Borderline Seeks Fantasy but Flees to Reality

Uploaded 2/23/2023, approx. 4 minute read

Vaknin, stop it! You're all screaming in unison. What on earth has happened to you on TikTok? On YouTube, you were serious and scholarly and iridite and deep and sagacious. See how many words I know?

But on TikTok, you are snippety. You are soundbite. What's wrong with you?

We want something more substantial. We want borderline personality disorder.

Be careful what you wish for. My name is Salvaknin. I'm your favorite blue professor of psychology and the author of My Being and Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited.

Let us talk about borderline personality disorder.

Is there anything to be said that hadn't been said before? I think there is and I've been saying these things for years now.

Borderline personality disorder is diagnosed among men and women almost equally nowadays.

I'm going to use the female gender pronoun because until recently, until about 20 years ago, the majority of people diagnosed with borderline personality disorder have been women.

Talk about gender bias.

Borderlines, people with borderline personalities, or borderlines for short, pendulate. They vacillate. They move or shift between or switch between two anxieties.

One anxiety is known as separation insecurity. Colloquially, it's called abandonment anxiety.

But the borderline is another type of anxiety, engulfment or enmeshment anxiety.

The anxiety of being consumed by the partner, subsumed, assimilated, digested, never to be seen again.

Now these twin anxieties, the fear of being rejected and abandoned by the partner and the fear of being assimilated and consumed and subsumed by the partner.

These twin anxieties create an approach avoidance repetition compulsion. The borderline approaches you as an intimate partner. Then she avoids you. I hate you. Don't leave me. During the avoidance phase, the borderline seeks to become more grounded in reality. It's a futile effort. She can't succeed because of her internal dynamics.

I've discussed this in many videos on my YouTube channel.

So during the avoidance, the borderline seeks to become more grounded, more realistic, more self efficacious. And she again tries to do this through the agency of someone. She doesn't have her own agency. She regulates externally. She relegates and outsources her internal processes to others, especially intimate partners.

And during the avoidance phase, she finds a sexual partner or a special friend. And she coerces them, literally forces them to regulate her by bringing her down from the clouds to earth by grounding her by providing her with the kind of feedback or input which will structure her cognitions and keep her emotions in check.

This is the avoidance phase.

And it is during the avoidance phase that the borderline is more relaxed. She's more calm. Her anxieties are much reduced.

But she begins to develop depression, debilitating depression very often. And then to get rid of the depression and because of mounting abandonment anxiety, she reverts to the approach phase. She swings from avoidance to approach. It's part of the cycle. She reenters a world of fantasy, a simulation in which her intimate partner provides the external regulation. He stabilizes her moods. He regulates her emotions or affects. He is the rock around which she constructs herself. He provides a secure base, stability, safety.

This is during the approach phase.

But all these functions are derivatives of a joint fantasy, a fantasy of merger, an infusion with a partner, fantasy of becoming one, a single organism, we against the world, a cult like setting.

That's why narcissists are best equipped to be the intimate partners of borderlines because they operate in romantic relationships via a shared fantasy.

The prevailing mode of interaction of the narcissist when he is in an intimate relationship is a shared fantasy.

The borderline then merges, offuses with her significant other, becomes a single organism, outsources her mind to him. And then of course she feels engulfed and enmeshed. And the cycle restarts. I hate you. Don't leave me.

I mean, that's what the borderline says. And I'm telling you the same. Don't leave me. Stay here in this TikTok garden with so many luscious fruits of the mind of Sam Vaknin. That's me, your favorite professor of psychology. See you next time.


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