May 30, 2018 7:29 AM
My anger ablaze
Emotions singed from the flames
I’m hollow inside.
May 30, 2018 7:13 AM
There once was a person with Borderline
Whose behaviors were less than benign.
Temper tantrums he’d throw
With shouting and cutting in tow
But his passion and compassion were divine.
May 30, 2018 6:57 AM
People with Borderline are considered crazy
Because they react so intensely.
But the reality is that if you’re not lazy
You can love this person immensely.
People with Borderline are full of emotion
And their presence can easily overwhelm.
At times, their behaviors cause quite a commotion
And wreak havoc inside their realm.
But if you are able to look deeper within
To the soul of this person who’s so very alive
You will find that it would be a terrible sin
To not appreciate that she survived.
I will work to abolish the stigma, shame and disgrace
This society places upon BPD’s beautiful face.
Sep 24, 2017 3:05 PM
Many clients and even therapists believe that if something is therapeutic, it means it feels good. The truth is that sometimes it feels good and other times, it feels shitty. If something is therapeutic, it means that it aids in healing and sometimes that hurts! Have you ever heard of a bone needing to be “rebroken” so it can heal properly? Have you ever had stitches or surgery? Healing fucking hurts!!!
A lot of people think that their loved ones in therapy with me are spending an hour and good money to be complimented, to be told about how right they are and how wrong their loved ones are, or to talk to me while I sit passively nodding my head with smiles and “mm hmm’s.”
Here is a reality check for you. If your loved one is in therapy with me, they have one of the most confrontational and challenging therapists I know. It is true that my clients feel safe in their therapy. Feeling safe is my ultimate concern for my clients. I tell my clients often that while they should always feel safe, they will often feel uncomfortable. I also tell them that if we work together long enough and if they and I are doing our jobs right, I will probably piss them off. My clients hear me say things like,
- What do you need today?
- Your presence matters. Your absence matters. What you do matters. What you say matters. You matter.
- What do you need right now?
- I’m feeling protective of you right now.
- What do you need from me?
- When you allow yourself to show your hurt in here, you help me to understand how hurt you are.
- What do you need? (Are you noticing a pattern here?)
- I hate that you are hurting so much.
- I am pissed that that happened to you.
- Even if you smile or laugh in here, I promise I won’t forget how much you are suffering.
- What is preventing you from getting your needs met?
- Trust in your process, be patient with your timeline, be kind to yourself.
- Can you work to get your needs met in here?
My clients also hear me say things like,
- What gives you the right to tell other people how to feel?
- You don’t get to decide how _____ does life.
- It is none of your business what they are saying about you.
- How do you expect to get your needs met when you haven’t made them clear to anyone?
- ______ is not responsible for your emotions; you are.
- ______ is entitled to his experiences even if you don’t agree with or understand them.
- I am beginning to resent your frequent tardiness to your sessions.
- What are you avoiding?
- What are you doing right now?
- How does what you are saying have anything to do with what I just asked you?
- Talk to me about your anger with me right now.
Despite what stigma has taught society, THERAPY IS NOT FOR THE WEAK! My clients are so strong and brave! When I was leaving the clinic and had my clients meet their new therapists, what I heard my clients say the most to their new therapists were things like, "I need you to call me out on my shit like Nicki does," "Don't let me stay comfortable," "Push me out of my comfort zone like Nicki does." Therapy with me is rough at times. It is often uncomfortable, confrontational, challenging, brutally honest, and incredibly therapeutic.
Sep 5, 2017 10:39 AM
A dear friend of mine is in pain, especially this week, as she grapples with the 19th anniversary of her brother's suicide. As a therapist and also someone who has been a very active EMT for 19 years of my life, I have heard a lot of people contemplate suicide and idealize suicide and I have seen a lot of suicide attempts and some suicide completions. How do I cope with that? I compartmentalize. As an EMT responding to a suicide call, I needed to in order to do the job at hand. As a therapist, I have to compartmentalize JUST ENOUGH to stay focused but not so much that I am unfeeling. While compartmentalization (which is a defense mechanism used to sort of stuff or numb pain) enables us to go about our day without having a melt-down, it also inhibits empathy. It is sometimes hard for me to imagine the enormity of the pain a person must have felt to have decided that suicide is THE answer. It is sometimes hard for me to imagine the amount of pain the survivors of a person who has suicided feels. I thank my friend for putting her pain out there so that I can be reminded of the pain people feel and my responsibilities to my fellow humans!
I had the fortunate opportunity to watch Kevin Hines speak at a conference. He is an amazing man who survived a jump from the Golden Gate Bridge in an attempt to end his life. He opened his speech up with this: "'How are you? Is there anything you need? Can I help?' If anyone had said any of those things to me, I would not have tried to end my life that day."
As he states in this video, it is okay not to be okay and recovery happens!!! It is NOT okay to NOT ask for someone to back you up. If you are contemplating suicide and someone asks you how you are, even if they are just making small talk, tell them you are not okay and ask them to help you to not end your life today. I know that you don't want to go to the hospital but remember that it is part of the healing process and that you CAN feel better! HOW YOU FEEL TODAY IS NOT HOW YOU WILL ALWAYS FEEL EVEN IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE THAT NOW! THIS IS NOT HOW YOUR STORY ENDS should you choose to keep writing it!
Aug 31, 2017 9:29 AM
A quick video to help determine if you are acting in a way that is caring for yourself or if you acting in a way that is selfish as this is a frequent topic in therapy. Hope it helps!