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Author Topic: At the breaking point  (Read 304 times)
SadFlMom
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Relationship status: Married
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« on: November 19, 2022, 01:29:55 PM »

My daughter (E) is 30.  She was diagnosed with BPD in her twenties, but denies she has a problem, and refuses treatment.  I am divorced from her father, who is a narcissist and functional alcoholic.  He was verbally, emotionally, financially, and finally, physically abusive to me.  He was also verbally abusive to E, for which I bear a tremendous amount of guilt.  He broke off contact with her when we separated. I am very fortunate to be remarried to a wonderful man, who has tried to be supportive of my daughter.
I have been through years of turmoil with E.  Expelled from private high school, got her past that to graduation.  Expelled from college, got her transferred.  She broke off contact with me because she was angry over my remarriage.  Still paid all her bills, though I was not invited to her graduation.  Got a job in retail, with me still paying most of her bills while not speaking to me.  Got a phone call from her roommate- she had given birth on the floor of her room.  Claimed she didn't know she was pregnant. She decided to give the baby up for adoption.  Let the baby's father know, and he and his father decided to keep and raise their son- J is now 7 years old, and a wonderful little boy. My husband and I brought E home and cleaned up all her messes- car impounded, debts everywhere, warrant for her arrest for unpaid tickets.
Seemed to be pulling her life together. Got a new job, visited the baby several times a week. I insisted E get therapy- got her diagnosis, and refused to accept it.  I had permission to speak with the therapist, she apparently used the sessions to detail how horrible I was.  Started going off the rails again- quit therapy, resumed drinking heavily, and drug use.  Trashed her room. Totaled the car. We bought her another. The living situation became intolerable- stealing, lying, destroying our property.  Paid for her to move into an apartment, only if she kept working.  Got fired.  Got another- eventually.  Totaled another car.  Got her a new one.  No thanks for any of the bailouts, of course.  Got evicted- the monthly allowance we gave her to pay the rent was going who knows where.   Found her a new one, with a roommate.  Paid the rent directly this time.  Constant problems with J's father- we never knew how true any of it was.  They insisted that she only see him at their home- thank heavens. She has never paid any support. Roommates constantly moving in and out- always resulting in us paying more rent.
 We didn't see or hear from her all that often- which, sadly, was a relief.  Just when she was in conflict with someone else more than with us, or when she wanted money.  Tried to detach from her affairs as much as possible- got my name off her lease and her car- on the advice of my therapist.  Still got calls from bill collectors-even though we were paying her rent, utilities, phone and car payment. Got to see our grandson 3-4 times a year- only under supervision of the other grandpa.  Very awkward, but I can't blame them, considering what I can only imagine she put them through.
My husband was retired, but had a pension, and still did consulting.  I was putting away my entire salary as an "E fund".  I had to stop working- I have an autoimmune disease that was out of control, and the stress was killing me.  Let E know that there was an end in sight to the funds we could contribute to her support.  No more allowance- and let her know we would gradually decrease the amount of rent we would pay. 
Last summer, got a call from the ER.  She had been taken there by ambulance- had fallen in the grocery store and broken her leg- needed surgery.  Also couldn't control her rapid heart rate.  Found a bag a white powder in her purse which probably explained that, though she (again) denied drug use. Also found out she had been fired. Car was in the parking lot- half wrecked.  No registration or insurance.  Another warrant out for unpaid tickets.  Apartment a filthy wreck. I was 4 weeks out from a major surgery, but my husband and I did as much as we could.  Brought her home with us.  It was a nightmare.  E alternated between demanding to be waited on, and screaming (literally) over the pain in her leg.  She had screaming arguments with her Dr when they cut off her pain meds.  We cleaned the apartment, junked her car, and got her another.  Brought her back to the apartment as soon as she could use crutches.  Drove her to her medical appointments.  Had a serious talk- she had to be employed, follow up on her medical appointments, pay her own car insurance and keep it current.  Keep the car and apartment clean.  Find a roommate. We would pay her rent for six months, then she would start paying half after that.  Wrote a contract, we all signed.  Again- she pulled things together.  Got a job- low paying, but still a job.
 Actually paid part of her rent- for three months.  After that- a lot of broken promises.
Minimal contact with her- again, only when she's distressed over something, or wants money. 
I've now reached my breaking point.  She called me crying that J's father had moved without telling her, and she had lost all contact with her child.  I was devastated.  We agreed that we would pay for an attorney- until we found out it wasn't true.  J's father had moved in with his girlfriend, and they would not give her the address- a smart move on their part.  But she was still seeing J on the same schedule at the grandpa's house.  She told me I had "misunderstood".
I next got a $1000 credit card bill on a card I never used- but she had stolen at some point.  I cancelled it and paid the bill.  She "thought I said it was OK".
Her roommate broke her lease and moved out, but called me because of E's behavior.  She was worried that she was showing signs of a mental decline.  It was kind of her to be concerned, but I guess not really a suprise.  We then were on the hook for 100% of the rent- or let her be evicted.  I told her we would pay for one month, then she needed to get a new roommate and pay toward her half.  She agreed-didn't happen.
She has now attempted to open a joint credit card without my permission- thank goodness I got a notice before it was approved.  I've now frozen my credit.
I love my daughter.  She can be wonderful- except when she's not.  I've done all I can to get her help, with no success.  I have no doubt that she has a substance abuse problem, but she denies it.  It kills me to think of the great potential she had, but has been wasted.  I've accepted that most of the dreams I've had for her will never come to pass.  I had hoped that she could pull herself together for the sake of her son, but that hasn't happened.
I feel that I've come to the absolute end.  I can't do any more.  The thought of the hundreds of thousands of dollars I've spent supporting E makes me feel sick.  I can't put my financial future at any more risk, but I'm afraid of what may happen to her if I cut her off.  And I have to accept that I may never see my grandson again if I cut her off.  There are no good choices here.  My husband is clear that he will go along with whatever I decide, he is worried about my mental state.  We both agree that she cannot live with us. I just don't know how to live with myself if she ends up on the street.  Sorry for the length of this post, but it helps just getting it all out.
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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
arjay
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Divorced
Posts: 2566

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« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2022, 02:50:56 PM »

That's a heartbreaking post, and I can understand why you are at your "absolute end" in what to do; torn between letting go and parental worry over her well-being.  It seems your H has been totally supportive.  There will come a time for both of you however, when what is going on, may affect your own ability to take care of one another (financially/emotionally/etc), as you mentioned.

Couple things come to mind:
  • Have you tried getting suggestions from her/your T regarding what to do at this point?  IMO professional help is really needed here obviously for her, but equally, I am concerned for you.  Are you seeing a T?
  • Boundaries come into play here.  Seems like out of your own sense of possible guilt, D knows that you will inevitably "save her" again-again?  It sounds like getting help with how to establish healthy boundaries with your D is really in order.  It may take professional help in doing this too.  I was given several books to read (during therapy) that included Boundaries.  I was making things worse.
  • Lots of articles here on boundaries and books on Amazon/etc.  You will obviously want to focus on boundaries as they pertain to D, as she suffers from an emotional disorder
  • Realize you are not alone in this struggle, as many have been through the same

Reading and posting here really does help, as until we are more grounded, it's hard to even contemplate what to do going forward.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2022, 05:58:16 PM by arjay » Logged

Sancho
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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2022, 07:15:54 PM »

Hi SadFIMom
I want to thank you for your post. I can feel the pain and exhaustion as you relive the journey you have been on to where you are now.

I am having a difficult time at the moment, and reading your post took me back over my journey and I think it helps me clarify how I cope at this point in time.

My dd is probably not as functioning as yours. She is unable to hold any sort of job for any length of time. My dd is certainly self medicating with substances - marijuana and for a long time ice. Just over 2 years ago she came home and came off ice herself (that was so tough - her child lives here too, but at that time was week on week off with her dad; she is now here full time).

I too have tried to help dd set herself up independently, but she really can't cope with it.

Your post helped me to clarify the dilemmas we face.

If you don't support financially, the options are living with you and the chaos and stress of that, or having to live with the stress of dd living on the streets and all that entails.

I made the mistake of paying credit cards etc until I realised that it meant dd had a good credit rating because I did this - so she could get into more debt!

At the moment DD is back on ice, driving without a licence and just got a notice of a road infringement. The car is registered in her dad's name, and he is not happy. Somehow they both think I can 'fix it' in some way. My dd has handled cars herself okay, but she lets those she mixes with drive them. When she was living here with a bf at one stage, he wrecked 3 cars!

To be honest, I am actually at a point where I am hoping there will be some sort of crisis that needs intervention. I think to myself 'Perhaps if dd goes to goal she might have access to a social worker or have a medical assessment for some medication'. But I don't know if things will just get worse.

It is possible your dd is self medicating, and this adds a big extra layer of difficulty.

At the moment my situation is:

Dd has a room here; I greystone rock when she is in the house to minimise verbal abuse (as she is back on ice that is easily triggered); when she goes to stay elsewhere I do provide some money so that I get a break; I tidy/clean her room a bit when she is staying overnight somewhere; I don't fix any damage she does to the house - I will do that when I do a final renovation ( this is much less since it is only herself here; when I allowed bf I had lots of holes punched in walls etc)

I am anxious because I will be having a major operation early January and I don't know what state dd will be in to look after gd for the week I will be away.

My dd is 32 and I know that there is evidence that BPD symptoms can improve in this decade. I don't have much hope that dd will improve.

I am sorry I don't really have any words that can be helpful for you in your situation. I can only let you know that there are people such as myself who are on the same journey, faced with the same dilemmas, who are sad and tired.

Thanks for your post . . .


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kells76
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Gender: Female
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner’s ex
Posts: 2244



« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2022, 01:18:26 PM »

Hello SadFlMom, welcome to the group. You sound so exhausted -- I hope this place can offer you support and respite as you figure out what you want to do regarding your D.

I can't add much to the suggestions from arjay and Sancho, who both have a wealth of experience.

This part in your post did stand out to me:

I love my daughter.  She can be wonderful- except when she's not. I've done all I can to get her help, with no success.  I have no doubt that she has a substance abuse problem, but she denies it.  It kills me to think of the great potential she had, but has been wasted. I've accepted that most of the dreams I've had for her will never come to pass. I had hoped that she could pull herself together for the sake of her son, but that hasn't happened.
I feel that I've come to the absolute end.  I can't do any more.  The thought of the hundreds of thousands of dollars I've spent supporting E makes me feel sick.  I can't put my financial future at any more risk, but I'm afraid of what may happen to her if I cut her off.  And I have to accept that I may never see my grandson again if I cut her off.  There are no good choices here.  My husband is clear that he will go along with whatever I decide, he is worried about my mental state.  We both agree that she cannot live with us. I just don't know how to live with myself if she ends up on the street.  Sorry for the length of this post, but it helps just getting it all out.

I see a lot of realizations you've come to and accepted (perhaps rationally, but still difficult emotionally to accept?):

-You have done all you can to help
-Your help has not succeeded with her
-Your dreams for her might not come to pass
-You cannot do more
-You might not see your GS again
-You and your H are on the same page
-She cannot live with you again

SadFlMom, you have faced the reality of so much there. I wonder if there is a lot to grieve, about how you wanted things to be?

In a way, you are at your "rock bottom", maybe? Things cannot get much worse? So, I wonder if that realization could be freeing for you -- that no matter what you choose, it can't really get worse? So perhaps you and your H can choose together to take care of yourselves, helping each other to be strong, healthy, and stable, so that if/when GS enters your life again, you can support him. That is one way to look at things.

I did also notice your fears about her living on the streets. It's a real fear. Many parents here have dealt with adult children with BPD choosing to live in vans, on couches, in the woods, etc. You are not alone in having that fear. Would you like to talk through more of the specific things you fear about if that were to happen?

We look forward to hearing more from you, whenever you're ready -- no pressure.

kells76
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