A/N: This chapter is just a repost, but a few parts have been rewritten. I also went back and changed some small details in the previous chapters: Audrey's last name, the ages of a few group members (including Audrey and Hailey, who are now 17), and one or two paragraphs with awkward phrasing. Nothing too significant, but I figured I'd mention it just in case anyone remembers the original eighteen-year-old Audrey Jones.

Audrey Davies
Assignment #3

B) Another common misconception is that borderlines generally tend to blame everyone around them for all of their own misfortunes, including the root of their neuroses. Whenever I hear this ridiculous claim I almost want to laugh, because the reality is that nothing could be further from the truth. After years of group therapy, listening to the dramatic and self-centered declarations from girls who feel that they alone are responsible for the dysfunction in their family units, I can say with confidence that, for the most part, borderlines are much more likely to hold only themselves at fault when something goes wrong. My own experience and the nights I lay awake crying after my parents' divorce, guilt ripping me apart, is testament to that fact.

These days I fall somewhere in between truth and stereotype, admitting that claiming sole responsibility for my perceived craziness is ridiculous, at the same time acknowledging that it is equally stupid and futile to put the full blame on somebody else. There is one final point I want to make clear before going on to discuss any possible contributing factors, and it is that while I do not blame my parents for my BPD, I am not so naïve as to assume that they didn't play any part in its development at all.

My family dynamic when I was growing up was not what I would call stable, and it differed from my friends' in several ways. First, there is the fact that I'm the oldest of two children, and was thus in the unfortunate position of being the proverbial "guinea pig." I was the kid my parents learned from, made the mistakes with. They didn't realize that the abnormally rigid and controlling environment they set was both damaging and counterproductive (in an effort to gain the independence I was starved of as a child, I rebelled more than was usual for my age group), and only saw that it wasn't the best way to go until after the method had been tested, and failed, on me. I can let that go and excuse it by acknowledging that it was a beginner's mistake, but then there is my mom to take into consideration. Although she has never, to the best of my knowledge, been diagnosed with a psychological disorder, it is obvious to everyone in our family that she has her own set of issues. She might even be a borderline herself, as she displays many of the classic symptoms, and if this is the case, it is entirely possible that while I was growing up, I picked up on her behavior and copied it.

Does this make it her fault? Am I accusing her and saying that she "caused" it? Not at all. My personality disorder probably developed as a result of a number of different things, including a genetic predisposition and high vulnerability to psychological disorders in general. My parents were merely a contributing factor, one of many.

So whether it was nature, nurture, or a combination of both, I doubt I'll ever know. But I'm well past pointing the finger of blame, and came to the conclusion long ago that what matters is not the cause, but the effect. We can look at and analyze the past as much as we want, but the one thing everybody seems to agree on is that the solution lies in the future; I feel certain that the key to finding it requires a focus on the present. Borderline Personality Disorder is, at its most basic level, a series of maladaptive patterns of behavior, so I believe that the cognitive/behavioral approach is the best to take. It focuses on challenging cognitive distortions and learning healthier coping techniques to replace the destructive ones, therefore promises the most positive results in terms of successful treatment. Taking a Freudian view of things, while maybe appropriate and effective in treating other mental disorders, is counterproductive in my case. Doing so has only caused me to dwell on, and consequently get stuck in, the past.

I can't answer the question of how my personality disorder developed, so this catalogue of theories and thoughts is the best that I can do. In truth, the only thing I do know for sure is that the death of a close friend is what caused an already-unstable teenager to spiral out of control.

A/N: Next chapter, if I can manage to kick the writer's block, we'll be back to the plot. Things might start to get a little confusing from here, but everything will come together in the end. Until then just bear with me, okay? I'll try to make it as clear as possible. Let me know what you think! I plan on taking this as far as I can, regardless of popularity, but I'd still like to know if there's any interest.