Please Note: The ideas contained in this post are the opinions of the writer and are communicated without reference to supporting documentation in most cases. Other inspiration and influence for the writing came through consultation with other mental health professionals but the writer “Peter Quintano” is a fully qualified in DBT making them qualified to talk about this chosen subject. But this is a personal story and it is full of personal opinions that some might find triggering, so with that in mind…
I grew up not learning a damn thing about emotions. I knew that I had feelings, but I didn’t know anything about how to take responsibility for them. I didn’t have anything in the way of self-understanding to refrain from creating unnecessary drama and making bad decisions. I did what every other human being does who inherits “intense emotions” but doesn’t realize he has a problem until it’s too late… I tried my best, I didn’t take responsibility for my feelings, I made up my own dysfunctional ways of coping, and I ended up hurting myself and others in the process of living.
Life wasn’t always dramatic and messy, but there were many unfortunate events that, looking back, I realize probably didn’t need to happen. And even though I had access to “a health system,” went to school like other kids, and had my basic needs met (or at least most of them) throughout childhood, I still ended up being unprepared to live in my body and be in healthy relationships. I experienced ongoing difficulties with emotions, and my attempts to be in relationships were hopelessly flawed. I didn’t understand at all what was happening during the difficult moments.
As a child I witnessed my mother being unable to manage emotions and my Dad not wanting to talk about feelings, conflicts between parents, epic strife between parents and siblings, drama, chaos, and then finally, divorce – A common variation of family destruction for many children growing up in this world?
But where does this “common variation of family destruction” leave sensitive children who need emotional instruction and parental availability to develop fully? Mum, for instance, was unavailable due to emotional illness and then eventually physically gone. Dad was preoccupied with paying bills and cleaning up the mess of divorce. In families, there are types of neglect, types of abandonment, and nobody seems to comprehend how much developmental/neurological damage this does to a child.
And so I wonder… why was it that my parents didn’t know how to work through their emotions and remain in a healthy relationship with each other. And likewise, why didn’t my parents have the right kinds of skills and abilities to pass on to their children who certainly needed these things to become stable humans. I imagine my parents didn’t receive or develop an understanding of self and emotional skills themselves, and so there was nothing in these regards to pass on to their children. But why the hell not??
And so I wonder further… do people even consider how their relational/emotional deficits might be a severe problem before deciding to have kids, or how the kids they bring into this world might end up paying a heavy developmental price? Is any of this common knowledge? Do parents even realize how they might be setting their children up for massive life struggles or failures if they don’t know how to be healthy themselves?! And regardless of that, what could be getting in the way of human knowing (or remembering) how to be healthy in these most fundamental ways?
Perhaps there was a time long ago when humans were guided more by instincts and intuition while raising children when much less interfered in the process of connecting with and instructing children? In current times, with families being endlessly distracted by media and technology, stressed about money, or too full with money/consumed by money, I believe this sets up “interferences” between humans and their instincts (parental and otherwise).
In short, I have to wonder if humans have lost essential parts of themselves while trying to become civilized (in a certain monetary way) and all the while not even realizing what happened. It appears to me as though humans have been diverted away from being true to (tuned in to) essential parts of their human nature and biology. Getting sick mentally, and likewise in relationships, therefore becomes “normal life” for much of the human population – in particular for the more emotional types who require a more complete (not partial) childhood development.
With so many humans living in a monetary/capitalist system for so many generations – continually forcing themselves to conform to it and prioritizing money-making activities above other important things – it makes sense that a severe mental disease involving emotional neglect, family strife, and parental abandonment could become extremely common. Indeed, one of the potential consequences of living in a monetary/capitalist society could very well include the manifestation of a type of emotional disorder – Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).
I acknowledge this is just my theory following my logic and psychological experience, but still, I believe it makes good sense. 😉
The presence of Borderline Personality Disorder in the world may, therefore, be just one of the many costs of doing business – a cost paid to “remain civilized” in ways that powerful humans have decided. Unfortunately, this cost includes much misery (even generations of misery) for those in the population who require a thorough understanding of emotions but don’t receive it and very often don’t even know that they need to attain it. And for those in the population who don’t require this higher level of emotional understanding to live without mental and relational disease, they will probably always wonder what the big deal is.
If indeed I am on the right track and Borderline Personality Disorder has arisen consequential to the ways powerful humans have decided to structure societies, then I have only two words… F**K YOU!! I will not be abused as a sensitive human by a disease process without my awareness to remain civilized in a particular way. I will rise above you. I will furthermore work relentlessly to inform others how their mental and relational health may have been undermined.
If you have any thoughts or opinions on this article please do leave a comment for the witter to answer and replay to personally. But if you have any other issues or questions not relating to this do get in touch with us on social media or via our Contact Us page.