You are here

Again - POV of someone who says they have Borderline Personality Disorder.

moving_on_again's picture

These are so spot on to the way BM acts. The skids call them "episodes." She's not always crazy but the "crazy" always comes out eventually. My mom gets so mad when someone we know becomes BM's new "bestie." I deleted a HS aquaintance off of facebook because she had become best friends with BM. Now my DS is dating this HS aquaintance's daughter. I mentioned something to my son about how I didn't trust the girl's mom because of her relationship with BM. My son, who doesn't talk about much of anything ever, said, "Oh no! They hate BM!" He didn't elaborate. Not gonna lie, I want to know what BM did to her but I'm not suprised at all. No one lasts with BM. 

What is BPD?

Pasta Jones, BPD sufferer, survivor & occasional victor

Answered Apr 3

Originally Answered: What exactly is borderline personality disorder (BPD)?

Borderline personality disorder describes a condition where the patient is considered to be “on the borderline” between normal and psychosis. They are considered to be on this border because they will oscillate very rapidly back and forth between being high functioning - ‘normal’, holding down jobs and lives and relationships, to ‘psychosis’ - which varies from person to person. For me, it means extreme OCD, extreme sadness and extreme paranoia. For others, it means impulsiveness, spending all their money and a vastly increased sex drive. It depends on the person. The process of changing is called splitting.

Here’s an example: Your boyfriend texts you to say he will be an hour late home, he is going to the gym. Normal you: ‘OK’.. or maybe even ‘YES! Glass of wine, few candles, into the bath I go.’ Split you: Why? You never go to the gym, why now? Why today? You don’t want to come home,is that it? You don’t want to spend time with me. Is it because of the other night when I wouldn’t go to the bar with you? Is it because I didn’t text you back earlier? Is it because you don’t love me anymore?

As you can imagine, BF is left very confused, going… It’s because.. I want to go to the gym???

It’s also important to remember what is being felt to prompt these responses. In normal you: Oh ok he’s going to the gym, fine.

In split you? - AAAAAAAAAAARGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In a split, a BPD sufferer is feeling a flush of adrenaline, increased anxiety, rejection, resentfulness, spite, fear, anger.

BPD sufferers are fully grown, emotionally damaged children.

We can’t handle: rejection, perceived or otherwise. Abandonment, perceived or otherwise. Criticism, perceived or otherwise. Or any kind of invalidation of our feelings.

Think of a BPD sufferer like a 7 year old who has been told their whole lives: your feeling don’t matter. They internalise this to mean “YOU don’t matter”.

Maybe they grew up on a diet of: Stop crying. What’s wrong with you? Get it together. Oh for goodness sake.. STOP CRYING. Jesus Christ.. You’re a disgrace. And so on and so forth.

Because they were dismissed and rejected for having feelings as children, they are very sensitive and protective of how they’re treated for having them as adults. If they feel you are treating them like they were treated before; i.e. dismissing them, they will (usually) freak the hell out. The adult they are now is trying to stand up for and protect they child they once were.

Remember that and you’ve nailed it.

(I am heading on a weekend trip at noon so I probably won't be back until Monday.)


Mrs Fireball's picture

BPD is fascinating and scary. I've read up on that disorder because I'm almost certain my mom has it.

I think it's triggered in childhood, and probably from neglect. Either the kid's feelings were never validated, or the kid was spoiled and never told no (parents neglected to discipline)

moving_on_again's picture

I'm pretty sure BM was from harsh discipline. She may have even been physically abused. I really don't know. Her parents both came from extreme poverty as in BM's mom grew up with a dirt floor. This totally makes sense, too, but she worships her dad. Always says how she is his favorite when she clearly is not and he has said very negative things about her to DH (not lately). At the same time, she really seems to hate men unless they are providing her with materialistic stuff or money. 

Mrs Fireball's picture

My mom was harshly disciplined, neglected and lived in abject poverty. My nana acted crazy and my grandpa was an alcoholic and commited suicide when my mom was 18. He shot himself in front of her and my aunt. 

On the flip side, have you heard of Nikki Reynolds? She stabbed her mother to death when she was 14 and subsequently diagnosed with BPD. She was adopted and her parents never told her no and spoiled her rotten. 

How could BPD present in both of the so different situations? At the root I think it's parents ignoring the kids  - "I'll give you something to cry about!" and act abusively towards the child, or a more subtle form where the parents give the child anything they want materially, just to placate the child and keep them out of their hair. To me it's two sides of the same coin.

marblefawn's picture

I agree...I'd add that maybe there's a genetic predisposition that has to be present too for BPD to develop. There seems to be a lot of BPD people out there, but I keep thinking about people who grow up in horrific, neglected conditions who DON'T develop BPD. There must be one or more factors that create the perfect storm for BPD to manifest.

Did your mother have siblings? Are they all BPD?

Mrs Fireball's picture

Yes, her sister was even worse off than she is. My aunt was more docile and easy going but she couldn't/wouldn't function as a normal adult and lived with her mom for most of her adult life (in between several failed marriages). Aunt J was crazy just not a mean crazy like my mom. You knew to expect crazy from my aunt, but mom could be sweet as pie and a-ok and then someone would do or say something to set her off and Satan entered the building. 

Genetics contribute significantly to mental illness. No doubt. 

moving_on_again's picture

I'll have to look up Nikki Reynolds. 

I can't even imagine going through the things your mom did. I used to pity BM, too, but she's 40 years old. At what point do you say enough is enough. At least try to get therapy. The only therapist she went to told her not to blame other people and she never went back. Of course the therapist is "wrong." 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

I'm in a friend/mentor relationship with a woman who is diagnosed BPD.

This young woman "K" is 32, but acts more like 18-20. Comes from a sh!t family. Both parents were addicts, and dad is a schizophrenic. She is the youngest of a litter (some of her sibs also have psych diagnoses), and admits she was pretty much left to raise herself. K was molested by a family member for years, and ended up spending almost a year inpatient in a psych institution.

K lives with her elderly mother and works part time at a thrift store She's recently started dating for the first time, but it doesn't work well because she gets into these "friends with benefits" arrangements with low rent men. They use K, and she always seems to develop feelings for them no matter how ghetto they are. It's very sad. K seems to have zero self esteem, lots of anxiety, and no standards or boundaries of ability to regulate her emotions. She has lots of "had days".


marblefawn's picture

This description is so spot on and enlightening. I've read BPD is one of the hardest to treat because they are very manipulative people who are also charming when they want to be. That is my mother to a T.

Just the other day, I was telling my mother about the recent upheaval with SD.

Out of nowhere, she suddenly was seething, screaming, boiling over like I had flipped a switch or triggered something in her: "That little bitch! Who does she think she is? She's just a big-nosed *Arab* -- all those people do is fight!!!"

I was stunned, speechless at first that she reacted so intensely -- I mean, she was seething! And the Arab thing...what the hell? They dragged us to every Arab country in the world when we were young. I know she loves the culture. It disturbed me so much, I started defending not only Arabs, but even SD! I was trying to calm her down because her words were so...just ugly.

No kidding, within about three minutes, she'd totally flipped again, but this time she was calm, sounded reasonable, her voice was a lower pitch, almost nurturing: "Well, she IS his daughter. You have to be more patient with your husband. How would you feel if you couldn't spend time with your father because his wife doesn't like you?"

And the interesting thing about this conversation (because conversations like this were never unusual with my mother), was that I noticed how she made me flip because she flipped. One minute I was complaining about SD, then she flipped, so I flipped and found myself defending the very person I'd just been complaining about. It was as if I unleashed this monster in my mother and I didn't know how to put it back in the box.

But then she flipped again and I was left thinking, WTH? What just happened here?

The conversation just shot me back to my childhood of being raised by someone who could flip and rage on a dime, would say hostile, scathing things to me one minute, "I wish you'd never been born!," and the next be defending me with her life.

My mother is especially prone to abandonment triggers -- they're when she acts her worst.

One of the saddest things about my estrangement from my SD is that we both were raised by women like this. It would be easy for us to connect on that level (and on a rare occasion, we did way back when) if she could be civil to me.

Yea...BPD mother. Terrifying at 5, still terrifying at 51...

Mrs Fireball's picture

"The conversation just shot me back to my childhood of being raised by someone who could flip and rage on a dime, would say hostile, scathing things to me one minute, "I wish you'd never been born!," and the next be defending me with her life."

That was my childhood too. I never knew where I stood or when she would go off again. Mom has told me several times she hates me then the next time we speak she is sweet as pie again. And if I stay mad or call her out I'm "too sensitive". 

When I was around 13 my parents were arguing constantly and on the brink of divorce. We were in the den and dad made a comment that mom didn't like, she grabs a standing ashtray and walks over to him like she's going to smash him, and then dad jumps up out of the chair. Mom turns to me and says, "Did you see that? Your dad was going to hit me!". 


moving_on_again's picture

You described BM to a T. EXCEPT, the skids say that when she is ranting, you just shut up and try to get away, which she will not let you. BM once kept MSD home from school for 2 weeks because she was so afraid MSD was going to run away and abandon her. MSD did just that shortly after midnight on her 17th birthday ("legal" adult in my state). BM was seething mad. Even made SS call DH, which she only does when someone is hospitalized. She is also extremly afraid of abadonment. 

NoWireCoatHangarsEVER's picture

i read the book "Understanding the Borderline Mother" and she is definitely the Queen archetype. She was abandoned by her father at 7 and her mother and had had five different husbands. North Korea fears abandonment and the SD's they aren't ever allowed to move out and away. She is promiscuous and a swinger with her husband . She spends money outrageously and is a lot of debt. She too flips. And she can't be criticized or told she is wrong. In the book it describes the type of men they marry and how entitled they feel even after divorce to their ex husbands time and money. 

marblefawn's picture

I read it too -- good book.

My husband bought it for his daughter. She left it behind, so I took a read. Didn't fix any of them, but it was a good read.