Help for Families
Step 1: How to Cope: Take good care of yourself
Step 1 (Powertool 1) in the Beyond Blame System is the foundation for everything else you will do to better manage your relationship with your loved one. You can't help others cope when you're too tired, distracted, or angry. You can't help family member raise their self-esteem if yours is lodged 20 feet underground. In this step, you'll learn how to handle emotions like depression, worry, guilt, shame, and solve physical issues like difficulty sleeping, headaches, and stomach problems.
I strongly suggest seeing a therapist of your own. Because therapists are not emotionally connected to your family member, they see your situation in an unbiased and nonjudgmental light. In addition to listening and validating your feelings, they can guide you in spotting your family member's distortions and help you become aware of your role in the relationship. They offer practical help, too, such as suggesting different courses of action or helping you practice new communication skills.
Reach out to friends, family, and your community. Never become isolated. Depend on friends to listen and give you reality checks. One place to do this is the online Welcome to Oz Family Member Community. Lead a full life. You need other people, outside activities, and feelings of accomplishment in your life to stay sane, let alone happy. You also need time alone to rest and think.
Raise your self-esteem. Right now you probably don’t have a very balanced view of yourself. Think back to some of the most important people to you, now and in the past. What have they said they appreciate about you? What compliments have you received during your life? Write down the answers so you can see them.
Taking Things Less Personally
Learn to take BPD behavior less personally. Your family member is acting this way because they’re mentally ill, not because they want to hurt you. Otherwise, why they would do things that make themselves so unhappy?