Parenting and BPD Archive

So there is a Tumblr user who will go unnamed for their own safety that I’ve been an adopted mom to for a while.  They live in a shitty situation with their parents and are a constant victim to all sorts of abuse with no easy way out.  Also, please note that they are 20 so what I’m about to do is legal.  However, being an adult doesn’t always make leaving any easier.

I consider this person to be like a daughter to me.  A daughter of my heart if not my blood.  You know how found families are.  They are a core member of my friend group and over time they’ve revealed more and more details of the abuse they suffer to the group.

I finally reached my breaking point and with their consent, the whole group is now in rescue mode with me playing a central role.

First I need a new job that pays a living wage, which I’m looking for no matter what anyway.  I’m about to graduate, this is the next step in my life.  But with that living wage, I should be able to sort my finances and make it so I’m no longer dependent on my mother.  This is key.  I can’t initiate the plan if my mom is giving me a few hundred dollars a month to support my family.  I don’t currently have a death wish.

Anyway with finances in a better position, and a tax return in hand to fund the trip, in early March I’m making the 12 hour drive to a state I won’t identify (actually my mom is driving me in her car because I’m a horrible driver and my own car is guaranteed to not survive this trip, bless its soul) we’re packing my found daughter up, and bringing her home with me.  All while her parents are at work so we have no resistance.  (A note will be left and the local police will be notified that this is a rescue and they are not missing, just leaving a bad situation.)

Once back in Ohio they will live with me as long as they need to get on their feet and establish their life as an adult, just like I will allow my other 3 kids.  I don’t see a difference.  It won’t be the most ideal living situation as quarters are cramped.  But they’ve declared it much better than their current situation.  So that’s something at least.

My friend group is working out the logistics of this plan.  Everything from where I can rent a little cargo trailer and a trailer hitch, to making sure they can finish their current degree and move on to the next, to health insurance, to getting them in therapy the second we’re back in Ohio.

My immediate family is on board with this.  Pat is a little more resigned than excited.  But Pat understands who they married and how I am.  My purpose in life is to rescue those in need with whatever power I have.  That, and I’ve been talking for years about being done having kids, but wanting to foster older kids and give them a loving family once we’re financially stable and the kids are grown.  This is about 10 years sooner than I had in mind, and it’s an adult we’re fostering.  But hey.  This is the path I’ve been led down.

Sammy is super excited to have a big “sister”.  The boys are accepting.  Lucas is hesitant but he’s autistic and is really hesitant with any strangers.  He’ll be fine.  He has 8 months to warm up to it.  Most importantly, while I’m aware of his stranger danger tendencies, he’ll at no point be in any danger so trust will be built.

Mom is hesitant but also on board enough to drive me 12 hours and back to make this happen.  You know how mom’s can/should be.  Cautiously supportive.

So yeah, that’s what I’m up to these days when not studying.

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Five

Posted September 13, 2016 By kmarrs

20160814_191244_001I am out of words.  My daughter, my precious, precocious, baby girl is now five.  She’s been five for a couple of weeks now, so this post is well overdue, but I don’t know what to say.

I mean, trying to describe my daughter is like trying to describe the universe.   It’s larger than life, beautiful, and fuels passion in others.  But those are just words, and just words fail to do her justice.

She wears glasses now.  They are purple which is her favorite color.  In part, I think, because she knows it’s my favorite color.  Her other favorite color is pink, which is her daddy’s favorite color.

20160814_191301Her ears are pierced.  I took her to a proper piercer at a tattoo parlor, where a proper needle was used instead of a piercing gun.  Those things are so unhygienic. Anyway.  She still has the little hoop in that the piercer put in.  Soon, though, she can have me change them out.  I have a few sets of earrings for her ready to go.  One set we’ll leave in, and two for special occasions.  Little owls and little flowers.  Pretty in purple and pink.  The piercing and the earrings were birthday gifts.  She wanted them pierced so bad, and even daddy said yes, so I figured why not.

She’s in kindergarten now.  She is thriving there.  Except for the lack of a nap which she doesn’t miss until she gets home at which point we all regret our lives.  5-year-olds are something special.  5-year-olds who are giving up their afternoon nap are extra special.  But, never-the-less she loves kindergarten and kindergarten loves her, so it’s sort of, mostly, worth it.

 

 

 

 

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Confidence and BPD

Posted March 19, 2015 By kmarrs

Parenting and Borderline Personality Disorder BPD and Self Confidence
I look at my daughter and see a world of confidence and can’t help but wonder if I had even half that much confidence at her age.  I know by the time I was 7 or 8 it was gone, but what about before that?

My daughter, if anything, has too much confidence.  The first instinct is to say not possible, then you reflect on ego, and second guess yourself.  The thing is, if she has this much confidence as an adult, yes, she might be a tad bit annoying.  Right now?  Well, it’s still annoying.  But…

She has her first bully to live through.  Middle school to survive.  She has not yet felt her first heart break.  She has yet to be teased for wearing Skechers when Nike is the brand of choice that month.  (Don’t worry, daughter, you’ll be ahead of the game when Skechers take their turn the following month.)

She has many years to come of people tearing her down before she becomes an adult, and I imagine it won’t fully stop there.  I can only hope that she has half the confidence at 23, as she does at 3.  If she does, I will have successfully raised her to be a confident adult.  Hopefully validating will help build that confidence in her.  And while I don’t want her to be egotistical, confidence makes for a strong individual.  A woman, or man, who knows what s(he) wants and how to get it without hurting others.

Where does the line between egotistical and confident lie?  I’m not quite sure.  However, I’m also raising my kids to know that we are all equal, no matter who we are.  Neither race, gender, sexuality, religion, nor social economical class makes anyone better than anyone else.  Hopefully, the line between ego and confidence lies in there somewhere.  As does knowing where strengths and weaknesses lie.

I have found, though, that for every weakness you point out, you need to also add two strengths.  It is a lot easier to shatter confidence than it is to shatter ego.  That is what I’m going wrong with Thomas.

Myself?

I lack confidence so deeply, that I struggle to hear anything positive about myself.  Be it a result of my illness, bullying, or lack of validation, I don’t know.  I just hope to help my kids be the opposite of myself in all the way it counts.  Because I have to tell you: I would rather my daughter be egotistical at 33 than the confident mess her mother is at 31.

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Let’s talk about parenting and BPD. I’m sure I’ve touched on this subject before but I don’t think I’ve outright made it the topic of a full post.

I recently have had an email conversation with someone who had a baby with someone who has BPD. She was concerned with how the father with BPD would be at parenting.

There is no real solid answer to this. From what I’ve seen, people with BPD can make great parents. Devoted, attentive, loving parents. But there are always exceptions to that rule.

Children who are physically abused, which can cause BPD, often grow to be abusive parents. It’s called the legacy of abuse. It’s a well documented fact. Is it possible to break the cycle? Yes! But it takes hard work to overcome it.

We learn to parent by how our parents parented us. Emotionally neglected children, grow to be emotionally neglectful adults.

All this causes BPD in many cases. It’s one reason why BPD runs in families.

There are always exceptions to this, of course. I’m sure my mom may be reading this going “Dear God! Are the few times I spanked my daughter the cause of her BPD? Was I emotionally neglectful? I don’t think I was…”

So let’s look at spanking verses beating.

There are many parents who don’t believe in spanking. And all the power to them. If you can get your kids to be obedient children without ever smacking a butt or two, then please tell me your secret. That being said, there is a difference between the occasional spank and all out beating. It can be a fine line of course, but there is a difference.

I so badly want to say the difference is intentions. But I don’t really know the intentions of beating a child. I know the intentions of spanking is to teach and show dominance, which is the intentions of any discipline.

So really that leaves me with the difference being frequency, how hard, and the causes. If the child does something unsafe, a swat to the butt can help enforce the lesson. If a child is unhappy and crying, beating them is only going to enforce fear.

So what about me? How am I at parenting?

This is so hard for me to answer. I am my own worse critic.

I know when I’m manic I’m the best mom around. I could play with the kids for hours. I’m attentive, loving, and the best mom in the world.

When I’m depressed, I’m just the opposite. Playing with the kids becomes a chore. I’m still loving (I can never get enough cuddles from the kids) but I’m far from the best mom ever.

Then comes into play my temper. It’s on a short leash as it is, and my kids are excellent at pushing my buttons. Luke is excellent at asking the same question I’ve already said no to, over and over until I snap. I wouldn’t say I rage, but I do get angry. My therapist and I call them mini-rages. With Thomas it’s a matter of not doing what he’s told. Usually it takes anger and a swat to the butt to get him to listen.

On the good side: I help my oldest with his homework. I rock my littlest at night when he can’t settle down. I kiss owies. I play with my kids. I read books to my kids. We go for walks and to the playground. I’m a good mom.

On the bad side: I do spank my kids. I also yell a lot. I could be a better mom.

So how does BPD affect your parenting?

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