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I cry, and I cry often.
I feel intensely.
Some days, it feels as if I have no skin.
My best friend says I feel from my head to my toes. And she’s right.
You see, my adverse childhood experience score is eight.
I haven’t gone home in seven years, and I don’t plan to.
I wasn’t allowed to date when I was young, and I’m the adult child of an alcoholic.
All I have ever wanted is a mother, and when my first therapist ended her practice, I was devastated.
I was suicidal, in fact.
When another therapist referred me to someone else and said our work was done, I fell hard again.
I don’t rage.
I don’t hate myself.
I have amazing friendships.
My identity is pretty clear to me.
I question my sexuality, but who wouldn’t if dating were forbidden?
I want a nice parent desperately and cling to therapists hard.
I struggle a lot because I’ve been supporting myself since I was very young, and even the slightest mistake feels like my plate is going to come crashing down.
My heart was broken into pieces when my therapists left.
The pain was unbearable.
This isn’t some fear of abandonment, though. It’s the kind of pain a child of an absent parent feels when they’ve finally found “mom” and she leaves.
I have a new therapist now and I like her a lot. She says I was mislabeled. She says it’s CPTSD.
I wouldn’t care much which diagnosis I was given if BPD didn’t have such a stigma.
You hear about these people being mean and challenging to work with, yet I don’t feel this way.
I have lots of friends, work with children, and have never been told I’m mean.
I’ve actually been encouraged by many to get mad, but it’s difficult for me.
I just feel sad.
I feel sad a lot.
I don’t sabotage things in my life. My life just feels hard to manage when I come from where I am from and attempt to break the glass ceiling.
I’m not reckless.
I’m not empty.
Even if I were, though, treatment should be better for BPD.
Both are related to trauma, and it’s time they be recognized as such.
I write this article tonight not to share my experience with the world, but to really ask therapists to be careful with labeling clients and for them to treat both BPD and CPTSD the same way—as stemming from trauma.
Please do your best at being kind toward these populations. They both have young children inside them who are greatly hurting.
Many people with BPD also have CPTSD.
For the rest of my life, I will be trying to scrub off a label that has been etched in my skin.
Some wear the label like a badge of honor.
I do not.
I don’t want the label because it’s criteria does not match my symptoms.
There is no “child of trauma” criteria or “attachment wound” criteria. Instead, the criterion makes the individual look like they are the problem.
Distorted sense of self
Fear of abandonment (real or imagined)
There’s nothing about attachment wounds, and so people like me are sent off to DBT to regulate their emotions. It didn’t help me because this isn’t the problem.
Maybe some people want to keep BPD around as a label.
I do not.
I don’t agree with DBT either for patients like me.
Instead, we need more treatment in the area of attachment.
We need more referrals to therapists who specialize in Internal Family Systems.
We need everyone to be required to be trauma-informed.
We need better treatment for CPTSD, BPD, and DID.