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Author Topic: Question about Childhood abuse... and BPD  (Read 978 times)
Herodias
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« on: May 17, 2016, 07:51:25 AM »

I have a question about childhood abuse. When we say allot of pwBPD were abused as children, what age is this usually? I am asking because mine claimed he was raped in the military at age 18. Would that have any cause for BPD or is that too old? It would cause PTSD which he is diagnosed with as well as the PD. His Mother says she doesn't believe that he had this happen to him. She said he is a very good liar and I always thought she just didn't want to believe this could happen to her son and didn't want to accept it. But now, I believe she may be correct. I am sure she knows more to the story than I do, but I always wondered why he would not discuss this is counseling, but later thought... .maybe he didn't want to discuss it because it didn't happen. I honestly don't know. I have heard allot of people (men and women) have this happen in the military, which is awful. They are cracking down on it now, big time. I eventually had him tell "the truth" to some of his closest friends because I thought it was better than pretending he went to war. This is one of those cases where you will never learn the deep down secret truth. But I wonder about the BPD thing... .is 18 too old to start this behavior after that or not?
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balletomane
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2016, 08:59:54 AM »

BPD isn't caused by one single event. It's usually caused by growing up in an abusive environment where the child's needs aren't met. As a result, the child learns that no one is really reliable, they may start to interpret not getting what they want immediately as a sign that no one cares about them, and so on. Such children develop an unhealthy and insecure attachment style through years of cumulative trauma and pain. This is why some professionals like to think of BPD as a complex form of post-traumatic stress disorder - unlike typical PTSD, it's caused by many events layered on top of one another over a protracted period of time, during the critical formative years.  While most professionals will not diagnose BPD until the person has reached adulthood, and it's clear that the difficulties really are BPD and not just adolescent moodiness or something more transient, all agree that BPD's roots are in childhood. You can't develop BPD overnight as an adult. It's too closely connected to development.

Your ex might be lying about the rape. But it could also be that his mother's disbelief is part of a wider pattern, and he grew up in a home where he wasn't believed or adequately supported when he was in distress - that might explain how his BPD began to develop. This may not have been intentional on his parents' part. I have worked with severely disturbed children who will probably end up with a BPD diagnosis when they hit adult mental health services, and while some of their parents were prosecuted for acts of physical and sexual abuse, others loved their children to bits and didn't set out to be abusive - they just had extremely poor parenting skills, usually due to problems of their own, and they were causing neglect and harm without realising.  As one of my patients put it, "My mum didn't abuse us or anything but I don't think she knows how to look after a kid." I don't think it would be helpful for you to speculate about your ex's childhood, but remember that when you speak to his mother you are only getting her perception, and it's natural for people to see themselves in a good light. She is not necessarily the expert on him. Ultimately you will never know the truth about his past, and I think that is also something we have to detach from when coming out of a BPD relationship.
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steelwork
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2016, 09:06:59 AM »

Just a note: there is complex PTSD, which can develop later in life from an ongoing or repeated trauma (prisoner of war, say) -- which can be comorbid with BPD -- but they're not usually said to be the same thing. Though many overlapping symptoms. Also, attachment disorders generally have their origin in the attachment period: 6 months - 3 years.

Not everyone responds to trauma the same way. If you had a genetic predisposition to BPD, you might have a grave reaction to poor attachment. If you had poor attachment, you might be more succeptible to PTSD  at age 18.
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Dutched
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2016, 09:14:51 AM »

Short: mostly at age 18-20 BPD manifests itself, will be full blown visible.

However.

More and more research very strongly indicated a genetic cause. I once posted something about it and more recently I found this.

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3749895/?report=classic

That in itself does not say that BPD will come out to develop as we see it.

Depending on the upbringing, the emotional stability within the family, etc.

When the primary caretaker (mostly the mother) shows unpredictable and inconsistent behaviour in approaching and loving/nurturing the very young child, that alone can cause later in life, an emotional ‘defect’ in the child’s (adult by then) attachment style towards others.

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3268672/?report=classic

Have a look at Dr. Edward Tronick (UMass Boston) , the Still Face Experiment

Using the "Still Face" Experiment, in which a mother denies her baby attention for a short period of time, Tronick describes how prolonged lack of attention can move an infant from good socialization, to periods of bad but repairable socialization. In "ugly" situations the child does not receive any chance to return to the good, and may become stuck

As from 1:03 min., please be prepared of what you are going to see.   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apzXGEbZht0

Child abuse is indeed a factor. As it mostly starts at a very young age, it causes in the brain and therefore in the child’s development , a deep rooted protection layer in order to prevent pain. Causes the child to comply as much as possible with the behaviour of the caregive(s).

As that caregivers behaviour is unpredictable too the child will cocooning itself by shutting out emotions and their needs (showing them is getting hurt).

Having had an unsafe/abused upbringing  and/or some genetic ingredients a trigger (like you wrote) can cause the ‘release’ of the deep buried pain of which was nowhere to hide.

So yes at that rape at 18 (as your ex claimed) might have caused the trigger, but it was already there.

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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2016, 07:52:03 PM »

Herodias this is freaky... .my BPD ex had the same experiences
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Herodias
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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2016, 08:08:50 PM »

Herodias this is freaky... .my BPD ex had the same experiences

Yours was military? May explain the huge temper and violent streak. Have you gone to the VA for help? That would be the best place to start.
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heartandwhole
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« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2016, 04:21:37 AM »

Hi Herodias,

From what I've seen in the scientific literature, BPD can emerge from both genetic disposition to trauma/abuse in childhood; either and/or a mix of both.

We have a very thorough informational thread on the topic of BPD and PTSD here if you haven't seen it.

heartandwhole
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« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2016, 06:45:18 AM »

Blue,  I knew my BPD from highschool.  She was a very cool person and great to hang around.  When she went away to college she was raped and almost didn't graduate.   I think her dad was an alcoholic and was abusive.   

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Leonis
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« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2016, 11:22:21 AM »

My ex was abused by her own mom since they were kids. I don't know exactly when it stopped, but all of her siblings can confirm that they had horrible experiences at home.

With her six siblings, from oldest to youngest:

#1 Ran away from home around 17 and eventually came back to try to finish up his degrees. He's 31. Lives at home. Never been on a date, etc.

#2 Kept up with the religiousness of the family and even went on a mission. Came back, and eventually spiraled down into alcohol abuse. He's gotten better with it, but still never the same. He's 29 and lived at home until recently when he moved somewhere with his "gf", and he broke up with her soon after. Something about she was nuts... .yeah... .wonder who is really the nuts one.

#3 Is the hyper-religious daughter who is a middle school teacher (27). She's very much a closet lesbian based on the way her homophobia shows. Always complaining about the men in her area "aren't good enough". According to my ex, she hasn't been as angry or emotional of a person since her head injury in 2011.

#4 My ex (25). Three engagements later, no marriage. Always hated the culture around her. She told me a lot about the physical abuse her mom put her and her siblings through when they were young. This was why she saved money as soon as she could work and moved out of the house ASAP.

#5 Sister with low self-esteem (23). Perpetually getting involved with controlling and abusive guys. Her most recently exploit is selling her own car to pay for her cohabitating bf's tuition and their rent. They are moving to Ohio together to be closer to his stepdad. Did I mention that she has diabetes? Yeah, it's gonna be an interesting.

#6 Kid is still on missionary service until July. He's 20. Don't know much about him, except that he's awkward according to my ex.

#7 Seems the most lucid at age 18, but she does have self-harm issues and boy troubles of various kind. I never knew the details, but she's the only one in the family that admitted that all her siblings have issues. My ex always say that this sister will marry several times and divorce just as many.

Seven kids! All have issues, especially when it comes to close interpersonal relationships that's not immediate family. I feel bad for writing all these out. But, this made me realize how silly it was for me to think it wouldn't affect my relationship with my ex, my potential children, etc.
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Jacidrinkswine
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« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2016, 12:26:44 PM »

My ex claimes to have been molested by a family member at 13-14 years of age. As her story goes this led to a life of prostitutuon. She is recently diagnosed with BPD. I saw her eeg brain scan - it is very abnormal. Over 2 sd from normal.  I don't know if the molestation and prostitutuon are true- she lies about everything.
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Herodias
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« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2016, 04:23:10 PM »

My ex claimes to have been molested by a family member at 13-14 years of age. As her story goes this led to a life of prostitutuon. She is recently diagnosed with BPD. I saw her eeg brain scan - it is very abnormal. Over 2 sd from normal.  I don't know if the molestation and prostitutuon are true- she lies about everything.

I am curious what they said about the brain scan... .? What was abnormal about it? I have been told that usually sociopaths and psychopaths are the ones who have a abnormal ventromedial pre-frontal cortex and amygdala. I thought that pwBPD had somewhat normal scans... .
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Jacidrinkswine
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« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2016, 04:39:41 PM »

At Herodias- I saw the report of the eeg brain scan and mmpi from her clinic in NYC.  So I believe it to be true. The only thing I trust Jaci on is how messed up her mind is.  The eeg was over 2 standard deviations from the norm. It is quite technical but it show dis regulation of the right side of the brain.
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