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Cooper831 January 31st, 2019 2:26pm

My mom became a widow in 2018. My fiance and I moved in temporarily to help her with the house and finances. My sibling, who also moved in, suffers from borderline personality disorder and is wreaking havoc. Anyone have experience with this disorder?

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02/03/19 7:54 am

I've had experience with bipolar disorder in my family and I have found that it is almost impossible to help someone who doesn't want help. I completely understand how upsetting that is and what it can do to a family. I don't have an answer as to what you can do about it. I do hope your sibling receives the help she needs and I'm sorry you're in such a difficult situation.

Cooper831 Wisconsin
02/03/19 8:04 am

That is very very true. I dont know anyone directly that has bipolar but I've been told they are similar disorders and both very difficult to handle.

These types of things put tremendous strain on family dynamics. It has honestly gotten to the point where most in my family are afraid to step in or intervene when she is not doing well for fear of 'unleashing her wrath' so most problems are incidents are swept under the rug.

02/03/19 12:54 pm

I'm so sorry. That is what many in my family do too. It isn't healthy or good for anyone.

catpillow Florida West Coast
02/01/19 1:41 am

Most states have some kind of law where if a person is suspected to be mentally ill and a danger to themself or others, then the person can be picked up and evaluated without their permission. In Florida we have the Baker act. I don’t know about the laws in other states, but you can look it up.
Here is a link to an advocacy group that may have some pointers.

Another option would be to convince your mom to move out to a smaller, more affordable home where no one else can fit.

That’s about all I can think of.

Cooper831 Wisconsin
02/03/19 8:00 am

Thanks I will look into that link. My mom has considered that but if I know her, she wont make any moves that force my sister out.

I think she worries that if anything bad would happen, she would feel responsible which I understand.

The most frustrating part is that the downward spirals are denied until something awful happens (like overdose, state mandated institutionalization, etc.) And then once that passes, everything is denied again! It is a terrible cycle to be witness to.

catpillow Florida West Coast
02/03/19 8:05 am

I worry about how this affects your fiancé. It must be very hard on her.

Cooper831 Wisconsin
02/03/19 8:09 am

I worry about that too, but honestly my fiance handles it better than I do...probably something about me being too close to it. I'm burnt out and have lost a great deal of my sympathy over the years (as bad as that sounds)

01/31/19 7:34 pm

I'm sorry for you and your situation. No easy solution.

theNobamist straight lives matter
01/31/19 6:35 pm

Alcohol and borderline? Sounds like my ex-wife. As long as the bottle is around, there is nothing you can do. Professional help is required. And if she won't stay away from the booze, you gotta at least get her out of the house, and preferably into a clinic. With the drinking, she is not helping you, your fiancée, your future together, your mom, or herself.

Cooper831 Wisconsin
01/31/19 6:54 pm

I agree! Unfortunately I hold no weight in this family when it comes to her. It has even gotten to the point where she slapped my mother (yes my grieving, smaller mother) in a drunken rage.

I tried to get through to my mom that that should be the breaking point and that she needed to leave. But I don't really know what there is for me to do about someone that I have no control over in a home that is not mine.

Often the answer has been to remove myself in the past but the passing of my stepfather complicates that solution now.

LibArtie SW Connecticut
01/31/19 12:15 pm

My mom also became a widow in 2018.

Cooper831 Wisconsin
01/31/19 3:56 pm

Sorry to hear that, hope she is doing well. The death of a spouse is an incredibly difficult loss.

LibArtie SW Connecticut
01/31/19 3:59 pm

Thanks, same! Mom’s doing well. Dad was 90.

TopsQueen Oregon Coast
01/31/19 9:11 am

Have you tried therapy and/or meditation? Can your siblings go down a job? Perhaps they should move out and have your own space.

Cooper831 Wisconsin
01/31/19 9:21 am

She's held down a job now for five years but the pay isnt great as it's a manager position in food service. On top of that, she is an extremely impulsive and irresponsible spender. The only time she lived alone, my parents were assisting with rent.

She's tried therapy but refuses to return. To me the answer is that she needs to move out and learn to be self sufficient, maybe that's too tough. Either way, my mother cant seem to work up the will to do that. She feels too guilty.

TopsQueen Oregon Coast
01/31/19 1:55 pm

It might be less stressful for her to live alone. I’m so sorry for your situation.

Cooper831 Wisconsin
01/31/19 3:43 pm

I agree, hopefully others will recognize that as the solution as well sometime soon.

RightOfCenter TheCurrentThing
01/31/19 8:28 am

Yes, it is the most difficult and frustrating personality disorder to try to deal with, for professionals & friends and family. You have to remember never to take anything personally when interacting with them. They require a seemingly infinite amount of patience, tolerance, and understanding.
They will wear you out if everyone else is not aligned/on the same page. They’re experts at “dividing & conquering.”
I wish you well & good luck.

snagglepuss Story Time
01/31/19 7:46 am

Yes, I’ve had clients with borderline personality disorder. If they are medicated they shouldn’t be difficult to live with. Maybe it’s time for a visit to their psychiatrist.

Cooper831 Wisconsin
01/31/19 7:52 am

She refuses to go to therapy, she has in the past but claims it doesnt help. She also has a drinking problem which is exacerbating everything.

My mother struggles with being an enabler and now that her husband isnt around, there's no true authority figure to keep conflict in the house at bay.

And I honestly cant be certain if she's still on meds or not. Just a tough situation.

snagglepuss Story Time
01/31/19 8:41 am

If she’s drinking she’s not going to be stable. Maybe she needs an intervention?

Cooper831 Wisconsin
01/31/19 9:22 am

My fiance and I have talked about an intervention but without the support of my parents, I doubt it'll be effective. They both seem to be in denial about this most recent downward spiral.

snagglepuss Story Time
01/31/19 11:46 am

You’re Mom sounds like an enabler. This has to be done without her. Do you have friends with connections to mental health professionals? I would talk to a professional in your area for advice. You need support. It’s not going to come from your Mom. I doubt your Mom is able to deal with this after losing her husband.


Cooper831 Wisconsin
01/31/19 3:45 pm

Ironically my mom is a mental health social worker but I think it has had the reverse effect of normalizing this behavior since she deals with it everyday. I've tried to look for support elsewhere in my family and hopefully I can get others onboard.

snagglepuss Story Time
01/31/19 7:47 pm

Your Mom is morning and she is too close to the situation to be of help.

I hope you can get help and peace of mind.

Cooper831 Wisconsin
01/31/19 7:29 am

A coworker of mine has a sibling with bipolar and it sounds like some of our experiences are similar. I think the similarities lie mainly in the strong swing of emotions inherent to both disorders.