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There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk

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Chapter One
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost . . . I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault . . .
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter Two
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in this same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter Three
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it there.
I still fall . . . it’s a habit . . . but,
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter Four
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter Five
I walk down another street.

 

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
by Portia Nelson
“There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk”

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All’s Fair in Love and War

Anger is just anger. It isn’t good. It isn’t bad. It just is. What you do with it is what matters. It’s like anything else. You can use it to build or to destroy. You just have to make the choice.


I know you can’t see it, your not willing to see it.  You don’t want to talk, you made it clear you just want to be angry.  This is what I can’t say to you now, but I feel like I need to say.


Your anger is toxic to you and everyone around you.  It storms in, breaking down doors and stirs everything in sight.  My rage was like it, but my storms have past.  And now I feel like I have to sit with the reckons of yours.

I wish you could see through it.  I understand your angry because your traumatized.  And being retraumatized made you more angry.  Its a cycle that only you can break.  Maybe it makes you feel powerless like the way you felt when you were addicted to drugs or when you couldn’t see your kids.  I think youd agree you’ve never benefitied from your anger.  And it’s not fair for you to direct it twoards me.  You can’t communicate your feelings when your angry, and if you can’t communicate you can’t maintain any of the relationships in your life.  Be the person you say you want to be.  I’m sorry for what happened last night and it was not my fault.  It wasn’t okay, its not okay.

Im sorry that it triggered your past trauma.  That is not what I wanted.  Im sorry that you feel hurt.  Im sorry that you can’t see what your anger does.  And I’m sorry that your not willing to make changes to try to control it.  I’ve been working so hard to heal myself, and I feel like I’m carrying this relationship.  Right now I don’t want to give up on us, I need a reason not to.


The things you say make me feel hurt.  Sometimes they make me feel bad about myself, and sometimes I feel like they are boarding psychological abuse.  And you need to take responsibility for that.  I can’t let myself be your punching bag, its not fair.  If only you could try putting yourself in my shoes, and try to see what it feels like from my perspective.  I feel like I’ve made so many changes to accomodate your needs.  And in return I’m left like this.  I can’t be afraid to stand up for myself.  I hope one day you’ll learn to put your anger aside and break the destructive cycle.

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dear leather knee high black stiletto boots

Note to Self: Remember this is why we don’t try to sort out old clothes on our own… don’t go there again. Don’t even try it like ever.

So my memory fucking sucks.  I don’t remember shit.  The things I can remember I’m able to remember by what I was wearing.  I guess thats weird whatever I don’t care.  

Your sitting next to me now.  I held you, I hugged you, I cried.  I tried to show you love and compassion.  I have so many mixed feelings about you.  I hate you for all of the bad places you took me, but at the same time I love you so much and I can’t let you go.  I know we will never be together again, because I outgrew you a while ago.  I know that is suppose to be a good thing, but at the same time it hurts so much to know will never be together again.  You were the perfect fit, we were the perfect pair.  I remember when I found you, it must have been last winter.  I had been looking for something as special as you for so long.  And as soon as I saw you I knew that you were the perfect pair.  We went so many places together.  I have so many memories with you.  At the time, you were one of the few things I truly loved.  You never let me down.  You supported me through all my hard times, literally.  You lifted me up and always got me home safely, I have to thank you for that.  You were with me during really horrible times.  You stuck with me and took me to the people, places and situations that were so reckless and destructive.  I can’t ever walk with you again, you took me places that I can’t ever go back to.  Now I’m crying again and my boyfriend doesn’t understand, I wouldn’t expect him to.  I miss you and I love you and I hate you and I don’t ever want to see you again but I can’t let you go.  I feel like I need to hold on to you.  But you can’t support me anymore and I know I need to say goodbye.  No other pair of shoes will ever replace you.  There will always be a spot in my heart for you.  

Love/Hate Always,

Michelle

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BPD & Fears of Abandonment

Screen Shot 2016-08-07 at 9.19.43 AMEveryone at one point or another fears that their loved ones will leave them.  But this fear is different from the fear a person with Borderline Personality Disorder experiences.  Rooted in years of family history, this fear can be extremely painful.  This core feature of BPD impacts many other symptoms of the disorder.  Feeling lonely effects borderlines close relationships, disrupts identity development and may trigger severe mood swings, self-destructive behavior and anger outbursts.


Where does the Fear of Abandonment Come From?

There are various theories as to why borderlines experience such intense fear of abandonment.

  1. 1be4e9b9aa24e7c330772230042c4712-1Childhood Experiences

The terror or loneliness often is a consequence of early experiences during childhood, which may have been confusing or contradictory.  The parent (most often the mother) may have discouraged normal separation and individuation by being too clingy, perhaps due to her own fear of abandonment.  The mother or primary caregiver may also have been too rejecting, most likely because of their own fear of closeness.  In some cases, the caregiver could have acted in both ways. 

      2. Object Relations Theory

The object relations theory, is a psychoanalytic theory, suggests that the child and caregivers consistent or inconsistent relationship shapes the way in which the child will view the world. According to this theory, ideally during early development the child experiences consistent, nurturing parenting.  During the first 2 and a half years of life, the child develops trust in the world that is predicts the trust they will have in the world and in others through out adulthood.  This theory suggests that as a child, the borderline experiences a chaotic upbringing, given inconsistent messages from the parent, the borderline is unable to form a constant, predictable sense of self and the world, compared to the ideal child parent relationship, the borderline is unable to establish healthy object constancy; or a reliable, comforting, internalized image of their world that can be used to soothe in times of stress.  Being alone may become intolerable, and hinder confidence and sense of reality.  According to the object relations theory, the child often uses transitional objects as a coping mechanism.  The transitional object is often a favored doll, blanket, stuffed animal or toy.  The child uses this as a way to feel connected to the parent.  When transitional objects don’t work, the child may seek comfort in other ways.

      3. Neurological Correlates

Certain biological peculiarities, including serotonin dysfunction, have been associated with the diagnosis.  Studies utilized PET scanning to illustrate correlations between the specific BPD criterion of abandonment anxiety and cerebral blood flow.  Findings suggest that women with BPD exhibit alterations of blood flow in areas of the brain when exposed to memories of abandonment.


Even after childhood, the extreme bonding often carries over through out the borderlines life, into other relationships and friendships.  The borderline desperately and continuously seeks a new best friend or new partner, exhibiting “an insatiate thirst of enjoying a greedily desired object,” the borderline enters each new friendship with the burden of a grand intensity that it cannot support. 


The conflicting fears and emotions are not only difficult for the borderline, but difficult for those close to them as well.  Because the borderline splits feelings into extremes of black and white, they experience others as providing satisfaction or frustration and rejection.  Engaging in a relationship with a Borderline may include need for dependency and navigating between being perceived as uncaring on one side and as trying to manipulate on the other.  It is important to acknowledge that these fears of abandonment cannot be Screen Shot 2016-08-07 at 9.27.06 AMeasily assuaged.  Despite the amount of reassurance and time spent with the individual, often times they cannot independently rid their anxieties tied to fear.  Only as the borderline understands the instability of their own needs, and after time, are able to develop and accept their individuality within healthy relationships, can they overcome these fears.  The most significant parameter to embrace when living with or loving someone with these extreme fears of abandonment is consistency.  It is best to be consistent than it is to be right.  If you can bring some predictability to the chaotic world the borderline lives in, you are beginning to participate in their growth and maturation. 


How can Screen Shot 2016-08-07 at 9.25.14 AMLoved ones and Relatives Manage the Borderlines Fears and Abandonment

1. Understand and accept the persons anxieties. For the borderline, living apart from a person may be perceived as abandonment.  For example, a husband who works late every night or a therapist who sees many patients, they may all be perceived by the borderline as abandoning.  These feelings are real, and it is crucial that they are acknowledged. 

2. Respect your own limitations. While accepting the borderline’s need for constant reassurance, it is important not to abandon your own interests entirely.  Establish compromises between each others needs and your own, and stick to them. 

3. Don’t try to play doctor. Analyzing the behaviors may be perceived as controlling and may result in anger and defensiveness. 

4. Prepare the borderline for separation. For many people with BPD the future is not seen clearly.  The hope is that what hasn’t happened yet never will.  Ignoring this will only result in more severe hurt and anger when separation does occur. 

5. Be consistent. Work for a compromise and stick to it.  Ambivalence will only result in more conflicts.

 -Kreisman, J. (2004).

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Is Borderline Personality Disorder more Severe than Other Mental Disorders?

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I received a question from one of my followers, “Can you offer any insight as to why there is so much shame attached to BPD? Is it worse than other mental health issues?” I thank this follower for her request, because it gave me the idea for the post, which I believe offers insight and information that are often overlooked.


When I was in graduate school, I remember sitting in my psychopathology class and learning about BPD.  I recall my professor explaining, that many therapists avoid working with clients’ with BPD.  He explained the reason for this being, that many clinicians find it difficult to make progress with BPD clients, due to their symptoms such as instability, impulsivity, splitting, difficulty trusting others, etc. My professor provided an example of an experience he had working with a client with BPD.  He explained that the client would present anger outbursts almost every session, during which she would black out due to the extreme anger.  He reported having difficulty building rapport with his client due to her anger, which she displaced onto the therapist.  He also mentioned the inconsistency of attending sessions.  I would like to make it clear that this is not my personal opinion, but a story that was shared with me, and information given by one of my professors.ede787a3f2bcbcba00a3ae118ff4724b


Is BPD worse than other mental disorders?

There is no evidence based answer to this question.  Every case of Borderline Personality Disorder is different.  People with BPD may experience a wide range of symptoms, while others with a more mild form of the condition present less severe symptoms.  It comes down to the individual, and factors contributing to the disorder such as family, relationships, childhood, environmental factors, social factors etc. 

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Although this is not conclusive, there are factors associated with BPD that may make it seem more severe than other disorders. What we do know is that individuals with BPD frequently suffer from co-occuring mental disorders (the diagnosis often comes with additional diagnosis).  It is common for a clinician to misdiagnosed a client with BPD with the comorbid disorder, which is unfortunate because than they are unable to receive proper treatment. In order to treat BPD with co-occuring disorders the most effectively, Both BPD and the comorbid disorders must be treated.


Disorders that most commonly occur with borderline personality disorder include:

1.Mood Disorders (depression, bipolar disorder): Many people with BPD experience mood swings.  They may experience sudden, extreme shifts in mood, for example going from upbeat, happy, euphoric to angry, irritable etc.  Some individuals meet criteria for major depressive disorder as well as BPD.  The symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) include sadness and/or emptiness most of the day, nearly everyday, low energy, difficulty concentrating and making decisions, thoughts of suicide, sleep and appetite disturbance, agitation, as well as feelings of helplessness, guilt and worthlessness. BPD individuals struggle frequently struggle with establishing a sense of self, and feeling inherently bad.  The symptoms associated with both BPD and MDD overlap, and frequently lead to co-occuring diagnosis.

2. Substance Use Disorders-Individuals with BPD are often more likely to use substances. The overuse of substances, addiction, and problems with substance abuse can render a diagnosis of substance use disorder, co-occuring with BPD.

3. Post traumatic Stress Disorder-A high percentage of individuals with BPD also suffer from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Many individuals with BPD have suffered from early childhood trauma such as sexual and or physical abuse. PTSD is triggered by traumatic experiences, and can develop at any stage of life.  The maladaptive coping skills that often occur with BPD diagnosis often develop as a way of coping with trauma.

4. Eating Disorders (most commonly bulimia)eating disorders are common in individuals with BPD. Anorexia and Bulimia primarily being the two found most commonly associated with BPD.  Childhood trauma predisposes individuals to these eating disorders, similarly to how it predisposes people to BPD.  The impulsive, self-destructive tendencies associated with BPD may make them more vulnerable to developing an eating disorder.

5. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder(ADHD) frequently co-occurs in borderline individuals affects approximately one out of four diagnosed.  Similar to BPD, ADHD symptoms include impulsivity.

6. Anxiety Disorders-Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder are also co-occuring disorders that many BPD individuals suffer with. Some may be vulnerable due to childhood trauma, chaotic environments, and conflicts.  Children raised in chaotic environments are more likely to develop anxiety disorders.

7.Other Personality Disorders-Research has indicated that many individuals diagnosed with BPD either have co-occuring other personality disorders or features of other personality disorders.

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Overall, a diagnosis of BPD often comes with other co-occuring disorders.  I believe the main reason behind this is because BPD is a complex disorder, with a wide range of symptoms, which overlap with many symptoms associated with other disorders. Symptoms associated with BPD are similar to a few disorders all wrapped into one.  So inclusion, I can not say for certainty that BPD is more severe than other disorders, but if asked my opinion given all of the co-occuring disorders that come with the diagnosis I do believe it is a disorder harder to cope with, treat and manage than most. Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 2.19.23 PM


Why is there so much shame attached to BPD?

Given the nature of the disorder, and the features of other disorders, and co-occuring disorders that often come with a BPD diagnosis, individuals with the disorder frequently experience shame and guilt over many of these symptoms. Many other features b52480c99b31d18c6409875a68f52c47of the disorder also cause individuals with BPD to feel shame.  For example, splitting, a common phenomena that people with BPD experience, can make the individual view themselves as bad, worthless, etc.  Many individuals with BPD also have experienced trauma, many having suffered from physical and or sexual abuse, which causes them to feel shame, and sometimes even blame themselves for the abusers behaviors.  Overall, there is a lot of shame associated with the disorder because of the symptoms and criteria that come with it.  On top of that, there is the stigma placed on the disorder, which causes even more shame.


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BPD is a complex disorder, extremely difficulty to manage, but overcoming the symptoms is definitely possible, and typically in most cases of BPD around the persons early 30’s
symptoms begin to lessen in severity.  Progress is possible, and it is a challenge, but many individuals suffering do get better.  It is a long journey, but it is worth it.  WIth treatment such as individual therapy, DBT, group therapy, medication management etc. BPD is manageable and there is so much potential for suffers to overcome it.


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Parental Alienation-A Type of Child Abuse..

Recent research on the effects of divorce on children has indicated that children would rather live with their parents separated, than live in a high conflict environment with their parents together. As much as we hear the statement “never stay together for the children,” it is often ignored, because of parental conflict as well as both parents personal reasons.  The effects of this on a child can be extremely detrimental.  In these situations, the child’s needs are often put aside, and they grow up in an environment that often leads to to a lifetime of psychological distress.Split In Two


What children of divorce need and want is to maintain healthy relationships with both parents.  They need to be protected from their parent’s conflicts. As I always love to quote Dr. Phil, “never involve children in adult issues.”  Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for one parent to foster the child’s rejection of the other parent.  In some cases, children may even be manipulated by one parent to hate or think badly about the other parent, despite the child’s desire to be loved and love both parents.


Parental Alienation

Parental alienation occurs when a parent is unable to separate their own marital conflicts, to recognize and focus on the child’s needs.  The parent may program the child to hold beliefs towards the other parent, in effort to undermine and interfere wit the child’s relationship with the other parent.  As a result, the child may emotionally reject one parent, and even lose the capacity to feel love for that parent.71a447b965442caf4b83d90ad1482f08

“Psychiatrist Richard Gardner developed the concept of “parental alienation syndrome” 20 years ago, defining it as, “a disorder that arises primarily in the context of child custody disputes.  Its primary manifestation is the child’s campaign of denigration against a parent, a campaign that has no justification.  It results from the combination of a programming (brainwashing) parent’s indoctrinations and the child’s own contributions to the vilification of the target parent.” Children’s views of the targeted parent are almost exclusively negative, to the point that the parent is demonized as seen as evil.”


Currently, there is scholarly consensus that severe alienation is abusive to children, and is a largely overlooked form of child abuse  The severe effects of parental alienation on children have been well-documented  They include low self-esteem, self-hatred, lack of trust, depression, substance abuse and loss of the capacity to give and accept love from a parent.  Self-hatred is one ofparentalalienationaaa the most significant effects.  Children internalize the hatred targeted towards the alienated parent, and can be led to believe that the alienated parent did not love them, or want them.  Children that have suffered from parental alienation typically grow up to have conflicted or distant interpersonal relationships, and even experience these problems with their own children.  Every child has the right to maintain a non-threatening, loving relationship with both parents.  To be denied that right by one parent without justification is in itself a form of child abuse.  Hatred is not an emotion that comes naturally to children.  It is an emotion that is taught and learned from a parent. 


Symptoms of Parental Alienation

 by Douglas Darnall, Ph.D.

” To prevent the devastating effects of Parental Alienation, you must begin by recognizing the symptoms of PA. You will notice that many of the symptoms or behaviors focus on the parent. When the child exhibits hatred and vilifies the targeted parent, then the condition becomes parental alienation syndrome. After reading the list, don’t get discouraged when you notice that some of your own behaviors have been alienating. This is normal in even the best of parents. Instead, let the list help sensitize you to how you are behaving and what you are saying to your children. 

1. Giving children choices when they have no choice about visits. Allowing the child to decide for themselves to visit when the court order says there is no choice sets up the child for conflict. The child will usually blame the non-residential parent for not being able to decide to choose whether or not to visit. The parent is now victimized regardless of what happens; not being able to see his children or if he sees them, the children are angry. 

2. Telling the child “everything” about the marital relationship or reasons for the divorce is alienating. The parent usually argues that they are “just wanting to be honest” with their children. This practice is destructive and painful for the child. The alienating parent’s motive is for the child to think less of the other parent. 

3. Refusing to acknowledge that children have property and may want to transport their possessions between residences. 

4. Resisting or refusing to cooperate by not allowing the other parent access to school or medical records and schedules of extracurricular activities. 

5. A parent blaming the other parent for financial problems, breaking up the family, changes in lifestyle, or having a girlfriend/boyfriend, etc. 

6. Refusing to be flexible with the visitation schedule in order to respond to the child’s needs. The alienating parent may also schedule the children in so many activities that the other parent is never given the time to visit. Of course, when the targeted parent protests, they are described as not caring and selfish. 

7. Assuming that if a parent had been physically abusive with the other parent, it follows that the parent will assault the child. This assumption is not always true. 

8. Asking the child to choose one parent over another parent causes the child considerable distress. Typically, they do not want to reject a parent, but instead want to avoid the issue. The child, not the parent, should initiate any suggestion for change of residence. 

9. Children will become angry with a parent. This is normal, particularly if the parent disciplines or has to say “no”. If for any reason the anger is not allowed to heal, you can suspect parental alienation. Trust your own experience as a parent. Children will forgive and want to be forgiven if given a chance. Be very suspicious when the child calmly says they cannot remember any happy times with you or say anything they like about you. 

10. Be suspicious when a parent or stepparent raises the question about changing the child’s name or suggests an adoption. 

11. When children cannot give reasons for being angry towards a parent or their reasons are very vague without any details. 

12. A parent having secrets, special signals, a private rendezvous, or words with special meanings are very destructive and reinforce an on-going alienation. 

13. When a parent uses a child to spy or covertly gather information for the parent’s own use, the child receives a damaging message that demeans the victimized parent. 

14. Parents setting up temptations that interfere with the child’s visitation. 

15. A parent suggesting or reacting with hurt or sadness to their child having a good time with the other parent will cause the child to withdraw and not communicate. They will frequently feel guilty or conflicted not knowing that it’s “okay” to have fun with their other parent. 

16. The parent asking the child about his/her other parent’s personal life causes the child considerable tension and conflict. Children who are not alienated want to be loyal to both parents. 

17. When parents physically or psychologically rescue the children when there is no threat to their safety. This practice reinforces in the child’s mind the illusion of threat or danger, thereby reinforcing alienation. 

18. Making demands on the other parent that is contrary to court orders. 

19. Listening in on the children’s phone conversation they are having with the other parent. 

20. One way to cause your own alienation is making a habit of breaking promises to your children. In time, your ex-spouse will get tired of having to make excuses for you.”

read more…

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BPD & Parenting

Although there is no concrete evidence indicative of the exact cause of borderline personality disorder, various theories have been supported.  Most theories are related to childhood and parenting, but overall the available evidence points to no one definitive cause of BPD. Instead, a combination of genetic, developmental, neurobiological and social factors, evidently contribute to the development of BPD.


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Family studies suggest that first-degree relatives of borderlines are several times more likely to show signs of a personality disorder, especially BPD, than the general public.  It is unlikely that one gene contributes to BPD; instead, like most medical disorders, many chromosomaloci are activated or subdued, probably influenced by environmental factors, in the development of BPD.  The latest research strongly suggests that BPD may be at least partly inherited, parent and child may both experience dysfunction in cognitive and/or emotional connection.(Kreisman, 2010).


Developmental Roots; The Parent-Child Relationship

Developmental theories focus on the relationship and interactions between the child and caregiver during the first few years of life.  Between the ages 18 to 30 months, the child begins the struggle to gain autonomy, or independence.  Objects Relations Theory defines this as the Rapprochement Phase.  In the rapprochement phase, the child’s expanding world sparks the recognition that he possesses an identity separate from those around him.  Reunions with the mother and the need for her approval shape the deepening realization that she and others are separate, real people.  It is in this phase that both childselfish-parent_0[1] and mother confront conflicts that will determine future vulnerability to the development of BPD  This is a crucial time in a child’s development, and may be causative to the development of BPD later in life  Parents may be either resistant toward separation from the child, and in turn they become controlling and disrupt this significant phase of development.  On the other hands, some parents are absent during this time, and fail to provide sufficient attention to and validation for the child’s feelings and experiences.  Either extremes of the caregivers behavior, being over controlling or emotionally under involved, cant result in the child’s failure to develop a positive, stable sense of self and may lead to a constant, intense need for attachment and chronic fears of abandonment as they grown into adulthood.  Many people diagnosed with BPD have had an absent or neglectful caregiver early in life.


Trauma

Major traumas which occur during the early years of life, such as parental loss, neglect, rejection, physical and/or sexual abuse significantly increase the likelihood of development BPD during adolescents/early adult years.  For example, a child raised with a neglectful caregiver, may need to learn to survive with minimum love and attention.  During adulthood self-image may be distorted and deep feelings of unworthiness may be experienced.  As children, we depend on our primary caregiver to meet our needs, and this determines how we view the world when we reach adulthood.  If a parent fails to meet the child’s needs, or there is an abusive or neglectful parent-child relationship, the child learn to view the world through this lens.  In a traumatic relationship, where the child experiences any type of abuse, they naturally blame themselves, and develop the mindset of that they are unworthy of health relationships, or are simply not good enough  Of course, not all children exposed to trauma or abuse develop BPD; nor do all adults with BPD have a history of trauma or abuse  Here is where the controversy of nature vs nurture comes into play.

So Sick

Im so sick.  Sick of being sick, sick of being tired just so fucking sick.  I’m splitting so hard.  I take a step forward and then I’m pushed 10 steps back.  I feel better and then I feel worse.  It doesn’t stop.  I love you and I fucking hate you.  The worst is when you hate yourself more then anyone in the world.  I’m my own worst enemy, my most harsh critic, the crulest person in my life is me.   I can’t accept myslef, I’m unacceptable.  I always think if I was skinny like I used to be then things would be better.  But even then, I wasn’t happy.  I miss my anorexia and I want it back.  I have so many fucking emotions, they make me cry so much.  I cry when Im happy and I cry when im sad.  I feel lost, alone, abandondoned and rejected like 98 percent of the time.  I can’t remember most of my life.  But I’m pretty sure I’d rather be the person I was in the past then whoever the fuck I am now.  Becuse I have no clue what to think, how to feel, what to do.  Im helpless.  I can’t stand on my own, but I can’t depend on others to hold me up.  So I just fall.  And fall again.  I want to get up so badly, and I’m in my own way.  I feel like I’ve been so many different people and I’ve lived so many different lives.  Im so fucking traumatized by everything and nothing.  I just want someone to tell me what to do and who to be.  People say they like want to understand, but they don’t and they never will because this isn’t something anyone can comprehend.  I’m so stuck I hate this and I hate everyone.

Validation 101



Many people find the validation piece of DBT one of the most difficult skills to understand and apply to themselves and others.  

Shout out to my mom, who has been struggling to understand validation and has been unsuccessful in her numerous attempts to “validate my feelings,” which is okay.  She is trying hard and she is struggling (is that a dialectic? #lovedbt).

So for all of you out there who are struggling to effectively validate feelings of a loved one with borderline personality disorder I’ll break it down for ya.


What is Validation?
Validation is an extremely crucial part of DBT, and an extremely effective skill if practiced properly. You can use validation even if you don’t necessarily agree with the other person.  You don’t have to agree with the persons feelings, behaviors, thoughts etc., but you can validate them by simply acknowledging even a small part of what the person says as understandable, and that their feelings/emotions are “valid.”


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“To confirm or strengthen what is relevant, true, or effective about a response, be it a thought, emotion, physical sensation, or action. Validation requires empathy (the accurate understanding of the person’s experience) but validation also includes the communication that the person’s response makes
sense.”(Marsha Linehan)

Identifying and communicating your understanding of what the other person is
saying or feeling in a CLEAR way
▲ Communicate what you understand about the situation

▲ Legitimize the “facts” or another’s responses
▲ Explain your own feelings after expressing understanding
▲ Acknowledge the situation, the other’s opinions, feelings
▲ Respect emotions, desires, reactions and goals

Why is Validation Important?
Validation:
▲ Is the core of communication (along with accurate disclosure)
▲ Builds trust and slows negative reactivity
▲ Decreases anger
▲ Enhances self-respect
▲ Is the key to getting through “rough” spots in the relationship
▲ Makes both the sender and recipient feel more positive about the
relationship
▲ Makes problem solving, closeness, & other kinds of support possible


WE DO NOT VALIDATE THE INVALID.
Please don’t validate us if we are invalid.  For example, when I was ano and I weighed like 80lbs and I told people I felt like I was fat they didn’t respond by saying “hmm I understand you feel fat, that must be really hard.”  If they did, they would not only be validating the invalid, but they would have also been calling me fat (as I would interpret it).  So we don’t want to be reinforcing things people say that are just totally invalid, or false.  If I say EVERYONE HATES ME, do not validate that, because that is NOT valid. 

Targets: What Should I Validate?128658-127892
▲ Feelings or emotions (e.g. “I can see you are really upset with me.”)
▲ Legitimacy in wanting something (“I know you want money to decorate
your apartment because you want it to look nice. Right now I don’t have
money to give you.”)
▲ Beliefs, opinions, or thoughts about something
▲ True values about something
▲ How difficult a task is (“I understand how difficult things are for you.”)
▲ How hard a person is trying to accomplish something (“I know you are
trying to do the best you can right now.”)
▲ Things a person does that are effective for herself or himself (“I know how
hard you are working on things and it looks like it is paying off. You are
really trying and it is helping the situation.”)
▲ Things a person does for another (“You were so helpful to your
grandmother.”)
▲ Efforts made (reinforce)


What is Invalidation?
Invalidation=perceiving/expressing verbally or non verbally that another person’s emotional experiences/reactions are rejected, ignored or judged.  Ways we may invalidate include our facial expressions, body language, verbal statements, tone of voice, etc.  The tone and manner can be invalidating even when the words we say are validating.  For example, exaggerating the word FEEEEEL may be perceived as invalidating because it communicates that the feeling is wrong, so pay attention to your tone of voice.  

Some other ways we might invalidate without realizing it include blaming, minimizing, denying someones feelings/thoughts, not being present, ignoring and discounting the persons goals.

Some roadblocks you may hit when working on validation include:Feeling/being judgmental, fear, exhaustion, self blame, holding grudges for past experiences, etc., roadblocks vary from person to person.  And that’s okay, we are all human, no one is perfect, just do the best you can with the skills you have right now.  


Other things to consider: 95% of our communication is conveyed non verbally, through our body language. When validating someone remember to pay attention to your body language, face the person, maybe lean in towards them and make eye contact to show you are present, interested and attentive.  
4dd70b4985014a5cd4444ca09e98fe94--emotional-invalidation-invalidation-quotes1) Pay attention, listen actively, use good eye contact and body posture to
communicate that you are listening non-judgmentally. Listen mindfully. Be
an active rather than a passive listener.
2) Reflect his/her feelings descriptively (non-judgmentally), let yourself
feel a little bit of what he/she is feeling, and let yourself show it (voice
tone, facial expression, posture). Say back what you are feeling.
3) Summarize her/his or your perspective descriptively. For a better
understanding, clarify, through questions, what it is that you hear, that
you understand. (Be careful not to disagree, criticize, or judge, not to
attempt to change his/her mind or goals, nor to get him/her to do
something differently). Be aware that some questions may be interpreted
as opinions or judgments.
4) Show tolerance; give the “benefit of the doubt” and put the thing you are
trying to validate into a broader context; see how the behavior is valid in
the other person’s life, given his or her^ history and experiences. Be nonjudgmental.
5) Be mindful of the other person and the relationship; stay non-judgmental;
normalize thoughts, feelings, and wants in present circumstances; if the
other’s behavior is normal, or makes sense, say so; find parts of their
experience that are normative (e.g., emotions or desires).
6) Practice willingness. In spite of how you may feel or that you have the
right answer, try to do what is effective for the moment.
7) Self-disclose your own vulnerability (this is a form of validation). If the
other person is vulnerable with you, it is very validating to be vulnerable
in return (especially concerning your relationship). Be genuine. “Me
too!”


Thats all for now, hope it helped! 

*side note*

I LOVE DBT

If we could “talk” about it

***Venting no need to read, just for myself.***

 

If we could take about it I would tell you how I’ve been feeling.  Instead of holding it all inside I would talk to you.  Talk to you about the shame, and weakness I feel.  NOT because of the message.  Because of the feelings it brings up for me.  If we could talk about it maybe you could understand that I’ve been hurt, i’ve been broken, I’ve been taken advantage of and as hard as I try I still suffer from the shame and blame I place on myself.  Im jelous, I’m paranoid, I’m insecure.  NOT because of the message.  I can sometimes be this way because of everything I’ve been through.  As hard as I try to accept myself and to believe I’m good enough, I’m left feeling like I’m lying to myself.  There is just too much that has happened during my life to suggest otherwise.  I’ve learned that I’m not deseriving of love or compassion.  I’ve learned to feel worthless and helpless.  Yes these are MY problems.  I take responsibiity for them, and I am continously working on them.  And if we could talk about it maybe you could listen, and try to understand.  Maybe you could be reassuring and validating like I sometimes need you to be.  It hurts to be silenced.  I can’t leave words unspoken or unwritten.  

More on BPD..Educate Your Self & Loved Ones

*Trigger Warning As I’ve talked about in previous posts, expanding my knowledge on BPD and further researching the disorder has helped me gain a significant amount of insight to my mental processes, symptoms, behaviors and emotions.  Educating myself as well as my friends and family has made a tremendous difference in manning my interpersonal relationships. […]

*Trigger Warning

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As I’ve talked about in previous posts, expanding my knowledge on BPD and further researching the disorder has helped me gain a significant amount of insight to my mental processes, symptoms, behaviors and emotions.  Educating myself as well as my friends and family has made a tremendous difference in manning my interpersonal relationships.  A fellow blogger asked ma few questions about BPD, and I would like to elaborate on my responses.  If you or someone you know is struggling with BPD, you may find this post helpful in gaining a better understanding of the disorder.


Question 1: What is the most effective treatment for individuals struggling with BPD?

My initial thought, and response to this question was that BPD is unique to every individual, as every individual experiences the symptoms of it in various ways.  Treatment should be tailored to meet the individuals needs and goals.  Evidently, DBT is the most effective treatment approach for Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is extremely effective for many people, but not for everyone.  In order to make progress I believe the most important factor is the therapeutic relationships, due to the nature of the disorder, making it difficult for clients to trust others (including their therapists) and fear abandonment.  When it comes to coping and make progress with BPD, it is crucial to work with a professional whom fosters an environment where the client feels safe, coFullSizeRendercomfortable and accepted by the therapist.  Perhaps the most crucial factor is working with a professional where is a mutual feeling of trust.  The therapeutic relationship plays a huge role in the client’s progress.  Often times, you may need to meet with a few therapists before you find one who feels like the right fit, and that’s okay.  


Qutestion 2: Is there anything friends and family members can do to support loved ones suffering from BPD? 

http://www.tara4bpd.org/

(This worked for my mom)^

One of the most difficult challenges with BPD is their unique way of thinking, that is hard

 for others to understand.  This causes problems in interpersonal relationships.  It’s a give in that unless you have BPD, you will never understand what it is truly like.  So trying to make sense of it, and trying to help a loved one takes a lot of effort, but it can be extremely helpful in the individual’s recovery.  


Definition

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental disorder characterized by disrupted and unstable interpersonal relationships and self-image, along wit impulsive, reckless, and often self destructive behavior.


Description

Individuals with BPD have a history of unstable interpersonal relationships.  They experience difficulty interpreting reality and viewing significant people in their lives as either flawless or extremely unfair and uncaring (a phenomenon known as “splitting).  These alternating feelings of idealization and devaluation are the hallmark feature of BPD.  Because borderline patients set up such excessive and unrealistic expectations of others, they are inevitably disappointed when others don’t meet their expectations. 

The term “borderline” was originally used by Psychologist Adolf Stern in the 1930’s to describe patients whose condition bordered somewhere between psychosis and neurosis.  It has also been used to describe the borderline states of consciousness these patients sometimes feel when they experience dissociative symptoms (feelings of detachment from oneself).


Causes

Adults with borderline personalities often have a history of significant childhood traumas such as emotional, physical, and/or sexual abuse, parental neglect or loss.  Feelings of inadequacy and self-loathing that arise from these situations may be key in developing the borderline persod5dec20b-85a4-4f3a-8c80-b7592d6acdfcnality.  Another theory suggests these patients try to compensate for the care they were denied during childhood through the idealized demands they now make on themselves and others they care about as adults.  Some studies suggest that this disorder is associated with mood or impulsive control problems, other implicate malfunctioning neurotransmitters (the chemical that send messages to nerve cells).   the disorder has a genetic correlation since it occurs more commonly among first-degree relatives.


Diagnosis

Borderline Personality Disorder typically first appears in early adulthood.  Although the disorder may occur during adolescents, it is difficult to diagnose since the borderline symptoms such as impulsive and experimental behaviors, insecurity and mood swings are common-even developmentally appropriate occurrences at this age.  Borderline symptoms may also be a result of chronic substance abuse and/or medical conditions (specifically, disorders of the central nervous system).  These should be ruled out before making the diagnosis of bpd.  BPD is typically a co-occurring disorders, and those diagnosed wit the disorder often present symptoms of or meet full criteria for disorders such as depression, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and other personality disorders.  It has also been suggested by some researchers that borderline personality disorder is not a true pathological condition in and of itself, but rather a number of overlapping personality disorder; it is, however, commonly recognized as a separate and distinct disorder b the American Psychiatric Association and by most mental health professionals.  It is diagnosed by interviewing the patient, and matching symptoms to the DSM 5 criteria.  Supplementary testing may sometimes also be necessary.


Treatment

Borderlines seek psychiatric help and hospitalization at a much higher rate than people with other personality disorder, most likely due to the intense fear of abandonment they experience and their need to seek idealized interpersonal relationships.  These patients represent the highest percentage of diagnosed personality disorders (up to 60%).  Providing effective therapy for the bpd patient is necessary, but often challenging.  The therapist-patient relationship is subject to the same inappropriate and unrealistic demands that the borderline personalities place on others in interpersonal relationships.  They are chronic “treatment seekers” who become easily frustrated w47a0dbcc-144b-417e-a592-38d83009ea1eit their therapist if they feel they are not receiving adequate attention or empathy, and symptomatic anger, impassivity and self-destructive behavior can impede the therapist-client relationship.  However, their fear of abandonment, often causes clients to break their relationship with the therapist, and discontinue treatment as soon as they realize progress is being made.  Psychotherapy, typically in the form of cognitive behavioral therapy is typically first line treatment, along with medication management.  Dialectal behavior therapy (DBT), a cognitive-behavioral technique has emerged as an effective therapy for borderline personalities, especially those with suicidal tendencies.  The treatment focuses on giving the borderline patient self-confidence and  on going tools for life outside of treatment through a combination of social skills training, mood awareness and meditative exercises. as well as education on the disorder. Group therapy is also an option for some bpd patients, although some often feel threatened by the idea of “sharing” a therapist with others.  


PrognosisIMG_0865

The disorder usually peaks in young adulthood and in most cases stabilizes after age 30.  Approximately 75-80% of borderline patients attempt or threaten suicide, and between 8-10% actually commit suicide.  If the bpd patient suffers from depressive disorders, the risk of suicide is much higher.  For this reason, swift diagnoses and appropriate intervention is crucial.  Prevention recommendations are scarce,  thee disorder may be genetic and not preventable.  The only known prevention would be to ensure a safe and nurturing environment during childhood.


Resources

BPD Central, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. 200 N. Glebe Road, Suite 1015, Arlington, VA 22203-3754. (800)950-6262. 

Lineham, Marsha, Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder.

Linehan, Marsha. Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline personality Disorder.

Mokovitz, Richard A. Lost in the Mirror: n inside Look at Borderline Personality Disorder.


Read More

 

79cd35f8-db1f-4bd7-9382-9b9242e9f56d

What is Love?

November 26, 2016


Whenever I felt like this, before shit hit the fan, Max was there. I thought it was love, or at the time I knew it was love. Not love like the other times I knew without doubt this is it this is love, this is how it should be and I finally found it. But I was wrong… again.

I’ve been thinking a lot about “love” just because I went from believing soul mates, true unconditional love, fairy tails etc., to believing love isn’t even real. It was a delusion. How can you go from knowing that you’ve found the one, planning your life out with them, to not even knowing if that was love, or if  the person ever loved you.. Because if they did wouldn’t you find a way to make it work, that’s what love was supposed to be.

Or maybe it’s just me. Is it true you can’t love someone until you fully love and accept yourself? Or do we learn to love and accept ourselves by experiencing love? Or is it just something that disney made up? Is love all we need, because if it is I feel like were fucked. And even if there was a chance that love does exist, how would you ever know if you found it?


 

#STOPTHEVIOLENCE

**Reader descretion advised:This post contains strong personal opinions and may offend most readers.**also I do not proof read or use spell check.


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Growing up in New York, currently living in Boston, and having lived in Florida for over a year I’ve been astonished and horrified by the information and events that occur in FLorida, that the news, government etc fails to share with the public. I’m not sure how Florida is considered a state, because it’s basically a free for all society where laws are completely ignored, law enforcement is incompetent, and people are just clueless.

Like really.. how many more people need to get shot in florida before rick scott decides to I don’t know, maybe like think about doing something? Side note, while I was living in florida Rick Scott was re-elected as governor of florida, yet there were no elections held, no information about voting, etc. You probably don’t believe me, I sure wouldn’t. But yeah that happened.  So Rick Scott re elected himself while I was living in Florida, and shortly after we had the  d, the deadliest terrorist attack in the United States since 9/11 and at the time the deadliest mass shooting by a single shooter in the United States (surpassed by the recent shooting in Vegas).  It is still the deadliest United States mass shooting in which the perpetrator did not commit suicide.

Yes YOU HEARD THAT RIGHT, HE WAS KNOWN TO THE FBI AND BOUGHT HIS GUN IN THE PAST FEW DAYS BEFORE THE SHOOTING. He also called 911 and pledged to ISIS before the shooting. Fun fact, the police didn’t give a fuck about that 911 call.  The police didn’t give a fuck about the shooting in general, Orlando and surrounding areas being primarily white sepremises, the police made little effort to stop the shooter.  The police actually contributed to the shooting, during the shoot off where the police and the shooter shot back and forth at each other, which the police included shooting people in between.  Why didn’t florida take the 911 call seriously, and why did they make such little effort to stop it? Because they don’t like gay people. Following the event, many  Florida residents condoned the event because of their hatred towards the gay community. FUCKED UP.

Theres so much more, just google central florida news you’ll find tons of articles about children being murdered by parents and many other horrific unimaginable things.  This is the tragic truth about florida. The few gun laws they do have are not inforced, and daily violence that occurs there is basically hidden from the public.  While living in Central Florida, I witnessed civilians pulling a young woman’s dead body out of the water while driving past a small lake.  About 15 minutes later I heard police sirens going towards the scene.  I heard gunshots almost everyday working in Orlando, and witnessed more shootings than anyone should ever have to.  I myself, called 911 on several occasions, one which the 911 operated asked me if I could DRIVE BACK TO THE LOCATION WHERE THE CRIME OCCURRED AND CHECK IF THE SUSPECT WAS STILL THERE. I swear to g-d, you can’t make this shit up. I asked if they were joking.. they weren’t. I then had to ask the dispatcher to send police to investigate the scene, since my profession is not in law enforcement.


History of School Shootings in the United States

1700s
The earliest known United States shooting to happen on school property was the Pontiac’s Rebellion school massacre on July 26, 1764, where four Lenape American Indian entered the schoolhouse near present-day Greencastle, Pennsylvania, shot and killed schoolmaster Enoch Brown, and killed nine or ten children (reports vary). Only two children survived.

1800s
• November 2, 1853 Louisville, Kentucky A student, Matthew Ward, bought a self-cocking pistol in the morning, went to school and killed Schoolmaster Mr. Butler for excessively punishing his brother the day before. Even though he shot the Schoolmaster point blank in front of his classmates, he was acquitted.

An April 30, 1866 editorial in the New York Times argued against students carrying pistols, citing “…pistols being dropped on the floor at balls or being exploded in very inconvenient ways. A boy of 12 has his pantaloons made with a pistol pocket; and this at a boarding-school filled with boys, who, we suppose, do or wish to do the same thing. We would advise parents to look into it, and learn whether shooting is to be a part of the scholastic course which may be practiced on their boys; or else we advise them to see that their own boys are properly armed with the most approved and deadly pistol, and that there may be an equal chance at least of their shooting as of being shot.”

• June 8, 1867 New York City At Public School No. 18, a 13-year-old lad brought a pistol loaded and capped, without the knowledge of his parents or school-teachers, and shot and injured a fellow classmate.

• December 22, 1868 Chattanooga, Tennessee A boy who refused to be whipped and left school, returned with his brother and a friend, the next day to seek revenge on his teacher. Not finding the teacher at the school, they continued to his house, where a gun battle rang out, leaving three dead. Only the brother survived.

• March 9, 1873 Salisbury, Maryland After school as Miss Shockley was walking with four small children, she was approached by a Mr. Hall and shot. The Schoolmaster ran out, but she was dead instantly. Hall threw himself under a train that night.

• May 24, 1879 Lancaster, New York As the carriage loaded with female students was pulling out of the school’s stables, Frank Shugart a telegraph operator shot and severely injured Mr. Carr, Superintendent of the stables.

• March 6, 1884 Boston, Massachusetts As news of Jesse James reached the east coast, young kids started to act in the same manner. An article from the New York Times reads, “Another “Jesse James” Gang – “Word was brought to the Fifth Police Station to-night that a number of boys were using the Concord-street School-house for some unknown purpose, and a posse of officers was sent to investigate. The gang scattered at the approach of the police, and in their flight on drew a revolver and fired at Officer Rowan, without effect, however. William Nangle, age 14, and Sidney Duncan, age 12, were captured, but the other five or six escaped, among them the one who who did the shooting. The boys refused to disclose the object of their meeting, but it is thought that another “Jesse James” organization has been broken up.”

• March 15, 1884 Gainsville, Georgia In the middle of the day, a group of very drunk Jackson County farmers left the Jug Tavern drinking and shooting their revolvers as they headed down the street driving people into their homes. As they approached the female academy, the girls fled the schoolyard into the school where the gang followed swearing and shooting, firing several rounds into the front door. No one was hurt.

• July 4, 1886 Charleston, South Carolina During Sunday school, Emma Connelly shot and killed John Steedley for “circulating slanderous reports” about her, even though her brother publicly whipped him a few days earlier.

• April 12, 1887 Watertown, New York Edwin Bush, a student a the Potsdam Normal School committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.

• June 12, 1887 Cleveland, Tennessee Will Guess went to the school and fatally shot Miss Irene Fann, his little sister’s teacher, for whipping her the day before.

• June 13, 1889 New Brunswick, New Jersey Charles Crawford upset over an argument with a school Trustee, went up to the window and fired a pistol into a crowded school room. The bullet lodged in the wall just above the teacher’s head.

The first known mass shooting in the U.S. where students were shot, was on April 9, 1891, when 70-year-old, James Foster fired a shotgun at a group of students in the playground of St. Mary’s Parochial School, Newburgh, New York, causing minor injuries to several of the students. The majority of attacks during this time period by students on other students or teacher, usually involved stabbing with knives, or hitting with stones.

1900–1930s
There are very seldom reports of mass or multiple school shootings during the first three decades of the 20th Century, with the three most violent attacks on schools involving either arson or explosions.

February 26, 1902 Camargo, Illinois teacher Fletcher R. Barnett shot and killed another teacher, Eva C. Wiseman, in front of her class at a school near Camargo, Illinois. After shooting at a pupil who came to help Miss Wiseman and wounding himself in a failed suicide attempt he waited in the classroom until a group of farmers came to lynch him. He then ran out of the school building, grabbed a shotgun from one of the farmers and shot himself, before running away and leaping into a well where he finally drowned. The incident was likely sparked by Wiseman’s refusal to marry Barnett.
February 24, 1903 Inman, South Carolina Edward Foster, a 17-year-old student at Inman High school, was shot and fatally wounded by his teacher Reuben Pitts after he had jerked a rod from Pitts’ hands to resist punishment. According to the teacher, Foster struck the pistol Pitts had drawn to defend himself, thus causing its discharge. Pitts was later acquitted of murder.
October 10, 1906 Cleveland, Ohio Harry Smith shot and killed 22-year-old teacher Mary Shepard at South Euclid School after she had rejected him. Smith escaped and committed suicide in a barn near his home two hours later.
March 23, 1907 Carmi, Illinois George Nicholson shot and killed John Kurd at a schoolhouse outside of Carmi, Illinois during a school rehearsal. The motive for the shooting was Kurd making a disparaging remark about Nicholson’s daughter during her recital.
March 11, 1908 Boston, Massachusetts Elizabeth Bailey Hardee was shot to death by Sarah Chamberlain Weed at the Laurens School, a finishing school in Boston. Weed then turned the gun on herself and committed suicide.
April 15, 1908 Asheville, North Carolina Dr. C. O. Swinney shot and fatally wounded his 16-year-old daughter Nellie in a reception room at Normal and Collegiate Institute. He then committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.
February 12, 1909 San Francisco, California 10-year-old Dorothy Malakanoff was shot and killed by 49-year-old Demetri Tereaschinko as she arrived at her school in San Francisco. Tereaschinko then shot himself in a failed suicide attempt. Tereaschinko was reportedly upset that Malakanoff refused to elope with him.
January 10, 1912 Warrenville, Illinois Sylvester E. Adams shot and killed teacher Edith Smith after she rejected his advances. Adams then shot and killed himself. The incident took place in a schoolhouse about a mile outside of Warrenville after the students had been dismissed for the day.
March 27, 1919 Lodi Township, Michigan 19-year-old teacher Irma Casler was shot and killed in her classroom at Rentschler school in Lodi Township, Michigan by Robert Warner, apparently because she had rejected his advances.
April 2, 1921 Syracuse, New York Professor Holmes Beckwith shot and killed dean J. Herman Wharton in his office at Syracuse University before committing suicide.
May 18, 1927 Bath, Michigan School treasurer Andrew Kehoe, after killing his wife and destroying his house and farm, blew up the Bath Consolidated School by detonating dynamite in the basement of the school, killing 38 people, mostly children. He then pulled up to the school in his Ford car, then blew the car up, killing himself and four others. Only one shot was fired in order to detonate dynamite in the car. This was deadliest act of mass murder at a school in the United States.
February 15, 1933 Downey, California Dr. Vernon Blythe shot and killed his wife Eleanor, as well as his 8-year old son Robert at Gallatin grammar school and committed suicide after firing three more shots at his other son Vernon. His wife, who had been a teacher at the school, had filed for divorce the week before.
September 14, 1934 Gill, Massachusetts. Headmaster Elliott Speer was murdered by a shotgun blast through the window of his study at Northfield Mount Hermon School. The crime was never solved.
December 12, 1935 New York City, New York, Victor Koussow, a Russian laboratory worker at the School of Dental and Oral Surgery, shot Prof. Arthur Taylor Rowe, Prof. Paul B. Wiberg, and wounded Dr. William H. Crawford at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, before committing suicide.
April 27, 1936 Lincoln, Nebraska, Prof. John Weller shot and wounded Prof. Harry Kurz in a corridor of the University of Nebraska, apparently because of his impending dismissal at the end of the semester. After shooting Kurz Weller tried to escape, but was surrounded by police on the campus, whereupon he killed himself with a shot in the chest.
June 4, 1936 Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Wesley Crow shot and killed his Lehigh University English instructor, C. Wesley Phy. Crow went to Phy’s office and demanded that Mr. Phy change his grade to a passing mark. Crow committed suicide after shooting Phy.
September 24, 1937 Toledo, Ohio 12-year-old Robert Snyder shot and wounded his principal, June Mapes, in her office at Arlington public school when she declined his request to call a classmate. He then fled the school grounds and shot and wounded himself.

1940s
    May 6, 1940 South Pasadena, California. After being removed as principal of South Pasadena Junior High School, Verlin Spencer shot six school officials, killing five, before attempting to commit suicide by shooting himself in the stomach.

May 23, 1940: New York City, New York Infuriated by a grievance, Matthew Gillespie, 62-year-old janitor at the junior school of the Dwight School for Girls, shot and critically wounded Mrs. Marshall Coxe, secretary of the junior school.
July 4, 1940: Valhalla, New York Angered by the refusal of his daughter, Melba, 15 years old, to leave a boarding school and return to his home, Joseph Moshell, 47, visited the school and shot and killed the girl.
September 12, 1940 Uniontown, Pennsylvania, 29-year-old teacher Carolyn Dellamea is shot to death inside her third grade classroom by 35-year-old William Kuhns. Kuhns then shot himself in the chest in a failed suicide attempt. Kuhns had reportedly been courting Dellamea for over a year but the relationship was ended when Dellamea discovered that Kuhns was already married.
October 2, 1942: New York City, New York “Erwin Goodman, 36-year-old mathematics teacher of William J. Gaynor Junior High School, was shot and killed in the school corridor by a youth…
February 23, 1943: Port Chester, NY Harry Wyman, 13-year-old, shot himself dead at the Harvey School, a boys’ preparatory school.
June 26, 1946: Brooklyn, New York A 15-year-old schoolboy who balked at turning over his pocket money to a gang of seven Negro youths was shot in the chest at 11:30 A.M. yesterday in the basement of the Public School 147 annex of the Brooklyn High School for Automotive Trades.
November 24, 1946: New York City A 13-year-old student at St. Benedict’s Parochial School, shot and fatally wounded himself while sitting in an audience watching a school play.
December 24, 1948: New York City A 14-year-old boy was wounded fatally by an accidental shot from the .22-caliber rifle of a fellow-student … the youth was shot in the head when he chanced into range where Robert Ross, 17, of Brooklyn, was shooting at a target near a lake on the school property.
March 11, 1949: New York City A 16-year-old student at Stuyvesant High School was accidentally shot in the arm by a fellow student who was ‘showing off’ with a pistol in a classroom.
November 13, 1949 Columbus, Ohio, Ohio State University freshman James Heer grabbed a .45 caliber handgun from the room of a Delta Tau Delta fraternity brother and shot and killed his fraternity brother Jack McKeown, 21, an Ohio State senior.

1950s
    July 22, 1950 New York City, New York A 16-year-old boy was shot in the wrist and abdomen at the Public School 141 dance… during an argument with a former classmate.

November 27, 1951 New York City, New York David Brooks, a 15-year-old student, was fatally shot as fellow-pupils looked on in a grade school.
April 9, 1952 New York City, New York A 15-year-old boarding-school student shot a dean rather than relinquish pin-up pictures of girls in bathing suits.
July 14, 1952 New York City, New York Bayard Peakes walked in to the offices of the American Physical Society at Columbia University and shot and killed secretary Eileen Fahey with a .22 caliber pistol. Peakes was reportedly upset that the APS had rejected a pamphlet he had written.
September 3, 1952 in Lawrenceville, Illinois After 25-year-old Georgine Lyon ended her engagement with Charles Petrach, Petrach shot and killed Lyon in a classroom at Lawrenceville High School where she worked as a librarian.
November 20, 1952 New York City, New York “Rear Admiral E. E. Herrmann, 56 years old, superintendent of the Naval Post-Graduate School, was found dead in his office with a bullet in his head. A service revolver was found by his side.
October 2, 1953 Chicago, Illinois 14-year-old Patrick Colletta was shot to death by 14-year-old Bernice Turner in a classroom of Kelly High School in Chicago. It was reported that after Turner refused to date Colletta he handed her the gun and dared her to pull the trigger, telling her that the gun was “only a toy.” A coroner’s jury later ruled that the shooting was an accident.
October 8, 1953: New York City, New York Larry Licitra, 17-year-old student at the Machine and Metal Trades High School, was shot and slightly wounded in the right shoulder in the lobby of the school while inspecting a handmade pistol owned by one of several students.
May 15, 1954 Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Putnam Davis Jr. was shot and killed during a fraternity house carnival at the Phi Delta Theta house at the University of North Carolina. William Joyner and Allen Long were shot and wounded during the exchange of gunfire in their fraternity bedroom. The incident took place after an all-night beer party. Mr. Long reported to the police that, while the three were drinking beer at 7 a.m., Davis pulled out a gun and started shooting with a gun he had obtained from the car of a former roommate.
January 11, 1955 Swarthmore, Pennsylvania After some of his dorm mates urinated on his mattress Bob Bechtel, a 20-year-old student at Swarthmore College, returned to his dorm with a shotgun and used it to shoot and kill fellow student Holmes Strozier.
April 17, 1956 New York City, New York 18-year-old Henry Smith, a student at a Bronx vocational high school, is stabbed to death by 16-year-old Randolph Lawrence, a fellow student. The stabbing was reportedly sparked over a dispute about a basketball game.
May 4, 1956 in Prince George’s County, Maryland, 15-year-old student Billy Prevatte fatally shot one teacher and injured two others at Maryland Park Junior High School in Prince George’s County after he had been reprimanded from the school.
October 20, 1956: New York City, New York A junior high school student was wounded in the forearm yesterday by another student armed with a home-made weapon at Booker T. Washington Junior High School.
October 2, 1957: New York City, New York “A 16-year old student was shot in the leg yesterday by a 15-year old classmate at a city high school.”
March 4, 1958: New York City, New York “A 17-year-old student shot a boy in the Manual Training High School.”
May 1, 1958: Massapequa, New York A 15-year-old high school freshman was shot and killed by a classmate in a washroom of the Massapequa High School.
September 24, 1959: New York City, New York Twenty-seven men and boys and an arsenal were seized in the Bronx last night as the police headed off a gang war resulting from the fatal shooting of a teenager Monday at Morris High School.

1960s
    February 2, 1960 Hartford City, Indiana Principal Leonard Redden shot and killed two teachers with a shotgun at William Reed Elementary School in Hartford City, Indiana, before fleeing into a remote forest, where he committed suicide.

June 7, 1960 Blaine, Minnesota Lester Betts, a 40-year-old mail-carrier, walked into the office of 33-year-old principal Carson Hammond and shot him to death with a 12-gauge shotgun.
April 20, 1961 Chicago, Illinois Teacher Josephine Keane, 45, is sexually assaulted and stabbed to death inside a storeroom at Lewis-Champlin elementary school in Chicago. Lee Arthur Hester, a 14-year-old student, is later convicted of the murder and sentenced to 55 years in prison.
October 17, 1961 Denver, Colorado Tennyson Beard, 14, got into an argument with William Hachmeister, 15, at Morey Junior High School. During the argument Beard pulled out a .38 caliber revolver and shot at Hachmeister, wounding him. A stray bullet also struck Deborah Faith Humphrey, 14, who died from her gunshot wound.
August 1, 1966 University of Texas Massacre Charles Whitman climbs atop the observation deck at the University of Texas-Austin, killing 16 people and wounding 31 during a 96-minute shooting rampage.
November 12, 1966 Mesa, Arizona Bob Smith, 18, took seven people hostage at Rose-Mar College of Beauty, a school for training beauticians. Smith ordered the hostages to lie down on the floor in a circle. He then proceeded to shoot them in the head with a 22-caliber pistol. Four women and a three-year-old girl died, one woman and a baby were injured but survived. Police arrested Smith after the massacre. Smith had reportedly admired Richard Speck and Charles Whitman.
January 30, 1968 Miami, Florida 16-year-old Blanche Ward shot and killed fellow student Linda Lipscomb, 16, with a .22-caliber pistol at Miami Jackson High School. According to Ward, she was threatened with a razor by Lipscomb during an argument over a fountain pen, and in the ensuing struggle the gun went off.
February 8, 1968 Orangeburg, South Carolina In the days leading up to February 8, 1968, about 200 mostly student protesters gathered on the campus of South Carolina State University, located in the city of Orangeburg, to protest the segregation of the All Star Bowling Lane. The bowling alley was owned by the late Harry K. Floyd. That night, students started a bonfire. As police attempted to put out the fire, an officer was injured by a thrown piece of banister. The police said they believed they were under attack by small weapons fire. The officers fired into the crowd, killing three young men: Samuel Hammond, Delano Middleton, and Henry Smith, and wounding twenty-seven others.
May 22, 1968 Miami, Florida Ernest Lee Grissom, a 15-year-old student at Drew Junior High School, shot and seriously wounded a teacher and a 13-year-old student after he had been reprimanded for causing a disturbance.
January 17, 1969 Los Angeles, California Two student members of the Black Panther Party, Alprentice Carter and John Huggins, were fatally shot during a student meeting inside Campbell Hall at the University of California, Los Angeles. The motive of the shooting regarded who would own the school’s African American Studies Center. The shooter, Claude Hubert, was never to be found but three other men were arrested in connection with the shooting.
November 19, 1969 Tomah, Wisconsin Principal Martin Mogensen is shot to death in his office by a 14-year-old boy armed with a 20 gauge shotgun.

1970s
The two most notable U.S. school shootings in the early 1970s were the Jackson State killings in May 1970, where police opened fire on the campus of Jackson State University and the Kent State shootings also in May 1970 where the National Guard opened fire on the campus of Kent State University.

The mid to late 1970s is considered the second most violent period in U.S. school history with a series of school shootings, most notably were;

• December 30, 1974 Olean, New York, Anthony Barbaro, a 17-year-old Regents scholar armed with a rifle and shotgun, kills three adults and wounds 11 others at his high school, which was closed for the Christmas holiday. Barbaro was reportedly a loner who kept a diary describing several “battle plans” for his attack on the school.

• June 12, 1976 California State University, Fullerton massacre, where the school’s custodian opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle in the library on the California State University, Fullerton campus killing 7, and wounding 2.

• February 22, 1978 Lansing, Michigan After being taunted for his beliefs, a 15-year-old self-proclaimed Nazi, kills one student and wounds a second with a Luger pistol.

• January 29, 1979 Grover Cleveland Elementary School Shootings, California, where a 16yr old girl opened fire with the rifle, a gift from her father, killing 2 and wounding 9.

1980s
The early 1980s saw only a few multi-victim school shootings including;

• January 20, 1983 St. Louis County, Missouri the Parkway South Middle School, eighth grader brought a blue duffel bag containing two pistols, and a murder/suicide note that outlined his intention to kill the next person heard speaking ill of his older brother Ken. He entered a study hall classroom and opened fire, hitting two fellow students. The first victim, was fatally shot in the stomach, and the second victim received a non-fatal gunshot wound to the abdomen. Then he said, “no one will ever call my brother a pussy again” then committed suicide.

According to the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, in the United States, from September 1986 to September 1990 (four year period):

At least 71 people (65 students and 6 school employees) had been killed with guns at school.
201 were severely wounded by gun fire.
242 individuals were held hostage at gunpoint.

According to a 1987 survey conducted by the American School Health Association,” 3% of the boys reported having carried a handgun to school at least once during the school year; 1% reported carrying a handgun on a daily basis.”

The late 1980s began to see a major increase in school shootings including;

• September 4, 1985 Richmond, Virginia At the end of the second day of school from the East End Middle School a 12yr old boy shot a girl with his mother’s gun.

• October 18, 1985 Detroit, Michigan During halftime of the homecoming football game between Northwestern High School and Murray-Wright High School. A boy who was in a fight earlier that day, pulled out a shotgun and opened fire injuring six students.

• November 26, 1985 Spanaway, Washington A 14yr old girl shot two boys dead then kills herself with a .22-caliber rifle at the Spanaway Junior High School.

• December 9, 1985 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania At the Archbishop Ryan High School for Boys, a 22yr old Mental health patient took 6 students hostage with what ended up being a starter pistol. No one was hurt in the ordeal.

• December 10, 1985 Portland, Connecticut At the Portland Junior High School, the Principal was having a heated discussion with a 13-year-old male eighth-grader when he locked the boy inside an office. The student then pulled out a 9mm assault rifle and opened fire. The bullet shattered the glass door and struck the left forearm of the secretary and the glass injured the Principal. The boy fled for the 2nd floor, were he encountered the janitor, and he shot him in the head. The boy then took a seventh-grader hostage. The boy’s father and another family member came to the school and talked to him over the intercom system. After 45 minutes, he tossed the gun out a school window and was taken into custody.

• May 16, 1986 The Cokeville Elementary School hostage crisis In a ransom scheme, David and Doris Young, both in their forties, took 150 students and teachers hostage on this spring day. Their demand for $300 million dollars came to an abrupt end when Doris accidentally set off a bomb, killing herself and injuring 78 students and teachers. David wounded John Miller, a teacher who was trying to flee, then killed himself.

• March 2, 1987 Missouri an honours student Nathan Ferris, 12, killed a classmate and then himself.

• May 20, 1988 Winnetka, Illinois 30yr old Laurie Dann shot and killed one boy, and wounded five other kids, in an elementary school, then took a family hostage and shot a man before killing herself.

• September 26, 1988 Greenwood, South Carolina In the cafeteria of the Oakland Elementary School 19 year-old James William Wilson Jr., shot and killed Shequilla Bradley, 8 and wounded eight other children with a 9-round .22 caliber pistol. He went into the girls restroom to reload where he was attacked by Kat Finkbeiner, a Physical Education teacher. James shot her in the hand and mouth. He then entered 3rd grade classroom and wounded six more students.

• December 16, 1988 Virginia Beach, Virginia Nicholas Elliott, 15, opened fire with a SWD Cobray M-11 semiautomatic pistol on his teachers at the Atlantic Shores Christian School. His first shots struck teacher Karen Farley in the arm; when she went down he killed her at point blank range. Nicholas then injured Sam Marino. He turned the Cobray toward his classmates, but the gun jammed and he was quickly subdued by M. Hutchinson Matteson, a teacher, before he could fire another round.

• January 17, 1989 Cleveland School massacre of Stockton, California where 5 school children were killed and 29 wounded by a single gunman firing over 100 rounds into a schoolyard from an AK-47

1990s
From the late 1980s to the early 1990s the United States saw a sharp increase in gun and gun violence in the schools. According to a survey conducted by The Harvard School of Public Health “15% said that they had carried a handgun on their person in the past 30 days, and 4% said that they had taken a handgun to school in the past year.” a sharp increase from just five years earlier. By 1993, the United States saw some of the most violent time is school shooting incidences.

• May 1, 1992 Olivehurst, California Eric Houston, 20, killed four people and wounded 10 in an armed siege at his former high school. Prosecutors said the attack was in retribution for a failing grade.

According to the National School Safety Center, since the 1992-1993 U.S. school year there has been a significant decline in school-associated violent deaths (deaths on private or public school property for kindergarten through grade 12 and resulting from schools functions or activities):

1992–1993 (44 Homicides and 55 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
1993–1994 (42 Homicides and 51 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
1994–1995 (17 Homicides and 20 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
1995–1996 (29 Homicides and 35 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
1996–1997 (23 Homicides and 25 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
1997–1998 (35 Homicides and 40 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
1998–1999 (25 Homicides from school shootings in the U.S.)
1999–2000 (25 Homicides from school shootings in the U.S.)

According to the U.S. Department of Education, in the 1998-1999 School Year, 3,523 Students (57% High School, 33% Junior High, 10% Elementary) were expelled for bringing a firearm to school.

The late 1990s started to see a major reduction in gun related school violence, but was still plagued with multiple victim shootings including;

• October 12, 1995 Blackville, South Carolina A suspended student shot two math teachers with a .32 caliber revolver.

• November 15, 1995 Lynnville, Tennessee A seventeen-year-old boy shot and killed a student and teacher with a .22 rifle.

• February 2, 1996 Moses Lake, Washington Two students and one teacher killed, one other wounded when 14-year-old Barry Loukaitis opened fire on his algebra class.

• February 19, 1997 Bethel, Alaska Principal and one student killed, two others wounded by Evan Ramsey, 16.

• October 1, 1997 Pearl, Mississippi Two students killed and seven wounded by Luke Woodham, 16, who was also accused of killing his mother. He and his friends were said to be outcasts who worshiped Satan.

• December 1, 1997 West Paducah, Kentucky Three students killed, five wounded by Michael Carneal, 14, as they participated in a prayer circle at Heath High School.

• December 15, 1997 Stamps, Arkansas Two students wounded. Colt Todd, 14, was hiding in the woods when he shot the students as they stood in the parking lot

• March 24, 1998 Jonesboro, Arkansas Four students and one teacher killed, ten others wounded outside as Westside Middle School emptied during a false fire alarm. Mitchell Johnson, 13, and Andrew Golden, 11, shot at their classmates and teachers from the woods

• April 24, 1998 Edinboro, Pennsylvania One teacher, John Gillette, killed, two students wounded at a dance at James W. Parker Middle School. Andrew Wurst, 14, was charged.

• May 21, 1998 Springfield, Oregon Two students killed, 22 others wounded in the cafeteria at Thurston High School by 15-year-old Kip Kinkel. Kinkel had been arrested and released a day earlier for bringing a gun to school. His parents were later found dead at home

• June 15, 1998 Richmond, Virginia One teacher and one guidance counselor wounded by a 14-year-old boy in the school hallway

• April 20, 1999 Littleton, Colorado 14 students (including shooters) and one teacher killed, 27 others wounded at Columbine High School in the nation’s deadliest school shooting. Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, had plotted for a year to kill at least 500 and blow up their school. At the end of their hour-long rampage, they turned their guns on themselves.

• May 20, 1999 Conyers, Georgia Six students injured at Heritage High School by Thomas Solomon, 15, who was reportedly depressed after breaking up with his girlfriend

2000s – Present
    2000–2001 (19 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)

2001–2002 (4 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2002–2003 (14 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2003–2004 (29 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2004–2005 (20 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2005–2006 (5 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2006–2007 (38 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2007–2008 (3 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2008–2009 (10 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2009–2010 (5 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)


And then the country is surprised when 17 children are killed in the florida school shooting after the FBI was notified that the perpetrator was a threat, after he stated in a comment on YouTube that he was going to shoot up a school, and after pretty much everyone who knew the perpetrator said there were obvious signs that this was going to happen.  And since this is in Florida, after the gunman killed 17 kids he dropped his gun and walked with students, to blend in, fled from the scene, got a beverage at walmart, sat down at McDonald’s to have a snack within the 40 minutes it talk florida law enforcement to find the shooter.


Florida has the worst mental health system in the United States, with the highest number of Medicaid fraud.  The state enforces what they call the “baker act,” which allows anyone to call the police at any time, make any claim to indicate that someone is a threat to themselves or someone else, and the police will arrest the person and transport them to the nearest psychiatric hospital, where they are typically placed on a 48 hour hold.  Unfortunately, most people who are “baker acted” aren’t mentally ill, are not a threat to themselves or others, but simply victims of this flawed system.  Consequently, those who are in need of help, who are suffering from mental illness, and may be a threat to themselves and others are ignored while the state wastes their resources on alleged threatening people who often are reported by an ex spouse or partner seeking revenge on the other and realizes they can do so by committing them to a mental institution.


How many more children need to die before our country does something? This was the 17th worst school shooting in the history of the united states. Can we get some gun laws up in here? I literally know nothing about politics.  I don’t watch the news, I’ve never voted.  What I do know is that clearly something isn’t right with this country when there have been 74 school shootings since Sandy Hook.


 

Your Stories

incredible idea, I hope it will initiate change, thank you for this.

Dr. Craig Childress: Attachment Based "Parental Alienation" (AB-PA)

I have had an idea for a while now that I keep trying to push away, and it keeps coming back.  So, I’ve decided to roll it out and see where it leads.  Maybe somewhere, maybe nowhere.

I want to create a resource from the stories of grief and loss borne by so many targeted parents, your stories of love for your children, your stories about the failure of the mental health system, and your stories of the failed court system.  Your stories of pain.

I know these stories far too well, because I’ve heard these stories far too often.  While each story is unique, each story is also the same, over-and-over they replay in families, the loss of children to the pathology of a narcissistic/(borderline) parent.

I want to send your stories to the APA, to child custody evaluators, to media representatives, and to state legislators, so they can…

View original post 1,990 more words

i am borderline

Triggered… again.

I posted this one year ago, I deleted it and just reposted.

Note this was written a year ago

 

 

 

Trigger Warning**

I want to be strong so badly, and that why I’m writing this. I haven’t been triggered in so long, I haven’t felt this way in so long and then all of a sudden when everything has been perfect, I’m back to the place I didn’t want to be in. And its not like anything happened, and that nothing turned into something that turned into something else and then the whole world and everyone in it looks like a catstrophie and theres no one one to blame but myself. My therapist self knows that it’s not my fault but I can’t seem to convince myslef out of thinkign it isn’t. I hope no one is reading this I don’t want to disappoint people, because I am proud of how far I’ve come and I want to help others and inspire others, but unfortunately things like this occassionally happen. It looks the same as my journal from one I was in Florida, I feel so alone, and I didn’t even think of what I would do if I felt this way before I moved, because I was so confident It wouldn’t happen again. (Backstory, my ex stayed in the apartment we were living in and I moved into my own place).

So when there is no one else, I guess I’ll try to tell you.

Choosing a Life Worth Living..BPD is NOT a Death Sentence.

I know how being diagnosed with borderline personailty disorder can be perceived as a death sentence. I’m living proof that it doesn’t have to be.  Recently, I was listening to Marsha Lineham’s youtube videos on BPD, and one story in particular stood out to me.  She talked about a client she was treating who was struggling with suicide ideation/attemps.  She asked the girls parents if they wanted to hospitalize her, lock her up and risk her making another suicide attempt, or if they wanted to try giving her the opportunity to create a life worth living through DBT.  There is one girl in my DBT group who has borderline personality as well.  Every time she speaks, I feel like im listening to myself a year ago.  Its so hard for me not to jump out of my chair and tell her IT DOES GET BETTER. I know it can, because I’ve been there and and now im here.  I’m alive, and not completely finished, but on my way to creating a life worth living.  And I know I will get there. There is such a stigma on BPD that portrays us as helpless victims of ourselves and everyone around us.  I have BPD, and thats not me. Stop the stigma, spread awareness, support bpd. There is help out there, don’t be afraid to ask for it.  The only thign we can control is ourselves, make the choice, make the changes and live the life you deserve.

xxx

Michelle

#Flashback

#venting

*mom if your reading this stop here, this is not something you want to read, thats your disclaimer*


 

 

I was just ranting to my boyfriend about flashbacks, analyzing them and realizing how they shaped me over the years.  So instead of completely emotionally draining him, i’ll tell you about it.  Just a heads up feel free to stop here, this is just me venting/ranting. 


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When I was aroundddd 17 maybe 18 I started working in college bars, bartending and shotgirling.  Every summer when I came home to new york from college I would work at these bars.  My last summer there was a complete shit show.  I was wasted the entire summer, so its all a blur.  I do remember dating my boss.  And I remember weaving my way through packed crowds, holding my tray of shots above my head, getting extremely angry when random people grooped me and turning around to yell at people who couldn’t even hear me because the “dj playing house” was “spinning” so loud.  I remember the point where I actually looked in the mirror and saw myself as an object.  A sex object, with my purpose being exclusively for entertaning guys in via exploiting myself sexually.  Like I literally looked in my bedroom mirror and saw myself as an object, like in my head I said “your a sex doll”. Ew. Like I’m so not a feminist and I’m fine with being “objectified” by guys,  like I don’t give a fuck what people think, but when you start objectifying yourself and seeing yourself as a sex object, you have a problem (#noselfworth).  So after I stopped working at these college bars, whenver I would go out to clubs and bars, and someone would grab my ass I would snap. I would get so fucking angry, I would rage in their faces, I had guys bolting out of bars like they were running for their lives.  So flashfoward, when my boyfriend snuck up on me and grabbed my ass at the art museum in vegas about a month ago, it makes sense that I reacted in the way I did.  Flashback a few months ago, it makes sense why I allowed guys to use me and  I couldn’t have given less of a fuck,  because I saw myself as the object that I was used to being treated as.  When I was with Max that feeling went away.  I didn’t feel objectified, or like an object.  And now with Arthur I definitely don’t feel that way I know now that I am not an object, but an actualy person with a real identity and values, etc.  But maybe whenever I’m single that’s like my go to.  Just psychoanalyzing myself, since I have no one else to psychoanalyze at the moment.  I can’t wait to start working again…


So Obviouisly Desperate, So Desperately Obvious

You say you can’t stand drama, but you love it. You can’t fucking live without it you need it so badly, that you go out of your way to create it. You seek validation more then any borderline I’ve met. I can read you like an open book.  Your still unsure if your a bad person, so you try to “help others” when really, its obvious that your doing it to help yourself. You still can’t figure out whats missing, while the truth is so clear, but you just don’t want to address it.  You want to avoid it, like you do with so many other things.  There’s a reason why I only date older guys, its because they are suppose to have their shit together.  Don’t take on more baggage then you can carry, because thats just dumb. And don’t say things that arent true because that’s just lying.  Don’t make things more complicated then they need to be, thats just dramatic. If “g-d takes away the obsession and the urge to pick up …” then try asking him to take away the urge to go on plenty of fish.  If g-d was powerful enough to take away the urge to use and “lift the obsession” I’m sure it would be a breeze for him to lift this one as well.  Too bad its too hard to think before we act, afterall we are so impulsive. You would think one would learn their lesson the first time their life was torn apart by a borderline.  No one is going to break me. 

Lessons Learned During my 12 Hour Stay at Mclean

  1. Radical Acceptance Things don’t always happen according to plan, you don’t always get what you wanted or expected from life and that is okay.  The only moment I have control over is this one.  The past is in the past, there is no telling what the future will be, therefore why worry? Sometimes you admit yourself to a 3 month min. program for borderline personality disorder, and sometimes you only end up staying 12 hours, but taking away so much from those few hours. And that is okay. 
  2. Mindfulness Just be present. I’m here, these people are with me, these are the things around me. Yes my emotions may be a little strong, but lets take a step back and think logically.  Am I interpreting what this person is saying rationally? Most likely, I am not. So lets realize that, accept it, remain present and go about being mindful. 
  3. Self Affirmation I accept myself as is.  I do not want to change my personality, or who I am.. I want to learn and be able to apply more effective coping skills to my life, but when it comes to myself as a whole, I’m good. I don’t need to be stripped of whatever identity people believe I lack, I love myself, and my flaws because without them I wouldn’t be me. 
  4. Emotion Regulation I admit, I do often feel intense overhwleming emotions that not only cause myself significant distress, but cause those around me to feel uneasy as well.  I am aware that I have strong emotions, and that I often have strong reactions to things that may seem unreasonable.  I recognize why I am feeling the way I feel, accept the feeling, My emotions are totally valid, but there are healthier ways to cope with them.  For example, my primary therapist was a psychopath, he told me that he would put a psychiatric hold on me if I tried to leave the program I voluntarily admitted myself to.  He threatened me numerous times, and attempted to manipulate me into thinking I was sick, and that I needed to be stripped of my rights and of everything about who I was as a whole.  He also attempted to manipulate my parents into believing I was manupulating them, while he was the one manipulationg everyone.  As a result, I felt offended, angry, dissapointed and upset.  The comments my primary therapist made towards myself and my parents was offensive.  It made me feel like I did not deserve to make my own decisions, and like I was being judged based on a sterotypical view of borderline personality disorder.  My dad was also upset and a bit angry when he realized that I was being threatened and treated unethicall.  On hte other hand, I hve been known to overexagerate things, and dramatize things.  In conclusion, I think there was miscommunication between myself, my primary therapist and my parents.  I feel like shit happens, and thats okay.  I’m not angry anymore, and I do not feel the need to bash my primary therapist by writing reviews discussing how he is clearly a psychopath.  To cope with this situation in a healthy way, I communicated to my parents that this was not the right treatment facility for me, and accepted that we all make mistsakes, and thats okay.  
  5. Interpersonal Effectiveness DEARMAN. Seriously it works. 
  6. There is always someone who is worse off then you, things aren’t as bad as you may perceive them to be.. would you really trade your problems for someone elses if you could see through them? I’m lucky to have the skills, intelligence and support that I do because I realized that this isn’t as debilitating that it has to be.  Just because I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, doesn’t mean that I need constant validation, have chronic feelings of emptiness or feel extremely fearful of real or perceived abandonment.  My name isn’t Borderline, this disorder doesn’t define who I am.  I define who I am and who I want to be, and while I may not know who exactly that is at this moment, I know for sure it’s not a “borderline.”  
  7. I do not by any means need intensive inpatient care.  Seriously, I’m completly fine. You probably think I’m being sarcastic but deadass I’m not at all.  I am 100 percent completly fine and good with outpatient therapy twice weekly for one hour and a weekly dbt skills group.  No need for inpatient hospitalization.  Definitely not trying to kill myself, no thoughts of harming myself or anyone else, its all good, I’m loving life and I plan to live it. 

Hope

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This is dedicated to the people in my life who have given me hope. The hope that I had lost and forgotten after a year of living in darkness at the lowest point in my life, you gave me the hope and motivation to make the choice, the choice only I could make, to fight my disorder.  I no longer want to look back at the past, I’m choosing to move forward.  There are no words to express how thankful I am for you. After being stuck in a hole for far too long, a hole I dug myself into, you gave me the push I desperately needed to climb out.  I finally see light again.  I can see that the past is in the past, and I do have a future. Thank you.


 

Found Rock bottom.. It’s not so bad down here.

 


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So that was rock bottom. I took almost 10 pregnancy tests, and as expected they were all positive.  I called my mom and casually said “I’m pregnant, I need you to come take me to get an abortion and then drop me off at an inpatient psychiatric facility.”

That was my rock bottom, and after I hit it I surrendered.  I had the “in home” abortion, which actually was not nearly has bad as I expected it to be.When it was over, I did what I had been putting off and avoiding for so many months.  I asked for help, and admitted that I needed it.  I accepted the fact that if I didn’t get serious help I was notimages going to make it.  And I’m not ashamed to say that, I’m proud.  

I realized I’m fucking done with this fucked up bull shit of a disorder,  I spent almost an entire year suffering alone, in the darkness, suffering for no reason other than the feelings caused by my self sabotaging behaviors.  I’ve without doubt had enough of you.  You put me through hell, you tortured me, debilitated me, made me hurt myself and so many people who I love.  You made me hate myself, and everyone around me, you took everything from me, my sense of self, happiness, love, fulfillment.  You tormented me and my family for long enough, and I’m taking my life back.

I was accepted in to McLean’s intensive inpatient program for borderline personality disordered women.  I’ll be there for a minimum of two months, and I’m taking my life back.  After going through an intense process of being interviewed by 10+ therapists and other mental health professionals who were brilliant, cut through, intimidating people, similar to the person I would like to be, I was told I had been accepted.  I received a phone call “Dr.X believes you are an excellent fit for the program, we just need to speak to your parents and then we can discuss the your admission date. I wanted to welcome you to the program!”  I coimagescouldn’t believe that A. I was actually accepted in to the program B. That my parents were actually going to pay for me to try to overcome this madness and C. That I actually had no doubts and KNEW that there was nothing on earth that I would let prevent me from actually going.

“It’s okay to ask for help.” – A

 

7 days

In 7 days I’ll be admitted to Mcleans intensive inpatient program for borderline personality disordered women. One week before I leave for at least 2 months, to do what I’ve been told will be “the hardest thing you’ll ever have to do.” I’m petrified.


I think it’s been around 3 months since we met.  I promised myself I wouldn’t do this again.  I wouldn’t allow myself to be emotionally invested in anyone, or have any type of relationship consisting of anything besides one night stands (strictly not staying the night) or the casual “go to.” I don’t know what happened, I don’t know how we got here. It’s funny how the most unlikely people, can make such a significant impact on your life. I was able to keep it together, but last week I broke. I fucked up like I always do, out of paranoia, fear of manipulation, abandonment etc. I didn’t notice how fearful I was of “real or imagined abandonment.” I didn’t realize I was a classic case of “I hate you, don’t leave me,” pushing the people who try to get close to you, care for you and love you away. But the light in me that had been shining for the longest it had in so long broke, and you saw the darkness. I don’t understand why I have to hurt everyone I love, and everyone closest to me. apparently that’s something I’ll learn. So I hurt you, like I do to anyone who attempts to get remotely close to me.  I didn’t think I was like that anymore, but I say I ever knew what I was like or who I ever am or was.  Apologizing isn’t enough anymore, I’ve made the same mistake too many times.  I felt overwhelmed by guilt, self-hatred and blame, and there was nothing I could do.  You treat me better than I ever thought I deserved. And I did what I always do, I fucked it up.  I know you say I didn’t but it’s not a feeling I can control. I just want to spend my last week before I leave, with you, happy.  But it’s so hard to feel happy when I’m reminded of all the people I’ve hurt, and now I’ve hurt you. Going from feeling nothing, to intense feelings varying from confusion to happiness, anger, sadness, excitement it’s another emotional roller coaster.  You tell me over and over again that you know how you feel, and that your feelings are real. It’s just so hard to believe that anyone would ever feel that way about me, especially after being exposed to the part of myself that I try so hard to hide.

The Impact of Misconceptions and Stigmas on People with Mental Illnesses

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Despite of what some argue, there is clear-cut evidence that mental illnesses are diseases,
no different from any other medical condition.  unfortunately the misconceptions and stigmas placed on those suffering with mental health problems, often prevent them from seeking treatment.  People are not only suffering from the symptoms of a disorder or disease, but from societies lack of willingness to accept that mental illness is a disease as well, leaving may individuals to suffer in silence.  The stigma society places on this subject in turn, is preventing those suffering from reaching out to receive proper treatment, which could potentially be crucial in some cases where symptoms and conditions tend to worsen. People with life threatening diseases such as heart disease and cancer are willing and regularly seek treatment from doctors.  They are admitted into hospitals, and treated most often with respect and they receive adequate care.  I’ve never heard anyone with a broken leg tell me they have been criticized for seeking medical treatment, or for being hospitalized.  How is this any different from those effected by depression seeking help from a psychiatrist or a psychotherapists? Is clinical depression not a life threatening disease? Are those suffering in silence not at extremely high risk for suicide?  So why is it that when a person is to admitted to a hospital, or seeks help for a mental illness, which may potentially be life threatning, burdened by the stigma of mental illness?


The Truth About Mental Illness

Given the stigma placed on mental disorders, on top of the symptoms and challenges those struggling with these disorders face, many people are stereotyped, labeled, and looked down upon by society.  Not only do they have to try their best to manage their symptoms, but to mask them as well.  Many individuals are fearful when it comes to a606a03123d982d06455ea5ad84e6a6eseeking help, and often hesitant to take advantage of opportunities that may define their qualify of life.  Further more, those suffering are led to take on a self-stigma, based on societal views.  Public stigmas frequently portray those suffering from mental illness as dangerous or violent people.  Public stigma also includes prejudices, people agree with the belief and negative emotional reaction, and in turn are fearful of people with mental disorders.  The behavior response to prejudice is discrimination against people.  Therefore, people with mental health problems face discrimination in a variety of contexts such as employment, housing opportunities, access to healthcare, etc.  So now due to the public stigma, this population suffers further from self-stigma.  Many begin to label themselves, similarly to how society has labeled them, they begin to hold negative beliefs about themselves, such as feelings of weakness or incompetency.  Many feel they are not “normal” and this will not be accepted by the general public.  The natural response to widely held societal views is negative emotional reactions, including low-self esteem and low-self efficacy.  Further more, the behavior response to discrimination and prejudice often ends in the individuals failure to pursue work and leaves them feeling hopeless, incapable and often undeserving of living a quality life. 

These are not theories, these are facts.  Educate yourselves and others on mental illness, spread awareness, join the movement to change the way society views mental health.


Either like this post, or share it so spread mental health awareness, and encourage those suffering in silence to break free of the stigma, and seek necessary help and support. 

Just found this lovely piece

Just found this illustration from who knows when I have no recollection of drawing this

*trigger warning

 

***THIS IS IN NO WAY IMPLYING THAT I WANT TO HARM MYSELF OR OTHERS. ONCE AGAIN I AM NOT AT RISK FOR HARMING MYSELF OR ANYONE ELSE. NO SUICIDAL OR HOMOCIDAL IDEATION****

 

 

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Missing the old me

 

I can’t put into words how much I miss you right now. I want you back, I need you back I hate the person who replaced you. I hate valentines day so much, you used to love it.  Last year you spent it with Max, you were so happy. Now I’m completely alone, living in this false reality that I’ve created. My mom is here visiting, I feel like I’m going to throw up in her face from trying so hard to act like I’m okay. You had your life together, you were filled with passion, confidence, love and hope.  But that went away when you went away. I’ve been dissociated for so long, time just passes by, and I have no perception of it. When someone steps in to break the false reality, it kills. It hurts so bad, being reminded of the person you and everyone else used to know.  The girl everyone loved, who laughed, sang, ate and cared so much for herself and others. The girl who had goals, dreams and saw a bright future for herself. Your pintrist walls with wedding dresses, engagement rings, inspirational quotes. Now look what I do to myself. All I do is hurt myself and everyone around me. I need you to come back, I would do anything to be like you again. Please come back I miss you so much. It hurts so much I just want to sit in my room and cry but I can’t. You hated being alone, and all I want is to be alone. I’m so ashamed of the reckless, worthless, hopeless person I’ve become. I’m not sure if I’ll ever see you again. I don’t see how you can come back after everything I put you through. I’m so sick of everyone asking what happened to your wrist? I’m so sick of hating myself and hurting myself and putting myself in these stupid situations and getting myself into trouble. But I can’t stop now, there’s no reason to. I know your not coming back, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to accept who you’ve become.

Rock Bottom

How do you know when you’ve actually hit rock bottom? How many destructive things can you do to yourself and the people around you, how many ways can you sabotage your life and the lives of others until you can say you’ve officially hit rock bottom? I can’t say I’m proud of my actions lately, but I can’t say I really give a fuck either. It starts with one stupid decision and next think you know your out of control and you know you’re doing things that you will regret but you don’t care because it’s too late, you’ve done enough to yourself, you can’t hate yourself anymore than you already do. There’s nothing more you can do, it can’t possibly get any worse. So you keep digging yourself deeper and deeper into this hole, where you should find rock bottom, but you don’t. How much more destruction can you take? How much more can the people around you take? You ask me to hold on, hold on to what? There’s nothing to hold onto in this hole I’ve dug myself in, and I’m alone here. I can’t climb out, I wanted to, and I tried, but It’s too hard. *THIS IS IN NO WAY MEANT TO BE INTERPRETED AS ME WANTING TO HARM MYSELF OR OTHERS ONCE AGAIN I AM NOT IN ANYWAY IMPLYING THAT I WANT TO HARM MYSELF NOR AM I IMPLYING HAVING ANY SUICIDE IDEATION*******

Normal is Boring.

My last posts have been so depressing, and I’m so over it (for now?). Sometimes I might have a lot of intense, overwhelming, dark, irrational and slightly delusional feelings and thoughts, but then other times I realize that being borderline is really fun, and I’m really fucking awesome. For example, BPD is associated with higher than average IQ and intelligence. I’m incredibly intelligent. I’m also always extremely aware of what’s going on around me, what people are thinking and feeling to the point that I could probably tell a stranger more about them then they know about themselves.It’s also not just me who feels the intense emotions, I can make other people feel them too, and it makes dating so much more fun. I can be anyone, at any time. I also have this weird thing where when I feel like it, I can make people love me, hate me, want to be me etc.  I can  be extremely manipulative in a slightly freighting way (the people I’m closest with openly admit that they fear me). I see things that other people don’t, I know how people work and I can use that to my advantage. So I guess I can see how that can be scary for some people, but I can also be manipulative for the greater good. If you know me

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you know not to fuck with me, I’m not going to elaborate on that one… And I’m sorry but I can’t leave out the whole “bpd magnet theory.” We are typically extremely attractive and the best in bed. I can’t say I mind being drop dead gorgeous, and the best sex you’ve ever had. Thought I’d try writing some positive things about myself 🙂 Cheers ❤

Leave the Pieces When You Go

You were the last thing I knew as family. I told you countless times that you were my family, you were all I had. A year ago we were planning this Christmas, you knew how excited I was. I was supposed to be with you for Christmas, for New Years, the holidays you spend with your family. But my family abandoned me. After all the time and effort you spending fixing things things that have almost no chance of being fixed, the hours you’d spend on your car and all your projects. You worked so hard on all of those, and you didn’t stop until they were fixed, until they were perfect. I must have been the most difficult one of all, because anyone who knows you knows you don’t leave anything undone. I was a project that you realized you couldn’t fix, so you just gave up. And the you left me, you left me when you knew I was broken. You knew that no one else could fix me but you left anyway, and you broke me even more, and everyday since then I’ve become more and more broken. You knew I didn’t have a chance without you, and you took on the role yourself, you chose to be that person in my life. And one day you said you were done, and you left, without reason without warning. We planned on being together for Christmas, but I’m not there, you left me like one of your broken toys, one that you saw no chance in saving.

Till then I Walk Alone.

I don’t know how I got here. From having everything to having nothing, I don’t know how someone looses themselves. I used to feel consumed by my passions, and now I feel nothing. I used to care about everyone and everything, and now I couldn’t care less. I never imagined I’d be here. This isn’t what was supposed to happen, I’m not suppose to be here. I miss her. The girl I was, she was so beautiful and smart, but at the same time naive thinking that she had what it took to make a difference in this world. I just want to be the person I used to be. Before I knew I was alone, and that you didn’t love me and I had nothing and no one, that everything meant nothing. I’m not living anymore, I’m just existing, and it’s miserable and painful. I ruined everything. And you ask me why I want to be alone, why I don’t want to see anyone, why I don’t hang out with my friends. I don’t want anyone to have to be exposed to this mess, I don’t need to bring anyone down with me. I’m no one, I’m no where.

My Wish For You


I started writing this post a month ago, and I haven’t been able to come back to it.

Ever since you left I lost perception of time. I can’t say how long this has been going on for, or even how it started. I can’t say I understand it, or that I ever will, I can’t say I loved you because I don’t know if I did. But I can apologize and wish you the best in life. It’s clear that there will be know actual closure, but this is how I’ve found closure, and this is for you if you one day find yourself looking for it.

I may not know who I am, but I know I’m not the person I’ve been acting like since you left. I’ve chosen hatred over love, terror over peace and revenge forgiveness. And the only solid thing I knew about myself is obviously my passion for psychology, and that I believe in peace, love and harmony despite all those who don’t. I don’t like the person this has made me, and it’s so conflicting because for a while I blamed myself, than I realized it wasn’t me, but I didn’t do the right thing. Everything was perfect in my eyes, I finally saw light for the first time in so long, and than out of no where it all turned dark, and I turned dark. It’s hard to explain when the worst thing you had imagined happening to you, actually happens. I thought you were my home, I thought you were my family, but once again I was wrong. I tried my hardest to prevent the mess it has become. If this was a few months ago, I would have said trying my hardest wasn’t enough, but you taught me otherwise. If this was a few months ago I would have kept blaming myself, I would have kept questioning what I did wrong, what I did to deserve this, why I wasn’t I good enough?

I’ll never stop believing everything happens for a reason. You taught me the greatest lesson, you taught me I need to learn to be independent.

continued.. today

Scratch that. It was my fault, you didn’t do anything wrong. You were perfect, you were everything I could have asked for and more. My home, my family, my life, my passion, my inspiration, my role model, my best and only friend. You were there for me when I was at the lowest points of my life, and I still don’t know how you did it. You took care of me, you were always there, whenever I needed advice, whenever I fell into my episodes of depression, psychosis mania and all else, you were still there.

It wasn’t until recently I realized what I truly lost. I didn’t only lose you, I lost myself. Because everything I did, I did for you. I wanted to be the perfect girl you wanted me to be, the girl I was when we first met so badly. But I couldn’t be that girl, because I’m not that girl. You were my identity, you were my world, everything revolved around you, my feelings, my goals, my plans for the future. I never thought I met the criteria: extreme fear of real or imagined abandonment. But I see it now, I would have done anything for you, changed who I was, moved anywhere in the world, anything that would have made you happy, because I was so afraid I would lose you. And at the time, thinking about loosing you, I was certain I would never survive. I wish I knew the things I do now since I’ve started treatment again. I still feel like, or know it was my fault. I sabatauged us, I sabatauged your life, my life, our lives, myself and you. I feel like I pushed you to your limit, I pushed and I pushed and you tried for so long, and it was so hard, and no one could expect anyone to stay after all of that. I still don’t know what happened, I know I feel like I’ve lost everything. Words can’t describe how lonely I am without you, you were always there to comfort me when I had no one else. And now I have to sit with the reality that I don’t have anyone, I am alone. Alone with no sense of self, just the shattered distored identity I established when I was with you. I hurt you so bad, I hurt so many people and I’m drowning in the guilt and the pain as a result. It hit me out of no where, after the anger, hatred and all of my negative feelings towards you subsided. I realized I was blaming you for everything that I did. I did it to myself, I did it to us, and I expected you to be there for me forever, which is crazy and delusional given my mental state. I wish there was a way I could express how sorry I am, I’m sorry for the years you spent of fails attempts to fix me, to make me better. I’m sorry that I couldn’t be better, If I could I would have because you were everything. I never thought I’d say this but I miss florida. I miss our apartment, I miss you coming home from work on the nights when I was sane enough to have dinner ready for you. I miss jumping off of the couch when you came home and hugging you, going to bed together and waking up next to you.  I miss our beautiful apartment, that we left aparently for me. I miss the nights we drove around in your jeep when we were in the middle of no where. Even though we were so unhappy there, we weren’t alone. And I’m starting to believe that regardless of where you are, there is nothing worse than being alone, especially when you had everything you ever wanted. When we first got to Boston I was so happy, words can’t explain how happy I was. I felt like I was finally getting it right, I was in the right place, I was maintaing my mental stability, my job, but you weren’t happy because I had put you through so much, there was no turning back. I thought our future would end up like we planned it, but things don’t always work out like you planned, another lesson I should have learned sooner. I don’t know how your living in our apartment without me, the thought of you there alone hurts. It was so beautiful, and I ruined it like I always do with everything. Jade misses you so much, I can tell, she doesn’t love me like she loved you. I thought I had deleted all of my pictures, but I found the ones of us at the animal kingdom and we looked so happy. You truly don’t realize what you have until its gone. You taught me so much, and your the strongest and most rationale person I know, you had the answers to everything, you always knew what to do, and what was best, you kept me on the right track. But you can’t be that person anymore, and I wasn’t ready for  this. I just want you to know how amazing you are, your perfect in every single way, too perfect. Everything you do with your job, with your car, with your life it all comes so easy, no ones that smart. Your so strong in so many ways, and you’ve overcome so much in your life that it makes it painfully admirable. I’m sorry I couldn’t be the girl you wanted me to be, and I’m sorry for the sadness and guilt I made you feel. I’m so sorry for everything and I know there’s nothing I could do to make up for it all. You didn’t deserve any of this, you didn’t deserve to commit yourself to being in a relationship with me, you deserve so much better and I know you will find that. And if times are hard and confusing right now, I know youll figure it out and be successful and end up with everything you’ve always wanted, or find that you’ll want because your you, the most unique, perfect, strongest, smartest, kind hearted person I have ever known. Not having closure is so hard, and normally I would ask you what to do in this situation. I hope that when I’m better one day I’ll see you again. I can’t stand the thought that I might not ever see you again. When you and my mom packed up the rest of my things and put it in my car for me, I wasn’t expecting to feel the way I did. I wanted to hug you for so much longer. If I had known the last time you really truly hugged me like you loved me would be the last, I would have held onto that moment for so much longer. I can’t even remember the last time. I hope your happy and I hope you get everything you deserve out of this life, because your deserve the best. I hope that one day when I’m better I see you again, and that when I do your happy and fulfilled with your life. I still don’t know what love is, or even if it it exists. I hope you have an amazing Christmas with your family, and enjoy your new year (you won’t have me there crying all night so it shouldn’t be hard). From the bottom of my heart thank you for everything for being there when I needed you, and for staying so long. If you ever find yourself thinking about us, I want you to have this to look back on, and I want you to know that you are the greatest person I’ve ever known and if you ever need anything or if you ever need someone I’ll always be here. I love you and I miss you so much.

 

 

Another summer day
Is come and gone away
In Paris and Rome
But I want to go home
Mmm
Maybe surrounded by
A million people I
Still feel all alone
I just want to go home
Oh I miss you, you know
And I’ve been keeping all the letters that I wrote to you
Each one a line or two
I’m fine baby, how are you??
Well I would send them but I know that it’s just not enough
My words were cold and flat
And you deserve more than that
Another aeroplane
Another sunny place
I’m lucky I know
But I want to go home
Mmmm, I’ve got to go home
Let me go home
I’m just too far from where you are
I want to come home
And I feel just like I’m living someone else’s life
It’s like I just stepped outside
When everything was going right
And I know just why you could not
Come along with me
But this was not your dream
But you always believe in me
Another winter day has come
And gone away
And even Paris and Rome
And I want to go home
Let me go home
And I’m surrounded by
A million people I
Still feel alone
Oh, let me go home
Oh, I miss you, you know
Let me go home
I’ve had my run
Baby, I’m done
I gotta go home
Let me go home
It will all right
I’ll be home tonight
I’m coming back home

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Breaking Down BPD

According to the American Psychological Association, the prevalence rate of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) in the general population is approximately 1-2% of lifetime occurrence.  So no worries, we are not alone ;).a9a0fb9e-6e03-4b8a-bf25-a04fa3c497b5


So I was able to do the impossible, find my lost blog posts. Before I re-post this one, I would like to add that I have been practicing as a mental health clinician again, and many of my clients have been curious to learn about their diagnoses.  Interestingly enough, when asked about if learning and understanding more of the disorder helped, they all said yes.  One specifically stated “I don’t feel like I’m crazy anymore, knowing that other people feel how I do, it makes me feel normal.” I still of course can only speak for myself when I say learning about Borderline Personality Disorder, educating myself on it and understanding it has been a tremendous help. I admit I still have times where I struggle with symptoms related to the disorder, but my background education, and experiences working with IMG_0168others suffering from BPD as given me strong insight in regards to the reasons behind how I act, feel and behave and in turn, recognizing that there is nothing wrong with me, the disorder doesn’t define me, it just explains some of the questionable things I do! After being misdiagnosed my entire life with ADHD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder, when this brilliant psychiatrist hit the nail on the head and recognized my symptoms of BPD, it felt like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders.  I was able to recognize symptoms of the disorder I presented myself, and address them.  I am on a very high functioning end of the disorder, but I also understand what it is like to be on the opposite end, because I was there for a long time before.  So hopefully if you are reading this it will help you, even it is just a little bit, like it has helped me.


Spreading Mental Health Awareness: Borderline Personality Disorder

So in front of me I have out my bible, the DSM-5, which states the exact criteria mental health professionals use to render the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, along with all mental disorders.  It also includes in-depth information on diagnostic features, associated features supporting the diagnosis, prevalence, developmental course, risk and prognostic factors, culture-related diagnostic issues, gender related diagnostic issues and differential diagnosis.  But I won’t bore you will all of that today :).


Breaking it Down: BPD

This part may be boring to read (for anyone who isn’t me), but just check it out.  Below is word for word diagnostic criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder as stated in the DSM-5.

Borderline Personality Disorder (301.83)

A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

  1. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.
  2. A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.
  3. Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.
  4. Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating).
  5. Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or treats, or self-mutilating behavior.
  6. Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g. intense episode dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).
  7. chronic feelings of emptiness.
  8. Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g. frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).
  9. Transient, stress related paranoid ideation or severe dissociate symptoms.

TOTALLY MAKES SENSE NOW, I KNOW RIGHT!?


Translation Please?

  1. Making extreme efforts to prevent feelings of abandonment, which can either be real or perceived abandonment without rationale.
  2. Unstable relationships with others due to alternating feelingIMG_0173s of idealization (viewing a person as perfect, or good) and devaluation (viewing the same person at other times as bad or malicious).
  3. Who the fuck am I? What am I doing with my life? I hate myself. I have no clue who I am or what my purpose is and I look really fat today.
  4. Engagement in risky behaviors, with little consideration given to potential consequences. Spending more money then you earn, having lots of sex, drinking, using drugs, patterns of disordered eating.
  5. Inflicting harm on oneself such as by cutting.  Frequent thoughts or feelings about
    suicide, expressing suicidal thoughts or behaviors, making threats of suicide.
  6. Unstable mood, spontaneous and unpredictable changes in good ranging from irritability, anxiety, range, anger, happiness, all in one day not knowing when you feel one way or when you will feel another.
  7. Feelings of emptiness almost all day on most days, feeling like you lack purpose in life, hopelessness in finding happiness.
  8. Expressions of anger, that seem irrational to others, triggered by things most others do not understand, and would not feel so angry over, uncontrollable anger that is really hard to explain to yourself and others.
  9. Holding strong beliefs that you are being criticized, persecuted, put down, etc., by others like the whole world is against you, some times out of suspicion of others or misinterpretation of others. Feelings of detachment from oneself, or feelings of being in an altered state of consciousness.

For Example:

  1. What can I do so he doesn’t leave me, I know he’s going to leave I can’t handle anyone else leaving why does everyone always leave me ughhhhh hsdfjsdkfjsjfsfksljflsdjfs. 
  2. 12pm: I love my mom she knows everything when ever I have questions about life or anything I call her and she’s always right!! I should really do something nice for her because shes perfect. 3pm: I FUCKING HATE MY MOM SHES A STUPID FUCKING BITCH I HATE HER SO MUCH I’M NEVER FUCKING TALKING TO HER AGAIN, DUMB BITCH.
  3.  ummmmmm who am i? What am I doing with myself? Can someone maybe tell me who I am or what I’m suppose to be doing? I ate myself right now. I’m so fat and ugly and stupid. I’m lost and confused, I don’t know who I am, or what my purpose is, how on earth is anyone going to love me if I don’t even know who I am how on earth are they going to know??
  4.  I’m going into express, but I SWEAR I’M NOT GOING TO BUY ANYTHING, I’m just looking. Next thing I know, I’m outside the store with 10 bags and a maxed out credit card.
  5. I cut myself, because it makes me feel better. I just want to die, I wonder how people would feel if I wasn’t here. (NOTE: I AM NOT REFERRING TO MYSELF  I AM NOT THINKING ABOUT HURTING MYSELF, NOR HAVE I EVER I AM NOT THINKING ABOUT KILLING MYSELF, NOR DO I WANT TO KILL MYSELF AND I AM NOT THINKING OR FEELING LIKE I WANT TO HARM OR HURT OTHERS).. sorry that one needed a disclaimer.
  6.  8AM today is going to be awesome. I’m going to have a great day at work, and then I get to go home and watch Dr. Phil. 10am Seriously can everyone just leave me alone I’m trying as hard as a fucking can I get it, It’s not good enough, I know, you don’t need to keep reminding me. 3pm I can’t breathe, I think i might be dying I can’t do this what the fuck am I going to do I’m freakinggggggg out. 6pm: Max: “Can you clean up your paperwork.” Me: “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME  I JUST GOT HOME 5 SECONDS AGO I WAS GOING TO CLEAN IT WHY DO YOU ALWAYS CRITICIZE ME SORRY IM NOT FUCKING A PERFECT ROBOT LIKE YOU I GET IT I CANT DO ANYTHING RIGHT THANKS AGAIN FOR THE REMINDER, I SUCK, THANKS. (proceed to lock myself in bedroom)
  7.  I feel weird today, like I’m kind of just in this body watching myself just do what I have to do all day, but what am I actually doing, am I ever going to feel happy, what am I even doing right now? Super confusing, like watching myself as a little confused girl wandering around totally lost on why they are here.
  8. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME……… DONALD TRUMP IS SERIOUSLY ON THE NEWS AGAIN WHAT THE FUCK IS AMERICA THINKING HES A FUCKING PSYCHO EVERYONE SO FUCKING STUPID I CAN’T BELIEVE OUR COUNTRY IS ACTUALLY CONSIDERING THIS HELLLLOOOOO LIKE HAS ANYONE EVER HEARD OF NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY DISORDER BECAUSE HE HAS IT, AND IF AMERICA WASN’T SO DUMB THEY WOULD REALIZE THAT AND REALIZE THAT THEY ARE VOTING FOR A MAN WHO ADMITTEDLY HAS A DISORDER WHICH DEFINES HIS PERSONALITY AS HAVING DISREGARD FOR OTHERS, AND DOING THINGS FOR ONES OWN PERSONAL GAIN DESPITE THE CONSEQUENCES IT MAY HAVE ON OTHERS. MAX I CANT BELIEVE YOU SUPPORT HIM I CANT TALK TO YOU ANYMORE. AND SERIOUSLY TELL HIM TO TAKE THAT FUCKING RAG OFF HIS HEAD WE ALL KNOW ITS FAKE IF YOUR SO RICH THEN WHY CAN’T AT LEAST GET YOURSELF A GOOD  TAUPE ? (obviously that one hit home haha)
  9.  Why is is that every time I do something good, and every time I do something I’m proud of which is like rarely ever, no one cares, and all they want to talk about is all of the things I should be doing, or that I’ve done wrong, or that I’m doing wrong, can everyone just stop criticizing me I get it I can’t do anything right so I might as well not even try, because it’s obviously never going to be good enough.

Obviously I used some examples from past personal experience, I’m sure everyone’s interpretation would be different depending on their feelings and experiences.

*(DISCLAIMER SOME PAST PERSONAL EXPERIENCE ONCE AGAIN DO NOT WANT TO HURT MYSELF OR ANYONE ELSE AND NEVER HAVE)


The World of the Borderline

Everything looked and sounded unreal.  Nothing was what it is.  That’s what I wanted- to b alone with myself in another world where truth is untrue and life can hide from itself.-Eugene O’Neill

Personality Disorders are extremely unique, unlike most mental disorders, they generally develop during early adulthood and persist for extended periods depending on the individual.  The personality traits often last indefinite times based on the person, and change gradually only over time.

For most of us sorting out our symptoms related to BPD, life feels like an emotional roller coaster with no destination.  And it’s not like anyone can ride it, you need an exclusive ticket to get on, so unless you have that ticket, you can’t get on this ride, and you’ll never know what it feels like to be on it. There are an overwhelming number of emotions, hopelessness, frustration, anger, joy, love, hate, and we feel them at any given time without warning.  Feeling the highest of highs to the lowest of lows all in one day, sometimes even within a few hours, constant shifts in mood that are beyond our control, many people wonder if the ride will ever end. One of the most significant challenges individuals with BPD face is the lack of a core sense of self of sense of identity We more often than not paint a confused self-portrait, and then in our desire t overcome this negative self-image of ourselves, we are constantly searching for good roles, complete characters, which we use to fill the void of which is truly our identity.


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Similar to the emotional state of a child, the world as perceived by a borderline is split, filled with simply heroes and villains.  Without the capacity to tolerate inconsistency in the people around is, it is almost impossible to view them as anything other than good or bad.  In the back and white scheme in which we view others there is no grey area.  We may unknowingly switch our views on someone from being good to an evil, horrible person.  Given or thought processes, when those we idealize and view as our heroes disappoint us, we experience that sudden shift in our perception of them.  We are constantly experiencing contradictory feelings about the people in our lives, often times being entirely unaware that we are even doing so.  So not only are we experience constant shifts of mood and emotional states in ourselves, but towards everyone around us as well.


What I personally find the most interesting thing about BPD, is that it’s not just a diagnosis within itself, but a diagnosis that includes many features and symptoms from other diagnoses, or mental illnesses.  BPD often presents features typically associated with other disorders including psychotic disorders, mood disorders, psycho-somatic disorder, anxiety disorders, impulse control disorders, substance use disorders, developmental disorders and disassociate disorders.  For example, some symptoms associated with these disorders that are commonly found in BPD are brief psychotic episodes, depression, phobias, panic attacks, anxiety, post traumatic stress, substance abuse, add, etc. It’s like have a little bit of everything all in one.


So this is life, and like everything in life that is beyond our control we have to try our best to ride it out. You take your ticket, get on the ride and it might be the craziest, scariest, confusing turbulent ride of your life, but once it stops, and you get off, its over. You felt

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everything you needed to, you let yourself experience all the emotions you needed to, you let yourself feel them, and then let them go.  As difficult as you and I know it is, it’s worth it because when its finally over, you come off feeling stronger and more resilient than ever before.  I tell myself that everything in life happens for a reason, and we may not know what the reason is right now, but we will find out sometime in the future.  We are how we are for a reason.  I found mine.  I would rather feel love, joy happiness, motivation, compassion and dedication more intensely then anyone else ever could, then feel “normal.” When I’ve thought about what it would feel like to be “normal,” it honestly jusIMG_0167t seems really boring, but that’s just my opinion.  Since I am able to feel my emotions on such a deep and different level, I am also able to emphasize with others on a unique level, which sets me apart from other therapists.  You have to be able to find the goo
d in the bad, despite how hard it is.  You can choose to let your negative emotions consume you, or let your positive emotions drive you.  When you feel happy and strong, embrace that feeling because not everyone gets to feel it so truly and deeply.  We may feel the more intensely than others, but we also feel the joy and happiness in ways they will never know.  Most mistake my attitude towards my career goals as over dramatic, maybe some  even as delusional. But with vigorous passion, comes the strength to achieve the impossible.  Find strength in your weakness, choose to see the good instead of the bad, the light over the dark.  It takes time, and it is a challenge, but I can assure you it is one worth fighting to overcome.

good example, the resurrection of my blog, that was a tough one, but I’m back betches, missed ya xxx

-Psych4Society

Michelle, M.A. 🙂

My turn

Well I’m sorry, but, as blissful as you are in the throes of young love, I’m just letting you know I have a date with Uncle Sam.

This one is just for me. Read or don’t, I’ll advise you not to because I’m not sure what it’ll look like. I just need to vent and what better way than blogging it out (beats hurting myself or anyone else) ****ONCE AGAIN DISCLAIMER I do not and have no ever in the past want to hurt myself or anyone else. Thank you.

So today my boyfriend broke up with me. But it’s really fine, I’m not being sarcastic by any means. If you knew me you’d probably say it sounds questionable considering I’m a therapist with Borderline Personality Disorder, I’m 25 and people are actually trusting me with the lively hood of their children for the first time, and trusting that I will help them heal from things you couldn’t imagine. And I don’t know how I’m doing it but I am. We’ve been living together for I don’t know maybe since May 2014? Maths not my thing, however long that is. He was always more than fine, he was perfect, and I was a wreck. And then I pulled myself together and he fell apart. Funny how that happens to the best of us. His reason being, he “doesn’t feel fulfilled as a physician assistant and wants to go to medical school.” But the only way for him to do that is through the army whatever they do I don’t know the protocol but from what I’ve gathered, you go to “basic training” sign yourself over to them for what 4 5 6 years? They pay for you to go to medical school, you work for them in a place of their choosing, and then you can go out on your own to use you intelligence, drive, motivation and skills that are rarely found in a single person… to save lives. Actual lives, like people who are dying. So this is going to be me ranting good time if you want to tune out. Why is our government making is so the few people in this world who actually want to help others, and who have what it takes to help others LITERALLY SAVING LIVES, making it so they cannot do that? This is a functional society, our government makes it so the few people who want to help people have to pay a ridiculous amount of money to do so? I mean shouldn’t they be paying them? It makes no sense to me, I can comprehend if anyone could rationalize this for me please do. I just want to help children suffering from trauma. I can’t get into a PhD program, so I’m going to get my Doctorate (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology, just so I can try to make the world a little bit of a better place, and obtain the education that I need by law to help these children to the best of my ability. When the fuck did money become worth more than human lives? The few of us who are doing this aren’t doing it for the money, because it’s guaranteed we will have none. Were doing it because it’s what we’ve dedicated our lives to, what we were placed here to do, its our passion. And if money wasn’t more important than “we the people” our medical health, physical health, psychological health, children’s health… Imagine how much we could do, and how different this world would be. So keep on fucking pushing world, because every time you do you just make me want to change you more.

One of my friends sent this to me earlier today after we got off of the phone. Shes one of the few people who thinks like me, and sees things the way that I do, and I admire her so much for that, she is truly and incredible, admirable person and exceptional one, the type of person who touches your soul.

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I was talking to her about the relationship I used to have with g-d. I respect all religions, and whole heartedly believe that everyone has the right to believe in what they believe there is no right or wrong. But I personally choose not to identify with my religion because I personally believe that religion is one more thing that divides us, drives some towards violence, war, hatred etc. And me being the hippie I am, am all about peace and love. So the other night I was in New York and my mom is telling me that it’s “the holiday.” I said I don’t celebrate, but happy holiday, enjoy your celebration. Whatever that’s not the point, the conversation ended in me getting angry pointing to my ceiling, yelling and cursing at g-d. I literally looked up at g-d and told him to go fuck himself and that if he’s fucking testing me to strike me down already.. he obviously didn’t. So while my plane took off today, I remembered what our relationship used to be like. There was actually a point, when I left for my semester abroad. I was in a horrible place, and it had to have been g-d who pushed me onto that plane and out of this country because if it wasn’t for that I wouldn’t have survived. I remembered, taking off on that flight, by myself, leaving completely on my own to live in a country where I knew no one. And in that moment I was certain that I wasn’t alone, because g-d was with me. And I knew that he would be there when I needed him, I trusted him and he trusted me, I wasn’t alone.

The summer before I left wasn’t my most respectable summer. Undiagnosed borderline, junior year of college, going home for summer I don’t even know who that girl was. She was really out of hand, so out of hand that I can write about it because until this day she is so ashamed. I don’t know why either she decided or he decided but g-d was with her that summer. She turned 21, and when ever she needed him to reassure her that things would be okay, he would send her this red bird in her backyard. When she asked him, and she really needed it, he would always send that same red bird. I’m not sure what happened before or after that, and I don’t remember much from my past but I remembered that today when I was on the plane.  I was looking at the clouds, the sky and the sun and thinking if there is a g-d and there is heaven this must be what it looks like, the clouds looks so comfy, and it’s like the sky goes on forever and ever and I put my head against the window of the plane and imagine I’m in it, and it feels like I am.

So where did you go g-d?

Did I do something to turn you away from me, or do you not exist? You were there that summer, and when I was away, and I don’t know what happened after that all I know is you were gone. I held on to you for a while, but after living in Florida and everything I went through there I took that as there is no way you are real because if you were you would no be putting me through this, and you would not be putting any human being through the things I see them being put through. And if you are real YOU MUST REALLY WANT ME HERE BECAUSE I MADE IT OUT ALIVE. So what do you want from me? Are you with me or against me, or are you just a factitious character that some mentally ill people back in whatever BC thought they saw? Come on, you can fucking part an ocean, and tell Noah to build an arc but you can’t help me help myself, so I can help others? Sounds about right. So no, your dead to me. I’ve asked you to stop pushing me down every time I get up and you don’t stop, if your testing me its enough, and completely uncalled for because whether you like it or not I will be the person I am meant to be and do the things I’m meant to do, with or without you. I’m done with your bullshit I fucking get it, the world is hell, life is hell, one second your up, next your down and it never ends AND I HAVE ACCEPTED IT, so you can stop now. Because you’re not doing it to me anymore. I’m done letting you knock me down.

I’m here, I’m a good person, All I want to do is Help Others. I don’t want Money. I just wanted to help others, and I wanted true love, and If I did something that made me undeserving of that I’m sorry, but if just a few more people felt as strongly as I do, cared as much as I do, things would be a lot different here. If it’s a test I passed, I’ll keep passing because I’m done I’ll stand on my own two feet completely alone fearless, and I won’t stop until you take me. Or maybe you are real, and I needed this. One day will see, or we won’t either is fine with me at this point.  So fuck you, fuck the world, fuck society, fuck the government, and I apologize if you are reading this, but that was your choice.

Sometimes I have to vent, so that was just for me. Thanks.

Always and Forever, Michelle

The Core of Psychological Trauma & PTSD

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 12.46.56 PMThere is a significant lack of awareness of the impact that psychological trauma can have on the human brain.  People who experience significant emotional events can be left with debilitating struggles, painful memories and disturbing emotions, leaving them feeling depressed, anxious, hopeless, helpless etc.  There is growing evidence that the change in brain functions in people who have been exposed to significant psychological trauma is surprisingly similar to that in people who have suffer from physical trauma.  


Individuals with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) typically begin to develop symptoms within three months of a traumatic event.  In young popScreen Shot 2016-08-04 at 12.47.10 PMulations, events that often cause PTSD include experiencing or witnessing physical or sexual abuse, sustaining a severe injury, witnessing domestic violence, involvement in accidents or witnessing or experiencing accidents or violence.  Symptoms of PTSD include intrusive memories, flashbacks,night terrors and hypervigilence.  When people experience night terrors and flashbacks if often feels as if they are re-living the traumatic event in the present moment.  Other symptoms associated with PTSD include anxiety, irritability, anger, guilt, shame, hallucinations and heightened startle responses.  Difficulty with concentration, memory and relationships are also commonly associated with PTSD.


When we experience stress, our bodies release the hormone, cortisol, as a way to help us fight the stress and calm us doScreen Shot 2016-08-04 at 11.36.55 AMwn.  Consistently high levels of cortisol in the brain, commonly associated with PTSD and trauma, have been shown to cause physical damage to the brain.  In this image, two brains are compared.  The scan on the left is of a brain that is healthy, you can see there is overactivity  only in the bottom of the brain, which is normal.  To scan on the right shows that the basal ganglia (the part of the brain associated with trauma and PTSD) is working too hard.  This is an image of the brain of a person suffering with PTSD.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder affects more than 7.7 million adults in the United States,  It can develop at any age, and is triggered by a traumatic experience either experience directly or indirectly through witnessing.


Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 12.47.31 PM Throughout the brain several chemical and biological imbalances can present after trauma. Their effects are especially exacerbated by three major brain function dysregulations:

Overstimulated amygdala: An almond-shaped mass located deep in the brain, the amygdala is responsible for survival-related threat identification, plus tagging memories with emotion. After trauma the amygdala can get caught up in a highly alert and activated loop during which it looks for and perceives threat everywhere.

Underactive hippocampus: An increase in the stress hormone glucocorticoid kills cells in the hippocampus, which renders it less effective in making synaptic connections necessary for memory consolidation. This interruption keeps both the body and mind stimulated in reactive mode as neither element receives the message that the threat has transformed into the past tense

Ineffective variability: The constant elevation of stress hormones interferes with the body’s ability to regulate itself. The sympathetic nervous system remains highly activated leading to fatigue of the body and many of its systems, most notably the adrenal. (PsychCentral)


 How Healing Happens

While changes to the brain can seem, on the surface, disastrous and representative of permanent damage, the truth is that all of these alterations can be reversed. The amygdala can learn to relax; the hippocampus can resume proper memory consolidation; the nervous system can recommence its easy flow between reactive and restorative modes. The key to achieving a state of neutrality and then healing lies in helping to reprogram the body and mind.  While the two collaborate in a natural feedback loop, processes designed for each individually are vast. Hypnosis, neuro-linguistic programming and other brain-related modalities can teach the mind to reframe and release the grip of trauma. Likewise, approaches including somatic experiencing, tension and trauma releasing exercises and other body-centric techniques can help the body recalibrate to normalcy.  Survivors are unique; their healing will be individual. There is no one-size-fits-all or personal guarantee for what will work (and the same program will not work for everyone). However, the majority of evidence suggests that when survivors commit to a process of exploring and testing treatment options they can, over a period of time, reduce the effects of trauma and even eliminate symptoms of PTSD.

Does BPD get Better with Age?

Ok, so this isn’t me making stuff up or talking about what I learned in school or while working, this is based on highly valid and reliable research studies, that have concluded that in most cases Borderline Personality Disorder gets better with age. 

Which I than realized, makes a lot of sense. I knew that the average age of onset for BPD was late teens to early 20’s, and I knew that symptoms of BPD lessen in severity once most people reach early to mid 30’s but then I realized how much sense it makes, because of what we now know about the brain! Im questioning whether or not I’m a genius and the first person to put the two and two together or if I’m just have an BPD episode of grandiosity. (psychjoke)

So, the reason why practitioners are hesitant to diagnose people with BPD before late adolescents/early adulthood is because the individuals personality is still developing, and therefore, it is unclear if BPD would be a proper diagnosis.  Typically, practitioners working with clients for sometime, will wait before diagnosing them with BPD until they are at least 18.

“Because personality disorders describe long-standing and enduring patterns of behavior, they are most often diagnosed in adulthood. It is uncommon for them to be diagnosed in childhood or adolescence, because a child or teen is under constant development, personality changes and maturation. However, if it is diagnosed in a child or teen, the features must have been present for at least 1 year. Borderline personality disorder is more prevalent in females (75 percent of diagnoses made are in females). It is thought that borderline personality disorder affects between 1.6 and 5.9 percent of the general population. Like most personality disorders, borderline  personality disorder typically will decrease in intensity with age, with many people experiencing few of the most extreme symptoms by the time they are in the 40s or 50s.

-Bressert, S. (2014). Borderline Personality Disorder Symptoms. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 2, 2016, from http://psychcentral.com/disorders/borderline-personality-disorder-symptoms/

BPD is interestingly the number one most researched mental disorder.  There is an enormous amount of research one the disorder, but here are a few examples:

“Two Jerold J. Kreisman M.D. allied myths about BPD are that patients virtually never improve over time and are essentially untreatable. Yet a number of recent studies indicate that many patients with BPD shed their diagnoses after several years. In a 2006 investigation, for example, psychologists C. Emily Durbin and Daniel N. Klein, both then at Stony Brook University, found that although 16 percent of 142 psychiatrically disturbed adults initially met criteria for BPD, only 7 percent did after a decade. Moreover, the average levels of BPD symptoms in the sample declined significantly over time.”

“Work by psychologist Timothy J. Trull and his colleagues at the University of Missouri–Columbia similarly suggests that many young adults who display some features of BPD do not exhibit these features after only a two-year period, indicating that early signs of BPD often abate.”

“Controlled studies, reviewed by Duke University psychologist Thomas R. Lynch and his colleagues in 2007, indicate that DBT somewhat reduces the suicidal and self-destructive behaviors of patients. Lynch and his collaborators also found that DBT may lessen feelings of hopelessness and other symptoms of depression. Still, DBT is not a panacea, and no clear evidence exists that DBT can stabilize patients’ identity or relationships. Preliminary but promising data suggest that certain medications, including such mood stabilizers as Valproate, can alleviate the interpersonal and emotional volatility that characterize BPD, according to a 2010 review by psychiatrist Klaus Lieb of University Medical Center in Mainz, Germany, and his colleagues.”

“In one study (Journal of Psychiatric Research, 7/19/2013), both groups of symptomatic patients exhibited high levels of functional impairment and accompanying other diagnoses, such as depression or substance abuse. Younger adults (age 25 or younger) tended to be more impulsive, self-injuring, substance abusing, and more emotionally labile. Older adults (45 and older) reported greater social dysfunction, more lifetime hospitalizations, and feelings of chronic emptiness.These studies suggest that older and younger borderlines may present with different problems. We know that most of these patients improve significantly, but those who make commitments, such as marriage when younger and while acutely ill are less likely to sustain healthy relationships. Like many illnesses, allowing time to heal may be the best medicine.”-Jerold J. Kreisman M.D.

 So what I just realized, that makes so much sense I don’t know how I didn’t realize it before now, is that of course BPD is going to get better with age, since the parts of the brain that control our emotions and basically all symptoms associated with the disorder do not fully develop until around age 25. Before the brain is fully developed it thinks more like a teen than and adult, and once it becomes fully developed it thinks more like an adult, thinking more rationally, good decision making, not reacting based on feelings but on rationale etc. 

More on the whole brain thing later thought, but I hope this was helpful for some of you, research has proven it does not last forever! 

The Brain Can Get Sick Too, Use Your Brain, Change Your Attitude, Change the Stigma on Mental Illness


aea5d8eff87510f8d8b1aa76e74e8aa0So you know how we have all those people who are all about mental illness not being a “real disease, there’s no objective evidence blah blah blah.” My mom’s a dentist and my boyfriends a physician assistant, and convincing them that mental illness is a real disease, just like cancer or gum disease, was challenging, but I got them there. My main purpose for writing this post is because people in my life such as my boyfriend and my mom have always had trouble seeing my side of things, (the psychological perspective), especially when they have a strong background in medicine.  So through my posts, and attempts to educate them on mental disorders, they actually have been more understanding and open to psychology then I ever thought they would be.  Anyway, here is for those of you who want scientific evidence of mental illness and how they affect the brain.

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PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) especially when it develops due to early childhood trauma, has significant and often long-lasting effects on the brain as well as various areas of its functioning.  These are some of the few things we actually do have concrete evidence of.  Just like when a person experiences any type of head trauma, for example, from a car accident, the brain and the body often change.  It’s the same with for any time of trauma, including domestic violence, sexual/physical/emotional abuse etc.  Every cell records memories and every embedded trauma-related neuropathway has the opportunity to repeatedly reactivate.  Sometimes, these imprints created are transitory, the small damage subsides in a few weeks, and other times they change and evolve into readily apparent symptoms that impair functioning and present in ways that interfere with almost every aspect of a person’s life.

It has been found that one of the most difficult aspects for victims of trauma is understanding the changes that occur, integrating what they mean, how they affect their lives, and what can be done to ameliorate them.  To move forward towards recovery, we have to begin by normalizing post-trauma symptoms by further investigating how trauma affects the brain and the associated symptoms.

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The 3 Part Brain

  • Reptillian (brain stem): The innermost part of the brain responsible for survival instincts and autonomic body processes.
  • Mammalian (limbic, midbrain):THe midlevel of hte brain, this part processes emotions and conveys sensory relays.
  • Neommalian (coretex, forebrain): The most highly evolved part of the brain, this area outer controls cognitive processing, decision-making, learning, memory and inhibitory functions.

During a traumatic experience, the reptilian part of the brain takes control, shifting the body into a reactive mode.  Thus, shutting down all non-essential body and mind processes, the brain stem orchestrates survival mode.  At this time, the sympathetic nervous system increases stress hormones and prepares the body to fight, flee or freeze.  In a typical situation, when immediate threat ceases, the parasympathetic nervous system shifts the body into restorative mode.  This process reduces stress hormones and allows the brain to shift back to the normal top-down structure of control.


However, for those 20 percent of trauma survivors who go on to develop symptoms of PTSD-an unmitigated experience of anxiety related to the past trauma the shift from reactive to responsive mode never occurs.  Instead, the reptilian brain, primed to threat and supported by dysregulated activity in significant brain structures, holds the survivor in a constant reactive state.


The Dysregulated Post-Trauma Brain

The four categories of PTSD symptoms include: intrustive thoughts (unwanted memories); mood alterations (shame, blame, persistent negativity); hypervigilance (exagerrated startle response); and avoidance (of all sensory and emotional trauma-related material).  These cause confusing symptoms for survivors who don’t understand how they’ve suddenly become so out of control in their own minds and bodies.  Unexpected rage, tears, shortness of breath, increased heart rate, shaking memory loss, concentration challenges, insomnia, nightares adn emotional numbing can hijack both the identity and the persons life.  The problem isn’t that the survivor won’t “Just get over it” but that they need time, help, and the opportunity to learn their path to healing.  Throughout the brain several chemical and biological imbalances can present after one experiences trauma.  Their effects are especially exacerbated by three major brain function dysregulations:

  • Overstimulated amygdala: An almond-shaped mass located deep in the brain, the amygdala is responsible for survival-related threat identification, plus tagging memories with emotion.  After trauma teh amygdala can get caught up in a highly alert and overreactive loop during which it looks for and perceives threat everywhere.
  • Underactive hippocampus: An increase in the stress hormone glucocorticoid kills cells in the hippocampus, which renders it less effective in making synaptic connections necessary for memory consolidation.  This interruption keeps both the body and idn stimulated in reactive modes as neither element receives teh messsage that the threat has transformed into the past tense.
  • Ineffective variability: The constant elevation of stress hormones interferes with the body’s ability to regulate itself.  The sympathetic nervous system remains highly activated leading to fatigue of the body and many of its systems, most notably the adrenal.

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BPD & The Brain

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), researchers viewed how the brains of people with BPD reacted to social and emotional stimuli.  Findings support that when people with BPD attempt to control and reduce reactions to disturbing emotionsal scenes, the anterior cingulate cortex and intrapretical sulci areas of the brain that are activeimgres-2 in health people under the same conditions remained inactive in BPD patients.

“This research shows that BPD patients are not able to use those parts of the brain in teh same way healthy people use them to help regulate their emotions.  This may explain why their emotional reactions are often so extreme.  The biological underpinnings of the disordered emotional control systems are central to borderline pathology.  Studying which areas of the brain function diffierently in patients with bpd can lead to more targeted uses of psyhotehrapy adn medications, as welll as a link to connect the genetic basis of the disorder.”-Dr. Koenigsberg

Borderline personality Disorder is a common condition, affecting up to two percent of all adults in teh United States, primarmily women.  Patients with BPD often exhibit impulsive behaviors, and BPD often occurs together with other psychiatric problems, particularly bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse and other personality disorders.  The disorder is found in 10 to 20 percent of people in psychiatric care, and about 10 percent of thos ewith the condition ultimately die of suicide.  Only recently have researchers begun to identify underlying biological facotrs associated with the condition.


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More on BPD..Educate Your Self & Loved Ones

*Trigger Warning

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As I’ve talked about in previous posts, expanding my knowledge on BPD and further researching the disorder has helped me gain a significant amount of insight to my mental processes, symptoms, behaviors and emotions.  Educating myself as well as my friends and family has made a tremendous difference in manning my interpersonal relationships.  A fellow blogger asked ma few questions about BPD, and I would like to elaborate on my responses.  If you or someone you know is struggling with BPD, you may find this post helpful in gaining a better understanding of the disorder.


Question 1: What is the most effective treatment for individuals struggling with BPD?

My initial thought, and response to this question was that BPD is unique to every individual, as every individual experiences the symptoms of it in various ways.  Treatment should be tailored to meet the individuals needs and goals.  Evidently, DBT is the most effective treatment approach for Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is extremely effective for many people, but not for everyone.  In order to make progress I believe the most important factor is the therapeutic relationships, due to the nature of the disorder, making it difficult for clients to trust others (including their therapists) and fear abandonment.  When it comes to coping and make progress with BPD, it is crucial to work with a professional whom fosters an environment where the client feels safe, coFullSizeRendercomfortable and accepted by the therapist.  Perhaps the most crucial factor is working with a professional where is a mutual feeling of trust.  The therapeutic relationship plays a huge role in the client’s progress.  Often times, you may need to meet with a few therapists before you find one who feels like the right fit, and that’s okay.  


Qutestion 2: Is there anything friends and family members can do to support loved ones suffering from BPD? 

One of the most difficult challenges with BPD is their unique way of thinking, that is hard
 for others to understand.  This causes problems in interpersonal relationships.  It’s a give in that unless you have BPD, you will never understand what it is truly like.  So trying to make sense of it, and trying to help a loved one takes a lot of effort, but it can be extremely helpful in the individual’s recovery.  


Definition

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental disorder characterized by disrupted and unstable interpersonal relationships and self-image, along wit impulsive, reckless, and often self destructive behavior.


Description

Individuals with BPD have a history of unstable interpersonal relationships.  They experience difficulty interpreting reality and viewing significant people in their lives as either flawless or extremely unfair and uncaring (a phenomenon known as “splitting).  These alternating feelings of idealization and devaluation are the hallmark feature of BPD.  Because borderline patients set up such excessive and unrealistic expectations of others, they are inevitably disappointed when others don’t meet their expectations. 

The term “borderline” was originally used by Psychologist Adolf Stern in the 1930’s to describe patients whose condition bordered somewhere between psychosis and neurosis.  It has also been used to describe the borderline states of consciousness these patients sometimes feel when they experience dissociative symptoms (feelings of detachment from oneself).


Causes

Adults with borderline personalities often have a history of significant childhood traumas such as emotional, physical, and/or sexual abuse, parental neglect or loss.  Feelings of inadequacy and self-loathing that arise from these situations may be key in developing the borderline persod5dec20b-85a4-4f3a-8c80-b7592d6acdfcnality.  Another theory suggests these patients try to compensate for the care they were denied during childhood through the idealized demands they now make on themselves and others they care about as adults.  Some studies suggest that this disorder is associated with mood or impulsive control problems, other implicate malfunctioning neurotransmitters (the chemical that send messages to nerve cells).   the disorder has a genetic correlation since it occurs more commonly among first-degree relatives.


Diagnosis

Borderline Personality Disorder typically first appears in early adulthood.  Although the disorder may occur during adolescents, it is difficult to diagnose since the borderline symptoms such as impulsive and experimental behaviors, insecurity and mood swings are common-even developmentally appropriate occurrences at this age.  Borderline symptoms may also be a result of chronic substance abuse and/or medical conditions (specifically, disorders of the central nervous system).  These should be ruled out before making the diagnosis of bpd.  BPD is typically a co-occurring disorders, and those diagnosed wit the disorder often present symptoms of or meet full criteria for disorders such as depression, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and other personality disorders.  It has also been suggested by some researchers that borderline personality disorder is not a true pathological condition in and of itself, but rather a number of overlapping personality disorder; it is, however, commonly recognized as a separate and distinct disorder b the American Psychiatric Association and by most mental health professionals.  It is diagnosed by interviewing the patient, and matching symptoms to the DSM 5 criteria.  Supplementary testing may sometimes also be necessary.


Treatment

Borderlines seek psychiatric help and hospitalization at a much higher rate than people with other personality disorder, most likely due to the intense fear of abandonment they experience and their need to seek idealized interpersonal relationships.  These patients represent the highest percentage of diagnosed personality disorders (up to 60%).  Providing effective therapy for the bpd patient is necessary, but often challenging.  The therapist-patient relationship is subject to the same inappropriate and unrealistic demands that the borderline personalities place on others in interpersonal relationships.  They are chronic “treatment seekers” who become easily frustrated w47a0dbcc-144b-417e-a592-38d83009ea1eit their therapist if they feel they are not receiving adequate attention or empathy, and symptomatic anger, impassivity and self-destructive behavior can impede the therapist-client relationship.  However, their fear of abandonment, often causes clients to break their relationship with the therapist, and discontinue treatment as soon as they realize progress is being made.  Psychotherapy, typically in the form of cognitive behavioral therapy is typically first line treatment, along with medication management.  Dialectal behavior therapy (DBT), a cognitive-behavioral technique has emerged as an effective therapy for borderline personalities, especially those with suicidal tendencies.  The treatment focuses on giving the borderline patient self-confidence and  on going tools for life outside of treatment through a combination of social skills training, mood awareness and meditative exercises. as well as education on the disorder. Group therapy is also an option for some bpd patients, although some often feel threatened by the idea of “sharing” a therapist with others.  


PrognosisIMG_0865

The disorder usually peaks in young adulthood and in most cases stabilizes after age 30.  Approximately 75-80% of borderline patients attempt or threaten suicide, and between 8-10% actually commit suicide.  If the bpd patient suffers from depressive disorders, the risk of suicide is much higher.  For this reason, swift diagnoses and appropriate intervention is crucial.  Prevention recommendations are scarce,  thee disorder may be genetic and not preventable.  The only known prevention would be to ensure a safe and nurturing environment during childhood.


Resources

BPD Central, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. 200 N. Glebe Road, Suite 1015, Arlington, VA 22203-3754. (800)950-6262. 

Lineham, Marsha, Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder.

Linehan, Marsha. Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline personality Disorder.

Mokovitz, Richard A. Lost in the Mirror: n inside Look at Borderline Personality Disorder.


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Could Children be More Resilient than Adults-The Power of Play

Based on my experiences working with children, I have found that they are often extremely resilient.  It’s surprising and scary at the same time to think that some children may be even more resilient than adults.  About 2 months ago, while I was in between jobs, I babysat for an 8 year-old boy.  One day while I was babysitting, my parents and brothers were calling me nonstop.  When I finally answered, I told them I resil1I was babysitting.  Children are typically intuitive, and that I knew, but not to the extent that I realized until after the boy reached over, gave me a hug and a pat on the back.  I said thank you.  It was ironic because the child I babysat was going through a similar situation that I was at the time (parents getting divorced and putting their kids/adults in the middle).  And by the looks of it he seemed to be coping much better then I was.  Could children be more resilient than some adults? I would prefer not to believe that an 8 year-old is more emotionally adjusted and than me, a 24 year-old therapist, but it actually may have been the case.


Since I began practicing as a therapist, I’ve found it mind blowing, observing how children are able to work through severe trauma, based on my experiences, doing so most effectively through play.  It’s been incredible to watch my clients repeat the same type of play over a number of sessions, and than shift through a new different type of play, as if every shift from repetitive play to a new type of play was symbolic of them working through what they needed to at the time, and were ready to move on to confronting their next obstacle. Since children, especially younger children, lack the ability to express emotions verbally like adults do, they make sense of things, and express themselves through their play.  Unlike working with adults, who will express to me that they are depressed, a child will pick out an action figure and re-enact something with the toy, that provides me with insight into how they are feelings.  For children, play is like an outlet for their emotions, trauma they may have suffered, any challenges they are facing, or uncomfortable emotions.  It’s fascinating how they are able to express it and work through it using play. 


I came to the decision that I want to work primarily with children after working with clients of all ages, due to the fact that they are so resilient.  Personally, out of all the clients I’ve worked with, it was the children who made the most progress.  One client in particular comes to mind when I think about this.  Lets call him Matthew (pseudo name).  Matthew was 6 years old when I first met him and began working with him.  He was withdrawn, quiet and very reserved.  During my third session with Matthew, out of nowhere he said to me quietly, “my dad is in heaven.”  fc15c46202dbd61daf71b9b005684408[1]This client was transferred to me from another therapist, so I had his information prior.  Nowhere did it state his father passed away, so I assumed it must had been recent.  I asked Matthew, “when did your dad go to heaven.” He implied that his father had passed away recently.  After the session, I contacted Matthew’s mother to confirm, and she informed me Matthew’s father had passed away 3 months ago, and was surprised that his prior therapist wasn’t aware of this.  Session after session, Matthew seemed withdrawn, he played alone and didn’t invite me to participate in his play.  After a few weeks, Matthew asked me a question for the first time.  He pointed to my pickup sticks and asked what they were.  I explained they are sticks you can use to play a game.  Matthew asked me his second question, “could you show me how to play?” I explained the game to Matthew and we played together for the first time, and he showed a side of himself I had never seen before.  He laughed, as we took turns picking, and flipping the sick’s.  I hadn’t heard Matthew laugh, I had not even observed him smile before this session.  But the joy he got out of playing this simple game was a significant step towards his progress.  Matthew slowly began to talk more and more, and expressed himself more each session through his play.  He even began inviting me to engage in his play quite frequently.  I could tell this was a turning point for him, he was comfortable with me and trusted me enough to work through his trauma, through his play with me by his side.  From my first session with Matthew, to our last, he had made tremendous progress, simply by feeling free to express himself, and having someone whom he trusted to do so with.