Borderline (BPD) and My SD

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by florida_jam, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. florida_jam

    florida_jam New Member


    This is my first post of any sort on this discussion board. In fact, I honestly don't recall joining here! But this morning when I opened my emails, there was a link to this site and apparently I am already signed up!??!!?

    I have been searching for the last few months, for a place to get some help with my parenting and coping issues. Haven't had any success. I found one step-parenting sight that ended up being a site for step-mom's to gripe about their husband's first-wives.

    First of all, both my S/O and I were widowed and thus I come into this relationship with a 22 year old who is in her last year of college. She was 17 when her Dad died. She doesn't live with us, already being at the age when she spends summer at the town where he school is so that she can keep her waitressing job. I have struggled financially since my late husband passed. He had cancer and was ill for awhile before he died and it put us in horrible financial straights, so my daughter has had to work almost full time since he died.

    My S/O has a 16 year old. I started my relationship with him when she was a few days away from being 14. She was almost 13 when her Mom died and her mom became ill when she was about 8 although she doesn't remember it earlier than age 10. I moved in here with them a little over a year ago (she was 15-1/2 at the time). She is 16-1/2 now. When I say moved in, I lived half way across the country while we were dating, so I had not been in their lives on a daily basis except for three long visits while we attempted to sort of see if we were a good fit.

    After my S/O and I had spend some weekends alone together, getting to know each other in person, I stayed in one of those extended stay hotels for several weeks and spent a lot of time with them. Of course, all through our early relationship S/O and I talked on the phone and computer daily, several times a day actually. After the weeks in the extended stay hotel I came and stayed in the house for a month at a time, three different times.

    I knew my step-daughter (SD)(I promise to study the correct abbreviations soon but for now I hope all will be forgiven if I don't get the correct anagram) had some problems. My S/O reported that she was "a little bit spoiled" and that she suffered from tricotillomania(hair pulling) and before I even met him in person he discovered that she was cutting. He got her into therapy (she was almost 14 then) but during my visits I could see that there was much more at play with her that the spoiling and the tricotillomania. To give you folks an idea of my first "discovery" , the first time I spent the night in their house, she poured a big bottle of water on the bed in the guest room and suggested that I sleep with her. At the time, she was sleeping downstairs on the couch in the living room with two of the family dogs. I deferred and put a folded up towel on the wet spot, washed and dried the bedding the next day.

    We started family therapy, at her suggestion! about two months into my living here. Although the family therapy was her idea (she was mad at her Dad, they were fighting,) she basically refused to participate, putting her hair over her face or pulling up the hood on her sweatshirt, or curling into a ball and facing the wall. The family therapist was a great support for her father and me, in fact, I still see him occasionally when I am having trouble coping. He is the one who has suggested Borderline (BPD), and while he cannot diagnose her as such because of her age, after reading up on the disorder, it is a spot on diagnoses. Her picture should be in the dictionary under the disorder.

    We have had trouble with her cutting classes and skipping school, breaking things around the house in fits of anger, smoking cigarettes (she got caught on campus and "arrested"), smoking pot and abusing corocidrins and dramamine, , sending inappropriate pictures of herself to strangers over the internet, she has been caught shoplifting and arrested, she "overdosed" on energy pills at school and had to be hospitalized and got consequences at school because she gave the pills to other kids. They sent her to an alternative school. Last summer she spent 2 months at a wilderness treatment "camp" and it did her some real good, especially in the months immediately following her return. At present, she is doing better at school, (she was failing everything before camp) she does a few chores around the house, some even without griping or having to be reminded) her behavior is better on some days but now, due to her immaturity, she is losing all of her friends and as a result, she is never occupied with ANYTHING outside of the house. She has NO interest in anything except television (mostly cartoons) myspace (where, when we allow her to get on all she does is message friends about how bored she is) and socializing with her friends. Did I mention, she has no friends? She plays a lot of solitaire on the computer and she also spends time doing her chores and homework but she is lonely and bored and this is not a great combination for someone with Borderline (BPD). She is constantly trying to start fights with her Dad and is now pulling her hair whenever she is awake. Thankfully, she has really thick hair, and for now, no bald spots. She hasn't cut herself for quite a long time now but I feel like she is a ticking time bomb.

    We created a behavioral contract for her after her wilderness therapy camp experience and frankly, it has helped to discipline her but it creates a lot of problems for her dad and me. We have always agreed that he be the disciplinarian and all of "the books" suggest that the bio-parent be the disciplinarian. But, he works outside the home (I am self employed and work from home) and since her problems range from school to social skills to anger management and beyond, it is hard for any one person to keep up with everything. I tend to be the one who notices everything she does that breaks the contract. Don't mean to be sexist, but maybe it is a woman thing, to notice the details. I feel like I am constantly ratting her out! And I am not nit-picking here. I find progress reports from school stuffed in her pants and when she forgets to shift the laundry and I need to washing machine, I just can't help myself! I want to see what is about to be dried into oblivion.

    We have a web watcher on her computer and we check it daily. When he is overbooked, I will take on the responsibility for checking on her computer stuff. We REALLY have had a big problem with this in the past. She sent a boy (who knows, maybe it was a full grown man) pictures of herself wearing no shirt or bra and her hoodie, the only thing she had on, unzipped to her naval. she is VERY, VERY busty due to overweight and the picture was flat out obscene, including the look on her face).

    She is typically pretty nice to me, rotten awful to her Dad. Except when she wants something, then she calls him DaDa. The mood around here is TENSE and I truly believe it is mostly me who is tense. They are used to each other and I am still trying to adjust to this situation. I am a very adaptable person but this is eating my lunch...

    We no longer see the same family therapist, switched offices since her former, private therapist was really not doing her anygood, and we found a therapist who took us on as a group, some sessions just with SD, some just with me, some with all three of us, etc. Jury is out on the new therapist. I still see the original family therapist alone because I like his style and he helps me to find ways to be more effective with her.

    Long post....I know.... sorry! I just want to find someone in this group that I can dialog with about dealing with the Borderline (BPD). I just had oral surgery yesterday and last night I was sleeping (before my S/O got into bed with me...he was in another part of the house) and I opened my eye to a noise in the room and she was trying to steal my pill bottle- hydrocodone. Right next to my face! I took one of those pills when I first got back from the dentist yesterday afternoon and I am still feeling woozy at noon today! so I hate to think of what might have happened if she took more than one. They are locked up now where we have every other medicine in the house because she posted once on her myspace that she was high on advil!

    Anyone else here send their kid to a wilderness program?

    Anyone else here get my frustrations?
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member


    I just want to say "I understand." My kids arent steps but I can really empathize with you. I have one with a personality disorder that we just arent sure which one it is...he has traits of several...narcissistic, anti-social and borderline. I am borderline and bipolar. Thankfully I have mellowed out as I have gotten

    I am going to give you a link to some resources. If it doesnt work let me know.
  3. florida_jam

    florida_jam New Member

    Yes, all of the links I tried work just fine. Thanks very much!