I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother

December 16, 2012

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Another senseless shooting. This time in Connecticut. The killer- Adam Lanza. While most of the nation has been crying out for gun control, I know the problem goes much deeper than that.

Guns did not kill those teachers and school children. Someone who was profoundly disturbed killed them. Adam Lanza was no different than all the other lone gunmen that have haunted our nation. The time to talk about mental illness is now.

For the last two years, I have been writing about personality disorders/mental illness. So when I heard about this tragic story, I knew mental illness was at the root of it. I know what it’s like when someone you love is frighteningly troubled. Then I stumbled upon an article written by a mother. A mother whose child bears a striking resemblance to Adam Lanza. Her child is now hospitalized. Let’s hope that is where he will stay.

If we have any hope of preventing this alarming trend from repeating itself over and over again, then we MUST address the issue of mental health. If we change the topic of our conversations, our politicians will listen. We must start talking about mental illness or history will repeat itself. Prayers and vigils are not enough.

Oh, the Suffering

December 13, 2012

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I should be tired of the endless cries of indignation, but what better way to illustrate my point about BPD then to post comments written by a disgruntled borderline:

I am shocked to read the bashing comments on BPD sufferers on this site. Just dump the psycho bitch is the common idea it seems. I am a 39 year old woman, and I have been married now for 7 years after many turbulent affairs.

I have been suffering from BPD since my teens, but I only got diagnosed 8 years ago. I disclosed my illness to my husband before we tied the knot. I have been seeing several psychiatrists and I have been taking meds for 8 years now. I have even been hospitalized for several weeks. None of it has really helped.

It is very difficult for someone with BPD to find the right help, as most therapists do not want to or do not know how to treat us. Most therapists won’t even return my call when I mention my diagnosis.

Specialized treatment such as DBT is difficult to obtain, and most insurances will not cover it. So don’t go and say that most people with BPD do not seek help, they do but there is limited access due to the limited amount of therapists who are trained to treat BPD, and the reluctance of insurance companies to cover Dialectal Behavorial Therapy and other forms of specialized treatment for BPD.

And this was my response to her:

So if an alcoholic husband beats his wife, we should feel sorry for him because he suffers from an addiction/disease? Abuse is abuse. Even silent psychological abuse.

All abusive personalities suffer from some disorder. That does not excuse their abusive behavior. Their internal pain and tragic past does not justify the transferring of pain onto others. That is what you fail to understand after years of treatment and therapy.

Read Maria’s post. Notice the difference between your attitude and hers. Notice Maria’s humility and concern for others and then take a good look at your own cries of entitlement. One speaks of selflessness and the other is consumed by selfishness and self-pity.

Believe it or not, I know how difficult it can be for borderlines to seek treatment. Thank you for sharing your story but you are only confirming what we already know. Your comments do not change a thing. Those who love BPs suffer when borderlines can not control their emotions. Nothing makes that ok. Not even BPD.

BPD is a lifelong struggle even after treatment. But taking this into consideration does not make BPD any easier to deal with. There is a good reason why most therapists won’t touch BP patients. Lawsuits and false accusations are costly and can ruin anyone’s reputation.

Borderlines are not the innocent victims you paint them to be. Borderlines can be highly toxic, whether they mean to be or not. They ruin lives.

So do no expect sympathy from those who have been ruined by irresponsible borderlines. If you can’t control your abusive behavior, you should not be in a relationship. You are only passing on your pain. YOU are adding to the stigma of BPD.

My husband and I had 4 great years together, however, the last three were tough and my illness is worsening. Most of the men on this forum would advise him to run I suppose. However, would you say the same thing to my husband who vowed to stay true in sickness and health if I had a physical illness? No, that would be considered reprehensible and cowardly.

Why is it reprehensible and cowardly to tell your husband to protect his own well-being? Marriage vows do not obligate one to accept abusive behavior. Suggesting that it does, is highly manipulative. It smells like someone trying to enable their own abusive tendencies. Another reason why therapists won’t touch you.

Here’s more examples of your manipulative ways:

Sometimes I wish my illness was physical and visible; missing a leg, having cancer, battling diabetes. At least I would get some damn compassion from society instead of being stigmatized as a mental patient. Mental illness is taboo as it is, and BPD is one of the most devastating and stigmatizing diagnosis someone can get.

Cancer does not cause people to abuse and betray their loved ones. Missing a leg does not cause one to fly off the deep end. You are comparing apples and oranges. BPD is stigmatized by borderlines who abuse the trust and compassion that is given to them by caring individuals. BPs like yourself screw themselves over.

It is because your illness is not visible that makes it hard for others to protect themselves against toxic borderlines. Your invisibility allows you to move from one victim to another. This last comment is proof that borderlines go to great lengths to maintain invisibility. What is needed is more transparency. Not secrecy. Not censorship at the hands of violent vegetarians.

I had plenty of compassion for my borderline exes. But that compassion was erased when they turned on me. Because of raging borderlines like yourself, there is less compassion in the world. BPD is stigmatized because of your collective behavior. It is not the diagnosis that is devastating. It is the way you behave that is devastating.

Please understand this is an real illness, and that none of your “(ex)” girlfriends” intentionally try to torment you, even if it may feel this way. Instead of bashing them, try to understand them and show some compassion by reading a book like walking on egg shells. You have no idea how we suffer.

75% of people with BPD attempt suicide to end the pain, 10% of us succeed at this. In addition, I believe that BPD is unfairly labeled “a woman’s disease”, and I think it is under diagnosed in men. For example; it took very long for me to get diagnosed, because I am not a cutter. I have a male friend who got recently diagnosed and he is a cutter. So please, read more, judge less.

Whether they intentionally tried to torment me is moot. The only thing that matters is they did torment me. This is not a matter of gender (although 2/3 of BPs are women). It is a matter of abuse. I’ve read plenty. And everything I’ve read has confirmed what I have personally experienced.

Act like an asshole and people will judge you. Know that. Internalize that. If you don’t want to be judged don’t act like an asshole. Don’t act like a violent vegetarian. If you can’t control your assholish tendencies, then don’t expect compassion. That expectation makes you more of an asshole.

If you want more compassion, maybe you should show more compassion for the partners of borderlines. This is where the de-stigmatization process starts.

The Violent Vegetarian

December 5, 2012

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Meet Jenny, the self-proclaimed “Violent Vegetarian”. It is a well-chosen name for a borderline on the rampage. My BPD-ex was also a vegetarian. It was all part of her “alternative lifestyle” which also included being an angry feminist and a part-time lesbian.

You might be asking what the connection is between BPD and vegetarianism. The answer is simple- When you are as sensitive as a BP, you see victimization everywhere. Oh… Didn’t you know that eating meat was a form of victimization? Listen to Jenny the Violent Vegetarian and you might be convinced.

Anyhoo, this is what she had to say about an article I posted a while back called Can a Borderline Sustain a Relationship? :

I would not be at all surprised if at least some of those suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder who have read this article will, or already have, committed suicide. You act as though it is easy to resolve, and as though a person with active BPD is unlovable. That is NOT true. You obviously don’t care about people. If you did, you would know some people such as myself only want to be able to be loved by someone else for once in their miserable lives. I HAVE loved others before, I guarantee you, and you cannot lie to me and say I have NOT loved others before, selflessly, and without putting demands on them. & always apologizing if I’ve hurt their feelings, as any other person would do.

Also, actually getting treatment without being treated with a huge stigma, in a condescending manner by health professionals can be VERY difficult for someone with BPD. I’m “crazy”, not stupid, and if I am treated even worse by health professionals than most people on the street, why should I get treatment? Do you really care about me getting better, if you want me to go through more misery & treatment that has never helped me, years of expensive therapy (treatment isn’t free. You seem to neglect this fact entirely), in some vain attempt to be lovable one day? Your article does make it all sound hopeless, and makes a Borderline sound totally unlovable which is absolutely untrue.

Stop trying to make other people not love those with Borderline Personality. Just stop, because you have no idea what it is like to be told you can never have love, and you are unlovable with a poor prognosis or without full remission. Many people with even worse mental illness and physical disabilities are allowed love and can have a relationship. I thank the universe that not everyone has seen your article or I would probably kill myself now. No offense, but shut up and leave BPD people alone. You treat us as though we put a gun to our heads. We DIDN’T. Leave us alone. We deserve love too. If you don’t believe that, you are a callous, despicable excuse for a human being.

No reply is necessary. I’m sure it would be mean, accusatory, condescending and bleak.

As you can see, Jenny is very melodramatic. Notice the difference between Jenny (lack of treatment) and Maria (years of treatment). The difference is night and day. You tell me if treatment works.

First, let me apologize to the Violent Vegetarian for the burger I will eat after I post this. It does not mean I am callous or despicable. I’m just hungry and burgers are really tasty. Now that I’ve got that off my chest, let us address the accusation that I am killing borderlines with my articles.

Let’s get this straight, I write articles to spread the truth about this horrible disorder. I don’t write them to trigger suicidal tendencies. BPs, who threaten to commit suicide, do so because they are emotionally unstable and seek attention/sympathy. Normal/healthy people don’t read articles and then go slit their wrists. If that is your tendency, then you might want to hospitalize yourself. You are a danger to yourself.

Do not expect people to tread carefully around your delicate sensibilities. Do not expect them to avoid speaking the truth about this horrible disorder for fear that millions of BPs will jump off the closest bridge. Telling the truth is not the problem. It’s the solution.

What Jenny has demonstrated is how far BPs will go to hide the truth (pain) and shift the blame onto you. They will accuse you of lies. They will accuse you of being condescending. They will accuse you of being accusatory. They will even accuse you of being bleak as they threaten to kill themselves. Are you noticing a pattern of projection here?

Maybe the reason why treatment hasn’t worked for Jenny is not because her doctors are difficult. Maybe it’s because Jenny is difficult. No, that couldn’t possibly be the reason.

You can not win with the likes of Jenny. In fact, you will most likely lose. She is always the victim, never the abuser. You are the big meanie and she is pure as the driven snow.

Jenny has every right to refuse treatment and stay in the active throes of BPD. Just like you have the right to NOT love a woman that treats you badly. That does not make you a callous human being. That makes you a self-respecting human being- one who cares about his/her own well-being.

It’s easy for an angry vegetarian to love animals because animals won’t abandon you. There’s no threat. That is why she is able to feel their pain. Things change dramatically once the threat of abandonment introduces itself. I have no doubt that Jenny feels excruciating pain when she hurts someone. But what you may not know is that she has a safety measure to minimize that pain. That safety measure includes detachment and devaluation/demonization.

Borderlines hit and run. When they realize they have hurt you, it hurts too much to accept blame. So instead, they cut and run. By labeling you cold and callous, she now has justification for hurting you. See how that works? Can a borderline love? I believe the real question is- What is the extent of a borderline’s love?

A borderline like Jenny will dip her toes in the pool of intimacy because she wants to fool herself into believing she is capable of doing so. But she will stay in the shallow end while you drown in the deep end. As you are struggling to stay afloat, she has already jumped out and dried herself off. She has already found another kiddie pool to jump into, a pool that is more shallow and less threatening.

Co-dependency should never be confused with love. But melodramatic borderlines like Jenny do it all the time. When you are the product of arrested development, you have a very immature concept of love. Your sense of entitlement is much stronger than your love.

So… Can Jenny love? Perhaps. Does she deserve to be loved? Debatable. More importantly, is she mature enough to give you the love you deserve? Well, I’ll let you be the judge of that. But if the likes of Jenny were capable of love, don’t you think she would be more concerned about your well-being?