BPD – What It Means For Me

I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder many years ago, and have been taking pretty much the same medications over this time. I have BPD. I know I have it. I recognize the symptoms when they get worse. I wouldn’t dream of stopping them, for fear of the consequences.

It has long been thought that BPD was caused by abuse as a child, or some other horrendous trauma experienced when young. It has been brought to my attention that in order for someone to develop BPD, there has to be one or both parents who suffer from this disorder. This disorder is passed on genetically.

Without the genetics, BPD does not occur, despite popular belief, because of chronic abuse as a child, alone. The gene must also be present. I realized a couple years ago, that my mother must have had the same disorder. Based on the way that she treated me, along with the sexual abuse from my father, I developed BPD.

There has to be at least five symptoms a person must have to be diagnosed with this disorder.

  1. Unstable or poorly regulated emotional responses – anger, anxiety, depression
  2. Inappropriate intense anger that is difficult to control
  3. Chronic feelings of emptiness
  4. Self-damaging acts such as excessive spending, unsafe sex, substance abuse, binge eating, and
  5. Suicidal ideation, acts, threats, self-injurious behavior
  6. Persistent, unstable self-image
  7. Paranoid ideation or severe dissociative episodes
  8. behaviors from most people, impaired social reasoning under stress
  9. Frantic acts due to chronic fear of abandonment, very intense and unstable relationships

To be diagnosed with BPD, five of these nine symptoms must be present.  When I finally learned about Borderline Personality Disorder, it was sort of an ‘aha’ moment.  Now, things that I feel or do, I understand why.  I suffer from eight of these nine symptoms.

I understand why I will do almost anything to prevent what I perceive as abandonment.  I understand why all of my relationships were either inappropriate, extremely intense and unstable.  I understand why I have a great deal of new debt, that has occurred after the agreement with the debt management program,  that I would not apply for anymore credit cards, and this new debt is due to three  new credit cards.  I understand why I became a chronic alcoholic (Nearly 17 years sober now).  I understand the cuts on my arms, the overdoses, and all the threats of suicide, and all of the psychiatric hospitalizations.

I understand now, why I am me, and why I still do many of the things on that list.  Do you now understand me?



PTSD, oh how hard it can be.
See things over and over again,
Some things, not remembering them,
Some things I’ll never do again.

PTSD, makes me scared of life,
Growing up, filled with strife,
Used to get the great big knife,
But something keeps me clinging to life.

I see things over and over again,
They hide deep inside my head,
I won’t do this, I won’t do that,
But other things, keep doing this or that.

Programmed deep within my soul,
What will it take to make me whole?
Memories keep rushing to the top,
I don’t know how to make it stop.

~ van ~

Mother And Mother’s Day

A holiday is drawing near,
For most it means there’s someone dear,
I try to forget the entire day,
But I need to find another way.

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I have things I could have said

But I kept my silence instead

Now it’s been over three years

But I’ve not shed many tears

PTSD is what they say

Controls me even to this day

Any love I felt for you

Like a bird, away it flew

Now the day is drawing near

Honor one who caused me fear

I need to get you from my head

Because now you’ve been quite dead

But words and actions came my way

I lived in fear, most every day

The only thing that I will try

Is to say to you, goodbye.

~ van ~


Three Goals For This Blog

I started this blog in February, 2013, with no idea as to where it would actually go. When a theme started to appear, I modified my tagline just a bit, so that this theme would emerge to readers who might be passing by, or were looking for my theme in particular.

As far as three goals for this blog, I had to stop and do some deep thinking about the future of this blog. It became apparent that I was starting to write poetry about my experiences and feelings that were emerging from my experiences with childhood sexual abuse – incest, to be precise. Now, nearly three years later, I feel sort of stuck, and having some goals might get me moving in the right direction once again.

After considerable thought, these are the three goals that I came up with for this blog.

1. Explore more deeply into the things that are still stuck inside, and bring them out so that I and others can start or continue to heal from this horrendous type of abuse.

2. Increase my following by at least 25% by the end of September. This will increase readers’ comments that could aid in healing for myself and others, and to reach out to newcomers that are trying to find their way through their own feelings about abuse.

Coming up with a third goal took a great deal more consideration than the first two, but I think it is probably the most important goal. This is what I came up with.

3. Change the appearance of my blog, as right now it has a dark, gloomy appearance, and there are positive changes occurring in my life, and I want to express that in the appearance of my blog. I think this will then appeal to more readers if it has a positive appeal.

Where Do I Belong?

As a small child, I thought I belonged in that corner I was instructed to sit in.
I thought I belonged in the back of the classroom, where no one could see me.
I thought I belonged on the very edge of the seat on the school bus.
I thought I belonged to my mother – heart, body and soul.
As I grew, I thought I belonged in all those worn hand-me-downs.
I thought I belonged out in the hall with my desk in elementary school.
I thought I belonged at the wrong end of the hand of my mother.
I thought I belonged in silence while in the presence of my mother.
I thought I belonged in my bed, scared that he would come.
I thought I belonged in the life of what was being done.
I thought I belonged in the pain life lead me to.
I thought I belonged in the group labeled bad.
I thought I belonged on that bar stool long ago.
I thought I belonged in the stupor that bar stool led me to.
I thought I belonged in the beds of many men.
I thought I belonged in the hell I lived then.
I thought I belonged in the lives of so many.
I thought I belonged in the oncoming insanity.
I thought I belonged locked up and alone.
I thought I belonged no matter what I had done.
I thought I belonged in the lives of so many.
I thought I belonged though I thought I was crazy.
I thought I belonged in the hands of those doctors.
I thought I belonged in the lives of others.
I found I didn’t belong in the lives of others.
I found I didn’t belong at the mercy of others.
I found I didn’t belong in those
I found I didn’t belong in those wards.
I found I didn’t belong in a bottle.
I found I didn’t belong in a cell.
I found I didn’t belong to others
I found I didn’t belong all alone.
I found I belonged in the company of others.
I found I belonged in the House of the Lord.
I found I belonged in a life of my own.
I found I never have to be alone.

I Would Grant Three Wishes, To A Four Year Old – Daily Prompt

If I were a genie, with three wishes to grant, to whom would I grant them, and why?  That is an interesting question, and my answer might be a little different from you would expect.

Karen at age 4
In need of fulfilled wishes.

Fifty years ago the child, Karen was in desperate need. She needed proper nourishment, to grow and become healthy. She needed to be taken away from the abuse that was happening in her home, on a regular basis. She also had the right to be happy.

All of this was denied her, in her situation. With first one, then two baby brothers, her mother had not time for her, except when she was in one of her moods, and took it out on Karen. Karen was abused physically and emotionally by her mother, who was another person who’s needs were never met.

The abuse from her father was unspeakable.

Karen needed to have her wishes for safety, health and happiness granted, and those  are the wishes that I, as one of those genies, would grant to her.

If truth be known, now, 50 years later, the adult Karen, would be experiencing less emotional issues, than what she now faces, and with those wishes, the issues today could be less than they actually are.

– van –


Karen at age 4
In need of fulfilled wishes.
I started school at age 4, due to my birthday being in October.  This was a total change for me – to be away from my mother for such a long time.

 I don’t know when my behavior took a turn, but I do know it was early on in school.  I had teachers that were kind to me for the most part, and I wanted all of that I could get.  

Starting long ago, longer than I can remember, my life was filled with chaos (abuse).  I never knew which way to turn, there was no safe place, especially when I was younger.  

I felt used and unloved, though at the time, I probably couldn’t put those words to what I was feeling.  Mostly, I just knew that I was scared.  

Unfortunately, this resulted in the beginnings of negative behavior – seeking more attention from the teachers.  I didn’t know any other way to get more of that accepted feeling that I had when I started school and no one knew me.  There were 30-some of us in that class, so the teacher’s attention was spread pretty thin.  

When I wasn’t acting out, by starting fights, or throwing things, or shooting staples around the room, I was taking it out on myself in the form of self-harm.  Both of these types of behaviors carried on through the years, right into high school.  It was there when things took another turn.

Too Hot To Bear

Falling Down
Photo: Karen Van Benschoten

It’s starts with the beginning of each new day,

The fiery words that come my way.

I ask, “What is it that I’ve done?”

I was just having fun.

But then the words lash out so hot,

Keeping me glued to the spot.

Trying to keep my head up high,

Trying hard not to cry.

The tears that come are oh so hot,

I have nothing with which to blot,

The tears racing down my face,

Wishing I were in another place.

I dream of the day that I run away,

But have no other place to stay.

I look at buildings, falling down,

And tell myself I’d not be found.

But then I think of rain and cold,

Will this last until I’m old?

In the end I stay each day,

Wondering what I shouldn’t say.

– van –

Hey, I’m Here, Can’t Anyone See?

It ends, then starts again,

Pain so deep, I don’t know how,

Started so long ago, I don’t know when,

Three or four, oh so young

Now the damage has been done.

The help was needed way back when,

But left me needy, I had no one.

I tried in ways that I only knew,

To show them all what was done.

But it came out oh so wrong,

Wherever I went fear came along.

Even now, with all the time passed.

I always feel I should be last,

No longer acting out,

But to trust, I want to shout,

Hey I’m here, can’t you see?

All that has been done to me.

– van –

Looking In From The Outside

It has been this way for all my life,
Not fitting in, world filled with strife.
I long to be in another place,
One where no one knows my face.

The window is a small one, yet,
I see thing I will not forget.
People living life with love,
As peaceful as a fresh white dove.

If I were to enter in,
It would be a major sin.
For to enter in as myself,
The books would all fly off the shelf.

I do not belong within,
So here I stand once again,
Standing here, trying to hide,
Looking in from the outside.