Borderline Mothers: The Adult Children's Stories, Pg2
I am a twenty year old male. I write to you with a story that shares many aspects of previous writers but feels so uniquely my own, as I am sure everyone's experience with bpd is. I thought I would share my perspective as a young boy struggling to understand my mother and cope with suicide attempts and depression. My mother was and is nearly broken beyond repair. I think she was always the way she is but better at controlling and hiding her tendencies, outbursts and behavior. I think my half-brother (18 years older) never had problems with her, but because I am my father's son my Mother has always wavered between hating me intensely, and loving me intensely and intense indifference to me at all. I could never figure out which action would receive which response, and it lead me to isolate in my house, with her isolated to her room and computer, to play solitaire and "read e-mail" for hours on end...She would always act mom of the year when my friends were around and always tre!ated my sister better. She only struck me once that I remember, when I was 7 or 8, but far worse were the times she would scream at me and each muscle in her face would twitch and tense as she yelled, shook, cried and stared through me as the other writer described, with this horrible, piercing glare that made me feel as hated as I ever have in life, to this day. It was as if each time she fought with she relived all the pain she had experienced and beamed it through her eyes right into me. And I feel like I carry it to this day. It's hard to deal with new relationships, meet people, socialize in public. I just want to be alone and for people to not notice me. I feel like I lived a shadow life in my house and have translated it to my adult life. I feel scared of women although I am not gay. She has never accepted blame for anything, ever, not once. She will forgive me for an accused crime, whether I did it or not, once I have met her often ridiculous criteria for apology and r!epentance, but she will always crucify me over it or bring it back to life the next time we fight. I hope one day I will recover what she took from me for looking like my father, or acting like him, or loving him.ar old male. I write to you with a story that sharemany aspects of previous writers but feels so uniquely my own, as I am sure everyone's experience with bpd is. I thought I would share my perspective as a young boy struggling to understand my mother and cope with suicide attempts and depression. My mother was and is nearly broken beyond repair. I think she was always the way she is but better at controlling and hiding her tendencies, outbursts and behavior. I think my half-brother (18 years older) never had problems with her, but because I am my father's son my Mother has always wavered between hating me intensely, and loving me intensely and intense indifference to me at all. I could never figure out which action would receive which response, and it lead me to isolate in my house, with her isolated to her room and computer, to play solitaire and "read e-mail" for hours on end...She would always act mom of the year when my friends were around and always tre!
ated my sister better. She only struck me once that I remember, when I was 7 or 8, but far worse were the times she would scream at me and each muscle in her face would twitch and tense as she yelled, shook, cried and stared through me as the other writer described, with this horrible, piercing glare that made me feel as hated as I ever have in life, to this day. It was as if each time she fought with she relived all the pain she had experienced and beamed it through her eyes right into me. And I feel like I carry it to this day. It's hard to deal with new relationships, meet people, socialize in public. I just want to be alone and for people to not notice me. I feel like I lived a shadow life in my house and have translated it to my adult life. I feel scared of women although I am not gay. She has never accepted blame for anything, ever, not once. She will forgive me for an accused crime, whether I did it or not, once I have met her often ridiculous criteria for apology and r!
epentance, but she will always crucify me over it or bring it back to life the next time we fight. I hope one day I will recover what she took from me for looking like my father, or acting like him, or loving him.
Hello, Stephanie. I would like to share my story about myself and my mother, who has BPD and Bipolar Disorder, along with several other disorders, I'm sure. I have not even begun to forgive my mother for her actions. I grew up holding her on a pedestal, and praising every move she made because I was taught that daughters should always respect their mothers. This past summer opened my eyes greatly. After two weeks of dating a man with almost the same conditions as she (although he was more paranoid schizophrenic than BPD), my mother married a military veteran who had severe paranoid hallucinations very often. This man hit her, would not let her leave the house or get a job, and then left. I have always lived with my grandparants, in a stable and somewhat normal household. As apart of the custody agreement between my mother and grandmother, I was allowed to spend six weeks of my summers in Louisiana with my mother. Last summer, her husband left her, telling her he had to go away to work for a company which we later found out did not exist. My mother was furious, and being in a depression per her bipolar disorder, irrationally drove myself and my eight-year-old sister out to the house boat of my sister's father's boss, where we stayed the night. My mother spent the entire night drinking and crying. The rest of the summer, my mother and I would get into frequent screaming matches. She would take my phone whenever I threatened to call family friends to come and get me. She would say things like "you don't love me and never will." Now, I know that I'm a petite girl. But I have a healthy appetite and am in no way emaciated, as my mother seems to believe. She would threaten to "shove three and four sandwiches down my throat per hour" or "fatten me up." My mother would not let me stay in my own room by myself for more than 5 minutes. I spent most of my summer watching "Gone With The Wind, while my mother pretended to be Scarlett O'Hara. There is so much more I could say but I have no time. Thank you.~ A.B
Dear Stephanie, As children of BPD Mom's, we all know the negative aspects that come with it, so I'd like to focus on healing and regaining control of your own life. I am 27 years old and have come a long way (and still have a long way to go). My BPD Mom was a single Mom, raising 3 kids, of which I was the only girl and the youngest. When I was 14, I knew I deserved more out of life, and started looking for it. I found my Dad, started an amazing relationship with him and started therapy. My Therapist told me that I was a child of a BPD and that I "had traits of her because I was raised by her, but I did not have BPD". That statement has continued to empower me throughout the years; it gives me control over the situation. When I was 18, I moved in with my Dad. When I was 20, I moved 400 miles away from her, knowing that the physical distance would help force emotional distance and allow me to become Me, and not Her. I have been able to confront my fear of women-it is difficult, but it's happening- and making my own family; My Aunt is now "my mom", my genuine female friends are “my sisters”, my close guy friends are "my brothers". And last but certainly not least- against all odds- I was able to find a genuine man to be my life partner. We were married 12.12.12 because he's a once in a lifetime find, and that's a once in a lifetime date. I am still learning to accept his love and how to handle uncomfortable feelings, but he pushes me to continue to grow, to be farther away from the "traits". His love is consistent and unconditional. Sometimes I am afraid of that and feel undeserving but, am able to snap out of it and remind myself that I deserve this healthy love, I always have. We all have to remind ourselves that. We cannot choose our parents, but once we become adults, we can choose our "family", and we can start/ create the family we never had. I wish you love and strength on your personal journeys to be the kind of person you want to be and the lives you want to have- KL.
Stephanie, reading stories about other children that have suffered under the insanity of their BPD mothers' has been very comforting. Currently, I am 16 years-old and still living with my mother. Most days are a living hell. Every action and word is analyzed by her, picked apart to look for something that might suggest that my feelings towards her are not positive. I've been snapped at or given the silent treatment for not hugging her well enough or not sounding sincere when I tell her that I love her too. I can't understand it, but it's almost like she wants to discover that I hate her. She's very focused on being the perfect picture of a mother, and will throw fits if something is said that suggests that she isn't the best mother. She delivers what I like to call "cruel and unusual punishments" to anyone that threatens her position as a mother. The other day, she told me that my voice was annoying and that she didn't want to listen to it when I tried to explain to her that when she discusses how horrible my father is (her ex-husband), it makes me uncomfortable. She called me an asshole when I said that I don't like it when she slaps my butt. She grounded me for three months when I asked her to stop belittling my best friend for being a trans*man. She laughed at me when I tried to tell her that being openly lesbian at a new school is scary. If I've "insulted" her (by doing something as small as not complimenting her hair that day) she'll gossip about me with one of my adult relatives. Her mood swings are terrible. She needs someone to hate when she's in a rage. She'll say insane things, threaten to make me pack up my house, call my friends and threaten them, saying things like she'll call the police, etc. She hates not being in control. Every aspect of my life that is not under her control is a threat to her. She always ends up hating my friends and will do her best to alienate me from them. She rarely lets me out of the house. I feel like I'm going crazy around her. I constantly have to remind myself that I'm the one that's normal. I feel like I'm living with a tiger.-CS
I just found your website and want to thank you for putting this out there! I am 56 and have been on my own healing process for more than 30 years. I'm not sure if I have BPD but I do have tendencies towards some of the behaviors. I do believe my mom had BPD, though. I would like to have my story below included on your website.
It has been 11 months since my mom passed away, unexpectedly. One of the last things she said to me was "I love you in my own way." It was a comment that I didn't know how to respond to. In my heart I wanted to scream at her about how much pain she had caused me for 55 years. I think most people would not understand my emotional reaction, unless they had grown up in a household like I did. In the end I told her I loved her, too.
Even though my parents did not believe in psychology or treating mental health my family lived in crazy-land. I am an only child of a woman I believe had Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). When I was 16 I was so depressed from my mom's constant mood swings and verbal and physical abuse that I had become suicidal. All I could think about was dying just so I didn't have to endure any more pain. Then, one night a few friends came over while my mom was at work. (At this time my dad worked away from home Monday thru Friday nearly every week, so it was mostly just one on one time with my mom. ) I had taken some pills I had taken from some of the families that I babysat for in the neighborhood. My friends brought over some alcohol. I mixed the two without letting my friends know what I was doing. Let's just say it was a very bad scene by the time my mom came home. By the time I got home from school the next day (yes I was sent to school), my Dad was home. The three of us went to the police dept. of the city my friends lived in. My parents had the thought of pressing charges on the one friend who was 21. But after one of the officers talked to me he suggested that my parents send me to talk to a therapist. This was in the mid-1970's when Psychology was still a new 'trend'. I waited and waited for my parents to take me to the therapist. Finally I asked my Dad when they were going to take me to the therapist. His response was "we don't air our dirty laundry in public." I was stunned and emotionally crushed. I had been thinking that I was going to finally be able to talk to someone about what had been going on at home and my father, the parent I thought of as the 'good' parent, my protector, slammed that door on me. It was as if in addition to my mom's crazy behavior my dad was giving her silent permission to continue abusing me.
The last time my mother beat me I was 17. This was the second time in my life that she had me pinned down on a floor during a beating. This time I was on the bathroom floor and she was banging my head against the ceramic tile. My dad was standing behind her. Refereeing? He let my mom have her way with me physically for a few minutes before pulling her off of me.
My dad continued to be my 'favorite' parent until he died. It was only after he died that my subconscious began letting me know that he, in his own way, had done as much damage to me emotionally as my mom had done. Just before he died he appologized for leaving me alone with my mom. Who knows, maybe he took a lot of bullets for me and I just never knew it. I remember asking why he never hit me when I was growing up. His response was that my mom hit me more than enough for the both of them. Then, shortly after he died I started having nightmares, panic attacks, and felt like I was floating away. I did find a therapist who was very helpful in dealing with what was bubbling up.
My mom lived for another 19 years after my dad died. She lived 800 miles away in the city my dad had been transferred to several years before he died.
The one thing that I have found in my research of BPD, or any other disorder, is this attitude that once the child has grown up and moved out of the house the abuse somehow stops. Maybe there is very little reasearch regarding adult children of mothers with BPD.
My experience is that the emotional abuse never stopped. I was 41 when I met the man I currently live with. When I was 43 my mom met this man for the first time. Before she left my house in an emotional state my mom demanded that I end the relationship! This was nothing new. She had broken off nearly all of my relationships when I was a teen and tried to stop my marriage when I was 22. Instead of ending the relationship I endured 15 years of having her say anything she could think of to 'force' me to end the relationship nearly EVERY time we spoke.
I had struggled most of my life between never speaking to her again and not abandoning her. I rationalized that if I had siblings it would have been easier to not talk to her, but being an only child I felt such responsibility over not letting her die alone.
Over the years I ran across letters sent by well meaning friends and family letting my mom know that I would come around and be grateful for the love she has for me. I can only imagine what she had said about me to these people. When I was a child I did overhear my mom bending the ears of my aunts about what a terrible child I was. I could never figure out what it was that I had done to cause so much rage in my mom. What did I do?! At the time I never knew what I did. Now I know there was nothing I could have done to make her think I wasn't horrible. It was something inside of her.
(My mom was the second youngest of eight children. Their mother died when my mom was 3. My grandfather was apparently even more violent and unpredictable than my mother. It makes me wonder just how far back in my family tree this violence and rage goes).
After my mom passed away and I went thru her belongings and found many notes written by her. Some of them were instructions on what to do with her possessions. Other notes were jabs, meant to hurt me. And yes, I would be lying if I said they did not hurt.
Now, nearly a year later, I took a trip to check on her house while it is for sale. For some reason this trip opened up a lot of old emotional wounds.
Compounding what I experienced with my mother is the guilt I feel at the kind of mother I was to my own daughter. I tried to be a good mom to her but I was divorced when she was two months old and I was emotionally unstable myself at the time. I thought about giving her up for adoption, not because I didn't want to have her with me, but to save her from any damage I might do to her. I did not trust myself with her. As it turned out I may have done just as much damage to her thru unintentional neglect as my parents did while raising me.
After my dad died I really started my healing process. I have found and now practice several healing modalities which have had a somewhat transformative effect on me. I am a Certified Healing Touch Practitioner and have 'discovered' Insight Meditation while reading Jack Kornfield's books. I no longer feel like my stomach is in knots all of the time or that I am unable to get thru the day myself. Despite that, I do recognize my own tendencies toward BPD-like behavior from time to time. I think at this point that self-awareness is key to regulating my own emotions. This is only the tip of the iceberg but it's a good place to stop.SS
Content copyright . Dr. Stephanie Rasband. All rights reserved.