The Shadows and Echoes of Self is a 127 pages providing an indepth and revealing examination of the false self personality organization of Borderline Personality Disorder that arises out of the core wound of abandonment.
Phoenix Rising Publications
Phoenix Rising Publications
The Shadoes and Echoes of Self - The False Self Born Out of the Core Wound of Abandonment in Borderline Personality Disorder examines the root cause of the false self in BPD. Included is a comprehensive look at the similarities and differences between Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). A.J. Mahari delves into the subject of cultural narcissism as a backdrop for the narcissism housed within BPD exploring the reality that narcissism is not just a stalwart of NPD. Mahari explores various archetypes and myths aimed at increasing the readers understanding of narcissism in a cultural context.
From her experience as someone who has recovered from Borderline Personality Disorder Mahari looks at the roots and origins of pathological narcissism through the Myth of Narcissus and its relation to the borderline lack of self that gives way the pathologically narcissistic false self in Borderline Personality Disorder.
With reference to Plato's Myth of the Cave and Jung's Shadow Self, Mahari defines and paints an accurate picture of the false self of BPD, its pathological narcissism, and its need for narcissistic defense mechanisms and the effect that this has internally for those with BPD and externally for those around them - non borderlines.
Mahari knows from personal experience that it is only by becoming aware of one's borderline false self and its pathological narcissism that those with BPD can then do the work of uncovering and finding the lost authentic self. The authentic self that was lost to the core wound of abandonment in early chlidhood. This is the road to recovery for those with BPD. It must first begin with a mindful and radically accepting awareness and understanding of the borderline false self and its bubble of narcissism.
"Narcissism is a normal condition at the infantile level of personality development. Those who go on to develop Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) were not able, due to the core wound of abandonment and its subsequent trauma and arrested emotional development, to continue to grow through the stages of “normal” personality development.
From this reality and truth we must dismiss the pejorative and devaluing, critical, and judgmental ways that we relate to what narcissism in BPD is and understand that while it can be prevalent in many with BPD, it is not something they chose. It is something that they need to take responsibility for, as adults, as soon as they are able to become aware of it and what it means in their lives.
To be narcissistic is to be in tremendous pain. Having narcissistic qualities, in the case of Borderline Personality Disorder, does not mean that one cannot make change there and in therapy learn to mature through the developmental arrests, recover, and be able to reclaim an authentic self that will not function based upon or through narcissistic defenses.
To the extent that one can truly become aware of any and all narcissistic traits one can, in the case of Borderline Personality Disorder, either create change and/or learn to compensate for them.
“ . . . the chief proof of man’s real greatness lies in his perception of his own smallness.” -- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
And to that I would also add his (or her) ability to be open to that, vulnerable with that, and to tolerate that and all that it means in everyday life. When we can be humbled by our own smallness and not fall victim to that and maintain a sense of self we can be much more practical about the ways that we face, cope with, and meet the reality of thwarted needs, and unfulfilled desires. Along with one’s ability to soothe oneself, practice self-care, and be enough to and for one’s own self from the inside out.
When I speak of the core wound of abandonment in those who have developed Borderline Personality Disorder, I am speaking about any and all forms of abandonment that were wounding enough to a child that they were not able to continue to meet the developmental needs of any stage of development required to continue to emotionally or psychologically mature.
It is from this core wound of abandonment, the narcissistic injury that arrests "healthy" development, that the authentic self of those who go on to develop and be diagnosed with BPD is lost. This creates a vacuum inside, a person without an identity, a person without a known and actual self.
Herein lies the space from which the borderline shadow false self rises up and wields the narcissistic defenses that are so relationally devastating to those with BPD and anyone who relates to someone with BPD.
Most with BPD are not aware of this false self until and unless they get a significant amount of therapy. This borderline shadow false self is often only experienced as a lack of actual self and it is automatically denied and is not held in the conscious reality of those with BPD. It is repressed.
The more you deny the Shadow Self, the more likely it is that you will be blind to your own faults and find those faults in others.
Whatever we leave unresolved or unfinished incomplete or unfinished in our own development is will be projected onto others. Using others as the mirror that reflects our lost authentic selves we will then react to others from our own life schemas. Schemas that require others to play or be perceived as playing specific roles from those who were important to us in the past.
The ability to be objective and to accept criticism from others is a skill crucial to communication and human interaction and relationships.
The greatest delusion of the false self is the false belief that they can avoid confronting their unconscious. Problems cannot be understood enough from behind the protective “face” or “mask” of the false persona or shadow self. They remain in the unconscious, not known, understood or resolved.
According to Freud the penalty for repression is repetition. What we resist will absolutely persist."
© A.J. Mahari