Borderline Girl, Interrupted (Rebecca Ray's "Pure")

Uploaded 3/8/2022, approx. 35 minute read

Today, I want to share with you a masterpiece I had discovered.

In a bin, this is the book, it's titled A Certain Age. It was written by a 16-year-old at the time, 16, 17-year-old, Rebecca Ray, and it's an amazing read. It's written beyond well, it's brutal, it's unflinching, it's honest, and it is the best description I have ever read of the pathogenesis, the origin of borderline personality disorder in adolescence.

The book had been released under another title, Pure, again, Rebecca Ray. She went on to write other books and she became an art director of festivals and so on and so forth, but this is a true masterpiece.

As you can see, I bought it in a bin, it was discarded among many much less worthy books.

This book is nothing short of a masterpiece and it provides insight into the formation of borderline personality disorder all the way up to self-mutilation, self-harm, and through sexual precocity and other issues.

Now, what I would like to do, I would like to read to you short sentences and excerpts from the book and comment on them, so it was like it was going to be an annotated version of some of the things that had attracted my attention. Highly recommended, A Certain Age or Pure by Rebecca Ray.

You want to understand how people, especially women, become borderline, become borderlines, the emotional dysregulation, the emptiness, the inability to control one's life, the sexual acting out. You want to understand all these things. You absolutely must read this book.

Okay, let me read to you some excerpts.

I was about 13 when I started letting the boys fill me up. There was a whole bunch of them, 4 or 5. Some other boy I didn't really like would start putting his hand up my shirt. It was never some big major thing, they just did it while they were talking. I guess my teeth weren't as interesting. They kind of filled the gap. They were popular.

This raises two issues.

But before I go there, it is very interesting that cluster B personality disorders either have their pathogenesis, their origin, in early adolescence, or late in adult life.

For example, narcissistic personality disorder cannot be diagnosed properly before the age of 18 or 21. Some say 25.

Borderline personality disorder can and is diagnosed as early as age 12.

Psychopathy has an antecedent in adolescence, and in childhood, known as conduct disorder. Conduct disorder are psychopathic children.

The reason seems to be that borderline personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder, psychopathy, are actually brain abnormalities. There's some problem with the brain. The brain is a template, of course, upon which the environment and nurture operate, given a dysfunctional family, given an organic society, etc.

These brain malfunctions are amplified. They take over the personality.

But the foundation is cerebral. The foundation is neurological.

It's not the case with narcissistic personality disorder.

First of all, we go through two healthy phases of narcissism in childhood and in adolescence.

And second thing, the full manifestations of narcissism, pathological narcissism, require other people. Narcissism is an interpersonal disorder. It's a kind of a social disorder. It's a disturbance in object relations.

And so narcissism can manifest only when interpersonal relationships should come to fruition, and intimacy should be prevalent and discernible.

Anyhow, we see the first hints of borderline personality disorder with this 13 year old girl in the book, A Certain Age by Rebecca Ray, or pure, that's an alternative title.

This girl allows boys her age, peers, to fill her up, to touch her inappropriately, multiply. And she does it offhandedly. She is not emotionally involved in the acts. She doesn't offer herself. She's just there. She's an inert object.

People do to her whatever they want. And she's just passive. She just accepts their advances and their inappropriate touching and so on and so forth.

These are the first signs of borderline personality disorder, the emptiness, the deadness, the feeling that you're dead inside, that there's nobody, nobody essentially there.

You remove yourself from the scene. The whole thing is meaningless. Your emotions are numb and your affect is reduced. We call it reduced affect display.

The borderline looks very often as if she were a zombie, as if she were not present in the circumstances, as if she were far away, even in a dream state, kind of dreaming.

The 13 year old girl in the book did this, allowed her peers to molest her, in effect, because she wanted to be long. She wanted to be accepted.

That's another hallmark of borderline personality disorder, we should come to later.

Borderline adolescents are influenced by peers like all other adolescents.

I'll read to you a segment from the book.

She talks about another girl, her age, Holly, who is very admired. She's kind of idolized and everyone is looking up to her.

And she says about Holly, she went out to the city clubs with her sister, clubs you had to have ID for, clubs you had to be 21 for. But all the clubs let her in for free. She didn't even have to let the bouncers feel her teeth.

But I wasn't like her. I would never be like her. So I had to find another way of getting along. I had to let them feel me up.

I didn't like doing it, but I didn't really hate it either. It's one of those things you get used to. It was necessary. I knew I'd never really be one of them. They could tell me to fuck off whenever they wanted.

I never kidded myself. I knew that wasn't going to change, but I got to be sought after in a funny, dirty kind of way.

I got the wolf whistles and the stairs because I wanted them. And because I wasn't the kind of girl you had to like, I was the kind of girl you fucked.

I mean, girls with borderline personality disorder, because borderline personality disorder is of course diagnosed among men as well.

But girls with borderline personality disorder, adolescence, they usually leverage and discover the sexuality much earlier than comparable peers.

So we call it precocious sexuality.

And they use their sexuality to belong, to be accepted. They leverage their sexuality, to validate themselves, to modulate and regulate their sense of self-esteem and self-worth.

And this girl is no different. She is not really into it. It's not that she likes sex. She's not an informaniac, so to speak. It's not that she is hypersexed, or it's not even that she is discovering her sexuality. She's not.

This is not about sex at all. This is a trade-off. This is totally transactional.

Indeed, many women with borderline and histrionic personality disorder actually don't like sex at all. They use sex to obtain male attention, to get invited again to a club, to obtain free drinks, to be included in a group or a gang. They use sex to pay for benefits, very often minor benefits and services like having a place to crush at night or getting free drugs.

Girls with borderline personality disorder detach themselves, decouple themselves from their sexuality through the process of emotional numbing and reduced affect display. They kind of disconnect from themselves. They objectify their bodies and they give these bodies away as tokens, as coinage, as a monetary unit. They monetize their bodies in a way.

And so they learn to dissociate themselves from their bodies and gradually this dissociation takes over and borderlines become dissociative in everyday life, not only in stressful situations or where they have to hyper-sexualize themselves.

Borderlines often experience amnesia, derealization when the situation doesn't feel real, and depersonalization when they feel that they are not present in the situation.

This girl at age 13 is already experiencing the whole panoply and gamut of dissociation. She immediately makes clear, not that I did fuck them, any of them. Things never went that far. But still, they knew they could if that was what they asked for. And I guess it added up to the same. It felt good in a way though. I wanted to go to school every day. I wanted to hear their cat calls. I wanted to feel their hands. I guess I felt for the very first time like I'd been accepted.

I never thought I would be, you see. I never thought I would be. Things started off badly at high school and I never thought they would get better. My way was to let people touch me. It wasn't such a bad way really.

So girls with borderline personality disorder often have problems with social functioning. They fail to belong. They're excommunicated. They're excoriated and chastised and humiliated and mocked and ridiculed by their peers. And not only by peers, but also by teachers, sometimes by their own parents, neighbors, etc.

They are subject to a constant barrage of humiliating, degrading and excommunicating communication. And so they seek to belong almost at any cost, almost at any price. And when they do, when they do objectify themselves, self objectify and allow others to mistreat their bodies egregiously and with no boundaries, this girl clearly says, there were no boundaries and they wanted to fuck me. They couldn't.

She has no boundaries. By doing this, she feels alive. It's the harbinger. It's the beginning of self-harming and self-mutilation.

The borderline self-harms and self-mutilation in a variety of ways. She could use razors to cut herself. She could use cigarettes to burn herself with. Or she could use men to abuse her body and even rape her.

So the borderline self-harms with men. It's a process called self-trashing. She self-trashes with men and with groups of men.

Borderlines find themselves in situations where they have to accommodate groups of men. They pull a train or they gangbang her. And there's nothing she can do about it. She had placed herself in this situation, as we will see a bit later.

So, and she does all this because then she feels alive. The inner turmoil, the tumult, the chaos inside her is subdued by the gravity and the stress of the external circumstances.

Ironically, the risk and the novelty which imbue these circumstances, they ameliorate and mitigate her anxiety, not increase it. Risk ameliorates her anxiety. It doesn't increase it because it allows her to forget. The thing she wants to forget the most is herself. And the thing she regards as the number one threat is herself, not the world. There's nothing the world can do to her that is worse than being herself.

Then she finds a guy, his name is Robin, and they become kind of boyfriend and girlfriend, the borderline version. The borderline attaches to an intimate partner masochistically in effect.

She seeks to be trashed by the partner because she knows no better. She knows no other way of being noticed or feeling alive. She wants the intimate partner to self harm, to harm her and to mutilate her and to punish her and to trash her and to degrade her and despoil her, especially sexually. This is very common among borderline adolescents.

And we find, for example, much higher incidence of explicit video sexting and life coming among borderline adolescents, especially with much older men, which were an issue we will come to a bit later.

So she finds this guy and true to form, his sadistic, his disempathic, his self centered, it's pretty disgusting.

And she says about him, Robin never touched me. That was the first thing I noticed about him. And it was strange because he could have done, he could have touched me. He wasn't good looking, but he had this aggressive kind of confidence that made up for it, masochistically.

And he was pretty high up in the group. None of that mattered to me, of course, I would have let him touch me. In any case, I wondered why he'd be disgusted with me. He could have touched me too.

When Robin saw her being touched by other boys, they inserted their hands up their pants and fingered her and so on. When he witnessed this, he was disgusted.

And for the life of her, she can't understand why he's disgusted. She says, I wondered why he would be disgusted with me. He could have touched me too.

She interprets his disgust as jealousy. He's jealous of them. He wants to do it too. And she says, I don't understand. I would have let him do it. Why is this so angry? Why is this so disgusted?

She herself, she sees nothing disgusting, repulsive, reprehensible, morally unacceptable, personally unacceptable. She doesn't regard the fact that groups of boys finger her and so on as anything problematic. She doesn't see why would anyone else consider it as a problem or as an issue or as wrong or as disgusting. It comes as a shock to her. It comes as a surprise to her.

And this is something very common to many adolescent borderlines.

They do the most amazingly egregious, immoral, reckless, crazy things. And they can't for the life of them see what's wrong with these things.

There is a kind of compartmentalization.

Many of these borderline adolescents are very bright, even brilliant. And they can pass moral judgment on others. They can counsel others to have firm boundaries. They're very, they're more mature than the average, the average peer.

They are having, having to cope with borderline and attendant anxiety and depression lifelong. They grow up much faster. They're much more mature.

And so they are wiser, not only street wise, but truly wise. And yet they can't apply this wisdom to themselves. They don't understand what's wrong with them. Why do people look at them as if they're mad? And why are people shocked by their behaviors?

A borderline girl who would have sex with four much older men, one after the other in an obscure, obscure, sleazy apartment. She wouldn't see anything wrong with that. She would be surprised to hear that this behavior is unbecoming problematic or represents dysregulation and lack of boundaries or psychologically. I mean, she wanted to say it was fun to belong. I wanted to belong to them. I wanted them to like me. It was fun to be with them. There were free drinks. I enjoyed the nightclub was, you know, she would say something. She would justify herself. Self-justification in borderlines is infinite.

Actually, you can never convince them that they've done anything wrong, what their decisions are. And even though deep inside, they do feel ashamed and guilty, but they would never admit to it.

This is the grandiose part of borderline defense against devastating cognitive dissonance.

Because if the borderline were to look at her life objectively, she would fall apart. The things she had done and is doing are indefensible. They are extremely self-defeating and self-destructive. They're life-threatening sometimes.

The recklessness, for example, is immense.

And so borderlines can't face this.

So they have these grandiose defenses, denial, and other psychological defense mechanisms. And you can't penetrate these. You can't penetrate these. Sometimes it's dangerous to penetrate these.

If you undo the borderlines denial, she has to face the facts. And worst of all, she has to face herself. That's not always recommendable, even in therapeutic settings.

So she can't understand why Robin is disgusted with her behavior. And she says, I had no new friends. I didn't want to lose them. I couldn't lose them. Not after being so happy. I didn't want to be myself again.

When the borderline engages in unbounded and dysregulated behaviors, when borderline decompensates and acts out and so on, she misinterprets the reduction in anxiety as happiness. And she doesn't want to be herself. That's the core issue in borderline.

The desperate wish to not be herself. The borderline firmly believes that she is unlovable, unworthy, defective, deformed, broken, damaged, repulsive, repugnant, etc. She believes that if anyone would get close enough to her, he would run away screaming. Her fear of abandonment, her separation insecurity is founded on this self-perception as unlovable.

So she doesn't, borderline doesn't want to be herself. She wants to be someone else. And she isn't a constant act. She's acting. She's an actress. She constantly acts, simulates and emulates that someone else. And that someone else is fun and free-spirited and carefree and independent and so on. And she wants to be that someone else because she believes that who she is is insufficient and even repelling. And so she prefers to be that someone else.

And when someone gets close to her, when someone becomes intimate with her, she's terrified of imminent abandonment and rejection. Getting to know her better is a guarantee that such rejection is forthcoming. She anticipates the humiliation of having been rejected. And so she does her best to push the intimate partner away.

And this approach, avoidance, there is this dance of approaching the intimate partner, being terrified of engulfment and rejection and abandonment, and then redrawing. Pre-emptive abandonment or just redrawing in order to avoid the pain, the inevitable pain and hurt of rejection.

There's also the issue of engulfment and enmeshment because the borderline is never herself. She's never herself. She's terrified of disappearing altogether. She has alloplastic defenses so she blames the intimate partner for not being herself. She says, I'm not myself with you. You don't allow me to be myself. You want to change me. You want to transform me. You want to kill me. You want me to disappear and reappear as someone else. Or you just want to kill me. Paranoid ideation.

So the borderline is always terrified of engagement and enmeshment because she perceives the intimate partner for someone who is pushing her to get rid of herself and adopt another self, a new self more suitable for the intimate partner.

And here we come to a very difficult segment in this exceedingly difficult book. It's a very difficult book to read. It's totally dystopian. There's not a single redeeming character or feature. Everything is hyper, is super realistic and reality is harsh. The book is relentless. It doesn't allow you to rest for one minute. It shocks you every single page. It was written by a 16 year old. My God, I'm beyond impressed.

She writes about Robin, her alleged boyfriend, ostensible boyfriend. She writes, I hated him touching me. Letting him do it made me feel sick. I hated the feel of his hands. I hated the look in his eyes. I hated my body and I think he knew it. And it was weird. Letting Joel and all those other boys fill me up. Letting all those other boys touch me had not been disgusting. I hadn't really cared. I only knew that it helped and they liked me and that suddenly I had friends.

But Robin wanted to make me feel good when he did it, when he touched me. I guess that was the difference. And I didn't want to feel good. I didn't want to like it. The idea of liking sex seemed kind of gross.

The borderline when she rejects herself and because she's oversexed, the borderline identifies her sexuality as her main currency. She offers her sexuality as the first thing. She realizes her internal emptiness and she has a very low self esteem or low sense of self worth. So she thinks the only thing she can offer is sex. So she does.

That's a way of making sure that she has friends or making sure that she has an intimate partner or boyfriend or husband later on. Sex is the coin edge of the realm. That's how she pays for everything. She's very transactional in effect.

But her sex is intimately connected with her body and she hates her body because her body is herself. Her self is sexualized. But her sex is self objectifying and relies on this object called the body.

So the identification is total. The self is the sex and the sex is the body. So the self is the body. So she rejects her body. That's why she shares her body freely with everyone. She gives it away. That's why she likes being self trashed, degraded sexually, humiliated, even raped or sexually assaulted because it affirms her sense of rejection of her body. It's like other people by objectifying her body, by trashing her sexually agree with her. They are agreeing with her. They're telling her you're right. You're right to hate your body.

So this ameliorates her anxiety. She hates her body. Men hate her body. Men abuse her body. Men use her body. So they're all on one page. They're all on one page. They all agree that her body is a despicable object, despicable object to be despoiled and degraded and dissected if possible. So as long as she has sex with other boys or sex acts with other boys and they show no emotion for her and they use her body as a mere receptacle, as a container, as an object and not a very appealing one and that just happens to be there. She's fine. It actually reduces her anxiety. She feels happy. She feels that she belongs because they're all on the same page. They all agree her body is public property, public domain. It's a worthless object. It's, it's valueless. It has no, it has no, it's not priceless. It has no price. It's zero. It's, it's just for the taking.

And so it affirms her self-perception, which is always anxiety reducing.

When people agree with you, your anxiety is reduced.

So she hates her body. They objectify her body and trash it.

And so she's happy.

But when someone comes along like Robin and falls in love with her and he wants to make her feel good, suddenly she realizes that her body has a value, that her body can give her pleasure, that her body can afford pleasure to her intimate partner and that her body is in, is connected inextricably with love.

And these are things she cannot countenance and cannot accept because if she were to love her body, she would be forced to love herself. She would be forced to confront herself. She would have forced to become self-cognizant and self-aware.

And that is something she cannot afford because the pain inside her is too much, is life threatening. If she were to connect with her body, that would unleash torrents and tsunamis of agony and pain and hurt that she would never survive.

11% of borderlines commit suicide. She can't afford it. She needs to remain one step removed from her body. She needs to be an observer or a spectator. She needs to use her body as an instrument and a tool of gratification for others. She needs to trade her body transactionally. She needs to not be there. She needs to be dead and to dissociate when men do to her whatever it is they do to her.

If she were to re-occupy her body, re-inhabit a body, she would be re-entering her body. If she were to realize through another's gaze how valuable she is, how lovely, how precious, how dear, she would collapse.

She can't love herself because to love yourself, you need to be in touch with yourself.

And this is one thing the borderline can never do, can never be in touch with herself. It's simply life threatening.

So she needs to numb herself. She needs to walk away. She needs to wander off. She needs to not be there exactly like narcissism.

Borderline is about absence, not about presence. And nothing makes you feel more present than love, the loving gaze of another.

Seeing yourself through the loving gaze of another brings you down to earth, grounds you, forces you to be in touch with yourself.

And there's nothing the borderline fears more and abhors more.

Ironically, when she comes back to herself or forced to come back to herself, when she is forced to contemplate herself through another's gaze, she feels at risk of vanishing or disappearing or dying because deep inside there is nothing, just the dead spiraling neutron star, an emptiness, a black hole of infinite proportions, having consumed what used to be a beautiful girl.

And then she meets someone and that's in the book. Again, the book is a certain age or pure by Rebecca Ray.

So the girl, the protagonist who remains nameless throughout the book, by the way, she's 13, going on 14 years old, and she meets someone who is twice her age. That is also very common among borderline, borderline adolescent girls. Age inappropriate, age inappropriate relationships, age inappropriate sex. They have sex digitally or in real life with men much older than them. People call it by mistake, dad issues. These are not dad issues. This is their way of extreme objectification and annihilation of themselves, removing themselves from the scene, so to speak.

Anyhow, she says, I let him kiss me when he dropped me off that much older man. I let him kiss me when he dropped me off. I guess he had paid for dinner.

We see the transactional mindset here. He had paid for dinner. The only thing she can give back is not her presence, not her conversation, not her youth, not her livelihood, not her beauty, nothing. The only thing she can give back is her sex.

I let him kiss me when he dropped me off. I guess he had paid for dinner, transactional sex, courtesy sex. I wondered what Oliver, that's the older guy, the guy who is twice her age. I wonder what Oliver had thought of me. He didn't even know my surname. Mysterious and secretive, I thought.

That's the way she conceives of herself as mysterious and secretive.

Ironically, the borderline is mysterious and secretive, but to herself.

She absolutely has no access to herself. She is an enigma to herself.

So this kid who is 14 years old, she says, he probably thought that I were mysterious and secretive, independent, wild. I knew pretty early on that I'd let Oliver fuck me. It seemed like a natural progression. It wasn't like a decision or anything. I just didn't have a lot of choice. He was grown up after all. I would have let him do it straight away.

I thought it would happen the first time that I went to his flat. I couldn't think of much else two people could do inside the flat. I was nervous the first time I walked in there, sort of like there wasn't turning back.

This single paragraph contains numerous, numerous pointers and indicators of adolescent borderline personalities.

First of all, the transactionalism. He paid for dinner. I have to give him six.

Second thing, the dreamy, fantastic self-perception, grandiose and mysterious, secretive, independent, wild.

Third thing, the inexorability of it all, the external locus of control. There's nothing she can do about it. She says it seems like a natural progression.

He was a grownup. I couldn't think of much else people could do. There wasn't turning back. It's out of her control. It's out of her hands. She's just a passive inert object.

Men operate on her. Men use her as an object. She is not there. She is not an agent. She has no agency. She makes no decisions.

That's very typical of borderline, this external locus of control.

The reason is that the borderline's intimate partner regulates what we call her eco-boundary functions. In other words, the borderline outsources her internal processes to the intimate partner and he becomes an extension of her mind. He kind of takes over her mind.

Of course, she has this feeling that she's a puppet, marionette, a ventriloquist puppet. Because she can give nothing else but sex, everything is imbued with sexuality and interpreted via the prism of sex.

Once he has touched my teeth, I thought, I'd be pretty much on safe ground. You cannot dump someone straight after doing that.

So she regards sex not only as a token, a monetary coinage, a monetary unit, but she regards it as a guarantee of longevity of relationships. It's something, it's a talisman, it's a protection against abandonment. If she lets him touch her breasts, she would be on safe ground because he would not dump her straight after doing this.

Sex guarantees presence, the presence of the intimate partner. She's terrified of abandonment and rejection, but if she gives him sex magically, and it's a form of magical thinking, magically he would get addicted or perhaps he would feel uncomfortable, shame and guilt, guilt-ripping, shaming, and he would not abandon her.

The only way to secure his presence in her life is to keep giving him sex.

I was 14 now, she says. I was an adult, not a schoolgirl, no way, liberated, independent, a kind of woman who has somewhere to go, someone to see.

And I wondered why I'd want to smile, why I'd want to when I wasn't even happy.

So we see a clash between grandiosity, I'm liberated, I'm empowered, I'm going somewhere, etc., between her grandiosity and her profound, profound sadness and unhappiness.

Like most borderlines, she uses vulgar speech, borderlines use very vulgar speech, reminiscent of the lingo or jargon of sex workers, borderlines sound a lot like sex workers.

On the one hand, and on the other hand, she uses euphemisms. She wouldn't say, for example, I'm sad, I'm heartbroken. She would say I'm unhappy.

She never uses colorful words, extreme words, precise words. She uses mild euphemisms. She kind of smooths everything.

Languages is both neutral and pretty meaningless, has no nuances, doesn't convey much.

The language becomes a control mechanism. If I don't say it, it's not going to attack me. If I don't use the right word, I'm not going to get in touch with my dysregulated emotions. They're not going to overwhelm me. If I don't say that I'm unhappy, if I don't say that I'm sad, maybe I will not be sad, and maybe this sadness will not consume me.

So she uses these euphemisms, invulgarity, combined for a girl age 13 or 14.

She uses fuck and fucking every second sentence.

And then she has this conversation. I didn't think you'd let me go. Nothing happened.

It came out too loud. And I had to look away then. I wanted to go. I knew you wouldn't let me. So she's arguing with her father. Father says, how did you do that? It's so stupid. It's so reckless. It's so dangerous. How did you go out alone with a man twice your age into his apartment, to his apartment? I mean, it could have ended badly. Didn't I teach you better? And she says, I didn't tell you because I didn't think you'd let me go. Plus nothing happened. She protests, but it came out too loud and I had to look away then. And she says to her father, I wanted to go. I knew you wouldn't let me. I said slowly. That's all. I wanted to be reasonable. I wanted, I don't know. He was looking, her father was looking for an answer, I guess, some reason that would make it all perfectly natural, perfectly understandable.

So the borderline is manipulative. She would hide things. She would lie and she would rationalize thoughts and behaviors which can never ever be justified.

But her defense is so strong that she would believe her own rationalizations and confabulations.

It's not like she, very often it's not like she were lying. She's not lying like the psychopath does. It's not premeditated, but it's an instantaneous defense. She just hides things passive aggressively. It's a little like the covert narcissist. She hides things. She glosses over things. She ignores things. She doesn't tell. She lies by omission rather than by commission.

So she wouldn't, she wouldn't actively spin a tail, but she would omit crucial, super critical details. She recast and reframes events so they don't sound and look anything like what really had happened.

All in all, she gives the impression of prevaricating and lying constantly.

And the father says, maybe I did something wrong. I mean, maybe it's my own fault. Who else's fault could it be? I didn't answer him, she says. He was right. It had to be someone, somebody's fault. Not his fault though. Not his, when he was almost crying. When he had done so much for me. Never ever his. It had to be my own.

So borderlines after they act out, after they behave recklessly, after they do crazy or socially unacceptable thing, like participate in a gang bang or something like that, they feel very uncomfortable, ashamed, ego, dystonic and guilty. They cheat on an intimate partner. They feel very guilty and so on. And then they switch from alloplastic defense to autoplastic defense. That's why Kernberg said that borderline is on the border between neurosis and psychosis.

Borderlines have both sets of defenses. They are in some respects, they're very much like psychopaths and narcissists. In other respects, they're very much like neurotics.

So they tend to blame themselves. But first they act. They act thought unthinkingly. They just decompensate, they disintegrate, they switch from one such state to another and become psychopathic and narcissistic and they act.

And when they act, they dissociate very often or reframe in a way that removes all emotions from the act.

And then the day after or an hour later or a minute later, they have ego dystony, they feel ashamed and guilty and so on. It's a brilliant book. And the best introduction I've ever come across in 26 years in this racket, the best introduction I've ever come across to adolescent borderline, a masterpiece, A Certain Age by Rebecca Ray, titled Alternatively Pure.

I'm continuing to read from the book. Spending the night with someone meant having sex with them. It was just the next step. Like snogging a block, kissing a block, is the next step after meeting him. Thinking about it, it sounded like one long slope. Once you were on there, it was just too much effort to stop.

This excerpt describes the borderline's lack of boundaries because she feels overwhelmed and dysregulated and out of control. So lack of boundaries, that is the outcome of an external locus of control. It's an extreme situation where you feel that the control is so much outside yourself, that your actions are so determined from the outside, there's no point in placing boundaries.

It's too much of a struggle and it's unlikely to succeed.

She continues, it hurt, it hurt a lot, but it didn't matter. I suppose that nothing ever matters, not really.

Remember I mentioned the emotional numbing, removing yourself from the scene, a reduced effect display.

She continues, this is the first time she's lost her virginity to this guy who is twice her age and it hurt a lot. But even though it had hurt, she says it didn't matter. Nothing ever matters, not really.

But when he fucked me, there was nothing in my mind. And I wanted so much to pull away. Just make him get off. Just make him stop everything, to push him out. I'd hide, I'd hide, I thought. I'd close my legs. I'd run.

But I didn't pull away from him. I didn't move. Every muscle tight against him, I lay there as he hurt me and hurt me. And I didn't pull away. I lay strained, rigid, and I waited for it to be over. I think I'm in love with you, she says to her much older lover, the guy who took her virginity, popped her cherry. I think I'm in love with you.

It was easy to savoury, whispering, like I had my fingers crossed behind my back. And it made me think of Milton Boone, the famous publishers of romance literature. I don't know, it made me think of stupid things, a whole load of bullshit. I wish I'd never heard of romance. Stupid, nasty shit.

This is her defence. Deep inside, she's very dreamy. She's very romantic.

Borderlines are prone to casual sex and promiscuity. It's one form of reckless behaviour.

But when they do engage in these practices, they superimpose a fantasy on the situation. They create a fantasy in their minds. This fantasy is a whole story. A whole story with a man where the man she's sleeping with has a role, she has a role, and it's a dreamlike state. It's a trance state.

The superimposition of fantasy on situations which are absolutely dreary, sleazy, reckless, dangerous, risky, disgusting, this superimposition of a fantasy is of course a defence. Fantasy is a defence mechanism.

Her fantasy is romance. Romantic fantasies are very common among people with borderline personalities.

Injecting romance into a situation which is anything but romantic is a defence against cognitive dissonance.

But she rejects this defence. She's furious that she is so weak that she needs, that she resorts to this defence.

On the one hand, she does. She tries to transform the situation into a love affair. She says to him, I think I'm in love with you. And she keeps her fingers crossed. And she's whispering. And she thinks of Millson Boone, the publishers of romance literature.

So she imposes the fantasy, but she resents it. She rejects her own frailty and vulnerability. And then she immediately resorts to the disembodied, depersonalised, derealised, dissociative, harsh, vulgar voice.

She says, and I won't be in love with him, wouldn't I? Of course I would. He had just fucked me.

So she says it's nothing to do with romance. It has to do with sex. Sex makes you fall in love. Sex is an inevitable, inexorable outcome of sex. And sex is objectified. Sex is nothing because my body is nothing. I'm nothing. And I'm not there. It's not nothing to do with romance. It's a kind of addiction, an addictive reaction.

And he says, I think I'm in love with you too. And she is already far removed from the fantasy. She woke up from the fantasy. She disillusioned and she says, no, you are not.

She says about herself, I don't think my mouth was meant for words. My mouth was meant for other things.

Her friend Dawn says to her, he is not a nice man, she said. He can't be.

I nodded, looking at her. But she didn't seem to realize that I didn't really care.

Lying, the borderline lies first and foremost to herself. And then lying comes naturally as a defense against a world that judges her, a world that constantly criticizes her and the voices, the introjects inside their head that are doing the same.

The borderline is an extremely harsh and sadistic inner critic or superego.

So lying comes naturally to narcissists. Although these are not the same lies the psychopath tells. The psychopath tells lies in order to obtain goals, is goal oriented.

The borderline tells lies in order to distance herself from herself and from intolerable unbearable situations because she's afraid to fall apart.

And the girl in the book says it wasn't difficult. Thinking about it, it wasn't difficult at all to lie. Just another lie. It hadn't been a big lie. Not big at all. And I didn't think it'd be any bigger if I gave it to Oliver too.

There's this rationalization and minimization, minimizing the situation. It's a lie, but it's not a big lie.

You know, borderlines always do this. They minimize everything.

I slept with him, but I was drunk. I cheated on you, but I didn't know what I was doing. Or I cheated on you, but he meant nothing to me. This kind of thing.

They try to minimize the situation. He touched me all over and we gave each other oral sex, but it wasn't full fledged sex. Or yeah, I met him, but there's always some kind of story to minimize what had happened.

And she is no exception to this girl.

But this time, by the way, in the book, she is already self mutilating. She's cutting and cutting severely.

At one time she counts the cuts and she says that she has between 50 and 100 cuts. That is severe self mutilation.

She's really, really in bad shape. She's really in bad shape.

All right, then, he said, like he had made a decision. I didn't speak. It wasn't up to me.

External locus of control. I listened to myself and I wondered how I got here. It all seemed very fast. There was nothing I could do about it, though. I could only keep running and hope that things wouldn't catch up. I could only go forward.

Except I didn't want him to be cross Oliver. Not again. Not when I wasn't ready.

I wanted to make him happy. That's a people pleasing element in borderlines.

Ironically, borderlines were often aggressive and violent and act out and very, very, I mean, frequently resemble psychopaths, at least secondary psychopaths.

Ironically, they're people pleases. They are so crucially dependent for their internal regulation on others that they need to please others. They want to be accepted. They want to be long. They want to feel safe. They want to feel regulated. They want to feel level headed. They want to feel stable.

And only other people can provide them with this.

So, they would give anything and everything. That's why borderlines are extremely sexually promiscuous because they give sex in order to secure the presence of other people in their lives.

And these other people could be casual acquaintances, a group of men, a single man, a date, an intimate partner, the neighbor, anything.

Borderline was simply offered sex, but not only sex. There are borderlines who are not hypersex and they do not offer sex as the only kind of money or coinage. Theyoffer other things.

But most borderlines are people pleases because they're weak. They're weak inside. There's a substantial fragility and vulnerability of the internal system. It's rigid because it's trying to hold itself together.

But it's not doing a very good job. It's borderlines of what we call identity disturbance.

So, they try to please people. That's what she says. I wanted to make him happy.

The language breaks down with borderlines, as I had mentioned.

She says in the book, the words had no real meaning. And I just said they're on my own.

It was funny that it brought no feeling either. And I knew that there should be some emotion here. I knew there should be something.

I felt a little like I'd lost the race. There wasn't any feeling. There was nothing.

Like gobbing someone off, I thought. Gobbing is oral sex. Like gobbing someone off, I thought.

I guess it didn't really matter who. I've never chosen anything I said. I spent a lot of time here. Hours talking to him. Funny though, there wasn't much I could remember.

And then her father accuses her. You have to just push and push and push till everything's ruined.

That reflects, of course, her anxiety. And the borderline finds herself disoriented, unable to decipher reality, amnesia, dissociative.

It's a terrifying state to be. It's like floating, drifting above yourself, like an out-of-body experience. And she becomes very relentless, very nagging, very insistent. It's a form of clinging, clinging and neediness.

And it is ruinous. It is ruinous for relationships. And it drives other people to misbehave and punish the borderline in many ways.

And this is what her father says too.

This is really a small selection from a book, which is a pure crystal. I can't recommend it enough. I don't know where you could get it. I think Amazon has a few copies.

A Certain Age, Rebecca Ray, titled alternatively Pure by Rebecca Ray. Thank you very much, Rebecca.

I corresponded with her a few days ago, and I thanked her personally for providing me this deep insight into the soul of an adolescent borderline.

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