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what’s your book cover

I’ve been having book covers and titles coming to me. What, if anything, I ever end up doing with them, it seems like part of my therapy to express them. What is your book cover?


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what my child needed

the other thing that has been triggered is fear.

fear of repeating any part of my previous life. how safe am i? have i learned enough not to repeat? do I trust in life and my higher power not to repeat?

presenting myself professionally brings up the fear of being misunderstood, of my authentic self being unseen, denied, ignored, shunned, shamed, isolated. having to live with a secret, the secret of me.

my therapist asked me to write on three questions:

1. What did my inner child need way back when, instead of being driven and holding up the lie of success, confidence, connectedness, stability, giftedness and well-being?

2. what is the conclusion about myself that I am acting out when I freeze in social situations?

3. Where in my life have I experienced support for my authentic self?

so, last night, I wrote on the first question:


step four: the tea leaf reading

(my post step four introduction is the context for this series of posts.)

December 29, 2010 reading:

  • Art is stress reliever. more art in 6 months
  • overwhelming joy in 6 months. everything you touch = joy.
  • October: more settled. money available.
  • Inner strength in jeopardy. don’t tip the scale.
  • Strife in dorm. inner not working. conflict of belief and values.


JOY: Joy is my activism now, in this new life. my favourite story is a true story about a lake that was dying, and a community that decided to perform an experiment. they hired a group of monks to sit by the lake and meditate for a period of several weeks. by the end of the weeks, the algae growth in the lake had reversed, and the lake’s natural folliage and wildlife had begun to regenerate.

I see people responding to the challenges of our day by going faster, doing more. I see people burning themselves out, running themselves ragged by joining committees, writing letters, etc. and from the perspective of my life, this is the opposite of what is effective. the solution is counter-intuitive. the solution is a massive movement of slowing down. Taking the time to make food for ourselves, each other; taking the time to connect with one another, taking the time for connection, spirituality, balance, self-care and well-being.

when we feel joy, we attract more of it in our lives and create more of it in the world.

what the world needs is not more action, more busy-ness, more productivity; what the world needs is to slow down and feel more joy, deepen connections and make more time for the things that are most important in life. make food, walk places, ride bikes instead of drive cars, know each other and ourselves. know joy.

my whole life is about this. i feel and generate joy by sitting in circle with other human beings, sharing our stories, making music, making food, celebrating, dancing, listening, and helping each other to heal.

CONFLICT OF VALUES IN DORM: In the middle of all my notes on projects and actions to create change is this page:

I have never viewed myself as, or aspired to be, a leader. I’m not sure how it’s sitting with me. I’m driven to make things happen, but the authority and social role that come with doing that are a foreign concept that challenges me in many core ways. This makes me gun-shy. I am assessing / re-defining my role in making things happen, to find the one that suits my introverted personality.

I am in an ebb. I’ve had a great out-flow of energy. There is a lot of learning to digest and a big change in direction. Ebb is gathering information, synergizing, lots of internal processes — things moving, new waves in motion. I cannot rush the process. I can feel things building, and I am being inspired, but I cannot force them. The award is not congruent with this; it is adversely affecting my process. I do not like the pressure.

mom and i getting a tea leaf reading over christmas break 2010


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tami green

I first watched Tami Green’s videos on YouTube several months ago, but recently found this video of her congressional briefing on Borderline Personality

Disorder. I found it when I mentioned Tami in my recent post ‘mending attunement, standing fully in my place‘ and realized that although these talks are some of the best, most accurate information I have found on BPD, I had not posted any links to them here on my blog — ! So, to get you started, here’s Tami in her courageous early days of recovery. Thanks, Tami. Underground.

LINK: Tami Green Congressional Briefing


the fear

unknown image

unknown image

the fear that no one will ever know me as i really am.

i am too subtle, too complicated for anyone to ever figure out.

i fall off the planet at this thought, feeling condemned to isolation and hopelessness.

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where is the heart of my matter

'Heart to Heart' by Suzanne Burgos

'Heart to Heart' by Suzanne Burgos

I sometimes forget too easily who is there in my heart.

i would occupy it myself, but it is illusive.

i cannot seem to find it.

cannot seem to remember.


inwards vs. outwards: no one is better, no one suffers more

I came across a bdp discussion forum last night discussing the notion of the Quiet (or Inwards) Borderline. A post there expressed disagreement with bdp subtypes, and criticism of the notion that Quiet Borderlines either a) Suffer more than “outwards” and / or b) Are somehow less ill or easier to deal with.

painting by tammera

painting by tammera

Some of my writings here on this blog might inspire similar reactions, as if I am demonizing outward bdp and making saints of inwards.

I don’t think it’s useful in any contemplations of bdp to compare levels of suffering — that is completely subjective, and impossible to ever really know or compare.

I think there are indeed many outcomes of the underlying patterns that define bdp, but those underlying patterns are the same in all of us, and we all suffer greatly with them.

Some of us turn our suffering inwards. In my case, it can be impossible for those around me to know what is going on for me until I become desperate enough to let it show; and in my case, I must decide to do so. Consequently, I often feel like I am a fraud, “dramatizing” my feelings in order to receive support that maybe i don’t deserve. Am I over-dramatizing or minimizing my experiences? It is a different reality in every day, or every moment at times. I feel the chronic aloneness, emptiness, self-doubt and fear of abandonment of any borderline; and my sense of confidence, status, personality and role in the world are as unstable. I am inconsistent in mood, energy and personality; which is often devastating to my relationships, and perpetuates my aloneness, self-doubt and abandonment fears in an endless cycle.

In my experience of being an inwards borderline, no one would say that I am a difficult person. I think what some might think (though they would never say it) is that they do sense something a little unsure or unstable, something i am hiding from them, and they therefore do not deem me trustworthy, and are not very comfortable around me. There is a sense of caution, like there is something dark and scary beneath the surface that is scarily subtle and ominous enough as to make people quietly and sneakily distance themselves from me. No one would think that I am mentally ill and may just require a little extra patience, support and encouragement; they just think i’m a little “off” and aren’t really drawn to get to know me too well. Some of my friends are probably saying this is a load of crap, but my recovery depends on my own ability to validate this experience I have, intentionally let it show and receive the treatment that I need around it. I have to choose and work at living more honestly in the world to escape the endless isolation that swallows me whole. It is the degree of this, the intensity to which i feel it, and my ability to hide it that qualify this a dangerous, precarious and pathological reality. The hardship of this outcome of bdp, and the common misconception on the parts of friends and mental health professionals, is the assumption that because I can control what I show, I cannot truly need treatment. This leads me to thinking that I am a fraud, until I read about others this way, and the term “quiet borderline.”

compassion painting

the heart of the matter of living

While the quiet borderline (in my experience) experiences subtle social isolation, invalidation and abandonment by the mental health profession for not being “ill” enough; the outward borderline, it seems to me, experiences overt social isolation and abandonment by the mental health profession for being “too ill to treat.”

Both borderline outcomes end up feeling the same thing–isolation, hopelessness and unworthiness. Both suffer. Both require and deserve radical acceptance, compassion and support. One is not “better” than the other; and one is not more treatable than the other.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for listening. Please comment!

Love, HJ