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Looking after ourselves

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Dlh
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Help! A sister with BPD

Hello all☺️ I am 19 and live alone with my 22 year old sister who has undiagnosed BPD. For the last 5 years, she has struggled a lot with mental stability and lashing out at my mum and i-terrible harsh words or even worse text messages and occasionally agression. She refuses to see a psycologist. I lived overseas last year, & by the end of 12 months i’d found all my hurt and resentment for her had dissipated- I was SO ready to have a good relationship, start again. Despite coping better, i find it terribly difficult to find balance between ‘getting walked all over’ and agreeing to everything she demands, to a total disaster of her yelling and throwing my things, or nasty texts that leave me shaken and exhausted. Does anyone else have someone close to them with BPD, (who refuses to acknowledge it) and any tips on responding when they are in a bad mood in a way where you are not just submitting to their every ask, eg. How can i respond when she demands i do some cleaning(which i was planning to do anyway-she seems to just jump at the chance to treat me like an employee). Any help much appreciated and much respect for anyone who is in this struggle with me. Thanks, Dlh

4 REPLIES 4

Re: Help! A sister with BPD

I am in the exact same situations as you, living with undiagnosed BPD sister. The last year has been very turbulent to say the least and I almost told her to move out the other day! I knew something needed to change so I armed myself with knowledge on BPD. Read as much as I could! And I have booked in therapy for myself. The best, most basic advice I came across so far, was to never respond with any of these three emotions: anxiety, guilt or hostility, this just feeds them. Happy to answer any questions you might have, but yea, everyday is a hard learning curve, so I do all I can to better myself so that things do not escalate. Good luck! 

Re: Help! A sister with BPD

Many thanks for your response. I have met very few people in close relationships with those with BPD, or perhaps I have and it has just not been brought up in conversation. I find it so hard that my friends can so easily share of family struggling with diseases or broken bones, deppression or anxiety, yet BPD noone seems to know much at all about and it is exhausting to explain something i don't fully understand myself. I think it is a lot easier to talk to with people who are dealing with a similar situation and understand the full complexities. I guess i also am reluctant to share my experience with people i know out of respect and being protective over her-naturally, hearing how she sometimes treats me and my family, people are quick to conclude she is simply a bad person-but she's still my sister. Thank you for the advice- I don't have so much trouble with guilt as conflict is very unprovoked, but definitely anxiety and hostility-no matter how much i try to not allow myself to build up resentment, it almost seems impossible when all i do is try and make her feel loved and accepted. I am looking into therapy and also want to work on mindfulness and educating myself about the disorder further. Can i ask, does your sister ever lie about you to your parents? How do you clear your mind of hateful thoughts and deal with the toxic negative energy in the house/apartment when she is on a low? Do you think there is any way to coerce people with BPD into getting counselling(some say first they must hit rock bottom but withdrawing support seems the last thing they need)? Do you talk about it with your friends? Would be very grateful to hear more from you as it really is a continuous learning curve. 

Re: Help! A sister with BPD

Oh it really is a continuous learning curve!! The latest technique I have come across is called Medium Chill. This is the most effective thing I’ve done so far, it might be worthwhile for you to look this up.. things have been much calmer for both me and her since I started doing this.. theres lots of info out there about it. 

getting therapy, reading and learning as much as you can about BPD, and also maybe check your local area to see if there are any support groups? I have come across one specifically for carers of BPD sufferers.. these things will all help you! Also Facebook groups if you are on there? 

My parents and I have a united front when it comes to how we manage here, but yes, she does tell some stories sometimes...

I have one friend that I confide in with this, it is not something I personally feel like divulging to a big group of people who wouldn’t really understand.. I take a lot of time out these days for self care, meditation, doing things I love, spending time with people who are positive in my life. It’s so important to look after yourself first! You have to remember that you can’t change her, but you can change you and how you feel and handle things.

As for counselling for the BPD sufferer, I can tell you in my case, she would be totally against the idea so I don’t bother, I have suggested in the past and she has some excuses for not doing it. I really hope this helps! I feel in a much better place lately, hoping the same outcome for you too! 

Re: Help! A sister with BPD

Hi @Dlh, it sounds like you are going through a tough time right now. The important thing is to look after yourself as well, which @Screamqueen also mentions. How are you feeling today?

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