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Self-hatred and Borderline Personality Disorder

Posted Jan 07 2009 5:38pm

I want to give you some background of what was going on in therapy prior to Christmas. My therapist and I started to talk about my self-hatred and self-loathing. Previously, we had talked about how my whole world is filtered through “I am bad.”

However, the truer statement is that everything in my world gets filtered through my self-hatred. I am beginning to see how so much I do is rooted in that from my perfectionism, self-injury, eating disorder, “I am bad,” suicidal thoughts and the list goes on.

In trying to work with this issue, all of my defenses have been really active. I am ultra sensitive to anything that I can perceive as a criticism which is everything. I can turn everything into “I am bad.” My fragmenting, dissociation, suicidal thoughts and self-injury urges have all increased.

My sense of grounding seems elusive. It is like I can only hold on to it for a very short period of time. I am also really wanting to withdraw from everything and everyone for fear that I will say or do the wrong thing.

This is a very painful place to be in and the only way to feel better is to work through this. Not my idea of fun. My self-hatred is also impacted by my major depression and post traumatic stress disorder. They are actually all intertwined, but my self-hatred has its roots in my borderline personality disorder which was established in infancy. The following are some excerpts that are helpful in explaining how self-hatred and borderline personality disorder interact and why healing takes so long.

Lost in the Mirror: An Inside Look at Borderline Personality Disorder by Richard Moskovitz

"When you are bad, you may feel entitled to nothing. You may feel responsible for all that is evil and expect punishment. If punishment does not come, you may invite it from others or inflict it on yourself".
Borderline Personality Disorder Articles by A.J. Mahari, BPD and self-hate, BPD from the inside out

"Borderlines are well known for self-hate. The irony is they often don't know who they really are. The question is who is his "self-hate" really directed at? Working through this self-hate is the only way to find your true self and to stop living such a life of pain and angst.

The "self" that most borderlines hate is really not who they are. It is an over-identification with who they think they are based upon having taken over the role of their past abusers or of those who neglected them and/or could not/did not meet their needs as young children.

It is not possible to get the real you without first going through the pain of why you have created more of your identity from someone else than from within. This is usually the result of buse, neglect, unmet needs, denial and having your feelings repeatedly invalidated. The process to find your real self can be long and difficult. It is a worth-while process though because it will free you from hating the self that you think you are. The self that is really modeled more on someone else from your past.

Healing from BPD, in large part, means maturing emotionally in ways that you were not able to due to unmet needs and or abuse when you were younger. It also involves changing thought patterns which will lead to changes in behaviour and then changes in how you feel which will lead to a re-newed sense of who you really are.

Self-hate is a waste of precious time. Life will pass you by if you
stay there. You will not be happy. You will not be fulfilled. Truthfully, if you hate yourself, whatever aspect of identity that means for you, you will not be able to be open and present enough for others to truly love you. Self-hate for many borderlines is not as much about actual hate of "self" as it is about actual hate of not knowing who one's "self" really is.

This tranistional place can very much resemble classic borderline NO-WIN and is therefore very hard to push through. You need to push through it to change your self-hatred for your false self to a burgeoning like of the real self that will begin to emerge with a choice to change. And having been through it I can attest to the fact that it is not a NO-WIN situation at all. It is the most wonderful thing that you can do for your real 'self'!"

I hope this helps explain a bit about what has been going on and why it is so difficult for me to post, leave comments and respond to comments on the blog. I am really trying to push through, but sometimes my brain is foggy, I don’t have the energy or I can’t fight through all the negative stuff in my head. However, I am thinking that Monday, I will be able to write about Christmas.

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