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Author Topic: She stole my credit card  (Read 2396 times)
BreathingDeeply

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« on: May 02, 2017, 06:05:06 PM »

BPD daughter 19 is now in crisis. She had been living with a roommate fairly successfully but her roommate who had become a very good friend is moving overseas this month and dd was feeling very dysregulated in anticipation of that so she moved back home a couple of months ago which didn't bode well. She had been in therapy which didn't work out well, obviously partially because she has BPD but mainly because the clinicians turned out not to be very skilled in their specialty, and so the spiral began. Quit her job, took a new job, quit after a few days, took a new job, quit after a day... .Disappeared for days at a time with no word, then would pop back in suddenly when we'd least expect her and sleep all day. We have a large family and a few little ones and her unpredictable and confusing behavior is really taking a toll on them. My 6yo has become quite anxious and asks about her sister all the time and where is she and when is she coming home and will she be here for supper and why does she do xyz... .I have no good answers for a 6yo (or a 4yo or an 11yo or... .)

So we told her that it was time to find an apartment because she does much better when she is independent. She had no money to her name so we said we'd pay the first month's rent while she worked to earn some money, and we'd give her a specified sum for a few months thereafter with the goal of her becoming self-supporting. This has worked in the past. Well, it didn't work this time. She freaked.

Now she's decided she's a sex addict (random sex is her go-to coping mechanism but it's a symptom of her BPD, not an independent condition) and she's checked herself into a rehab facility for a 9-month program. It's government subsidized (we don't live in the US) so she has solved her living situation problem for the next 9 months (doubtful that she'll stay there that long), and it's a great place for addicts but the treatment they offer is the wrong treatment for her disorder and obviously she hasn't been forthcoming. We only found this out yesterday when she called all weepy from the rehab facility to tell us where she was so we wouldn't worry and sniffle, sniffle oh how she misses us (it had only been a couple of days since she stormed out of the house in a huff) and oh, yeah it turns out that there is a one time fee of about $150 that has to be paid and can we pay it. (I used my Family Connections skills to validate and set limits: That must have taken a lot of strength to go to rehab and we wish you success. When we are consulted in advance we are willing to consider requests for money but we don't give money after the fact.) She hung up on me.

Then tonight my husband was reviewing our credit card statement and found a whole bunch of charges we never made totaling almost $2,000. She just had some funky thing done to her hair last week and wouldn't you know it, one of the charges was to the hair salon, among other things. So she somehow got my credit card, went on a spree and returned the card.

I'm alternating between sadness and grief that she is really ill and will probably only get worse, and she is my child and who will help her if not me, and obviously anger at her for the lying and the stealing and taking advantage and hurting my other kids with her crap. I've read that research shows that the single biggest predictor of a good outcome (recovery or at least good management) is family involvement and support, but how do I balance being there for her with protecting the family? I can't just write her off, but I also need to make sure I don't enable her. I'm torn and so confused. And there's that ever-present knowledge that things can and probably will get worse because every crisis is an escalation from the previous one. And I really want to keep this out of our other kids' lives as much as I can but do I tell them not to let her in the house when I'm not here? She's their sister and they love her. They don't understand. Do we change the locks so she can't use her key to get in? Do we search for a better therapist and offer to pay for therapy again (even though we can't afford it) because it's really her only shot at a decent life even though it's a long shot? Help.
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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2017, 01:36:50 PM »

Excerpt
I've read that research shows that the single biggest predictor of a good outcome (recovery or at least good management) is family involvement and support, but how do I balance being there for her with protecting the family? I can't just write her off, but I also need to make sure I don't enable her. I'm torn and so confused. And there's that ever-present knowledge that things can and probably will get worse because every crisis is an escalation from the previous one. And I really want to keep this out of our other kids' lives as much as I can but do I tell them not to let her in the house when I'm not here? She's their sister and they love her. They don't understand. Do we change the locks so she can't use her key to get in? Do we search for a better therapist and offer to pay for therapy again (even though we can't afford it) because it's really her only shot at a decent life even though it's a long shot? Help

Hi there Breathing Deeply

Wow, it sounds like you've got a lot to cope with there at the moment.  It feels pretty terrible knowing they've stolen from you and then lied on top of it.  I think my BPDs26 has taken a lot of money from my purse over the years without me knowing, his GF bought me a big savings pot (one of those you have to break open) and my H put a lot of money in there over a year or so as a surprise for me; he had plans to open it the night before our holiday.  All the notes had been stolen and this hurt us very deeply.  I understand.

It seems you've got two issues at the moment.  I got myself a plan, I spent time really thinking about it and then I found it helped me stay focussed (particularly during those times when we feel pushed, pulled and torn) and I found that I was then able to leave the small stuff to one side; priorities.  This approach may not work for you but I found it really helped me.

I have two sons.  BPDS26 who was a drug user and had problems right through his formative years.  Son16 who I'm raising through it all.  The gap in age was useful as my younger son wasn't so aware of stuff going on, then my arguments started and it affected my small boy (it hurts me to think of this even now).  This was all pre-dx and I know better now.  When we know better, we do better.

ALL your kids need to same thing from you; feel totally loved and understood by you. This is in your control.

I accepted that I couldn't make my sons have a relationship.  I also couldn't make my H have a better relationship with BPDs.  This was out of my control.  Yes, it hurt when my younger son would ask about his older brother (who was just so disconnected from the family).  I tried hard but it just didn't work out; personally, I found I couldn't protect my younger son and also try and promote a healthy relationship with his drug user brother.  I chose to protect him rather than risk influence.  My younger son gave up trying or even asking about him.  He needed support as I knew he was ashamed of him and how he looked; he didn't tell his friends about him.  Now he's 16, he understands a bit more, they have a relationship but I don't think they'll ever be really close. Ironically, I actually think that will be healthier for my younger son in the longer term as I don't want him to feel he's responsible in any way.  My sons are chalk and cheese.  This is my personal experience, not yours.  

Firstly, your daughter - knowing she's needs you and you're right about the family involvement in the longer term. Yes, she does need treatment but that's a second issue.  

Secondly, your kids and how you protect them while, at the same time, try and support them in a relationship with their older sister.

You've said you're feeling really confused and I'm not surprised. I really feel for you and see how difficult this is.

My advice is to take some time and think about what you want, what you need for yourself, importantly your younger kids come FIRST as they are minors.  

My view is that therapy just won't be effective unless the person is fully engaged and ready to try and change.  

Have you heard from your daugher?

LP


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Gorges
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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2017, 07:15:26 PM »

I don't have specific advice.  But, as I read your post, I realize that I am not alone.  I am not sure that family involvement means you need to solve your daughter's problems.  I am not sure you can... .

I wonder, does family involvement mean that you do what you can if you are emotionally ready for it?  If it feels right to you?  I do not want to permanently cut my daughter out of my life, but I cannot interact too much with her when she is making poor choices because I need to "put the oxygen mask on" as they say. 

It sounds like you handled the situation well.  She is in a rehab facility that did not cost you tons of money. While it may not be the right one, they are staffed with counselors that can probably help her. So, she is not doing crazy stuff out of the streets or in and out of your house causing crises. 

Would you be able to take one day at a time and wait and see how the rehab goes?
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BreathingDeeply

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« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2017, 07:01:04 AM »

Thank you Lollypop and Gorges for taking the time to reply to my post. Lollypop, thanks for sharing some of your personal experiences raising your children. It has clarified some things for me with regard to sibling relationships with my younger set of kids. Gorges, thank you for sharing your personal choice to put your oxygen mask on first when your daughter makes poor choices. I always feel awful when I do that, but of course we need to do that! I need to take a step back when she's making poor choices so I can catch my breath, keep myself stable, and then decide what I want to do taking everyone into consideration, myself included. I need to repeat that a few times.

It sounds like it makes sense to take things one day at a time but I find that when I do that I am not really prepared for the next crisis when it comes - and it will come. Because there are so many other people affected, I feel like I do need to anticipate and have an advance plan.

What she's doing now with this rehab is really just the latest iteration of the same behavior pattern that we've seen again and again over the years. Her most prominent BPD feature that really underlies all the rest is unstable identity (hellish and horrible and always present and raw). So to relieve that she tries out different personas, usually when she's feeling a huge emotional and/or relationship void in her life. The most recent trigger is literally losing her best friend and roommate, who is moving overseas. This would be an emotional situation for any healthy person, all the more so for a person with BPD. And then of course being asked to leave the house didn't help matters, although it really was necessary. So what she has done is frantically created a new persona of a sex addict seeking treatment in a well regarded treatment facility where she is sure to get heavy doses of validation, nurturing and support. In order to keep that going, she will embellish her fantasy with many fabricated details. The girl they think they are treating will be nothing resembling the girl they are actually trying to treat. She will be acting a part and they will have no idea. This is why there will be no positive gain from this treatment and in fact, her negative behavior pattern will be reinforced by all the warmth and care she gets in response. So when she comes out she will be worse. We've seen it before and it's always the same: escalation.

The other option is that she decides she doesn't want to stay there or she feels backed into a corner (the absolute worst for her) but instead of just leaving a bad situation (she doesn't know how to do that once she's backed herself in) she will create a major crisis designed to bring us to the rescue. Obviously she's ill and all of this is subconscious. She has no idea she does this so predictably and she doesn't plot and scheme. It's just the pattern she's compelled to follow and we pretty much know how this is going to develop. The only questions are the details and the timing and the extent of the fallout for the family. In the past an adult she had befriended had the Welfare Department called in because she pretended to have been neglected and abused by us. She eventually broke down and confessed that she had made it all up and we were cleared but I have other kids and it was terrifying for a while. And if I'm honest, I've never really gotten over it. It's always in my head and probably a few times a day I consider whether we would pass a surprise inspection if Welfare would show up just then and see the messy house or the kids playing outside or fighting or whatever. And she knows that if she really wants to have an impact, the most effective way to get to us is through our other kids.

Then there's the issue of the relationship between her and our teens (17, 15, 13 and an 11yo tween). They're too old for us to just cut her out of their lives. They will have some say and the last thing we want is to push them to sneak around behind our backs or make them feel like they have to choose between us and their sister. On some level it's easier in that we can talk to them and explain a bit, but otoh this is hard for even adults to understand and deal with, let alone kids. I don't want to have to tell them that she stole my credit card or that she checked herself into rehab because she thinks she's a sex addict. I don't want them to know that she's making up stories about being abused in our home. I want to leave them out of it. I don't want to constantly have to explain her behavior. They shouldn't have to deal with it. Maybe it is the right thing to do to make an executive decision and say no more contact for their protection?
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BreathingDeeply

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« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2017, 02:35:00 PM »

Ok, so this is a real issue. D17 told me that D19 called her on her cell this afternoon and said she gets two 5-minute phone calls a week, on Mondays and Thursdays, and that D17 should make sure to be available and have her cell with her at those times. D17 happened to have been really p***** at D19 who apparently swiped some of her clothes when she left. D17 didn't say anything about it on the phone but she wasn't very warm and fuzzy either. She was also taken by surprise by the phone call. She came to me because the whole thing is awkward and she doesn't know what to do. I had told her the other day about the credit card because she has cash in her room that I thought she should put away in a safe place. That's when she told me that D19 had hit her up for money the day she left. (She said sorry but no, I work hard for my money, yay!) The two of them have always been close in a love-hate sisterly way, but she does realize that things can't just continue the way they were and she's conscious about being used and manipulated. She doesn't really want to be D19's Family Contact Person either. She doesn't want the burden of being the one who has to make herself available for those phone calls at very specific times so D19 can still feel connected to the family. Should she tell D19? Should she just not answer her cell phone? Should I answer it next time? If so, should I address the sibling issue? And how? Advice please.
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Lollypop
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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2017, 03:13:19 PM »

Hi breathingdeeply

I think I go back to my original advice. Think about a plan, keep it as simple as possible. It helped me stay to my priorities and not sweat the small stuff,  If planning just isn't possible right now because of everything going on or maybe you know that just won't work for you then you'll have to approach your problems one by one.

if it were me I'd take the next call from your daughter. Its not fair that your 17 year old is caught up in the drama, she just won't have the skillset or experience to deal with her sister, she also puts herself in a situation where she will be in fog. I'd explain this to the 17 year old and hope she can see the sense of this; I think she'll be relieved not to have this responsibility.

I think you need to set up some boundaries and limits for yourself and family. I'm not saying no contact. I'm saying that there may be a way to explore a way forwards for yourself as your daughter is in rehab.

LP
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BreathingDeeply

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« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2017, 03:54:41 PM »

Thanks Lollypop. Smiling (click to insert in post)
if it were me I'd take the next call from your daughter. Its not fair that your 17 year old is caught up in the drama, she just won't have the skillset or experience to deal with her sister, she also puts herself in a situation where she will be in fog. I'd explain this to the 17 year old and hope she can see the sense of this; I think she'll be relieved not to have this responsibility.
I actually just finished having this talk with D17 after I found her crying in the family room when she thought no one was around   I told her exactly that: I will take the next phone call and set some limits so she can have her space without feeling like she's caught in the middle of the drama.

If it were you and you took the next call what would you say to D19 to explain this and tell her that her father and I will be happy to take her calls but for now, not the other kids? Which tool would you use?
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Lollypop
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« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2017, 04:19:47 PM »

Hi breathing

When's the next call due?

I'm in the uk and want to think about this. It's night time here so would like to reply tomorrow if I can.  You may also get some other viewpoints that you'd find helpful.

Hugs

LP
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« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2017, 04:31:08 PM »

When's the next call due?
Monday.

Thanks, Lollypop.
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Lollypop
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« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2017, 03:06:27 AM »

Hi breathing

This is about getting your daughter conditioned to only speak to you or husband.

Can you email or visit your daughter? If you can email then if she does try calling other family members and they obviously don't pick up then you could email her.

I can see that getting control over the telephone, text or email contact may not be so easy. It needs everybody at home to see the need for the boundary and keep to it.

Warm, open hearted, assertive and loving to set that boundary.

DEARMAN technique sounds good to me for you. You've got the time to think about your own words and also to practise, perhaps forward thinking her responses so you're less likely to be caught off guard.

D (describe fact only) - "your sis told me that you asked her to be around twice a week to take your calls home. I can see that you'd want that and I completely understand."

E (express feelings) - "we're so happy as we can get to hear from you and find out about how you're settling in and getting along at rehab. We think about you a lot and know it can be scary for you and you're going to have some up and down days. I feel that it's not fair on your sister to take your calls and that you need some consistency."

A (assert) - "I want you to call me on my cell phone for your calls home and I can make sure I'm available. "

R (reinforce) - "it's really important that you get some stability and consistency right now and so it's best that you only speak to me."

M (stay mindful) - focussed on this this subject, don't let her steer it away. Repeat (assert) word for word if necessary.

A (appear confident) - try and stay relaxed, prepare yourself before the phone call to make sure there's no distractions.

N (negotiate) - I don't think this is relevant for you in this situation. You want your daughter to only speak to you or husband.

You can also use this technique to your other kids to explain what's happening and why it's important why you only take the calls.  I quite often only need to use the DEAR part to express what I want to happen

Good luck and let us know how things go.

Hugs

LP
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BreathingDeeply

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« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2017, 07:36:21 AM »

Thank you Lollypop, that model is very, very helpful and I can see how I can use it to set this limit with D19 and also with all the other kids regarding contact with her for now. She won't have her phone for the first 3 months at least but she did tell D17 that there is a weekly visiting day. We could put it out there and let her decide if she wants us to visit.

Here's another question: I know D19 is probably anxious about the money she spent/stole and she is definitely wondering if we have discovered it. At what point, if at all, would you mention it, if only just to relieve the anxiety of not knowing, and how would you phrase it/what would your focus be? I'm thinking that what's done is done, let's move forward, with limits in place that will prevent something like this from happening again in the future. Those limits are not relevant right now since she is in rehab for the time being, so we don't have to get into all that now and H and I have some time to figure them out.

It may not seem  like it but getting feedback and advice for this specific scenario is helpful to our making a general plan. Right now we are having a huge paradigm shift since we've had a major escalation, and applying tools to this specific situation gives us a model that we can use for similar issues in the future that we didn't feel we needed to deal with in the past.

Many thanks, Lollypop Smiling (click to insert in post)

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« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2017, 12:24:07 PM »

Hi B

My initial thoughts are this.

My BPDs can only think of one thing at a time, particularly when stressed. I speak to him in short statements. I think your daughter is reluctant to speak to you because she feels bad inside about the credit card saga. She's reaching out through her sister and most probably trying to gauge the mood and going inin the house. Yes, you're right, she's most probably quite anxious about it. Your priority though is to set your phone call boundary. If you try and deal with the credit card at the same time I think she'll think you're setting the boundary on purpose to get her back.

I'd leave the credit card issue to one side for the moment.  One step at a time, as frustrating as that is.  

For my adult son to behave like an adult, he needs to be treated like one. But it's about picking the moments, being realistic as he just can't handle it all at once. I try and go at a pace that meets the circumstances. I'm honest and truthful with him, always.  SET is great and I need to practise. I'm happy to try and help with the wording, though you might find others are a lot better at pitching it just right.

That's my thoughts.

It's baby steps.
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« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2017, 05:38:34 PM »

Dear Breathing Deeply,
Your daughter sounds very much like mine.  Your description of her is very accurate, especially the exaggeration of problems, drama causing, not being forthcoming with therapists and contacting younger siblings!  My daughter actually told my 15 year old son she was a "cam girl" and he on his own tried to convince her not to do it.

My 15 year old son wants to keep a relationship with his sister.  My daughter is not allowed to live at home and he is not allowed to sleep over at her apartment but they are allowed to contact each other and visit with each other.  I have told my son I am here to support him and have offered counseling if he feels he needs help coping with having a sister with a mental illness.  I have explained that she shows most of the symptoms of borderline personality disorder and explained what they were and how difficult the disorder has been.  I try to role model-express my own feelings (I am emotive, my husband is silent); take care of myself and live a productive life.  There are times where I block my daughter's calls or the time of the calls so that I can get a good night's sleep.  There are times when my son has had to do the same thing.  Sadly my son needs to learn the same skills that I need to learn as far as limit setting and all the tools on the right.  He will have a much longer relationship with her because when my husband and I are gone, he will probably be all she has.

I am not as nice as Lollypop about using the tools on the right with my daughter.  I pretty much tell it like it is with her.  Most recently, I have explained that she is in a relationship with us (myself, son and husband) and basically her family members are the only ones who have maintained a relationship with her.   Part of that relationship includes empathy and thinking about the the feelings of the other person.  Her actions have hurt us deeply and affect our health and happiness. Lack of empathy is a symptom of BPD and quite frankly I don't read or hear a lot of advice from therapists or the message board for how to develop this within the person with BPD.  We all have to walk on eggshells and have empathy for them without pointing out times when they should be using empathy and what that would look like.   As I write this, I might start an internet search on that very topic! 

Please stay in touch, your daughter is the same age as mine and sounds very similar.  We are going through this at the same time. 

Last night was the first night since I found out about my daughters sex addition issues that I was able to sleep without medication and the first night that I found my thoughts wandering to other issues and not just my deep sadness about hers... .

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« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2017, 01:47:26 AM »

Hi gorges

I'm glad you joined in as you're right, there's a lot of similarities with your daughters. It's so great to find others on the forum that we can connect to, we've all got BPD in common that's for sure. I think there's so many dangers out there and there's no doubt our BPD kids are vulnerable because of their impetuousness.

I get what you're saying about empathy. My BPDs26 had none in his teenage years and maybe in his early 20s. During the limited contact periods (his inability to be around us because of his choices and our judgement of him) he missed us greatly and he'd reach a point that he had to see us again and he'd reach out.

I used to say it like it is, I had advice from a guy I knew whose son was similar to mine and into drugs and he told me just tell him "this is xxxxing wrong" as that's what he did; he said they've got to know it's just not right. I'd felt very isolated until that point and this was pre-dx and I tried again.  It just didn't work, in fact I think all it did was put even more shame onto my sons already heavy heart. He internalises.

I believe the empathy is in there but it just can't be processed because of everything else going on.

I'd tried everything up to the age of 24 and he got dx.  I stalked, pleaded, pushed, pulled, restrained, shouted, silent treatment, heavy rules, gave up and many more over the years. All of it made his shame worse. .

I changed my approach. I focussed on our core relationship and yes, spoke adult to adult. This doesn't mean that I can include judgment though, because he's an adult and makes his own choices.

We have to show them empathy so they learn how to do it. It might take them a few years to mature and develop as my BPDs can be empathetic now at 26. Or perhaps it's because our relationship is better, he feels safe to make those mistakes without judgment and he's more stable so there's space in his head to be empathetic. I don't know the answers, I just know the tools work.

I would never in my life have believed that something as simple as demonstrating the behaviours that you want to see in others works but it really does. Done naturally, in a no big deal way, lightly with a warm open heart showing genuine desire to listen and understand what they say and a reply to acknowledge understanding without reaction, no judgement does work. I was truly amazed as my BPDs started to mirror me.

You all know we still have our problems, up and down we go. But we do have a better relationship and this is where I started using the tools to help me. He responded positively to this; empathy came much later on his part and it's just not there if he's in a bad stressed period.

LP

LP
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« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2017, 03:46:35 PM »

I've only got a couple of minutes but I wanted to let you both know that I've read your responses and I'm very grateful for your advice and support.

LP your perspective and advice has been so helpful to us. You're right about one thing at a time and timing. We've spoken to our older set of kids tonight about our phone contact decision and worked through what they should do if she calls or shows up at the door. We're still working out exactly how to phrase it to D19 and your model is very helpful towards that.

Gorges, I'm sorry to hear you're going through what we're going through. I am grateful for this site, though, so that we can find each other and offer understanding and support. Hugs. I also know just what you mean about empathy. D19 once asked me a really jarring question, and she wasn't little. She said, "Why DO we take care of babies?" Like she just couldn't work out why someone would do so much for someone else and get nothing in return. Like her other symptoms, her lack of empathy would fade in and out, but it has often been a huge concern to me.

I also can relate to just wanting to tell them how we feel, straight up. And for sure I have done that. Recently, in fact. And LP is right that it just isn't effective. It doesn't even feel good in the moment, because I can see her reaction and I can see her shame and then I'm thinking what have I just done? For what? The shame and hurt just make it harder for her to make better choices, it reinforces all her self-destructive choices and it for sure doesn't bring us any closer so she loses the support of our relationship. There's no doubt though that it's HARD to validated their feelings while not really expressing ours, because let's face it, "It hurts us when you use our credit card without asking first" doesn't really come close to what we really feel about what she's done. This is where I have to remind myself that she's ill, she's ill, she's ill. We do the best we can and then try again the next time.
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Gorges
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« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2017, 07:48:11 AM »

I finally had the energy to contact my daughter yesterday.  She said she is no longer a "cam girl" and looking for another job and called to make an appt with a therapist.  She agrees that she needs to work on her issue with quitting jobs and her impulsiveness in therapy otherwise she will just continue to quit any job she finds and close off more future possibilities.  She did not contact me all week because she thought I wanted distance and I explained that I needed to get my own mental health in order and needed a break from her.  We planned on resuming contact and yoga classes.

I am maintaining the stance that we are coping and working on her own mental health and asking that she respects and be sensitive to that.  Basically "we have feelings too".
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BreathingDeeply

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« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2017, 02:55:59 PM »

Hi Gorges,

I hope this is the first of many positive steps towards recovery for your daughter and healing for your relationship. I'm glad you are recognizing your own needs and taking care of them.
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« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2017, 03:03:50 PM »

Just a quick update: I spoke to BPDd today and it went well. No drama, or at least not in response to what I said. Thank you again LP, what I said was a slight variation on your theme. Thank you also, Gorges, I stayed true to myself, H and the rest of the family. I was validating and I set the limit. She moved on and we had an ordinary 5 minute conversation about the facility and her schedule. She did ask (beg?) us to visit on visiting day. I got the details and told her it's something H and I will have to talk about as things progress. We have and we both agree that we're not ready yet and we don't think she is either. Everybody needs their time apart right now. So next conversation will be support, validation and saying no for now and we feel more confident about saying that and more at ease about how to say it. Bonus: D17 is so relieved.
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« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2017, 03:28:28 PM »

Hi breathing

It sounds like a win win situation. As you say, with each step our confidence grows. Thanks so much for letting us know.

You've got the space to gather some strength and a little peace too.

Hugs

Lp
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     I did my best. He told me I wasn’t good enough. White
BreathingDeeply

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« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2017, 03:55:29 PM »

So that was too easy to be the end of that. We are deep into FOG. She has the staff at the rehab facility doing her bidding. One staff member made an extra phone call home for her this week and today I got a call from the founder and CEO of the facility! He is a wonderful person and very devoted and thought he was doing the right thing but he basically attempted to use emotional blackmail to convince us to visit D19.

We are more than willing to support and participate in her treatment - when it's the right kind of treatment for the right disorder. When she invents an addiction and has manipulated the experienced staff of a very distinguished rehab facility, not so much. But I couldn't say that to him.

It was hard, very hard, but I stood our ground, thanked him for all he does, for his concern, we appreciate it, there is a lot that he is not informed about and we know that the right thing for us to do in this situation for the time being is to limit contact to just phone calls. He went on for over 20 minutes about how lonely she is, she is not asking for anything, not money (ha! this thread is called She Stole My Credit Card!), she just wants to make everything right with her family, a girl this age should have her family, she came on her own and wasn't forced into treatment (hmm, maybe because she doesn't actually have an addiction), she's working so hard, it's so lonely that she escaped last night--

(she escaped last night because her roommate is moving overseas today; I actually predicted this exact scenario to H earlier in the week)--

but don't worry they got her back (facepalm; thanks for the reinforcement)... .I just lathered, rinsed, repeated. He finally told me to call him any time if we change our minds.

I predict that she is not done. There will be another, probably severe escalation. Self harm maybe, or acting crazy or disoriented, saying frightening things, something that will result in hospitalization and a phone call to us that in her mind we cannot possibly refuse. It's not even about us and our limits anymore. For her own good this behavior cannot be reinforced.

At this point she is so immersed in this latest fantasy that she has created for herself that she probably doesn't remember the truth anymore: that she has BPD, it has a treatment protocol, addiction is common but secondary (I'd leave out the part that she doesn't actually have an addiction), she needs treatment for the primary disorder which will address the symptoms and secondary issues, that focusing on the addiction is denying and reinforcing the primary problem. I think she needs to be reminded of this because at this point, she has genuinely confused herself. I would also want to explain our limits. I would want to explain FOG and say, "whenever we feel like you are behaving in ways to make us feel fear or worry for you, obligation, or guilt to get us to do something that you want or feel you need, we will disengage." I wish I could send her an email, although now, during this escalating crisis is not quite the right time even if it were possible.

I hate, hate HATE when well-meaning people just end up reinforcing those destructive behaviors. If I had a dime for every person who's done that over the years... .
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« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2017, 11:15:06 AM »

I feel like we are somewhat leading parallel lives.  Things were better for a moment (about a week).  She quit her cam girl job.  She looked for other jobs we went to yoga several times this past week.  She started a relationship with a very nice friend turned boyfriend.  At the last yoga class she was in a bad mood because she had been mean to her boyfriend and he left.  I had convinced her to go with me by letting her drive so she could get practice for her driver's test in a few weeks.  After 2 hours of a restorative yoga class she still became very upset when I told her that I did not have time to go to a special store for her to get some organic toiletries.  She drove the car fast, yelling and trying to scare me with her driving.  I just stayed silent.  There was nothing I could say or do to soothe her and I did not want to reinforce her behavior by giving in.  I have lived with similar scenarios with her her entire life.   She stopped off at her apartment, got out and was screaming and hitting the house.  I drove away and realized that I cannot be the one to help her.   I was going to work with her this summer to use our car to take a community college class or find a job that was driving distance because now she can only walk or use public transportation.  My husband is of the opinion, don't get involved and let her figure the entire thing out on her own.   I now completely agree with him.  I will not have contact alone with her until she has learned and practiced self soothing skills and has gone a fair amount of time with practicing them.  She does agree that she has BPD and has found a therapist on her own.  She is on her own and with that, I hope she is motivated to use her therapy wisely.
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Our objective is to better understand the struggles our child faces and to learn the skills to improve our relationship and provide a supportive environment and also improve on our own emotional responses, attitudes and effectiveness as a family leaders
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