I am a only child of a 79 year old BPD mother. She has been like "this" my whole life, yet until today I never had a name for it. She was living in another city until a month ago when she came to stay with my husband, daughter and myself ... until she got set up on her own. She is staying on our living room sofa in our tiny 2 bedroom apartment. I guess time and distance sfforded me the luxury of believing maybe it wasn't really all so bad... maybe she changed for the better...

10 days after moving coming to stay with us she had a stroke. Difficult does not begin to discribe what it's been like ...I have cried a lot lately. My eyes are constantly sore and puffy.

This evening I am sitting with my husband watching TV. We are watching a show I like called Law and Order. This lawyer on the show asks "what is BPD"? The expert recites a list of traits .... discribing my mother exactly! My husband and I both look at each other with mouths gaping open, then at my mother. Who just so happens at that moment to be giving us a very eggsgerated silent treatment.

She lost her drivers licence and is dependent on us to get her to physio and her other appointments. She is hostile and adamant she does not want to live with us. All of her anger and aggression is directed at us, mostly me.

Thankfully, I found this site. My question is what has been the most helpful for anyone in a simular situation. Self help books, strategies? Any feed back that will point me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.

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Golden23 - thank you so very much for sharing. This is super helpful. I was talking to a friend, when she asked how I was coping I mentioned that I found this group ... I disclosed how while much of the feedback I recieved I already knew... or at the very least suspected ... but the value in reassurance is quite profiund. Oh the guilt I carry. I showed this group to my husband who marveled reading that others actually really had mothers like me! Who knew?! I felt like Harry Potter when he learned he was a wizard! How incredulous! How powerful when you carry this type of toxic relationship in silence and in shame for your whole life to learn you are really not alone. ❤️
Helpful Answer (5)

Did your mom go to rehab after her stroke? It would have been good segue into Assisted Living; if she's ever in the hospital again, please be sure to ask about getting her approved for rehab.

While it's true that nothing "cures" BPD, there are often accompanying psychiatric problems like depression and anxiety. Has she seen a geriatric psychiatrist? You might consider taking her to one for treatment of her symptoms.
Helpful Answer (4)

What you can do is make plans for her to live somewhere else. It sounds to me that you are in an untenable living arrangement - a small apartment with a BPD mother who has had a stroke and will need increasing care. My mother has BPD with narcissism (your mother is likely narcissistic too) and now has developed vascular dementia. Life was h3ll on wheels until she was hospitalized and treated and I was living 5 hrs drive away from her. I recognized years ago that I could never look after her in my home as the stress would be too great. Your mother does not want to live with you. That is good.

A few questions: What were her plans before she had the stroke? How much has the stroke affected her ability to live alone?. Have her ADLs (activities of daily living) been assessed since the stroke? Does she have the resources to pay for her own accommodation? Do you have POA medical and financial? (You need to get those though she may be resistant.)

The stroke is only the beginning of her health problems. She needs access to proper care. Even if you do not have POA you can write down your concerns and give them to her doctor. She needs a thorough geriatric neuropsychological evaluation to establish which meds/treatment could help her, and whether she is suited for a independent or assisted living.

If she goes to hospital for any reason you can refuse to take her home on the basis that you do not have the resources to care for her (which is true - neither the space nor the personal resources) and they are obliged to find her a suitable placement.

Meanwhile contact your local agency for aging, and social services, and talk with your doctor, as you will be probably be needing antidepressants if you are not on them already. A sofa in a small 2 bedroom apartment with a daughter who is having trouble coping (understandably - I am not putting you down) is not an adequate situation for your mother. looking at it only from the POV of her care. It is also way too much stress for you and your husband. 40% of caregivers die before the people they are giving care to. You need to look after yourself, your health physical and emotional, and your marriage. Continue with the plan that this is an interim arrangement and help her find her own accommodation ASAP.

She is angry - that is the BPD no doubt aggravated by the stroke. Learn to detach and distance, and set boundaries - all very difficult when she is living with you and sleeping on your sofa. My heart goes out to you. Take action to get your mother moved out ASAP and keep coming back for support or even just to vent. It really helps. (((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))
Helpful Answer (4)

I'm sure taking your mother to all sorts of geriatric psychiatrist appointments would be difficult. And would she even agree to this? And you have to be the testing ground for the psych meds? That's not fair to you.

Like others have said, when she gets hospitalized, that is your time to say you cannot possibly take your mother back home with you, as you are not able to be her caregiver.
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First I THANK YOU all so very much for your feedback. I really value feedback from those with actual personal experience with relationships with these types of personalities.

I understand unless you lived it... it is hard to wrap your head around it.

Well meaning friends and unfortunately even some professionals just don't get it.

My whole life I painstakingly learned to try and react to my mother in a way that would yeilds constructive results... or at the very least... avoid counter constructive repercussions. The absolute last thing I need at this point is a "make work project" or more grief.

Eyerishlass - you hit the nail on the head! She is the 80 year old poster child of non compliance. I am totally prepared to change in order to "coexist"... I am just unsure of what the mechanics of that actually look like.

BarbBrooklyn - My mom does go to rehab. The hospital she was at has a wonderful stroke clinic. I reached out for help from the system right away. She is now on a waitlist for assessment for a variety of things including assisted living. It's a matter of waiting for our number to come up. I will definitely ask for her to see a geriatric psychiatrist. That is a great idea I had not thought of. I am more than willing to take her...however she is not likely to comply to any treatment.... but maybe, just maybe, if it can be slid in as part of her rehab... I may have half a shot.

golden23 - oh boy is my mother narcissistic! It is only more emphasized by the vascular trauma. My dr also agreed it would be detrimental to attempt to care for her in my home. She actually had planned to relocate to our city and live with us, for the transition, possibly indefinitely. I can appreciate that It is a blessing of sorts my mother now does not want to live with me since the stroke.

She is independent for the most part with ADLs. However I am pretty sure the memory loss take living completely independently off the table. She forgets the water running or the stove on. She is on a very limited income.

What is POA?

It's a great idea to write down our concerns and give them to her doctor! I will do definitely do that.

I actually went to my Dr today for support. I assure you I take no offense. Thank you for your care & concern. It means a lot.

I try... but it is hard to detach. Especially since I am acutely aware she has no one else.

CTTN55 - your correct she would NEVER agree. So far she is VERY grudgingly going along with physio because she believes she still has the opportunity to manipulate the outcome of the impending assessments.

golden23 - It sounds like you had a ideal situation with your Mothers admission and subsequent assessments. Given another kick at the can... hopefully... I will still try to advocate her mental state and behaviors.
Helpful Answer (4)

sounds like her memory is affected so living independently will not be an option. The assessment will determine what is best.

POA is Power of Attorney which gives that person the authority to make decisions - medical POA - medical and personal decisions/management, financial POA - financial decisions and management. POA is granted by the "donor" in this case your mother and she may be resistant to appointing anyone in this capacity, but if she has another stroke which is more incapacitating she will need someone to look after her business. My mother finally appointed me when she was 95. I mentioned the stroke scenario to her and that plus pressure from her financial adviser finally convinced her.

Learning to coexist means learning to detach. That does not mean not caring for her. Google detach with love and also articles about living with someone with BPD. She needs to know you care for her, and you need to care for her, but you need to manage that with as little damage to yourself as possible. Being in close quarters with a BPD narcissistic mother who has had a stroke is a recipe for extremely high stress. Personally, I could not do it. Old hurts from childhood and beyond, surface, and new hurts are imposed daily and trigger the old ones.

Eventually, once mother was hospitalized, it was as good as it gets. Believe me for the several years leading up to that it was anything but ideal. Vascular dementia on top of BPD is very challenging. At one point I was getting three phone calls a day - each one nastier/crazier that the last till I finally let them go to voice mail. Mother was paranoid, making accusations about people stealing from her, that I wanted her money and control of her life, and more accusations of one sort or another, then she started having delusions and there were more accusations. At one point, aged 100, she tried to fly across the country alone, and ended up in hospital then and that was the beginning of documentation of her mental state. She was released and it was another 6 months of craziness before the community psychiatrist decided she needed hospitalization voluntarily or not. During those 6 months she had a prescription for an anti psychotic but only took it for a short while. Compliance was an issue then and also for the first 9 -10 months in hospital. I have a sister who also has a personality disorder who encouraged mother to not take her meds, and also wanted to move her to a cheaper ALF with poorer care, It was a nightmare.

You are right that you need to advocate for her which includes letting the professionals know about her mental state and behaviours. The tipping point for her hospitalization came from mother expressing thoughts of suicide, had difficulties with the staff in her ALF due to her accusations, and also due to me experiencing PTSD from dealing with her. I was impressed that they took that into account.

Above all look after you. Blessings
Helpful Answer (4)

Donna, I would say do not wait around for someone to call you back about the geri psych - after the holiday weekend, maybe make a call yourself or ask the doctor's office if they have found out anything or have anyone you could call.
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Update ❤

I reached out to everyone and anyone who has had anything to do with my mom...

Living in a war zone ... victims of the shrapnel of my mother toxic behavior ... my teenage daughter started staying with friends, unable to cope at home...who could blame her?at the end of my rope, I was crying on the daily... we hit rock bottom when one day after working a night shift I spent the morning running a hostil "mom-ster" on one errand after another when she swore at me while at Walmart because I had not read her mind and not taken her to the places she wanted to go to in the order she wanted to them in .... I lost it. I mean LOST IT! I got instantly angry. I yelled... letting her have it with both barrels ... which as anyone who has a BPD family member knows is a utterly counterproductive exercise in futility. Not proud of myself.

After all the assessments and applications were said and done, we were turned away from all practically all the resources as either non compliant or too high functioning to qualify.

Then "We" were connected with a delightful young social worker... who while briefly in my mothers favor... found her a bachelor suite that passed my mothers numerous specifications. She moved in on the first day of the new year!

The social worker has quickly fallen from grace... but I am eternally great full.

Living separatatly I still support my mother, and have began to re-establish heathy boundaries.

I also am perhaps a little wiser... on my mothers GPs advice... if and when my mother ever ends up in hospital again, I will adamantly refuse to take her home under my care, insisting the resources are implemented to support her before she is discharged.

Thank you all so much for being there for me ❤
Helpful Answer (4)

Have you considered assisted living for your mom? A 2-bedroom apartment would be tight quarters under the best of circumstances and since your mom doesn't want to be there anyway why not ship her out?

If you've researched BPD you know that there is no medication to alleviate it. The only "treatment" is therapy and that's next to impossible since the symptoms of borderline disorder prohibit the person from seeking out therapy. And an 80 year old person is not likely to enter into therapy.

Most books are an examination of BPD and how to deal with someone who has it. In other words, it's you who will have to change in order to coexist with your mother. You won't be able to change her behavior.

I'm glad you found this site too. There have been questions and posts about borderline disorder. Do a search and enter in keyword "borderline personality disorder". See what comes up.
Helpful Answer (3)

Donna, when I mentioned rehab, i meant the in- patient kind. It sounds as though your mom is getting out- patient rehab.

I'm glad that she's on a waiting list for Assisted Living.
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