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    Dear Cat:

    Exactly two years ago, June 29, 2018, you posted regarding a CBT situation/ emotion/ thoughts log and an Activity Diary you were working on. Regarding finances, you worked out a strict budget, planning on extending your overdraft at the time till July, and then saving with a budget plan for the next few  months, so to pay off all your debt. You also shopped for food the other day, planning on eating healthier.

    You described at the time nightmares you were having: “I am prone to getting severe nightmares… The nightmares always revolve around something that’s happened in the past, but it happens again in the dream, but differently.. After I’ve had the nightmares, my mind feels so trapped, taken back to the past and a bad place, and sometimes it can take me all day to get back to my present reality”.

    Two years later, June 28, 2020, you wrote: “I’ve recently found myself reflecting on my own guilt, and my own background of where I came for. I think this is a massive reason why I hide away from the world. I don’t feel normal or human, and I feel like if everyone knew everything about me then they would see me as a walking freak show…

    “I come from generations of close/ breeding and sometimes distanced incest. This is horrible. I wish I had a heritage that I was interested and proud of, but I don’t. I don’t feel  like a normal or deserving person”-

    You are not defined by your heritage, Cat. You are not defined by any incest that may have occurred in your family. We humans have so much in common with each other as strangers, and often we have more in common with strangers than we have with family.

    Our families do not define us. Let our humanity define us, not our families. As I say from time to time: sometimes Family is just another f word. Look at yourself in the mirror, see your humanity which makes you and me so very similar.

    I too felt like a freak. I felt that way most of my life. What a surprise it was when I discovered that I was not and am not a freak! A great surprise, I had no idea. I want you too to discover that you are not at all a freak.

    I hope to read from you soon.



    Dear Anita – & anyone else who reads this, I really need a reply ASAP.

    I really hope you read this soon, as once again I’ve found myself at a point in my life where I feel – mentally numbed and disabled from the current situation. I really need your advice on what I should do.

    I can’t remember if I said at the time or not, but I found myself in a tricky situation in Chicago in 2017. The person who helped me out, ill call him Magic. He found me when I needed him most and let me stay with him for the rest of my trip. We have been friends for four years since then and stayed in touch. I think I have romantically loved him for a long time. He is polyamorous and in a relationship with someone in France. He is spiritual and often goes a lot on universal signs and tarot readings. At the moment, he  doesn’t have a stable job and he’s travelling around Europe, living mostly on credit. He recently helped me pay £300 towards my rabbits vet bills too. ….

    Anyway, he booked in a trip to come and visit me. He decided this, I didn’t invite him. In general, I have been doing well. I am growing in confidence and I have a place of work that loves me to bits – both the people I support and my colleagues. And most of the time my housemates are supportive too.

    I planned a full packed week for Magic. Booked in loads of things and asked my housemates if he could stay here for a week. They were all excited to meet him. I picked him up from the airport on Wednesday. I even made a sign that said his name on it and held it up in arrivals. We had this mega hug and then we held hands on the bus back from the airport.

    I had previously arranged a surprise party for him. So when we got back to my house, all my housemates and our friends were in the kitchen and shouted “Surprise!”. I was so excited to introduce Magic in to my world because everyone in my life knows how highly I speak of him.

    Throughout the evening everyone was getting along great and having a great time.  He was getting on well with everyone and everyone loved him too.

    But – this is where my world falls apart. We were all drinking, and he spent a lot of time talking to my housemates. Around 1am he approaches me in the kitchen in front of everyone, holds me by my top arms and says “Cat,I feel so inspired. Your housemate Lucy. Is she single? Is she single?” My heart broke. He then continues “I can say that right? We’re polyamorous right? We’re polyamorous right?” (this is a conversation that we have never had).

    My heart was broken. I call I could say was “Who’s we?” and I went upstairs to my room to cry. It was horrible. My housemates spoke to him and set him up in the lounge. I went and spoke to him and said that I didn’t feel comfortable having him in my house. I was so hurt that after 4 years the first thing that he spoke to me about feelings was my housemate and I think that hurt was monumental. I felt overlooked, devalued and so many things.

    Magic stayed in a hotel. I met up with him on Friday and we had food and went to a show with my work mates. I told him that I still didn’t feel comfortable having him stay in my house but he didn’t book  hotel again so he had to stay at mine on Friday night. On Saturday I felt too upset to be around him so I asked him to leave.

    I’ve been so upset and messaging him how hurt I’ve been. It’s been horrible. He’s cried too and said that he said it because he wanted to share something and be honest. I explained that I never consented to be polyamorous and also that a rule for me is that if I was in something that was poly, I wouldn’t want to know what that person feels towards other people. I also said that it’s so inappropriate to try anything with someones housemate in general. Everyone knows that.

    He’s staying in a hotel. I went to see him last night to tell him that I’d romantically loved him since Chicago. He said he always wants me in his life in some way or other and he thinks that I’m his twin flame. He showed me that he’d written this in his notebook, and was reading me the entire contents of his notebook. My heart felt closed and sometimes open. He went to the bathroom and I was flicking through the pages and he wrote that he had gone for  roast that day, but he had previously messaged me saying he’d been in his pjamas all day.

    I asked him about it when he came out of the bathroom and he said that he went for a roast at Chris’s flat (Chris is my housemate Chloe’s boyfriend – Magic met him at the party on Weds). But Chris had told Magic not to tell me. This made me feel really paranoid and worse about the situation and that I’m lesser than everyone else. I wanted to leave but Magic shouted at me and told me that I don’t know how to love, that I only know how to snap at people who cross my path, that my aim was to make him as low as I was and that I am selfish. I really wanted to leave. He said I was a rubbish host because I abandoned him and left him alone in this unknown city.

    Magic apologised and said he wanted me to stay and work through it because he loves me and that I’m worth it. Everything was so confusing because as much as I do want to stay and work through it, I also feel incredibly hurt and don’t feel like I can be around him, even though I’m meant to be hosting him.

    I stayed the night at the hotel. We kissed and held each other. But deep down my heart and mind still feels locked in insecurity and this situation has brought up alot of things I need to do for myself – such as live for myself. We went for breakfst this morning, but I couldn’t speak and I had to leave him in the cafe.

    I m home now. Feeling like a crap host, an abandoner, a loser and sat here with all my insecurities not knowing what to do – whether to sit with this pain and focus on my art, or try and push myself to go and be with Magic. I must add that at this moment in time Magic is super hyper and manic and not the same grounded person I met in Chicago. Wherever he is at mentally right now, I don’t think that I can support as I feel too hurt and also my own insecurities have flared up since Wednesday and I am struggling to see past them.

    Someone, please advise what I should do.



    Dear Cat:

    Welcome back to your thread. Good to read this: “In general, I have been doing well. I am growing in confidence and I have a place of work that loves me to bits – both the people I support and my colleagues. And most of the time my housemates are supportive too“!

    The arrival of Magic (I definitely remember you sharing about him!) shook you, and as a result.. you are feeling shaken, unbalanced. I want to re-read what you previously shared about Magic, years ago and reply further. For now, I think that the best thing for you to do is to not see Magic, and instead: have down time, calm down by focusing on your art. I will be back to you within the hour.



    Thanks Anita – also, just want to point out that Magic isnt the Clarence guy. Magic was the person who let me stay with them when I left Clarence’s


    Dear Cat:

    Is that you in the photo??? I am glad that you added that Magic is not Clarence. Looking at the beginning of your thread, seems like Magic is Jim.

    Let’s look at what got you so shaken this week: Magic initiated a visit to your city. You, having been on-and-off interested in him romantically for a long time- were excited at the idea of having a ..magical Magic-Cat week with him. You asked your housemates s if he could stay at the house, they said yes, you planned lots of things to do with him during the expected magical visit. Before leaving for the airport to pick him up, you arranged for a surprise party for him, then picked him up Wed., Oct 20 with his name on a sign, had “a mega hug and then.. held hands on the bus back from the airport“. At home, all your housemates shouted “Surprise!“, you were “so excited to introduce Magic” into your world, expecting a romantic, magical Cat-Magic week.

    Still same night, Oct 20, the night of his arrival, everyone was drinking. At 1 am, Thursday, Oct 21, he approached you in the kitchen in front of everyone, and said: “Cat, I feel so inspired. Your housemate Lucy. Is she single? Is she single?.. I can say that right? We’re polyamorous right? We’re polyamorous right?

    You went upstairs to your room to cry, then told him that you are too hurt, feeling “overlooked, devalued and so many things“, and that you are not comfortable with him in the house. He stayed at a hotel.  You met him Friday, Oct 22, for  food and a show. You told him you still didn’t feel comfortable having him in the house, but he ended up staying at your house Friday night regardless. On Saturday, Oct 23,  “feeling too upset to be around him“, you asked him to leave.

    He stayed in a hotel. Sunday night, Oct 24 (last night), you told him that you “romantically loved him since Chicago“. He told you that he thinks that you are his twin flame. You then discovered that he lied to you, hiding the fact that he went for a roast at your housemate’s boyfriend’s flat because the boyfriend told Magic to.. not tell you. You got very upset at that, turned to leave Magic’s hotel room, and Magic shouted at you, saying that you don’t know how to love, that you snap at people.. that you were selfish and a rubbish host, having abandoned him in Bristol, a city he didn’t know. He later apologized, said he loves you and wants to work through things.

    You then stayed last night at the hotel with him, kissing and holding each other, went for breakfast today, Monday morning. Still too upset, you left him at the cafe. Currently, Monday afternoon (your time), you are at home, “feeling like a crap host, an abandoner, a loser.. not knowing what to do“. You added: “at this moment in time Magic is super hyper and manic and not the same grounded person I met in Chicago… Someone, please advise what I should do“-

    -You shared about Magic in your very first post, February 3, 2018, regarding the year before (2017): “Before I went to the festival I was couch surfing with a guy, who I’ll call Jim. When I met Jim we were friends instantly: I told him about 11:11, and he got out his tarot cards. He was a very healthy, spiritual individual – and someone I knew I was meant to meet“. After spending 3 or 4 days in Chicago with Clarence, taking drugs, etc., this happened: “Luckily I was in contact with Jim who agreed to meet me. He got off work, and let me stay in his flat again. He let me sleep and sweat the drugs out, fed me well and surrounded me with health. I stayed with him the rest of my time in Chicago“.

    Still in your original Post, Feb 3, 2018, you shared: “I think it’s likely that I have borderline personality disorder like my sister does and I’m waiting for a diagnosis“. In May 7 2018, you shared: “I had my mental health assessment last Wednesday – I showed the assessor the post that you said too as well. I told her everything, and was diagnosed with ‘borderline personality disorder'”.

    In August 10, 2018, you shared regarding your Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD): “I have stable relationships with my housemates, people at work etc.,  etc. And it’s only romantic relationships that trigger me, and are that intense up-and-down trust-lack of trust thing“.

    This fits perfectly with what you shared today: “In general, I have been doing well. I am growing in confidence and I have a place of work that loves me to bits – both the people I support and my colleagues. And most of the time my housemates are supportive too“!”, but it is in the context of romantic relationships (currently Magic), that your BPD gets triggered.

    Previously you shared about your emotional experiences: extreme anxiety, extreme depression, terrible nightmares, and at times feeling manic (“when I’m manic/ fixated on something… I tend to just get fixated on what it is that is making me manic, and staying in my pajamas being obsessed…I’ve been really quite high. And haven’t been able to sleep properly as too excited – like a child at Christmas”, Feb 28, 2018), as well as your experiences with street drugs. Following your BPD diagnosis you were prescribed with antipsychotics, which are supposed to balance your moods  and help you sleep.

    Before I return to the here-and-now, I want to quote from what you shared May 11, 2018: “Yes, the nightmares make me feel extremely invisible. I guess that’s how I felt a lot growing up. My parents never bothered to see me and my sister as individuals or treat us as such. We were simply just things.. They argued in front of us all the time – they didn’t care if we saw or not.. Growing up – my parents never bothered to hang out with us, or get to know us as people… It was all about my Mum. I remember seeing my Mum depressed lying on her bed etc. They never tried with us at all – so me and my sister kind of floated through life.. They just wanted us to be as quiet as possible“-

    – and now, back to the here-and-now. I think that when Magic approached you in regard to his interest in your housemate, he triggered your growing-up experience of feeling extremely invisible, of being treated like a thing, of (your parents) not bothering to get to know you as a person, not bothering to see you or hang out with you, a childhood experience that was all about your depressed mother.. and none about you.

    You shared today that what Magic did made you feel “overlooked, devalued and so many things“- like I wrote above, i think that your very, very difficult childhood experience was triggered.

    Did Magic do wrong? Yes, but his wrong behavior was .. triggered by alcohol intoxication and seems like he did not mean to hurt you. At the time, Thursday 1 am, following lots of travel time and alcohol.. he just felt right about telling you what he did, in front of everyone.. it felt just right. Because you and him were not in a committed love relationship (boyfriend-girlfriend) before his visit, I don’t think that he bears responsibility for your expectations for the visit, and for your strong reaction to his polyamorous mention Thursday at 1 am. He is not responsible for your childhood experience (he wasn’t there), and so, he is not responsible for  what got triggered in you.

    I am wondering if you are still prescribed with anti-psychotics/ other medications for your BPD and mood disorder.. as well as for the nightmares?





    To Anita,


    I disagree. I think if Magic Really respected and loved me the way he said he did, then that moment would’ve been about US and our connection. It really would have, especially after everything I did for him and how much effort I put in to welcoming him in to my home.


    I am emotionally distraught and still shaking from the shock. My self esteem has been crushed.


    Dear Cat:

    I understand of course, that you feel emotionally distraught and shaking and I am so sorry that this is your experience. I wish you were having fun this week, instead of feeling crushed.

    I agree that he didn’t respect you and love you.. not the way you expected him to respect and love you. I am guessing that he did tell you sometime in the last four years that he is polyamorous, which means that he is okay- and finds it even preferrable- to be intimately involved with more than one woman at a time. I am not at all a fan of this practice, but if he told you that this is his practice.. then expecting him to be different is unrealistic, isn’t it?



    We agreed that this trip was going to be about US. We have never discussed what we are with each other and I never got to say my consent or boundaries in all of this either…

    He made his intentions clear from day 1 that the trip was about him and making new connections and not about US and our relationship, so he did essentially lie to me as he made it about him on the first night and not us.


    Dear Cat:

    He messed up then, aided by drinking that night. Too bad. You did the right thing having him leave the house and rent a hotel room. He can’t legitimately complain about you being a bad hostess when he told you that his visit will be about you and him, and then wanting to add your housemate to the mix. I hope that you can soon recover. I will be back to the computer in about 10 hours from now.



    Dear Cat:

    I noticed something that I didn’t notice yesterday: in the beginning of your post, you wrote about Magic: “He is polyamorous and in a relationship with someone in France“, which means that you knew right before he visited you that (1) He is polyamorous, (2) He is currently involved with another woman in France.

    Next,  you introduced him to your  housemates, one who is a single woman. After some drinks, he did his polyamorous thing and openly expressed to you and to her that .. basically, he is romantically interested in your housemate.

    Your reaction: “this is where my world falls apart… My heart was broken… I went upstairs to my room to cry. It was horrible… that hurt was monumental. I felt overlooked, devalued and so many things… I felt too upset.. I’ve been so upset and messaging him how hurt I’ve been. It’s been horrible… incredibly hurt.. too hurt and also my own insecurities have flared up since Wednesday and I am struggling to see past them.. I am emotionally distraught and still shaking from the shock. My self esteem has been crushed“-

    -this is a severe overreaction over almost a week, taking into consideration that you knew before his visit that he is in at least one other relationship and that he is polyamorous. Here is an online definition of polyamory: “Polyamory is the practice of, or desire for, intimate relationships with more than one partner, with the informed consent of all partners involved“- well, what he said and did Wed night was what polyamorous people do, by definition. And yet, you reacted as if what he did was outside what one would realistically expect.

    he said that he went for a roast at Chris’s flat (Chris is my housemate Chloe’s boyfriend.. But Chris had told Magic not to tell me“- I am guessing that Chris did not want the drama in his own flat after witnessing your days-long severe reactions to the event of Wednesday night.

    We agreed that this trip was going to be about US“- the polyamorous definition of “us” (2 or more) is different from a mono-amorous definition (2).

    The Mayo clinic, on Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), of which you were diagnosed: “inappropriate anger, impulsiveness and frequent mood swings may push others away, even though you want to have loving and lasting relationships”.

    Under symptoms, it reads: “A pattern of unstable intense relationships, such as idealizing someone one moment and then suddenly believing the person doesn’t care enough or is cruel“- I clearly remember this pattern in your previous relationships and we communicated about it at length.

    Another symptom: “Periods of stress-related paranoia and loss of contact with reality, lasting from a few minutes to a few hours“- only yesterday you wrote: “This made me feel really paranoid“.

    And very clearly, “Wide mood swings lasting from a few hours to a few days, which can include intense happiness, irritability, shame or anxiety” are very evident in your posts yesterday.

    The Mayo clinic adds: “If you have borderline personality disorder, don’t get discouraged. Many people with this disorder get better over time with treatment and can learn to live satisfying lives“- and you already got better, having a stable employment, and stable relationships with your work colleagues and with your housemates. It is romantic relationships that are most difficult for you to manage. You wrote so more than 3 years ago, in August 10, 2018: “I have stable relationships with my housemates, people at work etc.,  etc. And it’s only romantic relationships that trigger me”-

    Congratulations for over three years of progress! I hope that you will make progress in regard to your interactions with  men to whom you have romantic feelings. Build on the progress you already made, and don’t give up!


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