The bond replaces emotional suffering, pain, abandonment and anxiety with a destructive self-limiting role and experience. Keeps one insulated, mechanical and detached from authentic experience. Defence against the toxic environment, at the core of their neurosis and resistance /inability to change. There is a need to avoid all further emotional interactions that contradict early conceptions of reality and parents. Abrogation of real power and accepting bondage over freedom, with no free choice, false safety and relationship. An imaginary fusion of the perfect mother, an illusionary bodily contact with the participation of emotions; however, they are starving for emotional expression and recognition. A substitute for love and care, the greater the deprivation and denigration, the greater the fantasy and illusion. They are unable to relax and hold themselves when in contact with their mother’s body due to fear of neglect or abandonment and desperate clings to their mother. They will unconsciously avoid love and provoke hostility to reinforce their self-loathing image.

A good, healthy mother has the capacity to tolerate real closeness and can relieve the child’s anxiety and fear of any form of separation without smothering them. They can maintain contact with play and comm, with attuned responses, and cope with the child’s rage, sadness, and acting out behaviours. Mothers’ withdrawal of affect and desire for contact creates trauma, and they are left with an open wound due to lack of care and attention. A primary fantasy of pseudo independence, I need anyone, I can care for myself, a false self-sufficiency. The child and later adult will defend against any awareness of separation and realization of one’s denial/ death and illusion of immortality. Moving in and out of closeness is intolerable, caught in limbo, dependent on others for regulation, and habitual contact without feeling. Genuine love and intimacy threaten the fantasy bond as they become acutely aware of separateness. The idealized image of a parent who will one day be loving and approving, as they conform and comply with grandiose expectations, lack self-direction and independence. Inner self-hatred and poor self-esteem stem from an idealization of unattainable parents and their hostile, rejecting attitudes. Human beings deserve freedom and individuality but fight against all change and actual progress. Dependency on inner fantasy for gratification, with no genuine desire for real intimacy and fulfilment in a relationship and their environment.

A primitive craving and longing for emotional contact, vain attempts to fill their inner void and emptiness. The hunger manifests as manipulation and exploitation of others as the need is so great and unrelenting. Mistakes hunger with a feeling of love and confuses primal longing with genuine affection. It must play out with little regard for the other feelings or wants. Childish suspicion and distrust of genuine sharing and caring seek all means to kill off their feelings of being rejected and alone. The bond can become a death pact; the relationship has a narcotic affect, killing off their pain and feelings of hunger. Real love sustains and nurtures one’s well-being and assists in reaching one’s full potential. Feelings and experiences are shared and expressed via accurate, direct and honest communication with mutual respect—acknowledgement of boundaries and desire to cooperate. Generate a positive self-image, able to share and have a healthy self-regard.

Many parents unconsciously have a stake in their children’s destruction, using them to gratify their narc hunger and desires to form a bond to hide their pain and suffering.

  1. Can’t tolerate any angry impulse, as the child’s repressed projects and acts out this anger. Restrict and limit the child’s expression and growth as it threatens their fragile image and dependency.
  2. May overcompensate to spare the child suffering and frustration, anxiety becomes exaggerated as panic and helplessness., as they were unable to grow whilst being smothered.
  3. Use loved ones as substitute parental figures to relive early experiences with new people to the detriment of the new relationship.

The bond forms strong dependency ties, unable to perceive and accept reality, acknowledge their lack of feeling and maintain the fantasy of enduring love with the dismissive parent. Whenever the bond is broken, underlying pain and fear, if separation surfaces, can’t contain emotions and panic. They must avoid or inhibit people who threaten to re-awaken these repressed feelings. You can’t maintain a loving feeling as feeling loved depends on the other as a defence against inner sadness and pain. A person who relies on self-mothering through fantasy with self-nourishing habits and routines develops the illusion of self-sufficiency, needing nothing from the outside world regarding love and care. Systems of beliefs and ideas around self and others prevent one from retaking a chance to be gratified by reality. Defence justifies, supports and reconfirms a person’s retreat into the fantasy state, protected from conflict and contradictions.

  • See idealized parent as all good and powerful rather than recognize their weakness, abuse or rejection. The child feels they would not survive inadequate, hostile parents and deny their negative qualities and own them for themselves.
  • Creation of negative self-image – unbearable and underserving, not worthy and unlovable, rejection due to their flaw and faults, internal self-hatred and punishment.
  • Negative displacements onto ext. environment block out an awareness of parental hostility, and negative qualities preserve the idealized image and project weakness onto others.
  • Progressive loss of feeling, replaced by greater fantasy with little self-compassion. Feel little emotional pain and anxiety and are comfortable with their repressive state.
  • Withholding and withdrawing emotional contact, psychic energy is invested in parents.
  • Self-mothering – incorporation of a person who nurtures and protects, cares and loves them.

A sense of obligation replaces the desire to be together, a pact of mutual protection, where each other implicitly agrees to honour each other defences. No challenge to partners’ self-destructive habits and behaviours, which cause great concern and worry. Each other ward off each other’s deep feelings and denies experiences that would require genuine care and tenderness. The child is too weak to combat parents who provide a fantasy of love and protection, as they give up the struggle and comply with the family system—limits one sense of self, rigid identity resistance to change and taking responsibility. The child becomes psychologically in an attempt to alleviate and absorb their parent’s pain, distorts own growth to preserve family bond. Fantasy is held in solidarity despite underlying dysfunction and disharmony. Free speech is limited, dishonest and misleading. Maintains the illusion of feeling with a mounting distance whilst pretence of love. Any realistic goal-orientated behaviours for oneself with a positive experience are alien to personal image and identity and state, generate disorientation and fear, and, if intense, may manifest as regression and retreat to a more defended position.

Independence, creativity and non-conformity challenge defences; most actions are motivated by fantasies of rejection and maintained by an internal voice, which regulates self-nourishment and self-destructive behaviour. Want to take another chance and try again, be hurt or injured again and trust others again. Defence against fantasy is twofold.

  1. Any attempt to expose and attack the fantasy through direct interpretations to gain clarity about the state of the family.
  2. Encourages clients to depend on them for satisfaction and security. Exposing fantasy bonds is vital for more unity and a realistic worldview.

Need to diminish and disrupt parental idealization to dimmish self-hatred, which creates anxiety and perceived parent realistically. The child stops blaming themselves for rejection and realizes others have their inadequacies and cannot provide nourishment and love for their child. They lose the ability to gratify themselves with an internalized nurturing parent, as self-protection breaks down and may stop owning the image of the bad child. It takes satisfaction in identifying with a good mother and being part of a good family. They can’t see their parents’ faults, helpless and hopeless. Defends against pain and despair by seeing themselves as bad. By performing and pleasing others, they hope to gain the approval they crave. The fallacy is their parents can’t love them, never get what they want, cannot provide it, and lose hope of being loved. A great deal of anger and resentment if partner does not live up to the lofty expectations they impose on themselves. With a greater container and ability to tolerate ambivalence, they may be able to recover and resolve painful memories of when they were mistreated and become acutely aware of parental behaviour. Holding onto their self-hate and denial protects against any intrusion of fantasy and self-sufficiency. Experiences oneself as unbearable and unworthy and expects repeated rejection. When loss is severe, mourning takes place; a profound sense of guilt and punishment for the loss can cause one to feel that one can’t afford to direct rage at the source of pain and risk destroying any hope of love and security.

Finding warmth may trigger sadness and revive the emptiness of past hurts, rekindling repressed pain, and a positive self-image can create discomfort as self-compassion is asked for. Revealing unhappiness would point to parental inadequacy and hostility/neglect, where feelings of rage and sadness are turned inward. Avoid becoming attached as they distort reality and other real qualities which justify initial judgments to keep them detached. They need to resist exposure, which prevents the achievement of realistic goals and self-denial and sabotages their lives. They may feel there is something repulsive about their physical nature or appearance which will interfere with developing a sexual relationship.

Anxiety and painful symptoms follow the withdrawal of an addictive behaviour/routine. Any ego syntonic activity arouses minimal conflict and anxiety. Voice seduces the individual by supporting the habit of more self-hatred and retreat, which alleviates guilt and pain as the cycle continues. Self-nourishing behaviour is associated with a fixed fantasized image or mother (fantasy bond), which reduces tension and satisfies emotional hunger temp. Sexual fantasies related to guilt and punishment, a strong incest taboo, sex being an act of betrayal and separation. Sexual identity confusion may be a wish to be the opposite sex where they will eventually be loved. Avoidance through impotence or premature ejaculation; I don’t need to be close or intimate with someone else.

We have a generation embedded in false identities, ideology and religion. They go to war as revenge for childhood trauma or kill themselves for committing sin and having shameful feelings. Chil becomes a receptacle for bad, unwanted, projected split-off parts. Can alternate between being loving and caring whilst also being sadistic and murderous. Aggression outward onto an enemy reinforces libidinal ties of the group if outsiders can be projected onto it. When self and other are indistinguishable and boundless or boundaries blurred /fused to a state, unable to have greater clarity and any awareness of separateness. Difficulty in holding onto feelings, feel confused and uncertain before they can get any clarity. Symbiosis is a merged fusion in an unconscious collision without awareness of the self or self-sacrifice. Seeks omnipotent control and power, lacks trust with excessive persecutory anxiety manifesting as envy and inferiority. Dependency on ext. objects for cohesion and completeness, which hold the fragile self together with reassurance and approval.

Phase 2 is some separation, living side by side where possessive jealousy appears as a pert object where patience and tolerance are needed. They tend to cling to others, seeking bodily contact as a form of comfort. Can one wean the child away from the mother, the BPD emotionally attached to the narc and move the narc away from idealized objects? More interaction and interpretation, developing inner wounds to tolerate frustration and feelings of not existing. Still seeks merger and clinging from a state of illusory oneness. Partner lives emotionally within the narc with no differentiation of self and other. The other is to Blame for any shortcomings, little awareness of inner forces that seek to intrude the psyche’s primitive defences.


BPD lures and fuses boundaries, craves bonding and maternal attachment, clinging and parasitic, blaming /attacking dynamic. No tolerance for separation and desires omnipotent control. Living in fear inside, a vacuum with no thoughts, with a psychotic part of the personality comm—feelings via projection and blame. BPD derives gratification through fantasy and narcs’ availability; narcs are only available for their self-interest. Good/bad objects split off with no interaction between parts, preoccupied with not having a loving memory all the time. They can’t make use of their mother’s breast as a container, the capacity to hold the baby’s anxiety. Need an object to contain depth of projection and evacuation of painful feelings. With the emergency of separation and twoness, awareness of 2 separate emotional states becomes more tolerant of ambiguity and ambivalence. More insight into awareness and unconscious motivations, where the therapist as a new self-object may work as a new transitional space Nurst of new energy and feeling of excitement Awareness of the need for ext. approval and assurance, explanation of bonding stopping separation and inability from installing boundaries, understanding and taking responsibility for projections.

With parasitic bonding, more countertransference emerges. BPd begins to sense preoccupation with the need and ideas of healing. See the difference between parasitic and health relating must accept the new depressive position. Beaten up and persecuted part of BPd needs constant feeding and nourishment. When they can dispense of intolerable parts, the self can nourish itself.

Firestone, R.W (2014), The Fantasy Bond: Structure of Psychological Defenses, The Glendon Association; 1st edition