Relationships w BPD


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Why Can’t People with BPD Stay Full and Remember That They are Loved?

BPD adults have missed out on two essential developmental experiences that affect all their attachments.

  1. They can’t feel you and hold you as a constant loving being in their mind’s eye. You are either ‘good’, ‘bad’ or ‘absent’!  It’s called a lack of object constancy. So when Jackson went for a walk with Charlene just before they were preparing dinner the night of the threatened attack, she felt him as the good person, present with her. But the moment he wanted to do something else while she was preparing the dinner he became the ‘bad’ person, abandoning her and making her empty again.
  1. They have trouble imagining your intentions and needs. It’s known as trouble mentalizing. According to this theory of BPD, put forward by Bateman and Fonagy in their book, Psychotherapy for BPD, when Charlene gets angry that Jackson wants to do something else as she prepares the dinner, she cannot imagine that he may need the rest room, or need to check messages on his work e-mail, or just need to read a trade magazine. She imagines only that he is tired of her and wants to get away – hence the rage and threats. Mentalization based treatment is very successful in helping people like Charlene control their extreme feelings by learning how to read the intentions of their loved ones.

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