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Surviving a Borderline Parent

Surviving a Borderline Parent is the first step-by-step guide for adult children of parents with borderline personality disorder (BPD), be it diagnosed or undiagnosed.

Some 14 million people in the US suffer from borderline personality disorder. This book helps adult children overcome the devastating effects of growing up with a parent who suffers from BPD or BPD traits.

Symptoms of BPD can include unpredictability, uncontrollable anger and other emotions, depression, self-abuse, fear of abandonment and unstable relationships that shift between, at one extreme, putting someone on a pedestal or, at the other extreme, seeing that person as “all bad.” Parents with BPD may be unable to provide for the needs of their children and can be physically and emotionally abusive. In an ironic and painful role reversal, BPD parents can actually raise children to be their caretakers. They may burden even very young children with adult responsibilities.

Surviving A Borderline Parent is the first step-by-step guide for adult children of parents with the traits of borderline personality disorder (BPD), whether diagnosed or undiagnosed.

BPD affects a person’s ability to manage their emotions and behavior and strongly impacts relationships. If you were raised by a borderline mother or borderline father, your childhood likely was influenced by inconsistency, volatility, unrealistic expectations, conflict and guilt. Your parent may, at times, have seemed emotionally immature, narcissistic, self-absorbed or controlling.

You may have been saddled with the role of emotional caretaker and other adult responsibilities even though you were a child. You may have questioned your sanity and felt “crazy.” You may have thought something was wrong with you.

The effects may still impact your life and your relationships today.

Surviving A Borderline Parent is really about two main things: Understanding what you went through as a child and overcoming the issues that hold you back now.

Readers often comment on the sense of relief and validation they feel when they learn their childhood experience with a borderline parent had a name and that many others have had similar experiences, too.

This book will help you:

  • Understand and overcome the lingering effects of being raised by someone with BPD behaviors.
  • Discover specific coping strategies for issues common to children of borderline parents: low self-esteem, lack of trust, guilt, and others.
  • Begin to find a path forward, toward reclaiming your self and living your own, full life.

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12 Ways This Book Can Help

If you think you were raised by a borderline parent, diagnosed or not, this book can help you

  1. Learn more about BPD and borderline traits.
  2. Identify the messages children receive from parents with borderline traits.
  3. Learn why you may have felt responsible for others and out of step with your peers.
  4. Understand how growing up with a parent with BPD traits may have influenced the adult you—and your relationships with others.
  5. Discover why you feel guilty.
  6. Gain insight into why you may dread dealing with your parent now.
  7. Learn how you can identify and better cope with the many emotions adult kids of parents with BPD have, including anger and grief.
  8. Break free from old, habitual ways of thinking about your past, your role in the family, and who you are now.
  9. Understand what healthy relationships and healthy boundaries can look like.
  10. Rewrite old scripts and develop new strategies for interacting (or not!) with your parent.
  11. Get inspired by ideas for taking good care of yourself.
  12. Picture new possibilities for your future and…
    Much more.

About the Authors

Kimberlee Roth is a professional writer who has written about Borderline Personality Disorder and topics related to relationships and physical and emo­tional wellbeing for numerous websites, magazines and newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune.

Freda Friedman, Ph.D., LCSW, is in private practice and a member of the Phoenix Institute in Chicago, Illinois. For the past twenty years, her pri­mary clinical focus has been with Borderline Personality Disorder, provid­ing treatment, education, support and consultation to people suffering from the disorder, their families and health care professionals working with them. She is on the board of several professional health care organi­zations and has developed BPD programs in New York and Chicago.


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