Coming Soon

Its been a long haul since the first discoveries in 2010 after my mother died. Later this summer “BARBARA, Uncharted Course Through Borderline Personality Disorder” will be in bookstores and available on-line.
Here is an excerpt, “From the Author.”
Two years ago, I thought I was close to completion on my BARBARA story, but an amazing thing happened. After seventy years of not knowing who my biological father was, I discovered my paternal biological family. Overnight I suddenly had six new siblings who proved to be accepting and loving—six new siblings who opened their lives to a stranger. I felt compelled—with their blessing—to add Part III to my mother Barbara’s story.
August 11, 2020, would have been Barbara’s (1920-2010) one hundredth birthday. I’d like her take on this story. I’ve come to realize that her greatest life-long dread was a deep fear of abandonment. Though unfounded, that fear, through the decades, created enormous obstacles in her relationship with her parents, grandparents, and husbands. I offer the following information so you might better understand Barbara’s struggle.
From the early 1940s onward, my grandmother Elsie wrote that her daughter Barbara was schizophrenic. The “diagnosis” was not correct. Did Elsie use the term to dramatize Barbara’s mental disorder? About fifteen years ago, as I began my research, I studied literature about schizophrenia because I knew if I were to tell Barbara’s story, I needed to understand the ghosts that haunted her. As I studied schizophrenia, the term “borderline personality disorder” (BPD) kept popping up.
In 1938, the American psychoanalyst Adolph Stern first used the term “borderline” to describe a group of patients who were on the border of psychosis and neurosis, or possibly mild schizophrenia—words my grandmother often used in her diaries and her mental health journals.
After much research and sharing Barbara’s history with mental health experts, I’ve concluded that, had Barbara been evaluated, she might have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, an abnormal brain condition that has tormented humans for thousands of years, but was not recognized as a mental disorder until 1980.
Today mental health experts recognize that emotional invalidation during early childhood—usually by the parents—is a factor in the development of BPD. Elsie was not supportive of Barbara and favored her second daughter, who, in fact, was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1945.
In the early 1930s, the mental health field did not recognize borderline personality disorder, and doctors were unprepared to deal with Barbara’s issues as they began to reveal themselves as she moved into adolescence.

1 Comment

  1. chris ogden says:

    keep up the good work buddy. sometimes writing about the past allows you and others to deal with it.

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