This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

But My Child NEEDS Me!

By the time most women reach out I think we have hit rock bottom. Maybe it only seems that way because we don't find what we think we need and just keep reaching and reaching. Like most moms, especially moms of special needs children, I gave and gave and gave until there was nothing left. No reserves. Nothing. I was completely empty. That's hard to come back from. There were some things I did to try to help myself: One, avoid toxic people as much as possible. I belonged to some groups that had nothing positive to say. Anytime someone gave some practical advice or even tried to offer hope that things will get better, everyone jumped in and said, "No! You're wrong! Everything is going to end badly! It's too late! There's no hope." When I was in a good place I went back to some of those places to try to offer hope and "rescue" some of the newbies and direct them to more positive supportive groups, but eventually I realized I couldn't even tolerate that. This is one reason the FaceBook group I moderate is only Closed instead of Super Secret like most online groups- meaning you can search for it and don't have to know someone already in the group. I wanted to reach out to newbies and those who still have/ want hope. Two, I really do believe my post about Finding the Joy There is a point where we realize that we have given too much. I once overheard a teen like mine being told she was a "bottomless pit of need." I was a college student at the time and thought the caregiver was mean, but now I know what he meant. We give and give and give, and they are so broken that they not only can't give back, but they're probably never going to be able to pick up the torch and take care of themselves. It's like they say in airplanes, you have to put the mask on yourself before you can help your child. I gave too much of myself and had nothing left. I wasn't a good mom to ANY of my kids and there was nothing left of me as a person either. Once you prioritize yourself, set boundaries, and give yourself time to heal... ONLY then can you help your child. Caring for the Caregiver. The problem is that there is no good time to take that time. 

You're always up to your neck in your child's troubles. At a certain point you have to stop throwing on bandaids and patches trying to keep things afloat and realize that it's only you holding everything together and there is no end in sight. 

How long can you hold out? I finally stopped. I felt hopelessly guilty about it, and I got a LOT of pressure from everyone around me to pick everything up again, but now that I'm in a better place I can pick up what needs to be done again (and it's MY decision what "needs" to be done). I'm still helping my child (and of course I often feel guilty about not doing more), but I will no longer sacrifice my other children, my family, my marriage, ME! for my child. I think we're all in a better place because of that. No, my children will never be independent, responsible adults, but I can't be one for them either. I can only carry one person at a time - me.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Dear Friend or Family Member

Dear Friend or Family Member Who Just Doesn't "Get It,"

You are receiving this letter because you are someone we love and value as part of our family.

Parenting children is one of the hardest tasks we can take on as humans and doing so in the best of circumstances has many challenges. We have had challenges and have tried always to put them before God and wait to receive His guidance and then commit ourselves to following that direction.
We don’t pretend that we have always done the best job of that nor that we always acted in a Godly manner. We will answer to our creator for our mistakes, just as anyone else will have to.

One of our greatest challenges, parenting in our unique situation, is the fishbowl effect of it. Our family’s challenges are often played out in more public ways than others’ may be. With that brings the opportunity for those other people to watch and formulate an opinion without necessarily having all the facts. Those ill-informed opinions in and of themselves may be harmless (we don’t believe
they are – they negatively affect relationships) if not acted on. When they are acted on, at the least they cause pain and hurt feelings, at the worst they undermine our parenting and do harm to our child.

What we ask is this: “let no word proceed from your mouth but what is profitable for building up.”
  • Understand that the decision you are judging is not yours to do so. 
  • Understand that we laid it before God and are acting on the guidance we received. 
  • Understand that we don’t know what will happen next year or even the next minute, but we are being obedient in this minute and leaving the future to God. 
  • Lastly, understand if you cannot do this, we will have to pull back from our relationship with you.
We have always needed your support, but if you can’t give it, please don’t tear us down.

Blessings,
http://marythemom-mayhem.blogspot.com/2013/01/books-and-methods-review-school.html
A Trauma Mama (3/15)
Shared with permission

A letter to grandparents of children with RAD - written by a grandmother

Letter to friends and family hosting holiday parties

Preparing the school (and others) for your child - includes lots of links to good articles

Trauma-informed approach for teachers and other team members

Other good letters and articles are in this post about School.

 The Frozen Lake Story

"In order to understand what an unattached child feels like, one must understand his perspective. Imagine that you are the young child who must cross a frozen lake in the autumn to reach your home. As you are walking across the lake alone, you fall suddenly and unexpectedly through the ice. Shocked and cold in the dark, you can't even cry for help. You struggle for your very life, you struggle to the surface. Locating the jagged opening, you drag yourself through the air and crawl back into the woods from where you started. You decide to live there and never, never to return onto the ice. As weeks go by you see others on the ice skating and crossing the ice. If you go onto it, you will die."

"Your family across the pond hears the sad news that the temperature will drop to sub-zero this night. So a brave and caring family member (that is you, the parent!) searches and finds you to bring you home to love and warmth. The family member attempts to help you cross the ice by supporting and encouraging, pulling and prodding. You, believing you will die, fight for your life by kicking, screaming, punching and yelling (even obscenities) to get the other person away from you. Every effort is spent in attempting to disengage from this family member. The family member fights for your life, knowing you must have the love and warmth of home for your very survival. They take the blows you dish out and continue to pull you across the ice to home, knowing it's your only chance."

"The ice represents the strength of the bond and your ability to trust. It was damaged by the break in your connection to someone you trusted. Some children have numerous bonding breaks throughout their young lives. This is like crashing them into the ice water each time they are moved, scarring and chilling their hearts against ever loving and bonding again." By Nancy L. Thomas

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Family update

I don't usually post info about the kids anymore, but someone requested it. So here goes.

Bear (21) - still in prison.

Might get out around Thanksgiving. If he does, then it's up to him, our state, and the state he's in, whether or not he can move back here. He changes his mind often. Plus, our state may not accept his parole.

Kitty(almost 20) - living at home with us.

Unfortunately beauty school didn't work out. We were told by a state agency that they would cover most of it and grant money would pay for the rest, but when Kitty came back from living with biofamily and we signed up for the school and found out that we/she would owe $14K in student loans! Since we were thinking this might just be a way to make money part-time (at most). It just was not feasible. As this was one of the major reasons we'd given to the biofamily for Kitty to come home, I think birthfamily feel lied to... frankly so did we!

It's "on my list" to go back to the state agency and get her signed up again so they can help her find a job, but I've been super busy, and quite frankly she's so much more stable when she's not under the stress she feels when she's working or in school that it's tempting to put it off as long as possible.

Bob (18) - super happy at college!

She's only 45 minutes away, so she comes home about once a month.

Ponito (16) - still at home.

He's struggling at school. We have no idea why. We've been "bugging" him for the last couple of years, trying to figure out what's going on. He's a very smart kid, but he's been failing classes. We finally started him with a therapist recently. There is a history of bipolar/ depression and ADHD in the family. I'm also wondering if there's some internet addiction, but Hubby and I totally disagree on this, or at least on how it should be handled. I finally wrote up an "agreement" that has very clear expectations for Ponito's game playing on his PS4.

Kanga (19) and Roo (5 months) - living here? It's not official yet, and may not happen, but one of Kitty's friends might be homeless soon.

We'd been angsting about what to do ever since Kitty asked. Honestly we really wanted to say NO(!!!), but felt we morally couldn't (who could put an infant out on the street?). One of our many concerns was what happens if the girl wants to stay forever?! I did do some research and found a local agency that offers residential care to young moms. If Kanga needs to leave (for whatever reason), it's good to have some options to give her.

In answer to my prayer, God gave me a great idea! Instead of putting Kanga in our spare bedroom (which shares a wall with our bedroom), we decided the girl could share Kitty's big bedroom. We told Kitty it's because Hubby sleeps lighter than a cat (which is true)! She doesn't need to know all the other reasons (including the fact that the kids not going to Grandma's every weekend has already put a crimp in date night ;) ).  

Some advantages to having the girls share a room:

  • Kanga is allegedly a neat freak. She'll either want to leave ASAP because of Kitty's disgusting room, make Kitty clean it, or clean it herself. Sounds good to me!
  • Kitty currently is not dating anyone, but living with a baby might make her think twice about accidentally getting pregnant in the future.
  • Kanga'll have chores just like everyone else. This might actually make things nicer around here since Kitty is awful about getting her chores done! 
  • We'll still have a guest room for when family comes to visit, whether Kanga has moved out or not.
  • Kanga probably won't want to live here at all because we have a lot of rules (she'd be expected to sign the Boarder Agreement), which means for one thing her "fiance" would not be allowed upstairs where the bedrooms are, or any other "inappropriate" behavior. We've always made it crystal clear that if you're not married, you don't get to share a room.

No idea what will happen. 

Hubby (50 next month) - Working a lot, but still lives here. lol

Hubby is still working contract (which he hates), and teaching scuba (which he loves, but is getting a little tired of). His Type 2 diabetes is now officially under control and he's lost quite a bit of weight (Mwowrr!). We just celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary - and still in love. We've survived this!

Me (45 next month) - working 3-4 part-time jobs, which means I rarely sleep. I mostly telecommute so I usually work from home. Every time things slow down at one job, I change my focus to another and pick up a little extra work, but inevitably the job I thought was "quiet," suddenly revs up again. Plus, I'm still moderating a very active group for moms with attachment challenged children on FaceBook so I can't just walk away from FB when I need more hours in the day. The good news is that I've been dieting (doctor has been bugging me about my weight for a long time!) using MyFitnessPal.com and I've lost 15lbs since January 3rd. I feel a lot healthier! (Only 50+lbs to go!)

Currently my paying jobs are:
  •  20+ hrs a week working for a telecommunication company as Director of Operations - which means I do a little bit of everything.
  • 2-5+ hours a week designing a website and editing copy for a local attorney. Even got to do a little modeling for her website this week. When I saw the proofs I immediately went out and got my hair cut. Even photo shopping couldn't help it much. Now I LOVE my new do!
  • I have a local resale shop that "talked me into" designing repurposed, reconstructed, refashioned, recycled..., whatever you want to call it clothing for the online boutique they are designing.
  • I still do the occasional prom/ bridal dress alteration, and 'tis the season!
House (21 years) 

We've decided that when Ponito graduates (he's a sophomore in high school) we'll most likely sell our house. It is just too big. Not sure where we'll live yet. Probably won't go far as all my family is still here. Not sure if I posted here that my mom, "Grandma" passed away from ALS in September. I don't want to leave my (step)dad alone. 

This 20+ year old house needs a LOT of work to get it ready to go on the market. We're fixing it a little bit at a time. We finally got the kid's bathroom done (Bear had pulled the soap dish off the wall so many times we couldn't repair it anymore and the wall got water damaged so we couldn't use the tub at all any more). We hid the demolished wall behind a shower curtain. 
3+ years of 5 people sharing the master bath. Doable, but not fun!
Isn't it gorgeous?!
Not sure what the next project will be yet. Bob's tuition has jumped up quite a bit and she wants to do a semester abroad next Spring, so we'll probably take a break from major house repairs for awhile.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Let them eat Cake!

A friend of mine sent me this funny link called Nailed It full of Pinterest food fails. We've all seen those amazingly cute projects that we just have to try.

I personally love to make cakes for the kids, so I thought I'd share some of my successes and failures. First the biggest failure!

Bob tends to have ocean themed cakes for her summer birthday. One year she was really in to monkeys so we found an adorable cake of a monkey on an island (like this one). Rather than make the monkey out of edible playdoh, I thought I'd be creative and make it out of... tootsie rolls! They came in all different colors and could be rolled in to any shape I wanted. What I didn't count on was that they melted a little when they got warm. The palm tree melted too.

I also didn't count on the cake totally falling apart.

Melting Monkey
Crumbling Cake

Piece of Cake
Another ocean cake. This one had "water" made of blue Jello.

This under the sea Little Mermaid "cake" was actually made from Rice Krispies made with colored marshmallows divided into different colors. This cake ended up feeding almost 200! We took it to Bob's daycare since it hadn't been as popular as the chocolate cake at her party. The entire school had it for snack and then there was tons left over that the teachers took home. I think the whole school ate it two days in a row!

An Alice in Wonderland themed party. This was a teapot cake. Bob loved theme parties and I usually made elaborate costumes too.

Long story about why Bob always had two cakes, but here's two cakes from her "princess years." The ice cream cake in the background is made from sand castle molds (never used!) coated on the inside with melting chocolate then packed with ice cream. When it was time for cake, the molds were popped off and Voila! Of course I'm no expert and the chocolate wasn't thick enough in some places so this castle was more like "ruins," and you can see the raspberry sorbet through some of the cracks.
Time for another failure. This is supposed to Kitty's Elmo cake for her 16th birthday.

I had done so much better the year before. With Hedwig and Scabbers from Harry Potter (the cakes looked much cuter in real life!).


One I made for my nephew. He wanted a cake that looked like his leopard gecko! The gecko's chocolate chip spots spelled out his name on the gecko's tail.

Ponito got some cute cakes too! Unfortunately we forgot to take a picture before we'd already cut this poor Lego astronaut off at the knees.


One of my favorite cakes. I'd made dragon cakes before, but this one I think turned out well. Ponito asked for a dragon and red double decker bus cake?! Crazy kid. You can't really tell, but the dragon has rainbow wings made of fruit rollups.  His right claw and wing are resting on top of the bus. this is another one that looked better in real life than in the pictures.













I've made many other cakes over the years, but these were fun.

You can see another of my posts on my cakes.
Ponito's science project cake.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Consequences for Stealing - Community Service

FAIR Club Stealing Consequences - Community Service 

There are many reasons our kids lie and steal (see this post). I prefer not to have "standard" consequences for the kids behaviors out of concern that they might decide that the crime is worth doing the time, so I try to come up with logical consequences for each incident. That being said, in addition to other consequences, we do have one standard consequence for stealing or breaking someone else's things - they have to pay back double the value of the item.

Example 1: Bear took $11 out of Ponito's wallet (which he then hid, but Ponito did get it back). 
Consequences:
1. He will be required to do his brother's chores for 2 weeks (pays $10 if done well).
2. He will be required to give Ponito the remaining $12 from Bear’s saved allowance.
3. He will go back to carrying a see-thru backpack or no back pack at all.
4. He will not be allowed to carry a wallet.
5. He will continue to spend the night at Grandma's on Saturday night (something he's told me he doesn't like doing), but they will be more closely supervising him.
6. He will not be allowed to go to his own Sunday school. Instead he will have to go to church and adult Sunday school with Poppy.
7. His room will be searched regularly again (although I probably will not tell him this)
8. He will lose the "benefit of the doubt" if things are stolen or missing (I will not be telling Kitty this as I worry she will take advantage)
9. He is already not allowed to go places with his friends unless Hubby or I can be present, but he will be reminded that this definitely does not increase our trust
10. He will be in the FAIR Club until all money is paid back to Ponito.
11. If anything more comes to light at the school, or if there are future issues then he will no longer be allowed to ride home from the public high school on the regular bus, and could potentially lose his ability to attend the public high school (currently spends half his time at his special school)
12. This will definitely delay his being able to eat lunch at the public high school indefinitely, because there is a lot less supervision. He'll have to continue to eat lunch at his special school.

Community Service

When the amount owed is substantial, and allowance, selling personal items (if the child decides to sell something we only pay "garage sale prices."), savings, and extra chores around the house are not enough, one option is community service. This involves the child working for family and friends (who do not actually pay for the work).

This consequence isn’t really about the money. It is more about learning a lesson and restitution. We credited our son $3/hr for manual labor. Technically $3/hr is not a fair wage, but Bear has worked for less when he was doing lawn work (a price he negotiated himself). Mostly this is because he does not do jobs well, usually damages the tools, and rarely finishes or cleans up after himself (although he doesn't get credit until the job is done). The price per hour is based on the quality of work. If it were about money then he would get a job, get paid, and have to turn it over. The problem is that in our neighborhood some of our neighbors will pay $100 for just a few hours of work… whether it’s done well or not.  

Our son also requires adult supervision (usually line of sight) – which generally means that supervisor is being taken away from what they’d rather be doing and the service has to be coordinated to work with everyone’s schedule. When a parent is not available, we might use people who are aware of the child’s need for supervision and can provide it. He does not get a choice in who he helps, what he does, or when it gets done (that's not how it works in the real world and he's not really capable of organizing this anyway).

Example 2: Stolen alcohol. Bear drank most of a bottle of Hubby’s expensive liquor (and watered it down to hide the fact that he’d been drinking it), he owed double the cost of the bottle (plus other consequences for the lying). The liquor was $45 a bottle so he owes us $90. 

In the past Bear has incurred big debts and never paid it back. This is why I chose community service instead. He will be in the FAIR Club until his community service hours are done. Once the hours are assigned, he cannot use money obtained elsewhere to pay back the debt. He also cannot earn extra money (by doing extra chores or working for cash) until his debts are paid.

Positive motivation 

Double Dipping - I referred to Bear's consequences as community service to a neighbor that doesn't need to know all of his business (the parent of one of my friends), Bear perked up and (after I got off the phone) asked if it could count toward the community service he is supposed to do for ROTC. Bingo! I actually prefer he do this kind of service (in which I can oversee his supervision) over leaving him on campus after school to do who knows what with his friends. This also means he's "buying into" the project too.

Positive Reinforcement - Allow the child to actually earn something or do something he/she enjoys. Community service doesn't have to be hard labor. Bear has actually enjoyed some of the volunteer work we've signed him up for - which helps him get it done. 

Example 3: One summer to keep Bear busy, we signed the whole family up to volunteer at an equine therapy place. (This wasn't actually a community service consequence for Bear, but I think it would have been a good option.)  He got to walk next to the children with disabilities during their therapy (riding horses is a great therapy for many disabilities) to make sure they didn't fall off. It was active and he got to feel like a big shot (the kids thought he was cool and everyone praised him for being helpful). 

Example 4: Bear stole another MP3 player. Rather than just put him in the FAIR Club for the millionth time with the same old consequences, which have no impact on his stealing. We decided to try something new. He still had to pay for the stolen Zune (we didn't make it double since the item was worth over $100 and he'd never be able to pay that much ), but instead of the money going to the owner of the stolen item (we never located the owner so the Zune was donated through the school to needy kids) we decided to let him use the earned money to buy his own Zune.

Goals:
  • If he owned a nice MP3 player, maybe he'd be less likely to steal someone else's.
  • It motivated him to finish his hours
  • It gave us something to take away if/when needed

 This actually had some success.  




Thursday, February 5, 2015

Integrity Study - The Game

As part of a FAIR Club assignment, we did a study on Integrity.
Integrity Study Day 1
Integrity Study Day 2
Integrity Study Day 3
Integrity Study Day 4
This was a game I created to practice what we learned about integrity.

The Integrity Game

Rules 
1) Roll the number cube (die) and pick up a card. Read and answer the card aloud.
2) If the group decides you answered with integrity, then you can move the number of spaces on the die.
3) Two or more players can be on the same space.
4) Continue to play until someone reaches the finish, then see who will finish second, third, etc.

Integrity Cards:
  1. Your friend’s parents give him permission to be at your house.  He goes to the park instead.  He asks you to lie about his whereabouts if they call.
  2. You are alone in your classroom.  You are standing near the teacher’s reward box.  It would be so easy to grab that cool reward trinket you’ve been wanting.
  3. You buy a burger. The cashier is distracted and accidentally gives you too much change.
  4. A group of kids is picking on a kid you really don’t like.  They want you to join in.
  5. You have a really hard question on your homework.  You know you can just write the wrong answer and will be allowed to make corrections before it’s graded.
  6. Your friends dare you to ask out someone you don’t really like.  (You aren’t allowed to tell the person it’s a dare).
  7. You agree to sell your old MP3 player to a friend, and someone later offers you more money.
  8. A friend is wearing an expensive new outfit that she really likes, but you think is ugly and unflattering.  She asks you for your opinion.
  9. Your friend asks you to find out if a boy likes her.  He says he likes you better.  Your friend wants to know what he said.
  10. You left at home all the research for your rough draft which is due today and a big part of your grade.  You could copy something off the internet on the school computer and fix it later before turning in the final report. 
  11. You’re thirsty but have no money.  A friend offers you a Frappuchino (cold, sweet coffee drink), but it has caffeine and a lot of sugar.  Mom would never know.
  12. You’re at a party and find out there will be no adults there to supervise and some people are drinking.  Your friends want you to stay.
  13. It’s fun to tease your siblings and they tease you right back.  Mom tells you that one of your siblings is really upset by the teasing, even though they don’t say anything and they tease you back.
  14. You discover that if you stand next to a certain air vent you can hear your parents talking about you.  You really want to know what they are saying.
  15. Mom’s told you and your sibling to quit roughhousing, but you don’t and your sibling accidentally gets hurt.  Mom asks you what happened and you know you’ll get in trouble if you tell her you were roughhousing.  Your sibling says, "let’s not tell."
  16. A big, mean kid purposefully spits on you in the hallway between classes.  You want to yell and scream at the kid, but you know the kid could really hurt you.
  17. You’re pretty sure your teacher gave you a bad grade just because she doesn’t like you.  You think your parent’s won’t believe you, but they might let you get out of her class if you tell them you’re afraid of the teacher.
  18. You left a big mess in the kitchen but a sibling is going to get blamed for it.  The sibling always makes messes and never gets in trouble for them.  If you say nothing the sibling will finally get in trouble for making a mess.
  19. You really want some cookies, but there are only a few left.  Mom would say no, but if you don’t take them now there won’t be any more later.
  20. Everyone cusses and would think there is something wrong with you if you don’t.  You think they might stop being your friend if you’re a goody two shoes.
  21. It’s a holiday and you want to sleep in, but for some reason Mom says you have to get up early.  You could go back to sleep and say you didn’t hear your parent say it was time to get up.
  22. You know you can’t get out of doing your chores, but if you do a bad job maybe they won’t notice.  
  23. Dinner looks really gross.  Your parents ask why you’re not eating.
  24. A friend says something really mean about you to all your friends.  You know a secret about the friend that you could tell.
  25. A person tells you that you made a mistake and it reminds you of a really upsetting event in your past.  You want to yell and scream at the person in the past, but the person who criticized you is the only one there.
  26. A sibling may have told people at school about something private about you.  You’re so mad you want to hurt your sibling.
  27. You don’t feel good because you stayed up late reading.  There’s nothing really going on at school today so you probably wouldn’t miss anything if you stay home.
  28. A kid in special ed likes you and keeps putting notes in your locker telling you how great you are.  Your friends are teasing you about the notes and you want the kid to stop.
  29. You’re in a bad mood.  You want to tell everybody to leave you alone, but your sibling is in your face being silly and obnoxious.
  30. Your friend asks you to come over, but you know your parents won’t let you because you’re in trouble.  Your friend will want to know why you can’t come and will tell everyone if you say it’s because you’re in trouble.  

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Books and Methods Review - Stop Walking on Eggshells

Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder by Paul Mason MSRandi Kreger
Do you feel manipulated, controlled, or lied to? Are you the focus of intense, violent, and irrational rages? Do you feel you are 'walking on eggshells' to avoid the next confrontation?

If the answer is 'yes,' someone you care about may have borderline personality disorder (BPD). Stop Walking on Eggshells has already helped nearly half a million people with friends and family members suffering from BPD understand this destructive disorder, set boundaries, and help their loved ones stop relying on dangerous BPD behaviors. This fully revised edition has been updated with the very latest BPD research and includes coping and communication skills you can use to stabilize your relationship with the BPD sufferer in your life. This compassionate guide will enable you to:

  • Make sense out of the chaos
  • Stand up for yourself and assert your needs
  • Defuse arguments and conflicts
  • Protect yourself and others from violent behavior
There is a part on using coping strategies for self-care, how to seek support and validation, how to seek out Internet help and community groups and above all how to keep a good sense of humor.  Taking care of yourself, detaching with love, taking your life back, not allowing yourself to be abused, taking the heat out of the situation by gently paraphrasing and reflexive listening, creating a safety plan for imminent self-mutilation, how to bolster your own self-identity and self-esteem, taking responsibility for your own behaviour and remembering that sometimes, “… splitting and other BPD behaviour can be catching.” ~PsychCentral Review
    Marythemom:  This is an excellent book written for family members of people with BPD, but I feel it can also help parents of RAD kids. I read an older edition, so my review might not be as accurate. The first half of the book explains how the person with BPD feels.  The second half addresses how to live with a person with BPD.  It is assumed that everyone is adults, and that we cannot change the person with BPD - treatment is their choice.  This book is NOT written to help the person with BPD.  It is how to cope as a sympathetic family member.  I plan to review some of the concepts from the second half of the book at a later date.