Monday, March 29, 2010


It's a feeling that one can't really describe to you. You know it when you have it, most don't ever want to feel it, but when you feel it, you know.

It's the feeling of despair.

Hurricane Katrina -- True Despair and Hopelessness

I just came back from a weekend in New Orleans where I spent most of my weekend with friends celebrating 25 years of being friends; what amazing people I have in my life. I truly am a blessed man to have such quality people that have stuck with me for all these years.

We spent the weekend bellying up to a New Orleans bar, but I did speak with a number of people about the Hurricane. I spoke the most with Anne, the Concierge at the Hotel where I stayed. She told me about all the people that died from the hurricane, 1,800 in total. She told me about five people that she knew that killed themselves.

Five people that she knew committed suicide.

We're talking about an event here that most of us can't come near comprehending. It was so bad that people took their own lives because of the trauma.


I spoke to person after person who said that they lived without food, or lived without water, for days. Having so many people get killed or lose everything from the hurricane impacted everyone in the area. The concierge told me that there are still events that happen that trigger memories of the hurricane and the aftermath afterwards.

I told her that she had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Then I asked her if she had gone to counseling. She responded that she couldn't because everybody here was going to counseling and had post traumatic stress disorder.

This woman felt despair. This town felt despair. Tears welled up in my eyes as I discussed these events and she told me how it took so long for things to come back to normal. All the people that were so lost as a result of this. I could see what she went through and the pain that she had felt.

The nice thing is that when you have so many people that went through the same event, together, you can, as a group, get through the event. This is what many have done in the area.

Ironically, the event that has helped the area give themselves hope again has been the local football team, the New Orleans Saints. They won the superbowl for the first time this year, and the town rallied around them quite a bit.

When you drive through the city, the billboard by the Superdome reads, "Goodbye to the Saint-Less."

The town rallied around the team, no doubt. They're feeling so much better.

Despair and BPD Relationship Recovery

When I got out of the relationship with the BPD Disordered, I suffered from despair. The pain I felt, the loss that I had, it was real. It was amazing.

Looking back, she had threatened my ability to have basic needs -- food, clothing and shelter -- but those that went through Katrina clearly had a more traumatic event happen to them.

Recovering from a relationship with a Borderline sucks. It's terrible. It changes the way that we view the world, and we lose some of our innocence.

However, we didn't feel like those that went through Hurricane Katrina felt. Our ability to eat and our ability to have a safe roof over our head wasn't compromised like those that went through Katrina. It hurt, we felt bad, but we didn't feel like them.

Or maybe we did:

  • Many of us have been threatened by the BPD, some of us to the point of being threatened for our lives. Many of us were beaten by the BPD as well. 
  • A couple times, I came home to locks being changed by the BPD, so clearly, my stability and knowing where I was living was compromised
Again, I think it's different. This was the person who I thought was going to be my partner, but I still, after writing through it, don't think that I had the intensity of feeling that those who went through Katrina felt. 

I think that those that went through 9/11 share more than those that went through a relationship with a BPD. Sure, it sucked, but it didn't suck nearly as much as those that went through 9/11 or Hurricane Katrina.

We all shared feelings of desperation, though.

Making The Best of Despair

I'm not the kind of person who wants life to be monotone. I want highs, and I understand that there are going to be lows. 

We learn the most from the lows. The lows that we have help develop our character, our person; we learn how to survive and live through the lows.

You'll feel despair in your life. It's okay, you can get through it. When you get through it, you'll appreciate so much more of the good things, as long as you can learn and grow from the despair that you feel.

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