My daughter aged 30 just diagnosed with BPD
If I were smarter I would have seen her behaviour as a teenager was not normal. We managed to get her through that alive, not in jail and not pregnant (just). She hit a wall last year when she decided to go full time studying a degree as well as doing shift work. She lives about 1000km from us so we were not much of a support for her when she first went to the doctor and began a round of psychologists and psychyotrists and various medications. Study has been dropped and she has trouble getting to work with her mental health.
Last week she rang to say she had worked enough to afford a trip to a friend's birthday and I was not enthusiastic, instead questioned her decision to spend the money. I realise now that I probably should have just gone along with it but I was annoyed because she owed me money and I thought she should have been more responsible. Bad mistake. She said I was trying to teach her lessons instead of just being happy for her and perhaps I was but I am still her mum. She exploded of course and I am now a the pit of despair.
Not much anyone can do, I know.
My question is, if she ever talks to me again, do I just go along with everything she says to keep the peace?
Most advice for families or partners of BPD sufferers is to set strong boundaries and not let them cross them.
You should do some research on setting boundaries etc as borderlines by trait are manipulators and will use techniques to justify poor behaviour.
Try and see what her techniques are and when she uses them, nip them early and firmly.
Also, look up the 9 traits of BPD sufferers...you will find that reckless behaviour and excessive spending are two of those traits....both would fall under "the expensive trip" when she's not working fully.
Best of luck
Welcome to the forums and thank you for reaching out and asking this question.
I understand that your daughter has BPD but I do believe that this question isn't necessarily about BPD, but about being a parent.
While your daughter has saved enough money, she didn't prioritise paying you back. Responsible in the sense of putting money aside, but not because she didn't pay her debts with you first. As your her mum, perhaps she assumed that she would pay you back eventually.
For me personally, I don't believe it was a manipulative move. I also believe it's okay to continue to set boundaries; that even if she does go, she still does owe you money.
Hello Dear Sally007,
I think that your daughter done really well in reaching out for help with professionals that can maybe help her understand herself a better...
I am a mum and have lent my sons on many occasions some money to help them out of financial stress....I also know that sometimes they have saved up some money to go out for a night and enjoy themselves with their children...because they tell me...even though they haven’t repaid me back..I really don’t mind this...I know that enjoying themselves as a family is so rare for them to do... inside of myself I feel good that I have help them enough to be able to do that...
I am wondering if you had a little bit of a happy feeling, knowing that your daughter did manage to save enough money to take that trip to see her friend on her birthday...It will give her a small break from her studies and shift work, which could be helpful for her mental health...
Maybe, after her trip you could ring her and gently remind her of the money she owes you...and set up a small re payment plan over a number of weeks/months/years etc...until it is payed back....
For myself personally....I am okay with not receiving my money back....I wouldn’t have lent them the money if I didn’t want them to have it...To me I am their mum, and will help them anytime I am able to...without expectations of return....This is just me though...
My kindest thoughts dear Sally007,
Thank you for the research tips and the advise is fantastic (so much more polite than twitter, lol). I am proud of my daughter for working to and saving money and I will remind her of that.
I have been reassured as well that I am still a parent first.
I'll keep plugging away, striving to be loving and consistent and always learning! Thanks
As a person who suffers from the sometimes dreadful mind altering effects of BPD, I would like to encourage you to try and keep communication open with your daughter if possible.
For those who don't experience this complicated mess of confusion, bewilderment, powerful mind games and all that BPD is, it is easy to think people are being manipulative, purposely cruel, mean and nasty. Sometimes we are experiencing such horrific battles with our minds it is hard to get anything right in other people's eyes, let alone find a way to navigate through each day.
I can appreciate it is tough to try and comprehend and understand what is going on in the life and mind of a person with BPD. Try being the person with a blender full of thoughts in the mind fluctuating from an extreme desire to love someone while the other half of the mind is telling you to hate with every kind of darkness available to you.
Yes, boundaries are important, so is open discussion, compassion and negotiation. Please be aware that sometimes conversation may just not be possible. I am not an evil person, my mind is confused and twisted at times. BPD can be exhausting.
I hope you are able to find peace with your daughter and her condition.
Thank you for reminding me that my daughter is not her disorder and to be always aware that it is the behaviour I reject and not her. It has taken more than a year for her to get a diagnosis and at 30 years old, BPD has already taken so much of her life from her.
After looking hard at my family I realised that I had an older brother who was for sure BPD but was never diagnosed. He died at age 51 from cancer and had a pretty rough life, never being able to maintain steady employment or relationships. His behaviour was very challenging but we loved and supported him as much as we could.
My daughter has not got back in touch with me yet but I am hopeful that she will and in the meantime I am researching BPD to try and better understand her. The fact that she has sought help on her own, has a great partner and many friends makes me hopeful that she will come through this. As a parent I hope I can find the tricky path between helping her without enabling her.
Thank you for your insights, "blender full of thoughts" is a great description. I wish you all the best for the future.
Mental health issues can be difficult to understand and live with from both sides of the fence, from those who are experiencing it with-in themselves and those who witness it in others.
I have borrowed books on BPD from the library, some are helpful, others are confusing. I had bought a book on BPD and showed a friend some of the text I related to. This person cried when they realised my mind could be so messed up with the way it perceives the world. To me that is my daily experience.
I sometimes find messages/texts/emails/cards from people just saying hello helps immensely. Some days I don't know how to even comprehend what is going on in my head, so just a "Hello I am thinking of you" helps. Not sure if you have tried this with your daughter.
There are days I know my behaviour is horrid. Some days I feel unable to control it. I need people to ask how they can help, to point out gently I am behaving inappropriately and to offer solutions, not to get angry with me because I am finding it impossible to regulate myself.
I'm not saying BPD is an excuse to behave badly, I need to be accountable, boundaries do need to be in place. I really do hope you can form a new relationship with your daughter. Mental health can be confusing for all people as I have mentioned. Wishing you and your daughter all the best.
Today my daughter called me to apologise. It was wonderful to hear from her and reestablish contact.
She acknowledged her behaviour and we were able to discuss how she felt and the steps we were both taking to understand BPD. She was broke though and asking for money so I am not sure if she would have called otherwise. It was a good opportunity to talk about some changes to be made to improve her situation. I have hope that she will make changes but regardless of what does or doesn't happen from now, I will always love and support her but cannot keep giving her money without any effort from her. I am glad to hear that you also feel the need for accountability.
Thank you for the tip, I will definitely be contacting more regularly just to say hi and that I am thinking of her
I wish you well for the future and hope that you have support around you to help you through this maze. I have found this website very helpful especially hearing from people like you with lived experience.
Congratulations to you and your daughter for being able to communicate. I'm sorry in a way that she was requesting financial aid, I hope you can take a positive from that, meaning she did contact you even if it was for that reason.
Your relationship may be different from now on, you may be more cautious of what you say and wonder if you can ever be honest without causing a firestorm to erupt!
I hope in time your daughter is able to gain skills and establish a greater understanding of the condition she is living with.
Me, I struggle like mad some days with that blender full of craziness going around in my mind. I try to recognise the thoughts and consider if the words I'd like to say may cause others a lot of hurt. I tell my husband when I am having a bad day and try to keep my mouth shut!
The other side of BPD is the amazing love, care, affection that can be felt and the desire to help people. All emotions are heightened, not just those people can find unpleasant.
There is a treatment available called DBT Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. I tried that decades ago, I am sure it has improved since then and may be beneficial. I have borrowed books from the library as well. There is on line training available these days.
Wishing you all well.