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Author Topic: help-feeling awful  (Read 118 times)

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What is your sexual orientation: Confidential
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Parent
What is your relationship status with them: daughter/ lives apart but visits a lot
Posts: 21

« on: May 15, 2020, 12:26:26 PM »

I let my uBPD mom convince me to spend the past 8 weeks in quarantine with her without even having a car to leave (Which was obviously something I not only didn't want to do but hated doing), so I decided that I was going to dedicate every morning to self-help and self-therapy so that I could learn to stand up to her. Finally after 8 weeks of reflecting, practicing I statements, SETs, and other communication strategies, and reading books, I decided it was time to finally take these skills and put them to action. I was going to say I was ready to go home, phase 1 was beginning and she was going to bring me home.  Guess what, I completely failed. I looked at her, and started talking and began remembering the past, and what her rages did for my mental health. How I just beat alcoholism and depression and other mental health issues that occurred because of having to be subject to her rages and other abusive and manipulative behaviors during stress. I had learned to not fight with her for a couple of years now, as I've described before, by either just giving in and letting her win and control me,  or by just not telling her about my life or the decisions I made that she may not like.

Well, to make a long story short, I did not go through with it, she won again, and I feel awful about myself, I feel like a coward. and I am so embarrassed that I still let her control me. I couldn't stand up to her. The very thing I had been working for for weeks, down the toilet.

Eventually my mom will have to bring me back when campus opens again (thankfully), but I am at a loss. I may need to be on medication. I need a professional. I can't live the rest of my life like this or I won't survive. I basically shut down because in my mind, fighting with her/experiencing one of her rages would be worse than anything, even to the point of not getting my needs met.  I really do feel that way.

This is why I've given up on pretty much everything. I really believe I've isolated myself from friends so that I wouldn't have to feel attached to people I would have to give up eventually because of my mom. Then I also wouldn't have to worry about the embarrassment of having to tell someone who cared about me what I've been doing. I even wished I was single so that I wouldn't have to keep hurting my girlfriend over this and she wouldn't have to see me being such a coward. Now she has to see me as a weak person. I hate this!!

I don't know what to do anymore and I feel like I can never win. And the sad thing is I still love my mom and make excuses for her. I just can't bring myself to have to fight with her, I would give up anything at this point. I feel beyond help. I've done crazy over the top things to avoid fights with her. When I was in my 20s I created and edited entire lecture videos class to look like I was taking an online class that didn't even exist to get her to stop fighting with me while I was studying for the mcat. I've made fake bank statements, and official documents and even wilder things just to get her to stop. (these things would work) I feel so much shame for being this way and I can't even change.

I broke up with someone who I was completely in love with because I didn't want them to have to see me like this, a few years ago. I would've rathered them think I wasn't happy with them than see me as a coward who would do whatever their mom wanted. I hate living this way and its ruined my personal life. I can't make friends, or get into healthy relationships. The only thing I can do is work. Im at the top of my medical school class because shame drives me and its the only thing that makes me feel worth anything.

I don't know what to do. I'm afraid I've wired myself into this and I can't change. Would medicine even help me at this point? I hate that I work so hard to manage, and I have to write down conversation strategies and I have to do all this work, when I'm not even the one with the problem. She's the one who should be working on her communication strategies, practicing statements, learning acronyms. She's the one who should be doing yoga and mindfulness to calm down. She should be joining groups to learn how to stop hurting her family. She should be seeking advice, seeing a therapist or a psychiatrist. She should be the one considering medication. It's not fair!!! I used to try to tell her this when I was younger but it would only make her rage worse. Not only that, when my dad would try to help by talking to her, she would accuse us of conspiring against her and ganging up on her. It ruined my relationship with my own father because I've become too scared to open up to him.  Now, I'm here living with this every day and letting it consume me. It has taken over my life. Frankly I will be miserable if I live the rest of my life like this and my life will be a waste.

I just want to have a kid one day and give them everything emotionally. I want them to know they are loved no matter who they are. I want them to be happy no matter who they love, what they do, which path they choose, and that they never have to live in fear. That they will be loved no matter what and that I would love them because they are who they are and I wouldn't have it any other way. Maybe that will be a way to resolve it.

I've lost best friends, the love of my life, and even family members because I was too weak to stand up to her. Avoiding a fight at any cost. I can't keep ruining my life. How do I stop this?
« Last Edit: May 15, 2020, 12:36:09 PM by Josie2020 » Logged

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What is your sexual orientation: Confidential
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Parent
What is your relationship status with them: daughter/ lives apart but visits a lot
Posts: 21

« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2020, 01:06:31 PM »

And to just add some clarification, life has been pleasant. Quarantine has been going well, and the past two or three years have been going well. No major fights. But that is because I've learned how to not say things she doesn't want to hear by either keeping things to myself, not reacting to her saying something that is unreasonable, validating her feelings even if they are irrational, and giving in, just visiting when she wants, not making plans with friends when I know my mom might get jealous.

So yes, things have been very peaceful and we've even had some good memories together, but its at the extent of not getting my needs met, which has eaten at my self-esteem, making it even harder to make solid friends and relationships because I assume I'm not lovable. I automatically think people will think I'm weird. I know the only reason things have been better between us is because I've given up or hid my normal needs from her. I am positive because my brother who is just starting to have his own life is experiencing the same treatment that I did when I starting having a life (friends, relationships, all the normal things that we could possibly choose over her). The only difference is that he really cares about making friends and having fun because he never had a chance to due to  personal issues that I won't talk about her but basically bullying and having a hard time with socializing when he was younger. He's finally come out of his shell and learned to socialize and she's ruining that for him. I hope he doesn't end up like me. I'm very into gender equality, but I bet it's even harder for a man to have his mom control him. I feel so bad for what he is going through. We are about the same age, too. But yeah, seeing her do the same thing to him (I'm literally listening to a three hour long fight they are having right now), is what confirms that the only reason she has been better with me is because of me desperately trying not to get into another fight with her, not because she has changed.

This has been such a struggle.  Lately I don't even know what I want out of life anymore. I really struggle with my identity. I never know if I like or don't like something because she wants me to or not. I wonder if I pick people because they are her idea of what I should pursue. I never know if I wear something because it was something she would like. I mean it goes into every single part of my life, not just the major parts. I'll realize later that I'm reading a book she doesn't even know about because its something she would have thought was interesting or something. I seriously need help.
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Parent
Posts: 6608

« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2020, 05:58:43 AM »

Hi Josie-
Being a college student is kind of an in between stage. You are legally an adult, but since you are in school, still somewhat dependent on your parents. Your complete "freedom" comes with graduating and a job. Once a person reaches financial independence from parents, they are in a better position to set their own rules.

Your mother has a disorder and this makes her part of this situation disordered. To me, personally, college is a sort of extended dependence with both the adult child and the parent on the same page - the goal is for the well being and eventual independence of the adult child. Parents begin a process of "letting go" and the adult child begins the process of leaving the nest.

I recall being your age. I very much wanted to be out of my mother's control and I knew that the way to do this was to become financially independent of her. I didn't live at home during college but I did struggle with wondering "who I am" as enmeshment was part of my family patterns as well, making friends, and romantic relationships were not easy for me either. This is because for us to be a good friend or partner to someone, we need to know who we are, not who we think they want us to be, or try to be like them and that's not easy when being raised by a controlling BPD mother.

But this wasn't the main goal- the main goal was- get my degree, get a job, be financially independent. To do that, I studied a lot, I worked during college. It took some time, but one day I was able to call my parents and say " I am not coming home this summer".

My mother was not pleased.

And followed by " I have an apartment and a job" ( an appartment shared with a bunch of roomates so I could afford it, but it was still my own separate place!)

I recall wanting to buy something.  We were not allowed to do anything my mother allowed it. But since I had my own money, I didn't need her permission.

This wasn't the end of issues with my mother but it was one step towards changing her ability to control me. I still care about my parents. We still had a relationship.

Josie- it's tough right now but keep your eye on your goal. One thing that did help me was student health counseling. I went off and on during college for help dealing with my mother and family issues. Even with colleges on virtual learning, student health is still available by phone or Zoom I think. I think it will help you to contact them. I also think most colleges have LGBTQ support- and even student groups. Can you reach out to them? It would be nice to have some peer contact. But student health is key and I think they can be of support to you.

Hang in there- study, finish your degree, it's a big step towards your own independence.

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What is your sexual orientation: Confidential
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Parent
What is your relationship status with them: daughter/ lives apart but visits a lot
Posts: 21

« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2020, 10:45:41 AM »

Thank you so much for the input. I am actually a medical student, and I completed a master's after college, so I am 27, and as I do pay my own tuition with loans, my mother does help me financially. I feel like I'm too old for this but my mom through a serious fit about me getting the extra loan to pay for rent and I let her win (as usual), so she basically pays for my needs like shelter and electricity, and phone, and I pay for tuition, and my other needs like food and gas and day to day needs. 

Regardless of my age, you are right. Until I am completely financially independent and stable, will I actually be able to get full control. Things have been calm with her, thankfully. But I do hate walking on eggshells or feeling like everything has been nice but if only I could be more open with her, it could be hell.

But honestly, after first year we don't have many breaks in medical school, which is helpful to me.
I've definitely pursued therapy that my medical school offers. It has helped me so far, but I've only been in it for about a year and it helped me get through some self-destructive patterns so far. I'm hoping we can start working on exposure therapy soon. And I am part of LGBTQ support groups as well. It's hard being LGBTQ but also somewhat traditional and live in the south. It's also difficult when you've been told that you are disgusting by your parent and you believe deep down that peers will feel the same way. I've learned that no one actually cares (aside from maybe a select few that are unusal, but most normal people in my generation are fine with it.

Thanks for your input. I appreciate it. I will keep holding on. Like I said things are smooth right now and I will be okay!
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Parent
Posts: 6608

« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2020, 05:13:03 AM »

Hi Josie- yes,  being  a student could be any age- because it's the prolongued financial connection- even partially- that puts your mother in a position of control. You are close to being employed - being an intern/resident isn't a large salary as you know, but you will be able to be independent by then. So hang in there because that isn't too far off in your plans.

I can understand feeling that you aren't lovable because of things your mother said to you, but it isn't due to your sexual orientation. I got the same messages from mine and I am straight. What is happening is that your mother projects her own uncomfortable feelings on to you, and if it wasn't LGBTQ it would have been something else, because it's a reflection of your mother's low self image- not you. I hope you can keep that in mind. I had a low self esteem and didn't believe anyone would love me from the messages I heard at home. But it's not true- and you can believe it's not true about you either. It took a lot of school work to get to where you are, and you want to use your abilities to help people. That's a great personal quality to have.

I can understand that when we grow up hearning that, we assume other people are thinking the same things but they don't. There will always be people who don't accept us for one reason or the other- we could be the "wrong" religion, or  whatever their issue is, but I think in time, when your boundaries improve, you will find that there isn't anything "wrong" with you.

I also understand not wanting to hide who you are, but you know, as a professional, your personal life is not something you have to share with everyone. It's your personal business. You also have the option after school to do your residency in an area where it isn't as much of an issue. I think larger cities in the south and more diverse than the more rural areas.

Dealing with my mother and relationships is still something I work on, but not needing financial support from my parents was a big step towards being less controlled by my mother. One thing that has helped me a lot was 12 step- codependency and ACA - because the family dynamics with a pwBPD are very similar to those with an alcoholic family member, and in some situation both issues are going on. For now though, you have a support system at school and you will be very busy- and that will take up most of your time. Don't get discouraged- it's a work in progress.


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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Bisexual
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Parent
What is your relationship status with them: Living together temporarily
Posts: 9

« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2020, 05:55:58 PM »

Hi Josie,
I'm in a similar boat as you, a college student at home during the quarantine and trying to hard to live near my mother without falling into a dark spiral.
While being here and finding this website, I've been trying really hard to find better ways of coping with her and standing up to her. I don't know that I have any advice for you, but I just wanted to reach out and let you know you're not alone.
I'm the younger daughter and often fell into the pleasing/deescalating role myself, always bending over backwards to avoid conflict. It is a very crappy position to put ourselves in, and it is very painful to simply take the hurt and absorb it without being able to put it anywhere or feel any sort of vindication. I think the worst part of reacting this way to her rage has been that even when I am trying my hardest to avoid the rage, she still explodes at me. No matter how perfectly I think I have behaved, the insults return.
Reading your post made me feel very seen and subsequently, very validated.
Things are so difficult and painful but I have faith in our futures, Josie. There is another side and we will get there. We won't walk on eggshells forever. Hang in there, we're with you.
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