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Think About It.... It is very important to talk to children about anger, about what they see in the world, and to evaluate the effects of the behavior they observe. Otherwise, their observations become the lesson itself.~ Jane Middelton-Moz, Ph.D., LCSW, Ultimate Guide to Transforming Anger
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Author Topic: How betrayed and deceived I feel right now  (Read 1175 times)
almostvegan
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« on: February 14, 2012, 06:24:49 PM »

My dd is 15 and though she's truly brilliant has been failing school. This afternoon I got a text from her saying " I got 100 on math test"! I was so overjoyed. I felt  happy and proud of her.she asked me to get her a gift: a coin bank she has been asking for lately. I figured today was a perfect  Opportunity for positive reinforcement so I drove to four stores to find what she was asking for even though I was tired and hungry was happy to do it for her.
Fast forward to this evening: turns out she FAILED the test and only got a perfect score on some spelling aspect of it ( how to spell "isosceles"). I feel so hurt. I feel betrayed mislead and well, duped I guess. She took advantage of me and played me and I'm so upset! Of course when I told her how I felt I was wrong to feel that way bc she DID in fact get 100! but she knew EXACTLY what she was doing, exactly how she was manipulating me. Somehow of course I end up the bad guy.
Can someone talk me down? Maybe it's typical BPD but I don't care! I'm hurting so much right now.
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Violet719
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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2012, 07:40:33 PM »

Sounds exactly like something mine would do. In fact there was an episode today, and it also involved school.  My D19 is a world champion at lies of omission and selective information.  I have always felt that the lying was the worst part of her BPD.  I can deal with almost any truth, even if it's bad, but the lies are killers.  It's because they rip apart a relationship, they destroy trust, and they are intended to control.  I know I can be strong in the face of any problem that we can deal with together.  But after all the lies she's told, even one more small one is enough to put me on the ground. 

I'm sorry I don't have a good answer.  My response has been to just not trust her, and I don't ever invest emotionally in what she tells me.  If it's important, I try to verify it some other way. I guess the "Wise Mind" that others have talked about on this board might apply in this specific situation.  It' so sad.  Especially on Valentines Day, when love is the theme. I cried today too.
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Feathers


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« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2012, 08:08:00 PM »

almostvegan: I have been in your shoes more times than I care to remember, and felt manipulated, exploited and disrespected. Consequently I had to become more guarded in my dealings with BPDD, which is not how I like to conduct myself with people in general. I wouldn't reward her with the prize she obtained by false pretences, (the coin bank),  and I'd probably let her know I didn't feel I deserved that kind of treatment from her and discuss appropriate consequences if it ever happens again.
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Vivgood
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« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2012, 08:39:23 PM »

In BPD family skills, they tell us to take both positives and negatives very easy. No big praise, no big disappointments, just moderate, low-key responses. Don't place so much emphasis on either failure OR success. So if one follows that guideline, the response to "I got 100 on my test!" is "cool." LIke the response "I failed my test" is "bummer". And move on. Its so different from regular parenting, where you want to provide significant reinforcement, but that backfires with the BPD. It exacerbates the feeling that every tiny failure is death&destruction...and that they need to manufacture some kind of success to "earn" love/affection/respect.

The lies are not personal. they're not even personal to the BPD; its just a (poor) coping skill. She feels no particular emotional attachment to fact or reality, so if a lie will get her some tiny, immediate "feel good" (she got you to express pride, and give her a gift)...then go for it. Truth and lie carry the same emotional weight for the BPD. If you don't over-reward either one, it helps move her toward emotional equilibrium.

I know it feels like she "used" you, tricked you to get some stupid trinket...but it wasn't about you, personally, and she doesn't have the cognitive planning skills to do anything other than react to the emotion-of-the-moment. My DD lies, too, and about the most retarded sh!t you can imagine. But I expect some low-level lying, and I don't base MY feelings or affect on whether or not DD is being totally truthful or not. When she fesses up about something, I say thanks for being honest, and let it go. When she's caught in a lie (and she always is, they're the worst freakin liars!), I just quietly say, well, I'd rather you'd been upfront, honey. And let it go.


radical acceptance and Wise Mind are both good skills for this situation. Emotional disengagement with compassion is also good.


vivgood (whose DD quit her classes but lied for weeks and pretended to go and cost her mother $2500 unrefundable. Devilish)
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almostvegan
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« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2012, 09:14:52 PM »

Thank you both for those wonderful words.
Feathers: I wanted to take away the gift but I was feeling so emotional that I didn't dare do it bc I didn't trust myself not to yell at her. So I just stayed away all evening.  I told her how hurt I felt by her actions and that I knew she was well aware of what she did.  I read both your responses 5 times! There's so much you speak Of with wisdom that I couldn't absurd it on one reading.
I don't understand how to parent in that detached, low key way! The idea makes so much sence though! In the past when I have responded in a cool manner it sets her off bc I'm not enthusiastic enough about her successes. Do they simPly get used to that eventually? How do I detach that way and still maintain love for my child? ( crying) thing is, she was always SUPER truthful and held others to her insane standard as well. The minute there was some little infraction committed by a friend they were labeled a liar and someone untryswortht forever going forward. I always knew that no matter what she would always be honest with us. Then the BPD behaviors  crept in and it all changed.
I will try to keep these great words of wisdom in my mind for the next time. I just don't know how to detach that way! I keep telling myself nit to invest emotionally in her but how foes a mom do that? To me it sounds like asking me to suddenly grow another arm or leg! I welcome any ideas as to how to achieve this. It sounds like a healthier way to live.
Thing is, I would have gotten her the gift anyway!I just wanted to hold off until I felt it was "deserved" or a positive reinforcer. I guess that was a bad choice on my part. I am just getting used to thinking as a Parent of a BPD. I have so much to learn. In 15 years I've done so much "wrong". This feels like parenting an alien from plant zoink! " manufacture some type of success to earn love etc" is so smart!
How do you folks know so much? How can I learn these skills so I can survive my child?
That's what I feel like. As if I'm trying to survive her. Because right now I feel like I'm drowning.
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almostvegan
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« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2012, 09:16:00 PM »

First paragraph should have read absorb. Not absurd. Stupid auto correct.  
Vivgood: I'm sorry about your 2500. What a rotten break. I feel like I lOse money with my d all the time. We send her to great Private school and she cuts classes. We sent her to summer camps and she gets ejected. Years of therapy and it does nothing. I'm bleeding cash because of this child.
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Feathers


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« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2012, 10:41:20 AM »

"Bleeding cash" is right! Honestly, I find the concept of Wise Mind easier said than done at times. My BPDD's favorite ploy used to be to persuade one parent to fly her home (across the country) to surprise the other parent for a birthday or other occasion, and then she'd use the ticket to visit her friends instead of us. Just last year she stuck us with several thousand dollars worth of non-refundable vacation expenses we paid in advance for her, and her attitude was cavalier about it. ("So what"?)  I could go on and on. My point is, it's sometimes very very hard to shrug off the emotional and often hefty financial consequences of a BPD's behavior. My instinct is to draw a line and tell her I will not tolerate being lied to. I don't tolerate it in any other relationship. Why should I allow her to turn my life upside down? How will she ever change if we keep accepting this behavior from her?
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happygolucky
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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2012, 06:17:25 PM »

Oh Boy... Do I relate to all of you!
Vivgood - Thanks for your ideas on responses... I have certainly been doing that!
It's about how we respond that makes it better for us.
Don't get our hopes up - don't make a big deal about things - and we will feel better
Radical acceptance takes a while for us to work through... but it is vital that we do it!

We need to remind ourselves that people with BPD - need self gratification...
They will do and say whatever they can to get it... it's all about them... NOT US!

We need to LET GO of their stuff ... this is hard to do...

Happygolucky
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heronbird
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« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2012, 05:15:38 AM »

Yes, i have been through same thing, and as shes got older shes learnt to hide things more so yes we feel like mugs, I actually felt bullied for a long while.

We have to learn not to take it personally dont we. But thats so hard. I also feel sad that I cant have a proper relationship with her because I never know if she is being honnest and she isnt open like normal relationship with mother and daughter  

I was just trying to explaint to my husband that would you take it personally if she was 3 years old say, no we wouldnt. Well isnt it similar

We are all learning as we go. So sorry to hear this post, so glad we all have eachother
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keep strong and look after yourself

Feathers


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« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2012, 04:33:06 PM »

Do we have to accept that it's "all about them" just because they think it is? Aren't we deserving of peace in our lives?  Why should  we tolerate adults behaving like three year olds? We wouldn't let a three year old run the household. At some point, you have to draw a line for the sake of your own sanity.
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heronbird
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« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2012, 04:38:09 PM »

Well, I dont think anyone knows the right answer do they. So hard. I think its a bit easier for me at the moment because I am not having to deal with anything with BPDd much as she is just out the whole time. When she is in its only for a very short time.
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keep strong and look after yourself

almostvegan
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« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2012, 09:10:23 PM »

Feathers: that was exactly my point in my thread " so what?"
I'm happy that I'm not alone in my thoughts.
Peace and blessings
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NeedToBreathe
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« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2012, 09:32:06 AM »

The lies are hard to swallow and detaching from our own emotional responses seems pretty impossible at times.  We want SO much for them and have done so much to try and create every good opportunity for success (financially and emotionally), and then we are rewarded with lies.  It just never feels fair, or makes sense at all.  Would I get angry/hurt about that?  Damn straight.   But...

What Im discovering is that letting my daughters choices and behaviors keep controlling my own emotional well being is going to just kill me as slowly as she is killing herself.  It doesnt sound or feel right to tell a mother to chill on the emotions or have bland responses.  Mothers dont do that.  Well, not mothers of normal kids.  Mothers of normal kids get to reward and reinforce good behavior.  The hard pill to swallow is that we dont fit into that "normal", and taking care of your own emotional well being has to become a priortiy to protect yourself from your own kid.  How messed up is that?  Messed up but necessary Im finding once again.

So, my point is that I completely get your strong emotional hurt and anger over your daughters lie.  It was a slap in the face of your efforts and longing to make a change.  It hurts even more to think they dont get that.  "Its not about you...", is hard to hear because a little part of us needs it to be.  The reality is our kids wont help us with that.  We have to.  You make it about you and figure out how to keep the emotional highs and lows NOT dependent on your daughters success or failure in order to try and keep your balance.

Sound impossible?  I get that... but Im going to give it a try (again), because living in this hurt just plain sucks and changes nothing.
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bpd/dpd/edD 25
non-d16
non-s13
me (working to not become an alphabet soup myself)
xh (dd's adopted dad)
Feathers


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« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2012, 06:46:20 PM »

almostvegan: No, you're not alone in your thoughts.
Relationships - even parent/child relationships - are a two-way transaction. If being in a relationship with my adult BPDD means that I have to compromise my values and integrity and utterly lose my true self, that's a sick relationship and too high a price to pay. As painful as it is, as contrary to my instincts as a mother, at some point I have no choice but to salvage my authentic self, even at the cost of the relationship.  What good can I ever be to my child or anyone else if I am not true to myself and mentally healthy? So painful, so terribly difficult to carry out. I just keep reminding myself that this is my daughter's journey and I cannot make it for her, no matter how much I would like to...
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almostvegan
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« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2012, 06:57:12 PM »

Feathers: I'd make the journey for her in minute!
Sigh...
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Violet719
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« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2012, 10:15:55 PM »

almostvegan, I think in many ways I am with you.  I'd make the journey for mine too, even at the expense of my own health.  In spite of what most people on this board say, there is no law that says you have to take care of yourself first.  People sacrifice all the time for loved ones who need them.  I have seen stressed out friends take care of elders, spouses, and children who are ill.  They did it without hesitation.  They did not regret it.  But the difference is that they knew for sure that they were helping their loved ones with their sacrifices.  When they gave up months or years of their lives to care for their aging parents or sick husbands, they knew their efforts were appreciated and were making a difference at some level.  I can't say the same about my DD. I don't know if she would be better off or worse off if I did nothing.  Sometimes she accepts my help.  Sometimes she steps up and does what she has to and surprises me.  At other times, I think my help makes her resentful, and it backfires. I can't predict which way it will go.  And that's the hard thing.  It's almost like gambling. The small wins keep me hooked.  They get my hopes up, and I keep sticking money in the machine.  I'm working on learning to predict what will work and what won't, so it's less like a gamble and more like an investment.  I think that may require stepping back and looking at it more objectively and less like a protective mom.  It's heartbreaking. I agree.
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Battle Weary
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« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2012, 12:05:13 AM »

Violet 719,
When my son was younger he had a difficult neurological disorder, which kept me constantly making therapist and doctor's appoitnments and working with him at home, not to mention researching it.  (Interestingly, I made the correct dx for both my kids and slowly got the professionals to concede the dx.  Some say the dx doesn't matter, but I know at least in my son's case it did--we got him off medication that wasn't helping and perhaps making things worse and on to something helpful.)

At the time, I came up with an image of the Warrior Mother, who will fight to the death for her child, and whose patron saint was Demeter, who literally went to hell to rescue her child, Persephone.  This carried me through several second winds with him.  I had perhaps a year of real life when I could go out with friends and do normal things before DD started having problems.  Unlike warrior mothers, real soldiers get R and R, so that is why I am battle weary.

I really like your gambling analogy..."the small things keep me hooked."  So true.  We really do need to look for the investments.
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Reality
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« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2012, 05:21:44 AM »

Battle Weary
Oh!  Thank you so much for telling me about Demeter, who went to hell and back to rescue her child.  I know that I am often in the world of the dark forces, where terrible things beyond the imagination are let loose.  Very Jungian and I think Shakespeare would understand as well.  Living with a pwBPD is to live in a world of chaos, torment and dead ends.
Phew!
My Reality 
 
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Feathers


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« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2012, 08:00:37 AM »

It's worth noting that Demeter, who was goddess of the harvest, did not entirely succeed in rescuing her daughter and had to settle for sharing her with Hades. In eating the pomegranate seeds, Persephone had condemned herself to a life in the Underworld. In the end, the parties agreed that Persephone would stay in Hell for half the year and only return to her mother in the Spring for a season. That's the ancient Greek explanation for why Winter is barren and miserable in contrast to the Spring and Summer, when nature is happier.
There's only so much we can do for these kids...
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Reality
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« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2012, 08:28:24 AM »

Thanks Feathers,
Well, I guess that is truer to reality.  We all have our winters and our springs.  And to quote dear Steve Jobs, in reality we are all naked.  We all live and we all die.  So I guess it is the way the warrior meets the foe, straight in the eye, fearless, determined, never giving up, winning whatever ground possible, even in the blackest darkness.
Reality
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Battle Weary
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« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2012, 08:30:53 AM »

Feathers,
I had focused on what the mother was willing to do for her child, but you are so right mind the rest of the story as well--she couldn't fully rescue her child from the bad choices she had made.  Sadly, neither can we.
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Feathers


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« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2012, 08:40:39 AM »

Well, maybe it's helpful to remember that if a deity could not controvert the natural law and spare her daughter from the consequences of her choice, we shouldn't expect to, either. Consequences are not a bad thing. They propel us forward. I've had to resist the impulse to manage my child's life because she is not doing a good job of it, but sometimes the best thing you can do in the long run is step aside, as painful as that is in the moment. This is her life, not mine.
I wonder where we will all be ten years from now?
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heronbird
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« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2012, 02:26:56 PM »

Well, Ive learnt to stand back now. After all she is nearly 18 so how can I stop her barfy
she has had more things happen to her in the last 6 months than most people age 50 or more. I just have to sit back and pray I dont get a call from the Police. So I dont get a call from them but it does not mean nothings happend to her cry Thats so hard to bear isnt it.
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keep strong and look after yourself

Feathers


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« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2012, 04:24:22 PM »

So true, heronbird. I know I'd be horrified if I knew half of what was going on in my daughter's life. She can create drama out of nothing. She is nearly 30 years old, so I couldn't do a thing about any of it anyway. I have no influence with her. It's hard to stand by helplessly watching a train wreck.
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heronbird
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« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2012, 01:24:34 PM »

Feathers,
Yes, hardest thing, and yes 30 so old really to have any sort of say.Or do you think they listen to us maybe ?

Thats when I think I need to get out there and live my life, Im always here for her, well I do go out but Im always here if you know what I mean. I do so much for her, I tell her that Im her PA haha
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keep strong and look after yourself

Feathers


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« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2012, 04:31:16 PM »

 If your pwBPD is anything like mine, she is not capable of grasping the enormity of your love or sum of your efforts on her behalf, far less acknowledging any of your sacrifices. Yes, by all means, get out and live your life, and don't feel even a little bit guilty for it!
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