Coping With Borderline Personality Disorder

By Jennifer Elizabeth Masters

You might call her fickle, twisted, impossible to please or bipolar. A woman with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is highly unstable, with a poor self-image, constant ups, and downs, stormy relationships and may feel insane. 

Borderline Personality Disorder is far more severe than being fickle, but treatable. The condition stems from trauma in childhood creating abandonment issues. The loss of a parent(s), sexual molestation, or rape in childhood could be the cause.

It is estimated that 1.6% of the population have Borderline Personality Disorder. 75% of those diagnosed with BPD are women though men who have been diagnosed with PTSD or depression may have Borderline Personality Disorder.


  • Frantic efforts in an attempt to avoid abandonment from friends, family and loved ones 
  • Unstable personal relationships are known as splitting: “I’m so in love with him” followed by “I hate him!”
  • Impulsive behaviors that can have disastrous results – overspending, reckless driving, unsafe sex or substance abuse
  • Flipping from being calm to irrational anger or rage for the smallest of reasons
  • Fixation on clothes and looking their best in public
  • Distorted self-image and childish fixation “they liked me!”
  • Irrational or inappropriate rage followed by guilt or shame
  • Extreme feelings of liking or loving someone followed by a feeling of intense hatred
  • Chronic emptiness or boredom
  • Nothing is ever enough
  • Narcissistic behavior – it’s all about them
  • Inability to take responsibility for behavior – blames others 
  • Extremely critical and judgmental of others
  • Can’t be happy for other’s successes
  • In competition for others affection 
  • Stress can lead to periods of psychosis
  • Dissociative – disconnection from self and thoughts – out of body experiences
  • Suicidal tendencies or self-harming may occur
  • Lack healthy boundaries
  • Inappropriate fixation on other people’s personal issues 

Though not fully understood, scientists agree that BPD is caused by a combination of factors:

  • Genetics. Though there is no gene associated with Borderline Personality Disorder, it is hereditary. A study of twins showed that it is five times more likely to occur in families where a first-level family member had the disease.
  • Those who experience traumatic life events such as sexual molestation, rape, or separation from one or both parents are more likely to develop the disease
  • The way the brain works with those with BPD is different than those without it; this suggests a neurological basis for the disease. Parts of the brain that control judgment and emotions may not communicate well with other areas. Like a missed synapse or broken contact within the brain.
There is not one test to discover if a person has BPD. To be considered BPD one would have to have 5 or more of the symptoms above.

The Devastation of A Mother With BPD

An undiagnosed and untreated mother with BPD can leave devastating affects on children until the end of life. A toxic parent that is loving one minute and then rageful the next can’t be trusted. You might feel you are walking on eggshells constantly. Children of a BPD parent will be left invalidated, extremely insecure often with alcohol-related coping conditions or other addictions.

Often a child does exactly as directed by the BPD parent only to be chastised and berated for doing what they were told. Even well into adulthood a BPD parent will be berating and directing the adult children as if they have no sense at all, “Have you called your brother?” 

A parent with BPD expects their needs to be met no matter what “to hell with your needs.” When an issue is brought up to the parent, they are irrational and even vengeful. They might be jealous of your life, relationships or even your children. (I wrote about this in Odyssey Victim To Victory.) They want you to join them in their misery and can’t be happy for your successes. Validation or praise was most likely missing in your childhood and you may continue to long for validation today.

The volatility in the household due to the BPD parent may cause the phrase, “To keep peace in the family……….” to be often heard. As it was in my household. “We mustn’t upset mother. You know your mother! “

We have to let go of attempting to change our parents; we can’t. 

The Good News

Trapped emotions can be cleared. Trauma can be softened and cleared as well. The memory may linger, but the patterns can be changed. Healing can happen. 

I hope this article is helpful in some way. I would love to hear from you, either comments or questions. Please either respond at the bottom of this article, or on FaceBook. Often a conversation can be helpful with others who have also experienced what you are going through. 

Due to my personal experience with my mother, I am extremely compassionate. I had my experience with feeling bat-shit crazy. I understand how devastating it can be to experience the impossible to please the parent. 
Often the partner of someone with BPD pre-deceases the other from the high levels of stress in the home. 

Visit Jennifer’s website to download her FREE app or to get your free audio of Happiness Jumpstart by signing up for my newsletter.

Contact Jennifer:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.