Suspecting my mother of BPD and PTSD

MeropeneM

MeropeneM

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Hello fellows,

I'm Jester but you can also call me Proxy or Mero. I had a recent discussion with my mother, in her 60s, openly diagnosing her of borderline and explaining how her episodes, motives, ulterior justifications and shifts from idealization to devaluation don't make a lot of sense. I am not a doctor nor a psychiatrist, only a Vigilante!

As you might think, it didn't go very well! Nope, nope, nope. I went after a big fish there and I was aware of that. Here's the info:

On the inside, outside her episodes, she is kind, loving and dedicated to her family with an ego bigger then the Heavens and the Earth reunited. This makes her very hard to approach with matters of mental health. Her reaction was "on the news, I am crazy. Great!"

When I was a child, 7 or 8 y.o. I found her lying on the bedside staring at the closet and pouring her eyes out. She was crying and I mean leaking! I started crying too and asked her why she is crying and she told me "because you don't behave. So I kept on crying with her and told her I was going to behave. I had done nothing wrong that day, I didn't get into trouble at school, nothing...nothing at all it was just another day.

Before that, when I was 3 or 4 y.o. she had a huge fight with her mother in law, and I was an eye witness to it. Through which mental process my mother allowed her 4y.o. child to be an eye witness to that huge argument is unknown to me to this day. Through which mental process she allowed herself to savagely insult, belittle and throw out of the house my grandmother is unknown to me. And it is unknown to me why she engaged in that argument in the first place because my grandmother had done nothing wrong and she already had taken care of me for one day, so she had come over to watch over me and instead of a thank you, a fight arose that permanently ended all relationship between our family and my father's side grandparents.

Her entire life she kept justifying her unjustifiable act, by insulting my father's side parents, even after their death, calling them criminals and many other names and blaming my father for having such terrible parents that couldn't contribute to our family. Thinking objectively, different parents have different levels of involvement in the life of their children or grand-children and she was in no position to dictate to them what their level of involvement was to be. But this is past.

She had many other episodes, one episode was when I had graduated from Engineering after a long battle to obtain one last course. After I got back from the ceremony, instead of a congratulations she began her episode claiming I had told her something insulting(she can't remember what I told her) and yelled out that she was finished with me and that it's all over. She immediately went to sit down on a chair and appeared out of it, more precisely according to my observations, experiencing dissociation, de-realization and detachment from reality and own body. I asked my father "do you understand what's going on?" He replied "No." And my mother said nothing. We continued relationship afterwards seemingly as though nothing happened.

Another episode was initiated when my father was taking an elevator with my mother, by themselves and a woman came in. My father said hi to that women. She immediately experienced severe paranoia thinking my father is cheating on her with that woman. She had an episode at 7am early morning, so violent that it woke me up and I was about to call the Police. She was yelling death threats to my father. It seemed to me that her paranoia and violent reaction was supported by a fear of abandonment and especially by abnormal levels of dopamine, as though she had abused methamphetamine and was in a state close to psychosis but not yet in psychosis. My mother doesn't use drugs recreationally nor therapeutically. We noticed however that she tends to sleep less or maybe not at all before an episode. But other times she seems like she sleeps well, or is acting like she sleeps.

The episodes continued and are now occurring every 2-3 months. She constantly shifts from idealization to devaluation where one month she would speak of one person in the highest possible terms and the other month, with the worst possible insults. The same person.

So the big question is, how do you get her to see a psychiatrist and be honest with her psychiatrist about her symptoms? Is there even something that can be done at her age?

Thanks for the read!
 
SunnyDaze

SunnyDaze

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Hi there.

So you have decided she either has BPD and PTSD? Has she ever been officially diagnosed with anything or has she ever been to a MH professional?

It could be one of many things,it could even be something physical and not mental.Or may not be anything at all.I don't think there's really any way to make someone see a psychiatrist if hey choose not to.have you tried having a heart to heart talk with her about all of it?
 
MeropeneM

MeropeneM

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Sunny,

Thank you for your reply. She has seen a psychiatrist before and prescribed medication that she discontinued except for the Synthroid. I wanted to hear some feedback from folks who understand this or who have BPD.

As to the heart to heart conversation...she can be quite difficult and...keep in mind that she's my mother, not my wife. I never chose her. In that regard I don't feel responsible to accommodate her episodes nor to engage her to such intimate level, as a 33 year old man, some may even find it a bit weird.

My discussion with her was merely an argument where I told her what my opinion was and that I felt an injustice was being done upon the folks who surround her.
 
SunnyDaze

SunnyDaze

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I understand she's not your wife and is your mother.Sometimes kindness and sensitivity can go much better than an argument and accusations,why I suggested a heart to heart talk. I sure wouldn't be willing to listen or consider seeking any kind of treatment for my problems if one of my adult children told me what they thought during an argument.
 
G

Girl interupted

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I would recommend some therapy for yourself if you aren’t going. It can perhaps give you better coping skills and determine the cause of anger that seems to be limiting you.
 
MeropeneM

MeropeneM

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I understand she's not your wife and is your mother.Sometimes kindness and sensitivity can go much better than an argument and accusations,why I suggested a heart to heart talk. I sure wouldn't be willing to listen or consider seeking any kind of treatment for my problems if one of my adult children told me what they thought during an argument.
So basically I need to find the coping skills to diminish the anger that limits me and have a heart to heart conversation, and if I am being belittled, brought down and antagonized in every possible way it's because I haven't found my coping skills yet?

What are the set of tools used in acquiring those coping skills?

xD
 
SunnyDaze

SunnyDaze

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So basically I need to find the coping skills to diminish the anger that limits me and have a heart to heart conversation, and if I am being belittled, brought down and antagonized in every possible way it's because I haven't found my coping skills yet?

What are the set of tools used in acquiring those coping skills?

xD
I'm not sure why you chose to respond to me in that way,especially when I said nothing at all about you needing to find coping skills.Yes,I did say maybe a heart to heart talk with your mom but that was because I was thinking maybe you actually have a genuine concern about her mental health and wanted her to seek help.That's the way something like that should be approached,I highly doubt she would take you seriously or even give a shit what you say if you're just shouting it as an insult out of anger.

But you have already shot the heart to heart talk down.OK,then,since arguing with her obviously doesn't work,having a talk with her isn't your cup of tea,exactly what are wanting and expecting?Are you just wanting her to behave as you demand/would like her to?Are you hoping you can bully her into seeking help?

It seems maybe your only options really are to accept that she is who and how she is and either find ways to deal with it when you are around her,keeping in mind that you can't change someone else,or you can limit your contact with her or cut off contact all together.

I would love for my Mom to be kind,loving,caring,everything that I would want and expect her to be but it's just not reality and there's nothing I can do about it.I don't want to accept that she will never be a Mom to me,but what other choice is there?
 
MeropeneM

MeropeneM

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I quoted the wrong person I was replying to you both haha.

But you have already shot the heart to heart talk down.OK,then,since arguing with her obviously doesn't work,having a talk with her isn't your cup of tea,exactly what are wanting and expecting?Are you just wanting her to behave as you demand/would like her to?Are you hoping you can bully her into seeking help?
Where is the question of bullying anybody or making demands? Nobody should harass and belittle anybody. Period. My only expectation is that she no longer interacts with me in a negative way.
 
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SunnyDaze

SunnyDaze

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If this is the attittude you take with your mom maybe that explains the way she treats you?You get what you give and maybe she's giving back what you are giving her?When my adult son behaves that way,treats me that way,I surely don't respond with kindness and love.

So you expect her to not interact with you in a negative way.And what happens if she doesn't change things?You can't force her to.You have to either deal with it or stay away from her.There;s nothing else you can do.
 
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MeropeneM

MeropeneM

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If this is the attittude you take with your mom maybe that explains the way she treats you?You get what you give and maybe she's giving back what you are giving her?When my adult son behaves that way,treats me that way,I surely don't respond with kindness and love.

So you expect her to not interact with you in a negative way.And what happens if she doesn't change things?You can't force her to.You have to either deal with it or stay away from her.There;s nothing else you can do.
I'm not going to have a conversation about who came first, the chicken or the egg. Who came first to offend, her behavior or my behavior. That's a chicken or the egg discussion I won't waste my time with. All I know is she has the same arguments with my father so it's not just me.

Thank you for your replies.
 
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TiredTina

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STAFF NOTE

This thread has been heavily moderated. Please stick to the thread subject without making inappropriate comments.
 
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Pairou

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There may come a point where you decide you should cut off all ties with her. It sounds like she is a negative influence in your life.

I also suggest therapy for you, to help you cope with the way she has behaved in the past.

I'm not a doctor so I can't diagnose anyone, nor will I try to.
 
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candle55

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Sorry for your situation, it all sounds very frustrating. it is hard when you know people need help and there is not much that can be done about it, think most people know there is something wrong but dont want to admit to it and believe they are the cause of much trouble to hard to bare i guess, but think really avoidance is where it is at for you as much as possible or until she reaslises that she needs help and is ready to face it, good luck keep strong it is hard being the child of someone who is mentally ill and hard being the one who is mentally ill its a hard road for everyone, think having people to talk to and people who are supportive to you will be very helpful
 
MeropeneM

MeropeneM

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Thank you for your replies. Thank you candle much appreciate it.

Pairou said it well, regardless of her inner intentions the outcome of my interaction with her is that I get bad dreams about her at night so like Pairou said she is a negative influence regardless of how she feels inside or what her intentions are, what she brings up is stuff like:

- Referring to her genetic lining as alcoholics and idiots, ashamed of her own genes and criticizing me for being the bearer of those genes which transpires in everything I do.
- Saying I am mentally ill because at some point, I expressed an interest in religious topics.
- Saying I am mentally ill because I am addicted to video-games. (I have no such addiction)
-
Showing antagonism such as "you are playing around" instead of you are gaming.
- Bursting in tears yelling to me how humiliating it is for her to be home and not work.
.
.
.

Stuff she says to my father (company director)

- Upon his return from work, she criticizes the fact that he has to go take a shit. "every time it happens...you just have to go and take your shit". She does it every day, 360 days a year. You can imagine, how many folks are trying hard to even get their resumes by him, with his social standing, how this remark falls into place.

- Constantly criticizing the fact that he's saying and doing things that, while directly it may not mean anything, according to her, it indirectly belittles her or puts her in a shadowy perspective.

- Constantly selling herself short by saying she's her servant and that other women, younger women, with makeup and well dressed, are more appealing to him than her who just sits by the pot to serve.

- Accusing him of cheating or intending to cheat with younger women who have a job. Now, from the male perspective, if a man looks at a beautiful younger women and feels nothing, he needs to go see a doctor, he has a medical problem. If no actual cheating occurs, where's the argument?

Feel free to comment on the above say what you think of it.
 
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Pairou

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I really think no-contact and therapy for you are the best thing for you right now. Your father may need therapy as well. And maybe in the future, family therapy.

Just... therapy for everyone!

edit: I've been through a lot of therapy. I've had good doctors and bad doctors. I still advocate it. I'm in it currently, have another appointment tomorrow in fact, so maybe that's why it's on my mind today.
 
MeropeneM

MeropeneM

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I really think no-contact and therapy for you are the best thing for you right now. Your father may need therapy as well. And maybe in the future, family therapy.

Just... therapy for everyone!

edit: I've been through a lot of therapy. I've had good doctors and bad doctors. I still advocate it. I'm in it currently, have another appointment tomorrow in fact, so maybe that's why it's on my mind today.
It's funny that you mention it but we had decreased contact lately, she avoids me most of the time and this has had a positive effect because I feel less stressed, watched over, constantly walking on egg shells and making the effort of masking my hobbies making sure they go unnoticed.

I did mention group talks at some point it seems like a good idea. having ADHD myself and being very educated on mental health matters I do have an understanding of how neurotransmitters can influence perception of reality, a bit like the lenses in a camera, once you play around going focus and out of focus you do gain an understanding of what this whole thing really is.

After I take dextro-amphetamine 30mg, it's very hard to believe that you're looking at the same surrounding reality as before taking it, it all just becomes a different sandwich with a different sauce on it. So I do relate to how one can see something that's not really there especially when reading between the lines in a conversation, some twists are simply given by dopamine and not reality itself. Mis-interpretations can occur even in myself who is extremely introspective with my inner state and think 3 times before interpreting reality.

With this introspective view I cam simply tell that my mom is complaining about non-issues. It seems like an issue when she's yelling about it but when you look closely you come to realize no real issue is present.

Thanks a lot for your feed-back!
 
MeropeneM

MeropeneM

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I was hoping someone could comment or find similarities according to the Millon criteria 3:

Petulant Borderline
Individuals showing petulant borderline characteristics are unpredictable and difficult to please. They are often irritable and prone to outbursts of anger and frustration, and they are impatient with other people and quick to become disillusioned when they don’t get what they want.

As a consequence of their tendency to be willful and defiant, people with petulant borderline traits are often stubborn, defensive, and unwilling to admit when they are wrong. Their relationships can be loving but are always complex, and they often engage in passive-aggressive behaviors as a way of lashing out at people who displease them.

Is this scale reliable or used in the diagnosis? I do find some striking similarities. If you look into more detail:

  • An inability to express feelings
  • Outbursts of anger
  • Feelings of being unworthy and unloved
  • Socially anxious
  • Extreme fear of abandonment
  • A need to control others
  • Experiencing dissatisfaction in relationships
  • Co-occurring disorders, such as substance abuse or eating disorders
  • Suspicion of others/paranoia in relationships
  • Self-harm tendencies
  • Intense mood swings
  • Posing ultimatums in relationships
  • “Proving” that someone doesn’t love her
  • Constantly searching for validation
  • Push and pull in relationships
  • Wanting others to feel guilty for their actions, or lack of actions
  • Negative
  • Passive-Aggressive
  • Shutting others out of their lives
  • Using suicidal behavior or self-injurious behaviors to control others
Bolded is for sure, scratched out is not the case and faded text is unsure if yes or no according to me. The last criteria, she has never done that to my knowledge, but knowing her, it's not outside the realm of the possible, I could definitely picture her doing that.
 
MeropeneM

MeropeneM

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My mom always used to say "hey, you know me, when I am finished with someone, I am finished! It's done! There is no going back."

She actually told me this on our last discussion, she said "you know me, when I am done I am done, there is no going back!" Not realizing that's actually a diagnosis criteria. I definitely surprised the heck out of her, when I quickly replied to her: "Yes, I read about that". She definitely didn't see that one coming she looked very baffled.
 

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