I have BPD and am a mother of 2, husband in Iraq

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. I have BPD and am a mother of 2, husband in Iraq: I am a mother of 2 beautiful little girls. I was diagnosed with BPD 3 years ago, while my husband was on his first deployment to Iraq, he just finish his second tour there. He is only 4 days away of being discharged from the military, and I want him here, but I don’t at the same time. Our girls , I know need to know there father but I am scared that we won’t work out. I don’t know what to do, I have had multiple suicide attemps, and currently contemplating it again, I know I need help, but I do not currently have a therapist, and I more or less refuse inpatient treatment, due to the upbringing of my girls. My therapist, told me that he could no longer treat me. I am so confused as to what to do, I know I need help, I just can’t seem to trust anyone with my girls, not even their father. In the last 3 weeks I have lost more than 15 lbs. I just wish I were normal, like everyone else. How should I go about trusting my husband with our children so I can feel comfortable enough to seek the help I so badly need? I fear that if I don’t do this, will not be healty enough to take care of my girls, and I do not wish to leave them, but I can’t stop thanking that they will be better off without me.

A. I am unclear about a few items in your question. First, I am not sure why you do not want your husband to take care of his children (I am assuming he is their father). This is a bit confusing to me. Also, you mentioned that you have BPD. Is that short for borderline personality disorder or bipolar disorder? I have seen people use the BPD acronym for both disorders. Lastly, why is it that your therapist will no longer see you? Without knowing why this is the case, I can only guess this is because he or she has made attempts to help you and you have rejected his or her help. This is an assumption. If you would like, please write back in and let me know the answers to these questions. It would help me give you a better answer.

At this point in time, you sound very unstable. You are refusing inpatient treatment so that you can bring up your girls. If you are that symptomatic that your treatment team is recommending an inpatient stay, you should know that you are doing a disservice to your girls by exposing them to their very unstable mother. This can be very damaging. Prolonged exposure to unstable parents is not healthy for children. I think you recognize this.

No matter how bad you are at this point in time, your girls will always need their mother. Yes you need help, we both know this, but if you committed suicide, you might cause pain in the lives of your daughters. It would likely be the most devastating event they would ever experience. The pain they would feel because of your actions might be hard to overcome. They might blame themselves for your actions leaving them with the terribly horrendous thought that they were not good enough for you or that they could have done something more to save their mother. Would you want your girls living the rest of their lives with thoughts like these? Blaming themselves for what you did? Furthermore, individuals who have suicidal parents are more likely themselves to commit suicide. If you would choose to commit suicide, you’d be putting your girls at greater risk for suicide.

You can change all of this ugliness by going to in to seek the treatment you need. If you knew that one of your girls was suffering psychologically and she refused treatment, you’d likely force her to go for help for her own good. Why? Because you know that it was for her own good, to end her suffering. Now do this for yourself. Force yourself to go to treatment even if you do not want to. Your actions or inactions no longer affect just you but the lives of your girls. Get the help for them. Committing suicide could devastate your daughters. Your girls need you to get the help you need. Do it for them, if nothing else. Please write back in if you want to answer the questions that I was unclear about in the beginning paragraph.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 Nov 2006

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2006). I have BPD and am a mother of 2, husband in Iraq. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 25, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2006/11/27/i-have-bpd-and-am-a-mother-of-2-husband-in-iraq-i-am-a-mother-of-2-beautiful-little-girls/