Updated: Dec 7, 2019
Yes. But trusting somebody does not equal the ability to experience genuine intimacy, and an inability to experience true intimacy is an inescapable part of living with Borderline Personality Disorder. In other words, it’s one of those symptoms that every single person with the disorder is living with, whether they know it or not.
Let me tell you why folks with Borderline Personality Disorder can develop trust for you, but why this does not translate to genuine intimacy; the reasons for the intimacy problems, and how they can be fixed.
At the foundation of Borderline Personality Disorder - the thing underlying it all - is the unconscious (or subconscious) perception: My feelings are inherently irrelevant and shameful, devoid of worth.
How does this get there? By ‘trauma’?
No. Borderline Personality Disorder is not some strange form of PTSD, and if you’ve been told otherwise, you were lied to, or misinformed by ‘authorities’ on the subject who do not genuinely know what they are talking about.
So the disorder is not like a programmed physical reflex brought about by great fear or stress. Rather, it is the result of living with very subtle misperceptions and misconceptions about what the inherent nature is of fundamental things that we as people must perceive accurately in order to be able to experience inner contentment; such as what the true inherent nature of our feelings is.
People living with the disorder adopted the unconscious (or subconscious) misconception that their feelings are inherently irrelevant and shameful, devoid of worth, not because of ‘trauma’, but because of their parents’ own unhealthy and incorrect attitudes toward the nature of these very things themselves.
This distinction is not a minor one. Indeed, one’s very ability to authentically recover from Borderline Personality Disorder once and for all hinges on understanding the importance of this distinction, and distinctions like it: The cause of Borderline Personality Disorder is not ‘trauma’. It is the attitudes of our emotional teachers.
This is why many people who were never physically abused still end up with Borderline Personality Disorder. It’s why many people who are unable to identify any obvious or blatant emotional abuse by their parents still end up with Borderline Personality Disorder. Subtly incorrect attitudes about the inherent nature of fundamental aspects of life, such as feelings, self, and life, is the cause. Not ‘trauma’.
Once the primary distorted perspective regarding the nature of feelings is adopted by a child, based simply on the messages he or she receives daily in a multitude of subtle ways through the attitudes that his or her emotional teachers (the parents) live with, it’s not long until the child adopts the second distorted core belief of Borderline Personality Disorder:
If my feelings are inherently irrelevant and shameful, devoid of worth, then so am I.
Every single symptom of Borderline Personality Disorder that exists can be traced back to these two fundamental misperceptions.
What is intimacy?
Intimacy is the revealing and sharing of one’s authentic inner self to another.
What is shame?
Shame is a feeling of intense humiliating distaste.
Now let me ask you: Does a person who lives with the fundamental certainty that his feelings, and that he himself, are intensely and humiliatingly distasteful, naturally reveal and share his authentic inner self with others?
Think about anything you personally are intensely humiliated and ashamed about. Do you openly share this with others? Of course you do not. Otherwise, we would not be talking about shame, because this would contradict the very thing that shame is and how it behaves.
Let me ask you another question: Can a person who lives with the underlying false certainties about the nature of his feelings and self develop trust for other people?
Certainly. But not to the point of overcoming this barrier to genuine intimacy.
The barrier to intimacy does not involve a lack of trust. It involves an erroneous, concrete certainty about the nature of self.
The person with Borderline Personality Disorder interprets every single experience through the erroneous filter that my feelings are inherently irrelevant and shameful, devoid of worth, and so am I. So when love is offered, for example, the explanation for this in the mind of the sufferer is not that he or she is lovable. No. The only logical explanation is that the person extending love is only doing so because they have not yet figured out the reality: That they are with somebody who is worthless. This explains much of the insecurity and possessiveness that people with Borderline Personality Disorder regularly exhibit in relationships. A person who has no reason to fear being dumped also has no reason to feel insecure or possessive. People with Borderline Personality Disorder live in constant, unconscious (or subconscious) fear that sooner or later the other person is going to realize what the sufferer has known all along: You are with somebody who is worthless.
So the person with Borderline Personality Disorder trusts that you love the person you have been allowed to see. They do not trust that you will love the real person, the inner person. They are certain that there is not even the slightest possibility of this. Why? Because they are inherently worthless. In other words unlovable. This is his or her inherent nature, in the mind of the sufferer.
Again, how did the person with Borderline Personality Disorder ever adopt such a sad, and completely inaccurate certainty? By the unhealthy attitudes that his or her emotional teachers live with regarding the nature of feelings.
This is all very heartbreaking, isn’t it. Would you like to know how people - maybe yourself - who are suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder can escape it once and for all, and finally experience genuine inner contentment?
Well, the first step is to reject the lie that Borderline Personality Disorder is incurable - that the best its sufferers can hope for is to forever manage and soothe the symptoms with tricks.
I myself once had Borderline Personality Disorder as powerfully as anybody ever has. It defined every aspect of my life for over thirty-five years. As you can clearly see from the article you just read, I no longer have Borderline Personality Disorder. I was able to escape it authentically and permanently, and you can, too. But to do so, the information you trust must be accurate, in even seemingly-insignificant and subtle aspects.
My work here is meant to be that source of information for you.