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Think About It... Radical Acceptance doesn't mean you approve; it doesn't mean you're happy about something; it doesn't mean you won't work to change the situation or your response to it, but it does mean that you acknowledge reality as it is--with all its sadness, humor, irony, and gifts--at a particular point in time. ~ Freda B. Friedman, Ph.D., LCSW, Surviving a Borderline Parent
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Author Topic: BPDH has a plan...  (Read 1846 times)
« on: November 04, 2005, 06:43:10 PM »

Hi all!  We have 2 children, 11 and 7.  They called a family conference with our priest this evening.  They had two main issues: Daddy is angry and has hurt us and we're scared of him and, Daddy doesn't spend time with us or treat us like we matter.  It was pretty amazing to watch them be truthful and firm and loving with their father.  It's also a shame.  But they are learning how to set boundaries and handle conflict very well.  The priest was impressed with their maturity and ability to communicate well.

Here's the thing, the priest asked for a commitment from BPDH to deal with his anger by seeing his counselor once a week, stopping the swearing immediately, and going to church as a family since it's so important to me and the kids.  BPDH says he doesn't think it's as big a problem as we do (even though he's been violent in the past).  So I suggested we keep journals. 

Then Father suggests that, if we're willing, we'd let BPDH take our journals, of what we think is wrong and his behaviors, to his therapist.  I don't have any problem with it and neither do the kids.  This way the therapist can see what's going on in the house and not what BPDH tells him when he goes once a month or so. 

He also made a schedule where BPDH agrees to spend time with the kids.  All that seems worked out. 

We go back in 3 weeks for a check up after BPDH has seen his therapist.  Father also offered him the name of a good therapist since his seems to busy to see BPDH more than once a month (BPDH even said he needed to see the therapist more and the therapist isn't accomodating.).

So, what do you think of this plan?  I hope he sticks to what he agreed to as we all know that doesn't happen often.  But it seems a good way for the therapist to hear others' views of what's going on, not just the bull BPDH gives him each month.   ?
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2005, 09:46:15 PM »


   I think it's a very good plan.  Therapists need to hear from those closest to the BPD to understand all that is going on.  And it sounds like your husband does want to get better.

   There is one other factor that is also very important.  He needs to find the right medication to control his rages.  A lot of doctors aren't up on the latest research, but the rages can be controlled.  There is a biological basis for the rages.  It is similar to an epileptic seizure that they cannot stop on their own.  To learn more about it, check out this website run by Dr. Heller--www.biologicalunhappiness.com

  My husband was treated by Dr. Heller and he no longer is controlled by rages and anger.  Anger management can only do so much.  Once the biological condition that causes the rages are taken care of, therapy can be so much more effective.  Dr. Heller has an excellent video explaining the biological process that causes the rages and his 2 books are very helpful.  It made a dramatic difference for our family.

  Good luck,

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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2005, 11:00:55 PM »

First of all, bless you for giving your kids a safe space to air their feelings and tell their dad how much they want a better relationship with him.?  it is so scary for kids to speak truth to sick parents.?  

Sounds like your priest is really setting up solid goals and boundaries for your h.?  Does husband respect father, and do you think he will be motivated to follow this plan?  it really seems like your priest has set goals that your husband can easily meet if he is willing to heal his family.?  

this strikes me as a solid plan, including your priest offering the name of a therapist who might be more available. 

how do you feel about this?
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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2005, 11:10:35 PM »

   It sounds like a sound plan.

   Let us know how things are going.

« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2005, 01:23:39 PM »


Thank you so much for the information.  I will check out the site you suggested. 

BPDH is undxed for BPD as far as I know.  I'm not sure what the current therapist is doing.  He's new as the old one left in Aug.  He's on Celexa for depression (which he says he doesn't have) and he says he's on it for "a little anger problem".  Uh huh.  Whatever.  I do believe that until the therapist deal with his childhood abuse issues, we're going to see the behavior continue though. 


I've been in individual therapy off and on for 13 years for childhood abuse issues etc.  So I am well aware of how therapy is supposed to work but going to the priest seemed a little less threatening for BPDH if that makes sense.  I'm glad we have priests with psychology degrees and experience with mental health issues and addictions.  They're great!

He respects Father but I'm not so sure he's motivated.  I guess I'm a little worried because he kept saying he doesn't see the anger and safety issues (not physical for quite some time but verbal and emotional abuse has happened) like we do.  Hence the journals.  I think he may take our journals and minimize what we have to say.  He'll also be on his best behavior knowing we're journaling and going back to our priest.  But that can only last for so long.  Then they'll be a blow-up.  It's the pattern.


Thanks for your input and support.  I'll let you know how it goes.
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« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2005, 02:37:40 PM »

Cherokee, thanks for updating us...  I hope he can see the light and keep things on an upward path. 

Good luck to all of you!

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« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2005, 10:18:32 AM »

Good for your kids! To call a family conference, to involve your priest, and to journal. What a good plan.

So much of this BPD stuff is kept secret, the way alcoholism was for so many years.

Since retirement, I've been slowly letting people know, carefully, because I don't want new friends from our church to shy away from H because of a misunderstanding of his illness. Our former pastor knew and helped.

Our current pastor, unfortunately, has no interest in this issue and little understanding.

Again, congratulations for what sounds like a very workable plan. You must have great kids.

« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2005, 09:10:35 PM »

Update- My UBPDH went to therapy today with the journals in hand.  He said they will use them starting next time.  He also said that he's starting to see the therapist once a week!  This is a huge success for him.  He has been completely unwilling to truly go to T more than once a month and things were always left unsaid. 

So we're continuing the journals.  Apparently the therapist wants those and he's going once a week and we're also having regular meetings with the Priest.  I'm supporting him but being cautiously optimistic inside.  I want to believe he'll follow through.  That doesn't always happen though. 

He mentioned some of the things he talked about in T which he usually holds close to the vest.  They were things that needed to come out.  So hopefully, things are going to go well for him if he works for it. 

It looks like the journaling idea was a good one for this situation.  Perhaps others here might want to try it as well.  Peace.



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