This morning we had the discharge meeting. Again she looked great, happy and just better overall. We met with the LPC (Social worker) that was leading her care plan onsite. He was the first male she had connected with in a therapeutic session. That is a very big step for her for some very good reasons. We talked a lot about a lot of things, including good sleeping habits. Better diet, etc...She should come home in the next 2 days. What IP services that are offered by insurance tend to only allow 3-5 days, preferring to treat the IP unit as a stabilization process only and not the therapeutic one you develop Outpatient. The more difficult kids go to Residential Treatment facility.
Anyway...the goal of these entries this week were to give a look at someone with BPD as they navigated a crisis.
For me, as I stated in the first entry, in some ways I thrive in crisis. It's familiar to me and in a really weird way it feels safe...or normal. I think that is because of the daily wars I wage internally...darting between trying to figure out who I am, who you are, how society "truly" works. It can be difficult.
As we visited last night I observed her being more physical with her parents and that brought a tear to my eyes. Wasn't really her strength. Now, she is a mirror image of her grandfather. Both introverted and perfectionists.
My father, the wisest man I know, had shared some real deep thoughts with me of late that have allowed me to look at introverts and perfectionists...in a way I hadn't. Two in particular
1) He was the valedictorian at his HS, in a small town (Alma, KS). When he enrolled at Kansas state he took almost all honors classes (Like this girl has done) and he bombed them. He said....not because I wasn't smart enough I just couldn't deal with a room full of extroverts...it wasn't comfortable.
2) Perfectionists must have affirmation when working on a project, along the way. Their tendency is to feel like its not "good enough" and they can get bogged down to the point that they give up.
Pretty interesting statements. I'll leave you, the reader, to evaluate how you feel. They are probably not universal statements in nature...I'm sure some people fall out of the ranges.
We talked about the way school is so taxing for her. She had some crying issues in 4th grade and was teased really bad so she won't cry but rather try and keep that stiff upper lip. Her friends dump on her without being concerned about her. She is very giving and empathetic. But when she came around the corner last night not only was she smiling but she looked like a 13 year old.
As things begin to stabilize it has me feeling guilty about not being able to provide for my own family. I realize we give our kids a lot of love and accessibility...but it hasn't always been that way. There have been times we have been selfish with our time among other things. And really the demands of our children are so low that we should embrace the opportunity to be involved in their lives. More family walks, communing with nature...things that won't penalize our lack of income. The giving to our children surely outweighs the "perceived cost" to our needs and time. For parents already there...I commend you. You are few and far between I fear.
Yet...I know I am being really hard on myself...and its really hard not to feel that way. While I know that every day brings new opportunities I suffer from deep regret over the time already lost. It's hard for me not to get stuck in grieving and shame. Which we discovered she also felt, especially at school.
The counselor said something really sobering. He said with this young lady we need to listen. She is not someone that would use suicide or self harm as a "threat" or to "draw attention to herself" and the risk would be more likely that she attempt either...or both.
So I am looking at my involvement and how I can help. No matter how tough of a time I am having I love to help, my daughter and wife have finally accepted that bringing their problems to me causes me much joy, it releases me from my own demons...no matter how tough my day is my heart and door are open.
We know there are battles ahead. There will be tough days. We need to help her learn how to self soothe in a safe way. I mentioned to her that when I used to come home from work my wife was good about giving me 15-30 minutes to decompress and go from an intense work environment to home. We suggested she find a self soothing exercise instead of jumping online right away and immersing herself into the very thing that both brings her pain and is what she just dealt with for 8 hours.
For myself I am going to rest today, pet my kitten (Man I understand why they have therapy cats and dogs!) it really is soothing and grounds me. I look at the toll this week was and other than a blow up in admissions I handled it well. Still need some work on that...probably before I look for a serious job. While I catch myself often and use mindfulness there are times I am attacked out of the blue (Often just my perception) and I am NOT thinking about BPD, DBT or anything....that too will change I believe.
I think today's song is from all of us to her. From parents to aunt/uncle to siblings or grandparents.
"Just know you are not alone I'm gonna make this place your home"