When our foundation perspective of life, the world, of our inherent natures, and the inherent nature of our feelings is distorted, this creates disharmony. And this foundation perspective I speak of, or core beliefs, is something we cemented into place when we were very young - somewhere between birth and three or four years of age.
My daughter is now three, and it is clear to me that most of her perceptions about her value as a human-being, the inherent worth of her feelings, her understanding of the appropriate way casual relationships work, her sense of inherent dignity, is already firmly set. It is visible in the way she interacts with other children, her confidence, her absence of shame (shame is destructive, it is not the same thing as guilt, which is its constructive opposite), her sense of security. This part of her development is now what will inform her approach to life for the rest of her days.
Imagine that! Only three years old, and yet the foundation I have helped her put in place is what she will use to inform herself for all the rest of her life.
How did I help her put this foundation in place? Within everything she sees me do, especially within her direct interactions with me, there are inherent messages, or information, that she uses to inform her perceptions about the nature of life, the nature of her feelings, and the nature of her own inherent worth - and I have been keenly cognizant of this since before she was born. Children receive their emotional education directly from their immediate caregivers, not necessarily by what we say, but by how we are; our very natures.
My critics are quick to scoff at me for claiming that the genuine cause of Borderline Personality Disorder, or emotional 'unhealth' in general, (a term that I have coined), can be boiled down to just a single cause, for everybody. You see, they're caught up in the notion that there is just too much complexity among individual human-beings for any one thing to explain something for everybody. They mockingly point to this as proof that I am still a slave to the 'black & white' thinking that folks with Borderline Personality Disorder typically live with.
However, the problem is not the accuracy of my statements, but rather their own inability, or unwillingness, to see the truth. The critics criticize what they simply do not take the time to understand. Yes, people are typically complex; but not when they share the same emotional disorder. When people share the same emotional disorder, they are not complex at all. Instead, they are entirely predictable. This is the reason people are drawn to my work at all. They feel that I am eerily able to describe in great detail everything they are experiencing.
How is it possible that my words are able to have this affect on thousands of strangers that I've never met? Very simply, because I genuinely understand the emotional algorithm, another term that I have coined, on which they are operating; that is, the one genuine cause at the root of the entirety of Borderline Personality Disorder. This alone makes a whole world of people living with one disorder understandable to me. The predictability exists because every person with this disorder is dealing with the exact same distorted perceptions, and those perceptions all originate from the same cause.
The 'causes' you are used to reading and hearing about are not causes. They are symptoms of the cause. These symptoms only seem like causes to those who have not learned to follow a thing back further to get the genuine bottom of it all.
'Trauma' is thrown around so often as the cause, that I believe any psychology professional who so much as utters the term in relation to Borderline Personality Disorder should immediately lose their practicing license. Suggesting that 'trauma' is the cause of the disorder implies that those who have it are suffering some sort of 'shell shock', or PTSD. If this were true, no amount of education and insight could help you. You'd be at the mercy of simply waiting and hoping that one day, your fear reflex, which you are frozen in, might relax.
Do some people who have suffered various forms of trauma in their pasts have Borderline Personality Disorder? Yes. Sexual abuse? Yes. Fear of abandonment? Yes. But none of these things are the cause of the disorder.
The only true cause of Borderline Personality Disorder is the distorted foundation perception: My feelings are inherently irrelevant and shameful, devoid of worth.
So could traumas in one's past have been included in a child's adoption of this underlying belief? Yes. But it is not the trauma which is the cause of the distorted core belief, but rather the messages it communicated to the child: "This is happening to you because your feelings simply don't matter. They are totally irrelevant. Your feelings are devoid of worth, because if they had any worth, the weight of that worth would have some positive effect over your circumstances, which it clearly does not."
Fear of abandonment is a natural result of believing that you and your feelings are devoid of any inherent worth. A person who believes they inherently have value does not have any reason to fear that people will want to leave them. Only people who live with the distorted foundation perceptions I have already spelled out here, do. So how can 'fear of abandonment' be the cause of anything? It can't be, and it's not. It is merely a natural symptom of the one genuine cause which I have explained to you today.
In short, the only true cause of Borderline Personality Disorder is a perception, or a belief. There is only one other 'cause' that we can go further back and identify, and it is a cause that happened in the past, that existed outside of ourselves, and which we had no power over then, and no power over now. What am I referring to? I'm referring to the cause of the formation of the cause of Borderline Personality Disorder.
Is that confusing? Let me say it this way: Now that we know what the cause of Borderline Personality Disorder is, of what forms the utmost bottom foundation of the disorder within you, how did it get there? What is the cause of the cause?
A house is built upon a foundation, but how did the foundation get there?
Are children born believing that their feelings - and by extension, they themselves - are inherently irrelevant and shameful, devoid of worth? No, they do not. This is not a natural perspective people are born with. In other words, people are born naturally understanding that they have inherent value. So in order for us, as human-beings, to believe for a certainty that the very opposite is true, what has to occur? The message has to be communicated to us, gradually and consistently, by somebody whose own perspectives we have tremendous faith in as being reliable.
When you are one, two, and three-years-old, whose perspectives do children rely on more than their own parents' perspectives? Nobody's. Nobody's perspectives come anywhere close in importance to a child than those of their parents. They look to their parents for absolutely every subtle detail for direction in beginning to interpret and understand the nature of the world, the nature of self, and the nature of life.
Put very simply, the cause of the cause - that is, the way the distorted perceptions of Borderline Personality Disorder were communicated to you when you were an innocent child - is this: The unhealthy nature and perspectives of your parents or immediate caregivers.
The very natures and perspectives of your parents, being unhealthy as they were (and surely still are), are what gradually and consistently communicated the messages that you eventually adopted - unnaturally - as being the reality. No, as a child you did not misinterpret these messages. Your parents really were communicating the messages you 'heard'.
This is emotional neglect and abuse, and it is inexcusable. Inexcusable literally means that there does not exist an explanation in all of reality that makes it 'ok' that your parents did this. And that is a long conversation for another day, which involves the principle of 'acceptance'; that is, the escape from ignorance and denial, and the hard work of redefining relationships with people like our parents in a way that reflects the reality of who they are as people, rather than how we would prefer to imagine them to be. Our powerful feelings for people like this can make genuine acceptance a Herculean task in terms of authentic recovery. But it is an imperative step, for reasons I will detail another time.
Back to the cause of the cause, and the nature of how it works:
If at two, my daughter watched me scream and race for a closet every time a lightning bolt crackled outside, it would not matter how many times I tell her that lightning is nothing to fear. She is not paying attention to the message in my words, but rather, the messages inherent in how I myself am. Similarly, if I tell my daughter I love her every day, smother her in kisses and buy her toys, but at the same time I consistently disregard her feelings, they carry no genuine weight with me, have no influence over my behavior, I never stop to take note of them, I scold her when she cries ‘for no reason’, and I invalidate whatever she feels - which message is more convincing? The message in my words, or the message in my behavior?
The answer is clear. It is the messages in my behavior (which is merely a genuine reflection of my attitudes and perspectives) that she will accept as settled fact. My attitude and perspectives, reflected in my behaviors, are what define for her what the truth of reality is. This is what she bases all of her subconscious, foundation certainties on at this age.
Adult women have no trouble whatsoever identifying a man’s behavior as containing more important messages of genuine love, or lack of genuine love, over the words they speak. Yet for some reason we struggle to recognize that children also possess this inherent ability. The tragedy is that children, in contrast to the adult women I just mentioned, define and cement their entire perception of life by using this skill - the skill of perceiving one's genuine attitudes and perspectives in behaviors - even when their emotional teachers are horribly unqualified and wrong. But from where else is their education to come? The primary caregivers are the ones who are supposed to know. They are godlike figures.
‘Distorted’ is when our subconscious perspective is almost accurate, but not quite. Think of a cross-eyed bricklayer: He lays his bricks only slightly skewed - just a little - which is imperceptible to us even as the wall reaches waist-high. But what happens as the wall grows, and eventually becomes a full building? The small, misaligned start, which was all but unnoticeable to the untrained eye, has now grown obvious. The building, or the house, is crooked, leaning, disorganized.
In much the same way, when our foundation perspectives are slightly distorted in childhood, by poor emotional teachers (our parents), it goes unnoticed to the untrained eye. This is how we get away with cementing these distorted beliefs in the first place. And through the early parts of our lives, the distorted perspective does not create much disharmony. It is in our adult lives, as the brick wall has begun to take full form, when the leaning, crooked, disorganization becomes obvious.
Distorted foundation perspectives do not harmonize with reality. This is what creates disharmony - or more officially, disorder; Borderline, personality, disorder.
The perspective used to navigate life does not accurately interpret, or describe, the reality in which that person is navigating.
Therefore, the two things clash - this erroneous perspective against authentic reality - which creates disorder. The two things are unnoticeably incompatible on a small scale (your childhood), but loudly incompatible on a larger scale (adult life).
The most common distortion in perspective is the subconscious perspective people form of the inherent value, and nature, of their feelings, their emotions. This single distortion goes on to create every single symptom and effect of Borderline Personality Disorder.