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Author Topic: Healthy expectations of adult children with BPD  (Read 433 times)
Newlease
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« on: July 08, 2019, 06:03:58 PM »

Howdy, new here! So my daughter is almost 22 BPD and bi-polar and has yet to successfully keep a job for any length of time. She comes from a ndad that she struggles with cutting ties to despite the toxicity and repeated disappointments. She knows she can count on me but she also knows I have set boundaries and refuse to continue to enable her behavior. In her mind this translates to unrealistic expectations of her and nothing she does ever being good enough for me. In my mind I expect her to maintain a minimum standard of living for an adult; keep a job, be responsible for yourself, take care of your business. Talking about doing those things but never actually accomplishing them is where she falters and blames everyone but herself, and then me for unrealistic expectations.

Now I know how this works, I understand what she’s doing but as the mother of a child with these mental illnesses,  what can I realistically expect from her in terms of being a functional adult in society? I don’t feel like my expectations are too high but I’d like to get some other perspectives. TIA
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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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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2019, 07:42:50 PM »

Welcome Newlease,
I’m fairly new also with a DD19 ubpd who
lives at home. I’ve been reading and occasionally commenting here for about 6 weeks. We’ve read about those with Ivy League and post graduate degrees- doctors, lawyers...
Some of these pwBPD appear to maintain successful jobs and are highly functioning. Then we read about those who function at a much lower level. I would say there is a spectrum w/BPD. What I find most fascinating is that the behavior and emotional dysregulation acting out can be so very similar across the board.
These days we are trying to figure out what DD can do -can she keep a job (she’s been fired from 6 jobs)? Can she learn to live independently (she functions fairly independently here at home)? Can she manage money (she seems to overspend, impulsively)? Can she schedule doctor visits, refill RX, take her meds? I’d love to give her more guidance, but she sees advice as criticism so is not receptive.
Do you feel like your DD could live on her own? We’ve considered supportive/transitional housing, but can’t find that unless one has an ID (intellectual disability).
Others will be along here to share their experiences.
Your question is my question, too!
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Lollypop
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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2019, 03:02:10 AM »

Hi newlease

Welcome!  You ask a great question.

Excerpt
what can I realistically expect from her in terms of being a functional adult in society?

Both you and your daughter are unique and it’s impossible to give you an answer.

My son is currently functioning (just), he’s moved into his own place for the first time and is working full time. It’s taken 4 years for him to feel stable enough and even then it was not through his own choice (we asked him to leave when we KNEW the time was right, then his landlady sold her house). He was with us 2 years, then a half way situation for nearly 2. He resists most change.

At 24 nonfunctioning and depressed to now 28 - he’s a lot happier.

He has tough periods when he’s destabilised. I empathise. His two bosses are both incredibly patient. My son has learnt better interaction skills by me demonstrating them in our relationship.

Is his place clean? No.
Does he eat well? No.
Has be bought things for his home, like a fridge? No!.
Is his paperwork in order? No, not yet. I will support him on this.

This is his life, he’s found a way to live - we provided the initial finance to get him training and equipment. It’s a highly skilled vocational job so he can support himself. I have no expectations. I have gently “nudged” and importantly stopped enabling. I am non-judgmental and this whole situation works because we have a healthier relationship. He needed us to be different parents.

We all learn by mistakes.

Excerpt
I don’t feel like my expectations are too high

I tried to dictate and it didn’t work. I caused a lot of stress to my son through having expectations. I learnt that for him to behave like an adult then he had to be treated like one - but oh so gently. The lack of self confidence, fear of failure and real feelings of low self worth are hard to overcome.

We got into a cycle of me talking “at” him, forcing the issue, he’d try,, he’d fail thus reinforcing the feeling of worthlessness. We were in despair and our expectations lowered, then lowered until we felt hopeless.

When something isn’t working then a change of approach is needed.

The situation seems to be: you want her to......  she says you ask too much of her.  I totally get it.

What are your expectations? Can you be specific?

Your daughter is a young adult and I’m presuming still lives with you?  If she isn’t working how does she fund her lifestyle?

LP
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2019, 06:43:09 AM »

LP-I don’t want to hijack this thread, but I’m in the same boat. It This seems to be an area that you know well and have put a lot of time and energy into. How do I continue this convo w/you in a separate thread so I don’t mix my issues in here?
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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2019, 08:32:12 AM »

What a great thread and great question. I too feel that right now and wonder. Thank you everyone for chiming in and I'll be very interested to read and participate in this thread.

Thank you Lollypop for sharing. It gives me hope as I work on changing my approach that I can help to move my son through a very similar experience.
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2019, 09:32:36 AM »

I agree that it's probably a case of individual skills. I suppose some will function at home, some at work, some neither, some both.  My daughter very successfully runs her own business, but it is a home based business so she basically answers to no one on a daily basis. I have seen her conduct business many times when I can identify her BPD behaviors but luckily it doesn't seem to have much affect on her ability to maintain control of her work. And I will mention that it is a type of business where she has to regularly interact with the public.

That being said, when conflict does arise, as it does in any business, her heightened emotions certainly cause her reactions that most wouldn't have to deal with.

Expectation is an interesting word. It comes up often in my conversations with my DD...but mostly about her expectations of me, not the other way around. Thinking about it now, I don't really know what I should expect of her either.
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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2019, 10:11:39 AM »

Welcome NewLease

I know you will find lots of support and encouragement here.

As Lollipop says, its highly individual. I used to pressurise my BPD daughter growing up to:
Tidy your room
Shower
Empty your bin
Bring your washing to the machine
Eat properly
Budget her small income from part time work
Be polite to your boss...and and and and and.

On and on. And then she hit college and I carried on...I made her the lunches she wouldn't, nagged, worried, begged, pleaded with her to do the things I had taught her and her 3 sibling their whole lives - and they could...and they were holding down careers, studies and more.

Then we got her BPD diagnoses and everything fell into place.

I have just stopped. If she asks me for help, I give it. If its advice she wants I give it.

She has decided that my husband and I are the ones who have hurt her the most and stopped her living her life the way she wants, so is really forcing herself to stay in her job as we finance NOTHING of hers. She wants to move out to get away from us and this has been a huge catalyst for her to stick with a job she doesn't like, find her own house share, budget her money for petrol etc.

I am quite scared with her move happening at the beginning of August as I will have no check at all about where she's actually at, whether she's taking her meds along with weed and alcohol, bring strange men home and more worries....but we have firmly given back her life to her.

So her washing basket piles up and she wears days old clothes. Her hygiene is less than desirable as she's always running late for work. She spent her first pay check on a tattoo and piercing which meant she will be sleeping on the floor in her new house etc....but she can't blame me any longer. She made those choices and she knows it.

I realise this is quite a diatribe, sorry for that, but I hope you can glean some hints from it.
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« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2019, 02:51:28 AM »

Hi


Peacemom
 
Excerpt
How do I continue this convo w/you in a separate thread so I don’t mix my issues in here?

I guess if they’re not relevant to this thread then start a new one. Sometimes there seems so much wrong it’s hard to categorise the problems. Fire away!

MomSA
Excerpt
She has decided that my husband and I are the ones who have hurt her the most and stopped her living her life the way she wants

My son was so resentful of us. By putting our relationship as my number one priority we started to connect and understand each other’s point of view better. He has ended up accepting we did our best, he forgives us. The idea that I was blamed stung at first. Now I’ve settled into a more diplomatic mode. We all made mistakes, let’s not dwell.

Excerpt
I am quite scared with her move happening at the beginning of August as I will have no check at all about where she's actually at, whether she's taking her meds along with weed and alcohol, bring strange men home and more worries....but we have firmly given back her life to her.

I was too. Son moved into his own place 6 weeks ago. He instantly went on tinder, started socialising and burning himself out juggling multiple WhatsApp chats and dates. I like your phrase “given back her life”. How he lives his life is none of my business. My worries relate to his ability to cope with his bills in the long term.

Tamismom
Excerpt
Expectation is an interesting word. It comes up often in my conversations with my DD...but mostly about her expectations of me, not the other way around. Thinking about it now, I don't really know what I should expect of her either.

Oh I know! I used to say “you just want me to put up and shut up!” His expectation of me felt unacceptable as I watched him repeatedly make poor decisions. Of course I just couldn’t help myself in reminding him of it too, I did try to do it the “right way”. However, at the root was me being judgmental and because my son has a supersonic radar he could see right through me!  

I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again.

I focused  on my core relationship as my number one priority. It helped me not sweat the small stuff. I got light as a fairy, never talked about problems (meaning his problems), I stopped enabling but lavished warmth and empathy. Son warmed up. I worked hard on better interaction skills and mostly listened. I posted here a lot asking for advice, sometimes relaying whole conversations so I could learn and improve.

My son’s expectation of me is to love and understand him.
And mine is the same.

All the other stuff is insignificant to this.

A healthy adult relationship brings stability and a secure feeling that they aren’t on their own. They trust you to not react or get involved.

It’s great that your daughter has an income and managing her money. I get that she finds it stressful. By demonstrating SET and DEARMan to my son, sharing how I deal with my own problems he learns, he asks for help.

I hope I’m not coming over all preachy and holier than though. It’s not my intention at all. We have problems, Son will always struggle until he deals with his addictions. Again, his problem, not mine. I have my own life to live, while he is responsible for his.

Can you give more information on what behaviours you struggle with?

LP
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« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2019, 06:49:44 AM »

I don't want to highjack Newlease's thread, but just offered my own observations on expectations. Newlease wonders how day to day functionality can be expected and in my case, outward functioning isn't a problem...personal interaction and truth telling is. Expectations of being treated respectfully and with love seem out of reach for me sometimes. And I more and more am learning not to expect the truth in a lot of situations. It seems there is indeed a "spectrum" of sorts here, and multiple issues with expectation.
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« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2019, 07:09:34 AM »

LP-
You give really thoughtful examples here and have a way with words. Thanks so very much.

I’m ashamed to say that my 3 other kids have suffered  greatly due to sister’s BPD. It turned me in to a mom I never planned to be-impatient, reactive, unsympathetic. I gave up a career when we adopted DD and was home raising them this entire time. My goal simply became to get them raised and out of house bc the pain of sitting with each of them in their suffering became more than I could deal with.

My kids are all 2 yrs apart and when our adopted youngest started showing this explosive, raging, needy 24/7 personality at a very young age everyone else’s issues got put on back burner and still are. I became quite intolerant of typical teenage infractions and was not able to validate or even see the underlying emotional pain in my 3 older boys.

My DS26 dBP2 was just barely able to obtain an engineering degree in college. His Jr yr we got a call that he’d be arrested for selling marijuana and we basically cut him off and shamed and guilted him as he took a semester off school secretly and went to a jail for 3 mos. He had never had a problem with law or drugs in his life and we reacted terribly. We wrote him letters but treated the whole incident like he had put a cloud of shame on our family. Looking back we see this was part of a manic bipolar cycle. Sorry for the long background!

As of today, he’s unmedicated living a tiny sad life upstairs in my house. I only buy him cigs after he mows our yard and I pay his cell phone. He has zero self esteem and his buds find his intense highs and lows off putting so they’ve dropped him.

He was living with buds but they were partying and he tends to self medicate with alcohol which turns out bad-they kicked him out. He had a normal job for 1 contract yr, then became a pizza delivery guy then worked in a restaurant and was fired. He doesn’t have BPD but his struggles are very similar to other’s kids on this site. My confusion in parenting him is on paper it appears he’s highly functioning, in reality, he’s unable to do much at all.

Lolly, I’m trying to repair our core relationship and trying to get a DO OVER for all the years I was invalidating and didn’t understand how deeply sensitive he was.  It’s like I have single handed lay handicapped my bright eldest son bc i was spread too thin and overwhelmed w/DD UBPD . I appreciate any thoughts or suggestions.
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« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2019, 07:15:26 AM »

OMG, so familiar. It's a strange situation but my DD is sort of informally adopted in to our family...as a young adult. My youngest son has suffered greatly because of the intense attention DD requires. He has some pretty significant issues himself and I have shelved him a lot of the time trying to deal with his sister. It's funny, he is the only person who can take some of my time that doesn't put her in to a rage, but I'm so afraid of her reactions that he doesn't get much. I've recently tried very hard to pay more attention to him, but she's been in my house all summer and is very demanding of my time.
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« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2019, 07:49:56 AM »


Lolly, I’m trying to repair our core relationship and trying to get a DO OVER for all the years I was invalidating and didn’t understand how deeply sensitive he was.  It’s like I have single handed lay handicapped my bright eldest son bc i was spread too thin and overwhelmed w/DD UBPD . I appreciate any thoughts or suggestions.


PeaceMom, I know you wrote this to LP, but just want to say I so get what you are saying. A lot of what my kids did were just normal teen issues but we completely over reacted and caused major damage in 2 of them. Our BPD daughter still has to learn to trust us again with her life, choices and heart at the same time as gaining emotional regulation and dealing with her addictions.

I have had to stop beating myself up...for sending her to rehab (mostly husbands idea) which added to her trauma, for loosing it about her choices, for making small stuff more important that relationship...I have had to let that all go so that I can see and understand clearly what is going on in her life and how I can best support her - dialectally - not too hard and not too soft, just right

When I go back to that self blaming space, I become anxious, weepy and quite short with my husband. It is not good for anyone. So forgiving myself was a big part of this journey...and acknowledging we did the best that we could at the time with the information we had...

Now, she has her life, but also acceptance of her free choice. I will say, I don't agree with her choice, but she has the right to make it...that kind of thing.
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« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2019, 08:33:58 AM »

I really appreciate the warmth and compassion you all are showing me. I know better than to get bogged down in guilt, but the reality of a mom’s influence on their kid’s MH is staggering. I’ve had righteous indignation in not wanting to admit how my actions/inactions with not validating or actually invalidating their high sensitivities has hurt them to their core-my 3 bright beautiful boys have been scarred by our adoption of sister. There, I said it, it’s out in the world.... now, I’ll start the repair work.  Relationship, acceptance, expectations for MYSELF only, Boundaries mainly about how I will share money (or not) and showing myself to be the peaceful, joyful person I truly am.
Any other thoughts on pushing my eldest out of nest is much appreciated. Whew, I feel better being transparent.
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« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2019, 09:20:35 AM »

Any other thoughts on pushing my eldest out of nest is much appreciated. Whew, I feel better being transparent.

Don't rush it.

Those money boundaries are important I think as they will eventually figure out on their own they need a "life worth living" and part of that is being self financing. Self financing means a job. A job means functioning with time and other people. Other people means more time for introspection, healthy interaction skills. This all means growth.

Give him time to see that peaceful joyful woman you truly are, peace and joy are contagious....I have learnt and often have to remind myself that we didn't get into this situation overnight, so we won't rectify it overnight either :/
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« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2019, 02:41:12 PM »

MomSA,
Good point and I’m trying to be very patient with him. He’s like a walking talking bruise. He’s injured and hurt and being out in the work force as an engineer requires focus and resiliency.... not sure that will be his path. He’s just too damaged. I like your idea of taking baby steps and not pushing. We never expected to be in this situation of mothering and providing this safety net for our “healthy” adult children. That’s been my reluctancy to bring up DD’s siblings. I’ve read that when any one in the family the suffers, the entire family suffers (even if older kids are grown and out of home). MomSA, you’ve had quite a change in your thoughts in the short time your been on this site. It’s impressive. Is your DD responding fairly well (or is she less reactionary) now that you’ve cut the cord?
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« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2019, 02:47:52 PM »

Tamismom,
it sounds like we have similar situations w/adoptees who struggle. How old is your youngest son? It sounds like he’s been in the thick of it with your daughter?  Psychologists focus on the healthy siblings a lot in their writings-how they get overlooked, left behind, etc. Typically they are the squeaky wheel do they get no grease. My 3rd son is like that. He internalizes his pain and boy has he seen a lot with his DS raging, crazy behavior, etc.  I suppose my whole family needs both group and individual therapy. That time time, emotional
Investment and money...
What do you do to take care of yourself?
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« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2019, 02:49:59 PM »

Sorry typo-they are NOT squeaky wheels so get NO grease from parents.
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Lollypop
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« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2019, 02:24:12 AM »

Excerpt
I’m trying to repair our core relationship and trying to get a DO OVER for all the years I was invalidating and didn’t understand how deeply sensitive he was.  It’s like I have single handed lay handicapped my bright eldest son bc i was spread too thin and overwhelmed w/DD UBPD . I appreciate any thoughts or suggestions.

Hi there to anybody reading and Peacemom and MomSA

I asked my niece a few years ago “hey, when did you start getting your shxx together?” She replied, “when I got to 30. (Referring to my son)  He’ll get there too, he’ll be OK you’ll see.”

Somehow that sticks in my mind. She did bad things in her teens and 20s.

I know who caused her dysregulation. I’ve not voiced this to her but we both know. It’s her mother, my sister. I also know what she did to deeply disturb my niece. Her Mum has a clear favourite in her eldest daughter, a deep emotional connection and of course, the eldest daughter is tangled up in exhaustive task of meeting my sisters emotional neediness. This situation continues to this day.

I’ve watched my niece work things out herself. At 38 she keeps an emotional distance from her Mum, is happily married and lives her life quietly without exposing herself too much to her mums interference and judgment. My sister feels the detachment and continues to judge her.

I live many miles away and have had my own problems as you know. I watch and learn. I certainly don’t want my son to detach himself so he feels protected. I’ve two sons, Son28 and goldenchild son18. Son28 feels younger son is the favourite. Son18 feels eldest is the favourite. I know I’ve made a lot of mistakes.

This is what I know.

For healing, we need community and family.

What I think is that we can not only repair our relationships (particularly with our family because family is until we die stuff) but that the relationship can be on an ever deeper and more respectful level because of just how far that relationship has been stretched. My near marriage breakdown over 25 years ago proves that to me. We got through it, we’re stronger because of it.

I didn’t know how to repair my relationship with my son. I did it by using my gut. I reflect back now for you. I hope you get something from it.

The Kitchen

Light as a fairy.
No talk of his problems.
Created a safe chatty space in the kitchen/diner.
Whenever Son28 came in I’d make a coffee or start chopping something I’d chat, slow time down to increase the amount of time he chose to spend with me.
Family meals at the table sometimes.

Skills

I learnt SET and practised.
I posted often and sometimes relayed full conversations.
I learnt DEARman when I started to initiate small challenges but only after we had a long period of stability.

House rule

No smoking in the house.

Strategy

Get my son stable. It took awhile to understand what his “normal” state was as he self medicates.

Free bed and board. No expectations.

I was open, authentic and truthful with all my family.

I kept each in the loop explaining the others view point to improve understanding and empathy.

I got a three point strategy and it helped me not sweat the small stuff: 1. Improve my core relationship - above everything else ALWAYS. 2. Improve his financial mgt skills 3. Get him to live independently at some point

I booked a big family holiday about 18 months in. I held my breath and hoped we’d all cope. We had a few testing times but we road them.. A road trip carefully planned. We concreted our family by making new memories. Whatever had been in the past, we were now a different family.

Stop enabling

No money.
Not even in return for jobs (well, for the first 6 months)
Let him work out his own problems.

Consequences:

I changed myself. Less judgmental. More loving and honest. More confidence in my decisions.

Within the first month, son found himself a days casual work and I drove him there and back. Our car journeys became our second safe place for interaction.

I worked on my relationship with younger son. I encouraged my two sons to spend time together (Id kept them apart fearful of bad influences). I taught my younger son how to deal with his older brother - not to be manipulated. Son18 is brilliant at setting boundaries, less at empathy.

My marriage has suffered in the last 4 years. We work through it. I still don’t take care of myself - work in progress.

This is me, not you. Our situations are different. Son was 24 and non-functioning, depressed and could barely lift his head. I know he needed to feel loved and understood. As we all do. It’s taken a LOT of small steps and we’re nearly 5 years forwards and in a very different place.

Sorry this was long. Anything in here that strikes you as useful or maybe any questions?

LP



« Last Edit: July 11, 2019, 02:39:33 AM by Lollypop » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2019, 06:57:56 AM »

Lp-
Terrific examples of what it really looked like from the inside. You created your very own Do Over. It really comes down to my parental expectations that are just not achievable at this time.

My DS went all thru school with a girl who was blind. We watched every year as her parents poured love and support into her. Gosh she had rough times. I remember how angry she was and mean to the other kids. Well, by the time HS hit, she had a regular friend group and was making A’s in every class. After graduation she got a service dog, went to college in another city at 18 alone, excelled, then law school, excelled-now at 26 is just doing so well.  I mention this bc I see there were no shortcuts for her. It was like building a tower row by row, brick by brick.

I will go back to square one to rebuild and assure myself confidently that this is my decision and it’s the right one.

Your niece’s comment about age 30 rings true. Times have changed and “adulting” is coming much later for most. I need to wrap my head around that. Maybe there is a way to allow for later “adulting” without enabling. I need to keep the emotional support and love readily available, but have boundaries for financial help bc that’s where I get very resentful.

I’m thankful for your wise insight here!
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« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2019, 07:04:59 AM »

Hey peacemom

Lovely example you’ve given here.

Building blocks is exactly right.

Stable solid block of a healthy relationship under everybody’s feet.

Avoidance of the Karpman triangle. Step out of the dramas.

Realistic flexible limits and firm boundaries. Pick your battles - focus on a goal/s whatever they may be.

Patience.... listening.....wisdom.....

It’s possible. I forgot to say!  You have your own life too!!

Good luck

LP
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     The most difficult thing in the world is to know how to do a thing & to watch someone else doing it wrong, without comment. ~ T.H. White
MomSA
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
What is your relationship status with them: Married 28yrs
Posts: 155



« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2019, 07:32:01 AM »

MomSA,
MomSA, you’ve had quite a change in your thoughts in the short time your been on this site. It’s impressive. Is your DD responding fairly well (or is she less reactionary) now that you’ve cut the cord?

We are finding that as we are no longer calling the shots she is taking more responsibility for her life. I have met with a few counsellors since February and read loads and watched loads and then found this site so I think its been a longer journey to what you may see here.

But I eventually had to just stop trying my way and listen to the "experts" [board members/books/videos] and let go...this came to a head about 2 weeks ago and I just surrendered. I felt it click inside me.

At the same time I made a decision to care for myself. Like others here, I have severe anxiety and stress due to our walk with her BPD, my son and husbands ASD and the rest of life. I realised that the stress would kill me and I want to "have a life worth living" and see her come into her Wise Mind, watch my children marry and have children etc....so it was really me holding onto all that stuff or me getting back my life, marriage and peace.

And yes, to the other part of your question, she is much more regulated. I think its a combination of DBT. meds, us taking our hands off, her job, the boyfriend from last year she went back to was giving packing orders etc etc etc...She still plans to move out in August as she says she needs time away from us, and this is fine if it needs to be part of her healing journey.
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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
MomSA
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What is your relationship status with them: Married 28yrs
Posts: 155



« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2019, 07:36:49 AM »

Lollipop,

Thats a very helpful read, thank you.

So many of the things I can relate to.

Most of all is taking a non judgmental stance in the last few weeks. And slowing all our interactions down...very helpful.

My marriage has taken major strain too...I think I am going to start a thread about that...instead of hijacking it here.
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PeaceMom
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« Reply #22 on: July 11, 2019, 08:58:48 AM »

MomSA-
Have you poked around on the other discussion website? I’ve hopped over and it’s quite fascinating to read a bit about relationships/marriage to pwBPD. I know at times, I’ve felt my DH has his own emotional dysregulation issues. These are more likely C-ptsd driven, but it can look similar to my DDs.

The techniques we are learning here are universal and although not commonly practiced out in the real world, sure can be effective with spouses. They are as bruised and beaten up as our struggling kids.

Supposedly millennials need to be “validated” 7 times a day to be happy in their jobs. When I worked I my 20s I had to await my annual performance review to get validation! haha.
We are living in a world desperate for validation and our kids are at the very front of the line-the neediest.
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PeacefulMom

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« Reply #23 on: July 18, 2019, 03:39:15 PM »

LP and others,
I don’t visit the message boards very often – and even when I do, I rarely post anything.  My situation is becoming more dire with my DS36, now again living with me.  I have so many thoughts and experiences similar to yours and others.
 
Your posts meant so much to me, as some of what you said resonated.  Having been through years of trying and realizing that what you did wasn’t working, the fact that you finally went with your gut really touched me.  (Over past years, the few people I have talked with about my situation would just say things like “throw him out!”  I knew he wouldn’t be able to survive this, as he is barely functioning.  He was in school, but hasn’t held down a job for years.  Coming to these boards has helped me realize I’m not crazy in my enduring attempts to help him when others just say I’m enabling.  The discussion around expectations and reading about the spectrum of functionality also helped me see that I need to shift my perspective, as I have long assumed that with the right approach and help he can get his act together.)

Although at his core he is loving, my son has a violent temper, has been abusive while living with me for many years, and has more than once damaged entire walls and broken doors when angry – also coming at me violently a number of times.  I made him leave last fall after a particularly violent episode and he stayed with his Dad nearby (whom he saw abuse me when he was a child).  He is now living with me again on trial (while my ex has company).  Already he is reverting to hiding in his room, escaping to video games (I wonder how many BPDs have internet addictions?), and being very oppositional and angry when I ask anything where he thinks I’m telling him how to live his life.  He has also now refused to go to a newly found therapist, although he takes his meds.

After reading your post, and those of others on this thread, I was inspired to write a letter telling my son how much he means to me, how I want him to feel accepted and appreciated for the person he is (as I know how depressed he is and how much guilt he feels over our relationship).  I let him know how I want to do a better job in supporting and validating him, in listening, and in not pushing him to do things around my expectations.  I so wish that things will improve and turn around, as they did for you, when he feels mostly love and not always an undercurrent of encouragement and prodding in the hope he will begin to move forward.  I don’t want to feel I am always judging, and I need to stop enabling him financially while still supporting him living here as long as I can.  (The "room and board" with no expectations will be hard!)  I just don’t want to give up.

Thanks to you all! 
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Bluemoon23
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« Reply #24 on: July 18, 2019, 03:53:18 PM »

I am here too trying my best. To be supportive and not enabling. My son has disability money now for 2 years and a new therapist and hoping with all of that they can move out and find their own way doing things their own way. Sigh...so many of us have similar stories and yet each unique.

Stay strong and let's help each other navigate this in a way that's better for our kids and for us.
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