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nonbordermom11

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« on: September 07, 2019, 03:02:57 PM »

I have been reading these posts for the past 3 days, I see a common theme keeps coming up
-parents are the cause of their inability to function properly in the world, even in "normal" families, I'm excluding the serious ones ( rape, molestation-those are serious)
-coping skills are poor in personal relationships but can adapt, perform and even thrive in working situations (some of the posts, not all)
-drug use is common

Borderline Personality got its name in 1980...relatively new
its a behavior disorder

I'm 54, one of 7 kids, dad worked 2 jobs, mom overwhelmed with house duties...our friends kept us in check if we went off the rails and complained that we were treated poorly, parents basically met out primal needs, food, water, shelter. "kicked out" at 18 to either college or a job and we found our way with trial and error. We survived...

Had kids of our own and coddled them, entitled them...social media reared his ugly head with pic after pic of happy "Look at me having fun". kids started to question their own happiness, couldn't cope with failure and some gave up, drug use starts...They wake up in the early 20s and either don't have the job or education they hoped for. Relationships end and they can't cope (they see so and so happy in theirs? what's wrong with me?)

the child-Could it be I was responsible? That's to painful to think about, I can't climb out of this hole (used to instant gratification) who's fault is it then...

MY PARENTS....they neglected me, I was abused, they treated sibling better..

My brother brought up a reddit thread for kids who just chime in and bitch about how their parents screwed them up...(I personally haven't seen it)

If the child just complains about getting the short end of the stick, most people will just brush that off...the story then has to be bigger (the lies), then they get sympathy

time to go to the therapist $$$ who validate their complaints, give them a sounding board,
"See it's not me all along, you (the parents) caused this, now you have to fix it"

disclaimer: this scenario is NOT about the truly abused (molestation, rape and violence)

this is about the parents who did their best and are wondering how they got to this point and are beating themselves up

Does anyone want to give an opinion?


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« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2019, 03:26:58 PM »

Hi there and welcome. I have 4 kids age 19-26 and mine have all voiced those exact complaints. Honestly, the parents of the 60s and 70s were no nonsense and typically did not have a lot of time to validate, validate, validate. I had scary stuff happen in my teens that I never expressed to anyone, especially not my single mom who was working her tail off to keep a roof over our head.
I have wondered the exact same thing-is this a societal problem and a sign of the times even more than a DNA issue. There have always been Uber sensitive kids, but BPD and NPD seem to be more common every single day.
I wonder if we have any research psychologists on this board who could help us understand.
It makes me wonder about our nutritional deficiencies, poor air quality, antibiotics, computer usage.
Nonbordermom, I’m right here with you, wondering!!!
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nonbordermom11

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« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2019, 04:07:21 PM »

Peacemom...thank you for responding! I have 3 kids 19-27...2 are doing very well, my 27 yo not so much...I'm reading so much about validating their feelings but "not validating", its very confusing to me...1 father posted that he disengaged with his child and that child eventually got a job and he stated she was "happy", still have some issues but making progress...who doesn't have issues? What if today was my last on earth, what would my DD do? Who could she blame then? Are we kicking the can down the road of their personal growth by validating this idea of abuse and neglect? I feel my DD is so caught up in this PTSD, BPD world she can't see reality...Just get up, get a job, make a buck, be kind to others, spend time with friends, find a hobby that makes you happy...LIVE LIFE...isn't that the goal of DBT therapy? Stop the blame game....I wish you the very best, if your like me, we torture ourselves everyday...

My DD's therapist has told her she shouldn't work, doesn't this cause more stress? they keep falling behind in life, they watch their peers grow and succeed, marry, move up in their jobs...a job should be the first thing they do...have a purpose, a place to socialize, stay out of their own heads, be accountable, feel tired at the end of the day, and look forward to the weekend and go out with new or old friends...LIFE, plain and simple
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« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2019, 05:27:51 PM »

There are 2 great books I’ve read that opened my eyes to what we are dealing with. “Loving someone with BPD” will answer so many of your questions. “When your Daughter has BPD” will explain about the family dynamics and how each and everyone has been effected and how to begin “starving the monster” of BPD. This forum talks about both of these books often.

Until i started to really wrap my brain around the fact that they have real, true limitations, I was beating my head against a wall in confusion, disbelief and doubt.

First, I had to accept that this is a real illness which was hard for me bc I truly believed so much of DD19 ubpd’s Issues were willfull and within her locus of control. I’ve learned that even though she can appear “normal” sometimes, it’s actually something called “apparent competence”. I had so many AHA moments reading Dr. Shari Manning’s book.

Once you buy into this, then you can gently try to support her in figuring out what she truly is capable of. These kids snap if pushed to hard and too fast.

I have now fully accepted that BPD is real, but I will always research and wonder about the modern day societal influence. I just read of a new study where they are finally going to create BPD in mice so they can study it at a much deeper level. I fully believe there will be great advances in the future.

And remember the Validation rule is Only validate the valid (like the underlying feeling), never validate the invalid (like suicidal ideation, raging, drug use, dangerous behavior). This takes so much practice for me.

How do you respond when DD is unstable and triggered?
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nonbordermom11

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« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2019, 06:47:01 PM »

Thank you, I'm new to this disorder and just started reading books and getting a better understanding, but still have an old fashioned mind set that we all are imperfect and make mistakes with good intentions. If I do all the strategies explained and build her trust and walk on the eggshells, and I'm willing to do that, but what about the rest of the world? What if I'm not around? The world may not be so kind. Bosses, co workers, BFs, friends...My daughter is either over reacting to normal day to day upbringing, teenage stuff and when people brush that off they dug a little deeper, a therapist asked her if she was molested, she said no, the therapist suggested she may have blocked it out. Really?  She was not molested by anyone. We spent a great deal of time undoing that, my family thought she was nuts, the therapist put that idea in her head...now the ball is rolling...were you abused? neglected?

My daughter is 27, highly emotional, needy. On the positive side a very loyal friend, funny, beautiful and very intelligent, IQ 130 tested in elementary school, reading at a 7th grade level in 2nd grade...chose partying in college over studying, went the easy route when we begged her to aim higher,  graduated with a political science degree...had trouble finding a job she liked, watched her friends move further in careers and relationships. She was behind...she wondered why...then came the therapist...

And it's all my fault...

I'm not doubting this is a true disorder, but I have to deal in realities. Life is hard enough. I realize that I can't push too hard, balance is important, but are we coddling in a different way? I so appreciate you responding, I need to vent this and hear another opinion. I am torn...My other 2 kids received 'student of the year" awards in middle school 6 years apart. Teachers said such wonderful things about them, it wasn't about grades, it was about  character..to me the highest honor...we treated them all the same...lots of guidance, common sense, love, be kind to others, look out for the little guy, be a good friend.

Both extended families lived close by and heavily involved...lots of beautiful family time. I just can't understand it...
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nonbordermom11

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« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2019, 07:06:30 PM »

Peacemom….never answered your question...when she rages, she blames us, we can't get a word in, she repeats herself and backs everything else up with her therapist says...blah, blah, blah, and then when we try to respond with any sense of reason, she hangs up, it's all a one sided discussion, with demands, sometimes for money or else...She uses lots of psychology buzz words...I just try and call her as often as I can, send her things she needs, try to keep a light conversation, it eventually turns to "you caused all this" then the demands for an apology which I respond with the BP handbook reply..."I'm sorry you feel this way, we did the best we could, but are not perfect...." she doesn't want to hear it.

My brother and sister have talked to her and whenever she wanted to blame and accuse past events, they steered the convo forward with "understand your upset about the past but your 27, what are you going to do to make your life better tomorrow and the next day, what is your plan" She has responded somewhat to that, but then with me reverts back.

I plan on getting those 2 books you suggested, I finished reading "stop walking on eggshells" I know just enough to believe it exists and still question how to move forward and help her lead a productive life.
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« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2019, 09:21:48 PM »

I can hear the fear for your DD’s future in your posts. It is so scary to let my mind go there. I’m learning to stay more mindful and live in the present because living in fear of the future either paralyzes me or causes me to get severe anxiety.

It sounds as though your DD may be a high functioning BPD if she graduated college, works, lives independently, does ok managing her finances and her healthcare. Those are big accomplishments if she lives daily with BPD symptoms.

Several of us that post here tend to be practical and rational which may be received by our struggling kids as being invalidating. I’m learning to slow down and help my DD by suggesting some of the DBT coping skills to help her regulate.

Please keep posting and others will come along when they have thoughts or suggestions. It’s a terrific forum.
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« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2019, 11:01:41 PM »

A hearty welcome to you, Nonbordermom11.

That starting post of yours was very thought-provoking for me.

I'm one of the older participants on this forum, the mother of a 52 year old daughter who has been in and out of counselling since she first ran away when she was just 12.  She has never (well...as far as I know) been officially diagnosed as having BPD but the check marks are there.  Back in the early 80's a counsellor recommended I read "I Hate You, Don't Leave Me."   I cried as I read it because finally there was a description of what was happening in our house with her.

So, although I have thought of this before, your post got me to thinking again, does this daughter of mine really have a form of BPD.....or is she the result of well-meaning parents who were ill-equipped to handle her headstrong personality?  Early on were we so intent on protecting her from the harsh sides of life that we let her get the upper hand and then she just kept running with it?  Hmmmm? 

Her running away at a time when there was a serial killer in our area brought us to our knees.   Then in later years we fell hopelessly in love with the 2 babies born to her (first time a single Mom, second time a divorcing Mom).  Those 2 loves-of-our-lives turned out to be her trump cards....always the fear that the end result of one of her "episodes" would have us separated from them.

Well, BPD or not, I'm glad I found this place because changes had to be made and they certainly were not going to be made by her.  Firstly I had to stop beating up on myself.  I had to stop buying into her telling me I was the cause of all her problems.  I had to learn to value...Me.  A favourite mantra has turned out to be.... "I did the best I could....and when I knew better I did better....and will continue to do so."   What more could be asked of anyone....including me?

I work on learning not to JADE....to ward off FOG...those just a couple of the catchy little acronyms that I have learned here that will come to mind, then trigger me to handle situations a little differently.  Mind you, not only with my daughter but the others who share space in my life.  Let's just say....I am a work in progress.

We were our children's role-models when they were young.  We can still role-model for them now.  The rest is in their hands.

Glad you found this forum, Nonbordermom11.  Hope it will be as helpful to you as it has been to me.  I look forward to reading more from you.

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« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2019, 11:38:41 PM »

I'm the only son of a pwBPD (and depression, PTSD, Anxiety, a self-diagnosed sometimes bulimic). I kicked myself out at 18, Gen-xer about to turn 48.

I'm not sure how much of this should be taken seriously, or if it's the same grumpy old man "get off my lawn!" vs. the 60s like youth "don't trust anyone over 30!" Generational misunderstandings.

I can blame my mom for a lot of things, also peers as I was mercilessly bullied for looking different from other kids due to a genetic condition. I could blame my bio parents for being drug addicts and alcoholics.  Beyond that,  The White Man, since I'm one generation off The Rez and my bio mother ended up as she did due to historical inertia.  My ex blames her parents' marriage for the dysfunctional dynamics she brings into her relationships.  I was just thinking today in the ways my mom may have messed me up as an experiment of 1st Wave Feminism, that a mother could also be a father. My mom told me that. 

There are truths to all of these things.  

Yet I'm alone responsible for my own life and choices.  I am currently doing well, but I could have done a lot better.  Yet I alone responsible for that.  

I know that the rise in Intersectionality, a world-view based upon being oppressed, has risen.  I think that this has validated a victim culture, but its roots go back further.

Here we teach to validate the valid and invalidate the invalid.  And we mentor newbies past the victim mentality into a solutions based approach. I'm not sure how to apply this in real life when many are screaming for validation. However, the tools work on anybody. Whether more centered individuals can make a difference in this current culture war remains to be seen.  

We live in interesting times, but hasn't every generation?
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« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2019, 11:52:27 PM »

Hello Nondordermom
Thank you for raising the issue of the way culture may affect BPD. I suspect it does to some extent although much research seems to point to biological factors as well. You ask
Excerpt
Are we kicking the can down the road of their personal growth by validating this idea of abuse and neglect?
That is a good question. Perhaps some clarification about validation will help. A saying you will hear often in this group is "Don't validate the invalid." We validate the feelings our BPD children have that may lead them to want to blame us for things. We do not validate false accusations of abuse or neglect. See the difference? I wonder does your daughter's therapist have experience with people who have BPD?
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nonbordermom11

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« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2019, 01:26:04 AM »

My DD went through a break up with a guy she thought she would marry, lost her job from missing too many days at work from being distraught and not coping. We brought her home to give her some time to regroup. My DD is currently not working, she was kicked out of the house for repeated rages and disrespectful behavior that was escalating when we asked her to do the simplest of day to day duties. She went 13 hours away to live with her biodad but ended up getting kicked out of his house for same reasons and is now living in his area in an apt living off her savings. Sadly, he wants nothing to do with her.

Faithhopelove   thanks for responding, always looking for opinions and advice

 "Don't validate the invalid." We validate the feelings our BPD children have that may lead them to want to blame us for things.

I'm still confused...if our kids blame us for their problems coping in life, isn't the bigger picture to teach them to accept everybodies imperfections-their friends, co workers, bosses, even their own. It's like they have become judge and jury and we are in some ways validating their feelings and now they have this control and they use it...take that to a job when a boss comes down on them for a deadline, now what? They were talked harshly to, do they now blow up and rage, the boss then validates their feelings?

either we teach them lifes lessons and prepare them or we let them feel entitled and emotionally railroad us,...they got away with disrespectful attitudes at home, we are catering to their feelings...take that to work and relationships. It sets up a lifetime of behavior and personal problems. Let's get back to the basics

We live in a world of "lawnmower parents, helicopter parents" all designed to save our little ones from ever feeling bad or let down...



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« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2019, 01:32:47 AM »

Turkish-

Yet I'm alone responsible for my own life and choices.  I am currently doing well, but I could have done a lot better.  Yet I alone responsible for that. 

your awesome, your parents weren't perfect, they had their problems, maybe from their parents before them, but you overcame, made a good life for yourself, your to be admired for that and could probably help others. Did you get to a point where it didn't get you anywhere to look back and blame your parents? How do we get our kids to that point? Maybe by stopping the madness?
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« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2019, 02:25:10 AM »

Excerpt
I'm still confused...if our kids blame us for their problems coping in life, isn't the bigger picture to teach them to accept everybodies imperfections-their friends, co workers, bosses, even their own.

Yes of course but for people with BPD that level of understanding is down the road. For now their emotions are too strong and uncontrolled foe them to see the big picture. When they feel that their emotions are being invalidated they become more disregulated. That is why validation is important
Validation does not mean agreeing with them that it is all our fault. That would be validating the invalid. What it does mean is recognizing that they are feeling something very intense and that their feeling is valid and real even if the conclusions they are drawing from it are not. Does that help?
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« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2019, 07:19:51 AM »

Yes of course but for people with BPD that level of understanding is down the road. For now their emotions are too strong and uncontrolled foe them to see the big picture.

This is a question I dwell on a lot. Is it just down the road for them? Will they eventually get it?  At least to the point of keeping steady employment and living in their own place paying their own bills?
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nonbordermom11

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« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2019, 08:50:09 AM »

cbusman- I believe I am at this point too, its not an overnight fix, I keep reading this appears to go on forever it seems. I read about multiple hospitalizations. Years of dealing with this and basically we have to start a whole new dialog that doesn't feel right and if we say the wrong thing or they see a wrong body language takes the progress backwards or sets up another rage or argument

I know I'm sounding negative and defeated, definitely exhausted. I apologize...

Haut- So, although I have thought of this before, your post got me to thinking again, does this daughter of mine really have a form of BPD.....or is she the result of well-meaning parents who were ill-equipped to handle her headstrong personality?  Early on were we so intent on protecting her from the harsh sides of life that we let her get the upper hand and then she just kept running with it?  Hmmmm? 

in early childhood, I let my DD get away with being disrespectful, we felt bad her biodad left her. We knew her anger and resentment came from that pain. As she grew older this became more intense, my family use to say "you let the horse out of the barn". As Haut said, "did we let her get the upper hand"

Well now my DD has it now...

Her threats have escalated to suicide, she attempted this at the end of the broken relationship, spent 10 days in a psych hosp. She stated she took 90 pills, but RN and doc said her bloodwork was normal. not consistent with 90. Right after she took the pills, she call the BF, he went to her and called us, we were in another state. we flew out immediately, she was a mess. This was back in Feb...we have been walking on eggshells ever since. During her stay with us, she continued her therapy, but accused and raged at us daily. We let her...she gave demands, if we didn't do what she wanted, she threatened more suicide, initially we jumped everytime, but then we started seeing the manipulation. The final blow was a terrible rage with threats of cops and her stating lies to get us arrested. She left to a friend and has not been back, this was in early July.

I am going to keep reading and learning, I appreciate the input, I can see how painful this has been for everyone and how much this disorder has affected your lives. I just wish there was a more simple solution.
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« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2019, 09:30:51 AM »

Excerpt
Will they eventually get it?  At least to the point of keeping steady employment and living in their own place paying their own bills?

The best answer I can give us sometimes
 For now take ot one step at a time. Start with validation

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« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2019, 03:23:29 PM »

I take what my step daughter says with a grain of truth. I would do the same with your daughter when it comes to blaming you or what her therapist said (your parents did this, you shouldn't work, etc.). SD22 is college-educated and intelligent and when she is emotionally dysregulating her cognition goes offline and she becomes a whirring wheel of emotion. She says lots of things that don't make sense but for some reason we latch onto the scrap that applies to us and try to figure out what part is true and what isn't.

If she has BPD she won't have a sense of self the way you do, or other kids do, or parents here do. Something likely happened during the time she was developing her self, like in ages 0-6 when she was going through the developmental stages of separating and learning to be autonomous from her caregiver. Some kids have a rough time going through this stage even when they aren't adopted, especially if they have issues with the amygdala. If you read how the self forms during infancy and toddler years into preschool ages it's pretty complex and kids who experience intense emotions or are in other ways emotionally overwhelmed tend to not complete the process of individuating in a resilient, safe way.

Kids with emotional troubles develop ways of getting their needs met that are not sustainable. And the skills to raise kids like this are not intuitive and must be learned and that's not something that happens a whole lot because family units are typically nuclear, and or the extended family is so similar that other ways of child rearing aren't introduced. You raised other kids who are functional and doing well, and that's all the truth you need. Your daughter required a different kind of parenting and not many of us get to learn that until they reach adulthood and they struggle to launch.

James Masterson talks about the false self and the real self as a way to describe what happens in someone who has BPD. The false self derives from infantile fantasies. The child's motives are not to deal with reality tasks (as he calls them) but with defensive fantasies, to avoid self-activation so that they can get someone to take care of them. In other words, the false self does not set out to master reality but to avoid painful feelings, a goal that is achieved at the cost of mastering reality.

It is probably preferable to your daughter to blame you so she can avoid the painful feelings of self-responsibility, made more challenging because she is not sure what "self" she has. If you don't have a sense of self, then it becomes hard to take responsibility because you need to know what self is in order to locate where things are coming from. I can only guess at what it means to not have a self but I know that whatever my daughter has, the self doesn't seem to be fully formed. She seems like pure need. We experience someone with no sense of self or a weak sense of self through boundaries (or lack of them). My step daughter has a hard time seeing her dad as separate from her. When she senses a boundary, she feels threatened because it signals that there is a barrier between her and someone else.

Masterson also refers to what he calls an abandonment depression, which is caused by a catastrophic set of feelings experienced during separation from a caregiver. I don't quite understand it all but he goes on to say that when a child experiences abandonment depression in the first three years of life, the real self shuts down to avoid further aggravating the feelings of abandonment. The false self that takes over never internalizes the functions of self that we take for granted, like frustration tolerance, reality testing, emotional regulation. If your daughter has a weak sense of self, she will have a hard time telling whether her feeling states are external or internal, too. So things get projected onto the outside world because people like your daughter don't know that the feelings are internal and located within.

I don't have a child with BPD. I grew up in a family with a likely uBPD brother, and married and divorced a man with BPD. Now I have a step daughter with the disorder. What I notice is that people seem to know what is or isn't true unless they are the target of attack. Your daughter probably says all kinds of things that don't make sense but it's hard to ignore the one thing that winds your clock.

She's in pain and wants you to stay engaged with her and hitting your button is one way to do it. If you can, tell yourself, "Acknowledged. That button is there." Then move onto what's next. "These things happened. Where do we go from here?"

That way you both get to say what you want and she is left with a question only she can answer.
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« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2019, 03:41:13 PM »

Excellent thread!  I am glad you posted and joined the site nonbordermon.  As an adult child, I am working on my recovery like Turkish mentioned above.  Taking responsibility for who I am today is a big focus of mine.

Anyway, this jumped out at me:
Quote from:  livedandlearned
She's in pain and wants you to stay engaged with her and hitting your button is one way to do it. If you can, tell yourself, "Acknowledged. That button is there." Then move onto what's next. "These things happened. Where do we go from here?"
What a great way to acknowledge the hurt and move through it.  Thanks LnL.  I think I might steal this.  Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2019, 04:07:01 PM »

LivedNlearned...that was a mind blowing excellent post...that helped me to understand what she may be feeling, the part about not knowing her "self" it makes sense...I will probably re read that post a few more times. I will remember it when we talk and she pushes my buttons, then I can have real empathy which I have been struggling to do because I simply could not understand the attacks. thank you again
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« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2019, 05:02:53 PM »

LNL-
Where do we find Masterson’s work on childhood development. This always hits home with me bc DD19 was w/ her birth mom up until 6 weeks then foster care until almost 17 mos before we went to Asia and adopted her. They say Adoption is the only trauma we are told is a “gift” and we should be “oh so very grateful and appreciative”. Makes me sad as what you write describes our experience to the T. Then we raised a swan in a duck family.....
I get so much from your explanations. Please keep sharing your wisdom.
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« Reply #20 on: September 09, 2019, 08:56:12 AM »

Everything I've learned I learned from someone else here who learned it from someone else  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

James Masterson wrote The Search for the Real Self.

From what I understand, Masterson's work is considered excellent, though a bit dated. I think he acknowledges the role of genetic underpinnings to BPD but only in passing, which makes sense because he wrote this before the later twin studies were done to show the genetic predispositions.

However, he does say this, "It has been fashionable in some psychiatric and lay circles to blame the mother for whatever goes wrong in development. If blame must be assessed it should be placed on the human condition which requires such prolonged dependence on one individual [to be mentally healthy and balanced."

Like the review says, it's kinda academic. But in trying to understand my step daughter, I felt I had to get to the bottom of things and the DSM traits just don't explain it in a way I could understand. It's almost like the DSM is describing symptoms whereas Masterson helps describe how you and I are both fundamentally the same and fundamentally different to someone who has a PD.

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It's a gift to exist, and with existence comes suffering. -- Stephen Colbert
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 #21 on: September 09, 2019, 11:57:23 AM »

LNL-the DSM totally describes symptoms because that’s all we can see with the naked eye. Unfortunately,  this is the issue with all psychiatric diagnoses and why I keep researching to connect more dots. I’m pleased about the new mouse study w/BPD and will be watching for reports.

My DS24 just told his psychiatrist last week that he totally doubts his BP diagnosis and until they can show him something clinically different about his brain, he will doubt! No wonder these psych patients struggle with insight.

You give credit to your wisdom as learned from others, but your ability to recall and share in such a helpful way is a gift. Thank you!

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« Reply #22 on: September 17, 2019, 11:46:38 AM »

Super helpful post and discussion. Thank you so much!

This:
Excerpt
She's in pain and wants you to stay engaged with her and hitting your button is one way to do it. If you can, tell yourself, "Acknowledged. That button is there." Then move onto what's next. "These things happened. Where do we go from here?"

EPIC!

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« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2019, 08:12:28 AM »

To clarify something...

"These things happened" (substituting this phrase for the real things you're saying) works best when said with genuine empathy. Easier said than done, for me.

I find it takes a minute or five or ten to sink into empathy, to be able to feel along with her (or him, when it's my son).

If "These things happened" is rushed so you can get to "Where do we go from here?" it can come across as dismissive and impatient.

With my son, I do active listening for longer than I feel naturally inclined to do. I have to really sit on my hands, figuratively, to not speak too quickly or defend too quickly. I find over the years that I can "say" things with silence and body language and genuine attention, through eye contact, facial expression, breathing, etc. and taking the time to absorb emotionally what's being conveyed.

Living with so many emotionally sensitive people over the years, I had put up some fences and that made some of these skills a little tricky to learn. You kinda have to come out of your fence for them to have impact, and that can feel really vulnerable.
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« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2019, 12:29:21 PM »

Great description LNL of how to actually do this thing. I’m a visual learner and must be able to see it in my head before I attempt it. Add in that I like to move quickly thru the touchy, geeky parts of life when they hit close to home and get on with my day. It can come off as dismissive and invalidating. Breathing during these unpleasant convos is my trick too!
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