What’s on this page:
Welcome to the ‘about’ page for this website. You may be visiting feeling a range of emotions that are difficult, possibly feeling low and confused either because you are living with the BPD diagnosis first hand or you know someone with the diagnosis. Either way, we hope that you find some comfort whilst navigating around the site. The website is co delivered by both diagnosed and undiagnosed individuals whom have a lived experience of surviving this disorder. To read more about this please visit our about us page.
Monarch Butterfly.co.uk, whilst a web resource about Borderline Personality Disorder, has inherited its name from the spectacular Monarch Butterfly, the most spectacular and majestic of the butterfly kingdom – hence the title ‘Monarch’.
Also, arguably the most beautiful in appearance and the only butterfly to brave the rather impressive feat of journeying up to 3000 miles to emigrate to warmer climates throughout the wintering season enabling them to complete their own life cycle and begin new life.
The Monarch Butterfly life cycle, whilst impressive is a little complicated, constituted by 4 separate generations that complete 4 unique phases in just one year. After this, they restart the same cycle, commencing with the primary stage of the first generation.
My name is Rosalind, I am the author and co-creator behind the scenes here at Monarch Butterfly, alongside my husband, we aim to deliver helpful information and resources relating to the diagnosis that is ‘Borderline Personality Disorder’, otherwise known as ‘BPD’.
I have a particular fondness for the ‘Monarch Butterfly’, the introduction for me to this special specimen was from a rather unusual and surreal experience encountered on an aeroplane – go figure! Having suffered with Agoraphobia for what was over three years at that point, I was embarking upon a journey alone, not for a pint of milk, no not me, instead I was braving an approximate 1500 mile flight across the Mediterranean seas to visit my mother. That is me all over, an extremist.
Nervous and particularly anxious I sat on the flight waiting for this mass of metal to venture into the skies. I was particularly conscious of my anxiety as I had a spectator sat beside me, a stranger, not just any stranger, this well groomed young man was about to inject a little interest into the sardine can we were sat in – I will refer to him as ‘J’.
I reluctantly introduced myself, I felt the need to explain, what I will describe to be ‘twitchy’ behaviour, I was irritable and edgy and wanted to break the ice. We had a memorable conversation, he turned out to be on his way to a psychic group reading, he was attending as a guest speaker. I was particularly open to hear his views on life, I had been feeling ‘dead’ for a very long time so hearing another humans views on ‘life’ were welcomed. I suppose I hoped for an ‘enlightening’ of sorts, that did not happen, what did happen is far more special.
He asked me about the earrings I was wearing, they were little silver butterflies. ‘May I ask why you are wearing those today’ – he enquired. Thinking about it, I had at around 3am that morning looked at the unworn earrings and felt an urge to put them on, I seldom wear jewellery. Upon putting on these earrings I felt a desperate ‘hope’ for change. Previously I had felt ‘desperate’ in many ways, particularly for change, but this was a different feeling, one of ‘optimism’.
J said that he could ‘sense’ a great change in my life, he drew my attention to the headrest in front of me, it read – ‘Monarch’ (other airlines are available). ‘Have you heard of the Monarch Butterfly?’ he enquired. ‘The most advanced and prestigious of the butterfly kingdom’- he continued.‘Have you heard of the Monarch Butterfly?’ he enquired. ‘The most advanced and prestigious of the butterfly kingdom’- he continued. He said he wanted me to research the butterfly, there was a moment of confusion for me, tinged with intrigue. I saw butterflies almost everywhere for days afterward, it was overwhelming. T-shirts, bags, paintings, all with the images of this wonderful species of hope for change.
This ‘change’ J had referred to, I was hoping for just one simple little weenie thing, freedom. Freedom from my thinking patterns, the self battering that was ever present in my head. BPD has been debilitating throughout my life to say the least, a bit of ‘peace’ and happiness would be more than I could ask for. There was a change that came about, not one that was expected, two months later I was admitted to a local mental institution, I had spiralled into one of the lowest points of my life and really did not have the will to live anymore. I say that, but the truth is I did not want to be dead, I just did not have the strength to carry on living in my own skin.
My experience of going through the services since has been less than helpful at times and it is for that reason that monarchbutterfly.co.uk has been created. It is my sincere hope that some optimism may be restored for anyone struggling with BPD, their families, carers and professionals.
Upon research of the Monarch I was more and more interested, there were many comparisons that I likened to my life – and to the hope of new life for other service users with the ‘Borderline’ diagnosis.
The butterfly has been inspired by the Hermann Rorschach ‘ink blot test’ used in Psychiatry from as early as 1921.
The Antennae on our butterfly, one of the sensory organs, are particularly long to resemble that of the Monarch, also representative of the very astute and sensitive nature of those with a Borderline Diagnosis. An interesting fact is that the Antennae of the Monarch contain a molecular ‘sun compass’ and clock that enable the butterfly to journey together to the same destination year upon year.
The two colours of the butterfly represent the black and white thinking that often accompanies the thinking patterns, orange and blue have been chosen as a positive hope of optimism. Orange for its vibrancy and energy, blue for its calm and thoughtfulness.
Our Caterpillar has been included in the logo, representative of the changes that we go through as human beings, we are all evolving, growing and changing. The colours have been handpicked to reflect the many facets to ones personality, the ability to ‘tap into’ and experience a wide range of emotions albeit at different levels dependent on our development, alongside other more complex considerations.
Orange: Energy, balance, enthusiasm, warmth, vibrant, expansive and flamboyant
Blue: Peaceful, tranquil, calm, stability, harmony, unity, trust, truth, confidence and order
Words often associated with the Monarch butterfly
Optimism, Hope, Change, Progression, Freedom, Flight, Cycles, Development, Evolution, Beauty, Sensitive, Delicate, Astute, Aware, Different, Loyal, Determined, Tenacity, Charm, Mystery, Magnificent, Magical, Biological Phenomena
Self Development and Hope for Change
Caterpillar Stage- I liken the caterpillar stage to the journey that we all take throughout life- self improvement and development. The caterpillar is not considered to be the most aesthetically appealing of stages in the life cycle of the Monarch however within the caterpillar lies the making of one of the most beautiful and graceful of the butterfly species. I have chosen this image to represent our journey towards growth and advancement , two caterpillars on that same journey, evolving and en route for spectacular change, representative of our commonality in the BPD community one would hope.
Metamorphosis- The chrysalis, or pupal skin, of the Monarch is strikingly perfect in formation, its appearance resembling a strong and protective vessel, withholding the miraculous transformation that lies within. The caterpillar having completely shed its outer layer has now been whittled down to a gene juice that will form into the Monarch. I have chosen this image as it shows the Monarch at different stages of Metamorphosis, representative of the changes and development that we go through as humans. I also wanted to demonstrate that we are all at different stages of our personal journey and can, regardless of that cohabit and be inspired and motivated by one another. The chrysalis is a vivid green to start out, prior to the emergence of the Monarch this will become transparent, likening this to our own development, the ability to reveal more about ourselves whilst gaining the confidence through growth.
Did you know? In Australia the Monarch is often referred to as ‘The Wanderer’
A story through images
The many colours of ‘personality’