BPD episodes are hard to live with when you have the condition. Teens with BPD do not have it easy. Parenting a teen with BPD can be complicated too. BPD episodes can be difficult to manage as a parent of a borderline teenager. I know firsthand because I am in remission from borderline personality disorder after over a decade of mental health treatment. I also have a teen who has many BPD traits (but is still too young to be formally diagnosed), which makes sense because BPD runs in our family.
The following post lays out what I would have wanted done for me, as a teen with BPD, and is what I keep in mind for my son whenever he’s in an intense emotional state of his own. It takes time and patience to get the hang of and things will never be 100%, but these steps work for us. On top of de-escalating intense emotions, they strengthen our relationship and build up my son’s mental wellbeing too.
Struggles with BPD at Work
I am confident that my struggles with BPD and work are not personal to me, at least in regards to keeping a job. I’ve never struggled with getting a job. In fact, ironically enough, I’m a talented interviewer (most likely because I’ve had so much practice at it), and getting a job is usually not a problem for me – evidenced by the many jobs I’ve held for a short-term basis.
I’ve been questioning why I struggle so much to hold a position. Questions with the overarching theme of self-doubt and self-shame inevitably fill my mind, threatening to overwhelm me with all the superfluous sentiments of shame, bitterness, and even hatred. A balloon with too much helium will eventually pop. The once thick layer of latex becomes thinner and thinner as more helium is added. Eventually, the wall of latex will be stretched too far, and the balloon will undoubtedly pop. Likewise with my mind. After so many unnecessary paranoid thoughts, I eventually will pop too.
Trigger Warning: interpersonal conflict, bpd episode, patient notes from therapist
Memoirs about BPD: Kelly South’s Story
Living with BPD, or borderline personality disorder, can be a difficult journey—but remission is possible. You can learn to manage BPD symptoms with the right tools, support system, perseverance and patience for both yourself and the recovery process. This post is proof that there’s hope. Today, we’ll hear from Kelly South who has just recently published a memoir about BPD called Pay Attention to Me: A fairly accurate story.
Kelly has been through the process of treating BPD (she’s currently in remission!) and understands first-hand how challenging it can be. In this Q+A, she shares advice for those in the beginning stages of BPD treatment as well as what she’s learned about herself throughout her journey. And of course, we’ll hear about her new book PLUS you’ll get to read an excerpt at the end!
(BTW — if you’re looking for books about BPD, consider getting a copy of Pay Attention to Me: A fairly accurate story on Amazon. It’s a great read and you won’t regret it!)
Before we dive in, here’s a quick summary.
In this video, I read my first ever blog post from 2019 detailing what a BPD episode looked like for me at the start of my BPD recovery journey. I also provide a present day (in 2023) reaction – times have surely changed.
Read the text version of my BPD episode here.
From ‘Hopeless’ BPD Traits to BPD Recovery
My name is Audrey and I have borderline personality disorder (BPD). I created this blog because I want to help spread BPD awareness and help others in understanding BPD—a debilitating, life threatening and highly stigmatized condition that causes frequent and intense mood swings, all or nothing thinking, a fear of abandonment, a chronic feeling of emptiness, explosive rage and more.
The first section of the following post was started in 2020 just about one year after starting DBT. Present day takeaways written in 2022 are in the second section to show how three years of regular DBT practice can help someone living with BPD.
Currently (in Sept 2022)—I am in remission and have went from having all 9 BPD symptoms to only having 2-3 BPD symptoms. This means I, at the time, do not meet diagnostic criteria. Borderline personality disorder is treatable. This post is proof of that.
A Common BPD Trigger Seen in Borderline Personality Disorder Relationships
If you’re new here, I’m Audrey: a mom, wife and blogger formerly diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. My goal for this blog is to help raise BPD awareness, dispel common BPD myths and help other people with BPD and their BPD relationships. This post touches on a common BPD trigger and is written for both people with BPD and their partners. So you can easily share this post with your partner and go over it together.
A trait of healthy relationships is spending time apart—either alone or with friends. However, going out without your BPD spouse or partner can be a huge trigger for some. Like saying no to someone with borderline personality disorder, leaving someone with BPD alone can lead to intense emotional responses or blow up fights. This isn’t because the person with BPD wants to be difficult. It’s because of their fear of abandonment.
Even though I’ve been in therapy for over a decade and I, as of 2022, do not meet the criteria for a BPD diagnosis (after suffering with untreated BPD for 17 years), the trigger of having my husband make plans without me has only significantly improved in the last year. This was such a debilitating trigger for me for the longest time, with every single partner I had. Simply being aware of the trigger wasn’t enough to stop the feelings that ate at my core and it wasn’t enough to keep me from reacting.
Something else had to be done.
Trigger Warning: Self destructive thoughts, splitting black, invalidation, relationship argument
Hey there! I’m Audrey Harper and I have borderline personality disorder. BPD Beautiful is my recovery blog where I document my treatment & learned DBT skills, hold myself accountable and help spread awareness of borderline personality disorder.
In this post, I go over what splitting is and show real life examples of splitting including distorted thoughts a person with BPD might have during an episode. As always, please note that my experience with BPD does not reflect all people with BPD. We’re all different and unique. However, I hope this post sheds some light on the condition if you have a loved one with borderline personality disorder.
BPD Splitting: Introduction
“What’s, for the most part, made you consistently happy and hasn’t disappointed you?” Ellen, my therapist, had asked during our session.
I looked to the side, up and forward in thought, “hmming” as my eyes gazed where the wall hit the ceiling.
I blinked. “Bobby,” I said affirmatively with a smile. (My son)
“Ok! What else?”