Archive for July, 2011

My Mother -v- My Therapist: Acceptance and Mindfulness

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

I have two older women in my life who have both had a major influence over me.  One is my mother, the woman who gave biological life to me; and the other is my therapist, the woman who assisted in my spiritual birth, growth and maturation.

My mother loves me.  She cooks me dinner, buys me Christmas presents, takes me shopping, goes on bike rides and walks around lakes with me, swaps family photos, lends me books and CDs and takes me across town to the doctors where she has to wait for two hours before taking me out to lunch and paying for me.  My therapist is very fond of me and I pay her $150 for a 55 minute structured conversation during which she very kindly makes me a cup of tea.

I can ring my mother any time of the day or night and speak to her for as long as I want.  I can visit her any time; I do not have to make an appointment, where I am the three o’clock slotted in between the 2pm and the 4pm.  I can ring my therapist any time as well, as long as it is not too often, within business hours, and for a very brief period of time.


Borderline Emotional Anaphylactic Reaction: Mindfulness and Acceptance

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Sometimes, the smallest things in life can cause the greatest pain and physical reaction.  A bee’s sting is almost invisible to the naked eye and yet can easily kill someone when they have an allergic reaction.  A mere critical stinging comment can just as easily send a person suffering Borderline Personality Disorder into “emotional anaphylactic shock.”

When a person has a life-threatening reaction to the poison from a bee sting, an ambulance is called and the person is taken to hospital where they receive treatment for their illness as well as respect and dignity but when someone suffering an emotional reaction to life circumstances presents at emergency, they are sometimes treated with rejection, intolerance and disdain.  People can die from a bee sting and Borderlines can “die” from their own personal rage and self-hatred.  If you present at emergency with a swollen face and throat unable to breathe with all your body organs shutting down, is some doctor or nurse going to say, “OMG, it’s a tiny bee sting, how bad can that be, look at you, get over yourself,” like they sometimes do when Borderlines present at hospital with similar symptoms.

Yet both types of people are in much pain and danger. 


Marsha, Marsha, MARSHA

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

At last, someone who is giving Borderline Personality Disorder a new image, a new spin, a positive focus and dispelling all of the myths surrounding this socially constructed disorder.  Thank you, Marsha Linehan, for coming out of the closet.  What a breath of fresh air you are!

I have read Marsha’s book on Dialectical Behavioural Therapy and since then I have been recommending this type of one on one therapy, based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, radical acceptance, Buddhist meditative practice and mindfulness with the adjunct of group therapy and inter-session therapist phone-calls, to many people.  It proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is life beyond this subjective, patronizing, ineffective, degrading and destructive diagnosis, generally given out by the psychiatric industry. 


Wallow, Reflect, Transcend

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

There’s nothing like a good wallow in the confluence of the sticky mud and muck of our past history and current circumstances.  It’s familiar territory for me whenever personal emotional disaster strikes and I dive head-first and bury myself in the warm, dark underbelly of self-hatred, self-sabotage and sometimes self-destruction.  I slither and slide, turning cartwheels and backflips until I am so immersed in the experience there is almost nothing that can draw me back up to the surface again.

At this point I need instant validation of my pain and suffering.  I think we all do.  The reason for the suffering, whether self-inflicted or inflicted by others is immaterial.  For me to be told my suffering is valid and reasonable gives me the invigorating courage to draw myself up out of the murky depths to my full height and start to soldier on.  When someone witnesses my story of pain, abandonment and rejection, the underworld does not feel as enticing as it did beforehand and I start to reflect from an observing ego level or a perspective of emotional distance, that this is old familiar stuff.  I’ve been here before and I’ve let go and moved on many times.  In fact I’ve even managed to transcend the situation several times before descending back into chaos again when life goes pear-shaped.

Reflection, meditation and sometimes just mere background pondering leads me to being able to rise above the situation and see it for what it is; something that happened in the past when significant others let me down.  Nothing on earth, not even Superman can turn back the world and change what happened back in 1975.  I have to live with that history, incorporate and integrate it permanently into my being.  I am not the sum total of what happened to me.  No-one is ever that.  What happened is a mere small part of who I am.  It does not reflect my strengths or my achievements.  It does not define who I am.  It does not make me a victim.  It is simply a minor part of my lived experience.

My therapist …


Therapy
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