The change that those with a family member or with family members of BPD really need isn’t the change that may or may not ever come from the person with BPD. It isn’t the change that you so try to control of shape in the person with BPD.
What family members of those with BPD need most is to better Understand Borderline Personality Disorder so that you can begin to learn how you can Break Free From the BPD Maze rescue and take care of yourself.
For many who have Borderline Personality Disorder seeming evil or acting in ways that are cruel may well make it easy for you to come to the conclusion that the person is evil. However, thinking that way is polarized. Those with BPD are stuck and trapped in incredible suffering at the hands of polarized thinking.
For family members of those with BPD it is much more important to separate out the person with BPD from what you may identify as evil or cruel aspects of their relating to you and/or their behaviour. So much of everything manifested as borderline behaviour by those with BPD truly does come out of incredible pain.
And in as much as even incredible pain does not justify abuse or punishing cruel behaviour it is important to realize that it is this pain – the pain of the borderline’s core wound of abandonment that has him or her trapped in what is an absence of self that blinds them to much-needed awareness of who they really are and what they are acting like and what effect their choices and actions have on others.
If you are hurt and angry, which is quite understandable and very common for family members of someone with BPD, continuing to vilify or demonize the borderline will in fact just keep you stuck engaged in everything borderline with your borderline relative. Judging someone with BPD as evil further involves you in a toxic attachment that you will benefit most from not engaging.
Family members of those with BPD need to learn how to disengage the borderline in their lives to whatever degree that may be necessary. Judging a borderline as being evil will keep you focused on that person and all the pain that they are (to some degree) causing you.
Anger is a natural response to pain. Family members of those with BPD, are often angry because they are so hurt and hurt often by someone with BPD in their lives. Rather than act from a place of anger and feeling like a victim of the pain one feels in response to the borderline in his or her life the way to find relief and healing for yourself is through disengaging the emotional roller coaster of the borderline.
From pain and anger one must find more understanding of and about BPD in order to develop compassion and forgiveness for your borderline relative. A compassion and forgiveness that doesn’t necessarily mean staying in an active relationship with him or her and that doesn’t mean making excuses for his or her borderline behaviour either. A compassion and forgiveness that does free you from any vilifying of the borderline as evil and that does mean you finding your way to breaking free through understanding the facts about BPD. Facts that do not include or support justifying your own suffering and pain on the other side of BPD by characterizing the person with BPD in your life as evil.
© A.J. Mahari, November 1, 2008
A.J. Mahari is a Life Coach who, among other things, specializes in working with those with BPD and non borderlines. A.J. has 5 years experience as a Life Coach and has worked with hundreds of clients from all over the world.