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Borderline Functioning: Are You the Family Historian?

Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D. was in private practice for more than thirty years. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the states ...Read More

8. Abandonment, and etc.

Of course, what they succeed in doing is bringing about the very consequences they most do not want to happen. Furthermore, once abandoned, they complain bitterly about suffering another relationship failure and confusion about why people keep treating him or her this way. The lack of insight is genuine but any attempts to bring insight to this person will result in failure.

I have noted that many people respond to prior postings I wrote on the topic of "the Borderline Family." Some of the responses were reports of peoples’ personal experiences growing up with borderline mothers and fathers and the harm they suffered. Several of these poignant reports concluded with hopeless types of comments to the effect that they, themselves, will never recover from the dreadful things done to them as children.

My point here is to assert the fact that there is no need to continue to be the family collector and recorder of mistreatment and injustices. Yes. I am stating that, for Some People (not all) there is a volitional process in this and the process can be interrupted and changed.

How can I make such an assertion when these are people who suffered as children? I can make this assertion based on some facts:

1. I have seen many cases of people who, as adults, promised themselves they would not repeat doing to their children what was done to them. They were successful at this.

2. One does not have to be suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder to fulfill the role of injustice collector. It is possible to write a new life script in which the "poor me" title role is abandoned for a happy and healthy role.

3. I treated many people over the years, in psychotherapy, who came to me with the "poor me" attitude and way of thinking but learned how counter productive that is and learned to have positive thoughts and interactions.

Remember the trite but true saying that "Today is the first day of the rest of your life? For the rest of your life why not look at things in a robust and energetic way?

Your comments are encouraged.

Allan N. Schwartz, LCSW, PhD

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