Borderline Personality Disorder,  Shame

Why Shame is Corrosive in a BP/Non-BP relationship

This is my response to someone who asked why shame is corrosive in a BP/Non-BP relationship…

Shame is corrosive to a relationship because it keeps the BP or NP in “pretend mode” where they are behaving “as if” they are engaged in the relationship, but in reality their only real goal is to protect themselves from discovery. The closer you get to it, the more panicked they become. Often the shame is never revealed to others and covered up with bullshit (in the art term, not the common term). If a person is bullshitting their way through something (and sometimes they bullshit themselves too) then they are not genuinely engaged in the relationship. THAT is corrosive, especially when it is discovered and you think “was this EVER real?” That’s what leads people to think BPs can’t really love. But the bullshit is a defense mechanism to protect against mind numbing shame. In fact it could be argued that all defenses are at some level bullshit (or pretending things are ok). Still, we need them on some level to protect us from the brutal truth at times. Acceptance is not bullshit, it is taking things how they really are. If a BP can’t accept themselves as they are (and want to change) then you’re in for a steaming pile of bullshit in the form of protecting their shame – and that is no way to have a genuine relationship. Still, if they had no defenses against experiencing shame, they would all commit suicide.

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