all the things in me that I like and appreciate about myself. Because nobody noticed me as a child.

My ex wasn't exactly like me and was very different in some ways but the fact that he loved the things about me which I loved about myself was huge for me. I was in love with his love for me, not in love with myself, but maybe that's like looking in a mirror?

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« Reply #51 on: July 04, 2012, 09:52:07 AM »

And Maria, what you've said makes sense to me... .that I can get my (little) mind around!

And I'll join HowPredicatable in expressing my thanks for the original Lonely Child post, which has done so much in helping me to understand myself.

Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #52 on: July 04, 2012, 10:23:52 AM »

1. Does this mean the relationship problems were equally my fault?  And the relationship's end? Yes, the dreaded and horrible question we all agonize about so much.  It seems from the thread that it was both of us. But she's PD and I am not. How to reckon all this?

2. How to fix myself? I have a therapist, but she doesn't get any of this at all.

This is a very thoughtful thread and it's great to see the participation. It will beckon a few to advance and take that next all important step in healing - personal inventory.  Personal inventory is the hardest and most rewarding step of all.  Hard and rewarding.  Like learning to ski or learning to dive - it's discouraging and painful on the outset.  I can see a few struggling with that now and some will turn away in denial.

There is a reason we hurt. Pain is what drives us to break through and get beyond our own coping mechanisms and search for the real answer to our struggles - to fix what is defective and live a life that is not marred by a fixable emotional defect.

But getting past the protective coping is the key... .and hard.  We can all see how a pwBPD struggles to do this.  We struggle too. We are often so fearful of pain that we do anything we can to avoid it - alcohol, get a new partner, blame others.  And we are often so fearful of facing our own weaknesses, that we look everywhere else but at ourselves.  But the bottom line is that the person pwBPD is gone now and all that is left is to fix ourselves.

If you want to start to understand the "Lonely Child" (more commonly referred to as the "Vulnerable Child", start with a little reading about Jeffery Young's schema.  Here is a little blurb to get started:

The conceptual model for narcissism revolves around schema modes, which are defined as separate facets of the self that have not been fully integrated with each other.

The patient is characterized by three modes:

  • the Lonely Child, who feels lonely and devalued;


  • the Self-Aggrandizer, who overcompensates through entitlement and approval-seeking; and


  • the Detached Self-Soother, who seeks stimulation to avoid painful affect.  


The patient alternates between the Self-Aggrandizer and Detached Self- Soother modes to avoid experiencing the isolation of the Lonely Child.

Schema therapy treatment includes helping the patient value nurturing and empathy more than status and approval; combating entitled behavior; accessing early feelings of loneliness and defectiveness.


Who of you that identify with the "Lonely Child" are ready to take this on?

Who of you that identify with the "Lonely Child" are struggling to break through your own coping mechanisms?
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« Reply #53 on: July 04, 2012, 10:26:48 AM »

Skip: Thank you so much for this!  At this point, I am determined to work on myself, and 'fix' whatever it is that led me to the relx with the BPD ex in the first place.

I also need to think carefully about possibly finding a new T. My current T doesn't understand BPD, and therefore, I don't think she understands me. In fact, I've read her stuff from this site, to try to educate ( Smiling (click to insert in post)) her, and it's clear she's hearing it for the first time. I figure if someone can understand BPD, they can understand anything, and possibly even me. I don't think I'm that hard to understand, but it sure seems hard to find a T with real insight and expertise on anything tangible.

Hi!
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« Reply #54 on: July 04, 2012, 10:42:35 AM »

Skip,

can you post a link to the entire original text of this?

I can see the self aggrandizing  part in me that comes out to avoid pain, but, I cannot see as clearly the detached self soother. I tend to have a deficiency in the self soothing arena.

Also, all this new information is really flooding me. I have bells going off all over the place, and I thought of something very important for me:

I belive now, that I had a childhood and early adulthood which set me up to be a shoe in for BPD. I was sexually abused as a child, my dad died when I wa 13, my mom was present but emotionally cold. I was re assaulted as a teenager, and had done some weird self harming, but never cutting, or anything extreme. I also never black/whited people, or cut them out of my life. I usually remained close with people I had been imtimate with, and also had the fortune of several longer term relationships.

.

I think what I am seeing is that when I was around 21 years old, I sought help. I went to therapy for ten or so years, working on various things, eventually coming to a place when I was around 27 where I started doing EMDR therapy. I released a great deal of trauma from my chilhood, and went on to have 2 very healthy, balanced and long term relationships in my 30s. I was able to develop a strong identity, and good, solid friendships, did family therapy with my FOO, as a result of my work on myself. My whole family benefited from it. I have had an excellent and successful career in the public eye, and had a good self esteem.

BUT, I took my foot off the snake so to speak... .I stopped doing the work, and when I met my recent ex H uBPD/NPD husband, I was caught unawares, LOL.

All the still unhealed stuff played so deeply into him, from the very start. Ten years later, my self esteem is so eroded. I have always had a very strong sense of identity. I even feel that I have used this relationship to punish myself out of guilt for my fathers death. (It was blamed on me, openly by my mother).

The earlier work that I did, I think may have worked out the Abandoned Child issues in me, but I still have the serious Lonley child complex.

Is this possible? That I somehow, in my earlier years was able to avert becoming fully BPD? And instead, while unravelling, healing, and processing the most deep issues around abandonment trauma, still retain the closer to the surface issues around being the Lonely Child?

It can seem, while reading these schema, that there is a very fine line between the two. Almost like a spectrum disorder.

Some children are very autistic, some are just a touch autistic... .like that... .

ANy thoughts?
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« Reply #55 on: July 04, 2012, 10:53:31 AM »

Also, 2010,

My question is: did you write it yourself, or adapt it from other text?

What is the origin of the post?

Very helpful, in ANY case!
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« Reply #56 on: July 04, 2012, 02:16:08 PM »

Oh, Thanks SOO Much, Skip!

Very useful for me!

Skip, I wonder if you read my previous post, about possibly being set up as a BPD, but through early long term therapy avoiding that, but retaining some Lonely Child tendencies (term used loosely, here, LOL.)

The description of the lonely child in your post above is exactly me. Especially "The Lonely Child is also prone to try to hold the relationship together long after it has turned bad as they are tolerant and often feel deserving of bad treatment." I feel/felt defective, deprived, and unloveable. My BPD/NPD would say, "who will want you?" and I believed that. I already had that tape running in my own head.

So, this is thought to be running on a spectrum? Like Autism is?

What is the main difference, or separating factor, as I said... .They run so close together. What would be the main thing that would cause a T/expert to deem a person the BPD over the Lonely Child?

I am on the Lonely Child end of the spectrum, I believe, as I really do not idealize/devalue, nor do I have general black/white thinking patterns. I continued to maintain friendships even though I felt I had been done wrong. I have the ability to accept rejection. I do not self harm, except through this abusive relationship. I do, however have rage at my ex BPD/NPD H.



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« Reply #57 on: July 04, 2012, 03:14:18 PM »

What would be the main thing that would cause a T/expert to deem a person the BPD over the Lonely Child?

nocrazy - we can have multiple schema and switch between schemas.  This is what Skip meant by this thread being a bit over simplified (but helpful).  BPD is typically associated with 5 main schemas.  NPD is typically associated with three main schema (see below).

The conceptual model for narcissism revolves around schema modes, which are defined as separate facets of the self that have not been fully integrated with each other.

The patient is characterized by three modes:

  • the Lonely Child, who feels lonely and devalued;


  • the Self-Aggrandizer, who overcompensates through entitlement and approval-seeking; and


  • the Detached Self-Soother, who seeks stimulation to avoid painful affect.  


The patient alternates between the Self-Aggrandizer and Detached Self- Soother modes to avoid experiencing the isolation of the Lonely Child.

A personal inventory, like learning to ski, it is a long process.  Stay with it. Take it one step at a time.  :)on't get hung up on labels - it tends to drive denial. Just look at what you wrote.  Some fear is showing.  Be brave.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

You, and many others, can identify with these maladaptive schema.  It's a blessing to see this.  Know you have a solid lead to follow in your personal inventory exploration.

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« Reply #58 on: July 04, 2012, 04:23:35 PM »

Want2Know,

Yes, there is fear in my post.

I have been through the ringer, LOL;

And I have come out pretty balanced, and have had many professional Therapists feed that back to me... .

But, I got mixed up in this again, and I am embarrassed, and its been a long time. I have lost the respect of some friends and family members who could just not understand why I would not leave.

I am very committed this time, to not leave my healing half baked. I want to have a fork stuck in me. I am 43, for Gosh sakes.

I have a 7 year old, and I am very vigilant about providing all the presence and limits and true love that I missed, that My BPD/NPD H did not get/ cannot give.

I feel pressure to do this right.

I will not get into another r/s until I at least have some clear ideas about this.

I have ordered a lot of books, read several already.

So, yeah. There is fear in there, and all I can do is keep moving, but. Yeah I am really afraid to lie to myself again, and tell myself its all healed over, and that I can trust my radar. In parenting, in partnering, in work.

Thanks
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« Reply #59 on: July 04, 2012, 04:30:37 PM »

I am very committed this time, to not leave my healing half baked. I want to have a fork stuck in me. I am 43, for Gosh sakes.

Don't feel alone, nocrazy!   xoxo

Right there with ya. I have a squirt too. And I was a dipsh**. And a fork plunged into my innards (and then twisted, for added effect) sounds good sometimes,  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

But guess what?  We cannot change the past. What we can do is: Change Now, and never go back. Ever. Ever ever ever. But you know that. Don't kick yourself; instead use that momentum to move forward.

You can do it!  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #60 on: July 04, 2012, 04:45:06 PM »

We cannot change the past. What we can do is: Change Now, and never go back. Ever. Ever ever ever. But you know that. Don't kick yourself; instead use that momentum to move forward.

You can do it!  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

I agree!

But getting past the protective coping is the key... .and hard.  We can all see how a pwBPD struggles to do this.  We struggle too. We are often so fearful of pain that we do anything we can to avoid it - alcohol, get a new partner, blame others.  And we are often so fearful of facing our own weaknesses, that we look everywhere else but at ourselves.  But the bottom line is that the person pwBPD is gone now and all that is left is to fix ourselves.

To me, this sums up the main idea that both Clearmind's workshop and 2010's post are trying to get at... .we need to better understand what is causing our pain and then take steps to do something about it.  It's about ownership, being accountable, and using that momentum, as you said SlowlybutSurely.  That is why we have that workshop and why we have the Personal Inventory board - to explore the origin of our pain and then make conscious decisions on how to heal.

Schemas are interesting and informative concepts, but are geared more towards those with long term personality defects, which you will find if you dig more into Schema Therapy.  It seems most of the folks posting on this thread can relate to these concepts, however it doesn't necessarily mean we are "defective". 

Skip points out some great questions:

Who of you that identify with the "Lonely Child" are ready to take this on?

Who of you that identify with the "Lonely Child" are struggling to break through your own coping mechanisms?

After reading many, many threads and posts on the Leaving board, I have to say that I think there are many of you ready to take on this challenge, more than you think.  It's about acknowledging our pain, no longer escaping from it, and doing something different.   Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)


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« Reply #61 on: July 04, 2012, 07:29:09 PM »

I had very little sense of responsibility to myself by entering into an association that I knew would hurt me. Despite leaving a large percentage of my childhood behind and/or developing coping mechanisms that had delivered me an outwardly successful life, I was the lonely child, searching to be understood and accepted by attempting to understand a challenging persona. Some may term it inverted narc, altruism and co-dependent. I have read many publications and links here, there and everywhere. The fits are not pure but there are elements. I know that my Mother was overly affectionate and lived "in check" often projecting her rationalisations and fears onto me. I was not ignored as a child, quite the opposite. I was touched all the time by her. It scared me. I feel sad saying this because I feel for her. She didn't abuse me or touch anywhere inappropriate but I didn't understand it. This deep sadness was something I felt growing up. I believed I had to protect her. I had a really good conversation with her yesterday and finally heard some honesty from her. These only occur once a decade though and then she caps it off with a justification or subject change so absolutely nothing gets addressed. The conversation happened as a result of setting some strong boundaries and standing up to her. I have often felt victimised, should I show any sort of individuation. Like my ex's family, this "separate" behaviour is considered almost criminal. Issues in facing a new level of responsibility in my life, plus the bait to fix the BPD, was the hook and I would have fought to the end of myself to help her. I wanted to make her healthy. Over the years, I have come to know who my Mother is and let go of many of those pieces that are not mine to hold on to. There are challenging days from time to time but the pain is worth the freedom, development and security of my real self. Unfortunately though, it may be a lifetimes work.
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« Reply #62 on: July 04, 2012, 08:27:41 PM »

One thing is for certain: these ways of dealing (with loss) are usually set by the time you are in your teens. The key to understanding them lies in self reflection in the aftermath of perceived failure. Why you feel things and what it means is something you've never understood until now. Possibly unknown to you at the moment, that perceived failure is actually a success. That's a good thing. Painful, yes, but good.

The hope is that you'll realize your pattern and uncover the root causes for it, deal with the root causes and then emerge with an acceptance of your perceived failure <<and yourself.>> Acceptance means creating change. Change hurts.

I think many of us, particularly in the immediate aftermath of relationship failure, look very narrowly at what transpired - last week or last month - and that's not going to tell us much.  In time, we naturally broaden our view a bit.

I think the point above is an important one.  We need to broaden our postmortem all the way back to childhood and look for the indicators and roots of what it is that we are struggling with today.  It's not just a difficult partner - it goes deeper than that.

This process may take while - but it will be shorter if we reach for it - longer if we fear it.

I've had the opportunity to see many people make this journey.  It changes them... .for the better.

Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #63 on: July 04, 2012, 08:53:47 PM »

This is a great topic.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

Schema Mode-Lonely Child / Vulnerable Child  The  Lonely Child / Vulnerable Child feels lonely, isolated, sad, misunderstood, unsupported, defective, deprived, overwhelmed, incompetent, doubts self, needy, helpless, hopeless, frightened, anxious, worried, victimized, worthless, unloved, unlovable, lost, directionless, fragile, weak, defeated, oppressed, powerless, left out, excluded, pessimistic.  The Lonely Child is prone to act in a passive, subservient, submissive, approval-seeking way around others out of fear of conflict or rejection; tolerates abuse and/or bad treatment; selects people or engages in other behavior that directly maintains the self-defeating schema-driven pattern.

Wow this says it all doesn't it? I know I could identify with alot in this schema in my past. I can admit to approval seeking, doing things for others so they would "like" me, or feeling incompetent, powerless, lonely, etc... So I can also admit to using maladaptive coping skills to avoid the pain. Getting myself into relationships to avoid being and feeling alone. I've also pretended to shrug off the pain as if it hadn't affected me. All these things point to my role in my past relationships. I now have to be accountable for my part. Not only that but be responsible for what my future holds if I wanted to grow. I had to become real honest with myself.

So what now? How do we change this schema we all have identified with? For me, I had to look back at my childhood and where I learned these behaviors to move forward. Educate myself on MY issues. This led to building my self esteem. Knowledge IS power. Being accountable also helped with self esteem. Spending time alone was key, I had to face the fears I had with loneliness. I had to learn to identify these emotions as well. Am I really angry or disappointed and hurt?

Working on you is just that... work. It's an investment... in you.
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« Reply #64 on: July 04, 2012, 10:24:58 PM »

Ok so now I'm confused!

I am the Lonely Child and my exBPD is the Abandoned Child, but I am not prone to act in all of the ways describe: a passive, subservient, submissive, approval-seeking way around others out of fear of conflict or rejection; tolerates abuse and/or bad treatment; selects people or engages in other behavior that directly maintains the self-defeating schema-driven pattern

If anything, i think my ex was more passive and subservient. I was more approval-seeking and 'other' focused. And I have a pattern of self-defeating choices.

I am not risk-averse or low-confront. I will state my case.

Suzn: do you have the schema mode for the Abandoned Child?

thanks

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« Reply #65 on: July 04, 2012, 10:43:12 PM »

Schema Mode-Abandoned/Abused Child   The borderline patient is seen as being motivated by four or five schema modes that make up an inner theater that is filled with pain and conflict. The Abandoned/Abused Child mode is the core schema of the patient.  This is a child who lives in fear and terror and who has no allies in the world.  People in this mode are quite frightened and troubled.  Jeffery Young, PhD and founder of Schema Therapy, stresses that psychologically and emotionally, borderline patients are little children around the age of 4 or 5.  In times of difficulty or high stress, it is helpful to try to see them as children instead of adults.  "Connection", for the Abandoned/Abused Child, is a matter of survival, and this drives much of the intensity that is found in the relationships of these patients.

Here it is bb12. As skip says this is a great tool for personal inventory. Where do you identify? What are your coping skills? These are the questions to ask ourselves.
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« Reply #66 on: July 05, 2012, 04:52:04 AM »

Ok so now I'm confused!

I am the Lonely Child and my exBPD is the Abandoned Child, but I am not prone to act in all of the ways describe: a passive, subservient, submissive, approval-seeking way around others out of fear of conflict or rejection; tolerates abuse and/or bad treatment; selects people or engages in other behavior that directly maintains the self-defeating schema-driven pattern

As mentioned earlier, these are general descriptions of the schema, not required criteria.  This test will give you a better idea if this schema fits you... .

Here is a test.  

What is your total score?  Let us know in the poll above and tell us (post) whether you feel good or are you struggling from effects of the BP relationship?

For your entire adult life:

1= Never     2=Rarely     3=Occasionally       4=Frequently      5=Most of the time       6= All of the time  













Never

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1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1
Rarely

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2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2
Occas

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3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3
Freq

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4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4
Mostly

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5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5
Always

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6

6

6

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6

6

6

6

6

6
Question

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I feel fundamentally inadequate, flawed, or defective

I feel lost

I feel desperate

I feel lonely

I feel humiliated

Even if there are people around me, I feel lonely

I often feel alone in the world

I feel weak and helpless

I feel left out or excluded

I feel that nobody loves me
   

To score:  Add the numbers you circled and divide by 10.    



Score

------------

0.0-1.5

1.6 - 2.5

2.6 +
Interpretation

----------------

Normal  

Abnormal  

Seriously Abnormal

The term "schema" was developed by Piaget and was used in his Cognitive Development theory.  :)r. Young referenced this theory, amongst others, using the concept of schemas, with his own interpretation, creating Schema Therapy.  Here is a general summary taken from the home page of the link referred to in reply #42:

"Schema therapy is an innovative psychotherapy developed by Dr. Jeffrey Young for personality disorders, chronic depression,  and other difficult individual and couples problems. Schema therapy integrates elements of cognitive therapy, behavior therapy, object relations, and gestalt therapy into one unified, systematic approach to treatment. Schema therapy has recently been blended with mindfulness meditation for clients who want to add a spiritual dimension to their lives."



If you do not have a personality disorder, chronic depression, etc. this may not fully apply to you.  It is just a way for those who practice this type of therapy to categorize their patients and develop a way to work with them in therapy.

Here's an example that may help... .when I took an Abnormal Psych class in college, after reading each disorder, there were parts of the behaviors that I could identify with, however, I'm fairly certain I did not actually have all those disorders (ie. OCD, bi-polar, eating disorders, etc.). But I do have some issues.     Don't get caught up with labels.  If you are struggling to cope, if you score high on a depression test, a PD test, or a schema test, it's an indication that you probably have some work to do. See a professional to get a better understanding of what is going on and how to deal with it.

Does that help?  
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« Reply #67 on: July 05, 2012, 06:59:48 AM »

Thank you so much Want2Know!

Yes, your post and examples helped enormously

I am blown away by the generosity of Ambassadors and others on here. That was a generous commitment of time and thought.

I am very grateful

And thanks to you Suzn for the abandoned child bit

Bb12 xx
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« Reply #68 on: July 05, 2012, 10:46:10 AM »

Thanks to all who have offered so much insight and information on this thread.

You guys are the BEST! 

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« Reply #69 on: July 05, 2012, 10:52:07 AM »

This is an awesome thread, and thank you to 2010 and to Skip, and to everyone else. All the Lonely Child/Abandoned Child threads are so full of impact if you fit the Lonely Child schema, as I most definitely do.

I think for most of us who do fit Lonely Child, the only way to heal that kid is by going back and dealing with the emotional wounds we experienced that went untreated.

M
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« Reply #70 on: July 05, 2012, 08:59:15 PM »

To find out what your Schemas are: go to the Young Schema Questionnaire (YSQ)  https://bpdfamily.com/pdfs/schema_inventory.xls

This is an excellent personal inventory test to take - 124 questions - you can print it out and score yourself.  This gets at all the schemas, not just the lonely child.

If you struggle with any of these domains - take the test - see where it points you.   Smiling (click to insert in post)

DISCONNECTION & REJECTION

(Expectation that one's needs for security, safety, stability, nurturance,  empathy, sharing of feelings, acceptance, and respect will not be met in a predictable manner. Typical family origin is detached, cold, rejecting, withholding, lonely, explosive, unpredictable, or abusive.)


1.  ABANDONMENT /  INSTABILITY   (AB)

The perceived instability or unreliability of those available for support and connection.  Involves the sense that significant others will not be able to continue providing emotional support, connection, strength, or practical protection because they are emotionally unstable and unpredictable (e.g., angry outbursts), unreliable, or erratically present; because they will die imminently; or because they will abandon the patient in favor of someone better.

2.  MISTRUST / ABUSE   (MA)

The expectation that others will hurt, abuse, humiliate, cheat, lie, manipulate, or take advantage.  Usually involves the perception that the harm is intentional or the result of unjustified and extreme negligence. May include the sense that one always ends up being cheated relative to others or "getting the short end of the stick."

3.  EMOTIONAL DEPRIVATION (ED)

Expectation that one's desire for a normal degree of emotional support will not be adequately met by others.  The three major forms of deprivation are:

A. Deprivation of Nurturance:  Absence of attention, affection, warmth, or companionship.

B. Deprivation of Empathy:  Absence of understanding, listening, self-disclosure, or mutual sharing of feelings from   others.

C. Deprivation of Protection:  Absence of strength, direction, or guidance from others.

4.  :)EFECTIVENESS / SHAME  (DS)

The feeling that one is defective, bad, unwanted, inferior, or invalid in important respects; or that one would be unlovable to significant others if exposed. May involve hypersensitivity to criticism, rejection, and blame; self-consciousness, comparisons, and insecurity around others; or a sense of shame regarding one's perceived flaws. These flaws may be private (e.g., selfishness, angry impulses, unacceptable sexual desires) or public (e.g., undesirable physical appearance, social awkwardness).

5.  SOCIAL ISOLATION / ALIENATION   (SI)

The feeling that one is isolated from the rest of the world, different from other people, and/or not part of any group or community.


IMPAIRED AUTONOMY & PERFORMANCE

(Expectations about oneself and the environment that interfere with one's perceived ability to separate, survive,  function independently, or perform successfully. Typical family origin is enmeshed, undermining of child's confidence, overprotective, or failing to reinforce child for performing competently outside the family.)


6.  :)EPENDENCE / INCOMPETENCE (DI)

Belief that one is unable to handle one's everyday responsibilities in a competent manner, without considerable help from others (e.g., take care of oneself, solve daily problems, exercise good judgment, tackle new tasks, make good decisions). Often presents as helplessness.

7.  VULNERABILITY TO HARM OR ILLNESS  (VH)

Exaggerated fear that imminent catastrophe will strike at any time and that one will be unable to prevent it. Fears focus on one or more of the following: (A) Medical Catastrophes:  e.g., heart attacks, AIDS;  (B) Emotional Catastrophes:  e.g., going crazy;  (C): External Catastrophes: e.g., elevators collapsing, victimized by criminals, airplane crashes, earthquakes.

8.  ENMESHMENT  /  UNDEVELOPED SELF   (EM)

Excessive emotional involvement and closeness with one or more significant others (often parents), at the expense of full individuation or normal social development.  Often involves the belief that at least one of the enmeshed individuals cannot survive or be happy without the constant support of the other.   May also include feelings of being smothered by, or fused with, others  OR  insufficient individual identity. Often experienced as a feeling of emptiness and floundering, having no direction, or in extreme cases questioning one's existence.  

9.  FAILURE  (FA)

The belief that one has failed,  will inevitably fail, or is fundamentally inadequate relative to one's peers, in areas of achievement (school, career, sports, etc.). Often involves beliefs that one is stupid, inept, untalented, ignorant, lower in status, less successful than others, etc.


IMPAIRED LIMITS

(Deficiency in internal limits,  responsibility to others, or long-term goal-orientation. Leads to difficulty respecting the rights of others, cooperating with others, making commitments,  or setting and meeting realistic personal goals. Typical family origin is characterized by permissiveness, overindulgence, lack of direction, or a sense of superiority -- rather than appropriate confrontation, discipline,  and  limits in relation to taking responsibility, cooperating in a reciprocal manner, and setting goals. In some cases, child may not have been pushed to tolerate normal levels of discomfort, or may not have been given adequate supervision, direction, or guidance.)


10.  ENTITLEMENT / GRANDIOSITY  (ET)

The belief that one is superior to other people; entitled to special rights and privileges; or not bound by the rules of reciprocity that guide normal social interaction. Often involves insistence that one should be able to do or have whatever one wants, regardless of what is realistic, what others consider reasonable,  or the cost to others;  OR an exaggerated focus on superiority (e.g., being among  the most successful,  famous,  wealthy)  -- in order to achieve power or control (not primarily for attention or approval).  Sometimes includes excessive competitiveness toward, or domination of, others:  asserting one's power, forcing one's point of view, or controlling the behavior of others in line with one's own desires---without empathy or concern for others' needs or feelings.

11. INSUFFICIENT SELF-CONTROL / SELF-DISCIPLINE (IS)

Pervasive difficulty or refusal to exercise sufficient self-control and frustration tolerance to achieve one's personal goals, or to restrain the excessive expression of one's emotions and impulses.  In its milder form,  patient presents with an exaggerated emphasis on discomfort-avoidance:  avoiding pain, conflict, confrontation, responsibility, or overexertion---at the expense of personal fulfillment, commitment,  or integrity.

OTHER-DIRECTEDNESS

(An excessive focus on the desires, feelings, and responses of others, at the expense of one's own needs -- in order to gain love and approval, maintain one's sense of connection, or avoid retaliation.  Usually involves suppression and lack of awareness regarding one's own anger and natural inclinations. Typical family origin is based on conditional acceptance: children must suppress important aspects of themselves in order to gain love, attention, and approval.  In many such families,  the parents' emotional needs and desires -- or social acceptance and status -- are valued more than the unique needs and feelings of each child.)


12.  SUBJUGATION  (SB)

Excessive surrendering of control to others because one feels coerced - - usually to avoid anger, retaliation, or abandonment. The two major forms of subjugation are:

A. Subjugation of Needs:  Suppression of one's preferences, decisions,  and desires.

B. Subjugation of Emotions: Suppression of emotional expression, especially anger.

   

Usually involves the perception that one's own desires, opinions,  and feelings are not valid or important to others. Frequently presents as excessive compliance, combined with hypersensitivity to feeling trapped. Generally leads to a build up of anger, manifested in maladaptive symptoms (e.g., passive-aggressive behavior, uncontrolled outbursts of temper, psychosomatic symptoms, withdrawal of affection, "acting out", substance abuse).

13. SELF-SACRIFICE (SS)

Excessive focus on voluntarily meeting the needs of others in daily situations, at the expense of one's own gratification.  The most common reasons are:  to prevent causing pain to others;  to avoid guilt from feeling selfish;  or to maintain the connection with others perceived as needy .  Often results from an acute sensitivity to the pain of others. Sometimes leads to a sense that one's own needs are not being adequately met and to resentment of those who are taken care of. (Overlaps with concept of codependency.)

14.  APPROVAL-SEEKING  /  RECOGNITION-SEEKING  (AS)

Excessive emphasis on gaining approval, recognition, or attention from other people, or fitting in, at the expense of developing a secure and true sense of self.  One's sense of esteem is dependent primarily on the reactions of others rather than on one's own natural inclinations.  Sometimes includes an overemphasis on status, appearance, social acceptance, money, or achievement --  as means of gaining approval, admiration, or attention (not primarily for power or control). Frequently results in major life decisions that are inauthentic or unsatisfying;  or in hypersensitivity to rejection.


OVERVIGILANCE  & INHIBITION

(Excessive emphasis on suppressing one's spontaneous feelings, impulses, and choices OR on meeting rigid, internalized rules and expectations about performance and ethical behavior -- often at the expense of happiness, self-expression,  relaxation, close relationships, or health.  

Typical family origin is grim, demanding, and sometimes punitive: performance, duty, perfectionism, following rules, hiding emotions, and avoiding mistakes predominate over pleasure, joy, and  relaxation.  There is usually an undercurrent of pessimism and worry---that things could fall apart if one fails to be vigilant and careful at all times.)


15. NEGATIVITY  /  PESSIMISM  (NP)

A pervasive, lifelong focus on the negative aspects of life (pain, death, loss, disappointment, conflict, guilt, resentment, unsolved problems, potential mistakes, betrayal, things that could go wrong, etc.) while minimizing or neglecting the positive or optimistic aspects. Usually includes an exaggerated expectation-- in a wide range of work, financial, or interpersonal situations -- that things will eventually go seriously wrong, or that aspects of one's life that seem to be going well will ultimately fall apart. Usually involves an inordinate fear of making mistakes that might lead to: financial collapse, loss, humiliation, or being trapped in a bad situation. Because potential negative outcomes are exaggerated, these patients are frequently characterized by chronic worry, vigilance, complaining, or indecision.

16.  EMOTIONAL INHIBITION (EI)

The excessive inhibition of spontaneous action, feeling, or communication -- usually to avoid disapproval by others, feelings of shame, or losing control of one's impulses. The most common areas of inhibition involve:  (a) inhibition of anger & aggression;  (b) inhibition of positive impulses (e.g., joy, affection, sexual excitement, play);  (c) difficulty expressing vulnerability or communicating freely about one's feelings, needs, etc.;  or (d) excessive emphasis on rationality while disregarding emotions.

17.  UNRELENTING STANDARDS /  HYPERCRITICALNESS  (US)

The underlying belief that one must strive to meet very high internalized standards of behavior and performance, usually to avoid criticism. Typically results in feelings of pressure or difficulty slowing down; and in hypercriticalness toward oneself and others.  Must involve significant impairment in:  pleasure, relaxation, health, self-esteem, sense of accomplishment, or satisfying relationships.

   

Unrelenting standards typically present as:  (a) perfectionism, inordinate attention to detail, or an underestimate of how good one's own performance is relative to the norm;  (b) rigid rules and _
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« Reply #71 on: July 05, 2012, 10:47:12 PM »

My T has been very clever and commenced me on Schema Therapy almost immediately. Never really got into the issue that brought be to him... .the collapse of my r/s with exBPD

It is all fitting together now... .as a Lonely Child, my natural state is understanding and over-intellectualising. My coping mechanism from my own childhood trauma is to make sense of things, read the room... .try to reduce my anxiety. I was basically rocked to the core by my exBPD/ Abandoned Child being a permanent mystery. Never been able to anticipate his moods or behaviour.

I am working hard at stopping my 5 or 6 main maladaptive schemas... .including emotional inhibition and unrelenting standards. Very hard to do. But I am confident I will get there.

This thread and the Lonely Child stuff all confirms that the break-up of my r/s was a catalyst for some learnings that were a long time coming!

I feel amazing today.

thanks Skip and all of the other Ambassadors for letting this thread run its course

BB12

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« Reply #72 on: August 03, 2012, 12:28:28 PM »

WOW.  That was an amazing thread and helped me to really understand and put things into perspective!  I have always wondered why I stuck it out for so many years after all the drama and with the help of a T. I am realizing that its based on my own co-dependancy and childhood issues (lonely child).  It describes my r/s to a T.  Thanks for that!  I will continue reading it again and again to help me understand!

T. Moore
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« Reply #73 on: August 17, 2012, 08:20:31 PM »

This is so hard to read, but so right on... .I read this last week, and then went to an Al-anon meeting and cried buckets... I could feel the loneliness of the last two years oozing out of me. I not only lost my ex, but family connections and I think al-anon may be able to help me through this piece. I am understanding driven and I have stayed too long in connections with people that are hurtful. this is really some on target stuff for me.
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« Reply #74 on: December 01, 2012, 04:00:19 PM »

Dead on for me. Lonely child in r/s with abandoned child... fits.

My folks lived in the country isolated from most people, they argued, fought and after many stormy years divorced, I went to move in with my dad and found he actually lived with his girlfriend in her house... but maintained an apartment for appearances. I lived in the apartment alone for 3 yrs till I started college. Even when I was a smaller kid I was alone, we had a big house with a finished basement and my parents and siblings lived upstairs, I lived in a room in the basement, my own room because I was oldest. The understanding child thing fits as well, I was drawn to psychology trying to understand things that didnt' make sense, then philosophy... I got in to my career field and have been like a bottomless pit trying to understand all I could, with this feeling that if I just understand it, I can do something about it and make everything okay.

Then after a re-encounter/recycling with my exBPDgf that had devastated me long ago... I find myself alone, my family gone due to divorce, my career shaky and understanding much that I never fathomed, and with the sense that there is no controlling any of this. The lights are on and what I see is me confused... .still the lonely child.
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« Reply #75 on: January 25, 2013, 05:16:12 PM »

The lonely child and abandoned child schemas seem pretty true for me and my uBPDh.

Thank you!
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« Reply #76 on: February 19, 2013, 09:36:28 AM »

Wow. Just wow. This thread is mindblowing in a good way - a slap in the face and a breath of fresh air all at once! I recognize both my former and my current relationships in this scenario.

Seriously, this site is a godsend. I'd never read about schema modes or therapy before (how did I miss it, with all my past research into dissociative disorders?), and this is just... .  I think it's exactly what I need. Finally! Something that resonates with me and seems like it might actually address the issues I have with, well, addressing things! I become triggered into my own modes so easily that it's impossible to experience a sense of self-consistency, and impossible to pin me down for any length of time, so everything ends up pushed into the big pit of avoidance again.

I am so glad I found this.
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« Reply #77 on: February 20, 2013, 10:19:46 PM »

Mosaic,

I'm with you.  This is a great thread!  One of the best.

Daze
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« Reply #78 on: July 23, 2013, 05:34:04 PM »

Traditionally the term "the lonely child" is used in reference to partly define one of the different subtypes of narcissism within NPD. The NPD is often the result of being brought up in an environment where the child has either been made to feel or has interpreted themselves as being unimportant or emotionally deprived. As opposed to the abandoned child that either can develop a BPD or co-dependency patterns depending on how things develop... .

If that is the way the term is to be interpreted here too, then that may not be applicable for all unions formed with a borderline partner... . ? But applicable for the ones where the non has a developed emotional deprivation schema, that either leads to narcissism or to an exaggerated need to please, (also in order to escape the feeling of being unimportant, or emotionally deprived, sometimes called the inverted narcissism).

Difference often consisting of whether or not parents show traits of developed narcissism which can lead to the second form. That is constantly having to battle for their parents attention. Whereas the narcissistic personality either derives from parents having the same disorder or there being other reasons why the child develops the sense of emotional deprivation and instead starts to fight for attention by creating the perfect self... . (which is not however the same thing as trying to become one, but instead trying to suppress true self and give room for more perfect self-created self... .

The second form of emotional deprivation schema can as I understand it very well get enmeshed into a dysfunctional dance with a borderline personality pretty much in the way you have described it in this interesting post... .

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=161524.msg1548981#msg1548981

Having done a lot of self investigation and worked through therapy myself after the experience of living with a pwNPD for a few years, I have come to the realization about myself that though I may not have issues of being a lonely child, I do have some "milder" issues with both abandonment fear as well as some emotional deprivation, however not from infancy, but from later childhood and school trauma... .

My conclusion after that and especially since discovering my own patterns in choosing men, and having ended up with yet another now BPD bf, I do realize it is definitely not just about them, but in a large part also about me... .

However, I do not think that kind of background is key to all relationships with pwBPD. I do also believe that most people can be susceptible to the idealization from a borderline personality upon initial infatuation, since they do not just and not always mirror, but in a way seem to go all in, all sets go and all emotions exposed, since they virtually lack the restraint that most people or at least less traumatized people do. And that is very seductive in itself... .

More generally speaking, what I do think differentiate most of us who try to sustain or remain or even get caught up in r/s with pwBPD and other PD's is just the fact that we tend to ignore the red flags that show up already early on in the union and either get into co-dependency or care taking or other equally somewhat dysfunctional roles, then depending on our background. Whereas most people who perhaps don't have as much issues with themselves tend to just as much get caught up in the initial idealization and infatuation, but upon noticing the red flags choose to bail out before getting too attached... . ?

I don't know, but it is a theory that is brewing in me for the moment... .

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« Reply #79 on: July 23, 2013, 05:57:57 PM »

The Lonely Child was a schema in schema therapy... . but the later versions of it have a lot more schema's and no longer have that one (if I recall right)... . so while it sounds right on for many of us... . it had a very specific meaning and when I used it as a general term, was told to go take the schema tests (older ones are online free)... . and the results were very interesting... . but it didn't have a lonely child category anymore. Schema therapy was developed with BPD in mind, there is a fantastic book "Reinventing your Life" by Jeffrey E. Young... . one of the cofounders of it... . that is a very practical guide to fixing a lot of issues and finding out what they are (not up to BPD level issues, but the fleas many of us have, going back to our FOOs).

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« Reply #80 on: September 11, 2013, 05:54:14 AM »

wow that was an interesting workshop.  Oh I'm so definately the lonely child.  When the article mentioned sympatico, we actually used that phrase in our conversation for our last breakup, which was about 4 days ago.  We've broken up 4 times this year.  "but we're so sympatico" I was replaced immediately.  Actually, I was replaced before I knew it.  It's hard to admit that I may be broken in some way, that I'm not the fixer I thought I was.  This was an excellent workshop.  Made me seriously think. 

He's in another relationship now.  He's in the idealization phase.  She's being described as a "happy stable person" but she's caught up in the mirror just now, letting him meet her kids and parents within a week.  Everyone sees it, and everyone is telling me "OMG, look at the cycle"  I never saw it when I was in it.  I see it now. 
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« Reply #81 on: September 06, 2014, 09:20:03 AM »

I'm bookmarking this thread for future reading.
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« Reply #82 on: September 06, 2014, 09:53:09 AM »

Yes yes yes and yes. Thank you thank you thank you for this. This is exactly where I am in my therapy. "There may be no going back. Even though you try to placate, once dream and the trust is broken, it is broken. You may see glimmers of the idealisation phase as the pwBPD vacillates between the hopes and reality of the situation." I spent a lot of my energy trying so desperately not to fall off the pedestal. I knew there was a history of everyone else in her life falling off the pedestal. I thought I was going to be different. I thought I was smarter and much more understanding than all those previous friends and relations. She even set me up to believe that! Clearly as human beings we are perfectly imperfect, and we're going to fall off the pedestal no matter what! Then the cycle of pleasing begins. That cycle, if you will, is where my love addiction really kicked in. I think I finally understand this!
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« Reply #83 on: September 06, 2014, 09:59:38 AM »

"In that week, he lined up my replacement." I had some experience with this in an old relationship with someone who was probably BPD. I think in the most current BPD relationship, I think I was constantly and subconsciously trying to make sure I was in the forefront of her mind so that I wouldn't be replaced. That set up another reason for my love addiction cycle.
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« Reply #84 on: September 06, 2014, 10:03:15 AM »

In terms of the disorder, closeness (intimacy) will trigger abandonment/engulfment fears. Splitting will follow as a means to cope; if you are devalued, then the attachment can be minimized and it feels better. The first cycle I saw was after our very first 3 months together. I went a trip I had planned before meeting him. It was just a week long trip with several women friends, and he stayed in contact by phone the whole week, but it triggered him. I noticed he was different when he came to pick me up at the airport. He said he had been feeling "contemplative". I learned over time the word "contemplative" meant he was splitting me black and withdrawing. What followed was loads of fun... .NOT!

OMG. My friend wBPD prides herself on being a contemplative. Period. That's interesting!
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« Reply #85 on: July 13, 2015, 09:22:02 AM »

This was mindblowing.

THANK YOU all for contributing to this thread, to this level of insight. To the healing... .

I feel like the Archetypical understanding-driven lonely child.

And in terms of letting go of a partner, I can see how this makes it difficult. I place more weight on understanding him on his terms ("not being perfect"/ "having issues"/ "being ill" than on what it does to me, or if I want to have it this way. I can always stay for longer,  I am the last woman standing!  (she said with pride and identity).

I have for many years said about myself that I have a "pathological patience". And I've come to see that as sort of a defence, it's in my defensiveness; I have to be sure, I have to understand everything, I have to "turn every stone not once, but ten times" before I can do something radical or life-changing, as leave with good conscience. Deep down this may relate to a need to be right... .? (Confession: I'm terrified of making mistakes. Rather avoid doing things than risking failure. Did a solid practice of just that during my entire childhood.)

After my failed marriage (where I felt totally neglected and "unvisible" to a passive-aggressive partner), I understood that I never have had a boyfriend that put my in the center, it was always him first. No wonder, because in my forehead there seems to be a print saying: "I look after myself" (no need to bother about me, but I'd be thrilled to help you out if you need anything!)

So I set out to find the man of my dreams, the emotional, sensitive man who had a genuine interest in me as a person, who could see into my soul and my feelings, a man that also would care for me (ugh, sounds weird writing it). Yes, I knew I had issues about recieving, it soo much safer to give!

I couldn't belive my luck finding this man.

Oh well. We know the drill. There is no room for me and my needs in this relationship. (Except the ones overlapping his need to merge into one).

I will read this thread many times. Thanks again. This means... . everything. As someone else here wrote: How find a T that has this level of insight?  

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« Reply #86 on: July 14, 2015, 03:17:22 AM »

2010, everything you wrote in post #7 accurately describes every step of my relationship. Its almost unnerving how accurate everything is.

I'm not the only one to say that... BPD, although a "rare" disorder seems to have identical traits in a lot of situations. What brings on such close similarities? Similar childhood experiences that led to adult BPD?
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« Reply #87 on: July 14, 2015, 06:14:59 AM »

Why does idealization turn to devaluation?

The idealisation creates a strong attachment - for both the pwBPD and the nonBPD. Mirroring, excessive praise (pleasing), sex and openness builds the BPD/nonBPD bond. 

pwBPDs are after the 'perfect' rs ~ once they perceive flaws they find it harder to mirror .  As the "hopes of perfection" gives way to reality, the hopes and trust developed in the idealisation slowly erode and the pwBPD begins to devalue.  

In the idealisation phase we were one in the same which serves the BPD as well. When we are devalued, we "push back". Now there is a loss of control to the pwBPD - often they can response in destructive ways.

As the idealisation phase is very intense ~ the devaluing swings the other way. If you are placed on a high pedestal the fall is long and the fall is hard.

There may be no going back. Even though you try to placate, once dream and the trust is broken, it is broken. You may see glimmers of the idealisation phase as the pwBPD vacillates between the hopes and reality of the situation.

It will never be how it was in the beginning. This goes for us too.  I could never feel like I did in the beginning again because the devaluing tore me down.

This is EXACTLY a what I lived through. Yes, the fall is HARD.
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« Reply #88 on: January 23, 2016, 06:07:39 PM »

I think I understand what this is trying to teach us. It's to learn how to self sooth so we are not so afraid to be alone, so we do not reach out to the wrong people for support, so we do not bleed, and if we happen to reach out to someone who has a mental illness, to withdraw as soon as our instincts tell us to, and not to talk ourselves into caretaking that person at our own emotional expense. We must always put our needs first, unless it is a relationship that has been established with healthy boundaries for a length of time and we are safe within it.
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« Reply #89 on: January 30, 2016, 09:36:07 PM »

I think I understand what this is trying to teach us. It's to learn how to self sooth so we are not so afraid to be alone, so we do not reach out to the wrong people for support, so we do not bleed, and if we happen to reach out to someone who has a mental illness, to withdraw as soon as our instincts tell us to, and not to talk ourselves into caretaking that person at our own emotional expense. We must always put our needs first, unless it is a relationship that has been established with healthy boundaries for a length of time and we are safe within it.

Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #90 on: November 30, 2019, 08:40:19 AM »

In some relationships, the idealization phase is the partner being in lonely child stance and the Borderline being in abandoned child stance.*Both need saving* Both need attachment to stave off the pain of being alone.  This is one type of bonding seen in this community.

In this bond, both people bring core trauma to the relationship. Mirroring reenacts the earliest childhood experiences to rise up and emerge into consciousness.

In idealization, there is a dual identification and projection for both people that they have found a perfect love- however, one partner (the “lonely child”) does not yet realize that the other partner (the abandoned child= Borderline) has no whole self- and is utilizing a fantasy of a part-time good in order to fuse with the partner's part time good and become one.

The lonely child has spent much of their life becoming “one.”  When a lonely child finds an abandoned child, both parties feel needed. However, rather than truly loving the individuality of both parties- the sad, fantasy aspect of mirroring magnifies the unhealthy *needs* of both people.

When the lonely child begins to question the reality of mirroring (reality testing) this raises core traumas into activation concerning both the questioning (uncertainty) and the hope (unfulfilled expectations) of the unrealistic attachment. "Lack of inherent trust" is found in both parties at this stage.

Reality testing causes the lonely child to pull away because certain things don't add up- as you say, "the idealization phase slowly erodes."

Pulling away, even while in the lap of comfortable luxury- triggers the abandoned child issues of the Borderline. This causes panic reactions of clinging behaviors by the Borderline to prevent the retreat of their desired love object. These immature demands can look like entitlement to others, especially to a lonely child, who has learned early on to be self sufficient and to self soothe- but the entitlement markers are highly charged and emotional to a Borderline, which isn’t Narcissistic grandiosity- it’s ego deficiency and panic.

The entitlement phase brings a hidden "angry and aggressive child" out from hibernation and into full view and this usually occurs when the lonely child least expects it.  The angry child that emerges is pissed and has delusions of persecution that are ideas of reference from earlier childhood trauma. It’s at this point that the angry child (Borderline) will become enraged and try to cast off shame.  They may attempt to harm himself/herself in order to scapegoat the lonely child- who unwittingly stands-in for the earliest attachment.  This triggers the lonely child's trauma from their earliest attachment as well.

The Borderline wants so badly to be whole that they demand that the lonely child create wholeness for them- which the partner succeeds in doing early on but then relaxes. The Borderline temper tantrum, with its ideas of reference being so very childlike and fantastic, perceives the relaxation of the partner as though the attachment is split up. In order to cope, the Borderline must now find another part time perceived good object to self medicate the emotions of feeling badly from the split.  If this cannot be accomplished, the surge of limbic fear concerning anger and abandonment causes such great pain that self harm is often inflicted for relief.

The lonely child is often very surprised by this. The anger and dysregulation are in contrast to what he/she perceives are necessary for the circumstances. (The lonely child fails to see need disguised as "love."  Therefore, the lonely child seeks to understand the Borderlines ideas of reference concerning "love" in order to cope with the neediness and begins a line of questioning.  The Borderline retreats.

Lonely child is "understanding driven" and gets drawn into the Borderline acting out. The lonely child now has a mystery- the Borderline dilemma of "who am I?" This is very likely the same way that the lonely child came into existence as an “understanding driven” child. Especially when he questioned the motives of his earliest attachments during infancy and adolescence.

The lonely child *understands* the need to be held, loved and understood – because that’s what he longs for in others. The lonely child feels that in order to deal with acting out of the Borderline- the lonely child must project the aura of grace, compassion and understanding upon the Borderline and also guide, teach and show the way- because after all, that’s what the lonely child would want someone to do for him. There was a large reason that the initial mirroring (of this fixer /rescuer ego) worked so well in the idealization stage- the relationship really WAS the projection of lonely child that was mirrored, not the deficient ego of the Borderline.

In the "upside down" world of the Borderline, the lonely child is the perfect attachment to fuse to and the hypersensitive Borderline is the perfect mystery for the lonely child to try to understand.  This is the reactivation of a childhood dynamic- that forms a needy bond.

The Borderline is a perfect template with which to project and identify with as a good object and also one to invest in to feel better about the “self.”

The understanding driven lonely child "imagines" (projects) onto the Borderline what he/she feels the Borderline identifies with. The lonely child often fills in the blanks with projective identification and the Borderline attempts to absorbs this- but it's impossible to appear as a self-directed person while taking cues and mirroring another self directed partner.

The Borderline scrambles to keep up with what is projected in a chameleon like manner.  All of this pressure to adapt and conform to the projection smothers and defeats the Borderline’s yearning for a perfect bond and triggers engulfment failure.  

Engulfment also means loss of control, annihilation fantasies and shame.  Shame activates the punitive parent that resides in their inner world, their psyche. The attachment failure has now become shame based for the Borderline.  It will soon become guilt driven for the lonely child partner.

Engulfment makes Borderlines very frustrated and angry- but Borderlines fear abandonment and choose to stuff away their fear and compulsively attempt to manage their pain. The impulsive gestures are a form of self harm that fixes the bond in a permanent chaos of action/reaction.  

Borderlines can be avoidant and passive aggressive and will do everything in their power to hide their strong emotions until they implode.  They swing wildly from abandoned child to angry child until they deflate into detached protector- who is basically a mute that doesn’t speak- or worse, speaks in word salad when confronted.

The swinging dysregulation pattern is unable to be separated and individuated and self directed. Because it cannot be self directed, it cannot be self soothed. There is no ability to defer these emotions to logic and reasoning with introspection *without* another person to blame.  This is where Borderlines are showing you the maturity stage at which they are developmentally arrested and remain stuck and frightened.


We all have punitive parents that exist in our heads. This is our Superego.  The criticism felt by both parties exists as guilt and shame inside our heads. This tape plays over and over and is a re-working of former traumas. It is also a huge part of what makes complementary traumas so attractive as binding agents to each other.  The lonely child has the “tyrannical shoulds” while the abandoned child has defectiveness schema- together they interact and drive each other crazy.

The understanding driven child cannot fathom how another human being does not have a “self.”  The understanding driven child has had much childhood experience with strong selves and has created a self to understand the motives of others. Lonely children have a need to have some sort of control over their destiny because so much was out of control in their childhood.

The Borderline’s idea of destiny is being attached to others for protection. The Borderline cannot fathom what it means to have a stand alone “self.”

Both parties are human “doing” for others rather than being- but there is more impulsivity in Borderline in the “offering” of themselves as objects.  (The lonely child is very particular concerning who he gives his heart to and makes decisions based upon careful consideration.)

The failure to find a healthy mature love activates the punitive parent in both people’s psyche- one for persecution and the other for failure to understand others (cloaked in rescuing behaviors)- this is the “flea” of each others psychiatric trauma that really is a very strong obsessive bond, and one of endless victimization for both parties unless one or the other becomes understanding driven toward self direction.  Guess who has the best chance?  Unfortunately, the mirrored good that the Borderline provided was a very strong drug- and the obsession is outwardly projected (as it always has been) by the lonely child in order to understand and consequently, control it.

It’s at this point that spying, engaging in testing and push/pull behaviors occur as both parties fight for control. Each pours salt in the others core wound.

The understanding driven child tries to understand the Borderline and the Borderline feels misunderstood and persecuted. The understanding driven child retreats to repair their ego and the Borderline lashes out and tries to shame him. The pendulum swings back and forth in clinging and hating and disordered thought and chaos.  

The lonely child tries to uncover what they think the Borderline is hiding from them (triggering bouts of paranoia) or missing (creating dependency issues.)  The angry child threatens to destroy the relationship (as well as themselves = self harm) which triggers immense anger and outrage for both parties. Their love object is broken.

Both parties are in pain- and their egos are easy to "pinch" because they both fear abandonment.   At this point, both core traumas are exposed and the partners are no longer interacting with each other except to arouse each other’s trauma wounds from childhood.

The false self of the lonely child, that the Borderline mirrored, has more ego- as it is directly tied to a “self” which involves coping mechanisms from childhood that mirrored back good.  It was a self that was capable and seeming to have all the answers in the beginning.  When the Borderline tries to destroy it as a failed attachment, it begins to crumble and the lonely child retreats and tries to repair it- essentially wounded to the core. This is also part and parcel of the injury of the smear campaign- and the lonely child may try to return to defend the "self" from being attacked.

Trauma for the lonely child occurs mainly because of perceived failure they cannot “understand” enough (essentially an obsession at this point) and trauma for the Borderline occurs because of anger and abandonment and shame that existed since infancy- and persecution by their inner parent superego for not becoming whole.  

At this point, both parties feel like failures.

Unfortunately, the repair for the lonely child’s self consists of trying again to fix the Borderline "mirror" to reflect the good.  Many attempts will be made by the lonely child (once again) to effect an outcome other than the failed attachment.  The lonely child will try to re-build the self and get the love object (Borderline) to return and resume their compliant mirroring.

Eventually, the fantasy begins to unravel for the lonely child, that they are alone- and the person that the lonely child fell in love with, (the person in the mirror,) was actually YOU.

Who really is the Borderline? Someone who needed you for awhile because they were scared to be alone.

They’re still scared. Forgive them if you can- they are modern day recreations of their own childhood fears.

Now- after reading all of this- You can’t keep going back for more trauma.  Idea The trauma bond must be broken.

After we've let fantasy go- we can turn the focus to healing.  It's good to wonder what our attraction must have been to this person. Whatever clues you have are generally good enough to give you reason that you’ve had experience with this type of personality before- perhaps within your family of origin.

Stop yourself from thinking that you’ve never been treated so poorly before this relationship. When you catch yourself saying you can't believe it. Stop and think. Chances are- you’ve just chosen to repress a few circumstances from childhood that were traumatic. Now the feelings are back on the surface and you’re going to have to address them.

Introspection involves a great pain. Let those feelings come up. Journal your thoughts when you feel anxious. Learn about yourself. We must address the pain from our childhood that has been left unresolved for too long. We cannot escape from pain if we are to have personal growth- and you've got to get this relationship out of the way in order to get at the real hurt.

Radical acceptance comes when you realize that what was mirrored really wasn’t you- it was what *you wanted others to give to you*   It was <<Understanding.>>

Try to give that to yourself.
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