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Author Topic: BP parents ability to break up family  (Read 3319 times)
eve7
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« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2006, 08:36:55 AM »

I have experienced this both with my mother and my MIL. My mother will bad-mouth me to my my brothers. I think my mother has issues with other females as it seems to be a common thread in her relationships. However, my brothers, because of their own experiences with my mother, don't believe her. We sometimes compare notes about our mother's behavior. As my youngest borther stated to me, "Sometimes Mom lives in her own little world."

My MIL has been more successful with divide and conquer. She would badmouth X to Y and then do the same to Y to Z. She would often isolate me from other family members with gossip so it was like one big clique when I entered the room. Now she wants to complain and wonder why the family isn't so close anymore. DUH! :smiley

The bottom line to me is manipulation and control. That has been what I've observed when these behaviors are in action. It's like a dance and well, I've just stoppped the music.  wink
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Piglet
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« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2006, 01:39:55 PM »

I've skimmed thru this thread, and went back and read the previous thread referenced, and I just had to say that all of this applies to me, even though I was my mother's only child.  Mother uses other family members (cousins, etc.) to play the role of the missing siblings.

Scary stuff.

P.
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skiqjack


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« Reply #22 on: November 29, 2006, 11:12:03 AM »

Jung, packdogs and history aside (maybe), my BPD father always enjoyed pitting people against each other.  Sometimes, when he did it in his favorite bars, it was funny to watch.  He'd pit a loud-mouth bar maid against a worn-out almost homeless drunk.  Or the bar owner against a beer salesman.  Or two shoe shine kids against each other. He'd wisper in the ear of each, then watch the fireworks.
  If either warring faction ever turned their attention toward my father as the source of the fight, he'd plead ignorance, demand to be left out of the fight and reiterate something one of the warring factions had just said, which resumed and re-escalated the fight.
  What I didn't realize before going no contact was that he was doing the same thing in our family.  He'd pit one sibling against another, a sibling against our mother, or any combination thereof.
  As pack leader, he'd eventually step in and quell the turmoil, then re-start it later whenever he wanted by reminding one of the siblings of what the other had said/done in the past.
  This was all part of the misery loves company mentality that BPDs have, and it likely made him feel better about not being able to get along with people. 
  "OK," he might think, "I can't get along w/ people, but neither can those around me.  But I'm so smart I can see this and even provoke it, so again, I"m better than they are."
  It's all sick.  Our family history of fueds and spats over the years has left most of us so bitter that we'd just rather not see each other for fear of being reminded of the ugly turmoil and wars that made up our family life.
  BPD dad, divorced mom and siblings are still at it, far as I know, but I stepped out of the mess almost 6 years ago.  I should have done it decades ago.   
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StillLeaving
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« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2006, 01:40:05 PM »

FEEDBACK WELCOME
Hello, I'm a Non-mom, and want to share what my adult "unchosen" child said when I emailed two sentences to convey BP traits in her dad's (years of) behavior: GULP :-X 
"I don't want any part of any of these e-mails anymore. PERIOD.  I am not in
agreement with any type of disorder nor am I able to diagnose a disorder of
such, as I am not a doctor, nor are any of us, with the exception of (familyM.D),
and she isn't even the type of Dr. that would diagnose this disorder.  until
he has been "officially" diagnosed, I don't want to have the discussion.
There is NO reason any of your children should be "pulled" into your
diagnosis, and your interpretation of your husband.  so PLEASE do not
include me in any more e-mails pertaining to YOUR interpretation of dad.
these are YOUR issues, and I prefer to not have anything to do with it.
thanks"

StillLeaving,
GLo
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Piglet
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« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2006, 01:46:44 PM »

FEEDBACK WELCOME
Hello, I'm a Non-mom, and want to share what my adult "unchosen" child said when I emailed two sentences to convey BP traits in her dad's (years of) behavior: GULP :-X 
"I don't want any part of any of these e-mails anymore. PERIOD.  I am not in
agreement with any type of disorder nor am I able to diagnose a disorder of
such, as I am not a doctor, nor are any of us, with the exception of (familyM.D),
and she isn't even the type of Dr. that would diagnose this disorder.  until
he has been "officially" diagnosed, I don't want to have the discussion.
There is NO reason any of your children should be "pulled" into your
diagnosis, and your interpretation of your husband.  so PLEASE do not
include me in any more e-mails pertaining to YOUR interpretation of dad.
these are YOUR issues, and I prefer to not have anything to do with it.
thanks"

StillLeaving,
GLo

Oh my... I hope this helps a little.  I received a similar reaction - but much more benign - from family members when I first figured out my BPD mom 3 years ago.  I spoke with some close relatives and gave them SWOE and UTBM.  They gave me limited feedback, and the general attitude is that they didn't want to know/be involved/discuss it.

I posted here... and if I can find the thread I'll post a link.  I got some very good advice that basically said you can't MAKE THEM GET IT. 

So I sat back... I did what was best for ME and my small child and my husband (so I thought, although I did let my guard down which is why I am still here at BPDFamily)... and I waited.

Eventually  he will get to everyone.  They eventually turn on EVERYONE.  If you refuse to be the whipping boy (so to speak), eventually the bp will turn it on someone else.  That is what happened here... everybody sees it now. 

I still feel like if they had gotten on board with a PLAN a few years back (basically if everybody would have stopped catering to her crap in an organized fashion), it would have been easier on us, but it's true:  you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink.

P.

Modified to add this link:  http://BPDfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=7577.msg69042;topicseen#msg69042
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LavenderMoon
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« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2006, 02:21:46 PM »

FEEDBACK WELCOME
"as I am not a doctor, nor are any of us, with the exception of (familyM.D),
and she isn't even the type of Dr. that would diagnose this disorder.  until
he has been "officially" diagnosed, I don't want to have the discussion."

this is her choice to not be involved, this is part of the dynamic of the how bp's get so much support, to keep blaming the target.  you can only respect her choice.

as far as this official diagnosis, that people are so stuck on, this is a mystery to me.  people assume that the "psych industry" has some "secret bag of voodoo", that they are the only ones who could "actually know".
most of the them to this day, have no idea what it is, or they have some vacant knowledge, & can't wait to pin it on someone, whether they are bp or not.  they have a list to go by, so what.
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Theireyeswerewatching
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« Reply #26 on: November 30, 2006, 05:52:20 PM »

As an aside: does anyone know anything about the history of the pack structure in dysfunctional human families? Has it been around since cave days? Or is it more recent?



Warm Greetings,

If you've reached a certain age and allow family members and outsiders to interfere with your marital unit, there are gaps and loop holes in your maturity level. But, some people like for their personal life to be in everyone's mouth, in front of everyone's eyes, and in everyone's ear. It shows great disrespect to self, your spouse, and your spousal unit when you breach the privacy of your personal affairs and allow outside mouth's to run loose and tongue wag freely in your private affairs. The older you become the more gross this childish misconduct becomes.

Sometimes parental relationships to include sibling relationships must be terminated if not severely limited due too disrespect and intrusive misconduct concerning the private life of your marital affairs. Absolutely no one! to include extended family members should be allowed to interfere with your spousal unit. Dysfunctional enmeshed family systems do this and create great harm and unnecessary stress in marital affairs. Those of us that have become aware of the devastating affects of not having clear boundaries and visible lines protecting our marital unit will suffer intrusions of all sorts possibly leading to break ups.

I do not like or tolerate outsiders meddling/having an opinion/role about or in the interworkings of my private life. If a man needs his parents permission and/or the opinion of anyone besides himself to choose me to become apart of his life, then I don't want him.

Best Wishes For The Future. smiley

http://www.joy2meu.com/DysfunctionalFamilies.htm

http://www.joy2meu.com/Codependence1.html

http://www.silcom.com/~joy2meu/joy_21.htm

http://www.silcom.com/~joy2meu/mothersfathers.html

http://www.joy2meu.com/codependent2.htm

http://www.pasadenaisd.org/ParentUniversity/parent45.htm

http://www.coping.org/relations/boundar/intro.htm

http://www.soulwork.net/sw_articles_eng/emotional_incest.htm

http://www.zondervan.com/cultures/en-us/Product/ProductDetail.htm?QueryStringSite=Zondervan&ISBN=0310243149
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salveregina
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« Reply #27 on: November 30, 2006, 06:28:08 PM »

BPD_sucks,

WOW shocked shocked...for a 19 year old...you are certainly wise beyond your years...yes, they break up the family!  They leave devastation in their wake.

I always thought me and ensis would have a normal relationship after my mother died...man oh man was that ever wrong!

My mother planted seeds of division when we were just young children and she nurtured that for a lifetime by splitting us - black and white, up and down...endlessly...and now my mother is dead and my sister and I are No Contact...exactly what BPDm wanted...it was too threatening to her for us to have any relationship.

Oh I tried for so long and I just can't anymore...won't waste any more of MY precious time on somebody who is never gonna get it...so I've walked away...sad, yet freeing!

It's really an amazing thing when you think of it because I'm sure to my mother's conscious mind, she would never have wanted this for us...yet subconsciously, she did want it.

I know you want a relationship with your brother, I remember your posts trying to talk to him.  I know you have tried.  Maybe someday...

Are you going away to school in January?

Very sad,
Salveregina
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StillLeaving
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« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2006, 03:04:58 PM »

Hello, and so interesting reading - thanks;

I'm a Non-m, caught off-guard and pained now about adult children's unwillingness to "talk about BP-d" traits. However, they do at least tolerate me, but not yet forgiven (possibly) for not removing them from (what I know now as) our parental toxicity as children and  allowing the re-engagement back in, but... anyway... yes, by definition:

 "The term, borderline, was created for individules who were at the "borderline" between neurotic and psychotic, which ...disrupts family and work life, long-term planning*, and the individual's sense of self."  (and no one even knows unless they lived it)  embarrassed

ALSO of interest... 'BP behavior ("It") is often compared with toddler behavior. "It" is unable to take
responsibility for what "it" said and did. So "it" will deny "it" said/did whatever, and if "it" does admit to whatever, "it" will claim that you made "it" do so. Either way, you are always wrong.'

KEEP ON POSTING - GET VALIDATED - YOU ARE LOVED
From personal experience, I remember (being stupefied) by certain incidents when my "adult" spouse  behaved with a competitive attitude with or even against our children, and in turn, it "stirred" them against each other. Oh that used to just make me fume! (oh now, didn't I look like the crazy one?) BINGO!
Now after research of this, I see that it is common and a part of the narcissistic trait of the BPD, (Narc tendencies) often struggleS with children in general:
 Because it's natural for children to have levels of selfish tendencies, wanting to compete for attention, etc., and the primary problem for the BPD is competition. THEORY: There's room for only one Narc.
Stay in the Circle of Healing  wink

...way too long... sorry,
StillLeaving
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bpd_sucks

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« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2006, 03:59:45 PM »

BPD_sucks,

WOW shocked shocked...for a 19 year old...you are certainly wise beyond your years...yes, they break up the family!  They leave devastation in their wake.

I always thought me and ensis would have a normal relationship after my mother died...man oh man was that ever wrong!

My mother planted seeds of division when we were just young children and she nurtured that for a lifetime by splitting us - black and white, up and down...endlessly...and now my mother is dead and my sister and I are No Contact...exactly what BPDm wanted...it was too threatening to her for us to have any relationship.

Oh I tried for so long and I just can't anymore...won't waste any more of MY precious time on somebody who is never gonna get it...so I've walked away...sad, yet freeing!

It's really an amazing thing when you think of it because I'm sure to my mother's conscious mind, she would never have wanted this for us...yet subconsciously, she did want it.

I know you want a relationship with your brother, I remember your posts trying to talk to him.  I know you have tried.  Maybe someday...

Are you going away to school in January?

Very sad,
Salveregina

thanks for replying. It's so nice to hear from someone who has been through the same trauma, that is older and wiser. Because it's so hard, and it feels as if there are no solution to these problems and It's so extremly painful to see the years pass by, and see that nothing changes for the better, rather for the worse.

As far as my brother is concearned I think that we are never going to have a normal relationship no matter what. Because everything is so destoryed between us. And as long as I am in contact with my mother I don't feel like I could take some action in explaining to him what are mother is suffering from and that I pray for him to seek therapy and treatment for his depression, but I can't do that now.. because then all hell would brake lose. I feel as if I'm getting nowhere with the relationship to my mother, everything is just a big lie, and she shows no tendency to change. If I go No Contact, I atleast won't have to be afraid for attempting to get my brother to help himself out of the misery he is in.

That's another reason to why I want to go No Contact, because it feels as if the painful memories are just piling up and that It would be easier if I didn't have to see all the misery she has caused within the family. Because it feels my with dispair and sorrow. Because I don't feel as if I'm going to miss out on much but misery any way if I go No Contact.

I so understand that what I would want would be having a normal childhood and a mother that is mentally well. But that is never going to happen, so I have no choice but to look forward.
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salveregina
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« Reply #30 on: December 02, 2006, 04:46:40 PM »

Hi BPD_sucks,

Well I am older, not sure about the "wiser" part...but I do try to learn from my experiences.  Yes of course, you have the right attitude about looking forward...and YOU can make your life better and the lives of your future children.  Unfortunately we have to go back and figure out all that was done the wrong way to us so that we don't inadvertently pass it on to our own children.

But I wouldn't give up on your brother just yet...he's still young too (if I remember isn't he about 24 or 25?)and there is hope for him.  I only gave up on ensis after about 30 or 35 years of trying to make her see the truth about our mother...maybe it was even longer and when I realized there was a pretty good chance she was suffering from the same disorders as my mother.

I know that when things seem as if they are not moving along at the pace we want them to, it can get very discouraging and seem that we are in a standstill...but rest assured that there IS movement even if you can't always see it through the hurts and daily disappointments.  I remember whan I was younger thinking that just about everything in my life was moving along at a snail's pace and now...well now it all seems as if it was in the blink of an eye!

Remember YOU are making progress and that is such a good thing.  I'm glad for you that you have that new doctor you like. You will make even more progress and I just know that the penduluum is going to swing in the opposite direction for you and you are going to find the love you want from others.

And we love you here too, :-*
SR
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methinkso
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« Reply #31 on: December 03, 2006, 12:35:12 PM »

Since my father's death (6 yrs ago) mother is exhibiting behavior that makes me highly suspect, that yes, she planted many of the seeds that came between me and my only sis (who I call evilsis here at BPDFamily).

Being 7 yrs my jr, I have a lot of memories of how she was coddled and I was 'black'.

One small example in adulthood from (8+) yrs ago. Sis had said that when parents died, she 'got all the family photos'. I mentioned this to parents. I later asked mother if I could have my baby pictures and brought them home (a few professional photos). Sis kept calling me asking me about 'all these pictures'. I finally asked her what she was talking about. She said "mom said you came and took 'all these pictures' home". She seemed a bit surprosed when I said I'd only taken the few of mine.

Just this morning I was wondering WHY ~ the few times in the last few years that while talking to mother, I said something about sis with 'fondness'. EACH time, I was met with a look from mother that was what I thought was quizzical, or surprised. Now I am convinced that it was a threat to her that we weren't as much 'enemies' as she'd hoped. I am saying I believe she DID NOT want me discussing sis with effection (half feigned as it was).

H's mother was much more obvious than my mother about blacking H to his siblings and extended family. She did this within a few years after H 'deserted' her by marrying me. She kept her eldest son extremely enmeshed financially ~ up until her death a year ago. H's youngest sister was living with her when she died. Though she worked menial jobs, and had been married briefly, she lived with H's parents since she was in her mid 20's. She is now 51 yrs old. We did hear she was 'whining' about how she'd make the mortgage (she got that home through the will, which should have substantial equity by now).

                 Mts


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Puttingittogether
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« Reply #32 on: December 03, 2006, 04:31:28 PM »

"One small example in adulthood from (8+) yrs ago. Sis had said that when parents died, she 'got all the family photos'. I mentioned this to parents. I later asked mother if I could have my baby pictures and brought them home (a few professional photos). Sis kept calling me asking me about 'all these pictures'. I finally asked her what she was talking about. She said "mom said you came and took 'all these pictures' home". She seemed a bit surprosed when I said I'd only taken the few of mine."

This sounds so much like my mother.  If I would confront her with the above she would make like wasn't I silly and southerners exaggerate.  You just took it all wrong when I said ALL these pictures.
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B2B
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« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2006, 06:41:14 AM »

Looks like I'm an omega, too.  And once we all 'aged out' and began our lives, whatever semblance of family we had moved on also.

I have an older brother to whom I haven't spoken in 4 years.  Mother got mad at him, and I backed her.  I've since reached out, apologized and begged forgiveness, but he ignored me.

The next brother revels in his role of 'the middle child' syndrome.  He's married, and the father of two, but mother still gives him money for gas, beer and cigarettes.  She btched about it to no end, but continued to open her wallet.  He's only called me once in the last year, and then it was to ensure that I'd made a deposit to his daughter's college fund.

The baby bro and I were once inseparable, but his descent into alcoholism all but severed our relationship.  He's been sober 3 years, and we're trying to make some new connections.
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« Reply #34 on: December 05, 2006, 06:18:18 AM »

  In my case its BP daughter who has been hell bent for leather to get me out of the way and take over as dominent leader of the pack.  I wish I could even recall a time where we ever had anything resembling "Normal"  family roles.  Evertime she did something insane, I tried to talk to my family, especially my parents who just thought the sun shone out of her ...  but I was the bad parent and the loser,NOBODY BELEIVED ME!
  Ten years on and funny enough just lately things have changed.  My mum is now the one telling me that my daughter has major problems...This was about 2 weeks ago, my 23 year old daughter rang my mother and screamed obsenities at her, my mum was furious,and had had enough of her by this time about 2 days later I found this site and its answered so many nagging questions. I feel a bit better that finally someone believes me, its taken a long time and a lot of self-preservation on my part.  My mum is now telling me to do everything I can to protect my 15 and 7 year old daughters which I,ve been doing anyway.  My younger girls have witnessed far to much from oldest daughter and we do our best to stay clear of her, its not easy, we all love her very much but its all to hard.
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Her Mama
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« Reply #35 on: December 05, 2006, 07:46:15 AM »

When I consider the children of my "step" daughter's UDBPD/NPD father (my exH) and dx BPDmom, I can't help but feel for every child who has had the misfortune of being born to these individuals. 

If I could go back in time, I would have run like hell, but unfortunately, his initial charm lead to a marriage and a child.  In total my ex has 5 children.  Our son is #4 and Little Bit is #5 (conceived / born after I divorced him).  Normally I would have not even considered dating a man who had 3 children by 3 different women.  However, there were circumstances that I thought were beyond is control and I cut way too much slack. 

exH's children:
#1 was by a high school sweetheart who lied to he and the child (and her "boyfriend") for the first 11 years of this child's life.  I thought this was a case of mom using the child to keep the man she wanted (not my ex).  I learned later that my ex thought he might have been his father but because she kept telling him that he wasn't, he didn't pursue it.  DNA was in it's infancy in the mid 80's and prohibitively expensive, but still, even if you had a doubt, why not pursue it?

#2 was by someone whom he did not have a "relationship" with.  (She actually called me prior to my marriage to him to tell me that they never had sex, "Just messed around", and "It was a virgin birth".)  Turns out this woman had a relationship with her sister's husband (my ex's uncle) and there was apparently a conspiring to cover up the affair by my ex's mother, her "favorite" brother and the child's mother to "put the child on my ex" to cover up the affair.  The uncle took my ex out and got him drunk and took him home (to my ex's mothers), placing him in the spare BR with the SIL.  Truly bizarre but has come to light in the last year.  Still, this daughter is 19 now.  For the first nearly 17 years, she only knew my ex as her father.  He was only around when his family made him.

#3 was born by his first wife.  In the time that I have known him, he has seen this daughter two times.  A few years ago, the mother and the child moved half way across the country without notifying him.  At first the blame was placed on the mother and she was keeping his daughter from him.  However, after I married him, I found that the only time he would see or speak (or pay support for) to his daughter was when either his family or I made that visit / phone call happen.  He would, when either visiting or speaking with her, make promises for future contact but never made a move of his own volition.

#4 is our son.  Unless I had a melt down, he would avoid any situation where he would have to be the caretaker.  His lack of interest combined with his later drug use, lead to our divorce and eventually, supervised visitation only.  After the divorce, I would have to chase him down to have his son every other weekend.  When he did have our son, nine times out of ten, he would pass him off to his sister (drug dealers mom).  When I put my foot down on that, I found myself having to search for my son when it was time to get him back, or, (one example) find our then 18 month old son walking around the ex's apt. that was filled with marijuana smoke while his father was having sex on the kitchen counter with one of his "female friends". (I knocked for half an hour before having his sister (in the down stairs apt) open the door to get my son.

# 5 is Little Bit with BPDmom.  He spent the first two years of her life pretending this child did not exist until I forced him (by threat of stopping his visits with his son and cutting him off from our attempted reconciliation, yes I know it was stupid).  DOT's aunt had repeatedly told him (I later found) about what his daughter was going through.  I made him try to get a protection order to get custody which, even without being successful, started a children's services investigation which led to her removal from DOT's home.  I demanded he do a paternity test and paid for it.  I hired an attorney and he eventually got custody.

Day's of Thunder's children (by four fathers):
#1 In the custody of her father after being mauled by DOT's drug dealing bf's pit bull.  I have no idea of who this father is or where they live.

#2 In the custody of his father after DOT intentionally overfed him and threatened to throw him off a bridge if Children's services was called.  I knew this father many years ago and he and I have agreed to remain in contact for the kids sake.  (This makes my exH crazy "you must be doing him". 

#3 Is Little Bit

#4 Is now being adopted by his foster parents.  The foster parent's and I exchanged contact information so we can send yearly letters and pictures.  Eventually Little Bit and he would probably like to make contact and we have agreed that we want to make it possible for them.

So, in total, of these 8 children, only two will be raised together (provided I can succeed in adopting her or get permanent custody).  The rest have and will be raised by the other parent.  My ex has said he will never have a vasectomy.  "I might meet someone who wants to have a family."  WTH?  It should be a punishable crime for either of these two to reproduce again.
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Learn from your experiences in the past but do not live there.  To do that steals from today. 
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« Reply #36 on: December 07, 2006, 03:47:53 AM »

This thread really touched a nerve.

My brother and I have been almost completely estranged from our early teens (even though we all lived in the same house until we were 18).

My Dad is BPD (I found out recently).  I was the "good" child and my brother was the "bad" child.  My dad was physically abusive to my mum (still is) and brother.  I had an unhealthily close relationship with my dad (I don't mean sexually, but I think it was weird nevertheless - probably beyond what would be the norm for "daddy's girl").

I am now 32 and my brother's 29.  We have started managing to make very superficial contact - he couldn't face seeing me last xmas and cried off at the last minute (my to my dad's rage and my mum's despair) but he was able to come to my wedding earlier this year, for example.  We seem to find it almost impossible to talk to one another.  I still don't really understood why.

I am racked with guilt about my brother; and my brother has blamed me for the way he was treated.  It is as though I got all the good, and my brother got all the s**t.  It is very confusing.  I don't know if I'll ever understand why my dad favoured me so much.

It seemed to me that the family was divided in half, with my dad and me on one side, my brother and my mum on the other.  I was cold and distant to my mum for a lot of my childhood, because she was on 'the other side' and I believed all my Dad's name-calling.  She admits she was jealous of the way my Dad admired me so much, and the way I could talk to him and calm him down.  My mum and I have a good relationship now, although I find it hard to understand why she stays with him (and why she tolerated the abuse to her son).

The relationship (or lack thereof) with my brother is what causes me the most pain now.  And the memories of how I failed to help him as a child.

rr
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Her Mama
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« Reply #37 on: December 07, 2006, 07:43:53 AM »

Robin, have you ever said to your brother what you have said here?  Perhaps if he only read your last line, it could make a difference.  I know if I ever heard it from my sister (not BPD but just weird and mean) it would make me at least want to try.  Right now I would just classify our relationship as non-existent.  Strangers raised by the same parents.  She even has my parents confused, telling stories of our childhood that no one in our family (not even extended family) remember as ever having happened.
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Learn from your experiences in the past but do not live there.  To do that steals from today. 
Live in the present with an eye to the future and leave the past where it belongs.
ragged robin
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« Reply #38 on: December 07, 2006, 08:33:50 AM »

I have tried in the past.  Five years ago I asked him to forgive me and he sort of laughed and said, 'Robin, I forgave you years ago'.  We still went another 5 years without speaking.

I am going to try again.

I didn't understand any of this stuff before.  I just knew I had a violent father, understood nothing beyond that.  Didn't realise the depth of the emotional manipulation that was going on.

I didn't understand why I had these ambivalent feelings towards my brother.  I didn't realise how much guilt I was carrying either.

Maybe I can do better this time.

Part of me fears that my brother is too damaged.  On the rare occasions that we speak it is always very conspicuous to me that he never asks me anything about myself.  Like, literally nothing.  I am always driving the conversation, asking him about what he is up to, what he thinks about x, y, z.  And it's like I don't ever get anything back from him.  My husband has noticed this too when he talks to him.  I don't know if it is something my brother just does with me and my husband (because my husband is tainted by association with me) or if he does it with everyone.

As a consequence, my brother knows almost nothing about the real me.  I am vaguely aware that he probably thinks I am what my father says I am - a bit of a butt (oh yes - my dad loves to think I am a bit of a butt, but misunderstood, and only *HE* can really understand me), an over-achiever.  These things aren't actually true.  They are in my dad's imagination.

My brother has difficulties with communication.  Hardly surprising.  He was bullied into silence most of his childhood.

But now, perhaps, I can see why he doesn't ever seem interested in me.  Perhaps I can be more forgiving of my brother as well as myself.  It doesn't really matter anyway, if we only ever talk about him.  I don't care what we talk about really.  Perhaps if I can forgive myself, then it will be less distressing for me to see my brother, and perhaps I can start to forgive my brother.  I am starting to see for the first time that I need to forgive my brother for something (not sure what it is yet, still groping around in the dark).  It's like I need my brother to tell me that I'm not evil, and I get angry with him when he seems to be still harbouring so much anger at me.

thanks for your reply, it means a lot to me.  Sorry this is so long.
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Her Mama
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« Reply #39 on: December 07, 2006, 08:54:56 AM »

Those closest to us are always the ones who can wound us the most and can also be the most wounded by us.  Fear is always the enemy.  Love is there, or else it wouldn't matter.  I hope you and your brother can find your way back to each other.
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Learn from your experiences in the past but do not live there.  To do that steals from today. 
Live in the present with an eye to the future and leave the past where it belongs.
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