While psychiatric diagnostic labels often reify the complexities of psychological dynamics, they can also orient us to the essential qualities of a particular emotional and behavioral field. BPD is characterized by difficulty with affect regulation, intense and unstable interpersonal relationships, impulsive behavior, and a tendency toward highly polarized emotions: idealization / elation versus devaluation / despair. BPD is associated with early relational deficits, especially in caretakers’ capacity to maintain connection when their child is angry or aggressive. If intense early emotional states have not been well moderated, they can take on the force of emotional tsunamis, overwhelm the ego, and lead to impetuous and self-harming behaviors. A deep therapeutic and human process can re-inspire the possibility that one can find one’s center in a human relationship.
“A dog-like creature is climbing on my mother’s shoulder, wounding her ribs with its claws. It is trying to hug her shoulder while she is attempting to get rid of it. The brown dog is crying desperately. I am there as well and turn around to avoid seeing the scene. My mother pulls the creature to the floor, violently opens its mouth and pours poison into it. The brown dog is crying desperately. I am there as well and turn around to avoid seeing the scene.”
Book: Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder; Paul and Randi Kreger
Book: Understanding the Borderline Mother; Christine Lawson