Our partner

The 'Child-like' aspects of BPD

Borderline Personality Disorder message board, open discussion, and online support group.

The 'Child-like' aspects of BPD

Postby ontheway » Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:58 pm

One of the things that I noticed about by BPD ex straight away was her incredible 'child-like' personality...at times. Usually when she wanted something from me and often when she is sad, displaying empathy for others, feeling needy and generally feeling sorry for herself. I know that BPD arrests development to the age of a 3 year old and of course the flipside to this sweetness has been her child-like tantums. It always seemed like she had two personalities: The 'child-like' one and the 'normal, regular' one, where sarcasm and impatience seem to be the order of the day.. This is a woman of considerable intellectual prowess, highly opinionated, well educated and righteous and rigid when necessary. Whether this 'child-like' personality was to attract/manipulate me or not I cant say. But her voice would completely change into a 'cutesy' child-like one, high pitched and with an innocent, childish quality.

She also displays incredible child-like wonder about the world around her, which was incredibly attractive to me. When we spent time together, even just walking around was always thrilling and interesting. I must say, I can often have childlike wonder and curiosity about the world around me so maybe this was partly projected. I rarely saw her behave this way with friends of hers, unless it was in a needy, 'everything is wrong' kind of way, and even then, only to her closest friend (a male, whom she once confided to me that she had wanted to have a relationship with, and they once had sex together, but he didn't take the relationship further, apart from the fact that he is always there for her and gives her significant help financially and also looks after her child a lot, whenever she can hold down a job.)..sorry for waffling..

She has a 6 year old son and once told me that she had decided to have a baby to replace the childhood she never really had, like a return to innocence and a 'safe' life partner. She LOVES kids movies and cartoons and childish, naive music and art, bright 'happy' colors and has said before that one of the validations of music/art is that 'a child should be able to this'. One of the most fascinating things to me and one of the most unique points about her is this ability to 'morph' into a child. This quality seems to infer a strange 'wisdom' which most adults, or at least any other adults that I have dated, dont seem to possess, and it was definitely something that kept me 'hooked' to her, although admittedly, I found it rather strange to begin with.

Any thoughts on this are welcome. I love getting feedback and appreciate all comments, especially from BPDs. I realise that Im not as finely gifted in expressing my thoughts in such a technical 'BPD speak' way as others ( Downtown, Velouria, Normal?) but Im learning a lot so please feel free to send me your great insights (and links, Normal? :D )

Thanks in advance.
ontheway
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:29 pm
Local time: Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:25 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)


ADVERTISEMENT

Re: The 'Child-like' aspects of BPD

Postby CarmenRose23 » Tue Feb 09, 2010 5:11 pm

I know that BPD arrests development to the age of a 3 year old


LOL

WHAT?

No dear, Typically the arrested development comes in later than that. Generally at the height of the childhood abuse (if that is the Cause of BPD) I don't know if BPDers who don't have childhood abuse even get this.

I am lucky enough to be in love with a Very good actor. We role play constantly, fighting in the grocery store as an old jewish couple… Katherine Hepburn and Kerry Grant…
You get the idea.

I still revert to a Child when trying to express something that I can grasp at the moment… Or because I think it is funny. “USE your WORDs!”

LOL

Anyway, not all BDPers are like that… and it could be possible that she also has Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Because BDP and DID are often (usually) associated with Grousome childhood abuse this will help you understand the perminent changes that causes in the brain. To make things Confusing you can have Grousome abuse without the person ever Developing BDP or DID... and you can have BDP without any abuse at all.

http://mcleanhospital.org/PublicAffairs/20001214_child_abuse.htm
Cool on the internet
User avatar
CarmenRose23
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 384
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:49 am
Local time: Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:25 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: The 'Child-like' aspects of BPD

Postby ontheway » Tue Feb 09, 2010 5:29 pm

Carmen Rose,

I have seen many of your posts and judging by them, and the speed of your reply and your general defensive, sarky tone to mention your profile picture (lol) I have gathered that you are the type of 'know-it-all' who I would rather not have replies from! (Haha, just kidding Carmen, dont kick-box me just yet)..

Like I say, this is all quite new to me and I can only go by internet research that I have done and with regard to information by people such as A J Mahari and Shari Schreiber as well as many others that BPD development is arrested at the age of 3..or 4..whatever.

You quote something about acting out roles by Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn..not sure what the relevance is here. Im not talking about isolated moments here. Im talking about 50 percent of the time. Yes indeed. And, maybe I forget to say, although I have said on posts before, my ex WAS abused (as far as I know physically, by her mother, and Im guessing also sexually by someone else)

Im taking your advice onboard and I appreciate your thoughts on DID onboard. I will check that out. Im just looking for common experiences. Many thanks for the link.
ontheway
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:29 pm
Local time: Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:25 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: The 'Child-like' aspects of BPD

Postby CarmenRose23 » Tue Feb 09, 2010 5:38 pm

OK defensive much? I'm not arguing with you don't get your panties in a bundle.

Childhood abuse has a VERY strong link to the arrested development...

The reference to the Role Playing I do with my Man is just talking about how a person can play and pretend to be someone they are not as a coping mechanism. Not all BDPers have arrested Development, it isn't even a part of the DSM.

I don't even remember writing on the Avoidence Personality board.

What do you think about the potential of DID...

Consider:
The lack of a sense of self is a core feature of the psychopathology of BPD, and psychoanalysts have traditionally linked this phenomenon to pathological splitting of the ego and object. Splitting is often very marked in borderline patients, who may engender powerful yet conflicting feelings in different members of the psychiatric team. Such splitting has traditionally been thought of as a ‘primitive’ defence mechanism that indicates arrested psychological development. However, it may be an appropriate response to abuse from someone who is also a parent or carer. Recent research confirms the link between splitting and sexual abuse and suggests that it may, in fact, be a relatively sophisticated psychological mechanism for dealing with traumatic experience (Calverley et al, 1994).
Cool on the internet
User avatar
CarmenRose23
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 384
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:49 am
Local time: Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:25 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: The 'Child-like' aspects of BPD

Postby ontheway » Tue Feb 09, 2010 5:48 pm

ontheway wrote:I don't even remember writing on the Avoidence Personality board.


I never said that you had. Did I ?!!

Anway, judging by any info I have gleaned ..(and Im not sure that its my call to analyse anyone, but, hey, trying to get to the bottom of this..) I can only say that my gut instinct is that she is BPD. Of the Impulsive type. With histrionic traits as far as I can tell anyway. My main reference being 'Personality Disorders in Modern Life' by Theodore Millon. She seems to fit the criteria like a glove.

So I dont think DID really comes into it. But interesting all the same.
ontheway
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:29 pm
Local time: Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:25 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: The 'Child-like' aspects of BPD

Postby CarmenRose23 » Tue Feb 09, 2010 6:00 pm

Wait...

Why are you trying to diagnose her?

Consider this... It takes doctors and patients working to gether for years occasionaly, to get a accurate diagnosis.

Even if you do, "figure it out"... to what end?

Let me share something with you.

My mother is a crazy person, and I promise you she hurt me far worse than your girlfriend hurt you… but… the reactions to abuse tend to be the same.

Anyway, I desperately wanted to know what was wrong with my Mom… So I could control it, so I could protect myself, so I could understand why she hated me so much that she tortured me. I became obsessed and the obsession is self destructive. Every time I thought I got closer I would realize a new detail that would pull me into a new direction… the obsession became confusing, I wanted her to fit certain diagnosis that I didn’t remember details the way I thought I was… eventually I ended up even questioning my own sanity. What if it was all imagined?!?

The truth is… you can never know.

You will never know. Trying to understand it is like grasping at wind.

The sooner you accept that. The better you are going to be…

In the mean time turn your focus inward and figure out what you are going to do with yourself.
Cool on the internet
User avatar
CarmenRose23
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 384
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:49 am
Local time: Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:25 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: The 'Child-like' aspects of BPD

Postby DowntownDC » Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:52 pm

ontheway wrote:One of the things that I noticed about by BPD ex straight away was her incredible 'child-like' personality ... She also displays incredible child-like wonder about the world around her, which was incredibly attractive to me.
That also is the most attractive feature of my ex, who has such a warm childlike personality that she is able to put complete strangers immediately at ease. They feel, after a half hour, that they've known her for a long time. I think of it as having a purity of emotions. In contrast, the rest of us experience a mixed set of emotions because we are better able to be in touch with all feelings at the same time.

That ability to live in the gray areas -- being so aware of conflicted feelings -- does not always work to our advantage. It often embarrasses us because the conflicting feelings are so readily betrayed on our faces, e.g., smiling lips accompanied by frowning eyes. And it causes us many a stumble or awkward hesitation when trying to express ourselves, particularly during intimate moments or when trying to favorably impress the relatives.

As to the child-like speech, if you are referring to speech that really does sound like a child talking, I would say that reflects only insecurity, not BPD per se. I have a good friend who, due to her insecurities, tries to disarm men by sometimes talking like a little girl. It is irritating, not endearing. I have met quite a few high functioning BPDs like my ex. None of them talk that way.
She LOVES kids movies and cartoons and childish, naive music and art, bright 'happy' colors.
On another forum, a BPDer said it is very common for borderlines to want to experience the childhood that was stolen from them. He claimed that it is not uncommon for BPDs to collect dolls and stuffed toy animals because they can love them without fear of abandonment or engulfment. I don't know how true that is.

I can say, however, that I met one BPDer like that. She was dating my foster son. From his stories, I could tell that she likely has strong BPD traits. I therefore was not surprised, when first seeing her apartment, to find that she had collected hundreds of little stuffed toy animals, all lovingly arranged in tidy groups all over the apartment.
DowntownDC
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 380
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2009 5:31 pm
Local time: Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:25 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: The 'Child-like' aspects of BPD

Postby applepie » Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:16 pm

Hi ontheway

I have BPD and oh gosh yes this is me to a T! It is also one of my 'traits' that partners have found attractive, my 'wonder of the world around me', the change of voice, my 'neediness, of course before diagnosis and therapy I had no idea I could be like this! I have also found that many other people with BPD have this 'childlike' way with them so, although I dont like to generalise, I think is is quite common.

Applepiexx
applepie
Consumer 5
Consumer 5
 
Posts: 118
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:19 am
Local time: Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:25 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: The 'Child-like' aspects of BPD

Postby Normal? » Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:39 pm

ontheway wrote:It always seemed like she had two personalities: The 'child-like' one and the 'normal, regular' one, where sarcasm and impatience seem to be the order of the day.. This is a woman of considerable intellectual prowess, highly opinionated, well educated and righteous and rigid when necessary. Whether this 'child-like' personality was to attract/manipulate me or not I cant say.


Hey Ontheway!

It is very close to Stout's identification of 'pity' as a tool for pyschopathy.

Dr. Stout upends the reader's notion of a Sociopath; warning that the real tell tale sign is not fear but pity. She states, "The most reliable sign, the most universal behavior of unscrupulous people is not directed, as one might imagine, at our fearfulness. It is, perversely, an appeal to our sympathy."

The pity play or attempt to appeal to the sympathy of others was also addressed in research conducted by the Minnesota Department of Corrections and The Hazelden Foundation (2002). There, researchers concluded that criminal thinkers most often attempt to control others by portraying themselves as a victim, turning to fear tactics only when the victim stance fails to get them what they want.

The act of eliciting pity from another unequivocally makes the elicitor something to be pitied, a victim, per se. It is human nature to aid the pitied. Hence, the pity play, or victim stance, stands to get the Sociopath what he or she wants easily and without being found out as a bad guy. This is manipulation. Manipulation is the tool of choice for smart criminal thinkers and, according to Dr. Stout, the Sociopaths amongst us. She says, "Sociopaths have no regard whatsoever for the social contract, but they do know how to use it to their advantage. And all in all, I am sure that if the devil existed, he would want us to feel very sorry for him."


(For a discussion of this see here:- narcissistic-personality/topic43819.html)

There are several reasons for this but they all oscillate around the same outcome. If an individual behaves like a child then you WILL NOT treat them as an adult. In other words, they will not be responsible for their behaviour. Their needs must come first. They are permitted to lie and throw tantrums when they do not get their way. They are to be forgiven for everything. They have a normal sense of entitlement. They need to be protected.

As you point out a lot of the behaviour makes complete sense when you consider the theory that BPD is a form of 'arrested development' (a term you use correctly) in which the 'real self' is frozen as a consequence of severe childhood trauma. I would argue that this 'trauma' is relational - i.e. it DEPENDS on the personality of the child (or their genetic make-up perhaps). This self has never developed or achieved maturity. Rather it has been fossilised because it's only desire is to avoid further pain. At this stage the 'false-self' takes over as a defence against this pain. BPD is thus a developmental arrest of the self and the ego in the pre-oedipal stage approximately between the ages of two to three. Masterson is very good on this:

The lack of this inner development is the key to borderline problems, which occur when a young child fails to separate her own self-image from that of her mother. This happens roughly between the ages of two and three, often because of a parent’s own emotional problems. A mother’s encouragement of a child’s self-assertion is vital. When the mother suffers from low self-esteem, she has difficulty encouraging her child’s emerging self. The child experiences this absence as a loss of self, creating feelings of abandonment that lead to depression. To deal with the depression, the child gives up efforts to support her emerging self. Instead, she relies on her mother’s approval to maintain the esteem of a "false self."

Some experts argue that the disorder is genetic; certain children simply are born lacking the capacity for an independent self. Others say environmental trauma plays a role; any life event between the ages of two and three that seriously affects the child’s ability to experiment or the mother’s availability can be a precipitating factor.


There are though two sides to this 'child'. Not only the immature behaviour but also the rage which some of us have witnessed too. This rage is an archaic drive which we have somehow 'triggered'. Since we all only learn how to control our rage through the process of maturity it is inevitable that the BPD will struggle with this emotion since THEY HAVE NOT EMOTIONALLY MATURED. They are still - in effect the child who was frozen in time so many years ago. They have not learnt through a process of trial and error, through experience, or through intellectually theorising how to manage that rage.

Does any of that make sense!
Last edited by Normal? on Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
This should have been a noble creature:
A goodly frame of glorious elements,
Had they been wisely mingled; as it is,
It is an awful chaos—light and darkness,
And mind and dust, and passions and pure thoughts,
Mix’d, and contending without end or order,
All dormant or destructive.
Normal?
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 1218
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:59 pm
Local time: Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:25 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: The 'Child-like' aspects of BPD

Postby CarmenRose23 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:41 pm

I am guessing it's the child like aspects that aroused Fresh and Down the most when they held down their victims.

I know it's Shocking how much a grown woman sounds just like a little girl when you wrap your meaty hands around her throat and rape her.

How wonderfull it must have been for them.
Cool on the internet
User avatar
CarmenRose23
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 384
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:49 am
Local time: Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:25 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Next

Return to Borderline Personality Disorder Forum




  • Related articles
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: adk98, AmorousDestruction, Caustic, Erato, xfa and 247 guests

cron