Life in a Bind – BPD and me

Borderline Personality Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and my therapy journey. Listed in Top Ten Resources for BPD in 2016 by goodtherapy.org. I write for welldoing.org and for Muse Magazine Australia, under the name Clara Bridges.

Quick Recovery

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I wanted to share this post, not only because it is a lovely moment of ‘progress’ for a blogger whose therapy journey and her insight into it, is interesting, moving and inspiring; but also because it is one of those posts that I relate to completely and which perfectly describes my own experience as well.

These moments of mini-rupture happen fairly frequently in my therapy, and my interpretation of them, my fears about them, and my reaction to them, are exactly as described here. A triggering comment from my therapist (one which, for example, I perceive as a criticism or as rejection), can have an instant effect on me and on the mood of the session. As described in this post, most often the situation arises in relation to boundaries of some kind, whether real or imagined. Almost invariably, these moments ‘freeze’ the session; however freely I may have been speaking beforehand, I feel myself instantly shutting down and ‘zoning out’ – withdrawing into my own bubble, with my pain. Either that, or I try and keep going but things get progressively worse as the feelings of rejection just keep mounting the more they are not addressed or brought out into the open.

It’s wonderful when, as happened here, I am able to work through it and turn it around, within the session itself. That definitely happens more than it used to – though there are still many times when ‘the freeze’ happens anyway, however much progress I think I may have made.

I think what’s important is to try and understand how and why we react as we do in these situations. The more we do that and the more frequently we can work through these moments ‘in real time’ in session, hopefully the less triggering these situations will become. We can then start to claw ourselves out of the vicious circle of perceived rejection and distancing, leading to us shutting down and distancing, leading to further feelings of abandonment.

Oh, and another aspect of this post that I related to – I too put my feet up on the chair during therapy, though not for the reason described in this blogger’s subsequent post!

Things I Learned In Therapy

During nearly every session with my therapist, I put my feet on the chair at one point or another. I either sit cross-legged, side sitting, or with one or both knees up to my chest. The first several times I did this, I’d put my feet down once I noticed I was doing it and apologize. Each time I did so, my therapist would respond by telling me it was okay.

I always loved that.

Today I came into session in a very light and jovial manner. I asked her if I could show her some photos. She said of course, so I pulled out my phone and knelt down in front of her (something I have never done before because I usually just hand her the phone) to show her some Halloween photos of my sister’s children and a funny picture of my classmate and I taken earlier in the week…

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