Though relatively common, borderline personality disorder is often overlooked or misdiagnosed by therapists and clinicians and denied by those who suffer from it. It’s a confusing, complex disorder that’s extremely difficult for all involved: for the person with BPD, for the clinicians trying to understand and help their client, and perhaps most of all, for the children who have to endure its unpredictable effects.
No one chooses their parents and, as young children, once you’re brought into this world, you’re not in a position to opt out of your relationship with them. In fact, you desperately need them—to provide food and shelter, to prompt you to learn, to model ways to interact in society, to nurture you, to show you affection, and to provide unconditional love. A parent with BPD, however, may not have been able to consistently provide all of these things to you, through no fault or deficit of yours. They may not have received that kind of care themselves. It may seem ironic, but your parent may actually have consciously or unconsciously reinforced you as the caretaker to meet his or her needs, to be the nurturer and provider of emotional support, even though you were a young child.