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Another Child of a Mother with BPD

Discussion in 'Personality Disorders' started by Ker2See, May 23, 2013.

  1. Ker2See

    Ker2See Newbie

    <Newbie Alert!>

    I stumbled across this forum in search of a Christian perspective on BPD. I'm a 40-something son of a 60-something mother who exhibits nearly all of the characteristics of BPD. I also have a 40-something sister. Both of us have children and both of us have struggled with a number of things related to our mother. Our parents have been married 40+ years and are still together - miraculously. It's only been in the last few years that we have learned about BPD and strongly suspected that BPD to be the "smoking gun" of sorts. In addition, our mother exhibits many of the signs of strong narcissism, which compounds the BPD in profound ways.

    I've spent quite a bit of time reading through the accounts here of others enduring the life with a BPD mother. All I can say is ditto, ditto, ditto, ditto. In short, my sister lives across the country and several years ago decided to completely distance herself from our parents (specifically due to our mother). I, on the other hand, live very close geographically and have enjoyed a great relationship with my father, while tolerating my mother's BPD behaviors.....sometimes at the expense of exposing my children (adults now) to her BPD behavior.

    Recently (January), after one of my mother's irrational responses to a family situation, I decided I'd had enough. I haven't hardly spoken with my mother since. On one hand, I feel a certain element of peaceful relief. On the other, a tinge of guilt, but more concern about my mother's mental health. What complicates this is that I have also sacrificed a wonderful relationship I had with my father....which is, in part, what has prompted me to address this forum today. A question for the group:

    How does one deal with an enabling spouse of someone with BPD? All my life my father has defended and excused my mother's actions as "that's just the way your mom is" or "you know how emotional your mom is." Also, my mom has a way of spinning every irrational response to him to get him on "her side." And he buys into it.

    My sister has broached the subject with them about BPD (I haven't yet), and both my parents have essentially denied that it is even a possibility. So, our challenge, should we attempt to address this, is that we need to convince them BOTH that there are behavioral issues here that my mother needs to address before we can begin to consider continuing a relationship.

    Unfortunately, much damage has been done along the way. None of my children, after seeing the results of her behavior, have a desire to have much more than a superficial relationship with her.....I can't say that I blame them.

    Any input would be appreciated.


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  2. dies-l

    dies-l Guest

    My own biological mother seems to have BPD as well. Her dangerous and abusive behavior caused me to cut off ties with her when my wife and I decided to adopt children. I understand the guilt you feel, but if your mother is anything like mine, you are doing the right thing, especially if you have children.
  3. madison1101

    madison1101 Senior Veteran

    I empathize.. I am a recovering Borderline with Bipolar Disorder. I got help, though my BPD cost me my marriage. I am not the horribly irrational woman I was 15 years ago.

    My Mom is diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, but displays all of the Borderline behaviors, and thinking that I had when I was at my worst. I have cut her off many times. The longest was from June of 1989 to March of 1990. After dealing with the hurt, and irrational thinking she gave me, cutting me off for something stupid, I told her that I would not speak to her till she saw a psychiatrist. It took her that length of time to see one.

    I raised my children two minutes away from Mom. My husband took them to her house at Christmas.

    I'd suggest you speak to Mom privately. Tell her the behaviors that hurt you, and that you can't have a relationship with her till she gets help. Then, tell your Dad the same thing about Mom, but ask him to get together with you privately. Invite him over to watch sports, go to a game together, etc.

    God bless,
  4. kinsey

    kinsey Guest

    I've had issues with my mum in the past...namely that she has offloaded anything and everything to me to the point that up until a few years ago the roles were reversed and I was mothering her...and then she has over the years offloaded the parenting of my sister to me also.....my sister would ring my mum upset...my mum would ring me upset....and I would then sort out my sisters problem...mother my mum and let her know everything would be ok...and then not only tackling my own mental health issues I was taking on responsibility for my mum and my sister...my abusive alcoholic husband and trying to look after my own children with no help from any of the above.....I have all the traits of bpd and also the co-dependent personaility type...which I believe is because of the abuse I have experienced since being 5.

    That was all until 2010 when I went to counselling and for the first time in my entire life was introduced to the subject of 'Boundaries'.......an amazing book was recommended to me......by Cloud and Townsend.........

    I had to sit back and take stock...and it wasn't easy...but I gradually set boundaries with all of them...I decided what I was prepared to do and not.....my mum used to overload her problems....I developed a technique to steer her away...I told her what I could do and couldn't in a nice way and had to re-inforce....it was exceptionally hard to do....but now I've managed to leave my abusive husband....and things feel straining with my mum....but better than they were....

    My sister doesn't speak to me...I put myself first for the first time...plus she has always looked into my life and thought everything is ok for me - like shye is jealous - honestly nothing to be jealous of)...and my friend fell out with me because I said no to her for the first time in our entire relationship....so there have been consequences...but really I have got back a part of myself that I kept giving away....I realised that by taking on so much responsibilitiy for my family...I was actuallu not helping them..but enabling them to continue to behave as they did....

    I really do wish you all the best.....the book is very good and written from a Christian perpesctive.