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Author Topic: Wishing my father would have left when I was a child.  (Read 597 times)
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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Parent
Posts: 1023

« on: October 10, 2013, 10:17:14 AM »

I am one of three adult children from a marriage of a BPD mother and a man who stayed married to her for over 50 years.  His life was never happy. He use to say "I am always the bad guy" and he was the bad guy because she made us believe it.  When he was at work she was fun.  When he came home she would be pushing his buttons to the point that my brothers and I would be punished (by him).  I didn't realize until I was middle aged that it was she who was causing all of the chaos in our home. Granted he could have dealt head on with her but he didn't and we suffered for that. Even more than that we, his children, didn't love him. We feared him. We dreaded him coming home from work. Even as an adult I was nervous around him.  She did an excellent job of making him out to be the problem.

If he had left we would have seen the sweet side of him.  We would have felt like we had at least one "normal" parent.  He died a few years ago and I forgave him for all of the heartache and pain he dealt us because I see that it was her behind all of it.

She is almost 90 years old and over the course of time she has alienated nearly every friend, has driven me and my brothers away (though two of us have come back but with very high boundaries). The third child committed suicide and she played a part in driving him to that end as well.

If you are leaving a relationship and feel guilt about it please take these words to heart. You cannot give up your whole life to the emotional torture of a BP partner any more than their child can be held hostage by their "I hate you, don't leave me" games.  Be strong and find your own path to happiness.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
Lucky Jim
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Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 6172

« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2013, 01:46:30 PM »

Hi Nevermore,

I'm sorry to hear about your FOO difficulties and can only imagine how hard it was to grow up in such a confusing environment.  Maybe there is a way to re-frame the issue, though.

Let's assume for a minute that your father was unaware that anyone could have a PD, much less BPD.  Let's also assume that, on some level, your father probably knew that your mother had personal issues that caused her to make it seem like he was the "bad cop" and she was the "good cop" in the family.  If we can grant your father that much, maybe we can speculate that he came to view himself as a stabilizing influence and didn't want to see you and your sibs growing up in a house ruled solely by your mother, who he knew had emotional difficulties.  I guess what I'm saying is, can you consider the possibility that maybe he stayed out of his love for you and your brothers?  Instead of wishing he had left, can you give him an "A" for persevering in circumstances in which others might have given up?

I can appreciate your feelings and am not judging them, but hope I have given you a possible context in which you might be able to look at your family through a different lens.  Maybe you can come up with other ways of looking at your family dynamic?

Lucky Jim

    A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
George Bernard Shaw
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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Parent
Posts: 1023

« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2013, 12:35:42 PM »

Jim, thank you for your response. Your points are quite valid, however they don't apply in my situation. My father was actually quite physically and verbally abusive to me and my sibs. I know it was trying to deal with my mother and her BPD that made him so but he certainly added to the chaos stew. I am sure there are some who do stay for that very reason.  It must be beyond difficult to be such a partnership and I respect every single person who has to make a decision to stay or go because no one knows better than they do what their lives are like behind closed doors.  Again, thank you for giving me interesting things to consider.   Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
aka moving4ward
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 725

« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2013, 12:43:15 PM »

Dealing with my BPD ex has made me realize that my mother probably was and is BPD as well.  Her rages, feelings of emptiness, irrationality, idealizations and devaluations even her tone of voice during the rage and her hand gestures were all eerily similar to my BPDex.  That is undoubtedly why I was drawn to my BPDex. But at least now I know.  Very true, we must find our OWN path to happiness. Merely because our relatives are our relatives does not mean we should allow them to destroy us.  I have placed serious boundaries with my mother because I realized her actions when I was growing up and the parentifying destroyed me.  Even today she says to me "you are just like your father" - she doesn't understand how much that hurts me.  So I just keep my distance.
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