(Narcissistic, Borderline and Histrionic Personality Disorders all have this in common)
You may know mom drives you crazy but you don’t exactly why acts the way she does.
All you know is that it hurts.
You may know she is narcissistic, borderline, or histrionic but you don’t know exactly why she has to be clingy, needy, or downright mean. It’s as if there is something driving her to be this way.
You nailed it …there IS something driving her to be this way.
And it has been hidden from you.
That is, until now.
Let’s pull back the psychological curtain and see what is happening.
Take a look below-
If you prefer to read
Speaker 1: What does the narcissistic, borderline, and histrionic defense all have in common, if anything? Why should we care?
In order to answer this question, we need to look back in childhood and understand that a mother who develops these personality disorders or has traits of one, or any of them, develops these set of defenses, and that’s what a diagnosis is, a set of defenses in order to counter a deficit.
Speaker 1: When we look at a descriptor of narcissism. We’d say, “Oh, yeah, that’s my mother.”
That’s helpful for recognition, but it doesn’t really talk about or let us know exactly what these disorders are. They are like what a fever is to infection. A fever arises to fight off an infection, but the fever isn’t the streptococcus or the bacterial infection.
Speaker 1: Moms who didn’t get what she needed in development develops this. She doesn’t choose to do so, but the psyche takes care of itself in that it develops a defense against knowing how scary it was to be that kid or empty it was to be that kid. These defenses, well, they work until they don’t work.
Speaker 1: They work to keep mom unaware of this emptiness, of the terror of this emotional pain. When they become rigid enough that they’re what we call intractable and part of a personality it is her personality, but it may not be her essential self.
Speaker 1: Can you change it? Probably not. Can you impact it? Maybe a little bit.
New Speaker: All these disorders are on a spectrum- enough to merit a diagnosis or enough to have traits of it.
Some people ask if mom’s narcissistic or histrionic or borderline will I be too? I would say the main thing you need to know about that is that it requires some kind of reflection. If you’re reflective and you’re like, “Oh, that was kind of narcissistic response,” or had a borderline over the top reaction to something if you’re able to reflect chances are that that defense won’t calcify and you won’t be described as that person, although you were capable of acting, as we all are of acting a little bit off the grid every now and again.
Speaker 1: It’s important to know what these defenses have in common is that they are a reaction to an original deficit.
Knowledge is the first step to freedom.
Can you see beyond your mother’s actions to the underlying hurt? Let me know in the comments.