I want to someday write a book, gathering everything I’ve learned into one complete package, but I thought if I started out by writing a blog regularly until I get through everything I wanted to say in the book, then my audience’s comments and questions could help sharpen my writing for the final product. Welcome to the adventure!
I love …
my friends and family, the ocean, and songs that speak to my heart
Cathleen was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1960, was awarded a full scholarship to college, where she graduated summa cum laude, with honors and distinction, Phi Beta Kappa, and, later, with a law degree. Cathleen married in 1985 and practiced law for about 9 years, including working for an Ohio Supreme Court Justice and then representing abused and neglected children. After the birth of her second son, her postpartum depression and out-of-control rages at home were incorrectly diagnosed as bipolar disorder.
After moving to Virginia in 1999, Cathleen worked school hours as a law clerk for a prominent attorney and focused on her family. At age 42, Cathleen finally received the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (bpd), which involves an inability to regulate the extreme emotions associated with this condition. There is no medication to prevent or cure bpd. At that time, the new specialized talk therapy for bpd (one therapy , the one I took, is called Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, but there are others with research showing their effectiveness) was not offered in her area. The diagnosis was presumed to be a life sentence without long-term relationships. She and her husband publicly advocated to bring this therapy to her location.
After finally receiving specialized therapy for bpd in 2004-05, Cathleen obtained a master’s degree in Library Science and then worked in an elementary school library for 10 years. In 2016, she joined the Board of Directors for a national nonprofit (NEABPD) which provides free 12-week courses to those with a loved one with bpd (see website at: www.borderlinepersonalitydisorder.org) and she has served as Secretary of that Board since then. Cathleen authors a blog for couples where one of them has bpd, “porcupinelove.com,” ™ sharing strategies she and her husband have developed over their 37-year-and-counting marriage. Her aim is to offer hope where none had seemed to exist.
“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.”