Jackson, Father of a Borderline Daughter, speaks about BPD Kids
My daughter was just re-diagnosed this week. The shrink said he thought she was much more of a manic-depressive than a BPD individual. Well, it really does not matter what the clinical diagnosis is or was. I know Joan has BPD from my last 24 years of being with her. I also know she does tend toward the manic/depressive as well. These two DX's were made when she was about 17 by a very competent doctor.
I told my borderline daughter, Joan, she had to get into therapy or she could move out of my house. She made an appointment on her own. Joan will not take any medications. You can't force these kids to get help. You can set guidelines to protect yourself to some extent.
I am learning the meaning of living one day at a time. Anne (Joan's daughter and my grand-daughter) seems to be doing ok. She has a little private space here and knows she is loved and cared for here. This is the best I can do for now.
Our children often do make up outrageous tales. Our kids are emotionally disturbed, not stupid. They use the weakest point and jam the sharpened point right there. They want their parents to know just how bad a job they believe we did.
Well, I for one am very tired of that bullshit. I have searched my soul over and over again looking for something I did that made Joan a BPD. And you know, there just isn't anything I did to make her be the way she is. I hold some malice toward my parents too, but I live my life and suffer the good or bad from my own personal choices. Our kids have yet to escape their egocentric worlds and see no one really cares more than parents do. Just let them go and tell them to find some other sucker--see how fast they come home.
It is at this point, when they come begging, you must reassert your boundaries and stick by them. Do not let your BPD kids manipulate you with anything. As hard as it is to sit by and watch your child self destruct, they must come to know you, the parent, will survive. Without you dear fellow players, there is no game. Let your children know you are not playing the game any longer and begin to deal from strength, not weakness.
Marg, my wife, and I have accepted this attitude and continue to provide the necessary things to secure Anne's environment as best we can. Joan wants to be with her half retarded boyfriend instead of taking care of her daughter -- at least this is my read. But, in the end, Joan leaving for the w/ends is better than having Anne living with her away from us -- I am in this game to help and love Anne -- Not my daughter Joan.
Joan will either swim or drown. It is up to her. Anne had no say coming into this world. Marg and I will stand by to raise this child until she too is ready to either sink or swim. Anne needs a few years to develop the skills her mother failed to develop.
My youngest Alice, has garnered many scholarships, done well in athletics and academics, She has a very bright future because she takes responsibility for her own actions and realizes what is needed to be a successful adult. Same set of parents, raised the same way, went to the same school. Go figure.
If you continue to suffer the "slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune" regarding your BPD daughter, you will find your son jumping ship. He will feel you have devoted all your time to his crazy sister and you have no time for him.
Read the books Tough Love along with Walking on Eggshells --then stop yourself from self destructing because of your daughter's unwillingness to help herself. If you want to bear your daughter's burden and propensity toward the self destruct mode, know you will have not enough strength ever to save a person from themselves.
In order to try and get tough-- I had to accept the fact my daughter may commit suicide, she may get murdered, she may become a drug addict, she may prostitute herself. I had to accept this as a loving father -- no small emotional task. Accepting it meant letting go of it. Letting go of trying to control what the outcome in my daughter's life will be because it is too painful to hold anymore and because my holding it hasn't helped and can't help Joan. Her life is hers now. Once I decided I cannot lay down my own life anymore for a daughter who really does not care much for herself, I began to accept my fatherly roll in a different way.
I am telling you something simple here from experience. I don't care if you like me or not. I, and all of us have been where you are. We all still struggle with our own advice to others. We don't follow everything we spout off about 100 per cent because humans just can't stick to things 100 per cent all the time. We are only people -- a lesson our BPD children must be forcefully reminded of.
Jackson speaks to another woman's dilemma with her borderline daughter
If you do not feed the horse, you perish. Parents of those with BPD are the horses. If you do not survive, who will take up the reins? No, it is not easy that is why it is called tough love. You must deal emotionally with the very worst consequences your child could suffer -- the ultimate being death.
Your daughter is playing a dangerous game. It is the adult version of "cry wolf". What will your daughter do next time she pulls the suicide act and you fail to respond the way she wants? She will probably back down and come down to earth a bit. If you call her bluff, and she carries through with the suicide, you are not responsible. Your daughter is holding you hostage. Your daughter is manipulating you with suicide threats.
Again, it is by no means simple or easy to let your child go and suffer the consequences of her own behavior. If you keep on intervening, you will be in the graveyard and your daughter will go on to find another sucker. I am not saying your daughter is conscious of her own motivations. I am saying that she is very aware of how her behavior gets you to move quickly.
You can forget the contract deal. Been there, done that. It takes two to comply with the terms. The only one who will comply with the contract is you. Throw her out of your home and life for now. Let her come crawling back, if she ever comes back. You will then be calling the shots. This approach isn't all that healthy either, but we are not living in a perfect world.
I am very blunt and harsh. You will keep on carrying your cross as long as you decide is is your job to save your daughter from herself. It isn't your job, however. You are enabling her to twist your guts in knots and make you crazy. And no matter how many hoops you jump through or how much you allow her to play you, you aren't even helping her by not holding her accountable for her actions.
I readily admit that the stress of my personal situation makes me very sad at times. After you have turned all the stones over in seeking to help your child, and you find you can only sit by and watch and hurt, one more thread gets pulled from the cloth. If you pull enough threads from the cloth, it falls to pieces.
Many of us cannot understand why our adult children behave like hooligans. Why do our children insist on being the entire show. Our kids show no capacity or empathy for us, yet they fully expect we parents to drop all and come running to help. I for one am tired of having shit thrown in my face and then having to eat it too.
It is very interesting to note how different the feminine approach is in relation to BPD children. I am not commenting on the rightness or wrongness of the approach -- simply noting that I get the distinct impression of mothers operating very differently than fathers.
Oh yes, I hurt. I get embroiled in the day to day battles. I am learning to distance myself from these nasty little escapades my BPD kid pulls. Fathers definitely do hurt too.