*Warning* may be a trigger for some. Includes childhood abuse and recounts of BPD episodes.
If you get bored reading the childhood stuff scroll down to "That was the start of my BPD Life" where I start my recount of my diagnoses as an adult.
Names have all been changed to protect identities.
Today is the 3rd of Jan 2011. Dates have never meant much to me but today is the date of an important event for me. Today is the day I will start writing about my experiences with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and mental health. Why am I writing this? I don’t really know. Maybe to look back on my youth when I’m 70, maybe to show my kids one day, maybe to give myself permission to forget and move on with my new life. My new life started 2 months ago when I left Cairns and moved to Ipswich. I spent the first two weeks in a homeless shelter with a fat tranny , an in denial bi and a useless lesbian case manager. The last 6 weeks I have been living with my cousin Cody and I’m grateful to finally have a room of my own after 4 months of homeless shelters. But my story has been going on longer than that. My story starts on the 16th of Feb 1990. The day I was born.
I don’t know why mum never stopped it and I even remember watching her help dad once or twice. I recall my sister refusing to eat fruit salad once and they got into a fight over it. By the end of it I was the only one sitting at the dinner table watching my parents hold my sister down on the floor trying to force the fruit into her mouth while she screamed and kicked at them. I remember thinking, ‘Its just fruit salad...who cares if she doesn’t want to eat it?’ I wish my eyes were lying those times I saw mum help because I have always seen my mother as a caring, loving person but both her and dad went too far when they smacked me as well. One day mum showed me her hand and wrist which was covered with blue black bruises and she asked me if I knew what they were from, when I said I didn’t she said it was from having to smack me the day before. Nobody should smack their child so hard and for so long that they get a black bruised hand.
We were punished bad for swearing as kids and Ill never forget the day I was outside drawing in the dirt with a stick. I was hoping to be alone so I remember the very familiar sick feeling I got in my stomach when my sister rode up on her bike and braked in a cloud of dust in front of me. I didn’t look at her or speak to her but she didn’t need a reason to tell me how inferior I was with every name she could think of. I started getting angry and nearly told her to (content edited by moderator) but the only sound that came out was ‘fu..’ I stopped myself just in time, but Jess went to go tell on me anyway. I ran beside her crying and begging her not to tell but mum over heard as we got closer to the house. Mum believed my sister and I was smacked several times with the spoon and my mouth was washed out with soap. She then dragged me to dad and told him what i had apparently said and the third part of the ‘swearing punishment’ was to be put in the car and driven to the bush to be left there. I cried and sobbed and squirmed in my seat as we drove, pleading with dad to turn around, constantly telling him how sorry I was. I truly, honestly thought he would take me to the bush and leave me there. I hated living at home but obviously I thought being left alone was worse. Eventually he turned around and took me home. Now when I think back on some of those situations I think dad got a kick out of watching us scream and beg, much like rapists do.
There were many times I couldn’t get away when the fighting started so I had to watch it, like the day we were all getting into the car before heading into town. My sister was angry at me because I had cut all the hair of her toy ponies and she said something nasty to me. Dad started yelling at her while he grabbed an octopus strap that was nearby and started belting her with it while she was stuck in her seatbelt. Her scream was so piercing I could barely hear dad telling her he wasn’t going to stop hitting her until she had stopped screaming. I guess she eventually stopped but inside, It was me that never stopped screaming. As a result of dad bullying her, she began to bully me, doing exactly the same things he would do to her and just as hard. Everytime I accidently came into the same room she would hit or slap or kick me always followed by emotional abuse that hurt more than the physical pain. I came to loathe and fear her from a young age and years later I started to believe she deserved being hit for being so mean to me. I did my best to never be alone in the same room as her and hiding when I was at home as much as possible. I learnt from an early age that no matter what I was feeling as long as I could stand up tall, act brave and yell, (content edited for language) there would be a chance she would leave me alone.
I learnt to block my feelings of anger, fear, sadness, frustration even love. I knew I couldn’t let them show through. There is no room for weakness in a dog-eat-dog world. Even now I don’t feel much love for anything, except my cats. One day mum took me to see a lady who asked me if I liked my sister, I said I didn’t and she gave mum these small white tablets that I was to put under my tongue every day. I had no idea what they were for but children are so trusting and so I took them when mum gave them to me. I asked her recently who that lady was and she revealed she had taken me to see a child psychologist because I was displaying anxious, nervous and reclusive behaviour because Jess was bullying me. When I was 10 we moved to Cairns because dad wanted a better job and I dared to hope that things would get better. That was a waste of time. Things got worse, much worse. Jess and I were older now and because of that dad discovered he could hit her harder, throw her harder and fight for longer and Jess discovered the same things when she hit me. I lived in constant fear of my family as the fighting still happened every single night without fail.
My only escape was high school. I loved school. There I was free to speak my mind and to walk without fear. I would even laugh and had some great friends although I never revealed what happened at home to them or anyone. I completed the cycle of violence by becoming a bully at school. There I was top dog and no one (content edited for language) with me. I never felt remorse for hurting people and I still don’t. My favourite game with my closest friend was to ‘mock fight’ where we would hit and slap each other for ages til we were red and bleeding then laugh our (content edited for language) off. I often hit her too hard and she would stop and sulk. I never understood why she just couldn’t take it and get over it like I did. I spent nearly every weekend at her place to get away from the fighting at home and although I never told, I think her mother knew why.
Once, when I came back home Sunday evening Jess told me someone had called the police during one of the fights. This happened a few more times during those years and one visit in particular lead to a referral to a community mental health service for family therapy. Despite mum always telling me she would make things better they hardly spoke in the session and we only went to see the counsellor once. Once. That was my one chance to speak up and say what was really going on, to tell someone how the fear I lived with was killing me, how I screamed all the time even though I never opened my mouth. I just didn’t realise that things could be any different, that my home life wasn’t normal. I wish she had seen the pleading in my eyes, but she didn’t, and I left my one chance for help behind. My behaviour at school got worse and they starting getting suss about why I was acting out so badly, hurting and teasing people and telling the teachers to get (content edited for language). The Deputy asks me one day, “Is something going on at home?.” My initial thought was, ‘Oh (content edited for language)...they know...’ I was silent , to scared to say anything and it never went any further.
I must have been about 15 when I decided I’d had enough of Jess bullying me. She started abusing me one morning as usual and I decided in a split second that I was done with it. I turned around and punched her in the face. She stopped and lifted a hand to her mouth and wiped away blood from her split lip. That 1 or 2 second pause felt like an hour as time slowed down. When I felt time kick back to normal I was watching her fist coming for me, I turned, doubled over, put my hands over my head and felt the blows and scratches descend. Not something I tried again. Life continued on as ‘normal’ and so did the cycle of violence from my dad to my sister to me. Not long after that she finally said something to me that wasn’t abuse. She asked me to help her pack her stuff in one day and move out without mum and dad knowing. I happily obliged, relieved that the bullying was coming to an end. Wrong again.
After Jess left I became dads new target and I finally learnt what my sister had been going through all those years. The last incident I remember was dad following me downstairs, throwing me into a wall and holding me up onto it by my throat as he lifted a fist to punch me in the face. The sound of the screen door opening saved me. Mum had followed dad downstairs and he dropped me when he realised she was there. Not long after that the best 5 years of my life to this day ended with the last day of year 12. I was lost and as usual, scared. My only escape from this life was gone and I realised the years ahead faced me like a looming death sentence. How would I survive in this new world without school? I didn’t know what to do and so, I did nothing. I worked in a casual job and when I got home I lived in my room. I became severely depressed, although I didn’t know what that was at the time. 4 months after school had finished and 1 month after I turned 18, mum came to me and told me she was worried, asked me what was going on. We talked for a little while, me not saying much. After a bit I said, “You know, I think Uncle Dean had the right idea.” My Uncle Dean had committed suicide a year or so before and I had started believing that was the path I should head down too. Mum convinced me to see a doctor who sent me to the hospital straight away. I was taken to a room in the ED called the isolation room. Man was I to become familiar with that room and the blue room in the years that followed my diagnoses. I waited there for ten minutes until I decided the whole thing was a bad idea and I tried to leave. The hospital guards followed me and tried to convince me to come back. I refused and one of them got on his walkie talkie and I remember hearing, “So she’s on an order now?” which apparently means I was then under the mental health act, stating I no longer had a say in my decisions. I was forcibly taken back to my room and a guard was posted at my door to keep me in there. I was so damn confused about what was happening.
That was the start of my BPD life.
Those rooms, the various different orders, the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and the guards at Cairns Base Hospital became my life, my new best friends and my worst enemies. The first time I heard ‘Borderline Personality Disorder’ was from another patient I got along with the first time I was in PICU. He came up to me and says, “You know, the nurses think you have Borderline Personality Disorder.” And I was like, “what the hell is that?” he says, “Ask a nurse” so I did and she replied, “It means you are an attention seeker.” I think I was too shocked to be insulted. I find that label very insulting now but at the time the whole experience was so confusing I didn’t know what to say. I asked my fellow patient how he knew and he said he had heard the nurses talking about me through the door. So that was that. Borderline Personality Disorder. What a death sentence that was to become. After I was released I went back home determined to forget the whole thing when a man and a woman knocked on the front door one evening. I assumed they were there for mum and dad so I started to head downstairs, when mum told me to stay and sit down with them. Damn, now I knew they were here for me but I didn’t know why. I don’t remember the conversation between the man and the woman and my parents, I just remember sitting absolutely silent through the whole thing glaring evilly at the man, who seemed to glance around nervously under my stare. I laugh about that now since that man became my future psychologist, Jason Davis. A man I met with once or twice or even 5 times a week for nearly three years of counselling. A man who proved himself worthy of my trust and who certainly saved me in many times of crisis and encouraged me to grow into the person I ‘am now. He was the only person in the world I trusted with my deepest secrets and fears and the only one I would go to for help. The relationship was professional of course but it’s the kind of relationship you can’t have without personal emotions getting involved. I looked at him as a close friend even though I knew he didn’t feel the same. He helped me to discover some very important things including my realisation that I was a lesbian. During the three years I was with Jason (affectionately nicknamed JD) I was in the full swing of BPD, the emotional pain and confusion, the fears, the emptiness, the boredom, the self harming and the suicide attempts that lead to frequent hospitalisations. When I lost my mind and was in crisis, it was the police and the ambos that dealt with me. I no longer have enough fingers and toes to count how many times I have been handcuffed by the police in what was always an epic scene. I always fought them as much as I could knowing how much I hated going to hospital but if the Police or Ambos put you under an EEO order then you have no choice in the matter. I was consumed by BPD in those years. It took me 3 years to do 5 units of a 14 unit course that’s only supposed to take two years to complete. I could hardly hold down a job as my sudden hospitalisations meant I was unreliable and my resume has big gaps where I didn’t work for months at a time. I didn’t like the idea of taking medication for the depression part of BPD but I did once, for a short period of time after being pressured to take the drugs Lovan (anti depressant) and seroquel (anti psychotic and mood stabiliser). The Lovan gave me complete insomnia and I would go 48 hours without sleeping. During those sleepless nights I did the only thing that made me feel happy and alive. I drove. For up to 5 hours a night I would drive, up and down the Smithfield roundabouts blasting my music, mostly P!nk, and smoking myself to an early grave. It was the only time I didn’t think about my BPD and I felt so free. Driving is still my favourite thing to do. I didn’t realise it was the drug, Lovan, that was giving me insomnia but when I fell pregnant at the end of my 18th year, I went off it until I decided whether I would have the baby or not. (yes this was before I realised I was gay) Childcare has always been my passion and having a baby is my most important goal in life which is why I decided not to have the baby. I wanted to have a baby when I was happy, financially independent and mentally well so I could enjoy being a mother. Being in the full swing of BPD was not the right time for the babies’ sake. I still think about the baby I could have had, I knew in my heart it was a boy (yay) and he would have been called Jasper Jaymz but I also knew I made the right decision to have an abortion. I never went back onto the Lovan or seroquel and I slept for more than 3 hours for the first time on Christmas night 2008 (shit look at that I did remember a date). My sleep has never fully recovered to this day. At the worst time of my BPD (around July to Nov 2010) I was jobless, homeless and completely alone. I had friends and family around me but it is the nature of a Borderline to feel empty and alone anyway. (Don’t get offended by that label if you have BPD) I had been living in a homeless shelter for a few months after breaking up with my girlfriend of 18months, when JD told me about some ‘timeout’ program that was being offered. You went to stay at a mental health support house and received 24 hour care for a while. I decided to go and ended up hating it so much I preferred to be homeless so I packed my things and got in my car. I decided I would go for a drive since I was now living in my car (it’s not so bad I had done it many times before). I only meant to drive for a few hours up and down the Smithfield roundabouts but instead I drove for 5 full days until I got to Brisbane. I decided I would not turn back, after all I had nothing to lose, except JD, and it was time to push him away while I still could. It was a completely impulsive decision yet one of the best ones I have ever made. I have not had one hospitalisation visit or crisis since I have been here, which is a record, and I’m hoping there will never be anymore. I can’t believe it’s only been 3 years since I was diagnosed. It’s been the slowest years of my life and I feel like I’m 50 not 20. Now that I’m onto my next chapter in life and I’ve written this all down I’m hoping to forget the last 20 years ever happened. My future is ahead of me. I may never find my reason to shine but, here and now, this is my time and I may never find the meaning of life but for this moment Iam fine and that is enough for me.
Crisis Episodes I remember: (Episodes summed up very quickly and definitely not in order, I forget most of them and why they occurred. Some of them I know I didn’t make any suicidal/self harming actions so I didn’t even know why they were after me)
• Cock and Bull restaurant (night)
Got drunk, self harmed, tried to order alcohol from cock and bull with my forgotten knife in my hand and was refused service. Got shitty. Cops were called as I was leaving, jumped in my car and locked the door. Turned the car on, tried to reverse (apparently, I hit a police car that had just pulled up behind me and nearly hit the cop jumping out, I honestly don’t remember hitting anything and there were no dents in the cop car. So bit sus) anyway cops smashed the window, I screamed abuse coz I had no money to replace the window. Threw the knife on the grass out of my window (haha it wasn’t funny at the time but it is now, I remember one of the cops yelling, “she’s throwing the knife at us!” (content edited for language)!!! You think I can’t aim at the big massive space between the cops and my car?) Next bit sux, got sprayed then one cop opened my door dragged me out and they all sat on me while I was handcuffed. (I tell you that shit stings! I was just lucky I saw it coming and shut my eyes so it was only my skin that was being scorched by the devils eternal fire) strapped to ambulance bed and off to PICU.
• Apartments (night)
Drunk 600ml straight vodka on an empty stomach and and went to my old high school (I often found sitting in there peaceful and was attempting to control myself, what actually resulted was total failure) I fell asleep, was found by some drunk people who convinced me to come party with them so they dragged me up to their apartments. Chatted for a while and at some point passed out. The next thing I know ambulance officers are over me and I hear the drunken partiers telling them I wasn’t breathing and wouldn’t wake up. I could feel a pain in my chest and learnt it was the ambos digging there knuckles in there and rubbing to keep me conscious with pain. Carried downstairs and taken to hospital where emergency tried to pump by stomach. I managed to stay conscious enough to tell them “no way” don’t remember what psychiatric (content edited for language) followed that.
• Holloways Beach (day)
This is by far the worst one. I don’t remember what my reasoning was but I was totally convinced I should kill myself this day. I didn’t go and see my psychologist and instead drove to Holloways Beach where I parked in some ordinary empty parks beside the road. I cut my left wrist and watched the blood stream into the towel on my lap. At some point my psychologist rang me (I don’t remember how he knew I wasn’t feeling well) and asked me if I had self harmed. I said, “Yes” he said, “Bad?” I said, “yep” then I hung up on him. He called back and he then said “well im going to call the police and tell them you’re at Machans beach.” I then made the stupid mistake of instantly correcting him by saying, “Im not at Machans Beach.” I then realised the trap and hung up on him again. I realised he was guessing where I was firstly by knowing that I loved the beach and secondly by hearing the planes in the background since the planes follow the coast in. Damn psychologists and their tricks. Iam grateful for him sometimes when he thinks clearly for me, though at the time I was shitty. The blood kept clotting and stopping the stream so as I sat there in my car I had to keep recutting to keep the flow steady. Next thing I know a police car pulls up behind me and an officer approaches my car. I had my doors locked and my windows up so I ignored him and kept on task. Apparently they had been searching for me all over town. More police cars came and I remember about six being there. 3 were blocking me in, 1 was redirecting traffic away from the road and two were just parked close by. This whole thing was a messy disastrous scene. The cops flattened my tires just to make sure I couldn’t drive away. One news crew was even there though they can’t show mental health issues on t.v. so it was a complete waste of time. Kirin was there though he was not allowed to approach since I had a knife. My sister was there since her boyfriend heard it on the cop radio. My parents were there. There were drug dogs and negotiaters. People gathered to watch (despite me giving them the finger) The police tried to talk me out of the car. I put my P!nk cd in, blasted it and ignored them completely. They offered me water and tried to bribe my knife off me with cigarettes since id smoked my whole brand new pack out of stress while I had been sitting there. Eventually when I ran out I gave in and slipped the knife through the window. He slipped me another pack of durries they had bought from the shop. Then I reached across to my glove compartment and pulled out my second knife. They didn’t expect that one. Apparently they tried to talk me out for two hours though it didn’t seem that long. (Obviously I hadn’t cut deep enough or I would have been dead by then but the flow was strong and steady, wtf went wrong??) In the end I decided to unlock my door purely out of my own accord since I bet they didn’t know I couldn’t hear a thing they’d been yakking to me the whole time coz of the music. One cop even started singing with me. He deserves a medal for effort. I eventually realised it was taking way to long as I obviously didn’t have a good knife so I figured they weren’t going to let me die so I might as well save my window being smashed in like last time and unlock the door. So I unlocked the door and sat there. One of the police opened the door wide and crouched down to me he said, “you need to come to hospital now” and waited. I don’t remember exactly what happened next only that I freaked out completely when they touched me and tried to get away. Yea didn’t work. Instead I ended up in the dirt with the whole bloody lot of them holding me down and an ambo fixing up my wrist. Next came the handcuffs and the straps holding me to the bed and just for good measure a cop sat on me the whole way to the Hospital. That doesn’t do much for the lungs I can tell you.
• Home (day)
I OD on 16 tablets of 300 seroquel. My friend Louise rings me to see if I want to come over. I tell her, “umm...sorry I can’t today... hey you’ve been a great friend... thanks for everything.”Then I pass out. Next thing I know there’s ambos propping me up with all their heart monitoring gear around me. Off to hospital where I’m abused by doctors telling me I’m faking. Not actually possible to fake being sleepy when you’ve taken such a large amount of seroquel (content edited for language). I almost wanted them to pump my stomach to prove him wrong. Couldn’t talk properly and couldn’t understand English very well. Ended up sleeping there for 3 days and pissed the bed (so embarrassing) although when I got up I realised they had prepared for that.
• Home (4 days)
Completely lost the will to eat and drink or even get out of bed for 4 days. (so much for the ‘3 days without water’ theory.) Ambos where called. Was waaayyyy to weak to fight them off so ended up being taken to hospital where my blood sugar was 2. Something. Staff strapped my arms and legs to the bed and inserted a drip. Figured out how to undo the straps, ripped the drip out (painful, don’t do it) escaped and nurses and guards forced me back down and back on went the straps. Gay.
• Old School (night. This one counts as two episodes since there was another one that was similar only I couldn’t be bothered writing it)
Went to my old High school to think. Was found by my parents (HOW THE (content edited for language) anyway they knew the pattern of my thinking and called the ACT team who then called the ambos (by this point, whenever the ambos are called they look at my file and call the cops to come too.) seriously why did 3 cop cars come? I know I fight like hell when they touch me but surely two trained police officers can handle a short girl? Although I have kicked seven of em off me once so maybe Im super strong when Im scared shitless. They tried to talk me into the cop car, I refused so they jumped me. I remember smelling this gross smell while I was under them and I crained my neck around to see this sweaty football player on top of me as well. I was like, “who the (content edited for language) are you?” apparently he was a cop off duty playing football with his team nearby, saw the commotion and decided to show off to his mates. Off to hospital. (content edited for language) are u getting as sick of this as Iam?
• Home with GF (night)
This decision happened sooo quickly and impulsively I don’t remember why I did it. We were fighting and she went upstairs to piss so I grabbed a knife and sliced at my wrist. I did this so fast and without thought it scares me. This was my largest of my 5 scars. Im lucky I don’t have more. I tried as little as possible to self harm. I know some borderlines have waaay more so again, I’m lucky. Anyway, my gf comes down sees the dumbass idea, calls the ambos, locks me in the bathroom and holds the latch. I CANNOT BELIVE how many cops show up with the ambos. At LEAST 8. I run like hell out of the house and down the back path and of course they chase like a pack of dogs on viagra. They catch me and I fight so hard (ah...so this is where I kicked so many off me..) that I get back up off the ground and try running again. This time when they catch me one of them put his arm around my throat and squeezes til I blackout. (apparently I kicked one of them in the nuts hahahahaha sucker!!) This one was so embarrassing as it was the first time my neighbours saw such an incident even tho they all knew I had BPD.
• Driving (night)
I have just noticed most of these happen at night. I wonder what it is about night that makes me so feral.. Anyway this one is a little confusing at the start since I don’t remember why they were after me. I drove to my house and sat down with my gf. I said “I think the cops are after me...” poor girl had put up with my shit long enough to know to freak out but she didn’t call anyone thank god. She had to go to the bus station at 12am so I said id drive her there. Just as Im leaving the driveway I notice the Po Po’s van across the road. As soon as I started zooming off down the road they start following me. They followed me at a distance the whole way into town. I think they thought I didn’t know they were there but it was a bit obvious when they put on their flashies just long enough to get through a red light I had just made it through. I get in to town but I wasn’t about to stop the car so I kept driving around the same block for a bit with my poor gf freaking out next to me. Eventually more cars join the van and they pull me over and off I go to my second home. Blah...
• Tree (night)
Had a MASSIVE MASSIVE fight with the gf and ran away and climbed up a tree to self harm/embrace suicide if I decided to go too far with the cutting. Gf found me and I went really blank and couldn’t speak to her. I didn’t even realise she called the cops until they turned up. They tried to convince me to come down, as usual I refused until the gf told them I wouldn’t come down until they left so they ‘mock’ left and went round the corner. I climbed down still rather blank saw them come running over and ran like hell. Ended up in someones yard with a gnarly fence blocking my way so when I stopped I had a Po Po point a taser and yell at me “THIS IS A TASER! DROP THE KNIFE!’ I have seen people tasered on youtube so I dropped that (content edited for language) pretty fast and they jumped on me. Guess where I went then....
• In session with JD (day)
By this point I was also diagnosed with PTSD from having the cops jump on me all the time and I was deathly afraid of them (hence why I ran everytime I had a crisis). JD and I were doing exposure therapy which involved having a cop in the room with us while I tried to control my fear. Didn’t go so well. I freaked completely and even after he left I crawled under a desk and refused to move. By that time it was about 10 mins til the place closed but I stayed there for about an hour singing Sober - P!nk trying to convince myself I was safe. JD’s boss ended up calling the Po Po’s to get me out so that was a complete and utter DISASTER!!
• Couldnt be bothered writing this one either. Im getting tired and its now 5am. But! This one was EPIC!!! It involved me being put in to hospital by mistake where I stayed awake the entire 3 nights and days I was there. When I was released they realised they didn’t have my car keys (po pos where supposed to give them to the staff when I was admitted) so the Cops come and and omg im scared shitless of cops but this one dykey cop came and she was sooooo hot (if only she wasn’t in uniform she would have been hotter) they say they will drive the 15 mins to where they left my keys and drive them to where my car was parked. That gave me 15 mins to run halfway across town to my car after 3 sleepless nights. (content edited for language) epic.
• On the Highway (night)
This was the last one and happened while I was on my drive to Brisbane. The way it all started is long and boring so Ill skip it. Anyway I don’t know how they found me since I didn’t tell anyone where I was but they apparently had an order all along the Bruce Highway so as I’m driving through Townsville at 2am I’m the only car on the road. Pretty easy to spot if you’re a Po Po looking for me. So I get pulled up and was too scared to open my door. I was shaking like a leaf. They would have looked at my record since they didn’t (content edited for language) around and pretty much told me straight away they would smash my window in if I didn’t open the door. And off we go to the hospital once again. Luckily I was only in there for one night and when I was released I got straight back in my car and kept driving. Woot! Off to BrisVEGAS!
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