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Author Topic: Borderline Personality - Daniel A. Bochner, Ph.D.  (Read 4182 times)
Daniel A. Bochner Ph.D.
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« on: September 11, 2014, 04:27:12 PM »

Borderline Personality

by Daniel A. Bochner, Ph.D.


bpdfamily.com/content/why-we-struggle-in-relationships


Click here to see entire article




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Dr. Bochner earned his B.S. in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin in 1985, an M.A. (1992) and Ph.D. (1997) in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, and he completed an APA Clinical Internship at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, Virginia. Up until May 2001, he was an active duty psychologist in the United States Navy. At his final duty station, Dr. Bochner was the department head for the Mental Health Unit at Parris Island in South Carolina.  :)r. Bochner has been married for 20 years and is the father of two boys.
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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2014, 08:21:21 AM »

That is very detailed and interesting.  Every time that I come to this site I learn something or at least become more aware of my experience.

My expwBPD had made a statement to me after cheating on me and running off with new supply.(and not admitting to any of it, of course).

She said that maybe "if I had tried a lot harder after she left to get her back that she may have considered me".  (of course she is still trying to play me like there is no "other" and clinging to this other person is what is propping her up to have the power to play her control game over me as well). I did not play, though. And I did love her deeply.

When she left she told me that she needed to be out on her own... .it was VERY abrupt and vague (of course to allow her to be free for the new guy)... .I was in TOTAL shock, but since I loved her ... .I took it on the chin and agreed to give her her space, which is what she was "actually" asking of me.

In reality she was playing a game of control and I did not play.  It almost killed me not seeing her... .and quite honestly I thought she was lying but I had no proof so I was torn between taking the woman I loved at her word or knowing that I was being betrayed ... .but so much of what a BPD does, if not everything is done to control other people.  Mine was a expert at masking the deep, deep sickness and fear the was her driving mechanism. She was oh so sweet and nice while she was manipulating the $hit out of everyone around her: Me, him, her best friend, Mom, Dad, Step Mom ,Step Dad and then a therapist (that I begged her to get)... .

She lied so completely to the T that the woman believed all of this crap about me and our relationship that was not close to the truth and she NEVER told the T that she had been cheating and betrayed me... .she played me the villain to the T.  As it all slowly unfolded to me who I had "actually" been with for 5 years... .my mouth was hanging open and I was in an excruciatingly huge amount of pain... .with this stranger in front of me off in her new game.

Its funny and sad... .I really had true love for her and facilitated her request, much to my own sacrifice and deep, deep pain to give her what she was asking me for.  ... .In reality she wanted or expected me to play some crazy, sick chase game... .and if I did not ... .in her world... .I just did not love her enough. I was supposed to do exactly the opposite of what she was asking me to prove my love.

Not a very healthy way to interact with people who care deeply about you... .constantly in fear, constantly clinging or controlling or playing the game of the week.  Its very sad.

I did recognize that I had a part in it... .and also because of the pain I was in... .I found an incredible therapist and a self-help group and it helped me to survive... .I can't call it much more than basic survival... .The whole experience devastated me.
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2014, 11:52:32 AM »

Excerpt
t is interesting to note what is most likely to occur when the borderline becomes a parent. Typically, a borderline adult gets exactly what they feel they have always needed when they have a baby. That is, while it has proven almost impossible to merge with another adult, while simultaneously maintaining control over the relationship, with a baby that is exactly what the borderline achieves. The situation is, at first, tantalizingly perfect. The borderline wants perfect recognition of their own independence and that is what they perceive within their merger with the infant. As long as they respond to the child's biological needs in the first few months, the child is very likely to seem to be giving perfect recognition of the borderline's independence. To the borderline, the fact that they are now a parent, seems like individuation. To the baby, the soothing the borderline can accomplish makes them gaze contentedly into the glow of the borderline's eyes, thus giving recognition of the borderline's independence.

I remember my ex saying to me, "when your babies were born, did you also get that feeling that 'I don't need other people in the world now - I can just make my own'?".

I always thought it was an odd way to look at becoming a parent. This explains a little more of what he meant.
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2014, 12:00:41 PM »

Excerpt
The borderline individual's chance at recovery from their desolate and chaotic state, unfortunately, only occurs in extraordinary circumstances. Recovery requires frequent contact with a person who can simultaneously demonstrate, with unwavering certainty, that they care very deeply for the borderline and that they will not tolerate interference with their own boundaries. Such a person must possess supreme confidence in their own personality. They must be able to manage every kind of attack or manipulation with kindness and understanding, and yet never give in. Giving in to the borderline's merger fantasy, or accepting their withdrawal, rage, or blame, results in the borderline believing they are in control. True recognition of the borderline's independence cannot thus occur and the borderline can never achieve a feeling that they are truly independent. In the end, only the recognition of their true self, given from a truly independent yet loving other, can permit the borderline to build within themselves the confidence they need to truly be independent. In the end, only the recognition that no one has control in relationships, and that everyone must control themselves, a recognition that is made possible only by becoming truly independent, can save the borderline from never-ending sorrow within relationships, and can finally make the borderline feel whole by themselves and capable of living full and integrated lives within relationships and among others.

What I didn't like about this section, was that it left me feeling like if a I just tried harder, they could have managed/suppressed/tolerated my ex-partner with BPD. I feel like a lot of people on this site feel guilty (guilty that we left, guilty that we didn't do more, guilty that we said or did the wrong thing that triggered the rage or abandonment)- at least in the beginning phases of detachment. That it's not so much an issue of codependency, but that the SO needs to completely forgo any of their needs and wants in a relationship, to cater to the pwBPD, or to just be so detached from the relationship- that those needs/validations/supports are found elsewhere.

I feel like healthy relationships have some level of interdependancy, where you are able to be and thrive as your own person, but you have a supportive and equally emotionally healthy partner to rely on, depend on, and build a mutually loving, respectful and happy life. I can't imagine that it is in anyway possible with someone with BPD, no matter confident you are in your own self.
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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2014, 02:35:55 PM »

Excerpt
t is interesting to note what is most likely to occur when the borderline becomes a parent. Typically, a borderline adult gets exactly what they feel they have always needed when they have a baby. That is, while it has proven almost impossible to merge with another adult, while simultaneously maintaining control over the relationship, with a baby that is exactly what the borderline achieves. The situation is, at first, tantalizingly perfect. The borderline wants perfect recognition of their own independence and that is what they perceive within their merger with the infant. As long as they respond to the child's biological needs in the first few months, the child is very likely to seem to be giving perfect recognition of the borderline's independence. To the borderline, the fact that they are now a parent, seems like individuation. To the baby, the soothing the borderline can accomplish makes them gaze contentedly into the glow of the borderline's eyes, thus giving recognition of the borderline's independence.

I remember my ex saying to me, "when your babies were born, did you also get that feeling that 'I don't need other people in the world now - I can just make my own'?".

I always thought it was an odd way to look at becoming a parent. This explains a little more of what he meant.

WOW! ... .that statement is telling!
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2014, 05:13:32 PM »

So much of this lucid article is of value

Borderline personality has now commonly come to be the description given for a person who is exceedingly unstable in relationships, seems to switch from clingy to vindictive behavior with immoderate fluidity, and who, when all else fails in recapturing the affections of their desired lover, foists responsibility on their desired lover for their own instability (most notoriously by becoming suicidal). Individuals with borderline personality become attached to new lovers almost immediately as if they know them deeply and intimately. Due to their perception of a deep relationship, the borderline individual is then hyper-vigilant with respect to any slight indication that their love for their desired partner is unrequited. Unrequited love, or any possible indication thereof, will lead to “talionic” rage, or its opposite, increased clinging, or both, as the borderline attempts to bring their desired lover back into the fantasy of true, deep, and magical love. The borderline imagines this elaborate fantasy to be necessary for their very life sustenance.

To complicate matters, since their desired lover is typically quite aware that the relationship is not yet deep, many of the desired lover's behaviors really do indicate that the desired level of response is not going to occur. In a way, the fact that the desired lover does not act like they're all the way into the fantasy romance world of the borderline is good, since a lot of very chaotic behavior in the beginning of a relationship should result in its breakup. If the messy relationship with the borderline is short-lived, it will cause only very temporary, though sometimes quite significant, pain and suffering.

I was pondering this earlier today.  When my ex first told me that she loved me, I did not reciprocate at all.  That was not an emotion I was feeling.  In the past, when this has happened in relationships, and when I have felt confident that my feelings were not heading in that direction, I have felt it the responsible thing to do to end the relationship.  This time, for whatever reason (likely related to the primitive idealization), I failed to do it.  It was only after she subsequently raged at me and threatened to leave (after some clinging) that I myself became desperate to have her stay.   I misinterpreted this desperation as love. I will add that, as I have come to realize very recently, my own FOO has led me to believe that these kind of passionate, rage-filled arguments are typical of, perhaps even necessary in, loving relationships, and so I think I actually interpreted this course of events as PROOF that the love must be real. 

It is the endeavor of figuring out what's going on, or trying to be nice, or attempting to somehow salve the problem so the relationship can continue, that really causes more long term suffering for the desired lover. When the borderline becomes angry, some people might be sorry, in spite of the fact that they have done nothing wrong. When the borderline becomes too clingy, some people will avoid a conflict with the borderline and then allow the borderline to carry on in the fantasy that both parties desire everlasting togetherness, instead of asking for some normal level of space. When borderline behavior is accommodated, the borderline fantasy of perfect merger is allowed to continue. Thus, the consequent rage or clinging of the borderline, which occurs when independent action of the desired lover inevitably becomes necessary, is only delayed by such accommodation. The borderline's anger, or their need to withdraw, or their even more desperate clinging is also likely to be even more intense when accommodated since the borderline is allowed to become even more intensely consumed by the merger fantasy.

Check, check and check.

On the other hand, while clinging, in answer to their feeling of starvation, the borderline seemingly stuffs themselves with the other to the point that they feel as though the other is undifferentiated from themselves, which scares them to death.

I realize that this is a metaphor, but it is also an accurate explanation for why so many pwBPD have eating disorders and specifically purge, which my ex did. 

The desire for merger makes the borderline behave in a clingy manner, but only till the desired lover appears to desire merger as well. Once the desired lover seems to want to merge, the fear of domination or control makes the borderline desperate for independence, even to the extent that the aforementioned desired lover will be found to be despicable, weak, or disgusting. Further efforts by the lover which might seem like a desire to merge (which could merely be an effort to please the borderline, since the desired lover has no clue about this “merging”) or that might seem like control (which could merely be trying to help the borderline with advice or some kind of favor), can lead to extreme rage as the borderline, who had once wanted merger, now appears desperate and fiercely motivated to prove their separation.

This is profoundly true. My ex and I were always up and down, but it was only when I made it clear that I was "all in" on the relationship that she finally turned away.  Subsequently even the remote mention of previous feelings has led to her casting me as "obsessed," "crazy," or in some other way weak.  She has also at times gone out of her way to tell me how she was "never serious about me," then laughing at me in response to me pointing out something she had said in the past that was quite serious (essentially naming the children she wanted with me). She was indeed fiercely motivated to prove her separation. 

Essentially, what develops from the desire to merge, countered by the fear of such merger, is the borderline's need to be the one in control at all times. If the borderline is sure that they determine just how close or distant they stay within a relationship, they do not have to fear merger or abandonment because the other person does not have the power to accomplish either state with them.

As I see it this is at the root of the desperation to "stay friends" that many of us have experienced, and it also explains the burst of activity and desperation that some of us see when setting the NC boundary, even if we were the ones who were left. 

However, because they must try to be in control, any vulnerability they experience will most likely lead to more clinging, withdrawing, or rage.

I like the reference here to withdrawal.  I experienced intermittent withdrawals, followed by returns (not recycles, mind you, just brief withdrawals on the order of a couple of days) as often as many here experienced rages.

Typically, a borderline adult gets exactly what they feel they have always needed when they have a baby. That is, while it has proven almost impossible to merge with another adult, while simultaneously maintaining control over the relationship, with a baby that is exactly what the borderline achieves. The situation is, at first, tantalizingly perfect. The borderline wants perfect recognition of their own independence and that is what they perceive within their merger with the infant. As long as they respond to the child's biological needs in the first few months, the child is very likely to seem to be giving perfect recognition of the borderline's independence. To the borderline, the fact that they are now a parent, seems like individuation. To the baby, the soothing the borderline can accomplish makes them gaze contentedly into the glow of the borderline's eyes, thus giving recognition of the borderline's independence. Predictably, however, as soon as the baby has independent striving, the borderline parent experiences abandonment at the hands of their very own child. Such abandonment or individuation is impossible for the borderline to tolerate and thus they react to their own child with distaste, anger, ignoring behavior, and they use any other means necessary to thwart their child's independence. The child learns that independence and individuation is horrifying to the parent, on whom the child absolutely depends for everything. The child then adapts to the parent's needs by maintaining some level of merger with the parent, and denying their own need for recognition of their true nature and/or independence. The behavior developed by the child is only the behavior that is pleasing to the parent, and thus does not reflect what is specifically special in the child.

This was particularly fascinating to me.  My ex was desperate to have a baby and struggled biologically to do so.  Yet, she used images of having a baby in her mind to help her sleep at night, which surprised me as I thought these would be upsetting.  She attempted to save her previous marriage by trying to get pregnant  while in the midst of an affair, because she thought the baby would "bring everyone back together."  Additionally, when her stepdaughter (who she had raised from the age of 2) turned 10 and began to complain about boredom when with my ex, desire to be with other family members or friends, etc, my ex took this very personally and would pout and say how resentful she was of the child.  Often her ex-husband would have to mediate their disputes.  After the divorce, she became less and less involved in the child's life because of distress that her replacement (ex-husband's new girlfriend) would inevitably be more important than her to the child, even though she was essentially the child's mother. 

Many borderlines take on narcissistic traits which help them maintain distance from others, and thus a sense of control. Borderlines can also mimic passive aggressive personality when they are of the type that mostly withdraws to prevent merger, but then also become angry about being withdrawn (and thus not getting any recognition of independence) and must passive aggressively blame others for their position.

Again check and check.  In my ex's case, the narcissism was quite literal in that it was related to her gazing at her own beauty.  She would post selfies constantly in an effort to get likes, scantily clad selfies, and would talk frequently about how "hot" she was.  In this way she most certainly felt power over men. 

A tremendously clear and insightful article. 
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« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2014, 08:00:24 PM »

This is a good article. Reminds me my ex has one long-term friend who is long-term because she takes the abuse. It's not a strength, it's a weakness. She gives way too much to gain so little. My ex has done pretty much everything there is to do against this person, but they remain connected in strange and disordered ways. They do have fleeting moments of fun together, but lots of personal/intimate distance is the norm (even though they see each other pretty much every day). At first, I kind of envied what they shared. In the middle, I saw how they really were together, questioned it, but thought, "That's their thing, not ours." At the end, I just felt bad for them, knowing I was freeing myself from the role of doormat/punching bag and that it's no way to be close with anyone. They're choosing to stay stuck in those destructive cycles. Because they're scared not to, not because it's what's best. Her long-term friend has long enabled my ex to not face herself. Some friend.
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« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2014, 08:12:34 PM »

Typically, a borderline adult gets exactly what they feel they have always needed when they have a baby. That is, while it has proven almost impossible to merge with another adult, while simultaneously maintaining control over the relationship, with a baby that is exactly what the borderline achieves. The situation is, at first, tantalizingly perfect. The borderline wants perfect recognition of their own independence and that is what they perceive within their merger with the infant. As long as they respond to the child's biological needs in the first few months, the child is very likely to seem to be giving perfect recognition of the borderline's independence. To the borderline, the fact that they are now a parent, seems like individuation. To the baby, the soothing the borderline can accomplish makes them gaze contentedly into the glow of the borderline's eyes, thus giving recognition of the borderline's independence. Predictably, however, as soon as the baby has independent striving, the borderline parent experiences abandonment at the hands of their very own child. Such abandonment or individuation is impossible for the borderline to tolerate and thus they react to their own child with distaste, anger, ignoring behavior, and they use any other means necessary to thwart their child's independence. The child learns that independence and individuation is horrifying to the parent, on whom the child absolutely depends for everything. The child then adapts to the parent's needs by maintaining some level of merger with the parent, and denying their own need for recognition of their true nature and/or independence. The behavior developed by the child is only the behavior that is pleasing to the parent, and thus does not reflect what is specifically special in the child.

This was particularly fascinating to me.  My ex was desperate to have a baby and struggled biologically to do so.  Yet, she used images of having a baby in her mind to help her sleep at night, which surprised me as I thought these would be upsetting.  She attempted to save her previous marriage by trying to get pregnant  while in the midst of an affair, because she thought the baby would "bring everyone back together."  Additionally, when her stepdaughter (who she had raised from the age of 2) turned 10 and began to complain about boredom when with my ex, desire to be with other family members or friends, etc, my ex took this very personally and would pout and say how resentful she was of the child.  Often her ex-husband would have to mediate their disputes.  After the divorce, she became less and less involved in the child's life because of distress that her replacement (ex-husband's new girlfriend) would inevitably be more important than her to the child, even though she was essentially the child's mother.  

Interesting.  My ex was desperate to have more kids, but he was in his mid 30s and felt it was too late. He also refers to his 8 year old as his best friend. At the time I didn't see these as potential flags. I wonder what will happen once his child gets older and seek a more independence.  

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« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2014, 09:10:42 PM »

So much in this article resonates with me and helps to explain my poor BPDh and his struggles, and the pain and confusion I went through living with him. Life is much much easier for me without him but it still feels like there's a huge hole where our family used to be... .
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« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2014, 11:56:56 AM »

I think its a very accurate blueprint and very encouraging to those who remain in the r/s.

The question I have is regarding the fairly common BPD/NPD partnerships.  I understand the rationale as to how these two PDs bond and it seems are able to maintain a r/s fairly longer  that most BPD/Non partnerships.

The rationale of this article contradicts that type of control bond somewhat. Im curious as to who really can be the perfect partner for a pBPD if allowing safe independence to form is key.
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« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2014, 01:34:18 PM »

Excerpt
What I didn't like about that section, was that it left me feeling like if a non just tried harder, they could have managed/suppressed/tolerated their partner with BPD. I feel like a lot of people on this site feel guilty (guilty that we left, guilty that we didn't do more, guilty that we said or did the wrong thing that triggered the rage or abandonment)- at least in the beginning phases of detachment. That it's not so much an issue of codependency, but that the SO needs to completely forgo any of their needs and wants in a relationship, to cater to the pwBPD, or to just be so detached from the relationship- that those needs/validations/supports are found elsewhere.

I assume you are referring to this part of the article:

Excerpt
The borderline individual's chance at recovery from their desolate and chaotic state, unfortunately, only occurs in extraordinary circumstances. Recovery requires frequent contact with a person who can simultaneously demonstrate, with unwavering certainty, that they care very deeply for the borderline and that they will not tolerate interference with their own boundaries. Such a person must possess supreme confidence in their own personality. They must be able to manage every kind of attack or manipulation with kindness and understanding, and yet never give in. Giving in to the borderline's merger fantasy, or accepting their withdrawal, rage, or blame, results in the borderline believing they are in control.

(I would go further than the author and say... it reinforces their belief and delusion that they have to be in control and that everyone else is doing the same stuff they are and that it’s totally normal.)

Excerpt
I feel like healthy relationships have some level of interdependancy, where you are able to be and thrive as your own person, but you have a supportive and equally emotionally healthy partner to rely on, depend on, and build a mutually loving, respectful and happy life. I can't imagine that it is in anyway possible with someone with BPD, no matter confident you are in your own self.

Yes of course, healthy relationships move toward individuation and interdependency. Of course.   BPD is not there.  BPD is way back at the beginning of the developmental spectrum…you are asking for advanced physics and BPD is in 3rd grade arithmetic.  That is why the author is stressing that they need to individuate. That’s a developmental task.

I think the author is also stating that fairly sophisticated individuation is a requirement to be around and maintain your sanity if involved with person w/BPd and that the BPD will grow if they are with a fully individuated partner that’s part ghandi and part buddah.  Ya, maybe they would…but let’s be realistic.  Not many people (if any) are all that…so, the pwBPD is kind of SOL if they are looking for a partner w/ that level of gloriousness. Also, a person that advanced probably isn’t dating BPD, anyway.   To be perfectly honest, what the author is describing right there sounds like a therapeutic alliance, not a romantic relationship. Therapists are in a unique position to provide a kind of unconditional positive regard within a very framed, secure environement.  Sure, a lover will be able to manage BPD and themselves the more individuated they are. Individuation is on a continuum, it’s developmental.  We all are growing and we are where we are at any given time on the scale. But it’s a mistake to assume a partner can be a therapist and create a thereauetic alliance with their partner.  The language of the article may sound as though a fully individuated person would be able to fix their partner w/BPD.  I’m not sure the author really meant to convey that…and if he did, I think it’s more complex than that and articles don’t always capture fully such complex dynamics. A more individuated person who continues to grow in that regard can sometimes help pull a less developed partner along. That is true.  But it’s not guarantee.  Lets not get into fantasy think about this. It really sounds to me that he is describing a therapeutic relationship in that passage, and by the way, it can take many different healers and people and life experiences to help some along toward healing and individuation…it’s not meant to be anyone persons JOB to fix another broken person. That’s a fantasy.  It’s not possible. We love these fix it fantasies but it’s so much more layered and complex. Sure, the more emotionally grown up you are…the more you are able to own your part and allow others to own their part, BPD or not… it makes you less reactive and better able to manage high conflict people of all types. You keep a hold of yourself.  You stay grounded. If you loose your ground you recover quickly.  That’s developmental. A lot of us when we come to this board are not very sophisticated in this area…but we learn.  Oh boy do we learn.  Further… the instinct that we are somehow responsible for fixing another person, our lovers…if we had just done xyz, if we had just been more long suffering or played a game right… the idea that it would have made all the difference etc…this IS merger-speak…this is magical thinking, this moves into co-dependency issues, this is merger fantasy…and part of the hard work of individuation is fully accepting how little control you have at all… we cannot fix or control anyone.  Therapists often “fail” with clients, too, with their BPD clients and with non BPD clients…and they have to grow up, too, and let go of the fantasy that they should have been special enough to fix anyone that comes into their office. Knowing that is a fantasy... .That is part of individuation.That is part of growing up. Accepting our losses.  It almost always involves deep grieving…b/c almost all of us have had some firmly held beliefs from childhood that we are the ones who save people we love.   Letting go of that…is very very difficult and it hurts.  I have shed many many many tears just letting go of that fantasy alone.

As for the overall article, it is very good but I notice it is not tapping into the neuroscience of attachment which has really exploded in the last several years, so it’s a bit dated in that regard… and how that plays such a big role in the trajectory of affect regulation disorders.  But  it’s a good article.
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« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2014, 02:34:13 PM »

As for the overall article, it is very good but I notice it is not tapping into the neuroscience of attachment which has really exploded in the last several years, so it’s a bit dated in that regard… and how that plays such a big role in the trajectory of affect regulation disorders.  But  it’s a good article.

Thanks for your thoughtful response. Can you elaborate on that last point? Or provide some resources to look at?
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« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2014, 02:40:28 PM »

This is a really interesting thread... .and I actually do find it interesting that the original article's eventual conclusion is indeed that a "relationship" is what in fact can HELP a pwBPD in their healing process.  However it appears that this type of relationship is really only possible through therapy, or maybe with someone who has a great deal of inner strength (like the dalai lama?), with successful relationships in their lives.  For a vast majority of us, loving relationships are rightly expected to be two sided, and when us nons understand that what we seek from a pwBPD will actually never materialize we become very distraught.   I think it's true that someone with BPD can probably benefit tremendously from a relationship with someone with strength, and compassion... .but I think I'm realistic in thinking, not whether I can, or can't, but I don't WANT that responsibility or relationship.   I want someone who can give in return, and that will allow me to be more giving, to explore myself more deeply, etc.

With my BPD I was initially afraid of doing something wrong, triggering him, and I immediately fell into the adult/therapist role.  He had me walking on eggshells from the second date... .when he TOLD me he was BPD.   But his telling me that brought me here, right away, and I started working on myself.  I realized that my whole life, I had been the "adult" in a relationship, and had experienced manipulation, and very one sided relationships, where I essentially received very little, but gave a lot, which led to a really major burnout and depression.  It was really a result of my not looking out for myself, or my needs, and putting everything and everyone ahead of me.  I had invested so much time and energy into projects that simply gave me very little in return and in the end collapsed and I felt I had lost a great deal of my life to things that gave me nothing in return.  I don't want to do that anymore, because I know where it led me, and it took me a long time to get out of that, and I would say, 5 years after my burnout, I'm still not completely out.

With my BPD, we had a brief recycle, a which point, he pushed me beyond my limits, and I dropped the "responsible adult" role, and lashed out at him.  I think previously I might have felt bad about lashing out, or maybe not have done it, but now I would say that I have a right to be wrong sometimes, to be emotional, to be insecure and in a secure relationship the other person will be sufficiently mature to support me in those times.    But I don't think a pwBPD is capable of this when there is conflict. Nons always have to be the adult.  We are not allowed to be human, have needs, have emotions, feel insecure, make mistakes, etc.  I've decided I want to be with someone who when things aren't going well, that I can rely on the other to be mature enough to help with the reconciliation. 

To me it's really all about understanding what WE need. Not just what we can give.
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« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2014, 04:59:24 PM »

What a great read!  The information isn't really new, it's covers everything that has been discussed on this forum over the years.  The way it's presented is new to me, covering the framework of how a BPD relationship might transpire along with the whys and hows such an intricate, delicate landscape occurs; delving way back into childhood in easy to understand nuggets.

Excerpt
Structure  - A Necessary Relationship Dynamic

The borderline individual's chance at recovery from their desolate and chaotic state, unfortunately, only occurs in extraordinary circumstances. Recovery requires frequent contact with a person who can simultaneously demonstrate, with unwavering certainty, that they care very deeply for the borderline and that they will not tolerate interference with their own boundaries. Such a person must possess supreme confidence in their own personality. They must be able to manage every kind of attack or manipulation with kindness and understanding, and yet never give in. Giving in to the borderline's merger fantasy, or accepting their withdrawal, rage, or blame, results in the borderline believing they are in control. True recognition of the borderline's independence cannot thus occur and the borderline can never achieve a feeling that they are truly independent. In the end, only the recognition of their true self, given from a truly independent yet loving other, can permit the borderline to build within themselves the confidence they need to truly be independent. In the end, only the recognition that no one has control in relationships, and that everyone must control themselves, a recognition that is made possible only by becoming truly independent, can save the borderline from never-ending sorrow within relationships, and can finally make the borderline feel whole by themselves and capable of living full and integrated lives within relationships and among others.

While I still believe my partner to have BPD/NPD traits, this paragraph is enlightening in the sense that I can see myself as the borderline with him being the truly independent loving other, coming into this with his very own boundaries, who cares very deeply for me.  I sure love and care deeply for him, too.  Hmm... .

Neither one of us can stand feeling controlled and have gotten much better at negotiating our needs... . 

Could we both be recovering from borderline traits?  Makes sense if we are Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

Those are my initial thoughts.  More will come after a while...

I really enjoyed the article; Daniel A. Bochner Ph.D, summed things up nicely and I personally feel it's a great addition to this forum.  Very thought provoking.  Love this sort of thing Smiling (click to insert in post)




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« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2014, 10:15:48 PM »

My response to this article is that it's focus is very narrow and absolute. There is a broader range of influences on the development of any PD. Maybe this is also that from my perspective as the parent of a BPD child (DD age 28) this article puts so blame on my role as the parent. For me this article presents an unrealistic approach to 'treatment', searching for the perfect partner that never gets angry, tense, or inconsistent to retrain the pwBPD. Not sure that is possible with any human being.

I feel my mommy feelings were very triggered by this article. I will return another day with my DD's relationship history with bf's in mind. That fits the  audience of this article better.

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« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2014, 03:08:57 AM »

I read this with an open mind.

As a parent I agree that it focuses narrowly on one aspect of why BPD develops. I honestly do not think I discouraged independence in my children and  abandoned them emotionally if they showed signs of independence although I may have failed to teach them to solve problems and tried to fix things for them too much.

A parent just learning about BPD could be quite upset reading this article.

Many parents are trying to be what is described in the perfect partner-always loving but with clear boundaries.

It is a lot to ask from a romantic partner.

The section on a BPD person as a parent was interesting but again it was very black and white. It would be interesting to see whether partners of people with BPD find this more helpful.
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« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2014, 04:48:18 AM »

Blame the parents some more, we don't feel bad enough already!  I did not discourage independence in my children.  I have some of the most independent children you will ever meet.  If anything, I encouraged too much independence, maybe it's the other side of the same coin and that is where I went wrong.  I will admit I had an alcohol problem for a year when she was 18 months to 2 and a half, and she did not get the attention from me she needed for that year.  And I did baby her too much after that, her sisters used to get so mad at me for it.

My response to this article is that it's focus is very narrow and absolute. There is a broader range of influences on the development of any PD.

I feel my mommy feelings were very triggered by this article.

qcr

You said it well qcr. 
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« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2014, 02:07:13 PM »

1) Not new, but presented in language so succinct that the clarity makes it feel new. 8/10

2) Very well presented, 9/10

3) Helpful? 11/10

Wish I could tattoo this on my chest:

"Recovery requires frequent contact with a person who can simultaneously demonstrate, with unwavering certainty, that they care very deeply for the borderline and that they will not tolerate interference with their own boundaries. Such a person must possess supreme confidence in their own personality. They must be able to manage every kind of attack or manipulation with kindness and understanding, and yet never give in"
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« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2014, 03:20:47 PM »

I can understand why it would be triggering to a parent of a pwBPD; that's one if the reasons why I think the article is outdated - it's not bringing in neuroscience and attachment. In those fields there is understanding that a genetic loading making the child hypersensitive paired with a temperamental mismatch between child & caregiver could set this trajectory for impaired affect regulation from birth to 12 months.

Studies also point to a stressed or depressed mother during this critical time as being a risk factor.

No abuse is required.

If abuse is layered on top, then the risk and resulting symptoms become more serious.

Let's understand what contributes to risk and try not to personalize. Many families do have children under high stress circumstances and it can affect an at risk infant. We are understanding more about how that happens. It's good to understand this so stressed families might get the support they need and not have to tough it out alone.

A temperamental baby that won't be soothed can be an enormous stressor on a family. They would need more help and support... .we could  pro-actively lessen the trajectory of this infants at risk sensitivity interacting with the environment in a way that reinforces the likelihood of pathology.
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« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2014, 04:22:44 PM »

Excerpt
Thanks for your thoughtful response. Can you elaborate on that last point? Or provide some resources to look at?

Sure. This is research.  If this subject is triggering b/c you are too close the subject matter... .please don't watch it or turn it off if it bothers you.  We are all grown adults... .lets take care of ourselves.

Anything by Dr. Allan Schore, Dr. Dan Siegel, Dr. Steven Porges,  :)r. Stan Tatkin etc. would help illuminate the connection between attachment trauma and affect regulation.

Watching all 18 short vignette interviews with Dr. Allan Schore will provide a good overview:

www.psychalive.org/video-playlist-dr-allan-schore/

Also, the still face situation below for a quick example of how quickly dysregulated even a normal infant can become, and how biologically driven this is... .this is not psychological... .in less than two minutes of 'neglect'... .with no abuse whatsoever... .mom is just not available to do that dance that babies do with the caregivers all the time.   If this had happened a lot... .but there was repair as we see in the video... .probably still things would be a okay.  Repair is key. Also the babies own genetic loading, how resilient is the baby to attachment stress.   If this happens a lot and a child is not helped out of the dysregulated state with repair by a caregiver... .and it's chronic over the first couple of years of life... .you are likely to see a child who goes way too far into escalated hyper arousal and then the child crashes into abandonment depression when there is no help to regulate the arousal state. Babies cannot get themselves out of these sates alone with the help of a caregiver... .unless they eventually crash on their own.  This stalls normal development and the infant will often use dissociation to survive the intensity of the upset and corresponding crash (abandonment depression) of it's nervous system.  We aren't even AT the psychology of it yet... .this is attachment trauma which is biologically driven.  Take a tempermental, hypersensitive baby that is very difficult to sooth anyway and a frustrated, depressed or exhausted parent... .and you can have a real mess on your hands.  


Date: Nov-2009Minutes: 2:48

Still Face Experiment: Dr. Edward Tronick
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« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2014, 06:26:20 PM »

This is a really interesting thread... .and I actually do find it interesting that the original article's eventual conclusion is indeed that a "relationship" is what in fact can HELP a pwBPD in their healing process.  However it appears that this type of relationship is really only possible through therapy, or maybe with someone who has a great deal of inner strength (like the dalai lama?), with successful relationships in their lives.  For a vast majority of us, loving relationships are rightly expected to be two sided, and when us nons understand that what we seek from a pwBPD will actually never materialize we become very distraught.   I think it's true that someone with BPD can probably benefit tremendously from a relationship with someone with strength, and compassion... .but I think I'm realistic in thinking, not whether I can, or can't, but I don't WANT that responsibility or relationship.   I want someone who can give in return, and that will allow me to be more giving, to explore myself more deeply, etc.

With my BPD I was initially afraid of doing something wrong, triggering him, and I immediately fell into the adult/therapist role.  He had me walking on eggshells from the second date... .when he TOLD me he was BPD.   But his telling me that brought me here, right away, and I started working on myself.  I realized that my whole life, I had been the "adult" in a relationship, and had experienced manipulation, and very one sided relationships, where I essentially received very little, but gave a lot, which led to a really major burnout and depression.  It was really a result of my not looking out for myself, or my needs, and putting everything and everyone ahead of me.  I had invested so much time and energy into projects that simply gave me very little in return and in the end collapsed and I felt I had lost a great deal of my life to things that gave me nothing in return.  I don't want to do that anymore, because I know where it led me, and it took me a long time to get out of that, and I would say, 5 years after my burnout, I'm still not completely out.

With my BPD, we had a brief recycle, a which point, he pushed me beyond my limits, and I dropped the "responsible adult" role, and lashed out at him.  I think previously I might have felt bad about lashing out, or maybe not have done it, but now I would say that I have a right to be wrong sometimes, to be emotional, to be insecure and in a secure relationship the other person will be sufficiently mature to support me in those times.    But I don't think a pwBPD is capable of this when there is conflict. Nons always have to be the adult.  We are not allowed to be human, have needs, have emotions, feel insecure, make mistakes, etc.  I've decided I want to be with someone who when things aren't going well, that I can rely on the other to be mature enough to help with the reconciliation. 

To me it's really all about understanding what WE need. Not just what we can give.

Incredibly well stated and exactly how I feel. I do consider myself to have been a strong and compassionate partner to my ex. The " problem" began when I committed or gave way to the resistance. Meaning, I leaned in at a certain point and showed my commitment.  Thats when the d/d and splitting began.  The very thing this man bled his heart out to me to obtain, once obtained, the mayhem.

I want much more than that.  I want to be cared for, and about.  Nothing a pBPD can fully comprehend. 
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« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2014, 07:24:38 PM »

" If the messy relationship with the borderline is short-lived, it will cause only very temporary, though sometimes quite significant, pain and suffering."

I don't agree with this. Define "very temporary". The duration of a relationship is not what matters, what matters is what intensity there was and what things the relationship's demise triggered. In my case, my relationship was 4-5 months but it took 6 months to really start getting over it.
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« Reply #22 on: September 15, 2014, 08:05:26 PM »

Take a tempermental, hypersensitive baby that is very difficult to sooth anyway and a frustrated, depressed or exhausted parent... .and you can have a real mess on your hands.  

That was my husband as a baby. My mother in law has told me stories of how he used to cry all night and she would walk the floors with him all night and then have to get up the next morning and go to work. In my husband's case, I don't think he was abuses as much at there was a mismatch between him and his parents.

I think the thing that I took away from the article was an explanation of why my husband was so good with the kid when they were babies. He used to be so good with them. I don't remember when it changed but at some point him and the kids started clashing. I think it became around the time they were old enough to challenge him or question him.

And, it also reminded me of something that happened early on in our relationship. When my husband and I first started hanging out together, he would come by and see me at work all the time. He would call me all the time. At one point, I asked him to back off a little. I still wanted to see him and hang out with him but I was a bit overwhelmed by him coming to see me all the time. Instead of backing off a little or finding a middle ground, he pretty much cut off all contact and acted like a wounded animal. I was so busy with school and other things that I didn't even see it as a red flag.
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« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2014, 05:41:02 PM »

I feel so confused that when I read this article, I started to think I was reading about myself.  I started wondering if I'm the one with the personality disorder.  If it were not for the two failed marriages, all the failed relationships, and the way his own children keep their distance from him and treat him, I would almost think I had the problem or I am developing serious problems as a result of this relationship.  Is there an article that comes to anyone's mind regarding this?  Is it possible that two people with BPD come together?  Is it possible I would even read it and admit to it?  Such utter confusion.
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« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2015, 12:58:04 PM »

This article allows me to make sense of what was going on with us and see what I could not see at the time. I have always been a good judge of character but her BPD made her the most perfect poker player on gods green earth. She wanted to know my feelings all the time but never shared her own true feelings or capability. She claimed that I did not understand her emotionally and I could not understand why until now. She does not understand or experience true love and measures others love for her by their level of sexual desire for her which she uses as therapy. She was not unfaithful, but when she finally was done she left after 7 years with our child. I used to think that a person so wonderful despite daily medication should compel others to take the same medication! Unfortunately, medication cannot control the problem indefinitely and it only takes 1 or 2 breakups to destroy everything especially since a BPD sufferer seems incapable at fixing anything they break. I figure that they are a lifetime of burned bridges and court / system provided finances until they run out of gas and realize that where they are is where they will remain for the rest of their lives. At this time I am probably more worried about her future and my child's than she could ever be. What a sucker I am to her and the whole damn system of our times! 
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« Reply #25 on: August 28, 2015, 08:58:30 PM »

I think its a very accurate blueprint and very encouraging to those who remain in the r/s.

The question I have is regarding the fairly common BPD/NPD partnerships.  I understand the rationale as to how these two PDs bond and it seems are able to maintain a r/s fairly longer  that most BPD/Non partnerships.

The rationale of this article contradicts that type of control bond somewhat. Im curious as to who really can be the perfect partner for a pBPD if allowing safe independence to form is key.

What does r/s mean?
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« Reply #26 on: August 28, 2015, 09:08:20 PM »

1) Not new, but presented in language so succinct that the clarity makes it feel new. 8/10

2) Very well presented, 9/10

3) Helpful? 11/10

Wish I could tattoo this on my chest:

"Recovery requires frequent contact with a person who can simultaneously demonstrate, with unwavering certainty, that they care very deeply for the borderline and that they will not tolerate interference with their own boundaries. Such a person must possess supreme confidence in their own personality. They must be able to manage every kind of attack or manipulation with kindness and understanding, and yet never give in"

Yeah, how do you respond with kindness and understanding with some tells you "f you you stupid b"?
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« Reply #27 on: August 29, 2015, 08:50:54 PM »

I think its a very accurate blueprint and very encouraging to those who remain in the r/s.

The question I have is regarding the fairly common BPD/NPD partnerships.  I understand the rationale as to how these two PDs bond and it seems are able to maintain a r/s fairly longer  that most BPD/Non partnerships.

The rationale of this article contradicts that type of control bond somewhat. Im curious as to who really can be the perfect partner for a pBPD if allowing safe independence to form is key.

What does r/s mean?

Hi Unicorn,

r/s = relationship

(for more clarification on abbreviations click on glossary in the green toolbar above)  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

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« Reply #28 on: October 23, 2016, 05:46:53 AM »

Just had to say I found it a massively insightful article, and the comments by MaybeSo on the forum pages were especially useful too, so thank you very much.

It's all given me alot of good advice and encouragement on how to interact with a close friend w/BPD - And it's almost a good reminder too, as I think my main problem is forgetting about the BPD when it's all going well, and then when an issue does occur, I automatically respond as I would to a non-BPD friend, which helps neither of us.

Being the non, I do find it hard to remember always that the actual situation of any issue cannot be taken as the real driver for any emotions I may feel or of what words I choose in response (as it would be when having issues with a regular non friend), and instead that it is the BPD and ensuing emotional turmoil in my friend which is driving the issue, and is where I need to focus my attention in order to resolve the issue.

Thanks again though as will be very useful!
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« Reply #29 on: October 23, 2016, 06:52:33 AM »

There is a lot I like about this article but the one thing that irks me is the childhood trauma side. I know a lot of people who have had worse upbringings than both my exs who are a lot mentaly healthier than them. I have yet to see impericle evidence that BPD is more nurture based than nature.  Can events told about childhood be taken as fact from a person with BPD?  Im not discounting that some may be true but what ive learnt about my exs upbringings doesnt fit the picture theyve painted. Is it their reality? Probably.  I agree that pwBPD are more sensitive so therefore lesser events can be more traumatic. Just putting a BPD bady to sleep in their own crib could be seen as abandonment. 

The push pull side of the relationship i agree with totally. It did pose the question why does one vilify you at that point and the other have a more seductive approach?
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