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Family Court Strategies: When Your Partner Has BPD OR NPD Traits. Practicing lawyer, Senior Family Mediator, and former Licensed Clinical Social Worker with twelve years’ experience and an expert on navigating the Family Court process.
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Mutt
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« on: May 19, 2020, 03:55:01 PM »

Disclaimer: I’m not seeking legal advice this is just a discussion for coparenting in general or simply just a discussion in general I’m not looking for advice I’m just sharing it here because covid has triggered BPD behaviors in the ex, it’s not to excuse this behavior although she was the one assaulted according to her but what was said or the events period is speculation and she’s directed other behaviors towards me since quarantine I felt the need to get it off my chest with people that understand BPD. Thanks for understanding

About a week ago I get a text message from my exuBPDw got punched in the face and hair pulled by her D21 my exSD21. I was her SD for 7 and a half years the entirety of my r/s with my exuBPD. The profile picture that my ex had up online had a picture of them by a tree, maybe that should have warned me but this was early internet dating so perhaps some etiquette was not carved out yet. Anyways she was 5 when I met her. The photo of the kid wasn’t blurred out you probably needed photoshop back then for that now you can quickly do that on an app or add an emoticon over someone’s face.

My kids were not supposed to come back until Friday that week and the cops were on their way I thought wow this is too much. SD21 just had a baby (first born) and was having problems with her bf the dad. The baby is only a few weeks old and if she’s staying with him and it doesn’t mean that she has too, they were living together prior, the r/s obviously not very stable. I can understand how much pressure a newborn puts on a r/s but this is not a good sign at all.

I’ve only gotten tidbits that came from the S14 and I don’t ask questions, if S14 wants to share I listen but I don’t want to triangulate S14 by asking questions about mom that would make him feel uncomfortable. Their r/s is their own just like my r/s with S14 is my own.

I got there just as the chips were taking out the stroller and car seat for the baby and a hamper full of clothes I would imagine do that there’s a lot of baby clothes in there too. I hadn’t seen exSD21 in awhile maybe close to 5 years she had platinum blonde hair she naturally has beautiful red hair, the blonde hair is nice too but that’s not what this about. They were in the parking and I walked past her she looked angry and obviously ashamed I just kept it together and smiled and gave her a slight wave. She was looking down. I felt really sad at the time the baby is just weeks old and SD21 is on social assistance with no support.

It makes me angry that she can’t turn to her own mom, she has a complicated r/s with her father he’s in a different province and I notice that she wasn’t handcuffed so she wasn’t charged they were taking her to my exuBPDw’s exbf’s and she was angry about that. What’s the trigger? Is it because you’re daughter is struggling and it brings shame to you so you want her out of her sight? I don’t know the whole story but I do from looking down at SD21 that she has her side of the story, over been where she is with everybody believing exuBPDw’s stories.

S14 was visibly shaken and didn’t want to talk about S11 was downstairs playing xbox and wasn’t interested in coming to my place and S8 wanted to come to my house but he’s really attached to S14 so I think that it’s possible he was worried about S14 but regardless I brought them home and focused on routine and told them to relax, stay up watch some TV there was remote schooling to do in the morning etc and I told S14 if he wanted talk about it that I’m here ( I just basically gave him space because it has to be really hard to watch the oldest fight mom and there’s a baby there )

I got a message on messenger the other day from exSD21 she felt bad and said that she was giving them space and that she’s moving in the area soon and would like to see the kids. I said I don’t know what happened between her and mom but I do know that there’s two sides to a story and I wasn’t telegraphing to get that info from her but that I think that giving them space is a good idea and it’s up to S14 if he wants to visit etc and the other two it’s ok if the visit.

S14 doesn’t want to talk to mom and it was just last year that he resumed coming back to my place after several months of PA. The oldest is doing good, they’re  all doing good, the oldest is more relaxed smiling and laughing. It took me a week to write this I wasn’t in distress but it was a reminder of the exe’s compartment and some of her family members.
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kells76
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2020, 12:51:51 PM »

Hey Mutt, it's good to hear from you -- I was wondering how you and the kids were doing.

Excerpt
I’ve only gotten tidbits that came from the S14 and I don’t ask questions, if S14 wants to share I listen but I don’t want to triangulate S14 by asking questions about mom that would make him feel uncomfortable. Their r/s is their own just like my r/s with S14 is my own.

I think that's a good move, to not interrogate. Of course, asking if the kids were safe seems like a different move, but digging for details, I agree, isn't needed.

Excerpt
S14 was visibly shaken and didn’t want to talk about S11 was downstairs playing xbox and wasn’t interested in coming to my place and S8 wanted to come to my house

Remind me, is that a new thing for your middle kid not to "want" to come over?

Excerpt
I told S14 if he wanted talk about it that I’m here ( I just basically gave him space because it has to be really hard to watch the oldest fight mom and there’s a baby there )

Good to remind the kids in a "no pressure" way. Are any of them in counseling at the moment? This just seems like such a tricky situation to talk about, because on the one hand if you've got one kid shaken up and closed down, and one not wanting to come over, and one clingy, that does seem a bit like they need to process. But, maybe they would feel put in the middle if they process with you, even if they need to talk about it? Maybe a neutral 3rd party... if it's possible. I know it isn't always possible.

Excerpt
S14 doesn’t want to talk to mom and it was just last year that he resumed coming back to my place after several months of PA. The oldest is doing good, they’re  all doing good, the oldest is more relaxed smiling and laughing.

That's such a gift, to pivot from "Mom is the only one who supports and understands me, and if you don't do it my [our] way I'm not coming over" to the relaxed, low key time back together. SD14 is at that point of loving spending time with DH, still working on talking honestly with us about gender issues, but always wanting to have that time with DH -- even if SD12 doesn't want to (a new development... lots going on with SD12). It's a sad realization that a disordered parent may try to "fan the flames" of a "third rail" (i.e. "untouchable"/"undebatable") issue with the kids in order to keep them away. It is hopeful when the kids can see past that to the parents they love and want to be with.
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Mutt
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« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2020, 03:31:50 PM »

Hi kells76,

It’s nice to hear from you again during these strange times.

Excerpt
I think that's a good move, to not interrogate. Of course, asking if the kids were safe seems like a different move,

I hadn’t thought of that safety angle, that’s a good point.

Excerpt
Remind me, is that a new thing for your middle kid not to "want" to come over?

The middle was diagnosed a few years ago I actually had to take him to a DBT therapist at the hospital for a year a year and a half. I’d take the time of work and take him to his appointments because at that time he needed to learn some skills to self soothe.

He has a learning disorder and traits of autism but he works hard in school and gets good grades and he has good interpersonal r/s skills. He gets absorbed in his games sometimes and he talks to his friends over X-box Live. He does spend ample offline thankfully and it’s it incredibly difficult to get him off if he ask him too.

I can’t recall how this topic came up at supper they all said that they like my place more they have a younger sister she’s four. My ex had her with the bf after our r/s she had an affair with him but that’s neither here or there. They like my place more because in their words it’s less chaotic because there’s no yelling and screaming.

Just to be clear the middle one stayed until the following day, so he came over on Thursday the ex just dropped him off after work and he should of been gone on Friday so he was a day earlier our switch on / off days are on Friday. One week at one parent and another week at another parent.

Excerpt
Are any of them in counseling at the moment?

That’s another good point. The oldest is transgender so he was seeing a P that specializes in transgender issues etc. He hasn’t her for awhile, he was asleep seeing the school social worker and seeing another T under my EFAP for awhile and talked to the social worker the following after those events. I was a little angry at this for two reasons because of the workload S14 had at the exe’s.

A couple of weeks ago S14 was complaining that he was tired and didn’t go into too much details the second reason why I was angry was because I felt talked down too a little bit by uBPDexw but she had said that social worker said that S14 needs a break, granted she did say that the 4 year old needs attention and is going to daycare but if there’s school work for the other two with Google Classroom for me to facilitate that with S12, S8 etc. S14 was watching the 4 year and watching the baby too while her 32 year old would go out etc. She tell him can you watch the baby for a couple of minutes but would take off for a couple of hours. Taking care of the schooling, taking care of the four year old while moms working at home and watching the baby from time to time was a lot. I spoke to him about schooling at my house and I’ll take care of the other two I can go to the office or work from home since the quarantine ( I was 100% in office prior ) Thus last week he seems a lot better but I’ll bring up the topic about seeing a T.

Excerpt
It's a sad realization that a disordered parent may try to "fan the flames" of a "third rail" (i.e. "untouchable"/"undebatable") issue with the kids in order to keep them away. It is hopeful when the kids can see past that to the parents they love and want to be with.

I want to add to that I got a letter written by S14 and he said thanks a lot for all of your support all I wanted is in Indio a life and thanks for giving that to me. It’s regally hard when there’s a disorders parent, my advice is to not get caught up in the distractions ( untouchable/undebatable) subjects, it is really complicated with gender issues, I think that if you approach it with compassion it’s going to help make that kid feel supported around a complicated issue.
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kells76
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2020, 08:49:17 AM »

Excerpt
Taking care of the schooling, taking care of the four year old while moms working at home and watching the baby from time to time was a lot.

The similarities between our 14YO's are interesting. Was (is?) your oldest the "golden child" at Mom's house? I.e., the amazing, advanced, responsible, deep, wise, precocious kid? That was and is SD14's role at Mom's... though because SD14 now wants to spend a little more time at our place, I think the role of "the kid who gets attention and is so brave and amazing" is shifting to SD12, who is eating it up after years of little to no attention.

SD14 has mentioned in the past that it's frustrating to feel like she's the only one doing her chores at Mom's, and so if they've all been promised a reward after doing chores, she doesn't get the reward if the other kids (SD12 and their brother who is ~7YO) don't finish. She feels like "if I don't do it, it won't get done, and then I get "punished" for other people not doing their work". Also feels like she gets criticized for doing things wrong or not doing something, but doesn't get appreciated if she does what she's supposed to do over there.

With online school we have more visibility into assignments, and it looks like SD14 might do less at Mom's. To be fair her work is getting trickier as she gets older, so it can be more difficult to support -- instead of taking 2 minutes to explain addition, it takes an hour or so to help with math. Anyway, all that to say, it kind of feels like now that SD14 is in this place of (a) the move of "hey, how about you be mad at DH for not completely supporting you about gender like WE do" doesn't work, (b), really wanting to be close to DH -- almost clingy, going on all the errands with him, etc, and (c), moving past an academic level where Mom can provide a lot of support... it just seems like Mom has almost "cut SD14 loose" and is like "whatever, figure it out yourself". Like Mom is dropping a lot of her support of SD14 but keeping the responsibilities?

I wonder if your oldest is in a similar position -- Mom is like "take care of the 4YO and the baby, also I don't have time to listen to you"?

I mean, you hear about those moms who keep having babies just because they like it when the kids are totally dependent infants, not so much when they get older and differentiate. I wonder if there is something about that pivot from middle school/junior high to high school where our 14YO's moms just... check out, and are like, you don't need me any more, so I'm not going to invest in/pay attention to you?

Is your ex starting to pay more attention to the younger kids or "paint them white"? IDK... all speculation. The similarities in the dynamics between our families would be pretty interesting.

Excerpt
I want to add to that I got a letter written by S14 and he said thanks a lot for all of your support

That's really sweet. What a gift, both for you to hear it, and for your child to be able to express it. Good for you guys!  Way to go! (click to insert in post)
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Mutt
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2020, 08:26:33 PM »

Excerpt
The similarities between our 14YO's are interesting. Was (is?) your oldest the "golden child" at Mom's house? I.e., the amazing, advanced, responsible, deep, wise, precocious kid? That was and is SD14's role at Mom's... though because SD14 now wants to spend a little more time at our place, I think the role of "the kid who gets attention and is so brave and amazing" is shifting to SD12, who is eating it up after years of little to no attention.

I’ll start with the youngest. He’s the most frazzled  on switch on / switch off days out of all three and age could add to that but generally he’s the kid that is split black. At one point uBPDexw wanted to change the custody order and said that it may make more sense if some kids stayed at a parents house 100% if the time and I think that she was referring to him.

He can be impatient and give attitude towards me or the daycare workers. The person I’m dating is his teacher in daycare so when she’s going through a rough time and he’s giving her a rough time I hear about it.

S12 is split white, I mentioned that he has a learning disability and autistic traits he would be less severe on the autistic spectrum. I like how Turkish worded it, he’s a validation medallion for uBPDexw because she would garner attention from family / peers because she’s a single mom and how hard is it for her with having a child that has a learning disability / autistic spectrum and she’s managing all of this on her she’s an amazing single parent etc and that can segway with S14 and transgender issues.

I know that uBPDexw talks to her friends about S14 because S14 has told me that he resents it when mom tells her friends about personal issues with S14 or family issues in general. For example her best friend’s H has said to S14 to knock it off with the depression ( cutting, is also like to add that today as it currently stands the depression / anxiety is under control with meds, therapy and family support, mostly me with emotional support ) and he hates it because a) it was told in confidence b) it’s invalidating to tell someone to get over it because you can’t control your serotonin levels in your brain by trying to focus on getting over it.

That being said I can understand going to family / friends for support but I don’t agree with it coming back to the originator when it was in confidence. She has waifish / queen / witch qualities but the Queen / Waif traits are most dominant the witch can come out but it’s rare with exuBPDw.

If you rail against her which is what I suspect with the youngest with his defensiveness then you’re split black I have never seen either S14, S12 split black or completely black because they are both validation medallions and the oldest also provides for her with babysitting the youngest, sharing adult responsibilities like household work, parenting the other kids etc She told me about one specific bad experience because he felt overwhelmed and the workload that he had was too much.

With that in mind, I think thats a couple of reasons why S14 is split white for as long as he has and the same witty the middle one. You have o undiagnosed people with BPD traits in the other household and one has broken r/s’s after broken r/s’s and has one of the kids to fill in the gaps for her dysfunction and you have her D21 that is a product of her and has less support than her mom did at that age.
My exe’s family kept bailing her out and I s’s well when I was with her - I can’t speak for now because it’s not of my business but I don’t like the fact that their lack of foresight / awareness / self awareness is something pushed down to S14.

Excerpt
Like Mom is dropping a lot of her support of SD14 but keeping the responsibilities?

I’m probably missing something here but it sounds like gender is something that she’s floundering and is shifting that over to you and DH?

Excerpt
I mean, you hear about those moms who keep having babies just because they like it when the kids are totally dependent infants, not so much when they get older and differentiate. I wonder if there is something about that pivot from middle school/junior high to high school where our 14YO's moms just... check out, and are like, you don't need me any more, so I'm not going to invest in/pay attention to you?

I hear you about that my uBPpDexw was totally into the kids when the were dépendant on her and as you probably already know that a pwBPD have poor boundaries and don’t get the clear boundaries of other people - where they end and the other person starts and the kids are an extension of her. I’m actually surprised that S14 is still at home because when S21 started to really differentiate from mom there was a lot of lashing out from uBPDexw and she left for awhile and lived with her dad. I agree with when the kids start to differentiate from the parental figure with a pwBPD, a pwBPD cause a lot of drama.

Emotional support which is what S14 needs is simply not something that a pwBPD can give him which is the same for your SD14 which is what they need - non judgemental support and advice. S14 has said to the school counselor that he’s really lucky to have a supportive parent and says that every parent should be like that but obviously it’s not something that mom can provide. It is really tricky when you have a transgender child.
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