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Can a mother diagnosed with borderline personality disorder…

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can a mother diagnosed with...
can a mother diagnosed with borderline personality disorder take care alone of 15 months twins? what risks face the children?
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Mental Health
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Answered in 1 hour by:
6/16/2010
Mental Health Professional: Carol Kryder LMFT, Mental Health Professional replied 8 years ago
Carol Kryder LMFT
Carol Kryder LMFT, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 808
Experience: APA Board Certified, Diplomate,Substance Abuse Professional, 20 years family therapy experience
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Hello:

This is a very distressing situation, because people with BPD by definition have angry outbursts, labile moods and are self-destructive. You are asking a question that has legal ramifications as well as medical ones. She can probably provide for the children, such as food, clothing, shelter, etc. which satisfies the legal issues, but emotionally there is no way to tell. It all depends on what she decides to focus upon. The twins could be just fine all of their lives, or she could start scapegoating them and blaming them for whatever is wrong in her life. There is no way to know.

You need to be very vigilant about any behavioral changes from the twins, especially any nightmares, clinging behavior, regressive behavior, and of course bruises. As they get older they will be able to tell you what is happening at mother's house. I suspect they will need therapy at some point in their lives. Living with a BPD mother is not easy.

I am sorry I cannot be more helpful. Please let me know if you have further questions.
Best wishes to you,
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
I am very afraid of this woman. I dont know how to interact with her since I am always scared. I am scared even to ask for divorce, since we are fighting over the full costudy of the twins. At the same time I am afraid of what can happen if I press for the full costudy. Our case is in court and I thought that the shared residential order would be good for both of us but now that she been diagnosed with BPD I don't know. My concerns are that if I insist on fighting for the full costudy she would go really crazy and do something very bad. I really don't know how to cope with the sitaution and she is extremelly violent some times and dominating as well. Do you think the court would allowed her to have the twins with her even in a shared way? Please I need a consitent advice.
Mental Health Professional: Carol Kryder LMFT, Mental Health Professional replied 8 years ago
Hello:
You are really asking for legal advice here and I am not an attorney. I am also not familiar with the customs in the UK. However, here in the USA it is easy for a father to get 50/50 custody of children if he has demonstrated that he is a large part of their lives and they are used to having him in their lives.

My suggestion is that you hire a child advocate or guardian ad liteum to evaluate the situation and make a recommendation to the judge which is in the best interests of the children.

I am also concerned that you are afraid of her. If she is that volatile, I would make sure I documented all communication with her and never saw her in person without a witness. Finally, asking for full custody would be damaging to the twins. They need both their parents, and just because you are afraid of her doesn't mean you should press for full custody.

Please get yourself into therapy with a therapist experienced in high conflict divorces and learn how to develop strategies which will allow you to deal with her from a position of strength, not one of fear.

I wish you my very best. You have a rough road ahead of you. Get as much support as you can.

Warm regards,
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