cathugger: An orange-and-white cat facing to the left. The front of this face is fading into shadows. (Default)
[personal profile] cathugger
Whoa, I thought I'd finish reading the 7 Cups for the Searching Soul self-help guide on 7 Cups, and I'm suddenly seeing a bunch of connections between what it's saying and BPD. I wouldn't be surprised if I came to the same conclusions or even wrote about them before because my memory is horrible. I'll still go ahead and write some of my thoughts down real quick because I might forget about them again.

Anyway, I was rereading "Chapter 2: Denial" when these connections stood out to me. Basically (and don't be surprised if I miss something here), we spend much of our younger lives learning and categorizing acceptable and inacceptable behavior based on feedback from our parents/caregivers. The guide states that the "bad" or the socially unaccepted behaviors don't go away; they're shoved into a bag deep in your unconscious instead. In the end, who we are ends up being a product of what others have trained us to be. We naturally seek approval and validation from others, and we use it to unconsciously shape who we are. But, obviously, this can get out of hand.

What if some traits were considered bad sometimes and good at other times? What if the "social training" was inconsistent? What if the person ended up confused? What would shape who they are? How would they know how to safely act in social situations?

What parts of the self would end up in the bag then? Would any traits even consistently stay in the bag? It seems like this would create an unstable sense of self that constantly feels like it doesn't know how to be socially acceptable--and is constantly looking for clues and validation for how it acts. It wouldn't know what's effective, and even if it did, it wouldn't trust its experience as much because things have been so unpredictable.

And, of course, unpredictability in early relationships affects what's considered appropriate behavior in later relationships.

Here is a common example: many parents struggle when their kids are overly strong or angry. Parents, often times not meaning to, overcorrect this type of behavior. They may respond to anger, repeatedly, in a harsh manner or they may, unconsciously, withdraw from the child emotionally. Regardless, the child gets the message that anger threatens the relationship they have with their parents. This is anxiety provoking to a child because they need their parents in order to survive. They are dependent on them to live. What happens, gradually, is that the child learns that in order to maintain a close relationship with parents, they need to keep those angry feelings at bay. This happens repeatedly and the child eventually becomes walled off from their sense of anger. It is pushed down below the surface, into the unconscious.

This part really stood out to me. Children are naturally programmed to know that they need their parents, and they'll get anxious if their parents reject or negatively react to what they do. They need this person to live, so in order to survive, they have to learn how to properly act. If the validation for their actions was inconsistent or constantly changing, they might feel as if something terrible could happen no matter what they do. This reminds me of the relationship between someone (and I know this isn't everyone) with BPD and their "favorite person." It's almost as if it's a mirror of the child + caregiver relationship. The person with BPD has to be on guard at all times because they feel like relationships, at this point, aren't predictable.

Maybe I'll come back and rewrite this or word it better later.

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cathugger: An orange-and-white cat facing to the left. The front of this face is fading into shadows. (Default)
Ashley

June 2017

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