Trying to be thankful

This month has been incredibly difficult. As I sit here with so much hatred, bitterness and anger in my heart, I desperately want to feel thankful for what I have.

It’s 2:30AM. I just finished doing some work for my job, which I haven’t been at since last Wednesday due to family issues. Since I last posted about my mom being in Florida and having to have surgery for a bowel blockage, things took a turn for the worse. She was released from the hospital after the first surgery, however 24 hours later was re-admitted for violent vomiting and stomach pain. After testing it was determined that her intestines were close to rupturing and she had emergency surgery. The surgeon said he felt she had 10-12 feet of dead bowel that needed to be removed. This surgery required her to be cut open from about two inches under her breastbone to below her belly button. I still do not understand what the surgeon did, or in this case didn’t do, but we were told that he was able to “massage” the intestines and all was well (scratch my head). After waking up from surgery my mom’s right foot was numb, completely numb. She was told it was from the epidural used during her surgery and was a normal occurrence. Days later as she is recovering in the hospital, the foot is still numb. There were areas of tingling, but the bottom of her foot was completely numb. This obviously made walking close to impossible. Since I am in PA and my mom, step-dad, sister and brother-in-law were in FL. There wasn’t much I could do for her.

Fast-forward to last Wednesday. I received a call at work from my grandmother’s nursing facility. I was informed that when the aides went to give my grandmother her medications they found her in a very confused state. She had declined significantly from the previous day. It was decided the best course of action would be to move her to the constant care area of the facility. Up until this point she was in her own apartment, but had care from aides, help with daily activities, etc. The original hope when hospice became involved in her care was that she would be able to stay in her apartment as her journey came to an end. However, due to her extreme decline she was moved.

I left work and went to her. I could not believe how much her health had declined since my husband and I visited her last, which was four days prior. It was explained her oxygen saturation had tanked and it was becoming very hard to maintain a healthy oxygen level. Hospice increased the morphine to every two hours around the clock. When I got to her she did know me and was able to understand me and could communicate with me, but she had times where she just wasn’t “present”. Her nurse told me that she was nearing the end and was declining rapidly.

Fortunately, my middle son was able to leave work and sat with me and Mammy (as we all called her). Throughout the day his wife came, my husband came, my daughter came and my oldest and his girlfriend came. While we didn’t feel this day was the end of her journey, we wanted her to know we cared and loved her and were there for her. I was also able to facetime with my mom (who was still in the hospital with the tube down her nose) and sister in FL so they could talk to Mammy and wish her well and unfortunately tell her it was okay to let go. As the evening wore on it seemed she was a bit agitated and we all left so she could rest and the nursing staff could get her ready for bed. I was the last to say goodnight to her. I told her it was okay to let go. We knew she was tired and ready to see PaPa (her late husband). I assured her I would take care of the family and even though we would all miss her, she was loved and would always be with us. Talk about a sucky conversation to have….I was assured I would receive a phone call if her condition changed.

Thursday through Saturday evening are kind of a blur at this point. I spent most of my day with her, typically 9AM to 9PM or later. My kids were fantastic. My middle son has more flexibility at his job and spent most of his day with us. There was another huge decline in Mammy’s condition Thursday and I called the kids just to let them know what was happening. Everyone showed up to again tell Mammy she was loved and just be there for each other. Thursday was also the day my mom was released from the hospital in FL. It was explained to me that she and my step-dad were going to take Friday to rest and then my sister, mom and step-dad would be flying home Saturday. My sister is fortunate enough to be able to fly privately, which was the best possible option for my mom at this point as she was still extremely uncomfortable from the second surgery and numb foot issue.

Friday was another day of sitting with Mammy, holding her hand, talking to her, but she was becoming more and more unresponsive. There are other “things” that go along with someone nearing the end of their journey. Physical things that happen to the body or in the body. It just sucked for her. I asked many times if she was in pain and she always said no. There were times of agitation, terminal restlessness in her body causing movement and twitching. The times she did open her eyes she tried to focus on us, but it was so hard for her. And then there were times she would open her eyes, but sort of look right through you. She was having conversations with people we couldn’t see and her hands and arms would move that made us wonder where she was and what she was thinking about. I wanted to stay with her Friday night, but something just told me it was okay to go home.

Saturday was a whirlwind. The Florida group arrived back in PA. However, due to my mom’s condition there was no way possible for her to make it into the nursing facility. My sister showed up as soon as she could and at one point everyone but my oldest was there. My sister brought a bottle of champagne along and at one point in the evening we said a toast to Mammy and did “cheers-ed” over her bed. At that point she opened her eyes and looked at us all. It was amazing and beautiful. When we left Saturday night we all knew something was different in Mammy. She was resting so comfortably. The restlessness stopped, the arm movements stopped and she just seemed to be at peace. I felt my grandmother waited for my sister to say her goodbye and I was right. I received a phone call at 2:52AM Sunday morning that my grandmother had passed. Her physical journey was over and a new journey beginning.

Now, along with everything that goes along with loosing a loved one – we had to deal with cleaning out her apartment. All the furniture, personal items, clothing, etc. Again, I am so glad my sister was around to help. We work well together and were able to make decisions and turned the apartment keys back into the facility Wednesday afternoon (like 15 hours ago). We met with the funeral home and planned the service, which will be Friday.

Here is the “kicker”. Tuesday evening, I got a call from my step-dad telling me my mom had to go to the hospital. She was starting to vomit, again. Not good. Her physical condition is so weak at this point I called an ambulance to transport her. She is now in our local hospital, tube has been put back in and she has another bowel blockage. I feel like I am living in a nightmare. I can’t imagine how she is feeling. At this point the doctors/surgeons are giving her body some time. It’s a wait and see if she will need a third surgery. However, she will not be able to attend her mother’s services. It’s just so insane. The emotions are overwhelming.

Oh, and another bit of information. The girl child. She told me when she started her wonderful job at the shipping place that she was required to work on Thanksgiving and since we had no idea when my mom would be returning to PA or how my grandmother would be, I decided I was not going to be making Thanksgiving. We made reservations weeks ago at a restaurant we love and I promised everyone that next year we will be back to all normal traditions. Anyway, I get a message from girl child today, sorry, yesterday. I keep forgetting a new day started. I get a message Wednesday telling me she would be home in the evening. I asked why because I thought she had to work on Thanksgiving. She replied she was fired. I replied with a “?” and she replied she had taken too much time off between the cyst issue and coming home twice to see her grandmother and now having the service……I just responded OK. I wanted to respond I told you so. All the books and reading about her disorder indicates very clearly that holding down a job is impossible without proper help/therapy. So she came home, she played with her niece, ate dinner with us, actually seemed to be in a fairly decent mood. I asked her to figure out what she was wearing to go out for Thanksgiving since she was now going to be home. She then told me she didn’t know how long she would be with us because drippy dick’s mom apparently texted her and invited her to have Thanksgiving with them. She also chatted with drippy dick and was told his family thing started at 3PM. She ASKED him if it would be okay for her to get there at 3:30PM and he said no. I told her it would be nice if she could spend a few hours with her family, especially under the circumstances and the conversation ended. We all went to bed. Guess who left the house and went back to drippy dick? No goodbye, no nothing.

I am fucking furious, pissed, hurt and just so tired of this. I guess that’s why I am up and blogging at 4AM on Thanksgiving. What’s next? Will he not allow her to attend her great-grandmother’s funeral? What about Christmas? I mentally can’t do this anymore. I need to find someone to help us understand the boundaries we need to set and how to do that the right way. I need someone who understands this disorder to stand behind me and push me to push her. Does that make sense?

Monday morning and I’m still confused…

(SIGH) – It was a long weekend. I can’t believe I am saying that. Typically, the weekends fly by at lightning speed. As a bit of an update, my mom ended up back in the hospital in FL having emergency surgery, I believe that was Tuesday. When she was admitted for this time her intestines were close to bursting and she had to be cut open the old fashioned way. Laparoscopic surgery wasn’t an option. Scary shit. She still has the NG tube, which is still pumping out grossness. The epidural that was placed for surgery caused her right foot to become completely numb, making any type of walking an extreme hazard. No clue when she will be released from the hospital and then how long it will take her to feel strong enough for a flight to PA.

Visited my grandmother on Friday. She is hanging in there. I honestly can’t say enough about hospice and the care they provide. She is, of course, worried about my mom (her daughter). I have this awful feeling of guilt after visiting with her. She kept asking what the family is doing for Thanksgiving. I am the one who has been having the holidays at my house. I would be the one to have Thanksgiving. At this point I highly doubt my mom and step-dad will be home. My sister and brother-in-law are in FL for the winter. I still haven’t talked to my kids about what is happening with their in-laws. Oh, girl child did tell me a few weeks ago she has to work on Thanksgiving. My grandmother now gets morphine every 4 hours around the clock, is on oxygen (at a very high rate) 24/7, has to use a wheelchair to travel further than 4-5 feet or she is so out of breath it takes a very long time for her to recover. She feels I would be able to handle all of that and her wheelchair will fit through my standard household doors (head drops into my hands). I think she feels it will be the last time out of the nursing home. I get that, BUT………………..

Received a message from girl child early Friday asking what we were doing for dinner and would we be around Friday night. I replied I wasn’t sure yet, but we always get food. Friday is typically our eat out day. She said she would be home to eat and sleep and asked if I would help her dye her hair. I was looking forward to seeing her and pretending for just a little that things were “normal.” Sent her a message around 4:30PM asking when she would be home and got the response, “NVM, I’m sorry.” Followed by a message letting me know she might be home around 7PM to shower and I could save her food….my response to her was “will you ever be allowed to be here”. Her answer “I’ll be home for the night like 5:30 6ish for the night, probably.” I have been on the receiving side of many messages ending with “probably” from my girl. That means whatever she is talking about isn’t going to happen. So, we ordered from a local Italian shop. We had a few sandwiches and pizza. She walks in and asks what I got for her. Told her nothing since I had no idea if she was actually going to be home, but we ordered more than enough. Of course the attitude came out. No, no she wasn’t going to eat our food. OMFG. Whatever. She takes a shower, comes back downstairs and does eat our food. She starts doing some wash while we are just hanging out watching TV. I was honestly beat from the day and headed to bed to read. I fell asleep reading. Wake up the next morning and check the cameras. I love to see the cats that set the camera off every night. I was shocked to see my girl leaving the house around 9:30 PM. WOW. It just cut me to my core. Sent her a message saying I don’t think I will ever understand what is happening with her. No response.

I feel horrible for saying this, but at this point I wish she would just stay away or officially move out. Not this back and forth bullshit. It just tears me apart every time. I get to a point where I think I’m handling shit and then BOOM – she’s back and I’m hopeful. I think she is completely controlled by drippy dick. I think it is now a game. He wants us to tell her she has to go. He wants us to be the bad guys. He wants to be her savior. I’m closer to letting her go than I was a few months ago, but I’m just not there yet.

On a side note. The cat that she had to have a few years ago and we allowed her to have, pissed on my sofa. The cat isn’t getting the attention she deserves and she is not happy. This cat was her emotional support animal. She was attached to this cat in a way I can’t explain. When she left I told her she needs to make arrangements for the cat or take her. I have more than enough to take care of. I was told she was trying to find someone to take her. So, I found someone to take her. A very good home, someone I know would love and take care of her the way she deserves. Well holy hell, you would have thought I took the cat outback and shot it. I got such a guilt trip about how I’m not giving my girl time to get her stuff together, that cat means the world to her, if it wasn’t for the cat she would be dead, that cat is like a child to her. Well then, girl child, you abandoned your child to live with drippy dick and work for a shipping company. The cat is still in my house, but now has to stay in her room. Won’t be long until the room is destroyed. (SIGH)

Oh, I did something yesterday that I can’t believe I did! I have tattoos. Like a decent amount. Most visible tattoos are very small, two small wrist ones, small ankle ones, one on the back of my neck I hate and want to get removed. Anyway, point being I have never gotten anything sizable on an area that is highly visible. I did yesterday. Left inner forearm for my grandbaby. I love it. I am hoping I have the balls to continue as I would love to have a full sleeve on my left arm…….time will tell!

For Fucks Sake

Well, since my last post I wish I could say things have gotten tremendously better. I can’t. I saw my girl once in the last almost two months. And that was to do a meet and greet with drippy dick. She asked a few times if we wanted to meet him. The response I wanted to say was “FUCK NO”. However, I refrained and agreed to meet him last Wednesday. It was absolutely horrid. They walked into the house, my girl first and then him. He had his hood up and couldn’t even say hi to us. Introductions were made. He just plopped himself down on our love-seat and assumed the hood-rat slouch. My girl was chatting nervously, the energy in the room was uncomfortable. She told me a little about her new job at the shipping facility where she works as a picker. She asked if I was proud of her. I told her I was proud of her, but I was also concerned for her. I told her I was concerned she wasn’t getting any type of therapy and I was concerned she was going to get stuck in a job and life that she really didn’t want. She immediately went off the deep end and started accusing me of calling her a failure. Again, I know that is how her brain processed what I said. I kept telling her I never used the word failure, she is the one that said it. Things just continued to get worse from there.

Drippy dick said nothing, but had a cocky grin on his face the entire time. I really can’t even remember the order of conversation or what exactly was said. I know at one point my girl asked if I had any questions for him. I said I didn’t and really didn’t know what to say, but I tried to explain how I felt about the “situation” in general. Anything I said he had a smart-ass comeback for. He tried very hard to sound intelligent and use big words. It didn’t work well for him. It actually got to the point that I couldn’t even look at him anymore. I’m not sure exactly how it came up, but I know I mentioned therapy again and decided to ask drippy dick his thoughts on my girls diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder. Low and behold – drippy dick disagrees with the diagnosis. He said he read about the symptoms and doesn’t feel that my girl has that. Drippy dick apparently slept at a Holiday Inn Express the night before and has a degree in psychology. He also doesn’t believe in any type of therapy. After that comment I had to leave the room.

Now, remember the post when I tried to send drippy dick a message about sitting down together and having a conversation? In those messages when he was a complete asshole, he mentioned how my girl was far better off with him both mentally and physically. He lives in a small “city” about 45 minutes away from us. Every day on the news there is at least one shooting reported. It is a horrible area and that is where she is, but he is going to keep her safe and would never let anything happen to her. Remember that.

My girl took a shower before they left (she comes home every other day to shower – when I asked why she drives 45 minutes one way to shower when she is living with him, I was told the hot water heater doesn’t work well at his house and she wants to save the hot water for his mom, him and his brothers). They left around 9PM. Oh, and they were both stoned. Just a little side note.

I was a mess after they left. I did take half a sleeping pill. I needed to just sleep. Around 11:30PM I realize my cell phone is ringing and it’s her. I missed the call, but called her right back. She was in tears. She asked me to drive to her and take her to the hospital. I thought she mean she was having a mental breakdown. As I was trying to focus and figure out what was going on, she told me she was in severe pain. She felt nauseous and couldn’t stand straight. All the pain was in her lower left abdomen. I told her to go to the local hospital. She said she didn’t want to go alone. I asked where drippy dick was and she said he was sleeping. He had to get up in the morning for work. But he was willing to take her to the ER and drop her off. She was scared and didn’t want to be alone. I did not cave. I told her she needed to go to the closest hospital and get help and it would take me at least 45 minutes to an hour to get to her. She said she would talk to drippy. She ended up driving home in severe pain. Suddenly our garage door is going up and she is crying in pain at the bottom of the stairs at 12:45AM. Of course I drive her to our local ER. It was a very slow night, which was good for us. She got immediate attention. Her blood pressure and pulse were high because of the pain she was in. An IV was started and the gave her some liquid Tramadol to help the pain. It didn’t help. Morphine was next. That at least took the edge off, but she was still writhing in pain. An ultrasound was ordered to check her ovaries since she has had ovarian cysts in the past. They took her for the test and ended up giving her fentanyl because she couldn’t lay flat and her body was shaking uncontrollably. That finally helped the pain. They also did a CT scan because the pain was radiating into her back and they wanted to check for kidney stones. The results came in and it was learned that she had several ovarian cysts that burst and the fluid that was released was causing the pain. We were eventually released and got home at 5AM. I called off work to sleep and keep and eye on her.

My girl woke up around 1PM and was feeling better. She left around 3:30PM to head back to drippy dick. The person who takes fabulous care of her, who loves her and would never do anything to hurt her. If that didn’t show her his true colors I don’t know what will.

The next “thing” that makes me think I was a child slave trader in a past life and karma is rewarding me for that; my mom and step-dad drove to Florida last Friday. This is something they do twice a year. My sister and brother-in-law have a local home and a home in Florida. They have been very successful and are very fortunate. My parents tow a trailer with one or two of their “play” cars. They take them to Florida in November and haul them back to Pennsylvania in April. Anyway, my parents left for Florida last Friday and arrived late Saturday. I talked to my mom Sunday and she mentioned she felt very achy and thought she might be getting a cold. Later Sunday eve I talked to her and she said she had a very bad stomach ache. I told her not to mess around and if she felt that bad she should get checked and I reminded her of the bowel blockage she had about 15 years ago. Well, early Monday morning my step-dad took her to the ER and she was admitted with a blockage. She had an NG tube inserted and it was a waiting game to see if the blockage passed. Over the next two days she continued to vomit and the decision was made to operate on Wednesday. The surgeon did not have to remove any intestine and was able to open the pinched intestine. The NG tube stayed in until Thursday evening when she was started on clear liquids. Things didn’t go well and she had to have the tube put back in early Saturday morning. Not only does she feel like shit, but she feels like shit in a different hospital, in a different state. As of just a few hours ago the tube was taken out to see how she tolerates food. Fingers crossed things improve from here and she can fly home by the weekend.

Add to this my grandmother (my mom’s mom) is in a nursing facility and was just placed into hospice care. She is 92, and has congestive heart failure. My mom and I have Power of Attorney for her. Since my mom is not feeling well, I am now on call for the nursing home and hospice. They called today to say her morphine would now be increased to every four hours around the clock and she was coughing up blood so they felt it was best to stop her blood thinner. I can only hope and pray that nothing happens before my mom is able to come home and see her.

I now need my bed.

Some days I amaze myself

Today I am amazed at how fucking stupid I am. I feel like my world has been stuck in a tornado for the last year. Occasionally, I get to experience the eye of the storm and feel a bit of calm; mostly it’s just the wind spinning me in circles.

When I woke up this morning I made a promise to myself to be stronger, put the girl child out of my mind and get some shit accomplished. I made a list. Not a long list, but still a list. There were five items on my list, I have crossed out three. I’m feeling accomplished. And then I amazed myself…

I had this fabulous idea to make a family calendar for Christmas presents. I would put everyone’s birthdays, anniversaries, special family moments, etc on the calendar. Each month would have family pictures of the person(s) who have birthdays that month to remind us of special times we have shared. I typically have to remind my “adult” kids of relatives birthdays, etc. So a calendar would be perfect – right? I decided to start saving pictures for the calendar. I told myself that I would get an early start, feel really great about what I accomplished and try to relieve some of that pre-Christmas stress.

The sadness hit like a fucking train. Pictures. My girl is in the pictures, so many of the pictures. Will I have more pictures to cherish with her or has that come to an end? Will I get to celebrate the holiday’s with her, her birthday, Mother’s Day? And again, I am caught up in the tornado. My emotions are everywhere. I am hurt, sad, angry, confused…….How fucking dumb am I not to realize before I started that my girl would be in the pictures?

I experienced my two sons leaving home and I did okay. Of course I was sad and missed them. But I was also very happy for them. They found the person that makes them happy and are starting their own families. It’s wonderful to sit back and watch them grow and feel proud about what they are accomplishing. I want to experience that with my girl. I want to be happy she left home and is finding her way, but the circumstances are so insanely different. How can I be happy she is living in a shit-hole city with a hood rat? I want to respect and accept her decision; I can’t. I am terrified for her life. I guess I’m just not there yet. Will I ever get there? I don’t know.

People suggest as parents we should go and talk to a professional about the situation. Okay, I totally agree with that. Tell me how to find one? The professionals that deal with BPD are few and far between, that I know for a fact. They don’t provide therapy for only relatives of BPD patients; they provide therapy for families, which would includes the BPD patient. Our BPD patient has refused therapy. I have talked to other therapists/psychologists for recommendations. No one feels comfortable giving me recommendations because BPD is so……………what word can I use….intricate? Each person BPD patient has some similarities, but also has their own way of thinking/dealing. That is why therapy for families is suggested, but the BPD patient is a crucial element in that therapy.

I HATE FEELING THIS WAY.

I am lost

My rock

It has now been a little over two weeks since my girl has been home. She stopped home this weekend, after we were in bed. She took a shower, got more clothing and left. Our security cameras caught her coming and going. I am trying so hard to make each day a normal day. But I can’t. As I am planning my days, whether it is what to make for dinner, a trip to the store or dinner out with friends. My first thought is her. Will she like what I’m planning for dinner, does she need her lactose free milk, would she want to go along to eat or maybe we will bring something home for her. But she isn’t home anymore and I have not been able to wrap my brain around that. My thoughts are consumed with her.

I had some communication with her this weekend. She told me she got a job through an employment agency with a shipping company. She will work four, 10 hour days. She hasn’t worked longer than two weeks at a stretch as a part-time employee. She told me that she is very safe and doing really well. Her anxiety is basically gone and she is dealing with her anger issues. How did I interpret this? “Living at home with you and dad was my problem. I am fine now that I am away from you. I don’t need help with my BPD. I am normal now.” My fear is the time will come and the bubble will burst on her new wonderful life. The chaos that comes with BPD will rear it’s ugly head. I am scared when that starts to happen.

As we move through our daily lives pretending the world is a wonderful place, I would be lost without my rock. He is a man of few words. Where I am an extrovert, he is an introvert. We balance each other fairly well. Through this hell I have sobbed and slobbered on his shoulders, arms and pillow. He stood by my side when I needed a drink or 12 to help me forget. He loves his family fiercely and would stop at nothing to protect us. I would be lost without him. He is my husband, my lover, my very best friend and the love of my life. I would be a wreck without him. I hope that we can soon learn to live without constant fear and worry.

I don’t even know anymore

It’s one of those days.

I keep replaying the last 10 years of my daughter’s life wondering where I could have done something differently. Why didn’t I realize something seriously was wrong before now? All the what if’s are on a continuous loop in my head.

She came home yesterday around noon time. Our security cameras alerted me to motion in the driveway. I sat at work watching the camera, watching her. I needed to see her face. I needed to make sure she was physically okay. Did she have bruises? Did she have cuts? I obviously couldn’t see all that from the camera. But she was home.

I returned home from work around 4:15. I figured she was in her room wrapped in her blankets sleeping or watching Netflix. I was right. She was asleep. I started dinner, doing the normal daily after work stuff. My son and daughter-in-law stopped over to eat with us (I was trying a new recipe). I went to my girls room to wake her up and see if she was going to eat with us. She did come downstairs. She was pale, looked exhausted and didn’t say much. This was the first time in 6 days that I saw her. She slowly opened up, not talking about the past 6 days, but just the normal banter that happens at dinner. After dinner I stepped out on the porch to get some air and sat down at the patio table. I apparently had dropped my head and was rubbing my eyes/temples when my girl walked out. She asked if I was okay. I was honest and told her no, I wasn’t okay. I seriously can’t even remember everything that was said. It was mostly me talking. Only talking, no yelling, screaming, etc. She told me that within 3 months she would be moving out to move in with the boy and his family. I told her all my honest fears and worries for her. I told her over and over and over again that she would always have a home with us and the door would always be open for her. The conversation was probably 35 or 45 minutes. It was long, it was repetitive, it was emotionally draining. I think it went as well as it could have. I was shocked when she told me she was leaving again that night to go to the boy.

It was a sleepless, restless night. But that is becoming the norm. I stood in the shower this morning and couldn’t remember what to do first. Holding the soap in my hands wondering what to do with it. Every action or motion I make today feels like it drains me just a little bit more. Driving to work I was on autopilot. I think I drove safely. I honestly don’t remember.

I want to be pissed off. I want the anger and rage to take over and push me to the next phase of whatever this is. Is it grief? Is it a sense of loss? What is it that I’m feeling? I want to tell her she owes me thousands of dollars for all the shit I tried for her. All the crystals that help anxiety, the essential oils that help anxiety and depression and the headaches and that help her sleep better, the money on the spiritual healer that she didn’t listen to, the pure sage stuff to cleanse the house and her spirit, the new mattresses and bed linens that had to be replaced because her cat pissed on them (because she doesn’t clean the litter boxes), the new clothes because she lost more weight than she should have and had nothing to wear. I could go on and on. Our savings is lower than ever and I have to pay my school taxes. That’s on me. I was trying to help my girl. All I did was help my girl walk out the door.

Living in the wake of mental illness

It has now been 6 days since my girl has been home. I have had limited contact with her. Each day I ask if she is come back to town, I don’t use the word home. Each day she tells me she will be back the next day. That hasn’t happened.

I honestly have no idea when I will see her. I basically know nothing about what she is doing or where she is at. I know a general area she is in, but that is it. My mind is filled with horrible scenarios, all ending in her leaving this world. I can’t understand that she doesn’t care enough to see her 1 year old niece, or the cat that we finally agreed to let her get. The cat was like her emotional support animal.

I know that her Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is in control of her mind. I have read and read and read about BPD and it’s manifestations. I am trying to understand. I am trying to wrap my brain around it. It’s hard.

There is another side to loving, caring and living with someone that has a mental illness. All the people that love and care about my daughter get caught in her wake. There are days where the lake is smooth and crystal clear and it’s a joy to be around her. There are days when the lake is a little rough and you are never sure what might trigger her. And then there are the days that are pure hell.

Another piece of the illness, at least in my daughters case, is how she chooses to keep her surroundings. I really can’t believe I am sharing this, but it’s part of it. I am sharing pictures of my daughter’s bedroom and the bathroom my daughter uses. I can only assume that the chaos she chooses to live in is similar to the chaos in her mind. Both my husband and myself have cleaned her room and bathroom numerous times – always with the promise that this time she will keep it clean. The pictures don’t show the shit that is stuffed behind the bed or under the bed. And I never know what I will find shoved in drawers.

Today, I am numb inside and out. I ugly cried for about an hour on Friday. I needed that. The tears come out of the blue. Sometimes it might be a song I sang in the car with my girl or a memory that comes up on Facebook. I’m sad, I’m pissed off, I’m hurt, I’m so fucking angry, I hate the boy, I hate the disorder. Most of all I hate not being able to save my girl.

Letting her go

I lost. He won.

She isn’t getting therapy, she’s getting a job where he lives and is moving in with his family. He is a basic hood rat. He is a drug dealer. He is a narcissist. He is controlling her. He won’t let her go til she is dead. He will beat her, physically and mentally. He has made me her enemy.

How long until the newness wears off and her disorder takes over? How long until she creates a whirlwind of a mess in her new place? How long until she quits the job because she isn’t ready for it? If she ever comes back home, how much worse will she be? How long until there are more cuts? How long until there are more attempts?

I extended an olive branch to him. He (figuratively) slapped my face and declared the conversation over. I spoke of my girl and what she needs and how we can help her. He spoke of his ego, never of her and her well-being.

So many what if’s, so many fears……………

Emotional Conflict

As a self proclaimed super mom, there are days/weeks/months/years that I feel like a complete and total failure. I am not looking for a pat on the back or a “but you’re doing great” comment. I’m being honest. I can’t imagine anyone that is a parent/guardian/caregiver/whatever hasn’t felt like a failure at some point. And it’s not so much an outward failure where my kid showed up at soccer practice with no cleats, shin guards, water bottle or ball; more of an inner failure. The struggles we feel daily. The times when we question our decisions and the answers we gave to important questions. The times when I say to myself – I have no fucking idea what I am doing.

As horrid and awful as it sounds, I am having a moral and inner fight about suicide. I feel an overwhelming sadness washed over me the last few years. I have a nagging voice in the back of my mind that keeps saying “what if”. What if I am wrong to try to convince my daughter to stay in this world? How can I tell her over and over again that things will get better, but they haven’t? How can I know what she feels? When she tells me she doesn’t feel connected to anything in this world or she finds it impossible to feel any amount of happiness. Who am I to tell her she has to stay and fight? Am I being selfish in keeping her in my world? Am I being selfish to allow her to continue to feel the daily pain of her life? This feels so wrong to put into words, but I question my decisions daily.

I sob when I have dreams that she is gone, that I can never see her smile or smell her hair when I hug her. But what about her? Is she holding on because she feels guilty? Have I made her feel guilty? She finally has an actual diagnosis of what she has been fighting, but I keep telling her the diagnosis doesn’t define her. I am begging her to get the therapy. I am asking her to give her life one more year to see the change the right therapy can make. But she has to want it, she has to accept it, she has to embrace it. Can she? Will she?

Diagnosis

Feels like an eternity since I actually sat down and put my thoughts and feelings into words. That’s not to say that I haven’t had some amazing ideas that I know my followers would love…….however, this is about my baby girl.

At some point over the last few months, seeing my girl continuing to struggle it was decided she should undergo testing to determine what is going on. We were fortunate that she agreed to the testing and fortunate to have a very experienced psychologist administer the tests. The tests were conducted over three days. They were a combination of IQ and cognitive tests, as well as anxiety, depression, ADHD, and personality tests.

On 9/30/19, we met with the doctor to find out what the testing showed. I’m honestly not sure what I expected, but I didn’t expect to be told my girl has Borderline Personality Disorder. As the doctor began to explain what BPD is and what the key factors in this disorder are; it was like she was explaining the lat 10 years of my daughters life. It’s not that only one or two factors sounded “right” – they all sounded “right”. As the doctor continued to explain the disorder, I could feel my girl silently sobbing beside me. I keep trying to imagine what she felt hearing the results.

The doctor recommended a very specific type of therapy called Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). And explained the reason all the other therapy and medications my girl has tried over the lat 10 years hasn’t worked is because the therapies were not specific to the disorder. The medications did nothing at all. This is a biological disorder.

We left the office with the name of a very well respected psychologist who is skilled in DBT. The psychologist isn’t taking new patients, but gave the name of another psychologist who also does DBT, who also isn’t taking new patients. But from that psychologist we received the name of two other psychologists, neither of which treat BPD. Within a few days I had a list of doctors/groups that I called with no luck. Either new patients were not being accepted or they did not treat BPD patients. I reached out to the psychologist who did the testing. How can we have a 30 minute meeting advising our daughter of this diagnosis and be sent away with nothing to really help her? The testing doctor then provided the name of a group that treats BPD patients. It has to be to good to be true, right? Right. The group is a two hour drive, one way. I still called, explained the situation to the intake person. She took all the information and called me back with an appointment time the following week.

I drove my daughter to the appointment. Yes, she is 19. Yes, she is considered to be an adult. But I really don’t give a shit because the last 10 years has sucked and she will always know that I will be supportive of her. She met with the psychologist alone first and then toward the end of the appointment I was called in so I could hear the recommended treatment. I could tell as soon as I entered the room that my girl was comfortable with this therapist. She was asking questions, talking and seemed more at ease. Th treatment would be two days a week. One day is a two hour session that is basically like a classroom setting to learn new skills and coping mechanisms. The other day is a one hour private therapy session. Included with the treatment is phone check-ins with the therapist. The therapist was concerned because of the distance between our home and the facility. It is also a huge concern of mine. Yes, my daughter can drive. But after a two hour drive to get to the facility, a two hour session, and another two hour drive home – I just don’t feel good about it. She will be mentally exhausted after the therapy and I don’t think driving on highways and expressways would be a smart situation to put her in. I am still exploring a drive service and trying to figure out how that would be paid for……………

I asked the therapist if there were any other facilities closer to our home that have a similar type program for DBT. Nope. They are the only one in the state and actually have patients from nearby states due to the success of their treatment plan.

Seemed like things were finally falling into place. One little hurdle, my daughter has to agree to the treatment. She has to agree to go and commit to a year of intensive treatment. She hasn’t agreed to it. She is in denial. She is tired. She doesn’t know if she has anymore fight left in her. She doesn’t think her life is worth it. She doesn’t want to have to fight her brain every single day to try and live a normal life.

Borderline Personality Disorder is very hard to understand. I have been reading only things recommended by the therapists we have been dealing with. I feel the following is an extremely accurate explanation. I am probably going to be sued for using this – but you can’t get blood from a stone.

“Beneath the clinical nomenclature lies the anguish experienced by borderlines and their families and friends. For the borderline, much of life is a relentless emotional roller coaster with no apparent destination. For those living with, loving, or treating the borderline, the trip can seem just as wild, hopeless, and frustrating. Jennifer and millions of other borderlines are provoked to rage uncontrollably against the people they love most. They feel helpless and empty, with an identity splintered by severe emotional contradictions. Mood changes come swiftly, explosively, carrying the borderline from the heights of joy to the depths of depression. Filled with anger one hour, calm the next, he often has little inkling about why he was driven to such wrath. Afterward, the inability to understand the origins of the episode brings on more self-hate and depression. A borderline suffers a kind of “emotional hemophilia”; she lacks the clotting mechanism needed to moderate her spurts of feeling. Prick the delicate “skin” of a borderline and she will emotionally bleed to death. Sustained periods of contentment are foreign to the borderline. Chronic emptiness depletes him until he is forced to do anything to escape. In the grip of these lows, the borderline is prone to a myriad of impulsive, self-destructive acts—drug and alcohol binges, eating marathons, anorexic fasts, bulimic purges, gambling forays, shopping sprees, sexual promiscuity, and self-mutilation. He may attempt suicide, often not with the intent to die but to feel something, to confirm he is alive. “I hate the way I feel,” confesses one borderline. “When I think about suicide, it seems so tempting, so inviting. Sometimes it’s the only thing I relate to. It is difficult not to want to hurt myself. It’s like, if I hurt myself, the fear and pain will go away.” Central to the borderline syndrome is the lack of a core sense of identity. When describing themselves, borderlines typically paint a confused or contradictory self-portrait, in contrast to other patients who generally have a much clearer sense of who they are. To overcome their indistinct and mostly negative self-image, borderlines, like actors, are constantly searching for “good roles,” complete “characters” they can use to fill their identity void. So they often adapt like chameleons to the environment, situation, or companions of the moment, much like the title character in Woody Allen’s film Zelig, who literally assumes the personality, identity, and appearance of people around him. The lure of ecstatic experiences, whether attained through sex, drugs, or other means, is sometimes overwhelming for the borderline. In ecstasy, he can return to a primal world where the self and the external world merge—a form of second infancy. During periods of intense loneliness and emptiness, the borderline will go on drug binges, bouts with alcohol, or sexual escapades (with one or several partners), sometimes lasting days at a time. It is as if when the struggle to find identity becomes intolerable, the solution is either to lose identity altogether or to achieve a semblance of self through pain or numbness.”

Kreisman MD, Jerold J.. I Hate You–Don’t Leave Me (pp. 11-13). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.