Borderline Chase For Health
The Borderline Search for a Healthy Self in a crazy world.
Borderline Personality is "crazy-making" as are the reasons for its development. Each borderline must search for health by sticking with therapy and searching for his/her healthy, true self.
Those diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) often grew up and may well still live in crazy environments. The search for one's healthy self in the middle of these environments is a daunting task. Often after one begins therapy and to heal one of the first choice made is to change one's environment. This can mean taking space from family members and or leaving friendships and relationships. As a borderline learns more about who he/she is, what he/she wants and doesn't want in his/her life, his/her boundaries change and new, healthier choices must be made to reflect the changes that occur within this healing process.
A key result of living in a crazy environment over an extended period of time is the toll that it takes upon one's ability to think rationally in response to what is going on as opposed to what is perceived to be going on. There are often mixed-messages in unhealthy relational dynamics. They alone can be "crazy-making". These mixed messages lead to convoluted, distored and even paranoid thinking.
Borderlines must chase health. While many professionals believe that many borderline traits will diminish with age (often abating somewhat after the age of 40) having and knowing a "healthy self" will not just happen; it takes work and time.
For most borderlines, who are chasing health, they find it is necessary to re-trace their emotional experience through life looking back through the past to see how past experiences, and more importantly, remaining feelings about those past experiences are evident in the here and now.
Growing up in a family system that is dysfunctional enough to cause (or to one degree or another contribute to BPD - depending on your views regarding possible biological causes) BPD is crazy-making. By this I mean that borderlines do not have a chance to emotionally mature as others do. They are too busy trying to decipher a sea of mixed-messages and dodge and hold other people's feelings so that they can be safe. Their developmental needs are often not met. Borderlines have to take care of their own feelings essentially by taking care of the feelings of others and by anticipating what others will do based on what they feel.
This leads to the learning of black and white all-or-nothing thinking; to cognitive distortions; patterned ways of misinterpreting the communication of others; impulsive assumptions jumped to defensively; projections, transference, ideas of reference, etc., all in an effort to protect oneself from any further assault to his/her psyche.
The chase for health involves each borderline actively searching for a healthy self in a crazy world. In this active search it is necessary to get professional help, to go into therapy. It is also necessary to learn how to be honest with oneself and with others. For all intents and purposes everything that one believes while borderline must be challenged. There is a tremendous amount of un-learning to do as one learns healthier ways to cope and to relate.
If a borderline earnestly chases health by seeking that healthy self that awaits their rescue inside, they can and will heal. The road is long and rocky. It takes determination but it can be done. In order to chase health and to find your healthy self, keep walking further down the road to the you, the you, that you know that you were meant to be. If you are borderline, you likely have a strong sense of being someone other than you know your true self to be. You likely often wonder why you do what you do when you know inside that you'd rather love and be loved, than hate and be hated; that you'd rather extend understanding and be understood than be misunderstood, impatient and punishing of yourself and others; that you'd rather respond appropriately to what is going on around you in the here and now than keep re-playing the pain of your past in patterned and oh so predictable ways.
Who are you? Who do you want to be? When you answer these questions you will begin identifying your true self, your healthy self.
© A.J. Mahari, September 1, 2001