The Borderline Mom You Didn’t Know You Knew

I’m a Mom Just Like You

I’m a good Mom.  And I also have Borderline Personality Disorder. It has to do with my ability to regulate my emotions which are sometimes intense.

Being diagnosed in my early thirties with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) after a suicide attempt, I am relatively new to this diagnosis, but I have struggled with mental illness my entire adult life. Along with BPD, I also have PTSD, depression, and anxiety. I struggle with the “hallmark” features of BPD, emotional dysregulation, relationship dysfunction, splitting, impulsivity, and extreme emotional swings. Despite this, I try my best to live as ‘normal’ a life as possible.

And if you asked my friends if I was a “Borderline,” if they even knew what that was, I don’t believe that they would necessarily say yes. I think that many would say, yes, she suffers from depression, and possibly anxiety.

What I Wish Others Knew

I Love My Children

No matter what. Yes, as I mentioned, I struggle with splitting, or “black or white” thinking, which is an all-or-nothing, love-or-hate, inability to see both the positive and negative aspects in a situation. But let me assure you, this does not apply to the unconditional love I have for my children. No matter what, I will love them, all of them, always.

I Know That Parenting With a Mental Illness Is Difficult

I don’t need to be reminded by anyone, my doctors, my family, or my friends. I’m on the right medications for me, right now. And I have a good therapist, who provides sound advice. And I have a great, loving and understanding husband, who despite my shortcomings, still loves me for exactly who I am.

I Have Learned To Control My Emotions And My Anger

This has been quite challenging, especially because kids can be frustrating. However, I have learned to control my emotions and let that internal turmoil out in other ways – exercise, cooking, cleaning and creating crafts and arts. I will also leave the room and give myself some time to myself if needed to calm down.

My Ability To Be A Great Mom Is Not Inhibited By My Diagnoses

Just because I have a mental illness does not mean I cannot be a fantastic mother. If that were true, other Moms with other chronic illnesses would not be able to be good moms either. In spite of some of the articles I have read that children of moms with BPD are forecasted to have a future of misery and disaster, I work incredibly hard to be a good mom and ensure I am not that stereotypical “BPD Mom.”

Anonymous
Sometimes we want to share about a topic, but let's face it. It's sensitive. We've created an Anonymous account for posts like these. We aren't trying to hide, but be sensitive to friends and family mentioned in the post.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Congratulations on accepting your diagnosis and getting help and working on yourself. Such a huge and major step. Best wishes in your journey. <3

    Signed, someone with bpd in her family.

  2. I am not a woman or a mom. In fact I am a white male. So I do not proclaim to even know the location of that “Mom” zip code. In that regard, I remain in awe at the depth of unconditional love a mom has for her children. That being said, I am a Ph.D. Psychologist with over 30 years of clinical practice as a psychologist. It takes immense courage to accept a diagnosis of mental illness. This is especially true with respect to BPD. I admire any mother who worked intentionally on confronting issues relate to BPD so as not to have an adverse impact on her children. I want to say here as a licensed psychologist that I believe folks with various forms of mental illness can arrest the debilitating effects of their mental illness on this they live and love. I never cease to be amazed at the resilience and commitment to personal growth and integrity manifest in my clients. Two of my clients I saw today have BPD. The work they are doing in therapy is remarkable. One is a mother and her children are the world to her. When she has moments of emotional disregulation due to BPD in front of her children, she immediately Implements some effective coping strategies and makes an appropriate apology to her children. She turns it into a learning for the children.

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