Borderline Personality Disorder does claim lives. The tragedy of this personality disorder is that there are those indivivduals who, it seems, no matter how hard they try....just DO NOT make it. This is a very sad, and unfortunate reality, but, a reality, nonetheless.

I think that it is important to recognize the intensity and the reality of Borderline pain. If you are a borderline, you know it all to well. If you are a borderline I hope that you won't try to heal all on your own. Therapy can be difficult and extremely trying at times...yes...but, it can also be the vehicle that sees you drive down the highway to health, and happiness, peace and fulfillment.

This page is a page in memory of Anne Wikkula. Anne was a Borderline and Anne, did not make it. Anne took her own life in February of 1997. Anne was a member, for some time, of the Borderline Personality Disorder Support List, (which is a list I own/moderate). The Borderpd list seeks to give borderlines a place to share their feelings and struggles and a place to receive support. What I have included on this page are some things that Anne wrote to the list, with the dates that she wrote to the list.

I felt that it was important to remember Anne...she struggled very hard with much in her life but in the end was unable to find her way out of her Borderline pain, in this life.

I well remember the many times that Anne crossed the boundaries of the list and that she would be furious with me expressing that in some choice ways to me in private email. It is due to my experiences with her as the owner/moderator of the list that not only gave me a greater sense of involvement with Anne but also a greater and much deeper appreciation for just how difficult her struggles were. Sometimes adversity can create a bond. Albeit, I know it was rather a one way bond on my part. My sense from Anne was that I provided an outlet, at times, for some of her self-hate. There is a sense that I wish I could have helped her more or somehow saved her, but, each person (whether diagnosed with BPD or not) must save himself or herself. It was Anne who held the responsibility for her fragile life in her own hands.

You have your life in your hands each and every day of your life. Hold it firmly no matter how hard the whirlwind of BPD or the winds of life blow and toss you emotionally around. Hang on to that grip knowing that each storm in life does come to pass and that you can survive it.

I think it is important to share some of the feelings from others, generally, and from someone like Anne, who did not make it. My hope is that you will be inspired to take care, to get whatever help you may need, to search for the answers that you need to find in your life, if you are a borderline, so that you WILL make it.

© 1997 A.J. Mahari

Exerpts From Anne

Sat, 13 Apr 1996

I ought to work but the micronet is down and I'm bored, so bored, with my book. So, I suppose I have never written a proper introduction about myself and this is a good moment to dot it.

I was born 41 years ago as the eldest daughter of my parents. I got two sisters and a brother. I think I had a happy childhood, although I probably was quite ambitious and always needed to be the best. And I was good in almost everything and without trying so much. In school I was the best in my class. Teacher gave me new math books because I already knew how to count. The same with reading, writing, sports, drawing (music... eh, well, I played piano but I was a very bad singer at that time).

Very early I learned that I don't have to do anything to be best. Of course that did not last. Later, I was quite lazy but I managed to get through the school only by trying to read something before the final examine. After that I did not know what to do. I was somehow good in everything but not good enough in anything. I was interested in everything but I was not ambitious any more. I tried to get to the technical high school to study architecture (probably only because my father is an architect) but I failed in drawing (I did well in math's and other tests). Then I spent one year working in a marketing office. Next summer I got a job on an archaeological excavation and it took me totally. I got into the university, studied very fast, worked on excavations, graduated, got jobs as an excavation leader and grants and own projects, and I made many ambitious plans. I also became more and more involved in the computer techniques which I introduced to the National Board of Antiquities where I was working at that time. I was appreciated.

Five years ago I got this job in the University of Helsinki; I teach, I try to make research and I'm responsible for computer systems and computer teaching at our Dept. I liked this work because I can create new ideas and I can begin with almost anything I want to. And I sure did that. In a couple of years I had so many unfinished articles and projects that I realized that this can't go on. I just did not know what to do to stop it any more. I had begun with my Ph.D. in 1983 and I had collected an enormous material, but I did not have time to finish it. I can only work with it 1-2 months /year, and that seems to be enough to find out what I have done before. I got so stressed. Burn-out was on its way to bloom.

I had been in love when I was 17. The boy left me and I suppose I never really recovered from that. Later, I knew that I was missing someone to love, but I spent all the energy I had to my work. Five years ago I met a man, who was perfect to me. He was a MD and researcher, nice company, intelligent and we had very many interests in common. He was 13 years older than me but I did not consider that as a problem. The problem was that he was in love with a married woman he was working with, and had been for years. I think he was only waiting for her to divorce (she had problems with her husband). During those three years when we had some kind of relationship, he abandoned me three times but took back and ignored me hundreds of times. We had some wonderful times, too, sailing, diving, walking, skiing and just sitting and talking. He brought me presents from different countries and sometimes he was really kind to me. I just never had the possibility to trust him. I had to be scared all the time.

Then the woman divorced and he left me. I did know what had happened. He just did not want to have contact with me any more. After two months he told me. It was autumn 1994. I had already during those years lost my ability to concentrate on my work, but this destroyed what was left of it. I begun to feel that now I'm not good even in my work any more. I got panic attacks, I had enormous problems when I had to give lectures or speak in front of the public. I did not eat, and I cried a lot.

Shortly before Christmas I went to see a doctor, who sent me to meet a psychiatrist. I got fluoxetine. Then, in Jan 1995 after some drinking, I aimed to kill myself with a knife. I was with my sister and she got very shocked. She had to leave (we were in my place) but she called my brother who came in with the house guard because I did not open the door.

After speaking with him 1-2 hours I decided I have to go to the hospital. I called my ex-boyfriend who helped us in finding out where to go. He also phoned to the hospital to make sure they will take me seriously.

I was in the hospital 2-3 months. During that time I tried to kill myself with a knife, with plastic bags, with pieces of glass and finally with pills. My grandmother died, my uncle died, a good friend of mine died and a patient there, a young girl who had become quite close to me, made suicide. That was really an awful time. Every day I wondered if life could get worse, and it always did. I also had big problems in accepting that I was in a mental hospital and that I had left my department and colleagues in trouble. I had failed in everything.

I got out with diagnosis Major Depression and BPD shortly before our annual Field Course, but I decided to go there anyway and it was OK. After that I had July and August to work with my Ph.D., but I had to go to the hospital again, this time only to avoid things getting worse. That was only two weeks. Later, in Oct, I became so depressed again that I could not think about anything else than suicide. Back to the hospital, new medicines, ECT, nothing helped. When I got out in the beginning of last Dec I was not feeling better but I could not afford any more hospitalization. I was financially ruined because of all the hospital bills and lower salary during the periods when I was sick. But life become better anyway and I managed to avoid OD until recently.

I have also had a therapist since April last year, supported by the Health Office. During the summer we had a two months break because of my work and the therapists holiday. I never felt that the therapy gave me anything.

I was only angry after each session because I felt I had wasted my time again. Perhaps it was only because of my own resistance. Some months ago I thought that I _can_ make the therapy better if I try, and I was as open as I could, but that did not help. I understand that I need someone to talk to, but that seems not to be a good reason for me to use that much time. So, I've decided not to try to get support for one more year. I will meet the therapist next Monday to discuss where we came to, but that's it.

So, when I was diagnosed as BPD I begun to read very much about these things, and I was very interested, too. I tried to find out what in my life was or is BPD behavior. Sometimes I think I'm not BP at all, because there are so many things that do not fit. But there also are many things which I must admit, and one reason why I almost believe in diagnosis is that I understand so well the feelings people write about this list. Anyway, my own diagnosis is PTSD.

Now I have a new boyfriend and I'm overwhelmed. I feel very good when I'm with him, even though I sometimes get shocking memories about my ex. I don't want to tell him because he may think it's his fault, so I have to avoid showing them. He calls me and me meet every day, but I don't even know his phone number and I don't very much else about him. I don't want to. I'm not sure if I would care if he left me. I don't miss him and I hardly never think about him. I feel very independent because I don't have to worry about getting abandoned. I don't know if I can ever really love him, but he is the best I can get and I can't afford wasting any more years for looking for the perfect man.

Thu, 18 Apr 1996

Wasn't it only yesterday when I wrote that I can almost believe that my boyfriend loves me. Well, that has changed (surprise, surprise!!!). I called him in the afternoon because I needed to decide if I will stay at work the whole evening or would he come and meet me and give me a reason to go home. He said he was tired because of the cold he had and he tries to sleep and he calls me later and comes to meet me then. I went home, baked, washed some laundry, watched the TV etc. and waited for his call. He called two hours later than I had assumed. It was only two hours, and I knew that he was sick, but anyway, I got that terrible feeling of getting abandoned again and I could not help it. There was no sense in my behavior but I could not do anything to prevent it. When he finally called, I had already decided that our relationship has ended, and I could not help crying when talking to him. I tried to explain that it's not his fault, but I don't think he understood.

He just kept on saying that he was so tired and I have to learn to trust him. Well, we said "good night" to each other and I went to bed, crying all the time. After ten minutes my door bell rang and he was there. I felt better but something very painful was still inside me, and I was soooo ashamed because I felt that I had forced him to come, even though it was so late and he was sick.

So, I have failed. I did exactly what I was afraid I would do. Now I'm even more scared than I was? How do I learn to handle this? Is there a way I could explain him what this feeling is and how hard it is to avoid it (he says I'm so intelligent that I can learn how to trust him - he really does _not_ understand that this has nothing to do with intelligence)? I don't know how to continue, but I don't intend to give up. Scared to death (yes, I even thought about killing myself again).

Thanks for listening,


Sun, 21 Apr 1996

I have so many times been unable to leave my bed. But on the other hand, I have also experienced, that it _is_ worth getting up and just beginning to do something. Light does not look for you, you have to look for it.

Sun, 14 Apr 1996

I have tried to analyze my childhood. I haven't done it in the therapy but on my own. I can't se any problems in it, so I have not had any reason to talk about it to my therapist. But there is one point: my mother always tried to tell me how good I am. My sister does not agree with me in this, so it must have been something I have experienced stronger than she has. She says we did not have enough support, and my opinion is totally the opposite. The problem is that I felt that my mother is stupid because she can't see that I'm not as good as she says. And perhaps I tried to become what she assumed me to be. I don't know. I'll discuss this with my therapist tomorrow. He probably wants me to continue, but he has a lot to do to convince me.

Mon, 15 Apr 1996

I have eating problems, both overeating and not eating at all, but it has never been really serious. I eat a lot when I'm alone at home, and I suppose it has something to do with avoiding the feeling of loneliness. A couple of times I have eaten so much that I had to throw up. Usually I only get stomach pain. And then, when I'm busy and working or with my friends I may simply forget to eat, and these are usually longer periods when I really lose weight very fast. But I use same clothes as I did five years ago, so the changes are not too big.

What to do with it? I don't know. I try to avoid looking at the mirror and criticizing my outlook, but that does not help very much because I have long ago _decided_ that I don't have to look so good. Somehow we should try to fill the emptiness with something else than food.

Mon, 15 Apr 1996

I always have that problem when I go the hospital. They ask me how I would like them to help me, and I can only say that I need to be taken care of. I want them to show that they care about me, but I can't say how they should do it. I go to the hospital for a big, big hug but I never get it.

Mon, 15 Apr 1996

Yeee, that's the feeling of going through your life by bluffing? I have created a double-bluff for defending myself. I joke about how stupid and incompetent I am, so that people think that I can laugh to myself but I don't really think that way. They don't see that there are tears behind my laugh, but that's what I want, I suppose. I look stronger than I am but I still tell them the "truth" (my own truth) about myself.

Tue, 16 Apr 1996

He said that I may call him if I do change my mind. If I do it in a couple of months we can try to continue together, and if I do it sometimes after years, he will try to help me to find a new therapist.

I just don't know what to do. I would like to think that I don't need therapy, because it would some kind of victory for me. But on the other hand, I know it would help me to win something else. Well, this is what BPD is, isn't it?

Wed, 10 Apr 1996

My threrapist has done it several times. He says something which sounds so irrational or crazy in my ears, that I can't take it seriously. I cannot believe he is that stupid, so he must do it on purpose to make me angry. So, I don't get angry and we can't reach what he wants or what I want - real discussion. But I'll have my last session next week (no more funding), so I suppose I'm cured now. Actually, I don't miss him or the therapy. I'll take my life in my own hands now, wowwwww!!!!

Oh, there are so many ways to protect yourself. Most of then seem to be destructive in the end.

Sat, 13 Apr 1996

I was out on Thu evening with my friends and drunk two beers. It was the first time I drunk something after my last "episode" three weeks ago, when I drunk too much, and ODed. I thought that I managed well now, not falling in bad drinking (I don't have any meds now so I can't even OD - how unsecure feeling....).

Fri, 1 Nov 1996

I'm sitting here, quarter to 6 in the morning, still wondering what to do. My therp said that he doesn't think I need to go there. In his words, I have showed that I can use the few moments I have to be with myself and to relax, so I'm not that over-stressed. And that's true, in a way.

But there is that black and ugly creature trying to pull me down to the darkness and depth, and I've managed to fight it because I have had a good reason - my responsibilities. Having no lectures any more this year may cause that I lose my touch, and the depression wins again. And that's what I'm very scared about.

Something like that. I don't know I begin and the borderline ends, or the other way round. I'm not able to connect the symptoms with something I _think_ is the real me.

We have done a lot of such searching and sometimes I feel that I'm very close to realising something - but then the whole thing blows up. There is nothing dramatic in my childhood, but I know that I was very young when I started to feel that my parents' love is not for me, it's for my younger sisters and brother, and I'm there to take care of them, with my parents. That sounds crazy, but it's about how it was.

My therp says that "one day" I will take him as something like a "parent-figure" and that way show my feelings to mom and dad through him, but I don't believe that will happen. But never say never. I can work on avoiding BP behavior but how can I avoid BP feelings?

Sat, 9 Nov 1996

At least I'm not "further along" than you, but of course I'm not "everyone". But I suppose that the point in recovery is not as much theorethical "knowing" as it is understanding your _own_ feelings.

I don't get triggered of someone elses suicidal thoughts (I have enough black energy of my own) People, who have no idea about borderline feelings and the strength of them, can never understand you. They perhaps want to, but they can't.

They can't even understand depression if they have never felt it. I suppose someone who has never had headache, can't understand how painful it can be. We just have to accept that.

I haven't been sexually abused either but I became BP. I also thought that I have gone through nothing, but when I started discussing my childhood with my therp, I noticed that my little head really had good reasons to feel abandoned. I don't blame anyone, it just happened.

Paradoxically, there is some organization in a misorganization, too. You say that you have failed at everything, so I have to believe that you have, although I know that I often feel that way and logically it's not true. But even if you have failed, it doesn't mean that you have to fail next time, too. In a book I've been reading the author says that borderlines have never passed the baby's inability to understand time and the need to get immediate relief, so they use words "always" and "never" in situations where there is no sense in using such words.

Sun, 10 Nov 1996

I also realize now that I can't think clearly when I very depressed.

This has caused that I don't even want to think or feel anything before I can make some sense. I do this mostly because I'm afraid of borderline behavior, so I rather do nothing than harm. But somehow I think this means that I hide and deny my own feelings, only to prevent myself from behaving bp again.

Uhh... this is far too complicated to me.

Mon, 11 Nov 1996

I know my threapist doens't see me as just a label, on the contrary. My problem is inside me. I can't see anything else than BP behavior in me any more. Everything I do, feel or think seems to be BP somehow, and even the opposite is. There is no way to be "normal".

Sun, 10 Nov 1996

But for years I've thought that religion is a defense, and if someone needs it, that's ok to me. To me, it's a better defense to think that there is no G-d, because I can't understand how anyone, being able to control this world, could let all this happen. And I don't mean my pain only.

Tue, 26 Nov 1996

I don't think you really care. And I don't think I REALLY CARE EITHER. I need to die. I don't believe I want to die.

Fri, 15 Nov 1996

More than a year ago I was in hospital and met there a nice young girl, studying to me a nurse but _very_ depressed. She was on Day Treatment and had been for some time, so she always got meds with her when she went home for the night. One day she came to tells us (a group of patients) that she had asked a nurse to give her a scale (because the has lost so much weight and wanted to know how much) and the nurse just looked her and asked her why she needs that scale. She became angry nd said:"I'm certainly not going to kill myself with it" and went away, to tell us. She looked so strange, grey and... well, I was scared. Then she said that she is now going to write a letter and went alone to the threrapy room.

I never saw her again. She had gone home and during the night she had taken the all the meds she had collected for this purpose during the time she was on day treatment. Next morning the staff told us she was dead.

I was shocked. I was in day treatment too, but because of my suicidality and my reaction to her death they took me in for the coming weekend. Before that I had a discussion with my doc, and I accused that nurse and I was so angry. He said that no-one could know that she would do that. I almost screamed "No-one could know!!!!! Even I saw it!!!!".

I felt so guilty because I had actually seen that she was in danger but I didn't do anything. I didn't understand, but I should have.

Later I realized how shocked my doc had also been (the girl was his patient). In our discussion he used such words he would never use with patients.

Mon, 6 Jan 1997

Walking On Eggshells is for people who care about someone with BPD.

I've problems in writign because by hand is badly hurt, so i try to make this short: I read your book a long ago and promised to comment.

Now, I don't remember very much any more. But the most important was that the book gives the impressions that all the prolems between two (or several) poeple are cause by BPD. The non-PD is totally unquilty. I gave the book to my sister to read, and yesterday she accused me for everything she had read in that book. I trusted her when I gave it to her, but the worst happened - exactly as I had been afraid how a non-BP would read the book.

I have had really terrible times. I fought with my brother (pshycally - that's when I got my bones in my hand broken, and it was my fault, I irritated him and didn't obey him) and he said that he never wants to see me in his hime again. My sister said that during these two years I've cared for noboby but myself and I've turned my back to every problem. They just can't see what I've done, but of course I admit that I have had problems with myself. I've desided not to have anthing to do with them or their families, no matter how much I love them and no matter how much it hurts them or myself.

I went to the hospital last Fri but they sent me out today because it was too crowded. I don't not if I will survive until tomorrow.

So, the rest of this letter was not about your book. I just can't write any more. Terry and newmum are prehaps waiting for a responce to their pritave messages, but this is all I can do. I will also unsubscribe now. Thanks to all of you. I will be gone now. I will dissociate permanently. Yes, I'm more suicidal than ever.

If I had hugs to give you, I would to that. But noboby want ice-cold hugs.


  • Poem-"Suicide" Written by A.J. Mahari, in memory of Ann

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