The most wonderful thing ever just happened. A blogger called luvtheheaven just told me about this website called outofthefog.net and I read there article on Borderline Personality Disorder (http://www.outofthefog.net/Disorders/BPD.html). I figured out my mum has it a few months ago but I’ve never seen such a comprehensive list of symptoms. She has all of them! It’s very helpful to me to be able to see everything hurtful she’s done as a result of sickness because then I won’t have the nagging worry that she was right in any of it. That might sound strange, but if you have a parent with a mental health problem I’d suggest looking into symptoms. It’s an unbelievable relief to hear definitively that what your parent or spouse or whoever did to you is insane.
I want to mention this also because it caused me a lot of upset. I thought that because there is a recognized medical condition that my mum has, if I just told her that she was sick and made her get help then she could be a real mother. But that’s not how it works. When you’re mentally ill, you can’t see it. It’s very sad that that is the case because it makes recovery so difficult. And, it’s even worse when someone has an aggressive illness (not like depression) because all they hear is that you are attacking them so they will not listen to you at all and will get furious. So, the people I’ve talked to who are trained in dealing with personality disorders convinced me not to say anything for my own safety and because it would be pointless. At first it was really hard because it felt like lying when I told her that I don’t want a relationship anymore (because I did, just not with a sick person). But I’ve gotten much better at accepting that this is the reality with sick people. The thing they taught us in school –use your words–does not work here and is dangerous for you. Even though this is a depressing thing to hear at first, it’s much better to know so that you can be safe. But if anyone has a story about confronting a sick loved one and things improving, I’d be happy to hear it. I don’t think it could work in my mum’s case but it’s always good to have faith in general human ability to change and also to have a wider discussion than just my experiences.