Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 349495

Shown: posts 1 to 15 of 15. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Dealing with family when you have BPD

Posted by crushedout on May 22, 2004, at 0:06:13


My brother's graduating from college in a few weeks and I'm supposed to go up for the weekend with my whole family. But my cat is very sick and I have to take care of him all the time. My cat is like my child; he is more important to me than my human family. He's much more loving and consistent and dependable than they are. I hope that makes sense.

Anyway, I told my parents that I couldn't go unless I bring my cat, because I need to take care of him. This is really only a minor inconvenience, but my stepmother has passivly aggressively been acting all put out about it (passively aggressively, mind you, so I can't even really respond to it directly, since she is not direct). This wounds me deeply. Rejecting my cat is like rejecting me. I can't explain it or defend it -- it's just how I feel. Besides, I don't want to feel like I'm being a pain or a burden. So now I don't want to go.

This hurts my father, who's completely innocent here. And it causes my stepmother to say that I care more about my cat than my brother, which entirely misses the point. Now she tells me, "Look it's not a big deal, the bottom line is we want you to come so forget I said anything about the cat." But it's too late -- I can't forget. So, if I go, I'll feel like a burden, a pain, and I'll be unhappy. If I don't go, I'll break my father's heart and ruin everybody's weekend (according to stepmother), and if I leave the kitty home, well, then I'll be a nervous wreck and more resentful than you can imagine.

The whole thing just makes me want to never see my family again. Or kill myself. Which seem like drastic options which is why I think maybe I have BPD. Is this BPD? How do you cope with the just wanting to bail out feeling? It is so strong. I feel so hurt and alone. All I have is the kitty.

 

Re: Dealing with family when you have BPD

Posted by DaisyM on May 22, 2004, at 0:21:15

In reply to Dealing with family when you have BPD, posted by crushedout on May 22, 2004, at 0:06:13

Crushed,

I can't answer the BPD question. But I can tell you that you are not alone. Hurting as much as you do is probably tied to all you are dealing with AND your kitty being sick.

Pets are family. If your stepmom doesn't understand that, too bad. Go. Take the cat. You aren't a pain nor a burden. Make your dad and your bro happy. And yourself.

I think it is so hard to cope with family on top of everything else we have to cope with. But please don't go to extremes in your pain. I know that urge. My Therapist always reminds me that I want the pain to go away, not my life. I think the same might be true for you. So, talk to your Therapist about the buttons that are being pushed. And stand up for yourself and your kitty.

 

Re: Dealing with family when you have BPD crushedout

Posted by Dinah on May 22, 2004, at 8:43:02

In reply to Dealing with family when you have BPD, posted by crushedout on May 22, 2004, at 0:06:13

BPD is defined by Linehan as a problem of emotional dysregulation. Extreme emotional reaction to stimulus and slow return to baseline. It's very very painful.

If it were me, I'd listen to your stepmom and "forget" she said anything. It's always polite to "forget" unkind things that people say, or to give them every chance to "not quite get" what they're saying. For the sake of the rest of your family, who as you say, are innocent. (Perhaps even better than innocent, since there was probably some encouragement for your stepmom to take back her words.)

No way would I leave Harry to go anywhere right now. I've had too much bad luck with leaving very sick dogs at the vets. So my family knows we're only going on day trips this summer, or places Harry can go with us.

 

Re: Dealing with family when you have BPD

Posted by crushedout on May 22, 2004, at 10:42:00

In reply to Re: Dealing with family when you have BPD crushedout, posted by Dinah on May 22, 2004, at 8:43:02


Thank you, Daisy and Dinah. I think you both make a lot of sense and I agree with everything you say. I need to just go, and bring the cat, and talk about why this is upsetting me so much with my T, and why I feel such a strong urge to bail out.

I was thinking I needed to make my stepmother understand, but maybe I really can't do that. I'll see. That may not be feasible, in which case, I just need to figure it out for myself so I understand why it's so painful for me, and then deal with the situation.

 

Re: Dealing with family when you have BPD Dinah

Posted by crushedout on May 22, 2004, at 15:14:29

In reply to Re: Dealing with family when you have BPD crushedout, posted by Dinah on May 22, 2004, at 8:43:02


By that definition, I'd have to say I have BPD.

 

Re: Dealing with family when you have BPD crushedout

Posted by terrics on May 22, 2004, at 16:25:18

In reply to Re: Dealing with family when you have BPD Dinah, posted by crushedout on May 22, 2004, at 15:14:29

You may have BPD, but that isn't the point. I would not leave a sick animal home. I kind of feel that your step-mom doesn't understand. terrics

 

Re: Dealing with family when you have BPD terrics

Posted by crushedout on May 22, 2004, at 16:35:41

In reply to Re: Dealing with family when you have BPD crushedout, posted by terrics on May 22, 2004, at 16:25:18


You're right, terrics, she doesn't understand. And she's being very selfish. (I guess the BPD question is a separate issue.) I appreciate hearing this (that she's not being understanding) -- it makes me feel validated and like I'm not crazy. Which makes the whole thing a lot easier for me to deal with. So, thanks.

 

harry Dinah

Posted by crushedout on May 22, 2004, at 16:39:37

In reply to Re: Dealing with family when you have BPD crushedout, posted by Dinah on May 22, 2004, at 8:43:02


It even makes me feel so much better just knowing that you won't leave Harry, either, Dinah.

 

Re: Dealing with family when you have BPD

Posted by pegasus on May 22, 2004, at 17:20:50

In reply to Dealing with family when you have BPD, posted by crushedout on May 22, 2004, at 0:06:13

Yeah, I wouldn't leave a sick cat at home either. In fact, I have actually cancelled a whole vacation in the past because of my cat being sick. My family understood, but they all have cats too. My kitty is part of my family, and she's too old and frail at this point to travel (although she never was great with that even in her youth). So my options are leaving her or staying with her.

I've had good luck with hiring cat sitters. My cat needs subcutaneous fluids every day, and I've been able to get someone from my vet's office to come to my house to do that every other day when I go on vacation. I feel a lot better with that than with trying to take her with me, or trying to board her somewhere. She seems to do better when she can stay in her own home.

It's really tough, though, to leave her, even when she's well. Because she's so old, and I worry that she'll die while I'm gone.

About the BPD, if you have a lot of instability in your life, and if your cat provides stability for you, then I it makes a ton of sense that your cat might be really very important to you. Not that your stepmom is going to get that. But you don't need to apologize to anyone for it, either. I'm glad you have your cat to help you feel some stability, and comfort, and connection. I'm sure he's really precious to you.

pegasus

 

Re: Therapeutic Pets crushedout

Posted by Dinah on May 22, 2004, at 22:00:04

In reply to harry Dinah, posted by crushedout on May 22, 2004, at 16:39:37

I think Pegasus is right. Even with a nice family at home, my Harry provides a different sort of stability than people can. I don't think people who don't get very attached to their animals understand though.

I remember when the little dog who was the love of my life died, and I came home hysterical, the neighbor said as I carried her body in "Well, at least you have other pets."

I know she meant well. People just don't understand.

 

Re: Therapeutic Pets--pegasus and Dinah

Posted by crushedout on May 23, 2004, at 0:05:46

In reply to Re: Therapeutic Pets crushedout, posted by Dinah on May 22, 2004, at 22:00:04

Oh, yes, he is precious, pegasus. That is the word for it. And, yes, he provides stability, because he's *always* there for me, every single day when I come home. And he's *always* happy to see me, and he pretty much always acts the same (meows, crawls along the edge of the couch to greet me, meows some more, wants to be petted, purrs). It's reassuring, that happy routine, and him wanting and needing me (and never treating me badly).

It's so reassuring to me to know that I'm not alone in worrying that my cat will die when I'm not here, etc. You're right, too, Dinah, that people who don't get attached to animals just don't get it. (I actually think maybe my stepmother's making an issue about the cat because she's annoyed at me for caring so much about an animal, because she doesn't get it. And the worst part is that when you try to explain your feelings about an animal to someone like that, they just think you're crazy, which makes matters worse.)

 

related book recommendation

Posted by ghost on May 23, 2004, at 12:35:51

In reply to Re: Therapeutic Pets--pegasus and Dinah, posted by crushedout on May 23, 2004, at 0:05:46

"the cat who will live forever" about Norton the cat (of "the cat who went to paris" fame).

phenomenal. makes me cry every time.

 

Re: Dealing with family when you have BPD crushedout

Posted by CeeSea on May 24, 2004, at 1:55:43

In reply to Dealing with family when you have BPD, posted by crushedout on May 22, 2004, at 0:06:13

i have two cats, they are the most important creatures in my world. i would not leave them if they were sick, and the unconditional love they provide is worth any inconvenience.
CC

 

Re: Dealing with family when you have BPD

Posted by TexasChic on May 24, 2004, at 13:15:37

In reply to Dealing with family when you have BPD, posted by crushedout on May 22, 2004, at 0:06:13

I know what it is like to question your own feelings when someone disagrees with them. I think we all do that here because we are trying to get better, which entails being very introspective. But you have to keep in mind that you feel what you feel and that is your right as a human being. Just because someone disagrees, don't automatically assume you're the one that's wrong. Other people are wrong sometimes and that's when you have to stand up to them. If they think you're crazy, that's their problem.

 

Re: double double quotes ghost

Posted by Dr. Bob on May 24, 2004, at 21:53:38

In reply to related book recommendation, posted by ghost on May 23, 2004, at 12:35:51

> "the cat who will live forever" about Norton the cat (of "the cat who went to paris" fame).

I'd just like to plug the double double quotes feature at this site:

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/faq.html#amazon

The first time anyone refers to a book without using this option, I post this to try to make sure he or she at least knows about it. It's just an option, though, and doesn't *have* to be used. If people *choose* not to use it, I'd be interested why not, but I'd like that redirected to Psycho-Babble Administration:

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/admin/20020918/msgs/7717.html

Thanks!

Bob


This is the end of the thread.


Show another thread

URL of post in thread:


Psycho-Babble Psychology | Extras | FAQ


[dr. bob] Dr. Bob is Robert Hsiung, MD, bob@dr-bob.org

Script revised: February 4, 2008
URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/cgi-bin/pb/mget.pl
Copyright 2006-17 Robert Hsiung.
Owned and operated by Dr. Bob LLC and not the University of Chicago.