SHARI SCHREIBER MA
DEC 17, 2022 (Complements of Substack)
It's the subtleties most don't comprehend about people with BPD traits~ NOT the obvious, stigmatic stuff you read on the Web that keeps this disorder from being eradicated. Allow me to explain.
We mostly think of Borderlines as bad, evil, volatile, violent and manipulative, but these characteristics are far end of the spectrum features of BPD. The fact is, most Borderlines are never diagnosed, because this is the MOST misunderstood disorder by laymen and clinicians, alike.
Below, are a few subtle BPD traits that keep these poor souls impaired, yet they're never recognized, either when assessing for borderline aspects within ourselves, or others:
1. Self-sabotage or self-defeating choices and/or behaviors.
2. Getting involved with BPD lovers: We are attracted to people who match our OWN level of emotional development, whether we possess Codependency features, and are compulsive fixers or rescuers, or not. Plenty of Borderlines are Codependency dual-diagnosed, which is seen most often among psychotherapists, coaches, doctors, nurses, and other "helping" practitioners.
3. Fear of bonding or attaching fully. This deep seated fear has people with BPD traits selecting lovers who CANNOT reciprocate their affection, and with whom there can be no positive future outcome (this is always blamed on the other, incidentally).
4. Poor choice of therapeutic support. Psychotherapists, shamans, Reiki practitioners, holistic professionals, self-help venues, Emotional Freedom techniques, psychoanalysis, DBT, CBT, etc., are often just hope-filled, "quick-fix" distractions to one's ability to locate the kind of help they need, to dismantle narcissistic and borderline facets, and actually HEAL.
5. Anxiety issues or panic attacks. Nearly all people with BPD traits suffer with an ongoing level of anxiety. Obsessive-Compulsive features are very common among emotionally underdeveloped individuals, as well. Both conditions spawn from dissociation from emotions, which typically starts around the age of 2 years old.
Mental analysis of difficult or painful feelings becomes a young child's defense against experiencing emotional pain in the body. As this practice is consistently repeated over and over, it becomes a habituated. Ask a Borderline what he or she is aware of FEELING, and they'll tell you what they THINK. Their reply always starts out with: "I feel that . . . " which indicates a thought process, not a feeling one.
6. Addiction of ANY type: Drinking to excess, compulsive eating or overeating, porn, sex, masturbation, excessive gym workouts, illicit drug use, strict yoga discipline, hyper-religious or Buddhist practices, cult affiliation, and the list goes on and on. The addict's need, is to self-medicate core trauma pain, which remains in the body lifelong, until suitable help is obtained, to purge it from one's cells.
I think of full-blown Borderlines as people without skin holding them in. They're hyper-reactive to stimuli, because they're walking around in the world completely RAW. Emotionally speaking, without an epidermis, their insides are oozing-out all over the place.
Borderlines require a fairly rigid set of boundaries and guidelines to act as a container for them~ a protective shell if you will, to help them feel safer and more secure. It's far easier for a child to learn what to think, how to behave and what to believe when offered by a dogmatic organization or practice, than having to discern these things for themselves. Imagine a young child's emotional capacity to navigate life with all its complexities and challenges, in an adult body~ and nobody in their world can sense it.
7. Plagiarizing, mimicking and copying behaviors are very common. People with BPD traits typically borrow or steal from another's original ideas, concepts and views. Independent thought should be no more expected from a Borderline, than it is from a toddler. Many SEEM exceptionally bright and wise, but they're spouting or writing things they've mentally recorded from someone else. The Guru facet in these Borderlines is acutely pronounced, and people readily follow them, assuming their teachings are unique and original.
8. Accident prone. Most Borderlines are so preoccupied with compulsive thoughts, they're distracted from being in the moment, and paying attention to what their body is doing. In essence, their mind is a hundred miles away from where their body is sitting or standing, so it's on 'automatic pilot.' This leads of course, to accidents and injuries.
Some have reported ONLY being able to be physically present and "body-centered" during sexual engagement with another. There is however, such a powerful need to 'perform' within somebody with poor self-worth, that I question whether sexual intercourse can be an intensely pleasurable experience for them.
9. Borderlines are very hard on themselves. Part of the ALLURE of finding a romantic involvement, is they get to experience episodic respite and distraction from harshly shaming, guilting and critical inner-dialogue they deliver to themselves 24/7. This practice that began in early childhood, has become so automatic and reflexive, they typically have little or no awareness they're doing it.
Borderlines are NOT "bad" people. If you've been demolished emotionally by one, you'll disagree~ but the awful experiences you had to endure while with that person, is only the very tip of their iceberg.
There's so much richness underneath a Borderline's defenses and acting-out behaviors, it's truly a shame so many resist real healing and growth with a skilled guide who can help them discover, accept and learn to embrace all the layers underneath their self-protective armor that make them truly lovable beings~ both to you, AND themselves.