If one was to spend a certain amount of time in the company of people who have a borderline personality disorder, they are likely to end up with a fairly good understanding of what this disorder is all about. But, while this is likely to be a time in their life that is extremely informative, it might be a very challenging time.
In fact, one may find that they often feel incredibly drained. Still, this is not to say that this means that someone like this is therefore ‘bad’; it is just that due to the pain that they are in, it can be difficult for another person to spend time with them.
One could also find out that even though someone is diagnosed as having this disorder, they are not exactly the same as another person who has. It will then be clear that this is something that is more pronounced in some than it is in others.
As a result of this, it is going to be easier for them to spend time around some people who have this than it will be to spend time around others that do. To gain a deeper understanding of this area, they could read, ‘I Hate You-- Don't Leave Me’ by Hal Straus and Jerold Jay Kreisman.
The Main Traits
After a certain amount of time has passed, they may soon come to see that each of these people have a number of things in common. Their observations alone can shed light on how someone like this typically experiences life; they won’t necessarily need to do any research or to read anything.
Firstly, it could be clear that someone like this finds it more or less impossible to manage their own emotions; they will generally be all at sea emotionally. Secondly, they will find it hard to think rationally, having the tendency to see everything as being black and white (splitting).
A Tough Existence
In other words, they will struggle to tolerate ambiguity; which will cause them to see both themselves and others in a very one dimensional way. Thirdly, and this is part of lacking the ability to regulate their emotions, they will be consumed by anger/rage and direct this anger/rage at others.
Fourthly, they will have a strong fear of being abandoned, leading to a strong aversion to being alone. Fifthly, they will carry a deep sense of shame, seeing themselves as being unworthy of love and life itself.
A number of others traits could also stand out but these could be seen as some of the main ones. Now, after having this experience and with the new understandings that they have, they may end up coming to see that this is not something that just a few people are experiencing.
If they were to spend time on different social media sites, spent time at different universities/colleges and watched the news, they may conclude that this is a disorder that a lot of people have to one degree or another. Additionally, it could appear as though there are certain periods in time when more people seem to have this disorder.
Irrespective of if the focus is on the online world or on the real world, there are numerous people that lack the ability to regulate their own emotions, see just about everything as being black and white, and are full of anger and rage. As to whether or not people like this carry a lot of toxic shame and have a strong fear of being abandoned is not as clear, but there are indirect ways of finding this out.
For one thing, someone like this can have the inclination to demonise others, with this being a way for them to project their toxic shame into another person. This will allow them to momentarily lose touch with their own shame.
Further, their fear of abandonment can be observed not only in their need to be part of different movements but to also become completely immersed in a movement. Due to having a weak sense of self and undeveloped boundaries, being involved in something like this will provide them with an identity, sense of worth and the structure that they lack internally.
Once this has taken place, they won’t know the difference between themselves and the movement itself. Any criticism that is directed towards this movement will then be experienced as a personal attack.
A Strong Need
When it comes to why more people can appear to have this disorder at certain periods of time, it can be put down to how stable a society is. If, for example, a society is going through a very unstable period, it will mean that there is less external structure to settle people like this down.
Thanks to what was going on externally this disorder would have been in remission or at the very least managed, but as this has changed, it will have started to exert a bigger influence on their life. And what can’t be denied is that the world has become more unstable as time has passed, with more people spending more time by themselves and experiencing less human contact in the process.
At The Beginning
With all that covered, the big question is: why would someone have a borderline personality disorder? When someone has this disorder, there is a strong chance that they grew up in a very unstable and unpredictable environment.
There would have probably been some kind of abuse and/or neglect, with this being a regular occurrence. It would be accurate to say that their early years were hell on earth, with this being a time when they simply didn’t receive what they needed to receive to develop in the right way.
This is why someone like this is not ‘bad’ or even disordered; ultimately, they are in a traumatised state and are simply trying to do the best that they can to handle life. Due to what they went through as a child, they won’t be able to do a lot of the things that other people do naturally, such as regulate their own emotions.
Taking this into account, if someone has this ‘disorder’ it will be essential for them to reach out for the right support. The truth is that what they went through wasn’t their fault and they are not worthless.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.