Daughter with Borderline Personality Disorder

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by DeeMart, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. DeeMart

    DeeMart New Member

    My daughter, 27, lives 12 hours away and has borderline personality disorder. She has tried (and failed) therapy numerous times. I am about at the end of my rope. She doesn't want to work, just got out of a very abusive relationship, but has already met another guy (seems to be ok, but who knows). I am so exhausted worrying about her all of the time. She does not want to get help and I don't know what the best thing I can do for her is. I have tried separating myself from her, but she will just call me constantly, even at work, until I answer the phone and either give her what she wants or tell her what she wants to hear. Thankfully she is not involved in drugs, but I don't know how I can get her help. I have previously been to therapy, but stopped because they just keep telling me the same thing and it is not working. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    What do you think you CAN do for her? Does this sound familiar?

    1/Talking sensibly doesn't work and aggravates you and gives her fodder to use against you
    2/Giving her money just makes her want more
    3/Telling her to go for help does not work as she is unmotivated to change and for a Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) to change it takes deidcation, motivation and very hard work. Was she diagnosed or is this just your opinion?
    4/ Letting her live at home is h ell for you and her.
    5/ She rages like a toddler.

    Some possible solutions which you can use or disregard as you wish:

    1/Stop talking to her about being sensible. Cut your talk time with her and don't engage her more than necessary.When you do talk to her, stay silent, mostly listening, adding "Yes" or "Uh huh" or "I see" or "that's too bad" as necessary, but don't give advice or say anything that can ramp her up. When you feel too exhausted to keep listening, tell a white lie and say somebody is at the door, the dog needs to go out, or the repairman is here and t hen disconnect. Same with texting. Same rules.

    2/NO money. She is old enough to work.If she doesn't want to it is on her shoulders to find out how to make life work without a job. You raised her already. She is well past eighteen and she is disregarding the good things you taught her.That is her decision, but you don't have to fund her poor choices.

    3/If you can not stand to live with her because s he d oesn't pay her way or act respectful, it is your choice not to allow it. Again, she is heading toward 30. Do not listen when she tells you how uncaring you are for not letting her live at home, if that is your choice. Just don't answer the phone or texts for a while, until she has accepted it.

    If you do let her come home, expect more of the same as before and no change in your peace and serenity. in my opinion you should not have to care for a 27 year old woman.

    4/If she rages or acts violent or puts holes in your wall, call the cops at once then go to a safe room and lock the door. Press charges.

    Again, these are some suggestions. You don't have to do them. My feeling is that we have raised our kids and, however they have decided to live their lives, we are off the hook as far as raising them any more and can't be her mommy anymore.

    Hugs for your hurting heart.
  3. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Welcome DeeMart, I'm sorry for what you are going through.

    It is exhausting trying to follow after an adult child and make everything in their world okay for them. You have done everything you can do and nothing has helped. The only thing left for you to do is step back.
    There is a very fine line between helping and enabling our adult children and that line is very easily blurred. We start out helping and before you know it you're in full blown enable mode. This is a very dangerous place to be for both the parent and the adult child. When we continue to enable our adult children grow to expect it and when we draw back they ramp up their behavior, begging, pleading, lying, saying and doing anything to guilt us into continuing giving them what they want. By doing this we harm them because we are not allowing them the space to figure things out for themselves and yes, to fall that on their face. It is through these trials that they will learn how to figure out their problems on their own, they start to grow. Of course this can be very painful for them and they will again, ramp up the guilt.
    We have all been there, operating from our adult child guilting us into taking care of them.

    The simple hard truth is you can't. Again, you have done everything you can to help her but that's just it, YOU can't help her. She has to help herself, she has to want to help herself. Even with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) your daughter is still responsible for her own life. There are many people who function and manage quite well despite a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

    Acceptance is a huge part of being able to let go. I had to accept that my son was going to live his life the way he wanted no matter how hard I tried to get him to live his life the way I thought he should. It was through that acceptance that I was finally able to let him go and to start taking my life back.

    This is an extremely hard journey to be on but you are not alone.

    I hope you will keep posting and reading here.

    ((HUGS)) for you weary, broken heart.................
  4. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    DeeMart, welcome to the forum. I'm so sorry about your daughter.

    I think...when we are completely spent and exhausted...we have to step way, way back. It's not forever, but we can't go on like we are.

    We have to have a break from the relentless never-ending nature of our DCs. For me, that was a big step.

    I finally told my Difficult Child that he could only call me on Saturday mornings between 10 and 11 a.m. and we would talk for 10 minutes. If he called AT ANY OTHER TIME, I would not answer the phone.

    He tested me, but finally he stopped calling and texting (not immediately) and he respected that boundary. We had to break the cycle of him hounding me all the time. I was exhausted from it. The key is once you draw that line, stick with it, or we're just teaching them that we don't mean what we say.

    Once that cycle was stopped, I was able to set more boundaries. One was that I would drive to the day shelter where he would be (he was homeless) on Fridays, he would get in the car, and we would sit there and talk for about 10 minutes.

    I just needed to lay eyes on him. I honestly didn't want to do more than that, because it drove me nuts, listening to his justifications, victim mentality and asking me for things.

    We teach people how to treat us. I believe I taught my son, over many years, that if he just kept on, I would cave in. It took me a long, long time to teach him that things had changed.

    We can't fix people. We can't even fix people who are very sick and whom we love so much. We want to, but we can't. If they don't want to get help, there is truly nothing we can do.

    That is a sad and hard truth to accept. And I know how much you are hurting and how hard it is. Please hang in there and keep posting here. We are here to support and encourage you and to offer ideas.

    Warm hugs.
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  5. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Hi Dee,

    Welcome to the forum.

    Just curious, what was the advice that you have been given by the therapists?

    Please stick around and keep posting, even if you don't like the answers you have been given. Just by writing it down, things will become clearer. It is a process.

    Many of us have been though, or are still going through, what you are dealing with. The people here know what they are talking about, and have lived it.

    Glad you found us.