Chapter Seven My Personal Observations...
This is going to be a "catch all" chapter. In the year 2000 my losses were in excess of $30,000,000.00... NOT including the effects of inflation. The telephone now sits silent and there is virtually no incoming business. Not to worry. I'm entering my retirement stage and just wrote my autobiography, ODYSSEY OF AN EAVESDROPPER. Now that I have the writting bug I plan to follow with a few more books.
Perhaps some of you have wondered where I got my ability to do what I have accomplished. Sadly it did not come from going to school. The following document is quite long and what appears here is just the first three pages.
Keep in mind as you read this... I have NEVER had any courses whatsoever in electronics!
DISORDER: THEIR RELEVANCE TO GENESIS AND TREATMENT
Thomas J. Park, Ph.D., Stewart H. Hulse, Ph.D.,
H. Thomas Unger, M.D.
We also present evidence that chronic, severe, pervasive psychological abuse or "mind abuse" is the most frequent and significant form of caretaker abuse (vs. sexual or physical) in the childhood histories of this disorder. Our data support the hypothesis that the interaction of a child's gifted characteristics with this abuse creates a tragic drama that is etiological for BPD in a substantial number of cases. We propose that the abuse markedly perverts not only use of the perceptual talents (e.g. powerfully manipulative projective identification) but overall psychological development. We discuss how these issues are relevant to the conduct of effective therapy.
Almost all clinicians who have significant experience with borderline patients are impressed at times with their exceptional ability to sense psychological characteristics of significant others in their lives, including therapists. This ability tends to be coupled with the manipulative induction of feelings like those patients themselves experience, i.e. projective identification. Patients may also employ this talent in engendering strong rescue and attachment responses, as well as disagreements, quarrels, or "splits" among who are involved in their lives, e.g. between members of the family or clinical staffs, especially inpatient staffs (Adler, 1985; Gunderson, 1989; Gutheil,1989).
It is our hypothesis that the significance of this talent goes far beyond particular symptomatic manifestations of the disorder. We assert that is an inborn talent and need to discern the feelings and motivations of , and, to emphasize its positive value as well as its innateness, we Ie to refer to this characteristic as a gift. Much as one would refer to the mathematically gifted person or the musically gifted person, we believe many borderline patients have a cognitive giftedness m the area of self- and other-perceptiveness called "personal intelligence" (Gardner, 1983; 1985). This talent has remained unrecognized both because it occurs in very perturbed individuals for whom it is generally unavailable in a conscious fashion, and because it is embedded in the service of self-protection, neediness, control, and rage.
Under favorable circumstances an infant born with this gift would not, of course, grow up to have borderline personality disorder (BPD). We assume such persons, given other healthy attributes and an appropriately ring environment, would grow up to become particularly successful in relationships and careers. But what of the infant whose primary caretaker has defective capacity to be empathically attuned to others, even resents or is threatened by an unusually perceptive child and responds by psychologically abusing the child?
We are proposing the etiological hypothesis that BPD frequently results he interaction of two factors (Gunderson & Zanarini, 1989), one of them biogenetic, i.e. the giftedness, and the other a disturbed parental involvement factor, i.e. severe, chronic verbal/psychological abuse by caretakers during infancy and childhood. The psychological abuse may differ in many ways from child to child, but it always includes chronic resistance assault on the healthy development of a child's perceptions and sense autonomous self. This abuse is so threatening and damaging that any intuitive talents become almost totally directed to pathological patterns of relating that are the basis for the characteristic, perhaps pathognomonic interpersonal powers of these patients. Attachment theory can explain the clinical manifestations of BPD as resulting from the interaction of these two factots without assuming other biogenetic factors such as inborn abnormal persona1ity traits or defects . However, since there, may be a number of combinations of innate and environmental factors that facilitate development of BPD, studies of borderline individuals in various populations are required to determine the validity and clinical significance of any etiological hypothesis.
There are numerous references in the BPD literature to a skill or talent to perceive, involve, and influence people, although there has been minimal formal investigation of this characteristic. It is considered to be a manifestation of pathology, and or a skill that is peculiar in some way, and or simply a learned response to childhood stress. Adler (1985) and Gunderson (1989) discuss the ability of borderline patients to evoke disturbing emotional conflicts between hospital staff members, as well as intense feelings of rage and helplessness in therapists. Gutheil (1989) and Averill et al. (1989) emphasize their ability to be remarkably appealing and/or compelling, and to frequently "seduce, provoke or invite" even experienced therapists into serious boundary violations, including patient-therapist sex. Numerous authors have described an "uncannycapacity" (Krohn, 1974) of many borderline patients to recognize, and often overreact or to act manipulatively upon, unexpressed or private attitudes and judgments, hidden feelings, and unconscious impulses of other people . Krohn refers to this intuitive talent as 'borderline empathy". It is intriguing that there has been no consideration of a DSM-III-R criterion for this striking characteristic since it might, if proven valid, help distinguish BPD from other personality disorders such as histrionic, antisocial, and narcissistic.
There are few studies exploring psychological abuse in the histories of borderline patients. In a controlled study, Zanarini, Gunderson, Marino, Schwartz, & Frankenburg (1989) found that chronic verbal psychological abuse, defined as chronically devaluative and/or blaming statements, occurred in the childhood histories of 72% of their borderline patients. This was far more common than physical (46%) or sexual (26%) abuse and was the only form of abuse that distinguished the borderline group from each of 2 control groups. Stone (1990b) found that 73% of 15 BPD patients reported a history of intense verbal a~use, with physical and sexual abuse having occurred in 47%. Psychological abuse generally has been explored as a relatively unidimensional phenomenon. However, the psychological development of human offspring is uniquely impacted by complex and subtle verbal and non-verbal cues that deserve closer examination. In our patient review, which follows, we examined a number of categories of psychological abuse, including one that may be particularly damaging to the psychological development of a gifted child, i.e. pervasive negative feedback to a child's intuitive perceptions.
In this study we evaluated information about 23 borderline patients and 38 patients with other personality disorders, all in long-term outpatient therapy, with special reference to evidence for giftedness, for severe psychological abuse in the childhood history, and particularly for a concurrence of giftedness and psychological abuse. We also reviewed patient reports about family constellations for evidence of caretaker personality characteristics and marital patterns that were associated with psychological abuse.
Regretably, the U.S. government and the FBI/Intelligence community have taken over the role of my father who died in 2001.
Best to you all, Marty
Chapter One The Beginning...