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My experience with BPD relationships

H

Heysuzy

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
10
Location
USA
Hey everyone! I’ve been having a tough time lately and I really don’t have anyone to talk to about this. I need a place to vent. This will be long and would probably be better saved for a therapist but money is tight and Internet forums are free so 😉 This is not meant to offend anyone and I hope my words don’t bring anyone with BPD down. I’m just sharing my experience as a loved one of individuals with the disorder.

A year or so ago my best friend of 24 years (I know, crazy right?) was diagnosed with BPD. I felt for her because the diagnosis came after a particularly traumatic event in her life, and on the other hand I was relieved to know that the feelings I had been experiencing within our relationship were valid. I always found our relationship to be quite difficult - that feeling of walking on eggshells and always feeling like the friendship was a bit one-sided. However, this vent isn’t about her. Her diagnosis opened the door to understanding my own childhood trauma and too, too much of my adult life.

Now that I had an idea of what she was going through, I decided to do a little research on BPD. I wanted to have a better understanding of how to not set her off but to also protect myself within the relationship. Not that she’s a huge threat to me but she can be more than mean when her BPD is showing. As I’m searching the Internet I’m coming across article after article on the effects BPD parents have on their children. I read a few. Most of the articles are about mothers with BPD. My mother surely does not have BPD but some of the anecdotes felt oddly familiar so I kept digging. I couldn’t tell if I was recognizing my relationship with my best friend or if it was something more. I read a few more mBPD articles before I stumbled upon a not-at-all-long-enough article about fathers with BPD. I got half way through before I started balling my eyes out. The post described my experience with my father TO THE T. My relationship with my best friend is difficult and I’ve always kind of known that boundaries were important (whether I maintained them or not is another story), but my experience with my dad has been an absolute struggle to say the least.

I’ll give you the short list of what I went through (I typed out a novel before the forum deleted 2/3 of what I wrote. You can thank them in the comments),
-My fathers mood swings. Cracking jokes one minute, raging the next. After a day of avoiding his wrath he’d pout for days or weeks. We would catch him saying things to himself like “I’m just an asshole” and “nobody cares about me.” My mother would console us and say we did nothing wrong but often she would make us apologize to him. I found this very confusing as a kid. Later as an adult she admitted to doing it so he would stop being angry.
-These mood swings were exaggerated when it came time to visit his family. Consequently, we don’t have much of a relationship with his relatives.
-His possessiveness of my mother. He’d get mad at her when she would go out with her friends or family (especially if they were single/divorced). He would stew while she was away and then interrogate her when she got home. He was afraid my mother and her family/friends were talking about him. Or worse, my mother was sneaking off and having an affair. He would check her phone for years to see if she was talking to anyone. She never cheated. But, he sure did!
-He would get angry when any of us left the house especially my mother and I. Whenever I left for a sleepover at a friends house I worried the entire time what he was thinking. Was he angry? Is he grouching around the house snapping at my mother because I dared to go out and have a good time?
-He always had something negative to say. Always. Anytime my mom, my brothers or I got excited about something he’d say something along the lines of “that’s stupid. Why would you want to do that?” He spent a lot of time shaming others especially us, his family.
-He spent most of our birthdays in a bad mood, pouting or raging about something one of the kids did. He’d also spend a great deal of time pouting when my moms side of the family came to visit.
-He could never say he was sorry. Still can’t. Because according to him it’s not him. It’s everyone else.
-When he was in a bad mood, which was more often than not, he would fill the house with such a dark and negative energy like you wouldn’t believe.

He has never been to a therapist and he will never go. I don’t know if he’s aware of any underlying mental illness and if he is he’ll take it to his grave. Ever since he retired he’s gotten considerably better. I think the lack of stress from work has allowed him some time to reflect. His relationship with my brothers and I have improved and it has greatly improved with my mother.

However, despite that I can’t help but feel empty. I have silenced so much of my soul just to keep the peace in my family and consequently in every other relationship in my life. And, now at 28 (and living alone for the first time (no more picking up after messy roommates!!)) I feel like I’m starting over. My relationship with my father (and a string of difficult relationships with others) has greatly impacted my ability to confidently navigate life. Sometimes I feel like I might have developed BPD, too. I know I certainly have an anxiety disorder. I’m finally learning to cope after spending the majority of my short time on earth crippled by depression and anxiety. I no longer wake up with a sense of dread but I feel paralyzed. I don’t know what to do. I keep telling myself to do what brings me joy but I find it difficult to do that. I’ve never felt comfortable putting my needs first. I also struggle with connecting with others. I feel really insecure when I meet new people and have found that I am very sensitive to the energies of my peers. This makes socializing and progressing in my career feel impossible. My anxiety/depression was so bad out of high school I couldn’t stomach college. And, I felt too much shame to seek therapy.

I’m currently reading Stop Walking On Eggshells and Surviving a Borderline Parent. If you have any other recommendations (books, wellness, etc) whether they deal with BPD or not let me know. I’m working on a meditation practice and incorporating more exercise and sunshine into my daily routine which has helped immensely. But, I still struggle.

I hope I didn’t offend anyone with BPD. I have had a difficult experience, yes, but I don’t wish to bring anyone down. I know it’s not a walk in the park for you either.

I hope everyone is well today.
Take care.
 
T

Twokiwisandabanana

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2016
Messages
811
Hi yes if you go to YouTube and type in Lisa A Romano a great life coach on dealing with difficult people
You don't have to take emptional abuse from anyone
Sending a :hug1:
 
H

Heysuzy

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
10
Location
USA
Thank you! I appreciate your response. I’ll check her out ASAP.
 
megirl

megirl

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 9, 2010
Messages
7,159
Location
NZ
I do have bpd and you certainly dont offend me.
It is an interesting disorder the patterns of behaviour the issues with others in my life.
I have learned through out my life to shut things out. I do see it but have been able to not let it affect others.
I do believe people know right from wrong. Its not acceptable to yell at another person because i feel like shit. Its not ok to push people away knowing they do actually like me for just being me. I do feel jealous at times because of my friends other relationships but theres no rational reason for me to feel this way. ,
At work well thats a different story but anyway BPD or not it does have an impact on my life,and my emotions at times are hard to deal with
 
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