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To My Family: My Mental Illness Is Not Your Fault

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To my family,

No, I am not ill because of you.

I have borderline personality disorder (BPD). I deal with addiction. I struggle a lot.

Please believe me when I say — this isn’t about you.

I face addiction because I abused drugs and got hooked. Not because you were a bad parent.

I have BPD because of childhood trauma, and because I didn’t have enough resources to deal with it. Also, not because you were a bad parent.

My relapses, suicidal tendencies… they are a result of my illness. There is nothing you have done to trigger this. You are not a bad sister, you are not a bad brother. This is not on you.

Please, stop blaming yourself. This is not about you. You did the best you knew how. I’m an adult now and I need to own up to my illness, my decisions, my mistakes, my life and recovery.

I need you to love me through it, but not carry me through it. To push me to do better. I need you to be there for me without blaming yourself.

You hurt enough watching me struggle, don’t carry this shame on your shoulders. Let it go, and know you did the very best you could.

This is on me.

My illnesses. My responsibility. My recovery.

I own this.

I love you.

Originally published: September 9, 2016
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