Tag Archives: guilt

DBT: Shame, Guilt and Emotional Distress


Misplaced Guilt and Shame in Borderline Personality Disorder – BREAKAWAY MHE

Experiencing intense and hard to manage emotions is commonplace for those living with borderline personality disorder (BPD). However of all the emotions experienced by this population, some of the most common and difficult to feel are guilt and shame. There are reasons for this emotional challenge in BPD, although it can take some time in …

Source: Misplaced Guilt and Shame in Borderline Personality Disorder – BREAKAWAY MHE

Feeling Guilty about my Brother

I feel guilty, like a bad person, that I haven’t cried over my brother’s death.  Shouldn’t I be bawling my eyes out?  All I feel is shocked and numb.  Everyone grieves differently though, I guess.  I talked to the lady at the Peer Support Centre today, and she said I shouldn’t feel bad about it.

I have an appointment with my counsellor tomorrow, so I can talk to her about it.  My nerves keep bugging me.  I can’t sit still.  I feel so antsy.  I try to keep my mind busy but all I can do is sit and try to concentrate on something like writing or playing solitaire for a few minutes, then I have to get up and walk around with my coffee for a few minutes – back and forth, back and forth.

I haven’t talked to my parents or sister for a couple of days.  I’ve been busy, grocery shopping and stuff.  I called them earlier and left them a message.  They must be busy.  I hope they’re doing ok.

Thanks again for listening.  Talk to you guys later,

– Joyce.

Guilt, My Sister and I

My sister is seven years younger than me.  When I was in high school, she always wanted me to play with her, but I never felt up to it.  I always thought that I’d do it later.  I didn’t know that I had undiagnosed depression and probably developing BPD at the time.  I felt so guilty because of it.  We’re a lot closer now, but I still wish I wouldn’t been diagnosed and helped sooner.  Then I could’ve played with my sister and felt better.  I may not have developed BPD, who knows?

Whenever I go to my mom and dad’s, I usually bring my camera and go for a walk with my sister.  They live on a farm so there’s all kinds of photo opportunities.  I love to take pictures of the horses and the cows and the stray cats.  I also love taking pictures of butterflies, flowers and much more.  We’ve taken some beautiful pics of gorgeous sunsets.  I’d love to take some pictures right now but my camera got stolen.  But that’s another post!

– Joyce.

Fatigue and Managing my Emotions

Last year, my husband said that I never used to feel so tired all the time.  I wasn’t managing my emotions very well either.  I think that it takes an awful lot of energy to manage my emotions.  I manage them a lot better now, but I’m so fatigued all the time.  I wish I could manage my emotions AND have energy too.

Part of it is that I’m so out of shape too.  I hate it!  I wish I could get in shape.  I haven’t got energy to clean or play with my son.  I try so hard.  I walk for 30-60 minutes every day.  You’d think I would be in better shape!

Does anyone else notice fatigue from managing their emotions, or is it just me?  I hope it’s not just me.  But also, I don’t want anyone else to feel like this either.  I know that doesn’t make any sense but who said that I made sense all the time anyways?  Whoever did, they were wrong.  😉

Till next time,

– Joyce.


Fatigue and BPD – A Cartoon


As someone with BPD, I am overwhelmed very easily.  It’s been an extremely difficult year for me.  I have DBT skills that I have learned what works for me.  I suffer from fatigue constantly.  I need much longer to complete tasks than most people – eg. housework.  My husband and mother-in-law do most of it.  I feel extremely guilty because of it.  This leads to depression.  My mother-in-law offers “advice” which doesn’t help.  All it does it make me feel worse.  I can’t just “snap out of it.”  I do the best I can, but I feel like it’s never good enough, like I’m never good enough.  I feel so totally invalidated all the time.  I wish they could understand but no one wants to talk about it.  My mother-in-law says that they’ve read all about it and “know all about it.”  What have they read about it?  Is it from a reliable source?  Or is it all misconceptions?  They know all about it?  Try living with it every day!

I haven’t really blogged in a long time because my daughter told my husband that “Mom’s writing all about us!”  I struggled with whether I should continue or just reblog others’ posts.  I really need an outlet where I can vent my feelings and not be invalidated or put down because of it.  I showed them this blog when I first created it because I thought it might help them understand BPD and me better.

I have so much inside me that’s been dying to come out.  I’m sure if it makes sense to anybody else or not.  Our brains are wired differently than most people’s.  But we are good enough the way we are, even though I can’t believe that right now.  It takes me a lot longer to process my feelings than people without the disorder.  If they interrupt that process, it takes even longer.  When it happens repeatedly, it’s extremely damaging to my self-esteem.  I feel like I have to have some alone time to distract myself from the overwhelming thoughts and feelings.  If I don’t get that, or am made to feel guilty for it, it leads to depression.

Almost every day, I go to the local Peer Support Center.  I attend several groups there.  I am trying so hard to better myself and spread awareness of BPD.  As soon as I get home, any good feelings I had earlier instantly disappear, replaced with dread and a feeling of impending doom, like I’m marching off to my death.  Other people would call this overreacting, but I’m sure many people would agree with me.  I feel it physically in my body.  My husband and mother-in-law think that housework is more important.  I think that my mental health is the most important thing, and that if they would stop invalidating me all the time, I would be so much better and could do the housework a little better.  Probably not at the pace that they would like, but at a pace which I am capable of.  To expect more than that from me is more devastating that they could possibly know.

My husband needs counselling as well but has had bad experiences with it in the past.  He says he’s “too old.”  I believe you’re never to old to get the help you need.  If I’m in pain, I’m going to get help as soon as possible!

Anyways, sorry for the rant.  Just tired of feeling so overwhelmed all the time.  Thanks to anyone who actually finished reading this!

– Joyce.

Battling BPD – Expatlog | Expatlog

Battling BPD – Expatlog | Expatlog.

I Hate Borderline Personality Disorder! – You, Me, and BPD

Open letter to BPD itself from a Non-BPD, in support of a loved one:

I Hate Borderline Personality Disorder! – You, Me, and BPD.

I Was A Violent, Angry Teenager; We’re Not All Lost Causes

I Was A Violent, Angry Teenager; We’re Not All Lost Causes.

Another Difficult Night with Our Daughter

Last night, our daughter had a temper tantrum.  She wanted to go camping at some quarry with a friend…at 9:30 pm…at the last minute…somewhere that we didn’t even know of…at 15 years old.  She’ll be 16 in August.  We said “No.”  She didn’t like that.  She’s never even been camping in her life!  She’s probably hate it.  Grandma suggested her and her friend go camping in the backyard.  She didn’t want to and stated screaming at Grandma.

We ended up calling the cops.  They calmed her down a bit eventually.  She’d called her grandma and asked to take her to this quarry.  She told her that we’d said that she could go, which we definitely hadn’t.

She rushed at her little brother, who’s 11, with rage in her eyes.  He held his arms out at her, to block her, terrified.  I took him to his room and locked the door.  He started crying and I cuddled with him and we watched some funny videos on his iPod.  He’s used to this.  Usually he just thinks, “There she goes again!” and goes to his room.  But I know that it’s affecting him.  He thought that she might have hit her grandma with the door, and he tried to stop her.

The cops can’t really do anything unless our daughter is a danger to herself or others.  She was in the hospital in January for a couple of weeks but it didn’t help.  She was supposed to take medication and she won’t.  The doctor said that we can’t force her to take it.  She was seeing a counsellor, but she wasn’t participating in therapy, so they closed the file.

When she turns 16, there’s nothing we can do for her.  A friend told me that she’ll probably end up on the streets.  She’s so bright and could make something of herself.  I feel so helpless!  I wish she’d accept help and get better.

In the hospital, she was diagnosed with anxiety and PTSD.  She told her counsellor that she was over it.  As far as I know, you cannot get over PTSD on your own, you need counselling, which she won’t do.

I don’t know if she has BPD or not.  There’s a DBT program that I did several years ago that she could do when she turns 16, but it’s very intensive and you have to really be committed to the program and on working to get better, which she wouldn’t do.

She’s been pretty quiet today.  Usually after these emotional outbursts/meltdowns, the next day she mostly stays in her room and is very quiet and co-operative.  I don’t know if it’s because she feels guilty about her behaviour?  It’s been a few years of this now and we know the pattern.

She handed out resumes a few weeks ago for summer jobs.  I can’t see her working this summer.  She never sticks with anything.

I’m so tired of everything!

The curse of black and white thinking

A woman with Borderline Personality Disorder describes what it’s like to struggle with the difficulties of black and white thinking and how she deals with it every day.  Her husband’s view, The Black and White Thinking of Borderline Personality Disorder, follows.


My Talk with my Counsellor and my Mother-in-Law

Last Tuesday, I met with my counsellor and my mother-in-law to try to help her understand my BPD.  We had a very good talk and I think she’s finally beginning to understand it a bit more.  I tried to explain to her how she was unintentionally invalidating me constantly.  She told me that she wasn’t saying anything bad to me.  I explained to her that it doesn’t matter what she says or how she says it, that to someone with BPD, especially with me, it always feels like criticising and that I’m not good enough.  She asked what she could do to make it better and I told her “nothing.  Just do your own thing.  You can’t make this go away.  I’m the only one who can help me.”  She got a look on her face like she finally “got it.”  Also kind of sad for me.

My counsellor thought that I was very articulate, and told my mother-in-law that I’m doing everything I need to be doing to keep myself as well as I can be.  I’m seeing both of them again this Tuesday.  It’s good practice for me for running a group or presentation on BPD to educate people on the disorder.  I’m learning more about myself every day.

I was so exhausted afterwards that I had to lay down for an hour.  People don’t realize how exhausting it is for those of us with BPD just managing our emotions every day.  It just comes to them naturally.

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes Tuesday.  Till then,


“I was gonna do that…”

I’m always saying to my husband “I was gonna do that, but…”  And then he says “You were gonna…You were gonna…But you never do it.  You always have excuses.”  I always feel so many emotions all at the same time when this happens.  The first and main thing is the feeling of “I’m not good enough.”  I also feel guilt, shame, overwhelmed, anxiety, frustrated, misunderstood and depression.

Does anyone else go through this?  How do you handle it?

Video Post on Emotional Regulation After a Crisis

Explaining Your BPD Continued

I have been trying to explain my BPD to my mother-in-law for months.  At first, she had no idea what I was talking about.  But she gets a little bit more out of every conversation we have.  It’s such a complex disorder to try to explain to someone who doesn’t have it.  I believe they can only understand it to a point.  They don’t have to live with it every day of their lives.  They can only try to imagine what it must be like.  At least with depression or Bipolar, you can feel better, with either time or medication or therapy or a combination of them, and the symptoms go away.  With BPD, it never goes away.  You can learn how to manage the symptoms, your emotions and behaviour, but it’s always going to be there, for the rest of your life.  It’s absolutely exhausting!  People expect too much of you.  They think that, if only you’d try a little harder.  They’re seeing things through their own eyes, not ours.  They don’t have our brains.  They think that, if you were trying as hard as you possibly can, you’d be handling things just like them, and you’d be doing so much better.  They don’t realize that, you’re doing the best that you can.  You’re never going to be like them.  That doesn’t mean that you’re any worse than them.  It just means that since your brain works differently, and they have to realize that.

When people expect too much of you, its extremely invalidating.  What they need to do is validate us by saying “I don’t understand exactly how you feel, but I know that you’re doing the best you can.”  This will make us feel validated and then we can get better, at our own pace.  When they push us to do things that we are not capable of, that just makes us feel worse instead of better.  With me, I feel very overwhelmed and paralyzed and I can’t think straight or do anything.  Then they get upset with me for not doing anything, which makes me feel even worse.  I feel so many things so intensely, all at the same time – anger, guilt, etc.  “I’m not good enough.”  I just goes into a vicious circle of negative emotions. Every time I try to explain it to my mother-in-law, she says “Oh, that must be awful!”  And it is.  Sure, sometimes it can be a good thing, but it’s also extremely difficult to live with.

What are your experiences with trying to explain your BPD to others?  Have you had any success or not?  If so, what do you find helpful?  I’ve included some helpful links at the end of this post.
















My Parents’ Neighbour and Anxiety

My mom and dad’s neighbour is so nice.  She took my sister to the hospital at 2 am a while ago when my dad had to go by ambulance.  But something she did on Saturday really got to me BIG TIME.

My daughter and I ran into her at the store and got talking to her for a couple of minutes.  My dad has inoperable cancer.  She asked me how my dad was doing, and then she said, “Not so good, eh?”  Then she told me how his stomach was bulging out from the cancer.  I haven’t seen him for a couple of weeks.  I don’t drive.  My dad didn’t feel up to having company lately.  He has his bad and not-so-bad days.  His neighbour asked me, out of the blue, if my mom and sister were gonna move into town (after my dad passed away).  I was so caught off guard, I was speechless for a moment, and then I said “I don’t know.”  I tried to act as nonchalant as possible for my daughter, but inside I was anxious as hell.  I’m kind of shaking right now just thinking about it.  My hear is racing like a thoroughbred on steroids.

I try to distract myself as much as possible from the inevitable, by writing this blog and keeping my mind busy.  My husband and mother-in-law think I should be doing other things, that “There’s more important stuff to do around here” like this is just some “cute little hobby”.  What they don’t realize that this is keeping me as sane as possible under the circumstances.  But then I do feel guilty, like I should be getting stuff done around here.  I am so fatigued!  I’ve been like this for years.  I’ve had tests for everything, and they say it’s “just depression”.  I wish I could have more energy to deal with this, and with life in general.

BPD and Inappropriate Emotions

When someone with Borderline Personality Disorder experiences guilt, it’s like a chain of thoughts, each negative thought leading to the next.  What looks like a minor thing to an onlooker from the outside makes perfect sense when viewed from the perspective of the BPD sufferer. These thoughts become so ingrained in the Borderline’s brain, that it’s extremely difficult to break these chains.  One of the best ways to do this is through Dialectical Behaviour Therapy or DBT.

Many times, these guilty thoughts lead to other negative thoughts and emotions, such as anger or depression.  A Quiet Borderline will usually take their negativity out on themselves, whereas other Borderlines will “act out”, raging over seemingly nothing.  They can feel very defensive, like they’re being attacked, even with just minor constructive criticism, because they already have all of these guilty thoughts in their head all the time.  When you make that comment, it’s like the “straw that broke the camel’s back”.  I know for me, all these thoughts lead to the core belief of “I’m not good enough.  I’ve never been good enough.  I’ll never be good enough.  Why do I even bother?  What’s the point of even trying?  It’s never gonna work out anyway.  Nothing ever does.  Nothing I ever do is good enough.  I don’t look good enough.  Everybody hates me.  Nobody cares.  Life sucks!”

In an upcoming post, I will explore the thought processes and emotions related to guilt in Borderlines through my own experiences.  I hope this gives you an idea of where these “outbursts” come from, when they seem to come out of nowhere, so you can better understand us.