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This is a forum for discussing borderline personality disorder and other psychiatric illnesses. Everyone is welcome. This is a safe haven here. We all want to help one another and offer support and understanding.

I am finally getting back to this site, my first one, begun in 1997 to write more stories, essays and even a screenplay based on my book. Keep coming back as I get things whipped into shape. I hope everyone is doing well and staying strong.

"I sit at my table and wage war on myself It seems like it's all for nothing.
I know the barricades, and
I know the mortar in the walls breaks
I recognize the weapons. I've used them well.
I've a rich understanding of my finest defenses:
I proclaim that claims are left unstated.
I demand a rematch.
I decree a stalemate.
I divine my deeper motives.
I recognize the weapons.
I've practised them well, I fitted them
Myself.
It's amazing what devices you can sympathize, empathize.
This is my mistake. Let me make it good.
I raised the wall and I will be the one to knock it down.
Reach out for me, hold me tight, hold that memory.
Let my machine talk to me. Let my machine talk to me".

----R.E.M.
"World Leader Pretend".

The Art Of Being Borderline

"I hate you! Don't leave me!"
Isn't that our supposed, cliche-encrusted battle-cry?
A pathetic way to encapsulize
A life teetering on the borderline.

Merely it's the everyday person,
Armed with social ammunition,
Taunting abnormal creatures crouching low,
In our perpetually-shrinking boxes.

Psychotic fingers of frenzy grasp her tangled hair,
While anxiety rips her nerves into vicious whirlwinds,
As he viscous, bubbling tarpit of black ennui
Covers her mouth and won't let her scream.

She spits out the vile substance,
And stuffs words down her throat to soothe her.
Then, her stomach fluttering with dizzying fear,
Of the curse of encroaching obesity.

Completely abandoning any semblance of control,
She's forced to vomit out each nurturing sentence.
She watches as they spiral down the toilet forever

Taking with them any loose fragments of self-esteem.

Who will unlock this torture chamber of a stifling box?
Who will stay when being constantly spat upon?
From within the iron walls of distrust and self-loathing,
I find I have no answers for my poor, desperate friend.

For, I too, stumble awkwardly and thick-minded,
Precariously along the borderline of Hell.
Holding her hand in a clammy, dish-rag grasp,
I quake and whimper with her in our fear.

Jane Wanklin,

1997

Attention:

Update Announcement

Hello again, everyone. The date is August 31st, 2001 and I am finally updating this page. I must apologize for my lengthy absence, but a very busy life and a new book upcoming has kept me away from this page. Of all the websites I have online, this one is closest to my heart and the one where I can, hopefully, help others with mental illnesses not to make the kind of mistakes that I did. Aside from my current literary project, I am going to be putting chapters of a fictionalized story of what happened to me following the year of 1995, when I wrote my first autobiography. The reason I am writing it as a fictional work is because that way, it may reach a wider audience than the other one did. I will be posting five chapters of the work here on this page in the very near future.

I am using a friend's computer now, as I blew out my modem during a thunderstorm the other night---I am posting many new poems and a short story about a teenage girl suffering from trichotillomania, which is a disorder wherein the person pulls out hair, including eyelashes and eyebrows, as a nervous, obsessive-compulsive act. I have been dealing with this problem since I was fourteen and thought I was the only one in the world that did such a bizarre and disfiguring thing. When I saw a program featured on the Dateline NBC show not too long ago, I was surprised and astonished that this was a known condition and that many people had experienced it in one degree or another.

Again, I am sorry I've neglected this page for so long. Please keep coming back and checking in. I welcome your feedback. Please be well, everyone. I love you all.

Here's a pleasant diversion from all the gloom and doom.

This page and the poems I've included below are a way to introduce my world of mental health
and those of us who live in our worlds that may seem quite strange and eerie
to some of you. There are many who walk teeteringly along the borderline,
uncertain and frightened. We are afraid, not of anything external, but of
ourselves and the undoings of our very own minds. It is an illness with the
rather ponderous name of "Borderline Personality Disorder".

But there is much data and information on BPD on the Web and in bookstores
and libraries everywhere these days. It wasn't always like that. Twenty
years ago, when my life spiralled out of control at university and I ended
up in a mental hospital for the better part of that two decades, there was
nothing either written or spoken about this disorder. It was labelled such
misnomers as "schizophrenia", "hysteria" and, oh, my "favourite" one:
Behaviour Problem".

But I survived many years of slashing, eating disorders, suicidal depression
anxiety, shop-lifting and reclusiveness. I survived to become a writer of
some modest success, a gift to me for my trials. Some are given nothing in
return for a life of tragedy and mental illness. They waver in and out of
institutions, brains numbed by psychotropic drugs and feeling that life
really is not worth the trouble and pain of living it.

This may sound pompous and overblown, but I am on a mission: With my poetry,
prose and vignettes on emotional disorders, insanity and life lived on the
edge of a sparkling razor blade, I hope to both help fellow suffers who
dwell in their own houses of pain and those who love and care about us.

So here I am, having endured three gruesome years held virtually prisoner in
a concentration camp-like mental ward back in the late 1970's. It employed
a controversial form of "treatment" called "Behaviour Modification" and
left scars far deeper and more permanently etched than any with which I
decorated myself with an arsenal of razor blades and torn-up soda pop cans.
Nobody can hurt me now.

I Have An Announcment To Make

Sometime this month, I have a book coming out, my first,which is an autobiography on my life with Borderline Personality Disorder. The book is entitled, "Let Me Make It Good" and is taken from an R.E.M. song called "World Leader Pretend".

Because of the kindness and generosity of the band's personal manager, Bertis Downs, I am able to use the first two verses of the chillingly appropriate song as part of my book's introduction.

Chapters Four, Seven and Eleven are now available on the Next Page, if you click on that.

Although parts of the book are quite graphic, and therefore, not for the sqeamish, the overall message is one of hope, for if you can endure horrific situtations and emotions, you can claim victory.If this book helps even one poor soul out of the darkness and into the light, then all those years of misery will have been worth it. Thank you.

Are some of you reading this hurting right now? Do you feel that you just
cannot go on and face another day in your tiny, cramped boxes? Take heart,
if I can overcome to the degree of functioning in the world again when it
was once determined I would never leave institutional life, so can you. I
am certainly nobody special, but I AM a survivor.

Each week there will be new entrants of "Mental Health Literature". Some of
it may deeply disturb with twinges of recognition, some will be repulsive,
but you can rest assured that the overall theme of this Borderline Box is
HOPE. For though the walls of those boxes are always a moment away, they
cannot imprison us. We have power and strength, a greater quantity than the
so-called "normal" (I hate that word) folks who stare at poor souls who
mumble and stumble in the streets, too poor for medication to keep the
psychotic edge of the box from closing in too tightly. Believe me, hearing
voices is not like being at the movies.

So without a lot more of my gabbing (once I get started...) I will present
for your contemplation a series of poems about the art of being borderline.
I hope you gain some insight, or at least are mildly diverted from your own
problems temporarily.

"Here's a spoonfull of sugar that helps the medicine go down"


Why Do We Cut Ourselves?
A stab at explaining this rather bizarre and disturbing symptom which is very prevalent among borderline sufferers


Living In A Firestorm
Trying to quell the flames of ravaging eating disorders


Futility
A woman learns that cutting isn't nirvana


The Porcelain Prince
A young girl is chained to a world of bulimia


The Punk
Youth on the borderline of despair


I Have Lost Myself
A young woman splits into another for solace


Reflection?
A young boy looks at himself and destructs.


Starkness
That poor girl in this poem is stripped of everything that would have bathed her in self-love and self-respect


Seclusion
This place should never be visited by any human


The Artist In Transition
A poem dedicated to Kurt Cobain, who suffered from bi-polar disorder and, as we all know, took his own life


The Stranger
A mother looks questionably at her emotionally lost son


Anorexic At the Fair
A young girl is slowly starving herself to death


A Transient Mind In the Throes Of Indecision
A woman refuses to, or cannot, seek treatment for her schizophrenia, so she becomes one with the aimless bag ladies


Implosion
A suicidal woman spends her last night on earth.


Two Autumn Deaths
A clinically depressed teenage duo on the grounds of the hospital where they are certified, kill themselves in a suicide pact


The art of being borderline, or having any disabling mental illness, is one
of inner strength, stubbornness and survival. We are not going to suffer
anymore. The time has come for inner peace. May all of you reading this
who know the demons of illness take some comfort and inspiration from that.
Writing is my release, my educational tool. It was all meant to be.

This page was last updated on May 17th, 2002. Below you will find three chapters from my book, "Let Me Make It Good: A Chronicle Of My Life With Borderline Personality Disorder":


Chapter Four:
The Shadow Girl


Chapter Five:
Sustaining In the Psychedelic Vacuum


Chapter Seven:
The Ivory Towers Are Crumbling All Around Me: My Freshman Year At York

There's a place we have here in London, Ontario, Canada called "S.A.F.E." It is an acronym for Self Abuse Finally Ends and I used to be a member until apathy, illness and hospitalization made it
impossible for me to attend since 1993.

The principles of S.A.F.E. are that, first, you do not cut on the premises
or you will be sent home or to the emergency room. Next, you don't talk
about actually cutting. They use art therapy and group discussions, but most
importantly of all, there is a support line. That meant everything to me and
>P> It is run by an incredible and dynamic survivor of BPD named Mary Graham.
She would not mind me talking about her here. She and some of my friends
from S.A.F.E. appeared on the "Maury Povich" talk show in 1993 and the
response form all over was staggering. It seems that, particularly in the
United States, there are few programs and self-help groups for borderlines
and particularly those who cut. Because of that television appearance, Mary
recieved hundreds of calls and is working on helping organizations all over
North America develop places like S.A.F.E.

Remember, you are not in this alone. That is one of the purposes of this
page, along with depicting borderline and mental illness of various kinds,
to let everyone know that there is help out there. You just have to know
where to find it.

If anyone has any questions about the S.A.F.E. organization or anything
pertaining to my current philosophy, (which is not likely to change) on
cutting as an addiction, please e-mail me. My e-mail address is at the bottom of this page


My R.E.M. Connection
This ends Part One of my R.E.M.-inspired chronicles


Don't Worship Michael Stipe Like I Used To
This ends Part Two of my R.E.M.-inspired chronicles


Ode To A Hologram
This ends Part Three of my R.E.M.-inspired chronicles with a poem for Michael


R.E.M. Quells The Storms Within
This ends Part Four of my R.E.M.-inspired chronicles


Michael Wondering
Michael writes to heal the pain and so do I


Michael, Sometimes I Get So Scared
I reflect as if Michael Stipe could hear me


The Diva
This elderly soul, left only with memories scattered haphazardly all around her, waits with Heather and Michael for the blesssed end to come


Disconnected From the World
A woman finally unravels the fabric that kept her rooted in the world


Briefly Swathed In White Light
A woman attempts suicide and is denied access into heaven


Political, Mental Illness and R.E.M. Haikus
These pieces of haiku poetry are an eclectic gathering and, though some are not very pretty, they are often culled from personal experiences, situations and events.


The Alienation Of the Mentally Ill
"All in all is all we are" ---Nirvana


Voices From The Darkness
Brenda's schizophrenia takes her to a strange but not-so-terrible place. But I don't recommend it yet


The Borderlines' Rich Fantasy Life
Our imaginations can liberate us from our prisons, temporarily at least


Sexual Confusion Among Those With Borderline Personality Disorder
Sometimes, things turn out better than we'd envisioned them


Michael, Help Me Quell My Anger, Please
I get a lesson in anger manageement from none other than Michael Stipe. What secrets does he have hidden deep inside?


A Teen Obsessed In the Ritualistic Horror Story Of Her Life
Yes, if only Tanya could be freed from her prison. But there was now some hope to cling to


"Friends Without Faces"
Maybe they don't have faces, but their souls come shining through all the cables, wires and hardware


Rebecca's Triumph Over Despair, With A Lot Of Help From Someone Special
This story is for my friend, Meredith J. Fine. With love, from Jane


The Disappearing Act
Eating Disorders Are Destroying Us All


Gothic UnderworldA Vignette About Teen Suicide

Please Note:

I'm Finally Back

Well, after being away from the Internet for over a year and not having updated this since, I hope you will like all of the material I will be putting in here over the next months. I have updated it already, as a matter of fact: I've begun a chapter on eating disorders which you will find right above you, along with a complete vignette about a very serious problem today, and that is the staggering suicide rate among teenagers. I hope you are all well. I've been thinking about everyone who has visited this site. It means a great deal to me. Thank you.


Borderlines and Rejection
Life can be a bitch. Accept it, hold your head high and forget about those who rebuke you. They aren't worth the aggravation, believe me

Next PageClick here to reach my three chapters from "Let Me Make It Good: A Chronicle Of My Life With Borderline Personality Disorder", due out in print this week. Just scroll to the bottom of the page and you will see them all listed. Thank you. I just wish that every suffering person out there could gain what took me literally years to achieve: Hope and the privilege of being alive. Some of you might recognize yourself in my tortured world of darkness. My heart goes out to you.
Please take care and stay safe.

Let's not forget a former member of my favourite band, who went on his way on Halloween. We love you. Oh, and by the way, I found some really cool R.E.M. graphics on the web. Here's one of many:

The Boxdweller,
"Psychodramata"

"You're moving through rough waters, motel boy
And swimming in your sleep.
How could I have been so blind, mis-sighted
Not to see there's something wounded deep".

-----R.E.M.

A good choice of band for the disinherited. Their music comforts me.

C 1997
If you want to write to me for any reason, or to get hope to carry on, I am right here:

freedomfightertjm@yahoo.ca

Hope For the Flowers

Look to Mother Nature for hope.
You'll find that it's easy to cope.
Slender stems just might bend with the rain
They'll survive and they'll all bloom again.

Safe Searching
Included in the Safe Searching Index

Last Updated:
June 14th, 2004.

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