You hear it on the news, you hear it in the gun control debates, and you hear it in court rooms. Mental illness, mental illness, mental illness… “Why can’t these people get help?” “Keep the guns away from the mentally ill.” “Why didn’t they just go see a doctor?” And on, and on, and on. We have an epidemic in our society of untreated or poorly treated people that suffer from mental illness. In many cases this is because of the ridiculous cost of treating mental illness. Take a few minutes and look around at psychiatrists or counselors in your area, if you do, you will notice a few things. Read More
I’ve been debating this post for a while. How to approach the subject? The fact that I hate talking about it. Am I the only one that feels this way? But day after day I hear from people that have lived through an affair and the devastating effects it can have. I think as a whole society downplays the emotional damage affairs have on people. We link things like PTSD to other disturbing things people live through and say that there are obvious reasons why they would have these reoccurring issues. To give some prospective I’ll set the stage with a high level of my past. I started to run with a rough and bad crowd very early in my life (about age 13), in my teenage years I witnesses and lived through some horrible things. I have had guns pointed directly at my head on multiple occasions, I’ve had a knife at my throat, bullets miss me, almost take my own head off because I was too messed up with a gun, I’ve OD’d and seen people OD, seen stabbings, been arrested, etc… Let’s just say I’ve seen more horror and violence then some soldiers in war. But none of that effected me in the way my wife’s affair did. Not even close. Read More
“Are you doing ok?” “How are you doing?” “What’s going on?” – The questions I love to hate. I love the fact that my wife loves me enough to recognize that something is bothering me, just by looking at me, and wants to know what’s wrong. At the same time, answering these questions when your loved one has Borderline Personality Disorder can be like navigating a minefield. Case in point. I have been dealing with a lot of memories and emotions lately regarding my wife’s breakdown in 2011. I have good days and I have bad days, but I really try to keep these from effecting our current relationship that we are working on healing. So, I guess I stuff because I don’t want to trigger her with the shame a guilt associated with the pain that comes up at times. Many of us have been through negative experiences linked to our loved ones suffering from BPD or other similar mental illnesses. The tricky part is when asked a triggering question like “Are you ok?” or “What’s going on?”, what does one do? Read More
I struggled with writing this letter after viewing our episode of #unfaithful on @OWN (http://youtu.be/ENR0PBMyAJw), but in the end, I felt it was necessary since we have been public with our story for over a year now. I can honestly say that Tracy and I were both disappointed in how our situation was represented and comments taken out of context to make things more “steamy”. This is exactly what we were afraid of and were told would not happen. I.E. In the video you have Tracy talking about how “in sync they were”, yet that comment was a comment taken from her interview when you asked her specifically about our relationship before she went into the hospital, this was specifically asked because she kept telling the interviewer that there was no spark or nothing good about the affair, that it was a way to punish herself and run. Read More
I have found lately that I have made a good deal of progress (emotionally) in my recovery from what happened to my family in mid-2011. Most days I get through without issue, or with just a fleeting thought or feeling sadness/anger. On days like that things at home are normally good; we have the normal ups and downs of a couple, with some additional validation and extra listening thrown in to work with the Borderline Personality Disorder that my wife has. Then there are the days where I have a slew of memories, or just feelings of sadness and depression kind of take over. These days are difficult because not only am I dealing with my issues, but my wife see’s the emotional turmoil that I am dealing with (even when I try to hide it) and it almost immediately brings up the feelings of shame and guilt, which then inevitably trigger her BPD; after which our day normally takes a downward spiral. Read More
It’s been a little while since I’ve blogged, ok let’s face the facts, I’ve been absent for the last 2 months. Life took a bit of a chaotic turn and I had a lot of personal and family issues that I needed to take time to deal with, and of course all that turmoil and chaos triggered a good deal of BPD issues and rages with my wife (hence the topic of my latest blog). As a “non” we all have times where we think, OK that’s it, I have had enough, I’m done, I can’t deal with this anymore. I can’t count the times that I have been so frustrated and/or hurt that I seriously questioned what the best course of action for myself would be.
It happened to us; Prairie St. John’s dropped the ball, misdiagnosed, over medicated and then turned a blind eye while my wife fell apart under their “Hope and Healing”.
As I have become more involved in the BPD community I have heard the same kind of story over and over again. I have heard that doctors refused to give the borderline personality disorder diagnosis or to recognize the disorder in their patients. The list of quotes I have heard is sickening: “it is a death sentence if I diagnose you”, “It’s like telling you that you’re retarded”, “it’s untreatable so we won’t diagnose”, and the list goes on and on. It is sick, and it is untrue!
Last night I started the first of 12 weeks of the Family Connections TeleConnections course offered by @neabpd. Below is the basic description of the course. “Family Connections is a 12-week series for relatives of persons with difficulties managing their emotions. Behaviors often present are mood lability (ups and downs), difficulties with anger, relationship problems, impulsivity, self-injury, and suicide attempts. Often times these behaviors are diagnosed to be borderline personality disorder (BPD). Or, another diagnosis may be given. Regardless of what the diagnostic “label” is, you will learn more about the symptoms and behaviors. While you will develop a better understanding about these symptoms and your relative, most importantly, you will learn skills for yourself and your own well being.”
The feeling of pain and betrayal that an affair causes is something I would wish on almost no one, but when you add in the addition of borderline personality disorder it throws in a whole new set of variables. Our particular story is one that has a lot of mitigating circumstances, but that makes it no less painful to go through. In June of 2011 I lost my wife (at least that is what it felt like). June, 2011; I checked my wife into Prairie St. John’s facility in Fargo, ND for depression and manic behavior. She went into the facility a loving wife, devoted mother and successful business owner. She spent the first night there crying asking to be sent home to her family. She was met with doctors telling her that if she did not stop crying, asking to go home and start taking all the medicine they had for her that they would hold her indefinitely.
Last Friday we received news that my wife’s mother was ill and dying. To be totally honest, this was not shocking news to us. The woman has been battling cancer for the last few years, been through rounds of chemo and radiation therapy, had part of her colon removed; and yet still continued to smoke and not take care of herself. However, the news still hit my wife hard. For me this was frustrating. This woman that called herself my wife’s mother had basically spent her life ruining her children’s life’s, and most recently had been the catalyst of my wife’s breakdown that tore our family apart. If you doubt the level of abuse and neglect, you should really read my wife’s story (My Story). You can also read her blog post about this particular issue here (BPD Relationships; Real vs. Imagined Responsibility).