I never understood my mother’s unhappiness—why she seemed to want to be the unluckiest, poorest person in the room; why she was so closed off, so harsh, so absent. When I had children of my own, her dismissive comments and coldness seemed even more troubling and inexplicable. I wanted to understand her and hoped ultimately to forgive her. Then, in helping a friend diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, I made the connection: I began to suspect that my mother had had borderline personality disorder (BPD). Learning about BPD has helped me understand, and ultimately forgive, my mother’s enigmatic and frustrating behavior. I’ve written a book about her and blog frequently on the topic. I’ve learned from my reading and from my friend about the profound stigma attached to the disorder and intend my book and blog to go a little way to dispel them.
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