1. Differentiation phase (5-8 months) Social smiling begins and ends with stranger anxiety when presented with an unfamiliar in environment. This is unfavourable. The child splits negative and positive emotions to cope with the ambivalent and confusing environment.
  2. Practising phase (8-16 months) increasing ability to move away from mother with a frequent reunions, check-ins and refuelling
  3. The rapprochement phase (16-25 months) is an identity separate from those around them; the mother needs to encourage experimenting with individuation with support and refuelling reservoir. Separate from sadness without rage or tantrums, where the mother can accept the anger without any retaliation or withdrawal, the child learns to have a healthy ambivalence towards others. The mother may push the child away too early due to fear of closeness and intimacy or by clinging due to fear of abandonment. The child does not grow into an emotionally separate being; learning to take risks or show aggression means losing a mother or oneself.
  4. Object constancy (25-36 months) -learn rage will not destroy oneself or your mother and keep in Contact. A learned capacity to share and develop empathy as they are separately able to observe and experience the other—a stronger cohesive self-image with emerging consciousness and growth. During the separation, the child may use transitional objects (blankets, teddy bears) to ease anxiety.

“We live in a neurotic society where there is great repression of unacceptable thoughts and feelings which leads to the prohibition of sexuality and shows of aggression.”

Modern society has lost control of the past. It remains unconnected to the future, with familiar roles all being reinvented and coerced without the emotional and moral guidance needed for such changes. An estimated 18 million Americans with BPD (6%) have a prowess for rage against those they love the most due to a deep inner emptiness and sense of helplessness. They are continually seeking good role models who can help them complete the separation and individuation process which they are stuck in.

Intense dislike of one’s own body and disapproval of one’s identity. Addictions such as drugs, alcohol, sex and food bingeing are illusions of self-control compounded by black-and-white thinking. They are always yearning for direction and acceptance, which makes them attracted to and susceptible to a strong leader or disciplined group. They join or idolise the leader with unconditional acceptance, like a cult where the outsider is bad and needs to be destroyed or attacked. The group creates a faux-perfect family with a common purpose and mirror, shallow experiences and feelings with no threat of rejection or abandonment, e.g. Facebook and Twitter.

The child experienced either a suffocating, abandoning or erotic parental patterning where there was too much or insufficient attention, mirroring or validating the child’s experiences and feelings. This created a fragile sense of self with a constant need and search for attachment with a chronic fear of intimacy or abandonment. These patterns are prevalent in families where incest, sexual abuse or alcoholism/drug use are the norms. During the rapprochement phase, the child begins to sketch out boundaries between the self and others. The child is faced with the following conflicts.

  1. The desire for Autonomy vs closeness and dependency needs
  2. Fear of engulfment Vs fear of abandonment

The child originally perceives their parent /Mother as two separate entities, one all god and one all bad, believing when the mother leaves, they are gone for good as object constancy has not been developed yet. The BPD is stuck between the practising and rapprochement phases, stuck in a limbo, alternating between good and bad objects, dependent on what they are experiencing. The modern parent is emotionally detached, overworked, and absent, causing alienation and ambivalence when they are pampering and overindulgent at weekends or suits their narcissistic needs. Quality time really means not enough time or worthwhile time. We can see how this type of parenting creates the ideal dynamic to generate a generation of disordered individuals, be they narcissistic or borderline.

 The narcissistic needs to dominate and be idolised /admired, while the borderline alternates between control and punishment, unable to assert themselves and show any aggression in self-expression. Constantly seeking some form of relationship to bring back the emotional equilibrium, escape the family environment, and unconsciously seek confirmation that true love hurts. An insatiable need for attention, lacking any mature sexual identity, leaving them prone to sexual fantasies and perversions. I hate you, don’t leave me dynamic. The constant need for affection, acceptance and reassurance becomes draining and exhausting, leading to the partner wanting to separate to get some space, triggering abandonment issues. The cycles keep repeating until one person leaves for good. The BPD will normally leave first after securing a new supply for dependency or admiration to avoid experiencing abandonment depression. There is never any real closure with these relationships, just open wounds bleeding incessantly until a new partner can bandage them over.

Our parents, who are entrenched in the system, compound this by

  1. Degradation – constantly devaluing the child’s achievements if they don’t match their expectations. Prohibiting certain behaviour, ideas and belief via methods of punishment
  2. Unavailability – show little interest in the child’s development, emotional or spiritual, with no affection or support in times of need and anxiety.
  3. Domination – use of extreme threats, bullying, attacking and prohibiting any self-activation or assertion, brainwashing their children to be a clone of them

Modern society teaches us to sacrifice our true selves, creativity, and intelligence for convenience and perfection. Assertiveness and aggression are encouraged and rewarded in the survival of the fittest mentality. Any forms of self-reflection or introspection, spirituality or vulnerability are seen as weak, escapism and incompetent, unable to tolerate the rigours of modern life.

Kreisman, J. and Straus, H., 2011. I Hate You– Don’t Leave Me. New York: Penguin Group.