Children, Parents, or Relatives with BPD => Parent, Sibling, or In-law Suffering from BPD => Topic started by: Mickey47 on December 01, 2018, 07:36:03 PM

Title: So Disappointed
Post by: Mickey47 on December 01, 2018, 07:36:03 PM
Well my son didn’t get his daughter again, but guess what I went and got her. I’m not telling him I have her for the weekend. He doesn’t deserve it, because I’m sorry if he really wanted to see her he would. I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt to give him chance to see if he’d get her, but nope. There is one thing he is very consistent at and that’s disappointing me. I’m tired of hearing the excuses. So the next time he opens his mouth to me about why he couldn’t see his daughter. I’m going to lay into him like no ones business. I’m going to say “it sure is funny how there’s always an excuse of why you can’t go get your daughter. Something always seems to come up when it comes to seeing your daughter isn’t that interesting?” Oh yeah I’m really angry!

Title: Re: So Disappointed
Post by: Harri on December 01, 2018, 07:44:46 PM
Hi Mickey. 

I am very sorry you are so upset.  I get it.  I would be upset for the child and for myself seeing my son act that way.  I don't know what his reasoning is nor do I think it really  matters.  His wife may be the cause, she may not be.  I am more concerned with helping you right now.

I think your anger is justified and the situation is very difficult.  What can you do to get back to a calmer state and then you can decide if you want to say anything to him?  But for now, focus on you and your g-daughter.  Can you play a game with her?  Go shopping or watch a funny movie?

Like I said, I am concerned about you so what will help you right now?

Title: Re: So Disappointed
Post by: Mickey47 on December 01, 2018, 09:42:28 PM
I calmed down after my granddaughter came in the room and said “Nannie come here come see my room I’m done” I asked her to put her toys back in the toy box. So I went in there and her room looked wonderful I was so proud of her. Then she said  “Nannie I want to lay down and watch my movie.” So that’s what she is doing now. She’s such a sweet little angel and my sunshine. We have a room here for her and it’s her room and has all her stuff in it. Over a year ago my son was actually fighting for custody. So we’ve always had a room for her. Well actually she’s always had a room here since she was born.

Title: Re: So Disappointed
Post by: Mickey47 on December 01, 2018, 09:43:20 PM
And thank you for thinking of me and to calm me down. I really appreciate that!

Title: Re: So Disappointed
Post by: Harri on December 01, 2018, 10:02:46 PM
   I am glad you are feeling calmer.   

Don't let your son and DIL ruin this weekend with your GD.  Maybe we can talk about options for how to word things for when/if you say something to your son.  Speaking in  anger rarely works out well. 

I hope you can enjoy the rest of your weekend with the little one.   

Title: Re: So Disappointed
Post by: Notwendy on December 02, 2018, 04:49:07 AM
I am sorry your son disappointed you. I am actually not surprised he didn't get her. I'm used to this pattern in my parents.

The basic problem is that your son has abandoned himself in his relationship. He may want to have his daughter, but he gives up what he wants when his wife doesn't want it. He may have even had plans to get her this weekend, but his wife came up with some reason again, and I suspect will continue to have reasons. If the child is there, your son is paying attention to the child, not his wife, and she isn't likely to agree to this.

I think it is best to consider what is in the best interest of the child. Yes, she needs a father but at the moment, she has an inconsistent father who will not stand up to his BPD wife for her welfare. If she is at his house, she will be exposed to the mood swings and possible raging of the BPD step mother. It is possible that this child is better off not being at that house at all.

I think it is great that she is with you. You are a consistent loving adult in her life. I assume she is also loved at her mother's home. The two of you can work out some kind of arrangement where you have her. If your son wants to see her, he can step up on his own,  but I don't know if it is good for the child to get her hopes up and then have them dashed according to BPD mom's moods. Honestly, if the BPD mom doesn't want her there, it may not be good for her to be there.

Enmeshment is a common aspect of a dysfunctional marriage. While my father did have his own ideas and wishes, in practice he and my mother were one person, because he abdicated to her wishes. This just wasn't about other people, but things she wanted. If she wanted an expensive vacation, even if it wasn't on the budget - she got it, or my father's time, or anything we did. If they disagreed, her will prevailed.

I am so sorry your son is in this situation but it is also his choice, and his doing, and he is responsible for that. If he loses custody by his actions, then that is the consequences of not stepping up to the plate as a father.

Rather than have your own emotions swing along with BPD wife's feelings- is there a way you and the mother can plan a visitation schedule that will be regular and reliable for the child? The two of you seem to have a nice bond and she will benefit from being in your consistent loving care. I think it is good that you haven't communicated with him about the child. If he were interested, he would ask.

So sorry this has happened. Don't underestimate the impact you have on this child as a loving grandma. You are doing a great thing for her.

Title: Re: So Disappointed
Post by: Mickey47 on December 04, 2018, 09:46:54 PM
Harri & Notwendy

I did have an amazing weekend with my granddaughter. And yes the baby mama and I have an agreement that anytime I want her I can have her. If they have plans we work something out. No I did not tell my son about me having her, because yes I feel the same way as you Notwendy if he wanted her he’d ask or he’d have her. However, Sunday afternoon got really sad for me that my heart just broke.

My granddaughter was playing with her doll and she was talking to it. She then crawled up on my lap and said Nannie I love you. I told her I loved her too very very much and I hugged her tight and kissed her cheek. She named off everyone she loved her daddy, Papa, her aunt (my daughter) her Nonna (my mother in law) other Aunt (my sister) and me. Then she said daddy doesn’t love me.

My heart dropped and tears came to my eyes and I said no baby daddy loves you very very much. She looked at me and smiled this big smile and said I love daddy so much. It took everything I had not to burst out crying. She is such a loving child she reminds me a lot of my son when he was her age.

Later I found out from my husband that our son had called talking to him about his car. My husband asked our son “so where were you all weekend why didn’t you come by?” He said he had been sleeping because he works nights. (So sick of that excuse) my husband told him “well your daughter was here why didn’t you come see her?” He said he didn’t know she was there. My husband said “hmmm well your mom is usually really good about letting you know she’s here.” He said well I never knew

I told my husband I did not bother telling him because it was his weekend and he knew it was his and he chose not to go get her. So I didn’t feel he deserved to know she was here, because why bother he makes excuses anyway and quite frankly I’m sick of it. My husband said well maybe me saying something about it and how good you are about letting him know maybe it’ll wake him up who knows.

But no I did not let how upset I was ruin my weekend with her. She helped me decorate the Christmas tree and we played bubbles and watched Christmas movies. We had a great time and she got time with Papa too. She loves to ride on his four wheeler  so they did that together. It was a great visit.

Title: Re: So Disappointed
Post by: Notwendy on December 05, 2018, 05:48:04 AM
Talking to children about a disordered ( and that includes being attached to a disordered person ) is tough. On one hand, you don't want to be dishonest, but also you don't want to triangulate or speak poorly about the other parent. It's important to validate the child's feelings.

"Daddy doesn't love me" was the saddest thing to say but in a child's world, she is expressing how she feels. It's important to validate her feelings while not validating an untruth. This is an important thing to do to help preserve her own boundaries one day. Her feelings are real to her.

I say this because growing up, my feelings about BPD mom were constantly being invalidated - and that led to poor boundaries for me in relationship to other people. I didn't feel like BPD mom loved me. I don't think she can love anyone. She's too affected by BPD to love someone like that. I couldn't understand the situation at the time.

What you don't want to teach your GD is that what her Daddy is doing is love. Love isn't abandoning someone. This is key, because when people kept invalidating my feelings about my mom by saying " of course Mommy loves you" I was taught the wrong thing about love. I then would seek out relationships with emotionally unavailable people - like my mother who could not love me and my father who was so preoccupied with my mother, he couldn't be attentive to me.

As a teen, I knew the difference between when I was with my father's family and my parents' house.

By being a consistent loving presence in your GD's life, you are demonstrating what love is. This is the love you want her to have one day in a relationship. Not the kind of relationship she would have with a person who treats her like her father does at the moment. When she says "Daddy doesn't love me" she's hurting, but she already knows and you want to keep that sense of knowing who loves her and who is not treating her in a loving way.

Perhaps there is some advice on the parenting board about things to say when your GD says this. She's young. Of course you also don't want to say " you are right ,Daddy doesn't love you" as it is more complicated than that.  From my perspective- an open ended response focusing on her feelings might help. "Daddy doesn't love me". Honey- how do you feel now? "I feel sad". Aw honey, I know you feel sad". "Gramma and Grampa love you very much" This leaves space for the feelings and doesn't confirm or negate her statement about her father.

Truth is- I don't know if her father is in a position to love her. Whatever his feelings are, he's abdicated them for his wife.

Title: Re: So Disappointed
Post by: zachira on December 05, 2018, 07:29:14 AM
You and the child's mother are doing the right thing by providing consistent love and care for your granddaughter. Your challenge is not to get too upset about how your son  is abandoning his daughter because this will make it more upsetting for your granddaughter, and have more long term damaging emotional effects. Whenever your granddaughter brings up her sadness about her father's inconsistent role in her life, it is important to reinforce that you love her, and will always be there for her. You are caring and kind grandmother, and are doing everything you can to help your granddaughter become a happy trusting loving adult.   

Title: Re: So Disappointed
Post by: Mickey47 on December 05, 2018, 02:12:51 PM
Notwendy and Zachira

Thank you for advice on what to say to my granddaughter. I did feel very confused on what to do about it. I know deep down my son loves his daughter and I pray one day he starts showing with actions. If she says this again I know what to do and say next time. She’s 3 yrs old, but she is a smart little girl just like her daddy. It just breaks my heart how much wonderful things he is missing out. She’s such a joy a delight to have around and her smile will melt your heart. She’s so sweet and loving and has her own little personality. I love watching her play she’s so animated already.

Thank you again this helps me.

Title: Re: So Disappointed
Post by: Notwendy on December 05, 2018, 02:54:20 PM
Mickey, if I was going to guess what is going on, using my own experience, I would say that, yes, your son loves his daughter but his wife does not. If she doesn't want the child there, she will get her way. Also, if your son works nights, he does need to sleep at some point. To do that he would need help watching the child. I'd be willing to bet his wife refuses to do that.

I am willing to bet you haven't seen the whole of how his wife acts when she doesn't get her way with him. BPD tends to affect the most intimate relationships the most. Nobody outside our immediate family has seen my mother in this state. If we kids told anyone, they would not believe it. In fact, we did tell a few people when we were kids and they didn't. Your son will not tell you. He would either feel he was betraying his wife, or embarrassed to admit that he was putting up with it.

He may be, in an oddly indirect way, protecting his daughter from his wife's behavior. If he insisted on bringing the child there against his wife's wishes, the scene the child would be exposed to would probably not be pretty. He's also between a rock and a hard place if he needs to work nights. He has to sleep sometime when she is awake. He has no way of insuring the child is safe if he does sleep. He could ask you to watch her, but then ,he'd know you would know his wife will not. He's in a tough place.

This doesn't mean you enable or rescue him. That will prevent him from seeing the whole of his choices. This is his decision and the only hope of him realizing this is for him to experience it. This includes the loss of his time with his daughter. Only when he realizes the cost of his choice, will he be able to assess his choices. He may still choose his wife over everything else. If that is the case, that would be sad, but your daughter needs consistent adults to love her and if he can't be that person, you and her mother can.

We should not take on the job of protecting adults from their own decisions, however, we do need to protect those who can not make decisions or protect themselves. That is your GD. She's lucky to have you. It is probably not in her best interest for your son to bring her to his home if she isn't wanted there.

Title: Re: So Disappointed
Post by: Mickey47 on December 05, 2018, 09:31:49 PM

You have really helped me with all your insight. You don’t know how good it feels to be able to talk to someone who truly understands my pain. I agree with you the more time that goes by that he doesn’t see his daughter maybe he will start to resent his wife. Then finally tell her how it’s going to be, because he knows he is always welcome to come over and see her and even spend the weekend here to be with his daughter. He is off work on the weekends and says he has to stay on his sleep schedule that he has for work.

Which actually I do kind of understand that, but there are ways to get around his daughter not going over to his wife’s grandparents house. They live with his wife’s  grandparents. He could come over here and spend time with his daughter. I pray one day it’ll get to that point he just gets sick of her telling him he can’t see his daughter because he has to take care of her due to some made up illness. Because my husband will sooner or later start talking to his son about why he isn’t seeing his daughter.

I definitely have held my husband back from doing this already, but I won’t be able to hold him back for much longer. Once it really gets to my husband it’ll be all over with he’ll have a talk with him. Maybe that’s what needs to happen his dad just get a hold of him and have a man to man talk with him. I know eventually it will come to that.

Title: Re: So Disappointed
Post by: Notwendy on December 06, 2018, 06:31:44 AM
The relationship book "Stop Walking on Eggshells" is in part about that- allowing natural consequences to be the teacher, rather than enabling out of fear of upsetting the person. If your husband has had it and chooses to speak his mind to your son, then this is a consequence of your son's decisions.

So would losing custody of the child if your son does not fulfill the court appointed duties.

However, when we take action - we also will face the consequences of those actions. I did decide to speak my mind to BPD mom when my father was ill. I also decided to speak my mind to him. I had had enough of her behavior. There were consequences to that. My mother  took victim perspective on the Karpman triangle. My father, who was her rescuer- rescued her. I became the persecutor on that triangle. My mother painted me black to her family members. They stopped speaking to me. My father also disengaged from me. When he died, she made sure I would not get any of his possessions that were sentimental to me.

I was naive to the triangle dynamics at this time. I had been on them the whole time and didn't know it. The triangle dynamics were the model of our family. Mom was victim, Dad was rescuer and anyone who upset her in any way was the persecutor. Sometimes it was one of us kids disobeying her, or someone else. This perspective helped keep my parents' relationship stable. If the two of them were bonded together against a common "persecutor" they were not focused on their own issues. Mom felt loved when she was being rescued, Dad felt good being the rescuer. They seemed happy together in this situation and this worked for them.

This is why I would say to not walk on eggshells, but also don't stomp on the whole carton and make a mess of things. There are tools on this board for how and when to speak to someone with BPD or in a relationship with a pwBPD ( as they can be enmeshed ). There is also a time to intervene and a time to step back and allow natural consequences to be the result of the behavior.  

I agree that your son deserves to have his Dad speak his mind to him. I don't know your husband or your son, but I would also ask- will this be effective? Or will it send your son into the arms of his wife and the two of them bond against his terrible parents? I am going to guess that your son, a grown man, knows what he is doing. He knows it is being a terrible father. Will talking to him prompt him to change? The other option is natural consequences. He is likely violating the terms of his custody.

The other question is- does he want his wife to be happy more than he wants his own daughter? This is unthinkable to you. It's also unthinkable to me, but it is the question I had to face. I know that parents in an emotionally stable relationship don't ever have to consider such a choice. However, this may not be the dynamics in a dysfunctional relationship.

I know my father loved me, but my mother's wishes came first. One reason is that she would fly off the handle, cause a scene and even potentially worse. He felt he had to do what he did to prevent this.

Your GD is blessed- she has you, and she has her mother who love her and this will make a great impact on her. Your son is a grown man. If he wants to spend time with her - he can choose to do so. At the moment, for reasons we may not know the whole of,  he is not.

Title: Re: So Disappointed
Post by: Mickey47 on December 06, 2018, 09:13:17 PM

Every time you talk to me you make me feel a little hope. I don’t know what it is, but I have just been crying a lot today. Sometimes the pain of what my son is doing just hurts so bad I have to let it out. I guess what I have to say about my husband talking to our son. My husband knows how our son is and I know he’ll approach him in a very careful manner and get his point across carefully.

However I don’t know when this all will happen. Probably after Christmas if our son doesn’t show up for his daughter’s birthday or Christmas that’s when I know my husband will be like okay this crap has gone far enough. Her 4th birthday is the 21st and then we have Christmas. We will also have her this Christmas and what I know my son wants to experience with his daughter is Santa.

He didn’t get to experience that last year, because the baby mama took her away from us. Which is what made my son fight for custody, but after he lost the temporary part of it. THATS when things really turned dark and it was like he gave up. He and BPD wife (at the time girlfriend) in March of this year left to go live in Colorado. He missed his sister’s sweet 16 birthday party. Which was heartbreaking because for 16 yrs we my husband my son and myself had planned to present our daughter with a diamond ring.

See when I went into labor with my daughter my son went with us to the doctors office. While I was seeing the doctor my son went to get a drink in the hall. On the drinking fountain he found a diamond ring. He went to every single doctors office in the place asking if it belonged to anyone. No one claimed it so he took it and gave it to his dad. We were in the elevator to go to the hospital and my son and husband told me the remarkable story. We all 3 decided in that moment we’d wait till her 16th birthday and let my son present it to her and tell the story.

I cry as I write this because it hurt me so bad that he didn’t even wait for his sisters birthday to leave. We presented her with the ring and told her the story. She teared up but was so happy and shocked. She messaged her brother thank you and that she loved him and he never responded. I will say this before he left he did see his daughter and he started crying his BPD girlfriend hardly ever came in the house and didn’t step foot in it that day.

I had gotten into with her, because I had been texting I thought my son about him leaving and she went off on me calling my work telling me she wanted to fight me all kinds of crazy stuff. I was literally in shock she’d been extremely shy and quiet the whole time she was living here which was a year. She came into my house a total of 5 times in a year. My son would take her food and even Christmas last year she wouldn’t step foot in my home. My son had to take he gifts to her and she said thank you through him.

Anyway the day he was leaving he started crying I asked why are you doing this, because clearly you don’t want to leave your daughter. You don’t have to go you can stay here why are you doing this. He said he didn’t want to but had to. He cried so hard on my shoulder saying he didn’t want his daughter to think he didn’t love her, because he loved so much but that he had to go. I couldn’t wrap around my brain why did he have to go it wasn’t that we were making him go this was supposedly his decision. He finally collected himself said he loves me and then walked away got in the car a drove away out of sight.

Then the next day I can’t remember why I went into the apartment outback of our house where he and she had stayed. But I went back there and was so astonished by what I saw and the vibe was terrifying. She had destroyed that apartment there were holes all in the walls, doors and she had kicked the cabinets in with her feet. Everything was destroyed!

Then low and behold we see their headed back home and my husband lost it told him you’re never allowed to come live here ever again because of what your girlfriend did to our property. You and only you are allowed to come over and visit. After some time went by slowly we calmed down and my husband decided it was okay for her to come with him to visit as long as she apologized to our face for what she had done. 8 months later when they informed us they were getting married she finally came over and halfway apologized.

My husband and I decided to forgive and move forward as a family because after all she was going to marry our son. Well it didn’t take long for her to start her crap about my daughter. Lord help I could go on and on with what all she put me through before the wedding. But this would turn into a novel! Now the baby mama sent me and my son a message about my granddaughters birthday and that she wanted to talk about Christmas so we could all share her for Christmas. Which I think is a nice thing to do for my granddaughter. She gets to be with both her parents for such a special day.

Baby mama told me she sent the same message to my son and to take our time to figure out how we wanted to work it out but to keep her posted. He hasn’t responded to the baby mama and I told her that I’d let her know, but I thought we’d have her the evening of the 21st because she said she was going to spend time with her the day of the 21st. So I told her I was thinking to come get her the 21st and keep her till the night of the 24th and bring her home. Because my son informed me before thanksgiving he would be working and won’t be here for Christmas and when I said “but son you get her this year for Christmas don’t you want to experience Santa on Christmas morning with her you’ve missed it so many times.”

He looked upset and bent his head down and walked away saying he had to work. So my husband asked well what about your wife and before my husband could even finish his thought our son said “well she’s going to her moms for Christmas” my husband was like hmmm okay whatever. I know that made my husband mad, but he just hugged our son goodbye and went to bed. So regardless of what my son does I’m having my granddaughter for Christmas! But I know his day with his dad is coming especially if he really doesn’t show for Christmas.


Title: Re: So Disappointed
Post by: Notwendy on December 07, 2018, 06:56:54 AM
This is a sad story Mickey. Although it is tempting to blame the BPD wife, your son does have choices and this is the choice he made.

I recall hearing this often. " we can't do this because mother says so" or "we have to do this because mother says so". It's strange that I didn't question why, but later wondered why did my father go along with this? Something about him led him to make these choices too.

Growing up, I perceived my father as the good, reasonable, parent, who was somehow a victim of my unreasonable mother. But was he? They had a traditional marriage - normal for their era. He worked and supported us, and she was a "housewife" but somehow, she controlled the money. My father made a good living but by my teen years, he was in debt.  I knew money was tight, and would ask- why not stop the spending? Why not say no to requests ( he certainly did with us kids). But somehow he couldn't say no to my mom.

I understand why - I saw her trash the house and worse. There were suicide attempts. I am sure he was scared to say no.

Only later did I understand his part in this. When I had issues in my own marriage, I had to look at my own co-dependency. It was then that I saw how my father's co-dependency played into his relationship with my mother. Thankfully my situation is not the same or as severe and there is help for co-dependency  and BPD that was not available to my parents. As I grew up, I became an enabler to BPD mom, all the kids did. There was no other role to take in the family, it was our normal. But learned behaviors can be changed. I changed mine.

I don't know what direction your son will take with his relationship. I think there is hope but the choices are up to him. I think it is important to consider him responsible for his choices. He is not a victim to his wife. He chose her emotional comfort over his family, even if he loves them. The bottom line here- is he chooses her comfort over his own sensibility.

I don't think you should lose hope for your son, but I think there is hope for the future is in your relationship with your GD. Yes, it would be ideal if she had a good relationship with her father, but it isn't ideal to have a relationship with a father who will discard her at the whim of his wife. I am not an expert in the field of child psychology but what I think kids need is consistency and unconditional love. Her father isn't providing this, but you and your husband are and the child's mother is. She may not have a present father but she has a grampa. He can be a father figure. He can be Santa Clause. You all can make a wonderful Christmas for her, even though I know you grieve the situation with your son. All of you can be the loving, stable people in your GD's life.

Title: Re: So Disappointed
Post by: Panda39 on December 07, 2018, 08:04:55 AM
Hi Mickey,

When I arrived here I was one angry Panda to the point of becoming toxic.  I'm on these boards because my significant other (SO) has and undiagnosed BPD ex-wife (uBPDxw) and they share two daughters.

I can relate to your anger at your DIL and son, I felt something similar as I watched the girls mother be both over indulgent and neglectful... .she wouldn't take her daughter with a toothache to the dentist to get it fixed, but would go to the mall and buy a bunch of costume jewelry for her for example.  The girls mother was evicted 3 times but kept promising to buy half million dollar homes.  She pulled their oldest daughter out of her freshman year of high school (against her fathers wishes and the advice of her teachers and principal) to home school her... .never happened 0.0GPA... .I could go on and on but you get the picture.

I, like you with your granddaughter went into protective mama bear mode.  I like you was asking why?  Why would their mother do that or not do that?  Why wouldn't my SO step in and do this or that?  Why were the girls doing this or that?  I walked into a world of dysfunction that I knew nothing about... .I wanted to fix everything, I wanted to control everyone, and I couldn't and in my frustration my anger developed and grew.

So I found BPD... .I Googled "chronic lying"... .I started reading and then about a year later made my way here.  So the wrathy, angry Panda vented, which felt good but didn't really solve anything. 

Then one day Matt a senior member gave me a really good piece of advice... .stop focusing on the ex and just focus on the girls.  That advice and taking that advice was my first step on the road to "radical acceptance".  It has taken awhile, to get to know BPD, to develop relationships with my SO's daughters, to be exposed to the ex long  enough to see patterns in her behaviors but I now can often predict mom's behaviors these days... .sadly she is just stuck repeating the same behaviors over and over again... .she seems to be in a state of arrested development... .my anger towards her has actually softened.  Getting here came with "radical acceptance" that my SO's uBPDxw is going to do what she is going to do, but I can choose how I react or don't react.

Your son and DIL are going to do what they are going to do, you can't control that as much as you want to.  In regards to your granddaughter, that is on them and there will be natural consequences to their actions.  I know it sucks for you to have to watch this, but it is out of your control.  The only people we truly control are ourselves, we can not make others do, think, feel, believe things they don't want to do, think, feel, believe.  It sucks that you can't make your son see his daughter, it's frustrating, it's painful, its uncomfortable.  Radical Acceptance is about getting comfortable with those uncomfortable feelings, and letting go of what we don't control.

Radical Acceptance... .

So you can't control your son/DIL, but you do control you, what you do, what you feel, what you believe, and how you act.  What you can do and what you are doing is to have your own relationship with your granddaughter, treat her in the way you think she should be treated, and develop your relationship with her.  There is joy there in that relationship with her... .for both of you.  So I will give you Matt's advice.  Keep your focus on your granddaughter and your relationship with her.  Let go of trying to control what your son does and doesn't do.


Title: Re: So Disappointed
Post by: Notwendy on December 07, 2018, 08:50:45 AM
Thank you Panda- you said it the way I feel
stop focusing on the ex and just focus on the girls.

I understand Mickey's grief. I grieved too- for my father- for his death, then also for the sad situation he was in. I wasn't angry at him. I was angry at my mother- probably still am in some ways and also both angry and sad- why did my father put up with her and defer to her. It didn't seem fair. I was a nice kid, a good kid, and I loved him. I didn't do anything mean to him and yet, he chose her wishes, every time. On the other hand, my mother was verbally abusive, didn't do much around the house and was selfish and cruel and he did whatever she wanted. I don't think I will ever really know why and it doesn't help to wonder. It is better for me to not focus on that.

I'm also grateful he didn't treat me like he did her.  I am so much better off because he didn't enable me and I was able to become a self sufficient adult.

It was better for me to shift my focus off my parents and on to the people in my life who I could impact-starting with me, then my own kids. I can't change my parents but I can break the cycle of dysfunction in my own family.

You have considerable influence on your GD's childhood and the person she will become. It may actually be a blessing if she doesn't spend time in your son's home with her stepmother if the stepmom dysregulates to the point of trashing the house. There is a lot of things I saw growing up that were not good for a child to see. In fact, I would not blame the child's mother if she didn't want her child in that home. That may be sad for your son, but it may be in the child's best interest to not be in his home. Your son may be in an odd way, sparing his daughter from seeing that. So please focus on the child and her need to be in a loving stable environment- which is in part at your home.

Title: Re: So Disappointed
Post by: Mickey47 on December 07, 2018, 12:52:31 PM
Notwendy and Panda - thank you so much for always hearing me out and then advising me on what to do. This is the most painful experience I've had since my parents death. I have this awful helpless feeling the same feeling I had when my parents died. It overwhelms me sometimes and that's when the tears start to flow. However you are right I will continue to focus on my GD and give her all the love she so richly deserves. She truly is the sunshine in this darkness.

I've been involved since day one in the process of his custody agreement. I found out yesterday which sent anger straight to my heart yet again. That although he gave all his info that the attorney asked for he didn't sign the papers so as to get this finalized. The reason I was so angry is because he had told me he took care of everything. I should've known better with his track record lately.

I pray every night for the Lord to calm my nerves and give me direction. When I do that it leads me here to y'all and in turn you calm me down. I'm really trying to let this go, but it's really hard so I hope I don't get on your nerves with my venting at times. It's like I get to that place of peace somewhat and pray and tell myself to just breathe and let it go. Then something else happens that I have no choice, but to take care of it.

I get to a point that I want to grab him and say why are you doing this and grow up! I will never give up on my son and I'll continuing praying for something to change. I'll always be here for him with open arms till the day I take my last breath. I will do the same for my GD, because she means the world to me and needs me more than anything. Panda I will read that link you sent me thank you.

Can't thank y'all enough it really does help to talk this out. I talk to my husband, but he is so stressed out with it and just wants to enjoy when our son does come over. However like I said that talk is coming, because my husband is the one kind of bringing it up to me now especially when our GD is over and our son doesn't show up. It reminds him of what he is going through with his own father.

His father divorced his mother of 51 yrs of marriage to be with a woman younger than me I'm 47. My husband worked for my FIL for over 20 yrs. all his life and so did his brother. After he married the other woman he fired my husband and BIL took away our health insurance. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and my medication I can not afford without insurance. So my husband was extremely upset, because he was very concerned with my health. Long story short on this my FIL has disowned all of us including his grand children and his only great grand child my GD.

So the more my son doesn't see his daughter the more my husband starts to ponder why. Then the questions start towards me and then he vents to me and then we drop it. It hurts him too that his son is not acting like the man we raised him to be. We both ask how can a man who was taking care of 2 children that weren't even his and loving them like his own. Then our GD was born and he was even more involved and such a good daddy to all 3 children. Then goes to this not even seeing his own daughter.

Baby mama has 4 children now she just had another baby with the 4th baby daddy. When she and my son were together he took such good care of all the kids and then they broke, because she cheated and even though they were breaking up he still took care of all 3 kids. This went on for over a year and then baby mama had her moment where she was not so nice. That's when she took our GD away from us all and the other 2.

Oh this is something I found odd. His BPD wife at the time of this she was his girlfriend. She spent HOURS with the little boy that my son was taking care of, but she wouldn't have much to do with the girls. I notice that pattern she will spend time with males, but not females. So anyway like I said he lost the ability to see any of them and then we told him he need to fight for his rights. BPD girlfriend wanted him to not only fight for rights, but she wanted him to fight for custody.

Which I already told you he lost the custody battle in the temporary hearing, but his attorney said he thought he had a good chance to win the battle. After that happened that's when everything changed. He received his right to see his daughter and he was happy so over joyed to see her. But get this for the homecoming of our GD first visit back to our house the BPD girlfriend was supposedly sick and couldn't come in the house to say hi or watch her open her Christmas presents we'd been saving.

We still had all the Christmas stuff up for her and her presents under the tree and in her stocking. We finally got to see her in January, but yeah she couldn't be bothered to come in and take joy in her being back. Slowly after that, that's when the illness seem to be the reason why he couldn't go get his daughter. They didn't stay in our home they stayed in a one room apartment in the back of our house. My GD had her own room in my house.

My son and I got into a huge fight, because I told him this was the 3rd weekend that he or she was sick. I was getting her and for them to stay out of the house. He fought me so bad on it I finally told him "well then you tell baby mama, because I won't!" Then shortly after that, that's when they headed to Colorado. Before leaving that's when BPD girlfriend and I got into it about him leaving. But I thought I was talking to my son on text not her. Here again she was pretending to be my son, but then she slipped up and went into a rage.

So I guess I've seen what you're talking about Notwendy when she gets told NO or no we are going to do it this way. She flips out big time and that's when she destroyed the apartment.

I will be so glad and will jump for joy when and if he ever leaves her. Course I'm not getting my hopes up and I think for myself and my own sanity I will look into going to therapy myself. I've had alot happen to me in the last years and I this being put on top of all of that is really getting me down. I've been thinking about it for a while now. So I think I'll look into that as well.

Thanks again for hearing me and I just want y'all to know you are always in my thoughts and prayers.   

Title: Re: So Disappointed
Post by: Harri on December 07, 2018, 01:26:51 PM
Hi Mickey.  You have been getting such great support and information from Notwendy and Panda

The history with your FIL sounds so painful for the both of you.  To be cut out like that only to see it happening with your g-daughter must be so hard.  I am sorry for that.  One thing I learned from working with a lot of kids who are sick and hurting is that they will deal with life stresses in large part by how they see the adults handling it.  I know you and your husband are doing a wonderful job of supporting her and dealing with everything.  I have no doubt there at all.

I am wondering if you have thought of ways to answer any questions she will inevitably ask about why her father does not come around that often.  Part of the process for that will be to keep talking here and perhaps talking with a counselor who can help with some of the deep seated pain from the situation and from the history with your FIL.  Kids sense tension, sadness, anger, etc.  They may not have the words for it but they can feel it and see it.  So she will pick up on cues from you and your husband that can and will shape her view.  Being the supportive, loving validating grand parents that you already are will also help of course.  I don't think there is a way to explain so that there is no hurt... .I just don't think that is possible.   perhaps though there is a way to talk about it that validates her feelings and helps her to cope with them in successful ways.

I thought I would mention that for you to just think about and perhaps we can help you work it out here.  If you are already doing this, then I apologize for bringing up something you are already on top of. 

You are in a difficult and painful situation and I am glad you are reaching out here for help.   

Title: Re: So Disappointed
Post by: Notwendy on December 07, 2018, 03:32:43 PM
Mickey, I think you are grieving and grief is tough. However it is important to feel your feelings. I think therapy for yourself is an excellent idea. It will help with the grief and also how to deal with situations that could arise with your son, your wife and also your GD when she starts to ask questions.

I am glad you have found some solace by posting here and support. I understand you will not give up hope for your son, and you can still hope but it also helps to learn to cope and move on with your life even while you have hope.

Title: Re: So Disappointed
Post by: Mickey47 on December 07, 2018, 07:11:53 PM
Harri - Thank you for asking me that and don’t ever apologize for offering advise. Know that this problem is extremely new to me so whatever advise I can get I’ll glad take and do. That’s a good question that you asked me, but a hard one to answer. Because my GD is just to be 4 yrs old on the 21st she’s still very young. So when she does ask where he is sometimes I explain to her that he is at his home sleeping so he can get up that night to go to work. Really we try to keep her busy and playing while she’s here to keep her mind off the fact he isn’t.

However as time goes on I may have to eventually tell her that although her daddy loves her. He is just not in a good place in his life right now and hopefully one day soon that’ll change and he’ll come visit us all. I really have to be careful because she’s so young and I can’t even imagine her feeling the pain I feel I simply couldn’t handle that. That would most definitely destroy me just the thought of it upsets me and brings me to tears.

When she said “daddy doesn’t love me” it took everything I had not to fall apart in front of her and burst into tears. This pain is overwhelming at times and I’m trying really hard to get a handle on it I can’t imagine her going through this. So yes if you can advise me in any way to answer her questions without causing her too much pain and confusion I’d greatly appreciate that.

Notwendy - yes I guess you are right I’m grieving. Grieving for someone who hasn’t passed away is so strange, but yes I am. I feel like I’ve already lost my son even though he is still on this earth. We used to be so close he would come to me and talk. We’d laugh about stuff he used to be so fun loving funny and interactive with everyone. Even on his wedding day he wasn’t the fun loving funny son I’ve always known. My husband my MIL my sister and especially my daughter notice he just wasn’t himself. Even his best friend who was his best man who can’t stand his wife but supports him anyway. Said he just didn’t seem sure of himself and that he just wasn’t himself.

He really didn’t even smile that much and even my 16 yr old daughter said “for someone who is supppse to be marrying the love of their life he doesn’t seem like he is at his own wedding. He seems like he is attending some party he rather not be at.” Something was just off and we could all tell it from his body language. Oh well there’s nothing I can do about it like you’ve told me it’s his choice. I am hopeful but I’m trying really hard to move forward. Just sometimes my brain won’t shut up and I get all worked up and emotional.

I tried to stay busy doing something to keep my mind occupied, because the minute I’m sitting still all these thoughts start flooding to the surface again. Like last night I had a awful nightmare about my son’s wife hurting him. I woke up in a cold sweat and then didn’t fall back to sleep till 5 am then had to get up at 6:30 to get ready for work.

But I’m very thankful I have y’all to talk to. Thank you again.

Title: Re: So Disappointed
Post by: Turkish on December 07, 2018, 11:16:13 PM

This is so heartbreaking... .

When my ex was in the throes of her affair,  she took a weekend off to San Francisco to spend with a friend (he's gay, I don't know if she brought her beau, but she was partying). I was left to take care of D1 and S3.

She called that Saturday night. Our son asked, "mommy,  come home!" She said that she was out of town.  "Mommy,  come home!" It broke my heart, and of course I was already very angry with her but I just listened.  She replied,  "Mommy just needs Mommy time.  I'll be back tomorrow." He said,  "Mommy come home!"

I slapped my forehead inside. She totally missed what he was communicating. 

Broke my  :cursing: heart. From a 3 year old's point-of-view, she communicated,  "I don't love you." A kid that age can't process such adult justifications,  right or wrong.

I didn't say anything.  I took care of them,  and cuddled them to sleep.  He's almost 9 now.  His sister, 6.5, doesn't remember those times.  

This book is an easy read, and I highly recommend it.  It helped me in talking to my kids.  

The Power of Validation (for parents) - Karyn D. Hall, PhD (https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=166930.0)

Let me know what you think.  

Title: Re: So Disappointed
Post by: Mickey47 on December 08, 2018, 10:46:03 PM

My son has been paying on a car buying it from his dad. I was in the house cleaning my and I just sat down to rest for a minute. My daughter comes walking in and says D is here and I was shocked. I was like really did you talk to him and she said yeah and I asked if his wife was with him and my daughter said “Lol of course not you know we will probably won’t see her again for a really long time.” Then I thought to myself well he can come to me then. Then my husband came in I was cleaning again. He said your sons in the shop working on his car if you want to go see him.

So I went into my daughters room and asked her how he looked. She said “mom go see him you know you want to so go out there and see him don’t make him come to you. I know that’s what you’re doing & I completely understand. But if you want to spend time with him then go out there.” She was right I was being silly. I’m must be doing something right with my daughter at least. So anyway I go out there and he sees me and says “hey mom how are you doing” I said I was good and how was he and he said oh pretty good I guess.

We spent 4 hours talking and we did discuss his daughter and I said for her birthday and Christmas I’ll go get on the 21st. I asked do you want to meet me at McDonalds on your way to work so you can see her for her birthday? He said he’d really like that. Then he suppose to get up early drop his wife off to her mothers and then come over here and visit with his daughter Christmas Eve. I don’t know if y’all remember me saying how I missed our talks.

Well we had a really good long talk and he opened up to me about his wife. So you know he works nights and she doesn’t work at all. So he has to sleep during the day so he can work that night. He told me she gets mad at him for sleeping, because he isn’t spending time with her. He tells her “well I have to sleep or I’ll die” I said to him that his dad worked nights for 5 yrs and I had dinner with him and breakfast on his days off he’d go in the shop and work on cars, but we just made it work.

I then said why don’t you tell her to get a job and that way she has something to occupy her time. He said “oh God mom no she will never be able to work her anxiety is so bad she wouldn’t be able to that.” I was like ever she’ll never be able to work. My Lord son tell her to go to the doctor and get on some meds so she can function. Now I know for a fact it’s not just her anxiety it’s that she’s lazy and just doesn’t want to work.

Yet she wants to get mad at him because she wants to move out of her grandparents house, but he is the only one working. He told her “no I will not rent anything ever again I’ll save money and buy a house” she got upset about that and was like “well that sucks how long before we can get out of here?” He said he told her well being I’m the only one working it might be a while, but I’m not going to rent it’s a waste of money.

Then we were discussing his daughter again and he said that her grandpa doesn’t mind if his daughter comes over and hangs out, but she can’t spend the night there she’d have to sleep at my house. I then said “well okay or you could spend the night here so you could spend more time with your daughter and take care of her as well.”  He agreed that he could do that. Now whether or not he does will be the thing.

When he was leaving with his newer car not brand new but new for him. He gave his dad and I a hug we said we loved him and for the first time in over a year he said “love you too” He usually says you too or me too. I was so happy wheat him say those words I almost thought I was hearing things. I really pray this is the beginning to him being more involved with his daughter. That’s the ONLY present I want for a Christmas.

I felt like the way he was talking to me tonight he was confiding in me a bit. At one point his phone went off and by the look on his face and the roll of his eyes I thought it was one of his employees from work and I asked “oh something to do with work” he said “no it’s M and she just said she misses me and well the day is over now.” He just put it back in his pocket and didn’t respond. He said “she’s just going to have to deal with it I have stuff I have to do.”

I just sat there and let him talk more about work and stuff. Oh and he also told me he was complaining to her about how he needs to see his daughter more. I asked him oh what she say about that and he said she said “yeah well I guess we’ll just have to figure something out.” Again I just sat there listening and letting him talk.

Title: Re: So Disappointed
Post by: Turkish on December 08, 2018, 11:08:54 PM
It sounds like he's trying to figure things out.  You gave him a safe space to do so.   

Title: Re: So Disappointed
Post by: Notwendy on December 09, 2018, 07:10:09 AM
This is great and I know it was a wonderful time to have with him.

May I make a suggestion? You didn't do anything wrong- this is just fine tuning. I would refrain from making any suggestions about what his wife can or should do. It's fine to suggest ideas for him to see his daughter- like meeting at Mc Donald's, helping him to arrive at a solution for her to spend time with him- like him coming over to the house to sleep and see her if he wants. However, I would stay away from making suggestions for what the wife can do to help her issue- like getting a job.

It's not the suggestion- that's a good one, but bringing the wife into solutions becomes a triangle. The relationship you want to foster is between you, and him. Bringing the wife into the conversation will become the triangle ,and he is the rescuer on the triangle. He will rescue ( make excuses for ) his wife (victim). You don't want to be the persecutor in their relationship - which is the only role left for you if you discuss the wife.

The grandchild doesn't play into this as she is a child. So fostering your relationship with your son and making it possible to see the child is good. However, keep in mind the situation- the wife doesn't like your son not paying attention to her when he is there during the day. She doesn't even like him sleeping. So now you see the issue if he spends time with his daughter- the wife sees this as not paying attention to her. This causes a conflict. Your son has to sleep and he's not going to be able to sleep during the day if his wife is raging and screaming at him, or trashing the house because she is upset. You also don't want the grandchild to be present for this.

I'm not making excuses for the wife for not working, and there could be a laziness component to it, but the anxiety that does come with BPD and the BPD itself makes it hard for some people ( not all ) with BPD to have a job. Several issues - being impulsive, feeling attacked when instructed, difficulty getting along with people which can lead to unstable relationships can affect a working situation. There are people with high functioning BPD who do very well in the workplace. It doesn't sound like your DIL is one of them. Ultimately, this is your son's problem to deal with as the one supporting the family. It seems he is keeping some boundaries, like not renting, and telling her he needs to sleep in the day. Good for him. IMHO, the best thing to do is to let him deal with the issues in his marriage. You have provided a safe place for him to vent- and it is great that he can talk to you, but you don't have to offer solutions for her. Saying things like " Son, we love you and understand this is your relationship to handle" is supportive but without suggestions.

Title: Re: So Disappointed
Post by: Harri on December 09, 2018, 09:35:08 PM
Hi Mickey.  I am glad you got to spend time with your son.  It sounds like it went very well too.   

The book that Turkish recommended for validating kids is wonderful, or so I have read from several members here.  I think at almost 4 just affirming that she is loved and lovable is enough.  Words together with actions go a long way.  I am sure she can see the smile on your face and the way your eyes light up when you get to see her.  Keep doing that sort of thing.  As she gets older you can ask questions about how something makes her feel and let her know that all feelings are okay even if she is angry or upset.  So if she ever say "Daddy doesn't love me" again ask her why she says that.  See if she will talk about her feelings. 

This is where having you be okay, as much as you can, is so important.  She will react to a lot of what happens in life based on how the adults around her handle things.   Kids mirror what they see so be a positive and validating mirror that gives unconditional love.

As she gets older, the answers to her questions will come.


Title: Re: So Disappointed
Post by: Mickey47 on December 09, 2018, 10:27:56 PM

Yes I was really happy and tried not to talk too much, because I want him to know and feel he can always come to me and talk and trust me to confide in. Your right because right after I said “why don’t she get a job” I thought to myself oh you shouldn’t have said that. I also think that she got her grandpa to tell my son that his daughter can’t spend the night there, because she doesn’t want her there at night to interfere with their togetherness. So I’m pretty sure the next thing will be she’ll talk her grandpa into to telling my son they have a certain amount of time to get a place and get on their own.

I also think that my son is already get tired of her constant complaints when he is the only one working and doing everything. She apparently plays video games all day or is texting him all night while working. I imagine this is going to eventually wear on his nerves. Especially once they move out of her grandparents house and on their own. Things will get worse because she can’t be alone. Her asking him when can they get out of her grandparents house really aggravated my son. I could tell by the his body language and his tone in his voice.

Especially when he said “well being I’m the only one working it’ll be a while.” I just hope she doesn’t try to do something where he can’t see his daughter for her birthday or Christmas. That’s when I’m going to really hold myself back.

I appreciate you Notwendy and Harri thank y’all for always listening. And of course Panda and K and Turkish thank you too! Sorry if I spell some of your names wrong or only use the first letter.

Title: Re: So Disappointed
Post by: Notwendy on December 11, 2018, 08:13:51 AM
I wouldn't underestimate the extent your DIL would go to have her way. I'm glad to see your son holding some boundaries, but that may not stop your DIL from attempting to get what she wants.

I am glad your son has his family for support and that you all have a good relationship with him. I think this is a one step at a time thing with him. How much he can tolerate - it's hard to know.

I don't understand the appeal of a partner who is so high maintenance. Once my parents got cell phones, if I was out running errands with my father, I noticed she would call him about every 5 minutes. I'm sure this was the case when I wasn't there to notice. If we were a few minutes late, she'd call "where are you". At home, she'd call his name to do something every few minutes.  It was as if she couldn't stand to have any attention not be on her for more than a few minutes.

Whether or not your son gets tired of this kind of thing, I don't know. Just take this one step at a time.

Title: Re: So Disappointed
Post by: Mickey47 on December 11, 2018, 08:13:16 PM

Yeah I pray for his safety at night , because I’m scared she’s going to hurt him somehow one of these nights. She has hit him in the past from what his best friend told me. His best friend said my son got to the point after he threatened her he’d call the police on her if she did stop hitting him he told her to pack her crap and get out. She left with some guy and then ended up calling and begging him to come get her. He said she would just start professing her love to him and just start saying that what he did reminded her of her mother.

She played that card ALOT! And still does. She plays the feel sorry for me bit a lot. So I really honestly don’t put anything past her to do what she can to get her way. I believe she’s capable of anything. I have a gut feeling something is going to come up when I get my GD this weekend. My son asked me to get her this weekend so he could come get her and spend time with her. So we’ll see what happens.

Title: Re: So Disappointed
Post by: once removed on December 11, 2018, 10:58:38 PM

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