How to Submit to the Voices Project

How to submit to the voices project:

The voices project is open to anyone who has experienced BPD, either as an individual, family member, friend, or provider.

We publish poems, short stories, and life experiences and reflections. We ask that your submission be no longer than 2000 words.

If you are interested in participating,  please fill out the contact form and message us your paragraph or story. Please include the heading: For the Voices Project.

4 Comments

  1. For The Voices Project

    My Journey Into an Unknown World

    During my high school years, events began to transpire. I used drugs, alcohol, seeked love & affection from boys that liked me, skipped classes and hung out with the wrong crowd which got me in a lot of trouble. I had my car taken away from me and I was placed once in indoor suspension. When my parents found out about the drugs, my mother took me to get evaluated at a place where I would have to stay for a certain period of time. That didn’t happen because the counselor felt all I needed was to see a therapist for my anger and temperament.

    My mother took me to one, it helped calm me down for the moment. I changed, became more mature, met a guy which my father had hired at our family-owned photography business at that time when I was seventeen. Three years later we got married. I had my two children 3 and 4 years after that and separated 4 years later. I wasn’t really in love. I was unhappy. Five months later I met my current husband. He witnessed my anger issues throughout. Then came the jealousy and insecurities. I still managed to hold a full-time job and finish my Bachelor’s degree. Then came the depression, to the point where I realized I couldn’t fight this on my own anymore. I sought help on my own accord. This was in 2012. I was a Case Manager for a non-profit organization helping teens and their families cope with similar situations. It was obviously affecting my job (which I was considering as my career) because I wasn’t meeting my quota. I didn’t want to leave my house and visit my clients, I wasn’t working enough hours and my boss even noticed that since I joined the team, I always looked depressed and anxious…how embarrassing. That’s when I put in my letter of resignation and have not been working since. I’m waiting for my disability hearing next month.

    I was initially diagnosed with Bipolar II having characteristics or symptoms of “a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, but no full-blown manic or mixed episodes.”, according to NIMH. I remember that day sitting in the psychiatrists office crying my eyes out, telling her everything I was feeling. I went home with my first cocktail of medications. I’ve never been the same again. I kept going to this community center (because I didn’t have insurance) for at least a year. I saw 4 psychiatrists there and a counselor, which Baker Acted me for the first time due to self harming. It was horrible and scary. I was admitted for 3 days. The Baker Act is the Florida Mental Health Act. It does not substitute for any other law that may permit the provision of medical or substance abuse care to persons who lack the capacity to request such care (2014 Baker Act: The Florida Mental Health Act User Reference Guide).

    Since then I was baker acted 3 more times. One more involuntary and 2 voluntary. I’ve been through a myriad of medications. Some did worse, some were okay. I’m still on antidepressants, anxiety and mood stabilizers. I’m still “labeled” as Bipolar with severe depression, severe GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) but all my symptoms actually fit the criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). My emotions are always all over the place, I still self-harmed, my insecurities haunt me, my depression and anxiety take the best of me and it’s even more difficult when you have a family.

    As of today, it all makes sense as to why this all came about. I never felt validated growing up, my mother didn’t listen to me as much as I needed her to. When I did something wrong, her reactions were always negative. It was okay then to discipline your child(ren) in another fashion and that’s what I received, until I fought back. I wasn’t able to voice my opinions or thoughts because to her I was always trying to go against her or trying to win…that wasn’t it at all. I needed support, trust and understanding, someone I could talk to besides my friends. I had to find that on my own. Apparently it caught up to me. Now I’m seeing a therapist who is working with me using DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) skills to improve the way I handle my situations and learn how to cope with everything life has thrown at me. My medications keep me somewhat stable, since there is no cure for BPD. Only the symptoms can be helped. With DBT, the rest is up to me.

    Every day I live with this monster inside me trying to scratch its way out but it’s something I have to accept through Radical Acceptance and Emotion Regulation. Those are my 2 main concerns. There are still many changes that need to occur in my life to help me along my journey but in the meantime I’ll KEEP SWIMMING and not let my BPD take me down with it.

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  2. Jade Niece says

    I have suffered from BPD for what seems the whole of my life. Though I have been in therapy for at least 20 years, and taken 3 separate DBT classes over the years, I seem to go a few steps forward and many steps back. I am still overwhelmed and disbelieving of the stigma and hurtful attitudes towards people with BPD. I have had childhood sexual abuse and abandonment and a brutal rape in my past, and some loved ones seem to try to understand PTSD and depression and anxiety disorder, but BPD is by far the most traumatic and damaging to my life, and the support or understanding and compassion ends there. I have been treated like a drama queen and abusive, controlling, crazy, scary, manipulative, etc by pretty much everyone in my life. My current partner has no desire to understand despite having mental illness herself, which she receives my full support. She was recently diagnosed with DID, and I was surprised to see so many more positive stories of happy relationships where alters are treated like family and the “host” gets so much support. I find the opposite for those of us with BPD. So much anger, accusations of being crazy and total lack of understanding of triggers and emotional agony, emotions that make daily interactions painful and debilitating, and for me, self loathing and a sense of not being real. I feel like despite decades of hard work, I still struggle so hard to act rather than continually reacting. All I want is to be a genuine and kind person , with (for the first time) a loving marriage. Even my partner’s therapist tells her to leave me, she will never be happy or peaceful if I am in her life. I am constantly terrified I will leave this earth knowing truly NO ONE ever knew me at all. How can my life matter and feel real in the end if I was never a real person to anyone?

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  3. hi I’m courtney miller from fayetteville pa I have been diagnosed with bpd hpd ptsd odd adhd biploar mania ocd stress anxiety amnesia major chronic depression I am only 26 years old and in intensive counseling and been in hospital over 6 times for rages and impulsiveness aggressiveness I had a very bad child hood I was sexually abused beaten in teen years I was looking to get out and help the community that they are not alone but I don’t know where to began

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  4. Brittanny says

    Last night as I laid in bed with my boyfriend, he pulled me close and whispered in my ear, “I love you.” But then he put both hands up like our parents would when we were little to pretend that they were monsters, and tickled me for what seemed like forever. I laughed and screamed and kicked my legs, trying to push him away, as I could barely handle the sensation. I laughed more than I’ve laughed in a long time. He finally stopped to give me a break and whispered in my ear again, with a smile on his face “Now why can’t you be like that all the time baby?” I turned and looked at him, confused, “like what?” He continued tickling me and then said, “laughing, smiling, happy.” A lot of things happened after that, but they’re all a blur. That line is the last thing I remember. That hit me hard.
    Now, my wonderful boyfriend knows pretty much everything about me. He knows I have several clinical depression, anxiety, and borderline personality disorder, as well as an array of issues that come with these disorders. He’s very very supportive and does everything he can possibly can to help me manage all of this. He encourages me every day to take my meds, do my meditation, and whatever other exercises help me. He also knows that I can’t just “be happy.” He understands that my brain often prevents me from such a thing. It was just, to hear that, really hit home for me. As I turned my head away, trying to stay happy, because I know that when I’m happy he’s happy, but I couldn’t help thinking what I would have said to someone else had they said that to me.
    My boyfriend meant no harm. As I mentioned, he understands my issues and everything, but if a random person or a family member had said that to me, I would have gently told them how it doesn’t work that way.
    We have little circles in our brain called “neurotransmitters” and different ones do different things for us. Some of them help control our mood, our happiness, our motivation. These work the same way for everybody, but they’re not balanced in everybody’s brains. The offset of these neurotransmitters can cause us to be depressed, stressed, have trust issues, and many other things. That’s why people take medication, why people go to counselling. It’s how we learn how to deal with these problems. You would not believe how badly we WANT to be happy. How horrible we feel when we physically CAN’T be happy. We want you to know how much we love and appreciate you, but we can’t always show it. And for that we are terribly sorry.
    My boyfriend makes me so happy, but a lot of the time I just sit there and cry in his arms, despite my efforts and counselling exercises to be happy all the time.
    So I just want you to know, if I could be in that moment all the time; laughing, smiling, uncontrollably happy…I would. With your arms around me and a smile on your face, joy filling both of our hearts. If my brain would allow it, I’d live with you in that moment forever. And I am sorry, I am so so so sorry, that at least for now, that’s not going to be able to happen. And thank you. Thank you SO much for loving and accepting me the way I am, mental illnesses and all.

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