PREVIOUS : S & I – Separation #1
SITE: Object Constancy
Symbiotic, addictive families experience S & I as a betrayal of the family unit, &/or as a threat to its stability. This forces members to choose staying attached & co-dependently loyal over personal growth, having to sacrifice their unique personality & ability to act in their own best interest. This is always a developmental dilemma which ends badly – either capitulating to the toxic family system or eventually wrenching away with great anger & pain on all sides.
EXP: When teenagers try to break the bonds holding them to their parents there are often great upsets for both child & parents. When teens are not allowed to successfully complete this process, it can cause them to be disruptive (acting out) – rejecting societal & family rules, and potentially suicide.
Also. when adolescents are subjected to family stressors (drugs & alcoholism, separation, divorce, death of a parent &/or adding a step-parent….) without help to deal with them emotionally, it can cause them to carry into adulthood a sense of grief & loss that blocks the necessary process of S & I. (MORE….)
• There is growing clinical evidence that adult psycho-pathology is related to a lack of healthy Separation (staying symbiotically attached), OR from having experienced too much Separation Anxiety as a small child (caretakers not dependable & unsafe).
a. Dependent Personality Disorder (DPD) – a long-standing need to be taken care of & a deep terror of being separated from important people in their life (FoA). This leads the sufferer to act clingy, needy & submissive, which is unconsciously designed to make others want to take care of them. DPDs are convinced they can’t survive without constant outside help & validation. (MORE…)
• Dependents tend to be passive & stay in relationships for a long time, no matter how bad. They can be caring & sympathetic, but their main reason for doing so is to get a return on their investment (get taken care of)
b. Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) has its roots in faulty childhood S & I. While BPD people have many of the same terrors as the DPD – mainly fear of abandonment – the differences are marked. Borderlines are likely to have frequent, intense & volatile ones, while DPDs just stay.
• BPDs do a lot of come-here-go-away, idealizing people & then hating them intensely when the illusion is disappointed. They have quick shifts in their feeling toward others, seeing their friends, lovers, even co-workers as positive supports or as cruel & punishing
c. Psychopathic Personality Disorder (PPD). NOT to be confused with the Psychotic – which is being out of touch with reality.
Psychopaths make conscious, rational choices, using premeditated strategies that effectively serve their specific goals, no matter the cost to self or others.
The ‘problem’ is their lack of internal emotional connection, so they can’t understand or empathize with other people’s emotions.
“Psychopaths are social predators who charm, manipulate & ruthlessly plow their way through life, leaving a broad trail of broken hearts, shattered expectations, & empty wallets. Completely lacking in conscience or feeling for others, they selfishly take what they want & do as they please, violating social expectations or rules, without the slightest sense of guilt or regret.” from Major Theories of Personality Disorder, M F. Lenzenweger & J.F. Clarkin.
HEALTHY SEPARATION shows when:
a. we have the right to be & function from our True Self in all circumstances,
b. while still being able to comfortably, consistently connect with others.
In fact the latter is dependent on the former.
NEXT : Healthy Individuation – #1