by Marguerite Malain
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) diagnosed my stalker as afflicted with the Borderline Personality. Some characteristics 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
frequent periods of intense depression
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. This will happen when friends and relatives leave the Borderline. 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.
We are finding, in many cases, that a great deal of stalking behavior is associated with Borderline or related personality disorders.
Labels: anger, borderline, borderline personality disorder, cyberstalking, harassment, stalking, violence