Desperately need help with BPD daughter

Hi everyone, I’m new to the site so bare with me whilst I get my bearings.
My name is faye, I have a 20 year old daughter with BPD and chronic PTSD.
This is a really long story so going to cut it as short as possible. She started self harming at 14, started drugs at 16, got pregnant and had a son at 18.
The father of her son beat her up and threatened her with a knife in front of their son. He was only 4 months old at the time. Although there was self harming behaviours before this incident, it ultimately triggered her BPD. This happened a month prior first lockdown. She didn’t handle lockdown very well, lasted 4 hours then took off and left her son with me. Social services were involved and eventually pressured me to go for special guardianship which I now have. The past 12 months have just got worse and worse. There has been a few suicide attempts, threats to harm herself, head banging, she claims ligatures but I haven’t witnessed this or seen any kind of bruising, blaming everyone else (especially me) for her actions. I’m really at the end of my tether. I feel so wrong for thinking this but I don’t want her living with me anymore. I have never felt so low, and crap as a mother. My main concern is her son being around her impulsive behaviour. I do not want him growing up around that but at the same time she is my only child and I desperately want to help her. Everything I do/say is wrong, I get accused of “getting at her” my boundaries are right out the window because she knows fine well that she can push them because I won’t have her living on the streets and there’s no where else for her to go. I’m really sorry about the rant but I haven’t been able to talk to anyone about this in 6 years. I would appreciate any kind of advice. It might be worth mentioning that I work in a mental health hospital and have worked with personality disorders for a number of years, no kind of training helps you with your own children

Hi Faye,

welcome to the forum.

This all sounds so stressful.

Does your daughter have any support with her mental health?

I don’t have experience of supporting someone with mental health issues, but others on here do.

I agree it is very different when you are emotionally involved.

Is there anyone at work who you could confide in and get advice?


Dear Faye,
I am very sorry to hear about all what you’re going through.
I am not an expert in this at all but I’m trying to see things from your daughters point of view.
I guess that when your daughter sees how well you care for her son and how protective and loving you are towards him - this makes her feel jealous and possibly resentful. She probably feels inadequate too - feeling that motherhood has not gone as she planned. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
Does your daughter look after the little boy while you are at work?

Regarding the self harming and suicide attempts - try to think back to what might have triggered these. Keep a diary/ notebook and write down any changes you notice in her mood - good and bad.
Hope this helps,
Kind regards,
Karen x

Hi both, sorry for not replying sooner things have been hectic at home.
My daughter is currently under the community mental health team and has been told yesterday she will be out on a low dose of antipsychotics and antidepressants. She is also engaging with a drug rehab unit but I know she is lying to them about the amount she has been taking so not sure how much help they will be not knowing the truth.
I have asked people at work for advice but because they don’t know my daughter it’s difficult to give advice.
I try to involve my daughter in her sons upbringing as much as possible but she doesn’t have much interest, she would rather go out and smoke cannabis all day. She isn’t allowed to be left alone with her son due to her impulsivity and suicide attempts. That is the word of social services. She struggles to be around him because as soon as he starts to moan or cry she gets stressed and takes off to smoke. I still try to encourage them spending time together but as people keep saying to me - you can lead a horse to water but can’t make them drink.
A lot of her self harm/suicide attempts are due to boyfriend troubles, I’m really at a loss on what to do. I put boundaries in place and she just ignores them. She has now told the psychiatrist that she is worried that she is going to get psychically aggressive especially towards me. I am happy to carry on helping her but if any physical aggression occurs I will not have her living her where her son can witness it.

Hi Faye,
I’ve just joined this site today in desperation. I’m so sorry to hear about your situation with your daughter. It must be a relief to share your problems and makes my situation seem less of a concern.
My daughter is 34 with a 12 month old and 6 year old. She has a cannabis and gambling addiction problem. She has severe depression and is prone to psychosis. She lives alone, but I provide alot of support. I get angry and frustrated with her because she gambles her money and I end up giving her money so the children don’t go without.
She has been doing CBT but is finding the addiction difficult to control. I worry that she will never be able to break the cycle.
Helen xx

Hi Helen,

So sorry to hear about your struggles with your daughter. I’m afraid I have no good advice as I’m struggling with my own daughter. It’s a difficult situation which I completely understand. You don’t want to give them money because why should you. It’s not fair that you have to spend your money when they waste theirs. They spending their money on cannabis/gambling etc but you would never see your grandchildren go without. But this enables their addictions because they know us as parents will always bail them out because of the grandchildren. It’s a vicious circle.