I'm new here! Mom is undiagnosed BPD

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Little Bee

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I'm new here! Mom is undiagnosed BPD
« on: July 08, 2020, 10:51:25 PM »
Hi y'all! I'm here because I'm hoping to talk with and hear from people who have some shared experiences growing up with a BPD mom.

I've only come to realize in the last few months (with the help of a good therapist, a lot of reading, and 30 mg of cymbalta every morning) that my mom has BPD. She's lived with me for the last 6 years, and is currently fighting her fourth round of cancer. After my dad died unexpectedly in 2013, mom was "unable" (unwilling) to take care of herself, lived a state away, and I couldn't handle the guilt. So i moved her in with me, with the intention of instilling some life skills and moving her into her own apartment in 1-2 years. Then the cancer came back. And the guilt made itself comfortable.

After a lot of internal work, I no longer feel the guilt. What I feel now is barely contained rage, stoked by 39 years of gaslighting, emotional manipulation, providing constant validation and reassurance, tiptoeing around tantrums and meltdowns, being parentified, dismissed, and neglected, while my mother  smokes weed and prattles about being an abused child who has been victimized every single day of her 67 years on the planet.

While away from her, I finally feel....normal. I pretend she doesn't exist, and for that brief time away, she doesn't. But when I'm home (and if I'm not at work I'm at home 98% of the time-COVID and all), it's all I can do to blow my top every time she opens her mouth. Once she opens it, it doesn't close- she talks about herself from dawn til dusk, every day. I'm exhausted.

Does anyone have any advice? Or the same problem? Thanks for listening :)



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Re: I'm new here! Mom is undiagnosed BPD
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2020, 12:30:38 AM »
My experience:  my mother has had undiagnosed issues that have made  things almost impossible.  Over the years I've noticed that she has learned and shown some personal growth. Our communication has improved (very gradually) possibly because of changes I've been able to make when I talk to her.  I was in therapy for years and years, which helped.  It is still hard to change how I relate to her, but to the extent that I've done that I think it helped.  It could also be that she's now in her late 80s and has made the choice to be nicer. 

Outside of our interactions, it has helped to think of how her life has been and what she needs and what her struggles might be. It's hard to do when I'm hurt but a little distance and some self care sometimes works. Also when my kids became adults  I noticed some of the dysfunctional ways I relate to them, and I felt so bad about myself and the excuses I gave them.  I also explained the correlations to my childhood so it wasn't just excuses-it was explaining the reasons.  When I started doing that it was impossible not to think of my mom.  Just too many parallels. 

I had the advantage of having physical distance. I don't have to care for her because she prefers my other siblings.  So that makes it easier in a way.  In another way as my therapist points out it makes it hard to confront anything or change anything.  If she had been around me more I could have theoretically tried to change how I relate to her. 

Anyway that's how things have been for me.  It's weird how suddenly she stopped being mean and maybe it's age and covid and mortality hitting her.  We have never spoken openly about what's happened and I wish I had the strength to talk about how we talk to each other.  I find a lot of satisfaction in how I am able to do things differently with my kids by openly talking about a lot of this stuff.


Spring Butterfly

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Re: I'm new here! Mom is undiagnosed BPD
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2020, 08:09:37 AM »
Is it still your plan to get her into her own place or is that even possible now with all that's going on?

Have you seen the toolbox section what to do? If you must interact with someone PD or otherwise disorder there's some really good strategies for minimizing the damage and allowing some healing space after contact. Although...

Since your contact is almost constant and in your own home is there a place you could make space for yourself? That's good practice anyway even with non PD long-term house guests or roommates. Are you able to treat her more of a roommate? Do you have your own room in the house that you could keep maybe a little refrigerator or coffee pot and snacks? Can you decorate it comfortably in create a healing environment?

My FOO as various undiagnosed PD and I'm currently in minimum contact with them. Even as a child growing up though I found places to hide away I guess by instinct. My current living situation FOC is healthy and well but I still have my own space. It's just a little corner of the bedroom I share with my husband but still it's my own little space.

Normally I recommend people spend time at coffee shops in libraries when dealing with situations like yours but that may not be possible for you. Is there any parks or hiking paths open?
Every interaction w/ PD persons results in damage. Plan accordingly, make time to heal
Individuation is the key to emotional freedom
It's foolish to expect of others what they have no capacity to give
If others were self observant, introspective, this forum would not exist


Thru the Rain

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Re: I'm new here! Mom is undiagnosed BPD
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2020, 07:23:59 PM »
My uPDM drives me crazy with just a 4 day visit. I can't imagine having her live in my home for multiple years!

Your M sounds very much like mine. Life-long victim mentality. Bottomless well of self-pity, but zero kindness or patience for anyone else. And she Never Stops Talking. Ever. And if you interrupt the stream of mindless blather, she loses her temper. No true self awareness, in spite of really only ever seeing herself. And emotionally stuck at 12 years old, with all the mean-girl traits that go along with that.

I can feel your frustration. And now that there's the covid situation - and she has recurrence of cancer on top of that - it will take a lot of work to get her out of your home. It helps that you feel angry, and have left guilt behind. Anger is a much better motivator for taking steps to take care of yourself.

Many people have posted their stories here on OOTF out getting an elderly person out of their home. I would recommend diving into the Dealing with PD Parents and Dealing with Elderly PD Family Members. So many people have shared their stories in getting out from your exact situation.