I’ve spent a considerable amount of time lately tossing back and forth about whether or not to continue with Therapist, whether the need I feel for her support is appropriate or not, or if maybe that need is stopping me from being fully well. So I looked to google (where else??) for some answers, and came across a really interesting article called the BPD Client. I actually found it quite hard to read, because it touched pretty much every nerve I have. It could have been written about me.

‘A Borderline’s profound need for intensity to break through their dissociation and non-feeling bubble, keeps them addicted to crisis and chaos. When they begin to make gains in treatment and their painful inner drama quiets down, they typically want to leave therapy. Anguish is far easier to live with, than the absence of it for a BPD individual. If there’s no tidal wave that threatens to capsize their boat and drown them, nothingness can be felt, and performance anxiety within treatment may emerge. They sometimes presume that their therapist will lose interest in them, if there are no disasters present “to fix.” This is projection by the patient, which involves their shame-based inner void, and the sense they’re unlovable just for being(not doing).‘*

Yes!!! I cannot tell you how many times I’ve thought myself into a hole and squirmed my way through a session because there was no serious drama to contend with. No drama = wasting her time = no need for therapist (which, ironically enough, would doubtless lead to drama)

‘Throughout various phases of treatment, the Borderline client both longs for and resents their practitioner. Solid recovery work anchors a client, which helps them start to feel stronger/safer~ but it also stirs dependency and abandonment fears, which trigger their need to push away. This issue may take the form of skipping weekly appointments, canceling/rescheduling at the last minute, out of town (or out of reach) trips, lying, etc. These distancing tactics ameliorate sensations of dreaded vulnerability, which arise out of their feelings of need for the therapist.’*

Again, yes. Oh yes. So, so many times Therapist has gotten messages saying either I don’t need any further appointments at all, or else I don’t need to see her that week (usually at a time when things are starting to slip and I’m feeling more needy of her, and at the same time, completely freaked out by that need), only for me to change my mind within a day or two and contact her desperate to get that time back. On the rare occasion that she’s actually given my slot away, what happens? Phenomenal, overwhelming sense of abandonment and rejection. How could she do that to me? Why didn’t she know that I’d need her? She should have questioned why I was cancelling, encouraged me to keep the appointment. She knows I usually only cancel when I’m not feeling great.

‘The BPD client craves a sense of intimacy, and yearns to be fully understood and known during treatment. Unfortunately, this can generate ‘out of control’ feelings, and prompt one’s need to distance/retreat. Some sturdy parameters must be in place, to help the Borderline understand the basis for these uncomfortable, conflicting feelings, learn how to tolerate them, and continue to build trust……………Borderline disordered individuals have significant ambivalence about getting truly well, as it represents a crisis of identity…………..Non-compliance with treatment is common for Borderlines. Aside from their fear of change, they rebel against useful intervention‘*

How many times have we had a conversation where yet again, I’ve taken something that works (yoga, medication, running etc etc etc) and just thrown it out the window?? I start to get well, I make real progress, then something shifts. I get scared maybe? Even today, at a time when things are as stable as they’ve ever been, when I’m in really good form I found myself thinking – ‘what next? I’m good now, so it’s time for something else to go wrong. Fate was waiting for me to be strong enough to handle the next crisis’.

Christ. I’m textbook. It’s hard to know where to go with this. Earlier this week I had decided I was definitely going to stop seeing her, and either take a break entirely or ask for a referral. But the thoughts of this sent me into a complete tailspin for a couple of days, and I was more than a little emotional. Then, I found this article, and it all seemed to click into place. It’s what I’ve got. So, on that basis, thinking about stopping with Therapist now is……………..is what?? An indicator that I actually need to do more work? That there’s a part of me I’m continuing to run away from?? It really does feel like a rock and a hard place – thinking about not seeing her had me circling the drain, and then realising it was all part of what I’ve got and I could continue seeing her brought such immense relief that I actually feel fine the last day or two, and as if I don’t need support at all. And so the cycle continues.

My mind is a bloody minefield. No matter which way I turn I’ve laid traps for myself.

*Taken from ‘The Borderline Personality Client

This article has 23 Comments

    1. Hubby would always, always encourage me to stick with her, unless my reasons not to sound very rational, well thought out and grounded in sanity. WHich, given that they usually come up when things aren't awesome, they generally don't.

  1. I go through same thing sometimes with my psychologist, feelings of abandonment and rejection the weeks she takes off. She is going off on maternity leave soon so that will be tough. Im not diagnosed with unstable personality just social anxiety but i can definitely relate to what your saying. Hope your well and glad to hear your feeling more balanced.

    1. It's hard, isn't it, to give so much of yourself to someone, yet somehow not become overly attached to them. It's a balance I still, still struggle with. Thankfully not always to the same extent though, this week it's been easier. Long may it last! Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment.

  2. Hi I never usually comment, just read your blog and press like button a lot, but I just want to thank you for sharing all of this with us, it really does help ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Thank you for this post. I resonate with the fact that, when you feel better, you start thinking you've got it solved and it's time to tackle the world. I feel like I do that about once a week! I'm glad I found a fellow blogger who's talking about this sort of thing. Thanks!

    1. You're so welcome! I swear, every single time I feel my mood lift I think that I've got it cracked – I'm cured, it'll never come back, time to go back to college/change career/start training for a marathon……..you name it! Inevitably the fall comes. I'm sure I'll find balance one of these years…….I hope!

  4. I usually don’t share my feeling with anyone and I usually don’t comment . But I can’t resist myself from commenting on your Blog. It takes a great courage to share your experience with us . It feels so inspiring after reading your like story and how you faced a lot of things in your life . I hope you stay happy and cured for you entire life .

  5. usually i don’t comment on the blogs, but i found your blog very boosting thank you so much for your willingness to share your story and everything you have gone through. You are an inspiration.

  6. Rightly said, unhappiness, anger and shame, all are byproducts of BPD. It’s something that should be handled sensitively and it’s evident here in this case. Hiring a qualified therapist becomes necessary in case of BPD. You can visit http://bit.ly/1IlT75w to know more about this.

    1. I’m hoping to start dbt in the next couple of months, as far as I know it’s the best form of therapy for bpd, so fingers crossed. ONly so much guilt and shame I can handle, and I’m reaching my limit

  7. It’s interesting to see how BPD may turn into other complications such as codependency, which is again a psychiatric illness. Trying distancing tactics with your therapist also doesn’t work. For that, you have to create self-awareness and talk to yourself that distancing is not in your interest and just by visiting your therapist and getting help to solve your BPD issues will not make you dependent upon them. To know more about bipolar disorder, you can visit http://bit.ly/1IlT75w

  8. Wow what a great article! Love how honest you are about who you are, I find it so hard to stay balanced with respect to my therapist and setup up so many unfair standards that not even the perfect therapist could live up to.
    But than I remember that those are just thoughts and my therapist is only someone like me, trying their best to do what they can with all that they have.

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