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Controlling BPD Mother (Who is Also My Carer) — Advice?

Elida

Elida

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Joined
Feb 8, 2020
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4
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England
Hi everyone. I'll start by saying I have BPD and so does my mum. However, the main differences between us are:
  • While my BPD causes some emotional instability and a 'wobbly' sense of self, I rarely manipulate people (and there would be extenuating circumstances) and after 10-years of therapy by BPD is very well managed.
  • My mum is all over the place, refuses to have therapy, and is incredibly manipulative/controlling.
The main issue I have right now is that I also have a disabling chronic illness which means I need help with house management and grocery shopping etc. Since my (covert narcissist) ex left me 2 years ago, she has stepped in to act as my carer in this respect. However, recently her behaviour is growing more toxic and I'm catching her out more often when she lies or manipulates me... but I know I'm not catching more than a small percent.

Has anyone else here got experience with this and do you have any advice on how to better catch the underhand behaviour so I can call her out on it? Right now I'm scared she's doing other stuff that's hurting me that I'm not even 'seeing'.

Also, has anyone else here had specific experience as an adult child of someone with a personality disorder who is now their carer?

Thanks all.
 
Z

Zoe1

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hi Elida :welcome: !

I dont know what kind of disorder my parents could have had / has
but they were very disordered and controlling in different ways

but I have not needed care from them so intensively
is there no way you can consider other options ?
have you spoken to your GP about it
or approached mental health services

if your mother was not able to look after you
what would you do ?
not easy to work on I know, but might offer some hope

because in a sense at the moment
you are also her carer

I dont think ' catching her out more often ' will help
its more a case of understanding how sick she is
which means that you would not feel resentment about it
this is a very difficult thing to learn
and I slip all the time, but I am trying

I hope you find the forum helpful ,
lovely name !

:hug5:🕯🍀
 
Elida

Elida

New member
Joined
Feb 8, 2020
Messages
4
Location
England
...is there no way you can consider other options ?
have you spoken to your GP about it
or approached mental health services

if your mother was not able to look after you
what would you do ?
not easy to work on I know, but might offer some hope

because in a sense at the moment
you are also her carer

I dont think ' catching her out more often ' will help
its more a case of understanding how sick she is
which means that you would not feel resentment about it
this is a very difficult thing to learn
and I slip all the time, but I am trying...
Hi Zoe!

Thanks for replying :) In terms of other options I have been looking for alternatives for years, but there just are none. The Council's social services won't offer support with this type of problem i.e. they would come in and help with washing and bathing, but not house management. I'm at a loss and very frustrated. Others in my position end up homeless and committing suicide or just dying because they can't look after themselves (I'm not exaggerating - it's all in the news about people on benefits due to not having enough money to pay for the support they need).

Very interesting idea that I am her carer, and you're absolutely right! I hadn't thought about it that way!

The reason I need to better identify when she is hurting me is that I am having physiological responses (i.e. my chronic illness gets worse, which is negatively impacting my recovery) even if I haven't consciously registered what is going on, and I need to first get better at being aware of what she is doing as she is doing it (priority 1) and then become more assertive at looking after myself... or else I'll have to go no contact. The only other option is to remain disabled.

Most of the time I'm able to be very compassionate with her, but this isn't about justice, or resentment, or understanding her BPD, it's about protecting myself, because if I do not I will remain too ill to work, to socialise etc. and will remain predominantly housebound and often bedridden.
 
Z

Zoe1

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hi Elida thanks

actually I do relate on some levels
because I have been handed responsibility
for the heroin addict in my family !
although we dont live together
what is similar is that its one person with a severe illness
schizophrenia in my case , looking after a drug addicts affairs !

and yes like you it stops me getting well
although after 5 years with my therapist
little breakthroughs are slowly happening
im not sure I will ever recover from that

so you are getting no help with your BPD
and no help with your caring duties ?
do you even get PIP ?
I at least do get that , which pays for my therapist
one session a month

I feel there must be some kind of connections for you
either through local mental health services
or there are things like Care for the Carers
who may be able to help you

and there is a carers forum here as well
and a BPD section

and keep posting here about how its going

:hug5::goodluck:🕯
 
Z

Zoe1

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another thing you could try
is contacting Pohwer advocacy which is free of charge
to talk about your neglected treatment

they should be able to put you in touch
with an advocate in your area
 
Elida

Elida

New member
Joined
Feb 8, 2020
Messages
4
Location
England
Hi Zoe, sorry to hear you've had to deal with that ((hugs)).

Thanks for the tip about Pohwer advocacy but it seems they don't cover the North East. I've had similar troubles with other organisations who just don't cover my area, or don't offer the type of help I need. I do have a PIP reassessment coming up so hopefully, I can get a financial boost which will enable me to get some paid-for services, but honestly, I've struggled to find many of them in my area either, and those I have found haven't answered any of my emails! :BLAH:

I am seeing a psychologist at the moment which I hope will help, but if I can't protect myself from my mum or go minimal contact I still won't be able to recover. After 10 years of therapy by BDP is I think as good as it's going to get and I feel quite stable for the most part. The moments when I spiral are key to recovery from the physical illness, so I only have one goal which is to address those "snags", and the mum stuff is central to it.

Definitely no help via social services, the GP or mental health services. I'm not sure what else is out there in the UK, but here we're stripped to the bone bar essentials — and often those are getting missed — and when I've asked for help some professional have actually laughed at me because there just isn't any. It's scary.
 
Z

Zoe1

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thankyou Elida

actually if you contact Pohwer they will tell you
how you can be reached by whatever organisation covers your area
you and I have alot of similarities
in that we have worked on our recovery , we have recovered ourselves
but are unable to finish the recovery completely
because of our relatives !

maybe to do so we need to look at our role as carers

what does your psychologist say about your living situation ?
 
Elida

Elida

New member
Joined
Feb 8, 2020
Messages
4
Location
England
I'm so sorry you are in a similar place, but it seems you are right that we do share a lot so I'm glad I opened up on this forum as I so badly wanted to talk to someone in this (very specific!) situation!

My psychologist of 8 years said I needed to go non-contact or else I'd never recover. Then my narcissistic partner left me, and I felt better, so we hoped that perhaps it was his influence, not mum's, that was doing the main damage. I also did some work with mum on changing her behaviour towards me (my explaining the consequences if we didn't change i.e. non-contact, which motivated her) and she did embrace some DBT skills I'd learned for my BPD. Things got better, our relationship was better, by health was better. Then recently it's like she's just gone back to all her old habits, with a vengeance. She's stopped committing to any change and is being toxic and controlling again, but she always seems to do it in a sly way (like my narc ex) so that if you called on any particular thing she'd have a ready-made excuse and you look like the a-hole for pulling her on it.

After a year-long break, I'm now working with another psychologist and we're looking at a different approach to help me i.e. Cognitive Analytical Therapy. It's been surprisingly useful so far, but unless I can recognise when mum is in the process of manipulating/controlling me, then it won't help as a therapy in this regard and I'll be back to the no-contact option, which is a slight issue as I'm disabled and she is my only support. Although at this stage I'd almost be tempted to take a leap of faith and see if my physical symptoms got better in her absence fast enough before I needed her help... but talk about a leap!
 
Z

Zoe1

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is being toxic and controlling again, but she always seems to do it in a sly way (like my narc ex) so that if you called on any particular thing she'd have a ready-made excuse and you look like the a-hole for pulling her on it
know that one well !

Although at this stage I'd almost be tempted to take a leap of faith and see if my physical symptoms got better in her absence fast enough before I needed her help... but talk about a leap!
ive struggled with this issue for years
with therapy and support groups and stuff , Al-Anon ,

then recently I found myself expressing myself in a different way,
like with emotion but not aggression,
something had shifted, and they stared to listen to my feelings, the family ,
its still very frightening though
it has to do with the next of kin role for my brother who is now very ill , with his addition

I got to the point where I couldn't take it any more

but yeah how would you go no contact ?
maybe you have to be ready , like I was , to start changing things
 
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