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BPD son in prison, I’m over it

Community Member
My son has been arrested for the second time. He was arrested in 2015, trial and sentencing in 2016, released 2018. I believed him when he said he didn’t do it. He has BPD. I thought he had turned the corner and was getting his life on track. Had started studying, got a job, seemed to be ok. Then last week he was arrested again. He went before a judge, remanded in custody until end of April, no bail. His name suppressed. I don’t know what he has been charged with but have been told it’s serious. I don’t know what to think or what to do. I don’t think I know my son at all. I know longer trust him, I really don’t want to deal with it but there is no one else. I’m angry and sad. Other than my partner nobody knows. I’d rather he just didn’t exist anymore. I’m a terrible mother for thinking.
124 Replies 124

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Sunflower, I'm sorry your thread has been missed but this can happen when the site is busy and threads may get pushed onto another page are overlooked.

Why you don't know the reason for his arrest must be very traumatic for you and you might not be able to find out until he faces court, so are you able to take someone with you because this is where you will need support if that's possible.

How you are thinking has no shame at all, at the moment you actually don't know what he's been up to and whether you could trust him ever again or believe what he has to say.

Please be careful and be sure to take care of yourself, that's important to know that you're not responsible for what he has done, even though how you are feeling.

Let us know what's happening if that's what you want to do.

Take care.


I rung the prison today to see if I could visit him. I can. I’m going to give myself till the weekend of the 13/14th and then I can see him for an hour. I don’t know if I want to know what he’s done. I’ve booked an appointment next Tuesday with a counsellor to see if I can sort through the thoughts in my head. I was so supportive of him last time and tried so hard to help him. I really don’t know if I can go through it all again.

Hi welcome

I'm glad you've written in Sunflower. Geoff has reply astutely as usual.

It's 42 years ago when I worked in a notorious maximum security jail for a few years. I've also worked in minor law enforcement, investigations and security.

I observed family members of inmates visit their relative even though they committed heinous crimes....for many years.

Can I make the following comments-

1/ That you might have to wait until he is ready to live a jail free and crime free life.

2/ Any pressure from others could have a negative effect e.g. he could have huge regrets already or is struggling to cope with mental health issues including fear, anxiety and depression

3/ if you can, lower the worry factor
Beyondblue topic worry worry worry

4/ discount any lingering guilt you have. Jails are full of prisoners with parents that did nothing untoward in raising their child.
Beyondblue topic guilt the tormentor

5/ As a father years ago and seeing my kids every second weekend, I had that hollow feeling in between. I had to pack my life with activities to lessen my grief and hurt.

Regards Tony

Thank you for your words. I believe my son may have committed one of the most abhorrent crimes, a crime that brings out the worst responses in people. The first time I sincerely believed him when he told me he was innocent. I couldn’t reconcile the man I knew with what was being alleged and I guess I wanted to believe him because the alternative was unbearable. He has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.
I’m tired. Tired of giving to him and getting lies and stress in return. He is almost 40 and has nothing to show for his life. I have wondered if jail is a choice because when he is in there he doesn’t have to make decisions. He gets told what to do, when to do it and how to do it.

Hello Sunflower, it must be very disconcerting not to know what excuse or the reason why he's been arrested, so please brace yourself for the worse possible outcome, that way you won't be too shocked, and I say this with the greatest respect because if he is lying it's not going to be sustainable for your own health, so it's what you are to believe or your own instincts that will put you in an awkward position.

What he says will be to try and be an honest confession and not what he's been charged with, and only the truth you will know when he's actually in court.

Love has an enormous way of keeping us tied to the people who upset us, but loyalty is completely different and can be confusing as it involves the trust to believe him or not and whether you allow him to take control.

I'm really sorry and if you can, please keep in touch with us.


I think a part of me is grieving the loss of my relationship with my son. I remember the bright happy 14 year old boy who had such big dreams. But even then I knew there was something not quite “right” with him. This is not the first incident involving him. Just the most serious. I’m almost 60 now and I need to think of me and my life. I have a supportive husband (not his father) who has said he will support whatever decision I make. He is more concerned about my health and well-being. Ultimately I will know the path I need to take when I see him.

Hi again

I'm glad Geoff has got you to reply again e.g.

"I think a part of me is grieving the loss of my relationship with my son."

I have 2 daughter's. The eldest 31, I'm close to, has my personality and even my illnesses. My youngest 27, is like her mother, narcissistic, revengeful and cruel.

At 14yo she rang me and said "I don't want to see you anymore". No reason, no answers, nothing. From then on up till 2 years ago every 2 years or so she'd return to my life...for about 2 weeks then vanish. Facebook her only chosen means to communicate- why? So she could block me.

In short she stuffed out more and more of my love for her. 2 years ago was the last time, then when I knew she was going away again I blocked her- I'd had enough.

Do what you need to do.

Save yourself.

Live a fruitful happy life. Stay busy.


Hello Sunflower, I feel so sorry for you and Tony, and to lose any relationship with our kids is certainly not what we would have expected when you announce your pregnancy, you as well as everyone couldn't be happier for you, but it's impossible to know what's going to happen in 20 years time because all our aim was to provide for them, but as soon as they mature, they take their own path, a direction we may never agree with.

Sometimes these situations are easy to overcome, but other times they break our heart and are often very difficult to cope with and certainly a great shock to our system, so once this affects you either mentally and/or physically it's time to get the help you require because the questions you ask yourself aren't going to be answered honestly with an open mind.

When you do have the chance to see him, you wish and definitely want to believe what he says, but rely on your instincts because your health is so important and you will know how you will need to handle this situation, have trust in your own opinion.

Take care.


Well an uneasy weekend for me. I just keep going over stuff in my head. Asking myself if there was something I should or should not have done, did I miss something, could I have done things differently. Wrestling with my feelings for him. Have I been enabling him. Do I need to take a step back and accept that the consequences will be what they will be (not that I have a lot of choice). The choice for me is how much do I continue to play a part in his life?