The more I ‘plumb the depths’ of the picture of the abuse that was done to me by my Borderline mother and as I study her own record of a segment of her life contained in her letters, diaries and childhood stories, I find that the origins of my mother’s disease were completely hidden from her and from those who were responsible for her early care. But just because the origins of her disease were not obviously present does NOT mean they were not there.
In its essence, I believe that the foundation of the cause of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) lies squarely in a breach of mother-infant early attachment. It is essential that those considering the disease of BPD and the terrible consequences this disease is most likely to cause for the sufferer and the offspring of BPD parents (and day care providers) that the information in this article becomes well-known.
While it is a well-documented scientific treatise on the subject of what human infants MUST HAVE in their first year of life to build an adequate emotional-regulatory right limbic brain, it must be understood that how this earliest-forming brain region develops directly influences the development of all the rest of an infant’s nervous system and stress response system for life. Earliest developmental patterning will include extreme stress-distress stimulation of all the overwhelming toxic stress hormones that can and do signal a developing human (and mammal) that there is something WRONG with the environment. All further development will then be sent off on a detour direction that cannot be reversed on its most fundamental levels.
If you have reason to question the kinds and amount of trauma-drama that is present in your life or present in the life of others you care about, beginning at the beginning by reading, studying and acknowledging the information at this link is of utmost importance:
By Dr. ALLAN N. SCHORE
It is clear within my mother’s writings that she THOUGHT all was perfect in her childhood.
The denial of the truth that her infancy and childhood was far from perfect contributed to the misery of her life.
Truth creates the channels that funnel off overwhelming traumatic stress and distress.
Absence of the truth in essence puts an early abuse survivor into a pressure cooker that has no release valve.
If such a survivor’s body has access to certain genetic combinations of potential that CAN be activated under early traumatic conditions that have NOT allowed for any other safe release of traumatic-stress-distress-pressure, the activation of the genetic potentials of certain diseases will occur. BPD is, I definitely believe, one of these genetic combination ‘release valves’. Activation of this disorder allows a survivor to continue to physically survive while awareness of the overwhelming trauma is completely blocked – for a lifetime.
(In this way BPD genetic potential can be seen as a resiliency factor ensuring survival against otherwise insurmountable odds. In my opinion a severe Borderline like my mother was pays for their survival with their sanity.)
Anyone who cannot track the contributing factors of a BPD’s earliest life needs to open wider the lens of their observation of the facts within the environment the BPD was formed in ESPECIALLY conception to age two (the first 33 months of life).
Because these earliest years are usually obscured by time and enshrouded in mystery and denial, the cloak that covers the truth needs to be removed in the present by expanding the arenas of search for those on a healing journey – no matter what their relationship with the BPD person might be.
Lifting the veil that is hiding the truth about trauma in families means looking for the facts about the bigger picture. Often one needs to literally draw a picture of ‘the family tree’. Onto this picture, over time, needs to be added ALL INFORMATION a person can locate.
I believe there will ALWAYS be overwhelming unresolved family trauma in the history of a BPD person. Who in that past was in a war? Who was alcoholic/addicted? Who was sexually abused (including incest)? Who was raped? Where were the dead children in sibling lines? Who had children that didn’t want them? Who was MEAN and was MEAN to children and mates, and who were the survivors of this treatment (including witnesses of trauma and those who suffered from extreme prejudice of all kinds)? Who suffered from joblessness, poverty, loss of family fortune (including language barriers, lack of education, illiteracy), too many moves, too much chaos, too much challenge without adequate resources, prolonged homelessness? Who was divorced, murdered, in jail? Who suffered from fire, natural disasters, displacement, spousal abuse, severe prolonged illness (including ‘mental illness’), premature death? Who provided early care prior to age six if the mother did not? Who was orphaned/adopted? What was the trauma present in the background of any alternate primary early-(0-2) caregiver? Who suffered from neglect including latchkey children under the age of 12?
To do this job of ‘spotting’ the trauma in a family tree one can create a list such as this one and then simply use colored crayons to attach a color code to each kind of difficulty. As the truth about people in the family (true also for adoptees and orphans regarding old and new familial relations), put a dot of matching color beside their name. (Remember that these risk factors work in ‘cumulative cooperation’ with one another and with resiliency factors.)
Severe unresolved trauma patterns in families will ALWAYS affect the ability of mothers to mother correctly. A study of Dr. Schore’s article will present an objective FACTUAL picture of what adequate mothering is – no matter who is providing it.
People are free to dance around and away from the truth about the history of those who abused them all they want to – or they can find the truth and honor it.
My mother’s BPD disease removed from her the ability to recognize the truth. Her disease created an alternate version of reality that was entirely supported by the brain-body changes her body went through in response to her earliest traumas. That nobody, including her, ever owned the truth about those formative and extremely damaging traumas of my mother’s life directly caused my mother to do to me what she did. My mother’s disease prevented her from having ANY access to the truth. That’s what BPD is meant to accomplish in a ‘survival at all costs’ world in the face of overwhelming early trauma.