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Author Topic: Recently diagnosed BPD teen on the cusp of college  (Read 350 times)
Tanita2023
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« on: February 25, 2023, 07:28:02 AM »

Hello.  My beautiful, caring, hard working and academically gifted daughter has struggled her entire adolescence with depression, anxiety and emotional dysregulation that baffled our large family.  She's been in one type of therapy or another, including medication management, for 6 years, with little improvement. Now that we have a confirmed diagnosis (she is about to turn 18), and her dad and I are devouring all information regarding this condition, we are dealing  several terrifying emotions:  

GUILT.  It seems that we have misunderstood her for a very long time and taking the advice of well meaning professionals we have incorrectly handled her tantrums, avoidance, obstenance, refusal to go to school/do chores/participate in family activities/cancel at the last minute, etc etc etc.  We've been told to issues ultimatums.  We've been told to not issue ultimatums.  We've been told I am a codependent because I am so enmeshed with her emotional rollercoaster. We've been told I (we) am not involved enough. We've been told to let her be.  We've been told to not allow her to lock herself in her room and issue consequences if she refuses.  We've been told she needs her independence.  We've been told to take away her car keys (her, car, she paid for it and works to provide her own car insurance) and not allow her to work.  We've been told by school personnel that she will be issues detention  and possible suspension if she doesnt attend classes on a regular basis (she does have a IEP) then in the next beat the Dean of Students tells me not to worry, that he'll "take care of it"!!! (no consequences whatsoever).    I CANT TAKE IT.   We've messed her up even worse because we sought help and that help was so incredibly inconsistent. And then my husband I I argue what to do, what not to do, what is right, what is wrong; sometimes we can't help ourselves and our daughter knows that we are arguing about her and imagine how THAT makes her feel.  

FRUSTRATION.  What are we suppose to do to help her?  How can we make her understand that she has to accept the diagnosis and begin to take measures to help herself?  Thankfully right before receiving the diagnosis we had found a DBT Psychologist who also runs a Group Adolescent DPT Program.  My daughter is suppose to meet with her privately two session weekly then one 90 minute online group session (I am involved in the program also) weekly and already in the second week my daughter bailed, although I showed up and continued to learn and work on my own skills.  Mind you, this is not covered by insurance.  I have calculated that most of my paycheck the next 6 months will go primarily to paying out of pocket for this therapy.   But I am not complaining and willing to do it.  Problem is, she fails to see that it is VITAL that she participates.

FEAR.  I know this sounds like projection, but I truly fear for her future.  She has been completely unable to bond with her peers for the past, very sad 6 years.  She started junior high with such a bang, at the heels of her very successful and happy elementary school experience, and then as if a stranger woke up one morning, she stopped seeing her friends.  Friends stopped inviting her to parties.  The parties she did attend she would call to pick her up early.  She was a volleyball phenom and on her way to a terrific high school athletic experience and she quit.  She quit the school team, the quit two club teams.  She quit her extra curricular clubs that met in person.  She quit Juvenile Court participation (not as an offender but as a mock prosecutor of juvenile cases, she has mentioned she'd like to be an attorney).  However, incredibly, she has maintained an over 4.0 GPA and has been accepted to [edited] University - the IVY, I'm still shocked but she has earned her acceptance for sure.  And also incredibly, she is totally motivated by making money, she does not find a way out of her many job opportunities and makes a good deal of pocket change weekly (nannying, tutoring, babysitting).  As long as she is NOT with people her age, she feels okay and is distracted.  But as soon as she is home, she is aware of the parties she is not attending, the dates she is not going on the proms she hasn't been invited to, the senior trip her classmates arranged and are currently enjoying and no one asked her to join.

So the reason for this post, aside from finally getting the words out of my head and heavy heart and onto a forum that allows me to receive feedback, I am SO WORRIED about her going off to college. She has claimed over the past 6 years that we, namely her dad, has created her mental instability (SO UNTRUE) and she can't wait to get out of the house, but she is actually very much afraid to go away to college and experience more of the same social isolation (of course self imposed but as you all know, that is their maladaptive coping strategy).  I would like to know if any parents out there have experienced this with their BPD teen and how the situation has been handled and the results?  I'm asking alot here, and I suppose I am fishing for good news.  I am just so afraid and don't know what to think or how to stop my own life from becoming totally paralyzed by fear for her.  I have 4 other kids, a husband, and my own sanity to think about!!!  

There is a huge fork in the road looming just months ahead of us and I don't know which fork she/we should take.   I pray she allows herself the opportunity to participate in DBT and the patience to see even minor positive results.  

Thank you for reading.  


 
« Last Edit: February 27, 2023, 11:12:00 AM by kells76, Reason: edited to remove real name and college name per Guideline 1.15 » Logged
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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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2023, 02:34:55 PM »

I do not have any advice because I am in the exact same situation with my daughter. She is 18 and a high school senior planning to attend college out of state in the fall. She is currently in a partial hospitalization program and finishing high school online after being expelled from her school for marijuana possession on campus (in her car).
She sounds a lot like your daughter with friends and such. She DESPERATELY wants to go to college. And I want her to go not only for herself but for me too. The abuse is really wreaking havoc on me and her brother (older sister is in college).
So this isn’t an answer to your question but a post in solidarity.
Hoping others can give us some good news!
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SaltyDawg
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2023, 06:14:02 AM »

This is going to be a very short reply as I am getting ready for church and a full day of activities.  Drill down on my name, and look at my posts, I have talked a bit about my own daughter a recovered diagnosed anorexic which is a very common comorbidity of being borderline. 

There is hope.  However, once they turn 18, at least in the United States, they can do whatever they want to do.  My daughter is a prodigy and has followed a similar trajectory for herself, and will graduate highschool with college degree, she is skipping her junior and senior years and is going straight into college and is valedictorian as is my wife of the very same high school just different years seperated by several decades... patterns and cycles...  Most of the ivy league reached out to her and contacted her about attending at all but one [which ironically I was employed by for a few years].

My short version of advice is to sit, and listen to your child, validate their feelings about you [no matter how negative], about your spouse [no matter how negative].  Validating doesn't mean agreeing with them, it means acknowledging their feelings.  Maintain a non-threatening 'safe' space for them so they can discuss what they want to. You want to maintain this - failure to do so will likely result in estrangement when she leaves the house [as observed repeatedly on my inlaws side - with eventual reconciliation].

It is incredibly important to not let them triangulate you against your spouse, and your other children, and present a unified front [if possible] - in my case this is impossible as my wife is mostly likely a uBPD [undiagnosed borderline] and is likely the origin of the problem, and my ignorance of the issue has been contributing factor up until about half year ago.  My daughter is dAN [diagnostic anorexia nervosa], uOCPD [ undiagnosed obsessive compulsive personality disorder] and she has share with me her self-diagnosis of other significant issues of which i convinced her she wasn't one but the other she was possible.  My daughter is self-aware of her situation, and is deliberately flying under the radar for additional mental health assistance.  In essence all I'm doing is guiding her the best of my ability, learning about her, and coming up with strategies that she can cope with her incredible intelligence that far exceeds my own.

In addition to listening to your child, I will give you my number one piece of advice, and that is to do 'self-care' - make sure it includes individual therapy, exercise outdoors [as simple as a walk], among other activities that you enjoy doing to recharge your spirit.  Also to look inward into your own role of your busy life where you might have been able to do better, same for your spouse, etc.  I know my wife is a workaholic by choice, and for the longest time I was a workaholic by necessity, I feel that these are also contributing factors to my family dynamic.  I know this piece of advice probably doesn't make sense right now, however it eventually will.

Of course I have a lot more advice to offer, however I am out of time for the moment.  In the meantime please ask a bunch of questions and I'll be more than happy to answer them from my perspective in my own crisis situation.

Take care.
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Tanita2023
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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2023, 07:30:06 AM »

To Sawlty Dawg and Lifelonglearner:  Thank you for your beautiful and supportive replies!!!! As far as answers, there are many and there are none, as I'm learning that treating BPD is not a one size fits all whatsoever.  I'm also learning how to navigate this website.  I thought I could reply to each message individually and I cant figure out how to do this.  I may private message both of you.   But for the sake of anyone else that is following this thread, have either of your teens pursued or is thinking of a Gap year?  We are considering this.  My daughter is top of her class (not valedictorian, holy cow, congratulations!!!) but up there, and the stress of staying on top while in a brand new world may be expecting too much too soon.  She (we; I am taking it too) just started a 6 month DBT program, and once successfully completed I'd like to give her time to apply and negotiate the skills and see how she does maybe first at a local or community college.  I have to learn how to be fully accepting of her situation and condition.  From [University] to a community college would an unexpected and unconventional trajectory but so is her mental health, and besides, many schools allow the deferment.
I will re-read your posts at work later today and reach out.  I am so grateful you can both understand and I have found support here.  Sawlty Dog - the advice about validation is SPOT OBN.  Just wish my husband fully supported the notion,.  Despite many years of various family therapy, he is still insulted that his daughter has turned on him and he can't really see his (fairly large) role in her disorder. He's just so defensive despite trying his best to "reach" her. Without his acknowledgment and acceptance, she wont heal and our family dynamic won't either. Sigh.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2023, 11:13:45 AM by kells76, Reason: edited to remove real college name, per Guideline 1.15 » Logged
Lifelonglearner

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« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2023, 12:50:57 PM »

I am considering all options for my daughter, but she is insistent she go to college in the fall. I am going to let her make the ultimate choice, but I will condition her going on continuing therapy while she’s in school. I have already found a couple of reputable DBT therapists in Fort Collins (she’s going to Colorado state), and I have a good friend in Fort Collins who also has a daughter with BPD, and she has given me some resources. I honestly don’t know if she and I can live together full time for much longer. If she does take a gap year, we would have to figure something out where she wouldn’t live at home.
This is sooooooo difficult. I’m sorry you are experiencing this too. I totally understand your husband not understanding his role in your daughter’s behavior. Unfortunately, my husband also had (suspected) BPD and died by suicide when my daughter was 13. He was a disciplinarian and didn’t understand why his punishments and harsh words just seemed to make her worse. I’m praying she gets the help she needs and actually uses it so she doesn’t go down the path of my late husband who refused help.
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SaltyDawg
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« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2023, 12:58:04 PM »

I'm learning that treating BPD is not a one size fits all whatsoever.

Quite true, there are 9 symptoms of which 5 or more must be present according to the DSM V, which leaves over 200 combinations on how the illness can manifest itself.  Then there are the comorbidities which complicate things making it nearly an endless number of differences on how to treat the mental health issue.


I'm also learning how to navigate this website.  I thought I could reply to each message individually and I cant figure out how to do this.  I may private message both of you.

I am 'ok' with PM.


But for the sake of anyone else that is following this thread, have either of your teens pursued or is thinking of a Gap year?  We are considering this.  My daughter is top of her class (not valedictorian, holy cow, congratulations!!!) but up there, and the stress of staying on top while in a brand new world may be expecting too much too soon.

Negative on the 'gap year'.  It is my personal opinion that I would strongly recommend against a 'gap year' as it will keep her mind busy with academics [unless getting straight "A's" induces severe anxiety in her] - I feel that you definitely do NOT want an 'idle' mind while treating borderline as it will allow her mind to wander in directions ways that are not helpful - like "I am being held back; therefore, I must be a failure".  If you are considering a 'gap year' talk to your T, the family T [if you have one], her T on this in addition to her guidance counselor and administrators at school in my opinion.  We had an excellent guidance counselor and worked with us to enable our D to stay in school and 'excel'.  Get as much help as you can find, it is a matter of looking for it.  If you need additional suggestions, ask.

In my situation, my D is exceptionally focused on getting out of the 'toxic family dynamic' that she has ascribed to me and my wife, which I have confirmed/validated for her.  I am emotionally supporting her in this, as I agree the sooner she can put physical distance from the toxicity, the better.  During the last bit of individual therapy she got from her AN treatment allowed her to come to this realization, and she has an exit strategy from two years ago until she can spread her wings in another 2-1/2 years time - she is halfway there, my D is literally counting the days until she can leave the house.  

She (we; I am taking it too) just started a 6 month DBT program, and once successfully completed I'd like to give her time to apply and negotiate the skills and see how she does maybe first at a local or community college.  I have to learn how to be fully accepting of her situation and condition.  From [University] to a community college would an unexpected and unconventional trajectory but so is her mental health, and besides, many schools allow the deferment.

DBT is currently considered the best treatment for BPD; however, don't discount other treatments as well.  I am glad you're doing DBT with her as well, it has a lot of good skills that I am now applying every day for myself too.  This will also forge a stronger bond with your D as well.

My D is a HS sophomore currently, will be college freshmen next school year at the local community college and is endorsed by the HS in lieu of her junior and senior year at HS - she will get her HS diploma and AA degree simultaneously, she will be two years ahead of her peers when she graduates.


I will re-read your posts at work later today and reach out.  I am so grateful you can both understand and I have found support here.  Sawlty Dog - the advice about validation is SPOT OBN.  Just wish my husband fully supported the notion,.  Despite many years of various family therapy, he is still insulted that his daughter has turned on him and he can't really see his (fairly large) role in her disorder. He's just so defensive despite trying his best to "reach" her. Without his acknowledgment and acceptance, she wont heal and our family dynamic won't either. Sigh.

The cause of BPD is thought to either be environmental and/or genetic.  I personally feel that it is almost all environmental especially if the generation ahead of them had their own issues [usually manifesting as 'anger management issues', 'serial cheater-womanizer/slut', child abuse, child neglect, among other forms of invalidating behaviors by their parent and/or parents].  If your H is a workaholic, that can be percieved by the child as 'abandonment / neglect' especially if she is a 'daddy's girl'.

With regards to your H, I sense that you have a pretty strong idea what the contributing factor(s) might be.  In my case, the reverse is true where it is my wife that has the larger contribution; however, I am not without blame, as I used to be my wife's chief enabler for her bad behaviors, I also used to be a partially absentee dad due to my wacked out work schedule.  

If you want your H to become 'self-aware' of his issue so he can actively and effectively deal with the issue that you perceive that he has, you need to think outside of the box and figure out a way for him to become 'self-aware' of that issue.  Once he is 'self-aware' a second component must also be present, and that is the will to change himself, as he is the only one capable of doing that for himself.

You have an nearly impossible task - you need to find an emotional mirror where you can reflect his behaviors back to him without being 'critical' of him, and/or where he might be 'defensive' about what is being overtly or covertly being implied something is wrong with him and/or his actions without him being contemptuous.  And you don't want to be stonewalling him either, or make him do the same for you.  In essence you need to make him think about his actions/inactions without being critical of him, even though you ultimately are being critical which makes this task so difficult.

Giving you a heads up, it may take me up to 48 hours to respond to your next post as I have a very busy schedule tonight throughout tomorrow.

In the meantime, if you want to understand the dynamic better, and understand BPD better, I have two book recommendations for you [do not share with your D] before going to other books [I found most of these at the public library near me either in paper copy or digital form]:

“Stop Caretaking the Borderline Or Narcissist: How to End the Drama and Get on with Life” by Margalis Fjelstad

“Stop Walking on Eggshells” by Paul T. Mason and Randi Kreger [3rd Edition]

If you are looking for books for your D here are a couple [check with your D's therapist first before giving her these]:

"I Hate You-- Don't Leave Me: Understanding the Borderline Personality" by Hal Straus and Jerold Jay Kreisman

"Sometimes I Act Crazy: Living with Borderline Personality Disorder" by Hal Straus and Jerold Jay Kreisman

Take care, and do self-care.

P.S.  My D does not have any signs/traits of BPD; however, my S (11) does, and I would apply the same advice for him [and my D] that I do for your D.
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SaltyDawg
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« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2023, 02:07:17 PM »

LLL,

I am sorry about the loss of your late husband, that is understandably rough on both you and your daughter.  BPD is the 2nd most deadly mental health condition after AN, I have both conditions in my family dynamic.

Depending on my wife's mood, my wife's 'punishments' would be very similar to what you described of your late husband, and that doesn't work, especially if it is inconsistent.

I am going to give similar advice with regards to the 'gap year' - let her go to college, even if she fails - it is up to her to thrive or fail in this environment.  My personal parenting style [different than my wife's] would be to let my child try and do something, I will give them my advice, if they choose to ignore my advice, and I know it won't irreparably harm them I let them try and figure it out on their own anyways and let them fail on their terms.  The school of 'hard knocks' is often a better teacher than me more often than not, especially with 'head-strong' children - also, this way they cannot blame you either - if they try, I often ask them pointed questions along the lines of:

Child:  Dad, you made me fail, you let me do blah blah blah.
Me:  Well, if you would recall, I seem to recall that I told you not to do blah blah blah, but you did it anyways.  Do you remember having that conversation with me?
Child:  Yes, but it is still your fault, you let me do it.
Me:  You are right, I let you do it, even though I told you not to.  If I told you 'not to'; how is that my fault?
Child:  You're right, no it is not your fault.
Me:  Then who's fault is it?
[usually a pause here, he will process this information for up to half an hour]
Child:  Mine. [occasional profuse apology if it cost them not being able to do what they really wanted to do in the first place - I also explain and ask them about consequences for their actions from their perspective]
Me:  What are you going to do to fix it?
... similar conversation on how to fix the issue that 'blah blah blah' action caused.

This is a typical conversation with my son, who has early signs of BPD (Oppositional Defiant tendencies/anger management with BPD-like splits and/or rages); however, he is prepubescent, and I am trying to reverse his anger issues towards me and others.  After adjusting his therapy after accounting for my wife's behaviors, the therapy improved dramatically, and I think my S's damage may be mitigated, arrested, if not reversed somewhat.  Similar with my D, but not quite as dramatic [yet], but I am hopeful she too will be dramatic in the reversal, there is a recent strong sign that she is.

Circling back to your D, keep in mind if your D is attending college, she is an 'adult' in the eyes of the law, even though she will always be your 'baby'.  I do like using the condition of therapy, use therapy as a financial incentive to pay for her classes/books/allowance, etc.  I would pay for her therapy directly, and have the T notify you if she misses any sessions.  Do let her make her own decisions; make sure you communicate the consequences of poor decisions like my example above, and if she messes up, let her do it now, before she joins the workforce where the consequences would be much more severe for not completing a task.  Use the 'carrot' method, not the 'stick'.

Are you in your own individual therapy?  If not, I urge you to consider it.  If your D sees you in therapy, she will be more likely to go for herself, now that she is 'leaving the nest'.

Also, like my advice to Tanita, please do self-care for yourself, including individual therapy whatever that may look like for you. 

Take care.
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Flora and Fauna

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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2023, 06:50:06 PM »

As far as answers, there are many and there are none, as I'm learning that treating BPD is not a one size fits all whatsoever.  

You've gotten great responses, and I'm so glad you've found this forum. The responses and the the fact that we can safely share our lives and experiences with a loved-one with BPD has been a profound help to me. I honestly don't know how I could have fared without this site.

I have a 19-year old daughter in college. I think some of her story might resonate and I hope it can be of help to you as you wrestle with the idea of sending yours off to college:

- DD showed signs of significant distress when she was in grade school. For example, she would become bereft at the end of a playdate. I'd pick her up, and she'd be so sad. It was as though she had experienced a death. Even now the end of something fun, is very hard for her. So I noticed emotional dysregulation at a very young age.

-Fast forward and she got into a rather sought-after highschool in the area on a music scholarship. Unfortunately she started a downward spiral in 9th grade and had to be hospitalized for several weeks into the first semester. The school was initially helpful, but after an infraction (long story to be shared at another time) they strongly suggested we withdraw her, or they would expel her.

-Left that highschool for another, and she was so despondent initially at leaving the first highschool, that we thought we'd need to hospitalize her again. This was about the time we found a psychiatrist. We were incredibly lucky that the psychiatrist without saying that our DD had BPD,  inferred that she had BPD (apparently it can be a big no-no to diagnose BPD before 18 yrs old, and DD was 15), and DD started meds. Got her in to DBT and to our great surprise she was open to it.

- two weeks into starting the new highschool, DD won an arts competition. She advanced to the regional competition and....won again, won the whole region. She advanced to the United States competition in New York, held at the famous Lincoln Center. Husband and I were like "whaaaaat?!"
Didn't win, but impressed some people. (Her thing is writing and acting, and Shakespeare type stuff).

-BUT:

-She developed "tics."  We thought it was medication-related. It started with an eye roll, then a neck jerk, and I thought (OMG, this looks like Tourette's Syndrome). Took her Johns Hopkins Institute here in Maryland, and, she was diagnosed with Tourette's.  I'm like, "you gotta get be kidding me, BPD, and Tourette's?!!!!"  During the college application process she hit a downward spiral, and we had to hospitalize her for several weeks. She got out JUST in time to submit her applications to college.

-Applied for college and she only wanted to go to one particular arts college two hours from home, her "dream school."  Husband and I said, "well, if she gets in, we have to let her try. No matter how scary, no matter what could possibly happen, if she got in, we agreed we'd let her go. We didn't have the heart to kill that dream, and appreciated that she had the want and desire to go to college. Do we wish she might have had a more.......mainstream interest re: her major, that might make finding a job after college easier? Umm yes. But we do love theater and the arts....and she appears to be good at it.

-The college loved her audition and she earned a scholarship for a significant portion of the tuition. You could have knocked us over with the feather.

-Tics worsened and she developed a rare tic call coprolalia...you might know this as the swearing tic. Not all folks with Tourette's have it, but of course, OF COURSE my DD has that kind because while I am religious....I do think God may have a sense of humor when it comes to certain things in my family....I'm just saying.

-Turns out she qualified for "housing accommodations," meaning a private dorm room. Swearing tics don't mix too well with roommates, so that worked out just fine. She also qualified for an emotional support animal, so yep - her cat is with her at college. We found an incredible therapist that DD adores. She said she would keep seeing DD via telehealth. I cried - I was so grateful.

-During her senior year of high school, I noted the smell of marijuana. So I knew she smoked. Hated that she smokes, but damn if it doesn't help the tics. It truly does, and it helps her anxiety. So we got her a medical marijuana card-which she easily qualified for. I hate commercials that talk about lung cancer and COPD, or how Covid can be worse for smokers because I worry about her lungs. So yeah, there's that. She buys marijuana in her college-town, and her college town is rather liberal minded (thank Goodness), so while she doesn't smoke it in the dorm, she's able to indulge without fear. She willingly got the covid vaccine and flu shots....(I'm amazed because she can be quite uncooperative at times. Sometimes I can find a way to ask or say something that she'll accept).

-She started off freshman year on a high note. Doing well, making friends, getting good grades, taking her meds and seeing her therapist. Then the bottom fell out in the second semester. My sister died. DD loved her, and my sister was a big fan of my daughter's passion for the arts. DD's therapist went out on maternity leave. Daughter was able to see another therapist, but they didn't click and after a while, daughter didn't want to see her any longer. She became very depressed. She's always struggled with self-harm and she did some damage to herself. Stopped taking her meds.  I went to see her, and her dorm room was in an awful state. I actually tried to talk her in to leaving school. She refused. One of the hardest things I have EVER done was to honor her request and leave her there. It was gut-wrenching. I was on the highway sobbing. Yet we HAVE to let them make decisions, and experience the consequences of them. Broke my heart.

-She made it through the end of the school year, but her grades were poor. She lost her scholarship, and she had to apply for an academic appeal. Her therapist wrote an amazing letter, she got support and letters from instructions who thought highly over her, and she got her scholarship back.

-Now, it's her sophomore year. She went out for a big part in her acting discipline and got it. She applied for an opportunity to work with a professor as an assistant, and got it.

- Yesterday we found out that she was accepted to the British American Drama Academy in London for the 2023 Fall semester....so she'll be able to study abroad. Again, we're like "whaaaaaat?"  So I told my husband, "well, she did it again. She got something incredible, and we have to let her go." Am I scared to death, OF COURSE!  ....and what's nuts, is that I have to try to get her a medical cannabis card in the UK (not an easy feat, as it's waaaaaay more strict there, than here)....but I'm working to do that. (If anyone reading this is from the UK and provide advice, please do. I'm trying to get it through Sapphire Clinic, but we don't have a UK Dr, so I'm trying to do this rather creatively).

- I'll talk with her about staying on her meds, and keeping in touch with her therapist. Husband and I are planning to  head over the London ourselves in December, to see her performance at the end of the program. I think we'll just eat peanut butter to afford all of this.....?!

So I say all this to say:  do you see how messy this is? There's no guarantee, it's scary as hell, and well, if i were you, I'd still consider letting your daughter go to college. In our case, we weren't comfortable with anything "too" far away. She's a 2 hr. drive from us. It's just dumb luck that it worked out that way. The school had excellent mental -health accommodations, and her being able to take her cat and have a private dorm room sealed the deal.

So in closing, here's what I tell myself:

- it may take her longer than 4 yrs, since there's always a chance of setback
- things could go amiss in London
-she can do amazingly well, and still she can be her own worst enemy, and we have to give her the chance to try.
-we hope that as she matures the worst of this may quiet down
- we have no control over things go, we literally have to hang on for the ride (this was really hard for me to learn, and I'm still learning this)

Oh and lastly, I finally had to get myself a therapist. Someone that I could feel safe talking with.
What's great is that I talk to  my therapist as-needed, when I have to unburden myself, or when I feel stuck. I don't need to talk weekly, but I do need a safe place to talk. I myself slowly fell into a depression over the years. I couldn't sleep. My hair fell out. I cried easily (never in front of others, except for my husband). I withdrew from friends because I could not imagine trying to explain my daughter to them.

I'm an advocate for medication yet I didn't want to take meds. Finally I gave it a try, and after some setbacks (turns out I'm very sensitive to meds) a low dose made a difference. It basically enabled to gain a better perspective. Left to my own devices, the anxiety of having a daughter with BPD was eating me up inside, and I was stuck in pessimisim. I was miserable. I also had to "get a life." I got a gym membership and started working out. I lost some pesky weight....cuz at the end of the day, if I'm not in a good place, then my world really blows up.

I'll be thinking of you, and hope you'll continue to post.






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