Originally Posted by 00lady00
... have any of you involved with [BPDers] actually looked into better understanding them?
Yes, Lady, I've read a lot about it because my exW, with whom I lived for 15 years, suffers from it. Like you, she had an abusive parent -- except that it was her dad instead of her mother. Moreover, I took her to 6 different therapists in weekly visits throughout that period.
One thing I've learned is that all human beings have all nine BPD traits, which are at a low level in the healthier people. Your T seems to be saying that you have some of those traits at a stronger level than most folks do. Whether or not they are so severe as to reach the diagnostic level for BPD is unclear. If I understand you correctly, your T apparently does not believe it is that severe.
Another thing I learned is that having a strong pattern of BPD -- even at the diagnostic level -- does not make you "crazy." That term refers to a loss of touch with physical reality. While BPD traits will distort your perception of peoples' intentions and motivations, it does not distort your perception of the physical world around you.
A third thing I learned is that BPD is quite common. A 2008 study of nearly 35,000 adults found that 6% experienced BPD at the diagnostic level at some point in their lives. I would not be surprised if another 4 or 6% have a strong pattern of BPD traits that fall short of the diagnostic level. If so, at least 1 in 10 people suffer from the disorder to some degree that hinders their ability to sustain LTRs.
After reading Jenney's many posts to you on another thread (at the mental disorder board), I must say that I am simply blown away by her keen insights and self awareness -- and the articulate manner in which she is able to describe things. My favorite was her story of the tsunami being the origin of the islanders' fear of shaking ground. You are very fortunate, I believe, that Jenney has stepped forward to share her experiences with you.
I've met many BPDers in my private life but only one of them has the level of self awareness that you and Jenney apparently have. I wish you could teach others with strong BPD traits how to reach that level of self awareness. In particular, I wish I had had the two of you around to teach my exW so we would not have had to separate three years ago. To this day, she still is in denial of having the disorder.
It is very unusual for BPDers to seek therapy because the disorder makes them so fearful of recognizing a flaw or mistake. As I understand it, BPD makes the victim hate herself, so the last thing she wants to hear is one more thing to add to the long list of things she hates about herself. I therefore applaud you and Jenney for having the courage and fortitude to be able to acknowledge having this disorder to some degree. And I commend Jenney for having learned how to manage it so well.
As to your request for book suggestions, I know that many BPDers (at another forum) seemed to like "Borderline Personality Disorder Demystified" by Friedel. It is targeted at folks suffering from the disorder -- but many of the statistics in it are out of date because the book is at least six years old. Please take care, Lady.