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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5334
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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My 44 year old son, seems to have borderline personality

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My 44 year old son, Michael seems to have borderline personality disorder which I believe I have caused. I had a difficult first pregnancy and nearly died. I did not want another baby but became pregnant again 1 year after the first baby. I was so unhappy with the thought of another baby that I would think and say ugly things to myself and baby. When he was born I had nothing to do with him for several months and let a maid take care of him. As he
grew I was verbally and sometime physically abusive to him, spankings, screaming, etc. In his teens he was difficult and unpleasant to be around. His college years were better but there was a problem with his father. My husband (now ex) is a professional man with a domineering mother he could never satisfy. He tried to hang himself one time in our boys
bedroom, disappeared 3 times and ruined his orthodontic practice. Michael feels that everything is my fault and that his father can do no wrong. He is married with 4 children
who are afraid of him. He is very controlling of them and his wife. I feel that it is best for
me to not be around him because he goes into rages. I'm so very sorry for my part in this
and want to know what I can do to help him. Could you please help me. I love my son but I don't like him and he feels the same about me. Thank you.

Hi! I believe I can be of help to you with this issue.

First, let me say I have dealt with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) from my internship on in my private practice and here online. But your question is truly unique in my experience. You are being so very honest without hiding behind any defenses. I am truly pleased to have made your acquaintance.

I can see from what you write how painful this is to you. And I accept your diagnosis for Michael of BPD. Though I have to say that your description seems more consistent with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). NPD can form, according to our current thinking in the field, in the age bracket you refer to (early infancy through toddler years). And his behavior seems narcissistic.

But our question is how to proceed. And I want to suggest that you avoid the all or nothing, 100% or 0% thinking that I'm sensing you're considering. You know that kind of thinking is BPD kind of thinking, black or white. So rather than no contact at all, I am searching for the right TYPE of contact.

I'm wondering in fact about emailing Michael our discussion. Letting him read your feelings and my response. Now if he has NPD, this may not be a good idea. Because narcissists can't handle anything that might seem like it puts them in a bad light. Even if it is not intended that way they can fly off the handle. So you will have to decide.

Because one way to have a relationship if BPD is what he is suffering from, is to have a more remote relationship. Where you can see pictures of the grandkids and YouTube videos of his family perhaps. I understand that the family dynamic in his family is strained. Again it sounds narcissistic. So this may not be worthwhile if it is.

The idea is that you maintain some way to connect with each other in a safe manner for both of you. If he needs to vent (BPD) or if he needs to condemn (NPD), having it be written in an email is so much better because you don't have to read the whole thing and you can respond at your own pace.

So let's look at some books on both BPD and NPD and you can use them if you wish to try to sort out what Micheal has. Randi Kreger wrote a book you will find in the library though it's very popular and may be checked out. So you may want to buy it online. It is called Stop Walking on Eggshells. Her is the American Amazon page for it:

She also has a wonderful online group called the Oz Online Community for Family Members. You need to really get to know her resources because they'll help you. She's a very nice person, too. Here's the web page:

For learning about NPD, these books WILL help you as they have been tried and I've seen them have good effect if you follow the suggestions of the authors:

1. The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship by Eleanor Payson. This is a great book that will help you with the lack of self-esteem that living with a narcissist or being close with a narcissist will do to you. Amazon:

2. The Object of My Affection is in My Reflection: Coping with Narcissists by Rokelle Lerner. This book is newer but is extremely clear and insightful and has helped people since it came out 2 years ago. Amazon:

Okay, I wish you the very, very best!

Please remember to click the green accept button. Feel free to continue the discussion; my goal is to get you the best answers possible. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue, just put "for Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, ***** *****

Dr. Mark and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Just wanted to say thank you very much. I have some reading to do and look forward

to helping and being helped.

You are so welcome. I am still thinking about your writing about yourself when you gave birth. It was so evocative.

All the best to you, Dr. Mark