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Skills we were never taught
98
A 3 Minute Lesson
on Ending Conflict
Communication Skills-
Don't Be Invalidating
Listen with Empathy -
A Powerful Life Skill
Setting Boundaries
and Setting Limits
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Author Topic: Completely helpless feeling  (Read 549 times)
JNana

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Posts: 7


« on: July 21, 2019, 01:39:08 PM »

My 33-yr old daughter has Untreated undiagnosed BPD and we are completely at a loss to know what to do now that she has made an arbitrary decision to cut us off from her and our grandchildren.  I cannot stop blaming myself for having not walked on eggshells during our last conversation.  She is just an exhausting person to be around and constantly accuses us of things we have not done and the last time we talked I just had enough a and stood up to her.   She isn’t used to that and now it’s been 3 months and she ignored mother’s day, Father’s Day and now my birthday.  I sent the grandkids presents on their birthday with no acknowledgment.  It killed us to not get to speak to them on their birthdays and the thought we are being bad mouthed to the little ones just hurts to the core. 

Here is where I can use some help.  Her birthday is coming up in a few weeks and while we are hurt by her actions I feel we should acknowledge her birthday and remind her we love her.  If we retaliate it only feeds her paranoia that we favor her sister and don’t care about her.  I hate not knowing if we will ever see our grandkids again or if she will ever get help for her issues but I can’t keep crying and being sad.  The not knowing is killing me.

She is so delusional and frustrating and her husband is just completely lost and not forcing her to get help either.  I am concerned for her and the girls and I cannot stop thinking about them all.  How does a mother deal with a daughter who has cut her off for such an arbitrary stupid reason and there is just no sense to be made of it.

This illness SUCKS just as much for the family and it makes me feel helpless
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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
Only Human
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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Relationship status: divorced since the 90's
Posts: 1027


Love is still the answer


« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2019, 02:24:07 PM »

Hi JNana Welcome new member (click to insert in post)

I'm really sorry for what brings you here but I'm really glad you are. These relationships are so emotionally intense, we all need support navigating them. You are definitely not alone in feeling guilty, blaming ourselves. Please be kind and gentle with yourself - we are pushed beyond the normal limits of parenting. Even when our children are grown!

I'm a grandma also, my DD26 has my only grandchild, 4-years-old. I know the heartache that comes with being shut out of those little lives.

Quote from: JNana
How does a mother deal with a daughter who has cut her off for such an arbitrary stupid reason and there is just no sense to be made of it.

It's not easy, and change doesn't come overnight, but the best advice I can give you is to learn all you can about BPD, focus on yourself and your needs, physical and emotional. Are you seeing a therapist? Many of us find working with someone well-versed in BPD to be a big help.

I think your idea of reaching out for her birthday is a good one. Despite her exhausting behavior, at her core is someone who feels unworthy of being loved. How do you think you'd like to reach out? Let's talk about it here and you can benefit from the wisdom of others who have gone before you - what works and what doesn't

Hang in there, JNana you are not alone and we want to help.

~ OH
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"It's our god forsaken right to be loved, loved, loved, loved."
-Jason Mraz, I'm Yours
JNana

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Posts: 7


« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2019, 02:37:27 PM »

I envision sending a simple card letting her know we are thinking of her and also sending some photos of happy times with us.  Not going to mention the estrangement or hurt, just remind her she is loved.  Hopefully that’s the right approach!
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Only Human
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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Relationship status: divorced since the 90's
Posts: 1027


Love is still the answer


« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2019, 02:54:57 PM »

I like the idea of a card, telling her she is loved, keeping it simple and not bringing up the estrangement. I know, for my DD, if I sent pictures of happier times, she would perceive that as a manipulative act on my part so, if it were me, I'd stick with a card. Baby steps.

What do you think? You know your DD best.

~ OH
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"It's our god forsaken right to be loved, loved, loved, loved."
-Jason Mraz, I'm Yours
Only Human
*******
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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Relationship status: divorced since the 90's
Posts: 1027


Love is still the answer


« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2019, 02:56:42 PM »

I forgot to ask, have you reached out to her, other than sending gifts for birthdays? If so, does she respond?

~ OH
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"It's our god forsaken right to be loved, loved, loved, loved."
-Jason Mraz, I'm Yours
JNana

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Posts: 7


« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2019, 03:12:24 PM »

She blocked me on Instagram and on her phone. 
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Only Human
*******
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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Relationship status: divorced since the 90's
Posts: 1027


Love is still the answer


« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2019, 03:25:38 PM »

I'm so sorry, JNana. I have been in shoes similar to your own, it's heartbreaking. I know how difficult it is to find joy through such overwhelming sadness. How are you coping?

~ OH
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"It's our god forsaken right to be loved, loved, loved, loved."
-Jason Mraz, I'm Yours
JNana

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Posts: 7


« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2019, 03:48:03 PM »

I have been through a lot of different phases - sadness, anger, blame, you name it.  The thought of our grandkids being told we don’t love them anymore is overwhelming but something she is completely capable of.  My husband is sick of me thinking about it and being sad so it’s now affecting our peace between us as well.

I keep thinking if I would have just taken her crap and not stood up to her I would still be able to see my grand babies but I know that’s a slippery slope and she would have just found another way to bring the drama.  My husband and other daughter are a lot further along in their process and so I am getting no support from them and am suffering in silence.  I am the one that always tries to protect her and shield her behavior while they just don’t take her seriously anymore.  It seems like the old adage the ones you put your neck out for are the ones that break it. 

Right this very minute I am being yelled at for caring and that I should just STOP. 
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livednlearned
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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Divorced January 2012
Posts: 11775



« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2019, 04:39:19 PM »

My husband is sick of me thinking about it and being sad so it’s now affecting our peace between us as well.

This is really common, JNana. It's the effect of successful splitting behavior. A lot of families with BPD loved ones tend to have strained relationships, including the ones without BPD.

I try to remind myself that SD22 only understands a competitive family structure, whereas for me I'm going for a cooperative one. If non-BPD family members are fighting, it's a sign that we've tilted toward competition, where one family member is demanding (and usually getting) a lion's share of the resources. Even if those resources are emotional.

Has DD done this before? If so, does she reverse course?

Sending a card is a good idea. She may not do something right away but it will tell her that you are receptive to moving forward when she's ready. I would try Lollypop's approach and be light as a fairy. The lighter the better.
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Breathe.
JNana

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Posts: 7


« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2019, 04:57:36 PM »

She has pulled away before and in the past her husband has reached out and smoothed the way over to reconnect.  The last time was 7 years ago when her oldest was a baby and now that we have an 8 and 6 yr old involved and relationships formed with them it is 50 times more painful and that much harder to just walk away and let her come around.
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livednlearned
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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Divorced January 2012
Posts: 11775



« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2019, 05:24:38 PM »

I can't even imagine the grief, Jnana.

Do you have an outlet for your grief other than husband and other family members?

An important thing I learned early was to not expect my loved ones to be therapists to my pain. I wanted those relationships to be built on positive interactions and create a space in therapy to process the pain. Therapists have a way 

I did have to tell friends sometimes, "I'm too overwhelmed today and need a time out. I'll be ok, I have a team of advisors helping me. Just need to get myself back on track and I will join you soon."

Then I made sure to walk. That was the only way I could stop ruminating on things that I couldn't fix in the moment.

That, and coming here to learn how to interact with BPD loved ones. The more you learn now during the silent treatment, the more skills you'll have when the relationships are back in motion.
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Breathe.
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
JNana

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Posts: 7


« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2019, 07:30:05 PM »

She refuses to get help and wants to wallow in the idea that everyone else has a problem.  Her complete lack of empathy is so hurtful and I often have to remind myself it’s the disease and not her.  She knows I have severe PTSD after getting in the middle of 2 dog fights- yet she called out of the blue one evening to say her plans were rained out and could they come stay at our house for the night.  Mind you, her plans were 2 hours away from her house and I live 6 hours away.   I said we’d love to see them and then she said they had their three dogs with them and I said it wasn’t a good time to bring 3 dogs over because our own dog was dying at the time and that would have stressed us all out.  Why don’t you just go home that’s only 2 hours away?  this happened 2.5 years ago, we’ve had plenty of lovely visits since then and then 3 months ago she has revised history to say she was only an hour away from our house when we told her she couldn’t come.  There is just no logic to anything - she could care less about bringing her 3 dogs into our house or careless about my PTSD around multiple dogs that can fight again.

She has no empathy at all and is extremely narcissistic.  She has run everyone off and now us as well.


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JNana

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Posts: 7


« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2019, 08:22:35 PM »

I appreciate everyone’s support- it has helped me to get a grip.  Tonight I “unplugged the whack-a-mole machine” and will relax and educate myself on how to relate to someone I love that has this insidious disease.  Nana needs to set aside a special place in her heart for the little ones but for now I’ve put away all the photos since it’s still too raw and triggers daily sadness.  Enough!  They will come out again some day.

☮️
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Jeri1

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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Posts: 3


« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2019, 09:22:52 AM »

My situation is similar with a son, dil and grandchildren. They live far away. I used to respond and defend myself. One day he sends a short text about kids. A month later he sends hateful texts about me.  Is the best solution for me to just cut off all communication and not respond to anything anymore? 
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