13 August 2009

Suki's Diagnosis

A Lieutenant Colonel smoking buddy of mine did an informal diagnosis of Suki, the fictional character in my book series. Cool stuff. He did it by reading a little of the books, from how I described the character and the back story, other elements of the character that are not spelled out in the books. Suki is recovering from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

By the way, that is another reason why I would not be involved with Suki if she were a real person. I did not know what it was called, but I know the signs and I don't hang around women like that long. I had a "fixer-upper" who was well over the 'borderline,' for about five years. Jeff recommends the book I Hate You, Don't Leave Me for people, like me, who want to be able to identify people like this and avoid them a bit quicker. Also for people who know someone with BPD to learn how to help them.

Anyway, according to Jeff, the disorder is manageable, but not truly curable. The cool thing about writing future fiction, I can make it curable and Suki is pretty much done with it by the end of Suki III.

In the character Suki's case, she has been getting very good treatment for her "personality flaws" for several years before meeting John. Instead of blaming others, or "bad luck" for the drama in her life, she now accepts the blame for her actions. Usually she shoulders too much of the blame, and has to work on that. She finally stops trying to manipulate John's feelings near the end of Suki III, after John finally learns how to properly correct her in Suki II.

I really did not know I was writing a near textbook case and the character became that way through an odd series of events. I have written about some of this before on this blog and on the website. I began with the characters John and Suki being very close to the same age. Then I was advised to make Suki younger to appeal to more people, so her mother Jung became the character I would be most attracted to if she were real and that is still true.

Next, with the help of my blogger buddy, who writes here under the Suki handle, we gave Suki some appealing qualities, but a too perfect character is not truly appealing. So she had to have some unappealing qualities and the things that typically drive me away from some of the women I have been out with came flowing in. I used to assign those traits to immaturity that can appear in any person of any age, but I know a little more now.

When Suki and John meet, in Suki I, she still has an impulsiveness when she is not around her mother or her best friends. She knows her best friends do not tolerate that, so she never behaves that way around them. Her mother and therapist are always quick to correct her about any hint of impulsiveness they detect. Her best friends are her best friends because they are the type of people her therapist told her to seek out for her development.

Items that match the symptoms or events for BPD:

Traumatic experience in her youth: Father died when she was 10, body never recovered from airliner crash in the Pacific.

Recreational drug abuse for a period longer that six months.

Risky/deviant sexual behavior for longer than six months.

Impulsive decisions that resulted in "life wrecking" dramatic results.

Former denial of her actions resulting in dramatic, negative events.

Manipulative behavior.

Several other things, brings her over 6/10 of positive hits on symptoms/signs.

By the time of Suki III, like I stated above, Suki has developed into a mature, thoughtful woman. She and John are an inseparable couple and she gets to prove herself from the middle of the book to the end. These changes make her character a lot more fun to write, much more positive.

As soon as the beta readers are done, Suki III: Never Let Us End will be ready for purchase.

No comments:

Post a Comment