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Parents! Get help here!
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Author Topic: I feel helpless and hopeless  (Read 433 times)
eribar
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Relationship status: Divorced
Posts: 2


« on: November 01, 2022, 08:33:44 PM »

Hi, I would like to learn how to get along better with my 30 year old son who I believe has unconventional BPD.  Every conversation turns into a fight, I seem to say everything wrong.  Very often he misinterprets something I say or tells me I have said something that I have not said, then accuses me of gaslighting him.
It is very difficult to live with him.  My 28 year old daughter lives with us as well and doesn't have a relationship with her brother at all because she is afraid of triggering him.  She also has mental health issues but is in therapy and on medication, so she avoids him and tries not to be triggered by his behavior.  We live together in a home with no joy or peace.
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Our objective is to better understand the struggles our child faces and to learn the skills to improve our relationship and provide a supportive environment and also improve on our own emotional responses, attitudes and effectiveness as a family leaders
Aralia

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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Posts: 34


« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2022, 12:31:47 AM »

Hi eribar. A good place to start might be the Family Connections course run by the NEABPD. The organization is there to teach skills and provide support to the loved ones of ppl with BPD. They also have other resources you might find helpful. I am sorry you are going through this but there are many people in your situation on this Board. You are definitely not alone.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2022, 01:37:28 PM by kells76, Reason: correct user name » Logged
eribar
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Relationship status: Divorced
Posts: 2


« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2022, 04:50:41 PM »

Hi Aralia,

I have taken the Family Connections Course through NEABPD.  Very nice people, good information, but day to day reality trying to have peace in this environment is difficult.  Thank you for reaching out.
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Rev
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Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Divorced
Posts: 1184


The surest way to fail is to never try.


« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2022, 08:24:04 PM »

Hi eribar,

Ouff - tough situation. I really feel for you. Sounds like you are in a tight spot without a lot of room to maneuver.

Can you say a bit more about what you mean by "unconventional BPD"?

It might be easier to carve out a path forward if you could elaborate a bit.

Hang in there. Reach out any time.

Rev.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2022, 01:36:23 PM by kells76, Reason: correct user name » Logged
Sancho
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« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2022, 01:38:24 AM »

Hi eribar
You make a really good point in your response about the gap that can exist between theory ie how to relate to someone with BPD, and the reality of trying to do that.

I think that is why coming here is so important - or it was/is to me. I read stories and news items about people with BPD and I feel as though I am on another planet in my personal experience.

But here I heave a sigh of relieve as I read posts about verbal abuse, money/employment problems, and - as you say - the effect on a household of the BPD personality.

My household is sad and I think lonely - because I can't have people to my home in a normal way because I don't know how dd will be on any given day. So my life feels smaller than it could be. But it is not as small as it used to be, I think because I have 'let go'.

From what you say your dd has stepped back from interacting with her brother in order to care for herself. I think this is a good decision. It sounds as though your ds is not formally diagnosed and therefore can't/won't access any help for his behaviour.

We love our children whether they are minors or adults and it is so painful when we are in this situation. We also feel the responsibility to somehow make life better for them.

I think I have let go of that responsibility now - most of the time! I love dd but I can't influence her choices in any way and if I try to I just get abused.

In practical terms this means that I don't initiate conversation with dd and when she does I keep my responses to general comments where possible. Yes is means a very diminished atmosphere in the house, but on the other hand it is much less confrontational and full of verbal abuse of myself.

I try to find support and interest outside the house (it is not really a 'home') and this helps me cope.

One way I used to cope was to change the way I was thinking about 'being in the house together'. My whole mentality was that it was a family and I was the one responsible for supporting the children. But when they became adults, I tried to think of it as a 'share' house - and sharing with a very difficult person.

Somehow it freed me up a lot and helped me go about daily life with less focus on a parent child relationship. I can be quite good at living with difficult strangers, so why couldn't I be like that in this situation.

I know it is not exactly the same but when I came to realise I could do nothing to help dd or improve the situation, this mental trick on myself somehow helped me to get on with my life, alongside ds rather than interacting/feeling responsible/searching for help for her and generally focusing my waking hours on how to help her.

I have 'let go' - most of the time - now, but still have love in my heart for this beautiful child who is now so broken.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2022, 01:36:38 PM by kells76, Reason: correct user name » Logged
atthebeginning

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


« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2022, 04:00:30 AM »

Hi Sancho - you hit the nail on the head when you say "In practical terms this means that I don't initiate conversation with dd and when she does I keep my responses to general comments where possible."  This is working well for me, too.  I do sometimes hear the crickets when my bpd daughter wants me to over-react to something she has said... but I hold my nerve and either say nothing, something non-comittal, or throw an open question back to avoid going down a rabbit hole of entrapment.
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Rev
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Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Divorced
Posts: 1184


The surest way to fail is to never try.


« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2022, 06:25:43 AM »

Hi eribar
You make a really good point in your response about the gap that can exist between theory ie how to relate to someone with BPD, and the reality of trying to do that.

I think that is why coming here is so important - or it was/is to me. I read stories and news items about people with BPD and I feel as though I am on another planet in my personal experience.

But here I heave a sigh of relieve as I read posts about verbal abuse, money/employment problems, and - as you say - the effect on a household of the BPD personality.

My household is sad and I think lonely - because I can't have people to my home in a normal way because I don't know how dd will be on any given day. So my life feels smaller than it could be. But it is not as small as it used to be, I think because I have 'let go'.

From what you say your dd has stepped back from interacting with her brother in order to care for herself. I think this is a good decision. It sounds as though your ds is not formally diagnosed and therefore can't/won't access any help for his behaviour.

We love our children whether they are minors or adults and it is so painful when we are in this situation. We also feel the responsibility to somehow make life better for them.

I think I have let go of that responsibility now - most of the time! I love dd but I can't influence her choices in any way and if I try to I just get abused.

In practical terms this means that I don't initiate conversation with dd and when she does I keep my responses to general comments where possible. Yes is means a very diminished atmosphere in the house, but on the other hand it is much less confrontational and full of verbal abuse of myself.

I try to find support and interest outside the house (it is not really a 'home') and this helps me cope.

One way I used to cope was to change the way I was thinking about 'being in the house together'. My whole mentality was that it was a family and I was the one responsible for supporting the children. But when they became adults, I tried to think of it as a 'share' house - and sharing with a very difficult person.

Somehow it freed me up a lot and helped me go about daily life with less focus on a parent child relationship. I can be quite good at living with difficult strangers, so why couldn't I be like that in this situation.

I know it is not exactly the same but when I came to realise I could do nothing to help dd or improve the situation, this mental trick on myself somehow helped me to get on with my life, alongside ds rather than interacting/feeling responsible/searching for help for her and generally focusing my waking hours on how to help her.

I have 'let go' - most of the time - now, but still have love in my heart for this beautiful child who is now so broken.

All of this.... yes.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2022, 01:36:52 PM by kells76, Reason: correct user name » Logged
Aralia

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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Posts: 34


« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2022, 02:43:11 AM »

Eribar, is your son in therapy? 
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