Isla’s Story


SKU e-book Category

175 in stock


By Isla Demuth

ISBN: 978-1-84991-540-3
Published: 2012
Pages: 61
Key Themes: Mental Health, Service User,


An insight and narrative of a service-user with a borderline personality disorder

About the Author

Isla Demuth was born in Germany, 1970. At the age of 5 years old, she and her younger brother were taken in to care. The authorities took this step due to the mental state of Isla’s mother, who was also very abusive. In Burg Seinsfeld Isla and her brother stayed until their father’s suicide in 1980. Two years at home with her mother followed, which resulted in lots of physical and mental abuse for the children. The authorities stepped in yet again and both children were taken in to care. Isla stayed in care until the age of 20. She then lived in a family home and did a 3 year apprenticeship in merchandise. The apprenticeship went well despite frequently running away from her orderly life, and living rough for short periods of time. This was a habit acquired in the care-homes and did not stop in adulthood.

At the age of 23, Isla ran away again, and leaving Germany behind came to Britain. Here she found for a while a home with a religious community. A suicide attempt, of which there have been many since her father’s death, made life at the community impossible. Soon Isla became even more unwell and turned to arson. Prison in Broadmoor followed. In 2003 Isla was deemed fit for a medium secure setting where she stayed until 2007. A year in the community, followed by a rapid mental decline in a Gloucester care home.

Isla is at present back in hospital where she recovers from a psychosis and is treated for her Borderline Personality Disorder.

Book Extract

Setting the Scene

I am lying in bed listening to Tom Astor. I like listening to my German music. It is 11o’clock on Saturday morning and it is a wonderful spring day. How much would I like to be out there. But I am grounded and instead I start musing about my life…
What got me grounded…
That not everything is mum’s fault that went wrong in my life…
That granny worries more about mum than me…

That is childish and rubbish; I tell myself off.

I know I am loved but there are many painful issues in my life. My so called ‘hypersensitivity’ which manifests itself in a Borderline Personality Disorder and mental illness, are not very helpful. Too often I doubt myself and the whole world. Where other people’s glass is half-full, mine feels more half-empty.
Seeing things negatively is a big aspect in my illness. Another one is being critical and self-critical, even to the point of self-hate.
This caused me to do a lot of things which a ‘normal’ person would consider utter madness, such as repeatedly running away from places, committing crimes, self-harm and suicide attempts, to name but a few.

The list is endless and I am not proud of my life’s achievements, now that I am nearly forty…


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