Well. What can I say? Yes, being related to someone with Borderline Personality is not an easy ride. Like their emotions, it’s a rollercoaster. Sometimes they are okay and sometimes they crumble, leaving you feeling helpless not knowing how to help them.
The truth is: there is no magic recipe. Unfortunately, the only person that can really help someone with BPD is: themselves. This is no easy thing to accept. Yes, we can be there for them, we can support them, we can use tough love, we can comfort them. But we can not change them. That is something that the sooner you realize, the better it will be for your relationship.
My sister has Borderline Personality. For years, I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her. I got mad at her, while I watched her make bad choices. I felt protective of her because I saw how easily she could crumble. I felt like I was being attracted into her highs and lows. It affected me. Let me make myself clear: I don’t blame her. Even though sometimes I do want to blame her, I know that she loses control and I also know how hard it is for her, how much she really tries. How much it drains her to fight this disease. Because it is a disease.
It took a lot of beating down and horrible things for us, her family, to know what she had. When we finally knew what it was, it was like we could breathe. This was real. In a way, giving it a name took the power the disease had over us. We had to learn to be spectators, that sometimes got splashed by the downs, but it was not our fight. It was hers. It still is.
You don’t wake up one day and everything is over. Mental illness is not like a virus attacking a body, where you take medicine and you can get rid of it. A mental disease like BPD is here to stay. That is the second thing you have to realize. But that doesn’t mean you have to bend over and let it take over your life and theirs. You sometimes win and you sometimes lose. You just have to be strong.
I love my sister more than I love anyone in this world. She makes me a happier person, she makes me feel full, like I can take down every challenge an uphill battle. She has taught me what being strong is really like. People with BPD suffer more than most of us do, they have to wake up every day to fight anxiety, anger, depression, stress, and emptiness. And still, they manage to get out of bed and keep on fighting. Some days they can’t, but some days they do.
Be patient. This is not about you. You are not the one living on the edge. No, it’s not about letting their disease step all over you, or let them manipulate you, or make everything about BPD. It’s about you letting them fight their battle and be there for them when it’s your time to step in.
Everyone is different. Everyone’s experiences are different. Let’s say it: loving someone with BPD is not easy, it’s hard, it can be very painful. But also, let’s be real: you love them, and that can’t be replaced or erased. I know my life would not be the same without my sister in it. It wouldn’t come even close to what it is right now. Many times, I thought I lost her. Those were the scariest moments of my life. For a brief moment, I caught a glimpse of what that would be like, to no longer have a sister. The future looked dark and lonely.
Now, today, there’s light with her here. There always has been. I am not alone, I have her. She is not alone, she has me. I wouldn’t change her. Who she is is who I love. And she is someone with Borderline Personality. She may not know it, but I have come to love her disease too, because it’s a part of her. And I love all of her.
Yes. It’s a rollercoaster. You go down and then you go up. But, you know what? I wouldn’t want to get off. I chose to stay here. With her.