When Love Is Not Enough, Chronicles of LauraJo – A Review

Borderline Personality Disorder BPDThe following is not a paid review, but I was given a free copy of the book and CD for the purpose of reading, enjoying and sharing my thoughts with you, my readers.  Everything I have to say is of my own opinion.  After years of people being convinced I should pitch scrap-book software and the likes to you all, I was honored to be approached with this offer.

Twenty-Six and a half years ago, Pat Engebrecht lost her daughter to Borderline Personality Disorder.  At the age of 29, after years of failed attempts, many hospital stays, struggles with sexuality and the loss of an eye from a police shooting to the face in a hospital parking lot, and a life lived with mental pain and anguish, LauraJo succeeded in taking her own life.  She had a life filled with success as she was an accomplished tennis star, writer, musician, artist, friend, daughter, sister.  But as we are all too aware, sometimes that isn’t enough.

Depression knows no reason.  You can’t tell the angry or sad voice in you that you have too much going well for you to be this hurt.  If it chooses to sink its claws in you, love is not always enough.

25, 30 years ago, BPD was only just emerging in the world of mental health diagnosis.  Too few saw it as a legitimate diagnosis and those who did simply didn’t know how to treat it.  30 years later, to be honest, we aren’t much better off.  Even with DBT and the latest medication there to offer, for all too many, BPD is a death sentence, and most of us are terminal.

Our own hands leave those floundering over our loss, wondering what went wrong.  Could they have done anything different?  What caused our mental anguish?  What were we thinking?

These days we have the online world of blogs to try to show the inner workings of our minds.  30 years ago, LauraJo had her journals.  What we put on public display, LauraJo kept locked up in a chest she crafted with her own hands.  It was 2 decades before her mother, Pat, could bear to open the journals and read them.  Inside was the inner workings of a suffering mind.  The ups and downs chronicled in painful detail.

Pat took those journals, added her thoughts and details of what was going on in her daughter’s life at the time of each entry, and created a book that she hopes, and I know, can make a difference.

I know in my heart that if LauraJo had lived to see the internet, she’d be fighting the fight of awareness and proper treatment, while helping to fight stigma, along with us.  However, we lost her 10 years too early.  In her place we have this beautiful work.

A book showing that despite popular opinions of her time and ours, BPD isn’t always a result of poor parenting.  A book showing mothers, fathers, and friends that their love was received, but the hurt went further than any amount of love could fix.  It shows those of us who might be contemplating suicide exact how those we love will be effected.  “No one will even miss me.  They’ll be better off without me.”  This book is 304 pages of evidence that we’ll always be missed, by all those we have touched with our lives, and no one is ever better off without us.

Pat took the pain of the loss of her amazing daughter, and used it to create a book that shows us how suicide effects all those left behind, how suicide can happen despite love and success, and the inner working of a troubled mind.

This book is not an easy read.  No book on the subject ever could be.  I had to read it in bits and pieces as my heart broke a little more with each page.  Broke for a daughter in so much pain with life, and a mother in pain with the loss of life that even she saw coming.  She fought so hard to keep her daughter with her, but reader and mother alike knew it was only a matter of time.

Please go get this book.  There is a CD of LauraJo’s music out there as well.  I recommend listening to the CD first and then during as a companion.

This book will move you.  This book will break your heart.  This book will show you what it’s really like.  It’s real.  It’s uncensored.  It has heart, hurt and loss.

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