My name is Connie Greshner, and I am a Mental Health Therapist with a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. I have written a memoir about the complex trauma that occurred to me when I was a child, producing symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder, and how I recovered to become a counsellor for people with severe and persistent mental illness.

This book is a raw and real account of my life, beginning when I was eight years old and my father murdered my mother. My family was from a small town in Alberta, but after the murder, I was sent to live with an aunt, who enrolled me in a traditional Roman Catholic boarding school in Kansas. My identity was formed in this strange world, shame manifesting as rebellion, until I returned to Canada and my brother’s care.

Depression, addiction, and promiscuity spiraled, as I tried to cope and find help. My forays into the mental health system were not helpful, and after several suicide attempts, I decided to pursue a career in psychology so that I could help others. I continued to battle depression, anxiety, and substance use as I earned a Bachelor of Science degree, and then a Master’s degree.

Throughout my life, I had strange jobs, heartbreaking loss, and was inspired and saved by exceptional friends, my love of books, and connection to nature. Eventually, I was married, had two children, and achieved peace in the beauty of the West Coast of British Columbia.

I now work as a therapist, and my experiences support my ability to relate to clients, teach them ways to manage emotions, and sometimes witness their healing. The book contains a small amount of reflection of the intuitive means by which I picked up and used skills, like mindfulness, gratitude, and acceptance, which are recommended by dialectical behavior therapy.

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