View Full Version : I think my daughter is DEFINITELY bipolar now.


sarahsweets
09-18-17, 05:43 AM
I always say I have great kids, and I do, and I am sure I make it seem like I am some parenting guru and I know now I am not.
My daughter as slowly been doing teen things that have gotten worse over time and especially since she got out of the hospital in december.( she is 17 now)

This past thursday she told me she couldn't go to school because she had an appointment at planned parenthood (my heart dropped). She is on the pill and uses condoms(I thought). I asked her if she missed one and she said yes but took it the next day and asked her if she uses the condoms and she said "mostly". I assumed she took a pee test because I would have bought it or her boyfriend would have. So I let her miss school. She drove to the boyfriends house and said she had an 11am. I told her to text me when she got there and she did, I asked her to text me when she got back. 1.5 hours go by and she said they were getting a bite to eat but she said nothing. She came home and she wasn't pregnant and I sobbed but here's the thing: She never took a pee test, they gave her one there for 50$. I thought she had to get the blood test and that's why she made an appt, or an exam or something and she didn't even have an appt, it was walk in . I could have solved the mystery for 11$. More on that another time but she played me.

Friday she wants her friend Amy to sleep over and we said no. She asked if they could get Wendys and came home at 10. She told me they were in her car in the driveway which is fine. We went to bed.
530 am my husband hears noises by her car and sees what he thought were flashlights. He thought cars were being broken into. He grabbed a bat and went outside and it was her and her friend with the seats reclined talking! Sure, the friend didn't sleep over and we didn't tell her specifically to come in but this was a sneaky way to try and get around the friend sleeping over. We made her come in. She played me again.

Sat we had my uncle's party. I told her I was mad at her and we needed a family meeting but I wasn't doing it before a family picnic. Her boyfriend and my son's girlfriend were invited and we took two cars. She drove hers.
about 4 hours later she said the boyfriend had to go so she took him home. She stayed at home and texted us and asked when we would be home. She asked if she could sleep over with her friends but we said no, we were going to see a band when we got home and she needed to stay with her sister. She asked if the friends could come over and we said no.
We pull into the driveway as she is backing out and she said she was just moving her car up to make room for us. We blocked her in and walked 4 houses down the street to see the band.
We got home at midnight.

Husband checked on the other daughter and Becca wasn't there. She wasn't anywhere, and her phone was off so I couldn't gps her. We went looking for her. We called her boyfriend and he didn't know where she was. We called all her friends. we took shifts sleeping so we could see if she snuck in. We didn't get the police involved yet because until it had been 24 hours she would be considered a runaway and not a missing person.
She wasn't home in the morning. I can't even put words to the fear and panic an ache we felt. How bad is it here? She left her car so she had to be with a friend right? My son messaged her friend and she didn't know where she was. My husband showed up and knocked on the door of another friends apt and she wasn't there.
We felt hopeless.
Somehow my son tracked down one of the friends she wanted to hang out with the night before and the friend got a text through to her when she turned her phone on. They picked her up and told her she had to come home. My son got my daughter to agree and meet at a diner. He got her to agree to come home and talk in the driveway. Once we saw her we all lost it. Everyone was crying. She came in.
She had packed a suitcase and walked all the way into town to a "beach" along the Delaware river where there is a park and the riverline train. People meet for drug deals at the train station. Unbelievably dangerous. She was there all night with her phone off. She was terrified to be there and terrified to come home. Afraid to call us. Afraid of us to be mad, and no regard to the sinking feelings and dread and helpless feelings we had. The sadness and pain.

I feel terrible. She is already in therapy and has asked me to get in with her psyche and I pushed it off because of my health problems. She has told me she gets sad for no reason and that her lexapro wasn't cutting it. I have SEEN the highs and lows. I should know better. She has cried out for help in all the right ways and I didn't handle it.
Once she was home, she said she didn't even know why she did it, she said it made sense at the time. She showed me what she packed and it was completely unrealistic. She said she doesn't want to leave our family and was so scared we would kill her if she called that she stayed out anyway. Once she got over the high of sending her family the F you, she got scared. She couldn't walk back because it was dangerous. She hid and didn't sleep.
I have already taken her car keys away so she can forget that for now. I was so mad and so relieved and hurt at the same time.

A friend reminded me that I shouldn't take this personal. This isn't about what I didn't do, This isn't even about my daughter not getting her way. She said she had planned for a week to leave and I am SO glad she couldn't move her car out. My friend reminded me what untreated bipolar is like.

I know what its like. My daughter is exactly like her mother. I hate to say that. Its not fair to her but she is! I ran away. I took impulsive risks that all seemed to make sense, and never thought of consequences. I lied to my parents. I assumed that my bad childhood before my parents got divorced was the accelerant to the bipolar and that my daughter has a loving family and a totally cool mom so she couldn't have bipolar like me that I missed seeing. I wasn't treated until my 20's. I became an alcoholic. What kind of damage did I do while I was actively drinking and blackout drunk? Of course I blame myself, who wouldn't? I didn't DO MY F**KING JOB!
I know its not all my fault logically but I Can't deny playing a role in this.
I passed on the genetic code to her, I am an addict and she has been addicted to nicotine (she has moved to vaping). She has tried god knows what and put herself in danger. I wanted to run away, I was hospitalized. So was she. I thought my mom was too strict and hated her/loved her and so does my daughter. Who does she come to when sh*t gets real? Me. Who does she think will argue with her and fly off the handle? Me. She is Daddy's girl and more than anything I resent her making my husband so beside himself like I have never seen before. So helpless. Not to generalize genders but as a man he couldn't solve the problems and felt like he wasn't doing enough. I knew it had turned into a waiting game and he was going out of his mind.

I already called and left a message with her psyche. I am leaving a message with her therapist. She has to go to school cause she has Senior co-op and wont graduate if she doesn't go to her new job. We will be driving and picking her up from work.

Thanks for reading this, I have no idea what I am asking for but all comments (as long as they aren't nasty because I'll crumble) are welcome.
Love to all.

Caco3girl
09-18-17, 08:02 AM
Sarah, I have no experience with bi-polar people but I am raising a teenager and the first two things you mentioned I can SOOOO see him doing. The packing a bag and running away thing is extreme but don't be too hard on yourself for not seeing the warning signs of an illness. In my uneducated opinion, you are paying people for that and it shouldn't be on YOU! If you had your head in the sand that she was fine that would be one thing but she was/is in therapy and she was already committed once. You are NOT super woman, you are a mere mortal and you are doing the best you can. Be easier on yourself and harder on the doctors that you paid to watch the mental health of your child, THEY seem to have dropped the ball.

Lunacie
09-18-17, 10:52 AM
It's very tricky to pay attention your own health and to your kid's health at the
same time. You've had a LOT on your plate lately, and it's generally a pretty
full plate at any time.

I agree with Caco3girl that you have been trusting the experts so this is certainly
not all on your shoulders alone.

So glad she wasn't preggers, hopefully she will be more careful following this
scare. And hopefully treatment will reduce the risk taking behaviors. :grouphug:

peripatetic
09-18-17, 11:35 AM
i realise it's hard not to take these things personally, but my father was awesome and i still did messed up things when i was an adolescent.

i do understand why you're being hard on yourself about not hearing her that the lexapro wasn't cutting it and seeing her highs and lows. but the thing is, you'll probably not take those things with a grain of salt again. sometimes we have to learn the hard way.

but also keep in mind that if she's "just like her mother" that means she has considerable compassion and fortitude and she's going to be ok. :) xx

clayboy123
09-18-17, 10:36 PM
I had to respond after reading this. I am not sure this is the right approach, but maybe you could try to share some of your stories/experiences from the past to make her feel more at ease and wanting to confide in you. My parents never did this with me and now when I see some of my traits starting to exhibit themselves in my own kids - sharing past stories seems to be the only thing that has worked.

finallyfound10
09-19-17, 01:16 AM
You have to put your own mask on first to do anyone any good and you were doing that by getting your health in order. A mom who takes care of her health is doing her job.

sarahsweets
09-19-17, 04:39 AM
Sarah, I have no experience with bi-polar people but I am raising a teenager and the first two things you mentioned I can SOOOO see him doing. The packing a bag and running away thing is extreme but don't be too hard on yourself for not seeing the warning signs of an illness. In my uneducated opinion, you are paying people for that and it shouldn't be on YOU! If you had your head in the sand that she was fine that would be one thing but she was/is in therapy and she was already committed once. You are NOT super woman, you are a mere mortal and you are doing the best you can. Be easier on yourself and harder on the doctors that you paid to watch the mental health of your child, THEY seem to have dropped the ball.
I took her to her doctor yesterday and found out I was supposed to bring her back in July and I had it in my head that it was September! She was last seen at the end of May! So this awesome mom didnt pay attention and do the right thing. In that regard I do not blame the doctor because we went over her notes from May and my daughter reported everything was good, school, the boyfriend etc. So I guess I cant blame the doctor for missing stuff she didnt know was happening. The therapist she has been seeing for 6 weeks about 1x a week and they have that confidentiality agreement where nothing has to be shared with me unless she verbalizes it like saying she is going to runaway, hurt herself or others. I am going to elaborate below.

sarahsweets
09-19-17, 04:48 AM
We have a good doctor. I left a message early yesterday morning and they open at 10 and called me right away and got her in at 1130. We went over everything and the doctor officially diagnosed her with bipolar. The hospital tossed that around but hospitals are more about getting you stable and less about getting you long term help. She is going to start out on cymbalta and lanictal-like her mom. I called the therapist and we are having a family session Friday night. The therapist said my daughter has been guarded with her as far as divulging everything and she had no idea that running away was in the cards. I got her a gyn appt for Weds. She is either getting the shots or the implant. I cant trust her to remember the pill and I dont need and impulsively made grandchild. I am going to suggest the implant because I dont thing the extra hormones from the shot is good for her now. I would prefer her to not even be thinking about sexual activity but acceptance of the situation as it is does not mean approval. Its my job to protect her and this is what I have to do.
I cant believe I tackled all that yesterday. Thats good work I guess.

But I still feel awful. I am so sad and believe it or not resentful even though I have no right to be. My son took her to work and she wanted the boyfriend to pick her up but those are not the rules so husband picked her up. She was crying about that but thats non negotiable for now.
I hope Im doing the right things. After dinner I went to my sponsor's house for a visit and then to my moms. I needed to get away so no one would ask me for anything and so I didnt have to make any decisions for a couple of hours. Is that terrible of me? All three of my kids need me and husband too, but I couldnt stand another minute at home.

Fuzzy12
09-19-17, 06:18 AM
Sarah in my books you are an awesome mom and you will always be an inspiration to me. Even when things are not perfect. You are stressed, you are hurting and you are worried but you are still trying to do the right thing. You are always there for your kids. Even awesome moms can miss things and don't always get everything right. You might not feel that way but even in this crisis you are still an inspiration!!

Much love and best wishes to you and your family. :grouphug:

Caco3girl
09-19-17, 08:55 AM
I took her to her doctor yesterday and found out I was supposed to bring her back in July and I had it in my head that it was September! She was last seen at the end of May! So this awesome mom didnt pay attention and do the right thing. In that regard I do not blame the doctor because we went over her notes from May and my daughter reported everything was good, school, the boyfriend etc. So I guess I cant blame the doctor for missing stuff she didnt know was happening. The therapist she has been seeing for 6 weeks about 1x a week and they have that confidentiality agreement where nothing has to be shared with me unless she verbalizes it like saying she is going to runaway, hurt herself or others. I am going to elaborate below.

And the doctor's office didn't call to set it up? You seem to want to be hard on yourself but I will remind you that being bipolar is a serious thing and you have had her in and out with people that have seemed to drag this along without a diagnoses or a treatment. Seen in May and not seen again until July??? It doesn't sound like they were taking this very seriously. Again, still not thinking this is on YOU!

sarahsweets
09-22-17, 05:22 AM
I should have seen things about to snowball. Daughter took whole bottle of melatonin and 3 trazodone.I didnt realize she had them in her room because we lock everything up. I was getting pre-admission testing that took twice as long as it should have but surgery is weds. She left a vague not and I drove home with her on the phone and she said she felt sad and wanted to sleep not die yet she left a questionable not. She says she will refuse to go inpatient so we will see. Went to a crisis center that her doctor works with but they were slammed. Even though shas medically cleared from the ER this hospital said she would need it all over again and there was no guarantee they could get her seen by crisis evaluator or get ahold of her doctor so we are gong back today. There is one place we want her to go but she has to go through crisis first. I wish I could blame it on school or social issues but it isnt the case. I have never drove that fast in my life trying to keep her on the line.Had daughter calln 911 EMT's were there and loaded her onto ambulance and I followed. Shes says she doesnt want to die but leaving a note is saying otherwise. Saying sober through all of this is tough/

Caco3girl
09-22-17, 07:59 AM
I should have seen things about to snowball. Daughter took whole bottle of melatonin and 3 trazodone.I didnt realize she had them in her room because we lock everything up. I was getting pre-admission testing that took twice as long as it should have but surgery is weds. She left a vague not and I drove home with her on the phone and she said she felt sad and wanted to sleep not die yet she left a questionable not. She says she will refuse to go inpatient so we will see. Went to a crisis center that her doctor works with but they were slammed. Even though shas medically cleared from the ER this hospital said she would need it all over again and there was no guarantee they could get her seen by crisis evaluator or get ahold of her doctor so we are gong back today. There is one place we want her to go but she has to go through crisis first. I wish I could blame it on school or social issues but it isnt the case. I have never drove that fast in my life trying to keep her on the line.Had daughter calln 911 EMT's were there and loaded her onto ambulance and I followed. Shes says she doesnt want to die but leaving a note is saying otherwise. Saying sober through all of this is tough/

I chose not to drink after I turned 21 because alcoholism runs on both sides of my family tree. So, I don't know how hard you are working to stay sober, but I know you can't help her if you are not sober. Do what you have to do to get her help, but remember, she has free will. This isn't YOUR "fault".

Fuzzy12
09-22-17, 09:04 AM
Huge hugs sarah and much love to all of you. :grouphug:

sarahsweets
09-23-17, 08:35 AM
After 14 hours in the crisis unit we got her into a really good place. She says she didnt want to hurt herself or die but it doesnt matter because it was impulsive. Thank God I put a lock on my medicine cabinet, I didnt know she had melatonion in her room. We had to follow medical transport there but it was such a better vibe than the place from awhile ago. We met with the clinican and doctor and it was 1am! Nice people. Wont switch up her meds without our express permission. Its meant for short term so right now the insurance approved 7 days. Beautiful campus that offered pet therapy and art therapy and structure, even the weekends. Honestly, I feel great today. I havent felt so worry free in a long time. I was able to sleep without any underlying fear. Especially since the place was so welcoming and not interested in keeping her, but interested in getting her well. I told the doctor she said she didnt need to be there and the doctor said she has heard that a zillion times from teens. Either way she needs to know that these types of things warrant immediate serious responses no matter what the reason she says it is. I feel really good about the whole thing, and relieved. Does that make me a bad mother? To be relieved that she is in a hospital and not at home? I dont know but the events of the last few days have been so hard for me. The worse part was the ER they do not move fast and I deserve an award for being so patient when I am not a patient person.

Lunacie
09-23-17, 09:48 AM
After 14 hours in the crisis unit we got her into a really good place. She says she didnt want to hurt herself or die but it doesnt matter because it was impulsive. Thank God I put a lock on my medicine cabinet, I didnt know she had melatonion in her room. We had to follow medical transport there but it was such a better vibe than the place from awhile ago. We met with the clinican and doctor and it was 1am! Nice people. Wont switch up her meds without our express permission. Its meant for short term so right now the insurance approved 7 days. Beautiful campus that offered pet therapy and art therapy and structure, even the weekends. Honestly, I feel great today. I havent felt so worry free in a long time. I was able to sleep without any underlying fear. Especially since the place was so welcoming and not interested in keeping her, but interested in getting her well. I told the doctor she said she didnt need to be there and the doctor said she has heard that a zillion times from teens. Either way she needs to know that these types of things warrant immediate serious responses no matter what the reason she says it is. I feel really good about the whole thing, and relieved. Does that make me a bad mother? To be relieved that she is in a hospital and not at home? I dont know but the events of the last few days have been so hard for me. The worse part was the ER they do not move fast and I deserve an award for being so patient when I am not a patient person.

You are relieved that your daughter is getting the specialized help that you
aren't trained to give her. You're a good mother. :grouphug:

Very tough week here with my autistic granddaughter, but she's not beating
up her mom or trying to kill herself, so you've helped me gain perspective.
I think we've finally got it back on track this morning. So we're good now. :)

Fuzzy12
09-23-17, 06:56 PM
After 14 hours in the crisis unit we got her into a really good place. She says she didnt want to hurt herself or die but it doesnt matter because it was impulsive. Thank God I put a lock on my medicine cabinet, I didnt know she had melatonion in her room. We had to follow medical transport there but it was such a better vibe than the place from awhile ago. We met with the clinican and doctor and it was 1am! Nice people. Wont switch up her meds without our express permission. Its meant for short term so right now the insurance approved 7 days. Beautiful campus that offered pet therapy and art therapy and structure, even the weekends. Honestly, I feel great today. I havent felt so worry free in a long time. I was able to sleep without any underlying fear. Especially since the place was so welcoming and not interested in keeping her, but interested in getting her well. I told the doctor she said she didnt need to be there and the doctor said she has heard that a zillion times from teens. Either way she needs to know that these types of things warrant immediate serious responses no matter what the reason she says it is. I feel really good about the whole thing, and relieved. Does that make me a bad mother? To be relieved that she is in a hospital and not at home? I dont know but the events of the last few days have been so hard for me. The worse part was the ER they do not move fast and I deserve an award for being so patient when I am not a patient person.

She is getting the care she needs and that is why you are relieved. Keeping her at home when she needs professional help would not be in her best interest.

Im glad things are looking up. Phew. :grouphug:

sarahsweets
09-25-17, 08:22 AM
Went and visited Becca yesterday. She is doing well. She still thinks she doesnt need to be there but she took a bottle of pills so regardless the bipolar is not giving her healthy coping skills. Average length of stay is 5-7 days so she thinks she is getting out in 5 days but I told her that if she isnt ready it will be longer. A great facility. they had pet therapy and art and music therapy so they arent sitting around watching tv all day. Very structured and this week its more structured. They dont keep them locked up like prisoners which is good. They have gym and out door time. Its a good fit for her. She should be assigned a clinician today and we will have to set up a family meeting.

ToneTone
09-28-17, 09:29 PM
Just the opposite: your relief that your daughter is being diagnosed and treated is a sign of a loving and attentive mother. Sometimes our loved ones--heck sometimes we ourselves--need the treatment and break from life that hospitalization brings.

She's not safe at home right now--that's why you're relieved. She needs the help of the hospitalization and the services that the hospital can bring.

I hope you can give yourself major credit, Sarah. I can't tell you the number of stories I have heard in which parents and spouses and friends were in denial about a partner's troubling condition ... they were in a type of denial.

You are so far away from denial. That's good mothering!

Tone

sarahsweets
10-08-17, 07:03 AM
"The Becca show"

Update:
Been going to Partial for a week taking the van transport. She says she is cleared to drive and I told her over my dead body for now.
She is making some progress with meds- up to 100g of lamictal and staying at 30 of cymbalta and vistaril for anxiety.
I think she seems a little more level.
Oh but lets not forget...
She shaved half her head with her friend on our deck. Broke up with the boyfriend and pierced her septum.

AHEM:Hair- dont give a sh*t about would have been nice to know it was coming but it grows back.
Boyfriend: He is not a bad guy but not equipped emotionally to handle her and really, no 20 year old would be. They are going to "talk soon". She can date him all she wants as long as its in my living room or on my deck, because anywhere else is off limits so we will see.
She was told over and over no piercings or tattoos til your 18, please wait you might change your mind. She turns 18 in Feb, but she did it herself and a friend had one of those rings and she managed to hide it for 2 days by tucking it. Hubby stepped in and took it from here in addition to whatever instrument she used and we got rid of it,

Truly I am not that off put over the piercing cause you can hide it but it still has to be done safe in an enviroment that medically specializes in it. Rules are rules.
She told her sister that when she turns 18 she has friends she can go live with.
I told her thats fine, I would never throw her out but her car and iphone are in my name so I hope her fantasies of crashing with friends involve them paying for everything she needs.

All the rash changes are indicative of that impulsive mania part of bipolar which I TOTALLY GET its just so much energy on top of trying to heal from my surgery which I shoukd have just put off. I let her work at the haunted house with her sister and brother because ironically being around a bunch of theater kids who like to scare people is the most normal she has had in a while.
I am trying to stay strong and hold the lines. and we are being the monkey on her back with spies everywhere. I *think* its a little better but I am afraid to say for sure.

pic below- half shaved head girl is my darling Becca.
http://sm.uploads.im/t/O0Epw.jpg (http://uploads.im/O0Epw.jpg)

midnightstar
10-08-17, 07:07 AM
Sarah you're a wonderful mum :grouphug:

Lunacie
10-08-17, 12:32 PM
Sarah, of course you had to have your surgery. You have to take care of you
in order to take care of your family. :grouphug:

Unmanagable
10-08-17, 01:01 PM
So much to handle on top of trying to juggle self-care along with surgery after-care. May it all smooth out and everyone find the relief they most need. Hugs heading your way.

KitCat
10-21-17, 10:19 PM
Sarah, I am just now seeing this post. So, forgive me for being a little late to the show. To be honest, I have kind of been avoiding this part of the board. Another post led me here. After reading about your daughter and all that you have been through with her, I feel compelled to respond.

You are not alone. I can wholeheartedly empathize with what you are going through. My daughter, Mia, who is 22 now, was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder around the age of 15. Now I realize that isn't the same thing as being Bipolar, but from what I have read the 2 disorders are often confused with one another because they are quite similar. Plus, some of what you have shared of your experiences with Becca, I can absolutely say "I have been there. I understand."

Mia was an impulsive teenager, somewhat of a risk-taker, rebellious... which I realize could apply to a lot of teenagers. However, with my daughter most everything was taken to the extreme. Sneaking out at night. Skipping school. Running away. There were at least 2 instances where the police were involved. When I told her no to getting gauges, she went ahead got a pair from a friend and shoved them in herself.

She became addicted to smoking weed. I know people have different views about this, and I know it does have medicinal properties. Generally speaking, I don't have a problem with it, - to each his own. However, if something, anything, becomes an addiction, to the point someone feels they cannot function in life without it, and they take unnecessary risks to get it (she actually gave a drug dealer our address once so that he could deliver to her!) then it is a problem. Oh, and let's not forget the amount of cash flow it takes to keep a daily addiction such as hers going. To top it off, it happens to be illegal where we live. So, yeah, for her it's risky behavior.

Her mood-swings were severe, sporadic. Sometimes turning into destructive fits of rage. Often there was nothing I could do or say that would help. Just had to ride it out. She was not only destructive to things around her, she was self-destructive. During one fit she began banging her head on the dashboard of our car. She would scratch herself. Pull her hair. And, she was a cutter. This is something she was able to hide from me for a very long time. Her bouts of depression were debilitating. Her self-loathing ran deep, and her anxiety ran high. Coping with change, or the unknown, has always been extremely difficult for her. I would say it is one of her biggest triggers.

At the age of 14, it really came to a head. During that year, I had her in at least three different facilities trying to find the help she needed. She was prescribed 3 different medicines. I cannot recall the names, but one was for depression, one was for anxiety, and the other was for her aggression. Mia fought me the whole way. She would not work with her counselor or try to apply anything she had learned from her therapy sessions. Soon I realized she wasn't even taking her prescriptions. She was only pretending to take them. She had saved them up, put them in a baggie, and hid them. Then when she decided to take them, she tried to "make up for it" by taking more then she was supposed to, and ended up telling me because she felt funny. Thank goodness she did! I felt so dumb!

So, for a while watching my teenage daughter became my full-time job. I mean, yes, parenting is a 24/7 job, but I'm talking about ALL my energy, ALL of my attention, ALL my time, ALL my focus, it was ALL on her. I did not leave her side. It was rough for a while. Emotionally draining. I couldn't even sleep much, because there were times when I did nod off she would see it as an opportunity to sneak out and take my car to meet a friend in the middle of the night.

Her father was pretty much out of the picture and when he did decide to come around he went against everything I was trying to do for her. He countered me all the way and refused to help, both emotionally or financially. Thank goodness I had the support of my parents. Although, it came to a point in which they were not able to deal with Mia at all. They were able to help me with my son though. It still saddens me to think of how much time I lost with my son during all of this.

You mentioned feeling as if you have failed in the parenting department. I have often felt this way too. As long as we are doing our best to help and be there for our children, then we are not failures. We may not always get the results we want. But, if we have done our best, we shouldn't consider ourselves to be failures. Not trying at all would be failing. I have to remind myself of this.

I tried desperately to help my daughter. Unfortunately, as I described, she fought me every step of the way. I did try though. I did my best. Now that she is an adult I don't feel as much responsibility to keep her on track. Doesn't take the worry away though. I will always worry.

Please know you are not alone. I feel for you, I really do. I tend to overshare at times, but I honestly wanted you to see that there is someone else out there that understands on some level what you are dealing with. From what I can tell, you are a wonderful mother and you are doing all you can. Hang in there. ((hugs))

sarahsweets
10-22-17, 08:31 AM
Sarah, I am just now seeing this post. So, forgive me for being a little late to the show. To be honest, I have kind of been avoiding this part of the board. Another post led me here. After reading about your daughter and all that you have been through with her, I feel compelled to respond.

You are not alone. I can wholeheartedly empathize with what you are going through. My daughter, Mia, who is 22 now, was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder around the age of 15. Now I realize that isn't the same thing as being Bipolar, but from what I have read the 2 disorders are often confused with one another because they are quite similar. Plus, some of what you have shared of your experiences with Becca, I can absolutely say "I have been there. I understand."

Mia was an impulsive teenager, somewhat of a risk-taker, rebellious... which I realize could apply to a lot of teenagers. However, with my daughter most everything was taken to the extreme. Sneaking out at night. Skipping school. Running away. There were at least 2 instances where the police were involved. When I told her no to getting gauges, she went ahead got a pair from a friend and shoved them in herself.

She became addicted to smoking weed. I know people have different views about this, and I know it does have medicinal properties. Generally speaking, I don't have a problem with it, - to each his own. However, if something, anything, becomes an addiction, to the point someone feels they cannot function in life without it, and they take unnecessary risks to get it (she actually gave a drug dealer our address once so that he could deliver to her!) then it is a problem. Oh, and let's not forget the amount of cash flow it takes to keep a daily addiction such as hers going. To top it off, it happens to be illegal where we live. So, yeah, for her it's risky behavior.

Her mood-swings were severe, sporadic. Sometimes turning into destructive fits of rage. Often there was nothing I could do or say that would help. Just had to ride it out. She was not only destructive to things around her, she was self-destructive. During one fit she began banging her head on the dashboard of our car. She would scratch herself. Pull her hair. And, she was a cutter. This is something she was able to hide from me for a very long time. Her bouts of depression were debilitating. Her self-loathing ran deep, and her anxiety ran high. Coping with change, or the unknown, has always been extremely difficult for her. I would say it is one of her biggest triggers.

At the age of 14, it really came to a head. During that year, I had her in at least three different facilities trying to find the help she needed. She was prescribed 3 different medicines. I cannot recall the names, but one was for depression, one was for anxiety, and the other was for her aggression. Mia fought me the whole way. She would not work with her counselor or try to apply anything she had learned from her therapy sessions. Soon I realized she wasn't even taking her prescriptions. She was only pretending to take them. She had saved them up, put them in a baggie, and hid them. Then when she decided to take them, she tried to "make up for it" by taking more then she was supposed to, and ended up telling me because she felt funny. Thank goodness she did! I felt so dumb!

So, for a while watching my teenage daughter became my full-time job. I mean, yes, parenting is a 24/7 job, but I'm talking about ALL my energy, ALL of my attention, ALL my time, ALL my focus, it was ALL on her. I did not leave her side. It was rough for a while. Emotionally draining. I couldn't even sleep much, because there were times when I did nod off she would see it as an opportunity to sneak out and take my car to meet a friend in the middle of the night.

Her father was pretty much out of the picture and when he did decide to come around he went against everything I was trying to do for her. He countered me all the way and refused to help, both emotionally or financially. Thank goodness I had the support of my parents. Although, it came to a point in which they were not able to deal with Mia at all. They were able to help me with my son though. It still saddens me to think of how much time I lost with my son during all of this.

You mentioned feeling as if you have failed in the parenting department. I have often felt this way too. As long as we are doing our best to help and be there for our children, then we are not failures. We may not always get the results we want. But, if we have done our best, we shouldn't consider ourselves to be failures. Not trying at all would be failing. I have to remind myself of this.

I tried desperately to help my daughter. Unfortunately, as I described, she fought me every step of the way. I did try though. I did my best. Now that she is an adult I don't feel as much responsibility to keep her on track. Doesn't take the worry away though. I will always worry.

Please know you are not alone. I feel for you, I really do. I tend to overshare at times, but I honestly wanted you to see that there is someone else out there that understands on some level what you are dealing with. From what I can tell, you are a wonderful mother and you are doing all you can. Hang in there. ((hugs))

Thank you so, so much! It brought tears to my eyes. Its like you are my spirit animal lol. Its so good to have someone get me, thats why I love this place. We just had an intense discussion/argument thursday about her communication with us. We gave her a small bit of freedom to go to the firehouse she belongs to and sigh up for some stuff and hang around. She had to be home at 8. All we asked was to text us when she got there (its right down the street) and send us her location through the iphone. For 35 minutes we didnt hear from her. Then she was talking about how busy it was because their main fundraising event was this Saturday and it was bustling. She actually asked if she could stay later and we said no way.

When she came in she proceeded to tell us that she was almost 18 and even though she didnt want to NOT tell us where she will be, she techically wouldnt "by law" have to once she was 18, and she said she felt like we were baby sitting her. I was shocked, like havent you been paying attention these last 6 weeks?
It got heated and yes, I yelled but it was loud vs yelling. My points were given and worthy of an academy award. I told her she doesnt get to say these things after everything thats happened. I told her if she has dreams of living it up the way she wants when she turns 18 then I hope she had a plan of how she was going to get places or call people since the phone and car were mine. I told her I would never kick her out but that if she had fantasies of moving out that I hope she had a plan for money, a car and a phone, and some very generous friends. I hated that I said that.

But its true, I hate to pull the "under my roof" card but she doesnt get to make the rules just because we cant legally keep her here. I hoped it was a dose of reality. My only regret is that I had to be loud. My drinking history isnt so good before I got sober and I know the chaos and yelling was always hardest on her and for whatever reason she took the brunt of it. So of course I beat myself up over getting angry and loud but I really couldnt stomach the selfishness.
She gets really upset when anyone is yelling, which almost never happens in our house. I grew up with abuse and never wanted to have my kids live like that.
When we have had to deal with major mistakes with any of them, we knew that making them fear us and be afraid to tell the truth or get in touch with us when they were in a risky situation would only ensure more dishonesty and bigger mistakes,
I have had to eat my words before because we have always told the kids if they were anywhere and have been drinking or anything like that, or with others who have- call us we will go get them no questions, no yelling. I want kids who are alive, not kids who die driving home drunk or with someone on drugs because they are afraid of getting grounded.
I dont think any of them have ever been grounded-maybe lost a specific privledge or something but blanket grounding never worked for me, so I dont see it as effective.
Even when she ran away, she realized she was in over her head and got so afraid of coming home and getting in trouble it was like hostage negotiation with her and my son trying to get her to meet him so he could get her home.
That fear of us scares me. We have ever given any of the kids to fear us so much that they would put themselves in danger but still, I must have done some damage with her.

Not a day goes by that I dont have a thought of how my drinking nearly made my kids broken. It was a short lived period of time because it wasnt bad until the end but the scars are so deep and I feel like I made official ammends and continue to make daily ammends by doing my best.

I would be lying if I thought its going to suddenly clear up when she is 18. I am terrified. She wants to spread her wings and fly but at the same time she doesnt have good risk assessment skills. In a way she was a late bloomer with all of this. I really hope she has an epiphany like I did when I was 18 and a senior in high school. One last major fight with my mom and it was like a switch had flipped the light on and I suddenly saw the big picture. I dont get the feeling its going to be like that for her. I have never dreaded a child's birthday Like I dread hers in February.

Holy hell I just wrote waayyy too much up there but your response helped open the flood gates so I hope no one minds. Some people put this in the discipline category. Maybe we have been too lax, loved too much or not been good enforcers. We didnt believe in hitting although things have gotten intense. I dont know if any of this made sense but it just came out this way.

Thanks so much Kat.

KitCat
10-22-17, 05:41 PM
Thank you so, so much! It brought tears to my eyes. Its like you are my spirit animal lol. Its so good to have someone get me, thats why I love this place.

You are most welcome! I wish I had found a place like this back in my 20s. Seriously! Maybe I could have handled some of life's struggles a little more successfully, especially those that come with marriage and parenting.

As I get older, I have finally come to see how there really is no "right way" to handle what life throws our way. Everyone's "normal" is different. Every person, every situation, each set of circumstances is different, and SO many things are out of our control. This especially rings true when it comes to raising our children.

We just had an intense discussion/argument thursday about her communication with us. We gave her a small bit of freedom to go to the firehouse she belongs to and sigh up for some stuff and hang around. She had to be home at 8. All we asked was to text us when she got there (its right down the street) and send us her location through the iphone. For 35 minutes we didnt hear from her. Then she was talking about how busy it was because their main fundraising event was this Saturday and it was bustling. She actually asked if she could stay later and we said no way.

When she came in she proceeded to tell us that she was almost 18 and even though she didnt want to NOT tell us where she will be, she techically wouldnt "by law" have to once she was 18, and she said she felt like we were baby sitting her. I was shocked, like havent you been paying attention these last 6 weeks? Again, I must say you sound like a wonderful mother. In fact, it sounds like you and your husband are both amazing parents. It's wonderful that you are working together to help guide your daughter down the right path. You are providing her with opportunities to earn trust. Your expectations and the boundaries you are setting for her are very fair in my opinion. Her actions and words remind me very much of my daughter. Lots of manipulation, justifications, excuses, and guilt-tripping.

But its true, I hate to pull the "under my roof" card but she doesnt get to make the rules just because we cant legally keep her here. I hoped it was a dose of reality. My only regret is that I had to be loud. My drinking history isnt so good before I got sober and I know the chaos and yelling was always hardest on her and for whatever reason she took the brunt of it. So of course I beat myself up over getting angry and loud but I really couldnt stomach the selfishness.
She gets really upset when anyone is yelling, which almost never happens in our house. I grew up with abuse and never wanted to have my kids live like that. Hey, you needed to pull the "under my roof" card. Legal age or not, I fully believe children who still live with their parents should be respectful and appreciative of what is being provided for them. Obviously, the dynamics of a parent/child relationship change over time, especially when a child is entering into adulthood, but, to me, taking the time to let a loved one know where you are and that you are ok, is more a matter of respect than following a set of rules.

Even now when I stay at my parents' house, I make sure to do things as they would, whether I agree with their methods or not. It's their house, so things should be done their way. I would feel this way when staying at anyone's house. When I do leave their house during my stay, I always make sure to tell them where I am going and when I will return. If plans change, I call or text to fill them in. That way they don't worry.

Communication in any relationship is important. Nevertheless, I have found that not everyone agrees with me. There are even adults who view this type of expected communication as being someone's way of trying to "tie them down" or see it as "too controlling". Not me. If I can ease someones concerns or worries with a simple text or phone call, I will do it.

As far as you yelling, well, it happens. Frustration gets the best of us sometimes. It is actually something I have had to work very hard on myself. Although, I do believe there are times a raised voice works well to gain their full attention and to show just how serious you are. It's a fine-line though, for sure.

When we have had to deal with major mistakes with any of them, we knew that making them fear us and be afraid to tell the truth or get in touch with us when they were in a risky situation would only ensure more dishonesty and bigger mistakes,
I have had to eat my words before because we have always told the kids if they were anywhere and have been drinking or anything like that, or with others who have- call us we will go get them no questions, no yelling. I want kids who are alive, not kids who die driving home drunk or with someone on drugs because they are afraid of getting grounded.
I dont think any of them have ever been grounded-maybe lost a specific privledge or something but blanket grounding never worked for me, so I dont see it as effective.
Even when she ran away, she realized she was in over her head and got so afraid of coming home and getting in trouble it was like hostage negotiation with her and my son trying to get her to meet him so he could get her home.
That fear of us scares me. We have ever given any of the kids to fear us so much that they would put themselves in danger but still, I must have done some damage with her.
Our kids know we will hold them accountable. So they will do what they can to avoid facing us, avoid seeing our disappointment, avoid owning up to what they have done, and avoid dealing with the aftermath. But, really, if they were THAT afraid of us, they wouldn't do those kinds of things in the first place, am I right?? :lol:

I get what you are saying though. We don't want our children to feel afraid to come to us in times of need, when they have messed up. However, if she is like my daughter, the impulsive, risky behavior puts her into way more dangerous situations, then her attempts to avoid me afterwards does.

Think of it this way, when Becca realizes she has got herself into a sticky situation, her hesitation in reaching out to you for help might not be because she is afraid of you. Remember, our kids know we will hold them accountable for their actions. So, it's more likely she doesn't want to deal with owning up to her mistakes, or facing the consequences of her actions. That's a hard thing to do at any age. Even now, with no one to answer to but herself, when things go awry because of her poor choices, Mia will often try to move along like it never happened, regardless of any damage that was done to herself or others.


Not a day goes by that I dont have a thought of how my drinking nearly made my kids broken. It was a short lived period of time because it wasnt bad until the end but the scars are so deep and I feel like I made official ammends and continue to make daily ammends by doing my best.Although, I am not a drinker, I can still relate to how you feel. After my ex left us, I suffered from severe depression. I feel like this caused a great deal of damage. If I had been a stronger person, if I had handled things differently, if I had made different choices, Mia wouldn't have spiraled so far down, and my son wouldn't have had to go through what he went through. There was a time, I too, felt as if my kids were broken, that I was broken. I'm thinking many parents have had their reasons for feeling this way. Making amends, doing our best, striving to improve... will eventually help to smooth over those scars.

I would be lying if I thought its going to suddenly clear up when she is 18. I am terrified. She wants to spread her wings and fly but at the same time she doesnt have good risk assessment skills. In a way she was a late bloomer with all of this. I really hope she has an epiphany like I did when I was 18 and a senior in high school. One last major fight with my mom and it was like a switch had flipped the light on and I suddenly saw the big picture. I dont get the feeling its going to be like that for her. I have never dreaded a child's birthday Like I dread hers in February.It's hard to let them go. It is terrifying. Totally understand what you are saying. Especially when you feel they aren't ready. In my situation, Mia broke free from me as soon as she was able. At 17 she went to live with her father. Many, many things have happened since then. Things that I wish I could change. As I mentioned before, now that she is 22, I don't feel as much responsibility toward her. Of course, if she reaches out to me, I am always there for her. Nonetheless, I have slowly pulled away from taking care of things for her, from cleaning up her messes.

I hope Becca does have an epiphany at 18 and she is able to see the big picture as you did. I know how much of a relief this would be for you and your husband! Not to mention how much easier life would be for her. :)

As for my daughter, adulthood has proven to be quite difficult. In her defense, she does have her fair share of obstacles to overcome. On top of having BPD, she suffers from anxiety and depression. She is a smart girl, but since she is ADD, dyslexic and dysgraphic, school was a major struggle. All of these things contribute to her low self-esteem and hinder her ability to consistently function at her best. It wasn't until recently she was able to fully complete all the requirements to earn her high school diploma. VERY proud of her. She could have easily given up on it totally.

When Mia started living on her own, I had to make a conscientious effort to not feel responsible for her life choices. Our relationship is not the mother/daughter relationship I had always dreamed of. She and I are like night and day, there is not much we agree on. She doesn't come to me for advice, or ask for my opinion. What is going on in my life pretty much doesn't interest her unless it in some way affects hers. If she calls me it is because she needs something from me or she wants money. When I call her she usually answers with "What mother?" which makes me feel like I'm always bothering her. Even so, I know she loves me and I always make it very clear how much I love her.

Admittedly, not having what I consider to be a "normal" relationship with my daughter has made me feel like I have failed in some way. My mother and I have a strong relationship. I am close to my dad as well. So, I expected to have similar relationships with my own children. Which thankfully I do have with my son. :)

Relationships do seem to be problematic for Mia in general. So, I really should not take how she treats me personally. She is actually pretty narcissistic. She was never diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, but after reading up on it, I truly believe she has this as well. Oddly enough, what prompted me to research the disorder is when one of my ex-husband's girlfriends made a claim that he had it. Before this I had never heard of it.

I believe no matter what our expectations are for our children, no matter what our relationship is with them, no matter how many stumbling blocks we encounter, there is always hope. Not sure Mia will ever have an epiphany to where her mind will instantly be accepting of the big picture, nevertheless, I do see her progressing in her own way, and in her own time. I will take comfort in this.

Holy hell I just wrote waayyy too much up there but your response helped open the flood gates so I hope no one minds. Some people put this in the discipline category. Maybe we have been too lax, loved too much or not been good enforcers. We didnt believe in hitting although things have gotten intense. I dont know if any of this made sense but it just came out this way.

Thanks so much Kat. It's so hard to know how to handle certain situations with our children, or with anyone we have a relationship with really. Different people, different circumstances, call for different responses. Sometimes it is ok to be a little lax, where other times it is more beneficial to not waiver one bit. As for loving too much - this is never a bad thing in my opinion!

You made perfect sense and, again, you are most welcome! Reading and sharing on here has proven to be very therapeutic for me. :)