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Think About It... Resentment is a mental process in which we repeatedly replay a feeling, and the events leading up to that feeling that angers us. With resentment, we re-experience and relive events in ways that affect us mentally, emotionally, physiologically and spiritually in destructive ways. ~ Mark Siche (author of Healing from Family Rifts),
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Author Topic: I'm trying to heal, but she just won't leave me alone...  (Read 610 times)
redfox
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« on: December 11, 2012, 09:58:24 AM »

Hi everyone,

I'm new here, but I've suspected that my mom has BPD for a couple years now. I just turned 20. The feelings/thoughts/experiences I had as a kid have just begun to be validated. If you guys could give me advice about my current situation I would eternally grateful.

My childhood was...marked by alienation, only this wasn't because I was socially withdrawn. My mom has always struggled with holding down a job, so as she would move from company to company, she would randomly pull me out of school and just leave me at home all day without any books or structure. This wouldn't last for just a month, but a couple years. I didn't have a problem making friends in the beginning at all, but as the years went by I developed anxiety problems because I was always the vulnerable "new kid", and of course she never even took me anywhere...anywhere. Going to the grocery store seemed overwhelming at one point. I could hardly develop intimate relationships with anyone because my mom always nit-picked my friends, refused to let me get in the car with anyone else (including family members) and just demonstrated an outrageous amount of control. She also got involved with a cult for a few years and that...didn't help my social development, either.

There are a lot of other painful details about that period, like when she would date men online for only a few days and invite them over to our trailer and greet them in lingerie and let them sleep in my bed, or when she forced me out of the car when I was in like, kindergarten and drove off, but I won't go too deep into those. Basically I feel as if she has always been a child emotionally, and I had to adopt the role of a parent even before I hit the age of 10.

I think I'm doing pretty well for someone with my past, because I'm now a senior in college on the dean's list, I have good, close friends now, and I'm financially independent. I've worked full-time since I was 15 and have been living with my grandmother, but I'm settling into my own apartment at the end of this December. When some irrational anxiety affects me I think deeply about it, tie it to something that happened a long time ago and release it from my mind. My mom did live with us until recently when she dated a guy for literally a month and married him... She was having me pay for our shared car which was in her name (I used it only to drive to school and work) but took that with her, of course.

Anyway. The rest of my family (save my grandmother) shares my perspective about my mother. One of my uncles bought me a used car after what she did, and I've paid half of it off and continue to send him a check for it every month. The small number of friends my mom once had agree with me too, given that a couple months back when she didn't have the money to go see her then-boyfriend she made up a lie about desperately wanting to attend someone's funeral. Her friends gave her money for the trip and my mom promised to come see them too. She skipped the funeral, ditched the friends, and met up with her now-husband. My grandma has always given her money (and still continues to do this, strangely, even though my mom's husband is wealthy...) and just can't accept that she's imperfect. I love my grandma and appreciate her for what she's done for me, but I just can't live with her anymore because she's so invalidating of what everyone else seems to unanimously agree on.

As I said, I'm moving into my own apartment in a couple weeks. I haven't told my grandmother much about my new place or given her my address because I know she'll tell my mom "out of responsibility". My mom is really scaring me at this point, because she's become obsessed with making it SEEM like we have a relationship when we actually have nothing. I've blocked her on Facebook, and I've blocked her number from my phone because she began sending me really long, hateful text messages saying things like, "I never thought I'd have such a manipulative bhit as a daughter. I know you really don't like our other family members; you're just spending the holidays with them to get back at me." She's been trying to get hold of those same family members and asking them to like, send pictures of me to her and tell her what I've been up to lately. She also tells them that I'm crazy and she's really a good mother. Well...they think she's crazy, and they tell her politely to stop doing what she's doing and they refuse to spy on me. My mom will then turn on them and block them, including my 15 year-old cousin. Ugh.

What do you guys think I should do? My uncle's new wife let me know last night that my mom had actually harassed her recently and she found it very strange because she doesn't even KNOW her. There's no telling what my mom's new husband and step-children have "heard" about me, but another family member approached me a few months back and let me know that my mom was telling people the reason that I don't speak to her is that my dad raped me as a kid (not true) and I have "intimacy problems" even with my own mother.

This is overwhelming... I just want to move on with my life.
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imataloss

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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2012, 11:00:54 AM »

Hello redfox, I'm so impressed with the insight and maturity that you have achieved at a relatively young age, especially considering all the things your mom has put you through. I don't know if it was a conscious decision on your part, but you seem to be well on your way to breaking the cycle of manipulation and chaos that you were raised in. Congratulations on your educational achievements, especially being on the dean's list!

Based on your story, my advise would be to continue with little or no contact with your mom. You've obviously worked hard to get where you are at this stage of your life. I feel that your mother would only attempt to sabotage the progress that you've made. I'm sure that she's not celebrating your accomplishments because she wants to keep you vulnerable so she can exert as much control as possible.

And I'd recommend not giving your new address to your grandmother, at least not initially. She's obviously your mom's enabler and like you say she wouldn't be able to withhold that information. Surely your grandmother can recognize how you've worked to make something of your life, and are headed in a different direction from the life her daughter has led.

My story is similar but also very different to yours. I'm an only child and was raised in a family that appeared to be normal to outsiders. But behind those 4 walls it was anything but normal, only I didn't fully comprehend how abnormal it was until I reached young adulthood. My mother, who is now 89 years old, is uBPD who made life extremely difficult for me and my dad who is now deceased. Now at the age of 59 I'm just beginning to come to terms with many of the issues you've already confronted and dealt with.

Once again, I'm happy that you survived your situation and are going in a different direction. Don't let anyone interfere with your destiny, especially your mother who is obviously sick and would only want to hold you back. Let us know how things work out. All of us on here are pulling for you!




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DreamGirl
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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2012, 11:40:42 AM »

It's hard to remain calm when such a storm-like force is present in our lives.

You mentioned your dad, where was he in all of this?

Quote
When some irrational anxiety affects me I think deeply about it, tie it to something that happened a long time ago and release it from my mind.

This is awesome.

Can you do this with your fear surrounding your mom?

I know that as an adult, it was very empowering for me to be able to not be afraid of my father anymore. He didn't really have much power at all really - it was the little girl in my heart that was afraid. Not the woman I had become. 

You don't want her to have your address. I understand wanting to keep her barricaded from your life as you try and heal from your childhood, but is this going to be an ongoing, reasonable expectation?  

If you were to ever buy a house, it's public record what your address will be.

So I wonder if you can find equanamity in this, allowing your grandmother to be in your life while still allowing her to have whatever relationship she wants to have with her own daughter?

~DreamGirl
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“The future is no place to place your better days.”
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redfox
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« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2012, 03:15:26 PM »

Thank you two.

I haven't spoken to my father since I was seven or eight. He has never really wanted anything to do with me--a jerk, but not a pedophile, as my mom makes him out to be now. She makes caricatures out of everyone she dislikes.

There is a fearful girl inside me still, I agree. It's entirely irrational to be as alarmed as I am at times by her behavior. When she does get the rare chance to see me, her threatening stare can send chills down my spine. As you guys may know, BPD parents can be intrusive, even emotionally incestual, and my mom was definitely this way until she got married. I couldn't even stand to put her in my contacts as "Mom" or even "Cindi" because any time she'd call or leave a text I would feel violated when I just glanced at her name.

I don't want to cut my grandmother out of my life, and I definitely know that she would never cut my mom out of hers. I simply want some privacy, and I want her to stop bringing the mom issue up. I never do even though I think she's...very far off when it comes to a realistic perspective. My other family members, two of her own children, have stopped speaking to her because she's so brainwashed.

I'm sure I have quite a few issues myself, but I know I'm not borderline. This brings me comfort. Counseling sounds like a good idea to me, but unfortunately I don't have insurance to pay for it.
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DreamGirl
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« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2012, 03:58:02 PM »

I haven't spoken to my father since I was seven or eight. He has never really wanted anything to do with me--a jerk, but not a pedophile, as my mom makes him out to be now.

I'm sorry. sad

Not trying to open a can of worms, but do you think your mom's disorder had anything to do with "him not wanting to have anything to do with you"? I only ask because there are times that one parent doesn't want to "have anything to do with the situation", especially when the other parent is mentally ill. Just curious if you'd be open to a relationship now that you're older. Or better just left alone?  

Quote
There is a fearful girl inside me still, I agree. It's entirely irrational to be as alarmed as I am at times by her behavior.

This is a great insight. Is it just her, or is it a blanket feeling? i.e. Do you have other situations where you feel "on guard" in the same way?

Quote
I simply want some privacy, and I want her to stop bringing the mom issue up.

Absolutely. As a kiddo who grew up in a boundary-challenged environment, I had to re-learn how to value my privacy and what that means. Do you think that you can remain private, but still allowing them to know your address?

There's also a way to guage your fear - what are you specifically afraid of if your mom has your address?

Break ins?
Unexpectedly dropping by?
Sharing your information?
Using your address?

Quote
I'm sure I have quite a few issues myself, but I know I'm not borderline. This brings me comfort. Counseling sounds like a good idea to me, but unfortunately I don't have insurance to pay for it.

Isn't there a common saying - we all have issues.    Empathy

You said you were in college. Sometimes colleges offer counseling for little to no cost to students. Have you checked into that at all?  
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“The future is no place to place your better days.”
~Dave Matthews

oliviallamb

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« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2012, 05:03:07 PM »

Hi Redfox,

I greatly appreciate your post as I am 28 and I just discovered that my mom has these problems as well.

It sounds like we had a very similar childhood in many ways, only with me I can't get my mother out of my life. I am the only one left in her life (because I'm a sucker, I guess...or y'know that whole codependent thing). 

I'm almost done with grad school and I'm planning to get my own apartment and away from my mother.

I wish I knew what advice to give to you other than take care of yourself as much as you can. That's all I am doing at this point: self-preservation. Have safety plans. I've literally recruited friends to be my emergency list of people to call when I need help. I feel horrible that I've done this and I've never shown this much vulnerability in my life to other people, but I have to now due to my mother.

Good us posted. I found this site to very cathartic. I wish you well.
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redfox
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« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2012, 04:29:26 PM »

Perhaps, DreamGirl. That doesn't make his abandonment of me any more justifiable, though. I'm an adult now and that critical period during which I could have "bonded" with my father has passed. I would rather be left alone--as would he, it seems. The last memory I have of him recalls his cussing me out and calling me "f***ing stupid" for something I did. Doesn't really make me want to reach out.

I think my mom instilled a fear of invalidation in me, and in turn, a fear of being overwhelmed by the world and its only "average" demands. She would pound her theories and views into my head so forcefully when I was alone with her as a kid that I felt like I had a particularly hard time coming upon an objective view of things--that I was allowed to have feelings, and those feelings had merit just in themselves. When she comes around she may be wearing one of several personalities, and each lets me know that my reflections on my childhood (and everything else) are terribly flawed. It was perfect, she was a good mom, and I'm just ridiculously defective because that's an inherent quality of mine. I had no friends growing up? Well, that's because I was unsociable and I liked being locked in a house all day without TV, internet, books or trusted individuals to call up...

That's probably why I don't want her to have my address; I've made a lot of progress in terms of well-being, but if she were to show up at my new place, her presence would flood in, as would those memories and underpinning emotions. She rehashes conflicts and manipulates people into thinking she really cares and that they were wrong to think she did not in the first place. I feel like a competent individual with autonomy by myself, but the complete opposite when my mom is near me. It's not a fear of spectacle--I don't really care what the neighbors think--it's a fear of her verbal poison permeating my mind and re-creating the darkness she infused the honest version of my childhood with.

I don't know much about the counseling program at my school, but I may check into it. It's just so small of an institution and I'd rather not have word spreading about my issues. Sometimes when I tell selected people about what happened to me I see pity in their eyes, and every now and then I can feel them distancing themselves from me because they can't understand my wish for no contact with my own mother and conceptualize me as an "other". Both are painful and I'd like to compartmentalize it enough that the academic sphere I'm in can't glean too much. I have talked to two professors in my department about it vaguely, but I don't want to do more than that until I'm out of there.

I'm sorry about that, Oliviallamb. The emergency net is a good idea; I have that myself and it provides tremendous mental ease. When your vulnerability isn't punished or exploited when it's seen by others it allows you to trust a little more. I think what happened to us was unfortunate, but at least for me, it equips you with a childlike, "soaking-in-everything-with-magical-newness" pair of eyes when it comes to "normal" human relationships. 
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PaGuy
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« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2012, 02:09:27 AM »

Welcome!

I am so glad to hear that your extended family seems to recognize your mother as the problem and are pretty supportive of you.  That is great, and something I wish I had had.

Like others mentioned, I would also suggest LC/NC with your mother, and I wouldn't give your grandmother your address.  Why invite more problems with your mother?

It's also great to hear that you can work through some of the effects of being the child of someone with BPD!  That's where I am at right now... trying to get rid of as many of these hangups as I can.  I know I tend to intellectualize things, which helps with accepting how things are.  The down side is that a lot of times I don't internalize these thoughts.  One thing I want to suggest is to not be afraid to explore the emotional impact your mother has had on you. 

I also understand your dilemma about seeking counseling.  I know where I live most counselors/psychologists have a sliding-fee scale.  While it might not be cheap for you, you might be able to get a discount because you don't have insurance.  If you have a professor that you trust in the college's psychology department, they might be helpful in pointing you to a good but affordable counselor.
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