Pregnancy & MI: Tenacious Reclamation of My Life

My pregnancy has been a wonderful “tool” to add to my Wellness Toolbox. Being completely responsible for the physical and mental well-being of my child has helped soften many edges of the negative thinking that I suffer from due to my Negativity/Pessimism Schema. While it has certainly been no cure, I find myself falling back upon the most negative of my thinking, “I can’t do this anymore”, “Life is not worth the struggle”, “God, please let me not wake”, etc. less and less. I love my unborn child and want desperately to parent him to become an all-around healthy young man. If I am constantly considering that there are options to life other than living, I do not think I’ll manage my parenting goal. In this way, I am thankful that the reality of my pregnancy has helped refocus, in a healthier manner, the filter through which I interpret thoughts and feel emotions.

That being said (there is always a however, huh?)…

The past few weeks have been LOUSY.

“But Redheadcase, you just talked about how a major difficulty of your MI has grown a bit healthier. Are you grateful for nothing?!” a reader may ask.

That is just the thing…being healthier in any increment does not mean I am at the end of the journey to reclaim my life from MI. I will always be on the road to better mental health and must always remember that there are no quick-fixes or complete goal attainment. Being healthier, whether it be mentally, physically, spiritually, etc. is a lifestyle and not any single choice. Success is not found in a moment or a day, but all those individual moments, days, weeks, months, and years can absolutely add up to a well-adapted, content, and emotionally healthy life for all of us. We just have to accept that we will stumble and fall, make the choice to pick ourselves up when we can, and tenaciously seek help no matter how uncomfortable or hard it may feel. Piece all those battle wins together to claim the victory of the war. =)


On a side note, I wanted to discuss how the past few weeks have been lousy. Just a few shared experiences and thoughts…

-I have always had much more difficulty with the fluctuation of my mood when I am physically drained and/or hungry. My husband can look at me, seeing me wilt like a flower out of water, saying, “We need to get you something to eat/need to get you some rest because your mood is dropping.” When I am fatigued from a lack of sleep or from running errands or when my blood sugar drops from not having eaten recently enough, I become much more susceptible to the depressions and anxieties of my MI. And I have found that with being pregnant, I wilt at a much more rapid pace, making it harder to catch my decline in time to prevent. I point this out because self-care is of the upmost importance, especially when you are suffering from an illness and ESPECIALLY when you are pregnant, dealing with hormones that fluctuate as they please no matter how carefully you care for yourself. Proper sleep, rest, and diet are essential to an MI-er’s well-being, and we must be willing to tell the people around us that we have to take the time to rest and/or eat. Putting ourselves first is a very good thing because when we are our healthiest for us, we can be at out healthiest for our loved ones. It is a “win-win” for everyone.

-I have really been struggling with feeling useless. (Yea, I am growing a life, yet I feel as though I contribute nothing to anything. 😉  Losing school this semester has really taken a toll on me, as I have discussed in previous posts. I had worked so hard to return to school and to have to stop (again) due to pregnancy-related illness, I find that I feel as though I am good-for-nothing (see how that Negativity/Pessimism Schema sneaks into any crevice of a person’s thinking to try to bring them down?). While I still volunteer at a local hospital, I feel I do little to contribute to my family or the world, in general. This is a thought, and resulting feeling, that I cannot seem to shake. I need a purpose to pursue outside of my home but cannot seem to find one. …Work in progress, right? =)

Well, that is all I have for the moment. I hope this finds everyone feeling well and a little less alone in a world that can feel really lonely. Take care.





Out of the Darkness Walks

Walk to Save Lives

Suicide claims more than 38,000 lives each year in the United States alone, with someone dying by suicide every 13.7 minutes. A suicide attempt is made every minute of every day, resulting in nearly one million attempts made annually.

When you walk in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Out of the Darkness Walks, you join efforts with thousands of people nationwide to raise money for AFSP’s vital research and education programs to prevent suicide and save lives. The walks raise awareness about depression and suicide, and provide comfort and assistance to those who have lost someone to suicide.


Suicide Prevention





Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Get Help

You aren’t alone. No matter who you are or what problems you are struggling with, hurting yourself isn’t the answer. We want to help you find hope.


When Do We Become Responsible for Our Reactions?

A long time ago, I realized that I wanted a better life for myself than I was taught to have. I realized that I wanted to be emotionally healthy, have emotionally healthy reactions, and better recognize & create balance in my life. Though emotionally healthy examples were rarely modeled in my life by family and extended family alike, there came a day when I had to take responsibility to correct the nature of my personality and conditioning I had experienced at the hand of others, if I were to ever get better.

This does not mean that I could not acknowledge the maladaptive family culture in which I grew up in, but I had to begin understanding how I was responsible for my reactions to all the old wounds I carried around. I could no longer blame those who hurt me for the illness I am now healing from; I had to empower myself to rise above those people and experiences. With the help of my therapist, self-education, and sharing my MI journey, I am sloughing off old, maladaptive thought processes and am replacing them with healthy, balanced thought processes that help ease old pains and keep me from allowing new pains to be created. This will be a lifelong process, with battles both won and lost, but with continued effort, the acceptance of my responsibility to get better no matter who caused my issues, and asking how I can be a better version of me tomorrow than I was today, I will win the war.

I am in a war for my life, and I simply refuse to lose by blaming others and refusing to empower myself. I am a redhead…just call me too hardheaded to fail. =)


The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is the nation’s leading organization bringing together people across communities and backgrounds to understand and prevent suicide, and to help heal the pain it causes. Individuals, families, and communities who have been personally touched by suicide are the moving force behind everything we do.

If you’re thinking of hurting yourself, or have days when you feel like you just can’t go on, help is available. We have resources to help you feel better…just click here.

If you’ve lost someone to suicide it may feel like no one understands what you’re going through. But you’re not alone. Others are here to help and support you. Click here to start.

Suicide Prevention

No matter what problems you are dealing with, we want to help you find a reason to keep living. By calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.

Family Culture and Mental Illness

On any given week (Yes, I am proud to be so dedicated to my healing that I see a therapist weekly =), my therapist or I mention my family culture and how it contributed/contributes to my MI. We discuss how engrained, maladaptive patterns  continue unchecked amongst the family unit (this includes me, by the way) and how these patterns helped/help create/continue the issues I am still working to unlearn in my own life.

Now, before anyone accuses me of throwing my family under the bus (again, as a side note, 9 times out of 10, when I refer to “my family”, I am referring to a family unit that includes extended family…aunts, uncles, cousins…because when I was young, I had weekly, if not daily interactions with my extended family), I feel I need to go into a little deeper explanation about the Biosocial Theory of BPD, which is the accepted seed of cause of BPD among BPD specialists.

According to Marsha M. Linehan, Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington and Director of Behavioral Research & Therapy Clinics (BRTC) at the University of Washington and founder of Behavioral Tech, LLC, “the main tenet of the biosocial theory is that the core disorder in BPD is emotion dysregulation. Emotional dysregulation is viewed as a joint outcome of biological disposition (nature), environmental context (nurture), and the transaction between the two during development” (Linehan 2). In my words, Linehan’s use of “biological disposition” means a baby was born emotionally sensitive, vulnerable to emotional stimuli even before social factors could influence the baby’s cognitive reactions to emotional stimuli…the “nature” in the long fight over “nature versus nurture”. Now comes the tricky part about throwing families under the bus…

Linehan’s use of “environmental context” can also be referred to as “environmental factors”, or the influence of social interactions and dynamics among a baby’s/child’s social unit, which is typically a family unit. It is at this point in researching BPD that we encounter the dreaded, yet so true terminology, “invalidating environment”. This is where I must tread carefully! =)

In Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder, Linehan explains that an invalidating environment “…is particularily damaging for the child who begins life with high emotional vulnerability” (3). See where the nature and nurture begins to interact? Ok, on we go…

Another personal favorite resource that I talk about in my blog posts is Schema Therapy, developed by Dr. Jeffrey E. Young of the Cognitive Therapy Center of New York. In Schema Therapy: A Practitioner’s Guide, Young, et. al use the term “environmental factors” the way Linehan uses “invalidating environment”, breaking such factors into four groups:

1. The family environment is unsafe and unstable.

2. The family environment is depriving.

3. The family environment is harshly punitive and rejecting.

4. The family environment is subjugating.

I would love to share the descriptions of each of the above headings, but the information is too great, and I’d rather you not fall asleep trying to read my post. However, I do want to point out that when reading the heading, understand them in broad, not always literal terms. For example, heading #1 talks about an unsafe and unstable environment. For some people with BPD, this description is very black and white; they grew up experiencing physical, sexual, or verbal abuse, which speaks very plainly to an unsafe and unstable environment. However, in the broader approach, some people with BPD experienced the state of being unsafe and unstable through a parent/caretaker who was emotionally unreliable or inconsistent. As Young, et. al describes it, “Instead of feeling secure, the attachment to the parent (or caretaker) often feels unstable or terrifying.” Again…understand where the nature and nurture to interact to make an existing situation more difficult?

“So Redhead, what is the point to all of this? Do you hate your family and blame them for your MI? Are you playing the victim “card”?!”

Heck no…and yes. =) Leniency from the court, please?

For many years, I was the victim of an invalidating family (remember…extended family is included. See my post Trying To Be What They Weren’t For Me to understand what extended meant to my MI life =) because at such a young age, how could I have been anything but a victim? Then, as I grew older and more cognizant of my issues, I chose to be the victim, blaming those who hurt me for “making” me MI. However, when I found the right doctor who provided the right therapy, I realized that while I started off with no choice as to the illness I developed, I did have the power to take control over my life and do the hard work of healing. And that healing includes understanding that as much as people invalidated and hurt me, I suffer from the same engrained, maladaptive patterns that flourished/flourish in my family unit. I realized I was a part of the problem, too.

See what I did there? You liked that, huh? I made it about me and my flaws because that is what my healing has to be about. I can acknowledge what has happened to me, but once I became aware of my ability to take charge and take the steps necessary for healing, I was accountable from that point forward.

So, did I connect my dots? I sure hope so. I write to help process and understand my life while trying to help others know that their struggles do not separate them, but make them a part of a large community of people who seek to rise above and heal. It is not easy…it will never completely go away…but a rich and meaningful life can be ours.

Linehan, Marsha M. Sills Training Manual for Training Borderline Personality Disorder. New York: The Guilford Press, 1993. Print.

Young, Jeffrey E, et al. Schema Therapy: A Practitioner’s Guide. New York: The Guilford Press, 2003. Print.


The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is the nation’s leading organization bringing together people across communities and backgrounds to understand and prevent suicide, and to help heal the pain it causes. Individuals, families, and communities who have been personally touched by suicide are the moving force behind everything we do.

  • We strive for a world that is free of suicide.
  • We support research, because understanding the causes of suicide is vital to saving lives.
  • We educate others in order to foster understanding and inspire action.
  • We offer a caring community to those who have lost someone they love to suicide, or who are struggling with thoughts of suicide themselves.
  • We advocate to ensure that federal, state, and local governments do all they can to prevent suicide, and to support and care for those at risk.

Suicide Prevention

You may be overwhelmed by grief, but you don’t have to suffer alone. It’s important to know when to ask for help. You should call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) if you have any warning signs, especially if a problem is making it hard for you to get through the day.

Find a Therapist or Support Group

Speaking to a therapist or attending a support group can help you work through your grief and improve your overall mental health. The following resources can help you find a psychologist, psychiatrist or support group near you.

Grief Support Quick Reference

This tool was developed by the Lifeline Consumer-Survivor Subcommittee and is designed to provide crisis workers with essential and easy-to-access information about suicide grief support.

How to Talk to Children About Suicide

Suicide Awareness Voices of Education has advice on how to explain suicide to children who have lost a loved one.

Respond After a Suicide in the Workplace

This guide is designed to help employers and organizations increase their understanding and confidence in responding to suicide in the workplace. It explores what is involved in supporting employees bereaved through suicide and other practical information about responding effectively to suicide in the workplace.

Borderline Personality Disorder: In My Words (Part 2)

The follow-up post to “Borderline Personality Disorder: In My Words“, published in June, 2012.


Please…do not use these admissions against me. Instead, use them to help yourself or someone you know.

“People with BPD often have highly unstable patterns of social relationships. While they can develop intense attachments, their attitudes toward family, friends, and loved ones may suddenly shift from idealization (great admiration and love) to devaluation (intense anger and dislike). Even with family members, individuals with BPD are highly sensitive to rejection, reacting with anger and distress to such mild separations as a vacation, a business trip, or a sudden change of plans.

Distortions in thinking and sense of self can lead to frequent changes in long-term goals, career plans, jobs, friendships, gender identity, and values. Sometimes people with BPD view themselves as fundamentally bad, or unworthy. They may feel unfairly misunderstood or mistreated, bored, empty, and have little idea who they are. Such symptoms are most acute when people with BPD feel isolated and lacking in social support, and may result in frantic efforts to avoid being alone by acting out; i.e. impulsive behavior or suicide attempts.”

-Understanding BPD, National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder,

The numbered, italicized headings below are the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), used to diagnosis Borderline Personality Disorder. The unitalicized writing is my elaboration on how each BPD criterion affects me.

(I am beginning with criterion#3 as I was not sure how it applied to me when I wrote the first section of this post.)

3. Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.

-While I have a better understanding of this criterion now, as opposed to when I first posted in June 2012, I know that my understanding will be evolving for a long time to come. However, with that being said, I can now look back at my life and recognize many choices and feelings that are related to the concept of identity disturbance.

At the core of all things that make me Redhead, I am a caretaker; I want to affect positive influence in the lives of others. There has never been any question in my mind that easing someone’s difficulties, great or small, makes me glow on the inside and gives a sense of great meaning to my life. And while this is a wonderful personal attribute, the BPD has made it difficult to #1-balance how much I involve myself with others without sacrificing myself and #2-balance understanding where a healthy sense of “great meaning” ends and an unhealthy sense of going too far begins.

Example #1: For many years, I had a group of friends who, in my mind, wanted/needed me as much as I wanted/needed them. I thought that their experiences were my experiences and my experiences were theirs, so to speak. It was not until a few months into Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) (and a picture posted on social media where all women from “our” group were pictured…except me…on a trip I was not invited on) that I realized I did not hold equal stock in our friendship. To be fair, the signs were there all along but the BPD would not allow me to see them because I did not want to admit to something that (I now know) would have translated into feeling emotionally abandoned. I travelled to their wedding showers and weddings, baby showers, ect. that I was left out of planning (even though I asked to help plan them) and in over 10 years of friendship, I was visited in my home only once by any of the women (and that was because she was in town for a conference…not for me). I simply could not recognize that as I became more and more ill, I clung more and more desperately (Can I make cookies for…?, How can I help with…, Here is $60 to help pay for this shower [that I was not allowed to help plan]) to friendships that I had misinterpreted as more important in their lives than they were. (I sure hope you can follow that example, as I have no clue how to punctuate part of it and my thoughts are not translating into the written word as well as I had hoped. =)

Example #2: This is closely related to example #1, but is a bit more broad in scope. To this day, my impulsive side (thank you, BPD) meets with my caretaker side to want to help people in any way I can. The problem is that while it is noble to want to help people, I cannot substitute the external sense of accomplishment or sense of feeling needed for an internal validation that I give myself. Does that make sense? I have to learn to make myself feel good about myself just because…not because someone in the world “gave me permission” by giving me accolades and validation. I have to learn to validate myself as important, special, and good. External validation is a great thing but only when it is first accompanied by a sturdy internal validation. (Why did I not just say that in the first place?! LOL)

5. Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior

-When I originally posted on the subject of how BPD affected me, I was not ready to address how suicide played a role in my life. Since that time however, I have posted “Suicide and Me“, where I wrote about suicidal ideation, explaining that, “Almost every day, I think about the action of taking my life to relieve the pain of living. It is not about wanting to not live; it is about not wanting the emotional pain to continue and believing that physical death is my only way out.” Suicidal ideation and I know each other very well, but I have no intention to ever complete suicide. I have never attempted to die by suicide purposefully, although in 2007, I did accidently overdose on a prescription medication that made me forget, many times over, that I had already taken a dose…until the bottle was empty. This led to my first hospitalization because while the overdose was not intentional, afterwards, I wished it had been successful.

Luckily, I do not suffer from suicidal gestures (hurting myself, overdosing, self-harming, etc… just enough to need medical attention in an attempt to get others to realize just how ill I am and how much help I need), threats (although I have been honest with my husband and therapist that, even without the intention to complete it, I do have a suicide plan), or self-mutilating behavior (i.e. cutting with razor blades, burning one’s self, etc.).

6. Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).

-In English: My outward reactions (my affect) can be erratic or unpredictable (instability) because my moods or emotions are capable of quickly changing (marked reactivity). It “boils down to this”: it is impossible to know how I might react to what happens around me because, when ill, my mood can change so quickly…how I reacted yesterday is not how I will necessarily react today because yesterday, I might have been in one mood and today, I might be in another. And scarily enough, the fluctuations in my moods can literally be moment to moment. In the darkest moment of BPD, I can transition from Heaven-worthy joy to Hell-induced emotional pain in seconds. A video of such vacillating moods would make for a good horror movie, to be honest. Jack Nicholson would have nothing on me! (Yes…you can giggle.)

BPD can make me very moody when I am in a depressive episode or experiencing high levels of anxiety. While I am decently successful in hiding this from most people, my husband and my mother get the brunt of it. They often see my mood bounce like a Ping-Pong ball from one emotion to another, having no idea what caused any of the changes. Both my husband and mother can see it in my face in an instant! Sometimes, I am not very nice to them.

7. Chronic feelings of emptiness

-Dude! I feel empty, lost, unimportant, you-name-it, 95% of every breath of my life! It is SO tiring! And I still have no idea what to do about it. I have yet to find anything that fills the void in my heart other than the external validation I discussed in criterion #3, which we already decided was fleeting, unhealthy, and not a very good Band-Aid when I cannot validate myself from the inside. #7 is why #3 is a criterion I can very easily fall prey to. I am sure that in future posts, I will share my journey with my “chronic feelings of emptiness” and ways I discover to help ease that burden. Until then, just know I am searching and open to ideas! =)

8. Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)

-Ooooo weeee! I DO NOT LIKE DISCUSSING THIS. This makes me feel ashamed, dirty, and low as a human. But I need to be honest to better deal with it, don’t I? Geesh.

Ok. So here goes…until a few years ago, I was pretty passive when depressed. Yes, I could say mean things but nothing that stabbed at a person’s jugular, per se, and I certainly never became physical. However…………. (can I just keep typing periods and skip this? LOL), my emotional pain has increasingly gained the ability to spike quickly, making me a person most loved ones would never recognize. Instead of feeling hurt, I choose to feel angry because, well, angry just seems easier. There can be a sense of power and authority that comes with anger, and perhaps, that is why my brain sometimes chooses to turn the sense of vulnerable hurt into powerful pain…a very maladaptive coping mechanism. I have thrown cherished items and relished the plume of dust as they broke against tile floors and hit pictures so my wedding day signature picture (you know the pictures with the matting that people leave messages on?) is hung glassless. And I cannot tell you how hard it has sometimes been to not thrown things at the television when angered. Sorry hubby. 😉

I swear…you have no need to fear me! LOL Maybe pictures, knick-knacks, and TVs, but not people! =) Lord, what people who read this must be thinking.

9. Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms

-I do not think I have ever been dissociative (maybe my LPC husband would say differently. I dunno), but I do worry way too much about what others think of me. For instance, my job is made 100% more stressful than it needs to be because I always worry that my boss will see a mistake I make and conclude that I am 100% incompetent. Does it occur to me that she may just note, “Need to show Redhead how to…”? Of course it occurs to me but then the BPD tells me that I am going to be figured out as the fake I am…dumb and stupid.

Oh! And I worry that if I do not take the time to neaten up before leaving the house, people will think I am a stereotype of where I live. What stereotype is that? Well, when I moved from my home state (also my current state) as a 7 year old, I was asked by my new fellow statesmen (young children, mind you) if people in my home state wore shoes. Yeah. We are often judged as barefoot and pregnant, uneducated hillbillies. Do we have people like that where I live? Sure, but does not every place have a stereotypical element to their society? Honestly, most people do not even know we are a state. No joke. But anyhoo, this is related to my post, “I Am Judgmental and I Am Pretty Enough for Ravishing Red!“. I can be judgemental as a defense mechanism, so it is natural that I think people judge me. It is one of those snowball effect thingys. (Yes, I said “thingys”. I have been writing for two hours. Isn’t that sad?! LOL)

Thank you for hanging in with me to finish this post. It was a bit more emotionally tiring than I expected and it is getting close to my bedtime. I appreciate it if you have made it this far and forgiven my writing mistakes. =)

Take care!

Getting Better Means I Cannot Run Away

I have never much been afraid to face and confront the reasons why I developed mental illness. In fact, anger, confusion, and the feeling of having no control over my life have continued to motivate my need to deal with and accept my illness. After all, if I am unwilling to face the difficult truths of my life by actively challenging them and all the pain they cause, how can I ever hope to become better?

I recently had my first session in Experiential Therapy (EP), “…a role play method through which past, present and future issues can be resolved and when combined with more traditional modalities serves to elicit material from the unconscious that allows one to fill in perceptual, cognitive and emotional gaps. Material that has been out-of-vision can come to the surface where it can be worked through and seen in a new light. (It has a) unique ability to give voice to hidden wounds has…”. I am the first to admit, when my therapist introduced the concept of EP to me, it conjured “wacky” Freudian ideas (not that EP is Psychoanalytic in nature). I wondered how concepts like Empty Chair work (ECW) could possibly be adapted into my respect for Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). However, having a very sensible (she knew how silly I felt “talking to myself”), well-educated, and experienced therapist, I was able to participate in my first session with great success, allowing my walls against “wacky” therapies to lower themselves a bit, leaving myself open to the possibility that EP has value in my therapeutic journey.

To keep it simple and to scare away as few readers as possible (LOL), I will not describe the ECW in too much detail because…well, you WILL think it sounds quite reaching in terms of validity and value.  Anyhoo…ECW allowed me to reconnect to a lot of the emotions I had as a child, the time in my life when I began developing the maladaptive schemas that I am now unlearning.

I always knew I felt invalidated as a child but until this session, I never realized how deeply that invalidation had sunk itself into my everything.  I came away from the session understanding that, as a child just trying to find her way through the world the best she sad childcould, I was quite often marginalized for simply being a child; my emotions were too childish, my coping abilities immature, and my capacity to understand anything…deficient. In other words, I was invalidated and belittled for not being an adult. (What a shock that I might be childish, immature, right? Geesh.)

I found myself crying for that little girl, the little girl who did not have the age and experience to give her the language to express how she felt and how very wrong adults were to criticize her for her youth. I felt sorry for her constant state of confusion, her continuous wondering as to why she never seemed to be able to please the village of adults around her. I was devastated when I realized how she internalized all that negative interaction into one question, “What is wrong with me?” I cried because she knew more about the world than adults ever gave her credit for, recognized how child-like adults actually were, and how amazingly strong she was to never stop trying to understand and improve her life.

I could have been very afraid to try a new-to-me “wacky” therapy.

I could have refused to face the emotions that came from it.

But had I run from those things, how could I ever hope to become better.

If you feel you are in a crisis, whether or not you are thinking about killing yourself, please call the Lifeline. People have called us for help with substance abuse, economic worries, relationship and family problems, sexual orientation, illness, getting over abuse, depression, mental and physical illness, and even loneliness.

No matter what problems you are dealing with, we want to help you find a reason to keep living. By calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.







The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is the nation’s leading organization bringing together people across communities and backgrounds to understand and prevent suicide, and to help heal the pain it causes. Individuals, families, and communities who have been personally touched by suicide are the moving force behind everything we do.

  • We strive for a world that is free of suicide.
  • We support research, because understanding the causes of suicide is vital to saving lives.
  • We educate others in order to foster understanding and inspire action.
  • We offer a caring community to those who have lost someone they love to suicide, or who are struggling with thoughts of suicide themselves.
  • We advocate to ensure that federal, state, and local governments do all they can to prevent suicide, and to support and care for those at risk.

Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman…With BPD!!!


Click Above Picture to Listen to Prince’s “Fury”

In 2006, Prince released an album that included a song called “Fury”. The lyrics included the words, “There ain’t no fury like a woman scorned.” (I know the common phrase I used in the title does not perfectly reflect in Prince’s phrasing, but I ask for some latitude. Thank you, my dears.) Anyhoo…he, and the original author to the more well known version of the referenced saying are right in that there is no fury like the fury of a woman scorned. However, what these two fine, lyrical minds failed to realize is that the fury of a woman with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) makes the fires of hell quiver in our presence! LOL

BPD has many hallmarks and for me, one of my deepest, darkest hallmarks is the Emotional Deprivation Schema (schema: broad, pervasive themes regarding oneself and one’s relationship with others, developed during childhood and elaborated throughout one’s lifetime, and dysfunctional to a significant degree¹). I am “…exquisitely sensitive to rejection…” (could not have expressed that better myself! Exquisitely I tell you! LOL) I also “…live daily with extreme emotional pain…, low stress tolerance, fears of abandonment…”  and like many BPD-ers, I “…cannot work or do not function at levels that could be expected in light of (my) intellectual capacities.” That is a lot of perceived scorn, isn’t it?! As I explained to my therapist today, even on my good days where I feel the cloud of Mental Illness (MI) lift from my shoulders, I am always aware it follows me. MI is as much a part of my definition as being female or a redhead are.

BPD, and MI in general, scorn me every day. I cannot sit down with a cup of tea to give myself a five-minute “MI Free” break. I cannot decide that any one day will be a rumination-free day, nor can I vanquish thoughts of wanting to disappear forever into the ground like the snows of late Spring. I simply do not have that choice. (My husband recently told me that he didn’t want our lives to be defined by MI…which I understood what he meant…but as I was in a moment of exquisite suffering at that moment, I told him to go out into the world and not be black for a day and get back to me on how that goes. Obviously, he cannot not be black just as I cannot not be MI…at least at the moment.)

So, as I often ask when trying to bring some cohesion to my wandering blog posts…what is this all about?

This is about the fact that BPD/MI have had their way with me for far too long. They have beaten, bruised, and SCORNED me for 20 years longer than they ever had the right to. But right now and in the days ahead, the fury of this redhead is going to give BPD/MI a beating, bruising, and scorning that they have never had before. They will always be a part of my definition, but with hard work, continued focus, and a great therapist who not only supports me but calls me out on my crap when I try to get it past her, BPD/MI will not BE MY DEFINITION. They will learn to quiver in my presence.

¹Schema Therapy Institute

Suicide Prevention

No matter what problems you are dealing with, we want to help you find a reason to keep living. By calling 1-800-273-TALK  (8255) you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime  24/7.


When You Fear Someone May Take Their Life

Most suicidal individuals give some warning of their intentions. The most effective way to prevent a friend or loved one from taking his or her life is to recognize the factors that put people at risk for suicide, take warning signs seriously and know how to respond.

Know the Facts


More than 90 percent of people who kill themselves are suffering from one or more psychiatric disorders, in particular:

  • Major depression (especially when combined with alcohol and/or drug abuse)
  • Bipolar depression
  • Alcohol abuse and dependence
  • Drug abuse and dependence
  • Schizophrenia
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Eating disorders
  • Personality disorders

Depression and the other mental disorders that may lead to suicide are — in most cases — both recognizable and treatable. Remember, depression can be lethal.

Foo-foo, New Age, Psycho-Babble: It Cures Everything!

I have written this post in my head about a hundred times. Those of you who suffer from a MI will probably understand exactly what I mean. I often “practice” a conversation (verbal or otherwise) a hundred times before a doctor’s appointment, blog post, or the sucourtesy of www.claudiaciuta.comch. Anyhoo…

During recent sessions, my therapist and I have often discussed how current societal ideologies regarding emotions create, and/or detrimentally intensify, many of the emotional/mental issues people currently suffer. The idea of teaching children how to healthfully process emotions is ignored by parents and school administrations alike, while they wonder in astonishment why academic achievement dwindles and poor behavior abounds:

“Joey is just too shy and gets his feelings hurt too easily. As his father, I keep telling him that men don’t cry at the drop of a hat and that he needs to toughen up. And now his grades are so low, and he says he doesn’t care. I try to support him by asking, ‘What is wrong with you? You have everything going for you, but you just don’t seem to care. Why are you wasting the best time of your life and all of your wonderful abilities on crying and feeling hurt all of the time?’ I just don’t know what to do with him.”

Ring a bell, anyone? No…seriously…who hasn’t heard something like that from a parent or teacher? I bet my teacher friends are saying, “Yep. I have heard that from parents and other teachers, and I just want to smack some sense into them!” (I know my teacher friends are above this sort of thinking! LOL) Does the father in my example care about his son? I am sure he does, but where in that example did the father acknowledge his child’s feelings, therefore validating them, or offer his son a better way to evaluate his emotional responses (crying, losing interest in academic pursuits) and express those emotional responses in a healthier, more positive way? His father simply further conditioned his son to be emotionally sensitive, to continue to over react to emotional stimuli, feel that there is something inherently “wrong” with him, and, worst of all, reinforce the idea that “Dad” cannot be counted on for support, only criticism. (My example didn’t include a child expressing the idea that they cannot go to their parent for support, but you know that children, teenagers especially, express that VERY thought…”Mom and Dad just don’t listen to me. All they do it criticize me.” Once again…any bells ring-a-ding-dinging???

So, you may be asking, “What exactly is the answer to this great dilemma?”

I give you…drum roll, please…Emotional Intelligence! And the blog’s readers’ excitement quickly dissipates. ;0)

The readers ask, “What sort of weird, lighting incense, singing Kumbayah, chanting on a pillow in uncomfortable positions crap are you talking about?” while muttering things like, “New age crap,” and “Psycho-babble.”

But no! The concept of emotional intelligence (EI from this point on) is common sense, something that is easy to understand and easy to teach. While incense and chanting can certainly help some people focus on EI, all you need is the willingness to want to feel better, deal with life’s difficulties in an emotionally healthy manner, and put a little more focus on what is important in life…you! (Learning to put yourself first in life is another blog for another day. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t state that putting yourself first is about being as physically and emotionally healthy as you can be because you deserve it! The awesome biproduct is that you will also be able to be positive and healthy in the lives of others. It is not about being selfish and uncaring towards others! Common sense people! Use it!

According to University of New Hampshire professors and psychologists Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer, “Emotional intelligence represents an ability to validly reason with emotions and to use emotions to enhance thought.”1 I ask, what sounds “new age” or foo-foo (my word, thank you!) about that? Who doesn’t want to better reason with their emotions to enhance thought? A more formal definition by Salovey and Mayer which gives more insight states:

“We define EI as the capacity to reason about emotions, and of emotions to enhance thinking. It includes the abilities to accurately perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth.”1

Seriously, who doesn’t want those things for themselves and their loved ones?

We need to teach our children that emotions, negative or positive, strong or weak, are not our enemies. Emotionally intelligent anxiety can tell Courtesy of, “Be aware! Something may be wrong.” Emotionally intelligent joy can tell us, “This is good! Keep it going!” Emotionally intelligent sadness can tell us, “It is time to move on. Let this go.” Emotionally intelligent love can tell us, “I am safe and content.”

There is a time and place for all emotions, but we have to teach our children (and often learn for ourselves) that all emotions benefit us and how to mold them into healthy experiences if we find that through difficulty and trauma, our emotions have become warped and predatory. (Yes…our own emotions can become predators who seek to manipulate and injure our healthy sense of self.)

While I will continue on this subject in my next blog, you can find further reading at the links below.

I would LOVE LOVE LOVE some feedback, especially from my parent and teacher friends!

1 Mayer, John D. (2004). Emotional Intelligence Information: A Site Dedicated to Communicating Scientific Information about Emotional Intelligence, Including Relevant Aspects of Emotions, Cognition, and Personality. Retrieved from

No matter what problems you are dealing with, we want to help you find a reason to keep living. By calling 1-800-273-TALK  (8255) you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime  24/7.