As mentioned in almost every post I've written since I began writing again, my niece, Kaitlyn, has Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). She's thirteen. And Oh. My. God.
We've been reading up a lot on the subject, trying to find strategies to help us cope with her. And by "us" I mean her mom and myself. We need to cope. She needs a padded room somewhere. Preferably far away from us.
Two weeks ago she "tattooed" herself with her razor blade on her leg. She managed to remove the safety guard and tear out one of the blades. So mom took it away and Kaitlyn refused to shower or change her clothes for nine days until she got a new razor, then got pissed off because mom sat in the bathroom and monitored while she shaved her legs.
On Sunday she pierced her own ears -- five times -- giving herself a total of three earrings in each ear and one in the cartilage. I think she was drunk, and I think this because yesterday morning she was hung over. At least now we know what she's doing out until almost midnight every night.
Anything I read about BPD just confirms that these kids are seriously self absorbed attention seekers. (That's obviously not exactly how the professionals put it, but I'm paraphrasing.) Suggestions for dealing with it include monitoring everything and setting up priorities differently. One doctor says that when Kaitlyn realizes that she is less of a priority than work, bills and the dogs on the priority totem pole, she will feel slighted, but she will always feel slighted, 100% of the time, so it doesn't matter and we shouldn't feel guilty.
We had a placement at a residential psych home at the end of the school year. She attempted to use that to hold her mom hostage for a few weeks, even though she was the one who wanted to go in the first place (she has an obsession with group homes at the moment). That, unfortunately, fell through the other day. Now we are now waiting for a bed to open up in September. We just need to make it through the summer.
I will continue to provide updates on this -- I know we aren't the only ones learning to cope with mental illness in a teen and there's no easy fix. I'm thinking about grabbing the camera and doing a "Borderline Personality Disorder -- In Photos" post in the near future but I'm still debating. Any thoughts?
Thanks for reading.