Counseling with BPDd

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momnthefog

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Counseling with BPDd
« on: September 24, 2019, 11:23:53 AM »

I feel like I’m scheduled for an appointment with a buzz saw.

After years of keeping gc and 4 weeks this summer, BPDd (who has swung greatly the past 12 months in  her moods) has told me that she will not allow visits with gc until she has a one on one with me.  She claims that she wants to work on our relationship and that I don’t and don’t make any effort for sustained change.  She says she has 25 years of stuffed emotions she needs to get out .  Honestly I do not know what she wants any more….there’s a long thread titled “My Fall from Grace” where I go into details of the ups and downs.

I agreed to the face to face but only in the presence of a therapist.  I told her she could pick therapist and that I would drive to her (2 hours away from one densely populated area north on I95 on the east coast to another densely populated area) and take a day of vacation to do so.   She gave me three days in Sep.  I picked one.  Then she scheduled for Oct when I’m not avail.  So I gave her two days in Oct.  She has chosen a day that works for me….mid Oct.
I feel like I had no choice….that in an effort to continue to see gc I had to “take” this one on one face to face…..but I did feel I needed to “protect” myself by having a therapist present.   I do not know if she will have seen this therapist in advance to prepare her “case” or not. 

I’m at the point where I’m done with her.  The last year have been incredibly damaging to our relationship and her relationship with my other adult children (where she goes to their house and bad mouths me).  None of the siblings wants anything to do with her and do not want me to invite her to gatherings…..she ruined last Thanksgiving and wonders now why I don’t include her in events…..duh?!@#

I only want a relationship with my 7 yo gc and I’m having to go through hell to have it.  I’m painfully aware that this session may not result in visitation with gc and that b/c of mother’s BPD it can be taken away at a whim.
Any thoughts about how to make it though this “counseling” session without losing my cool (or my mind) are much appreciated.

momnthefog 
"She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible.  She walked with the universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings."

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BigBird

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Re: Counseling with BPDd
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2019, 06:29:04 PM »
I can relate. We haven't seen our grandkids since 2017 because child and spouse are mad. Have tried to patch things up but it appears they've decided to go no contact.  The reason for not seeing us has changed three different times. What is so sad about the whole thing is grandmother is the sweetest most loving grandmother and can really have some positive influence on grandkids.  It's sad that they aren't benefiting from grandma's love like all the other grandkids.  We would love to meet with a counselor and our child and spouse but despite our reaching out they don't want to try.
I'm sad for you but even more sad for your grandchildren that won't experience the happiness a grandmother brings.
If you do meet with a counselor just keep your cool and hopefully things can only get better from here.

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SerenityCat

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Re: Counseling with BPDd
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2019, 08:40:54 PM »
Momnthefog, you know that you don't have to do this. You could choose not to. You know that it may not help you with visitation with your grandchild.

I think your daughter needs to remain working with her own therapist. "25 years of stuffed emotions" needs to go to her own therapist, not you.

Has your daughter told you the name of the therapist that she has chosen for this appointment? I think you deserve to know the name well in advance so you can look at their web site and learn about them. You can also check to make sure that they are properly licensed. If they are not legit, I would not go.

If your daughter gets upset when you ask for this information, I think that might be a red flag, and I personally would not go.

Your well being comes first.

If you do decide to attend, I hope you can get some preliminary info first. You could plan a reward for yourself afterwards, like a nice meal out. You can think through various possibilities, including that you may need to calmly walk out if you are being yelled at and/or you discover that you've been set up.

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momnthefog

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Re: Counseling with BPDd
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2019, 11:57:15 AM »
I know that this may not guarantee visitation with my gc...in fact....it may result in my never seeing gc again.

BPDd provided the address and name of the therapist.  I've looked it up on line yes there's a counseling group there, but there is NO info about any therapists which I find a bit odd.  The therapist I see works at a clinic where all of them are listed with pics and specialties.

I have an appointment with my therapist before I go.

My goals when I said I'd do a one on one (with a therapist present) were:
-to avoid being attacked as I believe a T will avoid allowing this.
-to do what I was asked to get access to my gc (I know this might not happen, but I can look back and say I did what was asked).
-to get my BPDd in therapy b/c she has no idea of the BPDdx...which came in her late teens.  (she also has a birthmother with a history of mental illness which I have never felt comfortable sharing with her b/c I wasn't sure what her response might be).

I will walk out if the T present does not act in good faith for both parties.  I have a hard time imagining that a T would allow us both to come in without meeting first with BPDd. 

My friend reminded me today that things often work out best when we try not to force things (regarding my question to her as to whether I should try to see the T before the scheduled meeting between the two of us).

Thanks SerenityCat for your feedback. It is much appreciated!

momnthefog

"She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible.  She walked with the universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings."

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hhaw

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Re: Counseling with BPDd
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2019, 01:05:13 PM »
Momnthefog:

I hope you can shift into observer mode, find some emotional distance, and assume a very curious posture during that T session.  It sounds like your daughter wants to talk at you, state grievances, and place blame.   

It's going to be very difficult to sit through that,  and not flip your lid, but if you manage it.... I wonder what your dd will want from you.  If anything.  You can certainly have compassion for her,  and her struggles.   You know about her history of mental illness.   You know about her dx.  She doesn't.  If you share that, in this T session, it's possible she'll accuse you of lying, or any manner of chaotic response.

Do you have documents to show your dd, and the T what the facts are? 

I hope you get to keep your relationship with your gd7.  If you come out with that in tact.... you've done well.



hhaw



What you are speaks so loudly in my ears.... I can't hear a word you're saying.

When someone tells you who they are... believe them.

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
Nietchzsche

"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
Eleanor Roosevelt

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momnthefog

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Re: Counseling with BPDd
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2019, 09:19:59 AM »
Momnthefog:

I hope you can shift into observer mode, find some emotional distance, and assume a very curious posture during that T session. 

This sounds like a very good idea, if i'm curious observer taking notes and observing it will allow me some emotional space.

It sounds like your daughter wants to talk at you, state grievances, and place blame.   That is her MO so I suspect that will be the case this time.

It's going to be very difficult to sit through that,  and not flip your lid, but if you manage it.... I wonder what your dd will want from you.  If anything.  This not the first time she has said she wants me to work on my relationship with her....note that .... it's always, that she wants ME to work on my relationship with her, never I want us to work on our relationship.  I've asked her specifically what she wants.  Last Feb (when I was trying to get access to gc for spring break I was told that I never came to visit gc....so I scheduled a visit right then and went several weekends later. 

You can certainly have compassion for her,  and her struggles.   
I have a great deal of compassion for her.  She was adopted as  a toddler from a Soviet style orphanage.  She was old enough to speak but used baby words.  She was being drugged daily for mood management.  We had about 9-12 months of detox when we got her home....and then I could see why she was being drugged.....wide mood swings within a 12-24 hour period.  At 16 she claimed sexual abuse by a family member and I was told to let her live with a family from our church (this happened in a meeting with the pastor, youth leader and other family.  I was told to do this or CPS would be contacted.  From this point on things really spiraled out of control.  She went into counseling at my urging.  For the 9 months she lived with this couple things were o.k.  she was medicated and T suggested BPD but told me she was
technically" to young to officially diagnose.  There was an incident with the couple where she needed to be disciplined (she was caught drinking) and her phone was taken away.  She immediately called her father (whom I was separated from due to drinking) and moved in with him.  She stopped counseling.  She has bounced around since then....several families took her in as she told stories of the horrors at home.  She refused to return home and live under my rules.  She dropped out of hs.  Got married at 18, had a baby, got divorced....it's like watching a bad soap opera.  Her current live in bf is 5 years younger than me and left his wife and two teen boys for her. 


You know about her history of mental illness.   You know about her dx.  She doesn't.  If you share that, in this T session, it's possible she'll accuse you of lying, or any manner of chaotic response.

Do you have documents to show your dd, and the T what the facts are?  I have documents from her adoption that state the mother was mentally ill and incapable of caring for the child. 

I hope you get to keep your relationship with your gd7.  If you come out with that in tact.... you've done well.  She called her younger sisters who are 18 and 21 over the weekend to tell them that they should come visit b/c gc has a birthday and bc it shouldn't matter what's going on between her and mom.  What she doesn't get is that SHE has burned her bridge with them on her own.  They have a long list of times when she acted in appropriately or flew off the handle, road rage (with them in the car), yelling at waiters (in our favorite local restaurant).....her younger brothers have their own lives and no desire for her drama.  My DIL is afraid of her and does not want her around their toddler.  I can't say I blame her b/c the times she was around their child she was weirdly inappropriate with her.

I feel like my stand should be "as long as you with hold access to gc, I will not work on anything."
"She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible.  She walked with the universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings."

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hhaw

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Re: Counseling with BPDd
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2019, 04:09:46 PM »
You do your best, momnthefog, then release expectation and outcome.  That's all you can do.

There's no good choices. Acceptance of that fact is helpful.

Maybe all family members can get on the same compassionate page, and stand together.

PD dd wants connection.  She wants her sibs, and you, in her life.

Good luck,



hhaw



What you are speaks so loudly in my ears.... I can't hear a word you're saying.

When someone tells you who they are... believe them.

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
Nietchzsche

"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
Eleanor Roosevelt

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Free2Bme

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Re: Counseling with BPDd
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2019, 10:09:44 PM »
mominfog.
So sorry for your predicament, very painful I'm sure.  I agree with the feedback of others here.  It is true you cannot control the outcome and PD's operate without logic/reason.  My 2 cents here, early on in the discussion, maybe ask "What do you want?" (to DD), & just let it hang out  there a minute, this will reveal her objective.  I would ask,  "Does gc want to visit me?", if DD admits to that gc does, it might change the course of the session. 

 PD's that I have known operate from a quid-pro-quo worldview, and they want to be in control.  DD  seems to be using gc as a bargaining tool, to extract something from you.  But YOU are of value as well, don't be afraid to let that be known.  That said,  I could be way off base here (feel free to disregard), but what if you go in with a mindset (not necessarily verbalized!), that "This is what I am willing to do, fill in blank.  I am offering to give gc  (and you DD) my time, love, support, blah-blah,  Are you DD going to work toward an amicable solution so you, gc, (and I) can enjoy this privilege together", in a humble but assertive manner.   Then approach it like constructing a visitation schedule, this is something to be negotiated between two parties, not just DD calling the shots and making you jump through her hoops.   :bouncing:

While with the T, try to shelf the past and your frustrations with DD, and focus on a future solution.  If you get roped into time travel into ancient history, the objective will be lost.

Praying for a good outcome for gc and you  :bighug:

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momnthefog

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Re: Counseling with BPDd
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2019, 03:28:32 PM »
This is all becoming interesting as I work on my observer status (thanks hhaw).

Despite agreeing to 3 dates in Sep, she scheduled for a date in Oct.

I told her I wasn't avail.  Also "happened" to be the date I asked previously to get gc for a camping trip.

I calmly txt that we hadn't discussed Oct dates.  I was unavailable that date.  And gave 2 dates I was available.

She scheduled for one  of the available dates (it's about 2 weeks away).

Over the weekend, she txt one of DDs about coming to see /her neice/my gc.  This happens to be the camping weekend and she knows that.  DD is disabled and does not have a car and can not drive yet.  BPDd (older sister knows this).  DD asks what to do and just wants to be left alone and out of the drama.  I suggest she just ignore for the short term until we had time to consider a response that would prevent escalation.

This morning while DD is at work BPDd (older sister) sends her two very nasty txt msgs and now says that DD can't see neice b/c she was ignored and b/c she wont take the time to come visit.  This happens to be gc birthday month.

At this point....b/c BPDd is now bullying 4'9" disabled sister, I decide to intervene and send her a txt.  I remind her that DD does not drive or have a car.  Tell her that 17 yo DD lacks experience to drive heavily traveled interstate where speed limit is 70 and suggest she contact a more experienced driver since she isn't allowed to visit.

It's much more satisfying to be emotionally removed/detached.  It's also easier to be emotionally removed bc she's 2 hours away.

momnthefog
"She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible.  She walked with the universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings."

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blueheart

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Re: Counseling with BPDd
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2019, 01:04:28 PM »
wow, she sure does use the "you cant see my child" card doesnt she.  What would happen if you started ignoring this behavior.  What if you responded to this with something like "ok, maybe some other time to see GC".  Basically take away her ability to use her child against you. 

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momnthefog

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Re: Counseling with BPDd
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2019, 01:27:07 PM »
yeah...she's playing the card.

She then laid all the blame at my doorstep for not letting 17 yo daughter visit her niece.

So I told her that  my T said that teenagers and disabled adults without cars are not responsible for solving visitation and adult problems.  Sadly this particular child/teen has way too often been placed in that role by my exH (her father) and both she DD and I have worked hard to set boundaries to keep her safe from that.  We don't need BPDd (sister) stepping all over those.

BPDd quickly thanked me for making her out to be the bad guy in all this and suggested I forward her txt to my T.

I didn't take the bait.

Our joint counseling session is in less than 2 weeks.

momnthefog

"She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible.  She walked with the universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings."

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hhaw

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Re: Counseling with BPDd
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2019, 10:10:50 PM »
That observer mode is helpful.

::nodding::.

Just getting curious, sans judgment, and need to control the outcome, is a revelation, IME.

It's sad that no matter how it goes, you likely can't win, IME. 

 I guess what you're shooting for is not getting baited, well done this time, while continuing to offer your support in ways that don't compromise your own health.

I suspect BPDd's rage will escalate as evidence countering her narrative mounts.  The narrative seems to be very important to them, IME.   The more evidence you're not (insert her accusations against you)  the more need she'll feel to punish you, IME.  Maybe change Ts.   

I wonder if keeping your boundaries in place, overtly and without compromise, will be enough for BPDd to push against and point to, so she doesn't feel she has to go scorched earth policy,  and cut you off from your grandchild completely. 

BPDd NEEEEDS you to be a bad guy, in her narrative.  I wonder if there's some secret squirrel way of walking that line so BPDd feels somewhat validated, and you don't  have to be punished out of gc's life. 

Proving your BPDd is lying, or in denial, or has beliefs not based in facts isn't likely to help the situation, IME 

Good luck,



hhaw



What you are speaks so loudly in my ears.... I can't hear a word you're saying.

When someone tells you who they are... believe them.

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
Nietchzsche

"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
Eleanor Roosevelt

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momnthefog

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Re: Counseling with BPDd
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2019, 12:21:26 PM »
I attended.

I don't think even the best counselor in the world could have kept this session on track.

BPDd had seen T once before and missed last week's session. 

Every time T tried to explore a topic BPDd addressed, she changed the topic.  It was a though she had a laundry list of items she wanted time to spew....and spew she did.

When we got to the issue of last Nov and how she left and the messages she sent all weekend long.....she said a good and decent mother would have begged her to come back down to talk through things...... :stars:

When I asked (and the T followed up) with why she took to social media to address matters she said she was tire of me looking like the good guy.......then accused me of isolating her from family happenings b/c I blocked her on FB...... :stars:

I left feeling like I'd been through a meat grinder and overwhelming sadness.  Not only b/c she "remembers" the past so differently but bc I pity my gc even more.

She is now 8 and I'm sure walking on eggshells to keep momma happy.

momnthefog

P.s.  My only hope is that dad can get custody and get her to a stable home.

P.s.s.  So gc calls one of my daughters on Sat asking why NaNa wont answer her phone calls.....BPDd gave gc a phone for her birthday with phone numbers in it...apparently one of them was mine,.....but then blocked it.....so gc would call and call, but I wouldn't answer.  What sort of person does that to her own child????
"She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible.  She walked with the universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings."

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hhaw

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Re: Counseling with BPDd
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2019, 09:50:16 PM »
You know what sort of person does this to her own child.  A broken, shattered, inward looking person who lacks empathy, and the ability to control her emotions.

She's unable to do any better, or she'd do it for her child.  She just can't.  She can't even do it for herself.  All she sees is turmoil.... it's everywhere around her, bc she's creating it herself.   

I pray your gc's father can help give his child the safety, and emotional security she deserves.  If one good enough parent is enough, I really hope the father is that parent.

I'm so sorry T didn't bring you anything positive, momnthefog. 

hhaw



What you are speaks so loudly in my ears.... I can't hear a word you're saying.

When someone tells you who they are... believe them.

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
Nietchzsche

"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
Eleanor Roosevelt