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Talking myself through this...

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Talking myself through this...

Postby mindboggledintheNW » Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:40 pm

I can tell myself to stay away….. I can name a million reasons why to stay away….. I know I must stay away…… However, the guilt and the thoughts of the good times are starting to creep in and tear me apart. Maybe journaling….and looking back at what I type will motivate my ability so far to keep the distance.

Pre-“US” History: We met in high school (20 years ago)….. I fell in love with him completely. We lived on opposite ends of town, went to different high schools, and saw each other mainly on weekends due to the distance but we talked daily for two years. We would sync are clocks, turn the ringers off in each of our parents bedrooms and wake up in the middle of the night to talk about nothing…everything… We went to trips with each others families, we had an unusual connection at such a young age. I fell in love with his picture book family (as it seemed then but as you will find out wasn’t), I joined his church, I was ready for a life commitment with him….. but I was also a year older than him in school….and he had to serve a mission so that left a good three or four years of distance between us. I went to college, his parents did all they could to distance us and we ended up going our separate ways. We both married other partners, we both had children, and we both divorced. I forever thought of him. He was the one that would have been the “fairy tale-happily ever after-but happens to no one” encounter if by some slim chance we ever reconnected again. Well……… two years ago, the week before Christmas, my fairy tale occurred – or so I thought for the first few months (starting to sound familiar?).
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Re: Talking myself through this...

Postby dylski71 » Wed Dec 09, 2009 10:13 pm

Yes, it all sounds familiar. What is your current status? Are you with him now? Has he left you?

Have you been through the ringer, only to be left sratching your head in confusion and feeling like garbage? You're in the right place then.

Go ahead and write. It helps me....
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Re: Talking myself through this...

Postby mindboggledintheNW » Thu Dec 10, 2009 3:15 am

My parents called me up one evening and told me to call in and listen to their voice mail – giving me their code. I thought it very strange but my mom insisted (she knew our past and always thought we were pulled away from each other for the wrong reasons). My heart dropped to the floor when I heard his voice….. he had been back in town for a year (I had no clue) and was just thinking of me and wanted to get in touch to say hi). I did not sleep at all that night as all of the memories came flooding back…. But I kept myself reserved, thinking he may have just been in town with his wife and family and thought I may be around my family during the holidays. I fretted over whether or not to call (maybe first instincts are right!) but of course, I could not resist even a hello so called the next day. We talked an hour on the phone (where we both learned of each other’s divorce) and made plans to have lunch the following day. I can sit here today and feel the joy and excitement, butterflies and nerves of seeing him the next day. Knowing that we were both single and the just maybe……. That fairy tale was about to begin. He called the next morning….we decided to meet earlier than planned (obviously he was feeling the same way), so Applebee’s bound we were. We walked in, looked at each other and at the same time said, “I will not be able to eat a bite due to nerves” - - -laughing, we decided to grab a pop and just go sit and chat. That day long conversation was amazing…… it was like we had never been apart. The bond, silliness, and the ability to discuss anything and everything was immediately between us. He remembered every little thing about our relationship in high school……. The certain songs, the important conversations, and the special places we shared. We talked of our marriages and why they fell apart (he said he found his wife cheating on him, of which I find out months later was a lie), our family, etc. That evening, I had plans with my children and parents to go to a rodeo so unfortunately we had to end the evening earlier than we both wished. As we separated, we kissed. Oh my gosh…..what a kiss. That kiss after 20 years of thinking about it felt as good as any night of passionate love making. Fireworks flew….and lasted all night in my mind. Due to our history, I would have married him immediately without any questions asked…..
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Re: Talking myself through this...

Postby mindboggledintheNW » Thu Dec 10, 2009 3:38 am

“His” History:
He was born with fetal alcohol syndrome. Both parents died when he was an infant (due to alcohol). He was tossed around in foster care (on an Indian reservation) for years. He was adopted at age four and could not talk yet, had malnutrition issues, rickets, you name it. The family who adopted him was perfect on the outside but horrid within the four walls of their house.
I knew he had a hard time in school….but he got through it. He was an avid runner who placed at every event. I remember an article written about him in the paper about how his coached talked about living with fetal alcohol and how it affected his concentration. As he ran, he had to run right behind someone the entire race as he could never remember the way…… and then pass right before the finish line. Running was his outlet in life…..some weekends he would show up at my house (this is still in high school) which was 30+ miles away from his as he had been running or biking all morning and dropped by to say hi.
He was able to graduate, served a two year, and marry and had two children. In talking to his wife now (we have developed a friendship)…. She saw a few signs early in the marriage but blamed it on the fetal alcohol and thought maybe some adhd. He couldn’t be alone (she went out of State to visit her sister and he had to go sleep at his parents because he fretted over being alone). He had a hard time concentrating and keeping a job, he was always shutting the blinds and showed some paranoia but at this point he was never mean or angry. She also thought it strange how his parents treated him. They lived within walking distance of them for some time and they were never invited over nor ever acknowledged. During the holidays, they were never given presents and the photos or gifts they gave to his parents were disposed of and never put up or appreciated around their house (even photos of their grandchildren).
A few years after their marriage, they moved back to her home state of North Dakota. Here, away from his family, he pulled himself together and obtained a full time job, of which he kept for 2+ years. They enjoyed their boys, the outdoors, and things seemed to be smooth.
His younger sister was getting married so they made the trip back. It was at this point that things came to a head. His two boys were the “ring bearers” but his mom informed him of the wrong time to show up at the sight for photos….. actually, right when she knew they would be completed with the professional photo session. They were told that “it’s okay, we didn’t need any photos anyway as this is your sisters day. That evening, his mother got up in front of all friends and family and made a toast and exclaimed how excited she was of the thought that she might actually have some grandchildren some day. (This was in front of her two current grandchildren that she obviously didn’t acknowledge). They left that evening, the emotions flowed all night. They returned to North Dakota and a couple of weeks later, he quite his job out of the blue, walked out of his marriage, charged up thousands of dollars within a few days, and disappeared. It took her a month to search and find him. The police finally found him living on the streets. She called his family a day after he vanished and they were not the least bit concerned. They offered no help in worrying or wondering.
She spent a year trying to fix things…..got him into therapy where he received his diagnosis of rapid cycling bipolar and borderline. They gave him medication, but he always had a reason not to take it (it will hurt his liver, makes him to tired, blah blah blah….all the same excuses they come up with when they are not ready to accept the reality). Finally, his mother convinced him to move back home “she” could take care of him (whatever she was thinking there is beyond our thoughts as she never took wanted to help him before. So he packed up, left his family, and moved back to our home town.
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Re: Talking myself through this...

Postby DowntownDC » Thu Dec 10, 2009 3:55 am

Hello, Boggled, your writing helps me too. Please continue.
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Re: Talking myself through this...

Postby AGCDEFG » Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:40 pm

Ok, ok, ok. Hold your horses!!! :D

Sorry, but if this person was born with fetal alcohol syndrome, that is organic brain damage (I have several adopted kids and am well versed on this). His behavior, no matter how bad, is due to this, not mental illness or borderline. If a person has fetal alcohol syndrome, they were PHYSICALLY damaged before they were even born and will need lifelong caretaking as they don't understand right from wrong which is WAY different from borderlines, who do and can learn to change. A FAS person can NOT change. Also, doctors who don't "get it" often diagnose it as something other than the obvious. That is sort of the same as borderline (the only thing that is). I was diagnosed with ADHD and bipolar, never borderline. Same happens with FAS and meds usually do no good. Regardless of whatever else he may be diagnosed with, his brain damage is his main problem. I have to wonder about any doctor who gave somebody with FAS a dx. of bpd.

Beating up this poor man is not the same as taking on a borderline. It's like picking on somebody with Alzheimers for behaving badly. This is a disabled individual who is not going to respond to psychiatric treatment and imo you would have helped yourself a lot by reading up on FAS. I adopted a child who we thought may have had it. Thank the Lord, he doesn't, but he was exposed to drugs and alcohol in utero and does have a form of autism.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome does not go away nor can it improve. It is a life sentence due to an alcoholic mother who didn't stop drinking when she was pregnant, which caused permanent brain damage in her child. IMO it would probably be more helpful for both bpders and nons if you posted this on a board for FAS, but, hey, that's JMO. But I'm as honest as one can be about borderline...fetal alcohol syndrome is nothing even connected to borderline. You will lack the right connections in the brain to make good decisions with FAS.

I"m not even sure why this post is here. Fetal alcohol syndrome has Swiss Cheese thinking...you can remember something one day, forget it the next. You can't concentrate due to brain damage. You are an emotional rollercoaster, but it's due to the alcohol syndrome. Often you drink yourself as your get older. IMO this belongs on a board for organic brain damage.

Okay, I'm glad I vented. I wish you luck, but the biggest problem with this person isn't borderline or any personality disorder or any mental illness. That both parents died of alcohol should tell you just how much this person ingested even before he joined our world, and he victimized nobody on purpose. He is the victim. Very, VERY sadly fetal alcohol syndrome is rampant on Indian reservations. I have a great book for you: "The Broken Cord" by Michael Dorris. He adopted a three year old with FAS. His behavior problems were not as bad as this young man (he had a very privileged, sheltered life) but in the end he wasn't functional either. I read this book about three times and was horrified later than, when reading an update on the child, Adam Dorris that I saw he'd been killed when crossing the street. Being a borderline, of course it made me cry :wink:

I think it's important the people understand there is a big difference between any personality disorder and the victim of fetal alcohol syndrome. As for his family, they may be used to his behavior. I see the ex's families constantly villiefied as terrible here, which is understandable since the person is in pain and wants to look for a scapegoat. However, this family adopted a four year old child with fetal alcohol syndrome. They probably weren't perfect (most families are not), however they welcomed this child into their family. Many adoptive families would have said "no thanks" to the problems an FAS child brings with him. They can't be all that bad. I'm active in the adoptive parent community and it isn't easy to raise a disabled child. Sometimes you think you can love the problems away...but that sadly does not work...
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Re: Talking myself through this...

Postby DowntownDC » Thu Dec 10, 2009 2:52 pm

Thanks, Alphabet, I had no idea! Boggled isn't the only one you are educating about the severity and permanence of FAS.
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Re: Talking myself through this...

Postby mindboggledintheNW » Thu Dec 10, 2009 5:20 pm

Alphabet.... I appreciate your response and yes, I agree that the initial matter is fas... however, I knew him previously and witnessed a different person before he mentally broke down into what he is dealing with today. I am going by what he has been diagnosed with..... FAS as well as rapid cycling bipolar and BPD. I also agree that he could be diagnosed wrong......and maybe the doctors are playing the guessing game to try to help when in the end nothing will help.

I will order the book you suggested.

I am by no means bashing him. I am trying to talk through the guilt and frustration of loving this guy my entire life and knowing that he cannot love me back. At this point in time, I am dealing with the consistent phone calls and texts from him to "save" him because "I am the only one who understands" " the only one that ever loved him"......... I am desperately trying to decide if I want to deal with the roller coaster that I know will never end......or live with the guilt if something happens to him because I know what he is dealing with and not to many others do.

I do admit that I have nothing nice to say in regards to his adoptive parents and that is where my real anger and frustration lives. They under no circumstances deserve the "we took on a difficult child" award. They took him in to receive the indian money the government gave them. During the course of his first marriage, his parents took in another child - - and told them it was because they received good money. It didn't last long as they showed up one day for a visit and the child was gone - had to many accidents in her expensive bedding and she was "not going to tolerate it".

In high school I watched them take their "birth" daughter on trips, leaving him...... I watched them buy lavish expensive things for their "birth" daughter as he ran around in shoes with holes in them. In my opinion, the exasberated the issues he was born to deal with.

His parents are VERY strong in the community...... they throw themselves out there as the perfect family. They drive expensive vehichles, and live lavishly...... their church is a very strict, prominent religion and he was raised to look "perfect" to the community.....which is another extremely hard thing to handle with everything else.

Another big blow to his breakdown as an adult (and the main reason his wife talked him into moving out of State) was his mother was caught stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from her job. The "perfect" mother that ranted and raved and told her son his entire life that he needs to be perfect and obey the laws was now in the spotlight of the community for messing up. It was a huge thing for him to deal with.
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Re: Talking myself through this...

Postby AGCDEFG » Thu Dec 10, 2009 5:41 pm

If this young man has FAS, this is not relevant to this board. IMO it is probably (and I guess maybe this is my black and white thinking that still surfaces) morally wrong to past this young man's story on a board because he is truly brain damaged and somebody may recognize him. MInd, I see why you are upset with his parents. However, even if he had had excellent parents, such as a boy in "The Broken Cord" he would have ended up this way because of his organic brain damage. It is what it is.

To educate people, I am going to post an article along with the sympoms of FAS. Sorry, we borderlines get beaten up enough without being compared to a poor young man who has FAS and can't help himself. Here's the article. Be sure to read the symptoms. I think everyone will clearly see that this young man never had a chance and does not deserve this no matter how he behaved because, unlike borderlines, he didn't know better. And I like borderline, if possible, for the sake of us who struggle to recover, to at least have real borderlines depicited here...ok, here goes, and sorry for MY rant ;):


Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

An individual’s place, and success, in society is almost entirely determined by neurological functioning.

A neurologically injured child is unable to meet the expectations of parents, family, peers, school, career and can endure a lifetime of failures. The largest cause of neurological damage in children is prenatal exposure to alcohol. These children grow up to become adults. Often the neurological damage goes undiagnosed, but not unpunished.

They can become the forgotten kids - the children that have nearly invisible disabilities. They have their arms and legs, can see and hear, run, play, etc., but most have never been to a birthday party or a sleepover.. they are last to be chosen to play, and first to be blamed. Their illnesses aren't fatal, but a small part of their hearts and souls die with every rejection. Their behaviors may seem odd or unpredictable to themselves as much as society.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE), Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (pFAS), Alcohol Related Neurodevelopmental Disorders (ARND), Static Encephalopathy (alcohol exposed) (SE) or Alcohol Related Birth Defects (ARBD) are all names for a spectrum of disorders caused when a pregnant woman consumes alcohol.

More than 20% of children have been exposed to high levels of alcohol in utero. All will suffer varying degrees of effects, ranging from mild learning disabilities to major physical, mental and intellectual impairment. It takes very little alcohol to cause serious damage. Research has shown that even a single exposure to high levels of alcohol can cause significant brain damage in the infant.

Six week-old baby brains
Normal FAS

Alcohol is toxic at all concentrations. Alcohol damage to the fetus occurs over a wide continuum. Damage varies due to volume ingested, timing during pregnancy, peak blood alcohol levels, genetics and environmental factors.

FAS/E is a lifetime disability. It is not curable. A child does not "grow out of it". However, early diagnosis and intensive, and appropriate, intervention can make an enormous difference in the prognosis for the child. There is a small window of opportunity, up to about age 10 or 12, to achieve the greatest potential for an alcohol affected child. That period is when the greatest development of fixed neural pathways occurs. That is when alternative "coping" pathways are most easily built as "work-arounds" to damaged areas of the brain. Time is of the essence.
In utero alcohol damage can include:
Attention deficit disorders - ADD/ADHD Mild to severe vision problems Higher than normal to dangerously high pain tolerance
Loss of intellectual functioning (IQ) Severe loss of intellectual potential
Mental Retardation
Serious maxilo-facial deformities Dental abnormalities Cleft palate
Bi-polar Behavioral problems Dyslexia
Immune system malfunctioning Extreme impulsiveness Poor judgement
Little or no retained memory Deafness Little or no capacity for moral judgement
Little or no capacity for interpersonal empathy Sociopathic behaviour Epilepsy
Tremors Cerebral palsy Renal (liver) failure
Asthma Complex seizure disorder Developmental speech and language disorder
Developmental delay Height and weight deficiencies Tight hamstrings
Cognitive perseveration Echolalia Autistic traits
Rigidity Sleep disorder Developmental coordination disorder
Adaptive esotropia Tourette's traits Central auditory processing disorder
Night terrors Precocious puberty Social problems
Depression Reactive outbursts Suicide
Heart defects Heart failure Death

The brain's Frontal Lobes control judgement, inhibition, concentration, self-control, conscience, personality and emotional traits as well as cognition and memory, motor speech and movement skills.

The Left Hemisphere deals with language based memory - logical interpretation of language, mathematics, abstraction and reasoning, facts and rules (such as safety and social).

The Right Hemisphere deals with holistic functioning - processing of images, sound, touch, for a "holistic" picture. Memory here is visual, auditory and spatial. So, the Left side is logic, facts, rules. The Right side is sensory input and reactive.

The Corpus Callosum connects right and left sides to allow communication between the hemispheres. The Right side senses input, checks with the Left side to see if there are rules to deal with this pattern of input, integrates the stored information and reacts in a modified way. Damage to any of these systems causes very poor, inappropriate response. For example, if the Corpus Callosum cannot access the appropriate information, quickly enough (or at all), then reaction to stimulae will be completely spontaneous, impulsive, based solely on instinct, (if any). Alcohol seriously damages the physical structures, "wiring" and brain chemistry.
FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) individuals may have a distinctive physical appearance and lower IQs, but have lower crime and addiction rates than FAE individuals as they get earlier diagnosis and can be better protected by society and their parents.

While FAE (Fetal Alcohol Effects) individuals may lack the outward physical appearance of alcohol damage, and generally have higher IQ's, the internal damage to the brain and other organs can be just as serious as full FAS. IQ measures convergent fact based thinking. Life skills require divergent adaptive thinking that in FAE individuals will be substantially lower than their IQ. However, because FAE individuals "look normal" they are expected to perform normally. These issues lead to secondary disabilities. Primary disabilities are those the child is born with. Secondary disabilities are those that develop as a result of failure to properly deal with the primary disabilities.

"The girls get knocked up and the boys get locked up." They are followers, easily misled, with little or no appreciation of consequences. Without intervention, many ride the justice system merry-go-round or become "homeless street people". They are required to compete in society but have been denied the tools to do so.

Of FAE individuals between the ages of 12 and 51:

* 95% will have mental health problems;
* 60% will have "disrupted school experience";
* 60% will experience trouble with the law;
* 55% will be confined in prison, drug or alcohol treatment centre or mental institution;
* 52% will exhibit inappropriate sexual behaviour.

Of FAE individuals between 21 and 51:

* more than 50% of males and 70% of females will have alcohol and drug problems;
* 82% will not be able to live independently;
* 70% will have problems with employment

http://depts.washington.edu/fadu/

Early diagnosis can help prevent secondary disabilities such as mental health problems, dropping out of school, trouble with the law and substance abuse. After diagnosis, parents often find that their ability to cope with the child's behavior changes dramatically when they understand that the problems are most likely based on organic brain damage, rather than the child's choice to be inattentive or uncooperative.

http://depts.washington.edu/fasdpn/whatisfasdpn.html
Costs of FASD

On average, each FASD individual costs the taxpayer more than $3 million in his or her lifetime (health problems, special education, psychotherapy and counseling, welfare, crime, and the justice system).

More than 60% of prisoners are likely affected by alcohol in utero. It costs approximately $120,000/year to "house" a Young Offender and $82,000 for an adult offender. Punishment does not cure neurological damage.
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