Season 2: Episode 6

  Hello and welcome to “The World in Black and White” My name is Michelle and I’m the narrator and creator of this podcast.

Vision for the podcast:

My vision for this podcast is that it will bring hope to all individuals that may be overwhelmed by the challenges mental illness can create as a person attempts to navigate life in a positive and successful way.


Welcome back everyone- I will start the show this time with announcements.
Happy “Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month!” This month is also Mental Health Awareness Month. It seems to be fitting. So, since it is borderline personality disorder awareness month, I thought that we could do something to help make others aware, so I made some stickers. Buy one or 5. Here is the link to buy those stickers. Only $4.00 each

The stickers are round and have a QR code that will take anyone to my channel on Spotify.

Also we now have a QR code to the podcast is now available:


I try to notice the things in my environment that I HAVE control over.

*The temperature, as long as my hot blooded spouse isn’t home,

*My diet, the foods I choose to eat.

*The aesthetics of my environment, how it is decorated or organized.

*How bright or dim a room might be.
*I can control the clothing I choose to wear and the way I want my hair to look.

I do get to decide a lot of things for myself, and there are moments I have to remind myself that my environment looks or feels the way it does because I HAVE allowed it to look or feel like this.

I HAVE learned that if it is upsetting me, I can ignore it or deal with it. (I have learned from my husband that delegating some of these tasks to the kids doesn’t make me a bad mother but preparing my children to be responsible for their environment as well.)


When I am speaking with my children, I remind them that they have their own opinions and the ability to think for themselves. That they are both very important people and that makes their thoughts and feelings valid and worthwhile.

When I am spending time with them, I need to give them each attention without distraction. Moms and dads drop the devices, it is a relationship killer. You can finish listening to this podcast of course… Unless you feel the need to go spend time with your little ones, then by all means go do that; then come back before bed and finish listening to the rest of the episode.


No one is perfect! Let me repeat that. No one is perfect! Not one single person. We all are guilty of making mistakes and some make the same mistakes repeatedly. The point of making mistakes is to learn. No matter what you need to forgive yourself, learn from the mistake and try again, and once you are able to give yourself that type of grace you will be able to offer it to others. If you haven’t forgiven yourself for past mistakes, I beg you right now to try and do that. It is ok and you can learn from it and move on.

The 2nd Anniversary of My 39th Birthday

…or someone lacking a sense of humor might say, “That woman is 41!”

I have written a summary of what I’ve learned of life every birthday since starting this blog. (Mainly because I don’t want to forget! 😜)

This year, I’ve learned the thing I have been undervaluing most was “MY” time. I was choosing to spend “MY” time in an anxious state focused more so on how my existence might affect others instead of trying to impact my environment in a positive way to improve my own peace, just by being true to myself. The more at peace I am the more able I will be to provide help to others.”It’s hard to save someone from drowning, if you are also in a sinking ship.”~Michelle Proverb 🤓

Some might say that the “here and now” could be more important than the “destination”, but I have learned that you have to be focused on something with intention, while also being mindful of the present. I’ve also learned that we need to show real appreciation for each moment in our lives that grows our joy.

Step out of the hustle and bustle of life and take inventory of all the things that matter most to you. Keep those things in mind when confronted with big decisions. If you happen to make a mistake, make the necessary adjustments to the “compass of intent” that is directing your life, ensuring that it remains focused on your destination.

My destination now is set to teach my children how to be self sufficient, to love themselves, and to identify their purpose. As a time will arrive for each of us, when we will no longer be able to make necessary adjustments or create any lasting impact on the world.

I have battled many things in my life, but above all other things I have struggled with seeing myself as other people might see me. I sought the validation of strangers to no end. I wouldn’t feel valued, unless someone told me I was valued. My shattered sense of self only provided obstacles and stolen opportunities. I was unable to identify what I wanted, much less needed. I was a person relying on my external environment to determine my worth as well as my feelings about it. This year, I have discovered more about what makes me, me and I am happy to report that I am a good human being, always trying to bring light in multiple avenues of my life.

I have been more focused on learning about all the things that make me who I am. I’ve been working to look at myself through a critical, but loving and honest personal lens. This is what I have observed

At one time, I cared way too much about the opinions of others. That fact is I am not perfect, can never be, and that is ok.

I have made all kinds of mistakes, and will continue to make mistakes as long as I’m trying to learn new things, and that is ok.

I have made changes to myself many times to suit the likes and preferences of others, and if I’m honest, this made me like myself less, for not being true to myself.

I like myself more when I stick to what makes me feel like a loving and sincere person.

I have learned that even the most popular of people can still feel alone, but those with a few great friends know who they can rely on for help when dealing with a crisis.

Children are more than the future, they are the epitome of innocence and we should teach them to maintain their innocence for as long as possible. The world already has enough guilt and shame to deal with. If we aren’t careful, the next generation could also be the end of humanity, so teach them how to thrive.

Even when life knocks you down, you must find a reason to smile! Here is one of my favorite reasons to smile.

Season 2: Episode 5 ‘Mirroring’ in BPD, with Special Guest Sarah Myles

Link to the podcast episode …

Season 2: Episode 5

Mirroring is one way people with BPD try to create bonds with interesting people they meet. This involuntary behavior is a result of a sincere desire to be accepted. Individuals that display ‘mirroring’ do so automatically. They are imitating individuals that have shown them desirable qualities. Since the Pw/BPD has a shattered sense of self, they can easily switch from whatever persona they were once displaying & easily switch to a new one. ‘Mirroring’ is a specific aspect of borderline that makes it difficult for a Pw/BPD to tell you what they like or dislike. Borderlines have a hard time making decisions or sticking to specific hairstyles, fashion trends, or genres of music. One reason most people with borderline use ‘mirroring’ to secure a bond with someone is to decrease the chance of being abandoned or rejected. This aspect of borderline is what Sarah refers to as the “Chameleon Effect.” Sarah Myles is a person I chose to interview about the topic of ‘mirroring.’ Sarah is a writer originally from London that now resides in North Yorkshire, England.


A poem I’ve written
about ‘mirroring.’

Mirrors can be tricky, don’t you think?

Sipping from a glass of truth but denying the drink.

Magically crafted so that we may truly SEE ourselves.

IMPROVE ourselves, or maybe even REMOVE ourselves?

I may have been crafted to show others who they are.

Most are unable to resist the hypnotizing charm.

Each one of us focused only on the things that we like.

Intertwined with this unintended slight,

I’m mastering the skill of being your type.

Life demands the borderline mirrors those that excite.

A demand they must adhere to for they fear the flight

Noticing all of these desirable traits

Each one of my behaviors begin to assimilate.

How easy it must be for my ‘looker’ to relate.

I submit myself to these effortless transformations.

No longer me, just various & interesting reflections.

Pieces of a broken slate of glass

My ‘self ‘ will always present itself last.

A painful instinctive reaction

I beg of you, do not leave me as just an empty reflection.

As I only believe, I am nothing without you.

I enjoyed my time immensely discussing borderline tendencies with Sarah Myles.
You can listen to our conversation here at the provided link.

Listen in for a better understanding of the “Chameleon Effect” & real life strategies to help with BPD.

Thank you, Sarah, for the opportunity to better understand the “Chameleon Effect” I look forward to future chats.

Season 2 Episode 4: Unconditional Love & Mental Health

How can we start curing our mental health disorders? I definitely feel like I am on to something with this general idea of love being the cure.

Listen to what I think about this… here!

The sad truth is that you can’t cure BPD with unconditional love. The problem isn’t that people with BPD don’t get enough love. The problem is that they feel such worthlessness and shame that they think they don’t deserve it. So your love encounters Teflon and slips away. But it’s difficult to face the worthlessness and shame and work on it, in therapy or out. All they know is they don’t feel loved, which means you must be doing something wrong.”


Season 2 Episode 3: Interpersonal Sensitivity

Listen here …

In the previous episode, while speaking with our lovely guest, Imi Lo, she had mentioned… and I am paraphrasing here that people with borderline personality disorder & might possibly have an enhanced sensitivity when observing the slightest change in another person’s facial expressions, and that this sensitivity can be especially accurate when observing expressions showing negativity, and that this could mean that people with BPD may possess a higher level of interpersonal sensitivities.

What does that mean, higher interpersonal sensitivities?

I found a great explanation/definition from an article entitled “INTERPERSONAL SENSITIVITY: WHY IT IS SO IMPORTANT”
“Do you know when you can just tell that someone is in a bad mood just by their expression even if they have not said a word to indicate that they are in a bad mood? It’s the little things that give them away like their expression, that you are sensitively capturing. Or even if their expression is not betraying their current state, it could be the way that they are behaving, showing that they’re in survival mode. If it is someone you know well, then you can easily tell by their behavior having been altered from their usual behavior. How can noticing such things be useful and meaningful for us?

There are many non-verbal cues that we as humans can tend to give out to indicate the current emotional or mental state that we are in. Even if it’s a complete stranger, we can tend to pick up on subliminal hints through the way that they are acting, the words that they are speaking, the way that they are speaking, the tone they employ while speaking, the facial expression they have, among other non-verbal cues. In fact, body language accounts for 55% of communication between people.

You are able to tell a lot about a person you’ve just met, given that you are paying attention to all of these cues being presented by that person, whether they are doing it intentionally or unintentionally. The ability to correctly assess and understand information about them without having been directly presented with it is a little concept (it’s actually quite a big concept) known as Interpersonal Sensitivity.”

I feel I do this so much and without even thinking about it… & then I will react to certain facial expressions… the good, the bad, but mostly the ugly. I’m not talking about how you look on the outside, but those menacing expressions that come from deep within… those real feelings that the other person being observed had been unsuccessful at hiding, you even know they were trying to suppress their real feelings in hopes not to upset you. That sentiment doesn’t matter, because their slightest change has already upset you and aggravated your intense sensitivities.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

This dance gets exhausting, even though it always happens automatically for the borderline. It is a quick & primary go-to defense mechanism that the subconscious has learned to use when others are displeased with us. I’ve been reading facial expressions for a long time now and even though I think I’m good at it. I will never get it right 100% of the time, why? I think being sensitive in this way simply means you are still living life in survival mode instead of living life.

To be completely transparent, I’ve been trusting my feelings more about what I observe in others. Really leaning into this to see what it really is. I’m sure I’m driving my husband crazy with it, because I’m not the type to observe something negative from someone and then just let it go. To top it all off, I’m leaning into this at the same time we are dealing with a highly stressful situation. Remodeling our burnt home back to something better, even though we had just finished remodeling nearly the entire house.

For me personally, from the viewpoint of a 40-year-old, “Textbook” BPD female, it can mean that having high interpersonal sensitivities or abilities mean that you could very well still be living in survival mode. If you are currently more worried about not upsetting your environment, or the people in it, & you find it necessary to please everyone in it… You are living in survival mode. You likely haven’t begun to see that your environment is unsteady because you are still relying on others to be the support for you that you feel you are to them. The reason we (people with BPD) are highly reactive to any displeasure shown by those in our environment, it shows a disapproval of our tireless attempts at maintaining a copesetic environment. We take on that role and feel very hurt if someone is unappreciative of all of the work, we have done behind the scenes to keep others happy. At the very least we hope to keep the peace, this always has a tendency to slap us in the face.

A person w/BPD can be triggered by the slightest negative change in facial expression or tone. We have become excellent at interpreting the unspoken human language. Our mind tells us who we can likely trust, and who is valuable for our survival. The slightest change in another person’s normal reaction, can affect a person with BPD so much, that often times they can automatically go into a defensive mode, either to protect themselves or to fight against their biggest fear, which is being abandoned for one reason and that reason in their BPD mind is that they weren’t “good enough” or that they didn’t “do enough” I am not certain that every person that has BPD deals with the fear of abandonment, but in my life it has created many moments of regret.

Byte of Insight – unscripted, have a listen…

Announcements – Still rebuilding after the fire, bringing a lot of inconveniences and next episode, April 3rd.

Byte of Insight – unscripted, have a listen to the episode.

“Unconditional love is the outer expression of inner peace”

Alaric Hutchinson

I realize now that most of the people in my life have had transactional love from me not unconditional love. I was asking them to have the same type of love for me, for myself. show me this feeling you have for me by some tangible transaction. Show me that I am worthy of your time and attention. I know now that unconditional love doesn’t require this of anyone. You are loved for who you are, not for what you aren’t. I have worn myself out entirely being transactional in the past. To my lack of understanding relationships, I can now blame my upbringing and romantic movies. To continue to exist in that way though would be by choice and I don’t choose to love transactionally. I choose to love unconditionally.

Have a wonderful day and don’t forget to choose truth, goodness, and LOVE!