Sometimes I Act Crazy and Conflict Is Not Abuse: continuing to reclaim borderline & politicize madness (Part Two)

content notes: examples of anti-Black racism, transmisogyny, self-injury, ableism, eugenics as metaphor (?), the post-suicide-attempt-charcoal (you know the stuff), pathologizing resistance, borderline-shaming, suicide

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[image description: Two book covers side-by-side. The first one is Sometimes I Act Crazy: Living with Borderline Personality Disorder by Jerold J. Kreisman, M.D. and Hal Straus, which is mostly white with colourful lettering. The second one is Conflict Is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility, and the Duty of Repair by Sarah Schulman, which shows reflections of a setting/rising sun colours on clouds in a lake in shades of indigo, deep violet, red, and aqua.]

This is Part Two of a series. Please read Part One here. You’ll also benefit from reading Dreaming New Meanings into Borderline Personality Disorder and Further Notes on Reclaiming Borderline and Resisting the Sane Gaze.

I recently read Sometimes I Act Crazy: Living with Borderline Personality Disorder by Jerold J. Kreisman, M.D. and Hal Straus, who also wrote I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me: Understanding the Borderline Personality. While the book was nowhere near as disappointing as Beyond Borderline: True Stories of Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder, it did, as usual, leave much to be desired.

Like many books on mental health and mental illness (I choose to use these terms in this moment as opposed to madness because madness, to me, is political, and most books about BPD are woefully apolitical – or, they try to be, but it’s impossible not to read them that way), an analysis, or even brief mentions, of capitalism, misogyny, ableism, harmful societal norms, etc. is missing. However, this is the first “guide” to BPD in which I’ve read terms like: socioeconomic factors, poverty, societal or cultural factors, programs are expensive, autonomy, etc., so I was grateful for those notes, tiny as they were.

So many books still talk about BPD as if it’s an individual problem, not a cultural and political issue, and I’m hoping that my own work on BPD will begin/continue to fill that void. While much of what I’m writing about borderline personality disorder texts is critical, I never want to stop there – I want to provide alternatives. Alternative stories, interpretations, perceptions, ideas, dreams, etc.

As I explore and criticize this book, I’ll also be sharing images of some of the highlights (literal highlights, I love underlining stuff in books!), because while I was disappointed in multiple ways (when am I not?), there was also a lot of valuable information worth sharing, and because I get asked about BPD a whole lot – and even if I didn’t – I wanna pass it on. Each page will be transcribed under the photo, interspersed with notes from me.

Although this book was published in 2004, I didn’t read it until recently. I used to pick it up and flip through it at bookstores and libraries but I was hesitant to read it because much of the content is fictionalized case histories, which tend to focus almost exclusively on white, cis, middle-upper-class lives and provide absolutely no political commentary or insight into motivations for behaviour, and the characters, beyond distress and rage, are often uncomfortably normal – they have careers, educations, straight relationships, children, etc. For many years, I’ve considered writing responses to these accounts with characters who are queer, trans, women of colour, weird, creative, political, etc – like the borderlines I know and love. But I just haven’t had the fortitude or cash or energy to do so. Yet.

Anyway, I finally bought the book, out of my usual feelings of curiosity and desperation. It was far from the worst BPD book I’ve ever read! (Maybe this could be a review quote on the cover someday.) But you know me, I took issue with a lot of problems contained within, and I’m gonna share some of them with you (with notes on the good stuff, too).

First, a brief list of what I appreciated in this book:

– This book contains the clearest definitions and examples I’ve yet to find of how BPD can be comorbid with (and misdiagnosed as) but is distinct from: Depression, Bipolar, PTSD, Substance Abuse, Eating Disorders, “Hypochondriosis” (yeah, I’ll get to that, fibro-friends) and Somatic Disorders, Schizophrenia, Dissociative Disorders, Impulsive/Compulsive Disorders, and Other Personality Disorders (including Paranoid Personality Disorder, Schizotypal Personality Disorder, Dependent Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and Antisocial Personality Disorder).

– After each chapter devoted to each criterion of BPD, there’s a list of “Action Steps” which are suggestions on how to work with the symptoms yourself, and how to communicate with borderlines in your life to alleviate painful symptoms. When I bought the book, I hadn’t realized it was also for not-borderlines, but I found some of the suggestions useful, although I would (as always) recommend reading them and employing them with an inquisitive and critical mind, because some of them can be infantalizing or condescending.

– The book notes that many borderlines have a history of being exploited. As somebody who has felt exploited, used, and discarded in multiple ways, I would love to see this theme explored more.

– The book notes that hospitals can often do more harm than help.

– The book notes that of all mental illnesses, borderlines are at the highest risk for suicide.

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[image description: A page from Sometimes I Act Crazy with parts underlined in purple ink. It says, “BPD is more often associated with the other “Cluster B” PD’s – histrionic personality disorder (HPD), narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), and antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). HPD is characterized by excessive emotionality, self-dramatization, seductiveness, attention to physical appearance, and “rapidly shifting and shallow expression of emotions.” Anger and self-destructiveness distinguish BPD from this PD. NPD and BPD share characteristics of excessive rage, feelings of entitlement, and exquisite sensitivity to criticism. However, the narcissistic personality exhibits a grandiosity and sense of superiority and entitlement that is absent in the borderline.”]

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[image description: A page from Sometimes I Act Crazy with parts underlined in purple ink. It says, “Cure usually requires a longer time, since it involves significantly altering enduring behavior patterns. Personality disorders, especially BPD, have been demonstrated to elicit more severe functional impairment in day-to-day living than some Axis 1 disorders, including major depression. BPD shares several characteristics with other personality dysfunctions, especially histrionic, narcissistic, antisocial, schizotypal, and dependent personality disorders. However, the constellation of self-destructiveness, chronic feelings of emptiness, and desperate fears of abandonment distinguish BPD from these other character disorders. The primary features of BPD are impulsivity and instability in relationships, self-image, and moods. These behavioral patterns are pervasive, usually beginning in adolescence and persisting for extended periods.”]

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[image description: A page from Sometimes I Act Crazy with parts underlined in purple ink. It says, “Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is also observed frequently with BPD and can be confused with it. Both groups of patients may have a history of childhood abuse or trauma. The reckless, impulsive behavior often associated with BPD makes such individuals more vulnerable to dangerous situations, which might ultimately result in trauma. [Emphasis mine because yeah, and it can be difficult to talk about without self-blame / victim-blaming.]

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[image description: A page from Sometimes I Act Crazy with parts underlined in purple ink. It says, “The borderline often feels caught in a “Groundhog Day” kind of world, in which each morning she must awaken and start all over again – not only to prove once more her own worth and abilities to herself and others but to recalibrate the value of those around her.” Underlined because I relate so damn much, and have been struggling to describe this start-over feeling since I was 19 and noticed it was becoming a major problem for me.]

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[image description: A page from Sometimes I Act Crazy with parts underlined in purple ink. It says, “It is almost a thousand times the suicide rate in the general population. Although many BPD symptoms ameliorate over time, the risk of suicide persists through the life cycle, even into the sixth decade. A number of factors further heighten the risk of suicide in borderlines. These include:

– Previous suicide attempts
– Prior hospitalizations
– History of persistent depression
– Hopelessness
– Impulsivity and aggression
– Comorbid antisocial characteristics (self-injury is often found in prison populations)
– Alcohol or drug abuse
– Substance abuse by a parent
– Unemployment and frequent job changes
– Higher education
– Young adulthood
– Older age
– History of severe childhood abuse (especially sexual) and/or early loss
– Financial instability
– Lack of stable residence
– Prison sentence
– Inadequate or inconsistent psychiatric care”]

I’ve experienced / am experiencing most of the things on this list, and I know many of my readers have, too.

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[image description: A page from Sometimes I Act Crazy with parts underlined in purple ink. It says, “Although borderlines are often accused of being overly dramatic in describing symptoms, the congruence between ratings by both the patient and the clinician indicate that the borderline’s pain is not an exaggeration but is measurably as severe as described. Compared to depressed patients, borderlines tend to be more self-critical… BPD is most often associated with a more chronic form of depression called dysthymia…”]

As with previous books I’ve written about, ableist metaphors are used: “lame,” “blinding rage,” “blindly follow,” etc. Tattoos and piercings (a “recent trend”) are used as examples of self-harm (which reminded me of an even more egregious act of naming self-expression as self-harm: in A Bright Red Scream: Self-Mutilation and the Language of Pain, Marilee Strong uses gender realignment surgery, or the mere desire for it, as an example of self-harm, thus perpetuating transmisogyny, transphobia, and cissexism in one of the first mainstream books on self-injury. This is another book that made me wanna write alternatives). And Sometimes I Act Crazy also, unfortunately, refers to self-harm as manipulative. The authors even mention prisoners’ incidents of self-injurious behaviour as manipulative (“designed to elicit transfer to another facility”), and show no compassion for what an incarcerated person might be feeling and living through.

On page 85, under the heading Social Influences and BPD, the authors write:

“We, along, with other authors, have suggested that rapid social changes in modern societies promote BPD by disrupting integrated social supports. Impulsive behaviors are especially unbridled when the harness of social constraints falls off. Some have suggested that psychiatric patients in more traditional, structured societies are less likely to present for treatment with symptoms of impulsivity but rather seek help for anxiety conflicts…”

This, to me, sounds like a form of pathologizing resistance to patriarchal and conservative norms – especially after reading The Protest Psychosis, an in-depth examination of the ways in which Black people protesting racism were pathologized and incarcerated. I wish the authors had provided examples of which “rapid social changes in modern societies” they’re referring to. Throughout the book, gender and sexuality are pathologized as well (including the usual biphobia that usually shows up in books about mental health). And I find it interesting that resistance has been so consistently pathologized over generations, because conservatism, white supremacy, and yes, nazism, are also pathologized – I’ll be addressing this further in a future entry.

Toward the end of the book, this theme comes up again. In a section called Economic, Societal, and Political Challenges (perhaps the first time I’ve heard these words used in a book about BPD?!), the authors write, “As entropy continues to trump constancy, we should expect expression of more BPD pathology in our culture.” They continue, “Confronting these social issues [divorced families, moving, lack of consistent support and community in neighbourhoods, churches, and schools], mending the torn social fabric, is one of the greatest challenges of our civilization. When scientists discovered that the spread of bubonic plague could be controlled by the elimination of rats and improved sanitation, they directed the appropriate environmental corrections. If we can identify the heritable and environmental factors [they do not name capitalism, poverty, misogyny, etc. here] that increase the prevalence of BPD and other psychiatric illnesses, we should likewise be able to initiate appropriate “social hygiene” that will minimize this spreading psychiatric plague.”

It sounds like they’re arguing for heteronormativity and bland traditional patriarchal social roles (i.e., the things that make so many of us “crazy” or crazy or Crazy). And the use of the terms “social hygiene” and “spreading psychiatric plague” sound an awful lot like eugenics rhetoric to me – I know the authors aren’t talking about such drastic responses, but the words and metaphors they’ve chosen to use have histories and connotations they must be aware of. (Note the comparison of madness to diseases passed on by rats!)

Back to the topic of composite characters in vignettes in books about BPD. One of the characters in this book is a cynical and sarcastic guy whose voice is written as if he’s talking directly to a psychiatrist. While there’s a whole lot to explore in his story, I’ll leave that to folks who want to read the book themselves, but what I want to note was another example, similar to the one I described in an essay in Beyond Borderline, of anti-Black racism. There’s a moment in this story where “Bobby” says, “In the ER, they stuck this hose down my nose and flooded me with ugly-tasting charcoal that’s supposed to soak up the drugs. It was all over my face. I swear, when I was done, I looked like a performer in a minstrel show.”

…Yeah. This racist, anti-Black “joke” shouldn’t have appeared in the book. And once again, not only was it written, it was approved by editors and publishers, some of whom likely actually laughed. Here’s the thing. Not only is it inappropriate on several levels, it also assumes the reader is white and will also find the joke funny. As a fiction writer, and one who definitely creates cynical and sarcastic teenage and twenty-something characters, I often contemplate the use of problematic language in fiction. I ask myself whether or not it is useful to the story. I ask myself whether or not it teaches the reader something they need to know, if the reader is learning something through it, or if is simply insensitive. Or if the information can be revealed in another way. I like unlikeable characters and problematic language is unavoidable in real life, thus will appear in fiction, too. I’ve written characters who use problematic language and I will continue to do so, but I mostly choose not to because it’s usually not necessary. While language is used to show something about the background and attitude of a character, I think most readers can understand this vignette without the authors employing racist jokes. We’ve already learned that he’s cynical, comedic, crazy, and the stressed the fuck out. Unless racism is an important factor in the story, there’s no need for it to be printed.

Also. I’ve had that same charcoal. I’ve had that charcoal staining my mouth, crunching between my teeth, spilling onto my hospital gown. I’ve been hooked up to those machines. I’ve puked that charcoal directly onto at least one nurse and possibly a psychiatrist, and I’ve shit that charcoal into a portable toilet because I wasn’t capable of walking to the nearby bathroom. I have made tons and tons and tons of jokes about this charcoal because I’ve had to employ humour to survive, and because the smell (and sometimes the mere word, the way I remember the texture and the taste) of charcoal became a real trigger to me, and I had/have to make jokes to keep from dissociating too far. But I literally never once thought of a minstrel show when I had charcoal on my face, or the memories of it. This single sentence could be totally excised from the book and not alter the story at all, but they chose to keep it.

Later, anti-Black racism happens again in another fictional vignette. In this story, a white (this is never named, but obviously presumed, throughout the book(s)) woman with BPD impulsively moves to the big city all alone following a break-up. As she crosses the street and flicks her cigarette into a gutter, she hears somebody calling out to her. The voice is described as “more of a barking command than a question” and attributed to “an old gnarled black woman sitting cross-legged in a doorway. Next to her is a rolled-up sleeping bag and a small cocker spaniel…” She asks for a cigarette. “…She notices that the woman’s right hand is not waving to her at all but inexplicably is handcuffed [emphasis in original] to a door handle! …No cops or police cars are in sight…” The homeless black woman then rambles on claiming to be a famous historical figure she clearly is not. “Arleen can’t help but wince and move backward, as if bouncing off the woman’s insane statement.” And then the nameless black woman says, “You’re in jail, too, ain’tcha! You a prisoner, too, honey, you just too stupid to know it.”

So, the only Black woman who appears in this book is homeless, “insane,” described with dehumanizing language (barked, gnarled), and is employed as a frightening spectre of what might happen if you really went crazy, if you really lost it. We’re supposed to believe it’s a story of a borderline making an impulsive decision and realizing she’s not capable quite yet of doing what she wants to do, but instead it becomes a story of a white woman moving to a big city and feeling frightened of a poor, mentally ill, Black woman. Is it necessary to the story? Could the authors have used a not-racist depiction to give us the same information?

I know that to some, it may seem petty to spend so much time interrogating language in this way, but to me it is everything. It is necessary. It is one of my own many ways of resisting. Some of my biggest fears are complicity and complacency. This is one way I refuse to let those (inevitable?) fears come true.

While I was reading / digesting / thinking / writing about these books, I also bought a copy of Conflict Is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility, and the Duty of Repair by Sarah Schulman. When I heard about it last Winter, also while I was bedbound and attending everything in spirit, I was in another very suicidal and lonely state, feeling very much discarded and abandoned by queers, and the knowledge that I could be holding this book in my hands around my next birthday made me wanna live that much longer. I started reading Sarah Schulman’s work in my early-mid-20’s when I was volunteering at a queer library in Guelph, and found a few of her novels from the late-80’s and early-90’s on the shelves. I’d also just – finally! – read The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to A Lost Imagination and cried the whole way through, and it became an early part of my process of mapping out my own queer, mad, sick, weirdo lineages.

But when my copy arrived in the mail, after I read the intro (twice: once online, once on paper), I went back to the Table of Contents and saw that BPD was mentioned, so of course I flipped to those pages right away (page 172+: “Trigger & Shunning #2: Borderline Episode (Psychiatry and Pop Psychology)”). Since I was already very excited to read and discuss the book, and because I was reading her words through a queer enby borderline lens, I wanted to see what she had to say. I was expecting something totally different. I’d read (and am continuing to read) at least a dozen reviews of the book, as well as countless tweets and quotes and pictures of the pages shared online, and I was expecting something different. Nobody I knew or followed online, nobody whose reviews I’d read, nobody who talked to me about the book, even acknowledged the pages about BPD. (I can’t decide if this feels unusual to me, or… just exactly the usual, I guess.)

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[image description: A page from Conflict Is Not Abuse. It says, “Dr. Weigert made the connection between personal projection, overstatement of harm, and political injustice. She treated people whose problems were both fascism and neurosis, with the underlying understanding that fascism is an expression of neurosis. Contemporary psychology and its public face, pop psychology, are less inclined towards articulating those relationships politically. Yet they also define the problematic sequencing of being triggered followed by shunning as a denial by one person of the other’s complexity, followed by the object’s transformation into a monster or specter to be silenced and isolated. In this case the psychiatric category of “borderline personality disorder” or the experience of “borderline episodes” closely resembles the trigger + shunning sequencing of “manic flight reaction.”

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[image description: A page from Conflict Is Not Abuse. It says, “…a kind of “dissociative” state, a level of anxiety about being challenged that is so high that they can’t even remember what the actual conflict is about, and don’t want to be reminded either. All they know is that they feel threatened. What really happened becomes unreachable. In other words, it is a state of being unaccountable. The DSM-5 also points to a compromised ability to recognize the feelings and needs of others associated with interpersonal hypersensitivity (i.e., prone to feel slighted or insulted). Lack of empathy, of course, is central to conflating Conflict and Abuse. Inherent in the sequence is the absence of thought as to the consequences of the false accusations on others. This is followed by feelings of shock and rage when others resist their unjust treatment. All this, of course, is in a childish but pervasive expectation that their orders will be followed. And if that obedience is not in place, huge feelings emerge of being threatened by the others who express disagreement. And here is the classic “trigger,” the “manic” according to the DSM-5: Impulsivity: Acting on the spur of the moment in response to immediate stimuli; acting on a momentary basis without a plan or consideration of outcomes; difficulty establishing or following plans. Close relationships often viewed in extremes of idealization and devaluation and alternating between over-involvement and withdrawal.]

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[image description: A page from Conflict Is Not Abuse. It says, “These ideas around “borderline” also have a mass-market version. The pop psychology book Stop Walking on Eggshells, by Paul Mason and Randi Kreger, like many of its ilk, can be found in the “Recovery” section of large bookstores and is designed for people who “care about someone who has borderline personality disorder.” Their “checklist” for partners includes the following: Are you blamed and criticized for everything wrong in the relationship – even when it makes no logical sense? Do you feel like the person you care about sees you as either all good or all bad, with nothing in between? Are you accused of doing things you never did or saying things you never said?]

From what I’ve seen and experienced, borderlines are significantly more likely to be referred to as monsters, and to be shunned, silenced, and isolated (isolation has been a major theme of my work for a long time). Fascism as neurosis has been debunked again and again and again – here’s one example – and it’s something I’ll continue to explore in future writing. While I’ve never kept my mental illness a secret – I’ve been noisy about it since forever – I will note that such a celebrated and beloved and imaginative and fucking intelligent queer author equating fascism and neurosis, while elsewhere in the book noting how queer community doesn’t talk about mental illness enough (hello, some queer communities have been talking about mental illness and madness for-fucking-ever, you just maybe weren’t listening and that’s why we get stuck having 101 conversations every damn day) is only making it that much harder to do so. There’s a difference between talking about mental illnesses in queer and trans communities, and talking about eliminating people with mental illnesses from queer and trans communities (or eliminating the problems we supposedly cause).

Queer and trans folks already have a long, messy, and ongoing history of being pathologized and labeled crazy simply for being, so rhetoric like this only makes it that much harder to talk about depression and anxiety, which are serious enough on their own, much less talk about our personality disorders and chronic suicidality. It contributes to further isolation, alienation, and shame. Doctors dispose of us, queers dispose of us. Who wants us? Where do we belong?

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[image description: A page from Conflict Is Not Abuse. It says, “Interestingly, one issue that the pop psychology approach addresses that the psychiatric DSM-5 version ignores [Perhaps due to lack of evidence? – M.E.] is the act of calling the police unnecessarily, which is common enough to merit its own chapter [I haven’t been able to read the cop-caller chapters yet. – M.E.]. Under the heading “Lies, Rumors, and Accusations,” Mason and Kreger write that some partners of people who had borderline episodes told us they had been falsely accused of harassment and abuse by the Borderline Personalities in their lives, had been the subjects of damaging rumors and even faced legal actions brought against them by borderlines without legitimate cause. Returning to the theme of perfectionism as a tenet of both Supremacy and Traumatized behavior, the authors note that The fragile self-esteem depends on keeping all sense of failure outside the self. So they present themselves with a self-righteous air of angry superiority and entitlement and accuse the ex-spouse of being psychologically and morally inferior. [Continued on next page, which I didn’t take a photo of…] The spouse is viewed as dangerous and aggressive. Having been wronged these people feel justified in seeking retaliation. Or more urgently, they believe in launching a preemptive strike.]

The page then goes on to connect these borderline behaviours to HIV criminalization in Canada and “efforts by the state to encourage people to denounce their lovers to the police.”

Heavy sighs.

Since I’ve been working on articulating the desire for borderlines to become prison abolitionists (many already are, of course, I see you, hi!), these pages seem so discordant with the conversations I have with people living with BPD. And similar to having been shunned and isolated myself, I’ve also been the “subject of damaging rumors,” “blamed and criticized for everything wrong in a relationship,” and “accused of doing things I never did or saying things I never said.”

But the thing about being a borderline criticizing something that has been written about borderlines, is that I’m a borderline. I’ll still be written off as hysterical, overreacting, taking things too personally.

While there are some excellent, thoughtful, and valid points elsewhere in the book (which I haven’t read-fully yet because it’s complicated stuff that I wanna be fully present & alert to digest) (and I’m still excited about the book because I want to be challenged! And there’s still so much more in these short excerpts that I wanna explore, but writing at this length about this stuff is actually really psyche-draining sometimes and I need to take a break now & then!), as usual, in this section, borderlines are also used as examples of the kinds of people who freak out and overreact and fuck up, who call cops, who call cops on our friends and partners, who accuse others of abusing us when we are abusing them, and notes how some of the symptoms of borderline personality disorder, such as splitting and loss of emotional memory, “contribute to organizing group bullying, calling the police, or initiating shunning as a form of punishment.”

These words, and others in this chapter, are not exactly new, of course – and many of the quotes come from Stop Walking on Eggshells by Randi Kreger, widely recognized as an ableist text on BPD, written by somebody who’s also written a book on how-to-divorce-a-borderline – but I found them more upsetting to encounter because they were written by a writer who is usually so, well, radically insightful and compassionate and creative. They were also upsetting to read because I have been shunned as a form of punishment as well, and these experiences exacerbate symptoms of BPD. I picked up this book specifically to be challenged, and I picked it up knowing I wouldn’t agree with all of it – that was another reason I’d been looking forward to it so much. I wanted and want to read something that challenges me. Although I’d been planning on reading it right away and sharing some of my thoughts, after I read those three or four pages, I set the book down and didn’t look at again for nearly another two months. I’m still approaching it slowly.

It is, however, the first book I’ve read that references the DSM-5, the most recent incarnation of the DSM, instead of past versions. But I’ve gotta say, with so many borderlines and other crazy / mad folks having been continually shunned from society as a whole and from radical, queer, cripple, trans, and feminist communities, the ableism and madphobia against us on these pages seems counterintuitive to the whole premise of the book. And I think borderlines are more likely to have the cops called on us, to be called unsafe. (I thankfully haven’t had the cops called on me as an adult, but I’ve been threatened with it, and I’ve been arrested and charged and incarcerated multiple times as a teenager, which were, surprise, contributing factors to my later diagnosis of BPD.) And and and, so many borderlines have multiple, ongoing experiences of being treated like we are disposable. So what does it mean when it (still) feels like nobody wants us? What does it mean when books are (still) being written on how to rid us from your lives?

As I return to it now, I do still feel pissed off about those words, but I also feel like I am capable of managing my own responses, articulating my own feelings around the book, criticizing with empathy & care & curiosity (& desperation, too, that familiar feeling), and I know that Conflict Is Not Abuse is a book that will contain some of the challenges I am often seeking in books about BPD but hardly ever actually find. In fact, I’m hoping it’ll also become a book I can recommend to borderlines (maybe with a print-out of this entry as a personal DIY foreword & extended content note & writing / dreaming prompt). And I know that I can thank Sarah Schulman for writing something that re-energized me to continue attempting to discuss my own desire to see more borderlines as prison abolitionists, more borderlines as activists, more borderlines as politically-aligned with all oppressed people. I hope this book (and not just this book, but each one I’ve reviewed in this series) will be a part of that process.

Part Three, with further explorations of each book in this series, more thoughts on empathy, discussions of white supremacy and resistance both being conflated with mental illnesses, fibromyalgia & comorbidity, and more notes on continuing to politicize borderline, forthcoming!

Borderliningly Yours,
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P.S.: If you’ve benefited from my writing in any way – if my words have inspired you, helped you feel less alone, or sparked some weird feeling within you; if you’ve felt encouraged, or curious, or comforted – please consider compensating me by offering a donation of any amount. Whether you’ve been reading my writing for years, or just stumbled into me this afternoon, I invite you to help me sustain the process!

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