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Author Topic: Sister of Undiagnosed BPD - with extreme paranoia, not letting me see my nephew  (Read 513 times)
Fewer than 3 Posts
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Sibling
Relationship status: single
Posts: 1

« on: November 24, 2022, 09:36:09 PM »


This is my first post and I really appreciate any advice that you have for me.

Looking back after doing research on the topic, I realize my sister is undiagnosed BPD.  Although she is currently seeing a psychiatrist, they are only putting her right now on antidepressants.  Recently, they increased her medication; and she has started smoking weed from a vape quite excessively.  This has caused her paranoia to become much worse, to a point where she does not trust anyone and comes up with conspiracy theories.

Although I am used to this behavior (somewhat) from her.. I need some advice on boundary setting and overall what to do/how I can help.. recently with the paranoid thoughts she has brought up wanting to harm herself and considering suicide.  When I called her husband, however, to make sure that he was with her and that she was okay and she found out that I called him she has gotten extremely angry with him (since she doesn't trust him and thinks he will try to take away their son...).  Particularly after she has smoked, I am scared for her overall, and scared for my nephew (her son) who is only 3 years old.  While I was watching him for her as a favor, while he would look away from her at me, she would give me the finger and mouth "FU" angrily at me, and text me that she hated me and a variety of other vile text messages (as I am going out of my way to watch her toddler).

Has anyone else dealt with this extreme paranoia from someone with BPD? 

Also, now, she won't let me see my nephew or spend time with him (I feel like this is a sort of "punishment" as she is angry at me) - is there anything that I can do to help her? 

I feel extremely sad and helpless.  I want to get her help but unless she outright talks about suicide I feel like I cannot call 911.  I am also scared for the health and wellbeing of her son and am heartbroken that I am now forced to be away from him (this is not the only time she has used my time with him as punishment for something that I do "wrong").

I appreciate any guidance or really anything to know that I am not alone in this.
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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner’s ex
Posts: 3303

« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2022, 12:01:18 PM »

Hello GratefulforHelp, welcome to the site. You're definitely in the right place for learning new ways of coping when a family member has a PD. These aren't just "normal" difficulties, they're incredibly emotionally intense. Glad you decided to reach out for more support.

It is SO difficult when we're dealing not just with an adult with BPD, but when there are kids involved, and we want to support and protect the kids. pwBPD (persons with BPD) often see their children as extensions of themselves, and find it nearly impossible to tolerate the "gray area" that children can love many people, not just one (the pwBPD). It's possible that your sister may see her son liking you as a rejection of her -- that is an example of "black and white thinking".

Has anyone else dealt with this extreme paranoia from someone with BPD?

Yes, there are lots of members here who have a pwBPD in their lives with paranoid traits and behaviors. Suspicion, jealousy, blame, snooping, and irrational theories or plans are some of the many ways paranoia can show up.

As far as you can tell, does her paranoia show up most strongly in relation to wanting to hurt/kill herself? Or does it show up in other areas of life, too?

Feeling sad and helpless in the face of this situation makes a lot of sense, especially as you see your innocent nephew swept up in her intense emotions.

One place we can start to "do something" about the situation (because, unfortunately, we can't change others), is for us to learn some new tools and skills for identifying dynamics and deciding if we want to change how we interact. One dynamic that can show up between siblings is "Fear, Obligation, and Guilt" seeping into interactions. Check out our article on Emotional Blackmail and FOG and let us know if any part of it stands out to you.

Most importantly, you are very not alone. So many members here have a sibling with strong PD traits. It's a huge challenge, and at the same time, it's possible to make the relationship "less worse".

Keep us posted on how things have been going;

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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Sibling
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 1072

« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2022, 03:02:56 PM »

I came across this comic, which was done by someone with BPD who has insight into her feelings, that explains what goes on for them when they feel jealousy: https://themighty.com/topic/borderline-personality-disorder/comic-bpd-jealousy-sarah-burgess/

In short, they experience intense feelings of worthlessness and shame when their jealousy is triggered, and they lash out in anger as a way to alleviate those intolerably painful feelings, which then leads to more feelings of shame due to their lashing out. What we can do to help them break this cycle is to lovingly disengage when they lash out, which could be something like going into another room, or out for a walk, or leaving altogether, while letting them know that you will return when they are feeling better.

You also might consider attending some Al-Anon meetings as these will help you to detach with love, from your sister and nephew. And even though this may be very, very difficult for you, it may not be in your nephew’s best interests for you to babysit him as she could also take out her anger on him. I personally have had to keep my distance from all my nieces and nephews due to this kind of irrationality, which was not at all easy, and extremely painful at first. It does get easier with time though. Wishing you all the best.  Virtual hug (click to insert in post)
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