If several stressors occurred in sequence, I sometimes started to generalize, negatively. The past and the present became one. Feelings swept over me like one of those nets used to trap animals in the jungle—black, dark, persistent, and at times suicidal feelings. Those feelings, accompanied by flawed logic, fantasies of rescue, and a kind of self-preservation system gone awry created chaos in my mind. I would feel hopeless, my world would compartmentalize, and I’d enter an unremitting state of shock. The pain would seem interminable. Thus the pain experienced by people with borderline personality disorder is not just a result of simple immaturity, a brilliant imagination, or the longings of a so-called spoiled child. We don’t end up certified, in police lockups waiting to see a psychiatrist, or even dead because we’re morally deficient. Our pain is real, but the equation creating that pain is faulty. Something is shut down in our brains that means we can’t listen at first because we’re in survival mode.
Lynn Williams, Personal Accounts: A “Classic” Case of Borderline Personality Disorder”