1. We are not manipulative and attention-seeking; we are desperate and we are hurting
I cannot count the number of times I have been labelled as these two things by people in my life, including by a handful of the “professionals” who have treated me. From school and treatment to friends and family, even top clinicians have described me as manipulative in my behaviours. Since entering into therapy with my 4th dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) therapist, however, she has helped me start unravelling the belief that this adjective describes me as a person. Manipulation implies intent and has negative connotations, and calling someone manipulative suggests that they are deceitful and hence bad in some way. The truth is that my behaviour was never meant to be manipulative of anyone, nor did I do the things I did simply for attention. I have certainly cried out for help through my behaviours and I will not deny that, but I have never cried wolf; there has always been so much more than what meets the eye.