Today I can read books about an illness professionals now recognize, called borderline personality disorder. In hindsight I can see how my BPD parent is a lot like a drunk because of this illness, but without alcohol as the direct cause.
Just as with alcoholism, denial is one of the chief symptoms of this family disease of [emotional illness]. My BPD parent was adamant that there was no illness, and blamed me for the problem; in other families all the problems might be blamed on the BPD family member. Today's reading explains the reason for both denial and blame: "Because we alone can't defeat this disease, so we invent ways to survive the constant crises, broken promises and embarrassments." We cope by assigning blame to people or denying that the problem exists.
Reproach is talked about in our reading, too. Instead of reproach about the errors I've made before I knew there was a name for our problem, I need to look back at the me that did use denial and or blame with compassion. It helps me also to have compassion for my siblings, my non-BPD parent and my as-yet-undiagnosed BPD suffering parent.
"At all times I have done the best I was able to do. If my only way to cope with a difficult situation was to deny it, I can look back with compassion to that person who saw no better option at the time. I can forgive myself and count my blessings for having come so far since then."
I can use compassionate reproach constructively to prevent future regret, by keeping an eye out for things I can change today.
What I appreciate about being in the Al-anon fellowship is that I find ways to cope that really work.
"With the support of other members, and with tools and principles that offer direction [and structure], we become able to face what is really going on. We go beyond mere survival and begin to live again."
Regret is insight that comes a day too late.~Anon
Let me stop chasing missed trains!