Background

Borderline vs. Narcissist Idealization Fantasies

Uploaded 4/8/2021, approx. 26 minute read

Look it up.

My name is Sam Vaknin, and I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited, and a professor of psychology, and today I am going to discuss the differences between the borderline's shared fantasy and the narcissist's shared fantasy.

On the face of it, there are numerous similarities between the borderline and the narcissist.

The borderline snapshots her intimate partner, so does the narcissist. The borderline creates a shared fantasy, so does the narcissist. The borderline goes through cycles of idealization and devaluation, and very often discard, so does the narcissist.

So, what are the differences between the two?

The borderline is grandiose. The narcissist is grandiose. The borderline has antisocial traits. She becomes a secondary psychopath when she expects or anticipates or is exposed to abandonment and rejection. The narcissist also becomes a psychopath when confronted with a bargaining phase, when his partner makes demands.

So, both of them transition into a psychopathic phase, a psychopathic self-state, psychopathic subpersonality, psychopathic pseudo-identity, never mind which word you prefer to use. Both of them transform and switch and change very abruptly and very frighteningly.

If you look at them from the outside, you might be forgiven if you were to mistake the borderline for a narcissist or the narcissist for a borderline, but that would be a serious mistake.

Before warned, the internal psychodynamics of the borderline patient and the narcissistic patient are very, very different, and they are so dramatically different that we might as well be talking about two separate people, two separate types of people.

So, first of all, before we proceed, the borderline has empathy and she has extremely powerful, overwhelming emotions. She just never learned. She had never learned how to manage these emotions.

So, her emotions drown her, flood her, debilitate her, incapacitate her, and this is called emotional dysregulation. She doesn't know how to cope with this.

So, in many cases, when she experiences abandonment anxiety, when she is furious at her intimate partner for having neglected her, overlooked her, abandoned her, not giving her enough sex, not giving her enough attention, possibly adulation, the borderline becomes a facto two psychopath, secondary psychopath. We'll discuss this a bit later.

The narcissist, unlike the borderline, has only called empathy. Called empathy is cognitive empathy plus reflexive empathy. He does not have emotional empathy. So, he doesn't have empathy the way we know it, the way healthy people experience empathy.

Additionally, the narcissist has no access to any positive emotion. He experiences only very primitive, raw, negative emotions, such as, for example, envy or anger, rage, narcissistic rage, and so on and so forth.

So, this is a massive difference. The borderline is actually a full-fledged person. She has emotions. She has empathy. She has cognitions. She has desires. She is much more integrated, ironically. With her environment, she has much better, more evolved object relations, external object relations than the narcissist, because the narcissist, essentially, at the core, is a schizoid. That's not my observation. This is the British Object Relations School.

So, Grotstein and others suggested that borderline is actually a failed narcissist. A childhood did not succeed to become a narcissist and remains stuck at the borderline phase. It was Karpel who suggested that borderlines are very disorganized and chaotic in their personality structure, and therefore, they are on the border of psychosis. He also suggested that narcissists are on the border of psychosis, and at some point in his career, he had suggested that narcissism is a form of borderline.

So, everything converges, but still, there are very important differences.

We mentioned empathy. We mentioned emotions, but there are others.

Let's talk about the content of the borderline's shared fantasy.


But before we go there, this is the process.

When the borderline comes across a potential intimate partner, she snapshots the partner exactly like the narcissist. When the narcissist comes across a potential source of supply, a potential so-called intimate partner, an insignificant other, the narcissist takes a snapshot.

Snapshotting is universal to all cluster B personality disorders, including psychopaths and histrionics. So, the borderline takes a snapshot, and then exactly like the narcissist, she photoshops the snapshot. She works on it. She converts it into something, which we will discuss in a minute.

But unlike the narcissist, the borderline continues to interact with a real-life intimate partner, as well as with the snapshot. It is her strength, and it is also her undoing.

Her undoing, because inevitably there are fissures, fractures, fragmentation lines, and divergence between the real-life partner and his snapshot in the borderline's mind.

And it is this tension, this break, this schism between the real and the snapshot that create in the borderline a normal anxiety, experienced as abandonment anxiety, because of her object inconstancy.

So, the borderline is able to maintain a modicum of reality testing. She interacts with an external object, as well as with an internal object.

The narcissist, on the other hand, interacts only with the internal object, only with the snapshot. He does not recognize the separate existence, autonomy, agency of another person.

For him, he's a solipsist. He's the only one who exists as a human being. All others are animated cartoons, cardboard cutouts, so he's unable to relate to them. He relates only to their snapshots.

When there is a divergence between the narcissist's intimate partner and the snapshot of that intimate partner, the narcissist discards the partner, the real partner, never the snapshot.

So, this is the first major difference between borderline and narcissist.

Borderline really loves her intimate partner, depends on her intimate partner, has co-dependency features, interacts with the intimate partner, and needs the real intimate partner to regulate her internal environment, for example, to regulate her emotions, to stabilize her nearby moods, etc.

Gradually, she becomes very, very dependent on the intimate partner. And because she doesn't have object constancy, she's also terrified of abandonment and rejection by said intimate partner.


Okay. Both the narcissist and the borderline create a shared fantasy. They embed the intimate partner within the shared fantasy. The borderline embeds the real intimate partner in the shared fantasy and the snapshot. The narcissist embeds only the snapshot in the shared fantasy.

But the content of the shared fantasy is very different between the borderline and the narcissist.

Shared fantasies were first described in 1989 by Sander, S-A-N-D-E-R. And Sander described shared fantasies in a variety of cluster B disorders with emphasis, actually, on borderlines.

So the shared fantasy of the borderline is one of three types. The fairy tale shared fantasy, the fairy tale shared fantasy, the princess shared fantasy, and the damsel in distress shared fantasy.

So the borderline has a repertory, a variety of shared fantasies to choose from. And that is distinct from the narcissist who has only one type of shared fantasy.

As you can see, gradually, the borderlines in inner world is much richer than the narcissist.

So the fairy tale shared fantasy is where the borderline casts herself as a fairy, as a godmother, as this gift giving entity. She is the source of all good. She is a giver. She is charitable. She is altruistic, loving, compassionate, supportive. She gives away everything she has just to see people happy, just to make them happy. She even gives away her body to men to make them happy.

This is the fairy shared fantasy.

Within the fairy shared fantasy, her grandiosity is gratified because the beneficiaries of her largess are perceived by her as having been transformed or having been improved somehow by her giving, by her outgoing manner and accessibility.

So the fairy tale shared fantasy of the borderline requires a beneficiary of largess partner. A partner who acquires in becoming a beneficiary. A supplicant in effect, it's a bit of a submissive a subdom relationship, but it's a supplicant. It's someone who needs something, misses something, wants something and only the borderline can give it to him as a fairy godmother, as a magician, as a witch. So it gratifies her grandiosity.

The second type of borderline shared fantasy is the princess shared fantasy. It's when the borderline regards itself as this enchanted, amazing, fascinating, irresistible person around which fawning men, fawning women, fawning subjects evolve and revolve as they would around the sun, as planets do around the sun. She is the sun and there are planetary men orbiting her, drawn inexorably to her gravity. They want to kiss her, they want to touch her, they want to love her, they want to adore her, they want to admire her. They love her and they are soft and they are tender and they are caring and they are only because she is a princess and that's a princess model of the shared fantasy.

This kind of borderline walks around collecting fawning subjects, collecting admirers. She has a fan club, she's an admirers club and she drags it all around. I call it the intimacy cloud.

So these borderlines have an intimacy cloud which is composed of exes, of friends with benefits, of her intimate partner, of all of them. Their role, their job is to worship her, to worship her and to provide her with a Disney-like air of magic and enchantment.

Now of course being a borderline she would use her sexuality to obtain this. So she would make herself available sexually to men, sometimes multiple men, at the same time in order to create this shared fantasy.

This also renders her very prone to cheating.


Okay, this is the second type.

The third type of shared fantasy which arguably is the most common is the damsel in distress or princess in the tower shared fantasy.

It's when the borderline casts herself as a victim, as someone in need of help, of support, of compassion, of comfort. She is distraught, she is sad, she is broken, she's damaged, she's in need of a rescuer, she is in need of a savior and this is of course the famous Cartman drama triangle.

We have a lot of literature in transactional analysis, case studies of borderlines mainly and we see this shared fantasy is the most dominant among borderlines.

The borderlines naturally will gravitate to a victimhood stance. She will develop over time a victimhood mentality and will leverage her victimhood status, real or imagined, claimed or she will leverage this in order to attract the kind of men whose grandiosity requires them to fix women, to save women, to rescue women.

Of course when I say women, genders are interchangeable so reverse with men.

Now each of the three types of borderline shared fantasy hails, attracts a specific type of intimate partner.

If the borderline shared fantasy is fairy tale shared fantasy, I'm a fairy, I'm going to give you my goods including sexual access. She will attract beneficiaries of largess, she will attract people who are socially awkward, sexually inexperienced, underage, inferior in some way so that she can feel elevated and superior to them not in a bad way, not in a narcissistic way but in a giving kind altruistic way, charity like charity cases.

If her shared fantasy is a princess shared fantasy, she will attract men usually older men and these men will take advantage usually of her accessibility. They will take advantage sexually, financially, exploit her and abuse her.

This is the worst type of shared fantasy for a borderline because the princess shared fantasy involves an impaired reality testing. Fantasy is very powerful and this kind of fantasy, the second type, the princess fantasy, disinhibits the borderline. She would do anything to feel like a beloved, admired, adulated princess. She would give her body away, she would give her belongings away, she would run away, she would do drugs, she would consume alcohol, she would do anything just to feel like a princess and of course there are predators out there just waiting for such borderline women, unboundaried borderline women without boundaries and they leverage, they take advantage of this fantasy to actually use, abuse and exploit the borderline. It's a very sad sight and many adolescent, pubescent and even prepubescent border lines fall in this trap. It's especially common in adolescence and early adulthood, let's say up to the mid-20s, between ages 12 and 25, borderline can be diagnosed already at age 12 and is preceded by severe anxiety and depression for many years.

So borderline actually starts technically at age 6, there's a process.

So these teenagers, they end up in very bad situations because of their princess shared fantasy.

Princess shared fantasy usually disappears in later life, let's say between ages 25 and 45 because it's unsustainable, repeated traumas, recurrent disappointments, dangerous reckless situations gradually erode to potency and the appeal of the princess shared fantasy and it becomes more and more rare as the borderline ages because she becomes cynical, she becomes paranoid, she had been abused and exploited so many times, rejected and abandoned so frequently that she learns that she is not a princess.

It's very difficult to sustain this counterfactual shared fantasy in the face of life and in the bruising encounter with reality.


The third and most common shared fantasy is the damsel in distress of the princess in the tower and it attracts and hails forth narcissistic people, narcissistic men if borderline is a woman, narcissistic people, people who regard themselves as healers, healers, gurus, rescuers, saviours, fixers and this grandiosity of the intimate partner corresponds with a victimhood stance and victimhood need and victimhood mentality of the borderline.

So these are very very there's a very strong trauma bonding in this shared fantasy which is literally unbreakable.

The borderline engineer situations where she ends up being victimized, she can go on a binge drinking and end up being sexually assaulted for example, so that as to trigger the rescuer and savior, reflects of her intimate partner.

Now we said that both borderlines and narcissists snapshot but they snapshot differently. The narcissist snapshots the partner, the potential source of supply, the potential intimate partner, the person who can give the narcissist the three esses, a sex, sadistic or narcissistic supply and services. Anyone who can give the narcissist the three esses is a potential source.

So the narcissist snapshots such a person and internalizes the snapshot as an internal object then he photoshops the snapshot but he photoshops the snapshot in a very different way to the borderline.

The narcissist photoshops this snapshot of the potential partner by idealizing her. He renders her impeccable, flawless, perfect, hyper-intelligent, amazingly attractive, superbly beautiful, drop-dead gorgeous, wise beyond her years etc. So he renders her a partner worthy of him and this process is called co-idealization.

As the narcissist idealizes his intimate partner he is actually idealizing himself because she is with him. She had chosen him and if she's perfect she must have chosen a perfect object himself. So the narcissist idealizes himself vicariously by actually idealizing the intimate partner and this is a form of vicarious cathexis, vicarious emotional investment. By emotionally investing in the partner during the love bombing and grooming phase the narcissist is actually flirting with himself, courting his self, his false self. He's making love to his false self, he's idealizing his false self.

The intimate partner is just a vehicle, a vehicle who had been converted into an avatar, an avatar which had been photoshopped. This is the narcissistic process.

The borderline is very different. The borderline snapshots a potential intimate partner but as I said before she still maintains contact with both the real intimate partner and the snapshot of the intimate partner

and much more important difference is this.

While the narcissist idealizes the potential intimate partner as a perfect object, an idealized object, perfect. The borderline converts her snapshot, converts her intimate partner into a persecutory object because she has object inconsistency. In other words because she assumes that everyone will abandon her, ultimately will dump her, will break up with her. Because she has this anticipatory anxiety, anticipatory abandonment anxiety. Because she has object impermanence, because she predicts she foresees, she catastrophizes any initial contact.

She says I love this guy but he's going to dump me. I'm falling in love with this woman but she's going to hurt me. So the catastrophizing is all pervasive in borderline.

Because she anticipates the worst, she converts the snapshot of the intimate partner and the intimate partner into persecutory objects. Objects which are going to hurt her, objects which are going to cause her pain and harm, objects that are trying to control her, to subsume her, to consume her, to destroy her. Destroy is a very common word in the borderline vernacular. Borderlines keep saying he destroyed me, you know, he wanted to destroy me, he's planning to destroy me, etc. It's a bit paranoid.

So and that's why we call it the secretary object. It's a paranoid object.

Summary, the narcissist converts a potential intimate partner into a perfect rendition and idealized photoshopped object. Flawless, impeccable, nothing, no aspect is wrong or out of place. The borderline converts the potential intimate partner both the real and both the external object and the internal object. In other words, both the real partner and the snapshot, she converts both of them into persecutory objects. Objects that are going to cause her great pain and agony, that are going to destroy her, that are going to regress her and irreversibly damage her. This is called persecutory object. It's a

huge gulf, it's a huge difference.

While the narcissist regards this possible intimate partner as ideal and perfect, an ideal and perfect good object, later the narcissist converts the partner into a bad object as she diverges from the snapshot. But initially it's a good object. So the narcissist snapshots a good object, photoshops it into a perfectly good object. This process is of course known as splitting. So the narcissist splits, but as he splits, he initially renders his intimate partner all good. And because his intimate partner is all good, she can do no wrong. Only when she begins to diverge from the snapshot, when she displays signs of independence, personal autonomy, makes her own decisions, makes demands, argues, disagrees, criticizes the narcissist, only then he converts her into a persecretary object. So it's

a second phase in narcissism, good object, and only then persecretary object. In borderline, persecretary object from the very beginning, from the get go from first minute, from first second, the borderline is attracted to someone, falls in love with someone. He enters her life. He begins to interact with her. She begins to use the potential partner for the regulation of her internal environment, cognitions, emotions, and moods. From that moment, when the partner has power over the borderline, because the borderline perceives life as a battle, as a war, it's a win-lose situation. It's a zero-sum game. So if the partner has power over the borderline, he has the power to damage the borderline, to hurt the borderline, and the borderline is terrified of this. He has the power to abandon her, which would kill her. She catastrophizes. If he abandons me, I will die. Eleven percent of them commit suicide. It's not an idle threat.

So he becomes a persecutory object.

Now here's the interesting thing. A persecutory object falsifies reality. It's a filter.

The borderline begins to see every behavior, every sentence, every utterance, every preference, everything the intimate partner does, she begins to see it as impending doom of abandonment.

In other words, the persecretary object filter, this internal object informs her perceptions or actually misperceptions of the real internal object.

To put it simply, because she anticipates the real external object to abandon her, to reject her, to humiliate her, to hurt her, to harm her, to damage her. She expects him fully to do this.

Then everything he does will be interpreted in this light. Everything he says, she will peruse and probe and analyze and synthesize and deconstruct every sentence, every word, every utterance, every disagreement, every criticism, everything she will cast it as looming abandonment, is about to abandon me.

She catastrophizes big time.

And so such anticipation of abandonment and rejection, especially if they do happen, and sometimes they do happen, you know, in every couple. There are moments where your intimate partner rejects you, or is not available, or is absent, or has other things to do.

The borderline reacts to this with a process called decompensation. She loses all her defenses, all her mental defenses, psychological defenses. She remains skinless. She has no defense against her dysregulated emotions, terror of abandonment, anxiety, overwhelming, abandonment, anxiety. She has no defenses anymore.

It's like a tsunami wave, and she drowns in it. That's the compensation.

Then the psychopathic self state, she has a psychopathic self state, secondary psychopath self state, appears to protect her from the dysregulation and from the liability. So the psychopath appears, factor two psychopath appears. She kind of becomes resilient, tough, defiant, reckless and impulsive, contumacious and dysempathic. She becomes a psychopath. And she acts out. She acts out the psychopath, psychopathic self state, psychopathic sub personality, is the one that acts out. And she acts out by behaving recklessly. She can have unprotected sex with a total stranger. She can drive and crash her car on a tree. She can drink to oblivion and beyond. So she can gamble all her family's money away. She can run away and disappear for two weeks. I mean, acting out. Acting out is a release. And it's the equivalent of mortification in narcissists. Acting out in the borderline is actually borderline mortification. That's the end terminus, the end station in the railway of the borderline. It's where she reaches when there's a dead end, all the roads are closed, cool the sack, nowhere to turn, nothing to do anymore.

It is then that she decompensates and acts out as a psychopath. So it's inexorable. The minute the borderline comes across a potential new intimate partner, she snapshots him. Then she converts him into a bad evil, a secretary object. Then she misinterprets and misperceives everything he does and everything he says in light of her prejudice, that he is a bad person, an evil person has power over her is going to destroy her.

Okay, so she misinterpreted. Then anxiety accumulates, reaches a critical level. She decompensates, she becomes a psychopath and she acts out. That's the process.

With the narcissist, the shared fantasy and its outcomes are a bit different. The narcissist shared fantasy.

So you remember the borderline shared fantasy, it's as a fairy, godmother, as a princess, or as a damsel in distress. The narcissist has shared fantasy, which is much simpler, much more basic. And it involves perfect love, a perfect union, and adulation.

So he needs to be adulated within the shared fantasy unconditionally, and he needs to have perfect love. Of course, the only perfect love in the world, unconditional love, is a mother's love.

So the shared fantasy is a maternal delusion, or a maternal throwback, or a maternal wish fulfillment. It's maternal, absolutely maternal.

Now, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual mentions perfect love as one of the delusions of the narcissist in the diagnostic criteria, no more, no less. So it's a critical part of narcissism.

And the narcissistic shared fantasy involves this perfect love. And in this perfect love, the narcissist is accepted, is loved, is held, is supported, is unconditionally, nevermind what he does. He, his partner will always be there, will always be there fully.

So the narcissist misbehaves and abuses in order to test his partner to make sure that she is the right maternal, maternal material. She's a good enough mother.

And so ironically, it is the shared fantasy structure and its content that generate most of narcissistic abuse, narcissistic abuse type one.

And so the narcissist partner within the shared fantasy has to correspond, of course, to these expectations. She has to be a fan. She has to be a groupie of the narcissist. She has to admire him and adulate him at all times. She has to be a playmate. She has to go along with his novelty seeking and risk seeking, which are essentially psychopathic traits.

But above all, of course, she has to be a mother. She has to be the mother he never had. She has to be a perfect mother, a mother who accepts and loves him, not related to his performance. Nevermind what he does. Nevermind what he does not do. He's often narcissist abused by not doing. They're often abused by not being, by being up by absenting themselves. Nevermind what a narcissist does or does not do. He needs to be loved by a mother figure.

Sooner or later, of course, such shared fantasies degenerate into sexlessness and acrimony, especially if the intimate partner begins to present demands, begins to ask for more conventional sex and less kinky sex, begins to ask for commitment and investment, long term planning, family, home, partnership, companionship, anything.

So in the bargaining phase, there's narcissistic abuse type two when the intimate partner deviates from the role of a mother and tries to become a real equal adult partner.

So the narcissist snapshots as the intimate partner is an idealized object, not as a persecutory object, at least initially, but he snapshots her as an idealized object.

And he uses to do this, he uses splitting.

And here's the thing, splitting is like entanglement in quantum mechanics. When two particles, elementary particles in quantum mechanics are entangled, they go together no matter how far away they are from each other. So this is entanglement, splitting is entanglement.

If you split someone and you say he's all good, it means you're all bad. If you split someone and say he's all bad, it means you're all good.

So the splitter is the opposite of the split object, the diametrical total opposite of the split object. If the splitter, the person who is doing the splitting, identifies the split object, the other person is all good, then the splitter is all bad. If the person who is doing the splitting projects or casts the other person is all bad, then he who had done the splitting is all good. Good and bad go together, evil and good, perfect, imperfect. All these couplets, all these dyads of splitting, they go together.

And so when the borderline casts her intimate partner as a persecutory object, renders him all bad, of course it makes her all good. It's a very convenient type of splitting. It helps her to idealize herself. She never idealizes the partner, she idealizes herself. She idealizes herself by devaluing the partner, by casting the partner as a dangerous, risky, threatening, ominous object, an object that has the power to destroy her via abandonment, has the power to provoke her uncontrollable anxiety and drive her to do the craziest, most dangerous things. So he's all bad, she's all good. It caters to her grandiosity as well.

The narcissist on the other hand, initially, idealizes his intimate partner. And ironically, as he idealizes the intimate partner as all good, the narcissist becomes all bad.

This is one of the main reasons that the narcissist, almost immediately, like in a few months, reverse the position, because it's intolerable for them to feel that they're all bad. If the partner is all good, the narcissist is all bad. The partner is idealized and the idealization of the partner helps the narcissist idealize himself. It's a process of co-idealization.

But we are not talking now about idealization, because the narcissist says she's super intelligent. That means I'm super intelligent. This has nothing to do with good and bad.

Narcissist says she's drop dead gorgeous must mean that I'm attractive and irresistible. This has nothing to do with good and bad.

Idealization has nothing to do with good and bad. The narcissist does not idealize himself as good. He idealizes himself as a genius, as irresistible, as perfect, as brilliant, as powerful, as frightening, but he never idealizes himself as good.

By casting the intimate partner as good, he actually renders himself bad. It's an intolerable position and he needs to reverse it. And he does reverse it. He begins to demonize, castigate and see the flaws and the imperfections in his intimate partner as she diverges from the snapshot. The more she's independent, the more she's autonomous, the more she's defined, the more she's assertive, the more boundaries she has, the more he demonizes her, the more he converts her into a bad object. As he converts her into a bad object, he becomes a good object.

And this is exactly external notification.

So he, the narcissist uses projective identification to force his intimate partner to misbehave. As she misbehaves, he can then safely cast her, describe her, regard her, consider her a totally bad object. And then once she is a totally bad object, he is a totally good object. And this is external notification. He becomes a victim in effect, exactly like the borderline.

They end up in the same position, both the borderline and the narcissist end up in the position of a victim, but coming via different trajectories, different paths, different journeys, ending in the same spot.

The borderline becomes a victim because her partner is evil and bad and persecretary and abandoned her and rejected her and humiliated her. And she makes sure to see him this way, nevermind what he does, because she needs to be a victim and she ends up as a victim.

And then as a victim, she starts a new shared fantasy with a rescuer or a savior. That's the Carpentr triangle.

The narcissist starts off exactly the opposite. It starts off by idealizing his intimate partner and actually regarding her as a victim because she is all good and he is all bad.

Now this is intolerable. No one wants to think of himself as all bad.

So the narcissist quickly reverses the situation and renders his intimate partner all bad. And then he is all good.

But if his intimate partner is all bad and he's all good, then he's a victim too. So narcissism borderlines end up in the same position exactly as victims. It is there in this junction, in this juncture, where both of them are victims, that narcissists and borderlines team up and create new shared fantasies. The narcissist becomes a victim in his previous relationship, having recreated or reinvented his intimate partner as a bad persecretary object.

So then he becomes a victim and there's another victim waiting for him. That's the borderline.

The borderline is offering a deal to the narcissist. The art of the deal. She says to him, listen, I have been victimized by my persecretary object, by my bad partner. My partner was evil, neglected me, abandoned me, humiliated, it was horrible, blah, blah, blah, would you rescue me? Would you save me?

No, this is irresistible to the narcissist's grandiosity. And he himself feels as a victim. So it's easy for him to idealize the borderline. He's a victim. She's a victim. He's perfect. He's ideal. She's perfect.

The cycle restarts. The cycle restarts.

The narcissist idealizes the borderline and immediately feels like a bad object. The borderline snapshots the narcissist as a rescuer or a savior, but then immediately converts him to a persecretary object.

Both of them now are in a perfect play. He is a bad object. She thinks of him as a bad object. They're perfect. This is the source of the enormous power, the enormous superglue that binds the borderline and the narcissist together.

Joan Laney calls it the resonance of the archaic wounds or the v spot, the vulnerability spot. So it is there that they bind.

The narcissist agrees to play the role of a persecretary object because he idealizes the borderline. He makes her all good. And as she is all good, he is all bad. So it fits him to play the role initially, initially of a persecretary object.

She's overwhelmed. She says, I found the perfect persecretary object. I found a monster. It's wonderful. Now he can persecute me and I can feel like a righteous, sanctimonious, self-righteous moral victim again.

She craves victim. So he's there. He's a perfect predator, perfect tormentor, perfect torturer. So they fit together like lock and key and they start a journey together.

Of course, the roles reverse. At some point, the narcissist can no longer feel as a bad object. It's egodystonic. It's uncomfortable.

So he begins to demonize. He begins to convert the borderline into a bad persecretary object.

They end up in a situation where they are each other's bad persecretary objects. The worst possible combination is it leads to mortification in the narcissist and to acting out in the borderline. Both of them become psychopaths. Both of them become psychopaths in this process.

Only the narcissist becomes a factor one psychopath, a primary psychopath, a dangerous psychopath. And the borderline becomes a factor two psychopath, a psychopath that is somehow ameliorated or moderated, regulated or modulated by emotions and empathy. This is the process.

And this is the process that leads to the dance macabre between narcissists, borderlines, which is as old as humanity and even as old as me.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like the following:

YOU: Trapped in Fantasy Worlds of Narcissist, Borderline

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the fantasy worlds of narcissists and borderlines, which are post-traumatic conditions resulting from childhood trauma and abuse. Both types of children develop a fantasy with an imaginary friend who soothes and comforts them. As they grow up and interact with real people, reality intrudes and challenges their fantasy. The child is faced with two choices: give up the fantasy or give up reality. Narcissists and borderlines value fantasy more than reality, and anyone who brings reality into their lives is seen as an enemy. Victims of narcissism are not chosen, they are commodified and interchangeable.


Borderline, Narcissist: Why They Can't Let Go of Each Other

The professor discusses the comments on his video and then delves into the differences between the shared fantasies of borderlines and narcissists. He explains that both types of individuals have similarities and traits, but their shared fantasies have different functions and dynamics. The narcissist's shared fantasy is about engulfing, while the borderline's shared fantasy is about being engulfed. He also explains the reasons behind the hoovering behavior of both types.


Borderline to Narcissist: I Will Abandon You First

Narcissists and borderlines have archaic wounds, and they cater to each other's pathologies by activating or provoking these archaic wounds and then solving them. The borderline's focus on her intimate partner constitutes narcissistic supply, and the borderline's concentration, intensity, dedication, addiction, really, to her partner are irresistible to the narcissist. The dynamic unfolds in several stages, and the borderline goes through a phase where she becomes convinced that she had found the prince of her dreams, the knight in shining armor, the men. The borderline is obsessed with the issue of abandonment, and she has separation anxiety or abandonment anxiety.


How Narcissist/Psychopath Sees YOU, his Victim, and Why Borderlines Adore Them

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the inner experiences of narcissists, psychopaths, and borderlines. He explains how narcissists idealize their partners to reinforce their own grandiosity, while psychopaths manipulate and discard their partners for entertainment or personal gain. Borderlines exhibit a complex mix of traits from other personality disorders and may transition between narcissistic and psychopathic behaviors in response to frustration. Vaknin also clarifies that cheating is just one example of a behavior that can mortify a narcissist.


Narcissist's Reactions to Abandonment, Separation, and Divorce

Narcissistic abusers often resort to self-delusion when faced with the dissolution of a meaningful relationship. They may adopt a masochistic avoidance solution, punishing themselves for their failure, or construct a delusional narrative in which they are the hero. Some may become antisocial psychopaths, while others develop persecutory delusions and withdraw completely from social contact, becoming schizoids. Finally, some abusers resort to an aggressive stance, becoming verbally, psychologically, and sometimes physically abusive towards loved ones.


Why Narcissist Can't Love (with Daria Żukowska, Clinical Psychologist)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of love in relationships involving individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). He explains that narcissists are incapable of genuine love due to their cognitive style, fear of vulnerability, and internalized negative self-image. Vaknin also delves into the emotional impact of being in a relationship with a narcissist, highlighting the complex grief and trauma experienced by victims. He emphasizes the importance of recognizing early warning signs and maintaining assertiveness and boundaries to avoid entering such relationships.


Narcissist's Revenge: Signs YOU are in DANGER

The text discusses the life of a narcissist, their response to frustration, and their transition to borderline and psychopathic states. It also delves into the narcissist's use of revenge and aggression, and the different types of revenge, including punitive, narcissistic, and pragmatic restorative. The text emphasizes the narcissist's perception of frustration as narcissistic injury and their use of aggression to eliminate the source of frustration. It also highlights the dangerous potential for violence in some narcissists.


Borderline-Narcissist Dance: How They See Each Other

The speaker discusses the dynamics of relationships between borderlines and narcissists, and the impact of these dynamics on the individuals involved. The speaker also delves into the narcissist's point of view and perception of the other person in the relationship. The text covers various aspects of the narcissist's mindset, including idealization, blame-shifting, victimization, and the perception of the other person as a persecutory object. The speaker also touches on the narcissist's internal struggles and the impact on the relationship.


How Covert Narcissist Deceives Covert Borderline And He Loves It ( 2nd In Odd Couples Series)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the dynamics of a relationship between a covert borderline and a covert narcissist. He explains the characteristics and behaviors of each type and how they interact in a relationship. The covert borderline is a hybrid of borderline and narcissistic traits, while the covert narcissist has a false sense of grandiosity and struggles with shame and inadequacy. The relationship between the two involves manipulation, envy, and a struggle for control, leading to a tumultuous and often destructive dynamic. The covert borderline seeks ideal love and is willing to deceive himself, while the covert narcissist provides a fantasy of perfection that the covert borderline becomes addicted to.


"Near Death Experiences (NDEs)" of Narcissist, Borderline

The speaker discusses near-death experiences and a recent study on gamma wave activity in dying brains. They then compare near-death experiences to the constant state of near-death experienced by narcissists and borderlines, discussing their lack of ego and identity. The speaker also delves into the experiences of abused and traumatized children who later become narcissists and borderlines. They conclude by comparing the experiences of near-death patients, narcissists, and borderlines, emphasizing the lack of hope for the latter two.

Transcripts Copyright © Sam Vaknin 2010-2024, under license to William DeGraaf
Website Copyright © William DeGraaf 2022-2024
Get it on Google Play
Privacy policy