Reply To: Introducing Myself/On BPD and The Definition of Love



I have heard of James Fallon, but not the other guy. I do believe that sociopaths can change but their motives might not be the same as an empath’s motives, namely, to avoid harming others. A sociopath can learn how to behave within the acceptable social parameters if they have something to gain by it. But it’s not the same as having a moral compass or caring about others. Again, I also believe there is a spectrum and all people are different. If is not for any of us to judge your relationship with your father. I suspect that no matter what your father is or was, you will always love him. If it turns out you are repressing any anger toward him, I suspect it will come out some day when the time is right. There is a writer on this site – Travis Vining – who writes about his sociopathic father who is in prison. I enjoy his readings very much. He is one who’s taught me that people are complex.

My stepfather died about 27 years ago, to answer your question. We were actually close before he died. Our relationship, like yours with your own father, was very complex. I still miss him, and I still dream about him.

To answer your question about my emotions, no, it is not too personal. I appreciate the question because it gives me an opportunity to be precise in my communication. The exact emotional trait that is characteristic of a borderline is that they are very sensitive to abandonment, probably hundreds of times more than the average person. An example is that if a borderline is in a therapy session, and the therapist looks at her watch, the borderline may get up and walk out of the room. They will feel enraged but may be too overwhelmed to deal with it. It is really the rage toward the narcissistic parent who abandoned us in the first place. Once the rage comes out, there is grief. This can get triggered over and over until the person is able to process enough of the rage and grief to where they can find peace. This has happened for me over the years, but those early years were brutal, and I never thought I’d get better! I still get triggered by people I get close to, and by little things, too, but I have the awareness to know I’m being triggered, so I don’t dump my rage or hurt onto the other person. An example is if I call a friend a few times and she is busy or doesn’t call me back that week. When I get triggered, I usually just try to feel it and release it. But because I also disassociate, it can take a while to process strong feelings. But now I know when I’m triggered, and I know when I dissociate. I don’t believe normal people have this intensity of pain inside of them, and I don’t believe they dissociate. This is a unique outcome of being raised by narcissistic parents. For a young borderline who is in intense pain, they may not be able to handle the intensity of the pain. They go into crisis if they get close to someone, and do self destructive (and other-destructive) things. The key to my recovery has been to get the rage and grief out without destroying myself or anyone else in the process. I’ve had a few boyfriends who were strong enough to let me work some of it out with them. And some boyfriends who probably think I’m the devil. I don’t know if the abandonment pain will ever be completely gone, but it is much more manageable and doesn’t overwhelm my life. I’m capable of caring about others. I know when I’m triggered, and I know when I’m dissociating. I do believe that awareness is what brings us into a higher state of consciousness and is the key to recovery. I also laugh a lot and experience a lot of joy. But the feelings are never very far from the surface. I hope that answers your questions!

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