Children look up to their parents in their early stages of life, as they are the main figures that surround them, and they provide for their needs on a daily basis, creating a dependency. When a dependency is broken, traumatized or becomes altered, the impressionable child is at risk. A failure to provide for the child will mark them. A parent has full control of the minor and their development, and when that said parent destroys the trust and harms the child, the child is left in an unsettling position. After all, though they hurt them, they are still their parent, and they are not aware of their rights and the ways to protect themselves.
Though there are no courses to teach parents how to be perfect guardians, there is common knowledge that must be applied. A child’s needs span larger than just food and water; it includes company, love, discipline, understanding, education, and much more. What causes “Daddy Issues” is a failure to provide for these needs in the early stages of life up until adolescence, when they need a parent the most.
Though it may seem to be a sexist remark, it is mainly the father that will fail to provide, though it is not true in all cases where a parent is absent, abusive or unproviding.
Where does Borderline Personality Disorder fit into this?
Well, with BPD, there is a large fear of abandonment, instability, and an intolerability of being lonesome, along with the fact that BPD often stems from childhood trauma. In childhood, the parents are the most present (in most cases) and their behaviours greatly affect us, whether we want to admit it or not. Not to mention, we adopt many of their behaviours, further worsening our conditions.
A parent refusing to display love appropriately will alter the proper development of a youth’s brain, and may lead them to believe unrealistic ideas about themselves or their parents.
A Borderline diagnosed individual will go to great lengths to avoid abandonment because of the overexposure to it in their youth. They were susceptible to the behaviour on constant occasions and have built up a phobia.
And, who could be the main culprit in that stage? The parent.
How did a parent fail to provide?
Briefly mentioned earlier are the other childhood needs of company, love, discipline, understanding, education, etc. A failure to provide can be on occasion, but when repeated and swapped around with love, it leaves the child confused. The child can no longer distinguish love from abandonment, and they adapt to the pattern.
A. Janet looks up to her father, and is very vocal about that fact. They love to go out and get ice cream, take walks in the forest and make crafts together, so when Janet requested for her father to go to the beach with her, she expected a positive reply. In return, he neglected her and went out with his new girlfriend. Janet feels replaced, and does not understand what she did to deserve this.
B. Justin’s mother has constantly provided for him and has been present. She has shown him love and affection, and he was living a happy childhood until the stress of his mother’s work and striving for a promotions has left her depending on alcohol and being violent towards him. He lives in fear, and strives for the positive moments, constantly blaming himself for being the problem.
In both cases, the parent has provided for the child, but their sudden change in behaviour has left the child confused and in doubt of themself. It does not matter what form the abuse takes, the minor is always the victim, and can develop parental issues.
How can divorce affect “Daddy Issues”?
When referring to divorce, it is a battle where the child observes hatred and misunderstanding on both sides. They are no longer sure on the subject of love, have not properly been exposed to the concept and may feel the need to moderate the two parties.
Some divorces are very ugly, involving court fights, physical violence and the use of the children for monetary compensation from the other parent. The child is a pawn in a tacky game of chess played by two out of control toddlers in adult forms. Sometimes, there is no fight, but seeing the parents unable to love one another paints a picture of impossibility to attain love in the mind of the child.
If their own mother or father can’t be loved by the other, how can they be anymore lovable?
Not to mention, a younger child may be forced to pick a parent, and if they choose not to and the parents want to work on it, they can attempt “50/50”, which is when the child spends 50 % of their time with one parent and vice versa. Constantly being tossed around can cause stress in the child’s life, with a lack of schedule and proper structure. Each parent has different rules, ideals and mannerisms. One parent may display more affection, whilst one may be violent and abusive behind closed doors.
How does sexual abuse affect “Daddy Issues”?
Sexual abuse is never an easy thing to experience… And when a parent is the perpetrator, there is definitely going to be some harsh repercussions.
A victim, especially a youthful victim, may believe that the only manner to be loved is to provide sexual gratification, as that has been what they have been taught indirectly, even though the concept may not be entirely processed in their brains. The abuse may lead them to be promiscuous early on, seek validation through sex or avoid sex in all instances.
In early adolescence, when exploring their sexuality, their exposure to their parental figures may influence the partner they choose.
The child may believe that love equals sex, and seek the love they received from their parent, which was predominantly sexual. The parent was only interested in the sex and what the child could provide for them, instead of properly providing for the minor.
So, how do BPD and “Daddy Issues” intertwine?
Borderline is a result of repeated abandonment and trauma. A diagnosed BPD individual who has been constantly “abandoned” by a parental figure, or received love in an odd fashion falls into the pattern, constantly seeking someone like their parent. They do not want to be abandoned or hurt, but it is the only concept they have been exposed to. They are convinced that love can only be found with the individuals who demonstrate the same behaviours.
It is evident in the BPD community and for those who struggle with BPD, that there is a presence of parental issues, whether that be “Mommy” or “Daddy”, which can lead to some promiscuous and questionable behaviour.
If you are struggling with parental issues, it is okay to discuss them and express the stress they have caused you in your life. It is unfortunate to have, but own it, and don’t let anybody tell you it is disgusting or wrong.