Why do borderliners have such a hard time?

A person who suffers from borderline has not been allowed to enjoy healthy and emotionally “balanced” development at an early stage of childhood.

Rather, he has had to adapt to the needs of his caregivers in order to survive.

The word “survival” is actually to be understood here in its very own meaning.

Psychological as well as physical abuse of the parents as punishment for a misconduct (“You are evil” “Bad child” “you make the mom very evil”) and the associated own fear of upsetting or even annoying the only known and loved reference person to date prevents or complicates the development of a healthy “I”.

Thus, only individual fragments are formed, which are parts of the I, but do not have a common control authority.

An example of a first-entity fragment without a control instance is in split-off trauma memories.Thus, in children who are traumatized, individual parts of the self have split off. They are no longer accessible from this central control body. For example, child abusers often do not remember the experiences of abuse.

Even with borderliners, the “I” as a control instance only works with restrictions.

In a borderliner, inner parts of the personality cannot be easily combined with other shares, because the common control authority cannot address and control the shares at the same time.Accordingly, there is often talk of fragmentation of personality. That there are fragments or portions is normal. But what distinguishes a borderliner from other people is the limited ability depending on the expression to connect, control and, after weighing up, find a safe decision. This makes it easier to understand the ambivalent behavior of a borderliner.

Borderliners cannot simultaneously address and integrate the different parts of their personality, if necessary only with great limitations.They only manage to access a share of their personality at a time.

There is therefore no need to merge the shares.Consciousness therefore jumps from personality share to personality share. Borderliners are usually fully associated with the proportion at issue. They are either full of love grief or full of enthusiasm for the new recipe, totally immersed in the new theme at work etc. But at the slightest impulse, they jump into the next topic, which makes them fully associated with this new one. There is no continuity in the usual sense. Seen from the outside, this is a leap.

“Normal” people, on the other hand, are always associated with only a small part, and not so intensely and totally connected to the respective condition.They are more likely to feel the composition of several different proportions. They have a higher continuity in their whole being, in their self-understanding and in their feelings. They set priorities, but do not lose sight of all their remaining being.

One can imagine that a borderliner in pain currently has no access to happy experiences.On the emotional level, he feels at this moment as if they were never there. It is completely associated with pain. On the other hand, for a borderliner in luck, the unsightly ness of his life fades into complete unrecognizability. In the case of success, past failure is without any meaning. In his feelings, both do not exist at the same time.

In a borderliner, the control authority does not hold together the different parts and fragments of the personality as in “normal” people.The “I” is not mature, it does not perform its controlling function sufficiently. There is also a lack of protection. In some situations, they lack any “emotional skin.” If the Borderliner is currently associated with a needy proportion, it is completely defenceless because it does not have access to an adult, protective side of the personality.
That’s why borderliners are perceived as so intense.It is this total that simultaneously deters non-borderliners and in the case of positive feelings fascinates.


A person in the associated state lives in here and now.It is completely in line with what is happening now, at this moment, here and now. That is the only thing that matters. To be associated with all the senses in the here and now, to fully identify with the situation and the emotion that now reigns in that only moment. Someone who is associated is focused on that single feeling.

In pleasant situations, this kind of associated experience can bring full enjoyment and joy.There is also talk of ‘highs’ in this context.

Conversely, however, all the horror, disappointment and pain of a situation can invade someone with unprecedented force, rob him of the air to breathe and also live the will.

It is a kind of “full contact” with one’s own feelings.This brings not only intensity, but also authenticity. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that some of the best actors are known to be borderliners. This association with an emotional state leads to the fact that this emotional state can also be conveyed credibly because it is just real. And also particularly intense for a borderliner. That makes him alive.

However, this also means that even small occasions can suffice to focus on a different situation and on other feelings.Then the last moment is forgotten, and only the new feeling prevails. In extreme cases, this flexibility leads, for example, to “simultaneous” laughter and crying. From the outside, it is perceived as being at the same time. In reality, the symptom is an extremely fast-changing emotional experience.

“Normal” people are usually only partially associated.There is a lack of totality of the current experience, which is also healthy and ensures more continuity. It leads to stability. A minimum of association is also important for credibility and also for the intrusiveness of the impression on others. For example, a lecturer who identifies and warms with his subject is much more captivating than the one to whom it means nothing.


The opposite of association is dissociation.A dissociative state occurs when someone has distance from his own experience and perception. This can be presented in such a way that one perceives one’s own person as if from a viewer’s perspective. In this state one cannot perceive one’s feelings. You therefore feel “nothing”.

Dissociation is often used unconsciously to regain control in unpleasant situations.In a dissociative process, unwanted feelings, desires or memories are pushed back into the unconscious. They will not be available at this moment.

With a borderliner, this could turn out to be fully associated with a feeling of anger and pain, and suddenly it switches to “ice cold”.This prevents him from taking control of him in pain or anger. Pain, fear and terror are no longer available.

If necessary, a borderliner can no longer remember, e.g. experience of abuse (see above, fragment without control authority).

According to the findings of brain research, involuntary (unconscious) processes are always faster and stronger than willing ones.This applies to all people. In every human being, the unconscious decides much faster than consciousness. Conscious processes are very slow compared to how the subconscious decides. Who doesn’t know that you have a gut feeling right at the beginning, which later turns out to be right. Involuntary processes are also stronger than conscious processes. No one can live long-term against his gut feeling.

Normally, the unconscious is controlled by the control authority “I”.As stated earlier, the filter also decides what should be included in the decision and with what weight.

A borderliner, as shown above, has difficulties here because its filter is not as pronounced as others.With a borderliner, merging and weighting the shares does not work as well as shown above. He cannot control feelings in the same way, he cannot bring them together. What happens automatically in others works less for him, the more stressful he experiences the situation.

The result is very fast emotional reactions.The more intensive they are, the less the Borderliner manages to slow them down and place his current experience in the context of his previous experiences. This is exactly what does not happen to the same extent in a borderliner, because the personality shares are connected in the same way by a control authority.

Once you have developed a control-self, you can put the emotional experience into context on the one hand and react in a graduated way on the other.The free flow of emotions is regulated. You have choices. For example, if you experience something that makes you angry, you perceive it and can also usually choose or. whether you get angry or if you transport the feeling differently to the outside world.

For a borderliner, the small window into the other world of experience opens faster than he can think, and so he rushes through into this other world of experience.This happens within fractions of a second. There is no way back at this moment because the control-i does not work sufficiently. First, the intensity of the current state must subside before a return is possible.

It is also about association and dissociation.In principle, one associates by a feeling or brings an experience into the present. Our brain lives exclusively in the present, in here and now.

What we call the past or the future are only images that we now in the present make the main film or make.associate us with it. In order to experience the past, we bring the images of that time into the present and the memory lives in our feeling. Then we are associated with the past. In order to let go of the memories of the past, we put them back at a distance we dissociate. It works in the same way with the future. We bring the fears and fears into the here and now and associate ourselves with them. Then we send them away again by widening the distance and directing our focus elsewhere.

The events from the outside are invitations (triggers) that activate the unconscious experience.You “jump in” and feel it as a reality. The body also reacts as if it were real.

One can compare it with the state of dreaming.When we dream, we don’t know we’re dreaming. It’s real for us. We are fully associated with the dream. Our body reacts directly to this experience. Our hearts beat faster when we have nightmares, we sweat and the hormone balance also changes. While we dream, we are in a dream totally identified with the situation that our subconscious is producing. We associate with the dreamlike experience.

It does not matter whether we then remember the dreams or not.

This is also the case with the experiences of the past.A small trigger activates the network and you are felt in the middle of the experience, which usually has nothing to do with here and now, except that it had a similarity that was suitable for activation.

The behavior of a borderliner actually changes from now on.He is unable to control this. Directly with the trigger, it associates itself with the network that is triggered. Everything else is dissociated and disappears. This is extremely fast and happens immediately, because it is an involuntary process and not a conscious decision.

However, it can also happen that a borderliner is completely dissociated.If something seems very threatening or hurtful, then all shares may be dissociated. A borderliner then feels only an inner emptiness. He doesn’t feel anything else.


Lara is a borderliner.She has been with her partner Sven for several years. They are in constant contact, but in Lara doubts and fears keep rising that Sven might cheat on her. Although there is no sign of this, Lara will not get rid of her fears, but she is keeping them under control to some extent. One evening they say goodbye kindly, a heart here, good night wishes there via WhatsApp.

An hour later, Lara sees Sven online.

Within a split second, Lara experiences the world with different eyes.She sees all her fears confirmed at this moment. He writes with another woman and she feels cheated and lied to. For Lara, at that moment, her felt only and absolute, irrefutable and painfully agonizing truth feels. It must separate, and immediately.

What happened?

Within a very short time Lara landed through a trigger in another first-i-fragment (experience network) and the film ran out. All shares associated with Sven will be split off.Sven is no longer good and loved. She lives in a different experience network Sven is now evil, he is a cheater, he will hurt her if she lets him. A conversation is pointless, questions are useless, only lies would come out anyway. It is high time to end the relationship, best it escapes immediately.

In the moment she cannot perceive that the relationship runs harmoniously, that Sven loves her and is faithful.

These leaps from one state to another (from one association to another) cannot be understood by a person who does not know it.For the partner, it is a roller coaster that he does not understand and which he cannot influence without knowing what is happening.

Borderline relationship

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