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Author Topic: How do I break this cycle?  (Read 464 times)

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Relationship status: Mother
Posts: 4

« on: January 13, 2020, 09:07:40 PM »


I'm the mother of two daughters - a 21 year old and a 22 (almost 23) year old.  Both my girls are smart, attractive, intelligent young women who I really do believe could achieve anything they put their minds to. My youngest left home at 18, went to live with her father in another town about two hours away and today has a good job, friends, her own car and is saving for her second overseas trip.  My eldest left home once when she was still school to live with her boyfriend and his family and again after finishing school to live with another boyfriend and his family.  That didn't work out either and so she came back home to me. She has now been at home with me for about 2 years and over that time I have become more and more depressed and have now decided to sell my house as I see it as the only way to get her to move out of home. 

She can't (or won't) hold down a job. She won't learn to drive. She won't sit down at the table and eat a family meal. She is completely inconsiderate of my sleep and thinks there's nothing wrong with re-arranging her furniture at 2:00 in the morning. She won't sit and watch a film or TV show with me - even though she says I never do anything with her.  I suggest we take a drive to the beach on a hot day and take a swim - Nope. You get the picture.  If I try to address any of this with her it's all my fault, I'm not honouring her lifestyle choices (she's vegan), I care more about her sister than her, my generation ruined the housing market and she'll never be able to afford her own home, etc., etc., etc.

I do believe that there is a personality disorder going on here.  She was assaulted when she was about 15 and at the time saw a psychologist who now, all these years later, is still the only psychologist she will see.  I really don't believe this psychologist his helping her at all.  I think she perpetuates a whole victim mentality with her.  I've suggested that she and I see a family counsellor together - she won't of course. I work mostly from home and the type of work I do requires concentration - Hah! Forget that.  She has the TV blaring and constantly interrupts with questions and comments. She just won't see that if I don't make money I can't pay the mortgage and we will lose the house!  She won't shut the bathroom door when she goes to the toilet - but she'll shut the door and the windows when she takes a 30 minute shower.

Recently she was away visiting friends in another state for 2 weeks.  After about 3 days I noticed how much happier I felt.  I was able to get things done and felt some hope coming back.  The day she rang me and said she was coming home (and would I pick her up form the station) I went straight back into despair and hopelessness.

We are bad for each other and her behaviour triggers me into depression.  My depressions triggers her behaviour and the spiral just gets worse and worse.  I don't want to lose the relationship with my daughter. I love her very much but it is really beginning to overwhelm me and damage the relationship with my other daughter.

I feel like I'm whingeing and feeling sorry for myself - but I am out of ideas and how to cope with this.  I'm looking for tools - concrete things to say in response to the emotional blackmail and the abusive reactions if I try to set any boundaries at all.  I have just started reading up on personality disorders and hopefully will learn more about them and understand them.

Thanks for listening and letting me vent. Smiling (click to insert in post)
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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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Divorced January 2012
Posts: 11549

« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2020, 08:47:42 AM »

Pull up a chair, you'll fit right in here  Virtual hug (click to insert in post)

I don't think you're whingeing or feeling sorry for yourself. Living with and loving someone with BPD requires tremendous emotional strength.

Do you feel comfortable sharing an example of how an interaction with your daughter might go? Maybe we can walk with you and share things that have worked for us in similar encounters.

The specific relationship and communication skills to create a validating environment (not to mention set limits) are not intuitive and must be learned. And I also find that I'm learning to take note of my own center, for lack of a better word. It took a lot of self care trial and error to learn what I need. That's tough when you're living with someone who is behaving abusively.

Glad you found the site Smiling (click to insert in post)


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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Posts: 333

« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2020, 10:50:34 AM »

I see my situation here too. I think if nothing is improving then for sure the therapist is not doing any good.

My dtr refused to join me in a dolphin swim aged 13..What kid doesn't want to swim with dolphins? I went in anyway.

I can so empathise with feeling relief at being alone. My dtr told me once. " I am not letting you off the hook". 15 yrs later I am still not being allowed any peace of mind.

We should be able to watch them leave like you did with your first. We should be able to help them if they struggle without being bludgeoned with their feelings.

Its not self pity. It sounds like sadness to me.

You came to the right place. It doesnt matter if there is a diagnosis..We are all walking the same path
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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Relationship status: Estranged
Posts: 658

« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2020, 01:56:08 PM »

We are glad you found us.  A question for  you- did her psychologist  suggest to you that she may not be able to hold down a job/ maybe she can qualify for disability?  I am not sure which country or state you are in.
 You have mentioned feeling down and depressed- is it at all possible for you to have your own therapist separate from hers?  Many members here have our own therapists in our network of coping with the adult child BPD. 

We truly understand getting to the point of wanting to sell our homes to live in a smaller place that won't accommodate our adult child. That certainly is a possible solution, but keep in mind the adult child can sleep in a sleeping bag in the back/ sleep in her car parked in your driveway etc, until you cave to let her in your new place.  And not to mention, it is not fair to you if you really love your current home.  Remember, you matter as much as your adult child.  Get your power back, step by step. You are on the right track with writing here and also reading . There is hope.

In the meantime, here is a link from the tools tab above about setting boundaries that may help.


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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Relationship status: Mother
Posts: 4

« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2020, 03:59:20 PM »

Thank you all so much.  It is so helpful to know I'm not imagining it all.  Sometimes I think it's all me - and that I'm a bad parent, etc. etc. I know that's not true though. I'm in a country town about 2 hours out of Sydney, in Australia.

An example of a mild conversation we had yesterday: For about a week she has had a sinus infection and hasn't done anything about it. Every day she wakes up and walks around complaining about it and coughing (without her hand over her mouth) and ignores any suggestions I might make of what might help. She had an appointment with the Dr at 9:45.  This Dr only works two days a week and she had to wait a week for the appointment. The Dr is in the next town - a 30 minute train ride or a 15 minute drive away.  She will only see this Dr even though there is a bulk billing medical centre 5 minutes walk away. 

So, I hear she is awake and knock on her door and go in to say good morning and ask how she's feeling.

Dtr: What are you doing today Mumma? (Always calls me Mumma when she wants something)
Me:  I'm working Darling. From home, but I have a lot to do.
Dtr: Could you drive me to the Dr?
Me: Well, I have a lot to get through today.  I'll drop you there but you can make your own way home.
Dtr: (angry) Well, you can say "No".
Me: Okay then. No.
Dtr: (turns over in the bed angrily)
Me: Darling, I just think you need to start-
Dtr: I don't need your lecturing (When this happens she always waves me away with her hand dismissively).

I go to my home office and start working.  When she does leave I'm on the phone and she shouts out Bye Mum at the top of her voice and slams the door. Of course when she got back from the Dr she complained that the Dr had given her a script for a nasal spray that costs $60. "I'm not getting that!" she says.

Maybe this isn't so bad but her mood and attitude when I do actually say no is so aggressive and obviously angry that I then feel this overwhelming guilt. It's my guilt yes and I know I could just make the conscious decision not to feel guilty but I just don't seem to be able to.

When I put the house on the market - Boy!  That one was a doozy.  Every week when I tell her the time that the Real Estate agent will be holding the open house there's another argument.  The last time she locked her bedroom door and said no one could look at her room. I had another key so as she had gone out I unlocked the room just before the inspection and locked it again before she got home.

Her psychologist won't talk with me as technically she is an adult and there's patient confidentiality of course. I have been in therapy previously which did help.  The  therapist I saw took a long leave and I haven't found another.  I think that you are right though Swimmy55. I will need support to get through this.

I read another post where someone spoke about dealing with this with a dtr and her mothers death at the same time.  A few days before my dtrs 18th birthday my mothers health started to go down hill very quickly.  She was in a nursing home.  I have this vision burned into my memory of my dtr sitting outside my mothers room on the floor.  She was outraged that my mother, her grandmother, was dying 3 days before her 18th birthday and that my attention was not solely focused on her.  I still find it hard to believe that she did that!  She made an absolute scene. It was so awful. Even though she loved her grandmother so much and had always been close to her. When I should have been focusing on my other I was trying to calm her down and deal with the shame I felt over her behaviour.  My mother died that night.

I feel for you Blueskyday.  My greatest fear is that 10 years form now we'll be in the same position.  I grew up in an alcoholic home and as the eldest child I had no choice but to care for my siblings from a very young age.  I think this is why this situation affects me so badly.  I resent the fact that again I am being forced to be the responsible one and care for someone who should now be able to take care of themselves.

Thanks agin for your responses.  That link on boundaries I will read later today.  I think reading and learning and talking with others will be so helpful.


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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Relationship status: Mother
Posts: 4

« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2020, 04:17:44 PM »

Just wanted to add that the more I read through the posts, the more I remember about particular incidents.  So many that are almost identical scenarios.  I really do believe my dtr has a personality disorder - undiagnosed.

So glad that this board exists.
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Posts: 546

« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2020, 07:42:55 PM »

Welcome BeFree,
I have a 19yo DD UBPD and I can tell you that I’ve been amazed by how similar the behavior is amongst these young adult women. We’ve had people share here from all over the world from large cities to tiny towns yet the behavior is shockingly similar.

 The book that helped me the most was “Loving Someone with BPD”. I related to every chapter and found myself coming away with a must deeper level of compassion and understanding about WHY DD behaved so oddly. Once I began feeling compassion instead of resentment and anger, I was able to honestly validate her feelings. This has cooled things off a bit because I’m no longer quite she shocked by her toxic responses to many apparently harmless happenings.

I’ve learned that she has extreme rejection sensitivity and can perceive anything I say as rejection. Radically accepting that while at the same time trying to improve things is my m.o.

Sending you a big hug from Texas.

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Relationship status: Mother
Posts: 4

« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2020, 11:10:29 PM »

Thanks Peacemom.  It is remarkable isn't how similar the behaviours are.  That only makes me more certain that my dtr has an undiagnosed disorder.  I got an offer to re-subscribe to Audible - so I think I might take it up and download some books to listen to.  I find reading really hard and invariably I get interrupted by my dtr. Smiling (click to insert in post)

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Posts: 333

« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2020, 04:08:02 AM »

I grew up admid two alcoholics. My stepfather told me when I was 10 how he killed a man. Ohh I believed him! The whole situation was violent and terrifying. He was a true Psychopath.
He left my Mother for another woman when I was grown and she was alive but only technically. This woman's husband was murdered but the evidence against my Stepfather was gone as he was found in a river.

All of this drinking messes a kid up. I am a codependent . This is my default although I am wiser now. The behaviour is caught before I rescue but I feel the guilt at times.

I truly believe I rescued and fixed so much I created an entitlement. My dtr at 30 refuses to take responsibility. She feels that it was thrust on her. Many ppl believe that we are cruel and uncaring and that we dont bond with our children if they have BPD. This was not so in my case. The trouble started when she was 10.

She told me once we started to have problems when she developed a mind of her own and an opinion. She truly believes this.

Whilst there were times when I was cruel it was in exasperation at the abuse I received from her. I reacted. Maybe I could have done some things differently. The thing is I was always open to talking and taking responsibility for my failings whatever they were. She needs to punish me for my failings, her Father's failings and now her own. No parent should be expected to shoulder all of this.

My situation is way beyond repair but you still have time
« Last Edit: February 18, 2020, 04:13:39 AM by Blueskyday » Logged
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