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Amazing Book on Borderline Personality Disorder

PolyMom's picture

When we brought the skids to a therapist, and she witnessed the overdramatic reactions of BM, she said it's likely she suffers BPD. among other things. She doesn't know for sure, and we're still awaiting the results of the psychiatric evaluation to find out for sure.

In any case, here is the book:

Understanding this bizarre personality disorder is very helpful in understanding how to deal with it, because it will NEVER go away. It will never get better, and you will never be able to do anything correct in her eyes. This book is very helpful in learning how to cope and handle people with this disorder.

Another book DH and I found VERY helpful was: Stepfamilies: Love, Marriage and Parenting in the first decade. It is really helpful in understanding what type of family you've developed, and the best ways to cope with issues that we know all too well.

I posted these because I found these books amazing, and I think everyone should read them who is experiencing the difficult issues we are. On a side note, I just want to say how thankful I am for this forum, because there are so little resources and support out there for step-families, and these problems are very real. Thanks everyone! I look forward to helping, reading, listening and venting with you!! Smile

PolyMom's picture

Yes, we totally understand there's not much that can be done. BPDers refuse to acknowledge there is any problem, which makes it difficult to diagnose and treat. They hate therapy. DH and my goal is how to best get skids to deal, as BM has joint custody, and absolutely makes life hell. DH is fighting for full, and therapist is very helpful in reminding we must work around the BPD, addressing it directly will never be effective.

PolyMom's picture

It is so frustrating! I know, ours sounds similar to yours, minus the college professor. She wants to be a stay at home mom, doesn't want to work, but gets "trapped" and needs to blow off steam by blowing....everything. Ha ha!

I do agree though. I wonder if a letter to Christine Lawson about helping step-families deal with the BPD mother now, as you can't make the decision of keeping this person in your life would be invaluable to so many people. The best response is to stay away, but unfortunately, so many of us do not have the luxury of that decision.

AlreadyGone's picture

What I loved about that book (Understanding the Borderline Mother) and found extremely eye opening, were the 'types' of men drawn to these women. When you read about the daddy issues here, it all begins to make a little more sense.
BPD is treatable to a degree when the sufferer takes accountability and gets in to a DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) program, preferably residential. However, very few are ever truly 'cured' because no therapy is a quick fix, and all BPD's are looking for a 1 second cure all.


Any chance I could get you give a brief description of the different types of BPD women AND the different types of men who worship them? Please, please, please? LOL. That is, if you have time for such an undertaking. Smile

PolyMom's picture

YES! It's really fascinating!

1. There's the waif: She controls others by making them feel sorry for her. She refuses to better her situation, because if she does, she loses control. Ever wonder why Cinderella put up with being a servant in her own home? Probably because she suffered BPD.

2. The hermit: She believes the world is too dangerous to venture out. This mother insists her children be home-schooled because the schools are just too dangerous for them (even if they are nationally renowned) Think Sylvia Plath.

3. The Queen: must control every aspect of everyone's life. She is a micro manager, and very little will ever please her. She must be worshiped by everyone. Think of the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, or Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest.

4. The Witch: This one is where any of the prior 3 types turn towards evil. This is the one who will kill her own children at the most extreme, and become physically and/or emotionally abusive. Think Casey Anthony.

What I noticed in our situation is that our BM cycles through all 4 of these types, but primarily turns to 1 and 3. We've had to contact CPS for physical abuse, and she did try and play up homeschooling for a while, so there are traits there of the witch and hermit, but mostly she loves to play the martyr, and she loves to criticize everything DH and I do with the kids. Massive amounts of PAS, but like I said, we deal. We're in court and therapy and hopefully the skids will turn out well-adjusted when their childhoods are over.

As far as the men they stay with? Pretty much the people pleasers, or the narcissists. DH is definitely a people pleaser, but they didn't work out, because he could never do anything right. There was a lot of gas-lighting in the relationship. Now, she's with a narcissist. SS11 has brought up concerns that BM's DH is insane.

Honeysuckle's picture

Hi I just wanted to chime in here as a SM recently diagnosed with BPD (high functioning). While it's always been seen as one of the 'trickier' diagnosis for mental health professionals to treat - recovery is possible and we can go on to live happy, healthy stable lives - which include stable relationships.

It takes a LOT of work and commitment on the part of the person with BP (which I am aware that many BM's will possibly never acknowledge or be formally dx with). I don't feel like it's fair to say that 'not much can be done' and 'they hate therapy' - SOME hate therapy. I and many others might not be alive were it not for therapy- and I thrive on it. I guess in the context of this thread and BM not acknowledging that she has a problem may make these statements true. But not all of us have 100% of the same traits and behaviours.

I also think that understanding is pretty much the key to managing relationships with those with BP. Yes, our behaviour is often very unpredictable and scary (but it scares us too) ...Another really good book my SO is finding really helpful is "walking on eggshells'.

I just wanted to pop in as someone with BP - I'm doing everything I can on a day to day basis to make my life (and those around me) less painful and filled with more stability.

I hope those of you who have to deal with a BPD BM find some peace in your's not easy- but there's a lot of information and support out there Smile

AlreadyGone's picture

I'm glad that you are taking responsibility for your diagnosis, and let me just say Welcome! You are obviously the exception and not the rule. Many of those with BPD spend so much time playing victim and blaming others for the sad state of their lives. Those of us well versed in this disorder, are most definitely 'gun-shy' but very willing to listen to anyone who actually owns their own issues. We welcome all of the insight that you are willing to offer. Smile

PolyMom's picture

Thank you so much for speaking up! I read the book over a year ago, and I do remember reading about BPD is definitely something you can get under control, but the first step, like many other unpleasant things about us, is admitting you have a problem, which many BPD's aren't willing to do...and certainly not ours. Luckily, she's been been pretty quiet after having a new baby, but it's really more like a storm that's settled for a little while, but will certainly be back. She's totally put all the blame on DH, and refuses to look in the mirror.

TwistedTulips's picture

I have bpd, aspergers, add, social aniexty disorder and ptsd. Ive been on my meds for almost fifteen yrs now and can not function without them or my therapist and family. Anyone will tell you that they dont want to be around me without them. Its like vacant cold with no feelings.I function very well in normal life. I am a outgoing happy person but under stress lets just say its a scary situation. I know my triggers and I know how to cope and when to get away from everyone.My ex husband describes me as a hurricane; the outside is chaos get past that and you have a calm inner core. Bless his heart hes been there through every appt from the beginning with me and we co parent in harmony. I have times were I get so bored my aniexty hits the roof and I am awake for days. I cant explain it but it makes me mad in frustration. I do best in calm enviroments with little noise. I have the its mine syndrome. Literally I dont share unless I want to. If its mine its mine. Food, clothes, my kids stuff, toliteries, etc My boys have Aspergers but they are social butterflies and well balanced. I would be the Queen/Hermit I guess.
My biggest problem husband thinks I am mentally incapitated due to my meds. Its so not true. I finish medical school for pharmacy technician; five classes a week ft plus my boys ft. That was a challenge of balancing but I conqured. 

PolyMom's picture

Wow, that's a lot on your plate. I think you are doing an awesome job! Mental illness is not easy to deal with on it's own without the taboo-bad-stigma that comes along with it. I really wish more people were brave like you and could own their diseases, and come to terms with a life that makes them happy. I wish there was more societal support in viewing these disorders the way every other medical condition is viewed "a problem that we can work to overcome." Thank you so much for speaking up!