GIFT OF THE BORDERLINE;
Going on Feeling & Getting to Healing.
By Shari Schreiber,
following material was written for individuals trying to recover
from a relationship that's had toxic consequences for them, and
is not intended as a support resourse
for Borderlines or anyone with BPD traits. If you suspect that you
have these traits, please leave this website and redirect your attention
to alternative web content, which might feel more congruent
with your personal views and needs. Thank you.
you've found your way to this article, you're probably in a whole
lot of pain because of a Borderline. Maybe a few of my other pieces
on this topic helped you make sense of some of your experiences
with a BPD person, but if that relationship has ended, you could
be left with painful yearning, deep regret and shame. It is these
aspects that we're needing to heal, because it's not
enough that your mind tells you he or she is toxic--these
damaged parts of you are still remembering, and holding this hurt
on a cellular level.
emotional/psychic injury you have ever incurred is stored in the
body's memory, which is why unresolved trauma eventually manifests
as physical pain or disease (dis-ease). The body, mind and spirit
are inseparable--and if you don't believe me, think about the depression
you felt last time you had a serious physical setback that limited
who has a genuinely healthy, confident sense of Self does not
get mixed up with a Borderline. Anyone who does, has unresolved
core pain and shame left over from childhood. The Borderline reactivates
early wounding to your sense of lovability and worth, which is why
a sense, this traumatic event you're struggling with is a wake-up
call. It's the Borderline's job to bring your childhood anguish
to the surface, so that it can be healed and resolved, and you can
make healthier choices.
that no amount of written material in the world, can resolve or
mend the awful injuries a Borderline leaves in his/her wake. Your
works against you in this case, by making it difficult
to trust someone to help you get past this trauma. My other articles
dismantle the tormenting confusion that's a factor in these relationships.
This one helps you comprehend the nature of your pain,
so you can decide whether to hang onto it, or not. Call it an informed
choice, if you will.
father (the carpenter) was a very wise man. He used to say; "sometimes
you've gotta hit a man between the eyes with a 2 x 4, to get his
attention." I have come to think of The Borderline, as that
two by four. He or she gets your attention like nothing/nobody
else can--and leaves you in such agony, guilt and torment, that
you can't ignore it--or make it not matter.
ME WHERE YOU ARE, AND I'LL KNOW WHERE YOU'VE BEEN.
patterning from early childhood stays with us for a lifetime. If
our parents told us they loved us (or presumed we knew it), without
consistent acts of affection, nurturance and support that backed-up
those words, we were left with mixed messages that made us doubt
our lovability and worth.
our dad was critical and abusive, and Mom's notion of comforting
us was to state; "he really does love you," or
explain Dad's harsh/stern manner to mean that he cares.
This skews a kid's sense of what Love is, and totally fucks
with his head. It's an emotional betrayal of the worst kind, yet
this is where we started accepting that love meant pain, and vice-versa.
incongruency between what we heard versus what we felt,
programmed us to feel confusion, insecurity and longing, in reference
to attachment. This defective pattern will always show
up in your relationship with a borderline disordered individual.
It can seem a bit like "coming home," as it's familiar.
Borderline's gift, is he/she brings old, buried
pain into awareness, so it can be dealt with, and resolved. You
may be aware of having struggled with self-worth issues as a kid,
but never understood why. We seldom remember early
injuries to our sense of Self, because repression and denial help
us live with whatever's too troubling/painful to confront. You might
feel the need to defend your parents, having convinced
yourself that they did a "great job" of raising you, but
there always exists a template for one's relationship choices
in adulthood--no matter how healthy or dysfunctional they
may be. For now, let's refer to this template as your Attraction
cannot heal what you're unable or unwilling to feel.
Think of it this way; let's say you've broken your wrist, and it
needs attending to medically--but you're not feeling (or registering)
much pain, so you fail to have it treated.
Since these bones haven't been reset or protected with a cast, this
arm can't mend properly--or become useful and powerful again. Hence,
you now have a painful, disfigured wrist joint that inhibits many
of your activities, 'cause you bypassed the discomfort
that alerted you to fix it! Is this getting through to
you? The Borderline reawakens difficult/dramatic
feeling states, you began burying early in life--and brings all
your childhood pain right to the surface.
your Borderline, is much like that poor, broken wrist. She/he leaves
you with scar tissue (both psychically and emotionally) that can
readily turn into serious physical disorders. The reason this woman
or man had so
much power over you, is due to your attraction strategy,
which got cemented when you were very young. You can't fully recognize
their behaviors or interactions as aberrant,
because they're replicating experiences from your childhood that
you'd accepted as "normal." How could
you not? You had no other frame of reference to draw from! Whatever
feels familiar, feels normal. Some children spend a lot
of time in movie theaters or at a friend's house, to gain
a sense of reality that contrasts what they've seen and
heard at home. It saves their lives. Could this have been true for
LEARNED HOW TO LOVE, AND WHO TO LOVE FROM OUR
mind is your thinking organ. Your heart is your feeling
organ. Healing, is a matter of the
Heart. When your spirit is wounded, it causes damage
to this organ, which impacts you on all sorts of levels that are
incredibly tough to recover from. You might feel empty,
broken, depressed--or even, like it's not worth going on. The parts
within you that worked so long at feeling good enough about
yourself, have taken a devastating hit. You aren't accustomed to
these sensations, because you've devoted so much effort toward growing
stronger, and feeling more powerful and in-control. You've done
a terrific job with that, but now you're back at
square one--at least, it
feels that way.
is it, that after all the therapy you've done, you're here now?
Why is it, that the insights you've gained, aren't helping
you with this pain? Maybe it's time you start to mend. Integrated
Recovery work transcends psychotherapy.
learn from example. Every child who grows up with
constant fighting and tension between his parents, has to survive
living in a war zone. This is grossly unfair to kids at any age--but
it's only the tip of this iceberg; mean-spirited,
disrespectful interplay between spouses becomes a kid's definition
for what 'marriage' means. As an adult, he/she will unwittingly
choose lovers or partners with whom to replicate this familiar
drama--or may never marry at all.
you're with a Borderline, there's no sense of stability or comfort
that's lasting. As a child, you found
sheltered you a bit from chaos or destruction, and this became natural/reflexive--even
if that meant taking refuge in a closet, or hiding under your bed.
You hoped for an ongoing sense of calm/peace at home--but at best,
it was fleeting. This lack of emotional safety in childhood could
have been subtle, and you adapted--but it's helped you
accept the lack of it now, in your present relationship.
The inconsistent patterns of affection or attention that you experienced
as a kid, set you up to accommodate these inconsistencies
as an adult. Hence, you've kept this 'attraction strategy' in place
with Borderlines! This can be resolved.
PROGRAMMED AS KIDS, HOW TO FEEL ABOUT OURSELVES.
dad grew up with an abusive father, and mentally unsound mother.
Still, he only reminisced about occasional meals at his little friend's
house, where he noticed a very different type of
interaction between this child's parents, than he saw at home! During
those brief boyhood visits, my father observed playful affection,
flirting, mutual respect and consideration between the two adults,
and this alternate perspective remained into his eighties. He'd
report that his buddy consistently expressed his joyful eagerness
to grow up--and have that experience for himself. His friend's
excitement/enthusiasm was so palpable, and he retained such vivid
mental snapshots of this desire, I must presume he was successful
in manifesting his aim. My father had self-worth issues his entire
life, which inescapably shaped partner selection.
loving, caring interactions between grown-ups is one of the finest
gifts you can bestow on a child, as he/she will look forward to
having these pleasurable experiences in adulthood--and know how
to create them!
child's depression is a really serious matter. Far too many children
commit suicide to escape their pain, as they have no way to express
these feelings to anyone who might understand them, or be able/willing
to offer comfort or soothing. This child may come to regard himself
as an alien in his family, for he cannot
recognize his inner turmoil in the faces of other members, who are
wearing smiles or rage on them to mask their own turmoil
and pain! Adding insult to injury, he can't make rational sense
of his experiences, which traps him in tormenting confusion. Is
this sounding at all familiar??
problem with not resolving childhood trauma issues, is that they're
still driving the romantic choices and coping strategies (addictions/compulsions)
you had before this fall from grace with your Borderline.
In other words, you will be highly susceptible to engaging another
Borderline, to compensate for self-esteem deficits and ego wounds
that are still alive in you! A new condo, car or lover, can be part
of your frantic attempts to feel better, but these are
just Bandaids that temporarily mask your anguish, they don't mend
it. Sadly, these endeavors can land you in even more trouble, than
you had before.
from your traumatic dance with a Borderline, means you can learn
to recognize and create healthier attachments, and love
again--really love, and have it returned.
This may sound like an abstract concept that seems pretty implausible
or scary right now--but anything's possible if you really want
it, so spare no effort to get yourself there.
you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod this app will let you hear
here, to determine if you're in an abusive relationship!
MY BPD LOVER BE RIGHT ABOUT ME??
HAPPINESS~ THE PATH TO FULL RECOVERY AND JOY
women and men can have BPD. Learn about toxic
is my fifth article on BPD. It's intended to help you trust that
this pain you're feeling, can be eliminated. It might take
several weeks/months to put all this behind you--but it's achievable
with a little assistance.