When most people hear the word, "entitlement," they tend to envision a boisterous, pushy, demanding personality. Someone narcissistic, who acts like the world revolves around and owes him a living, regardless of minimal (if any) effort on his part to deserve such rewards. 

Real Entitlement issues however, mean just the opposite. Laymen and therapists alike, understandably seem confused about many terms used to describe and/or diagnose human behavior, which is why this website offers a glossary of commonly used (and misused) terms that exist within the broad lexicon of psychological anomalies and dysfunction. 

A false sense of entitlement is aptly described within the first paragraph of this essay~ but one who has genuine entitlement issues lives constantly with a belief and inner-sense of, "I am not worthy or deserving of receiving what I need and want." This foundational view of Self has existed since infancy, when one failed to get his needs for nurturant attention and positive mirroring met by his maternal object (Mother). 

Never does a small child assign blame for these deficits to his emotionally impaired mother for not returning his adoration. He automatically presumes he is defective and unlovable, which catalyzes an unending struggle the rest of his life to behave in ways that 'might' ease or reward his painful yearning for acceptance, approval and love from all others. 

Both Codependent and Borderline Personality Disorder features emanate from the same core wounds to our sense of Self as newborns. Poor self-worth is the inevitable outcome of emotional deficits we had to endure at the hands of our mothers, when we were too young and fragile to understand why. Given these injuries began during our first days and weeks of life outside Mother's womb, we reflexively adopted self-preservation defenses in response to sensing we could not rely or depend on her for meeting our intrinsic needs for attachment. 

The Borderline personality deeply craves an intensely intimate sense of connection with another, yet fears it. One's attachment ambivalence is activated whenever he/she begins feeling close to someone, whether it be a friendship, a romantic endeavor or a therapeutic alliance. Many Borderlines react to a subtle, inner sense of anxiety while working with a professional who has helped them in meaningful ways, by splitting their focus with other modalities of assistance (I call this "The Buckshot Method" in my upcoming BPD Male book) or abruptly ending treatment. 

When we allow ourselves to love deeply, we experience need for another. Genuine love cannot exist while defending against needing someone emotionally. I think of a Borderline's need to self-protect from attaching, much like a governor that's place on a car engine to stop it from exceeding a pre-selected speed. Women with BPD traits have relied on this stop-gap measure, even when attaching to their own children. They believe they'd fail to survive the loss of a child that deeply matters to them, so this is their survival reflex.

Borderlines beget Borderlines, which is just another rational, sensible argument for delaying childbirth, until one is seriously willing to tackle growth and healing work (like their life depends on it). The sins of the mother are visited upon her children. When a woman retains attachment fears from early childhood, she will act-out her uncomfortable feelings, rather than expressing them verbally. One reason for this is that poor self-worth drives compensatory behaviors that despise, deny and obliterate any existence of fragility or vulnerability within the Self.

The question that begs to be asked here then, is how can anyone experience a sense of real closeness and bonding with a partner who's deathly afraid to take off their suit of armor? Have you ever tried to snuggle beside or sleep with someone whose constructed an impenetrable shield around themselves? During very brief episodes of relaxing their guard, did you feel able to love them less or more, in the midst of their playfully endearing and accessible facets? 

When we grow up believing we have to become invincible in order to survive, we render ourselves 'unsafe' for others to feel really close. How can anyone attach to another who's tough and mighty 100% of the time? Isn't it another's authentic, occasional fragility that endears us to them~ and if so, why do we believe it's impossible for them to love us, if we never let 'em see these parts of our real Self? 

Only when we allow ourselves to be accepted and adored during vulnerable moments, can we begin to dismantle long-standing Entitlement Issues, and learn what it feels like to receive the love, care and affection we've always dreamed of. From this, we begin to develop a sense of worthiness to receive from others, what we've previously only been able to give.


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  • Entitlement issues~ the secret killer of dreams.