A big castle that looks forbidding and imprenetrable.

Setup of the book


  1. Attachment
  2. The empty castle
  3. The genesis of borderline
  4. Anger
  5. The structure of borderline
  6. The symptoms
  7. My healing
  8. Guide for nearest and dearest

Chapter 1: Attachment

Attachment is described as follows:
A reciprocal and deep emotional and physical relationship between a child and parents. Attachment demands the physical and emotional availability of child ánd parents. Attachment is the basis of all later relationships and can be secure or damaged.

In this chapter I explain how attachment disorders arise and what the consequences are. This is something that has a profound influence on children, and its effect can last their entire life if proper therapy is not found.

Chapter 2: The empty castle

borderlines feel incredibly empty. I always described it as my empty castle, hence the title of the book:

You can imagine your own interior as a castle. Everything you experience, everything that shaped you, can be found back in that castle. Your personality shows in the decorations, the furniture you chooses, the way you place them. You know the way, you’ve got your fixed places for things and if you need something you know where to get it. You know where the rooms are where the furnishing is not exactly right, where you’re not completely satisfied. You know which people you want to let inside and how far. You may have had some bad experiences and you see that reflected in ugly places in the castle: an ugly stain on the wall paper or a hole in the floor. Those are the places you don’t really like to come, that you walk around or that you hide under a throw rug.

Sometimes you feel empty, but you know that’s a temporary feeling. You’re standing outside of your castle for a little while, not connected to your feelings and your inner self, but you know it is still there the moment you open the gate again.

For borderlines, it works completely differently.

The castle of a borderline is completely empty: there is no furniture, no carpet, no wallpaper. Not even a left-over sock can be found there. There are built-in closets, half opened but empty too. The castle has always been empty too, the borderline can’t remember otherwise. There is an enormous feeling of terror, a feeling that says “let’s not search too thoroughly here, who knows what you will awaken”. The borderline is therefore not inclined to research his inner self, it seems aimless because of the emptiness and dangerous on top of that.

Because of this emptiness, the borderline has no clues as to how to live his life. He has no built up experiences to draw on, he has no self image to hold on to. In his castle there is nothing to give him a direction, or a motivation to achieve something. He can respond to occurrences from outside but there’s nothing coming from the inside. He is out of control, aimless and he has little or no influence on his own life. Others seem to have that but the borderline somehow is not able to get a grip on himself and his life. He does not understand why they can and he can’t. He thinks they are as empty as he is and he is not doing things that differently from them so how it is possible that they are the boss over their lives is a mystery to him.

The borderline might live in that castle but it is not his home. How can it be, when everything that would make it a house is absent. He longs for a home but he has to make do with that empty castle.

The emptiness of a borderline is therefore substantially different from that of others. It is not a matter of temporary, of knowing there is a before and so there will be an after too. It is no matter of knowing that those empty feelings will come but also will go again. This is an emptiness that drowns everything, is always there and always has been there too.

Chapter 3: The genesis of borderline

It is clear that attachment disorder and an empty castle are very essential parts in borderline. In this chapter I explain how the empty castle arises, and what the consequences are for the development of borderlines.

Chapter 4: Anger

Anger is one of the most visible parts of borderline for other people. It‘s also the part that makes it sometimes so very hard to keep in touch, to be loving and caring. borderlines seem to be able to find every button to push, and they frustrate efforts to help and support them.

In this chapter I explain where that anger is coming from. I also show that, although it by outsiders often is felt as manipulation, the borderline is as much a victim of this anger as the people around him are.

Chapter 5: The structure of borderline

Here all the different elements of the previous chapters come together, to show exactly how borderline is structured.

Chapter 6: The symptoms

An extensive overview of the symptoms and from which part of borderline they arise.

Chapter 7: My healing

With examples from my own therapy I show how I got out of borderline. Hopefully this chapter will give professionals a deeper understanding of an integrated approach to borderline, with hopefully a bigger amount of borderlines actually getting healed.

Chapter 8: Guide for nearest and dearest

In this chapter I explain how parents, loved ones, and other people around borderlines, can deal with borderlines in a different way, so that the relationship will be healthier, both for the borderline and for the person next to him.

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Introduction to the book