Help for dealing with personality disorder in family member

Posted by dazlin @dazlin, Nov 16, 2018

Just wondering if Mayo offers counseling on how to cope with a very close, much loved family member that wreaks havoc on me.

@godsgiver …yes, I remember your post about your situation, and I had responded. Hope your coping better. Different situation for me…I'm not a caregiver, nor is this person in need of one. This is a young, healthy person that surely can use counseling, but you cant help someone that doesn't want help. I walk on eggshells and carefully choose my words, as I never know what sets the trigger. I dont exactly dance to their tune either, but use my best wisdom, which I need help with. I choose to stay involved in their life, as I know they truly need my unconditional love. I believe in due time God will heal.

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@dazlin

I also am a devout Christian…I'm in constant prayer. I basically could use guidance and help understanding their thinking, and how to manage my approaches so I can be a part of their life.
Praying God intervenes, SOON!!

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It is so hard to try and understand a troubled loved one's thoughts–may God answer your prayer! Still praying for you and your situation. Hang in there, dazlin!

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@dazlin

I wouldn't say I'm dealing with a mental disease (I want to clear that up)…this is a highly intelligent person with more of a personality disorder that chooses poor decisions that always reap bad consequences…hurtful to the entire family and takes no responsibility for their actions…I really dont want to label it, but I surely know what it is. I wouldn't say it's an addiction either…pure delusional thinking to benefit oneself. Seems I become the blame and target as well if I dare offer advice or guidance.
Wreaking havoc on their own life as well. I'm looking into the programs suggested here…appreciate so much!!

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I am dealing with the same thing with my daughter. She was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and I will be looking into these groups as well. So very hard. The only I have found on this journey so far is validating her feelings. I just say that I understand whatever it is she said to me and repeat it back to her. That's as far as I've gotten. Yet the person you are talking about sounds exactly like my daughter. Poor decisions with bad consequences which she continues to repeat over and over again. She rages for hours and can equally cry just as long. I never know what I'm waking up to each day. It blows my mind. I also seem to be the target but I think, I can totally be off base here, I'm the one that's always there for her and sometimes I feel like she is trying to separate from me. Like their is a strong dependency on me. I also think I'm the rule maker in the home and I don't sway from certain things I believe in. I still have to be her mother and watch out for her safety. So difficult though. She's flipped her car, another time hit a sign. She has tremendous guilt over everything, no sense of identity, no self confidence. Threatens to kill herself, which I believe is a real possibility which scares me the most. It's so heartbreaking and sad to me. She was with a therapist and psychiatrist but now have her in a program which offers DBT skills. I feel for you. So very, very hard.

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@dazlin

I wouldn't say I'm dealing with a mental disease (I want to clear that up)…this is a highly intelligent person with more of a personality disorder that chooses poor decisions that always reap bad consequences…hurtful to the entire family and takes no responsibility for their actions…I really dont want to label it, but I surely know what it is. I wouldn't say it's an addiction either…pure delusional thinking to benefit oneself. Seems I become the blame and target as well if I dare offer advice or guidance.
Wreaking havoc on their own life as well. I'm looking into the programs suggested here…appreciate so much!!

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@dazlin Hi. I forgot to mention that the 12 week class at NAMI is called 'Family to Family'. It is both an educational course as well as a support group. Borderline Personality Disorder is a form of mental illness and can run hand in hand with other mental disorders that may not be apparent to you. It is worth the time to attend.

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My thoughts and prayers are with you. My daughter is BiPolar and it has taken about 20 years for her to finally get meds adjusted so she is able to function on a daily basis. She gave up her drivers license about 15 years ago, and is now able to live in her own home, and is getting along pretty well. Be sure your daughter continues with the psychiatrist and therapist. Ann is still visiting with them about every 3 months and probably will for the rest of her life.

I would take the suicide threat very seriously and be sure to contact her therapist and workers about it. They may be able to help you. I also lost a daughter to suicide about 40 years ago from postpartum depression. That is another long story. My prayers are with you.

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@dazlin @dd1931

My sister was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder about 42 years ago. She had always been troubled, even as a 3 yr old. She had such bad temper tantrums that the doctor told my mom to throw a cup of cold water in her face to make her stop. I'm sure that didn't help her, but seemed to work when she was little. As we got to our teen years, she became worse. As an adult she was impossible to deal with. I had to call the police to come and help my parents as she was hitting them while they were in bed. As I was calling, she grabbed me and picked me up by the collar of my shirt and yelled at me. I was shocked at her strength! She then tore the door off a bedroom. I was afraid of her after that.

Many of our family gatherings were ruined by her tantrums and yelling. When her son was 3 years old she called and told me to come and pick him up because he was the devil and she was going to kill him. I went to her apartment and picked him up. He lived with me for about 8 months and then she showed up one day and took him. I moved to California shortly after.

Eventually she followed me to California with her son and her new husband. There were several incidents there before she finally ran away and left her 15 year old son to fend for himself. My husband and I took him in and helped him until he graduated from high school. Unfortunately, he's a mentally ill person who is back living with his mom. He's 44 years old now.

My husband and I have no contact with my sister or my nephew now, and haven't for about 25 years now. She won't get help for her illness and she's too unpredictable to have in my life. I decided that my sister, who I loved, has "died," and there is another person living in her body. It's very sad, but it was the only way I could protect myself and my family from her toxic personality and violent behavior.

I'm sorry to say, I don't have any real advice for you, except to get counseling for yourself and other family members. Also watch out for violent outbursts and threats, and don't forget to call for help if you need it. I hope you can handle the person in your life who has this problem. I think they look for a "rescuer" who will help them, but "kick you" when you do; they can't seem to help themselves to keep from doing that. I'm hoping the best for you and your family or friend who suffers from this disorder.

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@gailb

@dazlin @dd1931

My sister was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder about 42 years ago. She had always been troubled, even as a 3 yr old. She had such bad temper tantrums that the doctor told my mom to throw a cup of cold water in her face to make her stop. I'm sure that didn't help her, but seemed to work when she was little. As we got to our teen years, she became worse. As an adult she was impossible to deal with. I had to call the police to come and help my parents as she was hitting them while they were in bed. As I was calling, she grabbed me and picked me up by the collar of my shirt and yelled at me. I was shocked at her strength! She then tore the door off a bedroom. I was afraid of her after that.

Many of our family gatherings were ruined by her tantrums and yelling. When her son was 3 years old she called and told me to come and pick him up because he was the devil and she was going to kill him. I went to her apartment and picked him up. He lived with me for about 8 months and then she showed up one day and took him. I moved to California shortly after.

Eventually she followed me to California with her son and her new husband. There were several incidents there before she finally ran away and left her 15 year old son to fend for himself. My husband and I took him in and helped him until he graduated from high school. Unfortunately, he's a mentally ill person who is back living with his mom. He's 44 years old now.

My husband and I have no contact with my sister or my nephew now, and haven't for about 25 years now. She won't get help for her illness and she's too unpredictable to have in my life. I decided that my sister, who I loved, has "died," and there is another person living in her body. It's very sad, but it was the only way I could protect myself and my family from her toxic personality and violent behavior.

I'm sorry to say, I don't have any real advice for you, except to get counseling for yourself and other family members. Also watch out for violent outbursts and threats, and don't forget to call for help if you need it. I hope you can handle the person in your life who has this problem. I think they look for a "rescuer" who will help them, but "kick you" when you do; they can't seem to help themselves to keep from doing that. I'm hoping the best for you and your family or friend who suffers from this disorder.

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@dalzin
Your journey and that of your family must have been a difficult one. One of the most important things you can do is educate yourself on your sisters condition and learn to set boundaries so you do not let it effect you in a negative way. Where is her son now. He must be rather traumatised by his mothers unpredictable behaviours.There are many respurces on youtube on relationships with people with behaviour disorders. Stay strong and look after yourself. X

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@martha7979

@dalzin
Your journey and that of your family must have been a difficult one. One of the most important things you can do is educate yourself on your sisters condition and learn to set boundaries so you do not let it effect you in a negative way. Where is her son now. He must be rather traumatised by his mothers unpredictable behaviours.There are many respurces on youtube on relationships with people with behaviour disorders. Stay strong and look after yourself. X

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Hi, @martha7979 – thanks for the input for @dazlin. Wondering if you, too, have dealt with a family member who had a personality disorder?

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@lisalucier

Hi, @martha7979 – thanks for the input for @dazlin. Wondering if you, too, have dealt with a family member who had a personality disorder?

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@lisalucier
Yes sadly. Undiagnosed as you know few have the insight to see it is they with a problem. Possibly a narcicisst who blames and projects onto others so he never has to take responsibilty for his own actions. I have done a lot of research to best understand toxic relationships to best learn how to mitigate the chaos, trauma and damage they do to others.

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@martha7979

@lisalucier
Yes sadly. Undiagnosed as you know few have the insight to see it is they with a problem. Possibly a narcicisst who blames and projects onto others so he never has to take responsibilty for his own actions. I have done a lot of research to best understand toxic relationships to best learn how to mitigate the chaos, trauma and damage they do to others.

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@martha7979 – I believe you might like to connect with members @amberpep @claf @lydiaoscarsmom @sadamma4 and @parus, if you've not already met them in the community, as they have talked about narcissists they have been involved with and the challenges that presents. They may identify with the blaming and projecting onto others so not to have to take responsibility for one's own actions you mentioned, as well as working with a family member who is not yet diagnosed.

You mentioned, @martha7979, that you've done research on toxic relationships and how to best mitigate the chaos, trauma and damage done to others. Wondering if you have any learnings you might share for others in this discussion?

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Hi …. your story of a Narcissist probably rings true to a lot of us. I was married to one for 40 years, and then when our last child went to college, I left. I had tried everything ….. I'd gone to therapy (whom my X-husband hated), convinced him to go with me (that lasted about 3 months), and done everything I could possibly do other than lay on the floor and let him stomp on my back with his feet. He knew better than anyone else, he was smarter than anyone else, everyone else (especially me) I was stupid, irrational and illogical. I felt like a worm …. worthless, not worthy to be cared about or loved ….. just a housekeeper, maid to prepare meals, take care of the children, and of course ….. the ever demand for, sex. It was hell, to say the least, but because I grew up an only child in an alcoholic home I fell right into the trap …. I knew I was nothing so why did it matter. Well, after I was in therapy for several years, I had a breakdown. My Psychologist told me that "if you don't get out this weekend, I'm going to have to put you in Brooklane" (the local private psychiatric hospital). I left that weekend. I found out, to cover himself, he told all our friends that I was cheating on him with my therapist! OMG! I hated him for that. Two years later, I bought my own condo, and another 6 months later we were divorced. I can't tell you the mixture of emotions, sadness (I failed of course), depression, anxiety, but also a sense of relief because I was on my own and out from under that cloud of constant criticism. It's been 12 years now, and about 2+ years ago my daughters convinced me to move near to them ….. Staunton, VA. I'd been in Frederick, MD for 30 years. I did not want to move, I was totally happy, but ….. I finally came down here, and I do not like it. It was a big mistake ….. I should have stayed where I was the happiest. But, I wanted to please them, and I know I'm not getting any younger. BIG MISTAKE! I'm finally settling in, I see my girls at least once a week, and my son about once a month (he lives in Alexandria, VA). Unfortunately, my X lives down here too in a great big house. I live in low income housing. But I'm away from him and able to finally learn to "be me." And I'm not that "worm" I thought I was. N's don't change …. they are never wrong …. they are better than anyone else, superior in every way. I doubt you can get through to them, as their mind won't allow them to think otherwise. Do what you need to do for yourself …. think of yourself for a change ….. don't "have footprints on your back" as a girlfriend told me several years before I left my X.
Blessings,
abby

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@lisalucier

@martha7979 – I believe you might like to connect with members @amberpep @claf @lydiaoscarsmom @sadamma4 and @parus, if you've not already met them in the community, as they have talked about narcissists they have been involved with and the challenges that presents. They may identify with the blaming and projecting onto others so not to have to take responsibility for one's own actions you mentioned, as well as working with a family member who is not yet diagnosed.

You mentioned, @martha7979, that you've done research on toxic relationships and how to best mitigate the chaos, trauma and damage done to others. Wondering if you have any learnings you might share for others in this discussion?

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@lisalucier
I have joined an uplifting and wonderful support group called Dad Surviving Divorce. It is a 50/50 gender group which has many links to other groups and individuals dealing with disordered people. It has been more helpful than many therapists, as it is difficult to find a good one who truly understands and actually 'gets it'.
There are singles, spouses and grandparents in the group dealing with the day to day struggles.
The biggest problems in dealing with 'these' people is around how we communicate with them. Duane Robert who started his group has personal experience having been married to a narcicisst for 20 years. He also shares 3 children with her. Having made many mistakes initially, as we all do, he and many members of his group share their advice and wisdom to prevent others from making the same mistakes. His youtube videos on No Contact and Hybrid No Contact are priceless, among others check out his playlist. I support a daughter to deal with her ex who has been, and continues to be vindictive and self centred. We now know he is unable to change and are learning to forgive him so we can heal.
Other people who have helped us understand are Sam Vaknin, a diagnosed narcicisst himself, and Abdul Saad of Vital Mind Psychology as he has a very good explanation of how empaths fall for narcicissts and fall under their spell. It is a tortous road. If it is possible to 'cut them off at the knees', there are better times ahead and the opportunity to become a better person yourself because of the encounter with them, as difficult as this sounds. Sending anyone involved strength and hugs. X

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