Exerpts From Anne
Sat, 13 Apr 1996
I ought to work but the micronet is down and I'm bored,
so bored, with my book. So, I suppose I have never
written a proper introduction about myself and this
is a good moment to dot it.
I was born 41 years ago as the eldest daughter of my
parents. I got two sisters and a brother. I think I
had a happy childhood, although I probably was quite
ambitious and always needed to be the best. And I was
good in almost everything and without trying so much.
In school I was the best in my class. Teacher gave me
new math books because I already knew how to
count. The same with reading, writing, sports, drawing
(music... eh, well, I played piano but I was a very bad
singer at that time).
Very early I learned that I don't have to do anything
to be best. Of course that did not last. Later, I was
quite lazy but I managed to get through the school only
by trying to read something before the final examine.
After that I did not know what to do. I was somehow good
in everything but not good enough in anything. I was
interested in everything but I was not ambitious any more.
I tried to get to the technical high school to study
architecture (probably only because my father is an
architect) but I failed in drawing (I did well in math's
and other tests). Then I spent one year working in a
marketing office. Next summer I got a job on an archaeological
excavation and it took me totally. I got into the university,
studied very fast, worked on excavations, graduated, got
jobs as an excavation leader and grants and own projects,
and I made many ambitious plans. I also became more and more
involved in the computer techniques which I introduced to
the National Board of Antiquities where I was working at
that time. I was appreciated.
Five years ago I got this job in the University of Helsinki;
I teach, I try to make research and I'm responsible for
computer systems and computer teaching at our Dept. I liked
this work because I can create new ideas and I can begin
with almost anything I want to. And I sure did that. In a
couple of years I had so many unfinished articles and projects
that I realized that this can't go on. I just did not know
what to do to stop it any more. I had begun with my Ph.D. in
1983 and I had collected an enormous material, but I did not
have time to finish it. I can only work with it 1-2 months
/year, and that seems to be enough to find out what I have
done before. I got so stressed. Burn-out was on its way
I had been in love when I was 17. The boy left me and I
suppose I never really recovered from that. Later, I knew
that I was missing someone to love, but I spent all the
energy I had to my work. Five years ago I met a man, who
was perfect to me. He was a MD and researcher, nice company,
intelligent and we had very many interests in common. He
was 13 years older than me but I did not consider that as
a problem. The problem was that he was in love with a
married woman he was working with, and had been for years.
I think he was only waiting for her to divorce (she had
problems with her husband). During those three years when
we had some kind of relationship, he abandoned me three
times but took back and ignored me hundreds of times. We
had some wonderful times, too, sailing, diving,
walking, skiing and just sitting and talking. He brought
me presents from different countries and sometimes he was
really kind to me. I just never had the possibility to
trust him. I had to be scared all the time.
Then the woman divorced and he left me. I did know what
had happened. He just did not want to have contact with
me any more. After two months he told me. It was autumn
1994. I had already during those years lost my ability
to concentrate on my work, but this destroyed what was
left of it. I begun to feel that now I'm not good even
in my work any more. I got panic attacks, I had enormous
problems when I had to give lectures or speak in
front of the public. I did not eat, and I cried a lot.
Shortly before Christmas I went to see a doctor, who sent
me to meet a psychiatrist. I got fluoxetine. Then, in
Jan 1995 after some drinking, I aimed to kill myself with
a knife. I was with my sister and she got very shocked.
She had to leave (we were in my place) but she called my
brother who came in with the house guard because I did not
open the door.
After speaking with him 1-2 hours I decided I have to go
to the hospital. I called my ex-boyfriend who helped us
in finding out where to go. He also phoned to the hospital
to make sure they will take me seriously.
I was in the hospital 2-3 months. During that time I
tried to kill myself with a knife, with plastic bags, with
pieces of glass and finally with pills. My grandmother
died, my uncle died, a good friend of mine died and a
patient there, a young girl who had become quite close
to me, made suicide. That was really an awful time. Every
day I wondered if life could get worse, and it always did.
I also had big problems in accepting that I was in a mental
hospital and that I had left my department and colleagues
in trouble. I had failed in everything.
I got out with diagnosis Major Depression and BPD shortly
before our annual Field Course, but I decided to go
there anyway and it was OK. After that I had July and
August to work with my Ph.D., but I had to go to the
hospital again, this time only to avoid things getting
worse. That was only two weeks. Later, in Oct, I became
so depressed again that I could not think about anything
else than suicide. Back to the hospital, new medicines,
ECT, nothing helped. When I got out in the beginning of
last Dec I was not feeling better but I could not afford
any more hospitalization. I was financially ruined because
of all the hospital bills and lower salary during the
periods when I was sick. But life become better anyway and
I managed to avoid OD until recently.
I have also had a therapist since April last year, supported
by the Health Office. During the summer we had a two months
break because of my work and the therapists holiday. I
never felt that the therapy gave me anything.
I was only angry after each session because I felt I had
wasted my time again. Perhaps it was only because of my
own resistance. Some months ago I thought that I _can_ make
the therapy better if I try, and I was as open as I could,
but that did not help. I understand that I need someone to
talk to, but that seems not to be a good reason for me to
use that much time. So, I've decided not to try to get
support for one more year. I will meet the therapist next
Monday to discuss where we came to, but that's it.
So, when I was diagnosed as BPD I begun to read very much
about these things, and I was very interested, too. I tried
to find out what in my life was or is BPD behavior. Sometimes
I think I'm not BP at all, because there are so many things
that do not fit. But there also are many things which
I must admit, and one reason why I almost believe in diagnosis
is that I understand so well the feelings people write about
this list. Anyway, my own diagnosis is PTSD.
Now I have a new boyfriend and I'm overwhelmed. I feel very
good when I'm with him, even though I sometimes get
shocking memories about my ex. I don't want to tell him
because he may think it's his fault, so I have to
avoid showing them. He calls me and me meet every day, but
I don't even know his phone number and I don't very much
else about him. I don't want to. I'm not sure if I would
care if he left me. I don't miss him and I hardly never
think about him. I feel very independent because I don't
have to worry about getting abandoned. I don't know if I
can ever really love him, but he is the best I can get
and I can't afford wasting any more years for looking for
the perfect man.
Thu, 18 Apr 1996
Wasn't it only yesterday when I wrote that I can almost
believe that my boyfriend loves me. Well, that has
changed (surprise, surprise!!!). I called him in the
afternoon because I needed to decide if I will stay
at work the whole evening or would he come and meet me
and give me a reason to go home. He said he was tired
because of the cold he had and he tries to sleep and
he calls me later and comes to meet me then. I went
home, baked, washed some laundry, watched the TV etc.
and waited for his call. He called two hours later than
I had assumed. It was only two hours, and I knew that
he was sick, but anyway, I got that terrible feeling of
getting abandoned again and I could not help it. There
was no sense in my behavior but I could not do anything
to prevent it. When he finally called, I had already
decided that our relationship has ended, and I could
not help crying when talking to him. I tried to explain
that it's not his fault, but I don't think he understood.
He just kept on saying that he was so tired and I have
to learn to trust him. Well, we said "good night" to
each other and I went to bed, crying all the time.
After ten minutes my door bell rang and he was there.
I felt better but something very painful was still
inside me, and I was soooo ashamed because I felt that
I had forced him to come, even though it was so late
and he was sick.
So, I have failed. I did exactly what I was afraid I
would do. Now I'm even more scared than I was? How do
I learn to handle this? Is there a way I could explain
him what this feeling is and how hard it is to avoid it
(he says I'm so intelligent that I can learn how to trust
him - he really does _not_ understand that this has
nothing to do with intelligence)? I don't know how to
continue, but I don't intend to give up. Scared to
death (yes, I even thought about killing myself again).
Thanks for listening,
Sun, 21 Apr 1996
I have so many times been unable to leave my bed. But
on the other hand, I have also experienced, that it _is_
worth getting up and just beginning to do something.
Light does not look for you, you have to look for it.
Sun, 14 Apr 1996
I have tried to analyze my childhood. I haven't done it
in the therapy but on my own. I can't se any problems
in it, so I have not had any reason to talk about it
to my therapist. But there is one point: my mother
always tried to tell me how good I am. My sister does
not agree with me in this, so it must have been something
I have experienced stronger than she has. She says we
did not have enough support, and my opinion is totally
the opposite. The problem is that I felt that my mother
is stupid because she can't see that I'm not as good as
she says. And perhaps I tried to become what she assumed
me to be. I don't know. I'll discuss this with my therapist
tomorrow. He probably wants me to continue, but
he has a lot to do to convince me.
Mon, 15 Apr 1996
I have eating problems, both overeating and not eating at
all, but it has never been really serious. I eat a lot
when I'm alone at home, and I suppose it has something
to do with avoiding the feeling of loneliness. A couple
of times I have eaten so much that I had to throw up.
Usually I only get stomach pain. And then, when I'm busy
and working or with my friends I may simply forget to eat,
and these are usually longer periods when I really lose
weight very fast. But I use same clothes as I
did five years ago, so the changes are not too big.
What to do with it? I don't know. I try to avoid looking
at the mirror and criticizing my outlook, but that does
not help very much because I have long ago _decided_ that
I don't have to look so good. Somehow we should try to
fill the emptiness with something else than food.
Mon, 15 Apr 1996
I always have that problem when I go the hospital. They
ask me how I would like them to help me, and I can only
say that I need to be taken care of. I want them to show
that they care about me, but I can't say how they should
do it. I go to the hospital for a big, big hug but I
never get it.
Mon, 15 Apr 1996
Yeee, that's the feeling of going through your life by
bluffing? I have created a double-bluff for defending
myself. I joke about how stupid and incompetent I am,
so that people think that I can laugh to myself but I
don't really think that way. They don't see that there
are tears behind my laugh, but that's what I want, I
suppose. I look stronger than I am but I still tell them
the "truth" (my own truth) about myself.
Tue, 16 Apr 1996
He said that I may call him if I do change my mind. If I
do it in a couple of months we can try to continue together,
and if I do it sometimes after years, he will try to help
me to find a new therapist.
I just don't know what to do. I would like to think that
I don't need therapy, because it would some kind of
victory for me. But on the other hand, I know it would
help me to win something else. Well, this is what
BPD is, isn't it?
Wed, 10 Apr 1996
My threrapist has done it several times. He says something
which sounds so irrational or crazy in my ears, that I
can't take it seriously. I cannot believe he is that
stupid, so he must do it on purpose to make me
angry. So, I don't get angry and we can't reach what he
wants or what I want - real discussion. But I'll have my
last session next week (no more funding), so I suppose I'm
cured now. Actually, I don't miss him or the therapy. I'll
take my life in my own hands now, wowwwww!!!!
Oh, there are so many ways to protect yourself. Most of
then seem to be destructive in the end.
Sat, 13 Apr 1996
I was out on Thu evening with my friends and drunk two beers.
It was the first time I drunk something after my last
"episode" three weeks ago, when I drunk too much, and ODed.
I thought that I managed well now, not falling in bad
drinking (I don't have any meds now so I can't even OD -
how unsecure feeling....).
Fri, 1 Nov 1996
I'm sitting here, quarter to 6 in the morning, still
wondering what to do. My therp said that he doesn't think
I need to go there. In his words, I have showed that I can
use the few moments I have to be with myself and to relax,
so I'm not that over-stressed. And that's true, in
But there is that black and ugly creature trying to pull
me down to the darkness and depth, and I've managed to fight
it because I have had a good reason - my responsibilities.
Having no lectures any more this year may cause that I lose
my touch, and the depression wins again. And that's what
I'm very scared about.
Something like that. I don't know I begin and the borderline
ends, or the other way round. I'm not able to connect the
symptoms with something I _think_ is the real me.
We have done a lot of such searching and sometimes I feel
that I'm very close to realising something - but then the
whole thing blows up. There is nothing dramatic in my
childhood, but I know that I was very young when I started
to feel that my parents' love is not for me, it's for my
younger sisters and brother, and I'm there to take care of
them, with my parents. That sounds crazy, but it's about
how it was.
My therp says that "one day" I will take him as something
like a "parent-figure" and that way show my feelings
to mom and dad through him, but I don't believe that
will happen. But never say never. I can work on avoiding
BP behavior but how can I avoid BP feelings?
Sat, 9 Nov 1996
At least I'm not "further along" than you, but of course
I'm not "everyone". But I suppose that the point in
recovery is not as much theorethical "knowing" as it
is understanding your _own_ feelings.
I don't get triggered of someone elses suicidal thoughts
(I have enough black energy of my own) People, who have
no idea about borderline feelings and the strength of
them, can never understand you. They perhaps want to,
but they can't.
They can't even understand depression if they have never
felt it. I suppose someone who has never had headache,
can't understand how painful it can be. We just have to
I haven't been sexually abused either but I became BP.
I also thought that I have gone through nothing, but when
I started discussing my childhood with my therp, I noticed
that my little head really had good reasons to feel
abandoned. I don't blame anyone, it just happened.
Paradoxically, there is some organization in a
misorganization, too. You say that you have failed at
everything, so I have to believe that you have, although
I know that I often feel that way and logically it's not
true. But even if you have failed, it doesn't mean that
you have to fail next time, too. In a book I've been
reading the author says that borderlines have never passed
the baby's inability to understand time and the need to
get immediate relief, so they use words "always" and
"never" in situations where there is no sense in using
Sun, 10 Nov 1996
I also realize now that I can't think clearly when I
This has caused that I don't even want to think or feel
anything before I can make some sense. I do this
mostly because I'm afraid of borderline behavior, so
I rather do nothing than harm. But somehow I think this
means that I hide and deny my own feelings, only to
prevent myself from behaving bp again.
Uhh... this is far too complicated to me.
Mon, 11 Nov 1996
I know my threapist doens't see me as just a label, on
the contrary. My problem is inside me. I can't see
anything else than BP behavior in me any more. Everything
I do, feel or think seems to be BP somehow, and even the
opposite is. There is no way to be "normal".
Sun, 10 Nov 1996
But for years I've thought that religion is a defense,
and if someone needs it, that's ok to me. To me, it's a
better defense to think that there is no G-d, because I
can't understand how anyone, being able to control this
world, could let all this happen. And I don't mean my
Tue, 26 Nov 1996
I don't think you really care.
And I don't think I REALLY CARE EITHER.
I need to die.
I don't believe I want to die.
Fri, 15 Nov 1996
More than a year ago I was in hospital and met there a
nice young girl, studying to me a nurse but _very_
depressed. She was on Day Treatment and had been for some
time, so she always got meds with her when she went
home for the night. One day she came to tells us (a
group of patients) that she had asked a nurse to give
her a scale (because the has lost so much weight and
wanted to know how much) and the nurse just looked her
and asked her why she needs that scale. She became angry
nd said:"I'm certainly not going to kill myself with it"
and went away, to tell us. She looked so strange, grey
and... well, I was scared. Then she said that
she is now going to write a letter and went alone to the
I never saw her again. She had gone home and during the
night she had taken the all the meds she had collected
for this purpose during the time she was on day treatment.
Next morning the staff told us she was dead.
I was shocked. I was in day treatment too, but because
of my suicidality and my reaction to her death they
took me in for the coming weekend. Before that I had a
discussion with my doc, and I accused that nurse and I
was so angry. He said that no-one could know that she would
do that. I almost screamed "No-one could know!!!!! Even
I saw it!!!!".
I felt so guilty because I had actually seen that she
was in danger but I didn't do anything. I didn't
understand, but I should have.
Later I realized how shocked my doc had also been (the
girl was his patient). In our discussion he used such
words he would never use with patients.
Mon, 6 Jan 1997
Walking On Eggshells is for people who care about someone
I've problems in writign because by hand is badly hurt, so i
try to make this short: I read your book a long ago and
promised to comment.
Now, I don't remember very much any more. But the most important
was that the book gives the impressions that all the prolems
between two (or several) poeple are cause by BPD. The non-PD is
totally unquilty. I gave the book to my sister to read, and
yesterday she accused me for everything she had read in that
book. I trusted her when I gave it to her, but the worst
happened - exactly as I had been afraid how a non-BP would read
I have had really terrible times. I fought with my brother
(pshycally - that's when I got my bones in my hand broken, and
it was my fault, I irritated him and didn't obey him) and he
said that he never wants to see me in his hime again. My sister
said that during these two years I've cared for noboby but
myself and I've turned my back to every problem. They just
can't see what I've done, but of course I admit that I have had
problems with myself. I've desided not to have anthing to do
with them or their families, no matter how much I love them and
no matter how much it hurts them or myself.
I went to the hospital last Fri but they sent me out today
because it was too crowded. I don't not if I will survive until
So, the rest of this letter was not about your book. I just
can't write any more. Terry and newmum are prehaps waiting for
a responce to their pritave messages, but this is all I can do.
I will also unsubscribe now. Thanks to all of you. I will be
gone now. I will dissociate permanently. Yes, I'm more
suicidal than ever.
If I had hugs to give you, I would to that. But noboby want
Poem-"Suicide" Written by A.J. Mahari, in memory of Ann
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