Parenting a child with Borderline Personality Disorder is extremely difficult. My wife and I have been reading, learning and seeking help from professional therapists. It requires that we learn a totally different way to communicate with our child. We also need to do the best we can to balance the feelings and concerns of our other children also living in our home.
Learning a totally new way of communicating is difficult to put into practice, especially when your child's actions and verbal abuse cause you to quickly lose your cool. It requires parents to continuously remind themselves that they are battling against the monster, that is BPD and not their child. I myself have a difficult time not getting frustrated by her behavior. My wife reminds me daily to "Love Above All Else" and I need that reminder. Not that I don't love her, I just find myself getting frustrated easily.
In the past 4 days, our daughter run away from the cool down facility she was staying at. We spent several nights sick with worry while she roamed the streets, it was horrible. One night, she said a man was following her down the street after midnight and she got scared. She ran into the Waffle Shop and told the waitress. The waitress then told her to lock herself in the ladies bathroom while she called the police. As a father, this is my worst fear, that she would be abused while out on the streets and I would be powerless to do anything about it. She was finally kicked out of that facility because she had absconded too many times. We later learned that she knew of the protocol and that is why she ran away so many times, so she could come home. My wife and I picked her up past night and took her home, where at least we could keep her safe.
While she was at that facility, my wife and I began to once again research residential treatment facilities. We called around 15 or so places and ran into obstacles at every turn. We would prefer to not put her back in a residential facility, but we are doing research so that we can at least have a short list of viable options if needed. We are hopeful that we can manage things with her at home while she gets the necessary DBT therapy that we have set up for her here locally. We were very discouraged as we made calls to the facilities on our list. These are some of the obstacles we encountered:
- Adults only
- Males only
- No therapists on duty
- No DBT therapy in use
- Not a secure facility (required for our daughter to be safe)
- 1-3 month waiting list
- Requires Covid Vaccination and all boosters
- Must also have a drug or alcohol addiction
It is no wonder that so many children go untreated and fall between the cracks when dealing with mental illness. We are very tech savvy people and are able to proficiently search the internet for resources. Many people are not technically savvy or may not even have a computer. I don't understand why there isn't an easier way to locate the necessary help for mental illness.
People who are diagnosed with BPD have a high rate of suicide, and there is also a high rate of suicide among those caring for a loved one with BPD. It is a very difficult disorder to care for and causes everyone touched by the disorder to become mentally and physically exhausted. Through our family's journey, my wife and I hope to be able to somehow help others navigate getting the critical help they need.