When the borderline comes across a narcissist, a magical alchemy takes place.
Indeed, many borderlines tend to team up with narcissists in intimate relationships.
The borderline narcissistic couple is a very well-established clinical fact.
Why do borderlines gravitate to narcissists? Why do they seek them out?
There are many answers to this, and Joanna La Chapelle tackled this issue in my view, most profoundly, when she said that the borderline and the narcissist trigger each other's wounds, what she calls the V-spot, the vulnerability spot.
And so by triggering each other's wounds, they're actually catering to each other's needs, emotional needs.
That's one answer, and I'm sure it's completely valid.
But there's another, and the other answer is dual mothering.
Now, you remember from my conversations, from the conversations I had with Richard Grannon, that I suggested that the narcissist becomes a maternal figure.
When the narcissist comes across a potential intimate partner, the narcissist strikes a deal with the intimate partner.
The narcissist says, I'm going to be your mother. I'm going to love you unconditionally. I'm going to idealize you in the love bombing face, and I'm going to love you unconditionally. And in return, you're going to love me unconditionally. I'm going to mother you. You're going to mother me. We're going to mother each other. We both are going to regress to infancy and childhood and reenact our childhood with much better outcomes.
That's the Faustian deal that the intimate partners of narcissists strike with a narcissist.
The same happens with a borderline, in relationships with non-borderline types.
The narcissist and his intimate partners are good enough maternal figures in a shared fantasy.
They are a kind of fake family. It's a fake family concept.
The narcissist comes to the intimate partner, idealizes her, and then lets her have access to her idealized image. He grants her access to this idealized image of her that he had created, and she falls in love with her own idealized image through his gaze, through his eyes.
The narcissist becomes a conduit of self-love, a vessel, a container of self-love.
So when the narcissist idealizes his partner, he is acting as any mother does.
Mothers tend to idealize their children, and they tend to offer the child unconditional love, love that is not conditioned on performance, love that is not conditioned on behavior.
Mother's love is not dependent or conditioned upon any external parameter. It's just there. It's a fact of life. It's a force of nature.
The narcissist imitates this, emulates this, very convincingly, because in the love bombing and grooming phases, the narcissist appears to be maternal in the sense that he accepts his intimate partner in her totality, flaws and warts and shortcomings and frailties and weaknesses, everything. He glorifies her, he glamorizes her, he renders her perfect in his eyes, and he broadcasts this message to her.
He says to her, I love you the way your mother should have loved you and never loved you. I love you the way a good enough mother loves.
And all I'm asking is that you love me back the same way. And I'm going to test you. I'm going to abuse you. I'm going to abuse you egregiously, and I'm going to see if you will still love me. And if you still love me after I had abused you, that means your love is unconditional.
So this is a sick dynamic between narcissists and non-borderline intimate partners.
In relationships with borderlines, the narcissist offers the same unconditional love, the same unconditional love.
Narcissist says to the borderline, I'm going to love you. The narcissist says to the borderline, I'm going to love you. I'm going to love you as you are. I'm going to accept you as you are. I'm going to assimilate you. I'm going to merge with you. I'm going to fuse with you because I find you perfect. And I find even your weaknesses perfect, even your frailties, even your shortcomings, even your mistakes, everything in you is perfect. My love is unconditional. It has nothing to do with your performance and nothing to do with you, even with your qualities. I just love you because you are.
That's the narcissist message to the borderline.
But there's a huge difference between relationships with non-borderlines and relationships with borderlines.
When the narcissist teams up with a borderline, the borderline message is not, I'm going to do the same. I'm going to love you unconditionally.
You remember when the narcissist has an intimate partner who is a non-borderline, they both mother each other. They both provide each other with unconditional love.
When the narcissist teams up with a borderline, he provides her with unconditional love. She provides him with the ability to be a parent, with the ability to be a mother.
Now, this is very interesting, very interesting twist. The borderline allows the narcissist to act simultaneously as a mother figure to her and as a parentified child.
So the borderline becomes a child and a mother. The narcissist mothers the borderline as a child. He loves the borderline unconditionally as a good enough mother should do.
And the borderline laughs it off. Laughs it up. She loves it. That's one side of the equation. The other side of the equation, the borderline becomes a mother to the narcissist. It's dual mothering. The narcissist mothers the borderline. The borderline mothers the narcissist.
But the borderline becomes the narcissist's dead mother. I repeat this, it's very important. The borderline becomes the narcissist's dead mother.
And by becoming his dead mother, he actually had in reality, in life, the dead mother who had made him into a narcissist. By becoming this dead mother, she allows him to parentify himself. She allows him to mother his mother and to have a chance at healing her and fixing her and saving her.
This is a super crucial insight. There is a narcissist bond, trauma bond with borderlines. It's because the borderline recreates the narcissist's real mother, his original mother. The borderline is not a good mother. The borderline is a dead mother, a bad mother, an unavailable mother, a withholding mother, an absent mother, a depressed mother, a narcissistic selfish mother. In other words, the borderline becomes the mother, the narcissist actually had.
And so she gives him a second chance to mother that mother, to parentify himself and become a parent, a mother to his real mother through the agency of the borderline. And to have a second chance with his real mother. And the narcissist develops this rescuer, savior, healer, fixer obsession.
Here he is face to face again with his real mother. It's unbelievable. It's a time travel experience. He's back to childhood. And now he can make it right. He can parentify himself. He can become his mother's mother, his mother's parent.
And with his love, dedication and energy, vital energy, he can revive his mother. He can heal her. He can fix her. He can cure her.
And the borderline gives him this, this illusion, this delusion, because she is in need of saving. She is in need of being protected. She's a drama queen. She's constantly on the verge of suicide or on the verge of a crisis. So I don't know what she's constantly overwhelmed, constantly dysregulated.
And the narcissist feels here's my chance. Here's my chance to fix my mother. And if I only fix my mother by being a good mother to her, by parentifying myself, all will be well, all will be well. And life will have been restored and justice and everything.
It's an irresistible fantasy. And only the borderline can provide the narcissist with this.
Hence, the intensity and strength of the bond between narcissist and borderline.
When the narcissist teams up with just anyone, any intimate partner who is healthy, has boundaries and so on, yeah, there is dual mothering. The narcissist's mother's the intimate partner. The intimate partner's mother's the narcissist. They're both good enough mothers, initially.
But it doesn't work. It falls apart. It falls apart because the narcissist never had a good enough mother. He doesn't know how to deal with good enough mothers.
So he begins to abuse his intimate partner.
But with the borderline, that's his comfort zone. The borderline is a bad, dead mother. He knows how to deal with bad, dead mothers. He is the world's leading expert on bad, dead mothers.
And here's one right in his backyard, waiting for him, waiting for him to change her, to transform her, to cure her, to heal her, to fix her. And by doing so, to fix himself, to cure himself, to save himself, to rescue himself. It is redemption, vicarious redemption, by proxy.
And the borderline gives the narcissist this illusionary chance, second illusionary chance, and he takes it and he runs with it.
And the deeper he is immersed in this shared fantasy, the more it's difficult for him to extricate himself. And the borderline knowingly, sometimes, plays this role by using intermittent reinforcement, approach avoidance, and other psychopathic ploys when she is in the psychopathic self-state.
Because she feels that this binds the narcissist to her. This reduces her abandonment anxiety.
She knows if the more dead the more dead as a mother she is, the less likely the narcissist is to abandon and reject her. She acts the dead mother with conviction and flair because this guarantees that he will never leave her.
And also it guarantees that there will be non-government.
Because the narcissist will never merge with his dead mother. The narcissist wants to fix and cure and heal and rescue and save his dead mother, rendering her a good enough mother so that he can merge with her.
But as long as the borderline resists this process, as long as she insists on remaining a dead mother, she will never be engulfed and she will never be abandoned.
Hence the perpetual dynamic, the perpetual mobily of narcissist borderline dynamics in a couple, in a relationship.