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Author Topic: Called 911 on suicidal bpdM I was trying to go NC with  (Read 331 times)
wmm
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« on: November 19, 2021, 12:07:14 PM »

I think I messed up. I've been trying to go NC with my bpdM.

My dad texted me last night and told me that my mom was depressed and threatening suicide. He mentioned my younger brother (who still lives there even though he's 24) in the text. The text about my brother didn't make sense and I freaked out. I was worried that my brother was going to have to deal with my mom again (I'm the parentified older child). My brother is the youngest child. I called 911 and told them my mom was threatening suicide. The police and paramedics went to her house and talked to her. My brother was there. He's mad at me now for calling them. He told me not to talk to him after I asked him if he was ok. My mother threatens suicide a lot and my dad and brother try to smooth it over instead of doing anything else about it. Two years ago, my younger sister, who is really close to my mom, drove two hours from another town to drive my mom to emerge when she was suicidal instead of calling the police or asking my dad to do it. My brother told me before that he had been stressed out dealing with my mom's current mental health issues. I shouldn't have called 911. I had a feeling that she was just threatening it but she did attempt to kill herself once and I saved her life by breaking the belt that was around her neck. None of them have actually seen her try whereas I have so it really freaks me out. I did think twice before calling the police because I was worried my family was going to get mad at me (because that's how they are) and that I was breaking my no contact rule. My dad isn't mad at me. He said he should have called them and that the police helped (she's still at home). He never would have though. My main concern was my brother having to deal with her drama and also my sister getting mad at me for my brother dealing with her drama (she got mad at me before when my brother broke up a fight between my parents). I should have stayed out of it. I still haven't talked to my mom. My dad told me she mailed me a letter to apologize to me. I'm not going to read it. After my brother got mad at me I blocked my brother and younger sister because I was afraid of getting angry messages from them. I know that sounds extreme but I needed to know that I wasn't going to look at my phone and get an angry message. I told my dad not to tell me anything about my mom anymore. I don't think he's going to comply with my request though. He's been pressuring me to talk to my mom. I'm pretty sure it's because he doesn't want to have to deal with my mom's drama. He's done this before when I wasn't talking to my mom and told me my mom was much better once I talked to her.

The saving grace was that my older sister (my dad's daughter) talked to me on the phone afterwards and was quite supportive. She said I could zoom with her and her mom (she's a half-sister) on the weekend. She invited me to her mom's place but it's far away and I'm feeling sick.

Before my older sister replied to my text, I panicked and felt very alone/abandoned. My best friend had to set boundaries for herself because she had had a stressful day and told me she couldn't help me at that moment and would talk to me tomorrow. My partner was going to sleep. He ended up getting up and talking to me for a bit after I asked him to but he wasn't very helpful. My fear of abandonment came back. It's just so overwhelming. I'm leaving the school where I work at as an educational assistant and starting a new position on December 2nd  because my contract at my current school will end. It's a stressful job. Apparently there are some troubled children at the new school that I will be going to but I need the money. Getting through work while dealing with my family problems and pretending like I'm ok has been really hard. I'm so emotionally exhausted. What kind of messed up family gets mad at someone for calling 911 when a parent threatens suicide? We're all just so used to it. It's not normal!

Did I make a mistake? Do you think I should explain to my dad more why I can't hear about my mom and have to go NC with her or will I have to block my dad too? I don't want to lose him. He's also helping me pay my student loans because my parents told my siblings and me that they would pay for our first degrees so there are financial issues too. I don't want to sound spoiled. I just don't have a lot of money. What do I do?
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Notwendy
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« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2021, 12:22:15 PM »

No, you did the right thing.

Suicide threats need to be taken seriously. While they may be used to manipulate, there are consequences for using something as serious as this to just manipulate. Since there is no way to know if the person is serious or just using this to get their way, any threat must be handled professionally by calling 9-11.

Your father, brother, and other family members respond by circling the wagons, appeasing your mother. Since this tactic gets her what she wants - she can use it to do that. The family "crime" you did was exposing her to medical authorities. One of our family rules was that we needed to pretend that my mother was just fine. We did not dare do or say anything to anyone about her behavior.

When my father got ill, I was concerned this would impact his health care. His health care providers assumed he was home with his dear sweet wife who was helping take care of him. My parents also wanted to present this image and my father's main concern was protecting my mother. I told his doctor about her issues as I didn't think she was able to care for him and wanted a home health nurse to check on him. My father got angry at me.

You did the right thing in a normal world but you went against the family dysfunctional expectations. You need to do what you know is right.
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wmm
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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2021, 01:08:21 PM »

Thank you Notwendy. I just texted my dad to tell him I can't hear about anything regarding my mother anymore because it was too stressful for me and I was already burnt out. I told him that I would like to stay in contact with him if possible. Instead of respecting my wishes he started talking about how she was abused as a child and about how upset she was that I wasn't talking to her. It didn't seem like he was trying to blame me but it seemed like he was trying to get me to change my mind and feel bad for my mom. He also seems to think that I will talk to my mom soon. I haven't specifically told him that I am going NC with her. I told him that I couldn't talk to her for a long time. I repeated that I couldn't hear about my mom's problems anymore. My dad and mother are going to visit my younger sister now for the weekend and I don't doubt that they will be talking about me. I'm so disappointed. He's stopped and said that he would talk to me next week. Should I block him too? I've already blocked my mother and two younger siblings for now. All I have left are my older sister and my dad. I don't want to lose him too but I also can't take hearing about my mother's drama too. He keeps bringing up that she might have cancer (she's lost a lot of weight and they're doing a biopsy). I told him that there's nothing I could do about it and I couldn't handle hearing about it. He ended up saying that he's tried helping my mother and will stand aside for his wellbeing and then told me to have a good weekend. I don't think he'll ever stop trying to help her or making up excuses for her. I realized that if the genders were reversed, everyone would see my dad as being in an abusive relationship. That being said, I've tried to tell him to leave and that it's not his problem. He agrees but then never does it. I can't say anything anymore. It's up to him. I just really don't want to have to cut my dad out too. There's been times when he sends me a bunch of text messages about drama going on with my mother right when I'm going to bed and have to get up early to work the next day. I have one best friend and a few friends that I haven't seen or talked to in a long time because I moved away from them and because of the pandemic. I also have my partner and my older sister and her family. I wish I had more friends that I could talk to in my life. I think people are getting sick of hearing about my drama. It just feels like it never stops.
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Woolspinner2000
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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2021, 01:18:05 PM »

I agree with Notwendy that you did the right thing. My uBPDm also frequently threatened suicide, and I have never forgotten it. It’s not an idle threat, and probably good that you called 911. Just because everyone else goes along with it doesn’t mean it’s right.

I want to share something with you that my T told me that has been really helpful. When these kind of emotional stressors happen, we are not able to think clearly or from our rational brain. The state of panic and fear can last for a period of time, from 24-72 hrs. Then your brain starts to regulate and go back to a more normal place. For me,, it’s almost always 3 full days before I start to settle. When I remember what he told me, it helps me to just hang on through the panicked feelings that make me think I will never get over the fear. It’s no surprise that you are upset and struggling, so please know that this is normal given what you just went through.

 Virtual hug (click to insert in post)
Wools
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There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.  -C.S. Lewis
wmm
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« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2021, 02:55:37 PM »

Thank you Woolspinner2000. Luckily I had today off already. I had a lot of things I wanted to get done but I haven't been able to do anything. I'm beating myself up for not doing anything but I'm probably still in panic mode like you said. All I want to do is go to sleep (I also went to bed late last night). I want today to be over and to start fresh tomorrow.
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Turkish
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Relationship status: "Divorced"/abandoned by SO in Feb 2013; Mother with BPD, PTSD, Depression and Anxiety: RIP in 2021.
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« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2021, 10:03:40 PM »

wmm,

You literally saved her life from a previous attempt. That's a very heavy burden to bear.

Not having been in your place, I can't judge your decision in the moment. You took it seriously. Those with her maybe should have, but it's not your job to save your mother's life.

We have protocols here regarding members who are experiencing suicidal ideation. Maybe they can be helpful.

Suicide Ideation Emergency Protocol

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    “For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.” ― Rudyard Kipling
Methuen
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« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2021, 01:21:18 AM »

You did the right thing, for so many reasons.  When you are feeling calmer, I would suggest putting pen to paper, and writing down all the reasons why that was the right thing to do.  There are so many…let your rational brain take over from the emotional brain when things are calmer.  

Look at it this way.  You mention you are an EA in the classroom.  Imagine a student telling you they are suicidal.  You are obligated to report.  The principle is the same to  help anyone - get professional help which you did.  

The fact that you had such a strong and powerful emotional reaction afterward by thinking you made a terrible mistake is testament to the toxicity of the unhealthy family dynamics.   Calling 911 was an act of caring.  

Do not feel guilty.  They want you to, but do not carry the feelings they want you to carry (so they dont have to). Instead, feel confident and proud that you did the right thing despite them.  You only did for your mother what you would do for anyone in trouble - get help.  In your case, because of your history saving her life once prior, you were more than justified.

I don’t know what to say about your dad’s actions other  than he is an adult.  It must be incredibly painful for you to experience how your mother’s behavior affects your father and his decisions, but ultimately he has to figure things out and hopefully recognize that his relationship to you is not something he is willing to give up, despite his wife.  The fact that you are considering NC with him is a statement about the level of dysfunction swirling within and all around your mother.  

I hope you can start to feel more yourself again soon.  Be extra kind to yourself through  this.  It’s been extraordinary stress and drama for a long time.  So do kind things for yourself that will let you recover.   Virtual hug (click to insert in post)
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GaGrl
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« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2021, 10:19:20 AM »

Calling 911 was the right thing to do.

Think of it as a boundary --"When my uBPD and alcoholic mother threatens suicide, I will respond by calling 911."

That way, you can succinctly let your family members know where you stand. What they choose to do outside your participation is their own dysfunction. You can't change them, but you can change your response to it all.
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In yours and my discharge."
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« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2021, 05:02:43 PM »

Give your Dad one more chance to stop.
Do not explain.

"Dad, I have asked you to stop texting me about Mum. You have not stopped. If this happens one more time I will have to block your number. I don't want to, but I will have to. I dont know how long it will be for if you  refuse to stop.
Love.xxx"

Nothing more than that.
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Australia 68
-Mother of 51 year old daughter unBPD
-Lost my son to CF age 20 - 20 yrs ago
-Estranged by her choice -14 years ago after I said I felt suicidal
-I have done all I can, she is heartless
-Now I no longer want her in my life
-Have not seen my grandson since he was 6, he is 20
wmm
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« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2021, 05:38:33 AM »

I woke up to a text message this morning from my dad. He texted me last night telling me he thought I should "gather my courage" and talk to my mother before her biopsy on Friday (tomorrow). I feel angry. I'm not not talking to her because of being afraid of her. I'm sick of her abuse. I told my father twice that i didn't want him talking to him about my mother (I already knew about the biopsy). I can't even trust that she's telling the truth. She lied to her friends and told them that my sister was in the ICU with covid when she didn't even have covid. She had anorexia before. For all I know she could be purposefully starving herself. I temporarily blocked my father because I don't want to see text messages about my mother while I'm at work. She called me using Gmail yesterday. I blocked her on that platform after that. My dad called me right after but I didn't pick up.
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wmm
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« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2021, 05:43:57 AM »

Do I stop talking to him and block him for now or tell him to stop talking about my mom and give him another chance. I feel so pissed.
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Notwendy
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« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2021, 06:48:28 AM »

I understand your feeling angry. In retrospect, when I began to set boundaries - I was too reactive, and too strong. One consequence was that it increased the drama. Not to be critical- I was new to this idea and had more to learn, especially about the dynamics in my family. Expecting my parents to respect boundaries- rather than continue the family patterns that were in place for so long was an unreasonable expectation.

I am not excusing your parents' behavior, but understanding this better will help you manage your reactions, emotionally. First of all- this is not personal to you. It's not about you. It's how they relate to each other. Your dad is a rescuer. The behavior he is doing is behavior that works for him. You have changed your response to this and so it's not working as well, but he hasn't learned new behaviors. If someone knows that a hammer works, they will keep using the hammer, even if it doesn't seem to be working. Your dad is just using the relationship tools he has. There is also an extinction burst- to hammer even harder and this is the part you need to resist. Read about intermittent reinforcement. If you give in - he learns that hammering harder works.

When my father was ill, and we were all stressed- I got angry at BPD mom and yelled at her. While a more normal parent might be upset - they'd hopefully have the insight that a daughter facing the possible loss of a father would be in a difficult place. In this situation, she reacted with even more emotional abuse.

Had I known more about BPD dynamics, I would have been aware that this added to the drama rather than decreased it. Learning about the Karpman triangle, I see where I increase the situation.

The roles that are being played out are: your mother is in victim mode, dad is being rescuer, you are the persecutor. You can not change how they see this. This is their relationship dynamic. They are more bonded when in these roles, as they are looking together at the persecutor, and it takes the focus off their own issues. I also know that when my father asked me to do something for BPD mother, it was because she was demanding he do this, and he was trying to appease her to get some moment of peace from it.

I learned the concept of "medium chill" - holding a boundary without being reactive. Yes, you are angry, and you can feel your feelings. I also learned an acronym (HALT) - these are times to not react: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. These feelings take over the more logical thinking parts. We react out of "fight or flight" and so don't always have the best judgement.

When we are feeling "HALT" it's a signal to take some time out. Ignoring your dad's calls are a good way. If you respond, responding from the "I" perspective is best.

"Hi Dad, I hope all goes well for Mom. I am not able to discuss this at the moment" is better than "I want you to stop talking to me about Mom".

If he persists, repeat. Then if he persists find a way to get off the phone politely.

One example of this is that my mother would say mean things to me about my father. So I said "I do not wish to discuss my father with you". Her reaction ( as expected) "how dare you tell me I can not talk about my husband" to which I replied "I know you can talk about your husband, I just don't want to discuss him".

So each time she tries this, I change the subject, don't respond, or politely get off the phone "I need to go now, there's someone at the door" or whatever. I don't say anything about it. I disengage- don't add fuel to the drama. She did this recently and I changed the subject. On her part, the behavior is less because the reaction doesn't reinforce it.

You are the one to teach your father that the hammer doesn't work. I don't think you want to cut contact with him for the long run at this point. Blocking may be too forceful. Not engaging, changing the subject, - this can be challenging but in the long run, more effective if you want to keep the relationship at some level. You may choose not to at some point but doing it now at the time your parents are under stress might result in a big reaction on their part. The medium chill allows some space for emotions to settle a bit.








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Methuen
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« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2021, 09:28:04 AM »

Hey wmm,

Sadly, your dad’s response was predictable.  He sounds desperate.  His turning on you like this is probably a barometer of his own state of mental wellness.

NotWendy nailed it.

I’m a huge believer in the power and effectiveness of “I statements”, and she suggested a great one.

While my situation with my mom is different, I can relate to being burnt out.  I have learned that when I’m feeling lke this, I need to take a break. Get space.

What your dad is doing is not ok.  But he’s doing it because he’s desperate and doesn’t know what else to do, and because it’s always worked for him in the past.

My advice is to look after yourself.  Keep your space.  At all costs, avoid an emotional reaction to either of them..  Don’t tell him or her what you think.  Don’t yell.  Don’t accuse.  Don’t blow up.  Just use NW’s ”I statement “, and stay NC  until your own emotions settle.

They want a reaction.  Do not give it to them.  They are adults, and as such can sort their own problems.  But don’t state that to them either.  Don’t add to the drama. Instead, focus on self care to find your calm again.  This may take a while.  hug:

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wmm
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« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2021, 04:23:01 PM »

I just received a book called "I'll love you forever" and a letter from my mother. She used to read the book to me as a child. My partner opened it for me when I wasn't home and threw the book and letter out before I got home. He told me the letter apologized to him and me but also still said my email about cancelling the wedding was cruel. I didn't plan on contacting her no matter what she said. I just feel very triggered. I was ok until I came in the door and then I just started crying silently.

I unblocked my dad. He sent me a text asking how I was and sent me a picture of the family dog. I said I was fine but didn't ask him how he was (I almost did by habit). He hasn't said anything else yet but my mom had her biopsy today so I'm not sure he'll say something about that.

I haven't unblocked my younger sister or brother yet. I feel like I should unblock my sister but I just feel so overwhelmed with everything. Not sure what steps I should be taking right now.

I had a very stressful day at work too dealing with a behavioural child. I went back into old thought traps of people being pissed off at me for being sick (I have laryngitis and a cough). I didn't miss work and I don't have covid. My mom has accused me of acting sick to get attention. I can't stop thinking that my coworkers were mad at me or frustrated with me for not being well even though I haven't done anything wrong. I was in a bit of a safe bubble for a bit and now that bubble has burst and the realty of my family drama is back.
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