About This Blog

I have been writing this blog since 2009.  I was 37 years-old when I posted my first article, and I just turned 50.  I can scarcely believe that.  My first post was really just an experiment in processing therapy sessions, life experiences, and past trauma.  I was a would-be writer with a French degree, four young daughters, and a paucity of free time.

For thirteen years, my life has played out here along with many struggles to overcome the messiness inherent in it.  My mother’s borderline personality disorder (BPD), the fault lines in my now former marriage, my struggles to overcome a past riddled with sexual trauma and religious neo-conservatism, health problems, and the underlying and relentless drive to heal are all unapologetically here within these posts in no particular order.  Sometimes I go back and read what I wrote and feel embarrassed.  I wouldn’t write some of these things today because I don’t feel that way now.  But, I did then.  Some emotions were intensely raw ten years ago.  I used writing to process my thoughts.  In many ways, I’m not the same person anymore, and that’s good.

Trigger warning: Domestic violence is discussed on the blog as is sexual violence.  I was a victim of human trafficking when I was18 years-old.  I grew up in a very emotionally, spiritually, and physically violent home.  Both my parents have personality disorders.  The road has been very long in terms of trauma recovery, but it has not been endless and full of despair.  I have experienced a great deal of healing.

And, I think that is why I felt so compelled to write.  I wanted to write something down while I was in the thick of doing the work.  What does it look like to try and heal from Complex PTSD (C+PTSD) while you’re doing it? So, I published blog posts while I was really in it.  You know, when you feel hopeless, emotionally exhausted, almost despairing, and empty.  When you truly believe that you will never recover from what has happened to you.  There was a period of time when I believed that there were some things that can happen to a person from which they can never recover or heal.  In fact, I believed that for a long time.  Some therapists may even tell you that.  They may tell you that you need to be satisfied with coping, and, frankly, I thought that was a terrible thing to say to a client.  Why? Because I desperately wanted to throw off the emotional, intellectual, physical, spiritual, and ontological constraints of trauma, and, if it was not possible to heal from my trauma, then how was I supposed to do that? So, I have stubbornly persisted in my decades long pursuit of healing.

I have neglected to post here largely because my life has been consumed by a doctoral program, but I’ll be finished with that in 2023.  What I really want anyone who finds themselves here to come away with is hope.  That is what one of life’s greatest takeaways has been for me.

In 1991, I was abducted by a human trafficker and taken across the continental United States to be sold at an auction to other human traffickers.  It was, by all accounts, one of the most terrifying and traumatizing experiences of my life.  I never thought I would recover from that.  There was a moment when I was with the man who abducted me, and I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror.  A wave of dread washed over me, and I felt certain that I would die.  I didn’t.  I survived, but I am not the same person today that I was before I was abducted.  An abduction is definitely a Before/After experience.  It leaves a scar on the timeline of your life.  That one event caused me to spend years of my life just surviving and going through the motions of living, and I never felt joy.  Today, I feel joy.  It’s taken great effort and intention to get here.  It is, however, possible.

That is my wish for you.  That you would know hope and joy.  That they would accompany you as you continue onward down whatever path you choose.  There is so much more to our lives than our traumas.

So, be tenacious.  Fight for the life you want.  And never give up.

Shalom to you, MJ


52 Comments on “About This Blog

    • Oh my…you found me over here, too! For what it’s worth, I’ve been on this road for a very long time, and the view is improving every day…mostly. It didn’t all happen at one time–thank God! But, I have found that it is something of a relief and almost a joy to process it through writing/blogging since I’m a writer anyway. There’s life after tragic events; the ride is rough and bumpy, but it’s worth taking. Thank you for being “brave” enough to comment. You are one of the few as you can see…

      • My pleasure. BTW, is that your eye and eyebrow and shock of blond hair in the pic?

        • Yes…that’s me…I used to have my entire photo up, but…someone gave a phone call a while ago and said scary things to me. So, I thought better of it.

    • Hello MJ,

      I am so moved and appreciative of your honesty and willingness to be vulnerable about your own journey as the child of a mother (father too) with BPD traits. I resonate with your description about key aspects of the dynamic created with your mother. I grew up with a similar type of mother and the amount of effort it takes to resist not taking on the same traits is hard to describe. You did a masterful job of writing about what it is like. Breaking through all of it to find a “self” is nothing short of a miracle.

      I happen to be a therapist and have referred clients to your blog to assist them in understanding what may have happened to them. Your blog also helps in understanding why adulthood can be a challenging experience in dismantling the “architecture” set up by this type of relationship. Clients will often reflect on how challenging it is to explain the terror associated with “going against” or setting boundaries with a BPD parent who will repeatedly abandon them when the parent’s demands are not met. My own hope is for BPD to be understood as profound attachment issues / disruptions in the childhood of a parent and to break the ancestral legacy of this type of abuse. The ripple effect it creates is nothing short of stunning.

      I applaud your persistence, courage and belief in yourself. Thank you for writing this blog. Wishing you peace in your life and your heart.

      Warm regards,

      Tamara Vitela

      • Hi Tamara, thank you ever so for your thoughtful comment. I deeply appreciate it. This blog has been something of a commentary and life’s work in a way. A weird calling if you will wherein I attempt to name what was not named for me, and in so doing perhaps the way forward will be made just a bit easier for others on the same road. As I’ve written this and continued forward, I’ve come to feel compassion for my mother, and, for me, I think that’s a sign of letting go and healing. She has not changed really, but I have. It isn’t often what we hope for when we begin our healing journeys, but it is an unexpected surprise as we progress–we are liberated from our anger and soften. And the people who once abused us become human. Thank you again. I feel very encouraged. Peace to you…MJ

  1. I came across your site when searching for “sense of foreshortened future”. Thanks for the inspiring stories. I’m a victim of childhood trauma during a brutal civil war, then I experienced bullying from family members and classmates, and I was physically assaulted a few years ago. I always had a feeling that my life would be short, but I didn’t know why. Now I realize that it’s part of PTSD and I thank the Lord for giving me some light of what has been tormenting me for many years. I often read 1 Peter 5:10 to encourage myself. Thanks for writing this blog!

    • I want to give you a big hug. I don’t run into too many people who have suffered deeply, and I think it’s so important that we support each other. May the Shalom of God fill you, restore you, and bless you…always.

  2. I’ve been perusing your site, especially the stuff about borderline moms. I’ve also read some things regarding your story and how it’s affected your intimacy with your husband. My wife also experienced much childhood abuse and has also been diagnosed with complex PTSD.

    Do you have some articles about you and your husband have navigated the triggers of intimacy? I have found any other bloggers speaking openly about this like you, so would appreciate any perspectives you might have.


    • I do actually, but it’s a separate blog altogether because I couldn’t really be as honest and ask nearly as many questions as I wanted. Email me if you would like at bangitinthere@gmail.com (civil rights reference in the email), and I can send you the URL.

      • Hello, I would really like to contact you regarding the discard from the borderline. My ex-husband fits 8/9 symptoms for BPD on the DSM. We have five children together so there is not a way to separate completely. The only times in my life I’ve had panic attacks have been the discard times from this person. Our custody arrangement is quite different because I homeschooled the children before divorce and continued after the divorce.

        I recently found your blog and identify with everything you said about the courtship phase with your ex. I’ve moved on and am remarried but can’t seem to completely get over things because I’m tied through our children. I’m just so tired of it all. Please contact me by email if you do that sort of thing.

  3. I just found your blog when searching about alexithymia and marriage. So validating to read; thank you! I look forward to looking around at what else you’ve written.

  4. It is a bizarre feeling yet a healing-positive in that I found your great site. Although, it definitely is an odd coincidence & rather confusing that I suddenly discover & see readings that seem like such an “in sync” match. First- how I arrived at your website: I just awoke today from another nightmare of hellish incidents inc. ones tied to my accidental & temporary partnering (via romantic courtship) with a high-profile charmer that secretively was pals (via his greed-addiction) with money-launderers that inc. sex-trade activity. So for recovery sake, I got online thinking I must calm down & go find clarity by reading about disassociation. And since that is prevalent in my family, I also decided that I better begin writing again in order to open up for my daughters (2 adults). They need to know where we “are at” re: my entire makeup inc. past abuse factors + family truths. Well, it is really bizarre that this decision I actually had two days ago while reviewing begin the Jewish elements I come out of that are hidden. Majority of my relatives will not acknowledge this, so for the last couple of days I spent time going through my complete heritage records … validated through my incredibly close & cherished aunt of Duluth (she’s recently deceased). …Anyhow, yes, I just got major chills when finding your pages of “wisdom” & was “blown away” when reading about you. Mostly, I am now inspired to move forward as I take steps to focus on further healing & revelations that will bring light & wholeness to my daughters & self. …I am so grateful for your wonderful new “clarity-writings” & for your brave telling of family truths. I just hope I can get strong enough to do such in as beautiful a way as you have. …And thank you for appearing at just the right time! Because I no longer feel so alone with the “dark experiences” or stressed by my relative’s weird hiding of “Jewish-genes”. …Thank you, thank you.

    • I’m so glad you found validation and affirmation for your journey here. That makes me very happy. You are not alone. So many of us are making our way just as you are which is such a comfort to me. Shalom to you in every way and welcome to the common experience. It’s a good place to find yourself, MJ

    • Thank you so much for your kind comments. I’m so glad that you are here! Best to you, Lily…

  5. I think I found my new favorite website! You and I have shared history. I am very sorry for your experiences in early life. I found you today, because even though I thought I had escaped and made a new foundation for healthy love in my adulthood, I am shocked to learn, I maybe have only progressed a half-step. I was looking for more depth than the uber alles ultimate reference book by Dr. Christine Lawson. Big hugs. xo

    • I bet you’re further along than you think. We are our toughest critics. I hope you find validation here. Best to you, MJ

  6. I enjoy your writing. I’m sorry for what you’ve been through.
    Please keep writing. You are providing much help and validation.

    • Hi Marcel, thank you for your thoughtful comments. I’m so pleased that you found validation here. That makes it all meaningful to me. Best, MJ

  7. I found your blog while searching for information on the all good child. I wanted to send you a virtual hug and thank you. I learned much about myself from your words. I have BPD all around me but only discovered the root of it all a few weeks ago. It is hard to think that much of the turmoil in my life was due to personality disorder. It is VERY comforting to know that with therapy, I can heal. I’m 35 years old and I’m finally awake. I look forward to reading more of your blog! Thank you for giving me hope.

    • Aaaaw! You are so welcome! I wish you all the best! Yes, you CAN heal! You CAN! Don’t be afraid to ask for resources. They exist. Hope is alive and well. Shalom to you in this new year! MJ

  8. I wanted to send you a big virtual hug. I found your blog while looking for info about the all good child. I recently finished the borderline mother and I was blown away. BPD is a huge part of my family. I know if I stay in therapy – I can heal. I look forward to reading more. Thank you for giving me hope. Best wishes!

  9. I came across your page looking up the sense of foreshortened future. I have had PTSD for about 20 years and I see a therapist and I now take Zoloft, but this is one thing that’s never gone away. Everyday I feel like I’m “surviving” and I always wonder if I’ll wake up the next day. My 41st birthday is next month and I always think, “well I can’t die yet because I have to do this, this, and this” but then I think people die everyday so maybe I won’t make it. I wanted to know more about “survivors” thing that you and your friend talked about because I teared up when I read it because it made so much sense. Do you have a Facebook page for your blog?

    • You know, I don’t have a FB page for my blog. That never occurred to me to do that. Should I do that? Feel free to comment here. I will get back to you, but, hmmmm, I’ll look into that! Other people who want to talk about it should be able to do so.

    • Hi Kristen, I actually created a FB page. You weren’t the only one who suggested it, and I was up early this morning–I thought, “What the hell..”. It’s brand new, and no one will be on it yet. But, it’s there! I’ll write a post to make a general announcement. What’s next? Twitter? I’m too young to feel so resistant. Baby steps…voilà! https://www.facebook.com/thrivingisthegoal/timeline

  10. Shalom, shalom MJ!
    With EDD, AfDD and an Aspie for a husband, I’m sure I’ll glean important insights from your site. I thank you so very much for what I’ve read thus far. I noticed the “Shalom” reference and decided to seek more information and was pleased to see you’re embracing your Jewish heritage. Cool! I embrace HaShem as well as The Way of Messiah (Echad!) as outlined in Torah and NT–its what keeps me somewhat sane as I keep healing and union as the goal. However, I suffer still and self-medicate for the emotional and illness burdens are heavy and don’t easily go away for it is still a daily experience for me. I do have to say that Aspie Husband has improved significantly since embracing Messiah, there are just things that are unchangeable here in the earthly realm.
    I look forward to reading more.

    • Thanks for commenting. I hope you find some resources here and on your journey. More is changeable here than you think.

  11. I found your blog when I was searching for information about BPD mothers. You turned me on to “Understanding the Borderline Mother” and I’ve read a number of your posts – they’ve been so helpful! I’ve been in therapy for awhile, but switched to a new therapist in the last few months. I was recently diagnosed with complex PTSD, and coming to terms with my childhood has not been easy. I have felt “crazy” my entire life thanks to my mother, who I am beginning to understand more now that I have put some distance between us and have a therapist who can call me out when I try to evade questions. I just wanted to thank you for writing; it’s reaffirming to know that I am not the only one who feels this way.

    • I am so happy that you found validation here for yourself and your journey. That pleases me to no end. It is really part of why I write. So that I and others know that we are not alone. Shalom to you…MJ

  12. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, feelings, and voice. Your writings are honest, raw and evocative. Thank you

  13. Thank you, it is helpful to know it is possible to make a life if I leave. After 18 years with my husband’s inconsistencies, I’m sorries & crazy making promises. Its time to give up. How do I forgive myself for putting up with it?
    Your writings are very helpful.
    Thank you

    • Oh, what you said here: “How do I forgive myself for putting up with it?” I have been there, and sometimes I look back and think fruitlessly, “How did I not get it after everything?” But, you can’t know then what you know now. Speaking for myself, I stayed because I believed him. I believed him when he apologized. I believed him when he talked about changing. I had hope, and I thought that the harder I tried, the more potential there could be for change. The important thing is that I know now what is true, and that’s what matters the most.

      Also, don’t listen to anyone who judges you for “not getting it sooner”. People who would say, “How did you not see it? WE saw it.” I would beg to differ. There is a very different perspective when you are IN something vs. outside of something. You CAN build a life after you leave. You really can. I am, and I was convinced that I never could. I have no family. Just a few friends and kids. I just knew that there was no way out. But, there was and is. And my life is 1000 times better today. Don’t give up. You are worth it.


  14. Greetings!
    Stumbled on your blog searching for information on how to be married to an Alex.
    I am:
    Jewish, liberal, mid-50s, mom to two teens; have lived in Texas now for three years; teach (A&M); had an emotionally abusive childhood; married to a computer guy who recently self-diagnosed as Alexithymic. (When we married, I thought I’d finally made a good, healthy choice.)
    Because of years of being the “crazy one,” and isolating as a result, and being in a totally new place, I’m not sure where to turn for support. Might you have any advice on surviving this situation, or being Jewish in Texas with teens, or being a dumpy middle-aged divorcee…?
    Anyway, I’m grateful for your blog. It’s kind of an information desert out there on this topic.
    Chag Sameach,

    • Oh my goodness, well, firstly, I wish I could just take you out for coffee.

      I grew up in Texas. Houston area. And then I moved to New Jersey. I can’t imagine what a shocker it must be for you to be teaching in College Station. Texas really is a “whole other country”. I left as soon as I graduated from high school, and I never looked back. Coach Adler, the tennis coach, was the only Jew in my high school, and *he* was from New Jersey!

      It really is an information desert out there, isn’t it? No one wants to talk about what it’s like behind closed doors–being married to the equivalent of a Vulcan. How that looks in real time. What it *feels* like. And, what you have to do in terms of your own emotional repertoire to keep some kind of connection alive. What I can tell you is that you are not crazy. You might feel alone or misunderstood (and you might be both in your primary relationships), but you are not in a larger community of common experience. And, that’s a strange dialectic. i struggle with that one.

      A dumpy divorcee? Mmmm….now I really DO want to take you out for coffee. Raising teens? I’ve got two left, and my 16 year-old is busting my *ss. Killing me! OMG…maybe drinks are better?

      Being Jewish in Texas. Are there any Jews anywhere at all? I haven’t been in TX in so long. Is it worse? In Trump’s America? A Reform synagogue anywhere? (I’m sure you have already done that…Just thought I’d ask)

      Please don’t hesitate to email my blog email: jamaisvue72atgmaildotcom. I can relate to being in that purgatory, for lack of a better word, wherein you may not feel like you belong where you are, but you have a drive to find that space–a healing space, a belonging space, and a space of significance. Where you are recognized.

      L’shanah tovah….MJ

  15. Thank you so much for your information on relationships with an ASD man. I have just ended a four-year relationship and am feeling shell-shocked. The hardest thing is that I fell in love with his children, and I believe they love me too. I also liked his friends, all of whom he has known since school days and who understand his funny ways.
    He could be very helpful on a practical level. He liked to say he had a partner, and even show me off to his friends, but at the same time, we saw each other only about 2 or 3 days a week. I would sometimes not hear from him for days. A year ago he wanted to marry me, but his behaviour seemed to get worse rather than better. I now find myself disbelieving his narrative about his ex-wife: making up tales about being afraid of him, or her being incapable of negotiating. He would also talk about his church members ostracizing him. Now I wonder about how others perceive him. I have now experienced feeling afraid of him, with his strange out of control behaviours, and can’t get him to acknowledge this and validate my feelings. Instead, he says that I overreacted and am damaged by my past.
    Sex was never great, lacking in intimacy and passion, and he soon became impotent. Eventually, he showed me no physical affection at all. He has rigid routines with his children and is very stubborn and prone to black and white thinking. I am left feeling really angry that I gradually lost parts of myself, and stopped sharing my feelings as it always led to rows. He would often turn things around and play the victim, even crying. In some ways, he seems like a child emotionally. Apart from the children, I feel that I wasted four years of my life and my self-esteem is at rock bottom. I am about to turn 60 and am wondering if I will ever find a loving relationship.

    • I am so sorry that you are experiencing this and for the emotional suffering that you are enduring.

      You know, I can’t necessary say with utmost certainty that you will find love again. BUT I can say that it doesn’t sound like you are in a loving relationship now. One of the reasons I feared leaving my former marriage was that fear–“I’m old and who would want me?” I was 42 with four kids–with chronic health problems. I’m now 45…with 4 kids. And my health is so much better. I couldn’t imagine being high on anyone’s list.

      But, I did meet someone. I am in a loving relationship. It does happen. There is something that happens to us when we start making decisions that are good for us. When we put our interests and well-being first. We “enyouthen”. We grow younger in so many ways. Happiness makes us feel younger and stronger. Our body responds. Our face responds. Our immune system responds. We become attractive to ourselves and to others.

      You are worth every ounce of effort that it takes to build out a life worth living. A life on your terms rather than a life on someone else’s. I encourage you to begin seeing your life and your options in terms of what would bring you joy and peace rather than how it would affect him. Try this. Stop trying to make him happy or ease his pathology. Try to see yourself as separate from him. Return to a hobby that perhaps you used to love. Make something uniquely yours. And stand that ground. These steps matter. This is how you start to rebuild yourself. And that is what you must do. Your age? It doesn’t matter. You are here. Alive. You can get your years back, and what I mean by that is that you probably have inordinate insight into life that few do from this experience making these past 4 years extremely valuable. But, now is the time to reclaim yourself. You can mine for the gold of the past 4 years later.

      Does this make sense?

  16. Hi MJ! Its not clear if you’re continuing to add to your blog,nor if you’ll see this message.I just want to tell you that I greatly appreciate what you’ve done here. I have found a lot of helpful information about BPD.I’m an adult child of a BPD mother. I have recently identified why I have carried around feelings of worthlessness and shame,but I have been set free, all glory to my Lord Jesus! I’m still learning about BPD. Your article on gaslighting was especially helpful. God bless you and all your readers as we continue on the road toward a sane and joyful life!

  17. Thank you for this blog…. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I needed this right now and that at least I feel a little less alone. Is there a way I can message/email you privately re what I’m going through? Thanks

    • Hi SK, I am very sorry for whatever it is that you’re going through. I’m glad that you’ve found some bit of validation or comfort here. My blog email is jamaisvue72atgmaildotcom. Feel free to contact me. All the best, MJ

  18. Thank you SO much for your blog! It feels like coming “home”. It’s painful and sad but at the same time feels like a light at the end of the tunnel . As I thought, I am not crazy. I am so glad I found a place where everyone is understanding!

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