Let’s face it, we’re all Borderline to some extent or most of us anyway and have been in our lives. Who hasn’t had more than say, two or three relationships that are sexual, at least. I’ve always been a good girl and so can count on one hand, which I think is most people, yet there are doctors out there that would call this promiscuous because I did not leave a space of years in-between these men.
That I was furious one day at the man I loved and so took off and headed West into the sun and furiously fucked an artist I’d met on his aunt’s oriental because it seemed like the thing to do and it was full of spite and fury and, yes, glory and triumph as well. It was all of these things. I was involved, but I was hurt and angry and felt betrayed and wanted him to know what it felt like and god, did I want him to feel it. I may be sorry about it today, but I remember at the time the feeling I had, which was initially one of great sorrow, followed by a “so there…”, which proved to me only that I was capable of the same thing that he was. That if there were to be others, then shit, I would have my fill as well, and why not. The deal cuts both ways. That's life.
So I had, as Kaysen has in the film and book, been with two men within the space of two days or twenty-four hours. Does this fact make me Borderline? I’ve never thought so or been told so but, hey, if we’re going to start labeling people, then why not label everyone, doctors included. How about we turn those big guns around and start labeling them?
Wurtzel has her sexual run-ins, of course, with married men, with men at the rehab where she eventually winds up and by all measures exhibits purely Borderline behavior if you are to go by the DSM criterion alone. Yet still, in my mind, when I look at both of these women, I see two young women trying to make their way in the world and not quite knowing how to put one foot in front of the other with the grace and poise that comes with age, we hope. I see to a large extent anyway, a normal part of developing and that means trying shit out, even trying, god help us, drugs, which yes are bad bad bad, but we did them, we tried them, and thank god, perhaps we didn’t get addicted and bully for us, but some people will and do and did and we cannot judge those people as less than us simply because of this. We can’t just toss them into institutions, as we do with these two young women, because they are a social problem.