When A Bpd Parent Dies

As the child of a BPD mother, life has been full of research as I attempted to find my own balance and maintain it when in mother's company. Our mother was highly creative, witty, funny and entertaining, as well as accomplished in many ways, so our childhoods were a double edged sword of great experiences counter balanced by total misery when she had episodes of rage and abuse or total neglect of day to day needs of the family. Thanks to effective therapy and the increasing amount of information available about BPD, it became possible for me to understand our mother's behavior and my own responses to life which resulted from it. And, there were actually times when we enjoyed each other's company greatly.

As she aged, my mother became less the BPD Witch and more the Hermit/Waif. My sister even suggested that the changes in our mother's emotional responses made it possible for her to experience a "Redo" of their relationship during mother's last years. By the time my sister shared this information, it was too late for me to step up the level of ongoing contact with my mother because of her failing health. But occasionally I find myself wondering if I should have shared more information about my activities and interests with mother in her later years, and if that might have helped build a greater sense of closeness.

I always tended to refrain from trying to share experiences with her because she usually squashed my enthusiasm. She rarely asked about what I was doing but occasionally she would surprise me by bringing up something that interested her. Our conversations and infrequent visits were usually quiet and focused on family stories or recollections, which interested us both. But they didn't include much new subject matter. I wonder if anyone else has experienced changes in the behavior of a BPD parent in later years that resulted in a closer connection?

Mother died this Fall and during her final months, I experienced most of the predictable feelings one associates with grief, which was something of a surprise, since my feelings for her are tempered with the knowledge of how little our relationship had actually evolved, and how much more it could have been. Now that she is gone, I do not quite know what I feel and am not sure what to expect. I'd be interested to know about the experiences others may have had.

patjoh patjoh
4 Responses Dec 18, 2012

My bp mom passed a year ago. My dad passed in 89 and then she was my problem. Her other 2 kids, my half sibs, neglected her and left it all me as I started to figure out she was becoming addicted to her benzos given after my dads death and was already with alch tendencies.....and so it began.
by 95 or so I began to worry about the falls and increase in intensity of this, the mixing of the drugs and booze. she was always violent etc and dramatic, she is of all 4 types but tilts toward the witch.
My way older half sibs of her first marriage were sparsely in and out of her life but did not do much aft my dad passed and even after I tried to tell my half bro what was up as I was seeking help anywhere at this point, my half sis had an idea of her personality and addictions as she was abused by her til she ran away as a teen where as my half bro was with his dad so he was the perfect one to my mom, out of guilt of giving him up. He rarely came around. My half sis is just like her or worse.
Anyway I tried to get help, tell my half bro and he did not believe me.
I had a bf who had lived with me in a room for years and was around to experience a lot of it, he was no help and we had our own issues and I could not get him to leave for many years and having to deal with so much I just let it slide and kept trying to keep the relationship. I was her caregiver and as it got worse, saved her and the house from her drama, fires, you name it.
I finally broke up with my bf for good and he finally agreed to leave and not make this a drama, not involve my mom as she was already so dramatic and had probs and you know.....borderline stuff, all the same stuff.
This was March 2012, and my mom and I had the estate all figured out which took years leaving my deceased dad on title for many years until in the mid 2000s when she had a bf which wanted to move in so I told her we need to settle the estate stuff first or she would be putting it at risk by bringing in some man to live with her.
So we did the paperwork and I was to get her half upon death, by joint tenancy, she did not want to do a will.
I was my dads only child so half was mine anyway.
I broke up with my bf in early 2012, in vengeance he got my mom involved so he did not have to leave, took over my gym room and that basically caused chaos between the blood, I don't use the word family cuz they are not that to me.
He called up my half bro, and told him lies, very serious ones about me in order to convince him to help coerce my mom into disinheriting me and leaving her half to my half sibs and my ex. I had no clue. I was being stalked and harassed by my ex and she was on his side to keep him in the home as she did not believe me and he told her he would not hurt me and she bought it......he knew she would, but he did finally leave a few months later..........come to find out after she died a few months after he left, she died by OD.....I am sure it was suicide by the stress they put her under and getting her involved and convincing her to do this and draining her of her last dollars to do so, when I was the one who was always there for her living in the home to my 40s dealing with the trauma of her health issues and abuse......the half sibs went on and had a life..........an hour upon finding her the next day......my half bro tells me he is exec for a will???? And her half is theirs and they are selling. wtf? They got her to sever our joint tenancy and she disinherited me from her half totally.
Now I fight, they want to take my dads house away from me, to get this inheritance and I have to prove competence, coercion and quantum meriut. The half sibs said nothing about wanting any part of MY fathers house until my ex got them involved, years after my mom and I had things arranged. My ex used all the insider info to manipulate everything and he is coming after spousal for my half that comes from my father as well.
I will end up most likely with a huge mortgage now on a house that was paid when my dad died, then my mom racked it up to liquidate it until the bank stopped giving her money, and it was a under a hundred grand by the time she passed. Now depending on how the courts decide this......already had to take on all her debts, do her funeral, they left it all to me still and are not paying estate half of anything.....its all on me as they want to force foreclosure by drowning me. Anyway, she was into dementia by then too, its scary as i never was able to work full time as i was taking care of her and now my security and future are at risk, I am fighting for my life, they want me destitute on the street and have pulled every dirty trick to do it and have gotten away with a few broken laws and crimes...they obviously have thier own beef about my mom leaving their dad and having me etc and who knows the lies my ex told, I know he told my half bro he needed to protect my mom against me......the rest I am not sure but he said anything to get my half bro to take his side and recruit him in on this plan to make me suffer, my ex knew how much I loved my dad and he loved me.....like a bp mom she was jealous of that too, so I pay for all these peoples issues....our legal system is poor when it comes to protection in my case. After years of me enduring her they ignored her and now walk in and try take my future and her condition facilitated this whole thing. I have not gotten to a point of having to agree to sell but I have experienced financial hardships I have never felt, going to food bank and being in months over due on many bills...........as exec my half bro has duties, he has not done them and by the time they account for this, the house may be sold.......its not about money for me, it was my fathers house he sweat for to make sure his daughter was safe in the future, hence why he never put my moms name on title.........sadly he died a month before he was to do a will leaving it all to me even so I was 16 and he had my mom as his wife, but he did not trust her or her kids and here I am now. I wish I knew about Borderline mothers a long time ago.......I have yet to mourn, I have had to be on the front lines - fight or flight since my dads death never mind this one......the challenges of mental and emotional are beyond anything I have dealt with to now, as hard as it has been as a child and her caregiver.....and this is all beyond anything I have heard of with others in breaks ups or dysfunctional families. When this is all over.......I hope I can be a better stronger person who grows from it all rather than be a broken person, I fight this moment to moment.

7 years ago my father died, I would have been 22 at the time.

He was a classic chronic low functioning BPD. At times he was an unbelievable strain to deal with; he impacted my self-esteem immeasurably and was erratic and volatile both physically and emotionally.

I'm sure this is a familiar sounding situation to many of you reading this blog.

I can only mirror the author's initial experience that very shortly after his death I felt sadness and fell into a typical grieving process.

However, 2-3 weeks after his passing, the overwhelming sensation was RELIEF. I would like to be totally open about this, because I feel that it might help others in a similar situation.

I felt utter and unadulterated RELIEF at his death. The sensation was as If someone had relieved me of a physical weight being bared on my shoulders.

Any BPD is so focused on having their personal needs met that they are perfectly happy overwhelming even their own offspring. I believe that my relief was a manifestation of the opportunity to finally serve my own personal needs.

I would like to add that I am a person that is academic with a professional career and a long term girlfriend, with no issues in forming relationships, all my own teeth e.t.c

Moreover, whilst I have moments that I feel upset about his death and I reminisce that somehow things could have been different/better.

I do not feel guilt about my relief. Even 7 years on and the more I learn and become as a man, I still feel zero guilt that I am still relieved by his death.

I wanted to share this story because I felt that someone might have wanted to reach out to someone to have experienced this. If you wish to reply to my message I would be happy to communicate with those in a similar position.

Thank you for sharing this. I know the time is coming for my BPD father and i imagine myself to feel this way when he passes. Its comforting to hear someone say it out loud. I appreciate your honesty.

I'm sorry for your loss. I think that the good times are what make us stick around so long through the bad times. Your mother was a complicated person and you had a complicated relationship( to put it mildly, and say the least) it's natural to grieve what you lost and could have had. I'm sorry you didn't get what you needed. That regret you're feeling is normal, but try not to get too wrapped up in it. Maybe go back to counseling if you aren't already, that can help you process, or journal, journaling really helped me.

My maternal parent is a 91 year old BPD. No change for her as she has aged. She is still volatile and hateful and angry. Glad you had a different experience with your maternal parent. Best wishes