Worthful Blog

Resources for Adult Children of a BPD Parent

Hello and welcome.

This is a collection of resources I've found useful as someone with a parent with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). My parent has a formal diagnosis of BPD, although it wasn't diagnosed until after I started undergraduate college. I didn't bother looking into the disorder until a few years later. It really does help to read and understand things. Looking into BPD is actually what started me on my own journey towards getting better from extreme anxiety and depression.

I'm one who dives into things when I want to learn more about things, and I find reading books and articles extremely useful. Ironically, reading the Wikipedia page for BPD made it more confusing because it is just too technical.

Terminology:

BPD: Borderline Personality Disorder.

NPD: Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The two disorders tend to have major overlap, and are often mentioned together.

BP: A person with Borderline Personality Disorder

Non-BP/nBP: A person without Borderline Personality Disorder

uBP/D: Undiagnosed. The person writing most likely believes a person has BPD, but has not been given a formal diagnosis by a psychiatrist. It can be difficult to get a person with BPD to seek help. Resources can still be useful to those who have struggled with people with BPD-like personality traits, so this type of unprofessional labeling can be helpful.

Splitting: Black and white thinking: Something is all good or something is all bad. There is no neutral gray.

I used to describe my parent as 'not able to function without an enemy.' Someone was always making my parent's life terrible. That person may have been a fine friend a few days before, then they made the terrible mistake of irritating my parent and that was the end of that.


These are some resources I've found useful. You may find them useful if you have other BPD relationships in your family.

If you feel guilty looking into these resources or purchasing something, that is totally normal. You may feel afraid someone will find out you've been reading these and try to hide that, that's OK.

You're doing the right thing. There is nothing wrong with trying to learn more about what you've experienced and what you feel. Don't let those feelings keep you from taking care of yourself.

Books

Stop Walking on Eggshells

The go-to book when researching BPD. You will see this title and phrase referred to over and over again as you go digging. I was able to rent this book from my local library. I do have a caveat with this book though: it's more focused on romantic relationships than relationships with family members, and that difference can make it slightly hard to relate to. Luckily, there's...

The Essential Family Guide to Borderline Personality Disorder: New Tools and Techniques to Stop Walking on Eggshells

Written by the one of the authors of Stop Walking on Eggshells, this book shares a few overlaps with Stop Walking on Eggshells, but is family focused. I was also able to rent this book from my local library. This is a good overview of things you may have experienced.

I have not used the Stop Walking on Eggshells workbook. Instead I bought the following book...

Surviving a Borderline Parent: How to Heal Your Childhood Wounds and Build Trust, Boundaries, and Self-Esteem

If you are limited in resources and can only choose one book, please get this one. It is a mix of information and a workbook. It's also very situational specific, which means the things found in it are the most relevant. I could not get this book at my library, I had to purchase it.

Toxic Parents (Free PDF Book)

This is not BPD specific, but has very useful exercises in it. The book covers many forms of toxicity from alcoholics, to sexual abuse, to emotional abuse. You will find advice related to BPD behaviors, as well as other experiences you may have gone through.

Web Articles

The Four Types of Borderline Mothers

You may notice that the title I gave this is not the title of the article. That's because this information is available in several articles, and mostly borrowed from a popular book (that I haven't read). Having these labels can help understand behaviors better, but I think it's important to point out that the categories can overlap somewhat. My experience is with a waif with hints of a witch, for example. I also think it's important to recognize that though BPD is more commonly found in women, it can apply to another parental figure.

Web Sites

My Trip to Oz and Back: A True "Retrospective" Story of My Relationship with a Person with BPD

This was one of the first 'key' BPD relationship articles. It's an account of a romantic relationship, but it's still fairly eye opening even if your personal issues are with family. Well worth the somewhat lengthy read.

BPD Family: Adult Children Message Board

A publically viewable forum. Can be useful to ask questions, or to read others experiences. I would also like you direct your attention to the right sidebar 'Healing when a Family Member has BPD'. That, for me, is the key resource of this site. I'm still somewhere between steps 12 and 13, and I started the healing journey a little over a year ago.

Classes

Family Connections

I have not taken this class yet, may be at the start of 2016. NAMI of Minnesota is hosting one in St. Paul but the dates are undecided at this time, and I may have a conflict with graduate school classes.

Final Thoughts

Healing comes slow, and there's a lot to work on. Don't try to force anything. Everything comes in little revelations, and those need to happen on their own.

Healing is not going to come from solely BPD resources. I'm going to be posting other things I've found that have helped me; that's the point of this blog.

Take care of yourself and hang in there.