All the men in this study reported exceptionally poor family relationships and extremely challenging, dangerous environments. This clear theme of challenging home lives acutely brought into focus the experiences of children born into chaotic family environments. For BPD men, their experiences suggest that they felt victimised by being born into those families. For those who stayed within the family home, life was reported to be unpredictable with very poor relationships with care givers and at times high levels of risk and danger.
Borderline Personality Disordered Male:
I can’t remember a time when life wasn’t like chaos……home …. Children’s home…. school…streets …. Hostels…. they were places of chaos…. anger…danger……I learnt at home that life was dangerous.
BPD Males 2 and 4 lived with parents with substance misuse problems and vividly
described their experiences:
My house was crazy anyway….my ma was an addict…was drinking a lot all the way through my childhood. There were times when she was all right like …. But most of the time she was partying and more interested in being with her friends than having anything to do with her kids.
Abandonment and neglect were two aspects men disclosed during the interviews, all men spoke of other events that contributed to their sense that the world and people in it were not safe. In addition, some of the men recounted being so afraid of what they were witnessing as children they entered a freeze like state.