Asking a pwBPD to get better may compare to asking a fish to live outside the water.
How could someone be willing to lose the skills they developed to survive and confront a self they don’t know? Sounds dangerous, and pwBPD are normally full of fear.
One of the main characteristics of BPD is the lack of self. It takes a lot of effort to become comfortable in a skin that feels foreign and not protective enough. Asking someone to give up that skin is too challenging because they know how difficult is to develop some confidence on how to navigate the world.
Most pwBPD know that their ways are not the best, but still, they know they are not like others and that they don’t have what others do. Their level of inadequacy is high already, and asking them to dare trying something else is taking the chance of failing, and they feel defeated enough already.
Another characteristic is thal living with the level of dysregulation in their nervous system plus the emotional intensity they experience in a regular basis is exhausting, and changing or improving may seem too much effort. It requires a level of energy and commitment that they don’t have.
We could also understand that the disorganized attachment they normally suffer from makes them feel needy and wanting to be in a relationship while at the same time not wanting the commitment and responsibility that being in a serious relationship (whether romantic, professional, social, etc) demands. They want but don’t want at the same time, which gives them a sense of freedorm.
Other important reasons for maintaining their status quo are:
the power they feel by controlling others,
the feeling of being alive when they provoke drama and strong feelings in others,
the comfort of accepting being dependant,
the sense of entitlement given by taking a victim position,
the attention they get,
the benefits from the type of experiences that their impulsivity provides, like promiscuity, the use of substances, etc.,
the easiness that dissociating gives them when they want to escape.
The cost of suffering from BPD is the lack of long term relationships but some pwBPD learn to find satisfaction in changing partners every few years. Every person they meet and stay with them for a little while provides them some experiences that they wouldn’t have otherwise. So, they pay the price with ‘gusto.’
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