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BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder)

cdnstepmom's picture

Borderline Personality Disorder (DSM-IV Personality Disorders 301.83[1]) (BPD) is defined as a personality disorder primarily characterized by emotional dysregulation, extreme "black and white" thinking, or "splitting", and chaotic relationships. The general profile of the disorder also typically includes a pervasive instability in mood, interpersonal relationships, self-image, identity, and behavior, as well as a disturbance in the individual's sense of self. In extreme cases, this disturbance in the sense of self can lead to periods of dissociation.[2]

The disturbances suffered by those with borderline personality disorder have a wide-ranging and pervasive negative impact on many or all of the psychosocial facets of life, including ability to hold down a job and relationships in work, home, and social settings. Comorbidity is common; borderline personality disorder frequently occurring with substance use disorders and mood disorders. Attempted suicide and completed suicide are possible outcomes without proper care and effective therapy.


Have you ever felt you were walking on eggshells the whole time you were married to your ex?

Thats exactly how my DH felt with his EX, although she has never been diagnosed properly I'm wondering how does one has a psychological assessment done on a parent with so much wrong? My DH has a 5 year old boy from his previous marriage who lives with his Mom on the other coast. She moved completely to the other side of the country and married a man who has 2 children himself. The biggest issue with this type of disorder is her instability which all children need. When someone figures out her disorder or was upset with her she would completely disassociate from them and never to be heard of again. Unfortunately when there's a child from the relationship she realizes now that she cannot disassociate from her ex-husband because of the little boy.

Things we are now dealing with consist of her not answering the telephone and with-holding the child from my DH. Can someone shed some light on what options we have other than COURT!??? As I have seen in a lot of the other posts, we all seem to be on the same page as far as the courts being biased and not supporting Dads. I would love to hear from Canadian SM moreso as I am from Canada but since the child is living in the US and our jurisdiction maybe changing to the US I would also appreciate any info from the US SM too!!

Thanks for reading!

Chocoholic's picture

You may never know for sure if BM has any disorder, BPD or otherwise.

I am ABSOLUTELY convinced that my skids BM is a Sociopath... I've researched and read up on the topic and EVERYTHING matches up perfectly... sure would explain a lot too.

I'd bet the farm that if she were tested it would prove true that she is a big huge sociopath.

Unfortunately, you can't really get a court order to have someone psychologically tested based on a hunch....

"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned"

ennie's picture

BPD in and of itself is usually not something for which the court would order therapy, and may not result in reduced custody. The behaviors are what courts look at. So diagnosis may not be that useful. For us, my partner's BPDex's diagnosis was useful as it makes it easier to talke about what is going on with people. We can now say to folks that she has a mental illness, rather than getting into describing her behavior which makes us sound mean. Especially as a step, it is really hard to avoid people's assumptions that I am angry at my partner's ex because of our roles, something that does not bother me a bit. I even love her BPD self, but she is crazy and there are things that are different in our family as a result that do not make sense for "normal" blended families, so it is important to distinguish.

tired-of-it's picture

WOW. I found this website and became a member less than ten minutes ago. Your Budda quote grabbed my attention and I am going to type it up and tape to my computer so I get reminded on a regular basis to (try) let it go. Thank you!

workinonit's picture

we may never know. I've been doing research as well and can't decide between Borderline Personality Disorder and the scarier fact the BM may be a Sociopath. Of course, she'll never admit she needs help and see a professional so we'll never know.

Medical Mom's picture

I agree totally...........
Try dealing with someone who has been diagnosed as a bi-polar, sociopath,pathological lier!! She has been to six shrinks and one wanted to admit her to the local mental institution, she refused. All her shrinks said the same thing, and when they diagnosed her she never went back and just changed shrinks. Now she is living in the middle of nowhere with my skids, and she's nuts!!!! Makes me wonder what REALLY goes on out there.

NotSure's picture


I'm fortunate to know that the BM I'm dealing with is bipolar/borderline personality disorder and my BF has custody. Yet, OBVIOUSLY, not fortunate to have that craziness in our lives. One biggie that's a real problem, and you may have experienced it too, is their "disortion campaigns' they go. They spread stories of abuse and injustice and God know what else, to anyone who will listen. It's tough to deal with this stuff. I've read the books, "Quit Walking on Eggshells," etc. And now a shrink friend of mine suggested I read "People of the Lie" by Peck. I like it because it associates the illness more to being evil. I like it because that's how it feels. It feels evil to be attacked. It feels like evil to hear the things she tells the kids (dad abused them) and watch them try to make sense of this. It feels like evil when she controls and manipulates these youngs minds by holding them hostage with her rages and tears. So while I understand it's an illness, I don't feel compassion for someone who doesn't take their meds and causes such pain to all of us. I wish us all good coping skills.

coppertop39's picture

Thanks for your post. I had just discovered "Walking on Eggshells", I'll definitely pick up "People of the Lie". I have to find a sane way to cope with BM's unpredictable and confrontational behavior without losing my own sanity! I worry about my 2 stepsons, one of whom is starting to display BPD behaviors himself. If there is anything DH and I can do to prevent this 10 year old boy from turning into his mother, I'm willing.

StrongStepMom's picture


I'd love to chat with you more...Do you have kids of your own along with your stepchildren? I don't, just two skids (girls) that are 15 & 11. They have lived with us for 2 years. Surprisingly, the 15 y/o has come around quite a bit (even without counseling!) but the little one has been impossible since day one and seemingly getting worse. I'd love to know if you've come up with any coping mechanisms or how your husband feels about it. The little one hasn't been diagnosed with anything other than ADHD/ODD (which is can apparently be the childhood diagnosis for antisocial personality). I am struggling to cope with it!

lynsalz's picture

Thanks for posting this. I almost cried when I read it. It's exactly what I've been dealing with. Thankfully, my husband has already been exonerated of all false allegations, and she's been proven the monster. But alas, the mother still gets well more than she deserves, at least in this case, and the war rages on. Sometimes my coping skills are tested and I'm not sure how long I can hold on, even though I know how important it is that I be a good role model for my step-daughter.

Sita Tara's picture

When it was clear the judge would order a psych eval. We had asked for one in our initial paperwork, but it took several pretrails (8 months or so) before an actual court date was set. The week before the trial date, the GAL report came out stating several red flags, most of which came as direct quotes from SD's psychologist regarding BM's mental abilities in regard to relationships. This is the only shrink who will ever get to meet BM, because BM is terrified of psychologists and belittle SD for going and made fun of us to SD for going (she insists to this day we are in marital counseling, even though we are going to a CHILD psychologist!

BM only went there twice because the GAL kept stating the importance of BM getting involved in SD's counseling. In those few visits, BM displayed classic signs of Paranoid Personality Disorder. One of the skewed things she told the Dr was that DH was suing for custody because he hadn't moved on, wasn't happy with me, and wanted her back. She is convinced that drama and fighting equal love for some reason. The Dr tried to reassure her that she had been meeting with us and SD for over a year and told her, "I've been doing this for over 25 years, and I'm a pretty good judge of relationships. They are very happy and communicate very well with each other."

I'm sure that fumed BM. I think the disorder is also why she chooses to "forget" my existence. She and SD both are very good at spinning a story so much they finally believe the warped version. The Dr tried to tell her that if DH was so intimidating to her (her version) that many parents go through the SP. The Dr said of course she would have to ask me, but she was pretty sure I would be open to being the one they went through. BM balked heavily. The Dr asked her if we had any negative interactions thus far. She admitted that I had always been polite to her on the phone. But she wouldn't agree to discussing things through me. The Dr and I kind of laughed about it. I told her, "Well...once again...if she talked to me then I would exist. And the thought of my mere existence sets her head just spinning."

Oh- yes. SD has emerging PD disorder as well. The Dr. just diagnosed her the past few months. We were not surprised, and it was kind of a relief so that we know for sure we have to handle SD's behaviors differently. PD people do not handle directness about their behavior at all. Even gentle correction is taken as hostile criticism. Sometimes even NOT correcting or criticizing is taken hostilely and defensively. You are dead on with the black and white thinking. DH tried to deal with this for 15 years before he gave up. Now it's so hard on him b/c SD is displaying the same behavior (distrust, lying, making up things, manipulating friends and losing relationships, getting into trouble, and claiming we are disloyal to her, etc etc etc. It sets him off. Because I don't have the history with BM I can more easily handle things at times. I don't have years of being baited like this so I simply don't take the bait.

So that's our story. I keep saying I'm going to do a whole post on it, but it would probably be a whole book instead!

Peace, love, and red wine

Inneedofgrace's picture

God help you Sister. It has been surreal for me just dealing with BM. I truly cannot imagine having a skid with BPD too.

Sita Tara's picture

Yes yes yes...

Both BM and SD do this. BM changes jobs, moves (three times in three years since I've been around. DH was in the military and they were asked to leave post over BM before.)She also goes back and forth between two men and the only friends she has are work associates, who she only hangs out with occasionally for parties. She also has cut ties with any family members who still associate with DH and told her own sister that SHE (sister) had a mental problem if she (sister) thought she should stay friends with DH. BM had a list of instructions for the amount of interaction she would allow her sister to have (ie if they wanted to see SD they needed to call her even though SD was here every weekend, and that only her sister daughters could babysit at our house etc.) That sister, and her husband and kids are not speaking with BM over it. BM also has been stringing along a BF and an Exfiance the whole time she's been divorced. SD is instructed not to tell each guy when BM sees the other.

It's crazy. But at least we know it's really crazy and we're not just biased. But as SD's Dr says, at least BM is able to continue to get jobs so she is somewhat functional. Hopefully this means SD should be too.

Peace, love, and red wine

steppie1999's picture

We could have erased a few years of misery from "psycho BM" if only DH had not chosen the easy way out. Granted it would have cost us $$$ but back in '02 BM and DH were court ordered for physchological examinations because she took us to court twice in two months and charged us with "abusing" the SK's but were found innocent both times. Once the appointments were finally scheduled, BM FREAKED OUT!!!!! and called DH and said she would drop all court proceedings if she didn't have to go to phsychological evaluation......well, DH agreed and BM has acted even "crazier" ever since. I don't know how many times lately that he's said that he wishes he hadn't let her off so easy...
Anyway, we'll be walkin' on eggshells again this weekend...SK's coming. Sad

Inneedofgrace's picture

You may not have missed the boat. We got a court ordered psychologist to administer the MMPI (Mac daddy of all psych tests designed to accurately diagnose the criminally insane) but the weenie psychologist's evaluation report was written in such broad, sweeping language that it wasn't clear BM has BPD. AND our attorney told us that even if conclusive diagnosis was submitted, BPD isn't grounds for loosing custody. In our case, the psychologist determined, "there is evidence of medical neglect, and physical and emotional abuse. However, it does not rise to the level that the state of NC deems a threat to the children's lives. Unbelievable...

ennie's picture

Thanks for your compassion...I find that trying to maintain love and compassion for BPD bm really helps me to be able to support my SDs through the stuff that is so hard for them. They see me treat her with respect even when she is crazy, and they see me set clear limits, too, and all of that goes a long way for them.

It is hard to maintain any compassion at times, especially when I am not setting boundaries with my mate or his ex, and when he does not set boundaries with her. He is getting better at it, but I have to be very careful not to take on stuff that is just way too much...he is taking over a business and supports his ex financially, I am building our house, and I am not supported financially by my partner, so we both have our hands full. We have 50/50 custody. When BPD decides to leave for a few weeks ("I have to get out of here or I will die!!!!"), it is so scary and hard for the kids, and dad works full time and has CS taken out of his paycheck, so can't just take a few days off without major consequences...also, he would be dropping the ball on his business. So I pick up the slack. Which is fine sometimes, but sometimes it is just too much. Then I find myself furious at BPD for being so lame, especially when her two girls are fighting and mimicking BPD drama as they are stressed and scared their mom is goingto die, and I am using my few days off to mediate arguments, make them do work and chores that BPD never makes them do, trying not to yell "ENOUGH DRAMA!"

Then, I really feel anger at the woman. Good sign I need to say, "Hon, I think you need to take Friday off and be with the kids."

But when BPD is raging or abandoning her kids, I think, at least I am not her. It may be hard knowing her, but much worse BEING her.

mmmpork's picture

wow sounds just like my skid's BM. Previously diagnosed with BDP and has thyroid issues. Currently believes that BF physically and mentally abused her for the 13 years they were together. I've been with him for 6 months and the only thing I've seen is that *he* is the one who is the abuse victim.

ell's picture

"....that can KILL her if she goes into hyperthyroid crisis but hey I'm not stopping her" and,

"Feel sorry for the BM's that have 'issues' such as BPD, narcissism, etc..."

hmm, contradiction? lol, anyway, bpd sufferer's can be healed, but they have to allow it. that's the tricky part. i hope no one here is planning on alienating their children and baiting them with the little idea that their bm or bd is insane and evil. kids usually love their parents no matter what. eventually, they'll see the problems. my dad is nuts and i understand his condition and i have learned how to deal with his thinking. as a result, our relationship is better and he is actually getting better. it would have been worse for me to have been away from him as a child. i really love my dad. i know it's not like this for everyone, though, especially if the borderline becomes violent. If that happens, though, be assured that the court will take care of it. that's nearly the only time they'll do anything, sadly. one way to get some testing done is to call dcfs. they do have the power to get a court to push a psych test from what i've heard. i know they push for the drug testing.

i've tried to take my ss to a counselor as a result of his mother's sociopathic behavior, and apparently, even though he shows symptoms of mental illness that reflect her own (hearing command hallucinations and visions of burning our bodies on pyres if we ask him to do the dishes), without his bm actually being there they can do nothing. and she won't go in. the system is a bit messed up, but what they are doing is trying to prevent parental alienation. sometimes bms and bds seem nuts and aren't. we can't all go around being mad and calling them crazy because they're mad, too. this is why it is so very hard to prove it when someone is really mentally ill. if anyone has found a solution, i'd like to know.

in the meantime, there are a ton of sites and books that teach us how to talk to people with bpd. believe it or not, they cannot help the way they think. their thinking is backwards and they are not evil, lol. they are damaged. when their loved one is gone for the day they feel an overwhelming sense of abandonement. they struggle to remember what it was that they loved about them an hour before. imagine that kind of hurt. it is scary and unfortunate for all involved, and i wish everyone the best of luck with this. i survived it, i'm 31, mentally stable Smile and i still love my dad. there's hope for some of us.

I want to add that I realize that no one really wants to go to court all the time, but the fact is that you either go to court and try for a solution in this case, or live with it. Have you considered going to court and asking for mediation or a co parenting class? I guarantee that if you are all together in a room with a therapist, and it can be court ordered by the way, that if anyone in the room is crazy, they'll make note of it. and they can help. it would be cheaper to just go in the courtroom and ask that "for the child's best interest" you guys need this. if you're constantly trying to prove on your own that she's nuts, it'll be continued forever.

Inneedofgrace's picture

Clearly, you are a bigger person than I am. I admire your emotional maturity, but I can only aspire to be there at this point. I pray every day that BFH (bitch from he'll) will die. I truly believe in my heart that the world will be. Abetter place without her in it. Not just my world, but THE world. I do not feel sorry for her, though I've tried. I really believe that she is demonically possessed. She is relentlessly evil. The emotional, physical and financial damage she has inflicted on DH is unforgivable, let alone how badly she's fucked up her children. They are so brainwashed and mentally scrambled that Im afraid by the time they figure her out as you say, it will be a day late and a dollar short. Believe me, I'm not proud of these words I type... But it's the truth. I have come to resent the skids for bringing her splenetic attitude into my home... It follows her around like a cloud of acid. :sick:

Nikkii's picture

I really believe that my BM has this or a Paranoia Disorder. All the signs point to it! Why else would she want to jump me for saying , "Hi"! I wish I knew a way to get her diagnosed. She has beeen this way for 11 years, but the verbal and physical attacks have increased!

Sita Tara's picture

So she's never gone off on me because she avoids seeing me as much as possible.

On the other hand, her exF's exW ran into me quite a bit at my son's previous school, and told me that BM used to flip her off all the time if she saw her in the car picking up her BD from BM's ExF. Also, the exF moved out (and never back in) after BM verbally attacked his exW for saying hi when he brought BM to their daughter's kindergarten program.

I believe the exact words BM screamed at her for saying Hi were,


AT the Kindergarten program.

Now THAT's flippin' nuts.

There is a paranoid personality disorder btw. So maybe she has that one.

"Om Tare Tutare Ture Mama Ayurpunye Jnana Putin Kuru Svaha"
~Sita Tara Mantra

StepLightly's picture

I thought I was imagining that the BM would scowl at me and do wierd things when I would run into her without anyone around....but guess what? I have a twin, and my dear sister confirmed that yes...that was happening!

Sequel's picture

I met my husband three years ago when he was going thru a very bloody divorce. We've been married for two years now. He has five children. My teenage SS lives with us along with my teenage daughter. My teenage SD lives with the ex. His ex has not been formally diagnosed with BP, however a therapist has said she shows all the symptoms. This woman has spent pretty much the majority of her life manipulating, maligning, and making up outright lies about my husband. The children seem to be nothing but tools for her to use to hurt him. And my SD plays her BM's games with relish, making up her own lies about her father -- claiming he's abusive and an alcoholic -- when my husband (her father) is one of the most respectable, admirable men I've ever known. The thing that bothers me the most about my situation is that the ex lies ALL the time -- all five of her kids know this, but every time she comes up with another one they believe her. Her newest strategy is to tell them that my husband and I are millionaires and refuse to share our money with them by buying them cars and paying for college tuitions. They believe what she tells them about us. It's as if they are looking for excuses to hate us.
You know, we all have our dysfunctions, and I grew up in a pretty normal dysfunctional family, but I have to say that this woman and her children are like Martians to me. I never knew that hateful, evil people like this existed anywhere but in the movies. The only one of them who’ll give us the benefit of the doubt is my SS who lives with us, and he is being torn in two. When he visits her, she spends their time together talking trash about my husband to the point that my SS is constantly forced to defend his father. I worry about my SS and his mental health through all of this. Since I’ve known him he’s displayed rocking motions -- a sure sign of anxiety. I wish my SS would just tell his BM that he doesn't want to see her, but his siblings are living in the town where she lives and he wants to stay connected to them.
How can a woman care so little about her own children? She actually accused my SD of being responsible for her divorce because my SD (14 at the time) didn't give her good enough marriage advice. And yet my SD has chosen to live with her BM and believes the crap she makes up about us.

Now, this woman can turn her behavior on and off like a switch. Which means she can control herself if she has to. She simply chooses not to. Which means she's evil. Not sick. Evil. 'Nuff said.

ennie's picture

is to feel happy and normal and safe and loved, like you can and I can. My sds' bpd bm would love to have a happy life, to be able to do the amazing things she dreams of and says she does, but she can't because she is entirely focused on her own pain and blaming others. It does not feel good to her. it is not what she wants. She may be able to change her behavior to fool others; the part she cannot change is the awful feeling inside that makes her prefer fooling others over loving them and being loved by them.

The labeling things as "sick" movement is useful in some ways, but BPD folk often refuse diagnosis. So it it really useful to know a label? For me, it has been useful shorthand to explain, "I am not mad at my partner's ex because I am the stepmom, I am happy to be in this role, but she is actually crazy and does crazy things, so I do not trust her judgment, that is why I want to talk to the teacher and why her ex wants to talk to the teacher without her there..."

I think that using the word evil for a BPD person makes us feel okay about what it is hard not to do--be angry at them and shut them out of our lives. Using that label makes it their fault that you and I act the way we do. I try to be okay with how I act and feel even if it is not my ideal. I would like to be open hearted even to mean people, but I am not always able to be this way. That is okay. But I still want to be open hearted to people, and it is hard to do so when I am not setting appropriate boundaries and when I allow someone to mistreat me. That is when the label of "evil" is enticing. Then I hear about how she has been treated in her life, and I think it is amazing that she is as loving as she is. Is it evil to develop responsive to severe physical and sexual abuse and abandonment that helped a child to survive that kind of treatment? No. Is it evil for us to allow that that happened to shape our lives by being intimidated by the BPD and giving in, or by hating the BPD when we want to be loving? Maybe?

Inneedofgrace's picture

Ohhhhhhhhhhh Sequel!! You are singing my song! It's as if you took the words right out of my mouth. How strange that such unusual, sick behavior can be so Consistently typical in BPDs. I think they are Martians... You're right!

dunwitit's picture

While I am not trying to minimize other mental illnesses, I feel, at times, that Borderline Personality Disorder is truly one of the most difficult to cope with from a "sane" perspective. My husband's ex-wife has literally handed this awful legacy down to her fifteen-year-old daughter. She has filled that poor kid's head so full of lies about her father and me that the relationship is permanently damaged. SD no longer wants to come to our house, and to be honest, her manipulative, hateful behavior leaves me feeling relieved that she won't be around. I know how terrible that sounds, but we have both reached a point where we refuse to be abused and taken for granted. Treatment for BM will NEVER be an option, because it's the rest of the world that is crazy, not her. Treatment for SD is in the same category--after all, how can you help a child who so staunchly believes that we are the cause of all of her problems? Right now, my husband and I are in a state of shock and disbelief because the daughter has obviously felt this way for a long, long time, but managed to keep up a loving facade when it benefitted her in some way. In other words, her intermittent visits were not about sustaining a truly loving relationship with us--she acted like we were special to her, but in reality (and we just found this out), we were the suckers who were being villified behind our backs. I used to think that there was a measure of hope in that my husband and his daughter (and eventually myself) would be able to overcome this..but not anymore. Like he said, she told him her true feelings, and he (well, we) feel used, manipulated, and lied to. We feel we do not have any other choice but to go into "self-protection mode". We absolutely do not trust this child anymore. I am sure the hurt and anger we feel right now is going to give way to sadness at some point. Naturally, there were good times. It hurts to have these memories tainted by the fact that we will probably never know which moments were genuine. In my opinion, Borderline Personality Disorder needs to be classified as a fatal disease--one that kills relationships, families, and spirits. Those that have this disorder and do nothing about it, to me, are murderers.

tired-of-it's picture

I do not know who you are or if you will ever read this but I'm sitting here on 3/17/10 crying my eyes out because this is exactly what I have lived with and the point we are at now after 12 years. My SD's are enmeshed with their BM who is so very, very sick. They drink under her roof, and of course because my husband will not provide alcohol to minors we are vilified. Her two sons were abandoned by her (things left in trash bags on side of the road) when she was too busy to help them thru their pain and angst at 15 and 17 witnessing their mother leave their father for an alcoholic boyfriend. SD's were ten years younger, and while we tried to protect them, the damage this woman (and her husband) has inflicted on all four of her children is beyond belief. She set her sights on me years ago and has taught SD's to be manipulative and lie simply to get material things. We basically only see them for holidays or big events, and getting them to come is like pulling teeth. There was a custody battle and the GAL found BM to have "significant psychological liabilities", be "interpersonally ignorant", "lying", etc., etc. but feared moving the two SD's at that time would push BM's buttons to totally abandon them as she had done her sons. I feel very discouraged after 12 years of trying to have a family here, and now I find that my two SD's (18 & 20) are even being subtley snubbish to my 30 year old daughter, who was extremely close with the 20 year old. I fully believe BM has caused this too. Seems anything related to my husband - me, my daughter, his extended family) is bad.

Sita Tara's picture

I am so pleased you posted this.

Let's hope the courts/legal publications start addressing this soon! Personally, I think every divorce or disillusion involving custody, even mutually agreed upon decisions, should have a mandated psych eval for EVERYONE involved.

"Om Tare Tutare Ture Mama Ayurpunye Jnana Putin Kuru Svaha"
~Sita Tara Mantra

WowjustWow's picture

My DH's ex definitely has BPD. She expresses every emotion as anger. No matter how large or small, happy or sad the event is, she is angry. Not only that, but she will call and scream (literally) at DH for something he had no control over or even any part of (i.e. her toddler from another relationship was playing in a parking lot and almost got run over - it was my husband's fault somehow even though he was at work????) She does not know how to maintain a job, house, apartment, relationship - nothing! She has lived in 5 places in the last year, and currently is without a permanant address for the last month. She has a different car every few weeks or months. We never know what to expect next. She called DH in September of last year to tell him she got married the weekend before to some man the kids had met once. Now, 6 months later they are separated and she stays with her last boyfriend during the week while we have the kids and stays in a hotel on the weekends. She is always trying to get DH to fight with her over anything. But we're the bad people who she critisizes constantly, checks up on, makes sure we're not hurting the kids and makign sure we feed them meals.

It's so hard to live a normal life with someone so crazy following you around and stalking you (again- literally!)

ennie's picture

Sounds like my mate's ex, also BPD...also without a permanent address for the past 6 months, also without a job, also anger as her main emotion, anger or ranting victimized complaining, sort of like anger, but with statements like "you have everything, I have nothing," and with less yelling and more explaining, tho she does the full on raging and throwing things and yelling, too.

skylarksms's picture

"Not only that, but she will call and scream (literally) at DH for something he had no control over or even any part of"

I had to laugh because BM called and screamed at DH because SD16 got pregnant! [against our "no contact" order] Ummm...aren't you the PRIMARY custodian who should be keeping better track of her??

StepMadre's picture

I wonder why there are so many psycho BM's? Mine has not been officially diagnosed, but there is no way she isn't Borderline. I have counselors in my family and I have told them everything about the BM that I know and they all agree that she is probably Borderline. The problem is that denial is such a huge part of BPD that it is one of the hardest problems to treat. There is no way my BM would ever admit to any psychological problem as she is insane and she always blames the problems in her life on other people. My DH was the one holding her together before he left her and now that she is on her own it has been entertaining to see her fall apart (and blame everyone but herself). She has slept around a lot and brought disgusting creeps into her kids lives. She is a totally incompetent mother and has no clue about how to raise kids. She lies constantly and has no shame when she gets caught in a lie. She spreads rumors and lies to everyone. She is completely inappropriate and unprofessional at her job and actually discusses me and my DH with the employees that she supervises. At her job, she was hired as a manager by an older nutjob version of herself and a bunch of people quit in protest. Since she's been "managing" her department has gone completely down hill and has a horrible reputation. She is completely irresponsible and expects other people to help her with her car, her house and money. She has no real friends and when she moved to her current dump, she waited until the last day to pack and didn't arrange for help moving and frantically had to call in favors from co-workers. She left her old place so filthy that the landlords actually charged her money in addition to keeping the cleaning deposit. She mooches off of people who believe her lies and sob stories. I have confronted her on many occasions and she is in complete and utter denial about her life. She refuses to take responsibility for herself and her own actions and when things go wrong she blames everyone else. She has claimed until recently that my DH still loves her (hahahaha) and predicted the demise of our marriage from the beginning. She tried to get her lawyer to block me from being around the skids (I wish!) and has actually said that she thinks she should have things just because she wants them. She has the most bizarre sense of entitlement that I don't get at all. She comes from a trailer trash background and from a family of druggies and dealers and still acts like the world owes her everything. She throws fits when she doesn't get her way and refuses to believe reality unless she is forced to by situations or lawyers. She refused to believe the truth about why my DH left her and still won't acknowledge why it happened (blaming me, of course). Even though we give her a ridiculous amount of child support and she makes good money (a lot more than we do), she doesn't pay her bills and we happen to know that she hasn't paid for her half of the childcare and is months behind with my SS4's daycare. I'm sure she is behind on everything else and this time, my DH isn't around to bail her out. When they were together, they had the electricity turned off twice because she lied about paying the bill and threw away all the notices the utility company sent them without telling my DH about it. She took out a title loan on their car without telling my DH, then didn't pay it back and he found out about it when the collection agents called. She never paid anything on time, if at all, and constantly got late fees. My DH always rescued her and took care of things and she has never functioned on her own and it will be my pleasure to watch her life fall apart without my husband there to save her. She already got pissed off at us (and blamed me) when her car broke down and instead of being an adult and getting it fixed, she expected US to take care of her transportation for her. She just expected it! She was incredibly rude and when we didn't help, she told the skids that their dad was "selfish" and the SS10 was in tears every day after school over it. That is just one example, but the main things that jump out to me as borderline are her chaotic life, total instability, attitude of entitlement (to an insane degree) and a complete lack of acknowledgment of reality. She is in denial about almost every aspect of her life and when everything falls apart, she blames everyone but herself. I have tried to work with her and reason with her, but she is so mentally unstable and crazy that I have gotten nowhere. It's totally pointless and I finally realized that she needs intensive psychological therapy from an experienced professional and that I am not equipped to deal with someone who has such a tenuous grasp on reality. She also happens to be completely evil and disgusting, which seems to be pretty common among borderline BM's. I don't really deal with her much anymore and she actually interprets this as me not having as much "clout" with my DH as I used to. Because I have chosen to distance myself from dealing with her, she has actually been acting all friendly with my DH and tried to turn him against me (as if!) on a few occasions. She has no clue that we make fun of her constantly and that the only reason my DH is polite with her is for the sake of the kids. He hates her probably more than I do, and she has no clue! She believes what she wants to, which is that I am an evil temptress who "seduced" her boyfriend and have some magical sway over him that made him leave her. I seriously think that she believes that if I weren't in the picture, she would be able to get back together with him. She's so crazy and delusional. I looked up the DSMV and she fits the Borderline criteria to a T as well as Narcissistic Personality Disorder. My counselor relatives say that it's the hardest to treat because so few seek treatment without a court order, believing that they don't have anything wrong with them. They live in chaos and don't know what it's like to be normal as they have nothing to compare it to. Even if my BM would admit to her problems it would take years of intensive therapy for her to even approach normal and that's obviously not going to happen, so in the meantime, my DH and I just laugh at the crazy things she does and says and leave it at that. We both hate her, but can't do anything except wait for the kids to turn 18 and mock her extensively to ourselves.

Jeans222's picture

I have read up on personality disorders and eliminated a few as I wonder what the heck is wrong with sd...
she has BPD or narsisstic personality.. not sure which but she has one of them, maybe both.
She thinks she's 40 and tells us what to do... even shakes her finger at me telling me what to do.

I have no choice but to laugh at her from now on as its so ridiculous !

lbird80's picture

This is interesting reading about others who feel the way that I do. I have long felt that BM is a sociopath and wished their was some diagnosis to explain her irrational and extremely damaging behavior. The thing is that it is very difficult to make an accurate diagnosis as a psychiatrist on whether someone is a sociopath or not, so I can't claim to be sure. What I do know though is that it is taking a terrible emotional toll on my SS who is now 12. Because she is both a liar and a manipulator she has fostered fear and anxiety in him. Since he lives with us and only visits with her, you would think that her influence would be much smaller than it is. Unfortunately she uses her time with him to attempt to alienate him against his father, encourage weird (in my opinion) beliefs in him like he has healing powers and psychic abilities, and spends very little quality time with him just hanging out being mom. It is so sad. I would love to have a biomom in his life who was actually invested in his well being and worked to co-parent with us. My husband and I are both reasonable people. We have accomidated her visitation changes, worked with her when she told us she lost her job and would be late on CS, and always encouraged a respectful and meaningful relationship between her son and her. In return we are now "expected" to give her whatever time she wants when she wants it or else she flies into a rage, she believes she shouldn't have to pay CS because her son lives with us (figure that one out), and she bad mouths my husband to her son every chance she gets. And that is just the short list. But what can be done? SS is now in therapy, has a laundry list of anxieties and fears, has huge issues with lying and general dishonesty, struggles with school, and tells us he is depressed because of things with his mother. I could go on but I am sure a lot of this is familur ground to most of you. I just wish there were better answers than just suck it up and deal. For now though, it is really our only recourse.

IAMTHEMOM's picture

Thank God I am not alone.. My life revolves around undoing the mental trauma of her visitation with him; is she going to call tonight; she should be calling soon; what condition will she mentally send him home in and what day visitation falls on so we can plan our lives around HER-
She is a crazy-hooch! I wish she would fall off the earth if that were possible.IAMTHEMOM

rinkrats5's picture

From one Can.SM to another....good luck.

The family court system here SUCKS going from One province to another, nevermind Canada to US.

ExH moved to Quebec when he left us for his mistress. 3 kids.!

I have had a court order since MAY 2008 for child support from Ontario. It had to go to QUEBEC to get confirmed. I did get some sort of Judgement on MARCH 12 2010!!...although I still dont know what it is...if anything! The Interjurisdictional Support orders unit has still not received the paperwork from Quebec.!!

Good grief! My kids are going to be 18 by the time I get any support! Meanwhile, I have put myself back thru college, worked 3 jobs at one time,, etc...since 2005 to keep them housed and fed.

I did not qualify for legal aid, so I had to do all the paperwork and running by myself. So unless you have access to a **itload of cash for good lawyers...well, you know.

Hope it all works out for you though!

Nicoli's picture

I have a family lawer on speed dial. The BM is constantly threatening me with a restraining order, or this or that through the court. So I call my lawyer, he re-assurres me that I do have specific rights with regards to ss12 who is with my husband and I full time (she sees him every other weekend, if she picks him up.) It has been invaluable to have him as a resource. I have been waiting and gathering info and hate mail she sends me. I predict I will have to defend myself at some point for doing the right thing, but I will have reems of evidence of her insanity, IN WRITTING no less. My advice to all is DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT! Also witnesses are totally needed, whether it is a friend or family member. Some one there to coraberate your side of things when you deal with her. Video cameras, tape recorders things like that can also lessen their attacks a little. I have tried them all and short of posting her on YouTube, I am glad I have the evidence I have. AND get this, I have not even spoken more that 5 words to her in FOUR YEARS! She tries to claim I do things to her... I do, and thats to exist and love my DH and ss12. Thanks for listening.

Nicoli's picture

By the way, BM was diagnosed as BPD, my husband attended a counseling session with her to help her "deal" with her new reality. My husband told the counselor that BM's BF should be her support becuase he is married to me, not her! He went once to say that he tried everything he could. I didn't like it but supported him. Now I am glad he did, he stuck up for us. BPD never really goes away, most that have it don't realise they are sick because everything is everyone elses fault.

hismineandours's picture

I believe I have said something about this before and I am going to say it again although it might make some people mad. I do not mean to take away from your experience of dealing with difficult bm's or skids, but "diagnosing" them is not particularly helpful. Bottom line, is unless you are a trained professional and this is your client you CANNOT diagnose them. You have to be trained for many years, supervised adequately, and have years of experience-you cannot diagnose someone based on what YOU see out of them and some things you have read on the internet. It makes it very easy to write off people-as in "oh, I'm not listening to her she's paranoid, she has bipolar, she has bpd.". Not to mention it is demeaning both to the people that truly suffer from these dx and for those of us that have trained and studied to be able to work with individuals like this.
You also have to consider that what you see is often the individual (the bm) at her worst. We ALL have borderline traits and if my worst enemy saw me on my worst day I might look very borderline to them. Just because the bm's dont like us sm's, or think that we are out to get them, it doesnt mean that the have a PPD. That just may be the way they perceive and they may just be blowing off steam-they way we all do here. I am sure that many of us sm's sound crazy to some of the people who just can't get what we are going through. My mood may swing around bm-some days I dig deep and find motivation to put on a happy face and can be polite to her-other days I may walk away when I see her coming and not acknowledge her because I dont have the energy to deal with her. That may look bipolar to some people, but it's not.
In addition, even if you know that a therapist had dx'ed bm in the past with some disorder it does not mean they truly have it. All therapists are different, therapist can make mistakes, clients can lie about their symptoms, a client can be going through an incredibly turbulent time in their life, and it can be a relatively stable time. They may see a therapist once who HAS to give them a dx in order to bill and the therapist just gives the dx that is the closest fit. All of these will effect what dx a person can carry.
Also, even if they do have a mental illness that doesnt mean that they shouldnt be primary caregivers for their children. I work with many, many people that carry a dx and still manage to be acceptable parents. That being said, I have no love for my bm-I think she is a nut (a very professional term)but i would never attempt to diagnose her as she is not my client. I see the worst side of the woman. We can all act crazy at certain times and in certain situations and when it comes to our kids I think it brings out our protective instincts and brings about very strong emotions and behaviors.
Again, I am not trying to upset anyone-just trying to point out that labeling all the bm's as mentally ill is not particularly helpful.

Nicoli's picture

I wasn't the one who diagnosed her. Her psychologist did. It was information that the BM shared with my husband who then asked me what she meant. I am actually a RN and realized I may see much I recognize, but am not in a position to diagnose professionally. I, as a nurse, like to have a diagnosis/explanation to work with in assessing risk, implementing plans, and observing outcome. The unpredictable becomes slightly predictable (how ever false it may be to outsiders) and my life can have some semblance of control. I can also, thanks to her own confession to my husband, predict her next move. Its scary how right I have been...I think we should grasp what ever we can to make our lives as second wives or stepparents easier.

charlene bool's picture

there is a book for people who need to protect themselves legally from relatives/close ones with borderline personality disorder.
Love and loathing: Protecting your mental health and legal rights when your partner has borderline personality disorder by
Randi Krege
good luck!

hismineandours's picture

Another good book about dealing with borderlines is "Walking on Eggshells"

Ssamantha's picture

This book is extremely helpful and it a must read. I practically read it in one night.

We learned that the way we were handling BM was all wrong and just fueling her rages. I also relieved some of the guilt that was felt in our feelings towards her. Unfortunately, it hasn't eased any of the pain in raising the kids with her in their life, but at least we have more measures to protect ourselves and the children.

mmmpork's picture

My boyfriend's ex was actually diagnosed with that category of Type 2 high conflict personality disorder. These include BPD and Narcissism, pretty nasty stuff. Sadly not nasty enough to warrant any real mental health consideration with regards to custody Sad Because she filed (and failed to get) a DVPO against bf, we have a no contact rule. All contact must be in writing. No phone calls or physical meetups unless a 3rd party is present. Currently exchanges are done in a public place. High conflict personalities FEED on conflict. In all emails and interactions, I review what bf is sending to help him keep his language cool and professional, and non-confrontational. That way when her responses are clearly acidic and provocative, it's clear to any 3rd party where the conflict is coming from.

Regarding his daughter, she is young enough that she doesn't fully understand what is going on. We pretty much ignore whatever it sounds like bm is telling her and focus on maintaining a consistent, structured, and loving environment for her. We want her to know that things with us aren't a roller coaster ride like it is at her mom's. At first she had a hard time, but recently she has been responding very well. We can see her just physically relax at the drop off, but tense up again at the pick up. She is her own person and has her own relationship with both households. We know her mom is filling her head with nonsense about us, but we NEVER say anything bad about her mom or make her feel like she can't talk about her. Ultimately she has to decide who she can trust Smile

Dealing with BPD/High conflict personalities is really challenging but as long as you don't let yourself get caught up or engage in the conflict, you should be fine.

Ssamantha's picture

BPD has a reputation for making therapists run. Our family therapist's reaction to it was almost hilarious. Didn't want to touch it.

Good to hear about the 50 thing though. We have about 20 more years to go!

doll faced sm's picture

Hrm. . . I ponder if I should even say this, but here goes:

None of you, so far, know what dissociation means in the psychological sense. It does not mean you stop talking to people or even remove yourself from a situation (i.e. moving around a lot, job hopping, etc.); it means you see the world happening around you, but not to you. In it's most extreme sense, it's known as Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder). is a good resource for understanding and is written so as to be easily understood.

The *only* cure for BPD is talk therapy. If there are comorbidities present (i.e. depression), medication may be able to help with those, but there is no pill that will aid in overcoming BPD.

Most of you don't seem to be talking about people with BPD, you seem to be talking about NPD.

roseslady2's picture

My DH has bipolar disorder and he deals with quite a bit of emotional disregulation and mental disregulation. This does not make him an unfit parent in and of itself. Because I am in his life, he is able to function much like someone without these issues. Because he is able to regularly take his suppplements and regulate his eating and exercise routine, he is able to contrl his mental illness. Much like a diabetic, if he misses his meds, he has an episode. Just like if we don't have our coffee in the morning or we sleep less than we need, he will have emotional outbursts. I don't think the solution is cutting that parent off from their children. I think educating the kids and the rest of the family on their illlness and what to do about it when there's an episode is far more beneficial to the kids and the family. It is also important to make sure the parent as well as the children have adequate counselling. That can help keep some of those issues to a minimum.

StrongStepMom's picture

Does anyone in this forum have reason to suspect that their skids are also suffering from some kind of personality disorder? So few of them are diagnosed in children. We believe my youngest SD does and will have a psych eval soon. DH is of the mindset that unless someone tells him he CANT fix it he's going to keep trying...very noble except he's active duty military and I'll be playing single mom to her mostly. Advice?

lilmisspants's picture

Oh boy do I have some experience on this subject. Being that, my own stepmother whom I lived with for ten years of pure hell had BPD. I can't even begin to describe the horror she put my family through.
However I can tell you that it is extremely difficult to get these people diagnosed. Mostly because they are very manipulative and most Doctors will believe what they are telling them. I know that the laws are different for each state as far as getting a court ordered mental evaluation, but in my state we needed two signatures of immediate family members. Well I will tell you how that went, my father was willing to sign for the sake of our family, however all the rest of her family members (while they acknowledged she needed it) were terrified of what would happen to them when she got out.
Well, after many restraining orders and felony stalking charges, the court finally ordered a mental evaluation of her, and diagnosed her with BPD. Now I've grown up and tried to move on with my life, and razzle dazzle guess what my husbands ex is CRAZY! Pretty sure she has all the traits of BPD as well. FML.