Lived Experiences

Steve's story


Hello, my name is Steve and I am 29 years’ old.

I was first diagnosed with complex post-traumatic stress disorder when I was around 19 or 20 years’ old and I went to trauma groups and saw a therapist one-on-one for many years. I have only recently started learning about borderline personality disorder and how that disorder relates to the emotional neglect I suffered as a child. As someone living with the disorder, I find it very difficult to take an interest in my own wellbeing. Frequently it seems like my emotions are too much to handle and it is just easier to ignore myself. Seeking help even from Lifeline telephone counselling has been difficult as I expect to be criticised from just about everyone, and it is hard not to say what I think other people want to hear rather than what I actually think or feel.

I am not sure what people mean by self-help as my parents often expected me to look after myself as a child, and I thought that was very damaging. How can you help yourself if your self isn’t there? That’s why as much as I try to force myself to practise mindfulness and what-have-you, I am very very grateful for the support I have received from other kind people such as my therapist.

A lengthy therapeutic relationship has been essential to help me get to where I am currently. Being interested enough in my own wellbeing to seek care and support has been one of the most difficult challenges and I am easily thwarted by what I perceive to be negative messages from the world and other people. It’s been a long journey so far but I am slowly learning that self-help doesn’t mean going it alone.

Last reviewed: 5 April, 2016