Causes of Borderline Personality Disorder
Well, the official answer is “who the hell knows?” However, there are a number of contributing factors. Biology may be a part of it, but the big part seems to be childhood trauma. So, let me tell you about my childhood.
As a child, I was both sickly and smart, a combo that naturally lends itself to the receiving end of bullying. And from kindergarten to 8th grade, it was a daily occurrence. It took getting my growth spurt and shooting up to over six feet tall to stop that. Of course, snapping and dragging a linebacker across the top of a chain-link fence was the real reason it stopped. Whole lot of stiches involved when that happens.
“Don’t mess with Bruce! He’s CRAZY!”
See kids? Crazy can be a good label sometimes.
So did the bullying cause it? Who knows? But it certainly didn’t help.
Neither did “losing my virginity” at the age of nine, but that was a fairly short term thing and could’ve been chalked up to childhood experimentation, if it weren’t for the fact that I was nine and she was fifteen. A lot of guys would just call that “lucky,” but I’m pretty sure the law calls it “sexual abuse.”
So did that cause it? Who knows? But it probably didn’t help, either.
Probably the most major culprit – and something people with Borderline Personality Disorder all seem to have in common – is childhood abandonment, or at least perceived abandonment.
We may have had a parent disappear from our lives at an early age. We may have had a caregiver who was just never around. I’m pretty sure that with me, it was because when I became “unmanageable” and rambunctious as a child, my mother would grow frustrated with me and say things like “I can’t handle you anymore! I’m just gonna run away from home and never come back.”
She never did, of course, but at the age of five, I believed her. And her getting in the car and starting it up without me (“If you don’t hurry up, I’m just gonna leave you here! You’re making me late to work!”), well… that set the whole “run away from home” thing in concrete in my developing brain.
Now, is that what caused it? Who knows? But it certainly didn’t help matters, and now any time any woman leaves me, regardless of whether we were right for each other or not, my initial reaction is one of abject terror.
If you’re reading this, Mom, I’m sorry. I love you. And I forgive you. I knew and loved your mother, too. You just passed it down the line. You didn’t know any better.
But anyway… I’m not gonna pull a Sigmund Freud and say “blame it all on your mother,” because that may or may not be the case. But something in your childhood probably set this off for you.
But in my next article, you’ll get some really shocking news.
Your brother in arms,
Read more from Bruce Anderson here: How I Became the Freak in the Corner