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!

“6 Things To Help Manage BPD”

(Last episode for season 1)

Link to Podcast!

Season 1 Episode 9:

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

Vision: 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.  

Crisis Helpline: I want to also make listeners aware of help that is available. Call 988 to speak to a crisis operator or text “helpline” that is H E L P L I N E to 62640 .

Stoicism says not to worry about the elements of your life outside of your control, that the only thing you can ever really control is yourself, or rather your reaction to those outside elements that you “feel” are affecting your outlook on life. I posed the question a couple years back, “can a person with BPD be a stoic?” It was interesting for me to consider that the rule was so simple, yet so foreign for someone at the mercy of overly reactive chemicals to external stimuli. To even consider that someone could have this type of control over their responses to the world intrigued me… and so I researched stoicism for a bit. It was super difficult for me to resist the urge not to react to everything outside of my control. 

I’m still working on some level of a more controlled response to the world. I am still wondering if someone suffering from this brain disorder has the capability to become a stoic? 

This next portion I will be sharing is a blog post I made about Stoicism and BPD in March of 2020. 

Here is a previous blog I wrote about stoicism and BPD Can An Individual With BPD Become A Stoic?

  So I came up with these 6 things after responding to a comment someone posted on Reddit.   I will omit their comment, as it was the response that triggered this episode anyway.  Sometimes we don’t know what we have learned until someone else needs to know what you know in order to get through something troublesome.

MY RESPONSE:   “I’m going to sound like a b-word when I say what is required of you to “feel” better. I just need you to know, nothing will ever change If we aren’t honest about what is required to get out of your own way. BPD is a brain disorder, chemicals have hijacked YOU. Every BPD person has unknowingly given these chemicals an all-access pass to control emotional responses.  We have always been at the mercy of these chemicals. 1st and foremost – stop making excuses 2. Stop justifying your avoidance to seek understanding of BPD. We must relocate from victimhood. 3. Claim your autonomy, and immediately start working on self-awareness. 4. Embrace the emptiness until it’s gone. 5. Decide that being present is more important than anything contrived in a fantasy. 6. Get active. These are not fail-proof instructions, but it’s been effective enough for me to stay present a lot more than before and focus on things that mean something to me.”

After responding to this person, I noticed that I may have some more things to share with listeners about managing their borderline personality disorder. With no real answers or cure to Borderline we must all  focus on managing ourselves, until we figure out the issues causing the symptoms. 

#1)  If we are at the mercy of chemicals responding to our environment reactively and without permission, how likely is it that a person with BPD can control their emotional responses?  Don’t chemicals just have a way of doing their thing without asking permission?

(Definitions found on

Cortisol- a chemical released during stress that helps to break down carbohydrates and proteins in order to increase the supply of glucose and oxygen in the muscles, heart, and brain. But high levels of cortisol over a prolonged periods of time lead to an increase in blood pressure and an increase in sugar levels, both of which lead to unhealthy fat build-up in the abdomen, thinning of bones, and prevention of collagen formation. High cortisol levels also suppress the immune-system response and cause the body to age faster.

Serotonin- plays an important role in the regulation of mood, sleep, and learning. It is found throughout the brain and the digestive system, and has been implicated in depression, suicide, anxiety, and appetite regulation

Opiates- are released (under ordinary circumstances) by the brain to dull pain in response to body-tissue damage

Just knowing cortisol can affect in a negative way… traumatic events and high stress situations…  you can control your actions to help alleviate some of those environmental triggers. 

#2)  Avoiding responsibility or competency of your disorder?  Are you a “manager” or are you a “victim”?

I still catch myself saying “If you would just be nice to me, I wouldn’t have these episodes.”  while this may be true.  It is no one else’s responsibility to make me behave appropriately.  It is my responsibility.  Understanding my weaknesses, helps me manage this brain disorder.  When I am feeling unloved, invisible or misunderstood, I should seek to understand the reasons this is occurring and not just try to “feel” better by any means necessary.  I know that even our defense mechanisms tend to happen automatically, but if you work at maintaining a mindful existence, you will see the unhealthy ones and realize they aren’t truly helping you “feel” better, they are only interested in making the pain go away and to survive.  Living a good life is much more than just surviving.  

#3) You are an autonomous being with unique characteristics and specific attributes that make you, YOU.  Awaken to who you are.

I am a work in progress.  Honestly, I am still getting acquainted with who I am. This introspection has been motivated by a series of events that had to happen in order for me to understand I was “surviving on autopilot” and not really living the life I would want to live. Since arriving at that understanding of self I embrace that I am a strong person that has already accomplished many things, even with a disorder that creates more self-inflicted pain than living without BPD. Embrace this strength. 

#4) Healing is feeling, and sometimes that means embracing the emptiness until you have squeezed every bit of it from those special compartments you like to hoard painful & unpleasant moments.  

Imagine running water from your kitchen faucet,  take a rag and soak it with water, then ring it out.  Does it feel dry, after ringing it out once? Probably not, because no matter how much you ring it, the rag will remain damp, until you lay it out flat in the sun.  Our pain is similar to a damp rag, if we wad it up and stuff it deep down inside of us it doesn’t ever go away.  Especially when we just keep it under a running faucet.  If you want to get rid of the pain, you will need to lay it all out and with time let the light (personal insight and acknowledgement) dry it up.  You may need to do this process several times.  It is worthwhile work. 

#5) Being present, and not caught up in some fantasy, is the only way in which you directly affect your overall mental health.  There is no escaping this fact!

There are several moments throughout my day that I see people using technology to escape reality.  I am wearing headphones right now listening to the Top Hits on Spotify and I am doing this to block out distractions, to help me focus on creating my podcast notes.  Well, my family escapes reality by playing video games and watching youtube videos or any social media platform currently available.  It is ok to escape for a little while, but if you are constantly seeking the escape, maybe you need to take inventory of what is happening around you that is inspiring this desire to escape and do what you need to do to make your reality more comfortable for you to exist in peace.

#6)  MOVE your body and be physical.  It helps battle the negative chemicals by releasing the good chemicals that your brain is desperate for, and the physical benefits of being active aren’t so bad either. 

I can tell you since starting kickboxing and pushing to do this multiple times a week has helped my mental state in a big way.  You don’t need a gym, take a walk, or buy a jump rope.  Do some pushups or sit-ups and log your workouts.  This activity will help you “feel” better. 


It is so easy for me to describe to people the ways in which they don’t show their appreciation for me, and this usually looks like some sort of adolescent tantrum.  The reason this expression looks like some sort of teenager not getting their way, is due to my lack of self-awareness.

In the past, I expected everyone to understand that my unloading was the only path for me to find any level of peace again.  I would only offer this “explosion” as the necessary path they deserved to take with me after they so selfishly and consistently offered me their inconsiderate behaviors. Instead of halting the inappropriate talk or behaviors as they occurred, I would expect them to choose not to do those things, out of some sort of expression of love and commitment to me.  I would then by way of silence, allow them to continue their behaviors towards me that I did not approve of,  and this would then create an ugly pattern of  behaviors and treatment that weren’t  acceptable, but allowed. 

I now know that this “explosion” can be avoided by establishing timely & appropriate boundaries, however this awareness took me a very long time to establish boundaries for myself and my family members and friends.
I have found the closer you are to someone the harder it will be to set necessary boundaries.  I think it might also be relevant to state that this realization means that the person dealing with BPD has the hardest time setting boundaries for themself.  I am able to justify just about any type of treatment I “feel” like justifying.  Instead of letting my “feelings” tell me what is appropriate. I have now designed boundaries that say “Will this behavior/communication express how I feel about this person honestly?”  If the answer is no, I would only be trampling all over myself and my authenticity. Which is the last thing I want to occur. I have been working hard at understanding myself and all the things that make me, ME. Beyond that… I want those that I love, to feel that love and trust my love.  I want the people that I care about, to know that I hold their future and their feelings as a personal priority.  This has helped me quite a bit on my journey to healing the relationships I have thoughtlessly injured in the past.

So even though I have in the past unloaded whatever it was I had been “containing” directly on to my loved ones, I was doing this to somehow attack their behaviors.  But what I was actually doing, was informing them that it was ok to communicate in this way.  I had just demonstrated what I accept as appropriate behavior & an appropriate method to communicate.  Even though it is not how I want to communicate.  It helped to create an ugly and emotionally abusive cycle. I now choose to show love and patience and seek understanding, all while hoping that I will also receive the same.  

I was showing people with my own actions and expressions that this response was normal or “appropriate”.   So Instead of burying the hurt or dismissing the moments I felt disrespected, I should discuss these things or events in a healthy way. Knowing that  I would not treat them this way, and would like the same consideration from them, and that if they can’t show this type of consideration for my feelings, then maybe they do not hold one of the places I have reserved for my closest relationships.  I should not rely on my ability to bury things, in order to keep a relationship. 

Challenge:Stoicism and controlling yourself! Change your responses to the people close to you.  This has been trying for me at times.  When I dish out honesty it is served alongside an attitude that says “I’m right about this, you are just too ignorant to see it from my personal perspective.”  I despise trying to appear like a “know it all”, because well… I know I don’t know everything. Before when I would start speaking my truth or opinions about something, I would expect everyone to just accept it as their truth as well.  That will not always be the case.  I have been working very hard at accepting that the rest of the world, especially those closest to me, do not experience or see the world as I do.  I must first try to see their perspective then express that I understand their point of view before offering my own, and there may even be times where the other person doesn’t even want to hear it.  This has been challenging for me most of my life, but since opting to try this method of communication out I have already seen positive responses when communicating my wants and needs, or when I am expressing my raw feelings about certain things, to my friends and family. 

Closing: Thanks so much for tuning in we have come to the end of the podcast. What did you learn? Who can you share this podcast with? If this resonates with your spirit or makes you think of a certain someone that has experienced similar issues in their life, please share this with them. I believe mental health is something that we are overlooking on a massive scale and in order for people to heal we need to be able to speak about this openly and honestly.I believe this will also be the last episode of season 1. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and wish you all a very Happy New Year! Until next time choose truth, goodness, and love.

Season 1 Episode 8

Self Awareness continued

Link for podcast:


         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.

CRISIS HELPLINE: I want to also make listeners aware of help that is available. Call one of these numbers or text them to find help.

Text “helpline” that’s H E L P L I N E TO 62640

Or dial 988 for crisis operator.

Announcements: N/A


We began talking about a study that identified some areas that might be of some interest for those suffering from BPD.I know it did catch my interest.  What the study showed is that even very early environmental interaction can affect an individual that is highly sensitive to their environment & that the lack of interaction from the parent or caretaker helps to create BPD, and it also instills a lack of self awareness. What we are finding out as we search for Borderline Personality Disorder and the relation to self awareness, is that there’s not a lot of information out there.But self awareness is key when trying to manage this disorder. 

So armed with this information from the study I went to have a conversation with my caretaker, my mother.  I asked her, “Were you depressed or was anything serious happening when I was an infant?”  she responds with “The year you were born was the year my dad died. He died 8 months after you were born.” 

Now I’m not entirely sure because the study doesn’t just blatantly say what age an infant has to be.  When I asked my mom about this she was clearly upset that she had lost her dad she immediately started trying to hold back tears and she failed at that so she began to cry I leaned over and gave her a hug and put my hand over her head I could sense that she was truly upset and that she missed her dad.  Now imagine 40 years ago, when I was just a baby how upset she must have been. I do believe that my mother suffers from borderline as well… just undiagnosed.  So that emotional, overwhelming event kept her at bay, from me when I was a baby. It’s important to remember in any relationship that you may create that other person has issues, and pains & things about them that may not help you, and I had to make that realization about my parents, in the past few years. In recognizing that I was able to forgive them.  I am still processing the pain because I really don’t like being controlled by this disorder. So I do my best everyday to work on self awareness.  

So why is self awareness so difficult for a person with Borderline? I have literally been thinking about this in the back of my mind all week. What I have come up with is that because a borderline is constantly looking at facial features and emotional feedback, body language. Little microscopic things that tell us we are pleasing or accepted is what we rely upon in order to function. To be in reality and to have your brain constantly over-analyzing every unspoken response and trying to dictate what your next words or movement action behavior whatever it is to have that be appropriate in that moment makes it quite difficult to dive into who we are and to give an honest response, because our number one fear is to be rejected and then abandoned because we were not pleasing or appropriate 

So in my search for self awareness I realized that the absolute number one thing you have to do is start being honest. You have to pull from deep within yourself. Being deceitful comes very easily for the borderline because were literally telling the people what they want to hear but when you are honest and you get to tell someone what you actually think or how you actually feel makes you aware of you. This is gonna take some practice.  Here are some of the strategies I personally use to make an honest effort of being self aware.  

If someone is having a conversation with you and you start to zone out on things happening inside your head, stop them, interrupt them if you must, and say “I am so sorry, could you repeat everything that you just said?” & Truly listen and & truly give them honest feedback.  

The other thing that I have been working on is time.  I use different times throughout the day to take care of myself,or to take care of my classroom, or I have to schedule certain things, so that I am making myself. I’m putting forth all of my energy on tackling specific tasks.  

We’ve all heard that “truth hurts,” but we’ve never heard of why it hurts. It mostly hurts our ego, but we can learn from the truth, and if we are always being honest then we will learn ourselves as well.

Sometimes creating pain in others is inevitable and sometimes having pain inside yourself is inevitable. So I’ve started to accept the pain and abandon the suffering. If I feel the pain and let it go then that is all it has. It is just a moment of my time and attention. When I let it go it no longer resides with me. I can move on and live life. Being self aware means that you are aware of who you are and while I still struggle with that, here are some things I do know; I am a woman, I am a strong woman, I am a courageous and strong woman. I like adventure sometimes, I like to rest sometimes, I do love to spend time with my kids, and love talking to my class about life, and I am happy that I am a mother, and that I was able to be a mother. And I am also happy to be managing bpd and trying to help other people and encourage them.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to do on the podcast today, because there is very little information out there about bpd and self awareness. I do have this one hope that some of  my honesty today… Me just talking to you reaches someone and helps them work on self awareness and helps them manage their bpd just a little bit better because ladies and gents I do know how difficult it is and i wish it weren’t that way and the more I learn about borderline is that there is a reason for all of this there is a purpose behind it and we just have to become self-aware and understand what our purpose is, what our truth is, and then go out and be that. 

BYTE OF INSIGHT: sharing information that is good information

(Found online at optimumperformanceinstite.Com) 


Coping with borderline personality disorder can seem daunting, however help is available. It is not a life sentence, and it can be managed. Some of the following have worked to help people manage BPD in daily life:

  • Learning coping skills for raging emotions
  • Expressing emotions via creative outlets like drawing, painting or writing
  • Performing relaxation exercises
  • Active problem-solving behaviors
  • Setting attainable and realistic goals
  • Seeking comforting surroundings
  • Listening to music that is opposite of the strong emotions felt
  • Taking a warm shower or bath
  • Setting a stable schedule
  • Calling someone to talk
  • Talking to people about triggering events or situations to help avoid them
  • Engaging in a physical activity or outlet
  • Learning about the disorder
  • Being patient and understanding that symptoms may improve gradually

Understanding the signs and symptoms of borderline personality disorder can go a long way toward healing. By identifying that these mood swings and intense emotions are not intentional, one can learn to recognize the warning signs and learn to cope.

Challenge: I write every day! Whether it’s a response to something that happened or an idea that I had I tend to enjoy jotting those things down, however I’ve also found that writing about my feelings takes the bad seasoning out of my responses should I need to verbally respond to someone about a particular issue. It’s also a good way to keep track of my thoughts and feelings, and it helps me identify how different people or events change my opinion about them if their expectations aren’t what I had hoped. My challenge to you is to journal not at random but about situations that may arise this week that make your temper flare or break your heart or spirit. Instead of giving an immediate and impulsive response… write it down, then, when you have calmed down you now have something to calmly refer to if the discussion needs to happen. 

Closing: Thanks so much for tuning in we have come to the end of the podcast. What did you learn? Who can you share this podcast with? If this resonates with your spirit or makes you think of a certain someone that has experienced similar issues in their life, please share this with them.  I believe mental health is something that we are overlooking on a massive scale and in order for people to heal we need to be able to speak about this openly and honestly. Until next time choose truth, goodness, and love.

Thanks for your time! Happy holidays to each reader/listener! Peace within ✌🏻 is achievable! 🥰

Season 1: Episode 7


Link to listen to the podcast: 


         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.

Announcements: (none)


Alright…  Welcome back everyone, this is episode 7 of the first season of The World in Black & White!  I am going to try and knock out 11 episodes total, for Season 1 before the start of 2023, so wish me luck!

This week’s topic is very near and dear to my heart, SELF-AWARENESS!

I don’t know the percentage of Borderlines that deal with this issue, but I am sure it is high. 

 If I were put on the spot to give 100% honesty on whether or not I liked something I would respond with a neutral type of response, still being unsure of what the appropriate answer might be for the given situation or I’d be worried about the response the person asking me the question is seeking. I’d probably just say “umm sure, it’s good” 
For starters, I do not like to offend but the closer I steer towards being authentic and honest, the more I realize that there will be times where my wants and needs may not be the same as others, and that my opinions and beliefs may not match their beliefs.I just need to remind myself that this doesn’t make me offensive. (because In my head, offensive people aren’t well liked.)  and because well, answering with an agreeable answer is less troublesome. 

but I have found that the moments where I have abandoned my opinions, beliefs or values to be agreeable for someone or something are also the initial moments that create conflict in my life. I know now that I must redirect my responses towards honesty and steer clear of always being agreeable. 

This amnesia of self may be one of the most destructive behavior patterns for PwBPD. 

I have made a lot of progress by bringing my focus on being present, really tuning in, consistently seeking my inner voice, and presenting the truth to others about the thoughts that are awakened or my true feelings when situations needing my input may arise. //

  I would also like to let listeners know of help that is available.  Call one of these numbers or text them to find help.  I pray you always find someone there to pull you up.   

You can call or text 988.

Another helpline available through the National Alliance for Mental Illness is 800-950-6264 or text “HelpLine” to 62640

Are you able to make good decisions in a timely manner, or do you waver a bunch and say “well what do you want to do? Or what do you think we should do?”

I always thought this behavior pattern of mine to be a considerate personality trait. I was offering the decision to be made by someone else, to give them an opportunity to experience any level of joy out of that decision.  But in doing so, I have lost the ability to make my own decisions based on what I truly think or believe.  However; I think one of the only times we aren’t indecisive is when something causes us to “feel”. I am curious to find out if this need to “feel” happens because so many people with BPD actually function in their own lives  in a numb and apathetic way.It appears we have discovered some kind of mental switch for autopilot. 

However; this default in my brain to avoid making decisions for myself stems from my inability to see who I really am and what I really want.  This also leaves me with the inability to be decisive.  I rely on many other people to help me make good decisions. Why should I trust others and their decision-making over my own?

Well, I think that’s a good question!. I think I have stumbled upon something that will help us understand a little bit better why people with BPD have such a hard time with self awareness and understanding who they are, what they think ,and what their beliefs are//

BYTE of Insight:
Lately, I have been struggling a ton with not being able to see myself.  I don’t mean I need to buy glasses or clean my bathroom mirror.  I mean, I’ve noticed that I’m lacking in the area of self awareness and understanding my own identity. I am working at getting a better understanding of all the things that make me, me.

This may sound silly to some listeners but I do believe that this is a big issue for someone battling textbook BPD.

Not having the slightest clue of how others see you may directly berelated to that inability to see/know/or understand myself.  

I bet if you have BPD you are bothered by this just as much as I am.  

We have already learned that splitting occurs, as well as other unhealthy defense mechanisms when the PwBPD is threatened and that this happens on a subconscious level. 

I am now constantly telling myself, there is no threat Michelle.  Or reminding my brain that everything is ok, because I don’t want some unhealthy defense mechanism hijacking my mind or my behaviors.//

STUDY OVER SELF:  Alright what I’m about to read is an abstract from a study

Mentalization and embodied selfhood in Borderline Personality Disorder – PMC (

ABSTRACT:  Aberrations of self-experience are considered a core feature of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). While prominent etiologic accounts of BPD, such as the mentalization based approach, appeal to the developmental constitution of self in early infant-caregiver environments, they often rely on a conception of self that is not explicitly articulated. Moreover, self-experience in BPD is often theorized at the level of narrative identity, thus minimizing the role of embodied experience. In this article, we present the hypothesis that disordered self and interpersonal functioning in BPD result, in part, from impairments in “embodied mentalization,” that manifest foundationally as alterations in minimal embodied selfhood, i.e. the first-person experience of being an individuated embodied subject. This account of BPD, which engages early intersubjective experiences has the potential to integrate phenomenological, developmental, and symptomatic findings in BPD, and is consistent with contemporary theories of brain function.

“disturbances in self and other mental representations are fundamental to borderline psychopathology” (p.514). Similarly, Kerr et al. (Kerr et al., 2015) calls for a “reconceptualization” of BPD as “a disorder of self and relationality” (p.346). Interpersonal symptoms can include confusion about self-other boundaries with identity diffusion, projection of difficult affects onto interaction partners. One person with BPD evokes a bodily experience of this confusion (italics added):

(So this is from one person and what they have said but it hit me 100%!)

When I’m around other people, I can feel their energy. I can feel whether they’re happy or unhappy. I can walk into a room and feel whether there’s tension in the air or if everyone is getting along… Having my own identity issues makes it even harder to be around certain people. I feel other people’s emotions so strongly that sometimes, I believe they are my own (Mae, 2017).

PLANS For Next Episode:  
So I am thinking I will go further into this study and talk about it more on the next episode, one of the last things they talked about in the study is that while bpd
“ remains in current classification systems and can be reliably diagnosed. A considerable body of research on self and BPD has accrued, including a recent profusion and confluence of neuroscientific and socio psychological findings. These have generated supporting evidence for a supra-ordinate, functionally constituted entity of the self ranging over multiple, interacting levels from an unconscious, ‘core’ self, through to a reflective, phenotypic, ‘idiographic’ and relational self constituted by interpersonal and sociocultural experience.

  I am listening to many people that have been diagnosed with BPD on reddit and other websites that focus on psychology or mental health.  I ventured to one site called and found an interesting article entitled “25 PEOPLE SHARE THE WORST SYMPTOMS OF BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER”


One of the responses from James said that his worst symptom was this…

“No sense of self. I went through so many majors in college and I am constantly second guessing myself. Do I really want to do this with my life? What about this instead? This looks better let’s do this. It’s tiring for myself and everyone around me. I’ll finally settle on something and then something better will come along and I jump ship.”(quote from

I believe people that are highly sensitive to their environment look externally for the correct response, because we were the ones to keep environments from becoming too chaotic during important moments of development.  We weren’t given appropriate space and time to figure out the things we like/dislike, or what we really feel.  We were more than likely always told how to feel, or “to get over it!” 


The challenge that I would like to put out for this week is to use TRUTH as much as possible, rely on yourself to make those decisions, stay present, focus on listening to yourself,  make a list if you have too.  But the challenge is to be honest about what you want, and what you need.  And I think that is a good challenge for this week and I think it will pull you to a better place of SELF AWARENESS.

CLOSING:  Thanks so much for tuning in… We have come to the end of the podcast. What did you learn? Who can you share this podcast with? If this resonates with your spirit or makes you think of a certain someone that has experienced similar issues in their life, please share this with them.  I believe mental health is something we are overlooking on a massive scale, and in order for people to heal we need to be able to speak about this openly and honestly.

…Until next time… Choose truth, goodness and love Closing:

Season 1 Episode 4

Season 1 Episode 4

listen to the podcast below

“ Lightning Tree”

Intro: 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 hope is that this podcast will bring hope to all individuals that may be overwhelmed by the challenges mental illness creates when trying to navigate life in a positive and successful way. I hope to help others by teaching forgiveness and self-awareness.

ALRIGHT… Thanks for joining me today, our TOPIC is SPLITTING & this will be a two part,this is part 1 (PART 1) 

I have discovered that there are many parts to this topic, so I am breaking it down into smaller morsels; bite-sized bits of information are sometimes easier to understand and retain. Today we will go into the definition of splitting and dive into why BPD persons feel the need to use this and other defense mechanisms in order to survive their daily life. . 

I do love to start with definitions and force myself to truly understand the definition before advancing into further discussion on the topic. So here is the definition of splitting. 

Borderline Personality Disorder (splitting) *I jacked this from

Splitting is considered a defense mechanism, by which people with borderline personality disorder (BPD) can view people, events, or even themselves in all or nothing terms. Splitting allows them to readily discard things they have assigned as “bad” and to embrace things they consider “good,” even if those things are harmful or risky.

So what I am hearing in this definition is that a person with BPD may always be on the defense.  So let us look into what a defense mechanism actually is? Why does the person with BPD need to rely on defense mechanisms so often? So the question we must answer first is, what are defense mechanisms?

Here is a chart of 12 defense mechanisms according to Sigmund Freud. //

According to Medical News Today, and mostly just regurgitating other medical journal information into my own loosely constructed definition, an individual presenting healthy defense mechanisms can show normal development, so people use defense mechanisms naturally, it’s human. And although the BPD may utilize healthy defense mechanisms, it is more common to see them intuitively fall back into the use of unhealthy defense mechanisms. I believe this happens because the BPD brain gets stuck when faced with high levels of stress, it’s like the brain we can compare it to an engine that is idling and when an event occurs it begins revving and revving but not shifting into any productive gear, the brain of the bpd is simply trying to keep the engine running, and it does this from a primal place, not from an evil place.  Having lived on both sides ( a daughter of a person with BPD and having caused trauma to my own family) I have witnessed the destructive nature of the BPD person. I understand the way a BPD can struggle to gain control of their own actions when encountering highly stressful events. I guess I should talk a moment to discuss what I mean about highly stressful events.  We aren’t talking about one single event.  The person with BPD more than likely hangs onto every bad act of rejection or slight someone has made the BPD feel.  When that “emotional bank of bad” gets full, the BPD tries to either escape it by using easy to activate defense mechanisms, which for the BPD feels like an innate and natural response.  If they can’t escape the pain they may try to ignore the pain, or substitute the pain with something that makes them feel good, finding an effective  high.  I’m not talking about drug use or drinking, I’m talking about something that makes them feel better.  It could be shopping too much, it could be exercising too much.  I’m telling you it could be a list of things.  When the stress hormone is released (or the engine is revved)  the brain reverts to a particular pattern of thinking that relies on certain defense mechanisms. (I also feel dissociation occurs simultaneously at this point, and the BPD goes into survival mode- auto-pilot) they are not particularly interested in providing realistic solutions, they are only interested in staying alive and feeling good about their decision to survive.  So for the BPD to save the brain from actually dwelling on an uncomfortable event it may automatically find a defense mechanism that has been effective during past traumatic events. 

I said I wanted this podcast to be about finding forgiveness and peace, I do hope that we are able to find that for both the person that has survived the destructive consequences of a borderline, and also for the Borderline. 

  Ok so this is for the borderline listener, are you aware of the defense mechanisms your brain naturally resorts to when confronted with high stress situations? Have you asked yourself why your brain keeps reverting to a specific defense mechanism? What defense mechanisms are you naturally inclined to use when times get more stressful than normal? If you don’t have the slightest clue what defense mechanisms your brain resorts to… Maybe you could check out this quiz.  I took mine.  

I took a quiz to see what defense mechanisms I use.  That quiz can be found at 

Defense Mechanisms: Test Your Unconscious Coping Techniques | Psychologia

Here are my results.

Your scores for each defense mechanism can be found below. The higher the score, the more you use it.

Regression: 80

Displacement: 30

Denial: 10

Repression: 40

Intellectualization: 10

Reaction formation: 30

Projection: 20

Compensation: 30

Alright here is our BYTE OF INSIGHT  

The BPD person must ask themselves what they are defending themselves from? Is this physical or emotional pain? If it is physical pain, remove that toxicity from your life, no one deserves to be beaten.  If it is emotional pain, is it perceived emotional pain or is someone seriously beating you down with a psychological wrecking ball. Both aspects of abuse have to be taken care of.  I have begun to reign in the things that I felt weren’t producing a healthy environment.  I know that BPD is considered a brain disorder now, but maybe some people are just not good for your emotional health.  You let them know that they upset your peace by communicating your feelings in the moment.  It is ok to be honest with others about the anxiety and distress you go through during their toxic unloading.  If they don’t understand or appreciate this they will naturally eliminate themselves from your life.  You don’t need to be pleasing to be loved.  I suffer from that same belief and have most of my life.  You can disagree with people and have your own way about you and those that truly appreciate who you are will still be there for you no matter what and those that find you aren’t meeting their emotional supply anymore can find the door.  I feel it is healthier and more peaceful to approach this as a journey of seeking peace and forgiveness now rather than battling something I honestly can’t stand about myself.  I was created like this for a purpose and at some point in my life I hope to achieve that purpose but I know that both physical and emotional abuse exist, don’t agree to it for your life.  You deserve peace.  I am trying to establish peace  in my life by establishing better boundaries and not subjecting myself to that type of environment.  I have to literally tell myself “you deserve a good & healthy space.  And honey, You don’t have to fight so hard to survive. Remember to breathe and also take in these moments, they are the only ones we get.”

Lightning Tree POEM

Weekly Challenge- Last week we were challenged to get back in touch with someone you have lost contact with.  This week.  you should take the defense mechanism quiz to see what defense mechanism you naturally rely upon and we will look into the 2nd part of BPD and splitting next week.