Mental Health Month – Borderline Personality Disorder

by Kylie on October 19, 2011

This is a long and emotional post. I have felt for some time I need to post it. It’s mental health month in Australia and what many of you probably don’t know is I am very mentally unhealthy.

Before I scare you all off, be aware I am very high functioning, so most will be completely unaware anything is wrong with me. I can act very well, but if you are really close, like a family member, you would have seen the signs something is not right. I have been successful despite being unhealthy with my book 365 Ways To Make Money, public speaking, freelance writing and more.

So why talk about it on a finance blog?

I wanted to show that everyone has issues, no one’s life is perfect, but you can still be successful and live a good life despite obstacles, or mental issues. Also, my disorder is one of the reasons I write posts about motivation, self confidence etc. It is mostly from personal experience.

 

You see, I have Borderline Personality Disorder. (BPD)

See, I look fine.

I have been really torn as to whether I should share this info or not. Sometimes I really want to, other times I want to keep it to myself due to the stigmatism associated with BPD.

 

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?


Basically a real mess. I flick like a light switch, instantly. I can go from completely loving someone to hating them with a passion, extreme elation/happiness to extreme anger. I can be completely confident in myself one minute, but if something does not goes as planned I hate myself. My moods are all over the place, there is no way to tell which way I will react to something. And I over react, pretty much all the time. Often just in my head there will be a running dialogue of how stupid everything is/I am, why it didn’t work, I never should have bothered, I am useless etc… but often, I do not reveal those thoughts.

Borderlines are generally thought of as manipulative, liars, difficult, crazy etc… And really, we are, but it’s not intentional.

For the wiki definition of Borderline Personality Disorder click here.

I often feel like this

This obviously is not an easy thing for me to share. I now worry about losing you as readers, people treating me differently, the backlash from those I know in real life now knowing I am mental. (Ok, I have referred to myself as mental since I was a teen and I was only diagnosed with BPD last year, I don’t mean it in a nasty way, just factual). I am extremely anxious about this, but also know I have a lot of support with my family. My husband, siblings, parents
and a few select others know this about me already and know I am posting this today.

I am a control freak and the thought of letting others know this and not knowing their reactions/being unable to control the outcome of this post, sends my head into a spin, but I am going to try to ignore it. I really feel mental health, especially BPD needs more awareness.

I have known since I was young something was wrong with me. What primary school aged kid has suicidal thoughts? Looking back on my life all the signs were there, we just didn’t know about BPD and they don’t generally diagnose until you are 18. Instead I got given the labels depression and ADHD.

 

You see I attempted suicide twice as a teen. Once after my mum died and I got assaulted walking to the shops, another time after my dad got remarried. I had wanted to die for a long time before that though. I was also a compulsive liar, had many ‘episodes’ and caused countless problems. After the attempts I started seeing a psychiatrist through some government program and she was great. She was the one who diagnosed me ADHD/depression. But, once you are 18 you are out of the program as it was only for teens and children.

I moved out of home, earning just $220 a week aged 17. I could not afford care on my own, so just didn’t get any further help.

I have been on and off meds since I was 16. They helped a little, but not a lot. I felt drugged. I had tried a few different ones and none seemed to help. Now I know I have BPD not just depression I have discovered for many BPD sufferers anti depressants are useless. They work for some, but not a lot.

Anyway, I am much better now. Ok, not really, but I know how to handle it better. I am seeing a psychologist who specialises in BPD. Last year my mum kept talking about this amazing book that really helps you understand other people etc. “Stop Walking On Eggshells”, which is about dealing with people who have Borderline Personality Disorder.

When I finally read a little I felt sick. It was me. We looked into it more, I got tested and it was confirmed. This is highly unusual for someone with BPD. Most will not recognise it in themselves. I already knew something was wrong with me. I had been told that for years, so it was not hard to accept the Borderline Personality Disorder label.

I have decided to be pretty open about this and most of this post is probably just rambles. I can’t seem to express myself properly.

Every day is a battle for me. It is rare to have a few days running without an episode of some sort. Sometimes an episode might last a few minutes, hours or really bad ones go for weeks.

 

What does an episode involve?

I refer to my anger outbursts or depression as episodes. They often involve yelling, screaming whilst a mental dialogue of what a loser I am is running, then treating my family to absolute silence so there is no way to know just how bad things are. As mentioned I have attempted suicide twice as a teen. I have also stabbed myself in the leg, cut myself, bashed my head, smashed my fist through stuff such as a window, that sort of thing. I am ashamed of it all. When I am having an episode I literally have no control over what I am doing. Looking back I can see it was the wrong decision, but when it is happening in my mind it is right.

Thankfully, I prefer to do these things alone, so my children have not seen it. I often don’t remember everything that happened or what I say. It’s not really me.

 

Not our window, my fist went right through.

My most recent episode happened last week. I had only been back 5 days (I was in Chicago for a week) and my husband and I were fighting. It was over his family. 80% of the time my episodes have stemmed from stuff they have done/said or not done. Whether it is deserved or whether it is just my mind locks onto the bad stuff from them I am not 100% sure, but either way it’s bad.

I got so angry and wanted everything to stop. When I get like that it is bad. Really bad. If we have guests over or I am in front of people I can usually get it together, walk away and calm down, at least enough to not do anything stupid. Last week we were at home and no one was there. I remember screaming at him, yelling at him to just stop talking. I felt my head was going to explode with all the bad thoughts running in my head and I needed it to stop.

But he didn’t.

I flipped, walked out and smashed my fist through the door between our kitchen and rumpus room, right through the section of glass. I kept walking and locked myself in the bathroom. I was bleeding badly but was completely numb. Long story short, my hand was cut up and bruised pretty badly. I am still healing over a week later. For the first few days every time I moved a couple of my fingers they would bleed again. I was in such a bad mental state I would not get medical help.

 

What’s really bad is I am still on edge from that episode, some 9 days after it happened. The issues surrounding that episode have not been resolved completely. They should have and could have been, but my husband does not like me causing a fuss with his family. So I did what I could, deleted them all from Facebook and will have limited contact.

They are not all bad and I can get along with them, but the things that happened recently tipped me over the edge. They don’t even know. They have no idea the whole reason we moved to Canberra originally was to get away from them.

 

I feel really sorry for my family who are the ones who cop it a lot. My husband and daughters see it on a daily basis. My parents and siblings lived with me for years and I cannot imagine how hard that must have made their lives, especially considering our mum passed away from cancer when I was 15, dad remarried within the year to my step mum (I just call her mum), who also had 4 children. That is all hard enough without extra issues.

As much as I have suicidal thoughts some days I would never act on it. I have 2 daughters and I miss my mum so badly, even as an adult most days that I could never, ever do that to them. When I am having an episode (that’s what I call it when I am angry/depressed) I focus on them and how much it sucks for me being without my birth mum. (I say birth instead of real, because it’s not like my step mum is a fake mum. We are very close.)

I am really fortunate to have a very supportive family and my husband must be insane for putting up with me. I would have kicked me to the curb years ago. He loves me and is helping me work through it. He is very supportive and often knows when to just leave me or take our daughters so I can get myself together.

I do what I can to try and prevent episodes or control myself and therapy is helping. I haven’t been in a while as we couldn’t afford it, but I am booked in again. My psych is great, so I am hopeful I can get better. It will take a very long time though.

So in light of mental health month, I thought I would share this with you and hopefully raise some awareness. If you have any questions I will answer anything. You can leave them in the comments or email me if you prefer.

Don’t worry or stress or change your view on me. I am ok. I have good support here and won’t do anything stupid. Moments like I describe above with smashing the window are pretty spread out and get less each time. It is more common for an episode to last for only a few hours, with just mental hating on myself and locking myself away, no physical damage.

My borderline personality disorder is actually one of the things that drives me. I want to beat it. I want to be successful and the competitive nature, the desire to set goals and succeed pushes me. I don’t think I would have come this far without BPD. It is like I constantly have to prove to myself I am worthwhile. I know I am. I know I have achieved some great things and will achieve more. I doubt I would have achieved most of what I have if I was mentally healthy.

That might sound silly, but it really is the driving force behind everything I do. I have to show I am worthwhile and have to succeed. I cannot cope without goals and something to strive for.

 

(Also please don’t judge my husband or his family. He has a lot to deal with and usually handles my situations very well. He is very patient and I don’t know anyone else who would put up with me or try to help me.)

I have posted again, more recently and have improved a lot. Click here to read about it now.

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{ 94 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily Guy Birken October 19, 2011 at 4:36 am

Kylie,

Thank you for talking so honestly about this. I hate the stigma surrounding mental health issues, and I truly believe that stigma is part of what brought about the suicide of my cousin several years ago. On that side of the family, there was the sense that you just “snap out of” depression or emotional problems. That to see a psychiatrist was a sign of weakness. The only way we can combat that viewpoint (which leads to people feeling more and more isolated and desperate) is to talk about these mental health. Thanks for doing so. I know this must have been really difficult to write.

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Kylie October 19, 2011 at 7:36 am

Thank you Emily. It was really hard to write out, but I do feel the stigmatism needs to go, so decided to share. I’m sorry about your cousin. I agree that the attitude you mention is so common and makes it harder for sufferers.

I am so fortunate that my husband who never had any idea about anything, not even depression, has been so supportive.

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Amy@New Adventures October 19, 2011 at 8:10 am

Just popped over from your link at DP…
Thanks for sharing, and being brave enough to put it all out there. I am sharing my story too ( although for me it is depression and social anxiety disorder ) and think it takes ” real ” people sharing their stories to help lift the stigma and make people see that mental illness doesnt make you “weird ” or ” crazy “.
Thanks again Kylie and stay strong…

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Kylie October 19, 2011 at 8:25 am

Thanks Amy. I just popped over to yours. It’s great more people are sharing and great you are doing yours in a series.

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Ames October 19, 2011 at 8:41 am

What a powerful story. You should be so proud to share it, YOU are making a difference.
I’m so glad you have support and help, I think life is a learning curve about ourselves and others. We all have a long way to go learning about ourselves but you seem to be more aware of yourself than a lot of people. Good work!
xxx

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Kylie October 19, 2011 at 9:52 am

Thanks Ames.

Life is a learning curve. I am very fortunate to have been aware from a young age something was wrong, making it easier as I have gotten older to recognise and accept the issues and get help.

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Peta October 19, 2011 at 9:10 am

Two thumbs up Kylie.
You’ve shown amazing courage by sharing this with all your readers and hopefully it will give people some insight into BPD.
I was diagnosed with depression at the age of 16 and for the first few years battled with the stigma attached to it.
Now I openly speak about it because it is the only way to break the silence and make people aware.
Cheers to you

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Kylie October 19, 2011 at 9:52 am

Thanks Peta.

I think it is especially hard for teens that are diagnosed as it is such an awkward age already and you just want to fit in. Thanks for sharing.

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Rebecca October 19, 2011 at 9:29 am

Hi Kylie, you are truely inspirational and thank you so much for your piece as it has helped me a lot. I have severe depression and also traits of BPD. I do hope that no one judges you or your family and friends. Its extremely brave to put it out there. For myself I have done a few stories of myself with my journey through depression and severe PND. Its extremely hard to put it out there and you do naturally worry about how people are going to react to the news. With what your family has gone through this last year, you are truely inspirational that you have kept on going and put together a book and your website.
Thank you for opening up as I am sure it will help someone else :)

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Kylie October 19, 2011 at 9:56 am

Thank you Rebecca.

It is scary putting it out there, but I know I am not alone and there are others such as yourself suffering too, so the issues such as mental illness need more exposure, so people feel ok getting help. Good luck with yours.

I have been fortunate in real life not to be judged when I have told people I have BPD and so far online has been supportive too.

Thanks.

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Gemma @ My Big Nutshell October 19, 2011 at 9:56 am

Hi Kylie,

I hope your nerves have settled and your self talk gives you a sense of freedom through raising awareness about BPD. I bet you have been difficult to live with, but I bet you have also shown courage through such challenges and reading your post I think you should feel immensely proud of yourself. You are a person living with something so difficult, this illness, to be able to do what you do, no easy feat.

I’ve lived in a household for 25 years with my father living with BPD. Yes we have all lived with his disorder. Eventually we couldn’t do it any longer. Eventually we couldn’t do family therapy any longer. Eventually we had to preserve our soul and our own wellbeing that was severely crushed. The descriptions of your episodes either lived through by yourself or in front of you husband is exactly what we lived with constantly, right through my childhood, in full view with emotional and physical abuse. It’s hard when you get to adulthood and only learn that is what it was (still is). Awful.

I get what you are saying about not knowing and not being able to control it. With my Dad he would ‘go off’ and later he would have no idea what he had done. he could not be told. He didn’t know and he didn’t listen. We have been left with the scars. Funny thing with how he lives with it is that outside he looks and behaves like he is pretty average, only when he got home and didn’t have to force himself into a mould that he never fitted, everything we did ticked him off. He has severe self loathing, in fact epic.

It is wonderful how you have practically demonstrated how you navigate your illness and also what keeps you motivated. You have inspired countless others through your finance abilities, that is a testament to your value outside all the other things that make you so important.

Thank you for sharing this facet of yourself Kylie. I know it is not easy and you can feel very exposed. I think more so people will admire your courage and conviction and appreciate that everyone has ‘something’ and this ‘something’ is the thing you live with.

best wishes always,
Gemma

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Kylie October 19, 2011 at 10:09 am

Thanks Gemma. What you lived through is one of my biggest fears, that I will do that to my daughters, which is why I am trying so hard to do something about it. You are strong to have come through that.

We have explained to them mummy is not well and when I am in a state I try to leave them so they don’t see me too upset and I don’t take it out on them.

Thank you for your kind words. All the support here has made me cry. I am so relieved everyone is being so nice about it.

I know despite it being hard to live every day, I can do something to make this a positive thing in my life whilst I work at it, which is what I do.

Thank you.

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Leonie Goodwin October 19, 2011 at 10:08 am

Hi Kylie,

Thanks for sharing so openly and honestly. By sharing you allow others to realise they are not alone. I have suffered with Depression for years and I sometimes feel there is more than that. I’ve been down the wanting to commit suicide many times, but have never tried, although wanted to. I had PND with all of my pregnancies but it was not diagnosed until No. 3. If people judge you and don’t come back here then it really doesn’t matter however, I am guessing that most will admire you for your honesty. I gave up worrying about what people thought of me a long time ago. By opening up to others you allow yourself to help people to deal with what they are going through. I’m on medication, but feel that it doesn’t necessarily work that well, but still to some degree it does help. I think too that if you had written about the fact that you had diabetes or epilepsy people wouldn’t bat an eyelid, so why should BPD be any different. I admire your efforts and love your blog. By the way my twin sister is Vicki, married to your uncle Terry. ….Leonie

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Kylie October 19, 2011 at 10:13 am

Hi Leonie, I knew who you were the second I saw your name and did a double take. I had no idea you read it, lol. I don’t know if dad has told Terry or anything, but I decided to be open about it all. I don’t want to live worrying if people find out or what they think. It is part of me, hopefully not this severely forever, but it is there and people can either accept it or not.

Mum had depression when she was alive and she had PND, but was only diagnosed with one of my younger sisters I think it was. Thanks for sharing. I don’t feel so alone.

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MultipleMum October 19, 2011 at 10:13 am

I think this explains a lot to me about your constant ability to just keep on keeping on. You are relentless with your motivation. You have a real battle with this diagnosis Kylie, it certainly gets bad press, but you are bravely tackling it and seem to have more insight than most with BPD. Thanks for sharing your story. It must have been a difficult post to write x

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Kylie October 19, 2011 at 10:25 am

Thanks Chris. I think it will explain a lot about me for many people. My sister said she thinks it (BPD) is the difference between why I get so much done vs my siblings. I am very lucky to be aware of it, unlike most with BPD.

It was very hard to write. My hardest post ever, but worth it.

Thank you.

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Rachael October 19, 2011 at 10:47 am

You know I love you, always have and always will. You will achieve anything you set your mind to and I know that you will beat it. You haven’t let it get the better of you yet and with what I know of you it wont. What you are doing is going to help so many people in so many ways and you may never know to what degree but I hope you realise just how special and important you are. Your family is lucky to have you and you them. I know I am lucky to have you in my life and boy did I miss you when you were in the USA.

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Kylie October 19, 2011 at 11:22 am

Thanks Rachael. I missed you heaps when I was in the USA too. I am very blessed to have you in my life and amazing family. Thank you for your support.

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Andrea October 19, 2011 at 11:18 am

Hi, i followed a link from FB. I’m sorry you struggle with this disorder. I have had PND for 7.5 years. I have ‘episodes’ too which sounds strangely like yours. Not fun! thankfully medication is working for me right now and life is so much more pleasant! Take care xx

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Kylie October 19, 2011 at 11:23 am

Hi Andrea, PND is really hard, I’m sorry you have to struggle with it. I’m glad medication is working for you. :) Thanks.

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Maid In Australia October 19, 2011 at 11:25 am

Don’t change my view on you? Don’t judge your hubby or his family? Of course not. This is your story, and you are brave to have shared it. It makes me admire you and your loved ones even more. It is much easier to ignore what is going on, than to admit you need help and get it. And it is even braver to come out and tell it how it is. I don’t have BPD but I have mental health illnesses, and I can relate to much of what you’ve written. The more we talk (or blog) about it, the easier it becomes to talk about and perhaps help ourselves or others. xo

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Kylie October 19, 2011 at 11:38 am

Thanks Maid. I think many people can relate to various aspects of what I wrote. And I think the more we discuss/blog it, the less it will be ignored.

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Maggie S. October 19, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Brave of you to share. There is a good chance my mother suffers from undiagnosed Borderline Personality and Bi-Polar. I learned a lot from this post. I admire your determined stance.

You may help someone get the help they need. Their family, too.

Good for you.

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Kylie October 19, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Thanks Maggie S. I’m glad you learnt something, it is hardest when they go undiagnosed.

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Mike Holman October 19, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Great post Kylie – I hope that writing it helps you out a bit.

I saw you speak at the Chicago conference – good job!

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Kylie October 19, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Thanks Mike. Glad you liked my presentation at the conference. :)

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Bianca October 19, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Hi Kylie,
I found you through Gemma at My Big Nutshell and I just wanted to send love and support your way. What a brave post.
I for one am happy to have found your blog and will be a reader from this day onwards. Your personal trials and just that, and I don’t ever feel it ok to judge people by what they have gone through. You are an inspiration and a testament to working hard for what you want. Keep at it. x
Bianca

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Kylie October 19, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Thanks Bianca. I don’t normally post like this. Thank you for not judging and for deciding to stick around.

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Flexo October 19, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Thanks for sharing yourself and raising awareness. I couldn’t begin to understand the difficulties you face. Bearing your soul like this takes courage, and I admire that. I hope those close to you provide the support you need, as much as they can.

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Kylie October 19, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Thank you Flexo. I am very fortunate to have a lot of support, which is good. I come from a very large family so there are lots of people if I need.

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kirri October 19, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Hi Kylie. I just wanted to leave a comment of support…to let you know that I appreciate you sharing like this so openly. We all have our story…we’re all a bit ‘mental’ – (not to diminish what you are fighting personally but just to let you know you so are not alone!)

Sharing personal life experiences like yours are so powerful and have a ripple on effect not only for reducing the stigma associated with mental illness but for letting others feel that connection and empathy in what can otherwise be a very lonely world.

To think you have achieved so much despite your personal challenges….it just makes you more of an inspiration.

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Kylie October 19, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Thanks Kirri, we do all have our story and everyone is fighting a battle. It is a relief to know that there are others out there and I hope that anyone who reads this feels ok about getting help.

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Mandy October 19, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Oh Kylie, I’m sorry to read that post. Not because you wrote it, but because you’ve had to live it.
I know I only know what I see of your blog, but I’m a big believer of not judging people, you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. I will continue to read your blog as I think you have wonderful attributes to offer. Sounds like your husband is an asset. I’m sure it’s hard for anyone that is stuck between birth family and the family they create with their life partner.
Keep soldiering on and do the best you can, that is all you can ask of yourself.

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Kylie October 19, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Thanks Mandy. My husband is fantastic and I do feel sorry for him with all he has to deal with. I do love his side of our family, they have some amazing qualities. I over react to things I think, which places him in the middle unfortunately, but he handles everything so wonderfully, being supportive to all of us.

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Travis @Debtchronicles October 19, 2011 at 3:15 pm

I can’t even imagine how hard it is to live with such a condition. It’s hard for me to visualize the smiling woman with the cool accent I met in Chicago putting her hand through a window. I hope you continue to find strength in those around you and get the help you need.

Thoughts and prayers from across the ocean…..

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Kylie October 19, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Thanks Travis. I’m still usually smiling :) and will never lose my accent, lol. It is hard to picture me in such a way for most people. I don’t usually put my hand through windows and in public am pretty much what everyone saw at FinCon, happy and outgoing.

Thanks for the thoughts and prayers.

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Chantell October 19, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Kylie, I take my hat off to you for sharing such a personal story with your readers…What you are dealing with on a daily basis must be incredibly difficult at times, and yet, you show such amazing insight into your condition, and also the effect that it has had on the people close to you…I have various mental health issues too, severe anxiety, depression, an ongoing eating disorder, and I am a sole parent of four…It takes alot of courage to put your story out there, I know this myself, but well done to you for letting people into your world…I have learnt alot from your post, and I’m sure many others have too! Very well written :o)

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Kylie October 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Thanks Chantell. I am lucky to be so aware if my condition, it doesn’t change it a lot, but helps. As a sole parent it must be so hard for you battling your conditions as well. Take care of yourself.

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Katiegirl October 19, 2011 at 4:29 pm

That was very brave of you. Well done for sharing.

I don’t think any less of you. I admire that you choose to turn this challenge into a force for good, and positive change (not only to raise awareness, but to help you achieve all that you dream of). History is filled with success stories who turned their stumbling blocks into stepping stones – it’s the mark of a true champion…

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Kylie October 19, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Thanks Katiegirl. I’m glad you don’t think any less of me. My sisters pointed out to me success stories from history as well. Hopefully I will be a success story too. :)

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Deb @ Home life simplified October 19, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Big hugs Kylie – thank you for sharing your story and sharing about BPD. You are making a difference.

As Andrea said above, I also had “episodes” with my PND. While the 2 are very different I can relate to the loss of control, the outbursts and suicidal thoughts. I too stayed for my daughters. My father died when I was 14 and I would never want them to go through that. They help me push through episodes and funks that I go through.

i think it is amazing how hard you are fighting for yourself and your family -I hope you are able to get back into treatment however you need / want it. I know how expensive it is (had several referrals myself that I never pursued due to costs.)

Take care of yourself hon,
Deb

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Kylie October 19, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Thanks Deb. PND is very hard to live with as well. I’m am glad there is more awareness for it now than when my mum had me and my siblings. Losing a parent is hard, which is why I have battled on.

I am booked in next week again, now that we are able to afford it again. It is expensive, but at least the government covers some of the cost.

Thank you and take care of you too.

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Jac October 19, 2011 at 5:58 pm

It is emotionally overwhelming how supportive everyone is being.
I’m sitting here crying!
Kylie, I have said time and time again how wonderful you are, especially with your girls. You are a fantastic mother, a beautiful person and a supportive sister.
I remember when you first told us about your personal battle and how emotionally difficult it was for you… I also remember thinking “this changes things, how? It doesn’t!” and I think it is amazing that so many people out there feel the same way… You are still Kylie. Always have been, always will be.
We love you… don’t ever forget that! xx

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Kylie October 20, 2011 at 8:26 am

Thanks Jac. Your support and love has been much appreciated. It has been very emotional, but so good to see all the support and no judgementGlad it hasn’t changed anything. love you too. xx

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Jennifer October 19, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Wow! Good for you Kylie, that obviously took a lot of courage to write that and click send. I’ve never heard of BPD before so you have raised my awareness of this. I hate the way mental health is swept under the carpet and not given the funding and recognition it deserves. You are doing something important and worthwhile writing your blog and having people read it you don’t even know. I think you will find more positive comes from you sharing your disorder and if people choose to judge you based on this, they were not the readers you wanted anway. Good luck, keep up the good work. You should be really proud of yourself for sharing something so personal and quite possible helping someone else with the same issue.

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Kylie October 20, 2011 at 8:29 am

Thanks Jennifer. It is nto one of the more commonly known mental issues. I am hoping it is a positive thing, sharing it, it has mostly been so far. Thanks for the support.

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Shirl October 19, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Wow Kylie.
You are amazing. I am stunned, in awe and teary all at once reading this. I commend you so highly, I thank you for your honesty, the raw descriptions of your experience, for trusting us, for your insight and empathy.
I hope all of our replies have been therapy for you, I will be back to read more, having only found you today via Gemma at My Big Nutshell.

Keep being amazing, loving, generous and honest, and know you are making a difference xx

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Kylie October 20, 2011 at 8:30 am

Thank you Shirl. I am so grateful everyone has been so nice about this. It has been great to see all the support and no negativity.

Thank you.

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nellbe October 20, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Hello lovely lady, what a courageous and brave post. Good on your for sharing and by doing so, you probably have helped someone join some dots and helped them find an answer.

My opinion of you has always been very high and now it is even higher for taking the chance and publishing this post. I admire you for all you have done! Well done and all the best xx

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Kylie October 20, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Thank you nellbe. I admire you too and am glad it hasn’t changed anything between us! :)

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Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo October 20, 2011 at 6:02 pm

reading in snippets.

you know why.

xx

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Kylie October 20, 2011 at 7:47 pm

I do, wasn’t sure if you’d see it and didn’t expect you to read it. Take care of you and yours. xx

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Jen October 20, 2011 at 7:10 pm

Hi Kylie,

I am so proud of you for putting this out there, hun, I really am. Many people misunderstand Borderline Personality Disorder and even think it’s the same as what was once called split personalities!

I also have Borderline. I was diagnosed around the same time as you – sadly :( But, like you, I like my ‘label’ for myself because it knowing what it is, at last, gives me something to fight. However, telling others what my diagnosis is has often led to losing friendships and people distancing themselves. I cant blame them. I’d distance myself from myself a lot of the time too.

You say you rambled in your story, but I felt that you captured it beautifully! The pictures are exactly what I feel. The ‘self talk’, even sometimes suicidal self talk, is incredibly hard to live with and get through every day. In fact, my wonderful dad stayed home from work to be with me and help me through the day because of that very self talk that I was fighting with and struggling with so much I hit myself in the head just to try and make it stop. Although I felt much, much better this morning, I also know that the day wouldn’t have gone as well without him here.

Because you posted your story, it gave me the courage to do the same – both through this reply and sharing your story on my fb page along with a comment about my own BPD and my own struggles. I’m terrified of the back lash, as you have said you are, but when it’s something as important as this I had to do it. It’s like having breast cancer and doing the walks to raise awareness for cancer. Something you live with and suffer with, or someone else close to you suffers, you go out to raise awareness… but when it’s things like cancer or diabetes, people are considered heroes. The same doesn’t seem to happen with mental health.

I hope this changes. And I hope that people don’t change their opinions of me either… or maybe I should hope they do, through compassion and understanding of what I go through every day.

Anyway, thank you for sharing your story and opening your heart. You have given me the courage to do the same and, hopefully, we can reach people and help others to do the same.

Enormous hugs and a massive high five to you hun!!!!

Jen xoxox

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Kylie October 20, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Thank you for sharing your story too. I know just what you are going through and it is not easy at all. I’m sorry you have days like this too, but am glad your dad was there to help. It is hard doing it alone.

I was worried about backlash online but that hasn’t happened, so I am so blessed. Fortunately for me, those I told in real life were fully supportive and no issues. I am yet to see what others in my real life who read this will think/how they will react.

Take care of yourself. xx

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Canberrans October 20, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Hi Kylie.

A great post and very courageous. We have a daughter who has BPD, but you know that. We love you and will always be here for you, your husband and especially the kids.

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Kylie October 21, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Thank you. I love you too and we are so grateful for your support.

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Jo Carson October 20, 2011 at 11:19 pm

I think you are very courageous. I always thought you were a bright, smart go getter. My opinion of you has changed… it’s gone up a few notches! :)

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Kylie October 21, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Thank you Jo, that’s so sweet. :)

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Sammyleia October 22, 2011 at 11:27 pm

I think you are very brave to speak about your BPD. I have suffered from mental illness for many years- anxiety, agoraphobia, PND, severe depression with psychotic episodes. I have had ECT (shock therapy) in a mental hospital. I am currently pretty stable on medication but life is a struggle, some days more than others. I only talk about it with close friends because I don’t want people to think I’m a “loonie”. Mental illnesses are chemical imbalances in the brain. If I had diabetes, for instance, I wouldn’t care who knew about it. Good on you for being so honest.

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Kylie October 23, 2011 at 11:04 am

Thank you Sammyleia. Thank you for sharing. It must be so hard for you. I completely understand only telling close friends. That was all I did the past year, but as time went on, I really felt I wanted to share, as it is not my fault and many people suffer BPD or other mental illnesses. It is just like diabetes in that it is something in the body, not intentional behaviour.

Take care of yourself. :)

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Jesse October 25, 2011 at 4:15 am

Hey Kylie, this is really surprising since we just met you and seemed to confident and outgoing.

My wife has social anxiety and depression, maybe even BPD, she’s never been diagnosed because no one believes that she’s anything wrong with her – her family doesn’t believe her and have treated her badly about it her whole life and that’s the worst thing for mental health issues.

I’ve had social anxiety and depression in certain years of my life so I recognized my wife’s condition immediately and do everything I can to make sure she’s comfortable but still try and help her deal with it and grow.

It’s a hard thing to deal with in any case, and loving supportive family is one thing that seems to help the most. Having people around you that understand even to a small degree what you’re going through makes a huge difference.

Thanks for sharing your story.

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Kylie October 25, 2011 at 9:56 am

I am often confident and outgoing, but can very quickly change and it can be really, really bad when I do. I am also pretty good at acting the part, due to being high functioning.

Anxiety can be crippling, as can any mental disorder. It’s good you can help her and understand it properly. It is s much harder when no one believes you and you family are bad about it. A loving family and support help immensely. Thank you for sharing.

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Odette October 25, 2011 at 9:07 am

Did this change my view of you? Yes it did- I was amazed before at what you did and even more so now! Thank you for sharing. My stepson (age 6) has massive social/anger/…. Lots issues. He is currently seeing a mental health team. We have no diagnoses, although emotional neglect from his mother appears to be a big trigger to the problems (long story- but she still has him 5 days/week!). It is really hard to explain to people why he doesn’t act and can’t do things like other 6 year olds. He doesn’t mean to upset others, but it is a long hard road for everyone around him (esp 2 younger brothers). Your story gives me more hope that down the track he may be able to learn to control and regulate himself better and achieve amazing things. Again, thank you

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Kylie October 25, 2011 at 9:58 am

Thank you Odette. It must be so hard for you to be in that position, knowing the trigger, but being unable to do anything at this time about it. Also extremely hard when they are so young and it is difficult for them to understand and many people just view them as brats, not knowing what is really going on. Thank you for sharing. You being understanding I am sure will help him immensely as he ages. I know it won’t be easy for you, it certainly has not been for my step mum (I call her mum now though and we are very close). If he has support, he has a much better chance of a more normal life. Good luck with it all.

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Amanda L Grossman October 27, 2011 at 12:55 pm

It was a pleasure staying with you at FINCON in Chicago, and I am enjoying getting to know you even more! Mental illnesses run in my family, and can be devastating. Keep doing what you are doing, try to figure out what works for you, and show your husband and children how much you love them when you are able to.

Thank you for sharing!

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Kylie November 1, 2011 at 8:50 am

Thanks Amanda. It was great staying with you too. It can be devastating, which is why I am trying to overcome it.

Thanks. :)

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Bronwyn October 30, 2011 at 8:36 pm

A great post and very courageous. As you know I have a son with ASD and know what it is like to deal with the general public and their attitudes to Mental Health Issues. Thank you so much for sharing your story …

I agree with all above … You are an inspiration and a testament to working hard for what you want to achieve

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Alli Price October 30, 2011 at 9:08 pm

What can I say that hasn’t already been said? Amazing blog post Kylie and I can only imagine the only judgement being made is that you’re incredibly strong for sharing.

Cheers! Alli x

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Julia Bickerstaff October 31, 2011 at 9:23 am

Thank you for sharing Kylie – a wonderful blog post and incredibly insightful. Julia

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Nathalie October 31, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Kylie I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this. I work with child and teen behaviour and this post has given me more insight and knowledge. Hugs Nx

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Kylie November 1, 2011 at 8:51 am

@Bronwyn, thank you. It is hard and you would know. It must be heart breaking when it is your child too. I admire how you deals with everything.

@Alli Thank you

@Julia Thank you

@Nathalie. Thank you. I am glad it has helped.

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Judi Sanders November 12, 2011 at 4:51 pm

Thank you

xoxo

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Kevin November 20, 2011 at 7:04 am

Hi Kylie,

I don’t have same type of personality disorder, but there was a period when I was a teen where I was depressed and suicidal, and even today I still need to work at expunging black thoughts out of my head and making myself calm. Mental health is a serious matter, and your strive to make things better is an inpiration to me. I wish you the best of luck in fighting this, and I believe that someday all things will be curable as science and understanding of the human body continues to improve. Thanks for sharing this!

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Lisa @ Thriftability November 21, 2011 at 6:57 am

Very cool post, Kylie… I’m glad I met you along my travels through the blogosphere! I have adult ADD/ADHD (diagnosed in 2005) and some days it’s such a struggle to stay focused and be productive – especially working from home. I am in no way comparing my situation/condition to yours… just saying that it’s good to know that others go through issues (even though everything may look all rosy from the outside view!) You are a terrific motivator, and I look forward to your posts each week.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with all of us!

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Kylie November 24, 2011 at 2:40 pm

@Judi :)

@Kevin. Thank you for both your kind words and sharing part of your story. Good luck with staying calm and getting rid of the thoughts.

@Lisa Thank you. Adult ADD/ADHD is hard, especially as there is the stigma of it being a children’s issue (bratty kids). Many do not realise just how hard it is or the fact that many adults suffer as well. Thanks for sharing.

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Miss Pink December 23, 2011 at 10:14 am

Wow Kylie.
How hard for YOU to live with this. The guilt of sometimes not being able to hold control, and hurting those closest to you, but still they stay.
I don’t think you are all bad, quite obviously you are special or those people wouldn’t stick around.

Thank you for sharing this. I had never heard of BPD, but it makes a lot of sense, the self hate inside your head sometimes being too much it boils over and you cannot contain it anymore.
I would love to hear about coping strategies? Do you do CBT?

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Kylie December 23, 2011 at 10:29 am

Hi Miss Pink. I know you would have understood aspects of my post. It is hard living with something. Many people have not heard of BPD, which is one of the reasons I felt I had to share.

I am not the best at coping. I have done a bit of CBT and it has helped a little. My husband and family are veery supportive, so I can say when I am on edge and need time out, so will have time to myself, get extra sleep that sort of thing.

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Nicole aka _wideeyedgirl December 23, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Kylie, thanks so much for being so brave as to share the true you. I think we all have stuff we are so scared to admit and it’s so important to face it and the world, and say ‘Fuck it, this is me and I’m sick of pretending!’. This post and your courage are amazingly inspiring, and I hope one day I have the courage to open up as much. Nic xxx

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Bee January 4, 2012 at 2:19 pm

I was diagnosed with BPD when I was 18 or so, along with Dysthymia. Back then I was very very unwell, lots of episodes (I call them that too), all the time. I then took lots of medications, did lots of counseling and therapy, and learned a LOT about myself. It’s not a period in my life I remember fondly, and how/why The Man stuck with me through it is beyond me. These days I am lucky that I don’t have that many episodes anymore and I can control them better so that I just get the rage and not the follow through with the self-harm/destructive behaviour like I used to. I think becoming a mother has actually helped me immensely with how I behave/control it, I am a lot more mellow and even these days and don’t feel so out of control anywhere near as often as I once did.

Thank you for sharing, it’s always nice to know that you’re not the only one in the world dealing with the condition, even though sometimes it feels like it.

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Kylie January 4, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Thanks for sharing Bee. It is not easy, but I am glad to know others with it. I do think being a mum has helped me a lot. I am pretty sure without my kids, I would not be here. Take care.

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Chernoa January 17, 2012 at 9:07 pm

Kylie:) I was thinking about you today and thought I should see if you were on Facebook? Links lead to links and here is where I landed:) I remember you and your beautiful family from Canberra! But like you said, I had no idea the things that you were going through! What an amazing person you are! I think youre right that people need to be more aware of mental health! Thank you so much for sharing and I don’t look at you any differently:) I hope you and your beautiful little family are great:) Chernoa Saunders(was Hargreaves) xx

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Kylie January 18, 2012 at 9:52 am

Hi Chernoa, I was thinking about you recently too! I’ve just added you on Facebook. I remember you and your wonderful family too. Thanks so much for reading and sharing your thoughts. It means a lot. x

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Sera March 5, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Hi Kylie – this is a very brave post, thank-you. I found it while researching the subject as i think my Mum may have BPD. Do you have any recommendations on where to find more information? It’s not something I can bring up with her, she shuts down if she feels she’s being challenged – so I want to understand things more so that we can help her, even if we have to do that without her knowing that’s whats happening.

Again, thank-you for being so open & honest – I’m sure it wasn’t easy.

Sera

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Kylie March 5, 2012 at 8:11 pm

Thank you Sera, it wasn’t easy to write, but I am so glad I did. It must be really hard for you at the moment. I am fortunate in that I am one of the rare ones who recognises the problem. Most BPD’s don’t. The book Stop Walking on Eggshells was really good and it is for the family and what you can do to help/how to deal with things.

Are you based in Australia? You can email me if you like contact at kylieofiu.com

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Louise March 6, 2012 at 7:27 am

Thank you for talking about this condition. You are certainly not alone, but when you do not fit the mould you do feel very alone. Nothing is simple. Creative activities help. I use self hypnosis tapes a lot and have found them very helpful in changing my behaviour and responses even under extreme circumstances. For me studying also helps. Thank goodness for the blogging world. We are all different, and some differences are confronting for the owner as well as the audience. Remember that there is no universal law that says you are made incorrectly and someone else is the right way. In a different time and setting you would be seen as bold, imaginative, ambitious, hearty and unconfined. I have had many different diagnoses, but I refuse to bow to them. I am no longer on any medications and I like this now. Your husband is a real diamond and obviously loves you completely. Be good to him and avoid introducing too many boulders to clamber around. And keep being you. Be in charge of your life. Use that extra energy in useful ways, like this website.

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Kylie March 8, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Thank you Louise for your lovely, thoughtful response. Yes, I am surprised at how many people have contact me since I posted this. I am so grateful for the blogging world too. I like you take on it. My sister constantly tells me that it is this difference (BPD) that is what has seen me achieve what I have and while terrible to live with has been god in other ways.

My husband is amazing. I have no idea how he puts up with me and loves me unconditionally. I try to be good to him as well. I obviously have my moments as clearly described above, but I also try to make him feel loved and special.

Thanks.

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Gonzalo March 19, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Kylie thank you so much for your post. It makes me feel better and slightly more normal. I have also been diagnosed with BPD. I do not have family support and I have a hard time keeping a job despite the fact that I have a great education. I have abandonded jobs, houses and girlfriends in one second. I have destroyed phones, glasses and anything breakeble in my moments of rage. I have yelled and threatened eveyone that loves me. I feel bad because in just one split second I am taken to a different reallity and when I go back to normal I can’t seem to join the dots nor forgive myself for what I did. The only thing I can tell you for sure is that you get better when you start feeling you deserve to get better. It sounds obvious but it took me a lot to find that. I only started asking for help when I felt like there was no way out. This topic can go on forever. A friend of mine suggested creating a groups, sort of like AA, for people with BPD. I have just started “recruiting” people with BPD here in Argentina with very little success because most people hide the problem and are afraid of the social punishment of being mentally “ill”. I am really thankful for your post. In moments of desperation, I try to see how other people have coped with this problem since the rest of the world can’t seem to understand it (I don’t blame them!). All the best!

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Kath March 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm

this is a great & honest account what is happening in your home and thousands of others the difference is you shared this with many thousands of other people it goes to show what u can achieve even with these issues i admire you i wish u and your family all the very best for the future

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Khaleef @ KNS Financial April 11, 2012 at 3:07 am

Hey Kylie!

I know that this must have been very difficult to write, but I appreciate your honesty. It can be easy to either look down on or want to stay away from someone who suffers from a mental condition. Reading this will definitely help me to be more patient and empathetic with others.

Oh, and don’t worry, my wife and I will still think that you’re awesome, and we’ll be happy to see you in Denver this year!!! ;-)
Khaleef @ KNS Financial recently posted..How To Start A Blog: My Advice To Beginning BloggersMy Profile

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Andrea April 19, 2012 at 1:31 am

Hello Kylie,

I got here by someone asking me to publish a guest post on one of my sites (showing me their sample on your site) and when I looked at your sidebar the headline of this post had caught my eyes since I have lost my sister to BPD last year and I still cannot believe it. I miss her so much.

I appreciate your honesty and openness about your condition and I sincerely wish you and your family all the best, especially your beautiful little girls. I’m sure that with your positive attitude you will be able to beat BPD. God bless!

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Kylie June 22, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Hi Andrea, sorry for the delay in replying, I just saw this. I am terribly sorry for your lost. That must be so hard to live with every day. I am extremely close to my sisters and cannot imagine being without them. xx
Kylie recently posted..No Spend Just Sell Challenge – Hardest One EverMy Profile

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Janet October 27, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Hi Kylie, thank you for sharing so honestly. It was interesting to read about BPD from the sufferer’s perspective.

My Mum had BPD – never diagnosed – but I am SURE she had it. And she had it very badly, and never acknowledged that she was the one with the problem – everybody else did. She was verbally, emotionally, and physically abusive to me and my siblings. :-(

So again, kudos to you for being willing to face up to it, and I do believe you are well on the path to getting better!
Janet recently posted..Learning to ForgiveMy Profile

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Judy July 5, 2013 at 1:17 am

Seems you have plenty of support Kylie and there are many people who relate to your illness. I doubt there is little I can add, except to say you have been brave in ‘coming out’ so publicly. Congratulations for the achievement and grasping the prickly nettle. I suspect, in a way, it was a cathartic experience. Good for you!

There are many forms of ‘Borderline Personality Disorder’ and it is a very difficult illness to treat, as you attest. You have courage in recognising your illness and taking strategies to control your impulses. I am sure you are far from boring :-) to those around you and would certainly show-up those who live a mundane existence with your achievements and personality.
More power to you, Kylie.

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Sarah April 16, 2014 at 11:29 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I could relate to so much of what you said. I was finally diagnosed last week after many many years of begging for answers and happened upon your story whilst searching for someone…. Anyone that had Bpd in canberra. Good on you for being so brave. You have inspired me xo

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