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Bad news (TW, Suicide)

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Bad news (TW, Suicide)

I don't know where to go or who to ask. I was just starting to have a breakthrough with my daughter (14yr) who is suffering from bpd. Just last week I was told I had a tumor and will need surgery to have it removed and to check for the big c. My husband and i thought it best not to tell the kids until after Christmas. So we can have a good day. Although the drs said surgery will be soon.
12am Christmas morning I was at the hospital with my daughter who felt like she wanted to commit suicide. Yesterday we drew the courage to discuss with my daughter and her 2 older siblings the situation.
I know it was probably the worst timing. (I thought I was doing the right thing) I didn't want them to be ambushed with hey I'm sick, tomorrow I'm going to the hospital to have x removed.
I wanted to give them all time to process it and ask questions and so we could be here to support them before this all goes down.
Anyways since my daughter was told she has told me that I should just hurry up and die. She thinks I'm blaming her (Despite me telling her otherwise). I have given her space and have told her I love her, repeatedly told her that none of this is anyone's fault. Then today she just walks into my room, looks at me and said "oh your not dead yet! What a shame".
Whilst I understand that she is trying to push me away so she doesn't get hurt, I'm scared this will hurt her even more. I am gutted everytime I hear her say it and dawn, it's hard. Any advice on how to support her through this

Re: Bad news (TW, Suicide)

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Hi @Raksha05 ,

It sounds like it has been an extremely difficult end of the year for you and your family. I can only imagine how difficult this must be for you to process whilst also supporting your daughter as she tries to understand something that can feel unfathomable and unjust. I can see the intention behind the decision to tell your children about the tumor after Christmas was made with careful thought and love. Despite the planning around this moment and the support you continue to provide your daughter, it has proven to be incredibly challenging for you all.

I want to take a moment to also commend you on the steps you and your Husband have taken to support your family and yourselves through this. I can see immense strength and resilience throughout your post. In saying that, I’d love to know if you have any support in place for yourself during this time? Even the strong and resilient need their own time to process the unknown and apprehension around what this could mean.

I'd also like to know if your daughter has ongoing professional support for her mental health? We can refer you to some local options if that might be helpful. We also have a post here that touches on BPD from one of our inhouse specialists, along with some resources here for carers of a loved one with BPD.


I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Active scribe

Re: Bad news (TW, Suicide)

In response to....It's Bad News.....

This must have been shocking and very worrying news for you to deal with and when the doctors deliver the information, it's always hard to take it in and make sense of it all.

It can be traumatic after receiving such sudden and devastating news, then the heartbreaking thought of deciding when and how to tell the family - in particular the children.

Both you and your husband felt it important to at least enjoy Christmas Day and so made the very understandable decision not to tell the children until afterwards.

However. Things didn't work that way as your daughter had feelings about ending her own life and Christmas Day morning was spent with her at the hospital.

That must have been very frightening, let alone having to deal with the pain and emotions of your own possible ill health.

Telling the family about your own possible illness would have been inevitable and what you considered to be the worst timing wouldn't have made much difference because there's the question....When do I tell them?

There's just no way to predict how anyone will respond.

All of the family have taken the news of your possible health issues very hard and will have had difficulty facing the harsh reality of what could happen. Even if they put on a brave face afterwards and appear to just get on with things....

You wanted to allow the children time to process the information and ask questions but in all fairness, you've not got all the information yourself and talking about it only reinforces fears of what you're dealing with.

In the end, people tend not to say too much to family (or anyone) because they struggle to accept what they are dealing with and find it hard to talk about their situation.

Again....There's the common problem of people having to deal with their health problems alone because of limited time and resources in the health care system.

Sadly. Your young daughter appears to have taken the news of your health issues very deeply and has responded with anger towards you.

Your daughter seems to be dealing with her own personal issues, leading her to have thoughts of wanting to end her own life, combined with your own heartbreaking news.

It's hard to deal with the isolation of having any personal problems, yet it can be a comfort when someone close is always there for them - even if only as a presence and near by.

When you told your family the heartbreaking news of your impending operation and the possibilities, your daughter may have taken this news very hard and felt very frightened at having to face the realisation of what you are going through.

Her anger may be borne through fear of having to face a frightening situation that could be life changing.

Like many families, there's always that one person who everyone relies upon to get things done, keep their spirits alive and provide encouragement.

Your daughter may have felt this way because of her ongoing issues making her possibly so much more sensitive to your news.

There's the fear of suddenly not knowing what the future will bring and nobody thinks of it until something comes along and changes everything, only adding the true reality of life's fragility.

Your daughter may understand more than anybody knows and is now frightened to a point where she can only express this fear as anger towards you.

Perhaps the emotional mixture of being hurt, scared, losing the security of having you close and combined with her own private thoughts creates this explosion of anger.

Just try to reassure her when she's in a calmer mood and remind her that she has the family around her and whereas your own health situation is concerned, everything will be done to help you get better.

There's not much more you can do with regard to that side of things.

As for your daughter's ongoing issues (such as the BPD), presumably she had a diagnosis, yet as always - there's the problem with regards to receiving help and this is unfortunately an area affecting many, many families....

There's never enough time, state funding and places available to get the help that young people (or any age for that matter) so desperately need when dealing with mental health issues.

Sadly. There's another problem - as you will have already discovered and not been too surprised - with regard to what treatment a hospital can give when someone is experiencing a serious worry like your daughter feeling the way she did on Christmas Day.

As always, the hospital can only do so much and that can't be enough for what your daughter really needs - and that is ongoing help.

Unfortunately. Many can't afford private care due to either high costs or not having sufficient health insurance to cover the costs.

You've not mentioned if your daughter has received any help but if you are experiencing these difficulties, it may be worth having a chat with the school/college to find out if there's any counselling available.

Another option could be to talk with your health care provider about some counselling though there's always again the issue of having to wait....

There seems to be many children being diagnosed with conditions like BPD and yet little in the way of ongoing help and advice....Meaning many parents can only try their hardest to research for themselves for whatever help they can get.

It's not just about the limited help available (and giving consideration that self-research causes even further distress) but there doesn't seem to be any advice on actually managing these conditions as part of a life-long strategy.

People don't understand that someone like your daughter can be vulnerable to being not just emotional, but becoming overwhelmed by emotion and very, very sensitive to frightening situations like you've recently experienced.

This is where life gets difficult....Limited time, resources, advice, sympathy and understanding mean that many families are left to deal with their children's mental health issues alone.

You do really need to focus on your own recovery as you'll surely be dealing with so much emotionally as well physically.

As hard as it may come over, the whole family will have to accept there may be some changes because you'll be feeling unwell and there are going to be times you'll need their support.

Try to keep reassuring your daughter in the meantime that what different and dark feelings she may experience are a part of her BPD and encourage her to perhaps look at all the positive aspects of her life.

Learning about BPD through reading books on self-help could be a way to get further information and your daughter could be encouraged to learn with you.

Going back to the counselling, that may help her towards understanding and living with her BPD because it may be frightening for her at such a young age.

Her anger towards you may be through fear of losing you and it's this anger she throws at you as a means of trying to express her fear, without revealing her true feelings.

Your daughter is having a very hard time at present, but so are you....

For you...You've begun a journey which may involve some potential, further treatment so looking after yourself will be just as important.