Kids and BP parent

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Grahamcracker

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Kids and BP parent
« on: August 15, 2017, 07:16:35 PM »
This is too late for me and my daughter, in the sense that she is now 20. but all of you with a BP spouse need to know that it really does have an impact on them.  Only now, as my daughter is packing to move to her own apartment , did i learn what life was really like for her.  She is a wonderfully kind person, very smart, very hardworking.  But also, deep inside, very insecure, and dealing with anxieties.  We were going through her desk and other drawers, tossing and sorting, and more than once came upon an old journal in which she had written things like "I hate myself!" and "this is bad" and something like "mom is mean."  This from a little girl who always had a smile on her face, and always went out of her way to cooperate and help.

I didn't know the immense amount of pressure she was under.  When I told her how surprised I was, she said "because I didn't tell you."  I said as a parent I should have picked it up, she said "because I hid it so well."  She's like a diamond, I guess, formed under intense pressure, and extremely tough in one sense, but can so easily be shattered by a one hard blow.

At least now we are talking, and I think we have opened a real communication channel.  She shares some counseling info with me -- always what she volunteers, I never pry -- but I am so sad that so many years went by and I simply didn't see.  Probably because I didn't want to, and because I wanted to believe that we were somehow exceptional, and to be spared the BP issues others face.

How wrong I was.
"Wisdom's a gift, but you'd trade it for youth, Age is an honor but still not the truth"  Vampire Weekend.

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Grahamcracker

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Re: Kids and BP parent
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2017, 04:00:25 PM »
We have begun moving daughter to her apartment today, and W has gone into a cold snap.  Not speaking to me or daughter, because daughter does not let W control every aspect of the move -- daughter, understandably, wants to be treated like an adult and to make her own decisions, right or wrong.

When I was talking to D, she told she just doesn't care anymore about W/M, and certainly doesn't plan to try and patch things up by conceding everything. 
Ultimately i ended up telling her almost everything, e.g. the borderline theory for W/M and my belief and T's belief that W/M is BPD.

Want know the real irony here?  I am sitting outside, next to W, who refuses to talk to me even to say she is pissed, and I am writing this almost literally under her nose.  BTW, when she is on the phone to her office, she talks in the sweetest adult voice.  But when we were moving she was ice-cold quiet, and this woman who usually moves so lightly was literally stomping up and down the stair.

Sheesh.  And thanks for reading and letting me vent.

GC
"Wisdom's a gift, but you'd trade it for youth, Age is an honor but still not the truth"  Vampire Weekend.

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JollyJazz

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Re: Kids and BP parent
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2017, 09:58:11 PM »
It's great you had that conversation with your daughter! And how horrible that your W gave you and her the silent treatment the whole time. I know what that is like.

I don't think it's too late. I can relate to this as my mother is BPD. It did affect me profoundly.

I don't mean to worry you, but in my case, having a BPD mother put me in a situation where I ended up in abusive relationships. I have been able to break that cycle with a couple of years of counselling and am no longer in an emotionally abusive relationship. It is extremely good that she is in counselling now, as I think that will really help her and to help to remove that risk for her being in abusive relationships in the future.

Good on you for opening up that conversation with her. I am sure that will have meant a great deal to her. How great that she is able to confide in you and go to you for support.

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Is This Normal

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Re: Kids and BP parent
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2017, 02:26:23 AM »
It does affect the children and good on you for recognizing it, even if it's later than you like.

You are light years ahead of my father, but then he has a PD, and you do not. I don't think he has any understanding of what it was like having a borderline mother, but then he doesn't know that she fits the description, and his own mother was so unpleasant that I think my mother seems mild in comparison. It is understood that she has major depression and that that affected her ability to parent, but any discussion about that revolves around him (and once upon a time me) reassuring her that she couldn't help it, and it wasn't that bad. She is always the one to bring it up. I have never directly addressed her behavior and never will, because it's clear neither she nor my father are really interested in knowing how it was for me. My unBPD mother is the one who must always be shielded and protected. My brother and I were just collateral damage.

It never ceases to amaze me how oblivious we adults can be to the pain of our children. I chalk it up to the various defense mechanisms people have patched together as a result of their own low-nurturance childhoods. You can't give what you yourself have not been given.

As it stands, it sounds like your daughter is also light years ahead of where I was at her age, as I was completely enmeshed with my mother still, and it took years of therapy and several recovery groups before I started to see the light. Hell, I'm still trying to come Out of the FOG, hence my presence here.

But back to your daughter - she is starting to make her way in the world and it sounds like she is not letting her mother's shade stand in the way of that, to which I say BRA-VO. She's getting counseling. And she has a father who  has seen the light about his PD wife and thus can support his daughter as she embarks into young adulthood. Not a bad start, I'd say, especially after what she's been through. Not bad at all.

-ITN-