Coping with adult daughter Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Kathryn, Oct 14, 2016.

  1. Kathryn

    Kathryn New Member

    After dealing with my daughter's undiagnosed condition for more than 10 years, I am frustrated, anxious, depressed, confused and at my wits' end. I'm genuinely interested in learning how other parents have dealt with their adult "children", especially if there is a grandchild (6-year old son of my daughter) involved.
     
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I suggest buying the book "Walking on Eggshells." if your daughter is truly borderline, grandchild or not, they are normally so erratic and unpredictable that nobody can really have a normal relationship with them long term. They are too volatile and unstable and often lack empathy and can be cruel. Some even show rage and violence.

    if she is abusive to your grandson call CPS. if she just wont let you see him at times, there is probably not much you can do. Be loving to him when she allows you to see him. Expect her to use him as a punishment though. I doubt I told you anything you dont already know. medications dont work with borderlines slthough they often substance abuse.

    im really sorry you have to deal with this. Few borderlines are willing to admit they are different, let alone willing to do the extremely hard, long work in DBT therapy that it takes to improve. They need to want to desperately change and to be aware that something is wrong with them. I suggest you detach from her, her drama, and her abuse and enjoy tje people in your life who love and appreciate you abd will be kind to you. This is not probably ever going to be your daughter but she is not the only person in your life. You need to be good to yourself too.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2016
  3. Kathryn

    Kathryn New Member

    Thank you, SomewhereOutThere, for all your kind words of encouragement. Coincidentally, I have just bought the book, "Stop Walking on Eggshells", and I also began seeing a therapist for ME, yesterday! I am 68 years old, and my daughter is 31. For too many years I have tolerated, and probably enabled, her behaviors and abuse of me. You are absolutely correct - she does and WILL use my grandson as punishment (not allowing me to see him, etc.). I am at a point in life (after my divorce, when my 3 kids were all under the age of 7, I've raised them virtually as a 'single parent') where I should be able to enjoy retirement. Sadly, because of many financial losses, and because much of my resources (time, energy and money) have gone to her, I am beginning a new FULL-time job in the coming weeks - because I have to in order to survive.

    I am already exhausted, and recent disasters and family crisises (plural) initiated by my daughter, have completely thrown me into a tailspin. I understand your words, and even my sons (who are older than my daughter) have also provided me words of wisdom - but since I live alone, I find myself falling into deep depressive moods, with bout of tears - out of nowhere!!! I'm sure that others have gone through this, similar and worse, so I am very glad to have found this venue to share and vent. I have always been a firm believer in "support groups", but sadly, have found no such groups in my hometown.

    Thank you again for your supportive words, empathy and understanding. They are very valuable to me.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  4. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi Kathryn,
    Just wanted to welcome you to our little corner of the internet.
    I think @SomewhereOutThere has given you some very good advice.
    I'm glad that you found us here.
    You are on the road to taking your life back and that's a good place to be.

    ((HUGS)) to you................................
     
  5. jetsam

    jetsam Active Member

    hi kathryn, sorry you needed to find us ,but glad you did!. Having a grandchild involved in the chaos is sad. I know my granddaughter is 8. My sons ex has drug use issues, and has tried to hold my granddaughter ransom unless i gave her money. I did at first because i couldn't imagine not being in her life. It got worse though and started becoming a frequent thing. I finally got smart and told her no more. She threatened withholding her. I told her i was very sorry she felt that way but i wouldn't send any more money. It is hard i know. I pray she is being taken care of every day, but i know in my heart it was the right thing to do. No more enabling. I work on it every day so i feel your pain. Hold on and keep strong.
     
  6. Kathryn

    Kathryn New Member

    Thank you so much, Tanya M. for your words of encouragement. I realize that the struggle I am experiencing (along with countless others) is an UPHILL battle, and I'm being hopeful that progress will be made.
    Warm hugs to you as well ;o)
     
  7. Kathryn

    Kathryn New Member

    Thank you, Jetsam.....your words really hit home! It is SOooooo difficult when the crazy rollercoaster ride is further complicated by a little innocent!!! I will definitely work at being stronger. It is definitely really hard when it comes to being separated from my little grandson. I now realize, like you, that 'enabling' is NOT the answer - for anyone!!!
    Warm hugs to you ;o)
     
  8. Kathryn

    Kathryn New Member

    My heart is aching and breaking! My daughter is acting out so much, scheduling all sorts of activities & events this month where I would normally be included. But the worst of it is, she is obviously making alternate plans for someone to watch my grandson (6 yrs old), and usually I am the one watching him. I live alone, and he loves spending time with me. She is clearly, intentionally, keeping him from me. On an intellectual level, I know that I need to maintain a safe distance and not reach out to her - she has completely crossed all civil boundaries lately and has verbally, emotionally abused him to the point of no return. It just so painful right now!!!
     
  9. jetsam

    jetsam Active Member

    I can relate. Your daughter is trying to manipulate and control you through your grandchild. How sad and frustrating that our adult children are so self centered (narcissistic i believe) they use our grandchildren in their ploys. If you are afraid for your grandchilds emotional or physical safety you have a right to report that! i know it would be a very hard thing to do but his safety is paramount. You are going through a tough time...know you are in my thoughts..hugs to you
     
  10. Kathryn

    Kathryn New Member

    Thank you so much, Jetsam! You are very perceptive and I truly appreciate your empathy. I've often heard other adults remark that they too were 'afraid' that their daughters might 'cut them off' from contact with grandchildren. I never imagined I would be experiencing this! The pain is so deep and unbelievable - and I have lived through a tremendous amount of grief and tragedy in my life. This has no bounds! I also agree that if I believe my grandson is in any sort of danger, then a report must be made. So many difficult and heartbreaking decisions!!! I am eternally grateful to have found this site. Thank you again for all your support! Hugs and embraces to you and yours.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This is typical borderline
    Please don't let her instability, which is part of the disorder, ruin your life. It doesn't go away on its own. ..you will likely have to enjoy your grandson only when she has an upswing and allows it. Borderlines have more mood swings and changes of mind than one with bipolar and unfortunately they are lacking empathy and will hurt you. Its better not to show them they hurt you. They use it if they know you are vulnerable. It is also useless to talk it over. Borderlines, unless I'm serious therapy, are unable to maintain how they feel or what they will do from day to day. They change like the wind. And they are NOT nice, unless they want a favor.

    You may want to look at a very good website and Support forum called Borderline Central. Unless one is dealing with a personality disorder, it is hard for others to imagine the insanity.

    Wishing you the best!!
     
  12. Kathryn

    Kathryn New Member

    Thank you, "SomewhereOutThere" - such great information and advice. You, along with others on this post, are adding to the strength I need to develop, and soon! The more I hear, the more I realize that I'm NOT going crazy, and that 'baby steps' are definitely in order. I'm going to continue reading, and RE-reading, all of your posts until I can simply repeat the wise words of advice like a mantra! Thank you again, EVERYONE, for such wonderful words of encouragement.

    Warmest wishes to all!
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  13. mcdonna

    mcdonna Active Member

    Hi Kathryn. So sorry to hear of the situation with your daughter (and the grief over having access to your grandson). I don't have experience with the grandchild part of it but our daughter did the same thing with the family dog. The dog often became the hostage and would be locked in her room for horribly long periods of time.

    Everyone is correct - you will not gain anything with enabling. I hope that you will be able to find opportunities to interact with your grandson and that you are able to protect him if need be.

    Hugs to you.
     
  14. Kathryn

    Kathryn New Member

    Thank you, "McDonna" - I am beyond grateful for the wonderful response I have received via this 'thread'! Everyone's comments are so supportive and inspiring - I only hope that one day, very soon, I'll be able to provide similar words/phrases of support - you are ALL wonderful for reaching out and sharing. Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!!!
    Hugs and warmest wishes!!!
     
  15. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Kathryn, I'm sorry you're struggling with your daughter. Here's a good article on detachment which may offer you some info and guidance.
    ***************************************************************************************************************************************************************
    What is detachment?
    Detachment is the:
    * Ability to allow people, places or things the freedom to be themselves.
    * Holding back from the need to rescue, save or fix another person from being sick, dysfunctional or irrational.
    * Giving another person "the space" to be herself.
    * Disengaging from an over-enmeshed or dependent relationship with people.
    * Willingness to accept that you cannot change or control a person, place or thing.
    * Developing and maintaining of a safe, emotional distance from someone whom you have previously given a lot of power to affect your emotional outlook on life.
    * Establishing of emotional boundaries between you and those people you have become overly enmeshed or dependent with in order that all of you might be able to develop your own sense of autonomy and independence.
    * Process by which you are free to feel your own feelings when you see another person falter and fail and not be led by guilt to feel responsible for their failure or faltering.
    * Ability to maintain an emotional bond of love, concern and caring without the negative results of rescuing, enabling, fixing or controlling.
    * Placing of all things in life into a healthy, rational perspective and recognizing that there is a need to back away from the uncontrollable and unchangeable realities of life.
    * Ability to exercise emotional self-protection and prevention so as not to experience greater emotional devastation from having hung on beyond a reasonable and rational point.
    * Ability to let people you love and care for accept personal responsibility for their own actions and to practice tough love and not give in when they come to you to bail them out when their actions lead to failure or trouble for them.
    * Ability to allow people to be who they "really are" rather than who you "want them to be."
    * Ability to avoid being hurt, abused, taken advantage of by people who in the past have been overly dependent or enmeshed with you.

    What are the negative effects not detaching?
    If you are unable to detach from people, places or things, then you:
    * Will have people, places or things which become over-dependent on you.
    * Run the risk of being manipulated to do things for people, at places or with things which you do not really want to do.
    * Can become an obsessive "fix it" who needs to fix everything you perceive to be imperfect.
    * Run the risk of performing tasks because of the intimidation you experience from people, places or things.
    * Will most probably become powerless in the face of the demands of the people, places or things whom you have given the power to control you.
    * Will be blind to the reality that the people, places or things which control you are the uncontrollables and unchangeables you need to let go of if you are to become a fully healthy, coping individual.
    * Will be easily influenced by the perception of helplessness which these people, places or things project.
    * Might become caught up with your idealistic need to make everything perfect for people, places or things important to you even if it means your own life becomes unhealthy.
    * Run the risk of becoming out of control of yourself and experience greater low self-esteem as a result.
    * Will most probably put off making a decision and following through on it, if you rationally recognize your relationship with a person, place or thing is unhealthy and the only recourse left is to get out of the relationship.
    * Will be so driven by guilt and emotional dependence that the sickness in the relationship will worsen.
    * Run the risk of losing your autonomy and independence and derive your value or worth solely from the unhealthy relationship you continue in with the unhealthy person, place or thing.

    How is detachment a control issue?
    Detachment is a control issue because:
    * It is a way of de-powering the external "locus of control" issues in your life and a way to strengthen your internal "locus of control."
    * If you are not able to detach emotionally or physically from a person, place or thing, then you are either profoundly under its control or it is under your control.
    * The ability to "keep distance" emotionally or physically requires self-control and the inability to do so is a sign that you are "out of control."
    * If you are not able to detach from another person, place or thing, you might be powerless over this behavior which is beyond your personal control.
    * You might be mesmerized, brainwashed or psychically in a trance when you are in the presence of someone from whom you cannot detach.
    * You might feel intimidated or coerced to stay deeply attached with someone for fear of great harm to yourself or that person if you don't remain so deeply involved.
    * You might be an addicted caretaker, fixer or rescuer who cannot let go of a person, place or thing you believe cannot care for itself.
    * You might be so manipulated by another's con, "helplessness," overdependency or "hooks" that you cannot leave them to solve their own problems.
    * If you do not detach from people, places or things, you could be so busy trying to "control" them that you completely divert your attention from yourself and your own needs.
    * By being "selfless" and "centered" on other people, you are really a controller trying to fix them to meet the image of your ideal for them.
    * Although you will still have feelings for those persons, places and things from which you have become detached, you will have given them the freedom to become what they will be on their own merit, power, control and responsibility.
    * It allows every person, place or thing with which you become involved to feel the sense of personal responsibility to become a unique, independent and autonomous being with no fear of retribution or rebuke if they don't please you by what they become.

    What irrational thinking leads to an inability to detach?
    * If you should stop being involved, what will they do without you?
    * They need you and that is enough to justify your continued involvement.
    * What if they commit suicide because of your detachment? You must stay involved to avoid this.
    * You would feel so guilty if anything bad should happen to them after you reduced your involvement with them.
    * They are absolutely dependent on you at this point and to back off now would be a crime.
    * You need them as much as they need you.
    * You can't control yourself because everyday you promise yourself "today is the day" you will detach your feelings but you feel driven to them and their needs.
    * They have so many problems, they need you.
    * Being detached seems so cold and aloof. You can't be that way when you love and care for a person. It's either 100 percent all the way or no way at all.
    * If you should let go of this relationship too soon, the other might change to be like the fantasy or dream you want them to be.
    * How can being detached from them help them? It seems like you should do more to help them.
    * Detachment sounds so final. It sounds so distant and non-reachable. You could never allow yourself to have a relationship where there is so much emotional distance between you and others. It seems so unnatural.
    * You never want anybody in a relationship to be emotionally detached from you so why would you think it a good thing to do for others?
    * The family that plays together stays together. It's all for one and one for all. Never do anything without including the significant others in your life.
    * If one hurts in the system, we all hurt. You do not have a good relationship with others unless you share in their pain, hurt, suffering, problems and troubles.
    * When they are in "trouble," how can you ignore their "pleas" for help? It seems cruel and inhuman.
    * When you see people in trouble, confused and hurting, you must always get involved and try to help them solve the problems.
    * When you meet people who are "helpless," you must step in to give them assistance, advice, support and direction.
    * You should never question the costs, be they material, emotional or physical, when another is in dire need of help.
    * You would rather forgo all the pleasures of this world in order to assist others to be happy and successful.
    * You can never "give too much" when it comes to providing emotional support, comforting and care of those whom you love and cherish.
    * No matter how badly your loved ones hurt and abuse you, you must always be forgiving and continue to extend your hand in help and support.
    * Tough love is a cruel, inhuman and anti-loving philosophy of dealing with the troubled people in our lives and you should instead love them more when they are in trouble since "love" is the answer to all problems.

    ******************************************************************************************************************************************************************
    Hang in there and keep posting, it helps. I'm glad you're here....
     
  16. Kathryn

    Kathryn New Member

    Thank you very much, "Recoveringenabler" - what an amazing article, full of really positive and insightful information, and so much to absorb. Along with all the other comments, I will definitely keep this to refer to as very positive reinforcement. Everyone's input is already helping me tremendously, and again, I am eternally grateful!!!
    WArmest wishes to all xo
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  17. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Kathryn, another resource you may try is NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. You can reach them online and they have chapters in many cities. I contacted them here in Northern Ca. and they were amazing. They offer courses for parents which offer so much info, guidance and resources.

    You and I are the same age so I can completely understand how worn out you are......make sure you take care of YOU. I also attended CODA 12 step groups in addition to a 2year long codependency course lead by therapists here in the largest HMO in this area, it was invaluable, and because I'm a member, it was simply a copay. Get yourself in as many supportive environments as you can.......as you begin to change, everything will change.

    Books that helped me were, Codependent no more, by Melodie Beatty; The Power of Now and the New earth, by Eckhart Tolle; Comfortable with Uncertainty, Living beautifully, The places that scare you and When things fall apart, all by Pema Chodron. Man's search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl is also excellent.

    Immerse yourself in environments, books, forums, counselors and classes that empower you and offer various ways of changing and seeing things differently. The situation with my daughter was so dismal I sought as much help and support as I could and remarkably, my entire life changed for the (WAY) better.

    We have the power to change, to grow, to heal, to thrive......use it......and hang in there, keep posting, it will get better.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2016
  18. Kathryn

    Kathryn New Member

    Recoveringenabler: I've been away from this site for several days now....busy connecting with a therapist, friends, and my own physician. Your information is just astounding!!! I truly appreciate all the assistance, and I will definitely follow through with many of our suggestions. One of my own issues is that I feel so 'alone' while dealing with this (alone from the standpoint that I literally live ALONE!) Coincidentally, and because of serious financial constraints, it is necessary that I work - and I've recently secured a new job where I will once again be working FULL-time (8 hours day/5 days a week!). That alone will help me in getting 'out of my own head' and moving on! Thank you, AGAIN, for all your valuable input!
    Warmest wishes to you, your family, and all those other souls who are dealing with similar life scenarios. Have a wonderful weekend!!
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  19. mcdonna

    mcdonna Active Member

    Glad you are finding your way, Kathryn. Congratulations on the new job! Keeping busy often helps in moving forward. You do not need to be lonely! Try to take some time for yourself amidst your new busy schedule.
     
  20. Kathryn

    Kathryn New Member

    Thank you, McDonna! I genuinely appreciate all your words of encouragement...they will sustain me during the days to come!!! I am forever grateful for having found this wonderful site!
    Warmest wishes xo
     
Loading...