How to help my new family? ADD and BPD - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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How to help my new family? ADD and BPD

bluestepmum profile image

Hi, I'm new here and I'd really welcome any advice. My boyfriend' ex wife has Borderline Personality Disorder. Their son, almost 10, has Attention Deficit Disorder. The son lives with Mum, and spends every other weekend with Dad. I'm trying to support them all.

We're just starting out with a new doctor for the son. Our main worries are the standard ADD ones - performance at school (difficulty concentrating), hyper-focus (addicted to Minecraft), defiance and tantrums (oppositional defiant disorder), problems with friendships, anxiety.

However, this all seems to be much worse because of Mum's BPD. I'm concerned she's not giving him the stability and structure he needs to manage his ADD and thrive. Their house and life is chaotic (spending sprees, hoarding, helplessness) - I first got involved when she told me her house was such a mess the son had to do his homework on the ironing board! He's always behind on his homework and reading, and getting in trouble at school for this, or Dad has to spend their entire weekend patching it up. School have reported he sometimes goes in smelling of urine or not having eaten breakfast, I'm not sure how recent this is.

Mum says she's doing the best she can. She's lost her job and stopped her psychotherapy a few months ago. For the last 6 months I've been going to hers once a week to get the house under control and try to support her to get better. I've also helped a lot with communication between mum and dad. I took her to her doctor who referred her to the charity Mind, but they said they didn't have the resources to help her as she wasn't bad enough. We're now at a bit of a deadlock trying to move forward with other avenues, because she's so dramatic, anxious and helpless I can't really make any progress.

What really worries me is that I've been reading up on the effects of living with a BPD parent. It seems it may be damaging the son psychologically which I hadn't realised (lack of empathy from mum, guilt for mum's condition etc etc). I'm guessing that the way she is has contributed to the way that he is as well.

Also, we're running out of time because the son has important exams next September (secondary school entry). I'm worried that if this isn't got on top of really soon, he won't have time to do the schoolwork he needs to be able to pass the exams.

I'm starting to feel the best way forward is for the son to move in with Dad (maybe 3-4 nights/week if not full-time), which will help him psychologically, give him a solid structure for his homework etc, and give him a loving supportive environment. I have two grown-up sons myself, I love this young man to bits and we have a good solid relationship, and I am happy to step in here to make it work. This may put a lot of pressure on what's still quite a new relationship though (1.5 years together, looking to move in together early next year).

Any thoughts or advice would be gratefully received!! PS we all live in London.

4 Replies
Hidden profile image

Just wondering what happened in the original divorce case re custody? It sounds like maybe everyone needs mediation to modify the parenting plan?

bluestepmum profile image
bluestepmum in reply to Hidden

Thsts a good idea, thanks xx

hi bluestepmum, I just want to tell you that what you are doing to help the son is wonderfully supportive, and assisting his mom is going above and beyond and shows what an empathetic person you are. They are blessed to have you in their lives. Also I agree that the best move forward right now is for the son to move in with dad.

Thank you, that's really kind. I doubt myself sometimes. Going to have a good chat with dad once Christmas is out of the way xx

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