Rachel Reiland Quotes
“I couldn’t trust my own emotions. Which emotional reactions were justified, if any? And which ones were tainted by the mental illness of BPD? I found myself fiercely guarding and limiting my emotional reactions, chastising myself for possible distortions and motivations. People who had known me years ago would barely recognize me now. I had become quiet and withdrawn in social settings, no longer the life of the party. After all, how could I know if my boisterous humor were spontaneous or just a borderline desire to be the center of attention? I could no longer trust any of my heart felt beliefs and opinions on politics, religion, or life. The debate queen had withered. I found myself looking at every single side of an issue unable to come to any conclusions for fear they might be tainted. My lifelong ability to be assertive had turned into a constant state of passivity.”
“You survived by seizing every tiny drop of love you could find anywhere, and milking it, relishing it, for all it was worth. And as you grew up, you sought love, anywhere you could find it, whether it was a teacher or a coach or a friend or a friend's parents. You sought those tiny droplets of love, basking in them when you found them. They sustained you. For all these years, you've lived under the illusion that somehow, you made it because you were tough enough to overpower the abuse, the hatred, the hard knocks of life. But really you made it because love is so powerful that tiny little doses of it are enough to overcome the pain of the worst things life can dish out. Toughness was a faulty coping mechanism you devised to get by. But, in reality, it has been your ability to never give up, to keep seeking love, and your resourcefulness to make that love last long enough to sustain you. That is what has gotten you by.”
“For all these years, you’ve lived under the illusion that, somehow, you made it because you were tough enough to overpower the abuse, the hatred, the hard knocks of life. But really you made it because love is so powerful that tiny little doses of it are enough to overcome the pain of the worst things life can dish out. Toughness was a faulty coping mechanism you devised to get by. But, in reality, it has been your ability to never give up, to keep seeking love, and your resourcefulness to make that love last long enough to sustain you. That’s what has gotten you by”
“And, as an adult, you have the freedom and the access to indulge in much greater forms of self-destruction than a two-year-old could ever have. You can drink and use drugs. You can smoke. You can be promiscuous. You can kill yourself if you want to, run into the streets at night, choose to eat everything in sight, or starve yourself. It's dangerous when the raw black-and-white emotions of a child are harbored in an adult's mind and body.”
“ Tempting as it may be to draw one conclusion or another from my story and universalize it to apply to another's experience, it is not my intention for my book to be seen as some sort of cookie-cutter approach and explanation of mental illness, It is not ab advocacy of any particular form of therapy over another. Nor is it meant to take sides in the legitimate and necessary debate within the mental health profession if which treatments are most effective for this or any other mental illness.
What it is, I hope, is a way for readers to get a true feel for what it's like to be in the grips of mental illness and what it's like to strive for recovery.”
“Some scientists were conducting an experiment, he said, trying to gauge the impact of abuse on children. Ducks, like people, develop bonds between mother and young. They call it imprinting. So the scientists set out to test how that imprint bond would be affected by abuse.
The control group was a real mother duck and her ducklings. For the experimental group, the scientist used a mechanical duck they had created - feathers, sound, and all - which would, at timed intervals, peck the ducklings with its mechanical beak. A painful peck, one a real duck would not give.
They varied these groups. Each group was pecked with a different level of frequency. And then they watched the ducklings grow and imprint bond with their mother.
Over time, he went on, the ducklings in the control group would waddle along behind their mother. But as they grew, there would be more distance between them. They'd wander and explore.
The ducklings with the pecking mechanical mother, though, followed much more closely. Even the scientists were stunned to discover that the group that bonded and followed most closely was the one that had been pecked repeatedly with the greatest frequency. The more the ducklings were pecked and abused, the more closely they followed. The scientist repeated the experiment and got the same results.”
“The lawyer plays on sympathies, tugs on heartstrings, and twists everything around so that somehow the rapist or murderer becomes the victim. Perhaps the lawyer's story of neglect and abuse is true. Sad, perhaps. But to me, it never cut it as an excuse. The dead person is the victim, and the murderer is the murderer.”
“If the walls were cracking, I'd plastered the surface back to smoothness. If the floor tiles were crumbling, I'd replaced them. If the roof was leaking, I'd patched the leaks. I'd pretended that, because the “house” still appeared okay, all was okay. Nothing had changed; all had been fixed. Nothing else needed to change.”