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Think About It... As an adult child of someone with BPD, you've likely been cultivating and honing certain beliefs and behaviors since infancy. As a baby, you viscerally sensed anger, frustration, and despair through your parents' touch, voice, and you felt tension tightening the air...what you learned may have helped you protect yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally from your borderline parent, but it's probably not serving you well now". ~ Freda B. Friedman, Ph.D., LCSW, Surviving a Borderline Parent
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Author Topic: Only just starting to come to terms with PDmom - now this.  (Read 391 times)

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Posts: 16

« on: March 05, 2012, 02:48:47 PM »

I'm so knotted up with stress now, I've got to let this out.

I've not been on this forum long - I came on when I discovered BPD/NPD whilst on Amazon trying to find a book to help me make sense of why my parents hurt me/acted selfishly towards my wedding last November. With some reading around and some good advice on this site, I accepted that mom (as well as most of the rest of my family) are disordered, and dad is en. I've been making my peace with the fact that I cannot change them, and I can set boundaries as to what behaviour I will tolerate from mom, whilst maintaining regular but careful contact.

I was doing good, I think.

And then this happens.

Dad has been diagnosed with a rare blood disease. Depending on his exact test results, and how his treatment goes, if he's lucky he might have ten years to live, he more likely might have five, and if he's unlucky he'll be dead within six months. He is, as I type this, in hospital having a blood transfusion. Mom, of course, is freaking out, begging me for reassurance, telling me how awful things are and how scared she is. I don't begrudge her this, it's natural under the circumstances (of course, I am going through the same thing... the thought that four months ago dad was walking me down the aisle, and in another four I might be attending his funeral, is devastating. For all his parenting flaws, he was the person in my family I was - AM - most close to).

For the moment I am just trying to stay positive and hope his prognosis will be good. But the fact is, I now know with 95% certainty that dad is going to die before mom, and I will be left alone to deal with her. No-one else in the family speaks to her anymore. I know she is selfish and abusive and narcissistic, but, I don't have a heart of stone. Much as I don't want to abandon her when she is left alone, I don't want to get pulled back into FOGing, or to think that grief will magically change her. She has never lived alone in her whole life and this is going to break her, but I know it will ultimately be damaging for me to be reponsible for keeping her together (I'll have a hard enough time doing it for myself).

Any thoughts, advice, welcome. This is tearing me up cry
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Posts: 2089

« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2012, 02:54:57 PM »

Let us hope he has ten. 

I bet you are so heart sick it has become physical, hasn't it?  Do you feel like one moment you can feel the wind go right through you and the next moment you can't stand all the sensations you feel at once?  Awful.

How old is your mother?  I know you are worried about her being alone and not making it but I know so many couples out there married fifty years or more and everyone says "how will so and so make it when so and so dies" and then the survivor is playing bingo and golf and all sorts of things.  Now, maybe not all of those are disordered but I bet more than a few are.  How old is your mother?

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Posts: 16

« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2012, 02:57:57 PM »

Heart sick... that's very accurate PuttingIt!

Mom is in her early 60s, and has always had hermitty tendencies (more so in the last 6 years since she retired). That's part of the reason I'm concerned about how she'll cope.
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« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2012, 03:03:28 PM »

That hermit stuff gets us everytime, doesn't it?  We non-hermits have to be careful that we don't project our feelings of "Oh, Lord I could never just sit in the house ALONE." as being how they feel.  Sure, you bet, sometimes they will whip out the Lonely Card and play it and because we can only imagine how lonely it would be for US we assume the intensity of their lonliness must be like ours. It may not be.  I often, not always, suspect that those that have cultivated a lifetime of hermitness didn't set things up the way they really want it.  Besides, if and when he passes you can't live her life for her.  You can maybe sweet and attentive in the beginning.  I don't know what you entire story is so that may not be great advice.  You know what?  I am going right this minute to read all your posts.   Be right back, sugar.
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« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2012, 03:15:07 PM »

I just got finished reading your second post.  Two things stuck out to me.  One, she just wasn't that into you.  That hurts doesn't it.  I think you know it on some level.  Thing is I think you sound really smart and kind.  It was her.  Something was wrong with her.  Two, why did those two stay together?  They had you tucked away nicely.  You could probably have stayed where you were and maybe would have been better off it you had.  Was it all about appearances to the neighbors or even to themselves...if we feed her, cloth her and sometimes let her stay then that proves we are parents.  Okay, three.  Here you are so worried about her being alone and that is what you have always been.  Are you sure you are not projecting you own feelings of how you have felt or how you think you might feel under the same circumstances onto her?

I know what it feels like to have a parent not that into you.  It is awful.

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Posts: 16

« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2012, 03:33:19 PM »

Yeah, it was a hurtful realisation...not that I haven't always been aware in my heart of hearts, but just admitting it aloud. As I have mentioned in past posts though, dad did spend time with me sometimes and did sympathise with how nutty mom could act (not in front of her, but when we were alone). He's just generally always been nicer to me than mom.

I see where you're coming from but I'm pretty confident it's not projection - I generally cope fine with being alone now (I work from home so I have to!), which I think is a legacy of learning to do it growing up. Besides, I have a partner and a network of friends. Whereas mom has no such network, and she complains even NOW about how lonely she is, and has done for several years (I suppose from that POV things won't change much rolleyes) But, she is not used to the practicalities of living alone - paying bills, shopping, driving, all the stuff that dad does. For a non-pd bereved person, that is hard. For someone who is used to having a willing errand-boy, it's going to be very hard indeed. I think it's the knowledge of how hard it's going to be to manage her expectations when I am the only one left for her to turn to - I'm sure other people on these boards must have walked this tightrope between maintaining healthy boundaries for yourself, whilst not dehumanising the disordered person completely?
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« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2012, 03:44:35 PM »

Well, I suppose there are so many of those things you talked about I have not had to worry over.  Mother has always paid the bills and managed a tight ship.  I am no contact with her but if word got to me that she was having trouble comprehending I must ask what would I do?  What would I do?  I am not alone as you are.  I have two older sisters and a golden child brother that live in the same town.  I live 1,600 miles away.  That makes things very different, doesnt it?  Heavens!  If my siblings were not there and mother or father needed help with day to day things and it was all up to me...I don't know.  The one thing that comes to mind with reading other postings here is that the more they are allowed to get away with the more they try to get away with.  Maybe now, even if your dad lives another ten years, is to start thinking things like what if she refuses to pay her bills even though she can, what if she can't pay her bills, what if she doesn't eat, waht if, what if, what if.  You lie awake in bed at night and think these things don't you?
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