It's really sinking in

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by flutterby, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    When I got home from the appointment with difficult child's therapist, I was just tired...and kind of numb.

    Now I'm a tangle of emotions.

    Borderline Personality Disorder is difficult to live with - for the patient and the family - and difficult to treat. Especially if the patient refuses to acknowledge it. And, we can't say anything to difficult child because she will dig in her heels, become extremely angry and then refuse to continue therapy. For crying out loud, she refused to continue with her last therapist because she mentioned something about deodorant to difficult child.

    difficult child is soooo unhappy. Treating Borderline (BPD) takes a lot of work and she is just so not there at this point in time. She wants a quick fix for everything and is just not willing to have to work at something. She's adamant about what's going with her in the first place, so even getting her to agree that there is something else going on isn't going to happen. And early treatment is best.

    I think about my aunt and my grandmother and they have spent their entire lives as unhappy, miserable people who keep repeating the same mistakes and not learning from them...and having emotional needs that can never be met. That hole I've talked about with difficult child in the past - where she just needs more than is humanly possible to give.

    Then I was reading that adolescents with Borderline (BPD) are more likely than adults to have other comorbid personality disorders and from the different classes of personality disorders....and it mentioned shizotypal pd. Schizotypal is not her, but I was reading schizoid and, wow, I see that in her.

    And I just can't go there right now. I just can't. I can't think about all of this.

    All I have ever wanted was for my children to be happy. I never had the definition of success for my children as anything other than for them to be happy. I have tried so hard to do what is right, what is best for them.

    I *knew* this diagnosis was a possibility. I always had it in the back of my mind. I saw the behavior, I knew. I've seen the behavior since she was little. But, I was hoping with everything I had that we could intervene and keep it from happening. Yet, it was always there in the back of my mind.

    And now, hearing it out loud from a professional....I'm devastated. I'm heartbroken. And I hope on all that is good in this world that we can help her overcome this and that difficult child can be the smart, beautiful, creative, vibrant, and HAPPY person I know she can be.
  2. ML

    ML Guest

    With you guiding her, I put her chances at happiness equal to anyone's! I think it's true that all of our kids deal with more than their share of pain and it does break your heart to watch them suffer. But I believe that because of our warrior mom status, that we stop at nothing and do everything within our power to give them tools and to teach them skills it will make all the difference.

    Feeling your grief today and sending hugs of understanding. Please know you are not alone and that your difficult child will be ok. I give my difficult child over to God every day and work on trusting that it will. I am doing everything within my power and the rest is up to Him.


  3. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    Hi Flutterby,
    I used to be in a support group for parents with kids who were diagnosed with Borderline (BPD) or Borderline (BPD) traits. It was really a great group, you might want to look into it. And some of the kids had made great progress despite this crummy diagnosis.

    I was convinced my dtr had Borderline (BPD) as a young teen--she had nearly every single criteria for it but now that she is 21 I would say she probably doesn't have it or is very high functioning. She was not ever diagnosed with it but was diagnosed with Borderline (BPD) traits.

  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I do understand and am sending hugs your way. on the other hand, except in very extreme cases, I believe there is a grey area in these diagnoses. My difficult child was diagnosed with label #1 by the first team neuropsychs. I almost fell off my chair reading the report. He also was Learning Disability (LD)'d as Aspergers which I agreed with. In the past five years he has had 3 neuropsychs and each of them have indicated scarier sounding diagnosis's than he says he has AS and is comfortable with that. The other labels (including a personality disorder) frighten him.

    My point is this. I believe that you take the steps you can take to alleviate the problems you know exist. You keep your eyes and your mind open for what "may" be there but accept that the bottom line is seeking a life that is reasonably happy for that child. All of us change as we mature and your difficult child may adapt enough that the label is just that...a label.

    Hugs, DDD
  5. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Heather, I hear your pain through your words. I share your hope.

    As other responders have said, as difficult child grows and matures, along with your help, work, and love, things can get better.

  6. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Even tho you know, that confirmation is still devastating to hear - you cling to that tiny inkling of hope that you are wrong...

    Many, many hugs. There is always hope...
  7. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I have only done a quick google search on Borderline (BPD), but it appears to me that it describes a set of symptoms, much like ODD. With that in mind, I wouldn't accept that diagnosis as the "answer" if it were my child. Meaning, I wouldn't read about Borderline (BPD) and think that it was as hopeless as it seems. It also seems like Borderline (BPD) could be diagnosis'ed as something else by a different person.

    I have seen an a/d and then a diet change, change my inner being in a way I would not have thought possible. With the right medication, your difficult child's symptoms might be managed and she could still have a very happy life. I know getting her to take her medications is its own problem.

    You are doing everything you can for your difficult child and she has access to support your aunt and grandmother didn't have.
  8. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Hugs. diagnosis's are scary, but of all the personality disorders Borderline (BPD) is the most known and studied. Your daughter is 14 and she has many years to buy into her treatment. If she likes the therapist she is seeing now, maybe that relationship will build to where therapist can disuss the diagnosis with her.

    Many time people change as they grow and mature. In 5-10yrs, do any of us really know where our difficult child's will be? Do we want to know? lol.


    My husband has been diagnosed with Borderline (BPD) (current psychiatrist does not agree with that) BiPolar (BP), schizoaffective, and BiPolar (BP) with schizoaffective tendencies. difficult child with BiPolar (BP), cyclothymia, ADHD and intermittent explosive disorder. Whatever. I try not to dwell on what it is called, but instead make sure they are treated. It is sad and hard, but you are doing all you can.
  9. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    FOP, Borderline (BPD) is more than just a set of symptoms, unlike ODD.

    Here's a better description:

  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    ((HUGS)) I'm no expert but have to agree with the others. I'm sure it's hard to deal with this expecially since it just came out yesterday. But as you let it soak in, I 'd try hard to focus on what to do for each specific issue instead of a label. I read the description you put up- it still sounds to me like there are other things that could cause similar behaviors in teens. Think about anxiety, PTSD, narcissism, etc. I'm not saying she fits those instead of Borderline (BPD), just that I would not cast this diagnosis in stone yet. But even if it is accurate, I don't think we can predict anymore what that means for the rest of her life. So much is different now with more educated parents- like you- and mental health profs are learning more about how to deal with things like this as time passes.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry. It is a real kick in the teeth to realize our children have real problems. It hoovers. Sending lots of hugs.

    I have a feeling she is taking in more of what you are teaching her than she admits. Even to herself. When she is older I think you may see some real changes. It may take until she is out of her teens. For one of my relatives it took until he was in his late 30s. But you know what? Assuming an 80 year lifespan, he still had MORE than half his life left!!! That is plenty of time to enjoy his new outlook on life. And for us to enjoy him.

    Take time to get through the grief. Don't make yourself pass through it too quickly. Don't dawdle in it, of course, but let it run it's natural course.

    Sending LOTS AND LOTS of Super Squishy Warm and Comfy Hugs to blanket you and take you off in a cloud to the place you can work through your grief with all the support and love in the world to help you!
  12. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I guess what I meant is it is a description of behaviour and feelings. It isn't hard science. If those feelings and behaviour changed (and how do the experts know they won't with the right interventions?), the diagnosis would change.

    Saying it is Borderline (BPD) and this is the way it is and will always be, seems unnecessarily hopeless to me.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2009
  13. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    It doesn't mean it's the way it always will be. There is specific therapy for it called DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy). However, the patient has to be a willing participant and it takes *a lot* of work.
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    *Waving hands in the air*

    Hey...Im the resident Borderline here. I used to be all those things that description describes. To put it bluntly, I was a manipulative little B who did all the things that were described above. I was horrible. Of course, I got no help at all and I know I was heck on wheels to live with. Tony could tell you hours of stories about what life was like with me in my mid 20s. Its a wonder he stuck around.

    Slowly I calmed down and now that I have actually been on medications for almost 10 years and in therapy for 3 years, I am in a much better place. I actually understand that there are more than two emotions. I only used to know two emotions...anger and calm. Now I am much more in touch with my feelings.

    Borderline is really a disregulation of emotions. Its kinda of like not having any sort of skin over your nerve endings so all your nerves are exposed to the world and everything touches them so you feel everything and everything makes them hurt and you cant tell what is hurting. So you are constantly in pain and reacting to that pain. You would get jumpy and want to put something on that pain right? Thats why borderlines push people away...they hurt constantly.

    But they really dont want people to go away because they really do want people in their lives but they dont know how to tell people that they are hurting so badly because when people get so close, those very people hurt their exposed nerves. Its a very tough situation. The "I hate you, dont leave me" syndrome.
  15. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My difficult child could be this description. She has all of it but the personally destructive behaviors - well she has the impulsive eating one only. I think the anxiety in her is too high to try the other things. I can tell you that it does get better with maturity. She still has the thoughts of abandonment, but she does know that it is not real. The thoughts are real, but she knows I would never leave her life.

    It IS difficult to live with. It takes management of your own feelings to the Nth degree to keep the peace.
  16. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Nothing more to add but wanted to add my support. (((hugs)))
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Flutterby, I feel for you. This is hard. But as the others have said, the diagnosis may change, plus, your daughter will mature and some day, she just may want to go in for DBT.
  18. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I know that if he saw a psychiatrist that my difficult child would probably come away with a Borderline (BPD) diagnosis. He fits the category as if his picture should be posted with it. There is little I can do for him now. He is 21, and once they hit a certain age, you simply must detach or they will make your life miserable. I love him. But there is no way I could ever "fill" his emptiness. I see that now. It has taken a long time for me to accept that I can't fix what is wrong with him. And sometimes, on some days, it makes me really sad. He is such a beautiful soul. But so lost, and I don't know if he will ever find his way.
  19. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry. I wish you and difficult child weren't hurting so. Many hugs and lots of loving support.
  20. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member

    Now I'm a tangle of emotions.


    So sorry you & difficult child are going through this. A diagnosis is part relief and part harsh reality.

    Be gentle to yourself. Take time to cry it all out. We just need to do that sometimes.