It is Thursday the 26th of June. I sit at the home of my parents.
I thought about writing this weeks ago, not knowing if I should ‘explain my situation’, but I now do, in the hope that anyone else who reads my ‘blog’ may be helped in some way. Anyone that they may know that might display the symptoms of BPD can then hopefully try and receive the care and attention that they need.
4 weeks ago (almost 5) my youngest daughter (27) had a ‘major meltdown’ and as a consequence, my life spiraled out of control, as did hers. She lived with me and my partner Mr. S and also her boyfriend.
Some of you have emailed and I have explained my situation, or a brief outline.
I write this now, for any parent or family member who has a child/teenager or adult still under their care, or that they may know, who may have been diagnosed with depression, or with bipolar/anxiety, that there maybe another illness that it could possibly be.
One that up to 7 months ago, I had never heard about. It is called – Borderline Personality Disorder, or more commonly BPD.
Borderline can be closely linked with also having depression, bi-polar or anxiety.
My daughter K attends the DBT (Dialectal Behaviour Therapy) Centre in Melbourne. This Clinic specialises in using a Modified Cognitive Behavioural Therapy treatment.
Many therapists won’t take on patients with BPD as it is so complex and frustrating and simply hard work.
Martha Linehan http://linehaninstitute.org/ introduced this style of therapy and only recently was it then public knowledge, that she herself suffered from BPD.
It is a confusing and frustrating mental illness, the patient suffering from extreme sensitivity to all matters, to the point where emotional outbursts, sometimes will result in violence to others or self harm and or suicide of the patient.
This is her life, my life and that of my family. I was guilty. I did not understand, I did not read up about it, what it entailed, how severe it was. I learnt the hard way.
There are 9 indications that a person has BPD. For those that wish to read a little on what BPD is –
For the past 4 weeks I have not lived in my home, spending the first week with my eldest daughter and now my parents. My partner had to remove himself from the situation on that terrible night, moving elsewhere, but we are trying to keep our relationship together. I am now in a position where I have to sell my home, as my income is limited. I cannot live with K nor can she live with me.
This illness is described as a ‘relationship killer’. Or the ‘love/hate relationship’. Carers and or family members having to walk on eggshells, for fear of triggering their emotions.
There have been factors/incidences, that I think/feel have manifested in her, resulting in her diagnosis of BPD, which I cannot go into detail about.
She, displayed to the outside world a happy, confident young woman with a great sense of humour. Underlying, however was festering BPD.
I love my daughter with every breath that I breathe, but I cannot live with her any longer. I have so much guilt, as a mother who does not want her to self harm or god forbid even contemplate suicide, because she feels she cannot cope with the ‘normal’ world around her. Thankfully, her therapist has not seen any signs of this.
I have spoken to others on WordPress who are sufferers, I have joined a monthly support group to help me try to connect once more with the daughter that I love. I read and read all that I can, but because her ‘personality’ can jump from one extreme to the next, managing or understanding what she suffers is extremely difficult. It is not like bi-polar where there are extreme highs, then extreme lows. BDP sufferers experience this continually… the virtual see-saw.
From what I have learned or more so witnessed with my daughter, is we can compartmentalize our thoughts/actions at a given time. She/they can not. What we may ‘spread over’ a day or a week, she/they have constantly circling in their minds. Lists are written to try and help her cope daily, lists which she would always read out loud to me, of what she had to do each day, in order to get some ‘peace’ in her mind. I would be constantly contacted by text, if I was out, with K advising me what she was doing next. Still, even though I knew this wasn’t right for a girl of 27, I did not look into it further.
Jobs were plentiful, as BPD sufferers sabotage jobs they are in, even if they are enjoying it. They have no self worth, also feeling that others should handle their distress.
The family or carers, must ‘cop the tirades’, the abuse, only when it becomes violent must we walk away from the situation, in order to protect ourselves, or them.
It is distressing, it is heartbreaking, but I have been advised and read that it is to an extent curable. It can take many years to do so however. The patient must learn the skills required, not to be triggered by what others say or do, or events that they experience, to cope with their own instabilities. The recipient must also learn strategies not to evoke, upset and try to understand what they are experiencing.
I am doing what I can, but as a parent I am ashamed to say that I am limited. Selling my home/her home, in order for me to survive, plays heavily on my heart as her mother and my emotions, as BPD’s have a great fear of abandonment (even if they aren’t being abandoned) are understandably erratic right now .
I live with mum and Pop and as many of you know, mum has dementia, so I have taken on the role of full time carer for both of them for the time being. When I move I will also be an hours drive from them, which may not seem much, but I have always been within minutes of them.
But this isn’t about me and how I feel, or what I’ve been going through. It is about an illness that not many have heard about, or are able to comprehend. To an outsider, the BPD is just acting like a ‘spoilt brat’, seeking attention, wishing to manipulate, but this is not true.
Their process of dealing with emotions of any kind is vastly different to those who don’t suffer this.
For weeks, this has consumed me, to try and do the right thing. She has no where else to live other than my home, which I cannot afford to keep any longer. This is my dilemma, being torn apart, not wanting to lose my partner of 6 years whom I love and knowing what I can do, that won’t see my youngest baby in the streets. Public housing is pretty much non existent here. Private renting is available, but expensive. Crisis housing not an option, as she and her B/F would have to move from one place to the next every few days and I know she would not be able to take or cope with this, nor do either of them have a steady income.
I am in discussion with her father and I talk constantly with my friends and I can only hope we can reach a solution and soon.
I am now seeing a therapist, as I feel as if I have been drowning, but my daughter K is the one who is drowning the most and I will do whatever I can to ensure that she is cured of this terrible illness and able to live a happy and well adjusted life in the future. That is all any parent wishes. This is what I wish, as she feels that I do not love her or support her in this.
So, in closing, I can only suggest that you seek help from your Medical Practitioner, if you feel that you, or someone you love or know, maybe showing signs of BPD.
Help is out there, it is a long road that I travel, but an even longer road for my darling ‘baby girl’..
PS: I thank you if you have read. I thank all of you, those that read me regularly and knew nothing of my situation and yet have shown and given support, love and encouragement along these weeks, which to me at this juncture, seem like months.