Interview with Melanie Hilliard

What's the story behind your latest book Borderline 911: From Crisis to Choices for the BPD Patient?
Nothing scares me more than the fear of abandonment. My first memory revolves around this fear. I was only three years old and was angry. Rage might be more accurate and my temper was focused on my mother and grandmother for teasing me. I screamed an ear-piercing shriek at them to “Stop!” and “I am going to run away!” Then they said it …. “Go ahead and run away.”
It has been over 30 years since my diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. Although, I am not a therapist yet, I have had over 30 years of psycho-social experience from the perspective of the patient. I am currently finishing up a degree in psychology and plan on starting my masters in the beginning of 2019. I do not have a lot of clinical education. However, I have studied Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) for over a year now from an individual who holds doctor’s degrees in both psychology and behavioral medicine and master’s degrees in both counseling and social work.
Borderline 911 is not only a guide to understanding borderline personality disorder but I take you through the past 34 years of my BPD diagnosis and explain what therapies worked for me, which didn’t, and which has helped me to gain a “normal” life. Borderline 911 discusses Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, mindfulness, and emotional intelligence as tools for taking the client from a crisis and offering them choices to work through their emotional turmoil.
What motivated you to become an author?
I have always been compelled to tell others about my past. Not so they can say "poor me," but so they can see how far I have come using various therapies like REBT and give them a spark of hope. I am not a gifted writer and it is difficult for me to find accurate words when trying to explain my emotions. Emotions like anger, happy, and depressed I feel very intensely and I can identify them easier. Other emotions concerned, comfortable and aggravated are more of a challenge for me to define.
My main motivation to write this book came from my friend Dr. Michael Cornwall PsyD, Ph.D. He has helped me recently to apply REBT (Rational Emotive Therapy) and emotional intelligence to my everyday life.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans are the whole reason I write. My goal is to help others who may be going through some of the same feelings and irrational thoughts that I believed all these years. If I can touch one person then it is worth all the time and effort I have placed into my writings.
Who are your favorite authors?
For fiction, I would have to say Frank Peretti who happens to be a Christian author but his writing is so creative. For non-fiction, I am going to say, Michael Cornwall, because I was in a dark place and his books on REBT and EI (emotional intelligence) helped guide me back to this present day.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love to fish, read, program websites, and watch my daughter play volleyball. I also have been a volunteer firefighter/EMT and search and rescue coordinator for Kentucky and my county of Henry County.
How do you approach cover design?
I love graphic arts and have used my skills over the years to design logos for many organizations. I try to design something that looks appropriate and yet witty at the same time. My cover is the first thing my fans see. I want it to make an impact.
Published 2018-05-08.
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