Borderline Personality Disorder: Kerri’s Story
By: Beth McHugh 2008
Most people on first meeting Kerri might come away thinking that she is vivacious, intelligent and caring. However, it doesn’t take too many meetings with Kerri to realize that something is just not right.
Kerri is 39 years old and has never been able to save money. In fact, she has several credit cards which are maxed out. She has never owned a car due to her inability to save. Although she badly needs a new microwave, she spent the $200 her grandfather gave her to help her out on a leather jacket. She wore the jacket once and a year later she sold it for $25 at a car boot sale.
She then decided she wanted to play the clarinet. Spurning second hand clarinets or cheap student models, she bought a brand new imported French wooden clarinet, something that was more suited to an advanced player.
She quickly lost interest in playing the clarinet and decided on learning the guitar instead. Again, no secondhand axe was good enough; she lashed out her meager weekly benefit on a new one. She made sexual overtures to the guitar teacher and did not practice her lessons, so the teacher, tiring of her dramatic tirades, sent her packing.
Her intelligence and wittiness allowed her to get her foot in the door of a small business where she worked for two weeks before having a relationship with one of the partners. She then announced that they were moving in together and made a deposit on a house in his name without ever seeing the inside of the house. She then announced she was pregnant. When quizzed as to whether she had had a test her answer was: “I don’t need to take a test, I know I am pregnant!” After her period arrived the following week, she was dumped by her partner who also sacked her. Within three days she was back at her doctors and placed in hospital where her medication was increased.
After her discharge she announced she was going to start a new health regime and became a strict vegetarian. She was also going to start clarinet lessons again and she sold the guitar at a loss. The vegetarianism lasted three weeks and culminated in a drinking spree that lasted two days.
Depressed and feeling worthless and empty, she enrolled in an aged care certificate course and was able to finish the course and do well academically. When she was free of drugs and in a stable relationship with one or two female friends Kerri seemed to manage reasonably well. She successfully kept a job in aged care, although she did find the demands a strain at times. However, when her father suddenly died her feelings of abandonment were profound and she re-entered hospital.
Kerri’s life has been an emotional roller coaster. Plagued by feelings of deep self-loathing, and a fear of abandonment, she engages in reckless behavior and loses many friends.
Next article: More on Kerri and how things improved.