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BPD Teenage Daughter - HELP

K

kjmarshall

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May 7, 2015
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4
Hi,
My step daughter has just turned 17 and has been attending counselling regularly for some time now. Her mother was diagnosed as a High Functioning Borderline and the same psychologist who saw her mother has informed us that she showing severe symptoms of it and it is without a shadow of a doubt in his mind that she is also a High Functioning Borderline.
I'm not going to lie, my partner (her father) and I have known this ourselves for a long time and it has helped us deal with her behaviors effectively, we are trying everything we can to prevent her from turning into her mother. Which is hard because as you are all aware BPD's are so good at what they do. It still shocks us every day with the things she is capable of doing and showing no remorse at all because she honestly believes she hasn't done the wrong thing. I'm going to try and keep it short because basically every single day there is a new drama and its not something simple like a lie or an argument. Its something horrific that you never want your child to do.

Over the past few months her behavior has worsened. She has been sleeping around (at a minimum we know of 15 guys), they have been older men married in their 30's, to her friends father, to a friends boyfriend, old school friends, new guys she barely knows, strangers, anyone who would give her attention. We have contacted the guys that we know of and gotten rid of them (as much as we could) out of her life. When confronted and trying to help her she denies it and says everyone is lying, even though we have concrete proof, everyone is out to get her. She has been taking pornographic photos and videos of herself and sending them to anyone who looks at her the right way. Its heart breaking. When she is confronted she will run off to her best friends house, she has manipulated the parents (like expected) to portray herself as a victim of a terrible family, tells them we kick her out and cut her off when we try and help her. As she is a high functioning borderline and learnt a lot from her mother, she is an excellent liar and manipulator.

The sad thing is she endured a lot with her mother and knows the effects of bpd but refuses to acknowledge her behavior is the same as her mothers. she has now gotten into drugs, ice, coke, ecstasy, speed, pot. She got herself involved with an ice addict who is in and out of jail (currently in), she started running to him, he was older and came with a lot of drama which she absolutely loved. We got the police involved and hes back off the streets now but she is still contacting him and attempting to see him, trying to steal our licences and fake a letter of authority from us allowing her entry to the prison. She makes the mistake of bragging and gossiping about it all to people who keep us informed for her safety.

We have finally got her back home but found more drugs (she has been selling for him), quite a lot of money and her grandmothers debit card. She stole it from her grandma and has had it for about a month using it via paywave, her grandma didnt notice it was missing as she has more then one card for that account and it is quite large so never noticed the money missing.

We have cancelled the card and spoken to her grandma but havent said anything to her yet, if we do she will run. We do want to teach her the consequences but she is part time studying to become a nurse and worry what a criminal charge or any mark against her will do to her future career. We are so desperate for a plan of attack, her grandparents are at a loss too, we are so shocked she would do it but know that she will not accept blame. I want her to learn but I dont want to damage her future any further but we are out of options.
 
M

_messofme_

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May 8, 2015
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Please be careful with what you say. Many people who use this forum (myself included) actually have borderline. I was like your 17 year old, i too am high functioning however i do not manipulate people. Not every borderline is the same... please dont lump us all into a neat little box. we are people, individuals with lives. Often those lives have been very disrupted since early childhood- which is why we struggle as we do as adults. From my experience the best help ive ever gotten is being allowed to talk about whatever it is thats effecting me. have you actually tired talking to her rather then punishments? Yes her behavior isnt good and its okay to show and tell her that... but dont jsut focus on the behavior... ask to think about why... get her counselor to help her work out why. look in to DBT and CBT even mindfulness.
 
K

kjmarshall

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May 7, 2015
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I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to offend anyone, and my experience in dealing with this has been the same every time. We as a family have witnessed the manipulation and experienced the blame game, i wasn’t trying to put anyone down, i was purely stating what we experienced. We try talking to her on a daily basis but all we get in return is denial and an emotional breakdown, she feels as though we are out to get her and attacking her, that she is being bullied and treated unfairly.
We understand why and know that she cannot see or understand what she is doing and we don't often punish her, nothing good has come of it in the past, and we try and reason with her and get her to speak about things but this results in her pushing us away. When she has to acknowledge things she has done she shuts us out and cuts us off, causing a scene and running to anyone else who will listen and tells them we kicked her out, we abuse her, we emotionally bully her. She cannot accept or acknowledge that her behaviour is damaging her. The counsellor said that she has shut herself off emotionally to the things she is doing, that she doesn't feel remorse for it because she is blocking those negative emotions for self-preservation, she cannot handle them.
She had a great childhood up until her mother had an affair when she was 12 and the family split apart, her mother leaving her husband and children, that was the only negative part of her childhood but we understand that to be the trigger for her and she is hurting still. The counsellor said that seeing as her mother and grandmother have both been diagnosed that it being hereditary could be a contributor. And up until she was 15 she was such a happy, beautiful young girl, now it’s so different. Things have escalated with her as she started spending more time with her mother, who has done nothing but worsen her relationship with her daughter.
We are just so unsure about what to do now, we are scared to talk to her about the debit card fraud and the drugs, we have attempted to get her to participate in other forms of therapy but she refuses it all. Her mother uses this as a way to punish her father, blaming him solely for it all and turning a blind eye to the fact that her only daughter is in desperate need of help, telling us that we all have something wrong with us and that we are picking on a teenage girl. We have tried to surround her with positive role models and a loving family but she acts as if we all mean nothing to her but then claims we are never there for her and we don’t want her around. It’s so heartbreaking to watch her struggle.
She will only speak to the one psychologist and will not allow him to do anything other than have a conversation with her, he explained she will not participate or accept other forms of help because she believes that we all have a mental illness and she is the victim of an abusive family. We do not know where to go from here. How can you help someone who doesn’t allow you close enough to do so? I love this girl and want nothing more to fix things for her but we are all at a loss and feel so helpless, we can’t bare to watch her do this to herself anymore.
 
T

Tiddle

Guest
I can understand why you would be hesitant to report her for her crimes but really you are doing her no good and perhaps a bit of reality might be needed. All actions and behaviours have consequences and that is something she needs to learn regardless of mental health issues - everyone is responsible for the actions they take and should face the consequences of those actions. She is not psychotic and therefore is aware of the actions she takes.

My sister was a drug addict and stole a large proportion of our mothers jewellery because of the age she was my parents decided not to inform the police because they didn't want to ruin any prospects she may have had - the reality my sister went on to steal more and more as the drugs changed who she was and ended up in prison for a short time after the stealing spread in to the community. She didn't get a career or a family and didn't manage to quit the drugs for 20 odd years. What you are doing albeit out of love for her is enabling her to behave the way she does. Had my parents reported my sister the first time it happened her life may have been different (or not who knows) she may have got help a lot earlier.

Also it seems like you play in to the drama by reacting to it in the way you do. If she had no one to 'drama' with then there can be no drama. A lot of people with BPD act out because they hurt inside and the behaviours they exhibit are the ways they have learnt to deal with that pain. You need to create a validating environment for her. She is going to therapy which means there must be some part of her that does want help otherwise she wouldn't engage with her therapist. It might be a good idea to look in to DBT for her as that will teach her other ways to deal with her emotions other than acting out however DBT is only for those who want to do it 100% because it is a lot of work and takes a lot of perseverance.

It is incredibly difficult to watch someone destroy themselves. What does her therapist suggest - is this counsellor a proper psychologist or just trained in counselling as she may be better off having psychology which is for more severe issues. Is she under The community mental health team? Or see a psychiatrist ?
 
katya

katya

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It sounds like, maybe, she'd be better off in rehab, at least for a little while? It sounds like she's out of control and needs to be monitored by mental health professionals. This is all clearly too much for yourself and your partner to handle, because you just can't watch her 24/7 - as it would be too much for anyone to handle - and she's on such a downward spiral right now that she's a danger to herself. I think rehab is definitely something to consider.
 
shrew

shrew

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May 24, 2012
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It sounds like, maybe, she'd be better off in rehab, at least for a little while? It sounds like she's out of control and needs to be monitored by mental health professionals. This is all clearly too much for yourself and your partner to handle, because you just can't watch her 24/7 - as it would be too much for anyone to handle - and she's on such a downward spiral right now that she's a danger to herself. I think rehab is definitely something to consider.
I agree, it is something to consider. Help from another source is always good, in my opinion. It means that she can vent and say things that she might not say to parents to someone that won't judge or that does not have an agenda, in her eyes at least. Also, it is quite stressful and frustrating for those on the receiving end of attempting to help some with a borderline personality disorder. As much as you can understand, or try to understand, sometimes it never seems enough. I am glad she has people that care for her as much as you do that will try to help. Without meaning to sound patronising, good work :)
 
bluemoon2

bluemoon2

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Nov 26, 2014
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I suffer from BPD and I know another person who suffers from BPD too. I want to highlight to others reading this post that no two people with BPD are the same.

I like to look at myself as the silent sufferer because the only issue I have with BPD is that I cannot recognise emotions within myself and others due to an empty hole which can never be filled. I have identity issues, repeat myself a lot, overanalyse people and sometimes I'll engage in 'light' self-harm if it gets too much (squeezing ice cubes and the elastic band) but I do not lie or manipulate others, or have angry outbursts unless it's something really, really, really called for.

The other borderline I knew is a little more... louder. They engaged in acts of drugs, proper self harm, had a new partner every week, got drunk, would be happy and chirpy one minute spinning around the room singing and loving life to the next being depressed and getting a buzz out of breaking the rules through being impulsive.

My advice would be to see if she's willing to do therapy sessions, these days mental health amongst teenagers is more socially accepted whereas this time ten years ago when I was a teenager it was still looked at like a social taboo amongst my family, friends and classmates. There's no doubt more and more people in society are fighting off the stigma associated with mental health but it still exists.

Hospital may also be a good option if it's causing you and your partner too much stress, however, you have to remember that bed numbers are low in these places so it's not guaranteed she'll be admitted either. The mental health service can be quite strict with those suffering from BPD in that they also believe admitting someone with BPD could lead to attatchment to care.

What about a thereputic community? I'm not sure if your area does them or if there are age restrictions but this would probably be a much better option than going into a ward because it teaches people how to communicate with others, live in the community, do tasks such as cooking for everyone etc and it's more of a 'home' environment.
 
F

FrancisC

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May 5, 2016
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Teenager with BPD

My 16 year old has BPD and it is an ongoing struggle trying to support and manage to keep her functioning (mostly). It is at times 24/7, and I find it so hard to balance her mental/emotional needs. I am a full time single mum who has to earn a living to give us a stable home, I need to downsize but am scared to disrupt anything in her life.
She goes through periods where she is doing better but when the downward spiral starts again I feel constantly fearful and anxious of her self harming, ODing acting out.
Her dad is NPD is on the fringe of her life, but keeps her hooked as narcissistic supply by giving her $$ when he wants to. Not for heath care, therapy or anything practical, just to waste. I am not sure how to keep this going, I have been doing it single handedly, taking her to therapy and psychiatrists since she was four. We have a good combo of meds that help enormously but I am burnt out and running out of being able to give. I cant afford rehab...and am feeling both sad for her, desperate to help and trapped and discontent all at the same time.
 
BorderlineDownunder

BorderlineDownunder

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I am pretty disturbed by Labels being slapped on a child with a growing brain. Especially the BPD label which I think is sloppy, inaccurate and overused.

At that age the entire body is a mishmash of crazy chemicals. Now this child thinks she has an Illness whereas she may just be having "growing pains" as we used to call them.

Psychiatry agrees most teenagers are "insane" because of the chemical upheaval they are undergoing. Your daughters brain will not stop maturing until she's about 23, boys even later.
 
BorderlineDownunder

BorderlineDownunder

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My 16 year old has BPD and it is an ongoing struggle trying to support and manage to keep her functioning (mostly). It is at times 24/7, and I find it so hard to balance her mental/emotional needs. I am a full time single mum who has to earn a living to give us a stable home, I need to downsize but am scared to disrupt anything in her life.
She goes through periods where she is doing better but when the downward spiral starts again I feel constantly fearful and anxious of her self harming, ODing acting out.
Her dad is NPD is on the fringe of her life, but keeps her hooked as narcissistic supply by giving her $$ when he wants to. Not for heath care, therapy or anything practical, just to waste. I am not sure how to keep this going, I have been doing it single handedly, taking her to therapy and psychiatrists since she was four. We have a good combo of meds that help enormously but I am burnt out and running out of being able to give. I cant afford rehab...and am feeling both sad for her, desperate to help and trapped and discontent all at the same time.
im sorry, how difficult

what was she exhibiting at 4 years of age if you don't mind me asking?
 
F

FrancisC

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Daughter with BPD

I divorced her dad due to v abusive situation, he fought for visitation after we had a restraining order. He had the money and NPD charm and won. From the first time she went to his house the interrogations, obsessive demands for her to say she loved him the most, he was the best and then complete neglect made her really ill. She came home sick after visiting. We didnt know it would turn into BPD, at the time it was extreme PTSD/anxiety. I fought to prevent custody because of the abuse and damage, he kept upping the ante and making up stories and had the money to do it and got weekend custody. Couldn't do week days because he would send her to school in dirty clothes with moldy lunches. From the first day he made her go she split and started behaving like a dog and emoting with her dogs there as her source of comfort. It was a hideous situation which is why she is so damaged, but with the enviromental and genetic predispositon it has beome BPD.
NPD are charming and can get away with almost anything and he did. By seven she was self harming, self hatred, then bulimia, acting out, very manipulative and controlling. I knew the reason and have been 100% committed to damage control and getting her the help and the tools to survive. Shes has done a fantastic job and I am super proud of her commitment to her trying to stay well, its been an very long hard road for her, but the anxiety and fear of coming home from work to her ODing and hating food and her body has been exhausting. I think I am looking for an answer that doesn't exist. Now she is getting older I am balancing what is enabling and if there will ever be an exhale. I know it sounds selfish given what she has been through but I know for us to survive physically, financially I cant be as focused and fearful of her actions.
 
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H

Hundjager

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I really can appreciate the struggle you're going through. The only advice I can give you is the advice I wish my oarents had taken when I was out of control. Do not go down the "attack" route. A lot of the time, when these behaviours are peaking and getting worse, the last thing that a borderline person can handle is being attacked by those who are supposed to "always be there". Now, I'm not saying you should let her get away with it but I think a different plan of action is needed in this situation. Have you tried asking her calmly why she does the things she does? If it isn't possible to speak to her calmly because she'll run away, then maybe the bestcause of action is to report her to the authorities. It will probably do more good than harm.

When I was 17, I was acting very similarly to her and it wasn't until I moved out and got a real taste of what responsibility was (paying biulls, rent, having to work or end up living on the streets) that I realised I had to find a way to manage my symptoms so as to not be so self destructive. I didn't have any help from the mental health services and I did it all myself. I still have borderline personality disorder but I control myself a lot more now.

You may be interested in something I wrote about the scientific side of BPD. It explains a little bit what actually happens in the brain and why people can appear to be "difficult". This is the link:
http://www.mentalhealthforum.net/forum/thread135314.html#post1329693

You absolutely do not have to read it if you don't want to, but it may shed some light on the subject.

If you need anyone to talk to or need me to clarify anything, please feel free to message me :)
Hope things get better for you.
 
F

FrancisC

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She doesn't know or label herself anything. We treat however she develops, it is between her mental health team and me.
We do not want her to identify with anything other than the unique individual she is. However it is helpful to be able to have some way to identify behavior traits or I would never have found this group to be able to seek understanding, advise and support from others who have a good understanding of it.
 
F

FrancisC

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I really appreciate the link and will read it. We do have a really good relationship overall and she has a good understanding of her behavior so we try to recognize the signs and give her lots of love, comfort and security before it gets too entrenched. Problem is sometimes even an 8 hour work day is too long if shes not doing well. During those times she needs full time care which I am unable to give :/
Thank you for the sharing and encouragement. <3
 
BorderlineDownunder

BorderlineDownunder

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She doesn't know or label herself anything. We treat however she develops, it is between her mental health team and me.
We do not want her to identify with anything other than the unique individual she is. However it is helpful to be able to have some way to identify behavior traits or I would never have found this group to be able to seek understanding, advise and support from others who have a good understanding of it.
Can you look for or start a "parents of" type support group? Loads of folk struggle with the exact same things you are but often BPDs struggle to "Explain" themselves what triggers, how to avoid, even if they are in an episode as it can be very discrete.

Unfortunately when you post on a BPD thread you get BPD Type replies. If nothing else BPD seems to be Very Individualised with everyone experiencing slightly different symptoms.

Perhaps something like Alanon except for MH, designed for Families and Loved Ones rather than the sufferers themselves - imo BPD sufferers (such as myself) cannot be overly helpful as we either disagree with our own diagnoses or are so different in its effects that we can only give you stuff that may not be relevant to your girl. Its part of being BPD unfortunately, to be All Over the Place. :(

I know my dx keeps changing to the point where I had one of the City Experts examine me and say, Basically I have No Idea but its 15% work related. You can have more than One disorder too which I also seem to have, its called layering. So I endure not only Bipolar II which is slow cycling (Months at times) But also allegedly BPD which is minutes, and to top it all off I get PMS which is one week out of 4. Your daughter may also have layering due to hormonal, self care, or paradox reactions to meds, which becomes extremely hard to sort out and has happened to me and ends up with the patient suicidal and in physical agony also. :(

Sadly I think the System is sick. The treatments are less than perfect and the practioners often don't give a rats.

These days the kids have an added layer of Social Media Stress also, so it kind of becomes difficult to actually figure out whats a Chemical Imbalance, what's a PD, and whats External Influences, Hormonal or old fashioned Brain Growing.

YOU need support also :hug: im so sorry I cant be of more help.

FWIW my niece was Strongly like your daughter, very very flammable for want of a better word. It does seem to run in families. My niece basically Grew Out of It. Or should I say, learned that no one else in te world was going to take responsibility for her, but her.

She self harmed and suicide and worked as a prostitute and was a full blown addict also - all with two loving desperately concerned parents.

Genetics seem to play a part. I don't self harm and she does, I have BPD Dx and she doesn't. We look alike and sometimes I feel like She has MY symptoms. :( she drpped out of school at 13 and its been a nightmare for the Entire family. Shes 26 now and a really good girl who we are all proud of. she nearly didn't survive in fact one attempt was so serious she damaged her liver, and Frightened herself straight basically.
 
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