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Children of HPD/Other PD Parent(s)

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Children of HPD/Other PD Parent(s)

Postby rinny » Tue Oct 14, 2008 4:51 am

I have been lingering around the forum a bit lately and wanted to post a thread for the singular purpose of bringing together any other children of HPD individuals, to hopefully provide some answers to those who have children with other HPD or who have relatives who are HPD and have children.

============================================

1.) It will never be easy being the child of an HPD. Living with a parent who has a disorder, no matter what that disorder may be, is going to be far more difficult than being raised by someone who truly takes care of you because they don't have their own issues to address.

2.) HPD children will likely have a lot of work ahead of them in life. My sister and I both have been through a lot of counseling, but the mark our mother left on us will never fade. She was with my mother in her younger years, when she was able to inflict her problems full-force full-time; living with the threat card being played daily. I, being 12 years her junior, was with my mom in harder times, when she became very ill (and/or exclaiming that she were very ill) and the guilt card was played more than not. We're going to be working it out for a very long time.

3.) We don't have it easy in relationships. This again rings true for children of parents with any disorder. My sister and I both, although very different, have a very hard time really connecting with people. We have little trust to give, and don't give it often. We're awkward. We get taken advantage of an incredible amount after for so many years being the rescue helicopter for the train wreck. Always being at the beck and call of an HPD and needing to drop everything and devote your attention to someone at the drop of a dime lends itself well to other greedy predators, and believe me, they notice.

4.) On a personal note, we both feel quite starved for attention ourselves, both feel like we're never good enough, both feel like we'll never be fulfilled. I think this is in part to having a parent who always, no matter what, was better than us and found it easy to be better than us; a parent who would be the star of our birthday parties and other celebratory gatherings; a parent who's world always revolved around them. We both, equally, have a hard time being authentic in front of people. On numerous occasions we've been suspected of acting "fake"; hey, what can I say, we were taught by THE BEST.


I welcome other thoughts/opinions directly from children who have made it through the other side of a PD parent- whether it is HPD or otherwise (if you've found your way to our forum). It's helpful to feel like we're not alone, especially since (especially with blame-shifting types) we always feel like we're at fault....
~rinny
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Postby Chucky » Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:42 pm

Hi,

I don't have a parent with a PD, but I have a PD myself and felt like replying to you. Basically, I am of the belief that the things that happen in our childhoods determine the adults that we become. However, it doesn't have to be a permanent effect - It is possible to 're-train' the brain to look upon things differently, but it takes time and conscious effort.

Anyway, I suppose that one of the biggest problems living with a parent with a PD is the fact that they can't really help you too much because they are also trying to help themselves. So, you are pretty much left to learn about things yourself a lot of the time without guidance.

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Postby donlimpio » Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:30 am

Rinny, the scary thing is that your description of yourself is pretty close to how people with a personality disorder relate to other people:

- hard time really connecting to people vs. empathy
- little trust to give
- dependency issues
- attention-starved
- acting(/lying)? (not being authentic in front of people)

Don't get me wrong. I'm not judging you, just remarking. From what you write you seem like a very sweet, strong and loving person, and not disordered by a long shot. But this post did puzzle me... Although I've had my ex's HPD rub off on me as well, so I can imagine how it must be for the child of an HPD.
Democracy is 3 wolves and a sheep deciding what's for dinner
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Re: Children of HPD/Other PD Parent(s)

Postby MyWave » Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:22 pm

rinny wrote:2.) ... I, being 12 years her junior, was with my mom in harder times, when she became very ill (and/or exclaiming that she were very ill) and the guilt card was played more than not. We're going to be working it out for a very long time.

3.) ... We get taken advantage of an incredible amount after for so many years being the rescue helicopter for the train wreck. Always being at the beck and call of an HPD and needing to drop everything and devote your attention to someone at the drop of a dime lends itself well to other greedy predators, and believe me, they notice.
.


Hey Rinny,

Both my mother and my sister have BPD/NPD, and lucky me I got involved with an HPD/NPD. That ofcourse is no coincidence and I have been able to connect the dots these past couple of years. Amazing the resistence you get from these predator types when you do that.

My mom was chronically mentally ill. By my adolescence she also had a terminal illness. When she drank her axis II bordeline behaviors came out in full force and usually my dad got the brunt of it. She did not mess with me too much for I learned early on to be the invisible child. My mom was unavaliable emotionally, and her bad health required constant attention.

In fact, I pretty much had little childhood and almost no adolescence because of the constant care she needed. I had to take care of her like a grown up yet only had the toolset of a kid so it was confusing at best

My sister really took up where my mother left off. It was always in the disguise that 'I am actually helping you' when in fact I was her doormat. I ran to her aid constantly, and when I didn't all hell would break loose. She ended up marrying a NPD who basically brought her to her knees. Trying to deal with her has been such an uphill battle. Now that I know she has a personality disorder I distance myself from her. I hate to say this but she is not good for my mental, emotional, and even spiritual health

We absorbed a lifetime of guilt, fear, and shame from them and they tried their best to encapsulate us as their co-dependent slaves. Glad to hear that you have broken the cycle as I...I finally feel a sense of liberation these days...

Your comment about 'greedy predators' struck a chord in me. Your right, they are always watching and usually I am on top of it. I think the reason why I allowed the HPD in my life is because I was very vulnerable. It was a hard lesson learned but now I realize that when I am vulnerable I have to be on my guard the most..

Anyways your insight on this is excellent and I wish you continued success
You feed the fire that burned us all
When you lied
To feel the pain that spurs you on
Black inside
~ Alice in Chains
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Re: Children of HPD/Other PD Parent(s)

Postby stepmom85 » Fri May 07, 2010 6:36 pm

I wanted to take the time to say thank you for your post.

My step daughter who we have had full custody of for 5 years now, has a mother that has been diagonosed with HPD. The contact is very limited, but that fact that she is who she is and that's her mom is hard on my step daughter.

I search and search the internet for posts like this to try and gather information so I can better help and prepare my step daughter with the contact she does has and just the fact that her mom is the way she is, and it just plain sucks.

My step daughter is only 8, and is just now starting to find her place in the world and also the relaization that her mom won't ever act like the caring mother she knows she deserves.

I appreciate your insight, very very much.

Thank you
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Re: Children of HPD/Other PD Parent(s)

Postby Learningtobreathe » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:09 am

Hey,
To anyone trying to raise a child alongside a HPD, I am very sorry and wish you the best of luck!
Here are some suggestions for trying to minimize the damage of an HPD (damage: the child may grow up not really knowing who they are, not trusting their feelings/thoughts/judgements of themselves and others,thus, they may be quick to heed an authoritarian voice, because they were taught that the authoritarian figure - the HPD - has all the right answers, Growing up with a controlling and over domineering voice will inhibit the development of the child's voice, leaving the child lost and confused as an adult)
1. Affirm everything!!! This could not be more important. The child while being with an HPD will be told that their needs are secondary and that their needs/emotions must be want the HPD wants. It is therefore important, whenever you are with the child, to let them know that their feelings are real and that they matter. eg. child is scared of the dark, response "I understand that you are feeling scared right now, its ok if you feel scared, but I want you to know that I am right here and I love you very much, and I promise to do my best to make sure that you are safe tonight, is there anything I can do right now that would help you feel more safe" I know that this may be difficult and will require you to be very vigilant in your responses, but I promise that it is wort the effort.
2. The child is going to love the HPD parent, its what children do. however, they may wonder if its OK to love them, and may feel hate and love for the parent, these dualistic feelings are very confusing for children who tend to think in black and white, your jobs is to help the child develop more nuanced perception/thoughts/feeling. it is very important that you address this in a manner supportive of the child's feelings, do not trash talk the HPD parent, or make the child feel like they should hate/or love, the HPD parent . An appropriate response might look like this " I know you love your mommy/daddy but I know sometimes he/she does things that make you feel angry or sad. Mommys/Daddys aren't perfect, and sometimes they make mistakes, and its ok to love them but be mad at them too. Sweetie, i will always be here for you if you want to talk about this or anything else, do you want to talk some more?"
3. Address the wrong comments by the HPD- The HPD may tell the child that something about the child or something the child did was wrong, stupid, ugly, etc... Whenever you hear about it (or even if the HPD said it in front of you) you need to correct it asap, even in front of HPD (while not trashing the HPD) ex : " honey, i know [blank] said ...... [you were ugly] I'm sure that they didn't mean to .... [hurt your feeling] , but even though he/she probably wanted you to ....[loose weight, wear different clothes] that was still a pretty hurtful statement, and its ok you think/feel that he/she hurt your feelings, and despite his/her intentions to help, I need you to know that you are wonderful just as you are, and you don't have to change your ...[weight] , [loosing weight] won't make you more wonderful because nothing could be more wonderful than who you are right now. "
4. Let the child lead, really. The HPD parent will dictate everything, including how time will be spent. He/she may give the guise of letting the child choose, while really maintaining control (aka, the child says lets do X, HPD says you dont really want to do X now do you, wouldnt you rather/have more fun doing Y). So allow the child to make decisions : what to eat or not eat, when to eat, how free time should be spent, etc.... And I think it would be really helpful for you to look into "parent-child interaction therapy" similarly you should spend time with the child playing, but instead of you taking the lead, let the child, eg: if the child wants to play pretend tea, ask them how you should dress and what things you should say- let the child become the "adults" and direct you, as if you were a doll who must obey the child's wishes (try doing it in a place and in clothes that you don't mind getting dirty, you dont want your fear/worry of mess get in the way, children pick up on it)
5. Seek therapy, for both you and the child (if a younger child, I recommend you find a therapist that is trained in child-centered play therapy, if you need help finding one, contact the center for child-centered play therapy at the University North Texas). It is important that both you and the child have a safe place to process your interactions with the HPD and to develop strategies for minimizing any harm from interactions with the HPD
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Re: Children of HPD/Other PD Parent(s)

Postby Learningtobreathe » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:10 am

Hey,
To anyone trying to raise a child alongside a HPD, I am very sorry and wish you the best of luck!
Here are some suggestions for trying to minimize the damage of an HPD (damage: the child may grow up not really knowing who they are, not trusting their feelings/thoughts/judgements of themselves and others,thus, they may be quick to heed an authoritarian voice, because they were taught that the authoritarian figure - the HPD - has all the right answers, Growing up with a controlling and over domineering voice will inhibit the development of the child's voice, leaving the child lost and confused as an adult)
1. Affirm everything!!! This could not be more important. The child while being with an HPD will be told that their needs are secondary and that their needs/emotions must be want the HPD wants. It is therefore important, whenever you are with the child, to let them know that their feelings are real and that they matter. eg. child is scared of the dark, response "I understand that you are feeling scared right now, its ok if you feel scared, but I want you to know that I am right here and I love you very much, and I promise to do my best to make sure that you are safe tonight, is there anything I can do right now that would help you feel more safe" I know that this may be difficult and will require you to be very vigilant in your responses, but I promise that it is wort the effort.
2. The child is going to love the HPD parent, its what children do. however, they may wonder if its OK to love them, and may feel hate and love for the parent, these dualistic feelings are very confusing for children who tend to think in black and white, your jobs is to help the child develop more nuanced perception/thoughts/feeling. it is very important that you address this in a manner supportive of the child's feelings, do not trash talk the HPD parent, or make the child feel like they should hate/or love, the HPD parent . An appropriate response might look like this " I know you love your mommy/daddy but I know sometimes he/she does things that make you feel angry or sad. Mommys/Daddys aren't perfect, and sometimes they make mistakes, and its ok to love them but be mad at them too. Sweetie, i will always be here for you if you want to talk about this or anything else, do you want to talk some more?"
3. Address the wrong comments by the HPD- The HPD may tell the child that something about the child or something the child did was wrong, stupid, ugly, etc... Whenever you hear about it (or even if the HPD said it in front of you) you need to correct it asap, even in front of HPD (while not trashing the HPD) ex : " honey, i know [blank] said ...... [you were ugly] I'm sure that they didn't mean to .... [hurt your feeling] , but even though he/she probably wanted you to ....[loose weight, wear different clothes] that was still a pretty hurtful statement, and its ok you think/feel that he/she hurt your feelings, and despite his/her intentions to help, I need you to know that you are wonderful just as you are, and you don't have to change your ...[weight] , [loosing weight] won't make you more wonderful because nothing could be more wonderful than who you are right now. "
4. Let the child lead, really. The HPD parent will dictate everything, including how time will be spent. He/she may give the guise of letting the child choose, while really maintaining control (aka, the child says lets do X, HPD says you dont really want to do X now do you, wouldnt you rather/have more fun doing Y). So allow the child to make decisions : what to eat or not eat, when to eat, how free time should be spent, etc.... And I think it would be really helpful for you to look into "parent-child interaction therapy" similarly you should spend time with the child playing, but instead of you taking the lead, let the child, eg: if the child wants to play pretend tea, ask them how you should dress and what things you should say- let the child become the "adults" and direct you, as if you were a doll who must obey the child's wishes (try doing it in a place and in clothes that you don't mind getting dirty, you dont want your fear/worry of mess get in the way, children pick up on it)
5. Seek therapy, for both you and the child (if a younger child, I recommend you find a therapist that is trained in child-centered play therapy, if you need help finding one, contact the center for child-centered play therapy at the University North Texas). It is important that both you and the child have a safe place to process your interactions with the HPD and to develop strategies for minimizing any harm from interactions with the HPD
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Re: Children of HPD/Other PD Parent(s)

Postby Wishing4Peace » Thu Apr 21, 2011 4:56 am

Very interesting thread, I'm glad you posted here Learningtobreathe. Great advice, I needed to hear most of that...it was very helpful :) Thanks!
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Re: Children of HPD/Other PD Parent(s)

Postby OtherHPD » Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:26 pm

Rinny, thank you for starting this thread it has evolved quickly and has become VERY informative for me.

Learningtobreathe, thank you for your wonderful post. Although I like to play a lot on this forum as well as giving straight honest answers for the nons I have learned a lot here thanks to people like you.
I carry a diagnosis of HPD and my wife is bi polar. We have two young daughters (9 and 7) together and many things I have learned on this forum have helped me identify better ways of controlling my HPD around my girls. It’s a struggle but at least I know what to look for when my mind is steering me that way and can knowingly correct myself either before I say or do something HPDish or put forth corrective action with a talk with my daughters after I have done something HPDish.
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Re: Children of HPD/Other PD Parent(s)

Postby Run » Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:05 pm

Learningtobreathe wrote:Hey,
To anyone trying to raise a child alongside a HPD, I am very sorry and wish you the best of luck!
Here are some suggestions for trying to minimize the damage of an HPD (damage: the child may grow up not really knowing who they are, not trusting their feelings/thoughts/judgements of themselves and others,thus, they may be quick to heed an authoritarian voice, because they were taught that the authoritarian figure - the HPD - has all the right answers, Growing up with a controlling and over domineering voice will inhibit the development of the child's voice, leaving the child lost and confused as an adult)
1. Affirm everything!!! This could not be more important. The child while being with an HPD will be told that their needs are secondary and that their needs/emotions must be want the HPD wants. It is therefore important, whenever you are with the child, to let them know that their feelings are real and that they matter. eg. child is scared of the dark, response "I understand that you are feeling scared right now, its ok if you feel scared, but I want you to know that I am right here and I love you very much, and I promise to do my best to make sure that you are safe tonight, is there anything I can do right now that would help you feel more safe" I know that this may be difficult and will require you to be very vigilant in your responses, but I promise that it is wort the effort.
2. The child is going to love the HPD parent, its what children do. however, they may wonder if its OK to love them, and may feel hate and love for the parent, these dualistic feelings are very confusing for children who tend to think in black and white, your jobs is to help the child develop more nuanced perception/thoughts/feeling. it is very important that you address this in a manner supportive of the child's feelings, do not trash talk the HPD parent, or make the child feel like they should hate/or love, the HPD parent . An appropriate response might look like this " I know you love your mommy/daddy but I know sometimes he/she does things that make you feel angry or sad. Mommys/Daddys aren't perfect, and sometimes they make mistakes, and its ok to love them but be mad at them too. Sweetie, i will always be here for you if you want to talk about this or anything else, do you want to talk some more?"
3. Address the wrong comments by the HPD- The HPD may tell the child that something about the child or something the child did was wrong, stupid, ugly, etc... Whenever you hear about it (or even if the HPD said it in front of you) you need to correct it asap, even in front of HPD (while not trashing the HPD) ex : " honey, i know [blank] said ...... [you were ugly] I'm sure that they didn't mean to .... [hurt your feeling] , but even though he/she probably wanted you to ....[loose weight, wear different clothes] that was still a pretty hurtful statement, and its ok you think/feel that he/she hurt your feelings, and despite his/her intentions to help, I need you to know that you are wonderful just as you are, and you don't have to change your ...[weight] , [loosing weight] won't make you more wonderful because nothing could be more wonderful than who you are right now. "
4. Let the child lead, really. The HPD parent will dictate everything, including how time will be spent. He/she may give the guise of letting the child choose, while really maintaining control (aka, the child says lets do X, HPD says you dont really want to do X now do you, wouldnt you rather/have more fun doing Y). So allow the child to make decisions : what to eat or not eat, when to eat, how free time should be spent, etc.... And I think it would be really helpful for you to look into "parent-child interaction therapy" similarly you should spend time with the child playing, but instead of you taking the lead, let the child, eg: if the child wants to play pretend tea, ask them how you should dress and what things you should say- let the child become the "adults" and direct you, as if you were a doll who must obey the child's wishes (try doing it in a place and in clothes that you don't mind getting dirty, you dont want your fear/worry of mess get in the way, children pick up on it)
5. Seek therapy, for both you and the child (if a younger child, I recommend you find a therapist that is trained in child-centered play therapy, if you need help finding one, contact the center for child-centered play therapy at the University North Texas). It is important that both you and the child have a safe place to process your interactions with the HPD and to develop strategies for minimizing any harm from interactions with the HPD


This is a lovely post. As a child of a HPD (with elements of NPD and Borderline) this seems almost to good to be true. I think it is hard for an adult to do this all. But, shortly it is true that affirming the feelings of a child, talking with the child to let it grow up knowing who she/he is and what she wants, and let him/her lead sometimes just for fun, or in a game, is very healthy. And also: correct the HPD'er! It don't has to be so difficult. The HPD'er likes conflicts with the child and talk toward others about how bad the child is. Tell the HPD'er that that is a very childish behaviour, and that she or he should talk with the child to seek a solution in stead of making it all worse. Looking back I wondered why nobody corrected my mother that way and let her talk bad about me, me who was lazy, was making the life of my mother a mess etcetera.
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