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April 24, 2022

Mad, Bad & Sad Women: a Feminist Critique of “Borderline Personality Disorder.”

Editor’s Note: Please note that this article contains some explicit language and refers to verbal and sexual abuse.

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Mad women

Sad women

Neglected

And not accepted

Our experiences of child abuse and suicidal ideation can’t possibly be connected

We are the ones the world puts down and abuses

We are the ones the world gaslights and later calls liars full of excuses

We are the sexually abused

And later told we are identity confused

We are the scapegoats

The misfits

The ones who cry too much

We are the “Borderlines” or the “witches” who men justify are okay to touch

We are too loud

Too quiet

Too angry

Too scared

We are women with histories of trauma the patriarchy harmed, but nobody cared

We are the ones labeled as being attention-seeking

The ones nobody listens to when we are speaking

We “Borderlines” are your sisters, your mothers, and your lovers

We are the ones psychiatry calls a bunch of “cutters”

We were beaten, bruised, neglected, and thrown away

We are women who sought help only to be referred out as a castaway

They call us personality disordered and sick

Without acknowledging that many of us have been raped by someone’s dick

We are women who are told to grow up and regulate our emotions

We are the ones who were asked at a young age to meet men upstairs with lotion

We are the poetic ones and the ones who wear our hearts on our sleeves

While our therapists whisper to each other, “She’s crazy, can’t you see?”

We are the ones who can’t articulate our trauma story

Because after age eight, we stopped taking inventory

Of the name-calling

Of the violation

We are later sent to dialectical behavior therapy where we sign a contract at orientation

So, we tell each other to look white, cisgender, and upper class

And write each other to never say you’re suicidal if in DBT and you want to pass

Don’t shave your head

Don’t shed a tear

Smile

Look lady-like

And never show fear

Don’t talk about your pain

Don’t say anything

Because the end goal is for the DBT therapist to think that you are sane

“Borderlines” they call us women who do not feel well

Not strong

Not survivors, who if given love and kindness, could excel

No, us women are nothing but witches

The ones behind closed doors therapists call manipulative b*tches

We receive behaviorism treatment like DBT

Not pathways for healing our trauma, but rather money-making B.S. with unaffordable fees

It’s time to recognize us women for who we are

Not personality disordered or sick

But rather, women who survived and who have made it thus far

Stand in solidarity with all of us women who have been harmed

Knock on the doors of the psychological associations and sound the alarm

This harm needs to stop right now once and for all

There are thousands of us who are asking that you stand up and make a phone call

Call your Psychological Association

Tell them enough of this sh*t and that you do not concord

At the way we continue to treat these beautiful women seeking help who should be nothing but adored

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Editor: Lisa Erickson