Splitting, Splicing and Projection in BPD Personalities
BY SHARI SCHREIBER, M.A.
This article is for survivors of a relationship that's had toxic consequences for them. It is not intended for anyone with BPD traits! If you suspect you have borderline personality features, what follows could feel injurious to you! Please leave this site immediately and seek alternative web content that may be more congruent with your personal views and needs.
The Borderline has a dire need to be seen as 'perfect' physically, cerebrally and spiritually which drives a lot of issues within this personality type and (needless to say) your relationship. At the very heart of the borderline's acting-out behaviors is core shame. It's a leftover if you will, from a childhood fraught with confusing messages, neglect and abuse, which left them doubting their lovability and worth from infancy onward. Any self-acknowledged error makes a Borderline think they're a "bad person," which is why their denial and defenses are so thick, and they're unable to accept or own their shortcomings or failings.
Perfectionistic traits are most often observed in the Borderline Queen. If you even hint that she's made a mistake, she becomes highly offended and indignant. The BPD Queen has harshly judged and dissociated from all darker or "negative" emotions within herself, because she believes them to be unacceptable and wrong~ so she sure as hell won't make any room for yours! If a BPD Queen feels reprimanded or criticized, her anger may get submerged, but it'll likely be replaced with an imperious, judgmental and shaming tone, accompanied by comments that can make you feel decimated. The Queenly Borderline may not rage at you like the BPD Witch~ but you will not escape her piercing disdain for you.
Your Queen must always occupy the one-up position in all her relationships, which means she's looking down on you from high atop her throned pedestal (the one you've of course, placed her on). This element is very common among borderline disordered psychotherapists. If you're ever unfortunate enough to get involved with one, you won't be permitted to have your own feelings and needs, unless they're simultaneously shared by, and identical with your Borderline's. Due to innate narcissism in all Borderlines, there's only enough space in this relationship for one personality to exist~ never two.
It's very likely you grew up with a mom who had these traits. You may have heard over and over as a child, "I'm always right!" by Mother. Not only this, but she managed to convince you she could read your every thought. It was very difficult for you to develop any sense of autonomy or independence as a child, with a hyper-vigilant, controlling mother. Have you felt this same type of confinement in your current or recent relationship?
Nearly every Borderline who's phoned me for help, states: "I've done a lot of work on myself!" I always smile to myself, because it's a dead giveaway that I'm hearing from someone who at the very least, has BPD traits, and has searched lifelong for answers and explanations pertaining to their inner torment and failed relationship attempts.
Many, many Borderlines are tireless seekers of insight and truth. There's often a tenacious will to heal themselves and grow, but no matter how much therapy they've tried or how many self-help books they read or support groups they joined, self-loathing often remains entrenched and implacable. Being hard on themselves is a self-defeating, typical trait in all borderline personalities. As children they were routinely programmed either overtly or subtly to feel unlovable and undeserving of affection or care, so this is how they've learned to regard and treat themselves.
Not all Borderlines mutilate their skin, few do in fact~ but most have become emotional cutters. In short, they heap criticism, shame and guilt on themselves until they're dug so deeply into a dark, cavernous hole of despair, it could take days, weeks or even months before they're able to emotionally reconstitute themselves enough to begin climbing out of it, and re-balance. This can be particularly true for those who have a dual diagnosis that includes Bipolar Disorder.
Simple, trivial shortcomings or deficits can make somebody with BPD believe they have no right to live, or take up space on the planet. So destructive is the Borderline's self-reproach for even minor mistakes, their shaming inner narratives or mental sense they make of their dreadful feelings, can make them want to die. This fact is key to why suicidal ideation or attempts often coexist with borderline pathology.
Being involved with a Borderline lover means you're trapped in confusion, chaos and titillation. At the onset of your relationship, he/she is perfectly delightful, charming and adoring, but you soon come to find that you can't relate to some of his/her odd or bizarre behaviors.
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