My mother has always been unstable and scary. Could she have borderline personality disorder?
I’ve been reading your column for years and it’s helped me a lot. Thank you for that.
A recent suggestion that a daughter-in-law who throws outrageous tantrums at the end of visits might have a borderline personality disorder really struck a chord with me. The videos you linked to were so similar to my mother. For example, at least twice a year she’ll unleash a barrage of furious and hostile emails and phone calls to me and accuse me of gloating while she cries, being abusive, lambasting her and making her as miserable as I possibly can, never saying anything supportive, being secretive and a user (because I didn’t tell her that my husband and I had separated until we knew for sure we were headed for divorce) … I could go on and on. None of it matches my view of myself at all, though I do tend to close myself off and not react when she screams at me. I used to get really wrapped up in the hurtful things she says, but I’m used to it enough that it mostly gives me a week or two of feeling depressed and like I’m a horrible person, and then I just shrug and carry on.
The latest episode was provoked because I couldn’t give her a ride to a doctor’s appointment with only two days notice due to work commitments. She had said that if I couldn’t, it was no big deal. But I’ve learned that these kinds of events are precarious, and I steeled myself for the inevitable.