Dealing with a Borderline sibling


For anonymity reasons i won’t list the number of children my mother & father have, but I am one of many children from a large Catholic family. I have a sister who I am fairly certain has Borderline Personality Disorder. (I’ve known for about 10 years). She shows all classics signs.
She has basically projected all of her problems onto my mother. and says she was “emotionally abused” and mistreated as a child. She says my mother is “the reason why she has so many problems as she does today” - my sis has been diagnosed as Bipolar as well.
The other several of my siblings, while some may have certain issues with how we were raised (too strict, too catholic is an issue for some, etc…), we do not share this sentiment of emotional abuse in the least. We all feel we were raised in a loving and caring environment, and that our childhood was by and large a happy one.
So the current problem is that my sister is attempting to “repair” her relationship with our mom by telling her how abusive she was, etc, etc. and that she needs to stop being so “self-absorbed.” This is the last thing I would think of a mother who so selflessly gave her life to raise all the children God gave her. It is tearing my mother’s heart out.
As a daughter and now a mother of my own family, it is SO painful to watch my sister destroy my mother with these false accusations and I don’t know what to do.
I have already given my mother a book about Borderline and tried to help her understand what she is up against. What else can I do???
Does anyone have experience with this?
Sorry for the novel, but thanks for your time.


Now see, my adult daughter is BPD and bipolar, and my mother shows symptoms of BPD, so I am squished between them!!!

Gotta make this a short answer, but I would get the book God Help Me! These PeopleAre Driving Me Nuts! by Greg Popcak, either at or on eBay or Half. I would also pray like the dickens, and don’t be afraid to call your sister on her behavior by telling her the truth. For example, if she is only talking in generalities, your mom or you can ask her in a nonconfrontational tone, “Well, can you be more specific? Can you tell me when this or that happened?” Odds are she is either cannot give you specific instances, or if she can, you and your mother will remember them another way.

Remember that your sister lives in her own little world, and sometimes it is best to leave her there.


You have my sympathy but all I can do is offer prayers.

You do need to constantly tell your mother what a great mom she is. Your sister’s constant abuse will probably weigh on your mother. I can’t imagine how painful that would be to have your child constantly blame you for their failings in life.


My sister is in her own little world too. She is the oldest and has blamed my mother for her problems all of her life - she’s close to 50 now. :shrug: Lately she has been emailing me every day - a few times each day… just to **** and moan about the same thing every day. I wish that she would go to counseling, take antidepressants, or something. But when I make the suggestion I become the “evil one”. So I just let her vent, I can’t change her anyway.

While I understand parents have to accept that they do have a great deal of control on how their children live their adult lives - even more importantly, as adults we all have to accept that our lives are in our own hands. But my sister has never come to deal with the fact that ultimately her life is her own to make of it what she can. She keeps going off in all different directions never committing to any one thing - except that her life sucks and an employer that she had 12 years ago and our parents are all to blame. Its quite sad (and sometimes I worry that I am just like her)

I think you need to keep in mind, especially in big families, each child does have a different experience with their parents. It is possible that your mother was more loving and supportive to one child than the other…after all we are all just human. Some children are more difficult and need extra time that parents may not have the time or energy to give.(I know this because I have a difficult child of my own who I am soooo afraid of screwing up.)

My suggestion is just to let her vent. Don’t get between her mother and her. If you mother doesn’t understand you can’t make her understand either. Sometimes its very hard to emotionally detach from family.:rolleyes:



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