Christopher Van-Santen

Hi Chris

Congratulations on a great piece. I write under an alias here, so I can speak freely with no-one being hurt. My daughter has BPD, MDD and GAD. So fun, such a mixed bag. And to add cream to the pie, she also has mild PTSD from an abusive relationship she was in during the worst phase of her illness. We thank god we have acess to the best psychiatrist, private psych hospitals and she has an amazing GP. Not mention an amazing partner. He is a brick. He met her when she was in hospital recovering from the abusive relationship (which was happening right under noses and we had no idea) and had already been given her diagnosis. When she said, oh I’ve met a really nice guy, we just rolled our eyes and thought ‘not again’. So, we gave this lovely fellow all the reading we could and basically said, ‘if you hang around, this is what you’re getting into, if you’re cool with that, we embrace you as a family member, if you’re not, now is your chance to run. Fast.’ He stayed, 3 years now. He’s marvellous with her. She would be doing really well after 4 years of therapy, except now she has CFS. So that’s hard. The day she was diagnosed with BPD was simultaneously the best and worst day. The best because finally we had an answer. The worst because no-one wants to be labelled with this insidiously negatively represented illness. Our daughter is beautiful. She is sensitive. We have learned her ways, and you know what, we appreciate her empathy for people. From my therapy and research into mental health over the years, I have learned that you have to make peace with the beast within. Which seems counterintuitive. But it is only through acceptance that we can move on. Sounds like you’re on your way. Our daughter is at the acceptance point. She also felt like that was giving in to it as well, so it was a scary time. Acceptance is not the same as complacency, as I always remind her. Yes, Borderlines can be manipulative, but they are also susceptible to narcissists who will manipulate them, hence the abusive relationship, and the abuser will tell you it’s YOU not them, and because the Borderline is so unsure of themselves, they believe the idiot telling them that, and so an abusive cycle ensues. BPDs can be loving and loyal, steadfast and empathic. I wish you well on your Journey, with love, from a BPD Mom.