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My Daughter has BPD and I Can't Cope

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My Daughter has BPD and I Can't Cope

Postby beachglass » Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:01 pm

***moved to significant others, family & friends***

Hi,

My daughter has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and for the past 5 years has been steadily getting worse to the point where she can barely take care of herself. This past year has been the worst year of her (and my) life. It seems she has spent most of it in bed sobbing, losing her job because she has been yelling at other employees and sobbing in front of customers, moving constantly, ending friendships for bizarre reasons, and dropping out of the cognitive behavioral therapy program for people with borderline personality disorder after only a few months.

Whenever she is upset, she phones me to yell and curse at me, accusing me of things I didn't do/say and making accusations about my husband and I (we don't love her; we hate her; we want her to die; we're planning on putting her in the hospital etc etc). Often, she threatens suicide and has wound up in the emergency room for this many times, but has not actually attempted suicide (just threatened it). These conversations occur probably a couple of times a week and can last for up to 3 hours.

The problem is that I don't know how to deal with these phone calls. I try very hard to be calm, but by the end of the conversation I always end up crying because of something she's said or threatens to do. During these conversations, she always says that I'm making everything worse, but she never stops calling. If I keep talking to her trying to calm her down, we end up going in circles and she gets more and more upset. If I tell her that the conversation is not productive and that she should phone back when she's calm and then follow through and hang up, she phones back (and will keep phoning dozens of times). Everything I've read, however, says that I shouldn't hang up when she's threatening suicide.

I just don't know what to do. After 5 years of worrying constantly and jumping out of my skin every time the phone rings, I feel like I'm about to have a nervous breakdown. I'm crying constantly and have become really anxious about everything in my life. I don't know how much longer I can keep doing this.

My question: how do I help my daughter while protecting myself? Since she's refused treatment, it seems like this will go on for the rest of our lives. What can I do to keep my own sanity? I've tried making appointments to see someone who specializes in borderline personality disorder to get some help when she was in cognitive-behavioural therapy, but it was no help: the therapist just suggested that we ask her to "use her skills" whenever she's hysterical but when I tried that, she went on a hysterical rant about how the treatment was useless and she had no skills.

What should I do?

- A Scared Mother
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Re: My Daughter has BPD and I Can't Cope

Postby Chucky » Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:00 pm

Hi,

This doesnt have to go on like this forever, provided you look for help from the right sources. First thing to note is that you should simply no longer talk to her on the phone if all she is going to do is abuse you. By answering her calls, you're arguably just prolonging the cycle of bad behaviour that she has. if you simply dont answer her, however, then that bad behaviouiral cycle will be broken.

That's as a first, but there are obviously much greater things that need to be done here. Would you say that she's incapable of looking after herself?; Has she threatened suicide and/or harming herself or others? If she is in such a state that she can no longer safely look after herself (or is a danger to others), then she can be admitted to a psychiatric hospital. To be honest, i think that would be the best result here, but you should seek advice from your local doctor regarding this.

Kevin
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Please send me a private message if you need help with anything.
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Re: My Daughter has BPD and I Can't Cope

Postby beachglass » Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:33 pm

Hi,

Thank you for your reply. My daughter often threatens suicide, but has only been in the emergency room three times in the past two years. The problem is that she doesn't want to be in the hospital and is smart enough to know the answers to all their questions at the emergency room so they'll let her go. She knows they can't hold her if she tells them she's not going to kill herself. Every time we've been to the hospital, they've ended up sending her home, saying they couldn't help. Everyone at the hospital says that since she's never made a serious attempt, there's no way to get her into in-patient therapy. Are there even in-patient therapy places for people with borderline personality disorder? I feel that she's been steadily going downhill for the past 5 years (it's only this year that she's had trouble keeping a job or having trouble taking care or her dog or getting out of bed to feed/bathe herself). Right now she's probably not bad enough for in-patient care, but if she gets worse, I don't know what I'll do.

I guess my main question is that when she phones, how do I help her? How do I keep the conversation from going in circles? If she threatens suicide, what do I do? I can't hang up on her, but since she travels she's often far away and there's nothing I can do since she won't go to a hospital. I don't want her to feel that she can't call home (we're the only support network she has and I don't want her to end up on the streets) but at the same time when she calls from a foreign country sobbing and threatening suicide, I feel completely helpless and upset.

Thanks again.
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Re: My Daughter has BPD and I Can't Cope

Postby AGCDEFG » Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:00 pm

I have borderline, but I'm older and have had treatment and you're not going to like my advice, but I truly think it's the best advice for your own sanity and to jump start her into really getting treatment. I also have another site for you. It's a Conduct Disorders site and there is one really great forum called Parent Emeritus (for parents with grown children who are still very problematic). They would give you the same advice I'm going to give you. First off, here's the forum addy:
http://www.conductdisorders.com

Now for my advice.

Remembering that I have bpd too, I have to tell you that you are enabling your daughter into remaining sick. She will not get better if you allow her to call you and abuse you at her whim or if you don't let her hit rock bottom, which is the only thing that may convince her to get therapy and STAY IN IT! I would be ticked off as hello if I had paid for her CBT for Borderlines and she'd dropped out of it. Her suicidal threats should be dealt with by your hanging up and calling 9-1-1. You should not try to calm her down or talk to her when she is being abusive. She has the ability to treat you decently, if you insist on her respect or else refuse to listen to her make you cry. She has the same option of working hard at therapy that every bpd person has. If she chooses not to do it, and you continue to take her abuse, you have given her your life during your older years, which you deserve to enjoy. Does she have a job? Do you support her? Is that how she can afford to travel around the world and then CALL you from another country asking for your help? She is acting five years old. BPD's who have somebody to abuse who will put up with them often let their inner children out, and you are then dealing with a kindergartner. She has no incentive to find the adult within her.

My parents did not enable me. My mom probably also had bpd (it can run in families). I had to kind of make it myself or not make it. Nobody tried to soothe me. Guess what? I MADE IT. I am grateful that my parents did not hold my hand...that nobody did. If anyone had been willing to do this for me, I may have never improved. Maybe I would have felt somehow justified in acting like I did and in denial that it was me who needed to change, not the world. It scares me to think of that possibility. If you get so sick that you have a heart attack and die because of all the stress, guess what? She will HAVE to do this alone, and you will have wasted the rest of your life.

Try to find a real life support group, such as Codependents Anonymous, Al-Anon or Narc-Anon. You'll get GREAT advice in live time.

Remember this poem:
God grand me the Serenity to accept the things I can not change
The Courage to change the things I can
And the Wisdom to know the difference
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Re: My Daughter has BPD and I Can't Cope

Postby kevin3210 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:38 am

I have borderline, but I'm older and have had treatment and you're not going to like my advice, but I truly think it's the best advice for your own sanity and to jump start her into really getting treatment. I also have another site for you. It's a Conduct Disorders site and there is one really great forum called Parent Emeritus (for parents with grown children who are still very problematic). They would give you the same advice I'm going to give you. First off, here's the forum addy:
http://www.conductdisorders.com

Now for my advice.

Remembering that I have bpd too, I have to tell you that you are enabling your daughter into remaining sick. She will not get better if you allow her to call you and abuse you at her whim or if you don't let her hit rock bottom, which is the only thing that may convince her to get therapy and STAY IN IT! I would be ticked off as hello if I had paid for her CBT for Borderlines and she'd dropped out of it. Her suicidal threats should be dealt with by your hanging up and calling 9-1-1. You should not try to calm her down or talk to her when she is being abusive. She has the ability to treat you decently, if you insist on her respect or else refuse to listen to her make you cry. She has the same option of working hard at therapy that every bpd person has. If she chooses not to do it, and you continue to take her abuse, you have given her your life during your older years, which you deserve to enjoy. Does she have a job? Do you support her? Is that how she can afford to travel around the world and then CALL you from another country asking for your help? She is acting five years old. BPD's who have somebody to abuse who will put up with them often let their inner children out, and you are then dealing with a kindergartner. She has no incentive to find the adult within her.

My parents did not enable me. My mom probably also had bpd (it can run in families). I had to kind of make it myself or not make it. Nobody tried to soothe me. Guess what? I MADE IT. I am grateful that my parents did not hold my hand...that nobody did. If anyone had been willing to do this for me, I may have never improved. Maybe I would have felt somehow justified in acting like I did and in denial that it was me who needed to change, not the world. It scares me to think of that possibility. If you get so sick that you have a heart attack and die because of all the stress, guess what? She will HAVE to do this alone, and you will have wasted the rest of your life.

Try to find a real life support group, such as Codependents Anonymous, Al-Anon or Narc-Anon. You'll get GREAT advice in live time.

Remember this poem:
God grand me the Serenity to accept the things I can not change
The Courage to change the things I can
And the Wisdom to know the difference


Thanks a lot for wonderful help. I am dealing with my elder brother who is a BPD and me, my mom and my dad have been dancing on his abusive behaviour and threats for last 20 years !
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Re: My Daughter has BPD and I Can't Cope

Postby Misty Elaine » Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:47 pm

I have an adult daughter who has BPD. She will be 25 soon, and is not in contact with me since for over one year now. She has fabricated phony accounts of my having abused her to others so they will take her in out of pity and there she'll stay until something happens to sour her and time for her to move on to another home or family or situation.

My daughter was not abused as a child. She was born premature and diagnosed with a severe learning disability in high school. She had overcompensated for her disability over the years so it went largely undetected until a chemistry teacher had her tested.

She did well and pushed herself hard in school, and was an over achiever until college. Then I believe she suffered an emotional breakdown at a public ivy league she attended. She was caught plagiarizing her junior into senior year in college twice. Was suspended until she made up an exam, and then graduated only after running away from home, and finishing her exam out of state at a different college.

She blamed me for all her problems. I was responsible for her plagiarizing etc for weird reasons that didn't really justify her dishonest actions, nor were they credible reasons, but a fiction in her own mind.

She called on me two years ago when she needed my help financially, and possibly for reassurance that I still loved her. Then she disappeared again last summer after I believed we were reconciled. So I currently don't know how she is doing or whether she is getting help for her problem.

I will add her father has a similar personality disorder, either Borderline or outright Antisocial. She grew up without his presence in our home, so I believed that the environment would preclude her from becoming a caricature of her dad. He abandoned my children while they were babies, and I didn't realize blood is stronger than environment until watching her personality digress since college. She was a sweet and loving and very loveable child growing up. We had some conflicts mostly while she was a teenager, but nothing I didn't think we couldn't overcome. So our estrangement has been really hard on me.

Thanks for others comments here. It is helpful to find a support environment of sorts for others who've "been there" or are there such as myself.
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Re: My Daughter has BPD and I Can't Cope

Postby secretsounds » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:53 pm

This was very painful to read. I am not a mother, but I'm the daughter who has BPD. And I wish I could advise you, but I simply can't. I myself am still struggling. I realized I must live far away from my parents, cause when we're together it ends up nasty. It did this week.

This is painful, because I understand that I inflict a large amount of pain on my parents, especially on my mom. They know nothing about BPD, they're quite old, and never educated themselves, and I wish they did. I used to call my mom at night too, being nasty. Nowadays, I still don't sleep, but somehow, I don't call.

Some things are more balanced, some aren't. I am without treatment, but still, I improved in some areas. I'm sending you strength, hoping you and your daughter will get to a better place, as well as me and my family.
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Re: My Daughter has BPD and I Can't Cope

Postby Misty Elaine » Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:48 pm

To 'secretsounds':

Thanks for sharing. I would think your parents must surely still love you and would prefer hearing from you rather than not at all.

Faith, hope, encouragement. Don't stop believing that things can get better. I believe accepting yourself where you're at and loving to yourself is helpful to developing toward a healthier direction where you'd like to be.

I accept my daughter as she is. She doesn't believe that I love her or love her as much as her sibling. Which is totally not true but a fiction or lie she has deceived herself with. I cannot tolerate her lies or deception to me. But that is not who my daughter is at heart. Her personality disorder makes her not only a stranger to me, but I believe she has become one to herself. Although I could be wrong.

She has some wonderful qualities and attributes. Someday I pray she remembers that I love her for the wonderful daughter I raised and comes to a place in her heart and life that she can resume a relationship with me again. I would so love to just hear from her and have her check in from time to time. She isn't capable of doing so for now.

Thanks for your message. It's appreciated.
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Re: My Daughter has BPD and I Can't Cope

Postby ivan's mom » Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:26 pm

To Misty,
Around the same time as your post our 23y/o diagnosed BPD/Bipolar daughter announced to us that her step-father and my amazing husband of 16 years allegedly sexually abused her. She blames this for her behavior and all of the problems in her life. She "just happened" to choose the day of our anniversary and the day we were to go to a family dinner celebrating my Mother's birthday. All of her accusations are entirely FALSE. As usual she has created despair, chaos and misery within the family by making these false accusations. We went as far as to have my amazing husband polygraphed and tested to assure us all this could never have happened. She continues with her accusations and she is thoroughly enmeshed with her therapist who has been perpetuating these fantasies for what we now know has been over 18 months. In the only meeting I had been allowed to attend with this therapist, this therapist made a few very unprofessional comments against the professional my amazing husband, son and I chose to seek help from. Since our daughter would not allow us to go to the same therapy services she has been seeing for 18 months. This therapist also advised our daughter to reveal these accusations via text message. This therapist also allowed our daughter to move back (2 months ago) into our home even after our daughter had began telling this therapist of the alleged accusations 18 months ago. I have no education psyche experience, but it is obvious to me that this therapist is someone herself that may have suffered some sort of sexual abuse that was not believed either and also has Mommy Issues.
We too have been completely blind sided by our daughter. She was also a premature baby. She is beautiful and highly intelligent. I have always felt that she has harbored disdain for me from day one. She has had an exemplary academic career up until this past spring when she was again hospitalized and chose to "take a break" from finishing school. She was hospitalized literally a few weeks before she would have gotten her second Bachelors degree.
Her anger towards me is undeniable and blatant. She has dragged an entire family to the gutter. She has always been a very difficult person to deal with. She is argumentative, spiteful, thinks she is ALWAYS right, mean spirited, makes up lies, and continually looks down upon everyone.
I could go on and on how her characteristics and treatment of others has been since she was around 11 years old, and us always thinking it's a phase or just immaturity and it will pass. But it is not passing and is not going to pass. It devastating to deal with the reality that your daughter is not ever going to live the life you want for her. It is devastating to not be able to believe the things your daughter says. It is devastating to know that your daughter does not even like you let alone love you. It is devastating to have one single person in your life set on destroying you and that person is your own child.
Today, we are still completely lost. Torn between loving her from afar and helping her to get healthy. It is a daily struggle that we fear will never end for us or her.
Your post hit me, as I have said, she too is falsely accusing someone of abusing her. This seems to be somewhat common amongst BPD persons. I don't know where to turn, which way to go and have adopted the "one minute at a time" mantra for getting through this.
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Re: My Daughter has BPD and I Can't Cope

Postby Marijea » Sat Sep 21, 2013 11:08 am

Ivans Mom
You are not alone, I too have a daughter like you described. Very painful and each time you think it will end up good, but it never does. I also have two granddaughters that I worry about as they live with her. What a nightmare. So sad. Wish there was more help for us parents out there.
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