Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is highly associated with the verbal abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, physical abuse, and/or domestic violence often suffered by those who are non borderline. The propensity for abusiveness in those with BPD is instigated by the narcissistic injury that is at the heart of the core wound of abandonment
Those diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) or those with BPD who may not even know they have it, are more likely than the general population to be verbally, emotionally/psychologically, physically abusive.
The reality of this is such because borderlines lack a known consistent self and they struggle with abandonment fears and abandonment depression that stem directly from a primal core wound of abandonment that arrests their emotional and psychological development in the very first few months of life.
This arrested development impacts most, if not all, areas of relating and leaves borderlines unable to interact in age-appropriate healthy ways. Ways of relating that unfold in the present and that aren’t layered with deep intra-psychic pain – pain that is unresolved.
The roots of abuse in BPD, particularly in intimate significant other relationships with Non Borderlines have their genesis in the borderline’s re-living of this deep intra-psychic pain. Pain that is triggered through attempts to be emotionally intimate with someone else. The intimacy that non-personality-disordered people enjoy is stressful and overwhelming to the borderline. It enlivens the borderline’s worst nightmare – the unresolved pain of the core wound of abandonment. It arouses all the maladaptive defenses of the borderline because he/she re-experiences the terror and panic of either his/her past experience of feeling annihilated or engulfed and/or his/her fear of being annihilated or engulfed, often alternately, when trying to be close to someone one else.
This sets up an approach-avoidance conflict, a “get-away-closer” style of trying to relate that has its roots in the “I hate-you-don’t-leave-me” struggle of the borderline who experiences any withdrawal of intense, close, (albeit also threatening) intimacy, attachment or bond as a threat to his or her safety at best, and entire existence (psychologically) at worst. Add to this that when there is any distancing or break in the intensity and symbiotic-like closeness (if in fact closeness is ultimately achieved) the borderline then fears, and/or feels abandoned.