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Get me out of here, my recovery from borderline personality disorder by Rachel Reiland book review

Get me out of here, my recovery from borderline personality disorder by Rachel Reiland, published in 2004 by Hazelden.

I read this in early 2010. Get me out of here Rachel – this is a 5 year piece of her life, through her worst bit of BPD through therapy and hospitalisation and her relationship with her husband and two kids, to a recovery of some sort.  She uses memories to highlight the past and also the discussions with the therapist to show how she got to become a Borderline and show what BPD is in an intelligent way, together with a real therapy recovery that you can believe.

Well, this book was something else!  Out of nearly 500 pages, I found only one to be boring, but even then, once I read on, I realised that it was applicable.

The outline was:

  • Over 5 years of counselling, which came at a huge cost, and is not available to myself and many others, but it still gave hope as Rachel was a very bad case of BPD.
  • But within her counselling, it covered many aspects, such as her childhood.
  • It did not cover her in between years though – only her childhood and her latter years (28 to 33) so I didn’t get the whole picture of what happened in between.  It would appear that she was ok and that she suddenly struck down with a very severe case.  Actually, as I write this, I realise that maybe it wasn’t as perfect as portraying the borderline, as I have suffered all the way through, but maybe they don’t all do that
  • It was informational, in that the doctor and herself would explain what was going on, and very kindly, made her understand what was wrong with her thinking, not by telling her, but by guiding her to find out for herself, which is obviously the way to go.  Like a child, no one wants to be ‘told’ as an adult, but rather ‘guided’.  It is a believable recovery, since it was over 5 years (even though she was in a real state) and she realised her own recovery, through her doctor’s guidance.

What I like about it?

I felt for Rachel.  I understood what she was going through and that is not just because I am a sufferer – I think she was able to show her feelings and use fantastic dialogue to explain the mental disturbances that she had, plus the recovery process and time lines.

She also showed very well, the family disruption that she caused and the effects it had on her family.  This was very sad.

She also showed the kindness of the doctor, but she certainly bigged him up too much and her poor husband took a back seat.

Nevertheless, I could not put the book down, as I was so interested in it.

I may not have liked Rachel too much, but I did have empathy for her and I did learn a lot and it made me feel better that I am not so bad and also that BPD is a BIG umbrella in which to put a huge range of people with a huge range of symptoms and realities.

What I didn’t like?

At times, I though Rachel was soooooo selfish that I am not sure that the ‘good mother’ category was the right one for her.  In fact, I don’t think she was a good mother.  She said herself that she was on auto pilot and under false personality and smiles most of the time, but did not show a great deal of niceness about her and her feelings towards her children or indeed her husband.  I would not want her as my friend as I think she is a little boring and not quite recovered yet – I still think she is selfish a bit.

In fact, I think it will be a miracle if her son does not suffer with mental problems of his own when he grows up.  He was always on edge and felt responsible for his mothers sadness – this is not right and did not sit right with me and I felt sorry for him and the family and I didn’t feel that Rachel made me feel better about it all when she had recovered,  and I am not sure that she HAS recovered.  She was at such a terrible stage of mental disturbance, that I am not sure you can recover from that, and your family.  To me, it is a very dysfunctional family environment, as I know one myself!

I didn’t get enough of the ‘good’ vibes about Rachel, as she didn’t show enough of laughter, even at the end, for me to like her

She gets a mixed bag of reviews on Amazon.

  • Most liked it – most were suffering themselves and fromUK
  • Some didn’t like it – mainly they thought her recovery was too quick, that she was too much like a spoilt brat and agreed that it was wrong to show that you can only recover if you ‘have the money’ like she did.
  • Also, that she didn’t show you enough of her life – just childhood and adulthood, but nothing in between, such as her hobbies or having a nice time (To help you to like her).  They felt they didn’t get to know her well enough, as normal.  (I also agree that you should show the ‘normal’ so that the ‘abnormal’ stands out.  I also think that, for a borderline, she did not show enough of the ups and downs.  It was all ‘downs’ and no happiness.  I am pretty sure, from my experience, and from reading about it, that a borderline gets erratic ups and downs, yet she showed no excitement at all on any day.
  • Overall, good reviews, but it does show that she only gets people interested in BPD reading it (putting the book in a small sales box) so if I am to sell lots, I need to incorporate it into a story about me and other things that I/we do.

Well, I liked it overall and found it a great support when I was in the depths of borderline personality disorder myself – I could relate to her feelings and she made me feel less alone… 🙂

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1 comment to Get me out of here, my recovery from borderline personality disorder by Rachel Reiland book review

  • Kayla

    Hi i just come across this page . So so hard to get help diagnosed several months ago With bpd . Always knew from an early age ..Im 45 now
    First of many hpspitaidati ons in 1998 :+( used to look at myself in the mirror and say to it ..who are you !!!

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