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I need help in understanding my daughter so I can help her

Mom_To_Two_Too

Mom_To_Two_Too

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 21, 2021
Messages
139
Location
Italy
She is 29 and was diagnosed with borderline at age 22. She did a stay in a clinic and then went on to do two years of DBT and mindfulness and made a ton of progress. In 2020 she moved back home with the understanding that it would be temporary and she is still here.

We have had a very difficult relationship since she was small. She prob would have had the ODD diagnosis if it had been well-known back then. My unrecognized CPTSD damaged things further because my behavior wasn't stable, especially for the 10 years I was on meds.

I have been med-free since Jan 2016 and I have been doing a lot of damage control with her and her sister. My main objective is to be here for them, hear them, support them emotionally. About 3 months ago my daughter and I had a huge fight and she later wrote me some very poignant things that made me think even harder about my role in her emotional development, and how badly my behavior affected her. Since then we have become so much closer. I understand better what she needs from me (no judgement, no anger, no life lessons, just someone to listen to her and HEAR her). We have actually been able to spend a lot of time together and it has been nice.

But here's the problem:

The closer we get, the better our relationship gets, the more self-destructive she is. She lost her license because of a DUI, she is smoking insane amounts of pot, she is sleeping with a guy who she says she hates and who she thinks is gross. She is in a professional school which will help her get a proper job, but she's not working. We are supporting her 100%. I used to tell her she needed to move out but after her letter to me I realize she needs to be here and to feel safe and wanted before she can successfully go anywhere, so I have told her she can stay as long as possible. I know some parents say "do the tough love" on her but that didn't work at all in the past. If it had worked she wouldn't be here now.

Maybe someone here can give me some insight as to why she is doing this? Maybe there is no "why". I don't know how to help her. I want her to have a good life. She deserves it, but I guess she feels like she doesn't. She won't go to therapy, and I stopped telling her she needs to. Me telling her was just causing more grief for her.
 
Mom_To_Two_Too

Mom_To_Two_Too

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 21, 2021
Messages
139
Location
Italy
@jay01 I feel like the opposite of a good mom. If I were a good mom I doubt she'd be suffering so bad :low:
 
stevie_sloth

stevie_sloth

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Joined
Mar 31, 2015
Messages
2,915
Location
Australia
@jay01 I feel like the opposite of a good mom. If I were a good mom I doubt she'd be suffering so bad :low:
No. It's not that simple. My mum is absolutely wonderful and the best person I know, and yet I am a complete mess. I don't work, never had a career, I have BPD, cPTSD, major depression, anxiety and OCD. I can't deal with anything, I sleep all day most days and I hide all of that from her as I don't want her to worry.
 
J

jay01

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 12, 2022
Messages
56
Location
Houston
Both of my parents are wonderful but they can't help that I suffer from ptsd/bipolar/depression/anxiety/ocd. All you can do is exactly what you're doing
 
C

celticlass

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Joined
May 7, 2011
Messages
1,595
Location
Scotland
If I could make a small suggestion. You are obviously doing a fantastic job now by the way. My suggestion would be for both of you to look at your attachment styles. Maybe together you can figure out how you both relate to others. Just a thought to maybe shed further light on what is going on and a possible way forward.
 
stevie_sloth

stevie_sloth

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 31, 2015
Messages
2,915
Location
Australia
@celticlass how do we do that?
In terms of attachment styles, there are a few different ways people form and experience attachments.

Secure attachment - this is seen as the healthiest form of attachment / interacting in relationships. You trust the other person's love for you and are comfortable they won't hurt you or abandon you.

Anxious attachment - this is very common, especially in people who have BPD, cPTSD and anxiety in general. You tend to fear they will leave you or hurt you, and you cling to them but can also tend to push them away.

Avoidant attachment - this one is also quite common and can also come from cPTSD or previous abandonment issues. Instead of fearing and clinging, you tend to avoid intimacy as getting too close and trusting / being vulnerable with someone is uncomfortable.

In terms of you and your daughter specifically, working out your attachment styles is fairly easy. Where to go from there though...I'm not sure.
 
C

celticlass

Well-known member
Joined
May 7, 2011
Messages
1,595
Location
Scotland
Thank you Stevie. Yes there is plenty ways to read up on attachment. I am anxious avoidant. There are quizzes you can use to work out which you are.

Now I think I became anxious avoidant because I had really bad eyesight. Just had cataract surgery and they have corrected my vision yet! So I could not really see my parents' faces to make the secure connection. Oh back in those days babies were shoved out in their pram sitting outside the back door. And if you cried you just had to get on with it - least in my house. Then when I was walking I never wanted to be out with the other kids playing in the garden. My mum locked the door so I could not go back inside. So that was the start of my problems.
 
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