Some Characteristics of Borderline Personalities Borderline Personality Disorder clients cannot sustain emotional commitment. They change emotions in midstream and have difficulty holding on to feelings of love. Love turns to indifference, estrangement, and perhaps back again to love. This dysfunctional cycle has its roots in early childhood. Borderlines lose their love for the parent of the opposite sex when the idealization of that parent breaks down. As a child, the BP experiences the opposite-sex parent as being narcissistic, cruel, and abusive. The child's love turns to hate and distrust. The opposite-sex parent falls from the idealized pedestal and crumbles in the BP's eyes and heart. In parental relationships the BP feels as though he or she has never really possessed mother. Mother is experienced as the one who abandons and is inaccessible as a real person. For the BP this is experienced as a catastrophic loss and, as a consequence, may ultimately result in a serious depression. The BP feels eternally alone and abandoned. There is an endless search for the love that never was or has died. The BP begins to lose or withdraw feelings of love from current relationships when the impaired self is activated by family frustrations, stress, and so on. The BP is driven to replace lost nurturance and sustenance, whether or not the experience of loss is misperceived or real. Temporary commitment, emotional withdrawal, and the search for a perfect, all-loving, non-exploitive love object is the continuous and dysfunctional emotional cycle of the borderline.