daughter showing signs of BPD... help...

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Phoenix

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daughter showing signs of BPD... help...
« on: November 07, 2015, 05:41:11 PM »
Hi All,

So my husband and I have two foster daughters that just started living with us in January (though I've known the older one for 5 years now in more of a professional capacity). They are 16 and 17 years old and - as you can imagine - come with a whole lot of struggles. To some extent, my husband and I knew what we were getting into (as much as one can) as we had intentionally focused our foster parent training on working with teenagers... but our only actual experience had been with younger kids before this. I also was completely caught off guard by just how perpetually triggering motherhood apparently is for me... whoops...

On top of all the to-be-expected drama, my 17 year old's behaviors are seeming more and more like BPD to me. I'm reluctant to label a teenager whose personality is still forming (and remember how frustrated I felt getting a lot of labels at that age)... but as the child of an uBPD mother myself - her behavior (and my husband's response to it - which I'm interpreting as enabling) is triggering me and I'm struggling to see and act on helpful next steps.

I am seeking professional support for her. She - understandably due to her childhood trauma - has massive trust issues and so getting her to see a therapist has been very challenging, however - even she recognizes that her behavior is out of control at this point and said I could make an appointment. I have an appointment at a local clinic in 2 weeks (already been waiting 2 weeks but a month out was the fastest one without going to the ER). I'm just praying she's going to actually come when the date arrives.

In the meantime, does anyone have experience with potentially BPD teenagers? I feel like my judgement is so clouded. I've read a thousand books (and am HAPPY to take additional book recommendations) but I'm big time struggling at the moment and my CPTSD has given me a laundry list of other issues to tackle.

Phew - even writing this out is making me feel a little more ready to take this on though. Thanks to a great psychiatrist and her prescription pad - starting to come out of a deep, dark depression - so maybe this doesn't have to be hopeless!

Anyway - any words of wisdom are much appreciated!!!!!


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Bimsy

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Re: daughter showing signs of BPD... help...
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2015, 08:37:59 AM »
Hi there!

I am not at all experienced in any of this but a thought came to mind: what if she is acting in the way she is because it makes you act the way she wants?
If she has trust issues I bet it would feel safer for her if she knew some way of controlling you, and you wrote that you feel that you are enabling her?

It was just a thought, and I don't believe she does it because she is mean or anything but that it might be a possibility that the only way she can feel safe is when she knows how to manipulate people.
But of course there is also a risk that she actually has BPD as you say, and in any case you might need therapeutic help in order to help this situation. (Unless you already have a T)

I hope that she will go and see that therapist so that you might find some answers!

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arpy1

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Re: daughter showing signs of BPD... help...
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2015, 01:26:20 PM »
don't know too much about stuff but i have a friend who has BPD diagnosis, and she has had a pretty traumatic early life... did i read somewhere that people who have suffered childhood trauma, whom we nowadays would say 'cptsd' of, have frequently been diagnosed as bpd for the lack of any other  diagnostic term that encompasses all the ways they present?  could be worth a thought if so, or even a mention if appropriate to the person you take her to see?

got to say, phoenix, i really respect that you do this work.  i did a tiny bit of fostering years ago.  it is hard.  and i think you're amazing to do teenagers - my fave age-group but honestly the most demanding, imo.  :hug: :thumbup: :hug:


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Phoenix

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Re: daughter showing signs of BPD... help...
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2015, 05:41:58 PM »
Thanks so much for your responses.

Quick Update - after a bit of a struggle - she came to two intake appointments (one with me in the room and one with just her) which was a huge step for her (especially because the intake person was a man - credit to him for being able to so quickly create a safe space for her). Unfortunately, because of her insurance situation we have to go to a clinic and the wait for everything is just so, so long. The intake person said she's ranked highest priority because of the symptoms she's presenting and they gave us a psychiatric appointment but it's not for another month. They're starting her with therapy asap (thank goodness) but now she's refusing to go again - and I'm worried because the therapy will be with a new person who sounded about 14 on the voicemail she left me. sigh...

It's just hard because her behavior triggers me and then my husband doesn't know how to respond to either of us.
I think some of her acting out is trust/love testing... seeing how far she can push me and if I'll still love her/be there for her/etc. (though my husband is the enabler - not me - I'm always the bad cop)... but I think sometimes something triggers her and she swings to a place where she's definitely not in control so not being manipulative... she's coming closer and closer to getting physically violent with me and I have to be SO CAREFUL when she's a hair from snapping and having to be that careful not to cause her to snap is the most triggering thing to me which it then makes it even harder to be therapeutic and clear headed with it... but at those moments my husband struggles to know how to intervene because my daughter is SO focused on me in those moments because of all the rage she has towards her bio mother I think...

Anyway - appreciate the support. I love both of them so much but am just struggling so, so much with my own issues that I don't know how to be everything to everyone. I know to take small steps and do my best, etc. but I spend so much of the time just wishing I lived in a house in the middle of nowhere all alone...

Anyone seen Frozen? I literally think I'm Elsa (before she got better lol).

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tired

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Re: daughter showing signs of BPD... help...
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2015, 08:47:38 PM »
I'm pretty sure I had it when I was a teen and also later.  I think I was better during the time I was married to a very controlling person and I had my first child; he didn't give me any freedom of expression so I was sort of a robot. 

I ended up getting into psychoanalysis with a very well qualified therapist and although it cost a small fortune (we eventually got insurance that paid for most of it)  and lasted 5 years, I got over the bpd syptoms.  I think growing up might have helped.  Maybe my personality was the type that wanted to fix things, and fix myself.  So if she is a person who can acknowledge she has problems I would say yes, be hopeful.  Some amount of emotional dysregulation or whatever it's called would probably be within normal for a young person.  I think of it as a skill that you have to learn, the sooner the better.  I learned it in my 40s but I did it, because I didn't have the right therapy before that.

Hope that helps.

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Kizzie

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Re: daughter showing signs of BPD... help...
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2016, 09:42:36 PM »
How are things going now Phoenix?  I'm afraid I don't have any experience or guidance to offer just support.  Teens are not easy at the best of times and when we have CPTSD and they may have a disorder too, it's just a lot to deal with.

Much support!  :hug:

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Phoenix

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Re: daughter showing signs of BPD... help...
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2016, 08:07:09 PM »
Thank you everyone for your support. And, Kizzie - thank you so much for following - that is so thoughtful of you.
I will reply with a longer response because much has happened... but I am going to post a general update first because a lot has also happened to me - so I'm going to post it in a new thread. Thank you again - so much.

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Kizzie

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Re: daughter showing signs of BPD... help...
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2016, 08:46:55 PM »
 :hug:    :thumbup: