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Publisher's Summary

Kiera Van Gelder's first suicide attempt at the age of 12 marked the onset of her struggles with drug addiction, depression, post-traumatic stress, self-harm, and chaotic romantic relationships - all of which eventually led to doctors' belated diagnosis of borderline personality disorder 20 years later.

The Buddha and the Borderline is a window into this mysterious and debilitating condition, an unblinking portrayal of one woman's fight against the emotional devastation of borderline personality disorder. This haunting, intimate memoir chronicles both the devastating period that led to Kiera's eventual diagnosis and her inspirational recovery through therapy, Buddhist spirituality, and a few online dates gone wrong. Kiera's story sheds light on the private struggle to transform suffering into compassion for herself and others, and is essential listening for all seeking to understand what it truly means to recover and reclaim the desire to live.

©2010 Kiera Van Gelder (P)2017 Post Hypnotic Press Inc.

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What listeners say about The Buddha and the Borderline

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Clarity for a parent

As the parent of a 14 year old with BPD. Kiera gave me a clear picture of whats going on inside my daughter and the hope DBT therapy may help! As well its opened my eyes on how to listen in a different way. Fingers crossed for my daughter and for Kiera.

Thank you Kiera my heart is with you as well.

R's Dad

18 people found this helpful

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Realistic

I have BPD and wow. The author seemed to have very low functioning BPD which I think really highlighted the internal struggle that people with this condition go through. At times, the story did move a bit slowly but I quite enjoyed the book and loved that the ending was optimistic but not unrealistic. Great memoir.

5 people found this helpful

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The best book on BPD i have read

A movie should be made out of this book. I love love love the book. The story is so well written with so much honesty and openness. The content and all the info shared in the book is ever so helpful. Really well done to you Kiera Van Gelder.

5 people found this helpful

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I was diagnosed

I was hospitalized and diagnosed in the hospital. When I came out I saw this book online doing research for myself so I bought it softcover and followed along while listening on here. It helped me a lot coming to rearms with bit all. Thank you

5 people found this helpful

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Must read...

You catch yourself thinking: Oh, that’s me. I’ve done that before. Oh this book is personally attacking me! (Like when they say, raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally attacked by Regina George).

This book does a wonderful job at depicting the point from when she knew there was something wrong to the point of learning to live with a mental illness and surpassing even her own expectations.

I suspected I had BPD. I read this book after having a mental breakdown and being hospitalized. I looked up what I spent three days writing down after my hospitalization and BPD was the first thing. This book, along with therapy and medication has lead me to be in a better state of mind.

4 people found this helpful

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The Path to Order in Life

Lots of questions to start off. Through the book most were answered, all but the ones I need to ask myself. Is living with serenity and being translucent to myself worth it? My recommendation read this book. You’ll possibly learn what the read experienced and be able to identify your own answered to the issues you have or someone you know are dealing with.

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In recovery

One night I was driving for door dash when I needed some enlightenment. I was diagnosed with BPD some time ago, but when the pandemic hit I was able to take a pause for awhile and let myself dissociate all the work I had done thus far. At least this is what I kept telling myself. I had gotten let go from my job at the beginning of 2020 and lived off unemployment for an entire year.
When I knew the unemployment was coming to an end and... the dissociative bliss of laying in bed and telling myself I deserve to be sad and this is nice was also ending. I got a job with USPS where they have me working 6 days a week. I also moved on top of that from another state.
In two months all my symptoms felt like they had came back to me. I felt like I had no control and I was scared of being able to make choices and decisions.
The pressure was there and it was everyday. After listening to this book I started to realize I have so much work to do. Having BPD is an exhausting mental illness. And it’s even more exhausting explaining to others who don’t understand and explaining how to get support when you don’t even know what you need.
This was the first time in my life that I listened to a book and I felt like someone understood me. That I wasn’t alone and that there were more people like me out there. This has inspired my DBT journey and Buddhism journey. This has given me insight to the fact I haven’t gotten the proper help that I’ve needed. I also realized how functional and resilient I am.
I’ve always thought about suicide. I even attempted a few times. But as I’ve gotten more independent... I can’t afford to just go to a mental hospital every time I think about it. Even tho I wish I could. There is this person or “part” inside me that wants the constant affection, safety and support from everyone.
Especially when I’m triggered by something that I can’t get out of my head or control. I know I can’t force the love, but I also can’t go on sleeping my life away outside work. I have to be a functional human of society.
I can’t stop thinking about the analogy of you being in a room with all your parts. Today I was thinking about it and I felt so crowded and honestly overwhelmed and scared. I don’t think people really know or have a grasp of what’s going on inside my head. I’m scared if I tell them or show them they’ll leave me. I tell people I have BPD, but explaining it is difficult. I really enjoyed listening to you navigate your way through different challenges. Thank you for taking the time to write this.
I look forward to going back and re reading this at a later time and to maybe one day write my own story.

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Excellent introduction and extremely well written

Such raw honesty with vivid details to really connect with readers, this book is a gift.

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useful book

So much useful information in the first three quarters of the book. The last bit goes way off track.

7 people found this helpful

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So helpful

I am unofficially a borderline or at least I have borderline tendency. I’m also on a Buddhism journey and this book has been very insightful and I believe will be helpful in my quest for happiness:)

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-29-17

Validating and inspiring.

Very validating to hear that somebody else has had similar experiences too me, some such minor details that ring so true. Has inspired me to visit my local Buddhist centre.

2 people found this helpful

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  • stacy
  • 02-04-20

fellow Bordeline

wow raw truth and I loved the way at the end you show your not healed but we manage and can continue to manage recognize and move on and grow. wicked book !

1 person found this helpful

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  • Karen
  • 09-10-18

This was okay, but it got quite repetitive

Lost interest about half way through as it just seemed to repeat itself. Shows the real struggle and a failed healthcare system, but wish it was more of a journey how she had come on and more of a positive spin on things

3 people found this helpful

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  • charlotte W.
  • 06-24-21

If you have BPD this is a must read/listen

I was recently diagnosed with BPD. I have always suffered but getting the diagnosis was a turning point for me that's when I could see what was happening to me what I have battled with my whole life. I've had two hospital trips since and still not getting the correct help or treatment so I have been relying on Harbinger work books and self care. All the books I have come across have been like a guide you pick up from the pet shop on how to care for a destructive rescue dog (aka your BPD loved one)
This book was the first from my perspective. It was like hearing my own life story again and now I feel like I have some next steps I can take.
Thank you for telling your story, Keira Van Gelder.

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  • Athena
  • 02-21-21

So helpful welwritten, but reader voice annoying

So helpful thanks kiera for sharing n showing the light, bought this books years ago but dint read cause I don't lik the r tea sets voice,,, but content is great

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  • bunny_girl
  • 02-25-18

Inspiring

I LOVED this book! I could relate to it on an intrinsic level and found it insightful and inspiring. I’d give it 10 stars if I could!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-01-17

Empowering!

I loved this audible book! I was interested in DBT and came across it. The title had me curious, the sample had me hooked. It's so descriptive open and honest I could relate to the behaviours, the processes and the journey. The narration and speed of the read seemed fitting for the borderline mind. I think that therapists would find this insightful and people who have wondered and reflected about their personalities and partners too would find this enlightening. An ongoing process. Felt really positive and a great listen.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-03-21

From someone with BPD

Wow, love this book! Listened to it in 2 days. Wonderful! Looking into Buddhism myself.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tara Broderick
  • 10-22-21

Very engaging. I cried, I rallied, I cried....

I found it very relatable. I liked it, I hated some parts of it, I cried a lot.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-23-20

Perfect

I loved how this was written, the way it sounded like poetry and how I was able to visualise everything.
Thank you Kiera for sharing your story
I would recommend anyone struggling to understand bpd to listen to this book

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  • Barbara
  • 03-27-20

Relatable

Honestly being the first book I've read about the BPD disorder, I was a little worried about how I may receive it, being that I too have BPD. However, listening to this story made me realise how lucky I am to have been diagnosed at 23 years old. It also helped me realise that everyone suffers differently, but that we all share the same symptoms. I no longer feel so alone in my battles.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-10-19

Rapid ending

I was gripped from the start, but it felt rushed at the end unfortunately. As a borderline this was quite frustrating, I was hoping for more answers than the literal title of the book.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-29-18

Lifesaver

This book helped me in such a dark time. So different to other books I have read on the disorder. Felt like she was reading from my journal and was very funny at times too!

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  • L.j
  • 12-06-18

BPD Guide

Narrator was excellent.
The book helped me feel like I wasn't alone in my journey through BPD, that the things I fear and struggle with were the same as others. Gave me a greater understand of my emotions.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-24-18

Very relatable on some parts

I really enjoyed this book.
Don’t be put off from part of the title “online dating” as I originally was- it’s just about her way back into dating, not about online dating itself.
Hard to relate to the buddisim side of things with wording that I did not understand due to not practising Buddhism
Though really enjoyed her story, helped me to realise I need a support group in DBT which I’m
due to start soon- so thank you xx