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Author Topic: Finally understanding why my mother is different from other mothers  (Read 714 times)
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« on: June 28, 2013, 12:09:09 PM »

Hello! I am so relived to find a place like this where I can go to discuss my mother and why my childhood was such a destructive time. Since it is almost taboo to say anything negative about your mother in most circles,  it is nice to be with ppl who don't judge and who actually understand what it is like to spend your entire childhood under attack.

  First off, I was adopted at 9 days old, I am an only child,  & my parents divorced when I was 3yrs old; it has just been my mother and myself all these years.  My earliest memories are of my mother's bottomless rage.  She HATED my father for leaving,  she HATED having to take care of her own terminally ill mother,  she HATED her job, she HATED(hates) the world. She was very functional,  worked as a public school teacher until she recently retired,  and often was a very loving and supporting parent.  This made the maybe 20 percent of the time she was horribly abusive even harder cause you NEVER knew what or when she would switch, so you lived in a perpetual state of hypervigilance. My mother would alternately throw things at me, break things, yell, scream, curse, & SHAME me. SHE HAS, AND CONTINUES TO MAKE IT HER MISSION TO ALWAYS KEEP US TOGETHER AND ENMESHED.  She has always worked to keep me completely dependent on her and she's mostly succeeded,  out of my 38 yrs I've only lived away/apart from her for 9yrs. I am now just beginning to understand how and why things happened and I'm desperately trying to set up boundaries and start a new life free from her machinations,  although I truly suspect I will never be free of her until one of us dies(& no i am not suicidal or homicidal). Thanks for listening to my long post!
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Gender: Female
Person in your life: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 4408

« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2013, 01:10:47 PM »


Hi mazzieandgus,

Welcome to bpdfamily!  I'm sorry to hear about your struggles with your mother.  I can understand your desire to break free of her influence, I know I would feel the same.  You've found a great place for support.  We have tools to make things better, and members who also have parents with BPD.  You are not alone!

Has your mother ever had therapy or does she have any awareness of her issues?  How about you, do you have a good support system of friends or a therapist?  What kind of contact do you have with your mother these days?

Here are some resources to get you started on your recovery: How a Mother with Borderline Personality Disorder Affects Her Children

Why we stay:Traumatic Bonding,Intermittent Reinforcement,Stockholm Syndrome

Acceptance, when our parent has BPD

Keep writing, it helps to share your story.  We are here to support you.  


  When the pain of love increases your joy, roses and lilies fill the garden of your soul ~ Rumi
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Gender: Female
Posts: 130

« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2013, 04:03:15 PM »

Hi Mazzieandgus

I joined this site about a month ago and it really has been a revelation to find out how many people have such similar experiences - it just makes you feel much less alone, almost like there is safety in numbers!

I can identify with a lot of the things you say - only child growing up with an uBPD mother, father in my case died early.  My mother like yours was capable of holding down a very responsible job...  some of the members on the site recommended the book 'Walking on Eggshells' which I have since read.  My mother ticked every box of the high functioning BPD category.  Of course when all the crazy moods are contained within the four walls and a 'front' can be maintained at all times with outsiders, you start to wonder if you are losing your mind, could you be hallucinating or dreaming - I have even doubted my grasp of reality.  My mother had a huge chip on her shoulder, everything that went wrong with her life was always someone else's fault and the storm was always unleashed on me - 'hate' was a word I was no stranger to.  I constantly walked on eggshells and have done all my life.  The enmeshing is another factor, I left home when still in my teens - basically as soon as I could support myself, but she has always had me at the end of the phone.  There was a comment in the Walking on Eggshells book about panic at the sound of a ringing phone - that's me, a huge adrenaline rush, heart thumping at the mere sound of a phone ringing.  She also uses the term 'we' and 'our' rather than 'I' and 'my'.

It is only recently that I did a online personality disorder test on behalf of my mother and discovered BPD - it was a revelation - and so is this site and many of the links to good books such as Walking on Eggshells, mindfulness etc. In the mere month or so that I have been a member I have definitely felt strength building - it will take a lot of work but I think I can see light at the end of the tunnel.  Good luck with your journey.

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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2013, 04:45:58 PM »


I just joined this site also. It was such a relieving eye opener to find my mother's situation so clearly defined. I also have felt crazy in the past because no one will believe my sweet, sweet mother could be so destructive and hurtful. Its incredibly taboo to speak ill of your parents, and people are so quick to judge. I've lived away from my mother for years now, and am even married to an amazing, supportive man. However, she's constantly in touch, and nothing I ever do will be enough to show my devotedness to her. Good luck on this journey, we're all in it together.
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2013, 10:51:29 PM »

Hi mazzieandgus,

Thanks for sharing.  My UBP mother also tried to cultivate such a sense of dependence and enmeshment.  She would say to me, why do you have to be so independent and sought to undermine my sense of competence and freedom. She fostered dependence on her and called it love.  She criticized me so much I started to doubt my ability to take care of myself, doubted my sense of realty and felt like I couldn't stand on my own two feet and be a mature adult. She took credit for my accomplishments, rather than allowing me the opportunity to gain confidence.  I moved back in with my parents as an adult at one point, even though it was a highly abusive and miserable environment because I believed I couldn't really take care of myself.  I feel ashamed of that and felt ashamed that I was somehow not more successful in adult life.  And my mother was very sweet on the outside.  My best friend in high school didn't believe me when I started to reveal how abusive she was because she was so nice and mild on the outside. So, even though I experienced such abuse in the home, it was as if a part of me played along with the denial and thought I was just the troublemaker I was made out to be for having problem with this "selfless" mother.  She could maintain that image really well, and then she would curse, rage and abuse at home.  And I felt as though she would have a perpetual hold on me and never let me get away. I could relate to your feelings around that.  I never knew that this same kind of dynamic was going on in other homes.





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