Abandoned

Many personality disorders are comorbid with psychopathy.  One of the most devastating disorders that may be present along side psychopathy is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).  This disorder is characterized by five or more of the following chronic symptoms:

  1. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in (5).

  2. A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation. This is called “splitting.”

  3. Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.

  4. Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating). Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in (5).

  5. Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior.

  6. Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).

  7. Chronic feelings of emptiness.

  8. Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).

  9. Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms.

I am a complex person.  Psychopathic traits have long run in the father’s side of my genealogy and severe mental illness runs in my mother’s side.  I happen to be afflicted with BPD as well as psychopathy.  Some facets of the disorder seem to be taken verbatim from psychopathy, such as the impulsivity and weak, or unstable, sense of self.  Item five is very similar to Cleckley’s diagnostic item of ‘suicide rarely carried out’.  One that seems curious is the intense fears of abandonment.  Many psychopaths that I’ve talked to do not have this trait in the slightest.  What happens when one is both psychopathic and deeply troubled by abandonment?  Well, everything seems to go to hell.

I am not the fondest of romantic relationships these days.  I have a deep distrust for people, due to my own upbringing and also as a result of being prepared for others playing games as my psychopathic symptoms coalesced.  However, there was a point in my life in which I did have a fondness.

I was once married as part of a long term relationship that spanned many years.  I’m not sure why I was attracted to them and I know that I never loved them in anything remotely approaching an emotional sense, but nonetheless I did enjoy their company and it felt wonderful to have someone other than an idiotic pet to come home to at night.  The relationship was very utilitarian and parasitic.  I would often manipulate them and play off of their morality in order to get what I desired – be it time together, attention, gifts, sympathy, so and so forth.  I remember one time that we had been fighting and it resulted in them being very angry with me.  Luckily, I accidentally hurt myself later that evening and milked the pain and suffering I felt to an extent such that they had to draw closer and drop their anger.  I remember other times that I would demean and denigrate them so that they knew who was really in charge of the household.  Ultimately, all it brought me was a sort of forced companionship.  I have no idea what the relationship brought them.

However, it was extremely difficult when they started the divorce proceedings.  I realized that my kingdom was crashing down around me.  Even though I did not love them in any fashion by that point, either emotionally or in a appreciative sense, I still was distraught with the possibility of being left alone.  I tried everything, including some quite underhanded tactics, to get them to continue the marriage.  I threatened suicide.  I reminded them how little of a chance they had to succeed in life without my financial and intelligent assistance.  Hell, I even, intentionally, exacerbated a breakdown to end up in the psychiatric ward, hoping that enough guilt could be placed on them to where they would stay.  Ultimately, it did not work.

The echoes of my fears of abandonment continue to this day.  I prefer to live with roommates that I can keep close – so long as they are beneficial to me.  Rarely am I alone, but equally as rarely do I make mutually healthy interaction with others.  I want my acquaintances close and on my terms so that I can have life around me, even if I cannot and will not make effort to appreciate their lives on any emotional level.  I often wonder how much of my manipulation of others is due to my latent fears of being without anyone.  How much do I manipulate, backstab, and offer false friendship simply because I do not want to be alone?  Ultimately I am, though.  I have living creatures all around me but feel no meaningful connection to any of them.  However, if those interpersonal relationships must end, I must be the one to pull the trigger.  The alternative is simply unacceptable.

 

Atimia
By Any Means Necessary

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    There was talk of renaming BPD as Emotional Dysregulation Disorder in the DSM-V. That didn’t happen, but the title seems apt. My BPD family member is intensely emotional – so much so that she cannot manage her emotions enough to function in society. Your “fear” of abandonment doesn’t seem to result from intense emotions. Where, then, would this need to retain people come from? Does it have to do with your flexible sense of self? Who are you when you’re alone?

    • Anathema says

      Let me respond to this in proper with a post in the coming days. There is a subtle difference between classic BPD and the symptoms I exhibit, even if both sets register as BPD. I was diagnosed with BPD long before I was diagnosed as psychopathic, so the interaction is also tricky to pin down.

      The long and the short of it is that the answer is complicated. One fascinating remark about psychopathy that I read somewhere, although I cannot recall where at the moment, is that it seems to be, for some, an unholy combination of borderline, histrionic (although to a much lesser extent), narcissistic, and antisocial features. It makes teasing out the individual features difficult at best.

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