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Hallucination or a defense mechanism?

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Hallucination or a defense mechanism?

Postby mirracle4 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 9:55 am

I am writing an article, of sorts, on the topic of BPD, and I am hoping that some people in this forum can help me by providing an opinion.

I was in a personal (or intimate, romantic, or whatever you want to call it) relationship with someone suffering from BPD. Towards the end of our relationship, we got into an argument in which she broke something of mine. I got angry at her, and while I admit that it was immature of me to do (and had I known more about BPD at the time, I wouldn’t have reacted in this way), but in return I attempted to draw on her jacket with a pen that I was holding. She grappled me and threw me to the ground, grabbed the pen from my hand, slammed it on the ground, and then, basically stabbed me in the chest with it (which, personally, I did not think was a big deal because it only scratched me). Then she left.

However, when I went to talk to her (peacefully) a few days later, she seemed calm and we talked peacefully, but she told me that she was upset because I was trying to stab her with a knife (which, obviously, had never happened and I would never do—I never even carried a knife on me, ever). Anyway, we got back on good terms, but later she again (peacefully) mentioned that I was “threatening her with a knife” (which made me think that she really believed that I had a knife, which I didn’t).

Since I cannot talk to this individual any more (due to reasons that are not related to this incident), I am hoping that somebody on this forum can give me some insight.

I have done a lot of research on BPD since then, and I came up with two possible explanations. Do you guys think that she really ‘saw’ a knife in my hands (instead of a pen), meaning that she hallucinated? If so, do you guys think this was a re-experiencing of an event that may have occurred in her childhood (as in, can it be possible that someone in her childhood threatened her with a knife? I met her dad once and he had a knife on him. I also read once that an individual with BPD, as a child, had their dad put a gun to their head [in order to get ‘answers’ from the mother about cheating on him])?

Or, was the fact that she said that I was trying to stab her with a knife sort of ‘psychological defense mechanism’ (As in, maybe she felt bad for stabbing me with a pen and her subconscious ‘put the blame’ on me so that she wouldn’t have to feel bad for what she did)? But then, why would she mention a knife?

I’m not mad at her in the slightest bit. I’m not even in any kind of legal trouble because of it. I’m just trying to figure out the most likely explanation as to why she would say that I was trying to stab her with a knife (so that I can write a good article on BPD (because I have true compassion for those suffering from this disorder)).
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Re: Hallucination or a defense mechanism?

Postby Pairou » Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:07 am

Sometimes we just do/say things and there's no real reason for it, but once it's out there it becomes our truth.
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Re: Hallucination or a defense mechanism?

Postby Convocation » Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:54 am

I can only assume based off my personal experiences. I personally hate lying and so if I wasn't sure if there was a knife but I was threatened, I would say I thought I saw a knife but I'm not sure. However, if I said it with such conviction, I would mean that I truly saw it. The origin of these hallucinations is totally up in the air, until you talk to her about it you'll never know. It could range from a nightmare to a traumatic experience. However, as a writer, I would not say what she perceived (whether it was a hallucination or not, and where it originates from) because you just don't know. That's up to the audience to interpret, imo. Nothing wrong with admitting you don't know, it even adds an element of reader engagement in the story. Not everything is given to them, some is up to imagination.
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Re: Hallucination or a defense mechanism?

Postby RamadanSteve » Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:41 am

I have BPD and I've never done anything like that and never would. She nay have been trying to manipulate you but if that was the case then she is a very poor manipulator. I'm a male and have a female friend who also has BPD and she sometimes recalls past incidents completely false but that's just because she's shifty. I've called her out on it before and she shut up real fast. I think the thing you really need to realize is that not everyone who is diagnosed with BPD is the same, and in fact we can be wildly different from one another. She could also have more mental issues than just BPD. All BPD is, is a set of (9) different destructive traits, if we meet 5 of these then we technically have BPD then. There are people I've known with BPD who are interesting and awesome in my opinion, good people, and then there are those I've met that I thought were complete pieces of garbage and self absorbed idiots.

Do you even know for sure if she even has BPD? She could be misdiagnosed even so. She could also have other psychological issues that may have contributed to her thinking that you were going to stab her. I wasn't there so I really can't make an accurate value judgement on wether or not it looked like you could have been violent. Anyway, I appreciate your compassion for people with BPD. having BPD can really suck but honestly I wouldn't rather be anyone else. I'd rather embrace my self destructive void and turn it into art rather than be "normal". The reason I say this is because I don't really feel that you should have an excessive amount of pity for people with BPD, when people show me that they do I find it really patronizing and I don't really feel sorry for myself anyway. Yeah I had a ###$ up childhood and all that $#%^ according to most people's standards but it's not like I'm a starving African child, it's not like I live in abject poverty, etc. Ok so this post has been wayyy too long but hopefully I could help.
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Re: Hallucination or a defense mechanism?

Postby Una+ » Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:30 pm

This behavior could be lying, or could be confabulation.

Confabulation is very common in people who have any kind of disorder that features amnesia. The confabulation "fills in the gaps". To a person living with amnesia accepting that there are these gaps, sometimes very significant gaps, can cause intolerable anxiety.

Amnesia is not a feature of borderline PD. This former girlfriend may have an additional disorder or a different disorder. One possible different disorder would be dissociative identity disorder, DID; DID often is misdiagnosed as BPD and always involves amnesia.
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