For those who have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) the surrender of Radical Acceptance can mean the difference between getting on the road to recovery or remaining stuck in the active and very painful throes of BPD.
Borderline Personality Disorder is a painful reality in the lives of those diagnosed with it and in the lives of family members, loved ones, and relationship partners of those with BPD.
In the active throes of BPD, between the defense mechanisms, the denial, and the absence of a known self, many borderlines fight their pain, avoid their pain, hide and run from their pain. Pain that they may not be in conscious touch with but emotional pain that nonetheless is ruling their every waking moment. The pain of abandonment in BPD and its legacy is at the heart of the intense and unstable ways that borderlines attempt to relate to others. It is the shame of abandonment in BPD that perpetuates the relationship rupturing that, for those with BPD, is the reenacting of unresolved abandonment trauma that keeps the internal dysregulated emotional chaos inside the borderline in the driver’s seat of his or her life.
Borderlines suffer unbearable emotional pain. Pain that they may not feel or be in touch with but pain that is distressing and intolerable that may be known as angst, rage, self-hatred, moodiness, a seemingly never-ending sense of lostness, and a desperate need for someone to help them feel better.
Borderlines do not have a sense of competence when it comes to what they feel and to the pain of unresolved abandonment trauma. Borderlines channel this learned helplessness and experiencing life as the victim of everyone and everything into trying to control others and/or their environment in what are desperate attempts to regulate dysregulated emotions.
The here and now to the untreated borderline is non-existent. The untreated borderline lives in a parallel universe of all of his or her yesterdays endlessly re-playing themselves out day after day after day through what are known as emotional triggers. Experiences that cause feelings to be triggered in the borderline, feelings often dissociated from and that have their origin in the core wound of abandonment and its legacy.
Until and unless those with BPD learn how to surrender this dysfunctional and often abusive control – of trying to keep their abandoned pain at bay they will continue to not only suffer but they will continue to increase that suffering day in and day out.
- Change – Healing and Recovery
- From False Self To Authentic Self in BPD
- The Shame of Abandonment in BPD
- Finding Hope From The Polarized Negativity in BPD
- Emotional Dysregulation in BPD
- Preparing For Recovery From BPD
- Rage Addiction in BPD
When one is in the active throes of Borderline Personality Disorder Radical Acceptance of what is can seem like the most unnatural and unsafe thing to ever try in the whole wide world. The truth is, it is just the opposite. Before anyone with BPD can even begin to come to understand an emotional sense of paradox, he or she must first radically accept all that he or she feels (or doesn’t feel as the case may be) and know that the distress of it all is just what is.
What is, just is, what it is. When it is surrendered to and radically accepted, it is no more or less than that. It does not have to be interpreted to mean one polarized extreme or its opposite. Motive does not have to be ascribed. Distrust does not have to be trusted. What is, just is, what it is.
All the borderline rage, self harm, threats, abuse, suicide attempts, acting in or acting out, manipulation, lies, games, learned helplessness, feelings of being a victim, demands, intimidation, breaking and disrespecting of the boundaries of others in the world will not change what really is in your life – at all.
The more the borderline dances to the tune of the pathology that is BPD, the more the borderline will increase his or her experience of BPD. Radically accepting what is, on the other hand and surrendering to it, is the brief pause in everything borderline that is the place from which real change can and will come about.
If you have Borderline Personality Disorder begin today, if you haven’t already, to radically accept that. Don’t fight that. Don’t ignore that. Don’t think that you can avoid, hide from it, or outrun it. You can’t.
Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder is possible. It all begins with a willing attitude to radically accept what is. That means radically accepting distress, dysregulated emotion, self harm, anger, rage, numbness, pain and/or angst, fear and anxiety. It means being willing to sit with all these feelings and more and learn to surrender to any desired action to try to effect any control over a rising awareness of discomfort.
The surrender of and to Radical Acceptance is the starting line in the journey that is the road to recovery. It is the place from which you can begin, slowly, to open up to Finding Hope From the Negative Polarized Reality of BPD. A hope that in and through a surrender to Radical Acceptance can and will show you the way to transform your experience in life From False Self to Authentic Self.
Radical Acceptance means letting go of the protective control that can and may well have kept you stuck in the active throes of what is the unmanageable and unbearable suffering of Borderline Personality Disorder.
If you have BPD you do not have to continue to re-abandon yourself. Re-abandoning yourself is a choice that you are making – a choice to continue to live in and from the dysfunctional and controlling borderline false self. It is the false self in those with BPD that perpetuates the illusion of the need for control. The more you think you are in control, really, the more out of control you really are. The more out of control you really are the further away you are from the very surrender to Radical Acceptance that is the gateway to the kind of change that can lead to recovery.
Surrender to radical acceptance. Accept what is. Paradoxically, what you have believed to be a weakness, in your polarized ways of borderline thinking, is actually a strength – the very vulnerability that you afraid to engage, to feel, to live in and through, is the very strength inside that awaits your active choice to radically accept the ways that you have been hurt.
Feeling that vulnerability now, and in therapy, a little a time, radically accepting the pain that you are – the pain that you are being what is, holds all the potential in the world for you to find the kind of Change necessary for healing and for recovery. Surrender what you know isn’t working. Radically accept what is. Begin from there.
© A.J. Mahari, July 22, 2008
A.J. Mahari is a Life Coach who, among other things, specializes in working with those with BPD and non borderlines. A.J. has 5 years experience as a life coach and has worked with hundreds of clients from all over the world.