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Skills we were never taught
A 3 Minute Lesson
on Ending Conflict
Communication Skills-
Don't Be Invalidating
Listen with Empathy -
A Powerful Life Skill
Setting Boundaries
and Setting Limits
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Author Topic: The last straw  (Read 205 times)

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

« on: December 20, 2022, 02:03:34 PM »

I helped daughter escape an abusive relationship in another state, and against my better judgment brought her home in August. Yesterday was her 20th birthday. Sunday night my husband (her stepdad of 13 yrs) got into an argument about her behavior that turned serious (he said he was leaving) and I believed him because he's never said it before. I waited until yesterday morning and asked him if he was serious and he said yes. I was shell shocked and I told her that we (she and I) needed to move. She was shocked, scared. She apparently stewed about it all day - none of us were really talking at all- and he decided to pack a bag and go visit his son for a couple days. He passed through the kitchen and she was there. He decided to take the dogs with him and she freaked. She shoved, he shoved back, she failed kicked and scratched the heck out of him and he subdued her until she calmed. She jumped up and grabbed a bread knife and waved it at him then ran out the door and called the police. She got arrested. We got a protection order.

She is at our neighbor's house (thanks to my dumb a$$) who is feeling sorry for her.

I'm so done. DONE. She crossed a line that she can't uncross. I got an emergency therapist appt for myself this morning which was good, but wow do I have a lot of work ahead. My heart is broken and I'm sad to give up on her. But I'm so tired. I bought the Caretaker book someone else suggested in another thread and I'm reading it today. I have to do this. I have to.

Anyone who has done separation successfully: did you go full no contact? Will you share your thoughts? I need some confidence bad.
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: Romantic partner’s ex
Posts: 2355

« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2022, 04:31:00 PM »

It's good you all have some space right now, with D20 at the neighbor's house. It sounds like it isn't safe for all of you to be together in the same house at the moment.

One thought I'm having is that many pwBPD struggle with black & white thinking -- it's all or nothing, no in between. I'm wondering if that makes normal-range young adult independence really difficult. Perhaps pwBPD perceive the situation as "I'm either 110% attached to Mom, or she's the worst and I have to have a huge blowup". Some difficulty with finding balance in having appropriate space and individuation. Maybe for "broadly normal" young adults, there can be a gradual path of "first I get a job while living at home, then I'm out with friends more, then I rent a room of my own, then it falls through and I move back for a bit, then I relaunch and am out on my own, then I come back for dinners once a week, then...". I wonder if your D is struggling with the "gray area" of young adult launching and is "creating" the individuation/distance the only way she knows how, through big acting out.

So, she may be signaling, in a very low skilled way, that now is a time for her to have more space from you (and you from her). It's not happening in a graceful way, but it needs to happen. And, it is a very "natural consequences" situation that because she shoved, kicked, and waved a knife, that she got arrested. Many people get arrested and learn from it. It is not the end of the world, even though it is a big hassle. Perhaps for her it can be a learning opportunity as she tries to individuate more?

This seems like a good time for you to do the extra therapy like you mentioned, and take calm time alone for yourself with her out of the house, to regroup and breathe and get back to baseline. Hopefully with that breathing room, you can have a calm place to plan from, for how you want the next few days to go.

"No Contact"... it's not like there is a contract you have to sign or anything. It can be a decision "for now", "for the moment", that right now, it's better to give her space and not be in touch. It doesn't have to be forever. It could even be something like you deciding "for the next 3 days, I'm going to excuse myself from interacting with her, and focus on centering myself" -- and then, when 3 days are up, you can reassess and make the next decision.

Maintaining that space and distance, and declining to be in contact, can be for as short or as long as you need to regroup, build skills, and get support. It also doesn't have to be an "all or nothing" thing. For example, at the end of 3 days, you don't have to go back to "one big happy family at Christmas". After 3 days, you are in the driver's seat for what you need. You might decide "Well, I think I am OK with brief texts about low drama things, once per day, and if the drama increases, I will mute and not respond".

You can run these ideas by your T and figure out a plan that helps you be healthy and grounded. It might look like what other parents are doing, or it might look very different. Either/any way is OK, your family is unique.


How is everybody doing today?


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

« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2022, 06:10:45 PM »

Thank you so much got responding. I am rereading everything you said - it's the exact feedback I need to hear. We had to get a protection order so she isn't coming back.

She is 100% black and white, and H is very unsympathetic to her BPD and my Caretaker behavior. I frustrate him terribly, and my pushing back constantly against his advice has driven a wedge.

She knows she has BPD, she has therapy and psychiatrist scheduled for first week of Jan. Will she keep the appts? Who knows.

 She claims she needs no one, yet I am her first call for everything. Then, on the flip side, she is well loved at work, doesn't have many friends but the ones she has love her. All the chaos is saved for family I guess. I have disconnected her cell phone (she has money and a prepaid phone she can activate) and that d*mn near killed me to do. But I have been supporting her demands and cries for help for so long and.i have to send the message that I am done with it.
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