Not living up to a stereotype

I realised this morning that I knew how to describe what I think goes on sometimes.

Now bear with me, but it feels almost as if my personality or ‘self’ is split into two parts – the first ‘adult’ part is sensible and mentally healthy, the second ‘child’ part is immature and unstable.

These two parts constantly fight against each other, and depending on which part wins, gives the resultant behaviour. Are you with me?

So… using the example of the need for a baby I mentioned in a previous post… the ‘adult’ part understands that it is wrong to have a baby irresponsibly, and on purpose, when I am not in a stable, happy relationship, or in a position to bring up a child. However, the ‘child’ part wants to feed the need for the baby by doing it anyway, without thinking of the consequences. This then has led to an ongoing battle within my head, and in this instance, the ‘adult’ part won out – resulting in me explaining to Simon the predicament I was in.

So this is a big realisation for me and I think a big step forward in understanding BPD. I’m guessing at some point in my life, possibly a trauma (?) caused my personality to split into the child and the adult sections. This sounds pretty similar to freudian ideas, of  psycho-sexual development and fixations at certain stages of development. Also, the idea of different parts of the personality. These state that the personality is split into three sections – the id (child), ego and super-ego. I won’t explain it all here but the link could be useful if you wanted to know more.

Id-the impulsive, child-like portion of the psyche that operates on the “pleasure principle” and only takes into account what it wants and disregards all consequences.
Id is equivalent to the devil sitting on one’s shoulder.
Super-Ego-plays the critical and moralizing role in the psyche, aims for perfection, includes ego’s ideals, punishes misbehavior with feelings of guilt.
Super-ego is equivalent to the angel on one’s shoulder.
Ego– the organized, realistic portion on the psyche that acts according to the “reality principle” and seeks to please the id’s drive in realistic ways that will benefit in the long term rather than bringing grief.
Ego is equivalent to one’s conscience.
One might be forgiven for thinking that BPD is simply the lack of an EGO????

I do wonder whether me reading the symptoms of BPD has made me worse – sometimes I think, because I know what the symptoms are, it’s ok that I carry out certain behaviours. So, for example, when I feel like cutting, a thought runs through my head, ‘this is acceptable behaviour because it’s says it’s normal for this disorder’. Surely the only thing this serves to do is make me worse? From now on I am going to make a concious effort to think other thoughts, perhaps ‘What is the real reason I am doing this?’ – because I think I should because that’s what people with BPD do? Why do I need to do it. What will have the same effect? Hopefully taking a moment to think about things logically will allow me to think clearly. Who knows if this will work but anything is worth a try.

Take Care. x

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3 comments

  1. I have also found that the more I read about BPD, the more I tend to act it out. It is very difficult to change your thoughts, but that’s what I’m working on. It really helped me to learn that thoughts weren’t necessarily true, which I had never before considered. This seems to help me. Really considering what is going through my head, and determining whether or not it is beneficial for me. Good luck! 🙂

  2. I know exactly what you mean about the adult and child parts of yourself, I have those too. What I call ‘free child’ is the naughty, impulsive couldn’t care a less about consequences part of me, then there is the adult me, sensible, reliable, good, but there is a third party too, the critical parent, who berates me, makes me feel small, pathetic and useless and actually by being so harsh on me encourages the free child to come out in rebellion (there should be a fourth, the ‘nurturing parent’ but this one does not exist in my life, some also have another child element – the adaptive child, who does what is ‘expected of her’ but without the sense of the ‘adult’ self) these elements come from Transactional Analysis therapy and are closely linked to the Ego states.

  3. Mandi · · Reply

    My therapist says that my adult side and teenage side are constantly fighting for control. And at this point in my life, im WAY more like a teenager!!
    Mandi

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