August 2, 2021

“Borderline Personality” is a Response to Trauma.

Dear Mental Health Providers,

A lot of people, many women who have survived horrible things, are feeling hurt.

They feel hurt by your labels.

They feel hurt when you dismiss their pain.

They feel hurt when you call them “Borderline” and ignore them.

You see, we’d like if you’d listen to us and not just each other.

We’d like if you’d let our voices join your conversations.

We’d like you to hear us when we say you’re hurting us, because some of you are.

Bad things happened to many of us, and for most, we didn’t have a long-lasting secure attachment with a caregiver.

For others, we missed out on a lot of normal childhood experiences.

Many us are angry because our past harmed us.

Many of us you describe as “clingy” are that way because we didn’t have what we needed to flourish, which is a primary caregiver who accepts all of us, cradles us, and tucks our hair behind our ears.

Many us were raised being called worthless.

Many of us have a chaotic internal world because as Bowlby argues, our foundation of a secure working model of attachment was never created.

Please don’t apply cognitive behavioral approaches with us.

Please don’t have us fill out worksheets.

Instead, play with us.


Let us attach.

Please, no more discarding us.

No more “referring out.”

There’s nothing wrong with us.

Trauma is not just what happened.

It’s also what didn’t.

We missed out on a lot.

Be patient.

Be kind.

We will grow if you’re gentle with us.

Just like how many people with autism don’t like ABA, many of us also don’t like DBT and CBT that force us to change our “behaviors” rather than feel our pain. 

You see, we are sensitive, and that’s okay.

Guide us gently.

Let us get mad.

Help us let our hurt out.

We are orchids, not dandelions.

We will flourish with the right amount of water and sun.

We are beautiful people who need reminding of this.

Play with us and see what happens.

That’s all we ask.


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