The aggressive behavior of some people diagnosed with borderline and narcissistic personality disorders makes it difficult for us to understand that they may be profoundly needy, anxious, easily wounded, and chronically fearful of acknowledging weakness. While they masquerade as a giant, they feel like a kid living in a world of Goliaths.
"Be prepared for your partner to try to use the sessions as a forum for blaming you, just as she does at home. A good therapist will stop this behavior, and will instead focus on getting couples out of the blame game and into taking responsibility for their own part of the problems in the relationship."
"Validating" means recognizing and accepting another person's internal experiences and feelings, even if you disagree with them. It's the opposite of rejecting, ignoring, or judging someone else's feelings. It shows that you heard them and they are more likely to listen to your experiences and feelings, even if they're different.
Mindfulness asks family members to observe what is actually going on by simply noticing the events unfolding; to describe these events by putting words to what they notice; and to fully participate in the moment by acting with full awareness in the moment. Our lives are so busy that it is easy to get distracted.
Gerri Luce knows what it's like from both sides of the couch. Suffering from the borderline personality disorder lead her to want to help others with the condition. But first she had to work on her own recovery.
As a child, I coped with magical thinking, As an adult today, I can permit myself to do what I need to do for an emotionally healthy life, even if that means becoming the adult to our mom’s "child" and setting boundaries and consequences.
"It has been five years since my wife completed treatment for BPD, and I must say life has been steadily improving for both of us. It has been like a big old freight train; it takes a lot to get it started, but then it slowly and steadily builds up momentum."
"Like a lot of high-functioning people with BPD, my mother's intelligent and perceptive. She can tell when she's being handled, and she's more than capable of counter-handling right back. The net result is that using SET to sooth and progress the situation simply turns an issue into a meta-issue, and the conflict becomes between my mother and whoever's trying to use SET."
I am looking for guest bloggers to provide all different points of views and subjects. It should be about a topic you know a lot about or feel strongly about. People with BPD and their family members generally write about their personal experiences, and professionals write about topics within their expertise.
"I had gone 'no contact' with my family--especially my mother--and I badly needed to talk to someone. I called my aunt. When she told me my mom has borderline personality disorder, it was the most significant thing anyone said to me in my whole life."
Marsha Linehan says that the term radical is a “complete and total…[accepting] of something from the depths of your soul.” It’s not a behavior. It’s an interior shift. It’s all about finding peace in “what is” the reality of the situation right now. Acceptance is the opposite of denial.
Emotional blackmail is a powerful form of manipulation in which people close to us threaten, directly or indirectly, to punish us if we don’t do what they want. The main tool of the trade is FOG: fear, obligation, and guilt.
People are “enmeshed” when their personal boundaries are permeable and unclear. Enmeshment becomes a problem because the people involved start to lose their own emotional identity. They lack the level of autonomy they need to grow.
While emotional caretakers take pride in their self-sacrifice, it is a double edged sword. Partners who are emotional caretakers usually come from a family in which some of their basic emotional needs were unmet.
Today's politicians act like divorcing spouses who can't see anything good about the other person. They "split," or see things in black and white, just like people with borderline and narcissistic personality disorders.
A list of what makes for a good relationship could be quite lengthy and might differ from couple to couple. But here are some characteristics mentioned over and over by marital therapists. Ask yourself if you think it's possible for your borderline or narcissistic partner to have a healthy relationship.
"Detaching with Love" is your own version of that saying. It does the same thing: keep your own life from becoming a series of BPD-related crises. In this case it means, "I care about you, but I recognize that you must make your own choices in life. I can love you, but I can't live your life for you.
Some people make life miserable for others. They blame you for their own problems, have no empathy, and always seem to be conjuring up trouble. A subset of them are called "high conflict people," and they often have some kind of personality disorder--usually borderline or narcissistic personality disorder.
Arrogance is another defense mechanism that keeps the narcissist a legend in his own mind, free from the stain of the imperfection of other human beings. Remember, narcissists (and borderlines) split, seeing themselves and others in black and white. Someone has to be on top, and someone has to be on the bottom.