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Author Topic: First post, feeling inadequate as a parent of an adult BPD Daughter  (Read 388 times)
DadFromFlorida

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
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« on: August 02, 2019, 09:44:44 PM »

This is my first post here.  My wife and I have always struggled with our daughter, but it wasn't until a year ago that we found out our daughter was most likely suffering from BPD.  We found this out by seeing a therapist ourselves and she asked those probing questions to help us understand why we had such difficulties with our daughter since she was an infant.  She is now 31 and has a son of her own.  We never understood how she could experience such a different reality than everyone else around her and even have different memories of experiences.  There will be no surprises to anyone here.  She has never had a job, didn't graduate high school, even though she is very bright.  She took a 2-week food prep course when she was married and lived in the UK and calls herself a chef.  Partying on the weekends is the most important thing in her life and she lives with us, so we watch her son when she does this.  This, of course, leads to whirlwind and risky relationships with multiple partners (she has recently had an abortion, as well).  As expected, every guy is the greatest thing ever until they break up and then he is a monster that just wanted to break her heart and just needs to grow up.  It is an endless cycle.  We worry and advocate for her son.  She loves him, but when she wants to date, she seems to ignore him and he is special needs.  For now, they live with us.  I say, for now.  Her son is eligible for SSI and should be receiving that soon.  We are hoping for that to help them get into a place of their own.  We really need that to happen for our sanity (My wife and I). 

I feel inadequate because I wanted to help her be an independent woman, but I did not realize that she may not have been equipped to do so, mentally.  We tried to get her therapy in Middle School, just thinking she was going through normal teenage issues, but she refused.  Her grandmother talked her out of it, using religion.  Yes, I am bitter about that, because it may have identified the problem long ago.  My pushing her to succeed at school probably made it worse.  After she dropped out of high school (after 2 years of playing video games), I got her an intern job at Disney including an apartment with roommates.  She was convinced that we abandoned her.  But we had to do something.  She was tearing my wife and me apart.  She met a guy playing video games online.  She quit the job within a week and went to the UK where she was married for 10 years.  That is a long time, but she finally burnt every bridge she had there and asked to come home (7 months pregnant).  We took her in and it has nearly been as hard as when she was a teenager.  She is pretty much a 31-year-old, 13-year-old.  That was 2 years ago.  She nearly lost her son at birth due to a heart condition.  she moved out for a few months to live with the best/worst guy ever as per usual.  Obviously, this if a 50,000 foot view of the situation.  The details of the daily struggles are too much for one post.  She is getting some in-home therapy, weekly, from Medicaid, I believe is the source.  My wife and I were getting therapy every other week, but it was just getting too expensive.  But, it has helped me with the panic attacks that were absent for 10 years and came back when she returned.
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We can get through this!!!!

Florida Dad
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
Swimmy55
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Relationship status: Estranged
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« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2019, 10:20:59 AM »

Hi Dad
We can certainly relate here.  In addition to therapy, some of us go to 12 step support groups like Alanon or Coda ( Do dependent's anonymous).  In those rooms one can learn detachment from the ill BPD child.  It appears your daughter is not getting help for herself at this time, but you and your wife need self care at this time. Does your therapist have any ideas on what boundaries you can have in place while she is at your home?


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Rosheger
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« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2019, 05:44:26 PM »

Hi Dad,
  I read your post and feel your pain.  Our stories are very similar.  My daughter is now 37 but has been difficult from birth.  Only in recent months have I realized she suffers from BPD.  I just want you to know you and are wife are not alone.  I found this site which has been enormously helpful knowing we are not alone.  Glad you are here.  It feels good to get it out, doesn't it?  I am getting a lot from the book "Loving Someone with BPD". 
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PeaceMom
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« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2019, 07:47:38 PM »

I second the recommendation of “Loving Someone w/BPD”. I’m almost finished with it and will start right over on page 1, but this time with a pile of blank notecards.  She gives excellent examples of what drives their behavior, how we as parents are very likely feeling, and terrific scripts for each scenario.

I’ve come away from the book asking myself to determine if my own guilt is “justified” or “unjustified” and then what to do next to move thru it. Guilt and fear really take us out of Wisemind so we can’t determine the appropriate response to their issue or challenge.
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livednlearned
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Divorced January 2012
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« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2019, 12:30:34 PM »

I also recommend When Your Daughter Has BPD by Lobel.

Lobel's book focuses on the family structure in a way I found helpful. You mention the strain on your marriage, which is very typical when you have a child engaging in "splitting" behavior as part of her condition.

Splitting manifests in the family as a competitive dynamic where one person's intense needs becomes the focus (competitive), instead of looking at what is best for all members (cooperative).

It's not magic wand but it's an excellent way to reframe things when I feel dragged into a battle over her needs and mine. I try to look at the needs of all members in the family, like we're an organism and work from there.
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DadFromFlorida

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« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2019, 10:17:56 PM »

I also recommend When Your Daughter Has BPD by Lobel.

Lobel's book focuses on the family structure in a way I found helpful. You mention the strain on your marriage, which is very typical when you have a child engaging in "splitting" behavior as part of her condition.

Splitting manifests in the family as a competitive dynamic where one person's intense needs becomes the focus (competitive), instead of looking at what is best for all members (cooperative).

It's not magic wand but it's an excellent way to reframe things when I feel dragged into a battle over her needs and mine. I try to look at the needs of all members in the family, like we're an organism and work from there.

Thanks, will check that this book.
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Florida Dad
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