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Author Topic: Trauma from BPD mum  (Read 544 times)
Zabava
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« on: March 09, 2019, 11:08:35 PM »

My uBPD mum has mellowed and had therapy since my dad passed 18 years ago.  I am 51 and just starting to understand how devastating my mothers illness was on me.  I  am so sad for her but at the same time I grieve for  the person I might have been.  Can anyone relate?
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Turkish
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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2019, 12:20:02 AM »

How was it devastating to you? 
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« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2019, 06:28:53 AM »

Hi  Welcome new member (click to insert in post)

Having a BPD parent in your life can really affect people. I am sorry you've had to deal with this difficult situation for so long. You say your mother has mellowed, what would you say were her most difficult behaviors before she mellowed a bit? Are there any current behaviors she exhibits that you find particularly difficult to deal with?

Acceptance and grieving are important yet also quite difficult parts of the healing process. You mention therapy in your post, are you referring to your mother, has she had therapy? Or are you talking about yourself having had therapy?

You lost your dad 18 years ago. How was your relationship with him?

Take care Virtual hug (click to insert in post)

The Board Parrot
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« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2019, 08:43:35 PM »

Thanks for the support.  Turkish, it was devastating because every attempt at individuation was perceived as a threat of abandonment. 

Board Parrot, My mum is ok now but I am not.  I have struggled with depression since my teen years and recently had an episode of psychotic depression.  It was triggered by the death of my beloved Granny who was always there for me.  It forced me to confront some bad memories and I cant seem to move forward.
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Harri
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« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2019, 09:23:50 PM »

Hi there and welcome to the board though I am sorry for what brings you here.  It is good that you are reaching out and recognize that you are stuck.

Are you in therapy?  I ask only to get an idea of the support, other than here, that you have.  I am also wondering because it is hard when memories return but easy enough to get stuck there.  We have some things you can read that might help you at least understand what you are experiencing.  Sometimes just having the words to describe it can make a big difference in terms of moving forward.  Our Survivor to Thrivers Program is a good reference to bookmark.  See what you think and we can talk about it here.

 Virtual hug (click to insert in post)

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Zabava
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« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2019, 09:42:12 PM »

I am in therapy, but I find it hard to cope with the emotions it brings up and still be there for my 3 kids.  I also feel bad because I know there are so many people in the world who had way worse experiences and cope.
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Zen606
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« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2019, 01:45:18 AM »

Hi,
I can definitely relate! I survived a BPD mother, but it has been an uphill climb throughout my life to un-glue myself from her and the legacy she left me. She was inconsistent, rageful, and violent; manipulative, controlling, and a very poor role model for me. I am so grateful that I had a grandmother-paternal - who made the difference in my life. She died when I was 20; my biggest loss, besides my late husband.

Its great that you are in therapy, and while processing can be hard and painful, it will get better and you will grow. Some questions, are you working with a psychotherapist? Do they have experience with trauma? And, another question, have you had Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) treatment, this really works and will take the "edge" off the trauma. I had EMDR for the trauma and then used it for any distressing issue - over  a period of two years. This prepared me to do the intense in-depth work I have been doing for the past two years. And, the issues generally go back to my mother and the father who did not protect us.

Hang in there. You will be glad you stayed in the process, and please remember that as you work on these issues you are becoming a stronger, healthier  person for yourself and your children.

Zen606
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Maya L

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« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2019, 04:52:53 AM »

I´m glad that you are in therapy. If your therapist is good then you could really move forward. For me it was hard in the beginning. I grieved a lot about my childhood, how different it could have been and how much it has effected me, emotionally and with OCDs. But after some time, just going through ruff memories it starts to get better and better. I still get sad but usually for shorter periods and not as strong. Hopefully you are already starting to or can soon feel these changes to the positive. I feel that it helps to get to talk about these terrible experiences with an unbiased person (my therapist). And he validates that what happened was wrong and how it has effected me.

We have also discussed that to go through these things and come out as good as it is means that the person must be strong. We can get very affected by these parents, but with you having and raised kids you must have been strong to do so after what you have gone through!

I feel that covering missing relationships with new ones really helps. Maybe you have people that you could become closer too and also reflect on what they mean to you. Just the fact that you don´t need to be nervous around them is a big win. I think it is healthy to work on relationships with non-relatives and do things for them. You can feel appreciated in a way that you missed having from your BPD mother.
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Harri
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« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2019, 12:30:47 PM »

Excerpt
I am in therapy, but I find it hard to cope with the emotions it brings up and still be there for my 3 kids.  I also feel bad because I know there are so many people in the world who had way worse experiences and cope.
Therapy is very very hard work and we can often feel worse before we feel better.  That was the hardest part for me... I went to therapy to feel better and work on things but I felt worse for such a long time.  It does get better though.  Truly.

I want to talk a bit about how you are comparing your pain to that of others as if there is a scale or score you have to reach before you are allowed to have been affected by abuse.  Been there.  The thing is, it is all bad.  There is no contest.  We don't know the internal state of people or if they are in denial or what their struggles are.  They may struggle in different ways than we do, that does not mean they are functioning fine.  And yes, there are people who had horrible things happen to them ... that does not negate what happens/happened to us.

Often when I read someone who write that wha they experienced was not as bad as others, there is some denial and minimizing going on.  Especially when the abuse was emotional abuse.  That is a whole different animal than physical and sexual abuse and is considered to be worse.   The effects are longer lasting, it is harder to identify and combat and work towards recovery and it is not recognized as being abusive. 

I don't mean to invalidate your feelings here.  I understand and even felt that way at times.  I can say that sometimes, when I am getting really down on myself now, I will have this little voice in my head questioning if it was that bad for me and if I am just being the drama queen my mother so often called me growing up.  I get it, I really do. 

I hope you continue to hang out with us here and read and post and just join in.  Having a sense of community is important and we can support you.  We have several members who are coming to understand their background was abusive and it is helpful to talk with others in the same place or those who are farther ahead.
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Zabava
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« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2019, 08:51:32 PM »

Thanks Harri,

One of the things I struggle with the most is feeling like a weak person and an ungrateful daughter. Thanks for validating the harm that emotional abuse does.  I feel that I am fundamentally a bad person and I don't know how to change that.
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Harri
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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2019, 12:59:46 AM »

Hi.

I am not sure how to change it either but I can tell you that I used to feel the same way for a very long time.  How I saw myself my complete lack of self worth changed gradually as I worked on recovery.  It was a matter of forcing myself to look at the root cause and talking about it here and in therapy that helped.  It is only recently (relatively speaking) that I can say anything nice about me or believe that I have value and am worthy just for being me... that I am not inherently flawed or evil.

I wish I could give you a list of steps but I can't.  It takes time, a willingness to dig deep and push through the hurt and it takes a willingness to just leap into the unknown. 

I will tell you that the people here on this board were so important and more responsible for helping me than even the work in therapy.  Haha, there are a couple people on this board who I say, with love in my heart, completely broke me.  And they did it with support, validation, love and by challenging me.  It pissed me off sometimes, but I felt loved and I felt accepted no matter what I shared or how I shared it.  Every time. 

Keep reaching and stretching with us here and in therapy.  We've got ya.
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Zen606
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« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2019, 09:06:48 PM »

Hi Harri-
I agree this forum is another form of therapy for me. I love the energy here and find that there is so much support just through what we say to each other and how we say it. It's a support group for me. It saw me through the darkest days after going 100% NC with the bp traits ex, one and a half years ago. Wow do the red flags go up now - between this forum, psychotherapy, and my own hard work, I am in good hands!

Thank you BPD Family!
Zen606
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Zabava
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« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2019, 08:59:15 PM »

I am so grateful for all the support.  I am very scared of diving deep into childhood memories.  Is it worth the pain?
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Zabava
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« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2019, 09:28:51 PM »

I know it sounds dramatic but I have been overwhelmed by emotions related to my childhood in my past attempts at therapy.  My father tried to strangle my mother and I was a witness...My mother often threatened to commit suicide...they would beat each other up...They would have physical fights on the highway while my dad was driving...it was mental...I wish I didn^t remenber but I do.  Any thoughts on how to cope with the feelings?
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Harri
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« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2019, 10:26:16 PM »

That does not sound dramatic at all.  Your emotions are real and the memories are very traumatic.  It would be hard for anyone to process all of that.   Virtual hug (click to insert in post)

As for coping with the feelings I would take things slow, work with your therapist and maybe do some mindfulness to help you anchor yourself in the present.  Sometimes we talk about being mindful of your feelings and sitting with them but that can be overwhelming.

Instead, I would recommend mindful meditation which can be done any where anytime.  You can also do walking meditation which I used to do and found very helpful as traditional meditation did not work for me... I fall asleep!  Frustrated/Unfortunate (click to insert in post) 

We have a thread here: Practicing meditation--how do you do it? that covers what I am talking about.  I think walking meditation is discussed in reply#5.  Definitely read that and the first post in that thread.

Mindfulness can be done with anything.  Washing the dishes, in the shower, etc.  It engages all the sense and helps you stay in the present so you can better deal with emotions.  After you have done this and know ways to be safe and how to ground yourself you can do some deeper work.

You ask if it is worth it.  Absolutely it is IMO.  I can't imagine still feeling the way I used to feel.  Therapy and trauma work is hard and I felt a lot worse before I got better, but it does get better and I held on to that very stubbornly.   Knowing it was going to be hard and that I would feel worse temporarily was important.  Emphasis on temporarily.

 Virtual hug (click to insert in post)
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Harri
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« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2019, 10:31:40 PM »

Also, you may want to focus more on behavioral stuff for a while.  Learning the tools and communication strategies can help quite a bit in terms of feeling stronger and detaching emotionally.   Look through the Library section of the board and also check out the Lesson thread tacked to the top of this board.

 Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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Zen606
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« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2019, 12:33:33 AM »

Hi Harri and Zabava,
This type of work is hard, but so were the lives we led that got us into this forum. Now, we get to decide how we want to live, in fear of memories or free of the impact of trauma. We will never forget the memories and they will continue to be painful bringing up many emotions. Processing memories in a variety of ways and working with an insightful, empathic, and authentic psychotherapist who will provide good mirroring is the best gift that we can give ourselves. The process is scary and it hurts, and we will cry, and have dreams about the toxicity we experienced as kids, but as Harri says, it does get better, much better if we work with the feelings and then, let them go. We can do it.

Zen606
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Zabava
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« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2019, 09:03:57 AM »

Thanks for the suggestions everyone.  Sorry for oversharing.  I will try meditation and read more of the info on this page.
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Harri
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« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2019, 03:23:11 PM »

There is no such thing as over-sharing here.  Post away!
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Zen606
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« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2019, 05:49:51 PM »

I agree with Harri there is no such thing as over sharing. We need to tell our story and be listened to and validated. That's one of the functions of the forum
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Zabava
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« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2019, 08:07:58 PM »

I am taking you at your word and posting away...Just had a visit from my mum who lives 250km away. It was all good (as I said she has mellowed) but just being with her triggered bad feelings.  I am afraid that my children will see my pain and suffer as a result but I dont know how to stay cheerful for them.  I am very scared of my capacity for despair...drama queen Im sorry
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Turkish
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« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2019, 08:24:13 PM »

 How do your children see your mum?

We've seen a spectrum here: grandkids who love grandmum, to who do but see something off,  and those whose grandparent is dangerous and need to be protected.  

I feel for you in wanting to keep it together for them, but it's important for kids to see parents holistically.  Do you think they might start asking questions you don't want to answer?
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Zen606
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« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2019, 12:11:47 AM »

Hi Zabava,
Of course you are being triggered. Think of the memories connected to your mom. I would discuss the issue of your emotions in relation to your children with your therapist. Do you have a therapist Zabava?  I would highly recommend working with one as you are dealing with a complex issue. The therapist can work with you on developing an understanding of your emotions and how this impacts your children. You can then work on a strategy on how to address this.

I don't have children, but my strategy wit my BPD mom is limited no contact. I contact her in a way that keeps me safe.

Zen606
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Harri
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« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2019, 08:02:38 PM »

Staff only

This thread reached the post limit and has been split and locked.  The continuation is here: https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=335040.0
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