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Author Topic: BPD BEHAVIORS: Waif, Hermit, Queen, and Witch  (Read 108124 times)
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I DON'T have to save the day? Wow!

« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2007, 02:53:00 PM »

OK, wow...

I just finished the book, and I loved and hated every minute of it.  Here's my questions:

1) The book seemed to imply that "The Witch" could emerge from any of the other 3 types at any time, if the right buttons were pushed, but I wasn't sure if I was reading that correctly.  Do you agree? 

2)  My uBPD mom seemed to have aspects of all of them at different times, but the Waif was her primary role as I went NC.  Multiple suicide attempts, threats of suicide, etc. Is it possible to move through these types in stages?  Or even several different types at once? 

3)  I'm now very concerned that my all-black sister could become a BPD, but since I went NC, momster now has unrestricted access to her.  .  At the very least, when we were growing up, I could help sis process things.  But more often than not, I didn't know what to do, and I didn't know how to help.  I'm afraid I hurt her.   cry    Maybe now she's "the good child," since I "turned against" momster.  Should I do ANYTHING to try and help sis?  I really don't think she believes me when I tell her that momster is the problem----she thinks it's all my fault, and if I would just "forgive and forget," then we'd be "a real family again."  It breaks my friggin' heart. 

4) the book says that, in order to fully recover, we need to understand where we've come from.  That seems true.  But what do you do NEXT once you've digested all this?  Therapy seems to be the book's only recommendation.  I guess I'm just like the "good child" who's afraid of trusting in the therapist...

Gosh, I really think I tried to take in too much at once.  I feel like I need to lay down, drink some water, watch some fall leaves blow around----SOMETHING. 

Minds are like parachutes---just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can borrow mine.


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« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2007, 06:19:11 PM »

Joanna, I completely agreewith swiching roles - in my case anyway.

I believe they have complete control over this as well.

My BPDm is a witch - completely rageful, physcially and mentally abusive.  However, in front of my dad she is a waif - boohoo poor me.

This helps her survive.  I have, since a little girl, told my father about moms behavior because she is NEVER the witch in his presence.  In order for mom to remain in control she turns into the waif so dad will believe her and feel sorry for her - with him she appears helpless and abused.
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« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2007, 06:00:29 PM »

Trust Yourself - Many children of borderline parents say they felt crazy growing up. They experience a lot of inconsistencies—an action or statement that earned praise one day would touch off a three-day, stony silent treatment the next—as well as sudden outbursts and overreactions.  They never learn to trust their own judgment or feelings. An important element of recovery is to accept that you're not crazy"

wow- this is he most important piece of information that I got off this board so far. I didn't realize that the crazy feeling was so common.
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« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2007, 02:09:35 PM »

Though I have not been able to find a copy of the book that I can afford, I was reading sections of it last night in a book store.  There were many times where I was gasping outloud.  So many descriptions of behavior (especailly The Witch) and the effects they had on the child cut very close to my emotional bone.  I will be sure to buy the book when I find a copy that I can afford.  I know from reading the sections that I did, I know there will be items that will make for future threads on this board.

"It's not like my mother is a maniac or a raving thing. She just goes a little mad sometimes......."

Norman Bates in PSYCHO
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« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2007, 02:27:54 PM »


  You can request the book at your local library.  If they don't have it, they can get it from another library.  It will just take some time.  As a last resort, they can get it from the Library of Congress (thas is, if you are in the U.S.)

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« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2011, 09:24:07 AM »

I also found the following summation of Lawson's words of value:

The Waif  "learned that submissive behavior was the most adaptive response to an oppressive environment." She also "sees herself as an incompetent failure, and is overly dependent on the approval of others."

The Hermit is "a perfectionist, a worrier, and . . . an insomniac. . . Hermit mothers suffer from persistent fantasies of harm coming to themselves or others, and tend to attribute hostile intentions to others."

Queen mothers "compete with their children for time, attention, love, and money." And "The dramatic and sometimes hysterical behavior of the Queen mother can terrify her children."

And finally, Witch mothers can be "bitter, demanding, sarcastic, and cruel," and "Witch mothers know what to say to hurt or scare their children, and use humiliation and degradation to punish them."

My mother fit the bill to all of these (practically a textbook case). 8 years have passed since she died and I actually feel guilty for making this post.

"It's not me that needs the doctor, Blanche."

-Baby Jane Hudson

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« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2011, 10:50:28 AM »

I only recently learned about BPD and I read many books, including Understanding the Borderline Mother.  I have many questions.  My dad has NPD and my mother is the Hermit with Waif tendencies.  I am the all good child and my brother is the scapegoat (these roles were reversed when we were younger).  So, my questions are

1.) Do the behavoirs of NPD and BPD parents "feed" on one another

2.) when one is in crisis mode and the other stays calm sometimes and not others - why is that?  

3.)  My father used to frequently threaten suicide and still does, I believe, (I do not have a relationship with him). Is there anything to be done?  

4.) When parents split their children from earliest childhood into adulthood, is it possible to heal the parent-caused, old wounds between you and develop a relationship, and if so, can you recommend some resources?  

5.) Is there a book that deals with a NPD and BPD relationship and how that affects the children or are the affects the same as having just one parent with a disorder?  

6.) Can a person develop a sense of identity if they do not have one or will they always lack their own identity?  

7.) I have almost no memories from childhood (about 10 or 11).  Is the loss permanent?

8.)  I dissociate sometimes.  Are there techniques to teach myself not to do this behavior?  I apologize for the volume of questions and an answer to any or all of them is most appreciated.  

Formerly DEPKBC and Loveisaverb
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« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2012, 11:57:38 AM »

I'm no expert but from what I've read here, and what my T says, yes it is very common for a pwBPD to switch between the types. Most, however, usually have 1 or 2 prominent. I was confused by that at first, too. I read the Borderline Mothers book thinking everyone with BPD would fit neatly into one category. That's not the case.

For example, my mom is mostly queen, with some witch as well as hermit thrown in. Every now and then the waif would show up.

“If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.” ~Buddhist Proverb

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« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2013, 03:46:27 PM »

I agree with those that said this is the best book to learn about BPD. I LOVE this book and refer to it very often. I come from a family of three sisters. My mom was a borderline hermit. I am a waif, my sister's are also borderline. One is a queen the other queen/witch. The post that refers to who particular borderlines tends to marry (sorry, I can't recall who posted it) is so right on! Me and my sister's fit exactly into these categories. I knew I loved this book but putting that part together today cemented that fact. It's odd that many borderlines don't know about this book. I know it's expensive, but they don't know about it at all. I share the info with as many people as possible b/c it's that good. When I came across it at Barnes & Noble one day it literally jumped off the shelf. I kept walking away b/c of the cost (I think is was over $40). But I couldn't get away from it and gave in. I got, and continue to get, my money's worth and more. This is a great thread & a great board.

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« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2014, 03:20:14 PM »

My SO's uBPDex has bits of each too.  Mostly a queen...  my way or the highway and Waif...  I'm sick and in pain with every disease known to man!  But she can be a hermit too...  I can't go I don't drive and Emotionally a witch...  you're not doing what I (the queen) tells you to do so therefore you are painted black!

"Have you ever looked fear in the face and just said, I just don't care" -Pink
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