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Author Topic: Children of Mothers with BPD - Columbia University  (Read 1086 times)
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« on: March 27, 2007, 07:20:41 PM »

More on... .Children of Mothers with Borderline Personality Disorder

Mothers with BPD are characterized by a history of broken relationships and marked instability in multiple domains of their lives. It is anticipated that the characteristic behaviors of BPD will infiltrate the mother-child relationship as much as it interferes with other relationships.


Borderline Symptoms in Context of Parenting

Characteristic symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder are likely to hinder the ability of a mother with BPD to parent effectively, thereby negatively affecting the social and emotional development of the child.

For instance, adults with BPD typically display a pattern of unstable relationships and a host of interpersonal problems (APA, 2000). They generally show a disorganized way of dealing with interpersonal stress and frequently fluctuate between extreme idealization and devaluation of others (Holmes, 2005; APA, 2000). It is suggested that the mother-child relationship is not protected from these interpersonal problems.

Likewise, people with BPD often cross interpersonal boundaries and role expectations. Many people with BPD, for instance, will be empathic towards, and care for, other people only under the expectation that the other person will “be there” for them on demand (APA, 2000). Many habitually make impractical claims that others are not “there” enough... .

Children of Mothers with Borderline Personality Disorder
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michelle
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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2007, 10:28:15 AM »

The article was interesting.  Since my uBPD mom didn't start in verbally and mentally abusing me until I was 12, I think I was old enough in some way to know something wasn't right about her.  I really feel for the children who were abused much earlier.  My mother was good to me, and my brothers, until we were old enough to start breaking away... .that's when she started showing her "true colors".  Although, we did see the abuse of my dad at an early age... .not a good thing to witness. 
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« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2007, 03:46:14 PM »

Indeed, this article suggests further study is needed and I agree.  There are many, many variables.  For instance, my mother gave birth to me when she was 18 years old and my parents lived with her parents.  This enabled her and my grandparents to provide me with much love and stability.  It was when she was 20 years old that my grandparents moved away, and mom began her downward spiral. Sadly, my Dad lost his father at an early age and his mother was quite needy.  These young parents had no one to fall back on. 

When my brother was born, five years after me, she attached to him so much, it seems she transferred all her feelings of victimhood onto him.  He became the golden child immediately. When he was teased at school, she met with the teachers to discuss. Little was done on behalf of my sister and me.  I began my role as 'assistant" and then onto caretaker when we moved to the suburbs.  My sister was born 15 months later.  She bore the brunt of most my mother's physical abuse.  My mother could not cope at all with an infant and two children.  My sister became hysterical and violent as she grew older, and was institutionalized by mom at ages 12-13.  My mother refused to let her live at home.  No doubt, in hindsight my sister developed reactive attachment disorder.  My mother would get me and my brother to side with her, and would not believe any diagnosis that pointed to her as the cause.

What people don't understand about a Narcissistic PD is that they really don't think they are doing anything wrong.  They shape and twist things in their own mind.  Trying to convince them otherwise is an exercise in futility.

So, with each child the reaction and consequences under a mother with BPD is different.  I do believe my sister was affected congnitively, but moving away from my mother and eventually out of state to live with my Dad actually saved her life.  She is the only one of us who is married happily with a child.  I know I struggle with self-actualization and my brother, while seemingly healthy, has just begun, only he does not know it yet.

Please keep posting these articles so that I can learn to understand more about myself. And I in turn will relate what I know!
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Greg
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« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2007, 06:13:28 PM »

Yeah,  I agree I wish there were more studies and interest on the subject (though it is selfish of me to say since it's regarding my childhood :P) 

I was raised by a BP mother with no father or other family and can relate to a lot of the symptoms.  I'd be interested in a study regarding teen and adult children of BP, as this article doesn't really go into that specifically (regarding symptoms later on in life anyway).  After recently learning my mother has BP I've begun to understand my horribly low self esteem/depression (which I was given medication for for years), my hypersensitivity, and inter personal relationship troubles. 
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« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2007, 06:08:26 PM »

Yes the article was informative - to a point.  I believe those of us with BPD parents know all of this because we have lived through it.  I also believe in the latter section of the article it feeds the question many board members are asking and feeding their insecurities ie. Am I the one with Borderline?

I think articles that would be more beneficial would include:

Causes of BPD - there is considerable discussion around this topic

What family members can do - yes, there are books but not everyone can get their hands on them or afford them - plus there are hundreds of articles pertaining to studies of interventions that have proven affective for family members.

JMO

Lots
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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2007, 07:11:44 AM »

Please do include this article on the web site. It helped me enormously. One more piece of the puzzle found. 

Thanks for all this good information; it could help save some child in the future. More fathers might reconsider whether giving up custody is really a good thing for the child. I believe the fact that my father got primary custody and we saw my mother infrequently after that is one reason I did not wind up in a mental institution. Since she saw us only rarely, her behavior improved. (She was still mean but stopped the hitting and screaming and sadistic behaviors.) Also my paternal grandmother was a loving influence, and she was able to live with us and help raise us (my brother and myself).

Articles like this one help me better understand some of the background to the hell I survived. (Key word here: survived)

I'd like to see an article on children of fathers with BPD.
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« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2008, 12:28:38 PM »

The article was so helpful! I hope more studies are to come on BPD mothers. I am facinated by birth order characteristics as well as mother/daughter relationships. I would love to see more work done on the effects of the first born child, last born child, middle child, "golden child" and the BPD mother. I would (selfishly) love to see more on the BPD mother and daughter relationship. I would love to see how many of my personal flaws have come out of growing up with a single mother with BPD>
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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2008, 07:04:07 PM »

Please do include this article on the web site. It helped me enormously. One more piece of the puzzle found. 

Thanks for all this good information; it could help save some child in the future. More fathers might reconsider whether giving up custody is really a good thing for the child. I believe the fact that my father got primary custody and we saw my mother infrequently after that is one reason I did not wind up in a mental institution. Since she saw us only rarely, her behavior improved. (She was still mean but stopped the hitting and screaming and sadistic behaviors.) Also my paternal grandmother was a loving influence, and she was able to live with us and help raise us (my brother and myself).

Articles like this one help me better understand some of the background to the hell I survived. (Key word here: survived)



I'd like to see an article on children of fathers with BPD.



i would also like to see some articles on children of fathers with BPD as im in a situation with my daughter wanting to see her father whom she has never met. i am nonBPD and if i thought that limited contact with her father would not have a detrimental effect on my daughter i would try and arrange it, but i need more information and advice on this subject before i make any decisions    any suggestions from yourself as you had an abscent parent with BPD


thanks angela
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« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2013, 07:56:04 PM »

I am new to BPD Family, so I am pretty saturated with information and exchanges. My response to the article is limited for that reason.

I thought it was excellent, in that it hit the nail on the head of my personal experience with a mom with BPD. She has told me many, many times that her happiest moments in life were during her pregnancies, when she was able to contain her babies (she didn't actually say that part). She fought to the death every try at individuation. I remember feeling the hopelessness of trying to fill a bottomless pit (which was her need), the bewilderment of being perceived as an angel one moment and a devil the next. I remember vividly the elation/joy/relief of promotion (from demon to angel), until I figured out that it was only a matter of time until I was thrust back into the fiery pit. As I child who was insecurely attached to a borderline Mom, I saw myself only in terms of her momentary evaluation (idealization or devaluation). It took many years before I could even begin to feel/be OK when she was raging or disdainful. 

I have long been interested in finding out more about earned secure attachment. I have long wondered about the ability of a good therapist to establish that with a child still under the borderline's roof.
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« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2013, 09:56:22 PM »

I liked the article. It described my experience well, though like others I agree that further study would be helpful.

Causes of BPD, and a closer look at attachment styles would especially be interesting to read about.
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« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2013, 12:52:24 AM »

I am suspicious about the "unstable relationship" aka changing partners theory, since my mom was married for 40 years and did not stray. However, I do believe she suffers from BPD.
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« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2019, 02:24:42 PM »

Excellent article.
It would be great to have more information in what the other parent can do in order to help their children and prevent further damage from their bpd parent.
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