David R. Schools · FollowProgram Director M. Div. CASAC at Outpatient Rehabilitation (2011–present)4yWhat happens when you go no contact with a borderline?
Eww… not good… I lived, worked and counseled with Borderlines for 9 years. Borderlines that I worked with almost exclusively were sexual abused… terrible! I was often amazed at the health they did have. I learned and studied to better relate and counsel. I learned that Borderlines (along with many other character disordered people) grow up in chaos and abuse. They learn to deal with trauma by developing a soul that is what I will call “environmentally reactionary” . Out of necessity they have developed acute skills to survive trauma and chaos rather than have had time to develop an independent and healthy self. To put it perhaps in an extreme … there is no self! They therefore are trained to depend on perpetual external drama in order to prevent something far worse from occurring… experiencing “nothing”… dreadful emptiness. This is another reason for self harming and particularly “cutting”. Self-harm allows the relieving comfort of external pain, rather than intolerable emptiness. Many experience suicidal ideation on a regular basis.
So, how does all of that relate to “no contact”. Another characteristic of Borderlines is “splitting”… idealizing or demonizing relationships. If you are there for them , affirming them , reflect back “love”… you are idealized… almost worshipped. If you criticize or abandon (maybe you were just late) you are demonized. No contact= abandoning= you are a demon. Borderlines also have no ability to retain any “constancy” in a relationship. They can not build trust. It evaporates when the relationship is out of sight. No contact=out of sight= no relationship, no trust… “cutting”… relief.
I know I’ve generalized here. Borderlines , like all of us, come in many flavors and degrees. It is said that “Borderlines are just like everyone else… just more”.