Borderline Personality Disorder, as it is defined in the DSM-IV, has been way too pathologized. It is going to be even more pathologized in the next edition of the DSM – DSM V due out in 2013. Who does that help? Taking human traits, albeit felt and expressed more intensely and frequently in those with Borderline Personality, and pathologizing them as a disorder really doesn’t make that much sense. It is in and of itself, a black-and-white paradigm.
Borderline Personality is not intractable. It does not have to be a life sentence. In my experience, not only in 14 years of Coaching those with BPD and BPD Loved Ones, have I had the sacred opportunity to help, educate, and support my clients but I have also seen so many do incredibly healing work on both sides of BPD. As someone who was a child (now still an adult-child of a Borderline Mother and a BPD/NPD Father (died in 1997), and someone who was diagnosed with BPD at age 19 and recovered at age 38, I know first-hand what that process entails and that it is truly possible.
From my own inside out perspective, as someone who had BPD, and now is an average mentally healthy person (non bp) and has been since 1995, I know what it is like to live from within the vortex and painful suffering of BPD and what is like to live without that – a happier and healthier life. This is why I believe that we need to take the pathology out of how we define and explain Borderline Personality. As I know first-hand it is about early childhood unmet needs, abandonment trauma (actual or perceived) and/or a lack of secure mirroring and/or bonding between mother and infant. (“affect synchrony” – Allan M. Shore) It is a spiritual/emotional/psychological woundedness that is profound and deep but not intractable, not a brain disease, and it is not something that can be healed by medication.
All Ebooks and Audios © A.J. Mahari – All rights reserved.
Many people who love (or have loved and cared about) someone with Borderline Personality get hurt or have been very hurt by partners, family members, parents, adult-children, and so forth. The answer to this pain and to the ordeal that truly is the painful reality of Borderline Personality for those with it and those who are their loved ones (or were) is not to hate or to try to rescue and save or to punish, rage, give the silent treatment or blame others for your actions if you have Borderline Personality. The answer is understanding from those of us who have been on both sides and know this Borderline – Non-Borderline (Loved Ones) struggle that creates toxic relational dynamics and for many on-going chaos and drama in their lives which means a lot of stress and unhappiness.
The answer is looking at why people with Borderline Personality (or so classified for purposes of understanding here) do what they do and what that means if you have Borderline Personality or if you are a loved one. Choices need to be made. Boundaries need to be set often by loved ones. Those with Borderline Personality need help to learn how to take personal responsibility and get on the road to recovery.
All Audios and Ebooks © A.J. Mahari – All rights reserved.
Pathologizing people who hurt (even when they hurt you) is not going to help you, the loved one, or the person with Borderline Personality. We need to break this down into human terms and with a context of compassion and understanding the context of just what Borderline Personality really is. It is not the pathologized “monster” that the DSM-IV makes it out to be. It is not even the stigmatized “monster” that hurt and abused loved ones or Ex-loved ones make it out to be. It is pain, it is people emotionally out of balance who lack coping skills. This in no way means I am saying people with Borderline Personality aren’t responsible for their words and actions – they are. However, they are not “monsters”. They are not “sick”. They are not “freaks”. They are not deserving, no matter what, of being name-called anything.
We need to separate out the behaviour of people with Borderline Personality from their behavior and the ways that they think in cognitively distorted ways. We need to know that no one can rescue someone with Borderline Personality.
Borderline Personality with this Emotional Dysregulation and attachment and relational difficulty that originates in childhood through no fault of those diagnosed with it, in many cases not even the fault of a mother and in other cases can be seen to have roots also in abandonment, neglect, sexual abuse, and adoption, and other factors, needs to be re-framed.
Too many people diagnosed with have been villified beyond belief. Not to defend undefendable behavior, actions, or words on the part of many with Borderline Personality, we need to collectively realize that even this extreme expression of human pain has context and meaning and matters.
At its roots the dance between those with Borderline Personality and those who are often so hurt by them, be they partners, children, or other family members or friends, have to realize that where everyone meets in this unyielding clash of emotional universes is codependency and what is a lack of boundaries and a clash of human issues.
It’s time that people with Borderline Personality stop being pathologized, stigmatized, all painted with the same prejorative brush. It’s time that we put human context and personal responsibility on both sides of Borderline Personality at the forefront of coping with it from both sides in ways that help those who want out of the dance to free themselves from the dance be they “Borderline” or be they “loved ones”.
© A.J. Mahari November 1, 2012 – All rights reserved.