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My Daughter Has BPD: What Can I Do?

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Helping daughter with BPDAs they stand, parent-daughter relationships provide their own unique set of challenges. So it is no surprise that this relationship can prove even more difficult when you’re contending with a psychiatric disorder such as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

If your daughter has Borderline Personality Disorder, it is important to keep certain guidelines in mind. Your daughter’s emotional vulnerability and difficulty with regulating her emotions can create feelings of helplessness in you. Don’t despair. There are steps you can take to help maintain a healthy relationship with your daughter.

Educate Yourself about BPD

The more you know about Borderline Personality Disorder, the better equipped you will be to face the challenges associated with living with this disorder. There is a wealth of resources available to you, including websites, books, and treatment centers for BPD.

Learning more about BPD will ultimately allow you to better empathize as you learn to separate your daughter’s personality from symptoms associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.

Are you or a loved one struggling with emotions that feel out of control? Have you been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)? No matter what type of treatment you need, Clearview Women’s Center can help. With residential, day, and outpatient programs, Clearview is proud to be one of the only Borderline Personality Disorder treatment centers in the country that offers a complete continuum of care.

Clearview’s experienced intake counselors will help determine which treatment options is best for you. A team of experts will put together an individualized treatment plan for BPD focused on your specific need. Call (866) 756-8819 now or complete the form below to get started on your path to recovery.

With that said, you will learn that it’s important that you also keep the following in mind:

Don’t take your daughter’s behavior personally. Realize that your daughter’s disorder is no one’s fault and it is not about you. It isn’t possible to always have the “right” response to avoid your daughter lashing out at you. Your daughter’s emotional instability and your subsequent tumultuous relationship are hallmarks of Borderline Personality Disorder. Recognize that these challenges may further complicate an already complex dynamic.  

Don’t hesitate to seek therapy for yourself and other family members. Family or individual therapy can not only help educate you about Borderline Personality Disorder, but it can provide you with skill sets for coping with your daughter.

A good therapist can teach you the importance of establishing healthy boundaries and how to best respond to your daughter’s erratic behavior and mood swings. Understand that recovery from BPD is possible, but it is a process.

You are most likely dealing with your own anxieties, stress, and pain, and it’s important that you don’t lose your sense of self amidst your desire to help your daughter. Find balance and don’t neglect to take care of yourself and your own needs. Support groups can help to provide you with a sense of community and comfort, as well as remind you that you are not alone. 

Don’t attempt to treat your daughter’s BPD on your own. Your daughter will need to seek Borderline Personality Disorder treatment herself if she is to recover. However, she must also have the desire to change to truly experience long-lasting effects.

Because your daughter may also be engaging in self-destructive behaviors — such as substance abuse, self-harm, or an eating disorder — she will also need to see a professional to help overcome these tendencies. Many treatment centers for Borderline Personality Disorder treat these co-occurring disorders along with BPD for a more comprehensive recovery.

Find balance between supporting your daughter while establishing limits. It’s important to maintain a constant presence in your daughter’s life as she is receiving BPD treatment, especially since abandonment issues are common for people with BPD.

However, you shouldn’t compromise your own needs in the process. Your love for your daughter and desire to be supportive do not mean you have to subject yourself to her unpredictable behavior and abuse. Instead, assure your daughter that you love her and won’t leave her, but explain that you must distance yourself when she behaves in a certain manner toward you. You don’t want to invalidate your daughter, but try to balance this with the need for change.

There is no doubt that as the parent of a daughter with Borderline Personality Disorder, your life is fraught with troublesome circumstances that can often lead you to feel hopeless. However, with enough effective therapy, support, and adequate use of coping skills, you can not only empower yourself to live a balanced life, but you can also develop and sustain a meaningful and lasting relationship with your daughter.


  1. I am not certain that it can be this easy. I have lived with a borderline mother and now a borderline daughter. I suffer, myself, with social phobia, agoraphobia, and panic attacks. It has become nearly impossible for me to have dealings with either of these two important women in my life. I find that the peace I require comes only during those times when they are not in contact with me. Also, my psychiatrist has encouraged me to not be alone with them ever, but to have someone with me at all times. The advice here is very easy to give from the point of view of “normal” professionals, but in practice it lacks much.

  2. I too am the generation between borderline mother and daughter. I am a successful mental health professional but cannot reach my daughter. I should have set firmer boundaries long ago. I absolutely can’t take her rude and disrepectful outbursts anymore. She is unapproachable because, like my mother, she is never wrong and disagreeing with her is not optional. My mother is now deceased. My daughter is 46 and acts like she is 15 much of the time. Endless melodrama to the point where she actually believes her outrageous distortion of the truth. I love her but I don’t like her or her behavior.

  3. Joyce Reed

    I, too have a borderline mother and an adult daughter who is borderline along with depression. My life can be a living hell. I am an only child, so I have to have some contact with my mother. My daughter is married with three boys. Her husband has been so patient, but is finally reaching his limit, because she is hurting her boys. I do my best to be the best grandmother I can be to her boys. They do not deserve this. She has not bathed or left the house for 6 months. She had an affair and was discovered. Her husband allowed her to return home which is when she “went to bed”. We have tried everything. Two hospitalizations, which she refused treatment. I wish there was some one who could help her. There are times when I feel so overwhelmed and would give up if not for the boys.

  4. My daughter has borderline/narcissist and it is a struggle. She creates so much conflict in our lives. She is already grown, is a therapist, and throws tantrums when anyone (including me) tries to tell her she acts in ways that are inappropriate. She thinks she is bound by no rules but everyone else has to follow rules. She hates my husband and causes stress in my marriage. Half the time I don’t know which is worse – the borderline or the narcissism. This has been a helpful support chain.

  5. My daughter will be 20 this year…she is living with me since september 2014. She was putting herself in dangerous situations so, since I was stressing out so much, I decided to accept her living here once again…unfortunately, things are not going well….I am almost on the brink of a mental shutdown myself….help please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. I, too, have a daughter of 25 diagnosed last year with BPD. Whilst it does explain the erratic and destructive behaviour for the last 10 years, and she is under the watch of the mental health team, her behaviour just gets more extreme. I feel I did the best I could to bring her up well but she veers from telling me I am amazing to making me feel like the worst mother ever. It is a comfort to read stories like mine.

  7. Ladies, thankyou for posting on this site…what a sense of relief I feel after reading your comments, as the culmination of my daughter’s behaviour has resulted in me being given temporary custody of my 3 month old grand daughter while she is in Psych care (certified)…and her partner is no better either. Baby was removed 4 weeks ago due to their amphetamine use and domestic violence. I knew something was about to crack after getting (yet another) string of vitriolic text messages from her a week before the Child protection workers stepped in. Messages were more like essays….stating I had several mental illnesses and disorders, accusing me of harming my other grandaughter (from her previous relationship – she is 6 and has been with her Dad for the last 4 years)….even had the police turn up here to check on me because she made an anonymous call saying I was severely unwell and threatening to commit suicide!. Yes, it is so hurtful and distressing, and I have been told she has been posting the most awful untruths about me on her Face book page (while she is still in the locked Psych Unit). She is absolutely distraught that I have the baby, saying I will drug her and abuse her, telling all and sundry she was abused and abandoned by me….yet she is the one who has abandoned 2 children now, smoked dope and taken amphetamines through both pregnancies, and god knows what else. I have had to set the firmest possible boundaries in order to maintain my own mental health, and have learned not to respond at all when she sends the “psychotic” messages….and now that she is “safe” (and so is everyone else) by being “locked up”, I am focusing on looking after both of my granddaughters, hoping that they don’t grow up with the same disorder.
    May we all gain strength from each others stories. Bless you all.

  8. My daughter is 21 and has been saying she has BPD for a few years. Her moods are quite changeable, but she is mostly feeling down. When she is cheerful, it’s like having back the daughter that I sometimes feel has gone. ‘I can’t say anything right, and I don’t understand’ is what I’m always told. I am not equipped in dealing with BPD, although I have tried to get her support which is frustrating when she fails to turn up for appointments.

  9. My daughter has BDP and temporal epilepsy. Almost constant acting out, constant drama, the attempts of suicide mostly fake but you never know, academic failure, risky behaviour, this is a norm from her early teens. I am in a constant state of high alert, not knowing what she will do next. She is also disrespectful, manipulative, she steals big sums of money from me. Not for drugs, but clothes or gadgets. We had a drug fueled period too, but this is behind us, I hope. She is 20 now. I see how children bring joy to parents, that parental love is returned. Not here. It hurts. She feels I am the chief culprit in her life, and telling this to everyone willing to listen, from doctors to social workers, to police who were engaged in rescuing her from dangerous situations. I did my best to raise her and almost alone, loved her to the bits, worked very hard. Had she been a man I would cut it short, gone from the abusive relationship. But what to do when your abuser is your child, and child in need? I can see very well that she wants to get better, and is trying to. Last year when she was in a hospital treatment for a short while she was herself, and now, when I am on the very end of my strenght, I am remembering it. I am not sure is it better to move from her and clear her way or not. If I go, will she take medicine? If I stay around will I survive her abuse? I hope she will be better with years.

  10. I have a daughter that is almost 18 yrs old. Early in childhood she was diagnosed with Aspergers, oppositional behavior, etc. She has been hospitalized 6 times, residential treatment 1 time, and intensive outpatient programs 2 times. Last year “personality disorder” was added to her diagnosis. She has been in counseling for years, weekly. IT IS NOT EASY and honestly I am to the point where I don’t think I can help her. I think the problem with helping her is that to be helped you have to recognize you need it and then want it. All the DBT therapy in the world isn’t going to help her while her distorted thinking keeps her from thinking clearly.

  11. My daughter is 17 and has been diagnosed with ADHD since the age of 8. She took medication until she was 14. At age 14 she started having the aggressive outburst.
    She has been in several mental hospitals and they release her after three days. She refuses to take medication but has started running away from home and doing illegal drugs. When I find her on the streets I bring her back home where she is safe but my husband and I are miserable. We cannot function as a family when she is here, but we worry ourselves sick when she is not. I have tried to get her into a residential facility without any luck. I just feel hopeless!

  12. I have a daughter who I am fairly certain has BPD. She has not been diagnosed with this as far as I know but has been treated for depression since the age of 14 (she’s now 27). She has an ongoing eating disorder and substance abuse issues. She has had several suicide attempts/threats and been hospitalized twice. When she is in a good place she is pleasant and fun to be around, but unfortunately these times do not last long. She is usually angry and aggressive towards me as I can rarely say “the right thing”. It is causing me a lot of anxiety as I am constantly worrying about her and feeling as though I need to help her somehow. My other two children have pretty much written her off and have a hard time seeing that there is a mental disorder here – they believe she is selfish and spoiled. She does display a lot of selfish behaviors so I can understand how they are feeling. I am at a loss right now – I don’t know what to do anymore…I know I need to set better boundaries but it is so difficult…any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

  13. I am the Mother of a BPD daughter..Although I have a grasp of the illness, I don’t fully understand it…She was very loved and wanted..Her older sister is very stable and secure..I have been with her Father for twenty five years and we are very happy…No neglect or abuse…So it isn’t always the case……So it isn’t always a case of neglect and abuse?!!!!

  14. In my family, BPD is inherited. I can look back three generations and find the women who had it. My mother was an undiagnosed BPD, so was her mom. My sister has it, as well as two of my female cousins. It seems only appear in the women in the family.

    There also seems to be some involvement with allergies. Girls with bad allergies when young seem predisposed to BPD.

    I think there is some genetic trigger for some people. It can show up in “normal” families as well as abusive ones.

  15. I have a 29 year old daughter with BPD and although she’s getting excellent treatment she can’t follow through with good decisions. She puts herself and her son in abusive situations with men who are scum. Her behavior has caused me serious health issues and she does everything to try to destroy me. I’m only in her life because of my grandson and don’t know if I can do it anymore. At what point do I put my happiness and sanity first?

  16. Terri, read the book “How to Stop Walking on Eggshells.”

  17. My daughter has (undiagnosed) BPD. She refuses treatment. I love her so much but she is so emotionally unstable and self centred that I fear for her future. Once again just today she has exploded at me and I am the worst mother in the world. She is breaking my heart. I just don’t know what to do.

  18. Charlotte

    A few months ago my 21 year old daughter was diagnosed with BPD. I can guarantee you, that there has been no harm whatsoever done to my daughter at any time. We lover her and have cried many tears for her not being happy in her life.
    Just like you, I am in a longtime good marriage with my husband. We also have an 18-year old son who is living the happy life of a healthy teenager. I too have felt disturbed when sources claim that parents, families, and mothers are to blame for BPD. But you know what? That’s what they used to say about Schizophrenia (“It takes a few generations of dysfunctional family members”) and about Autism (The mothers were claimed to be “cold” or “distant”).
    I think that when a mental illness is hard to cure and a physical source cannot be found, blaming it on the parents is temptingly easy …..
    Good luck to you and your daughter

  19. I am also in between a BPD mother, who is a hoarder, and a 20 year old BPD daughter. My daughter came from a solid, secure family home and has had a loving relationship with us her entire life.We were a very close, very loving family, with no alcoholism, no drug use, no abuse.We did everything for and with our girls.(I have 2 daughters) We always knew there was something different about my older daughter, however she radiated such a sweetness and joy on her good days we didn’t know what was “off”. Then we learned about her lies. She is brilliant, and had a complex web of stories and lies built around herself that we had believed for many months. She stayed so close to me so that she could build her stories and monitor what I was doing -to better hide what she was doing. After over 5 months of deceit about her schooling (she was failing ) and boyfriend (he was a secret) she became manic.She was was hospitalized for 5 days for mania and was loosely diagnosed with manic depression.She was put on medication but checked herself out with her abusive boyfriend,(now fiance) and refuses treatment or follow up. She never even gave therapy a chance. She has since dropped out of college and was fired from her job (for tardiness) At this point she is destroying her credit and has lost most of her friends. She continues to lie to us. Whenever she visits she is demanding, manipulative and abusive.Her joy is gone. I finally reached my limit and asked her to take a recess. It was not an easy decision and I miss her (the person she was) every day. It is heartbreaking to lose a child. It is worse to lose yourself. The distance has been a good thing for us here. My other daughter, age16, is beginning to relax again, We are trying to stay educated about this disorder, and are still searching for answers. My theory is that there is a physical attribute to these disorders,such as a faulty thyroid, although I have found very little information to support that theory.

    Ironically I can now better understand my mother and why she chooses the life she has. She also was in an abusive relationship, also tells incredible lies, and is also always the victim. She has built a wall of garbage and junk around herself to hide from her (self inflicted) neglect and emotional pain. Both women are stubborn. both are strong willed. Both are brilliant.Both are impulsive. Both are manipulative. I see one as a beginning and the other as the end – untreated- result. In truth, I have tried to help my mother for years. I am trying to stay positive and set positive boundaries. It isn’t that there is a lack of love for the women in my life that have shaped my world, however, there has to be a place for self care and self love. I have realized that if I do not step back and set some limits, I will not be able to hold myself together for the rest of my family and loved ones. I am trusting in the belief that we all need some boundaries in order to find peace. And in that moment of peace, we can still have hope for those that we love.

  20. No, it is definitely not always the case that the child was neglected or abused. It may be one of many similar mood disorders. Labels can be helpful but also misleading. One size doesn’t fit all.

  21. My daughter is 26 and I believe she has BPD. She has been diagnosed with depression, ODD, and an anxiety disorder. She has problems with substance abuse and with the legal system. I signed commitment papers on her this week. She had been released from jail on house arrest and came to my house. I believe she was psychotic. She is extremely angry with me because I have her two children. So when she came to my house she would stare me down and follow me with her eyes (every move I made). When I would tell her to stop she would get angry. I had visions of her standing over me with a knife. She was only here for 3 days but that was enough to make me feel as if I was going crazy. Thankfully, the local mental health agency and the legal system have been very supportive and seem concerned for her well-being. We will have court in four days to determine if she will be hospitalized. I hope that she can get some help this time. My biggest fear is that she will go back on the streets. I can’t let her live with me because she causes disruption with the kids and her behavior towards me can be quite threatening. Both of her children, ages 5 and 7, have been diagnosed with an adjustment disorder.

    Shelley, I agree, it is not always due to abuse or neglect. I did everything I could for my daughter. I do think, in my case, her problems are a combination of genetics and substance abuse. Her father is an addict (we have been divorced for 20 years) and is diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Thank you all for sharing your stories – they sound so familiar.

  22. I am the mother of a 22 year old daughter who was diagnosed a few years ago with BPD.
    I am so frustrated with her lies, money problems, venting etc. It’s very exhausting on us and we are helping her with her school and apartment financially but she doesn’t seem to appreciate anything . We have always been there for her. She has tried to commit suicide twice in the last 2 years and I am always scared of it happening again.. It was very traumatic finding her the 2nd time overdosed in her bedroom. I thought she was gone… and I live with that image every day…
    I help her as much as I can but I am feeling so drained with all her ups and downs.
    I just wonder if I should give her tough love? (Which I don’t think is in me to do… :( )
    I am at the point I don’t know what to do anymore…

  23. Michelle

    What “cuts” me is the labelling of the mother as the major factor in the development of BPD. The psychiatric staff and researchers have Maximum 8 hours work with a borderliner child or adult. The families are full-time living and coping with someone they love. This stigmatisation of someone who worked hard to give both her daughter and other children a loving, non-judgemental, encouraging (and yes, with structure!) home environment wears me out.

  24. My adult daughter was diagnosed with ODD as a child and she is 30 yrs old now and it appears she has BPD. I have her children because she doesn’t have the financial or emotional ability to take care of them. She is very charming, manipulative, an expert liar, and has drained us financially. She has never held a steady job. She never says thank-you and doesn’t appreciate anything you do for her. She cycles through friends because she only needs them when they can do something for her. I could go on and on. My husband and I have finally had enough because it is wearing us down. She grew up in a stable and loving environment. There is no environmental cause for her illness. I urge anyone who is dealing with a loved one with this illness to seek professional assistance to help guide them through the turbulent relationship that comes from this illness.

  25. I too have a daughter with extreme personality disorder and narcissistic issues. She was blessed with a great childhood and family. Always had everything. After turning 25, she went full bore hatred of me and her younger sister because I divorced her dad.

    She is brilliant and highly successful but changes jobs due to her lack of empathy and seeks vengeance for any little perception of someone doing her wrong. We have been shunned for a year now which is peaceful, but she just had a baby who is blind and deaf. My heart aches for them because I would think she would need a lot of support and help, but, nope, she still wants no contact.

    I fear for the future of her baby and for her due to the stress that no doubt will come from such life challenges. Her husband is just as bad as she is. I have such sorrow and grief that it’s unbearable right now. All I can do is hope God will show them the way forward and that I can let go with love.

  26. Nisey Bichel

    My daughter has BPD, is now 18 and has been estranged from our family for the last 3 1/2 yrs. Believe you me, that has not stopped her from causing absolute havoc with our family. Just prior to her turning 14, we started having the aggressive outbursts, she ran away from home once and cut herself once. I was neglecting my house and family chasing help and understanding from every available source – medical, mental health, support groups, books and the internet. Mind you, it didn’t help that I didn’t have the label at this point, she had only been diagnosed with Aspergers at 12 yrs of age (it took me 10 yrs to achieve that diagnosis!). I had medication referred by a psychiatrist but couldn’t get a GP to provide it, as she was classed as an adult at 14 and would refuse the medication. I had no legal rights as her parent and was literally treated as just the taxi driver by the GP. She comes from a very supportive, encouraging and loving family, but we were never good enough for her. I am an extremely intuitive, maternal mother and absolutely love and adore babies. She is the eldest of 6 children (number 6 only came along as a surprise as a result of stress after she had left home). During her childhood she expressed jealousy towards the other children because they could innately have a loving relationship with us as parents and she could never naturally express any emotions. She could be joyous and happy at times, the good memories, and very intelligent and talented, but found it very difficult to express her feelings. Inheritance is more the key to the problem I believe. After being provided with the label of BPD for my daughter and becoming educated, I have no doubt in my mind that my mother-in-law also suffers from this disorder. We always commented how alike they were as my daughter grew and joked that grandparents had a lot to answer for. I haven’t spent enormous time with my sister-in-law to make a proper informed and educated judgement, but I do believe I can also see the disorder in her as well. The psychiatrist did not label her condition as BPD (in Australia they are not allowed to until they are 18 yrs of age), he just nicked named it as “The Poor Jessica Syndrome” which described her psychotic manipulation. He told us that anyone who felt this response to her would become our worst enemies in life, as she is extremely good at what she does, often playing the victim. As a result, we have lost all of our family over her, my side of the family and my husbands. This is known as ‘splitting’. She has always had anxiety problems and has a fear of not being accepted. She is extremely good at copying and mimicking others behaviours in order to cover and disguise her inadequacies or flaws. She makes threats and has gone to no ends to try to make them succeed. The threats will most likely be based on a weakness they have found in you. She told us that by the time she was finished, we would have nobody left – she has won that battle, we have no family left. She has threatened to have our other children taken away from us and tried on a number of occasions, the last time saw her go to the extent of getting DOCS involved, mind you she had been away from home for 12 mths and was chasing the government funding to make life easier for herself. She cannot manipulate us and fool us, like she does with relatives and other people and this makes her angry and she seeks to punish us. I am mainly her target. She tries to make me look like the ‘crazy’ one and the weaknesses she has found in me is through my other children, she knows that will hurt me. She also knows that I was unable to handle her violent and abusive outbursts due to growing up in a family of witnessing abusive situations, so another way she has found to hurt me by accusing us of emotional abuse and blaming us for her anxiety problems, You have to develop broad shoulders, as they will get you to carry the burdens of their life. She didn’t handle entering high school and all the different peer groups and the fear of not being accepted. Her condition heightened with puberty and the word ‘adolescent’ meant adult to her and she went cold turkey on parents almost overnight, but could not manage her disorder on her own. I could go on and on……we have been to hell and back several times over the past 4 1/2 yrs with her and the experiences have been so traumatizing that I developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I have almost found peace, can see light at the end of the tunnel and am regaining my confidence each day. I had to let her go for the health and safety of my other children and our family, but my eternal pain, being such a maternal mother, is how to love a daughter that causes so much destruction and crosses so many lines of acceptable behaviours and causes so much irreparable damage.

  27. My daughter is 19 and I believe she has BPD, though she has not been diagnosed. We’ve had her to see several therapists but she refuses to continue with treatment as soon as they establish a relationship with her. She has refused any and all medication that therapists or doctors have recommended or prescribed. She has been using drugs for the better part of 3 years, essentially self-medicating. It has affected her behaviour as well ~ her mood swings, outbursts and generally unpredictable behaviour are incredibly draining on our family.

    As many have already said, when she’s having a good day (or days) it’s almost like having my daughter back again – but most of the time, I don’t recognize who she has become. I have spent many sleepless nights wondering what to do and how to help her (and the rest of us). She seems to blame me for everything and lashes out at me in particular. No matter what I do, it’s wrong and I can never do “enough” or “the right thing,” whatever it happens to be. I have reached out for help but she somehow seems to fall between the cracks of mental health & addiction and we’re repeatedly told “you can’t help her unless/ until she wants to help herself.” It’s killing us.

    This site has been very helpful – at least I don’t feel so alone

  28. Katerina

    I have been looking for support for a while, just to know that others know how I feel. My daughter is 26 and has BPD. She causes me so much worry and anxiety. I used to worry about her bad choices and constant health issues or accidents, job problems, relationship problems, but lately I am the victim of her verbal abuse and I now get panicky if I see she has called, wondering what’s next?

    I block her on my phone for a while to get some peace. I don’t know how else to stop the feelings of anxiety and I now have high blood pressure. I have spent 10 years worrying about her and now I worry for myself. I want to be around for my lovely sons and husband as much as anything. I have tried to support her in every way, but it is never enough and soon forgotten by her. She was loved and cherished as a child. It is heartbreaking.

  29. Catherina Emery

    My daughter is now 18 and was diagnosed with Borderline Emotional and Personality Disorder about 6 months ago, despite having mental health issues for years. All I can say is my daughter is loved and cherished by me and her family, but nothing we ever did was appreciated. I’ve put up with the verbal abuse, lies, manipulative behaviour to the point that it has broken me as a person. I just hope one day that a professional out there relieves the massive pressure that families are dealing with daily. The stories on here make me sad that so many are living with this stress, but the stories also show how each case is similar. I wish there was more support for individuals suffering from BPD, and also more support for families out there.

  30. I am very distraught over my daughter’s behavior and while she hasn’t been fully diagnosed as BPD, her therapist did say she had the symptoms. This was actually a very helpful read in that it highlighted everything I am going through right now with my daughter. It also made me realize that I should seek therapy in order to learn how to deal with it. I do feel a sense of relief.

    Thank you.


  31. I am so glad to have found this site. My daughter is 38 with two children of her own. They are now in a foster care because of her behavior. It’s heartbreaking and I didn’t know how to help as we were too old to take on the children. My daughter has now been diagnosed with BPD and it all fits perfectly with what I’ve read and stories I’ve seen. We are still in the middle of this crisis, but I don’t feel alone anymore. My husband has been so supportive for a stepfather, but it’s not fair at his age to put too much on him. My elder daughter with three children is fine. This site has given me comfort.

  32. I know that a lot of parents of BPD children are as confused and scared as the suffers are. I’ve studied this disorder for years. Stop denying your children emotions! Invalidation of the sensitive child can allow borderline to flourish. Invalidation is not necessarily intended to be abusive, but it can be extremely intrusive to the individual.

    Yes, a lot of the problem is parental and environmental. I understand that no parent wants to admit that they may have had faults that caused their children distress. The key to recovery is admitting when you’re wrong and accepting responsibility – for both the BPD and parent alike.

    Communication is essential for the borderline’s ease of mind. Many of the symptoms play obviously on abandonment and emotions. The wide majority of these people have gone through trauma, but we tend to forget that trauma is not always abuse or extreme but can be subtle and done through good intentions. Trauma is what your mind perceives and it’s NOT a set group of circumstances.

    If you’ve ever told your child things like, “you shouldn’t feel sad,” or simply told your child to “smile” when they are upset, it is emotional invalidation, but it is presented in a way that is intended to be positive and helpful. Even well-intentioned parents can contribute to the causation of BPD and not even realize. There is very well reasons why professionals consider the parents’ influential to the disorder – because THEY ARE.

    Children of parents who invalidate them without intending harm have a better chance to regulate themselves and learn how to develop the same as other children in regards to emotional regulation. If one is constantly denied their emotions, told that their very reality of feeling is wrong or invalid – whether through words or physical abuse – it can confuse and wreak havoc on the development of the child, causing BPD or BPD symptoms later in life.

    BPD, as far as we know, comes from unresolved trauma, chronically invalidating environments, and genetic predisposition. ALTHOUGH parents themselves are not fully to blame, as the child will also experience much of their lives in school and interacting with other children, adults, and the world. We put focus onto the parents because the parental figures are the staple figures for the child and parents should be the caretakers to give their kids methods to cope with real life and emotions.

    Even if you have made mistakes as a parent that may have contributed to the disorder, stop. Forgive yourself, if you knew you did all that you could for your children and tried to the best of your ability to help your child, forgive yourself. Human beings make mistakes and no one is born with the knowledge of how to be a model parent. We all make mistakes but the way to make up for them is to identify the mistake and genuinely make attempts to correct it.

    Some of the biggest keys to helping soothe borderline or prevent a future offspring from developing the disorder is healthy communication and boundaries. Telling a borderline that their feelings are wrong to display or to deny them of their feelings is harmful. Instead, opt for better communication, such as, “I understand that this situation could make you upset.” We should never tell another to stop feeling the way they do. The best thing we can do is accept the emotions and THEN correct the behavior if the need exists. This does not mean blindly agreeing with the individual, but more of understanding where and why the emotion exists in the first place and how to deal with it and resolve it.

    But I firmly believe, borderline or not, that we should learn and adapt this simple way of communication, as validation is healthy for every person and can help tremendously in how we understand and treat those around us.

  33. Haley salais

    I too have a daughter with BPD, she’s 13. We actually had to give her to the system, cps, to try to get the help she needs and that we can’t afford. My city has little to no help for children’s mental illnesses unless you have lots of money. She lives in a distorted reality and believes all her lies. Her emotions are facts in her mind, and you can sway her anyway but her own truth. She wants everyone to believe her version of the truth, but she has never, her whole life, accepted her own faults are believed the real truth, even if it’s obvious. What ever she feels about herself, she attacks others putting those emotions on to them. She verbally abused our other children and us, self harmed, ran away, broke things, was scary violent, and made everyone walk on eggshells around her in fear of what she might do. Many nights I couldn’t sleep in fear. We had helped her for four years with mental health meds, therapy, assistance at school. But she’s incapable of seeing that she’s doing anything wrong, so in her eyes she’s perfect, and we all are to blame, and we all need to change ,not her. So therapy has never been successful. Even though all we have done is help her constantly she still says no one helping. She’s been this way for years and we finally opened up our eyes and seen the damage It was causing the other 4 children, our marriage, and even our bond with our daughter was non existent at this point. So we had our choice but to let the state take guardianship and maybe she can get the help she needs. But then again you can’t help someone who doesn’t think they need any help. It’s very sad, but as parents we have to be parents to all our kids, not just one. Were heartbroken, but we still hang on to hope.

  34. I note (with interest!) a very big difference in the comments of those who have direct, familial experience and those who have “studied the disorder”.

    It would be easy if those with BPD lived in a world where the rest of us were superhuman and able to withstand the constant abuse and violence with a simple “I understand that this situation could make you upset.” But us faulty parents are human too and so subject to many complex emotions of our own. We’re doing the best we can given we had our emotions denied and invalidated in a way our children could only read about because in our day child abuse was expected and accepted because to spare the rod was to spoil the child and children were to be seen and not heard!

    And you’re lucky if your child is simply BPD and not also a narcissist who revels in destroying you and then telling everybody what a terrible mother you are because you left crying! And of course they’re the victim in the story they tell. They threw you out but you abandoned them. They unfriended you on Facebook but they tell everyone you’ve cut them out of your life. So then on top of the BPD abuse, you get even more abuse from the people who have fallen for those lies!

    And why should having BPD excuse someone from common decency and human values anyway? I suffer chronic pain but it doesn’t mean I can be violent and abusive and get away with it. I’d expect to be challenged not to have my “emotions understood”! When your 13yr old child is pinned to the wall with 2 carving knives at his throat and as a result needed 12 months of therapy, it’s very difficult to “accept the emotions”. Why are the parents being told to take responsibilty for every little thing they ever did or said yet the BPD sufferer must be validated at all times?

    Like so many others who have shared their stories here, I didn’t abuse my child. I have 2 others who are fine and if anything, I gave more love/attention/resources/validation to the BPD child than those. But I guess it’s easy to blame the parents – we’re damned if we do, and damned if we don’t. I could do 1,000,000 good, supportive things, all of which are quickly forgotten but he’ll forever remember every single detail of that one off day when I spoke to him in the same tone as he was using with me. Even if it was 23 years ago!

    I feel for each of you who has had your heart broken by a BPD sufferer and then had salt rubbed in the wound being blamed for causing it. Now if only we were BPD ourselves we could freak out about it and get some understanding……. ;o)

  35. I feel like I’m living in a hell that just won’t end. Our 14 year old daughter was diagnosed with BP traits and also has bulimia nervosa, suicidal tendencies whereby she is hospitalized at least monthly, and a severe cutter. She also sneaks alcohol, smokes cannibas and I have heard that she has had sex now as well. It’s like she is on this constant mission of negative, self destruction and taking us down with her. I separated from her father who has undiagnosed BPD, trust me he fits every criteria and has refused any mental health treatment while we were married for 27 years. His behaviour in the last year we were together with the girls was deplorable from sleeping with other women in our house, even one instance when we were there and physical where he was charged with abusing and threatening death to my BP daughter and I and assault with a weapon. We also have an 11 year old daughter who at this point is terrified of living with her sister anymore and frankly doesn’t want to deal with anymore hurt or trauma herself. She says that living with her sister and her behaviour is as bad as living with her dad. Tomorrow I am moving her to her grandparents. I feel so torn, who do I save and in all of this when I feel completely lost myself? My daughter and I attend BDT and are in a sixth month intense program, she sees a psychiatrist, physician, counsellor and dietician as well as under the watch of CAS. She is in the hospital at least monthly for suicide attempts and has seen every psychiatrist at our local children’s hospital. Tonight was another prime example of her behaviour that has me at my wits end. She manipulated a friend and threatened suicide if she didn’t get her way when this poor girl actually lost a friend to suicide a few months ago. She then called another friend and did the same thing to her as well threatening suicide. I had to speak to two mothers who’s daughters were in hysterics because of my daughter’s threats of self harm. I left her to finally sleep after she verbally abused me for trying to help her using our DBT skills and offering her hugs. After I was asleep she cut herself again. I have a safe box to keep harmful things locked up, I have taken a leave from work and must return in a week so that I could be with her all summer. We attend all of the above, although she rarely participates. I don’t think there is anything more I can do or the medical profession for that matter. It’s up to her to try and change and she just ramps up her negative behaviour especially now with school starting back. I am a single mom now and in the midst of a divorce and court with her dad which comes with it’s own set of problems. I am trying to forget the past with their dad and show them there is a good life out there and a better future but she just doesn’t see it. The girls do know that they can see their dad if he chooses to get help it is up to them eventually although at this time CAS doesn’t think he is ready yet and the courts need to decide as well. Please tell me I am not alone, feeling so hopeless and desperate right now.

  36. Wait a minute Alisha, your comment is not healthy for us who are being abused daily by these people. How would you know if any of us deny their feeling? As far as I am concerned that is all I hear about..her feelings, her demands, her wants, and if I try to even express my feelings I get told to shut up amonst other things. The last thing we need is more blame put on our heads, don’t you get it! I can be as supportive and validate every feeling she has, but if she doesn’t get her way, I better watch out. We need help from them, not blame and shame, we have received enough of that for a lifetime.

  37. At the end of my rope and just found this site. Thank you all.

  38. Loraine Weers

    Such a huge relief to read everyone’s stories who are so similar to what I have been experiencing with my 22 year old daughter. She has not been formally diagnosed as BPD but loosely so. The emotional manipulation, mood swings, erratic behavior, rude and disrespectful outbursts have all caused me countless hours of sorrow, fear,anxiety and tears. I was at the end of my rope last night and so angry at her for behavior that I now can see is beyond her control.
    There is a family history and she also suffered childhood trauma that was acknowledged 4 years ago. She has cut off communication with me and her sister but is scheduled to arrive for a visit next week. I have been dreading her arrival as I expect a great deal of drama when she gets here. I now at least will be able to read up and try to be better prepared in order to minimize the damage. Thank you all for sharing and hoping we might all find some peace.

  39. I am overwhelmed with gratitude to the wonderful people who have shared their experiences here. I am also deeply saddened that so many are going through this agony. My heart breaks for each of you. My experience of living with a BPD child has almost destroyed me. And yet I feel so much guilt saying that, as though I’m being somehow neglectful or causing her problems by voicing my feelings. I’m so worn down though. So very tired.

  40. Ada Lovelace

    Alisha, you do not state if you are a parent of a child with BPD. Any parent of a child with this diagnosis, or suspected of having it, will tell you that they have done everything possible to reach out to their child. We do not need more ‘parent blaming’ here. I have a 32 yo daughter with undiagnosed BPD…..she refuses to seek help or acknowledge that the problems in her life are not because everyone around her is wrong, but that it’s the way she perceives the world around her. It’s heartbreaking. She has shown symptoms since she was in grade 6, but I just thought she was stubborn and headstrong. It’s just never gotten any better. My experience is the same as everyone else’s here. BTW, I also have a 30 yo schizophrenic son. I’ve done enough self-blaming for my entire life. It’s high time parents like me who have done nothing wrong, and love and cherish our children, are given the support they need instead of looked at the reason for what mental health illnesses have been endowed upon our children.

  41. Alisha, this one is for you…Because you’ve studied BPD for ‘years’..Congratulations..Live it on a day to day basis..Live it…Come and watch ALL the happy videos of my daughter as a child. How dare you stand on the higher ground?!…I think you are incredibly naive to the experience?!….Hey parents of BPD children, I’m in the middle of it, as are you…Did you unwittingly neglect your children?…Because we’re all incapable of being good Mothers you know…We invalidated our loved ones…Utter rubbish?!…Alisha, you have no idea,please come to my house and shadow me for a month, then and only then will you have the right to an opinion?!

  42. Helen Lindon

    Alisha…..PLEASE do not preach from a theoretical standpoint. With great respect… have noi real experience.

  43. I am so relieved to hear that I’m not alone in this battle. Having a daughter with BPD is such a challenge. Some days i feel like i just can’t take it anymore. I am at my wits end. My daughter is 15 years old and I’ve been a single mother most of her life. The few boyfriends i have had she scared off, admittingly so. It’s defnitely been a struggle. It’s a relief to know that there are so many people out there like me that I can relate to. I often feel so alone and hopeless. I have had soooo many people tell me that i spoil her and don’t discipline her enough. I’ve tried every approach with her. Nothing makes a difference. I just don’t know what to do anymore. I speak to her calmly and she says I’m mean and am always putting her down. She acts as if we are peers as opposed to parent and child. She has trouble keeping friends. She suffers from severe anxiety. She feels entitled to everything.She has no respect for me. She went through a period where she was smoking pot with her friends a lot and they stole money from me and my car and crashed it. She also used to tell me on a daily basis that she hated me and wished i would die. She cuts and threatens suicide. She is inappropriate and doesn’t respect boundaries. I need help.

  44. Katherine

    We are foster parents who adopted a 17 -year-old a couple of years ago. She has undergone severe trauma…… trauma that she has only allowed herself to remember since she moved in with us. She is now 19. She has been in therapy for a while, but every couple of months she gets “bumped up” in intensity. She is now in intensive rape trauma therapy.

    We are also in family therapy, and my husband and I had a long conversation with our family therapist, who introduced us to the idea of BPD. Reading descriptions of a BPD person’s behavior and reading your comments….. Holy Cow. THis is our life!

    She goes from extreme to extreme, one moment I am the “best mommy in the world” and the next I just adopted her to feel good about myself. She is self destructive in the extreme, and has violent outbursts.

    Several months ago, we made the gut-wrenching decision to make her move out of our home. We have other children and foster children, and her outbursts were so violent that it put them in danger. I can take being in danger from her, but I can’t put other children at risk. Which is heartbreaking because this disorder ISN’T HER FAULT. SHE WAS ABUSED! HOwever, we can’t let her abuse others. We are constantly struggling with what our role in her life can be, and how to build a healthy relationship with her. I want her to have this chance at a better life. I just feel so hopeless that it will ever happen.

  45. Our daughter was adopted at the tender age of 5 months from another country and grew up displaying many of the BPD symptoms. Waking up screaming at night, to throwing herself pleading not to go, on the little friends leaving to get home. Always filling her time as she seemed unable to bear being alone!
    As with many parents we did think, she’s a princess and she’s spoilt! It wasn’t until 8-10 years of age she started telling us to drive her a few blocks away and pretend we never met!!!!!
    Her outbursts in adolescence were intensified by alcohol… she seemed almost without feelings! She would often write about loving us and apologizing for not saying or showing us. In a detailed letter to me she reenacted the meddling I did, and stated I wasn’t there for her growing up!!!
    I have felt strongly that my daughter suffered from abandonment from the get go!
    She is in yet another relationship but now has added a baby girl to the equation.
    2 months ago I dared stay in what became a 5+hour outburst with her partner…I chose to call out what I thought may be the problem! Not a good decision! It cost me seeing my new (3 days) granddaughter for as long as her angry outburst lasts!! I’m deeply saddened but I know it’s her issues, just wanted to help.
    She has not been diagnosed but with all the BPD I’ve read I can safely say that this is what I believe she has.
    Her brothers are not very supportive as they feel she’s abused the parents.
    As we get more information about BPD, things are changing for me personally. I feel with these tools I can at least think we have a chance at being there for her and now the baby.
    There was indeed an attachment issue when she was born and almost immediately the birth mother left without any bonding. My daughter had no bonding experience which is why I believe her abandonment issues have crippled her.
    And like all the mom’s writing their experiences, I was doing the best I could raising my four kids. It hurts, I’m sad, confused about our situation but nevertheless I know that We love our daughter and by equipping ourselves with tools to help being around her, well I can only believe we’ll make it work. We pray that one day she’ll wake up to know she needs help from a professional. Hang in there everyone and continue to educate yourselves yet remain firm with kind intentions!

  46. My 24 y old daughter was recently diagnosed with BPD, PTSD, Severe depression and anxiety. I have a couple of questions. Does the disorder get worse? Should Borderlines be held accountable? Are they capable of functioning normal? She and my granddaughter live with us and has been for 18 months. It seems that she started getting worse after the baby was born. Do hormones play a role?

  47. Wow… reading these posts was what I needed to remind myself I am not alone. This is the second time our daughter has become estranged from us and we grieve the grandchildren. I can imagine the life her children will have because I am the daughter of a BPD and I believe my daughter is too. The therapists, please, I am a mental health professional too and as other parents have stated we have watched the change in our children , we lived it , we have seen this before, in many generations= it has a genetic component.

    Alicia perhaps your desire to engage in the ‘parent blaming’ on this particular site meets some personal need in you?

    Even if some of us at times have been invalidating, harsh, extreme, or even unintentionally abusive (many parenting practises are only now labelled abusive)

    Do you really think it’s helpful to challenge parents in this forum, when so many of us are grieving, and desperately worried about our BPD children and their children our grandchildren!!

    There is a time for everything under the sun… I don’t think your comments are appropriate on this site. Save them for therapy it’s kinder and safer for the mental health of The parents ..
    Just saying????

  48. Thank you all.
    I’m so glad I have found this site. I too need help!
    I need to learn, how to manage and look after me. I need to learn the boundaries, and how to set them up and how to stay strong. Only then will I be able to help my daughter.
    I need to empower me.
    I too am at breaking point. I know I am a good mother.
    But when you are constantly emotionally abused, you question yourself, and doubt creeps in.
    My daughter has never been abused, she has been loved and respected her whole life.

    Melbourne, Vic.

  49. Suzanne Tanner

    What an answer to prayer. Can not remember how long this struggle with our daughter has been going on. When it first started my husband and I thought it was teenage emotions. How wrong we were, our daughter is now 44years old. She was a wonderful little girl, helpful sweet, no jealousy of her brother(younger) and in her 12th year it started, but looking back there were things she did ,like stealing from stores we would go into. Always made to return the items. After one incendent we started to seek help. A lot of the therapists didn’t work until we found out she would lie about things at home. Jenn started to tell anyone who would listen that she was being abused …. of course it was me who was doing the abusing of her . Then she told someone in our church ( where I worked) she was very graphic. That caused me to eventuality leave my job. Her late teens were a night mare. But it got worse , she got a therapist and put a name on her problem BPD because she was tramatised by abuse. She tried suicide 3 times, she was 5051 and in treatment for 72 hrs. More and more accusing of me ,always my husband stood up for me… in 2001 she purchased a car in my name with my ss number. That has been the worse for me to deal with, I needed to be put on high blood pressure meds, and I got a therapist for myself. Most of the last 15 years we haven’t spoken until last March she began to have seizures, now we pay her rent and car payment and she has our gas card. Our grandson (her son that I raised ) lives there because of seizures. We did get her a seizure watch that is linked to our phones, her therapist says it all the tramatic past stresses she really can work . She’s on meds and got her drs. license back sooooo go back to work right.?… Well her Dad wants her to show some signs that that will happen. Everyday is horrible … I avoid phone calls from her, this time of years she gets much worse. Here’s the punch line in all of this my mother-in-law also had the same behavior …. My husbands life at home was strange, he and his brothers all thought yelling and screaming and weird behavior was normal . So our daughter gets it in DNA. To all of you struggling now keep moving forward protect yourself, enjoy what you can , we all find what’s works for us ….remember no guilt… When the yelling starts leave the room where ever you are. God Bless you all.

  50. Hi all, thank you for sharing your stories as I don’t know any other parents with a BPD child.

    My daughter is 24 and diagnosed earlier this year as she was feeling suicidal and the rest of the year has felt like a continuous roller coaster ride and I can’t seem to get off. We have had several suicide attempts and she has recently been sectioned for 2 weeks and has lost her driving licence for 3 months. In a way once the BPD diagnosis was given all the anger, bad behaviour at school and at home made sense.

    She is my only child and her dad and I have cherished and adored her from the day that she was born. There are a lot of mental health issues within my family, my sisters, their children and recently I have been in contact with another sister who my mother gave up for adoption before I and my sisters were born and not only does she have mental health issues but so do her three children also. I don’t know whether my husband and I are responsible or have contributed unknowingly to BPD but I do think that the inherited tendency is a strong factor.

    It is a painful situation as no parent wants their child to suffer with a condition like BPD as we all want our kids to have a happy and healthy life but with BPD this is not always possible. We feel like we are constantly walking on egg shells and I never know what her mood will be from one day to the next. We are trying to become more informed and to learn how to help her with BPD but often she just shuts us out. She has had a boyfriend for 3 years but we have never met him, he is older but comes across as being quite controlling and the relationship is all on his terms and she goes along with it and accepts it for fear of losing him. I don’t know if she is ever going to get a handle on this condition or whether it will get progressively worse, who knows? Right now and with what she has been through and we have been through this year it feels like things are never going to change for the better but I won’t give up hoping and praying!

  51. Suzanne Tanner

    Hi Jane , Our daughter is 44, an every day is another day of not knowing what she may do or say . We have been trying to find a workable solution to all of this for years, just when you think things might be headed in a good direction she will have some new emotion. What has worked for us is a great therapist who has helped us to move on to what we can do for us when an episode starts, and what works is if it’s in our home she must leave . If it’s in public we walk away. Praying helps, talking to a special friend and of course a great therapist. All the information you can get is helpful. I will pray for you and your daughter.

  52. Both my brother and his wife are practicing psychologist.

    My daughter is now 35 years old and in recent years they have indicated to me their belief that she is borderline.

    In addition, my brother-in-law’s wife has been in the mental health industry managing your clinic her entire career and also had indicated in the past that this was her problem.

    It really began to manifest itself in her early teen years which, as one poster indicated, tends to be associated with the growing up process.

    Her mom passed away a few years ago and her mother’s best friend would tell me how I would be next in the line of fire has my daughter heaped her abused primarily on her mother.

    The thing about borderlines is that they can be very bright. They can have an almost diabolical sense of a person’s weakness, and they will attack that at every opportunity.

    My daughter becomes very frustrated with me because she has a hard time finding my Achilles heel. I have not given in to the abuse, the name calling, the slander, emotional outbursts, lies to both my family and friends. The list goes on.

    I think one challenge with my daughter if I think she is more than just borderline. Borderlines can be great emotional manipulators and certainly demonstrate characteristics of narcissism.

    People on this site talk about setting up healthy boundaries, but one characteristic of Border Lines if they do not recognize boundaries. They will tear you down, only to try and Retreat you back to the fold so that they can use you as a source for their emotional Outlets.

    As healthy adults, We Believe that there is a logical response and way to deal these things which lead to a better situation for the person who suffers with this disorder.

    The thing we all need to recognize is that we can’t. We think that there might be an opportunity foreclosure and moving on, but moving on only means moving to the next emotional disaster and manipulation.

    Unless your child is seeking professional help, which is very difficult, there will be no closure or conclusion to the endless cycle of abuse. Even when meeting with a mental health professional, if they show up for the appointment, will lead to their either concluding the professional is sick or they take away from the meeting that all of those around them suffer from some type of disorder.

    As an analytical person I have tried to step back from all the emotion over the years and compartmentalize tracks from the person. I have not minded her attacks on me or my wife so much, especially considering the strong relationship with my wife. However, she is taking things to a new level and trying to disrupt my relationship with my son.

    In addition, she recently brought a grandchild into the equation which is now her new bargaining chip in The Game of Life. Unfortunately comma borderlines will use every opportunity to try and manipulate.

    The net result from all of this is that she also has demonized my wife and me to her husband in order to manipulate his emotions. She now has the consequence of him not trusting me or wanting me to be around my daughter or his daughter.

    Accordingly, I have shut down completely on my daughter from an emotional standpoint. Without going into all the details I can safely say that I have no desire to see her or her husband.

    I recognize that he is someone innocent in this process since he has only been around for a year-and-a-half.

    Without knowing that my daughter was borderline and narcissistic, my wife and I had tried to get her counseling when she was a teenager. Since that time there have been three other attempts to get her counseling.

    As a Christian I pray for my wife, her daughter comma and her husband every day. I always have believed that God’s intervention and the blessings of the Holy Spirit can change anybody’s life.

    However, there are many examples of people having hardened hearts or spirits that will not accept God’s blessings, but I feel as though this is all I have left to me… Prayer.

    I will continue to hope for and pray for the best for my daughter and her family. However, I recognize that I cannot help her. I recognize that speaking with her will not bring closure to any situation. I recognize that her attacks on me with friends and family and on social media will not end. It is not within my power as a parent to alter her life’s circumstances.

    Hey, I get it, we as parents want to help our children succeed in life. Being a father is something that never ends until your life is over. However, I have been coming to peace with the idea of being estranged from her.

    It is impossible to have a relationship with a grandchild If you do not have a relationship with the parents. I have not seen the grandchild since shortly after her birth earlier this year, so she doesn’t really know that I exist as far as personal interactions with her. The fact is that attempts at tearing me down and emotionally manipulating those around me have become so intense from my daughter that is far more peaceful being away from her then being engaged.

    Actually, I can hardly call this my own choice. After years upon years of fighting the battle and trying to love her through situations and provide Her counsel and support her recent activities have just caused the emotional curtain to drop for me so that I’m feeling emotionally disconnected from her.

  53. Sorry for some of the misspellings or wrong words in the post. Doing voice to text certainly has its downfalls!

  54. I pray for my daughter , not wife, in the post. Man, I wish there were a way to edit a post!

  55. My daughter is 38 and after reading these comments I know she has bpd. I moved from where I was living to move in with her and my grandchildren. She needed my help because her boyfriend of 3 years,was moving out. I honestly cannot take anymore hatred and terrible lies she says I have done. Her boyfriend was to haveover out several months ago but hadn’t because he says he has to have his new house perfect to leave. Last night I could not take his yelling at her so I went in and told them to stop because they were scaring the kuds. He left, broke up with her and that is when she came after me. The hatred was out of control. Her dad molested her at 6 and had no contact with her for 30 years. Now he has decided to call her once or twice a month. She would never talk to him in such ways. I am at the point of doing something to myself to end the pain.

  56. I searched “mother of borderline daughter”, got ALL links to sites for daughters of borderline mothers… except this one. Thank God it’s here. Seems like only mothers can have borderline personality disorder… like it starts while a woman is pregnant with her first daughter! Lol. I’m the mother of a beautiful and intelligent 25 year old daughter, who blames me for all her problems, lies, triangulates, and otherwise finds a million ways to hurt and degrade me. I see that everyone here has lived my story (except maybe Alisha, lol). It is exhausting and heartbreaking. The hardest part is accepting that there’s really nothing you can do to help. You watch your kid get swallowed up by this terrible monster, even being blamed by some for having created the monster. Ouch. All I want is my daughter back… but that daughter is a thing of the past. How do I love her the way she is NOW, without letting myself be crushed in the process? This is tricky territory. I’ve never learned so many hard lessons about what love really is. I’m finding my way… with very little help from this mother — blaming culture we live in. So thanks for being here, for giving us hurting mamas a bit of validation and empathy. We need it.

  57. Boardline Personality Treatment

    Tempe, you may need the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. If you feel like you can benefit from talking to them, please call 1-800-273-8255.

  58. Reading everyones stories is like reading a page out of my own book.
    My BP moved out a year ago and had had no contact.
    Last week she gave birth to a baby boy, and he’s already a tool. She uses him to manipulate my severely unstable and codependent mother.
    They say “maybe someday you guys can have a relationship….They’ve obviously never been around someone with BPD.

  59. Alisha

    I have only recently found this site and thus my response is very delayed. I am very touched by reading the stories of parental suffering and despair. I must say, however, that your view is beyond simplistic in terms of attributing the behavior of a bpd child to a validation failure on the part of the parents. You seem to have taken Linehan’s work on DBT and validation well beyond her intentions.

    The parents here raise excellent points. A therapist generally sees these individuals for 50 minute sessions and should be savvy enough to realize that their behavior in session may be radically different from what it is in the home environment. In other words, I have seen bpd patients particularly charming and manipulative to me whereas they can be particularly abusive to family members and even to other patients in inpatient settings. The converse is they can also let lose their frustrations on the therapist and show a charming side to others. This is why DBT has a fourth prong requiring support for the therapists that regularly deal with these patients.

    Given what I said in the immediately preceding paragraph, if therapists themselves need support to deal with BPD patients then why are you denying parents and family members the right to such support?

    In short, yes validation is necessary but if you listen to these stories and those most typically associated with BPD families, we need to move beyond validating and deal with limit setting and boundary setting and modification. When a patient simply refuses to do so, throwing up validation failure on the part of the parents is grossly specious. As many here have said, you don’t have to live with them 24/7 and they often show a much different face to you than their family members.

    My best advice is to re-study the area with more intensive and wide ranging clinical experience and try to validate the family members as well

  60. I do send out best wishes and hope to everyone in a similar situation dealing with BPD in the family. I have been through the struggle on a personal level and that ultimately drove me to a professional choice. At this stage, their is so much about BPD that is simply not understood scientifically. Also, as these posts very accurately depict, BPD takes so many shapes and sizes and is not a homogeneous group. Some can be highly narcissistic and display antisocial personality (sociopathic traits) while others may not. The commonality though, which I truly believe needs to be a heavier focus in the professional community, is the suffering it inflicts on others (I.e., those closest to the BPD).

    DBT was mentioned a lot above and it has been very helpful for some. Yet the truth is others simply do not respond to it. We have some limited studies that show BPD patients may have an overactive amygdala (the part of the brain dealing with emotions) and more limited prefrontal cortex activity ( the part of the brain dealing with executive function). In a very limited sample group, after DBT certain positions showed increased prefrontal cortex activity (think of your emotions and your executive function as a see saw that are ideally supposed to balance each other out). Yet the problem with these studies is the sample groups are very small. In practice and if personal life, notwithstanding the neurology and practice beyond it, some people respond and some simply do not. No one in 2016 fully understands why.

    Other than the techno babble I mention above, as someone who has been personally touched by this, I truly do send out my best wishes and thoughts to everyone dealing with this situation. I also must say please also take care of yourselves and non BPD family members, even if this sometimes means letting go.

    After my personal experiences, my professional choice was very much a mission to try to further the science and find “answers.” I can say that after seeing hundreds of patients with the disorder (both inpatient and outpatient), there are no easy answers and science is just not there. I have had some patients who actually suffered horrific abuse and had seriously disturbed parents that were functional beyond a level that any professional can imagine. I also have many many others that had the kindest and most well meaning parents that simply do not respond to any treatment and exhibit seriously anti social tendencies. My point is, no one really knows why. They truly do not. Studies are still being done, people are still writing papers and having conferences, but for you all, who are truly on the front lines, do not blame yourselves and, most importantly, try (please try) to take care of yourselves and the other family members as best as you can.

  61. Blaze murphy

    I have a 20 year old daughter who was diagnosed with aspergers and ODD and at 18 with BPD, everyday everything becomes a battle. She acts more like a 14 year old, there is no day without drama or hysterics. She has grown up in a loving home with myself and her step father so, she chose at 16/17 to cut all ties to her biological father and legally changed her last name to that of her step fathers, she calls him dad. I came from an abusive home both of my parents are vile and they have no contact whatsoever with me or my children. I have made it my mission in life to give my kids what i have always wanted, a loving home with a mum and dad that love and care for you, yet she tells people the most awful lies about how we’ve abused her mentally, that we torture her and make her life hell, she has also made allegations of sexual abuse about another ex family member nobody knows if this is just another storyborvtrue so weve had to act as it is true for her safety but we just dont know what to believe anymore. through secondary school we had to attend countless meetings about her lies, her behaviour and being abusive to staff etc despite all these meetings and the school bending every rule in the book to make her happier her behaviour became more outrageous and aggressive then in the end she was expelled from school for sexually harassing a male teacher. This she said was my fault for being overly dramatic and blowing it out of proportion and that i just want to ruin her life. She has no social life other than with family as her friendships were all very intense and turbulent with numerous arguments and as a result of that these friendships have ended. She is lazy to the point it takes more effort in my opinion to be that lazy, if you have to walk an extra 20 steps to get around the junk you’ve left on the floor surely it would be easier just to pick it up? Her bedroom is a heartbreaking disaster zone, it stinks and despite being given nice things that we have saved to get her in the hope that she would treasure it or wajt it nice she destroys them she doesn’t care that it smells bad or that she’s wearing dirty clothing and smells bad herself, again this is just me being dramatic. We’ve tried to set rules and boundaries that daily she breaks and abuses, she does not seem to care who she hurts as long as she gets what she wants. I love my daughter very much, i miss the girl i thought i knew. When we got that first call from the school i thought there must’ve been a mistake my daughter wouldn’t do those things! Then we were made aware of this huge web of lies and awful behaviour we knew nothing about. It felt that day like i lost my child, i thought i knew her how can a mother be so wrong ? I feel i have failed, i struggle daily with her hurtful ways and spiteful words and actions. I feel as if i am losing my mind, that i am a terrible parent, helpless and i don’t know what to do anymore. Will she ever be able to function as an adult in society or will i be parenting a 45 year old teenager if i live that long. I have MS and struggle physically and she takes full advantage of this as she knows there is little i can do. I am praying that there is a glimmer of hope out there that this is not going to be the rest of my life, she feels she doesn’t need to change, that i need to shut up and put up with it all in silence..what do i do?

  62. My daughter who is now 25 has BPD. She won’t go for treatment. It has been over 10 years of hell. Drug abuse, cutting, mental health, physical and verbal abuse, etc etc etc I’ve exhausted all my finances trying to help her. She won’t hold a job or keep a place. She has now been in our home again for 2 months.
    I am blamed for absolutely everything wrong in her world. I get called horrible names, she destroys our property and she has attacked me physically more than once. I want her to go as I just am on the verge of a breakdown..exhausted. I don’t know what to do anymore.

  63. Reading everyone’s posts on this site has been heartbreaking and uplifting in equal measure.I felt so alone until I found this site and reading so many stories that mirrored my own has given me some sense of self esteem and vindication as you are made to feel everything that has gone wrong in your child’s life is due to you.
    My daughter was diagnosed with BPD 2 years ago and underwent therapy and group sessions and was offered a years course of therapy.She walked away from that left home and moved in with a friend a long way from home.Things have gone from bad to worse and I am blamed for everything that has gone wrong in her life.She says the most vile things to me she is agressive and has smashed her room up on several occasions.The worst thing is her distorted memories as in she is convinced that things have been said and done in the past that definitely have not.I don’t see how I can have a relationship with her when she only sees me as the enemy and someone who has never loved her(obviously not true)
    I can’t fight her warped version of the truth and so at the moment we are not in contact due to several episodes where she she has been unforgivably vile to me to the extent that I was having panic attacks when her name came up in txt messages or emails.It is so hard to be in this situation but the truth is I have to protect my own health and wellbeing as well as hers.

  64. I have two undiagnosed daughters with BPD. They are both over fifty. Whilst aware of nitpicking and never being good enough , never experienced emotional abuse until last year. I immediatley made a therapist appointment thinking I must be at fault as a mother. She immediately zoomed in on the problem, said I was a good enough mother as children started off well in life, well educated, held jobs and had partners, etc. The rest she said was fabrication. In that therapy session I learned the missing puzzle to my life.
    I was the scapegoat in my family of origin, and had a strong intuitive sense, but always told I imagined things. The facts were that I was the narcissistic family’s dumping ground. All the negativity was attributed to me. Naturally, I was attracted to a diagnozed but untreated narcissist, BPD, and experienced the same devaluing. So slow to react and over tolerant, and thought I could love him to happiness.Many people from abusive homes, especially emotionally abusive homes do mot recognize the full extent of abuse, as Borderlines in particular are extremely clever at reading people, and pick up on all childhood wounds, so one easily blames oneself, as that is what the parents did, and now someone close is picking up the same so called faults.
    My husband passed away some time ago so have had time to work on myself being alone. When one daughter verbally abused me I was quick to recognize my husband’s behaviour and was not having it. Standing up for myself was a big no-no of course and the other daughter joined in the bullying. I am nearly eighty. Of course I was accused of being a bad mother, but they were not too proud to take money when in trouble or enjoy many outings at my expense. They are not doing well financially and I was always happy to make their lives more enjoyable, as my husband and I struggled to get on our feet without any financial help. They are miserably unhappy people as they show poor gratitude, and have partied when they needed to plan for the future. I have been sad to realize that their values are not mine, and that I have been manipulated for some time.Distance from BPD’s allows the filling in of istory, and to notice the red flags that were missed. It is only in the last couple of years that my eldest daughter has been back home from abroad. So my time with her has been restricted, and it is only close contact that allows the mask to drop. The rest of my family was manageable, and problems were solveable. I would definitely be of the opimion that stronger narcissiste can brainwash those in frequent contact. have recently discovered they are both on antideppressants, but refuse any other help. They are surrounded by enablers and one family member has even tried getting us together to forgive and forget. Completely invalidating my abuse. Of course there has been no remorse or apology. But gaslighting to infer it never happened. Any attempt at contact has been met with the most outrageous accusations, lies, etc. Have had two anonymous calls inferring suicide, one I rang an ambulance as could not get hold of anyone, and was aware of abandonment issues being in no contact, though were told it was for my healing. The second one I let go. All well.
    Think I may well lose some family as have reason to believe they are conducting a smear campaign. Those that have visited have been told a certain story about me. When you cease to be controlled and you can see through the manipulation you pose a danger to them. And yet it is impossible for things to change unless the problem of BPD is addressed.
    The bottom line though is I am a mother, and although no contact is probably ideal. Letting go is hard to do. So am settling for limited contact with strong boundaries. I have become very strong over this year and can stand reasonable nonsense. And nonsense it is, as realize am dealing with very wounded feelings and not logic.I hope to become the most empathic of listeners. It is all I can do when children reach adulthood.

    A year’s therapy, much research, and a year’s no contact, gave me the space to work out family

  65. I can’t believe how much we all have in common. I come from a family which I think had a BPD female in each generation, including an absolutely horrid, abusive sister and now worried about my own daughter too. It is heartbreaking to see your child suffer this way after living this hell on the front lines your whole life.

    And NOBODY is in a position to judge any of us if they have not also lived through this. You honestly have not the slightest clue, no matter how many books you’ve read or patients you’ve seen unless you have lived with with a BPD you love 24/7/365.

    These BPD’s are so completely destructive to themselves and everyone around them I believe that the data on percentages of the population affected by BPD are grossly understating the true impact of this problem.

    I must thank Susie for the reality check which acknowledged this fact and which stated from a professional standpoint what we all desperately need to know; “The science is not there” perfectly describes why none of us has answers, a cure or even much relief at this point – regardless of how loving the home environment or expensive therapeutic care received.

    Does anyone know BPD’s who went through with suicide or any who were recovered enough to function withiut being destructive?

    I believe most therapists have the best of intentions but are limited by these deficits of science.
    Also, their job is to help their patients, not us. We caregivers spend every last nickel desperately seeking help but we’re not the ones on the couch for the hour, the BPD is. It’s no wonder the psych community has dwelled on this BPD-as-victim mentality instead of the bigger picture – all the rest of us who are eaten alive by the BPDs, usually avoided by others and left alone to ride this rollercoaster and sort through our own emotional carnage.

    It is comforting to find forums like this and discover we’re not as alone as we think. We MUST support each other and take care of ourselves, yes, even if that means letting your BPD go.
    I sincerely hope and pray all of us finds peace and that science gains a better understanding of BPD so we can help all families going through this hell.

  66. It is so hard. It really is. I am tormented every day. My own guilt and fear of her and for her keep me paralysed. She is 19. So unpredictable with her moods. Do I give in so that there is no fighting, or do I stand up to her and demand she control herself? Then she acts out! Do they ever get better? Is there any hope? My other two children are scared and want her gone. She wants to be an “adult” when it suits her but cannot contribute to anything. I feel she thinks her issues are a badge of honor and that we just have to take her as she is and that nothing should be expected of her! She is seeing a psychologist but not sure what is happening as it is private. If a parent does not know what is going on, how could I even begin to understand what she needs!!
    I hate it so much- does it get better ?
    At my wit’s end!

  67. I’m 23 and was diagnosed with PTSD and BPD. My dad whom lives with me caused 50% of the traumas. I still live with him and its impossible. I think some of this article is true yet the other half is bonkers. Besides BPD is usually caused by trauma same as PTSD is caused by trauma. I mean my dad isn’t a bad person but their are certain things like ” bringing up the past”
    Or telling a person ” they might as well kill themselves” or trauma from childhood. The past can’t change and no amount of medication will ever take back what happened. My mother died and while she was dying my dad was having an affair. His girlfriends weren’t always nice. Some in fact were druggies and whores. But my dad says I’ve never been traumatized. That’s only a few things I’ve went through I was also raped. My dad said it was my fault for trusting that person…

  68. I went into therapy myself to help me cope with the stress of my 16 year old daughter and to get some help setting boundaries with her. I divorced her dad 3 years ago, after 20 years of dealing with his behaviors (similar to hers! And his addiction, narcissism and lies. She is a mini-him. I’ve tried therapist with her rules, leniency- she is a bottomless pit of need and demands. She is never happy, even when getting exactly what she wants. She texts me all day long from school how much she hates her life, and tries every day to get out of doing anything required of her. She’s mean, she lies, she “hates everything,” she is a thrill seeker, selfish and insulting.

    At age 13 she was cutting. That stopped thank God. I’ve had her see 4 therapists. She gets to a point then refuses to continue. My therapist strongly feels she will eventually be diagnosed BPD. Reading her , its as if a light build is going on to all the craziness surrounding her every day. I feel hopeless as this doesn’t seem to ever get better?? Very occasionally I see the sweet funny side of her that I miss and thought she was. Then sadly I realize she is just manipulating me to get something. My heart is broken.

    I’m new here and reading avidly. Trying to start a new life after my divorce, with a wonderful understanding person. I’m afraid of my daughter, afraid she will try to sabotage it, afraid she will never have her own life and be self sufficient. All the females on my ex-husbands side have something like this. I have a son who is happy and healthy and shows none of these traits, but who also walks on eggshells around her and her outbursts.

    I’ve become immune to the insanity and think her bizarre behavior and demands are normal. That scares me. I’m always afraid she will cut herself again.

    This morning as I made her coffee and vitamin water, and immediately she started saying her side hurt and she couldn’t bear to go to school. (This is every day). I said you have to go. She yelled I was rude and to get out of her room. There is no joy in doing anything nice for her as it’s a bottomless pit and never appreciated.

  69. Reading Alisha’s “by the book” parent blaming just validates what I already knew. Mental Health Science has no clue how to treat this disorder. As a father of a brilliant 18 year old with this condition I feel everyone’s pain. It’s hard to watch your bright kid torpedo their future because they can’t get through a month of college without yet another 3am call because she’s in the hospital again.
    My wife and I gave her a healthy, safe, and loving environment her entire life and has supported her throughout. When she told us she was gay, we accepted her and supported her. Now we have gender identity issues to deal with. Again, full support and love but the bpd (which has been diagnosed by the way) is a constant crutch for her.
    I’m 48 years old and have already suffered one heart attack, which I’m sure was in no small part brought on by the constant stress and worry that so many of you have described. It’s just heart breaking when you realize there’s so little help. Drugs don’t help. Therapy isn’t helping, and now clueless book experts like Alisha wants to blame us.
    All we can do is hope that somehow, someone will figure this out and offer real help because the status quo does NOT work Alisha.

  70. So many sad stories – the desperation emanating from each of you is tangible. I too sought help for my daughter from counsellors and psychiatrists. I first went to a psychologist for support with parenting my very sensitive daughter when she was 14. Her behaviour escalated. Suicide attempts, an eating disorder, stealing, cutting, violence towards me, destroying property, all became daily existence. Each incident was followed by a brief period of normalacy. Each of these cycles brought hope – a new therapist brought hope. Living in a constant state of stress brought health challenges for me and threatened my capacity to earn an income. Eventually, in her mid twenties she moved out. This gave me some physical breathing space but the crises continued. A few years later she married. Other life events compounded and I had a mental breakdown. This led me to a wonderful psychologist who taught me about bpd. I read ‘Walking on Eggshells’, and like many parents of bpd children, I felt that the book had been written about us. I learnt how to respond to my daughter’s crises, while protecting myself. She now lives interstate. Her last contact was to berate me for her unhappiness. Distance is the only way I can cope with my daughter’s illness/disability. To all of you, I hope that you can find a support person who will teach you without blame. Your child’s BPD is NOT YOUR FAULT. Your child is still alive because of the selfless love and care you have given him or her.

  71. My 38 year old daughter has BPD and has been horrific since she was 15. We have supported her through an adolescence when she spent the whole time abusing us verbally and treating us, our home, and her brother like dirt on her shoe. Filthy clothes left everywhere, food shoved into the sofa, cigarette butts piling up Inside and outside the front door. If I complained, it was all about how I had abandoned her. Like others on the site, I have been responsible for every thing that has gone wrong.
    My daughter got pregnant at 20 having dropped out of university and still treated me as a slave to her whims. She can neither hold a job down nor a relationship and so I have had to put my life on hold to try to help her.
    The important reason why I am posting is to tell other people in the same situation to let go. I have been trying for 20 years to help and have not got anywhere with this illness. If you can’t help, you can’t. We have given financially, emotionally and have physically baled her out on many occasions but it doesn’t change anything.
    You only get one chance at life. Don’t allow a genetic disease ruin yours.

  72. Thank goodness i found this site. My 21 year old has been diagnosed with BPD. She constantly blames me for all of her problems and I believe she is also a hypochondriac. She moved out 2 years ago, yet still manages to bring her drama into our home. Her constant accusations of my poor mothering skills have completely drained me. I have had to cut ties. This is so painful. She posts things about me, accuses me of things I never did and seems to have a new problem every 3-4 days. My poor 15 year old is also suffering from her abuse and my husband and I are no longer succumbing to her attacks. We have had her in therapy since the age of 4 and we just cannot take one more day of this. we have decided to take a break, yet still the guilt consumes me. HELP.

  73. Thank you everyone for having the courage to share.
    Everything makes so much sense now!
    I have started to educate myself on my daughter’s borderline personality disorder.
    I feel so enlighten emotionally and mentally just by reading your stories!
    Stay strong and thank you for reminding me it is okay to take a break or recess from our love ones. Peace, hugs and kisses….

  74. It really seems like lot of the mothers/parents are in denial about their part in their daughters developing bpd. Why don’t you guys really learn about this disorder and if you really don’t know what did wrong should figure out it out and stop denying own children. I know it’s not always the case of parental abuse but it’s definitely a rarity if it isn’t.

  75. My daughter was diagnosed as having bpd 12 years ago. She resented the diagnosis and searched until she finally found a counselor who would tell her she didn’t have bpd, was just depressed, however gave her no medication. I am convinced she does have bpd and it has indeed been a rough road to follow. She is a police officer and if she had a diagnosis of a mental disorder says it would affect her being able to be in her occupation. But the loved ones around her suffer with her ups and downs, lies, emotional and yes at times physical abuse. She has used one then another as her targets. I love her regardless, she is my child. I try to distance myself when I feel she is getting to the point she will be physically abusive to me again. I feel for any family who goes down this road, it’s tough. She is currently trying to get on another police force. She has tried several states, looks good right up till the end, then they don’t hire her. I can’t help but believe these various police departments are catching on to something is not right. It is painful to watch her put herself out there every time, knowing she will get denied, but I am convinced it is for good reason. We should all pray for one another and our bpd family members.

  76. I have read so many heart wrenching stories from all of you. Though I hate that anyone else has to deal with this horrible mental illness, there is somewhat comfort knowing I am not alone. My daughter was diagnosed with bpd 12 years ago, and searched mental health professionals until she found one who would disagree with that diagnosis, telling her she was depressed, however giving her no medication. I know from everything I have read on this illness, my daughter has bpd. The psychiatrist who diagnosed her as bpd is highly respected in his community. Consequently, she is getting worse as the years go by. She never keeps any relationship for very long. People she befriends eventually become a target for her. My daughter is a police officer and has tried to get on so many police departments over the years. It always sounds like she’s going to get selected right up to the end, then they deny her. My gut tells me something is showing up not quite right in the process, so they don’t hire her, and there is a real reason. She denies any kind of mental health condition, due to the fact that no PD would hire her, and she couldn’t keep her accredidations if they find out she has a mental illness. My daughter keeps everyone’s life she touches in upheaval. She has mentally, and yes, even physically abused me. I have learned to get away and stay away if I feel she is getting to the point of violence so I don’t get physically injured. This is not an easy path for any of us who have a family member with bpd. The painful part is I still love her. She is in her forties, and I miss that little girl I knew before she became a teen anger and things went bad, but I know I cannot help her, and I do have to take care of myself first. Thanks to all of you who have had the courage to share your stories. You are all in my daily prayers.

  77. Megan, I feel that maybe you are a BPD sufferer, and possibly bitter?…My daughter was a very happy, well adjusted child until my Mother, her Grandmother died of cancer, which is the reason that ALL the health professionals have cited as the reason for her developing the illness..No there was no parental abuse, unless you consider my inability to prevent my Mothers death…The majority of parents with children who have BPD are as confused and bewildered as I was when their children are handed this diagnosis, and no, we are not in denial, sometimes circumstances occur that are beyond our control, and I for one do not blame our parenting skills, and I think I speak for the MAJORITY of parents that have been given a platform to speak to others in the same position. Voice your biased opinion elsewhere, because we aren’t interested in what you have to say…

  78. My daughter is 38. By outside standards she is extremely successful. Internally she has serious problems. She told me she read a book given her many years ago when in counseling as a teen and identifies with Borderline.
    She has been hatefully cutting off contact with me for years now.
    I finally set a limit telling her that I did not trust her not to hurt me again.
    She responded in rage and a coldness telling me we are not friends, we are not family.
    Her husband encourages this…as he masterfully manipulates and uses her.
    I am done.
    To be truthful, I simply do not like her anymore.
    I feel no guilt. I gave her a great upbringing, helped her when she was young, pregnant, with new child, paid for college, cheerleaded her every success and shown love and approval.
    The only time I have communicated since was to tell her that her granny was dying. no response. no basic civility.
    I am angry with her too.
    I do not use my illness to abuse people.
    I will accept no less than an apology…otherwise she can continue to go her own way without me.
    She does have control. She is only this vicious with me. And she knows what is beyond the pale.

  79. A Revelation.
    Eight years ago I went from the UK to live in NZ, embark on a new project with a new partner.
    The reason for leaving the UK was because I seemed to have no relationship with my only daughter. I was of no use to her other than as a chequebook. If that closed then so did the communication. This had been a pattern since she was about 16.
    Around that time I divorced her step father. My daughter was at a highly regarded (and expensive) boarding school and had been given everything and every opportunity. Her life was everything from the best restaurants, travel. designer clothes etc. I though her attitude towards me was because of the divorce. I also wondered at her drug use and although I am a child of the 70s, am very aware that “skunk’ is a very different thing to the home grown marijuana available to us. Trying to kerb it was difficult. I even offered to find an organic source to no avail. I also worked in the music industry so her drug use was nothing compared with my daily trials in this area.
    At this time I also got my first dog. Adorable, but her comment at the time was ” You love that dog more than you love me’. And she said she thought it was weird that we humans on 2 legs had pets that ran around our homes on 4 legs.
    Art school was nothing to her and she did not continue, she has always lived where she does not have to pay and that was easy given her social set. So many opportunities came her way but they were all spurned. I am bored, they don’t like me because I have a posh accent, you won’t pay for me to go to art school etc
    Actually her first year was paid for in total and then I told her she could live at home a, get a job and pay her way own way through. She moved into home with her then boyfriend- a drugged waster with also, a mother who paid for everything. I told them they would have to pay a minimal rent as my income had decreased considerably. I was yelled at that she was not going to F****** pay to live in her own home. To which I replied that if I had to pay then why would she not? He moved out within hours and she a few days later. Oh there is so much more.

    I then offered to put up a deposit for an investment house she could live in, pay her share of the rent with 2 others to cover the mortgage that I would take out and when we sold it after I got my deposit back she could have 50% of the profit. Again she refused to pay to live in “her own house”.
    Her father and I are good friends and he was concerned at her always wanting him to pay. I dismissed this as he had always been a bit mean with money but in retrospect he was right. I then thought it was because I had spoiled her and it was my fault. I tried to set some boundaries but that was painful as they were always greeted with abuse and then no communication until i gave in in some other way.
    And I was wrong wrong wrong. Anything emotional on my part to her was wrong. I should have known better etc.

    I think I was totally in denial about her because your see I have an undiagnosed mother with Borderline and Narcissism. I only know that becauseI have had to distance myself from her from the age of 20 because of her behaviours. And I studied and studied to find out why she was as she was. I have a degree in Philosophy majoring in Psych and Mind. I have done a foundation in Psychotherapy. I have depression myself which I manage quite well and probably PTS after experiencing the earthquakes of NZ up close with damage to all areas of my life. I am a pick yourself up and dust yourself off person.

    So after all that I returned to the UK to be close to my daughter again as she has a child and another on the way. She has a lovely partner but already i see some strain. I thought maturity and motherhood would have changed her. She is 32.
    But she is bitter that she has no money, bitter that her father does not support her and has ‘foisted her off on her partner’,( not true), that she went to boarding school and has ended up with a poor partner and lives in assisted housing. Whatever I do is wrong or not enough.
    And ….

    Last week my sister and I had to take the decision to have my beloved dog who was 16 put down a she had developed cancer. She has been living in NZ with my sister since January as I took the decision to return to living in the UK after an the literal upheaval in NZ. and my life destroyed with no work available to me . Ageism is rife in the antipodes. MY little dog was blind, bonded with my sister and we both knew there would be a time for this. it would have been cruel to make her do the trip again after having done it twice before.

    On the morning this happened- my sister handled it very sensitively. Vet to the house, flowers and crystals and wrapped her in her pink blanket, a grave next to our father with a beautiful view. Both my sister and I were a mess.

    My daughter in a less than 2 minute conversation told me to pull myself together, calm down, that I had already said goodbye, you knew this was going to happen and again to pull myself together and I was over reacting. All I was was sad. I excused myself from the conversation very quietly and turned my phone off.

    A week later she has decided to be worried and now it is all my fault again.

    The light finally went on that I had a mother ,and a daughter with the same malaise.
    And I found this site. Thank you to all of you for not making me feel so alone in this realisation. What I do next I have no clue because my daughter will never accept that she is wrong about anything or that it could be her. And that I will aways be the crap mother and owe her.

    I will keep reading and be the best support I can be to my grandsons.
    Thank you.

  80. Hi, After reading everyone’s comments, I don’t know if I feel any relief or not. It is nice to know that I am not alone. My daughter is almost 22 years old and my older daughters and I have diagnosed her ourselves with BPD just recently. My BPD daughter graduated from an out of state college and now moved in with us. We have told her that she can stay as long as she wants to figure out what exactly what she wants to do. She has always been an “odd” child as we would say to ourselves, not like her two older sisters who have always been happy, stable and responsible. She was diagnosed as being developmentally delayed while in the early years, around 3 and 4 years old, and we always joked she was “highly spirited” because of defiant behavior and not being able to accurately express herself! After observing her in her kindergarten classroom where I volunteered, I noticed she was not doing what the others were. Long story short, we had to make the first move to get her diagnosed having ADD, the inattentive one. No hyperactivity in the least…very much in her own world. So, early on, knowing she was “different” and had “different needs”, was treated “differently” from her sisters. This was a whole new territory we had just entered into! She got the medicine she needed and and such, but still, always having a sense of sadness, and disengagement with the rest of the world. She was very sweet most of the time, and I would always try to make life easier for her, because she always seemed like “life was so hard for her”. When she was in 7th grade, she had an injury in her foot that then progressed in to CRPS, which is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. One of the most painful things one can endure for a long time. It is compared to phantom pain syndrome. This was very hard for her, as it was for us, to see her in soooo much pain and to no relief. Nothing worked, tried many drugs, pain management and physical therapy. Of course, while I was trying to hold down a 30 hour job, a husband that travelled, and dealing with my own issues of Thyroid Cancer and Herniated disc. (I, too had pain issues that as a mother, your’s is secondary–maybe why a glass of wine got me through it!) And don’t forget, I two other daughters who needed their mom as well. She was using crutches because of the pain and then had a home tutor for months because of the pain. This created more psycological issues with major depression and anxiety. After a year, we got through this, but CRPS is chronic, and it is under control, but can come and go. I think she has used this, though as a crutch when things go wrong. So after all of this, she became increasingly vulnerable, defiant, poor self esteem, poor body image (purging), seeking constant approval and didn’t have the best of friends. Very much a ‘loner’, although she did have a couple Best friends…but never initiated much. Surprisingly, she had surpassed and continually amazed us with her strides. She graduated high school, and just recently college. We thought she would never make it this far. It was not an easy task… many phone calls of distress, couple suicidal attempts with medications that was mainly “attention seeking” and a constant need for validation and affirmation. Again, I mainly had to deal with this–take it upon myself so everyone else can go on with their lives, and do what they need to do to get ahead. So, I could go on and on, but now my adult daughter has moved in and I get to see and live this first hand. Making it worse, she has a boyfriend that has BPD-So we think as well. He is very intelligent and is a master manipulator. He has much of the same issues as my daughter and knows all too well what is involved. He prays on her vulnerability and lack of decision making and money. He knows all too well that she “thinks” she needs him to make her “worthy” Having a boyfriend his her security, no matter how he treats her. She is not his priority we know by a lot of his actions! He is a liar, manipulator, and the catalyst to her recent suicide attempt of overdosing on sleeping pills this past weekend. She can’t handle conflict very well. Her conflict starts with her boyfriend putting pressures on her to move in with him at his college with three other roomates. She would not have a room to herself, she gets to share with him! (how convenient for him!) He is expecting her to pay half of his rent! She has a car that was passed down to her from us, when we bought a new one–He does not have a car at school available. He is conning her to get her masters degree at his University which has created so much stress on her! (while trying to graduate these past few months at her university and trying to go through the process of getting admitted to his university and live with him has put her over the edge. She was given $ from her grandparents for graduating. He knows this. He doesn’t have a dime. She would drive a couple of hours while attending college to see him. He took a bus to see her once. He also said he couldn’t see her graduate because a bus ticket was too much. After we told her that was rotten of him, he finally came, but lied to us about a bus ticket back being lost and we had to drive him back home which was a couple hours out of our way. At her own graduation party the week after, (which at first he said he couldn’t come), he was acting inappropriately with her in our basement –confirmed by a stunned guest who happened to had the pleasure to witness his sober, poor judgement, impulsive behavior to my daughter who undoubtedly was drunk. Witnesses saying he kept asking her to “see her bedroom”. She can not see fault with this boy. Justifies everything he says and does! She is soooo afraid of him breaking up with her. He threatens her that if she stays home with us and not move to his University next fall, he will break up with her. He knows she does not want that. She does not see the manipulation he has and can not make a good decision at this point. She is constantly trying to protect him. She is still in overnight therapy. She is adamant that we don’t talk about him in group therapy. She is manipulating me even while in therapy to send messages to him. He is not the entire problem in the least, we know that, but he is not conducive in her getting better. It is a lethal cocktail those two together. How do we convince her of that! Do we just sit idle and let her make her own stupid mistakes knowing that someone is using her. Don’t we as parents and family want to protect her from such a lethal situation. We want nothing but for her to come up to this realization on her own…but it doesn’t look like it at this point. We are having a family session tomorrow morning with her therapist which will be nothing but the open honest truth on all our shortcomings, convictions, and life living with someone with BPD. I am scared of the truth…yet it is much needed for us all to get better!

  81. Thank you all sharing your stories. I’m so grateful to know that I’m not at fault and not the only good mother dealing with this. I blame myself for spoiling her. I have given into her for the last two years but I can’t mentally handle the abuse or watch her hurt others any longer . It kills me to know she’s suffering but this can’t continue. I have been to afraid she’ll hurt herself( she has in the past) and perhaps in some denial. The lies and manipulation are all surfacing and I can no longer let treat her myself and her siblings with no consideration. My marriage is in shambles and we need help. Thank you all for sharing. I feel less alone. I miss my daughter so much and I hope she will except help. She hasn’t stayed on any medications or gone to her therapist but I see now that I also need therapy. This is so so heart breaking. I want my happy child back and I want peace for my family. I’m not sure why she’s this way but I’m not blaming myself any longer. There is a genetic component as my Sister and Grandmother were both diagnosed. I no longer have contact with my Sister but what do you do when it’s your child? Love and blessings to you all.

  82. My daughter was diagnosed with Asperger when she was 7years old. It was a relief to have that diagnosis I thought she was just a naughty, tearaway! Her school years were an utter nightmare, bullying took its toll on her and she moved secondary schools three times – problems just followed her. Then she started cutting, she was secretive, her hygiene was questionable at best and her bedroom slowly became a hoarders paradise. She was stealing from us and she developed a major eating disorder. She slipped in to total chaos and no matter what we did nothing worked. We had years of therapy – nothing sunk in. She was disagreeable all the time and her behaviour slowly became vengeful against me. Everything was my fault. She literally hated me. There were tiny glimpses of happy, proud and positive moments to rejoice in but they were few and far between and slowly even those times disappeared. She became disenchanted with everything. She was so deeply sad and conflicted with life. She began to frequent local train stations. She planned her own death, jumping in front of the train but she always made sure someone was acutely aware, friends would call me to tell me where she was, what she was doing. We were utterly terrified of what she would do next. She became more and more intolerant of me, she projected every frustration at me, nothing I did, said or didn’t say helped her. I have held my tongue so many times. She rendered me helpless. She left home at 17 unexpectedly and never returned. She had moved in with her boyfriend, we had no idea she even had a boyfriend! The boyfriend wasn’t a particularly pleasant guy, his mum was a hardened drug addict. My daughter declined further, crisis after crisis ensued. The lies she told were utterly unbelievable. Then she turned up pregnant. We were so frightened for the wellbeing of the innocent baby inside her. As my daughter was deemed a minor she was taken into the care of social services until she turned 18 – just before her 18th birthday she had a major breakdown and attempted suicide. We were devastated. She was diagnosed with BPD, it made so much sense. She was discharged to a mother and baby unit and when the baby came I was there to help her. She was deranged during the labour, I don’t know how we all got through those hours. When I got home I broke down entirely. I was consumed with grief for the girl she could have been for what I have lost and for the prospects of my beautiful new granddaughter living with a mum who could barely function and clearly unable to care for herself let alone a baby. After 5 months in her mothers care, being at risk from her dreadful decision making and impulsive unpredictable behaviour the baby was removed in to foster care. Those five months were the longest of my life. The baby should have been removed immediately. She would invite men into her room for sex while the baby slept in the same room, she would allow men to slap her in front of the baby, she would stay in all male hostels with aggressive abusive men with the baby (sneaking her in), she was smoking drugs and travelling on buses with her baby at 10:30pm. She lived the life similar to a vagrant and took her baby along with her. The baby was placed permanently with me after many months of assessments and threats of adoption outside of the family. My daughter had a total breakdown when her daughter was removed. She’s 20 in a few months, we’re still going through hell with her. She’s attempted suicide at least 6 times. The mental health teams just don’t know what to do with her. She’s homeless and living in a hostel. She’s now prostituting herself for money. No one has been able to help her. To add to all of this she is now more vengeful towards me than ever because I have her baby. It’s a living nightmare. Nevertheless she is loved, she is still that beautiful little girl I raised in a positive, loving and communicative environment, I am tired but I am not beaten.

  83. I am at fault for the many times I could not cope. I thought she didn’t feel loved so I gave her more, but I also expected much. Attend school and work for the extras I couldn’t give her. She seemed to need me desperately but hated me. I thought I was not loving enough. She made other families her family and shut me out. I was happy that she had someone she cared for since she couldn’t care for me. When all of her friends were marrying and having children, I thought if she married and had a child, she would finally understand love. My love for my granddaughter caused more problems. She circumvented the relationship I had with my granddaughter by not allowing me to drive her places. Only her stepfather was allowed to do that. Almost no photos of me with my granddaughter were made, but many with her step grandfather. This could go on and on. She is 52 years old now and I’m 72. She is the ultimate victim and has now convinced her husband that she was abused by me. Her 14 yr old had self harmed and been sent to a camp. Her mother can’t stop demanding perfection from her child. My daughter can’t help but destroy herself and others. I’m only now finding out that she is BPD. I’m frightened for my granddaughter. Is it true that BPDs can change if they want?

  84. Terry Corbett

    I have two daughters and one was diagnosed with bpd. I have been through hell and back but i love my daughter to the moon and back and would di anything for her.she is my sunshine and i love her but i am so tired and stressed out all the time. She takes mood stablizers and is starting therapy soon. I am just hoping that the therapy works for her because i have a high bloid pressure problem and i have had a stroke at 49 years old. Im 51 now and i know my health is in danger because my body really feels the pain. Not long ago when my daughter was having an episode i was just sitting there staring off into space and its like i couldnt open my mouth. I heard everything they were saying but i couldn’t move. My eyes were open but its like i wasn’t there. If you have any idea what this can be please let me know. It took my daughters 5minutes to bring me back.
    thanks everyone for listening

  85. I just can’t believe how self-centered are all the people who were perfectly aware of their defective genes (at least half of family is diagnosed with wide spectrum of serious mental issues and their life isn’t worth a penny because of all that suffering), yet they decided to have own children. This is the most selfish and cruel decision that you can make in your life as the percentage of your kid being unhappy and ill is extremely high.

    And then you’re telling everybody that you cared about them so much. This is like giving medical care to somebody you’ve just shot right in the heart.

    You should be ashamed of yourself, that I can tell you.

    In addition, it’s not very likely that you were able to give them all the care they needed. It’s just your view of the situation – every parents try to defend themselves, including severe abusers in the court, as seen in the media everyday.

  86. I am exhausted !!!! Don’t know from where to start or what to do it’s my step daughter that have BPD she live with me and her dad coz her mom who also have some mental problems don’t want her and her sister so I am taking care of both them
    My husband is tired and have some health issues from all the stress in our life I am scared of loosing him with all this pressure on us
    I start 4 years ago taking her to docters and psycholog but every dr give her different medication that lead to the point where it wasn’t the right medication for her
    I am not asking for anything I just want the right medication for her so we can control the situation
    It’s a nightmare for the whole family !!!
    She want everything her own way she want everything for her the same exact minute and in the and of all what she do she’s not ever sutisfid
    All my prayers ???????? For all the family’s who’s suffering like us it’s really hard to deal with this situations

  87. My daughter is 27 and has diagnosed BPD. It’s very difficult, I can’t say anything right and what I say is blown up into something completely different then what was intended. She has two friends which she’s convinced them that I’m an evil crazy liar. Once painted with that brush by someone it’s easy for people to then see you in that light. I’m not sure why they buy iy, because nothing truly points to that. I am glad that she’s got those people though. The issue I really really really struggle with is she has a seven-year-old son and she’s a single parent although his dad is married with three other children out of state. My grandson stays with my daughter during the school year and his father and family during summer and winter vacation. He’s so happy when he’s at his dad’s with the sisters. He loves his mom very much though. But I know he sees her anger at me and doesn’t understand it and feels very torn. You can see it when he is with us together he keeps looking at her 4 reaction and is very subdued with me compared to when he and I are alone and just very relaxed and having fun. I told my daughter that she needs counseling and she’s refusing. I’m so afraid for my grandson especially when I read the comments from adults who were children of BPD parents. I’m just not sure what to do. I’d like to separate myself from my daughter but then I don’t feel like there’s anyone to be an advocate for my grandson.

  88. My daughter was diagnosed with BPD two years ago and was fine until three years ago. At least she functioned and was able to hold a job and live an independent life. Then her relationship finished and she started her destructive behaviour.

    she had to come and live with us as she has a young son and could no longer afford to rent, her flatmates left once the lease was up. Since then her behaviour has got more and more out of hand. For the first time in our lives we had the police at our door because she threatened to kill herself on Facebook and someone phoned them and they came to find her tucked up in bed asleep. This has happened on more than one occasion. She sticks pins in her arms and legs and then goes to the hospital for treatment once they become infected. they usually just discharge her after treatment and she then phones us late at night to collect her.

    The only reason we tolerate this is because of our grandson whom she uses as blackmail, telling us she will leave and take him with her if we complain about her behaviour. She does nothing in the house to help and sits smoking and drinking coffee all day and complains all the time.

    She was actually discharged from the local clinic she was attending for being abusive to the staff and now sees only her GP as no-one else will see her.

    Like Laura I too would like to separate myself from her because this is having such an effect on our family. To outsiders she is charming, friendly and concerned for others but at home it’s a totally different story.

  89. My daughter just 25 has recently been diagnosed with BPD. I am so glad to have found others dealing with what mirrors our family’s circumstances. Now that I am exploring techniques to handle her and protect myself I am much better equipped. It seems like a very long road and consistency is key.

  90. I appreciate all of these comments, buttering them just brings me to tears. Mostly because they confirm my worst fears…A lost daughter, with BPD, and NO real resources, help or end in sight! Where can such an individual live? She can’t live with me, and her step-dad. He can not tolerate her at all, as she is very difficult to live with. Her dad can’t handle her

  91. I found this site by accident- looking for ways to deal with the stress and anxiety of dealing with my 18 year old daughter with BPD. Like all of – it’s HELL. Years of being told she had ADHD, bipolar disorder and now BPD. Smashes called CPS on me and my husband – run away countless times, was trafficked had a baby been arrested CPS took the baby and I can’t get her because of the lies she’s told- I lost two jobs from trying to rescue her- in hopes of saving her at 17.5 and at the behest of child services I put her in residential treatment and she ran away and as a non dependent minor she has resources and in the last year and has lost her housing 4 times – the last time I told her she can’t come back here I love her with my soul but I now have ulcers and my hair is falling out and I won’t let her come back her living with her is a nightmare my husband is fed up my family walked away and when she calls it’s either some crisis which somehow is never her fault and ultimately mine because I’m a crappy mom because I’ve worked and my family’s fault because we are uppity and countless therapists medications and money money to help her money to keep her stabilized and to leave me alone I don’t know what else to do- the last 6 years have been a nightmare and though she doesn’t live with me – it doesn’t stop Not to mention the verbal assaults and people calling me because she freaks out – I don’t want to abandon her but I’m finally returning g to graduate school after having to quit twice because of her behavior not to mention I’ve uprooted my life three times to find better solutions – when she calls I get this put in my stomach and I don’t even want to talk to her because it’s always she needs money or help or uggh it’s too much to bare. Thank you all for sharing – I felt like I was living in a nightmare all alone and u fortunately I’m not –

  92. Ann wrote “Your child’s BPD is NOT YOUR FAULT. Your child is still alive because of the selfless love and care you have given him or her.” Thank you. I struggle to cope. I blame myself. She is both physically and emotionally hurtful. She calls me horrible names and tells me she hates me and wishes I were dead. The next day she wants something and she loves me again. Roller coaster that has nearly destroyed me. I cried reading what Ann wrote. Simple words that I have needed to hear. I want more than anything for my daughter to be happy, to know calm and love herself so she can love life.

  93. I feel a sense of relief after reading so many stories of mothers who have been going through the same thing dealing with a daughter(or loved one) with BPD which I did not even know about until the other day when my counselor youngest daughter suggested to me might be my oldest daughters problem……I had been told by my oldest daughter during the years of her drug usage, horrible actions, unhealthy relationships, attempts to commit suicide, and rehabilitation attempts too numerous to count, that it was always someone else’s fault, my fault, anybody that she could think of fault that all of this had happened to her……I did not know what to do or how to deal with these behaviors and accusations and phone calls in the middle of the night which were frequent and always dramatic…..she is constantly trying to convince me that she is in AA but if she was at my house when we had get-togethers I became the enabler when she found my cooking wine or other wine that I might have had just for special occasions and drank it in private…..I would sometimes take her to lunch on better days (you all know about those days when she is acting nice) and if I went to the restroom she would order a glass of wine while I was gone…..needless to say the AA was all an act and I would point out to her that it was a joke for her to go to AA…..I cannot even count the number of times that she had manipulated me or guilt tripped me into doing something for her or helping her out and has cost me thousands and thousands of dollars over the years…..
    I am not trying to make myself feel better by telling this because I realize now after reading all of your stories that I am at fault for not having any boundaries but I do now and I have just ended this relationship due to my health and the horrible horrible text messages that I received from her just last week with her wanting me dead……I know that she does not mean it but I cannot excuse it anymore and allow myself to be her chopping block of emotions which has been most of the last 30 years of my life and cost several marriages for me…..I know that I must seek counseling if I am to be able to deal with this at any point in time in the future and I realize that counseling for her has to be only if she seeks it out for herself which is probably unlikely because if she did receive it she would make up more stories of abuse and neglect on my part as well as anyone who has had to deal with her over the years……step-fathers supposed molesting her, boyfriends beating her, which one actually did beat in her face at one point and she had to have facial reconstruction surgery, this was when she and he were on crank and shooting up…..she has made for herself a hard life and crazy relationships that have no hope of surviving or being normal when at one point she was in medical school and on the Deans’ list and making straight A’s……it just breaks my heart because she has lost most of her teeth because of drug use and she had such a pretty smile… breaks my heart to have to sever ties when she has been such a part of my life….she is 45 and acts like a 14 year old……most of my family has said that they are surprised that it took me that long…..I am sure that it will take lots of counseling for me to deal with this decision and stick to it…..old habits are hard to break and she is still my daughter and I really hope that she can get some help but at this stage of undiagnosed BPD she is on strong medications for PTSD and Bipolar and depression and not going to counseling at all that I know of and has not been correctly diagnosed because she is very smart and has manipulated the system so that she can receive disability……like many many of you I only want my daughter to have happiness and be able to have fun with her daughters and grandchildren one day…..she already has one granddaughter but her daughter does not have much contact with her either……she had become obsessed with them and is constantly trying to make them have a guilt trip…..anyone that she has contact with eventually cannot deal with her and limits that contact…..she does not understand why… is a vicious cycle and does not seem to be able to be broken…..but for my own happiness and health I have to……

  94. I’ve read every comment here, and I feel the pain of the other moms and dads dealing with this. I’m convinced that my older daughter, 27, has BPD since she ticks all the boxes. She is married with an infant and a toddler, and when she found out she was pregnant the second time, she said she hated her husband and wanted to leave him. I encouraged her to seek therapy, for herself and for the two of them if he’d agree. She said she would but has not. She’s been difficult since her late teens, but since her second pregnancy, she’s gotten much worse. Flying into tirades, hurling abuse and obscenities at me, becoming enraged if I don’t do exactly as she wants…there is no reasoning with her. Her husband is from a dysfunctional family (alcoholic mother who has never bothered to meet her grandchildren). We’ve treated him like a son, and I’ve observed my daughter treating him badly on many occasions. She told me earlier this year that she’d slapped him and shoved him. He’s always been somewhat aloof and hard to read. Now they are in some kind of unholy alliance against my husband and me…she is furious with me once again for not complying with her unreasonable demands. We have done so much for these two, supporting them in every way, including lots of financial help. I don’t know if my SIL is trying to save himself, but he is definitely enabling her now, which has made things worse since it’s “us vs. them.” My husband is her stepdad, and he has treated her like his own daughter; they have had a very good relationship except that now he is being lumped in with me. I divorced her bio dad when she was a child; he promptly moved 1000 miles away and has seen her and her sister sporadically. They have a rocky relationship, and my daughter hates her stepmother. She has no relationship with her in-laws, and they seem disinterested in any relationship with their own son and grandchildren, let alone my daughter. I’ve been there for her every step of the way, trying to avoid conflict and trying to move forward after another tirade. It’s a hideous cycle, and I don’t see any end to it. Now she is using my grandchildren as pawns, which I was afraid she would do…ominously telling me recently I’d be “losing out” on a relationship with them. Her second child is a newborn, but we have a solid bond with her toddler, and it breaks our hearts. I’m also terrified for them, but I don’t know what I can do. Grandparents have very few, if any, rights. I can’t continue subjecting myself to her abuse, particularly now that she has made it clear that she’ll use her own children to hurt me. I don’t think I can cope with repeated episodes of that, and I know that as they get older, it will be damaging for the children. So what to do…it seems that my choices are to submit to her every demand (which still won’t be enough) or stay away and try to heal and go on with life. I have a younger daughter I get on very well with…she is dealing with medical issues, which my older daughter has always resented (?). She was awful to her sister when they were in their teens, and they have a purely superficial relationship now (thanks to my younger daughter, who is very forgiving).

    In response to a few of the comments from obvious BPD children, we don’t alway realize there’s a family history until it’s too late. My mother was horrible when I was growing up…emotionally, verbally and physically abusive. Our relationship stabilized somewhat for a while and then became intolerable in the last decade; I finally realized she is a textbook case of NPD, and after failing at limited contact, I had to cut off contact with her when my blood pressure became dangerously high. She never once made any effort to reach out to me. She was the barometer for me of what not to do, and as a result, I made sure my girls were raised with unconditional love and support. They were never abused or neglected in any way, although I think their father’s abandonment hurt them both. Still, they spent the overwhelming majority of their time with me and were always my top priority. As I said, their stepdad has treated them like his own daughters. So no, it isn’t always “the parents’ fault.” That was the mindset about autism until fairly recently. It’s all too convenient to blame the parents, but the shoe simply doesn’t always fit.

  95. I have two daughters (18 & 19) who both have been diagnosed with BPD. The one continuously tries to commit suicide when anything doesn’t go her way. The other one likes to shoot meth. I’ve battled this for 6 years now with nothing but police and paramedics at my house. They don’t live with me anymore, but they’re still doing it.

    I’ve decided to move away from them. I’ll always be available on Facebook and by phone, but I can’t live with this anymore. I have young children and my entire family has been traumatized. Almost ended my marriage. I have recently been diagnosed with PTSD (avoidant). Well, I’m moving – avoiding – whatever you want to call it. But, I look forward to not being so close to them where they can cause so much heartbreak and drama all the time.

    Maybe it is my fault! I catered to them too much. Wanted to just be super loving and super supportive. In so much, that they just never learned to deal. I’ll never know. But, I’m doing what I think is best for me and my immediate family. I hope they both feel better some day. What a nightmare it’s been so far.

  96. Where to start… First of all grateful to have found this site. I wish all of us here health, peace and love.

    I am the daughter of a diagnosed Bipolar with Undiagnosed BPD/Narcissism. I spent the first 50 years of my life surviving this relationship. No physical abuse, but tons of psycho-emotional. I’ve suffered depression on and off my whole life, suspect some PTSD too. I’ve done lots of therapy with good psychologists, which at least helped me see that my own issues are not my own fault, nor are they entirely in my control. My depression is reactive – which is to say it doesn’t come on for no reason. I also have significant autoimmune issues. My parents divorced when I was 8. I remain close to my father and have a good relationship with my stepmother. I have 1 full brother and 2 half brothers. At the age of 50, I could take it no more and estranged myself from my mother, and consequently, my full brother (because he kept invalidating the abuses I suffered that he did not as the “golden child”). She always excelled at undermining family relationships, and after years of setting boundaries, realized she’d always do what she wanted, and to continue would risk my own marriage. She even undermined our parenting, which is where I drew the last line in the sand. She crossed it and I haven’t spoken to her since March, 2011, when she called me making her usual unreasonable demands and blaming me for her troubles. Since then, my mother has made sure to alienate her entire family from me, saying I’m the crazy one. Not one cousin, aunt or uncle has stood by me.

    One of my half brothers is undiagnosed Aspergers and depressive, but he’s kind and we do have an amicable, if somewhat distant, relationship. My youngest half brother and I are very close (he is married to a woman with severe depression and PTSD, she is currently undergoing electroshock treatments). They have an infant son, who’s a delightful baby, but I worry about him growing into mental illness as well.

    My husband is a recovering drug addict, however he is strong in his recovery and has 16+ years clean. He has always refused to attend any counseling outside of recovery programs, even though he’d clearly benefit, as he grew up with a lot of psychological damage as well (I think this was an early bonding point for us). We’ve been together since 1990. I struggled for a long time deciding on whether to become a mom, I really was unsure. A lot of my peers kept talking me into it. Knowing how strongly genetic mental illness can be, we decided not to reproduce biologically and to adopt instead. We figured better to roll the dice in an informed way than to pretty much guarantee bringing another human into this world who will suffer from: depression, bipolar, addiction, etc. And so we did, adopting a 5 month old girl from a country in Asia in 2000.

    The reason for this, and for me suffering endless anxiety panic attacks, and bouts of depression, is our daughter. She is 18. She was a delightful baby. So happy, so smart, so engaged with the world, curious, bit of a “mama’s girl”, but I was the stay at home parent, so that made sense. I also recognized this as her being well-bonded to us. By the time she was 5 I got the sense something was a little “off”. She would argue everything (for example if I said “What a pretty blue sky today,” she’d reply “The sky is NOT blue.” She was a hoarder at that young age – would throw a tantrum when I’d “help” her clean her room. By that I mean that she’d scream if I threw out used tissues or scraps of paper with nothing on them. A year after we moved into a new house, we discovered she had been stuffing food between the sofa and the wall. She had always been a picky eater, but this was an eating disorder red flag for me. I reached out to a child psychologist. Some tests were done, but she was only about 6, so it was limited. Psychologist A said “She’s very bright with a high EQ. This is just stubbornness, it will pass.” I kept pointing out to everyone that our daughter always lies, even when there’s no need to, but my words fell on deaf ears.

    Needless to say, it didn’t ever pass, really. At age 8 or so noticed a spike in oppositionality and academic issues. Brought her back to Psychologist A. Much testing. No ADD but moderate Executive Dysfunction and mild ODD. We bribed her t go to therapy on and off for a few years. “She’s fine, she’s just smart and gets bored easily, the Exec Dysfunction is manageable, we’ll work on skills.” She did OK academically, but she was always oppositional to any help – whether parental, tutoring, etc. “Don’t worry, she’s just willful and independent,” said Psych A. But the eating issues never went away (at least they never got worse). She was oppositional to the point of refusing a glass of water on hot days. And during all this time, I never cut her off from her BPD grandmother (although I confess to using my daughter’s oppositionality to discourage contact “Hey don’t forget to call your grandmother” went a long way towards discouraging).

    By the end of middle and beginning of high school, the ODD got worse, and we noticed that she was cycling through friends, going down the hierarchy to kids we didn’t trust. Due to my husband’s job we moved across the country in 2014, from a small southern town to a big western city. We bent over backwards to try to smooth this transition for our daughter. We even targeted specific neighborhoods so she could go to a good high school that she liked. Within 6 months of the move her behavior deteriorated – no, spiraled. She became addicted to drugs. She would disappear for days at a time. I’d make police reports, but not much they can do. She threatened the family pets and me verbally. She told other people we had kicked her out and that we beat her up regularly. I had to reach into my bag of coping skills from my childhood. During one outburst I told her – “Fine, go ahead, call the police, report us to CPS. Have fun in foster care. Remember to pack your toothbrush.” So of course she never did.

    At this point we got her to a psychiatrist, as it was clear that there is a lot going on and she needed medication (clearly the drugs were her self-medicating). This “Psych B” is talented and smart and not just a prescription writer. She talked us into putting our daughter in a teen rehab for the drug abuse and to “shock her amygdala”. It was a good try, but ultimately a waste of time and money as it completely backfired. Psych B got her onto some good anti-depressants and initiated DBT. Things improved slightly for a bit. Our daughter (barely) finished high school. She is now in the process of flunking out of college. She has a nice boyfriend (clearly she reminds him of his bipolar/alcoholic mother), I feel bad for him but I don’t get involved. Our daughter won’t take meds anymore and doesn’t want therapy anymore (quelle surprise). Her visits home are unpleasant. Everything is our/MY fault. She, like my mother, is a perpetual victim. They are also both like spiders – they spin big webs of lies to draw people in. I’ve asked Psych B to see my husband and me, to counsel us on moving forward (he doesn’t understand that the BPD will out-survive us, and can’t even admit it’s BPD).

    And for those who discount genetics, a cautionary tale: our daughter recently asked for DNA test to see if she has any blood relatives from her home country in the US. Turns out she does, it’s a boy, a second cousin who we know. He’s from the same orphanage and we were friendly with his family. The kids used to play together as babies. So I reached out to the mom. Turns out he has significant mental illness and addiction issues too. Both families are well educated and loving. No abuse or trauma. Many people blame adoptive parents for causing “adoption trauma”, but I resent that, since it’s clear that in their home country these kids would not have survived to adulthood. They would have been killed, sold as slaves, or killed themselves via drug use or depressive suicide. So I don’t buy into that theory of trauma nor do I buy into blaming parents. This is not to say trauma can’t cause BPD, it can, but to say that parents are always somehow at fault is ignorant. Remember, they used to blame schizophrenia on parental abuse, and now we know it’s 100% genetic/biological. Makes one see it as chicken vs. egg – perhaps abuse got triggered by abnormal behaviors in the past. Certainly I have had feelings of wanting to slap my daughter, but have never done so (she got spanked twice as a toddler, both times for running into traffic), but I can see how there can be a huge overlap between cycles of abuse and mental illness.

    And so here I am, sandwiched between two BPD women who are not biologically related. I regret becoming a mother at all. My marriage is strained to breaking point and I’m not sure it will survive my daughter’s barrages of mental illness. I have decided that when grandkids come along, I will NOT be the rescuing grandparent. Let the in-laws who are biologically related deal with it. I’m done. It’s all I can do not to get in my car and drive away and start a new life alone. I’m angry at the universe for doing this to me. I have only had fleeting moments of happiness my entire life, which are always abruptly ended by the BPD person in my life. I recognize that it’s not curable and only minimally treatable. My husband and his entire family do not recognize the severity of BPD,nor do they agree that daughter has it. I’m 55 and have been at the mercy of this BPD form of torture the whole time. I’d like to spend my last decade or two in peace. I cry when I read about 85 year olds still being abused by their BPD 50+ year old kids. If this happens to me, I will end my own life rather than continue to suffer. And just so you know, as a kid, I had a lot of suicidal ideation, and the only reason I never did it was because I recognized that my BPD mother would literally get a lady boner if she had to bury me, as it would have further fed into her perpetual victimhood.

    I thank all of you for sharing. While each case is different, it helps to see the common threads. I wish us all peace of mind and a hope for scientific advancement to find a cure for what seems to be a pretty rampant brain disease.

  97. Stef…I know how you feel. My daughter has personality disorder and I’m cutting all ties from her. She had everything as a child, and I think it’s wrong that they blame this disorder on the upbringing. My daughter is 26 going on 6. Can’t bear the violent outbursts anymore. She can’t do anything for herself. She lost her children and now one of them are up for adoption. She’s so deluded, she thinks she’ll get them back. She has been hospilised a few times and police are called at least 3 times a week because of her. Now I’ve had enough of her and have blocked her on my phone. This is the only way to stop myself going mad! I just want some peace now!!!

  98. Dbt is a must! Love and validate your bpd as much as you are able and take care of yourself! We can’t help our loved ones if we are not healthy ourselves. Get the therapy and love you need to stay well so that you can help your daughter out of this hell! We can do this! We love our kids but we need to be a well being, strong and in charge even when we are not! Keep loving and stay proud to be the parent of your child no matter how difficult, I believe in all of us and it is not an easy feat to do but I believe in our ability to love and protect and to build trust and stability for our child! Love yourself enough to seek out support for you and your family… and always tell your child how much you love them no matter what! I believe you do! I know I do and at times it can be a living hell and at times it can be the most loving moments- she embodies it all but stay strong and endure by supporting yourself and hold onto everything that is great and dear to you as you help your bpd help herself! This is the single most difficult thing I have ever endured- but I will endure and I will love her, I will always love her! Stay strong all you wonderful moms! I have your backs and I love you for loving your child! We will endure and so will they! I gotta believe and that is half the battle of this disorder!

  99. Michelle

    I have been reading the posts, and anyone of them could be a post about my sister. She has been dx a bipolar, and over the past 3o years has tried medication and therapy. Medication .. I am sure she is not bipolar, and believe she is BPD and narcissistic ..

    All family members have distanced themselves from her. The only reason I remain is for my 11 yr old niece, my husband and I are her only stable relationship and for her we put up with my sisters abuse.

    My niece is getting older and understands that her Mother has problems, my sister is now getting more abusive to my niece. Nothing physical so far, but she is living under emotional abuse. My niece stays with us a lot and she loves being with my Husband and Myself. Lately she has been hinting to wanting to live with us.

    I love my sister and know the best thing would be for my niece to live with us and pray my sister gets help she needs. My sister believes I am the reason for all her troubles.

    I have read some of the therapist ideas about where this behavior comes from and I disagree its the parents fault. My sister was the youngest, she was dotted on, and spoiled even when she exhibited bad behavior we always forgave her. When she tells stories of her childhood it is totally distorted and you would believe she was abused, when she is actually the abuser.

    If it wasnt for my niece I would cut her off and I believe she knows this and it makes her jealous of her own daughter. I love my sister but I do not like her and wish she could get the help she needs, and be happy.
    A therapist told me once I have to deal with how I react to her because I cannot change her. It is difficult, but I keep trying.

  100. I feel all you parents pain!! My daughter has bpd also. Was I the perfect mom, no not at all. Did I make mistakes yes I did. Don’t we all, yes we do. One thing I learn from my daughters mental illness, is she don’t want it!!! All she want is to be like the other girls. She knows her thinking is not right. She know her emotions are all over the place. She knows she can be mean, hateful and say things that just hurt. SHE DONT WANT TO BE THAT WAY. So to me it’s not her fault. Is it hard to be a mother to a child like this yes exusting. Many tears heart ache , pain. But what about there pain, we can’t take it away or we would. My daughters pain is deeper than mine how do I no she wants to die that’s how I know

  101. Thank you for your post Michelle,

    i have let my sister move in with me and my disabled son for the last five months and now I understand why the rest of the family can’t cope with her. Her behaviour is exactly as described in the other posts and in this short time I have been reduced to having to see a shrink myself (no disrespect intended), I feel like I am going mad and taking it out on my son by growling at him when she abuses me. I feel so awful as I am sure he doesn’t understand why mum has changed.

    I have arranged to move us out of my home and get a flat so we can survive. I don’t know what else to do I used to feel sorry for her but that is fading and I don’t even want to see her as I can’t cope with her and her uncalled for irrational fits of bad behaviour and she is not happy with that either. I can never do anything to please her so have to decided to stop trying to fix everything for her. I could say so much more but everyone else has already said it all for me. I don’t want to be hard but being kind and soft and a door mat has not worked so I hope my therapy will help me to get over it and stop worrying for not being the perfect sister.

    I pray for all of those concerned and hope we all find peace of mind however it comes.

  102. I am so thankful to have found this site and to all who have shared their stories. I now don’t feel so alone. My grown daughter hasn’t been diagnosed yet but has all the symptoms. It is heartbreaking. She has a toddler and husband who have to deal with it also but I am definitely the person who gets the brunt of her outburst. Walking on eggshells is my life with her. My question is how do I get her to be diagnosed so that she can get help? She is going to therapy for her anger issues but I’m not sure they really know the extent and the true story. She is bright, talented, a hard worker. No substance abuse, no self harm physically but a lot of self hate. Also saying “I want to die, I wish I was dead, etc.). I am afraid (really afraid) to even bring up the suggestion to her that she might want to ask her doctor about this. How did you get your daughter to seek help for this disorder without them lashing out at you? I’m so fearful that if I bring it up she will cut me off completely. Thank you.

  103. We have a 22 year old daughter with bpd. I don’t know how I’m supposed to stop waiting for the next big problem. Cause I know there will be one. ☹️It really hasn’t stopped for 10 years.We just didn’t know it in the beginning.No one should think they have any idea what it’s like if you don’t have a loved one with bpd because believe me you don’t. Everyone pays the consequences of their actions if you stay close at all. And if you cut them off ( we never have) I suppose you pay for that too with guilt. I’m trying to enjoy the “ downtime “. I’m not sure how we’re supposed to do this for a lifetime. It’s seems pretty daunting to be honest. I know it’s not intentional or malicious but the bad choices are discouraging and exhausting. Just by reading my own comment I think I’m going to arrange therapy so I’m not so angry all the time.

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