Borderline Personality, 42, says, "I am a Child"
July 14, 2012
Women with Borderline Personality Disorder act out like children do, because they are children, says a victim. Their emotional development was arrested in childhood due to loss of a loved one or abuse.
The main reason I want to tell my story is that people with Borderline Personality Disorder get a bad rap.
I believe that if more people understood things from the Borderline's perspective, it would make things so much easier for everyone involved.
My dad left before I was old enough to remember him and my mom died a month before my 11 birthday. I recently realized in therapy that I was indeed molested by a caretaker around the age of four.
I knew something had happened with a particular person. But it was not until I explained to my therapist about the sexual things I was doing shortly after that, that my suspicions were confirmed.
She said, the things I was doing was not age appropriate. I remember the very day that I said, my mother would always be there. So when she died, I felt so alone and angry at her for leaving me.
I am 42 years old and still searching for her in anyone who shows me the slightest amount of caring.
There is a famous book about Borderline called, "I Hate You, Don't Leave Me." This title says a lot. The abuse started while my mother was fighting for her life with cancer. It continued by various people throughout my childhood into young adulthood.
Through my own experience and research, I have learned that the worse thing you can do to a Borderline is leave or even threaten to. They will put up with all sorts of mistreatment as long as you are committed to staying with them. I know in my experience a lot of people have assumed that I did not realize that I was being abused, because I did whatever was necessary to keep that person close.
Many people accuse us of being manipulative. I wish it was that simple. The dread that one feels when someone close is threatening to leave is worse than the thought of death. It's like that person is your life support machine.
Borderlines are very intelligent. They know exactly what went wrong, that the relationship is beyond repair, and that each of you would be better off without the other. But when a Borderline feels that they have been pushed into survival mode, nothing logical is going to make sense to them.
They say that Borderlines overreact to everything. Most of them have experienced some sort of trauma and the way they feel about what has happened makes their reaction seem appropriate, to them.
Once a Borderline feels like she can no longer trust you, that trust is gone forever. All that is left is raw pain that never heals. But they still cannot let go. They may honestly hate you, but they are glued to the "perfect person" you were when they met you.
On top of that, Borderlines will not take time to heal from the last relationship. They have got to be hooked up to that life support again.
All they are doing is collecting pain and bringing it along to the next relationship. Now you can imagine why a relationship with a Borderline goes bad so quickly and why their anger always seems out of proportion to the situation.
People want to change the phrase Borderline Personality Disorder. They say it does not fit. For me it fits perfectly. I am too screwed up to be considered normal and too intelligent to fit in with the people with severe mental disturbances.
I say, I am bright enough to know how f *cked up I really am. But I have found hope in God. He is an amazing deliverer. Borderlines are usually missing the coping skills and tools that parents teach mostly by example. And their emotional growth is severely compromised.
I literally watched each of my ten nieces and nephews outgrow me emotionally. When you are an adult with the emotions of a toddler, the world can be a very scary place to exist.
But when I go into childlike mode, all my mannerisms are like a child. I even sound like one. People either laugh at me, or get angry.
It is very rare for them to seem unaware or care in spite of it all. Those are the ones that I cling to. I remember once in my thirties, a caretaker angrily told me I was not a child. Without giving it any thought, I responded, Yes I am!!!
In response to Henry's questions:
To answer your question about why we act out and are sometimes abusive. Like the love we felt for the first significant one who abandoned us, we are still acting out the pain. We don't realize that what is going on at the time is truly out of proportion to our anger. But it has triggered something(s) from the past. Before I started personally working on my anger, I realized that I had been angry about so much for so long, I could not remember most of it.
Some of the abuse was too much for me to handle, so I blocked it out. I have remembered some of it over the years and I will cry just like the childhood me cried. I live in constant fear of suddenly remembering things. For the most part, the only reason that I remember them is that my two sisters and I talk about it. But I also remember things that they don't remember.
As far as a cure, it is as complicated as the disorder itself. Because it is a "Learned Disorder/Behavior," there are only medications to treat the side effects that it causes. Some of the side effects are, depression, anxiety, P.T.S.D, panic attacks, and so many others.
Comment from TC
I would just like to thank you for posting the article on July 14, 2012 on your website. It's the article regarding Borderline Personality Disorder. That article had more truth spoken by people than I have read in a long time. It was so helpful and the responses from the posters were just as helpful.
I have been dealing with this issue for a long time. I have been with my husband for 7 years and just recently separated and am still dealing with this issue that he refuses to confront. I have been in numerous support groups, read many articles and books but this article on your site after all this time was what I needed.
Thank you. If lifted a bit of a weight off my chest today, just when I needed it most.
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Henry Makow received his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto in 1982. He welcomes your comments at