Dear Sanctuary members.
My granddaughters tell me it is only three more sleeps till Christmas morning so it is definitely time I wrote to you all with my Christmas thoughts and wishes.
I must admit I have been struggling with how to wish you “Happy Christmas” when I know that for many of us Christmas can be a stressful time as we not only prepare for Christmas Day, but also try to bring some joy into the lives of those we love, diagnosed with BPD. At the same time, I have friends who do not have a family member living with BPD and they too have struggles on the day, so maybe we all need to change the image that the media portrays about Christmas.
I want to tell you our story which I hope will bring you peace and a realisation that with time, things can change.. We had many Christmases where no matter what we did we could not bring any joy to our daughter, living with BPD. 13 years ago, just before Christmas, the worst thing happened. She had a psychotic episode, put her life and others’ at risk and was detained. You can imagine the grief and distress my husband and I felt, not only at how unwell she was, but also because she disowned us. She spent 4 months in hospital, and was much better when she was discharged, and she once again “owned” us. However we had years of many periods when she was depressed and angry and suicidal. Then I learnt about BPD, what the illness meant for her and how it affected her, and the things we could do to help and thankfully things have changed for the better. She is now so much better. I no longer walk on eggshells wondering how she will react, and I look forward to enjoying her company this Christmas Day knowing there will be love and joy being with her.
My wish for you all is that you spend the day with those you love, accept that some members of the family cannot yet accept that BPD is an illness and not simply bad behaviour. Try to accept the day as it happens and remember it is only one day of the year. As time goes by things can change.
Thank you for the care and support you have given me this year, and I hope you all feel the support and love of Sanctuary in this caring journey.
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This website is produced by members of the Sanctuary Support Group. We are not mental health professionals nor clinicians. We are ordinary people who care for someone with BPD. This website is a collection of information that we have found helpful or of interest in the context of our own lived experiences. The content of this website is not a substitute for independent professional advice, diagnosis or treatment.