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Author: Erin Bardwell

Abandonment and Borderline Personality Disorder

abandonment and borderline personality disorder “And I would hide my face in you and you would hide your face in me, and nobody would ever see us any more…”  ― Franz Kafka, “The Castle” /// You are a ghost to me. You appear and disappear at whim. You float silkily in and out through the walls, haunting me, taunting me, with promises unkept and needs unmet. You are my skeleton, the very core beneath my flesh, literally holding me up from within. These bones feel old, fragile, easily broken. And I absolutely must not break this skeleton. Sometimes that’s...

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Sexual Assault: Lost in the Light, Left in the Dark

I don’t like “trigger warnings” because they imply that our readers can’t handle something. That said, I would like to stress that this is an incredibly intense piece about the difficult subject of sexual assault. I will also tell you that Erin Bardwell is a powerful writer. Please make sure you are prepared before reading ahead. Sean Bennick Editor Content note: explicit descriptions of sexual assault It is 4 and I am 20 and I am crying in a phone booth because I have a bad case of the feels. You come up to me and ask if I need a hug. You are a bad hugger, dude. Real bad. Most hugs go around shoulders with arms, not necks with hands. Most hugs don’t go under clothes with sweaty palms and most hugs don’t go hard into bodies with fingers and most hugs don’t drag people by the hair. Most hugs end naturally by nature, not by screaming and kicking. Most hugs don’t involve yelling about cock rings and how much she’d like that because she’s a good little bad girl. Bad girl. And most hugs don’t involve taking a piece of someone’s hair. Where did you put it, I wonder? I still wonder. Maybe that was the worst part, you taking a piece of me after taking a piece of me. It is 11 and you are 60 and  I am...

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Bipolar Disorder: Mania Street USA

Or, “I once spent my mortgage money on African violets. Yep, $1,500 on African violets. Then I got depressed and let them all die.” Among mental illnesses, bipolar disorder isn’t terribly uncommon – it directly affects 2.6 percent of the American population. (In comparison, borderline personality disorder affects 1.6 percent, schizophrenia 1 percent, and agoraphobia 0.8 percent. Statistics from the National Institute of mental health.) Its prevalence, combined with our growing acceptance of mental health discussion, means most people have at least a vague idea of what it is. For better or worse, some of us drop the word...

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Borderline Personality Disorder Treatments

How to Cross the Border(line): Borderline Personality Disorder Treatments I was first diagnosed with borderline personality disorder at the age of nineteen, and I remember running from my therapist’s office to my dorm room and looking it up online. The results were not promising. “Severe mental illness…” “Considered by many to be untreatable…” “Completed suicide rate approximately ten percent…” “Doctors recommend regular inpatient treatment to monitor…” “Dear God”, I thought to myself, “can you not just give me leprosy?” (I would later find out that leprosy is about as attractive to future boyfriends as Borderline Personality Disorder, so really it’s a toss-up.) I rejected the diagnosis for years, preferring instead to call myself bipolar. After all, bipolar disorder is considered more treatable (possibly, honestly, because far more people have heard of it). There are support groups and community breakfasts and little pamphlets full of hope. My doctor even put me on a mood stabilizer, the same one given to bipolar patients. It worked. See? I was bipolar, not borderline. One small tablet a day and all my problems were erased! Except kind of actually not at all. “Untreatable”, my brain kept repeating. “Untreatable, untreatable, untreatable.” /// My new therapist, Mike, was coaxing me out of the stairwell and back into his office, where I’d just hurled a full bottle of Pepsi at the wall. (This would become such a common...

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The Perks of Being a Borderline

There are upsides to almost everything, if you’re around the kind of vaguely annoying person who can find, well, upsides to almost everything. Pancake batter too thin? Voila – crepes! To drink? Turn those lemons into lemonade, and when the lemonade gives you heartburn, pop a few Tums. They’re full of calcium, you know, which prevents brittle bones, thereby protecting your wrist while you repeatedly smack your hand against your forehead and scream, “SOME THINGS ARE JUST BAD! JUST LET THEM BE BAD!” Unfortunately, I have good news for you. borderline personality disorder isn’t all bad. Sorry. Have some...

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