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Dad with BPD


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Writing to find out what the best way to cope with an unstable father who has irrational reactions and huge mood swings.

We think he has BPD because he ticks more than five of the BPD boxes. My mum died a bit less than two years ago and this has really exposed his behaviour. We as his (adult) children obviously had a good idea about his mood swings but we've also realised how much work she must have put in to keep him as much on a level as possible. They still argued all the time, but he wasn't like this. He's currently blocked me on WhatsApp because I spoke to my aunt on the phone. She has become the object of most of his venom since my mum died, but he caused an ongoing family feud for years before that with my uncle (all on my mum's side of the family, not his own), which only resolved itself quite recently (because my uncle just let bygones be bygones and my dad chose another enemy to brood on). He also directs the same kind of hatred towards his mother and his sister, who has now died, and, to an extent, me. I don't feel loved by him, I feel like he is suspicious of me and my intentions, and also trying to get a rise out of me and cause arguments by constantly bringing up topics that he knows we disagree on. 

I am sure if I read about people's stories here I will find much worse versions of the disorder. My boyfriend knew a guy with BPD who killed himself, and I know that lots of them self-harm etc, my dad doesn't do that, other than drinking a lot and then twisting the truth about that. But he is *so* hard to deal with, so hard to please, so hard to be normal around because he gets offended by everything. Fair enough that he is not in a position where he can offer any emotional support to any of his three offspring since mum died (and we have done our best with offering him support, but it's like a bottomless pit, you'd never be able to give him enough)...but he desperately wants all three of us to cut contact completely with our aunt, who was my mum's only sister, who has always been a particular support to me and my sister (far more than my dad has ever been). My sister and brother have already distanced themselves from my aunt for an easy life, but I really don't see why I should, when we've always been close and I can relate to her much better than my dad. He thinks we talk about him, when it's the last thing I'd want to talk to her about. 

It's a complicated situation, and I know it's a condition with a broad range of behaviours, so I'm not sure how much help anyone can give. Especially as he definitely won't look into DBT. He still has counselling, which he started about a week after my mum died, and he's even really nasty to the counselor. She must have noticed his inability to control his moods, but she unfortunately hasn't referred him on to anyone.

It's just really hard work and to be honest however hard any of us try, it keeps coming back to him having a meltdown and pushing us all away, then us reconnecting, him seeming balanced for a while, and then something small triggering another meltdown - it's an exhausting cycle. He's gone AWOL lots of times since my mum died, but he hasn't ever singled me out to block me before. I feel a bit numb about that kind of thing now, it doesn't even seem like a big deal, except I know that he sees that sort of thing as very symbolic (he's constantly checking peoples' WhatsApp if they don't respond to him, is paranoid about whether they've blocked him, etc - so I know the kind of anger that would have led him to do it). We feel like we're on our own (at least there are three of us, and my sister and I have supportive partners), but where we would normally turn to family, we feel we can't, because he is just constantly telling us how disloyal and crap we are.

Do I really have to cut contact with people I love, to please a father that really shows me no love at all? 

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Was looking around for forums for BPD relatives and your post mirrors what we are going through with my mum since my dad died in 2016. Its gotten much much worse lately and we have the venom and jealousy issues towards our relationship with our Aunt (our mum's sister), I wrote to my mums GP to tell them my suspiciond that she may have BPD and they've been in touch and by all accounts she has reacted quite aggressively to it, she also told the doctors we were being vindictive which  hoping the doctors will see as a red flag in itself. 

She has her own version of reality where I favour my aunt over her and don't see my mum - when I try to see my mum she refuses to let me visit, if I didn't ring her she'd never ring me. 

It's a a big mess at the minute but hopefully bringing to a head with the doctors involved might be what needed to happen. We couldn't carry on with the ever more frequent cycles of darkness and hate and constant threats of suicide. 

Its exhausting and frustrating to deal with isn't it! 


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