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The black hole of BPD affects both borderlines and non-borderlines. It is painful and real on both sides of Borderline Personality Disorder. The shame of abandonment is an enduring self-destructive schema for those with BPD. It is a pattern of toxic relating and relationship rupture.

The shame of abandonment in Borderline Personality Disorder creates a black hole where the arrested development of the previously burgeoning authentic self was. In those who go on to develop and be diagnosed with BPD the authentic self is lost, fragmented and repressed. In its place, at the centre of this black hole rises up a borderline false self that operates from a base of cognitively distorted thought, is primitive, emotionally immature, needy, demanding, lacking object Constancy, and self-destructive.

The black hole of BPD is that abyss in between love and hate – in between consistency and inconsistency – in between congruence and incongruence. It is that aching, seemingly endless space of borderline dark dingy determined self-destructive drudgery. It is the piercing gut-wrenching wind that puts out the flame of so much hope and so much love. It is the beginning of the end of so many relationship opportunities. It is the end of the beginning of all that is new as it begins to end yet again and again. It is the personification of abandonment. It is the darkness of distance and the loneliness of lacking love. It is disconnectedness of "I-hate-you-don’t-leave-me" and the punishing push-pull of borderline "get away-closer".

The black hole of BPD, for those diagnosed with BPD, is the toll that the shame of all of their unresolved abandonment trauma recapitulates in their thoughts, feelings, and experience of life.

The black hole of BPD, for those who are family members, friends, relationship or ex-relationship partners of those with BPD – non borderlines, is the seemingly unending cycles of toxic relating that leave them in pain and feeling confused and having to grapple, more often than not, with loss.

The black hole of BPD is love sought and lost no matter what the cost. Love begged for and loved chased all in the name of trying to repair the damage of yesterday. It is the essence of the aching allure of love and the nurture that it holds out, precious promise of a chance to heal, a chance to grow, a chance to be re-parented and a chance to learn what one with BPD missed learning in his or her past.

The black hole of BPD, for the borderline, is the absence of known and congruent self. It is the emptiness that echos endlessly in the cavernous corners of a wounded soul. It is pain. It is agony. It is stolen youth. It is youth robbed of innocence. It is promise thrown asunder through the accumulated shame of abandonment trauma that supports the arrested development that borderlines re-live in repeatedly rupturing relational patterns.

This black hole of BPD takes all-comers. It is not discriminating. Whether you have BPD or know someone who does (non borderlines) the black hole will gladly open up for you. It will swallow you whole if you let it. Countless non borderlines have fallen into the black whole of a loved one’s Borderline Personality Disorder only to have the borderline project and transfer his or her shame and abandonment trauma onto them in ways that foster toxic relating and rupture any and all attempts to relate in ways that even remotely resemble healthy relating.

Those with BPD, more often than not, without being consciously aware of it, end up blaming the person or people in their lives that actually do care the most. From the centre of the shame suffered as the result of the core wound of abandonment in Borderline Personality Disorder those with BPD experience the drama, chaos, pain, and even toxic relationship rupture as being caused by the non borderline. This can be crazy-making for the non borderline because the borderline living actively with and from the shame of the core wound of abandonment steeped in polarized cognitively-distorted ways of thinking experiences life in a fragmented way that compromises or obliterates his or her capacity to engage in shared reality.

Borderlines, lacking a known sense of self, often lack the kind of awareness and insight that can mean the difference between constructive relating and destructive relating. The fragmented, destructive, polarized, and narcissistic false self borderline reality that exists within the shame of abandonment creates patterns of toxic relating and is the foundation of the black hole of Borderline Personality Disorder that devours devastates and ruptures relationships.

If you don’t have BPD but care about someone who does have it: Know the difference between love and hate. Know the difference between love and abuse. Know the difference between those with boundaries and respect and those without both. Know that you deserve more than to be drawn deeply into the bottomless pit of someone else’s needs and wants. Know that you do not have to be a willing hostage. Know that you can only be held captive as long as you participate in your own abduction. Don’t confuse taking with giving.

Do not think that it is appropriate for an adult to be a child. Do not excuse the rage. Do not accept the anger. Do not allow the acting-out. Insist that there be peace, calm, reason and responsibility. Do not confuse love with need.

The shame at the heart of the core wound of abandonment needs to be addressed in order for a person with BPD to be able to resolve his or her abandonment trauma and pave the way for the reclamation of the lost authentic self.

The black hole of BPD is wide and deep. It is weak and it is strong. It is depression personified. It is the pit within which combustion can fuel a fire of any size. It is the base of the flame, the match and the kindling. It is mutiny. It is a calm breeze that suddenly and without warning becomes a hurricane. It is a gentle rain that throws itself into a monsoon. It is a construction zone complete with holes in the road in the absence of caution signs. It is a universe onto itself. A life in parallel to the rest of the world. A world within a world. A painful place to be. A nightmare. Dark and destructive for both the borderline and the non borderline.

© Ms. A.J. Mahari – June 11, 2008 – All rights reserved.

A.J. Mahari is a Life Coach who, among other things, specializes in working with those with BPD and family members, friends, relationship partners or ex-relationship partners of those with BPD (non borderlines).

The Shame of Abandonment: The Black Hole of Borderline Personality Disorder