In September 2015, a group of family and friends met and recommended the paper below to the BPD Community as a position paper on Carer’s Concerns. The meeting was the culmination of a process of consultation with over 50 family and friends conducted via email. The Board of BPD Community adopted the position paper on Carer’s Concerns and use it to inform their work on behalf of family and friends.
To be a parent, partner or spouse, sibling, child or friend of a person with BPD can be a challenging experience. To see the person you love not able to live the life they would want for themselves is painful. And the person with BPD can do and say things you find hurtful. We want to know what can we do to change the situation and sometimes the answers we get are not the ones we want to hear. This is the place for you here.
”The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” Ram Dass
Susanne said she finally had to realise that her daughter did have a serious mental illness after her 25 birthday. She said that she had always thought something was not quite right, but everyone told her she was imagining it, that it was just a phase, that her daughter would grow out of it. When Susanne told me there was still a touch of anger in her voice, “we had tried so hard to find help: we felt that no-one would take us seriously.”
Carers, as family and friends of people with BPD are referred to in the system, are often overlooked. We are the parent who is always there no matter what; the sister and brother who see the heartbreak in the family; the partner or spouse who watches the pain and hurt and feels helpless; the grandparent who worries for the children in the family; and the friends who stick by the person they love dearly. All know the beauty in the soul of the person they love and all have felt pain and hurt themselves.
We carers can make a difference. We can support recovery but it’s not easy. The first thing we are challenged to do is recognise that we cannot make change happen, unless that change is within us. What are the changes we need to make within ourselves?