Trait Seven – Fears of falling apart or losing control
What We Know
I haven’t been able to find any research data on this trait so I am just going to wing it using the case study of one – myself. Losing control can mean many things to people with BPD. The obvious one for those of us who have anger issues is, of course, losing control of our anger and hurting someone. To others, it may be going over the edge of sanity and never coming back. Mine is much simpler than that. It is losing control of my life.
In order to survive in this world I had to cross all the ‘t’s and dot all the ‘i’s. As a child, I had no father and my mother was emotionally absent. That meant I had to nurture and take care of myself. I was a perfectionist, not so others would admire and love me, but so that I could have a plan and work to the plan. I was taking care of myself. During childhood, I compartmentalized myself. In my sports activities the goal was to be better than everyone else. Same applied to academics. Same applied to love. Whatever I did, I had to master it, to control it.
The fear behind it was not specifically losing control, it was falling apart. Because I did not have a firm foundation of being loved and therefore loving myself, I was always on shaky ground. That meant conforming to not only the expectation of others but also to the god I had created. There was no room for error. I not only could not commit adultery but I could not even think about adultery. I could not just get a 90% on a paper but it had to be 100 %. If I could not live up to my own impossible expectations then that meant I had failed, and failure meant I was no longer in control. Not being in control meant my world would fall apart.
And what does falling apart exactly MEAN. It meant never being able to complete those circuits in my brain. Never feeling the serotonin soothing after the dopamine rush. It meant never being able to experience my accomplishments, activities, and relationship going through the pleasure center of my brain. No endorphins, no healing from that pain that was deep inside my soul. Falling apart meant giving up. It meant that suicide was always there as a possibility. It was the ultimate solution if I could not eventually break through to the other side.
Hate to leave you here, but if you want my five suggestions for beating this thing you’ll have to wait for the next blog.
Check out my book of this topic, available on Amazon – In Search of the Lost Self by Lawrence J. W. Cooper