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A key word that you will see:

Fragmentation: a mental process where a person becomes intensely emotionally focused on one aspect of themselves, such as “I am angry” or “no one loves me,” to the point where all thoughts, feelings and behavior demonstrate this emotional state, in which, the person does not or is unable to take into account the reality of their environment, others or themselves and their resources. This is a term that my therapist and I use and is on the continuum of dissociation.

Monday, August 30, 2010

It Sucks To Be Borderline!!

Did you know that your therapist is human? Humans make mistakes.  Humans can hurt your feelings. Humans can totally miss what you are saying. Humans also can think about what isn't working and look at themselves.  They can also apologize and take responsibility for their part of the interaction...Thank God!!  My therapist is human!!!

Since my birthday, I was becoming increasingly depressed and hopeless about therapy.  Part of it was that there were many abandonment issues surrounding my aunt not acknowledging my birthday at all.  As expected, my suicidal thoughts and self-injury urges became stronger due to what I was working through in therapy.  I was also becoming more fragmented and hopeless about continuing therapy.

I did not realize it while it was happening because most of it was subtle, but my therapist was cutting me off, invalidating or not validating my feelings and also expecting me to be able to provide myself with validation and comfort which at this point I am unable to do.  These were also extremely subtle and neither of us were aware what was happening, but I was really depress and hopeless.  I won't go into detail of what he said or did that was not helpful or hurtful.

Last week was the worst of all of it as it really kicked up my abandonment issues which my therapist pointed out.  ***Warning Borderline Behavior*** On Wednesday, I was so angry and hopeless after session that I left a nasty message stating that "my suicidal thoughts and self injury urges are way up and I'm angry, thinking that I'm bad and hopeless. Therapy is not working, so I'm terminating. I keep ending up in the same place and like you said I won't meet my life's goals if I continue what I am doing. So, you agree with my friend about my friend just saying get over it was not realistic because today it seemed like that was what you were telling me to do. I'm never going to be able to go back to school.  Yes, I know that I'm fragmenting, but I'm still not coming back. I don't care anymore, don't care, don't care."

The next day, I left another message that saying that I was sorry for the message that I left.  I know that I am making myself miserable and probably taking my anger out on you instead of my aunt and trying to get you to call me.  I'd like to see you this evening if you have time.

Later, I left another message saying that I was terminating and don't bother to call. [I also was aware that he had a class all day from 8 am to 3 pm.]  When he called me back and asked if I wanted to see him, I said, "no."  He said okay, but if you change your mind call me. Then, I asked if we could have a telephone session which we scheduled for that evening.

Then, I left a message cancelling the appointment saying that it was hopeless anyway and that I was going to feel worse afterward, so it was a waste of time and that I was terminating therapy.  Then, I asked if I could see him instead of a telephone session.  He called back and said that we could have a face to face session.

[I was one borderline out of control, being manipulative, ambivalent, pushing away and trying to draw close, etc... It wasn't pretty.  I was a mess.]

Once there, I didn't feel so angry.  He had me say what I wanted to and then gave me an explanation of what he thought was going on.  He validated my feelings and listed several things that he said or did that led me to be more depressed, hopeless, abandoned, angry and hurt.  He took responsibility for it and apologized.  He indicated that if he could he would take it back.

However, when these things happen once I'm thinking, I am always able to see how those types of "therapeutic misses" tell something or are helpful, no matter how painful.  I thought about how during such a short period that not having validation and feeling abandoned by him cause me to feel more depressed and hopeless.  I realized that this is how I lived my life, so no wonder I have issues with validation and abandonment and have been depressed all of my life.  I also realized that my feelings developed because I didn't get what I needed.  I felt sad about it.

One other lesson or aha moment was when I realized that although I was angry when each "incident" happened that I couldn't have said anything because it seemed I went from hearing what was said directly to shutting down.  There was no cognitive or emotional awareness of feeling angry.  It is like that mechanism is missing from me when it comes to anger.  Need to work on this.  I can advocate and become angry when it has to do with someone else especially when working, but when it comes to me I'm lost. 

I felt so good and relieved that I saw my therapist in person and that he was able to explain what he thought happened.  But, it also sucks to be borderline!!!


Just Be Real said...

CC what an insightful post. I even learned something from what you shared as well. I suffer from being rejected. My father was not there for me either due to alcohol and then when my parents divorced did not see much of him. When I did he made it clear that at times I felt I was some kind of burden to him.

Glad you were able to see face to face your t. Get things straighten out. Get validated. Perfect time to put up that Validation video again. :)

Thank you dear for sharing. Blessings.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you got things straightened out with your therapist. A therapeutic relationship is hard to come by and even though you were upset with him I'm glad you were able to work through it. That's hard to do!

Also, a very powerful video. I forgot about that song.

Wishing you well,

Clueless said...


Thank you for the compliment. My hope in sharing such things is that others will learn of not think that they are "crazy." I felt the same way when my parents divorced.

Yes, the video will go up this week. Thanks again for your support.



Yes, it has taken me a long time to be able to do what I did and actually hear him.

I'm glad that you liked the video, but I posted the wrong one. The proper one is up there now. I am going to post the one you saw at a later time.

take care,

Shen said...

Yes... therapists are human. I've discovered that my therapist can be hurt by my comments when I am out of control. That's really hard, too. I feel hurt, lash out, and then she feels hurt. I'm still not certain she should have told me that... it is making it hard to be who I need to be when I'm worrying about her feelings.

I too am in the middle of some heavy-duty abandonment issues and my therapist being out of town (again!) is making it worse. When you were talking about your t's expectation that you could meet your own needs, I really felt what you were writing. How can I possibly take care of my own needs when I feel like a wounded child?

In the past, my t has usually told me she could check email at least once if she is gone a week or more. I don't know where she is, now, but she said it was not possible this trip. I'm on day 7 of 10 days with no contact and it feels like I've been completely cut off. Time seems to stand still and instead of feeling good and connected when I think of something she's said, I feel hurt and sad.

That said, I do know we both deserve validation. We deserve to feel loved and accepted and not like a burden. I know you are worthwhile... why is it so much harder to know it about oneself?

Clueless said...


Thank you for sharing so personally in your comment. Oh, do I feel for you with your therapist being away. For me, even though cognitively I understand that I am not being abandoned or that he is intentionally hurting me, my feelings do not match.

If you are able to do it for others, eventually you can do it for myself. My therapist says that it is in me already and I will eventually learn to use it for myself...treat myself as I do my clients.

Hang in there,

Evan said...

It sounds like you have a very mature therapist. I hope that over the long-term you can see benefits.

Lisa said...

CC, i discovered the same thing about my therapist. I had to use a lot of mindfullness skills to not completely freak out on her. I had to..it was hard...but realizing they are human i think is a step in a good direction.

I'm glad things got worked out and yes, being borderline SUCKS and i loved that video. thanks for sharing it.


Clueless said...


I do indeed have a mature therapist who is willing to share his "mistakes." I definitely see the long term benefits.


Well said!!! :-)

Ana said...

Thanks for sharing CC.
It helped me understanding a friend of mine. I knew that "neurosis" was not the right word because I'm neurotic, I have no problems with this label because it has nothing to do with psychiatry and we must be treated with therapy and no meds.
That is why DSM took the word of any diagnostic...
I thought this person had another kind of problems and I don't think that any of the lables I know fit.
It seems that borderline is helps explaining.
I hate these labels but they help us understand a little bit more.
Unfortunately it is used to stigmatization and selling pills instead of helping the public be aware of some emotional problems.

Clueless said...

Hi Ana,

I'm glad that this post helped you. That was my hope especially because I'm a bit embarrassed about my behavior.

A good psychiatrist will go by treating the symptoms and not the diagnosis. I believe that medications can be helpful...I know that I need them, for now. My psychiatrist's goal is for me to not have to take any.

I don't like labels, but yes they do help. After the diagnosis, I don't care so much as who the person and their symptoms are. It does help me to understand immediately the possible symptoms and how they have the ability or not to manage certain things.

Diagnosis should never be used for stigmatation and selling pills. I know that the medications that I take are extremely helpful for me, but I also have an excellent psychiatrist.

However, I do know many stories such as you described.

Patricia Singleton said...

Clueless, thanks so much for sharing this, especially the video. The video explains Borderline Personality Disorder so well. I feel some of those things. I can only imagine the Hell of feeling all of them over and over again with no peace in sight. As the video says, you are truly a courageous, beautiful woman.

Clueless said...


Thank you. When I found this video, it fit so perfectly!!

Anonymous said...

I am borderline. It's only been lately that I have discovered what is wrong with me because i have my 'attempts' because of my emotions and manic or bipolar just didn't fit that category. I been like this because I get social rejection because of my aspergers disorder I think that's the main cause

Clueless said...

Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment Anon.

How about I am a person with a borderline personality disorder. Sorry, but it bugs me because bordeline is a disorder/illness and does not define you just like if you had cancer. You wouldn't say, "I am cancer." Okay enough of my soap box. Bipolar is often given, but it is the wrong diagnosis...it can be confusing, but the treatment is quite different. I'm glad that you have found relief in being diagnosed properly. Aspberger's probaly wasn't the cause, but it was an important factor. Good luck on your journey. Come back anytime. I like your comment.

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