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Stalkers and the Borderline Personality

The Borderline Personality

In recent years psychologists have learned about and done case studies on a new personality disorder which the DSM-III-R classifies as an Axis II disorder- the Borderline Personality . This classification includes such personality disorders as the Anti-social Personality, the Histrionic Personality and the Narcissistic Personality. Several psychologists (including myself) diagonosed my stalker as afflicted with the Borderline Personality. Characteristic of the Borderline (derived from research done by Kreisman & Straus, 1989) are:

a shaky sense of identity

sudden, violent outbursts

oversensitivity to real or imagined rejection

brief, turbulent love affairs

frequent periods of intense depression

eating disorders, drug abuse, and other self-destructive tendencies

an irrational fear of abandonment and an inability to be alone

Not much research has been done on the Borderline Personality, and for many years it was difficult to diagnose- and to treat. A Borderline often feels as though his/her life is marked with a distinctive emptiness; a void in which a relationship often acts to fill. Many times the Borderline is a victim of an early dysfunctional family situation and/or emotional/physical abuse by those he/she trusted early on in childhood.

The Borderline is psychotic , in the original, psychological meaning of the term: he/she is not in control and not in touch with reality. To the Borderline, a softly spoken word of advice can be construed as a threat on his/her emotional stability. An outsider's viewpoint that the Borderline is not in touch with reality often ends in a bitter and irrational dissassociation from the outsider on the part of the Borderline. Often, the Borderline ends up very much alone and victim to his/her disillusions.

The Borderline stalker is very apt to see his/her actions as perfectly justified; he/she has paranoid disillusions which support these-often with disturbing frequency. The Borderline often has brief love affairs which end abruptly, turbulently and leave the Borderline with enhanced feelings of self-hatred, self-doubt and a fear that is not often experienced by rational people. When the Borderline's relationships turn sour, the Borderline often begins to, at first, harass the estranged partner with unnecessary apologies and/or apologetic behavior (i.e. letters of apology 'from the heart', flowers delivered at one's place of employment, early morning weeping phonecalls, etc.). However, the Borderline does not construe his/her behavior as harassment- to the Borderline he/she is being 'responsible' for his/her past behaviors.

The next phase of the Borderline Personality develops relatively quickly and soon he/she feels suddenly betrayed, hurt, etc. and seeks to victimize the estranged partner in any way he/she can Strangely enough, this deleterious behavior is always coupled with a need to be near or in constant contact with the estranged partner . While sending threats to the estranged partner, it is very common for the Borderline to begin to stalk his/her estranged partner in an effort to maintain contact. This effort is motivated by the excruciating fear that the Borderline will end up alone and anger that [the estranged partner] has put him/her in this position. We are finding, in many cases, that a great deal of stalking behavior is associated with Borderline or related personality disorders. Earlier research did not incorporate the Borderline Personality in stalking profiles; research now is beginning to focus on the Borderline in such disorders as Erotomania, etc.

Further Information

Collection of BPD Resources

Suggested Reading (to include literature focused on BPD)

| It Happened to Me: My Story| Cyber-Stalking | Investigating E-mail Origins | Tips for the Stalked, From the Stalked | Stalkers and the Borderline Personality | Erotomania | Where to Turn for Help | LA County Cyber-Stalker Receives Verdict |
| Restraining Order Q&A | What Cyber-Stalkers Know About You | Am I Being Stalked? Signs That Could Save Your Life