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Author Topic: POLL: Parents' Bill of Rights  (Read 3863 times)
blackandwhite
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« on: May 01, 2011, 10:11:14 AM »

Parents’ Bill of Rights

When mental illness strikes young people, their parents may experience a great deal of emotional pain - often neglecting their own needs.  To help parents cope, we have a  "Parent’s Bill of Rights.”
 
1.  The right to survive.
 
Parents, who are themselves getting older, often get stress related illnesses, such as high blood pressure, heart disease or migraine headaches.  Parents have a right to survive in health, even though they have a child with mental illness.
 
2.  The right to privacy, to lead their own lives.
 
Many adult children with mental illness live with their parents.  This situation can produce an enormous strain.  Parents need their own “space”--privacy within their own home and time for themselves as a couple and for friends.
 
3.  The right not to go broke.
 
Adult offspring can get confused as to whose money is whose.  Parents have the right not to divulge how much money they make.  They don’t have to go broke paying for their child’s care.  He or she may qualify for benefits or vocational rehabilitation.  Without this aid, parents may feel they have no choice but to support their adult child to their own financial detriment.
 
4.  The right not to be psychologically abused.
 
Parents often think that they must give up being talked to in a courteous way.  You have the right to dignity.   Just because your child is sick, there is no excuse for him or her to abuse you.
 
5.  The right not to be physically abused.
 
It is a crime for your child to hit you, regardless of whether he or she is sick or well.  A physically abusive child may have to be hospitalized.
 
6.  The right to be parents to their other children.
 
Parents may be so wrapped up in the needs of a sick child that they may neglect their other children.  Try to strike a balance, meeting needs of and spending time with all of your children.
 
7.  The right to express their emotions.
 
Parents have a right to express their feelings about their mentally ill child’s behavior.  It is healthy to say “When I hear you talk like that I become angry (or frustrated, or hurt).”  If your child is constantly abusive, unclean, or playing loud music, you need to suggest she or he move out.  You can say “Your father and I have decided to live alone together.  We will help you find a place to live.”
 
8.  The right to respite and vacations.
 
You can take a vacation, and you do not have to take along your mentally ill adult child.
 
9.  The right to receive help too.
 
Parents can become as ill as their children.  Their thinking may become skewed.  Parents have the right to their own psychotherapy--to see their own doctor.  You cannot take care of your mentally ill child if you are ill.
 
10.  The right to set house rules.
 
If your child still lives at home, you have the right to set rules that will be followed.  In case of loud music playing, for example, you can require that your child use headphones.

1. How does it make you feel to read about these rights?
 
2. Do you embrace them/agree that they are rights?
 
3. How do you incorporate meeting your own needs into your life and family?
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serenitygone
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2011, 10:54:44 AM »

Thank you so much for putting this out here.

I've read them... .I agree with them.

I see now I CAN take my power back... .to live MY life.  I have the RIGHT to do so.

Since this secondary dx is new to us, I've been spending an immense amount of time reading, posting and learning.

Now that I have the FACTS... .I can move toward an action plan to TAKE BACK MY LIFE.

So refreshing to finally understand WHY my 26BPD,bipdd acts like she does.  It's a DISEASE.

I can accept disease over her just being lazy, whiny, mean and all about me for no reason.

As for privacy... .it's kinda difficult since her preschoolers are here... .we do take little bits.

As for the right to NOT go broke... .too late.  Already am. Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)  Fortunately, I was able to get her to the social services and get EBT, medicaid for her and the girls.  I've cut the "gas" money out too.  Though there are consequences for us.  The abuse verbal is almost not worth it.  We took a stand... .and am holding the stand.

She knows I will and have called police if she becomes too abusive... .both physically and mentally. I learned that one too.

The House Rules... .well we're just now starting to come up with those.  Long overdue I will add.

Her kids are the only reason she still lives here.  I'm NOT willing to let them suffer if she takes them out.  And man o man does she threaten that one.

This posting has once again rejuvenated me... .

I WILL be printing this and hanging it for all to see... .

I am a work in progress... .I will survive and be a healthy human being.
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NowIKnow

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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2011, 11:54:01 AM »

Foruntately - my d29 lives 1000 miles away, so much of this does not apply to my family.  However, I think the Right to Privacy should be revised to include:

A Right to not have our personal/private information and phsychological abuse posted on internet sites

We cannot access it - but we know it is there because other family members tell us - or ask us questions about her posts.  D29 uses Face Book as her war zone.  She has blocked her immediate family (sisters, mother, father, etc.) but the REST of our family are her FB Friends - so they get a very one-sided story.  This is difficult because FB had provided our extended family with an opportunity to reconnect with aunts and cousins we had not seen for years - or in many cases - have never even met.  So - all they see is that we are cruel to her and have abandoned her, they read our private medical issues (embelished with causes diagnosed through her sick mind - e.g. caused by filthy living conditions), or other 'personal' issues that she is privy to only because she has 'good periods' and we have let our guard down and shared information that we forget or don't even realize will later be used as a weapon. 

But - this Bill of Rights is a great start. 
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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2011, 05:03:14 PM »

blackandwhite,

I think this is a great list.  Thank you for printing it out.  It is so easy to get caught up and go broke or to think you should sacrifice your peace or space or self for your mentally ill child and in our case a very physically ill adult child as well who uses her illness to control while succumbing to not taking care of herself... .so there is so much in the heads of we parents and in our hearts and things tug at us.

One thing I wish for parents of adult mentally ill children is what adults of adolescents have- and that is clout to force them to get care.  An adult child can be living in a cardboard box - in an alley- with pneumonia along with severe chronic but treatable health issues and if they do not want to go to the doctor or hospital or take meds- that is their right.  Rights in our country trump saving lives once they are adults.   

But anyway- that is my soapbox -  again thank you so very much for taking the time to put all of this here for us... .very validating... .

wtsp
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qcarolr
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« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2011, 10:09:53 AM »

Blackandwhite - thank so much for starting this thread. It has got me thinking about especially the past few years. Wish I had seen this long ago so maybe would have started the journey to TAKE BACK MY LIFE sooner. Yet, the reality is I probably was not in a place to be able to see, hear, feel or accept these rights as belonging to me. DD24 was 'disabled' and couldn't take care of herself - she really really needed me to do lots of things for her, and the distress of my life was just the price of being her mom.  ;p     What a place of FOG I lived in for so so so very long. (fear, obligation and guilt)

Seems to me all except the last one, and the physical abuse one, apply whether the BPDkid lives with you or thousands of miles away. THis is especially true if they are connected to the entire world via social media - ie. facebook. Dh and I had lived for many years having given up each and everyone of these rights - and believed at the time that this was what we had to do as parents. Looking back there were many opportunities to hear about the messages of empowerment these rights list - from family, friends and lots of professionals. We were just deaf, blind, enmeshed, guilt ridden. We were a mess. And the truth today is I can see how much we 'disabled' our DD by interfering in her living in the pain of her life - even as a child - when we continually resuced her from the consequences to find that moment of peace. YIKES

But no do-overs with DD24. So we are gradually moving forward in our plan taking back our lives - one step at a time, one day at a time. And I am seeing that DD is surviving, she is not alone even living on the streets. Her choices would not be mine, yet I am beginning to accept that my plan for her life, well it is mine not hers. When she is ready to live in a different way she will find the guidance that is all around her every day to make different choices. It does not have to come from us, the mom and dad.

And we are getting a 'do-over' by raising our gd5 in a different way than we did with DD. Of course, she is a totally different kid, but the tools and skills I am learning to cope better with DD are also working to help me cope with guiding gd.

I look forward to hearing others replies.

qcr


I think I will print this out and tape it my refrigerator (since DD24 can't come to our house anymore).
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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2011, 04:14:12 PM »

So easy to read, so hard to do... .
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« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2013, 05:10:53 AM »

Great article and I have finally started to implement them in my life. Thank you
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« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2013, 07:07:12 AM »

I love this bill of rights.  It's so important to remember we are people too and have the right to live our lives to the full extent possible.  The hard part is figuring out what we want and going in that direction.

-crazed
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« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2018, 08:21:46 AM »

I completely agree.  My husband, on the other hand, does not.  What I have found is that bending these rules in hopes that over time your child will be "cured" really does not work.  They are who they are.  Love them by all means, but if you compromise your boundaries, it does help them and in fact damages the relationship even more.
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« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2019, 01:32:48 PM »

With an adult child at home and not working since 2017 No3 is right on my radar, the right not to go broke. She's had a small disability allowance since 2017 as she lives at home that has paid for her personal essentials, she's also contributed what she can to food each week.

Her disability allowance is under annual review. She's no longer critically ill as she was 2015-17. She's hoping for it to be renewed.

WDx
« Last Edit: March 11, 2019, 04:16:13 AM by wendydarling » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2019, 01:26:51 AM »

Hi

I wish I’d had read this 4 years ago.  We’ve come a long way and I still need reminding.

I was in so most pain I decided to drastically change my life. Yes, son was obviously a major problem but there were other problems like pressures of a struggling business and I didn’t enjoy the work anyway. My life was in a mess - so I stepped out of it and went back to college. I chose to look outwards and not inwards.

Of course, it was a delicious distraction at first. I got to also work on the skills I needed, my confidence grew and got a better perspective.

That’s the word - PERSPECTIVE.

LP
« Last Edit: March 11, 2019, 01:34:09 AM by Lollypop » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2019, 04:41:25 AM »

I'm 100% on board with that these are our rights, my 16 year-old mentally ill daughter, not so much.  What frustrates me most is despite her almost constant protestations, we do talk to her and treat her with the respect that any human is due and only ask that she treat us in kind.  Last night, we watched the Hate U Give and our daughter is convinced that I'm racist.  I'm not sure what my motivation was to adopt two children of color.  I will say nothing pertaining to race going forward, but once she makes up her mind on something it never goes away.  I realize that its pointless to argue, not that I think that I know what it's like to be a woman of color in America as she is.     
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« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2019, 10:39:12 AM »

What a great thread! Thanks for posting this list.
I am currently working on #9 and #10. I need to take care of myself because I am now mentally Ill. I have missed work because of my depression a lot this year. I couldn’t get myself to work today. I do have a therapist. I just am addicted to worrying about my DD to the point where it’s hard to be present.
Here’s what I can do for #9:
Use my meditation app for 5-10 minutes daily
Get to my therapist on a regular basis
Incorporate yoga to change brain chemistry
Get out of the house and stop isolating at least once a week.

I am in the middle of setting house rules which are hard for her to follow.

DD has done very little since graduating highschool nearly 3 years ago. She worked for 3 months and took one college course but hasn’t done a thing since. She sits in her room all day, which is disgustingly filthy, stays on her phone and manages to get  cigarettes and weed from friends and smokes it on the roof of our home.

We’ve said no smoking in our home- so she took it to the roof.
I’m taking this opportunity to brainstorm some simple rules.
No cigarette butts thrown off the roof.
No friends over till she contributes to our home by performing some chores each day.
Get to therapy each week.
BF must leave by 10:00 p.m.
Work on applying to jobs.

Just a brainstorm.
Thanks for posting this list.


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« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2019, 05:46:24 AM »

I would really second the need for privacy. This is a big issue in my current situation. My daughter has a tendency to use her phone to video people without them knowing, let alone give consent. This has its good side: we have video evidence of her ex admitting he's hit her on several occasions obtained this way.

However I know she has videoed my son's girlfriend and sent that to her ex. In this case, a conversation about healthy eating so no big deal, except for the invasion of privacy.

I know she has taken screenshots of stuff on my phone and sent to him. I know she is sill in communication with him and the two bad mouth me and my attempts to help her.

Right now my daughter is in the aftermath of release from a psychiatric ward and not yet getting treatment except for fluoxetine. Counselling yet to start. So while I'd like to put my foot down about my right to privacy, I'm not sure she's in the right place to hear it.
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