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Author Topic: BEHAVIORS: Rejection sensitivity (impulsive aggression)?  (Read 7853 times)
Randi Kreger
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« on: March 11, 2008, 02:06:37 PM »

Hello:Here is a peak at some of the info I’m putting together for the new book. It’s about Rejection Sensitivity and Impulsive Aggression, or what I term the “Border-Lion.” The Border-Lion is going to be a major theme, as it helps separate the person from the disorder.Randi Kreger____________________hit_________Rejection SensitivityPart of being human is to experience rejection, from the other kids in kindergarten who won’t share their Play-Doh to not being asked to dance at the Senior Citizen’s Ball. Rejections can be small, like those I just mentioned, or large: being fired or divorced. Even trivial snubs can cause a world of hurt and send our self-esteem into a tailspin. In an article in Psychology Today, psychologist Mark Leary say that sensitivity to rejection probably serves a purpose: it is a social warning system in the same way pain is a physical warning system. "Nature designed us to be vigilant about potential rejection because for most of our history we depended on small groups of people,” he says. “Getting shut out would have compromised survival." Rejection sensitivity exists along a continuum, from the office boor who never notices people don’t like him all the way to... .unsurprisingly, people with BPD. Just as BPs are more fearful of abandonment, they’re also more sensitive to rejection. Already depressed and suffering from low self-esteem, they expect to be rejected. Like giraffes at a watering hole in the African veldt on the alert for predators, they continually scan their environment for any hint of disapproval or exclusion, seeing intentional slights in the smallest things. Once a rejection-sensitive person is convinced someone is rebuffing them, they’ll come up with their own reasons why this is so and then react in a hostile way without checking out the facts. A Borderline man describes it like this:I have a constant edge-of-your-seat alertness for little clues that might mean someone hates me or doesn’t want me to be with them any more. With my boyfriend, when we would be together doing something quiet like reading, every so often I would interject with a pleading and submissive, "Are you mad at me?” until it annoyed him so much he really would get angry! For me, though, the impression he was displeased with me was so real--all it takes is silence to make me feel like I’ve been rejected, and this fills me with panic.Impulsive Aggression (The Border-Lion)When a rejection/abandonment-sensitive BP’s continual scans detect a threat to their survival, their reaction may be fueled with a phenomenon called impulsive aggression. Impulsive aggression is widely acknowledged as core feature of BPD that can be triggered by immediate threats of rejection and/or abandonment, often paired with frustration. Impulsive aggression: •   Comprises verbal hostility, physical hostility, or both, with the purpose of hurting another person or the self. •   Can be turned outward, (e.g. outbursts, rages, hitting objects, or violence toward others) or inward, (e.g. suicide attempts or self-injury). •   Is impulsive, unplanned and reckless; i.e., the person gives no thought to the consequences of their actions. •   Is linked to several BPD traits, including rage, emotional instability, impulsivity, suicidal thoughts, and self-injury. •   Is associated with a biological “tug-of-war” between the logical and emotional aspects of the brain, in which the logical side loses. These aggressive tendencies can be inherited. •   Is not exclusive to BPD, but a component of several impulse control disorders like Intermittent Explosive Disorder.Think of impulsive aggression as a “Border-Lion,” a ferocious beast that is uncaged when BPs emotions are so strong and overwhelming they can no longer be contained. Whether the Border-Lion is turned inward or outward, it one of the top barriers that keep BPs and those who love him from developing the close, trusting relationship both of them yearn for.  It’s going to be tough, but try to hold fast to the notion that your family member and the Border-Lion are not one and the same. The Border-Lion is a component of the disorder. (This is from another chapter but mentions the Border-Lion)When family members try to assert limits, the Border-Lion feels trapped, exposed, and threatened. Its very survival is at stake. So it lashes out with its sharp claws and teeth to make the threat of deprivation go away.
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« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2008, 03:07:29 PM »

I've felt that lion's claws many times... .

I've sometimes refered to this as the BPD's Self-fulfilling prophecy... .the disorder causes them to be oversensitive to "percieved" rejection and they lash out... .and in many cases this brings the circle 'round by eliciting the expected rejection by the very nature of action vs. reaction.

It is really difficult (sometimes impossible) to seperate the person from the disorder - especially in the undiagnosed, untreated, unaware BP person who refuses to accept that there is anything wrong with "them"... .I know I have been guilty of being unable to make that distinction, especially when I've been on the recieving end of that lion's attack.

But, I love the peek at the new book... .and the imagery of the lion... .is very very fitting. 
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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2008, 03:21:48 PM »

I've felt that lion's claws many times... .I've sometimes refered to this as the BPD's Self-fulfilling prophecy... .the disorder causes them to be oversensitive to "percieved" rejection and they lash out... .and in many cases this brings the circle 'round by eliciting the expected rejection by the very nature of action vs. reaction.It is really difficult (sometimes impossible) to seperate the person from the disorder - especially in the undiagnosed, untreated, unaware BP person who refuses to accept that there is anything wrong with "them"... .I know I have been guilty of being unable to make that distinction, especially when I've been on the recieving end of that lion's attack.But, I love the peek at the new book... .and the imagery of the lion... .is very very fitting. 

Having the "Border-Lion" makes it so much easier to talk about things. For example, this is from the chapter on limits:To gets its way, the Border-Lion will goad your family member into making negative and inaccurate judgments about who you are, what you value, what your motivations are, and what kind of personality you have. Your ability to recognize these comments for what they are—part of the disorder—and not let them intimidate you depends upon the strength of your self-image and your ability to validate yourself.And it's true. I'm using the Border-Lion more expansively in some places, but it really is the impulsive aggression propelling the acting out. RLK
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2008, 07:13:12 AM »

I think it is a useful analogy.  Paticularly with the acting out behaviors.  But what about the acting in BPs who harm themsleves instead of lashing out?  Do Lions ever self-harm?  Do they lash out at their own young?

I appreciate your trying to keep the person and the disorder separate, but it's hard for me to do with the BP in my life because of the damage she is doing to my SS (his mother).   While I am not without empathy for the BP, I hold her entirely responsible for what she is doing to her son. 
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2008, 12:47:24 PM »

RLK

Randi,

Not to sidetrack the conversation here, because I believe it to be a good one, and I guess it's along the same lines. Do you plan on doing any writing about NPD with the same depth that you have explored BPD? Do you have any opinions on it? I guess I see a very strong similarity between high functioning BPD and NPD. I suppose another way to look at it is BPD seems to be hallmarked by internal directed rage like cutting and so on, whereas NPD seems to shine with external rage towards loved ones for not meeting unrealistic expectations. But I am still ignorant on the fine distinction, although I guess there need not be.

I definitely know what it is like to walk on egg shells now. But instead of feeling like I had to walk on eggshells so she wouldn't get angry it was moreso walking on eggshells not to disappoint her incredibly high expectations of my adoration of her. If I ate the last egg in the fridge it was somehow suggested that I must not think she is important to me and it was said with an air of disdain and disappointment rather than a helpless soul afraid that the last egg represented abandonment.

thanks for your time here answering questions for us!



What do you think of this fine line between the BPD with a great sense of entitlement and self-absorption and NPD with it's grandiosity and malignant narcissism?
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2008, 12:50:37 PM »

Oh and to add.

I think the term Border Lion is good but is still making the person into something. But instead of it suggesting weakness (with the borderline - implied "psychotic break" it suggests ferocious strength, albeit it unwarranted strength. If anything I think it will help some to better face their behavior if they see it as an overdeveloped sense of strength that just needs to be harnessed rather than a run-away train of psychotic delusion.

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« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2008, 09:53:50 AM »

I think it is a useful analogy.  Paticularly with the acting out behaviors.  But what about the acting in BPs who harm themsleves instead of lashing out?  Do Lions ever self-harm?  Do they lash out at their own young?I appreciate your trying to keep the person and the disorder separate, but it's hard for me to do with the BP in my life because of the damage she is doing to my SS (his mother).   While I am not without empathy for the BP, I hold her entirely responsible for what she is doing to her son. 

In what I posted, there is the sentence:"Think of impulsive aggression as a “Border-Lion,” a ferocious beast that is uncaged when BPs emotions are so strong and overwhelming they can no longer be contained. Whether the Border-Lion is turned inward or outward,  it one of the top barriers that keep BPs and those who love him from developing the close, trusting relationship both of them yearn for. "Earlier in the book, I explain about the turning inward; e.g. self harm and suicide. The lion goes both ways: claws IN, and claws out.rlk
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« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2008, 03:43:57 PM »

ok then that helps better understand your border lion description. You're describing a particular element of BPD behavior using an analogy of a border lion. Personifying the defense mechanisms.

I definitely agree with you, this can be the biggest hurdle to overcome. It is much easier to express anger for some than it is to express hurt. Anger is an outward reaction, Hurt is an inward reflection.



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« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2008, 09:03:26 PM »

<<Not to sidetrack the conversation here, because I believe it to be a good one, and I guess it's along the same lines. Do you plan on doing any writing about NPD with the same depth that you have explored BPD?>>>No. Other people have already done this. Take a look on Amazon.<<I guess I see a very strong similarity between high functioning BPD and NPD. I suppose another way to look at it is BPD seems to be hallmarked by internal directed rage like cutting and so on, whereas NPD seems to shine with external rage towards loved ones for not meeting unrealistic expectations. But I am still ignorant on the fine distinction, although I guess there need not be. >>>There are some similarities between NPD and BPD, but NPD is very much its own thing. However, 25% of people with BPD also have NPD, and those are more likely to be the high functioning BPs. Also, both NPD and BPD are Cluster B personality disorders. <<I definitely know what it is like to walk on egg shells now. But instead of feeling like I had to walk on eggshells so she wouldn't get angry it was moreso walking on eggshells not to disappoint her incredibly high expectations of my adoration of her.>>>I think that's just as common. It's just that people don't complain about that as much. << If I ate the last egg in the fridge it was somehow suggested that I must not think she is important to me and it was said with an air of disdain and disappointment rather than a helpless soul afraid that the last egg represented abandonment. >>My guess, knowing nothing more than that, is that it is still fear of abandonment. <<<thanks for your time here answering questions for us!>>You're welcome<<What do you think of this fine line between the BPD with a great sense of entitlement and self-absorption and NPD with it's grandiosity and malignant narcissism?>>>I think the sense of entitlement is an NPD thing. BPs may seem like they have it, but it is more desperation. Perhaps your BP is one of those who is both BP and NPD. RLK
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« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2008, 11:22:18 PM »

Rejection Sensitivity

"Nature designed us to be vigilant about potential rejection because for most of our history we depended on small groups of people,” he says. “Getting shut out would have compromised survival."

I presume that one of the first small group would be a child’s parents? When I first got married I was told by my MIL that my wife needed lots of approval. I have to admit that I didn’t really know what it meant then and took it to mean give her lots of love and attention, which I did. When any early displays of conflict or disagreement arose I found I was amazed how she reacted to little things that would not of bother me or other people. I believe I saw personal rejection sensitivity as just being too sensitive to things and hence I started walking on eggshells.


Impulsive aggression:

•  Is associated with a biological “tug-of-war” between the logical and emotional aspects of the brain, in which the logical side loses. These aggressive tendencies can be inherited.

I can understand that aggressive tendencies can be inherited but have a problem understand a biological “tug-of-war” taking place in their mind. When I was on the receiving end of explosive aggression it usually developed very very quickly during some form of conflict and she ‘snapped’ and became a person I did not know in just a few seconds. I would assume that if there was a tug-of-war it was underlying and constantly present in their mind or subconscious then?

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« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2008, 07:51:11 AM »

Regarding the last post, I'm not sure. Just passing along something I wrote.Randi Kreger.  Welcome to Oz Community OwnerStop Walking on Eggshells and the SWOE Workbook
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« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2008, 10:36:45 AM »

any suggestions on how to deal with people that display impulsive aggression? what should you do when you're on the receiving end of it?

i'm finding that many people have this problem and not just isolated to BPD... .unless they do have it and i just don't know it nor do they. in some ways i feel that in general people have lost all sense of decorum and boundaries and lash out with hostility at people whenever and wherever they feel like it. they do it to rid themselves of the nastiness they feel inside, as well as to hurt the other person.

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« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2008, 07:01:36 PM »

So, what I think I am understanding is that it is necessary for nons to separate the behavior (aggression) from the person?  Is this a part of the process of dealing with the anger I feel for all the hurt in the past? (I am just 3 weeks into knowing about BP and reading SWOE, a little at a time like you suggested.)  Still trying to process how to deal with uBPDh. He is beginning individual T and I am continuing individ. T after CT suggested indiv for him following 4 sessions of CT.  Am hoping diagnosis comes soon so I can begin to make some decisions. Both my T and our CT indicate to me that BPD is a definite possibility for him.  I am so grateful for this site!
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« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2008, 10:14:03 PM »

Dear Randi

I am a serious reader of this subject. Lion is the symbol of greatness and braveness.A lion never never harms it. It goes old and die. A human-lion can harm oneself out of uncontrolled anger or emotions.Humanbeings are self destructive.The subject BPD or NPD is for humanbeing. Do you agree with my observation?
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« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2008, 03:49:44 PM »

wow, reading about the "border-lion" i can instantly recall several moments of madness that this term describes very accurately.

and to think it wasn't me after all... .

this book is a must-read for me, when is it available in the bookstore?

b2
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« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2008, 03:59:39 PM »

I have to say that I never found it useful to separate the disorder from the person (my mother).  It was usually thinking like this that enmeshed me further into the abuse. If she were living, I would hesitate to use such a technique as I envision it right now.
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« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2008, 11:05:00 PM »

Randi,

Thanks for confirming my sanity when I wasn't able to, and the inside peek at the next book.

sdddaa

-----------

I kept the disorder separate from my exwife, in my mind, and attempted to address it in that way for almost 20 years. The rages stopped only when she felt she had hurt me sufficiently. It bothered her immensely that I could potentially see positive things within her that she herself could not recognize. This led to enormous resentment on her part, with behaviors escalating, and intentional attacks to hurt me as much as possible. This approach did not seem to help me/us as it seemed to only enrage her more if she didn't get a her desired reaction or see what I could.

Often times she would exclaim "See, I knew it... .would happen sometime... .you felt this way... .you were going to say that" and usually it was her interpreting what I said to fit the paranoia of her fears becoming reality, the justification of them.

For 20 years she dreamed every night that I had left her, was going to leave her, or she somehow could not find me when she needed me, yet I had been the only person in her life who accepted her for who she was, issues and all. Ultimately the fear of losing me grew and grew to reflect this. She pushed and pushed and pushed me until the reality of her fears happened; she made it impossible to be with her because no matter how much she was aware of it, even with counseling and DBT, she could not prevent herself from hurting me. Is this the internal tug of war you talked about?

One thing about the impulsiveness I have trouble with is that often it seems like an excuse for her actions to avoid the responsibility which comes with them. Having an affair with her best friend was chalked up to impulsive behavior. Yet she began to set it into motion for the entire preceding year. There are many other examples from our relationship. In my experience it seemed to be related more to her being exempt from the rules and standards she expected everyone else to abide by. (Or does this stem from Ntendencies, or NPD coinciding?)

After 20 years I no longer separate the disorder from the person; this is a ruling part of her person and always will be. Granted, she did not ask for it but she has made very conscious decisions to not deal with it as well. After so much abuse, pain, to myself and daughters, I do see her as being defined by her disorder, as does she, since it affects every aspect of her life. Perhaps this view is more beneficial to the disordered person dealing with their own actions.

An aspect possibly related to their fears, is the often denied matter of choice they do have. It has come up repeatedly that there is no matter of choice for them, but this seems contradictory. Every ounce of energy is put into the false front, keeping others from knowing "who they really are" because if they knew what they were really like, they would not like them. So in this way it does seem that there is a knowledge of right and wrong, acceptable and unacceptable behaviors, and the choice to ignore this knowledge when dealing with those closest to them (because it scares them to feel close).

Or is this knowledge of choice the basis for the idea that they can be treated/self managed for improvement?

Thanks again, sdddaa.
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« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2008, 09:50:04 AM »

i have seen these phrases before... .on this site... .

do you have leaks?
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« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2008, 08:48:59 AM »

any suggestions on how to deal with people that display impulsive aggression? what should you do when you're on the receiving end of it?i'm finding that many people have this problem and not just isolated to BPD... .unless they do have it and i just don't know it nor do they. in some ways i feel that in general people have lost all sense of decorum and boundaries and lash out with hostility at people whenever and wherever they feel like it. they do it to rid themselves of the nastiness they feel inside, as well as to hurt the other person.

Sorry that it has been a while since I was here.Impulsive aggression has always been there in BPs--the Border-Lion just teases it out in a new way. The way to cope with the Border-Lion is the same techniques that you find in Stop Walking on Eggshells. But my new book is, I think, going to be the ultimate guide on dealing with the BL using the five tools I describe in the second half. rlk
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« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2008, 08:54:33 AM »

So, what I think I am understanding is that it is necessary for nons to separate the behavior (aggression) from the person?  Is this a part of the process of dealing with the anger I feel for all the hurt in the past? (I am just 3 weeks into knowing about BP and reading SWOE, a little at a time like you suggested.)  Still trying to process how to deal with uBPDh. He is beginning individual T and I am continuing individ. T after CT suggested indiv for him following 4 sessions of CT.  Am hoping diagnosis comes soon so I can begin to make some decisions. Both my T and our CT indicate to me that BPD is a definite possibility for him.  I am so grateful for this site!

Yes and no.Yes, the Border-Lion is a COMPONENT of BPD just like splitting. Splitting as to do with the way the BP THINKS. Impulsive aggression has to do with the way the BP BEHAVES. The Border-Lion has a genetic basis, and it is also a learned behavior in that when the BP uses it, it often works--for example, making such a big roar when the non tries to set a limit that the non decides not to try THAT again.However, the BP is still responsible for taming their own Border-Lion because no one can do it for them. Even people with mental disorders are responsible for looking at how their behavor affects others and making a choice about what they want to do about it, rlk
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« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2008, 08:55:38 AM »

Dear RandiI am a serious reader of this subject. Lion is the symbol of greatness and braveness.A lion never never harms it. It goes old and die. A human-lion can harm oneself out of uncontrolled anger or emotions.Humanbeings are self destructive.The subject BPD or NPD is for humanbeing. Do you agree with my observation?

I am afraid I don't understand what you are saying. Can you give it another shot?rlk
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« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2008, 08:57:47 AM »

wow, reading about the "border-lion" i can instantly recall several moments of madness that this term describes very accurately.and to think it wasn't me after all... .this book is a must-read for me, when is it available in the bookstore?b2

Nope, it wasn't you! The publisher says it will be out in 2008. All the copy is due April 15. Then they edit like mad and I make revisions like mad. I have NO idea how they will get it out that fast, but I will keep you apprised. rlk
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« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2008, 09:01:14 AM »

I have to say that I never found it useful to separate the disorder from the person (my mother).  It was usually thinking like this that enmeshed me further into the abuse. If she were living, I would hesitate to use such a technique as I envision it right now.

At this point, I haven't offered any techniques. That would be in the second half. It is a bit slippery to understand that BPD has a biological basis, but still hold a person (the BP) responsible for trying to control behavior that hurts others. Think of it like diabetes. No one asks to be diabetic. But if you have it, you have to take care of yourself by eating the proper way and taking meds as needed. If you don't, the diabetes will take over. It's a bit like that.rlk
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I had a borderline mother and narcissistic father. Author of stop walking on eggshells, The stop walking on eggshells workbook, the essential family guide to borderline personality disorder, and the upcoming book stop walking on egg shells for partners
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« Reply #23 on: March 30, 2008, 09:10:20 AM »

Randi,Thanks for confirming my sanity when I wasn't able to, and the inside peek at the next book.sdddaa-----------I kept the disorder separate from my exwife, in my mind, and attempted to address it in that way for almost 20 years. The rages stopped only when she felt she had hurt me sufficiently. It bothered her immensely that I could potentially see positive things within her that she herself could not recognize. This led to enormous resentment on her part, with behaviors escalating, and intentional attacks to hurt me as much as possible. This approach did not seem to help me/us as it seemed to only enrage her more if she didn't get a her desired reaction or see what I could.Often times she would exclaim "See, I knew it... .would happen sometime... .you felt this way... .you were going to say that" and usually it was her interpreting what I said to fit the paranoia of her fears becoming reality, the justification of them.For 20 years she dreamed every night that I had left her, was going to leave her, or she somehow could not find me when she needed me, yet I had been the only person in her life who accepted her for who she was, issues and all. Ultimately the fear of losing me grew and grew to reflect this. She pushed and pushed and pushed me until the reality of her fears happened; she made it impossible to be with her because no matter how much she was aware of it, even with counseling and DBT, she could not prevent herself from hurting me. Is this the internal tug of war you talked about?One thing about the impulsiveness I have trouble with is that often it seems like an excuse for her actions to avoid the responsibility which comes with them. Having an affair with her best friend was chalked up to impulsive behavior. Yet she began to set it into motion for the entire preceding year. There are many other examples from our relationship. In my experience it seemed to be related more to her being exempt from the rules and standards she expected everyone else to abide by. (Or does this stem from Ntendencies, or NPD coinciding?)After 20 years I no longer separate the disorder from the person; this is a ruling part of her person and always will be. Granted, she did not ask for it but she has made very conscious decisions to not deal with it as well. After so much abuse, pain, to myself and daughters, I do see her as being defined by her disorder, as does she, since it affects every aspect of her life. Perhaps this view is more beneficial to the disordered person dealing with their own actions.An aspect possibly related to their fears, is the often denied matter of choice they do have. It has come up repeatedly that there is no matter of choice for them, but this seems contradictory. Every ounce of energy is put into the false front, keeping others from knowing "who they really are" because if they knew what they were really like, they would not like them. So in this way it does seem that there is a knowledge of right and wrong, acceptable and unacceptable behaviors, and the choice to ignore this knowledge when dealing with those closest to them (because it scares them to feel close).Or is this knowledge of choice the basis for the idea that they can be treated/self managed for improvement?Thanks again, sdddaa.

First, we have to remember every BP is an individual, just like every non. BPD is not their entire personality, nor is it the definition of the self. I don't think there is a big need to try to nitpit to figure out what is the Border-Lion and what is the BP. These facts remain.1. Mental illnesses, just like physical illnesses, have a biological component. Many physical and mental illnesses have an environmental component, too. The only difference is that right now we know much more about how and why physical illnesses come about. The brain is just beginning to give up its secrets.2. Peoplke who are affected can't do much about their biology. But they can do what we all must do, and that is manage their disorder--both for themselves and their relationships. More and more, we see that alcoholism and addiction also have a biological component, too.If I had to um up in a sentence how a family manages BPD, it would be this: the person with BPD needs to take responsibility for themselves. And the adult family members must do the same. That's the heart of it.rlk
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I had a borderline mother and narcissistic father. Author of stop walking on eggshells, The stop walking on eggshells workbook, the essential family guide to borderline personality disorder, and the upcoming book stop walking on egg shells for partners
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« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2008, 06:56:22 PM »



First, we have to remember every BP is an individual, just like every non. BPD is not their entire personality, nor is it the definition of the self.

I don't think there is a big need to try to nitpit to figure out what is the Border-Lion and what is the BP. These facts remain.

1. Mental illnesses, just like physical illnesses, have a biological component. Many physical and mental illnesses have an environmental component, too. The only difference is that right now we know much more about how and why physical illnesses come about. The brain is just beginning to give up its secrets.

2. Peoplke who are affected can't do much about their biology. But they can do what we all must do, and that is manage their disorder--both for themselves and their relationships. More and more, we see that alcoholism and addiction also have a biological component, too.

If I had to um up in a sentence how a family manages BPD, it would be this: the person with BPD needs to take responsibility for themselves. And the adult family members must do the same. That's the heart of it.


rlk

Randi,

   I agree with what you say about BPD having genetic components yet those with BPD are still responsible to manage their illness the best they can and take responsibility for themselves.    And I have also likened BPD to diabetes in the same way you have and also to the development of the disorder.

  My husband usually does a good job of managing his BPD but there is still room for improvement.  He hates to read and therefore he hasn't learned as much about the disorder and how it affects him and others as much as he could.  He could use some therapy to help him deal with the past and to learn to better recognize when he is overly stressed, getting angry and needs to take his "as needed" meds.  On the positive side, he has accepted responsibility and takes his medications as prescribed.  He also avoids alcohol and has regular check-ups with Dr. Heller. 

  He had been without a job for a couple of months and feeling stressed and angry.  He couldn't see he was angry and wouldn't go see the doctor because we didn't have the "extra" money even though I insisted this was a priority.  When we finally went to see Dr. Heller he had a good talk with my husband and we got an intense, productive therapy session in addition to the medical aspect of the visit, that would have taken weeks, if not months, with most other therapists.  It included information on BPD, recognition of anger and its effects on your spouse, family and others, and marital counseling which came with specific instructions for both of us.  One of the instructions for my husband was to take his Haldol ten minutes before he had an important or emotional talk with me.  Not part of the usual instructions in marital counseling, but I loved it!

  Abigail
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« Reply #25 on: September 12, 2008, 01:27:45 PM »

"The rages stopped only when she felt she had hurt me sufficiently. It bothered her immensely that I could potentially see positive things within her that she herself could not recognize. This led to enormous resentment on her part, with behaviors escalating, and intentional attacks to hurt me as much as possible. This approach did not seem to help me/us as it seemed to only enrage her more if she didn't get a her desired reaction or see what I could."

Randi,

Looking forward to the new book.  Walking on Eggshells was definitely helpful in helping me to recognize that we dealing with an illness.  The "Border Lion" analogy seems to point to a primitive under-development mentioned by others.  The quote above is what I've been experienceing for years.  For the longest time, I sought to defend myself responding in kind.  This only made matters worse b/c she never experienced that "sufficient" hurt.  If I inject an opinion that differs from hers (even if I'm praising her at a time when she's self-criticizing), the "lion" is unleashed.  Ironically, as ferocious as she can be in trying to administer adequate pain,  I am the one who is often accused of "low blows" or "going for the kill" with remarks/responses that far less malicious than we both know (in reality) are a capability for me. 

I now understand this concept of projection for what it is, and I'm reinventing my responses to her rages.  My "eye-for-an-eye" approach only intensified and prolonged the rage sessions.  She couldn't hurt me enough to disable me, and this seemed to only make her "more ill" - driving her deeper into depression and a thirst to abuse.  I've only been able to begin this journey be separating the illness from the person.  Without that separation, my own primal instincts lead to that "normal" belief that we are all responsible for our own actions.  I've learned this belief to wasted on those w BPD - b/c it is indeed "fact", and these people are driven moreso by emotion.

"I agree with this sentiment and this is the core but who is looking after the children?  This is the one aspect of this disorder that frustrates me the most in our posters here.  I often see the disorder as being one that shifts all focus to the one suffering from bp.  The focus gets shifted to them and the kids suffer.  this places an inordinant amount of responsibility upon the non, to take the shift back to themselves and the kids.  It is very difficult."

I fully understand those who see the "border lion" concept as just another excuse.  My GF craves being the center of attention (as does her S15).  This craving often compromises my relationship with our other kids.  If I set boundaries to protect the kids and my relationship with them, I'm labeled a thoughtless, self-centered monster.  This alienation occurs b/c a "boundary" is also a "border", recognition of which we know to be the very basis and challenge of this disorder.

Thanks for "... .Eggshells" and the pending new book, and thanks for taking the time to address our questions/comments.

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« Reply #26 on: September 13, 2008, 06:53:14 AM »

Randi,

I find this very interesting.  I came to this site not too long ago.  I in my posts I think I've made it clear that although I have read quite a bit on BPD over the years... .I am never totally satisfied with my understanding.  I am most curious about the person inside of this.  In one of my posts I ask if anyone sees them as a wounded soul, as if they are speaking another language that we CAN understand... .so that we can care about them... .knowing better who they are... .and still care for ourselves.  I used the example of my father when he went into a nursing home... .he was different... .yet with his language changing... .I understood him... .he was himself and not.  There were always ways i could distract him from frustration... .I felt at times I knew he was afraid of something and yes, anger was a big part, but I could intercept and he'd be fine and later in some way he'd acknowledge it.  I cant help but feel since these individuals with BPD are not totally disconnected with reality... .that they have hearts that are aching and perhaps will always ache, but still... .in those moments we can interact there has to be a chance for  them to be understood and comforted (and I don't mean this in a sick co dependant way).  Treating them in the moment and not taking it personally.

Some of the replies to my posts have clearly been the hurts of others speaking out... .so many people have been hurt... .but rising above our/thier pain... .how to we "love" the wounded bp?

I think this new book and the separation sounds most interesting.  I like some of your examples... .for me it's important to have points fleshed out so that I can grasp the point.  I appreciate what I've read so far.  Thank you.

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« Reply #27 on: September 13, 2008, 08:46:36 AM »

is thisa bp ways of saying you will take any thing from me abuse and so on then i will know that you love me yes i  am reading the book this week. funny thing my mother of 60 yrs read this book and refers to my father do i have daddy issues my h is alot like my father
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« Reply #28 on: September 13, 2008, 03:44:18 PM »

"border lion" is a great way to say that the person isn't the disease but... .it still hurts to be attacked.
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« Reply #29 on: September 14, 2008, 10:08:03 AM »

The "border lion" analogy is interesting. I always told my partner, after she had one of those spells, that she was like a mother bear protecting her cub. Only problem is that the "cub" (her broken and threatened sense of self) was never under any *real* danger from the me/the outside! 
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