Is trauma recognised in boys by adults they encounter or are they more likely to be seen as troubled or troublesome?
This aspect was reflected by a male BPD patient when he questioned his behavioural responses that caused him to question his sense of his difference.
Borderline Personality Disordered Male: I grew up the “troubled child” always in trouble and people were pretty afraid of me…er…. everything I did was big…. I used to sulk big, fight big, talk…shout…everything was big
I: that’s interesting how you describe your behaviour as big…. can you say some more about that?
BPD Male: well ….um., like when I was younger if I was sulking I would like fold my arms and puff out my chest and stamp my feet…. it’s like I needed people to see what I was feeling …. If I was angry I would shout and scream as loud as I could.
The account the man describes here reflects his lived sense of the high levels of loss of control he felt from a young age. He describes needing to feel and act big. His desire to be big, through posturing and vocalizing might be understood as a primitive defence against his experiences of his life and relationships. His acknowledgement of being a troubled child is central to how he come to understand how others experience him. The sense this gives, is of a child who is desperate to connect with others but is unable to, exacerbating his fear. What becomes very clear from the excerpt is that this behaviour was a communication; a way of asking for help.