Living Life with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

Let’s talk about parenting and BPD. I’m sure I’ve touched on this subject before but I don’t think I’ve outright made it the topic of a full post.

I recently have had an email conversation with someone who had a baby with someone who has BPD. She was concerned with how the father with BPD would be at parenting.

There is no real solid answer to this. From what I’ve seen, people with BPD can make great parents. Devoted, attentive, loving parents. But there are always exceptions to that rule.

Children who are physically abused, which can cause BPD, often grow to be abusive parents. It’s called the legacy of abuse. It’s a well documented fact. Is it possible to break the cycle? Yes! But it takes hard work to overcome it.

We learn to parent by how our parents parented us. Emotionally neglected children, grow to be emotionally neglectful adults.

All this causes BPD in many cases. It’s one reason why BPD runs in families.

There are always exceptions to this, of course. I’m sure my mom may be reading this going “Dear God! Are the few times I spanked my daughter the cause of her BPD? Was I emotionally neglectful? I don’t think I was…”

So let’s look at spanking verses beating.

There are many parents who don’t believe in spanking. And all the power to them. If you can get your kids to be obedient children without ever smacking a butt or two, then please tell me your secret. That being said, there is a difference between the occasional spank and all out beating. It can be a fine line of course, but there is a difference.

I so badly want to say the difference is intentions. But I don’t really know the intentions of beating a child. I know the intentions of spanking is to teach and show dominance, which is the intentions of any discipline.

So really that leaves me with the difference being frequency, how hard, and the causes. If the child does something unsafe, a swat to the butt can help enforce the lesson. If a child is unhappy and crying, beating them is only going to enforce fear.

So what about me? How am I at parenting?

This is so hard for me to answer. I am my own worse critic.

I know when I’m manic I’m the best mom around. I could play with the kids for hours. I’m attentive, loving, and the best mom in the world.

When I’m depressed, I’m just the opposite. Playing with the kids becomes a chore. I’m still loving (I can never get enough cuddles from the kids) but I’m far from the best mom ever.

Then comes into play my temper. It’s on a short leash as it is, and my kids are excellent at pushing my buttons. Luke is excellent at asking the same question I’ve already said no to, over and over until I snap. I wouldn’t say I rage, but I do get angry. My therapist and I call them mini-rages. With Thomas it’s a matter of not doing what he’s told. Usually it takes anger and a swat to the butt to get him to listen.

On the good side: I help my oldest with his homework. I rock my littlest at night when he can’t settle down. I kiss owies. I play with my kids. I read books to my kids. We go for walks and to the playground. I’m a good mom.

On the bad side: I do spank my kids. I also yell a lot. I could be a better mom.

So how does BPD affect your parenting?

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