My sister has BPD and refuses to seek treatment. I have told her many times to get counseling. Eveyone in my family is terrified to advise her or point out that she has a problem. She has cussed me out so many times and screamed at me, my grandma and the rest of the family and friends, it's not even funny. She has no firends. Her live style fits the exact mold of a person with BPD. She meet 7 of the 9 traits. She uses people, disrespects them and is downright cruel in addition to other negative BPD behavior. I am now pregant with my first child and we can't even get through the baby shower planning without her having stood me up to get invites, cussing me out and then blaming it all on me. I have tried for years to accomadate her lifestyle and verbal abuse but I can't do it anymore. I am going to write her a letter. I need support and advise about his letter and I want to know what people think. Maybe someone that has BPD can advise me about his letter and if it would sink in with her and that she would think about getting help. Thanks for your advice.
I am writing you this letter with a huge deal of sadness in my heart. Based on the past between us and your temper I think we need to take some time apart. I literally feel verbally abused by you when we communicate about simple decisions, changes, small disagreements, misunderstandings etc. Disagreeing with me is fine, talking through issues is fine but the extreme attitude, cussing and hanging up is unacceptable. Because of the way things stand between us right now, I canít have you host my baby shower.
I am sure you are filled with rage by now as you usually are but I hope you can read this through.
I am saying this with Love for you, sadness and a great deal of worry. I think that you have a mood swing disorder and a personality disorder called Borderline Personality Disorder. I hope you can be open-minded and look into it for your own benefit, for the kids, for your family and friends sake. The reason I came to this conclusion is because after you cuss me out and hang up and have fits of rage, etc. I described you behavior to my counselor. She then advised me that you have this mental illness. The reason I brought it up to her is that even though it may not hurt you to do this to me, it does hurt me and it leaves me feeling frustrated, hurt and incapable of continuing with our interaction.
I did some research online and found that if a person meets at least 5 of the 9 characteristics that they have this illness:
ďIn the case of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) there's usually a pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self image, and affects, and marked impulsivity beginning in early adulthood and indicated and present in the following:
1) Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. (For example, the need to be the center of attention.)
2) Pattern of instable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by extremes if idealization and devaluation. (For example, someone may be good one day and hated the next.)
3) Unstable self image, not knowing personal goals or having goals.
4) Impulsivity that is usually self damaging (For example, spending sprees, casual/promiscuous sex, binge eating.)
5) Recurrent suicidal behavior
6) Affective instability (For example, intense anger, irritability, dysphoria rarely lasting for more than a few days)
7) Feelings of emptiness
8) Inappropriate anger (frequent displays of anger that would seem out of context for the situation)
9) Transient stress related paranoid ideation (someone is out to get me)Ē
I kept thinking over the years that I could work it out with you and that you would change. I realize now that I cannot change you no matter how much I Love you.
I cannot continue to get screamed at, cussed out, stood up, hung up on, and verbally abused. Because when I keep going back to our relationship itís only a matter of time before it happens again.
If I could make our relationship work through your rage and outbursts I would, and I tried. But I canít fix your issues and I canít make you get help.
Itís impossible for us to have a healthy relationship until you get some ongoing counseling and get help with this illness that causes you to verbally abuse people and get enraged.
I really donít think that you care or believe this but I do Love you and we have been through so much together. I hope you will get ongoing counseling and work through these things. Then, once you have control over this part of your life, I would be more than willing to try to pick up the pieces and start a fresh relationship together.
How unspeakably sad. The whole story is sad - I feel for your family, you, and the baby. And for your sister, who sounds just miserable.
I am unfamiliar with her disorder, so I am unqualified to discuss it clinically. I'm happy to say I never knew anyone with rage like that. But I really want to tell you how I felt reading your post and the draft of the letter to your sister. I hope you'll get some input from people who are familiar with BPD and can tell you how your sister is likely to respond. Meantime, here's my take -
First of all, good for you for making this decision. You're pregnant with #1 Baby, and this is going to be all about you. This is one of the most special things that will happen in your whole life, your sister has no right to junk it up with her issues. I would warn though, don't bluff and don't back down. You told her you want to suspend your relationship for a length of time that will end when she can act like a human being again. Stand behind that.
But I have a hunch that the fact that you discussed her with your therapist, and that the therapist labeled and then defined her, is going to make her furious.... because you were airing her dirty drawers, so to speak. So what you're offering as a means of communication will become a weapon in her hands - she'll miss the whole point.
I thought you said everything that needed to be said in the first and last paragraph. To paraphrase; Your behavior toward me is unacceptable, I'm over it, I have a life to get on with - and with your anger issues, you may not be included in it. If you seek help and ongoing therapy, I'll be here. I'm your sister, I love you, but this part of our lives has ended.
When you go on defining BPD and your reasons for doing this, etc., it gives the letter an almost apologetic air...which would immediately make you wrong and her right. She would like that I suspect. And manage to miss the whole bottom line.
I applaud your decision, your courage in implementing that decision, and your choice to reach out to this forum for input. You will get good guidance here, I think.
Thank you for your considerate advice. She has since sent me a very nasty email. I will take your advice and pare down the letter. I have noticed that unless I get cruel with her she does not get phased. I am rarely mean but it's time that I let her know whats on my mind and move on. Thanks again. You are very nice for sharing your insight so thoughtfully.
Sister of BPD I can really relate to how you feel because my husbands behavior is so similar. We are not living together due to the behavior. We have been to tdocs and pdocs and some say borderline some say bipolar and some even say both. We have also had a pdoc say he could not diagnose him. All of these were told of his violent behavior. The rage is unbearable to live with and you never know what will set it off. Most of the time it is when he feels I have said something against him. He has punched many holes in walls, raged for hours, broken things, and even spit on me. Yet he can be a gentle kind person. The reason I am writing is because no matter what I say or anyone else he believes he has reasons for his behavior even though he admits its wrong. He refuses any help saying I need it. I read in a book on bipolar that the illness can give them no insight into the fact they are sick so no matter what we say it has little effect. Reading this I wondered how then do you get a person to accept help. My answer was you cant. They have to want it bad enough themselves. Very sad.
Marshmallow, I am so sorry to hear about your husband and the situation you're in. How very brave and courageous you are to choose to live apart to protect yourself. You are making the right choice. Thank you for your insight and sincere words of encouragement.
I have not sent my sister an email yet and I may not. My husband needed some closure and he sent her a short/brash but 100% truthful email about her lifestyle and how we're fed up. She replied to it. She lives in a fantasy world and truly believes her own lies and thinks she is just an angel who in her words has "triumphed" in life. I have a new version if the letter that's changed allot from the original above and it's much more brutal. The only reason at this point for me to send an email to her would be to point out her short-comings, tell her how she needs help, just to make myself feel better and to try to snap her out of her fantasy. I havenít decided yet but everyone is saying that nothing will phase her and not to waste my breath/email. I have been putting up with her out of control behavior for over a decade. It's sad and hard but I have to cut her off for my child's sake, my family and my own sanity. My feelings have moved from feeling pity and sadness for her to feeling angry, protective and just plain ready to move on with my life.
go ahead and write the letter, but be aware that it's for your own therapeutic reasons only......it won't phase her....
i know because I was involved with a man with BPD. I wrote letter after letter explaining things to him, to try to get thru to him, and help him......all to no avail. They just don't comprehend......
You could read some books.....Stop walking on eggshells, and I hate you, don't leave me......or suggest that she reads them, but don't expect too much from your sister. Sorry to say, but I had to walk away from this relationship. It's just not worth it. I realize you can't do that so easily with your sister, but you're not going to change her, and she's not going to change......best you can hope for is that you will be able to tolerate her, and avoid her as much as possible.
Thank you for your reply Sister of bpd. It is such a sad illness and one that causes many to deny they are ill. They just lack the insight to see the things they are doing. I know it has to be hard to deal with a sister this way but sometimes there is no choice but to detach with love. I hope you can find some peace over this.