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How can I help my sister?
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How can I help my sister?

Hello, I'm looking for a better form of treatment for my sister who has been diagnosed with borderline. I'll provide some background info.

She appeared fine up until her teens. She did badly in school and had occasional child-like tantrums, but never seemed ill. At 16 she moved with my mother, step-father and younger half-sister from the US to a small town in Italy. There she was placed in a local high school and had to learn Italian. She learned the language eventually but didn't graduate. At some point she became an alcoholic and bulimic. These two things became worse and she eventually started doing drugs as well.

She ran away back to the US and lived with pimps and junkies, became a coke-head. I was in college at the time, in Europe, and I visited her. It was at this point that I realized she had some kind of disorder. Eventually she hit rock-bottom and returned to Italy where she went into a rehab/therapeutic center. She was there for years until I arrived in order to deal with my own drug addiction. I felt she had been abandoned for the convenience of my family and I would see her looking like a zombie, depressed, lethargic. I didn't believe she was getting the treatment she needed.

My doubt affected my mother's judgment and she decided to bring her back home. I was happy about it but I now realize it was an emotional decision not supported by enough experience. Since being back she has used drugs, drank and been destroying herself with bulimia and bad eating habits. We've had to guard her 24-7 but she still manages to escape now and then to steal alcohol or get people to buy drinks for her.

At this point is agreed that she needs to go back to the community, simply because we're unable to help her. I'm anxious, because not only does she threaten to kill herself if she's brought back there, but I don't know that the treatment was ever helping. She revealed a few years ago that she was sexually molested by my father's friend when she was maybe 3 years old and I believe this has prevented her from making the transition from child to sexualized adult. She consumes substances and cuts herself to deal with the pain of the repressed trauma.

I love my sister very much and I'm hopeless because I feel like the proper environment and stimuli would help her, but I cannot provide them. My mother, step-father, and half-sister have their own problems and preoccupations and although they try, they're not always the best people to be around.

At this point we are waiting for her to hurt herself so that her rights get taken away and she is committed. I don't know another way but I don't want to wait for something bad to happen.

I'm hoping someone with experience can share some wisdom or tell me of a facility that could help her. I'm desperate at this point and my sister is losing the best years of her life to no fault of her own. I need to help her.
9 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
Has your sister actually been diagnosed with BPD? If so, was it by a Psychiatrist? What she's doing, and has done, is "normal" behavior for someone that has BPD. She needs to except the diagnosis before she can get the help she needs. Your sister sounds like she is still very young. If she has gotten a definite diagnosis at a young age this a very good thing. My daughter is 35, 36 this week and just got her diagnosis a few months ago. It explained so much! She has been reading everything she can about this disorder and so have I. The best treatment is DBT. You need to find a Dr in your area that specializes in this kind of therapy. Your sister needs to be committed to the therapy for about a year. I do understand how you feel. My daughter would understand how your sister feels. No one wants to have this disorder and no one wants a loved one to have it. I'm here to listen and help you anyway I can.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you. She has been diagnosed. Then another diagnosed her with bi-polar disorder, and another with social-anxiety. I don't know how reliable they are but the Borderline seems the most accurate. She's been in therapy for years already, but I guess she doesn't accept it. However she recently agreed to commit herself again and then immediately disappeared. She got drunk and hurt herself and was committed to the suicidal watch clinical for the 4th time. Right now she's positive, and makes promises, but I know that as soon as she gets out we'll have to watch her 24/7 and hope they accept her into the community next month.

I wonder if there are more extreme cases? Because my sister would be dead by now if not dealt with medically. Was it very difficult for you and your daughter all these years? Or was she functional to some extent? My sister is unable to function in almost any way except pursue her compulsions and substance abuses.
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Avatar_f_tn
BPD and bi-polar can mimic each other. It can be so very hard do get a true diagnosis. In my opinion, I do think more is going on than social anxiety. I do agree with you that BPD "fits" much more so than bi-polar.
Your sister has to have the right kind of therapy. My daughter was also in therapy for years too and she was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Her symptoms were so much more extreme than either of those. That's why I started researching bi-polar. It "fit" many of her symptoms but my gosh! When I researched BPD it was like a light bulb went off. Almost every single symptom did fit. It was a hard diagnosis for my daughter except at first. She's doing so much better since she has excepted it and is getting the right kind of therapy.
Can you research Drs in your area that know about DBT? It is made for people that have BPD. Actually, I would start today if possible if she's still in the hospital. Talk to the Drs there and tell them you are almost positive she does have BPD and you want a Dr that deals with the kind of therapy she needs.
I feel for you and your sister. It is so scary! My daughter has had many suicide attempts. With the last one we almost lost her. This is very hard to even write.
My daughter is a member here and I'm going to ask her to send you some info that will help both you and your sister. If you get something from lboogie, you'll know it's my daughter.
Try to hang in there Sweety. You are an amazing sister.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm so sorry! I meant brother, not sister.
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693583_tn?1417464176
Hi JohnnyOlia, I'm remar's daughter, and I did indeed only get diagnosed with BPD about 6 months ago. You are an amazing brother for sticking by her. A lot of family members DO get overwhelmed, and not coincidentally DO indeed have their own things going on that make it difficult if not impossible for them to live with someone with this disorder. But we desperately need someone in our corner like you, and my mom in my case, because we we cannot seem to contain ourselves without intense therapy and work on ourselves over time. It is a critical disorder with statistics claiming that apr. 1 in 10 of us will die by our own hand. That being said I am a testament to the will to not only live, but actually improve the quality of my life and function at a fairly high level.
I'll try to keep this short for now because I've had a long day and I need to get to sleep ASAP. But I really wanted to respond right away and let you know that my mom and I will try our best to help, and I will send you a message tonight with a little more detailed info. Definitely hang in there!
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm very grateful to both of you for taking the time to hear my sister's situation. Thank you.
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Avatar_f_tn
How is your sister doing? Is she out of the hospital yet?
You're very welcome. We're here to listen and help in anyway we can.
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Avatar_m_tn
They're keeping her in the temporary clinic until she can be admitted to the community in a week or two. Otherwise it's too dangerous.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello, I was wondering if the ladies who were kind enough to reply last time will have another chance to help me out here.

A month ago my mother dropped a bombshell on me and said that my sister told her I was present when she was being molested. My first reaction was anger. Ultimately I acknowledged the possibility, but it filled me with doubt since I have no recollection.

Now tonight she did it again and told me that I participated. Apparently these were my sisters words. She said that I continued to "touch her" after the fact. Now at this point I had to call ********. I didn't curse out my mom although I felt like it; she says she's just relaying my sister's words.

This is what I don't understand. How could I have done something like touch my sister, which apparently affected her so deeply, over an [i]extended[/i] period of time and not remember it? My mother says I'm repressing the memory. But don't people with repressed memories have aversion to the thought? I sat there and spoke very casually about it with my mother because it just sounded so ridiculous. Honestly I would remember if I molested my own sister.

So my question is, is it possible for a Borderline sufferer to make things like this up? I had doubt already because I couldn't remember my dad ever leaving us with the guy who supposedly molested her, and because my dad also denies it. He says he's positive. All right I considered the possibility that my dad is lying to protect himself, but the whole thing is just seeming less and less likely. My mother believes it no problem because she loves demonizing me and my dad and I understand it helps to know there's a cause for the illness.

I believed my sister completely when she said she was molested, but the story is becoming more and more difficult to believe.

Tough question I know but if anyone can share some wisdom here I'd be very grateful.
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