Post # 1
The girl who has been my best friend for some 6 years now was recently diagnosed with BPD. As I read about more about it, the diagnosis makes sense. Backing up a little bit – Everything was going well between us for the first few years, but after the birth of her son 2.5 years ago things have gotten really bad. She makes me feel like a terrible person. I am constantly afraid of making her angry. When she gets angry, which is often, she is nasty. But if you step away to remind yourself that you aren’t this bad person she makes you out to be, she sees it as a validation of her belief that everyone will abandon her. Sometimes things are ok and I see remnants of the friendship we used to have. But the ugliness eventually comes back out and you are back to being a bad person in her eyes. To top it all off, she is neglectful towards her son. If she didn’t have a friend living with her taking care of him and the house, I don’t know what would happen. The only reason that friend is still there and putting up with the constant abuse is because of him. There is no talking to her about this because we know that she will blow up. She does not respond rationally to situations. It always turns in to her seeing herself as the victim with everyone else being in the wrong.
Does anyone out there have a friend with BPD? If so, how did you handle it? Was there ever a point where s/he commited to being better? As a person with moderate to severe depression, I understand that “better” is relative and you can never really be “cured”. But did s/he at least acknowledge during good times that what s/he does during bad times isn’t rational? Was there a sort of leveling off to where the lows weren’t so drastic? Do you ever not live in fear? I feel awful for considering walking away, but at some point I have to think about my own mental health.
Please refrain from making comments about how I’m not being supportive or understanding enough. What I keep going back to is that if you love someone with an addiction you can’t keep enabling them. This friendship is exactly what I imagine being friends with an addict would be like. The thought of her being without friends makes me so sad, but I can’t continue to be in an abusive friendship.
Post # 2
I’ve been diagnoised with a personalty disorder, NOS…The thing about it is unless your friend takes her meds, goes to therapy, and works on her issues, all you can do is support her. Granted, you may not agree with her or her choices, but at the end of the day, if you still would still do anything for her… I understand the your feelings @ her relationship, but if hes giving her what she tbinks shes.been lacking from her immediate family, theres nothing you can really do. All you can do is tell her that you love her, be there for her (emotionally and physically). If she stays with him all you can say is that you dont want to discuss that part of her life. However, reiterate that youll be there for her NO. MATTER.WHAT. Thats what friends do…REAL FRIENDS… JMHO
You can distance yourself, but if shes a real friend you cant abandon her. I dont say that to mean her point of view…shes gonna need her real fdiends soonef or later. Just be there for her when it MATTERS…if she knows she can get a piece of couch…of course its all a matter of whos diagnoising…could be she someone else and the diagnosis is different….abuse and psychological issues are two different fields…I still say you need to draw your lines but still be there…, again JMHO
Have you discussed perhaps going to a session with her? If she has a good therapist he/she will . keep asking her if she understands that her SOs issues (tantrums) arent about her or her actions…
Post # 3
My sister has BPD and its really put a strain on our relationship. She has problems with drugs and alcohol and she very very much has the “victim mentality” part of the disorder where anything bad that happens to her is because of someone out to get her or because someone doesnt like her, not because of her own actions. It is incredibly frustrating to deal with. She will call me in the middle of the night crying because of whatever, and if I say anything outside of just agreeing with her, then why am I not on her side and I’m judging her and why am I not a better sister to her? I’m talking “problems” like her calling me because her Netflix subscription was cancelled, and she was convinced it was a friend of hers who did it to get back at her for something, instead of just assuming that it was cancelled because idk, she didnt pay the bill?
The major problem though is that she refuses to admit she has a problem, and so she will never get treatment. All I can do is just deal with it and try and be supportive when I can, but it is difficult, I’m not going to lie.
My only advice is to try and be supportive of her when she is making steps to get better. But I honestly see no problem with removing yourself from the situation if she isnt willing to help herself. You cant MAKE someone get better unfortunately, and you shouldnt keep yourself in a bad situation because of some misplaced idea that you’d be a bad friend for leaving her.
Post # 4
mrshahn2b: I appreciate your response, but I think you misunderstood. The friend living with her (we’ll call her A) is a female friend. It’s a platonic relationship with my friend (we’ll call her B). A isn’t abusive to B, it’s the other way around. B is emotionally abusive to the people closest to her. I mentioned A mainly so that people know B’s neglected son has someone there taking care of him.
I understand that a “real friend” doesn’t abandon them, but I’m at a loss as to how to be friends with someone who is abusive to the people who love her. Can you explain what you mean by drawing my lines? I can’t imagine having a conversation about how she comes across without her getting very angry. She does have a therapist, but does not want people to go with her.
Post # 5
pinkkillersheep: that is so difficult and it can be a very hard choice. I had a friend with BPD in college and I had to cut ties with her because she was not willing to go to therapy and I was her therapist for a year. It got very bad to the point where I myself was having problems with anxiety because of her and she would scream at me and say i was a horrible friend, even though i did so much to help her. so being a friend in that case was not helping anyone. If you can be her friend without being affected then perhaps it can work, but I think you may have to at least distance yourself a bit. what you have to keep in mind is that it is very hard to please someone wih BPD and it may never be enough. I know it can be tough and I wish you the best :/
Post # 6
pinkkillersheep: by drawing your lines I mean to not discuss her relationships with others with her if shes going to play the “victim” card. As far as being friends with her and her abusive ways…remember that its not her true self. Shes making the attempt to get help, with time it can be better; just refuse to discuss her other relationships with her. In time she may be ready to bring you into her therapy…make sure she knows that youre willing to go when/if she gets to that point.
Post # 7
I really recommend the book “Stop Walking on Eggshells”, it has a lot of strategies for developing healthy boundaries with people with borderline personality disorder. I also would really encourage you to take care of yourself; there is nothing wrong with putting some distance between you and this friend if you feel she is being abusive toward you.
Post # 8
Definitely search out resources like the one msvelociraptor mentioned – I didn’t at the time. My abusive mother and best friend have BPD and it WAS so draining. I’m a very passive person and internalize everything until I finally snap (getting better at this.) I didn’t want to abandon them either, afterall, one was my mother and one I had been friends with for years, but I did snap at one point and I just didn’t care anymore who they were – they were making me unhappy. I cut ties and years later they approached me and had changed for the better and things are so different now. So there is some hope, some people can change, but I wouldn’t wait around.
Post # 9
pinkkillersheep: The next time she pulls something and you’ve had enough, or if you’ve already had enough and she wants to get together soon, I’d write her a gentle email saying that you no longer wish to be friends and tell her why. If she responds and wants to work on the friendship, I’d say give her one chance. But if she blows up at you, don’t respond and just move on with your life and be happy.
Post # 10
My former best friend has BPD. It was a very painful decision for me to cut ties with her, but she was making my life a living hell. She was unwilling to seek help. She would promise to be better and then immediately turn on me again. The hardest part about the entire process was her insistance that I was going to leave her, and then the lengths she went to to ensure that I would need to leave her. I felt terrible about myself, constantly walked on eggshells, and cried for nearly two years over the situation.
We were amazing friends and letting her go was the best and the hardest thing I have ever done. I miss her all the time, but when things finally came to a head, the decision to let things go was so freeing and I became immediately happier. I am hoping that she is able to get herself together at some point, but I just couldn’t be the punching bag any longer.
Now that she is no longer in my life, my other friendships have blossomed, I’m sleeping better, and I no longer dread upsetting her. Please PM me if you’d like to talk, I know how hard it is. Leaving isn’t the only option, but it was in my case.
Post # 11
pinkkillersheep: I am a licensed clinical social worker who has worked with many, many patients with BPD. I also had a friend in undergraduate who was diagnosed with bipolar and borderline. I eventually distanced myself from her because she was textbook BPD, as it sounds your friend is. There was no amount of friendship that I could bestow upon her that was good enough. You were her super duper best friend until some imaginary slight happened, then you were a monster and hated her and etc etc. It was difficult, but I had to take care of myself and she was draining on me emotionally and never really gave back, if that makes sense. She also refused to believe that her diagnosis was real and doesn’t take meds or seek counseling. At one of my low points I had the DSM and explained to her how each and every criteria for BPD fit her. :-/ I am not proud of that, but it was a wake up call to me that I needed some self care, even if that meant not having her as a close friend anymore. Especially now that I am a practicing social worker, I deal with psychiatric illness all day long and I can’t have it in my pesonal life if I want to maintain my own mental health.
Best of luck to you, I know it’s not an easy situation to be in.
Post # 12
msvelociraptor: The friend I referenced who is largely taking care of her son is reading that book and recommended it to me when she finishes it. It sounds like this is one of the “go to” books for people looking for help on dealing with a loved one with BPD.
MrWonderfulsGirl: CaroBee: BRbee: Thank you so much for responding. It’s honestly very helpful to hear from other people who have been there. I still feel like a s*** human being that I wasn’t strong enough to handle it. I still feel like it’s my fault. I still feel ashamed that I failed both her and myself. We lived together for like three years. We were so close that we didn’t just finish each others sentences, we knew them before they were even said. I know I need to stop blaming myself. Feelings are often not rational though so it’ll be awhile before I can truly believe it.
Post # 13
My FI recently had his diagnosis changed from bipolar to BPD. He’s doing well so far, but it’s a struggle for sure. Some days are good, others really suck. He’s doing a therapy called dialectical behavioral therapy and it seems like it will work, although he just started, so we will have to see how that goes over time! He is also medicated and has a large support system, so hopefully he will turn things around.
Sometimes, I feel like just walking away. It’s hard, really hard. Just because you walk away doesn’t make you a bad person, it just means that it was the best decision for you. You have to take care of yourself first, and if someone isn’t willing to get help for themselves, no amount of talking is going to get them there.