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Olliesmum
Casual Contributor

Older Parent with Borderline Personality Disorder

Hello everyone. I happened to chance about the SANE website this evening and felt an enormous relief.  I may now be able to share experiences with others in a similar situation. Do any of you have a BPD parent? Mine is also elderly which adds additional stress and complications. I would greatly appreciate sharing stories and strategies ( if they exist!!!!). Looking forward to hearing from you 😊

13 REPLIES 13

Re: Older Parent with Borderline Personality Disorder

hello and welcome to the forum @Olliesmum 

How are you going today 

Letting you know you are not alone my friend 

@Determined@BPDSurvivor 

Re: Older Parent with Borderline Personality Disorder

hello @Olliesmum , here if you want to chat my friend 

Re: Older Parent with Borderline Personality Disorder

Hey @Olliesmum ,

 

Welcome to these forums! 

I can't really relate to having an older parent with BPD, but I can relate and tell you about our somewhat "twisted" thinking! LOL. I was diagnosed with BPD over 20 years ago. I am much better now, but it has taken a lot of hard work and determination.

 

When you say "older" parent, are they cognitively able to understand their condition? Do they realise there are issues? 

Well, a few things which help me are:

- don't tell me what to do (this takes away my feeling of empowerment in an already-unstable world). Give me choices or make "suggestions".

- setting boundaries eg. when I am in a rage, walk away; if I abuse you, do not tolerate it; if I self harm and need medical treatment, medical treatment will be sought; if I run-away, police will be contacted.

- consistency - if you say you will do something, do it. If you say you won't do something, don't do it.

- tell me before you leave me and organise next date/time of contact

- give me space when I am inconsolable - don't waste your time trying to reason with me.

- work WITH me, not FOR or AGAINST me. 
- open communication is crucial

 

I really can't put 20 years in a few points. But I want you to know, please be patient. We are simply emotional babies trapped in an adult's body. Our emotional self has not grown up. We label you as "good" or "bad" based on the last thing you have done for us. For example, if you showed kindness, you will be seen as "good"; if you hurt us in someway, you will be seen as "bad" despite all the good you have ever done. It's not because we do not appreciate your care and love, but our emotional instability allows us only to see your last action.

 

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

 

BPDSurvivor

Re: Older Parent with Borderline Personality Disorder

Thank you for your message. It really is appreciated. Some days I am absolutely despairing. What is your experience with BPD? 

Re: Older Parent with Borderline Personality Disorder

Hi @Olliesmum ,

 

Hrm... my experience with BPD? It's challenging, unpredictable, and hard to comprehend. On the other hand, it's an amazing, life-altering journey which teaches us about our true inner self and others.

 

Have you ever sustained a burn? Well, for me, as a borderline, it is like having third degree burns to the emotional self. Every bump or nudge is excruciating. These bumps cause us to focus on the pain and we cannot see beyond the pain. Once the pain subsides, we can tolerate a little of what you say - but it's limited.

 

Targeted talking therapy helps pwBPD look beyond these burns. To see more of self and others. To understand self-harm is a great short-term release, yet does not deal with the underlying instability and emptiness. To develop a sense of identity - what does the 'ideal' me look like?

 

BPD recovery is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time, persistence and determination. It requires people around us to communicate with us, stick to boundaries and bear with us. We don't mean to hurt or upset you.

 

People can and do recover from BPD. It is not a life sentence.

 

If you have any other questions, please ask away. The more you know, the better equipped you will be.

 

BPDSurvivor

 

 

Re: Older Parent with Borderline Personality Disorder

I greatly appreciate your information on the boundaries and not doing what we say we are going to do. Incredibly helpful. I know if I arrive at 11 am after saying 10 30 am I am met by a barrage of strong verbal abuse. I can see how this can exacerbate the "pain" for the person with BPD. My mother's fear of abandonment has been fulfilled as people have left.... I am the only one remaining and I feel so desperately alone and also sad for her.

 

Re: Older Parent with Borderline Personality Disorder

Thank you Shaz for your appreciated and warm welcome 

Re: Older Parent with Borderline Personality Disorder

Hi @Olliesmum ,

 

How's things? 

Thank you for you message where you were able to share some of your experiences with us surrounding your mother with BPD. 

Although she may be "older", emotionally she is still a child. A child is very needy, in need of comforting, looking for security, and often it is hard to see beyond self. If you look at her behaviours as though you are seeing the behaviours of a child, you will have much more patience and understanding.

 

As an "older" parent, it's hard to know whether it is worth helping her 'recover', or simply dealing with it. Also, it is true what you said about having only you left - her very fear causes abandonment to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more she fears it, the deeper the hole she is digging for herself due to her behaviour. I promise, she is not there to hurt you. Please don't take things to heart - it is the child within her that is speaking. For example, if you are 30 mins late, so much anxiety has built up in the 30mins that when she sees you, she is like an exploding volcano. This is due to her insecurity. Actually, 30mins is pretty good. I spoke with my psychologist last week and told him he was 2 mins late. LOL.

 

All the best. Please @Olliesmum , don't feel like you are alone. We are here to support each other,

BPDSurvivor

Re: Older Parent with Borderline Personality Disorder

hello @Olliesmum , how are you going today my friend 

@BPDSurvivor 

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