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Things I couldn't have known
Supporting a Child in Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder
Anosognosia and Getting a "Borderline" into Therapy
Am I the Cause of Borderline Personality Disorder?
Emotional Blackmail: Fear, Obligation and Guilt (FOG)
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Author Topic: Is this all my fault? Did I cause this?  (Read 47171 times)
Starry
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« on: October 28, 2006, 05:21:22 AM »

I've read about parents with multiple children where one is BPD and the other(s) is/are not.

Is it our fault that a child behaves like they do? Is it possible to prevent this behaviour.

What do you think?

An insecure Starry04
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2006, 06:35:32 AM »

Children will react to us - you know that. A lot of times they pick up our signals when we're fearful or angry more easily perhaps than when we're jolly or loving - it's a survival thing that all of us have to any degree. Kids that are extra sensitive will absorb things more readily, and sometimes it's overwhelming to them and - by default - they might 'shut down' those sensory perceptions that seem to make them more vulnerable and beef up those that will 'protect' them.

I hope others will come along to offer you more support about the impression your therapist gave you. Your actions, feelings, and behavior do not totally dictate those of your daughter, but I'd say that they will have an affect on her - how could they not?

hang in there,

~ jr
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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2006, 09:02:29 AM »

My therapist says that her behaviour is a consequence of mine.

I understand that it affects her, but for me that is different than what he said. I assume he meant that I do not speak up enough to her and don't offer her enough strict things like: every day breakfast at 8.00, don't walk outside with no shoes on, do this, don't do that and stick to that ... .I think he finds me to easy going, and I sometimes doubt myself. I know that I love my kids, but I find it sometimes difficult to raise them.

Thank you for your answer, it was very helpful.

Starry
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« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2011, 08:10:15 AM »

I separated from my ex-husband 4 years ago and we have been divorced for 2 years now.  It seems all my dd problems started then.  

She was diagnosed with ADHD when she was in 2nd grade and she has been a "high-strung" child ever since.  

I tell myself everyday that this isn't my fault, that her "mental health" issues are not caused by me and my very close and wonderful friends tell me the same thing but I have let it creep in my mind over the past couple of months as her issues have gotten worse.  

She totally blames me for everything that has ever happened and for making her daddy leave.
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« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2011, 08:42:27 AM »

I also know the feeling of those thoughts creeping in because they still creep in for me at times too.  

One thing you have to understand (and I'm learning) about those with BPD, is that every crisis, small or big, can be a trigger.  My dd25 uses those triggers to self harm and project inward instead of aggressive outward projection, but its still the same ill way to deal with stressful situations.

You will never be able to keep stressful situations away from your daughter.  There will be losses... .will you take responsibility for all those too?  They don't have the emotional capability to handle their feelings and emotions.

I have also been divorced for two years, separated for four.  I remember the incredible fear I carried before and after about how this would affect my kids.  That's normal to fear.  Throw in that one of the children has a PD and it is almost impossible to not have that fear of "what am I doing to them... ." brought right out into a bleeding scab.

NTB
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« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2011, 04:20:45 PM »

I struggle with guilt as well.  So many things that I have read say that parenting is part of the issue that creates BPD.  I wish I could go back and redo my daughters early childhood.  The only thing that helps me is my other daughter is very healthy and functional, and they shared the same parenting.
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« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2013, 02:59:47 AM »

We too are a loving parents and we thought we did a good job. We gave rules, love, encouragements and support. Lots of friends, a doggy, friendly neighborhood, holidays, books, movies etc. But our son hates us and says we did and do everything wrong.

When I read the book for psychologists, as compared to those for families, they wrote very hard things about the families of BPD children.

This is why, I wish to know whether there is something seriously wrong that we did.

Our other son is perfectly ok.

Survive
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lbjnltx
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« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2013, 07:04:07 AM »

The National Institute of Mental Health's view on the cause of BPD



Here is a link to some additional information on this:

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17988414




Personally, this is how I see my role in the development of the BPD traits that my dd16 has had:

She was born a sensitive soul, the opposite of myself.  I am a cerebral type... .thinking and reasoning over emotions.  There is a mismatch to some degree there.  To counter balance her emotions I replied with reason and logic instead of validating her feelings and helping her learn to balance herself.  The invalidating environment only added to her emotionality.  She was diagnosed w/separation anxiety at 2 years old, even though I was with her constantly.  When difficulties with school began and the hormones began to rage at the same time her emotions became unmanageable for her and myself and me not understanding what she was struggling with.  At age 11 she was dx w/ODD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and went untreated despite being in therapy and working through a parenting program.  At age 12 she was diagnosed by her new therapist and through inpatient complete psych testing as "emerging BPD" and MDD (Major Depression).  At age 13 she began having psychotic episodes (possibly from depression).  After 2 years of individual/family therapy (partial Dialectical Behavior Therapy) she continued to spiral downward in her depression, psychosis, raging, self injury, risky behaviors, lack of identity and absence of empathy.  She went into residential treatment for 10 months where she was able to get stable, learn skills and return home to us.

She was born predisposed to develop the disorder, had I known how to parent a highly sensitive child... .   if someone had used those terms our lives may have been different than they were.  Instead terms were used that directed her treatment towards parenting a "difficult child" and a "strong willed child", which she was, yet the underlying problem that drove her "strong will and difficulty" was her sensitivity.

I hope that this information can help you accept the present and move forward in your journey to parent your son and get him the treatment he needs.

ljnltx

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« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2013, 07:13:29 AM »

ljnltx, I guess we have something in common: my son is highly sensitive, I am very logical... .  He had always been all right until the age of 12, when everything began. I wonder, if I had known, our lives too would have been different!

Our son wants, as he says, "all the bad to us", and he is really succeeding! WHY, I don't understand why... .

 

Thanks also for the link to the origins of BPD. Very important too.

Have a good day,

Survive
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« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2013, 08:07:24 AM »

One on the most interesting things that I have learned on this site is the idea that we often unknowingly reward bad behavior and, over time, this shapes the problem.

Blaise Aguirre MD gives an excellent example of a teen who fear abandonment and threatens suicide when her boyfriend breaks up.  The lad finds out, he is horribly concerned, and he reconnects. <click here>

Bottom line.  It worked.  It becomes learned behavior.

Many see this as manipulation.  According to Aguirre, it's a pwBPD resolving fear.

How we contribute is not always obvious.  


Date: Nov-2011Minutes: 41:56 

BPD in Adolescence  | Blaise Aguirre, MD | NEA-BPD 2011 Meeting
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« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2013, 08:30:31 AM »

I also would get myself all crazed when I read books about the parents of BPD children.  How they often come from abuse or invalidating parents.  No matter how hard I searched I couldn't find anything that we did.  

But the more I thought about it the more I realized that it is not so much what we do or what the world does as it is how they perceive things.  Skip's point makes sense. Everything around us effects us.  I tend to be a pretty adaptable person.  In my office I am completely methodical yet outside I am really highly-sensitive and a random thinker much like Reality.  My DD is a very abstract thinker also, and that is why I understand her so well.  My other daughter is a very black and white thinker, very logical and methodical and when I am with her I am in a much different frame of mind.  Both of my girls had a similar upbringing however they way they are effected by the world and how they adapt to it are two very different things. My older daughter was able to blow off the common rejection kids deal with in school.  She would not allow herself to be bullied.  :)D was also bullied in school but reacted totally differently.  She was not able to move on from it, which made her the perfect prey.  Oddly enough my older daughter is now a "Crisis Counselor" and the other night she was explaining to me what she learned about personality disorders.  She told me most often there is a crisis or trauma in the persons life that they do not effectively deal with.  They use ineffective ways to deal with this trauma and the longer they do this the harder it becomes to deal with it.  Their perception changes and a personality disorder begins to emerge.  BPD being the most common.

I guess the point I am trying to make is that it is not what we do but how they react to their world.

Griz
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« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2013, 08:37:29 AM »

One on the most interesting things that I have learned on this site is the idea that we often unknowingly reward bad behavior and over time that shapes the problem.of you.

It is all hindsight now... .  

I like listening to the ways you express your self, as I am so different from you. As you well know, I am a highly-sensitive person, i would go so far as to say exquisitely sensitive.  I am also an abstract-random thinker, nothing logical-sequential about me.  I live in the world of visions.  

Funnily, I think I was a perfect fit for my son in some ways.  I understood who he was.

Only when I understood what my d needed was I able to empathize with her and balance myself in wisemind.  When my d learned to balance herself in wisemind a place to meet on common ground was created. For some... .  like myself I needed to get in touch with my emotional mind and for others they may need to get in touch with their reason and logic mind.  It is the balance that we all seek... .  ourselves and our children.

Then, he was badly bullied in Grade Five.  That trauma started the disorder.  The mask went on.  The hiding of who he was.  Enter the drug world at 15.  Not too useful to have a highly sensitive, shy mother at that point.

The propensity to awake the sleeping giant of BPD is fragile amongst the onset of puberty and the difficulties of being a teen.  I used to wonder if my d had not had such a difficult year at school if she would have developed the disorder.  I accept that  it was bound to happen as this world is a difficult and dangerous place for teens who are already highly sensitive.  The time to have contained the sleeping giant was as a toddler, teaching her to manage her emotions then... .  teaching myself how to help her do that.

The advantage of being like you is your ability to problem-solve calmly and methodically.  Having a logical, methodical approach is very helpful.

Temper that with validation and it is ultimately good.

I wish I had known you when my son was 15,

Me too  

I wish I was back then the way I am now... . 

although I think the stress of seeing my son start to de-rail put me in PTSD mode and I was really not coping at all, even though I looked like I was, teaching, smiling... . 

Sorry to digress here.  :)id I cause my son to have BPD?  I don't think so.  Could I have been a more effective mother once the BPD started churning?   Definitely, yes, but I was too exhausted to find the place somewhere, probably in the States, to get him the help I couldn't give him.

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« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2013, 12:16:18 AM »

I think our kids are the target of bullying because this illness lends itself to behaviors which others find very uncomfortable, and so they lash out at the weak.  Basic lack of human compassion that is rampant these days.

I have terrible guilt over decisions we made during our daughter's growing up years that we thought were for the best, and they were the OPPOSITE!  I am absolutely in a grieving process right now.  As much as I feel relief at knowing wth is going on (finally), I am devastated that what I thought was good parenting, was the opposite of what our daughter really needed.  Certainly, the misguidance from the mental health professionals are also to blame.  Ultimately, blame/shame/guilt are not productive, and exactly the OPPOSITE of what we as parents need for healing.  

I close a book as soon as I read anything having to do with BPD being the result of bad parenting.  Those of us with more than one child, where the other child grew up w/o BPD have daily living proof that it's not true.  It could be true in some cases, but it seems far from the truth here, where we all agonize over our children's pain and love them dearly.

In my experience in Washington State, after the age of 18 there was NOTHING we could do to get our daughter help.  If I could go back in time, I would have been way more proactive before that 18th birthday, no matter how pissed she would have been.  At least maybe she would have had a diagnosis, even if she chose to not do anything about it.  I think laws are different in different states, but basically we have to wait until "she is a danger to herself or others".  

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« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2013, 07:18:03 AM »

Interesting report out of Harvard... .

Inborn Biogenetic Temperaments

The degree to which Borderline Personality Disorder is caused by inborn factors called the —level of heritability“ is estimated to be 68%. This is about the same as for bipolar disorder.

What is believed to be inherited is not the disorder, per se, but the biogenetic dispositions, i.e. temperaments (or as noted above, phenotypes). Specifically, BPD can develop only in those children who are born with one or more of the three temperaments noted above: Affective Dysregulation, Impulsivity, and Disturbed Attachments. Such temperaments represent an individual‘s predisposition to emotionality, impulsivity, or relationship problems. For children with these temperaments, environmental factors can then significantly delimit or exacerbate these inborn traits.

Many studies have shown that disorders of emotional regulation or impulsivity are disproportionately higher in relatives of BPD patients. The affect/emotion temperament predisposes individuals to being easily upset, angry, depressed, and anxious. The impulsivity temperament predisposes individuals to act without thinking of the consequences, or even to purposefully seek dangerous activities. The disturbed attachment temperament probably starts with extreme sensitivity to separations or rejections. Another theory has proposed that patients with BPD are born with excessive aggression which is genetically based (as opposed to being environmental in origin). A child born with a placid or passive temperament would be unlikely to ever develop BPD.

The fact that girls are more affiliative, and boys more instrumental, is believed to explain why there is a much higher frequency of females (i.e., approximately 75%) with the BPD diagnosis. This suggests that the disorder may be primarily a disorder of relationships. In contrast, antisocial personality disorder occurs disproportionately in males (about 75% of those diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder are male) and is thought to be primarily a disorder of action.

Normal neurological function is needed for such complex tasks as impulse control, regulation of emotions, and perception of social cues. Studies of BPD patients have identified an increased incidence of neurological dysfunctions, often subtle, that are discernible on close examination. The largest portion of the brain is the cerebrum, the upper section, where information is interpreted coming in from the senses, and from which conscious thoughts and voluntary movements are thought to emanate. Preliminary studies have found that individuals with BPD have a diminished serotonergic response to stimulation in these areas of the cerebrum and that the lower levels of brain activity may promote impulsive behavior. The limbic system, located at the center of the brain, is sometimes thought of as —the emotional brain“, and consists of the amygdala, hippocampus, thalamus, hypothalamus, and parts of the brain stem. There is evidence that the volume of the amgydala and hippocampus portions of the brain, so critical for emotional functioning, are smaller in those with BPD. It is not clear whether such neurological irregularities have either genetic or environmental sources.

In summary, research indicates that individuals who have difficulty with impulse control and aggression have reduced levels of activity in their brains in a number of key locations. It is theorized that in persons with BPD, mild to moderate impairments in several systems result in —errors“ in the gathering, dissemination, and interpretation of data, and they are consequently more likely to respond with acts of impulsivity or aggression. ~ John Gunderson, MD (2006)


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Esperança_Hope
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« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2013, 09:35:37 AM »

Many studies have shown that disorders of emotional regulation or impulsivity are disproportionately higher in relatives of BPD patients.

It´s not anyone fault.  It´s reality.

What are we going to do with it?

Thanks everyone, you all wrote wise words, gave here a lot of empathy and shared their painful feelings.

Yesterday , i was reading Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder: A Family Guide for Healing and Change and the author tells about guilt is a response to loss. For us, mothers, parents, guilt is awful, exaggerated because we feel highly responsible for the well-being of our children. We judge ourselves under unrealistic standards and we dwell on "if only´s" and "I should have´s".  We feel we should have been able to prevent the BPD and the worst.

Guilt exacerbates grief and interferes with the development of compassion for our loved one´s BPD. Grieving our loss  and acceptance with  acknowledgment make us free to experience the reality with our BPD´s children.

Theories are good to understand the disorder but what  is , for me much more important , is to experience the world in between my DS31 and me, and his world.  He is a my son... .  the way he is. I´m learning to love him the way he is... .  and he is learning to love himself as well.

You all have my prayers and love
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« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2013, 09:51:47 AM »

Thanks, Esperança,

As your name, you give me hope.

It is a hard time, though, when everybody tries to help telling you :"You should do this or that". When something is wrong with your child, then everything gets under a magnifying glass and seems to be bad.

I feel we did a lot of mistakes as all parents do, but we are not horrible people!

Anyway, I can't lose the sense of guilt, and I feel many people think we, as a family, are responsible for our son's suffering.

Survive
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« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2013, 12:36:09 PM »

Everyone has such wonderful insight into this topic... .  this elephant in the room!

I would also like to add that BPD can reveal itself at different ages and then present in different ways, and the parental response is more age related.

If a child starts having extreme issues at a very young age, such as ibj's, then steps can be taken to get the right help before the child has developed into an adolescent. At these very young ages, there is perhaps a better chance to affect change.

However if your child is quiet, has good friends,  does well in school, and doesn't cause much anxt anywhere else until they hit adolescence, then as a parent you are hit with a monster you never saw coming. Your shy child turns nasty, hangs out with the worst kids, wants to be sexually active,  starts cutting, taking drugs, develops eating disorders, telling big lies and fails school. You scramble to find help, only to have it be the wrong kind. Your friends are appalled and start giving you suggestions, or they dump you like you have the plague... .  and the pwBPD becomes a tornado, sucking all of the life out of the family trying desperately to get them back on track.

Then it gets worse. Up until this point, you might have been able to keep your child's dysfunctions fairly quiet... .  within the family. People on the outside sense there is something going on, teachers are getting concerned but not worried yet, and there are rays of hope interspersed in your pwBPD's life... .  a good grade, eating well, smiling more, going places with friends.

But we have a new difficulty as parents, not one that was really in use by teens until only a few years ago... .  the Internet. You are horrified to find out about the way your pwBPD uses this new tool to access the underworld, and you deparately try to keep up and maybe even stay one step ahead of watching the water come over the dam. But your pwBPD can access this new way of communicating anywhere and anytime. Even though you have restrictions and consequences and rewards... .  none of it can control the desire of the pwBPD for attention... .  from anyone.

Then your struggles become public. Beyond whatever lunacy your pwBPD is posting on FB, there are the criminals they have contacted for sex or  drugs or just to run away to consider. The police become involved... .  and they might show up at school or at your home because your pwBPD has accused you of abuse. The news spreads like wildfire. It is a nightmare.

Then when you finally get your pwBPD diagnosed, the DBT therapists might accuse you, the parents, of being "invalidating". This is the final blow to the parental psyche, until you realize it is start remembering what your history is with your child, and you realize it is complete crap.

I am not saying that the pwBPD does not feel unheard, I am saying that the cause of BPD is NOT BECAUSE PARENTS DID NOT VALIDATE THEIR CHILDREN.

Good parents are made out to be the bad guys in much of therapy, and certainly in popular opinion, and it is completely erroneous. BPD exists regardless of parenting styles... .  and this board is proof of that Smiling (click to insert in post)

However we as parents do lead the way of the future of how to maintain relationships with our very dysfunctional children, no matter what their age. The books and some therapies are great launching points for dealing with our sick children individually.

Esparanca was right - the most important but perhaps the hardest thing we have to do is let go of the idealized child. Only then can we really perceive them as individuals with their particular needs. Only if we approach them almost as strangers can we begin to have a relationship that works. The past only works against this concept, and who they were supposed to be is no longer applicable.

So to all those friends and family who try to offer suggestions... .  be kind because they mean well. You can say "we are exploring every avenue to help our child, and we are doing the best we can"... .  or my personal favorite, "every family has something, and she's our something!"

This condition produces very different life stages as well.  We are now at the very difficult stage of trying to figure out how to have a relationship with our dd19 who is having a baby soon... .  

I know I cannot subject myself to seeing this poor child living in a bad environment, with flea bitten dogs, filthy apartment, and a marijuana grow site, with no ability to affect change. My disabled dd will not be able to travel anywhere without her toxic bf so if we are to see her it will only be in his presence. He and his mother and grandmother are constantly at her place "helping", and they are all smokers, which makes me sick.

And now she has threatened me with cutting me out of her life completely, because I don't always tell her what she wants to hear.

I don't know... .  it makes me sad, but would I be sadder just living with my pictures of her beautiful life, or spending all of my brain power to deal with the sad reality she is living and about to subject to another human being?

This is who we are as parents of pwBPD's.

FM

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« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2013, 01:25:38 PM »

Surely every one at one stage or another feels it is their fault, I did at the beginning.

Even if there is a close family death you blame yourself for a while, its natural I believe.

Still, that does not help for the future does it, Im not saying that about you but about me really. I kept thinking, I was not validating enough, I cant read people so I must of not related to my children. Yet dont forget I have 4 children and they are ok.

I was brought up in a very non validating environment yet I do not have BPD or anything at all.

It really upsets me when People ask is it their fault, because you know what... .  we all have enough on our plates, and you only have to get to know these people on this site to see what caring loving parents they are, lots have read parenting books and done courses, that is a fact, most have given up their lives because we adore our children.

So so called professionals have written books, we read them because we care and want to be proactive they we get wrong messages saying it may be us that caused it. It is wrong it is an old fashioned idea, just like when they used to say about autistic children, now they say its not true.

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« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2013, 01:47:23 PM »

Everyone has such wonderful insight into this topic... .  this elephant in the room!

I would also like to add that BPD can reveal itself at different ages and then present in different ways, and the parental response is more age related.

If a child starts having extreme issues at a very young age, such as ibj's, then steps can be taken to get the right help before the child has developed into an adolescent. At these very young ages, there is perhaps a better chance to affect change.

Let me clarify for understanding ... .  my d didn't show extreme signs until adolescence.  She was dx w/separation anxiety at age 2 and showed this from time to time.  Overall she was a very happy child and we were very close.

While I totally agree that an invalidating environment doesn't cause BPD it certainly doesn't help and perhaps a more validating environment could help a child learn skills to manage their intense emotions so that the full blown disorder does not develop later in life.

If we want to help our children we must be willing to be honestly objective about our role as primary caregivers.  We must do what we are asking them to do... .  see how their actions affect others, take responsibility, accept what can't be undone, and learn skills to make positive changes going forward.

NEA-BPD

Etiology of BPD

John G. Gunderson, MD


borderlinepersonalitydisorder.com/notes-gunderson
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« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2013, 05:44:53 PM »

Well this idea is exactly what those on the outside of this condition want us to admit to... .  that somewhere in our parenting we could have been better, and avoided causing the suffering of our children.

I think this is ridiculous and circular thinking. Unless we can look into each child's upbringing, I think that the notion that "we could have been more validating" is like saying... .  "we could have eaten healthier" or "we could have read more books"... .  it has no meaning because it implies that there are degrees of understanding and compassion that exactly works, which some parents are blessed with and some are not.

The extension of this argument could be that when science gets to the ability to genetically test for this during pregnancy, like down syndrome, that these children should only go to parents who are good at validating at exactly the degree necessary for this particular child, or the pregnancies could be terminated?

As Heronbird pointed out, she has several kids who are not BPD, and she was the same with all of them. She may have maintained closeness with her dd because of her innate personality, but who knows how other pwBPD's would have reacted? Where could she have improved on her parenting performance? She could not, as we can all see from her postings that she is one of the most compassionate and sympathetic moms on the planet! Smiling (click to insert in post)

I would submit the controversial idea that the pwBPD's are individuals, and while as people with a mental illness they need our compassion, they also have to exist in a world that does not validate others in ways that might support them enough to thrive. We can be a safe haven of for them, to describe the world and be compassionate, but eventually they have to validate themselves. This is what all children need.

So our job may be to be the voice for the rest of the world to understand the intricacies of this condition, as displayed by our individual children, rather than reinforce the existing psychiatric idea that BPD is both caused and exacerbated by lack of the "right" kind of validation in parenting.

FM

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« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2013, 06:05:22 PM »

I don't believe anyone is blaming the parents here.  What we are establishing is that our kids could have benefitted from being parented a bit differently had we been aware of what/how we needed to do to parent these extremely sensitive children/adolescents.  I don't believe that is a "cure" for the disorder... .  just a foundation based on knowledge and the most beneficial parenting style for them.  As my d's case shows, early intervention can have very positive results.  I acknowledge the mistakes I made in my daughter's upbringing so that I can validate her and her experiences.  It isn't that we parent poorly, it is that we may not have parented that particular child in the most affective way for them.

lbj
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« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2013, 06:16:18 PM »

My point is only that no one, even in hindsight, can know the "correct" way to validate these kids because they are all individuals.

I think it's impossible to make mistakes when there is no recipe to follow... .  Smiling (click to insert in post)

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« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2013, 06:33:11 PM »

I see validation as a personal thing... .  validating each feeling with empathy in the moment and that makes it tailored to each individual.

How do you see it?

lbj
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« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2013, 06:42:22 PM »

I think it is important  to remember that we usually react to our difficult child in the way that makes the most sense at the time.  Especially when you take mood, hunger, fatigue, stress, etc into the picture.  In other words, sometimes i have the patience of Job and other days,not so much.  It was also hard to know what constituted normal behavior and what was outside the realm of normalcy.  Tantrum throwing toddlers, rebellious teenagers, this is normal.  Power struggles are also normal.  Hormones rage and we do the best we can as parents.  Mine is 22 and I am just now realizing that a lot of what she did was not normal.   I remember putting myself in time out some days when I felt really overwhelmed.  Fast forward to today:  sometimes I am patient, understanding and empathetic and sometimes I just see red with her.  We are all human.  All I can do is take baby steps in repairing my relationship with her and as I get more educated about BPD, NPD and hpd I can at least understand her better.  (Did all these disorders exist 100 years ago?). I really am so grateful I found this forum.  You all have great insight and advice.
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« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2013, 07:01:16 PM »

We as parents can provide a safe haven for our kids for a while... .  but the rest of the world will not. So my job now is to help educate people about mental illness.

My boys are 13 months apart. I worked very hard at being a good mother and I know I did a good job.  Back in 1983 there was no talk of "validating" yet I spent enough hours in the library trying to figure out what was wrong with my ds to learn I had to tread lightly and do things differently with him.

We have to be careful not to beat ourselves up. 

I wish my mother wasn't bi polar, I wish my brother didn't die of leukemia, I wish I didn't get cancer, I wish my husband didn't have cancer but all the validating in the world would not have changed any of that.

Learning to validate is a good thing and can help us communicate with our pwBPD, it can help us communicate with everyone better. 

But BPD was going to rear it's ugly head no matter what.

Just my opinion.
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« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2013, 07:53:05 PM »

Dear friends,

You know, I think our darlings are the kind that need a village to raise them.  They are rather complex, we might all agree.  I think we all needed more support in a common everyday kind of way, like good friends, non-judgment and the APPROPRIATE TREATMENT AND EDUCATION advantages.

The society is our village, so... . 

Reality

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« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2013, 08:22:07 PM »

Over the past two years I have often asked myself, what did I do wrong?  What could I have done better? But the bottom line is, I did my best. I am sure I did somethings wrong and I am sure I did somethings right but none of that matters now.

What is most important now is that I learn the tools I need to help DD and I learn alot here.

Griz
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« Reply #27 on: January 06, 2013, 04:03:04 AM »

This is a great conversation to have.  I think all of us struggle with guilt.  A couple of days ago one of the staff members at the residential said something about my daughter being one of the ones lucky to come from a good family.  I think my response was if we were a good family we wouldn't be here.   Is that statement true?  I don't know.  Sometimes it feels true.  Sometimes it doesn't.  Life is hard and I would never have wanted this for my daughter.  Whatever we did or didn't do wrong I think we are all here to figure out what to do that is right/better/different and that makes us good parents.
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« Reply #28 on: January 06, 2013, 07:05:33 AM »

crazed

Maybe it's true that your ds is one of the lucky ones to come from a good family.  Many kids grow up in horrific homes and while they may not get BPD they suffer so much in other ways.

"If we were a good family we wouldn't be here" that's definitely not true!  You were loving, supportive and now are doing everything you can to help your ds and family.  It's the future we want for our kids... .  we want to help make it better.

BPD was lying dormant for a while and then decided to strike.

Someday, just like with Autism, science will unscramble this mess of BPD and learn it's true cause.  Remember when Autism was thought to be caused by "refrigerator moms"!

Be kind to yourself because as Griz said you did your best (not your second best) but your best.

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« Reply #29 on: January 06, 2013, 11:12:12 AM »

Part of me knows I didn't cause this and all of me knows that if I had known differently when she was younger that I would have raised her differently.  She needs far more softness and empathy than I had provided for her. That's not because I'm a bad mother, but because she didn't come with an instruction manual at birth.
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