PSYCHOLOGY TODAY - Dr. Kenneth Ablow 

Psychiatric research and clinical studies of brother sister incest.

Clinical psychiatric studies reveal a sexual 'affair' between an adult brother and sister means both of those individuals are severely psychologically disordered.

When sisters and brothers have sex with one another they are not expressing genuine romantic love; they are expressing long-forged, pathologically fractured boundaries that existed in their family of origin.  They are manifesting roots deep in soil that was fouled at some point.  They are enacting a drama that is really about having grown up in a household or in households that unleashed inappropriate, toxic sexual impulses—always, in my experience, because one or both of the siblings was exposed to child sexual abuse or was suffering with a severe mental illness.
Normal, mentally healthy brothers and sisters don’t have sex as kids, adolescents or when they grow up.  Sick ones do.

Sisters and brothers who have sexual affairs are not well.  They need help sorting out and overcoming psychological suffering and terrifying traumas that visited them long ago.

From a psychiatric and clinically studied standpoint. A sexual 'affair' between an adult brother and sister means both of those individuals are severely psychologically disordered. 

Even if they are in denial about the underlying suffering fueling their symptoms (incest), they will have to confront it, eventually.  They will not ever be able to exist in a normal, healthy relationship without severe malfunction until they receive deep psychological treatment and rehabilitation. Any attempt they make into intimate or interpersonal relationships will be subverted into abnormality and manifestations of mental disorders hiding below the surface of any appearance of normalcy.  Individuals that have the tendency to succumb to incest are often normal in outward appearance but any interpersonal intimacy will bring the roots of their disturbed sexual and emotional family history to the surface in time.



  1. BPD is one of the most common mental illnesses affecting 3% to 5% of the population.

    The BPD used to be described as "borderline psychotic" because they are subject to psychotic fits of rage Although the BPD can be very resistant to entering treatment, the cliche and cartoon-like structure of their personalities is leading to more effective cognitive therapies. But they will probably only reach therapy after "hitting bottom"
    1.
    BPD see themselves as always being the victim of other people.  They constantly accuse the people closest to them of acting maliciously against them.  These accusations change constantly, and the BPD doesn't really need to"believe" the accusations they make or even try to keep track of them like a good liar.  Although their accusations are often incoherent and contradictory, they make up for that with the tremendous number of lies or exaggerations they tell and the theatrical emotionality of their stories.
     
    Their accusations that others are sabotaging them are often merely projection of their own efforts to sabotage and betray spouses, and  sometimes even their own children. Ultimately, the only person really sabotaging the BPD is probably themselves through emotionally charges antisocial actions   They may reject any romantic relationship that is not either ultimately unavailable or abusive.  If a formerly abusive partner gets "better" through self improvement the BDP will have no further use for them, but they will still describe their partner as abusive to gain sympathy and lure new partners. They will endeavor upon affairs with unavailable partners, often married, addicts, or some other form of abusive relationship.   They will go to absurd lengths to provoke a fight so they can claim to be the victim.
    2.
    Besides being the eternal victim, many BPDs will  strive to be seens as "good people", heroes, defenders of the truth and the weak.  Facebook, Twitter and other social medias are favorites of the Borderline.  Subtle insinuations that in some way either hint or declare they are victims and declare the "bad" people deserve to be punished and then singling them out for months or years of publics accusations and abuse.  Because their own rage and abusiveness must be seen as provoked and therefore proves they are good.

    It's probably easiest to start be describing how a BPD acts:
    3.
    Extreme pride and grandiosity - even thought the BPD suffers from a crippling lack of self esteem, they may give the appearance of being armor plated.  Whatever criticism of their character reaches them is filtered through layer after layer of denial and distortion.   They may be quite proud of their character flaws and claim to be ashamed of nothing they do no matter how dysfunctional
    .
    Shame and secrecy - There is a general sense that anything the BPD does in private must never be spoken of.  In selecting the person for group bullying (in the home or workplace) they will single out the truth teller of the group or the person closest to them who knows what they are really like and actually claim that HE is the bully for exposing them.

    4.
    Projective Identification - playing the victim by constantly trying to provoke significant others into being angry and reacting to their web of deceit.  This not only fills the emotional needs of the BPD, it can nearly make it impossible for observers to determine which person is ill and abusive.

    Respect me! - pretend my fake emotions are real. This is common in many mental health problems.

    Conflict in all their relationships.  Years of grudges and score keeping  A Borderline NEVER forgets!
    5.
    Nothing is their fault, especially their own emotions.  Other people are to blame for the BPD's feelings, as if everyone else has the power to broadcast directly into the BPD brain and make them

    Blame significant others for making them feel bad, then blame them for not protecting them or making the BPD feel better.
    Demands that people join in their mental games. Creates a bubble of chaos whereever they go.

    Don't tell me what to do! Pointless defiance seems to often take the form of denying medical care to their children or parents. Not taking their kid to the doctor is "standing up for themselves" and being told that their kid needs to go to the doctor makes them some sort of martyr.
    6.
    Constant ad hominem attacks - significant others have horrible flaws. Often the  BPD can't quite identify their problem, but the BPD is sure those flaws are in their SO's and they must be punished.
    They will pick apart everything the person says, and turn that into an accusation.  Living with the BPD is like living through the Inquisition.  Their style can be described as  "analyze and accuse, analyze and accuse."
    They will always claim to know what other people thinking or doing so that they always have an excuse for their rage.

    Punishing "thought crimes" - since they know what people are thinking, they are in a perfect position to actively punish people for thinking bad thoughts and to recruit other to help punish the thought criminal."You think...!" ....For me the BPD lecture that starts out "You think..." is the end of the line because that is the beginning of the onslaught of mindreading and ad hominems.
    When I was dating, I would tell people up front that if I ever heard the words "You think..." that I would never speak to them again.  Actually, I would give one "get out of jail free" card, but it was still a solid rule for relationships.
    They really do seem to believe they just know what people are thinking, and they try to micromanage other people's thoughts. This delusional thinking is common in the downward spiral of a power struggle.
    7.
    "What do you really mean?"  This also overlaps with bipolar.  The subject changes because they are substituting words, apparently because they are swapping words and meaning in their head.  I recently had to restart a conversation about five times to keep it on topic, and I had to point exactly which words were being substituted.  For bipolar people there can be a look of intense concentration as they listen and analyze what you say as if they were trying to listen in a very noisy room. There is an entire inner dialogue going on behind their eyes.
     
    They also assume that other people should know what the BPD wants, and they are enraged when other people fails to deliver what they need.  This is extremely passive aggressive.
    8.
    They lack personal boundaries, demand to know what other people are thinking or feeling, and are always digging digging digging for evidence to use against others.
    In addition to mind reading, they also have the ability to "hear" whatever they need to hear in order to justify their own actions.  This results in constant "he said/she said" arguments where the BPD is recalling some entirely different conversation.

    And you can't win - it's Damned-if-you-do-and-damned-if-you-don't, or heads-they-win-and-tails-you-lose, today you were too much of this and too little that but tomorrow it will be exactly reversed.

    The BPD has a circle of neurotic friendships to provide the attention, validation, and sympathy that they need to survive.
    9.
    Accusations - effortless lying, crying, incoherent but convincing, probably believe their own lies more than most people believe anything.

    Although they may suffer constant guilt, they constantly try to use guilt against others, and pile guilt on their spouses, when spouses are finally abandoned, their children are next. You will never hear them say they are sorry about anything.
    Obsessed with the "Truth" and accusing other people of lying (more projection, right?).  Did you say you were going to take your umbrella when you went out but changed your mind because the sun came out?  Then you lied.
    Being right in negative and pointless ways, pedantic arguments.

    Although seemingly armor plated with narcissistic certainly, they will also plunge into periods of depression and self loathing at regular intervals.
    Capable of being extremely charming and this may the stereotype of the Jekyll-and-Hyde lover who romantically woos during a whirlwind romance, then devalues them as soon as they are married.
    10.
    Urge to betray and sabotage their own relationships and destroy other peoples relationships.
    The BPD will often be in a series of abusive relationships. But being a "shit magnet" for abusive partners lets them deny their own deeply masochistic and sadistic tendencies that are directed at every living person within range.
    .
    Constantly accuses others of thinking bad thoughts. Think you are safe by just sitting quietly in the corner - well the BPD will pronounce judgment on your thoughts.

    Another theme of BPD discussions online is the BPD repressed need to humiliate others. Public sexual humiliation is overdone, BPD's have affairs and bring their lovers in contact with their spouses, many times having sexual contact with spouse near by.  
    11.
    Use of projection is obvious - the BPD constantly accuses significant others of being angry, negative, controlling, and abusive. And their accusations against others is a projection of their own guilt.  BPDs  tell people details about their life very soon after meeting them, especially stories of  how abused they were.  Why tell people this right away?  Other people are tricked into believing that they are saving the BPD. They are masters at rallying help and support to save them from their "victimizer".

    It's important to remember that the stories they tell frequently aren't even true. Often the person the BPD claims is abusing them is actually supporting them financially and emotionally, and the BPD is enlisting henchmen in their efforts to betray their real supporter.   The classic scenario is the husband that puts the BPD wife through law or medical school, supports her building her career and then she abandons him after she becomes successful,  but a couple years later she has become a neurotic sexually promiscuous tramp hitting rock bottom.

    Sex and romance are important to the BPD. Rushing into sex in a relationship is typical of the BPD.  First, it's part of the overly-intense hot phase of the hot/cold BPD relationship.  But it's also a way of filling the vacuum in the relationship, concealing the lack of actual emotional connection with the other person.  Through sex and male schlock romanticism, the BPD imitates their idea of what a human being would be.  Like "Dexter," a BPD is a "human imitator"  to compensate for the odd gaps in their personality, which is like a pie that has a had a couple big slices removed.  The behavior, even their chronic rage, their sexual habits, and the synthesized "love" they give, has a flat repetitive and robot like quality

    This might be an aspect of "splitting" that their personality consists of limited actions and reactions that are repeated as simple scripts that usually run in the same order and can't be modified.  Perhaps one of the reasons they end up skipping from relationship to relationship is that is too easy for other people to figure out their limited and predictable behaviors, even the sadistic ones.
     12.
    The BPD may claim to be the "super parent" that sets extremely high standards for their kids but they are also being verbally and/or physically abusive to their child.  The BPD is an adult child trying to raise a real child with a the lack of a real bond between them.  The BPD may feed the child when it's sleepy, try to play when it needs a clean diaper, put it to bed when it's hungry.  It's so easy to make a child miserable when empathy is missing, and it's even better when it creates the chance to say "DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO" or wail "YOU THINK I'M A BAD PARENT."  Of course it's even better if the child has a health problem, so this can be used to generate sympathy.

    For people who know them, the BPD stories of heroism and victimhood can't conceal that BPD's are often extremely controlling, abusive, sadistic, manipulative, amoral, and dishonest.  They are obsessed with controlling others, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Most of their relationships will end with a power struggle in which the BPD seems to be demanding unconditional surrender, withholding affection, sex, and companionship except they are probably already in the process of abandoning the relationship.
    13.
    When the BPDs romantic relationship inevitably turns into a power struggle, BPD symptoms become a terrifying uncontrolled spiral into madness with a high probability of rage and violence.  Seemingly minor unresolved disagreements his will often tip the BPD over the edge from functioning at a fairly normal level to becoming an emotional mess with psychotic episodes that lead to violence, arrest, suicidal gestures, promiscuous sex, theft of partner's possessions, abuse of the legal system, and high conflict divorce.
    Their most stable relationships are friendships with other people who also have problems with either low self esteem, or anger, except these neurotic "frenemies" encourage the BPDs worst traits and actively discourage the BPD from seeking treatment by validating their behavior and coming into agreement that the BPD is "right" and "doing the right thing". 14.
    The DPB May Be Codependent, Addicted, And Have Multiple Mental Illnesses
    The BPD is very good at deceiving bystanders, because they appear to have a narcissist's grandiosity and a sociopaths lack of conscience. In reality the BPD has very low self esteem, tremendous fear of abandonment (hence the narcissistic supply of social media admirers for validation), extreme sensitivity, and depression, and this drives their obsession with control.  Many of you will have realized that this low self esteem and frantic need to control others is what laymen call "codependency."  In the BPD, this codependency is often a shopping cart of multiple mental illnesses in the same person.

    BPD is generally diagnosed more frequently in women, but many male BPDs may avoid diagnosis by going to prison, committing suicide, or being murdered.  Borderline traits can be present in people that are functioning normally, but they are definitely a risk factor for some type of addiction, narcissism, or sexual promiscuity.. The untreated addict on his way to "hitting bottom" is essentially a BPD.
    15.
    Defenses
    The BPD's use of projection as a defense is constant and out of control.  The significant other is "crazy" and "trying to hurt  them" and "criticizing them" and being "negative." These are of course their own traits, and they insist that it is whoever is closest to them.  

  2. In an interpersonal relationship with a BPD, the two of you may agree that one of you has a mental problem, but you'll never agree on which one it is.  The BPD is president of the "everyone is crazy but me" club.  Not only do they project all their flaws onto the other person, they will also manipulate the person into the role of the bad guy around the clock (projective identification),
    16.
    When the BPD says "I'm sensitive" it doesn't mean they cry at pretty sunsets and sappy movies.  It means they have a hair trigger and propensity towards rage and violence.  The BPD excuses their anger by claiming that they "care too much." If you sigh the wrong way, it's "abusive,"  if you tried to communicate and question them about their behavior, that was "abusive" also.  And that's why they BPD hit you!  It's your fault, not theirs, because you are the abusive one with your damn "communication".  Hitting you was justified.

    The BPD must frame their criticisms as ad hominem attacks on the other person's character.  Since the BPD has deep flaws of character and personality they will project those problems onto other people. Politics is also great for BPDs because other people are going to be labeled "Marxists" or "racists" or "baby killers" or "sexists."  It really doesn't matter where you are on the political spectrum, the BPD has a grab bags of personalized political attacks.  The BPD claims that their victim is mean to some group of people, and since the BPD doesn't have any evidence, these attacks are justified by the victims fantasy sins against imaginary people.  
    17.
    Splitting as a Defense
    Splitting is another defense of the BPD. Although  the definition of splitting has evolved over time, it is described as fragmented object relations (intimate relations) and a fragmented ego (the view of the self).

    Splitting in object relations  means seeing significant others as "all good" or "all bad."  Often relationships start with excessive intimacy with the "all good," then transition into violent hatred where their lover is now "all bad" and the BPD is back in the role of the victim. The "split" is that the BPD believes two entirely contradictory things and acts as if both things are true.  

    Of course, this could reflect real events and not BPD splitting, but if it happens repeatedly, the BPD "victim" probably really is as crazy as their supposedly abusive partner, and the "victim" may actually be the real serial abuser.

    The fragmented ego has inconsistent beliefs about oneself. Is the BPD a victim or are they the enraged avenging vigilante angel of justice against those who wronged them?  Is it possible to be both?  Is it possible to be both victim and avenger over and over through the years while being enraged at both family and strangers?
    18.
     It's probably a mentally ill idea, but the BPD depends on having  multiple contradictory ideas which are both utterly false.  The BPD bounces back and forth between these two false self images, usual their romantic, self-important image of themselves against them being held back by their significant other in their hated role as the wife or partner in relationship which also facilitates projective identification, a defense that is both deeply primitive and astonishingly devious. Those ideas are at least possible in the real world (even though they are false in the case of the BPD), and bystanders are often convinced that the BPD is both victim and avenger.  

    But at the bottom is a "psychotic nucleus" of things that the BPD doesn't dare say out loud and can't stand to have challenged.  This might be something like "Other people are responsible for my emotions, and if I am unhappy it is only because someone has deliberately hurt me every day and stolen my life, which would have been happy without "them."  
    19.
    Challenging this belief is "abusive," reduces the BPD to incoherent rage, and may result in a physical attack. Physically running away is also a defense, and challenging the splitting will often cause the BPD to either call 911to seek punishment for he who dares to challenge or jump into their car and flee into the night with children in tow, again to punish the significant other by taking his family.

    Other psychotic traits on which the BPD can be challenged are their rage and sadism as well their belief in punishing people for their bad thoughts or intentions. If the BPD pronounces judgment on your thoughts or intentions, including the things you never did, never even said, or never intended, a good response is "If you can read my thoughts, then you can do this from another zip code. Here's your car keys, now get the fuck out."

    To the observer, splitting looks at first like an impenetrable wall of contradictory and irrational gibberish.  The BPD can make their incoherent beliefs work to their advantage by turning these beliefs into breathless, tearful accusations. Because they have contradictory beliefs, the BPD can inflict an endless stream of abuse on anyone around them with this damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't, heads-I-win-tails-you-lose strategy.
    19.
    BPDs Love Authority And Structures They Can Exploit
    BPDs are often able to convince other people that the BPD is the real victim, and the BPD will work to divide any group of people and recruit allies.  

    Their goal is usually to create a "black sheep" for the rest of the group to abuse. Despite this, they are capable of being seductive and ingratiating, and they can successfully work their way into positions of authority where they can use the institutional power in sadistic and destructive ways. Being 'right" is important to the BPD personally and professionally, but they are often "right" in ways that are pointless and destructive
    20.
    911 calls a favorite of the BPD, and they will always be first to make an official complaint.
    The BPD will attack someone, then the BPD will claim they are actually the victim. They are often in civil lawsuits, family courts, and probate fights. Probably a significant chunk of the US economy is consumed by the junk legal actions of BPDs. After all, don't most civil actions feature someone frantically lying their ass off?

    One reason the BPD can succeed is that they love rules and authority.  How about George Zimmerman, a cop wannabee with anger management problems who always calls 911?Authority figures are surrogate parent figures who serve as stand-ins for the BPDs negligent or abusive birth parents.  Coworkers are the siblings who compete for the parents illusive affections and competitors for the family's meager resources.  The fact that none of this may be true has no effect on the BPD, who remains locked in a state of child like rage with extremely limited reasoning ability. They will always by crying foul and demanding that authorities intervene on their behalf.
    21.
    The BPD love rules and use them even when unnecessary to control their significant others in disputes. They love to accuse others of breaking the rules.  Calling 911 and threatening police action are hallmarks of the borderline.   Whenever their own behavior is questioned they threaten to call police claiming harassment.  With the epidemic of BPD in society law enforcement is becoming wise to these tactics.  They also like to make up rules that don't exist, and even if those rules change hour by hour, breaking the rules will bring years of punishment.

    The Successful BPD
    Professionally, a BPD can do well.  Indeed, how many times have we seen successful, highly motivated people turn out to be shockingly cruel to their families.  Picasso and Hemingway come to mind, as well as many of our most prominent business people and politicians.  This also includes many prominent social activists of both the left and right who are unbelievable shits to their own families. Mitch Snyder helped the DC homeless but abandoned his family and killed himself.  Politically, it doesn't matter if the BPD is on the left or right. Social media also plays a huge role in the life of many high functioning borderlines.  Politics and social media are merely ways for them to vent their petty authoritarian urges while bolstering their own "perfect" (perfectly fabricated) reputations.

    In the workplace, the BPD can do well as a manager in any environment where there are rules that encourage the BPD to play "gotcha" as the micromanager.  That's especially true today, when employee turnover is often considered a good thing.  Likewise the stalk, harass, gather evidence, and accuse style is ideal for the HR department in a company that wants to downsize through "attrition."   Other examples that come to mind are the Nurse Ratched character from "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" or the generic brutal cop or prison guard.
    22.
    However, the BPD is often a failure as a leader because they are too busy creating office politics and playing gotcha to focus on actually getting stuff done.  But  the BPD might be the classic failure who "falls upward" from failure because they will always "kiss up (to the boss), kick down (at the underlings)."  Above all the BPD shifts the blame to others while claiming to be the savior, and the BPD recruits henchmen that will be alibis for the BPDs tales of self sacrifice and heroism.

    Borderline Personality Disorder And Related Personality Disorders  (from the DSM)
    BPD usually has components of related personality disorders:
    Borderline Personality Disorder -Experience a pervasive pattern of unstable interpersonal relationships and have difficulties with moods and self-image. Impulsiveness is also extremely common. Often have intense episodes of anxiety, depression and irritability lasting from a few hours to several days. May direct anger outward in the form of physical aggression, but may also engage in self-destructive behaviors such as promiscuous sex, eating disorders or suicidal gestures. These behaviors are often intended to manipulate others. Usually have poor self-identity that leads to overly intense relationships with others. These interactions are generally filled with conflict, and the individual with borderline personality will vacillate between idealizing other people and undervaluing them. Tend to become angry and frustrated when other people fail to meet unrealistic expectations.

    Histrionic Personality Disorder-Generally need others to witness their emotional displays in order to gain validation or attention.  Often display exaggerated symptoms of weakness or illness and may use threats of suicide to manipulate others. Also, many suffering from histrionic personality disorder use sexually provocative behaviors to control others or gain attention.
    23.
     Narcissistic Personality Disorder - An exaggerated sense of one's own abilities and achievements.  A constant need for attention, affirmation and praise. Facebook anyone?  Find the woman with 200 glamour shots and you'll have your BDP. A belief that he or she is unique or "special" and should only associate with other people of the same status. Persistent fantasies about attaining success and power. Exploiting other people for personal gain. A sense of entitlement and expectation of special treatment. A preoccupation with power or success. Feeling envious of others, or believing that others are envious of him or her.

    Antisocial Personality Disorder - Often act out impulsively and fail to consider the consequences of their actions. Display aggressiveness and irritability that often lead to physical assaults. Have difficulty feeling empathy for others.  Display a lack of remorse for damaging behavior
    .
    The various antisocial personality disorders can't stand to have someone actually understand them. Nobody can be permitted to identify their antisocial actions and the complete separation of the glowing self image versus their destructive and sadistic actions. Of course, the BPD would want that discussion to be a confrontation where they can play the victim.  But even if this is done with empathy, the antisocial personality type is likely to respond to empathy as if it were attempted rape.  Having empathy for a BPD is probably the best way to eject them from your life.
    24.
    Are BPDs A Type Of Psychopath?
    There's considerable
    controversy and infighting about how to compare BPDs to psychopaths.  BPDs tend to lack the psychopath's carefree confidence,  lack of guilt, and social isolation.  The BPD is guilty (which the project onto others), dependent, and clings desperately to others.  It has been suggested that the true psychopath is born that way, while the BPD is the result of abusive parenting. But it's also been suggested that the BPD lacks the narcissism of the psychopath.

    Psychopathic Personality Inventory: Factors and Subscales
    [1] PPI–1: Fearless dominance
    Social influence
    Fearlessness
    Stress immunity
    Coldheartedness 
    Also assertiveness, narcissism, and thrill-seeking.

    PPI–2: Impulsive Antisociality  
    Machiavellian egocentricity
    Rebellious nonconformity
    Blame externalization
    Impulsiveness
    Coldheartedness 
    Also aggressiveness, antisocial behavior, negative affect, and suicidal ideation.
    25.
    BPDs Respond To Articles About BPDs
    It's interesting to read articles about BPD where there are comments from BPDs.  Since they are obsessed with what other people think about them, I guess it is no wonder that they would show up in the comments.  Typically, their comments go like this:
    YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT - Ok, there's the BD "appeal to authority" even if someone understands BPDs because they have been shackled to an abusive BPD for decades. Also it's pretty common for mentally ill people to see themselves as unique and special.
    I KNOW MORE THAN YOU - and there we see the BPD narcissism
    YOU MUST BE THE CRAZY ONE - Another BPD favorite
    BUT I'M SPECIAL AND SUPERIOR - Actually we don't see as much of that as we would with bipolar people.
    I'M THE REAL VICTIM HERE - And isn't that the essence of the BPD, that in the midst of all the mayhem and pain, and despite the shattered lives they've left in their wake, they are the real victim?  Remember, Daddy only drinks because you cry.
    YOU JUST HAVE BIAS - you know, sometimes the amount of bias against a specific mental illness corresponds to the body count it leaves.