keep it r e a l. be in love with your life. every minute of it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

My life with borderline.

 A few months ago, back in February I attempted suicide. Yes this may or may not come as a shock to most. I was very sick of always feeling alone and feeling like I would never be good enough. My feelings were always so confusing. One minute I can be on top of the world, the next I am anxious, the next I am depressed. My emotions are unpredictable and I am on a constant roller coaster. I can’t control how my emotions change. I still find it very difficult to tolerate my emotions. I could go from loving some one so much to hating them in an instant. I have always only ever been able to see things in black and white. I always feel every single emotion known to mankind all at once, multiplied by a million. I have struggled with self-harm and eating disorders, mainly anorexia, and many other issues in my life. That night in the hospital doctors told me that I had depression, which I had already assumed. So they started me on anti-depressants to help regulate my emotions. About a month into it I still did not feel like anything was helping. I was still upset all the time, and always so emotional (which I am sure also had to do with the fact that I am a girl). So my mother and roommate talked after her psychology class one day about a mental illness she had recently learned about. After doing an extensive amount of research, my mom called and made an appointment with a psychiatrist. The day of my appointment came and I went. We talked about how I feel and things that have happened to me. Near the end of my appointment he told me that I had what is called Borderline Personality Disorder, or Emotionally Unstable Disorder and also a few other things. When I tell people that I have BPD, they assume I mean Bipolar Disorder. I actually mean a disorder that affects 1-2% of the population: Borderline Personality Disorder. I find that people tend to not know the first thing about it. It’s also VERY difficult to explain, so I thought I’d write this blog post to help with BPD awareness. So I will start off with a description and some facts, then tell you more about my story and things I feel. 

Background Information about Borderline Personality Disorder:
BPD is listed in the DSM as a newly recognized personality disorder.
·Roller coaster of emotions (ex. Feeling happy and confident one day and desperate and despairing another).
Note: Key emotions associated with the disorder are a sense of emptiness and intense anger or rage
· Problems with forming and maintaining relationships
· Having an unstable identity (That is, the way you see and feel about yourself depends on who are with, and their view of you)
· Engaging in impulsive and risky behaviors without considering the consequences
· Desperately fearing rejection or abandonment
· Occasionally experiencing hallucinations or delusions.
Individuals diagnosed with BPD also tend to have other mental health concerns, like anxiety, depression, fears and phobias, eating disorders and substance abuse. They also go from one unstable and intense relationship to an equally unhealthy relationship.
· 2% of the general population
· 10% of all mental health outpatients
· 20% of psychiatric inpatients
· 75% of those diagnosed are women
· 75% have reported physical or sexual abuse
· 30 – 60% of those presenting with a personality disorder have BPD.
Among them 25.8% sexual abuse, 36.4% physical abuses, 43.7% emotional abuses, 9.3% physical negligence and 43.0% witnesses of violence.
· Engaging in self-harm or substance abuse
In romantic relationships and close friendships, they are clingy, insecure and have low self-worth (which often leads to feelings of jealousy). Although they seek for closeness and intimacy their sense of neediness can make this hard to sustain.
In other social relationships, they continually battle with low self-esteem, expect to be judged, and don’t feel like they belong. Thus, they expect these relationships to disappoint and fail.
It is unclear what causes borderline personality disorder. It is believed to be due to a combination of factors, including: innate temperament, difficult early life experiences (such as a major house move, the loss of a parent through death or divorce, childhood neglect, or some kind of abuse), and experiencing ongoing or significant stress. However, this is not the case with all who have BPD.
In terms of treatment and support, the main thing to target is the person’s need for love, unconditional acceptance and a chance to be heard. Often, talking therapy is very useful, as well access to a person when they’re feeling overwhelmed. (That is, having access to some kind of crisis counseling). Usually, medication is only prescribed to treat related symptoms like anxiety.

Borderline Personality Disorder Facts and Statistics
Prevalence: BPD has a higher incidence of occurrence than schizophrenia or bipolar disorder,
- BPD is a debilitating biological disorder.
- 69% to 75% exhibit self-destructive behaviors such as self-mutilation, chemical dependency, eating disorders and suicide attempts.
- 8 - 10% die by suicide usually due to lack of impulse control over depression. Which is the highest percentage of successful suicide rates of all mental illnesses, because of the history of self-destructive behaviors and suicide attempts.
- 50% experience Clinical Depression
- Approximately 25% of those with BPD also meet the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Of Dual Diagnosed People, 50-67% have BPD.
- BPD has received very little attention and funding by our nation’s health care system.
- Most clinicians are under-educated about BPD and appropriate treatment. So people continue to suffer.
- Cause of BPD is unclear but it appears to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. More research is needed.
- Severe headaches and migraine appear to be more prevalent in patients with BPD than the general population.
- BPD is highly stigmatized in the world.
- Many clinicians refuse to treat BPD.
- BPD is virtually unknown to the public.
- Studies show inadequate regulation of serotonin, dopamine, and other neurotransmitters in those with BPD.
- Discontinuation of medications are high at 50%.
- On the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), BPD patients do not show a common profile. Personality traits appear to be a combination of histrionic, narcissistic, and antisocial personality.
- BPD (borderline personality disorder) can be extremely hard on families. - Families need support.
- Decreased glucose uptake in medial orbital frontal cortex may be associated with diminished regulation of impulsive behavior in BPD.
- Comorbid conditions in BPD may also affect the ability to act responsibly.
- Patients with borderline personality disorder remembered more difficulties with separation between ages 6 and 17 years, more mood reactivity and poorer frustration tolerance between ages 6 and 17, and the onset of more symptoms (most prominently sadness, depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts) before age 18 than did patients with other personality disorders.
- These results indicate that many of the features of adult patients with borderline personality disorder may initially appear during childhood and adolescence and that these features may be used to differentiate borderline from other personality disorders
- Traumatic events were reported by 70.7% of the borderline subjects. (For 30%, the cause is different)
- Patients reported significantly higher rates of psychiatric disorders in their families in general, especially anxiety disorders, depression, and suicidal thoughts.

What Having Borderline Personality Disorder Means To Me:
Imagine you’re on a never-ending roller coaster, with no possible way of getting off of it. That’s how our emotions are, always up and down. Things are always black and white, hardly ever in between. You can go from loving you, to hating you in a short time period. It is scary; because you never know how you’re going to feel when you wake up, and you always seem to push those close to you away. I feel very badly for my family because they have to deal with it every day. At times I would lash out, and it was only because I did not how to regulate my emotions and feelings. Good thing they have been patient enough to put up with me for 18 years (and even more to come). It does not affect only me; it affects every single person involved in my life. I am very sorry for that, but there is nothing more I can do about it. I am seeing a therapist and I am getting help, but it will be a very long journey, for the rest of my life. For me Borderline Personality Disorder has made me terrified of abandonment. As much as I hate to say this, one of the worst things about having BPD is the constant fear of abandonment that we have. This is one of the biggest reasons why our relationships are so rocky; we always feel as if we’re going to be abandoned, so we make ourselves out to look like the victim. It’s harsh, but it’s the cold truth. Often we feel that if we destroy the relationship first by pushing boundaries, we are the ones abandoning them, which somehow seems more satisfying in a weird, twisted way. I know that in my past relationships, I pushed everyone away. I tried to close off my feelings because no matter what, I always felt as if they’d be used against me. Other things that I feel include being more sensitive than other people. My emotions are so intense at times that I feel consumed by them. It’s like drowning, or being strangled by feelings. As the feelings become more intolerable, you end up choking on them. When you are this distressed you are desperate for it all to stop, to be able to think clearly again, to do anything to end the pain. My BPD means I am unable to tolerate negative emotions in a healthy way. Without DBT (Dialectic Behavioral Therapy), I would be finding other ways of coping that are not very good, like in the past restricting, purging, and self-harm. DBT is a long process of which I am still in the early stages of. Sometimes, DBT doesn’t always work. Like right now – the emotions are so intense it physically hurts. Distress tolerance is DBT’s way of teaching me how to cope with those negative emotions I struggle to tolerate and it is not a quick fix. I’m not going to lie; sometimes it hurts that there is no quick fix. Sometimes I don’t want to tolerate the pain because I’ve tried to tolerate it long enough and I want it to go away. Sometimes it hurts so much that acceptance feels impossible because I just can’t accept that it’s all right to have these thoughts and urges.  Determined to get rid of my pain, and then I am then told that I can’t fight or get rid of the pain and have to accept how I feel, it’s made me feel hopeless. I can accept the thoughts and urges sometimes – mostly when they are not that intense or intrusive. That gives me the opportunity to practice it, so I guess I have made progress there, no matter how small. Right now, accepting the thoughts and urges when I can barely function because of them is hard. There’s a constant battle going on in my head right now: one side is telling me to just accept it, because they are thoughts and urges and it’s okay to feel them, but I don’t have to act on them. The other side is screaming at me to just get rid of the pain, but I am tolerating it a little bit more. At times it is just much easier to just give in. I just want a break from my head. I can’t name the emotion I’m feeling, because I don’t know what it is. It is unbearable and it hurts.  I am consumed by emotional pain so extreme that I just stop functioning. To say it’s living hell is an understatement. This is the reality. This is what it is like to live with borderline personality disorder: unpredictable. One day you can be coping really quite well with it, then the next, you struggle to cope. We hear people say “happiness is a choice” so often. Although, they are just trying to help, it’s important to understand that for us, no, it is not. Just like mental illness isn’t a choice. You don’t choose to be depressed, you don’t choose to have BPD, and you don’t choose to have anxiety.  You don’t choose to have a mental illness. Happiness is not a choice for people with mental illness. However, being positive is a choice. I know it’s tough, I know the battle is exhausting, but you don’t have to feed the “demons” in your head. You’re stronger than that. You can try, you can fight it, and you can go against it. These are the people I look up to and empathize with, the ones that constantly fight, and yet still struggle at times. I understand it can be hard not to give in, believe me, as someone with BPD, a survivor of suicide attempts and a couple years of self-harm. Constantly being negative will not help. It only helps me with being able to empathize or feel badly for myself, because I have fought my whole life. We can do this. Be patient with yourself. This is where we are going to start to learn to love ourselves. And we are going to go slow and look for our beautiful qualities we all have inside us. We are going to learn ourselves. Know ourselves, enjoy spending time with ourselves and find the things that make us laugh, and be lame, and silly, and fun. We are going to learn to love and accept our flaws and our strengths. We are going to be fine with the quiet and be with the noise. We are going to learn how to talk to people and what when they talk back. We are going to learn to make eye contact and if only for a sec. And we have no limit, no time frame, and no pressure. We are going to go at our own pace and we are going to be supported. We are going to learn what it’s like to live. It all may seem like a bad and negative thing, and I am not going to lie, it feels like that to me all the time. There is so much progression and lessons to learn from this.  Although, I may feel like it is not fair that I have to deal with all of this, I do know that I am not the only one out there with BPD, or any other mental illness. It is a very common thing that many people struggle with. That is why I feel it is important to be aware of what is out there, so we can help each other overcome these extremely hard trials. Recently I have been so blessed with some of the greatest friends of my life. I do understand that I am not fun to deal with at times, or even a good friend. So I appreciate all those who have stayed in my life no matter how I have acted or treated them. All throughout high school I never felt good enough for any one. I never had a steady group of friends all the time. It was always changing because people did not know how to deal with my “drama”. Turns out it wasn’t just drama, (YES I understand teenagers in high school, there is drama, I was dramatic) it was borderline. So before assuming an individual is sad because they want the attention or are choosing to be that way, think again and ask what you can do to help. Take action and make this world a more accepting place to live. I do understand that talking about my disorder will seem very weird to most. This culture makes it seem taboo. I am not writing this for sympathy or attention. To be honest that is the last thing I want. I am just writing to help people to be more aware of what is out there. I became an expert at putting on a mask for others so no one could “judge” me for my issues. Smiling at people although inside I wanted to scream. No one would have ever known, even now. I didn’t have to post this, in some ways it may have been easier not to. To continue living my “normal” (fake) life that was acceptable to all. To most I am just a normal 18-year-old girl living the college dream at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. That is why it surprised many to know what I have been struggling with for a few years. I have chosen to take the rough climb to the top. I am getting better every day, and will continue to get better. I am very excited to see what my future holds, and to see where I go in life. Mental illness is real, and tons of people struggle with it. Be patient with one another, and love each other.

If you are interested here is something I have compiled through out the past couple months. Just a warning, it is very dark in lots of ways, and may be hard to read, but these are things I write when I am having really bad episodes. These are the exact feelings and thoughts that go through my head on a day-to-day basis. Writing is one way that I can release my emotions in a healthier way than not eating and cutting. I have also found out that painting, and drawing really help me cope with my emotions. Through all of this I have found out that I am a fairly artistic person, so there are very many good things that come from what seem to be negative things. 

Some of my art pieces, not the best, but I enjoy painting.

Not all scars show. Not all wounds heal. Not all illness can be seen. Not all pain is obvious. It is so hard to keep a secret when it is written all over your body. Then I just feel like I project all my negativity onto others. I fear that I will never find someone that really will love me. I already know that I am a really bad friend and I can only imagine what it could be like for a man. I have slowly learned to numb myself to the thought of being alone, although, my worst fear is being alone for the rest of my life. I never know who will end up staying in my life so it is just much easier to push people away. I just wish people understood how much pain I am constantly in. I hurt so much and all I can do is hold it in and pretend that everything is okay or will be okay. It is not okay though, I hate myself I seriously hate myself with a passion. Not matter how many meals I skip I will never be small enough. My face will never be pretty enough, nor will it ever be flawless. No one will ever love me. Every single guy I am interested in will never even look twice. What is wrong with me? Will I ever be pretty enough, cool enough, fun enough, quiet enough, sweet enough, tall enough, skinny enough, talented enough? No, I wont because that is not how I was born. I was born crazy and no guy or person will ever accept me for that.  I scare people, and my own self. On the contrary, I feel like I have so much to offer to people, if only they gave me a chance and loved me for who I am. I hate to say it, but I would not want to be with me. I am very difficult and confusing. I am just a two-week project for most, just to let them feel better about themselves because they “helped” a person “in need”. It would be so much easier for a guy to date the prettier girl that does not even have one one-hundredth of the baggage as me, even though it adds character. No one see that. Goodness, I know that I am weird; yes I cut myself and like it, I cut myself so much that I am covered in scars. I cut so much that my skin is covered and dripping with red-dark red blood. I don’t eat, and I enjoy that. If I could just jump out of a building window or fall off a cliff, I would be much better off and so would every one else. All I do is ruin everything, especially every good thing that ever happens to me. I am just poison to all. No matter how many people I surround myself with I still feel painfully alone. I do not understand myself. I just want to try to explain to people what and how I feel but not matter how hard I try I just can’t. No one takes me seriously. I am living in hell. I hate feeling like I don’t try because I don’t know how, feeling like I will blow up at you because I don’t know how to COPE. I’ve tried everything: blades, restricting, therapy, “just wait it out, it’ll get better!” Statistically, I have an unknown chance of “recovering”, a 10% chance of dying, and a 99% of living like this… for the rest of my life.


  1. This took so much courage to bare your heart to the world, pull back all your barriers and show us the naked truth of McKenna Rapier.
    This will help all your present & future relationships. They will know your battling a demon illness on the inside and hopefully learn to be more compassionate.
    Your also helping others to possibly learn what they may be dealing with in their own selves. Your helping to make it easier for others to talk about mental illness.
    I love you girly & although it saddens me that you have this to balance and learn how to live with; I am so proud of you for speaking out and educating yourself. I'm so glad you are choosing to learn about ALL of you and how you can become a better you!
    Stay strong McKenna and on the days you feel your up against a wall and you have no way out, use the tools your discovering that will help you through the dark. I am so proud of you.
    Be your best McKenna you can be for the day & be satisfied with your best for that day.
    Love ya,
    Laura Collette

    1. Thank you Laura, that means a lot to me! I am so happy that I know you and your family! You are incredible, and I appreciate all of your support.

  2. This post is ~SwAgGie~ (sorry, I had to... hehehe) Love you tons. This made me extremely emotional.

  3. You touch more people than you know sweetheart. This broke my heart and made me that much more proud at you all at the same time. I still remember watching you graduate and just as I did then, I have so much hope for you! My sister and you are very similar, her flash forward a few years. She still struggles but is engaged. He struggles too but they are making it! I may not have known this side of you but there ARE sides you cannot hide, including your inner beauty. You already show so much potential just with your self awareness and one step forward. I know you have many more but trust me, you're already further than you seem to know. I only come from the "other"side of mental illness but can say I know a few MUCH older than you who aren't nearly as progressed. Keep up the good work, you are an inspiration!

  4. Your blog has made a miraculous difference in our lives as we also have someone in our family who has BPD. We were recommended a book about it from a counselor and sent on our way. We hadn't heard anything about it before or since and didn't even know it was even real or if anyone else suffered with this. It has been 12 years since then and this is the first we have ever heard about it from anyone else. Just knowing it is real and gaining such insight from you has truly been a miracle we have been praying about! Thank you for flowing the Spirit to publicize your trial with BPD. We jusy wanted you to know what you have done for us. We love you and will forever be grateful to you!! It has changed our perspective, our hearts, and out lives!

  5. Made me cry. Mckenna you were so good about hiding it. You make such a positive difference in so many people's lives, more than you'll ever know. I know because you have in mine. Seeing how you cope with it all and understand it all is miraculous to me. Thank you for sharing. I love you always. :)


  6. my dear sweet girl!!

    I want to start off by saying THANK YOU!! you are so much braver than you give yourself credit for. Also, I too am in the discover phase and I might now have a diagnosis to my condition. I saw your mom's post on facebook then came to your blog. I cried through the entire thing, I laughed a little and smiled, then I shook my head up and down and said to myself... 'I CAN RELATE, I HEAR YOU AND KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH". we have a lot in command for a 18 year old and 42 year old. it's hard to be public because YES we will be judged, as if we weren't already. my writing has helped me deal as well. I use to write poetry too but quit. I find painting, mixed media art and scrapbooking therapeutic. all things to help all the demons in our head. all things to help us to try and not make the bad chooses, the easy way out and to "try" and dull the pain. please know YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!! do we tell a person who has cancer to "just get over it"? no, we find all different ways to help them, treat them so they may survive this life. there is NOT much help out there for us or in the mental field. there is NOT many people who will understand us and maybe never will. that's long as we wake up each day and try is how we deal sometimes. I want to share with you sooo much. I had a very rough week last week and no one understood. I am now going to talk with my doctor because I can say YES, to everything about BPD. if I can promise you one will NEVER be alone!!! it will still take time, energy and effort but your prince will come. I had to wait for mine until I was 36 years old, a divorced mother with 4 children, a child with severe special needs and a total dysfunctional self until he found me. I am not saying it's perfect but HE has accepted every part of me. I am still difficult but together we are finding out how to be a team. how to cope and find things that work to make it easier for me and on us. I am blessed daily with the family and friends I have. the ones who DID NOT leave me. the ones who have suffered through this as well. the ones that no matter me unconditionally. that stuck my side through thick and thin and then some. I am here if you every need anything. please know that not matter what...YOU are worth it! YOU are strong enough! YOU are brave enough! YOU are pretty enough, smart enough, skinny enough, talented enough, funny enough and love enough!!! it's time we become truly ourselves by removing the mask and letting the world truly see us. much love, strength, peace and happiness to you.


    here is a little bit of something I wrote....


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