Below is a letter to my psychologist who offered me a reduced rate so as I could get some treatment. I have omitted names.
Thank you so much for your kind offer to see me at a reduced rate. I really appreciate this gesture as I know that this is not a standard or viable business practice.
Diagnosis of BPD presents it’s own confrontations. Firstly, I understand that this is an informed and 100% accurate diagnosis.
As this was my initial intent for seeing you, I am happy to know what I am dealing with, although the realisation that I have lived in this insidious disorder for most of my life is disturbing and confronting. It explains so much of my emotional dis-regulation and behaviours that I did not previously understand.
However a diagnosis alone does not make me better.
In the past, I would have welcomed nurturing through manipulation and would have been comfortable to accept both money off my brother S and a reduced rate from somebody who owes me nothing. I have researched BPD thoroughly in attempt to understand this disorder in detail and to understand the best treatment options for me. I understand that DBT would be the most beneficial therapy available at present. I am no longer comfortable manipulating to illicit nurturing, regardless of my pain and desire to be well.
The fact is my life is such a mess which revolves on a never ending nightmare as if from a Stephen King book. I understand that I am in my current situation because I have BPD not because I am a bad person. I have read copious amounts of material from the internet and have come up with some strategies to assist in recovery at this stage. Through my research I entered a contest for a DBT workbook through DBTpath.com (a useful site) which I won. I have commenced work on these exercises to be proactive and take responsibility for my treatment.
I have faced considerable devaluation and discrimination through the local Area Mental Health Service to the point I can no longer deal with them. I am still angry I was put in jail for having BPD symptoms (suicidal thoughts and attention seeking behaviour) when presenting to ED again. I realize that this is a mixture of legitimate discrimination, devaluation and also BPD symptoms (fear of abandonment). I understand that this situation happened and I must now move past this and other perceived or real situations and events that will hinder my progress in recovery.
Due to my financial situation I can not afford the costs of your services, although I clearly need a therapist who understands this disorder. I have been visited by a lawyer who is attempting to claim insurance through my super fund to alleviate my abstract poverty and so as I can gain appropriate services, such as yours. This will be a 12 month process at least, if successful, I will definitely engage your services again, yet at the appropriate full rate. I feel it would be beneficial to discuss my progress and concerns with you, as I am currently seeking validation and understanding from people who do not have the tools or knowledge to provide appropriate input or feedback, especially about suicidal thoughts which I have not spoken to anyone about, such is my shame and confusion over these. I now understand the depth of my pain and associated mind set that anything is better than this fractured life.
I have attempted to gain treatment through SXXXXX, however they will only treat me if I am case managed by the local Area Mental Health Service which is out of the question. An analogy of this situation is if you take your car to a mechanic with a faulty generator and regardless of how many times they work on it it keeps breaking down. They keep replacing a battery (medication) to temporarily rectify the problem to allow the car to run. Yet, due to the mechanics lack of knowledge the underlying problem of the faulty generator is never repaired so the problems keep occurring and continuous flat batteries are the result. Would you return your car to this mechanic after years of flat batteries? SXXXXX will not deal with me on an individual basis. I am looking into a year long outpatient DBT program through the Melbourne Clinic, yet until I can afford this it won’t happen.
I will investigate other appropriate financial support options to obtain treatment as it is not an illness I can live in for much longer, I wonder if it was a physical illness I suffered whether I would face such obstacles to gain appropriate treatment, I doubt it.
For the meantime I will continue on with self DBT therapy and hope I can maintain focus on recovery as avoidance is a huge obstacle for me.
At the risk of idealization I really appreciate your help, I often review your strategies that you gave me on my phone and try to implement these, especially when triggered. I review my strengths which seem at times, due to self loathing, to be distant. I understand this thought process and how it relates to BPD.
Are you aware that Marsha Lineham (the founder of DBT therapy) is coming to Australia early next year to present DBT therapy skills for practitioners and therapists. I have found her insights and methods very helpful. I can get the details if you or any of your colleagues are interested.
I have also watched a 2 hr video of a conference on youtube called “Loving somebody with BPD – A model of emotion regulation” by Shari Manning Ph.D,which I found enlightening and appropriate for anybody who has to deal with BPD sufferers. Here is a link to this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pstv6FZZlQw . I hope you get a chance to view it. It would be a valuable insight for families of, or anyone who communicates with BPD sufferers.
I am under no illusion as to how long or hard this process and treatment will take, or that it’s ultimate success depends on me. I am the only one who can do the work. There is no magic pill. No one but myself will save me.
I thank you for the gift of understanding and insight, I know this is uncommon in men, we are often diagnosed with depression or addiction which are only co-morbid conditions, not the underlying problem (generator). I am reassured that there is a collective conscience for support through the internet at such sites as healingfrombpd.org which is a really valuable tool in coming to terms with and understanding this disorder. I don’t feel so emotionally isolated knowing others have the same affliction and similar struggles as I have.
Again, thankyou for your assistance and support in this matter, I will definately see you again as soon as I am able too under my own steam, without the emotional guilt of haveing S pay for your services or at a reduced rate, as this is not fair on S nor yourself. I will cope regardless.