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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.

by Rosie

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.
I have been on S.S.I since 2001. At that time, I was only taking an antidepressant. Now I am taking like 20 different medications. However, I am still only taking that one psych med, Paxil. My medical history alone is a book.

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.
Marsha Linehan recently developed a therapy called Dialectic Behavior Therapy, it is exclusively for borderline. I tried it, but it was much too weird for me. I almost had a mental break down trying to explain to the therapist why this cure was not working for me. Before this, there was only ten years or more of Psychotherapy. It works by unlearning the coping mechanisms you have learned through abuse an neglect and learning proper/healthy coping skills.
I have come a long way in trusting God. I am not in fear of anyone abandoning me. It took some time for me to learn that the Bible is true when it says that Jesus will never leave you or forsake you. I am living by myself and believing that every step of the way.

Men often have BPD also. But they are less likely to seek treatment. Men don't self injure, they take it out on their love ones and generally end up in jail. Women are more likely to hurt themselves instead of others. If you want to see a good movie staring a man whom I believe had BPD, rent the movie, Antwone Fisher. It is based on a true story. Denzel Washington plays the therapist. A good movie to see about a woman who suffers from it is called, A Thin Line Between Love And Hate. Everyone already knows about and has seen Fatal Attraction, another good one.


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.

Comments for " Borderline Personality, 42, says, "I am a Child" "

Jeff said (July 17, 2012):

n response to the article about BPD women, I have had horrible first-hand experiences with several of these Borderline Personality Disordered females. I even had to quit a job and move without telling anyone where I went to escape harassment from a BPD female five years ago. That nightmarish experience prompted my need to understand what kind of female could turn co-workers against me, sleep with a distant co-worker she didnt even like to "get even" with me, and fool everyone around me into believing she was an innocent victim. A scorned BPD will exhibit demonic-type energy in her quest for vengeance.

Once I started researching BPD, I realized that numerous women I had dated and gotten away from fit this list of criteria. The most common is the BPD Waif. The ones I dealt with constantly blamed me for their problems, kept drama going with me or someone else constantly, and had no ability whatsoever to accept responsibility for their actions. But it was such a great relief to finally find material on BPD, as it helped me understand so much about the condition. I have also dealt first hand with persons with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder, Passive Aggressive Personality Disorder and Paranoid Personality Disorder. Each one of these individuals was very difficult to deal with and could not be trusted or relied on. They dont seem to believe rules apply to them.

The good thing about my experience with personality disordered individuals is that I can now detect them in a very short amount of time. The only way I have found to deal successfully with anyone with a personality disorder is simply not to deal with them. They are too draining and immature and only know how to manipulate, use and blame others. My condolences to anyone living with one of these disordered personalities. I also attached a good website from a mediator/attorney who specializes in dealing with these type of people.

Zach said (July 16, 2012):

I wasn't out to give anyone a "bad rap" in my article on the Mary Kennedy suicide. This is a sign of projection, where one sees in another what they have in themselves, and is a typical manifestation of BPD and Narcissism.

Her "life support system" is very apt! There is quite a bit of psychological, emotional and monetary vampirism reported in many of these relationships, and they do act as if they're dying if there's a threat of separation (which is what acerbates any psychotic tendencies they might or might not possess).

The real dangerous BPs are those who were slightly less invalidated as children and grow to the mental age of around 6, do not necessarily harm themselves and can control themselves for (sometimes extremely) extended periods around people who are not "enmeshed" to them (Rosie's "life support system"). These people -- about 50% male, 50% women -- are called "highly functional" and almost always go undiagnosed. The only times they are diagnosed is usually due to coercion or force by the arm of the State or threat of divorce, etc., by a partner, but rarely do they get any better, even after years of psychotherapy, as the person afflicted has to realize they have a problem, which they hardly ever do if they're highly functional [e.g. able to hide their maladaptive behaviorisms from themselves and others].

The best definition of highly functional BPs and Lowly functional ones I've found is that the lowly functional people tend to have lots of remorse, guilt, and tend to hurt themselves; while the highly functional ones tend to have lots of anger, rage, and tend to hurt those around them.

b said (July 16, 2012):

That “life support” is also known as narcissistic load.

To blur the line between approval seeking and glory seeking is, IMO, manipulative.

Men should be responsible with themselves, honest, but emotionally cool, structure their relationships on a take-it-or-leave it basis, both legally and socially.

"[It is] better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman." -- Proverb 21:19

Stephen Coleman said (July 16, 2012):

Rosie has gone through over a decade of psychotherapy. Most BPDs never seek help and that is highly commendable of her. However, it is blatantly obvious that psychotherapy does not work for these deep seated issues. The issues lie hidden in the subconscious mind and I guarantee a tug of war between the conscious and the subconscious, the subconscious will always win.

The subconscious is the seat of the emotions and its the emotions that run our lives. Psychotherapy is great for identifying emotions, but it can do very little about them. Likewise, religions can tell us what is wrong, frighten us to try to rectify ourselves, yet are just as inert. God gives us total free agency and if we have subconscious beliefs that we can't let go of, God cannot go against our free will.

There is a critical need for every human being to learn to be able to direct and clear out their own subconscious mind. There are excellent tools out there. No need to suffer, wading in the filth of abandonments, molestations, PTSD for the rest of your lives.

How many of you would are willing to look at the brass serpent that Moses raised? How many did not and instead scoffed and then........ Search and ye shall find. God will always answer when we sincerely seek.

F said (July 16, 2012):

thanks for posting articles on personality disorder henry.

it has helped us understand what is taking place in the home of a loved one who recently married someone who shows all of these traits. it has worsened since they had a baby.

we are v v v worried for him and have no idea how to approach him with this info so that he can take control rather than fall for his wife's enmeshment.

he has been ordered by her to cut all contact with his family.

she packed her bags and held the child in her hands a week after
their return from the hospital, yelling that he had to choose between her or his family.

we feel that we are losing the battle to pull him out of her
world. she has already used the Idolize, Demean, Dispose tactics on us.

as much as she has disposed us, disposing of our loved one will
traumatize him. we will be there for him in every way once she decides that he is nothing but a weak, headless husband.

for this reason, we will not allow her to drive us insane in the meantime.

this is all too real.

Yolanda said (July 16, 2012):

Thank you for sharing your story.

Please look into the following resources:
There is a free book to download and it is by far the best there is
to date in the market. A lot of information and insight regarding sexual abuse,
rape, etc....
Therapy that specializes in sexual abuse and other major situations.
Emotional Freedom Techniques latest and updated site.

Real information about the Borderline Personality and how to treat it naturally.

Hope this helps
It has helped me regarding abuse and other major situations.

Anthony Migchels said (July 16, 2012):

I completely agree with the article's premise that BPD is basically a case of arrested development as a result of trauma. BPD's are impossible to live with for most people (including myself) because of the incredible emotional abuse they will give you. But this abuse is basically their way of letting you know how they feel like shit. This is a very basic human way of going about things. If they were emotionally healthy, they'd be able to talk about their pain instead of taking it out on the ones they love.

I believe Alice Miller has a good set of paradigms to understand the basic problems of the BPD.

I'm also completely convinced it CAN be cured. The underlying trauma must be addressed. Of course, mainstream psychology, which is about as advanced as Allopathic Medicine and particularly good in doing even more damage.

But there are many 'fringe' methods. I believe I recently may have come across a particularly powerful one: the Healing Codes. I've been working with them for about a week now and already I daresay this is life saver/life changer.

BPD's deserve love and not the bad rap they are getting. Simultaneously the incredible difficulty of dealing with them when one is close to one should be acknowledged. Especially people unaware of what is going on will typically get blown away by the havoc the BPD will wreak. But that does not mean BPD's are bad people. Both parties have a right to exist.

Victoria said (July 16, 2012):

In my opinion, no one who is an adult is a victim of their circumstances except by choice. It is my experience that both situations seem to arise when one person cannot induce their partner to defend themselves, no matter what they do. The 'aggressor', seeking the balance that meeting an equal, positive force would bring, persists in seeking that balance while their 'victim', seemingly incapable of telling others where their boundaries are, just keeps on wishing that the other person would realize what they are doing and back off. However, until we become mind-readers, no one else knows exactly where another person's boundaries are. It is up to the so-called 'victim' to rouse themselves to some sort of action and 'use words' to let their partner know that information (and, the sooner the better for, the longer this sort of thing continues, the better the chance that it will eventually become physical rather than simply emotional abuse.) To give either person a label is unfair to both for none of us has only one aspect to our natures.

Mike said (July 16, 2012):

My only wife that I have had suffers from BPD.
After 10 years it reared its ugly head.
I didnt know what the hell happened to the girl i knew and fell in love with.
The whole relationship was an utter illusion. what I thought we jad never existed.

When she left me summer of 2009 I was losing my mind. Then a friend suggested i look into BPD and was
given a site called

it didnt come up for me today, but it looks like this one

continues in its footsteps
I ended up writing a shitload of love songs to get over it and her and run away as fast as i could. Hence the song title called
RUN HARD FAST - by the Red Bishop - thats me

I thank God that my friend help me gather my wits over those first three months of being left alone. I never cried so hard when our marriage died.

She was molested by her sperm donor dad when she was a child. I believe that alot of these personality disorders arise because of child sexual abuse.
My ex was beautiful, today she looks like shit, nothing of her previous Catherine Zeta Jones beauty she had. Now she looks like shes been drinking hard every day.

Jim said (July 16, 2012):

Wow! Rosie, you are an amazing woman! In spite of your challenges you are doing WAY BETTER than most people with BPD. It seems that BPDs rarely seek help or get much better. Your introspection and self awareness has given me a new perspective of a BPDs cognitive process and helps me to have compassion for them. I am glad that you have found peace and solace in a relationship with Christ. I commend you and hold you in the highest regard.

BPD's seem to live with a very high level of fear, anxiety and hyper-vigilance. Everything is micro-analyzed and subject to intense scrutiny. They also seem to be sexually promiscuous and have serial relationships.

My mother and both of my wives are BPDs. Of the three my second wife was probably the most difficult person to live with. It seemed that it was beyond her ability to admit to any wrong doing. Even when faced with the facts there would be no acknowledgement and no apology. Everything was always my fault. If I was to correct the supposed infraction my efforts were never good enough or I should have done it a different way. She kept moving the target and always left me guessing as to what she wanted me to do to correct the situation.

I remember several times when she was angry for no apparent reason. Once, shortly after arriving at work in the morning a coworker asked me, "How ya doin'?" I replied, "Well, I was doing fine until my wife woke up."

One time she was angry at me. After a few hours of her huffing and stomping around I finally asked, "OK, what's wrong?" She replied in a snotty voice, "You should know." Of course, I hadn't a clue so I said to her, "Well, you've gotta tell me because I can't hear what you're thinking." That started off a whole new firestorm and she never did tell me what the original crime was.

Perhaps Rosie can offer some insight as to why BPDs have such a tough time admitting to anything they may have done wrong and their inability to correct it and apologize. That was perhaps my biggest issue with my wife. It made me feel like I was the crazy one.

Henry Makow received his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto in 1982. He welcomes your comments at