Thursday, April 8, 2021

Arya and her ex-girlfriend Frances re her BPD diagnosis

Hello friends! Sorry for the delay on this, I had to do some editing, which I'm bad at. Arya's ex Frances tells Arya that she's been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. We talk to Frances about her diagnosis, her disorder, and her experience with both in the world and in her relationships, including her experience that a lot of people view her diagnosis negatively and tell Frances that she doesn't actually have a personality disorder.

One analogy I thought about with regard to Frances and BPD in general is that if all personality disorders have issues with their personality and sense of identity/self, maybe one way to view them is in terms of how connected they are to their identity. For instance, psychopaths seem very disconnected from their identity. I came up with the analogy of a being pulled behind a motorboat in an inner tube (like I used to do when I was young). The boat is your identity. If you're way behind the boat, like 50 feet back, what the boat does hardly affects you at all, and for psychopaths if someone says something negative about their identity they rarely care because they're so disconnected. Other personality disorders seem more connected to their identity, which also means they're more vulnerable. I think of BPD as being like hanging off the back of the boat, where they're constantly being whipped around, but they're not close enough to actually be in the driver's seat, where people without personality disorders are. 

Arya and I had just been listening to a webinar on criminal sentencing and BPD right before Frances told us about her diagnosis (Arya had no idea before). We had been talking about how terrible BPD sounds like it is for the sufferer, and that we couldn't imagine living like that and no wonder the suicide rate is so high. But also I'm glad that they at least have established treatments. Although I have heard from psychopaths that the same therapies styles have helped psychopaths, so maybe the personality disorders have more in common than meets the eye. 


  1. Intriguing parallels with ASPD and BPD. The fundement difference seems to be BPD turn inward harming themselves more than the outside world, as is the case with sociopaths. The patterns of behaviour are similar and do comply with the model of distances in a sense of self. The way BPD are more into harming or doubting themselves and there place in the world. Could this suggest a reason why they would be attracted to sociopaths who would not stop damaging behaviour but are also not likely to criticise such behavior.
    The negative reaction to Frances
    diagnosis was not a surprise however the intensity of it was. Even to the point of denial by some. In the broadest sense some of the therapeutic techniques may work for Sociopaths but the focus on the internal viewpoint may not work at a more personal level for ASPD.
    Your analogy ME of the speedboat and how far behind it is, is interesting. Being closer to the self would make it easier to climb in the boat for BPD than a ASPD.

    1. the reasons imho are it takes an animal to protact you from demons, no having empathy is a good thing for a partner of borderline that means you dont get dragged into the drama you can even reverse it and not selden ppl with boderline are the kids of parents (fathers) that are emotionaly distand (alcoholic, depresson, addicted to work, devorced form the mother)

  2. Further to the low trust environment adaptation hypothesis, I begin to see that in such environments, sometimes the signals that you're successful are that you've pissed people off, rather than appreciation.

    I can see how it's then a very small step until aggravating people could become a goal in itself, a pleasure in itself. Because there's not genuine reward.

    I think power is the agency to exercise choice, and especially to do so in such low trust circumstances.

  3. There are probably ways to resist that and not become completely cynical. I think by focusing on the impact you want to achieve, the beauty in whatever you're pursuing for its own sake.

    To be non-threatening when under attack in search of something bigger and more meaningful. That's a real challenge and takes courage and discipline. To keep trying to open conversations when others slam the door...

    Well, that's the path.

    At least I've had practice with Favourite Cat.


Comments on posts over 14 days are SPAM filtered and may not show up right away or at all.