Titles: “And This Is My Adopted Daughter” and “Crossing The Borderline: Inside A Therapeutic Community” by Polly Fielding
The first book describes Polly’s life being brought up by a very invalidating adoptive mother. No matter how hard she tries to please her, she never succeeds. At first, things are fine, then they turn sour. Her father is no help to her. Polly always comes in second to her mother’s “real” daughter. They adopt another baby, further invalidating Polly. She tries to raise her kids to feel the love that she never felt from her adopted mother. She attempts to find her biological mother. I won’t spoil for you what happens but you’ll want to find out for yourself.
The second book looks at her life inside a Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) program. She uses a lot of mindfulness throughout the book. It doesn’t use a lot of the same techniques that we used in my DBT program, but it was interesting to read about Polly’s experience in therapy.
In both books, I could feel Polly’s sadness from such an upbringing. By the end of the second book, Polly emerges triumphantly from the clutches of mental illness, still fighting but now knowing some tools to help her in the fight for wellness.
These books are a very hard read at times and may be triggering, so read with caution. If you really want to know what it’s like to live with Borderline Personality Disorder, this book will show you. It’s not for the faint of heart, though.