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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSONALITY DISORDERS
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Author Topic: BPD BEHAVIORS: Problematic parenting  (Read 45195 times)
JoannaK
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« on: November 12, 2007, 12:45:33 PM »

BPD BEHAVIORS: Problematic parenting

This workshop will focus on the kinds of behaviors in which BPD parents engage, especially the kinds of subtle behaviors that aren't overtly neglectful or abusive towards the children.  Please understand that very often the BPD parent isn't intentionally hurting the child... but he/she often sees the children as either extensions of her/himself or as a reflection of him/herself as a human being.  

Many people will pass through BPDFamily.com, particularly men, and describe their BPD wives or girlfriends as "good mothers" because they are very involved with their kids and they are not neglectful or abusive.  Often they are describing over-involved or controlling moms vs. truly good moms.  So be aware that an overly involved mother might not be as "good" for the kids as you might think.    

I wrote this a few years ago, and it gets resurrected every so often.  I don't talk about why (in terms of the etiology of BPD/NPD) that a BPD/NPD parent might engage in these damaging behaviors, but just look out for them and be prepared to counter some of the damage.  There are forms of damaging parenting, and people who share children with a disordered spouse need to be aware of these other forms of difficult or problematic parenting, and how their children might be affected.  Though I talk about "moms", please be aware that BPD/NPD dads do many of these same things:





1. Overcontrolling/enmeshing behavior. The children are not afforded the basic decision-making abilities of other children at the same age.  Or:  The children aren't allowed the basic freedoms (to get dirty, get wet, to play without a parent hovering, to make mistakes) of their peers.  The mother may not allow the children to go anywhere without her (to an activity or on a play date, for instance---instead of dropping the kids off, she will hang around all the time.. even when not appropriate.).  Or:  She may not allow the children to have any friends of whom she doesn't approve even though nothing has happened.

The parent may dissect and criticize the children's friends, activities, parents of the kid's friends, teachers, coaches, etc.  She may complain constantly about these people and/or pit one teacher/coach against another. The parent may complain about these people in front of the kids, so the kid winds up disrespecting his teachers, coaches, principals, friend's parents, etc.  These parents are often the ones who are constantly on the phone with the school, the coach, the doctor, whomever.  

Very often these moms either want to or actually do homeschool their kids, even though there are reasonable educational options in the community.  (I don't mean to imply that all homeschooling parents are disordered, but, based on my experience with the homeschooling community, many are.)  

The children may become extensions of the mother...  She doesn't see them as independent beings with their own wants, needs, and desires.  Often these mothers have serious problems or become more abusive when the kids move towards independence as adolescents or want to move away at college-age or as young adults.  Sometimes these moms break off contact with the kid (either temporarily or permanently) if the kid no longer dances to their fiddle.

As the kids move into the teen years, the BPD/NPD parent may invade the kids privacy with unjustified snooping, by reading journals, emails, etc.  The BPD/NPD parent becomes more controlling and critical and may make unfounded accusations.

2.  Pushing behavior.These kinds of parents are often very "pushy" and they may live their lives through the kids.   One of our posters wrote the following, which is a classic description of this type of parent:

"My wife is a very attentive, if demanding mom that can drive the kids nuts.


She very much wanted the kids to be better than her, and has been a really good advocate for them."


Unfortunately, many dads think the mom is a "good advocate" for the kid if she is this kind of mom. You may wish to look at this behavior in a different light.

Pushy parents often push their kids to early accomplishments:  The kid has a golf club in his hand at age 3, is on stage at age 4, playing chess with adults at age 3, on and on.  Stage-door parents, parents who push the kids into sports may be examples of these kinds of parents.  Most of these parents will tell you that the kid really wants to play chess, play tennis, be on stage, be in the pre-Olympics, but many kids will want to do these things because they know that is what Mom or Dad expect.  For every kid who does succeed to the lofty heights as an entertainer or sportsman, there are thousands who fall by the wayside and are damaged by the experience.  Many young athletes and performers flame out, as is so often documented in the entertainment pages.  

Pushing the kid intellectually can also come under this heading.  Many pushy parents, for instance, want their kids to know the alphabet or to read at very early ages, and they brag about this to family and friends.  But bright kids will catch up and pass up those who are pushed and taught to know the alphabet at age 2 or to read at age 3.  As a former teacher, I saw many kids who had been pushed into early reading who lost steam at age 8 or 9, and were passed by in grades, in literacy, in desire to read, by others who learned to read a bit later.  Sometimes kids just naturally "teach" themselves to read, but that is not the same thing.  There is no reason for a mother to be sitting with her 1 or 2 year old with flash cards teaching him/her letters.  Such a parent is doing this so that she/he can brag about the kid; he/she is not doing this for the child's benefit.    

I'm not saying that all pushy parents are BPD or otherwise personality disordered, but my sense is that many of them are.  

3.  Unrealistic expectations/Criticism.  A corollary to number 2:  The child may be expected to be "perfect" in school, sports, or other activities, and the parent gets angry or cold if the kid doesn't meet those expectations.  The parent may insist that the child be unrealistically neat and clean or "perfectly" dressed in kiddie designer clothes, even though the child needs to play and get dirty.

The BPD/NPD parent may rage or otherwise overreact to normal kid behavior, such as a child not unloading the dishwasher.  Children may be woken in the middle of the night to finish some household task.  The child may be subjected to a barrage of criticism or innuendo if he/she doesn't perform as expected.

Also, the parent may complain about the other parent or accuse him/her of being neglectful if the other parent is a bit more relaxed about the child's performance or appearance.  

4. The pedestal. The kid can do no wrong. The children (or one of the children) is allowed to run wild and/or the mom makes him(usually a boy) think that he is better, smarter, more mature than anyone else, including adults and often including the other parent.  This behavior results in the Little Prince or Little Princess syndrome in which the child really believes he/she is special.  These kids often have a hard time fitting in socially with their peers as they have been convinced since early childhood that the regular "rules" of being a kid don't apply to them... and that they are somehow entitled.  They are often seen by the BPD parent and by themselves as equal or better than adults.

They often also look down upon the other parent, as they have taken on the BPD parent's view of the other parent as a doofus, lazy, not very bright, worthless, etc.  Unless there is a moderating force, these kids are little narcissists in the making.  

As I inferred above, one of the children might be the "good" child on the pedestal, and the other may be the "bad" child.  Very damaging for both kids.  

5. Emotional incest: The mother treats the children like little lovers emotionally, often sleeping with the children (or one of them) and constantly "adoring" the children.  She is intimate with them in terms of the kinds of discussions and conversations that she should be having with her adult partner...  but the children (or one of the children) replace the adult emotionally...  (Similar to "parentifying" behavior discussed below.)  

She may make the child responsible for her emotional or physical health: "I'll be so sad if you don't do a, b, or c...  I was so upset when I saw you doing a, b, or c, that I took to my bed with a headache."  

Children who are the victims of emotionally incestuous or parentifying behavior often are very "good" children:  They do well, often very well, in school, they are usually respectful, they do what they are told, don't need to be "reminded" of things too often.  Very often the parents brag about how responsible or mature these children are.  

Many times these kids are too pale and don't laugh, smile, or play as easily as other kids the same age.  There is usually guilt or manipulation involved here...  the child is subtly or overtly asked to show how much he loves Mommy or Daddy (whichever is the BPD/NPD parent).  And maintaining a good relationship with someone who isn't BPDMommy is often seen as a betrayal, producing great guilt in the child.

Ultimately, these kids can rebel during adolescence or even after they leave the house.  They may choose "bad" partners or friends.  Or they can move through life being fearful and cheerless... and choose demanding spouses.

6. Parentifying: The mother turns towards the kids to make decisions, take care of chores, etc., which she can't handle. The child in effect becomes the parent's parent.   This is particularly true for children of BPD parents who are alcoholics, have lots of physical problems, or take various kinds of drugs.  Often the kids are asked (either by the mom, by the other parent, or by their own instincts) to make value judgments as to the drunken parent's ability to drive, cook, etc., and they are always watching for the BPD/drunk parent's state of being.  

The child may be asked many inappropriate questions about what he/she wants to do, where he/she wants to live, etc.  

7. Abuse of the other parent. Just because the kids aren't getting verbally ripped, it doesn't mean that the abuse isn't impacting them. When they see/hear the other parent being abused, it creates an atmosphere of tension in the home, and the children have very bad role models for women and men and how the two people are supposed to interact. Also, a boy seeing/hearing dad abused can grow up to devalue men and himself. A girl seeing/hearing dad abused can grow up thinking that men are pathetic, weak and useless.

Even if the parents split up, this behavior may continue.  A single mom below is criticized by her ex when their little girl is "too dirty", even though little kids are supposed to play and get dirty.  However, if the parents live apart and the abused parent has ample time with the child/ren, the abused parent will usually have ample time to be a good, kind, loving parent and decent role model to those kids, despite the criticisms and complaints of the abusive parent.  

8. Inconsistency. Most BPD parents swing between these various "styles" of parenting, from out-and-out abuse or neglect, to more appropriate parenting, to pedestal/"kid is my little darling" behaviors.  So, not only are the kids harmed by the style of parenting, but they can't get a fix on what is coming next.  Some adult children of BPD moms who have posted here feel that the inconsistency is even more damaging than a parent who is consistently critical or abusive.  





I invite others who have experienced BPD parents (either as children with a BPD parent or their spouses) to describe other ways in which the BPD parents are harmful.. which don't involve outright abuse or negligence.  Remember, "Workshops" is about general situations, not your specific situation, so please describe types of behaviors you have experienced, with specific examples.

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elphaba
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« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2007, 12:38:06 PM »

BPD was a step parent (which I think further complicated matters)

These were the toughest things...

Overreaction to "normal" kid behavior ...the rages over everything - things as simple as not unloading the dishwasher was met with a rage...a full blown BPD rage...

Constant Criticism - kids who are forced to grow up in this kind of atmostphere are bound to have some major difficulties.

Invasion of Privacy - the need to control had him searching the kids room, reading journals, etc... without any cause

the teen years - As the kids become more independant the BPD tends to become even more controlling/critical of everything they do, don't do, may do...BPD had intricate scenarios all played out in his head as to what the kids were doing...he believed it although it had little or no basis in fact and would react to the kids as if it was fact.

I worry about the long term effects his behavior will have had on my kids...I can only hope my parenting offsets it.
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2007, 08:03:11 AM »

Authority on all subjects   This drives me nuts! uBPDW always has a comback or comment that takes the focus off of what the kids are trying to say and on to her. Sort of hard to describe but its like she will pick some small point and blow it up so that what the kids are saying is diminished.

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JoannaK
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2007, 08:49:12 AM »

Also, "required reading" in conjunction with this workshop would be Lawson's Understanding the Borderline Mother.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=53779.0

And a more extensive discussion of the types of borderline mothers here:

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=61982.0

Articles about the effect of borderline mothers on their children:

https://bpdfamily.com/content/have-your-parents-put-you-risk-psychopathology

https://bpdfamily.com/content/shame-powerful-painful-and-potentially-dangerous-emotion


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« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2007, 01:03:06 PM »

Joanna,

This workshop is outstanding.  It really addresses the parenting syles and behaviors that can "appear" normal or helpful, when in fact they are destructive.
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« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2007, 03:45:48 PM »

If I had a lot of money, I'd try to buy the rights to UTBM Christine Lawson (did I get the name right?) and put it in the public domain.  She deserves a large amount of cash for that well researched book, and everyone dealing with a BPD mother needs to read it.

Thanks JK.  So often we male nons think our spouse isn't "too bad of a parent", instead of wanting them to be the "good enough parent".
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« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2007, 08:23:08 PM »

Ugh, just reading this has made me realize what my husband has been doing to our kids.  I knew it wasn't right, but I didn't know what to say to him to make him stop.  He does the "don't do that, you make me upset" or "please eat the sandwich that daddy made just for you" or some other comment that focuses on how our kids (usually directed at our daughter, I truly believe he despises females) will affect him if they don't do a, b or c.   cry

And my kids are very well behaved kids.  Everyone around us says they must be so well behaved because I stayed home with them and provided them with a structured environment until they were 2 1/2 years old.  Now I know it's probably because they feel guilty.   cry
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« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2007, 08:54:53 PM »

My wife plays the feelings game... "Don't do that, that makes my feel bad" or something like that. I believe that kids need to understand emotions and need to know and understand how their actions effect other people... but we are not discussing the gray area of this, but the constant pounding of the point that BPD's typically do in their specialities.

My wife hates it when the kids don't like what she makes for dinner. They are not generally very picky, but when they do get picky, watch out world. I've seen her get mad and change her moods as though she was personally rejected. I've made things the kids didn't like and while you never like to see someone dislike something you make, you can't take it personal.

I mentioned this in another thread, and curious to how it relates to the BPD mother...

My wife tends to take all my daughters issues and "sum" them up into black or white issues. For example, my daughter was telling her that she didn't "look" like a mommy and made a list of things that perhaps the mothers that helped out at the recent Thanksgiving meal at daughters school differed from her own mom. As my daughter was rambling off this rather lengthy list for a 5.5 year old, I could see an obvious "disturbed" mom with eyes welling up. Instead of discussing each issue and discussing them to help our daughter realize that people have different colors of hair, different lengths, clothes and whatever... she said, "So, do you like me or not?" Of course our daughter said she likes her, but completely missed a point to describe how each of us are all unique and turned it into a matter of liking someone or not.


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« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2007, 07:17:40 AM »

"So, do you like me or not?" 

OMG!  My husband does this too.  The kids for the most part generally prefer me to do things for them, most kids do prefer their mother.  Whenever one of the kids will say they want me to do things for them instead of him, he'll say "They don't like me" or "They don't love me."  It's very disturbing. 

He also gets pissed if they don't eat the supper that he makes them.  "Daddy spent a lot of time making that, now eat it."  Blech!
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« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2007, 09:42:37 AM »

He also gets pissed if they don't eat the supper that he makes them.  "Daddy spent a lot of time making that, now eat it."  Blech!

Geez, have I heard that a bunch.  And intentionally feeding them food that isn't prepared the way they like - when they say I know how to prepare it, she takes it VERY personally and...  here we go!  Rage time.  The worst part is that she knows my "tricks", she just doesn't want to take the time or extra steps.
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« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2007, 10:06:59 AM »

"So, do you like me or not?" 

OMG!  My husband does this too.  The kids for the most part generally prefer me to do things for them, most kids do prefer their mother.  Whenever one of the kids will say they want me to do things for them instead of him, he'll say "They don't like me" or "They don't love me."  It's very disturbing. 

He also gets pissed if they don't eat the supper that he makes them.  "Daddy spent a lot of time making that, now eat it."  Blech!

same here, except its my wife that says "Mommy spent a lot of time making that, now eat it."  To this day, when they are sick or hurt they come to me first. In the middle of the night they come to my side of the bed. I think that says a lot"
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« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2007, 10:29:37 AM »

Yea, and when our youngest daughter holds her hand or gives her a hug, my wife will say, "She likes me!" As though, she didn't. But, she did go through a period where she didn't really want to deal with her mom, when she was in the hospital and not very "Active" around the house when she was here... but still, I get sick of hearing it. It's once thing to say it once, it's another to say it every other day with the same joy and glee each time - as though it was new information or discovery.
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« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2007, 11:41:03 PM »



My DH's uBPDx wife was know to proudly declare to my DH that she asks their son "So, how am I doing as a Mommy?"  Son was five years old at the time. 

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« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2007, 10:55:30 PM »

Thanks for exploring this subject, I stated to place it in HappyGirls discussion for non men but will place it here in the workshop. I have discussed this area a few times but would like to do it again since I believe my story is a little unique but still filled with the same paint. I am the father of three who stuck it out till all three left the nest and were out on their own. She came from a somewhat upper crust dysfunctional family, had a very controlling NPD father who probably abused her. She was a rebellious teenager that became pregnant as a senior in high school and forced to give up the baby by her father.

When our children started to come along I observed and believed her to be a great mother and did all the things you would expect in taking care of a child’s needs and wants. Years later I looked back and noticed that she did take care of their physical needs in taking care of them, taking to the doctor, providing good nutritional food and pampering them when they were sick or upset. What I did find was that there was something missing in her care that I found odd in that she never played with the children. I could spend hours playing with the boys with Hot Wheels, playing ball and board games but I never saw her playing with our daughter with dolls or play kitchen and had low tolerances for board games with the kids. Maybe mothers don’t down get down and play with kid’s toys like dads do with the boys but it appeared to be missing. I know my own father could get on the floor and play with the kids for hours but I never saw any member of her family do anything more than have them sit on their lap.

When the youngest entered first grade she went back to school and started working. This change in her lifestyle lead to other alternative pursuits of going to bars, drinking too much and having affairs. Besides putting up with lies, distortions and affairs I had to become the major presents in my children’s life. This lead to a lot of stress in my life between home life, being a father and at work. All during this time she was never harmful to the kids, didn’t yell at them too much and was a little permissive in what they were allowed to do and I became the bad guy when I wouldn’t approve sometimes. What basically developed was she was an absent mother most of the time. Working full time, sometimes part time in the evenings and all the bar hopping and other men kept her away from the house much of the time. She and I did not get into any explosive displays in front of them but on the other hand we could be very cool to each other in their presents. During the relationship there were many times that her absence or excessive touched them at times and I would ask her to change her behavior and she would just skoff it off and said it was OK for they were just kids. I don’t know how many times I had to make up stories when I got the question “When is mommy going to be home?” My boys graduated from high-school and off to college, when finished there they moved on and never came back home except for short visits. My daughter went to school locally for a few years then went some distance away from home. We split up after some really crazy periods that I couldn’t put up with anymore.

In review and getting a focus of what really happen in my past I began to see things that made me believe that my ex was interested in being a mother to a baby and taking care of them for their first few years of need and not truly being a mother to nurture and guide a child into adulthood. I saw many a heartbreaks in my children when she found it more important to be with somebody else after work then to have dinner to celebrate one of their birthdays. Absent during sporting events that her son was playing in or coming in late drunk. What I received then and totally accepted was her painting of me as a bad father, that I yelled at them too much, never helped them and was always tied up with work issues too much. She also alluded that she talked to the kids a lot about me too. Well really looking back now she was absent so much I’m not sure when she had the time to do all this talking with them. I was the one who helped with homework and did the spelling drills all the time and ended up fixing dinner when I came home from work and can’t recall yelling at them much at all.

Looking back I know the whole situation left some impression upon my kids but I have not been able to ascertain how bad. I stayed in the marriage because I know she would not be able to provide a safe environment or be a healthy role model for them when they were growing up. They all graduated from college, two have advanced degrees and have very successful professional careers. They appear very stable getting along in life very well. A few little issues but nothing serious, but clueless to the effects they suffered while growing up.

Can anybody relate to having an absent mother rather than an abusive one?

Thanks,

LA

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Letting go when it is too painful to hang on is hard to rationalize.

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« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2008, 02:14:52 PM »

I would add making general conversation intimate...whispering in the ear, putting arms on shoulders or on the back of a chair...almost restraining the child.  I have had others see this activity and call it mauling.  I think it is a hostile act in a subtle form.

Lack of rules, lack of discipline. 

The child becomes the ears and eyes of mother, reporting back everything to the mother.  The child would never consider doing this for the father.  The loyalty is fierce.

The mother's happiness hindges on the mother being happy.

The child has everything, excessive spending on non-necessities.  Toys, pets, games.  Doesn't matter when (even a few weeks before a big holiday).

As stated, the child makes adult decisions...whether or not to sell the house, when or if to move into new house.  Alienation of other parent, parent's extended family, step mother or step/half siblings: charges they are breaking the law, hurting or abusing child, bad treatment.

Sleeping with child.  Child asked why do you sleep with mother, answer: because it makes her feel better.

Everyone believes the way the mother does, will name those of "authority" who agree with her.  Do they?  Who knows, they probably were never asked.



   
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« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2008, 09:58:20 PM »



Sadly I can relate to all you have wrote above. I guess many a times I forget we are discussing issues that involve somebody with a mental illness. When we look at the woman who is the mother of children it is hard to accept that they neglect or harm their own children physically or with abuse that effects their development. Their own needs and insecurities are much more important to them then any responsibility to some of the most important people in their lives, especially little ones who look toward them for fill their needs for love, understanding and attachment. Their own personal childhood could of been hell and they live in denial over it but why do they contribute to perpetuating it again and can't see what they are doing is wrong? They claim so much giving and attachment but have trouble demonstrating it.

LA
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« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2008, 09:54:40 AM »

lapdr wrote:

Quote
Years later I looked back and noticed that she did take care of their physical needs in taking care of them, taking to the doctor, providing good nutritional food and pampering them when they were sick or upset. What I did find was that there was something missing in her care that I found odd in that she never played with the children. I could spend hours playing with the boys with Hot Wheels, playing ball and board games but I never saw her playing with our daughter with dolls or play kitchen and had low tolerances for board games with the kids. Maybe mothers don’t down get down and play with kid’s toys like dads do with the boys but it appeared to be missing. ...

When the youngest entered first grade she went back to school and started working. This change in her lifestyle lead to other alternative pursuits of going to bars, drinking too much and having affairs. Besides putting up with lies, distortions and affairs I had to become the major presents in my children’s life. This lead to a lot of stress in my life between home life, being a father and at work. All during this time she was never harmful to the kids, didn’t yell at them too much and was a little permissive in what they were allowed to do and I became the bad guy when I wouldn’t approve sometimes. What basically developed was she was an absent mother most of the time. Working full time, sometimes part time in the evenings and all the bar hopping and other men kept her away from the house much of the time. She and I did not get into any explosive displays in front of them but on the other hand we could be very cool to each other in their presents. During the relationship there were many times that her absence or excessive touched them at times and I would ask her to change her behavior and she would just skoff it off and said it was OK for they were just kids. I don’t know how many times I had to make up stories when I got the question “When is mommy going to be home?” My boys graduated from high-school and off to college, when finished there they moved on and never came back home except for short visits. My daughter went to school locally for a few years then went some distance away from home. We split up after some really crazy periods that I couldn’t put up with anymore.

In review and getting a focus of what really happen in my past I began to see things that made me believe that my ex was interested in being a mother to a baby and taking care of them for their first few years of need and not truly being a mother to nurture and guide a child into adulthood. I saw many a heartbreaks in my children when she found it more important to be with somebody else after work then to have dinner to celebrate one of their birthdays. Absent during sporting events that her son was playing in or coming in late drunk. What I received then and totally accepted was her painting of me as a bad father, that I yelled at them too much, never helped them and was always tied up with work issues too much. She also alluded that she talked to the kids a lot about me too. Well really looking back now she was absent so much I’m not sure when she had the time to do all this talking with them. I was the one who helped with homework and did the spelling drills all the time and ended up fixing dinner when I came home from work and can’t recall yelling at them much at all.

Looking back I know the whole situation left some impression upon my kids but I have not been able to ascertain how bad. I stayed in the marriage because I know she would not be able to provide a safe environment or be a healthy role model for them when they were growing up. They all graduated from college, two have advanced degrees and have very successful professional careers. They appear very stable getting along in life very well. A few little issues but nothing serious, but clueless to the effects they suffered while growing up.

Can anybody relate to having an absent mother rather than an abusive one?

Thanks,

LA

You wrote this a month back, lapdr, but you've brought up some very good points...  She was absent, negligent but not obviously so.  Emotionally negligent.  She didn't fully connect with them when they were little...  she went "through the motions". 

At least she didn't keep them away from you, so you were able to provide consistency and availability.  Your kids are doing well despite difficult mom.  But you won't know the full impact of her dysfunction on them...   They could choose poor partners themselves, they could have problems parenting themselves, they might have a hard time committing to a relationship.  They could become somewhat to very narcissistic...  Hopefully, they will avoid those issues, but kids with bad mothers will have problems in some area some time... might just be minor. 
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« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2008, 12:25:39 AM »

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At least she didn't keep them away from you, so you were able to provide consistency and availability.  Your kids are doing well despite difficult mom.  But you won't know the full impact of her dysfunction on them...   They could choose poor partners themselves, they could have problems parenting themselves, they might have a hard time committing to a relationship.  They could become somewhat to very narcissistic...  Hopefully, they will avoid those issues, but kids with bad mothers will have problems in some area some time... might just be minor.

I do worry at times for them, that was my #1 reason I showed up here at BPDFamily.com. I know now that what they observed from mom and dad was not the best and how she interacted with them was no ideal memory to have of a mother. I have seen my kids in many relationship and seen them have difficult times now and then and sometimes I think they saw the light but then at other times wonder if it is all that healthy for them too. I know time will tell but I don't want them running out of time either.
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« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2008, 12:57:33 AM »

Speaking of subtle methods...I think my mother saying, "Goodnight Michael, I love you" every night to my brother and immediatly saying, "Goodnight Rachel" to me minus the "I love you" every night for my entire childhood without fail, was one of the more subtle and hurtful ways she abused me.

It sounds silly and petty to some but imagine being a child and only hearing "I love you" when it was being directed to your brother and never toward you. cry
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« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2008, 04:06:16 AM »

It sounds silly and petty to some but imagine being a child and only hearing "I love you" when it was being directed to your brother and never toward you. cry

Hell, no, that does NOT sound petty.  Geez.  It had to be conscious, and you knew it.  Know this, though, she didn't love him either, he just satisfied (directly or indirectly) her needs.  Most likely indirectly.  I'm beginning to understand what a BPD calls "love".  It has nothing to do with what normal people call love.  Do I feel comfortable making that broad generalization?  More and more, I'd say yes.

I'm in a chosen relationship, and she does similar things to my eldest, and I don't really even think she has any idea how it impacts him, and I don't think she'd really care in any real sense if it was pointed out to her.  He isn't the "white" child, so he deserves to be treated as 2nd class so far as she's concerned.

xoxo
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« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2008, 04:08:39 PM »

i believe and i have seen with my ex...

she had two kids...the daughter tolerated her...

the son ... 16 wouldnt even call back a messaage...

i felt bad for both her kids.. but they knew not to get too close to mom...

so her and her 16 y/o son...

she would take him to a diner.. for lunch about ... every 3 or 4 months...

she didnt know anything about his life...he lived with the father...

but she thought she was parent of the year... cause she spent an hour and gave him 10 dollars...i felt bad for the kid...not for her.. its her choosing


but im sure many of you see the BPD parent carries a ridiculous amount of pictures, have kid shrines,, still save the toys... long after the point...of  use?

dont even know thier kid...

but again think they are parent of the year...


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« Reply #21 on: March 08, 2008, 12:42:36 PM »

It sounds silly and petty to some but imagine being a child and only hearing "I love you" when it was being directed to your brother and never toward you. cry

Hell, no, that does NOT sound petty.  Geez.  It had to be conscious, and you knew it.  Know this, though, she didn't love him either, he just satisfied (directly or indirectly) her needs.  Most likely indirectly.  I'm beginning to understand what a BPD calls "love".  It has nothing to do with what normal people call love.  Do I feel comfortable making that broad generalization?  More and more, I'd say yes.

I'm in a chosen relationship, and she does similar things to my eldest, and I don't really even think she has any idea how it impacts him, and I don't think she'd really care in any real sense if it was pointed out to her.  He isn't the "white" child, so he deserves to be treated as 2nd class so far as she's concerned.

xoxo

I agree that they do not practice or care about what normal people call love. It's a never ending game with them, even when they do not realize they are playing. I read above that there are differences in the way a borderline mother cares for her children...I too went without dental and medical care most of the time. My brother on the other hand, never went without healthcare. Reading the Lawson book was very eye opening for me.

I agree that your BPD wouldn't really care if you pointed out the way she treats your oldest. I eventually did point out the "I love you," stuff to my mother and she immediately blamed me for it. If I had been a better child, she would have loved me too...the funny thing is, I was the good child that catered to her. My brother told her to go to hell most days and still he was painted white!
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« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2008, 01:01:07 PM »

I agree that they do not practice or care about what normal people call love. It's a never ending game with them, even when they do not realize they are playing. I read above that there are differences in the way a borderline mother cares for her children...I too went without dental and medical care most of the time. My brother on the other hand, never went without healthcare. Reading the Lawson book was very eye opening for me.

I also agree, this is probably a very important issue to ponder. The BPD mother can say to their child they love them but they may not have the capability to give them true parental love or even demonstrate it. What does this really give the child as a healthy reference as they enter adulthood? It scares me as I think about this more and more.

LA
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« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2008, 02:26:14 AM »

From an article on our website (by Jane-Middleton Moz):

https://bpdfamily.com/content/shame-powerful-painful-and-potentially-dangerous-emotion

Quote
Children of mothers with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) are a potentially disadvantaged group of children that are at risk for future psychopathology. Crandell et al. (1997) demonstrated that attachment status is not completely stable, however, children who are able to resolve early traumatic experiences are able to obtain an ‘earned secure’ attachment status in adulthood. Adults with an earned secure status function comparably to adults who had secure attachment status as children (Crandell et al, 1997). These findings hold great promises for the prognosis of children of mothers with BPD. With adequate attention and intervention, there is hope that children of mothers with BPD will overcome the risks associated with this maternal psychopathology.


Attachment Status and Early Experiences of Mothers with BPD

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 and make unrealistic demands for amount of time spent together. They often inappropriately respond with intense anger to even brief separations or slight changes in plans (APA, 2000).

Concomitantly, a mother with BPD tends to treat the child as a “need gratifying object” as opposed to an individual, an autonomous person. Such behaviors, mixed with the powerful, alternating idealization and devaluation characteristic of BPD, are likely to obviate a positive mother-child relationship and negatively affect the child’s developing interpersonal skills and sense of self.

Moreover, effective parenting by the mother with BPD is compromised by instability in her sense of her own self. Overall, those with BPD maintain a negative self-image and feelings of worthlessness. It is also typical for adults with BPD to make abrupt changes in aspirations, vocation, sexual identity and values (APA, 2000). Since it is through the unique relationship with the mother that the infant develops a sense of self, this distorted, unpredictable, and fluctuating self image of the mother is likely to have negative effects on the child’s own self image.

Furthermore, a mother with BPD’s inability to adequately regulate her own emotions may obstruct her ability to cope with the varying affective states of her child (New-man & Stevenson, 2005; Paris, 1999). It is common for mothers with BPD to feel anxious, estranged, confused, or overwhelmed by their infants (Hobson et al., 2005; Holman, 1985; Newman & Stevenson, 2005). When these parents get stuck in their own “defensive and entangled organization of thought” (Crandell, Fitzgerald, & Whipple, 1997, p. 250), they prevent their children from integrating certain affective experiences and behaviors.

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« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2008, 09:07:14 AM »

The only thing that stands out about my BPDx's parenting style is his over obsession with neatness. My D3 has temperment issues. She absolutely cannot handle abrupt changes in her daily routine. She is also very picky, even at age 3, about what she wears. Usually, I give her three choices and she chooses an outfit from the choices. I don't care about what color her socks are so it is not uncommon for her to walk out the door in a little blue outfit with pink or purple socks and truth be told, on tough days, I just want her to wear something so there are days she goes to daycare wearing a very mismatched outfit. It bugs me a little but as long as she chooses herself, she's less volatile. That bugs my ex. Everything must match. If I send her in purple socks with the blue outfit, she'll sometimes come home with matching blue socks. Sometimes, he complains about her being dirty etc. but she's 3. She's been playing all day and she shows some wear. He has called me a bad and neglectful parent because of this.

I love my D3 dearly but she is a difficult child. She always has been and sometimes, I have to take very hard nosed tactics with her and I absolutely must say what I mean. My ex BPD has ADHD and it is very possible that this condition exists in our daughter. My ex complains about her lack of discipline which honestly, isn't because I haven't been trying. He wants a perfect, easy, child who is quiet, perfectly clean and 100% in order. D3 isn't that way. She is just like he used to be, noisy, rough, strong willed and stubborn. Parenting her takes patience, which he has none of and I'm challenged some days myself. Some days, I'm actually happy she goes with him so that I can untie my hands for a few hours and be myself.
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« Reply #25 on: April 07, 2008, 11:32:19 AM »

I've tried to add some of the behaviors that are mentioned by others into the first post.  The first post is becoming a dynamic account of bad parenting behaviors.
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« Reply #26 on: July 06, 2008, 06:24:28 PM »

Copied from the Workshop on the Silent Treatment, an exchange between two now-adult children of a BPD mom:

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I am glad you opened this topic again. Nothing says 'you don't exist' like the silent treatment. It is of the most destructive.

When I was 6 to 12 both my parents ignored me for months on end. In between those months, I would be belittled momentarily every blue moon except when momster would rage about me for hours often. The most common visual I have of my mother was with her back turned to me when I entered the house going to and arriving from school. Being sent away weekends without a word of explanation for years, etc.

I have read that being ignored is worse than any other abuse because it says you don't matter and "I don't care". Even verbal bashings are more validating that you ARE than being ignored.

This thread also reminds me of a post from long ago about the three types of mothers. One ~ I love you and show you I love you. Two ~ I hate you and admit I hate you. Three ~ I hate you but I pretend I love you. The third, three, being the most destructive because of the mixed messages.

And I..., have known same age children who's mothers told them to their face they hated them and consistantly showed it. Those mother's didn't vacilate. Those children were more balanced then than I. I had a hateful, but denying mother. It screwed me up and I have struggled with the fallout for most of my adult life.

Quote
Thanks for bringing up the 3 kind of mothers subject; never knew their was such a classification.  This morning I was telling my psychotherapist about what my mother said to me when I was 10yrs old.  My mother looked at me and said, " I hate you, but I love you because you're my daughter".  That moment, even though it was 37 yrs ago, is so so so vivid in my mind! She was so calm and collected, but the hate was seething through her pores.  My therapist couldn't believe it.  And, I'm wondering how her (my mother) angry, hatefulness and other behaviors have affected me now.

I suffer from an exceedingly low self-esteem.  My pattern, whenever anything is going great, I sabbatoge it all.  I know that this means I subconsciensly (sp?) don't think I'm worth good things.

   



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« Reply #27 on: March 23, 2009, 12:20:27 PM »

What about control issues?  She (uBPD mom) controlled what I ate, when I could shower or take a bath and wash my hair.

Now on the surface the food issue looked like she was concerned about my health and making sure I ate food that was good for me.  What she really was doing was making sure I stayed "thin/slender".  She "liked" me better when my weight was down, but as soon as a couple of pounds were gained, I was painted black.

Also, during my early teen years when the oil glands are over functioning, she would only let me wash my hair twice a week...on Sunday night and Wednesday.  I wasn't allowed to do this, she did it.  The first time I decided to wash my own hair (I was 13 years old), all HELL broke loose. 

Years later, I found out that she didn't do this to any of my brothers.  Only to me. 
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« Reply #28 on: April 01, 2009, 11:04:26 AM »

My uBPDp is far too enmeshed with our 15D.  D has to call when she arrives some place - even when she is with me.  She is supposed to call and say goodnight and first thing in the morning when she wakes up if she spends the night anywhere.  The calls are constant and imo - intrusive.  If D doesn't answer her phone right away - all he** breaks loose.  She has to call when we're on the way home, when she goes to any new location and at other times. uBPDp has judged all of D15 friends and found them lacking in some way. 

D is also trained to report back anything I say or do.  uBPDp puts me down regularly to D and involves her in our arguments.  She will keep D with her when I've had enough and walk away because of inappropriate behavior towards me.  Then she will rage on about what a terrible person I am and how wronged she's been.  She also undermines all my attempts to bring structure and accountability into D's life.

There are regular rages about the state of D's room - but when I encourage D to keep up with it - my efforts are thwarted.  uBPDp will let the room go until it is a complete mess that D can not mange on her own.  Then a rage ensues and uBPDp "helps" D to get the mess in order again.  And, the cycle begins anew.

I wish I knew how to break the hold.  I do what I can to model appropriate behavior and keep the lines of communication open with D. 

I also talk with her about what life was like for me growing up with a mentally ill mother and what life was like for my Dad with his mentally ill father.  Hopefully she sees the parallels.  Some of my friends who are parents of some of her friends will compliment me as a mom to her - becasue they know that uBPDp puts me down to her. 

uBPDp is the one at home while I'm the primary breadwinner.  I don't know what else I can do to mitigate the damage.  If I had known then what I know now - I would have taken D and left when she was a baby.

Peace & Meta

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« Reply #29 on: June 02, 2009, 01:17:43 PM »

Wow. This workshop reads like a blueprint of my BPDW's all over the map parenting. Splitting the kids back and forth, enmeshing, splitting friends, parents, coaches and teachers white and black. Raging for trivial transgressions, followed by re-engagements. As a non co-parent, I am perpetually between the devil and the deep blue sea. I end up in the middle of the  conflicts, and If I validate her wacky parenting , I damage the kids. If I defend the kids, I invalidate her and have the BPD loose cannons trained back over to me. Another no win situation.  cry
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« Reply #30 on: June 02, 2009, 01:26:31 PM »

One thing that is fortunate in my situation is that my BPDW does not have a have a favorite. She was equally cruel to all three kids. As as result, they are very close to each other, having learned early on they they needed to pull together to survive.  xoxox
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« Reply #31 on: June 10, 2009, 02:21:40 PM »

A lesson the five of us learned very well too.  We remain very close even now - and we range in age from 52 to 44.

Peace & Meta
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« Reply #32 on: June 13, 2009, 10:54:36 PM »

Several of these issues resonate with me.  My momster, with whom I've been NC with for six months now, just tried to re-engagement me back with an e-mail, which largely boiled down to "I'm afraid, and YOU have to fix it."  This quote pretty much nails it:

Quote
Furthermore, a mother with BPD’s inability to adequately regulate her own emotions may obstruct her ability to cope with the varying affective states of her child (New-man & Stevenson, 2005; Paris, 1999). It is common for mothers with BPD to feel anxious, estranged, confused, or overwhelmed by their infants (Hobson et al., 2005; Holman, 1985; Newman & Stevenson, 2005). When these parents get stuck in their own “defensive and entangled organization of thought” (Crandell, Fitzgerald, & Whipple, 1997, p. 250), they prevent their children from integrating certain affective experiences and behaviors.

She's always been afraid, and emotionally unstable, and her fear comes out in anger and irrationality. Several times we've argued on the phone, she sleeps on it, and then calls me again and again the next day until I answer and she can tell me all the reasons she thought up of how I was wrong.  She's obsessed.

And I understand the whole distant parenting thing; I don't EVER remember momster playing *with* me, not the down on the ground sorts of things.  She didn't even play board games with me.  For her, it was okay to stand back and buy toys, or do some activity she liked to do and get me to do it to.  Otherwise, me being an only child, I went off to play by myself.  She said she taught me how to read; I don't remember that, but I remember getting lots of read-along books on records.  More "go play by yourself" sorts of things.

NenDad was largely absent, both because he worked a lot, traveled a lot, went to school, and when he was home Momster pretty much claimed him for herself and he used plenty of guilt trips to make me feel responsible for Momster's feelings.  "You'll make momster sad.  Momster will like this.  Go ask your momster what she wants to do."  He rarely expressed his own opinions; it was all about momster.  Whatever she wanted was fine by him.  He's still enmeshed, doesn't see anything wrong with her feelings, and blames me for her rages because "You're hard to talk to."  And when I confronted him on why he never did anything when she was terribly depressed, he said he was too busy trying to succeed (work, getting an MBA) and even if he would have noticed, he wouldn't have been able to do anything.  Yeah, haven't talked to him since.

And I think my own emotions frightened her; whenever I cried, she just said, "You're just tired," thereby negating anything I might be feeling.  And then later I got picked on for not expressing any opinions (like where to go for dinner) because I knew momster wouldn't like where I actually wanted to go and it was better to say nothing.  I followed them around like a trained puppy.  Good kid.  Heel.  Sit quietly in the back of the car.  Don't make a mess.  Don't leave your stuff lying around. And woe is me if my cockatiel made a tiny poop on the carpet or I scraped the vacuum hose against the corner of the wall; instant rage! 

And I get that whole inability to form attachments.  I don't have a partner (I'm 30) and never had a serious relationship.  Takes me ages to trust people on more than a superficial level, and I'm afraid of getting close to anyone out of fear of rejection.

And it was the whole revolving black/white thing too.  If I got an award at school, she would brag and gush and we'd go celebrate with dinner or something.  Yet she was constantly critical; my hair, my clothes, the way the relatives acted, the way people treated her at work, the way the other kids in my band concerts acted.

Oh, and in this re-engagementish e-mail, she also said she wants to be my friend.  No, thank you, I don't befriend crazy folk.  Having a real mother would have been nice, but it ain't never gonna happen.
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« Reply #33 on: November 21, 2009, 09:36:34 AM »

An underaged member posted the following onboard.  Though we had to close the membership, as we can't allow underaged people to post here, her comments were very telling in terms of what it is like for a teen-ager to grow up with a BPD mom:

Quote
Daddies of Children with Borderline Mothers,

    You need to understand how vital you are to us. Our mommies don't exist. Not anymore, or maybe they never have. Either way, they have been replaced by the Queens and Warfs that stay just beneath the surface. Just beneath the face that they allow society to see. We live in a familial hell, sheltered by the outward perceptions of a happy home. No one sees the emotional chains that hold us captive; therefore no one knows to save us. But you see, you deal with it even now. The guilt trips and lies. "You're lucky to have her. You're lucky she even bothers with you because you're not even worth her time."

    We know we're not always worth it either. But then again, why would be we? She isn't, and we're just projections; sometimes of the most hated parts of her. We're ungrateful, she's a good mother and we have no right to think anything different. How dare us want to move out when we turn 18. We learn to hide. We hide everything. Thoughts, feelings, treasured belongings; because at any time they could be taken, destroyed or used against us.

    We learn to be mini therapists, crisis centers even. We should not know at twelve that our mother tried to kill herself when she was our age. Many of us have even been required to call 911 when we find the remnants of our mother's suicide attempt.

    We're the most hated parts some days, and her pride and joy the nest. Some days she degrades us, some days she cuddles with us and things are normal. Some days it's up to us to take care of her. She calls us from friends or our beds to keep her company because she doesn't want to be alone. We keep secrets for her, lie for her even.

    We want so badly to get away from her, but we can't bare to leave her alone. We have no voice, no escape. DEFACS can't help, how could they if there's no outward problem. Everything is let out as perfect and she's a master of deceit. Daddies, you're our last hope at innocence, survival, and being truly happy.

This summarizes many of the issues that the children deal with, of course, but it also summarizes the issues that a father sharing children with a woman unrecovered with BPD faces.
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« Reply #34 on: November 30, 2009, 05:54:30 PM »

oh my - it sounds so much like what I felt as a kid.  I often felt more like the mother than the child.  My uBPD mom would even say that she felt like that too.  Yes, I did know way to much about the "horrors" of her childhood.  I knew better than to share any of my secret feelings with her.  I worry about my uBPDp doing this with our daughter too. 

All I can do at this point is learn take care of myself and hopefully teach DD to do the same.  As I said on another thread - it is time to focus on and heal my own codependency.  That is the only way out of Oz.

Peace & Metta
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« Reply #35 on: December 01, 2009, 08:48:14 PM »

Joanna,

That teen's story made me cry, for the first time in quite a while. I lose sight sometimes of the private hell my kids are going through. And I feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of being breadwinner, defender, and emotional caregiver.  cry
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« Reply #36 on: December 02, 2009, 11:01:01 AM »

When I wrestle with the question of did I do the right thing by staying, I go immediately to my kids and know I had to. The hardest part is knowing what they go through, and part of that is because I chose to have kids with her. Each day I try as hard as I can to fight through the fog and be a good and loving parent for them, knowing they are only getting it from me. It is overwhelming some days.

But here are some of my experiences that concur with the past posts and articles.

My w never played with her kids, who are now 16 and 12, but she did show interest in them at family gatherings(but would also scold them for tiny things on the side, often crushing them)

She would tell them she loved them only when it preceded a command or an excuse for some type of belittling behavior she made.

She has never put her kids to bed. I have always taken them upstairs, chatted while they got ready, kiss & hugs (special routines with each kid), and tuck them in. All while she waits for me on the couch watching tv. And often she will bring up that they should head up to bed, as if she wants to be rid of them. When they were younger and awoke late in the night with a problem, they always came to me even though mom was right there next to me. Often she wouldn't even get out of bed knowing that I could handle it(which was fine because we didn't want her there anyway).

My son has said several times that mom cannot handle things on her own and she panics when I'm not around. She also tries to get daughter to sleep with her when I'm out of town. Knowing she has trouble coping when I leave has the effect of making me very apprehensive to go anywhere, and so I have gradually lost even the thought of it.

She also has the obsession with neatness, especially regarding the kids. It's so hard to just live in our house because she is always 'watching' every move to catch any act of dirtiness, and call you on it. A story of her obsession: we were staying at a cabin, my son then 10. He would get up early to fish along the shore, which he loved, but he knew mom wanted him to have his room perfect before he left. So he made his bed the first morning and was gone when we awoke. When he got back she ripped into him for the job he did saying how sloppy it was! All that effort from a young boy and all he got was ripped. It was one of many times when I stepped in and took her rage on me to deflect from the kids.

Finally, whenever we are out together as a family for dinner my w is always silent while the kids go on and on about their lives. She only chimes in when she hears something that needs correcting (putting them down about something they just confided). The more fun my kids and I have, the more she seems agitated. I look at it as the kids taking my attention from her, as I have never experienced her wanting any time with the kids...just me.

Thanks for this thread, but it hurts to see more clearly.

owdrs 

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« Reply #37 on: December 05, 2009, 11:38:32 AM »

One thing this post makes me realize, consider, is what happens to mykids when I am out of the house.  Right now that will be January 19. 

I have read where spousal abuse can be an indication of child abuse.  But what really makes me think of this is the fact that all of the bad parenting behaviors described, most of them, for the life of my marriage have been pretty much applied to ME, not the kids. The unfortunate part is that the kids have witnessed A LOT of the emotional/verbal abuse toward me from their mother.  So, they live in fear of the same happening to them, but the fact that I am HERE sort of insulates them from that directly. 

I can distinctly recognize my wife being the product of a toxic upbringing where there was lots of spousal abuse and manipulation, substance abuse and just general dysfunction. 

I don't know if there is a way of weaving this inot a CE or intothe divorce proceedings other than through my own documentation.

Joanna I can certainly see why this thread gets resurrected.  I have printed a copy for my own reference.  Good job by you!
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« Reply #38 on: December 05, 2009, 05:53:42 PM »

scraps66,

You may have seen this already, but just wanted you to know there's a companion workshop, TOOLS: When are the children of a BPD parent at risk? It includes signs to look out for and some ideas for fostering resiliency in your kids.

xoxox

B&W
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« Reply #39 on: May 24, 2010, 03:09:57 PM »

I have a blog at the Psychology Today website www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stop-walking-eggshells.Recently I published a guest blog by Dr. Margaret Cochran about why BPs have problems being parents. She says:……………………………………………………………………………………….Bottom line; the needs are the same for BPD children as for non-disordered children. They both require the following:1. Patience2. Emotional consistency3. Calm, even handed behavioral correction techniques4. Age appropriate boundaries, limits and expectations5. Age appropriate verbal and physical support6. Age appropriate nurturing7. Age appropriate intellectual stimulation and play8. And more patience, patience, patience.Looking at this list and thinking about the characteristics of BPD adults one can clearly see some potential problems.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,She also gives some links to studies. I’d like to do a follow-up with her on more specific suggestions for tips for the non-disordered parent. See www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stop-walking-eggshells/201005/challenges-and-solutions-the-BPD-parent
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« Reply #40 on: May 28, 2010, 06:43:07 PM »

Quote
Unfortunately, however, there are still some therapists who insist it is a bad idea to tell someone with BPD that they have it. This needs to change so that those with BPD and their families can take advantage of the tremendous amount of psychological information currently available.

Very glad to see THIS! Thanks for posting.

vivgood
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« Reply #41 on: April 27, 2011, 03:36:37 AM »

JoannaK

I had a real OMG moment when your post at the top of this thread describes my wifes parenting style in vivid detail.

She does each and every thing on your list.

How do I bring this to the attention of a parental assessor without coming over as being a complete nutcase?

I really want the best for my children but they are not her pets, slaves, minions or comforters.

In addition she alternates from being the perfect mother to not being abkle to cope at all.

Excellent post many thanks

Joe
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« Reply #42 on: June 14, 2012, 07:21:07 AM »

BPD was a step parent (which I think further complicated matters)

These were the toughest things...

Overreaction to "normal" kid behavior ...the rages over everything - things as simple as not unloading the dishwasher was met with a rage...a full blown BPD rage...

Constant Criticism - kids who are forced to grow up in this kind of atmostphere are bound to have some major difficulties.

Invasion of Privacy - the need to control had him searching the kids room, reading journals, etc... without any cause

the teen years - As the kids become more independant the BPD tends to become even more controlling/critical of everything they do, don't do, may do...BPD had intricate scenarios all played out in his head as to what the kids were doing...he believed it although it had little or no basis in fact and would react to the kids as if it was fact.

I worry about the long term effects his behavior will have had on my kids...I can only hope my parenting offsets it.

This makes me feel bad as i recognise these behaviours in my GF who is my daughters stepmam. Always "stalking" my daugher on facebook and meddles with stuff my daughter write there and what her friends write and comment.

Always thinking the worst of what my daughter is doing.

Andy
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« Reply #43 on: July 07, 2012, 11:35:35 PM »

BPD was a step parent (which I think further complicated matters)

These were the toughest things...

Overreaction to "normal" kid behavior ...the rages over everything - things as simple as not unloading the dishwasher was met with a rage...a full blown BPD rage...

Constant Criticism - kids who are forced to grow up in this kind of atmostphere are bound to have some major difficulties.

Invasion of Privacy - the need to control had him searching the kids room, reading journals, etc... without any cause

the teen years - As the kids become more independant the BPD tends to become even more controlling/critical of everything they do, don't do, may do...BPD had intricate scenarios all played out in his head as to what the kids were doing...he believed it although it had little or no basis in fact and would react to the kids as if it was fact.

I worry about the long term effects his behavior will have had on my kids...I can only hope my parenting offsets it.

This makes me feel bad as i recognise these behaviours in my GF who is my daughters stepmam. Always "stalking" my daugher on facebook and meddles with stuff my daughter write there and what her friends write and comment.

Always thinking the worst of what my daughter is doing.

Andy

Hi Andywho,

You are welcome to post on the [L4] Raising a child when one parent has BPD board.  You mentioned that it was your partner and for all intents and purposes plays an active role in the parenting.

The parents over on that board are varied from "non" stepparents to divorced parents.  Many of the issues you were concerned about are tackled frequently by members and the feedback can be very helpful.

-GM
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« Reply #44 on: July 18, 2012, 06:56:23 AM »

JoannaK

I had a real OMG moment when your post at the top of this thread describes my wifes parenting style in vivid detail.

She does each and every thing on your list.

How do I bring this to the attention of a parental assessor without coming over as being a complete nutcase?

I really want the best for my children but they are not her pets, slaves, minions or comforters.

In addition she alternates from being the perfect mother to not being abkle to cope at all.

Excellent post many thanks

Joe

Check with a L, but depending on your local laws you may be able to surreptitiously audio/video record her. My L says this is the best way to expose hidden BPD emotional abuse.
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« Reply #45 on: July 25, 2012, 03:51:08 AM »

BPD was a step parent (which I think further complicated matters)

These were the toughest things...

Overreaction to "normal" kid behavior ...the rages over everything - things as simple as not unloading the dishwasher was met with a rage...a full blown BPD rage...

Constant Criticism - kids who are forced to grow up in this kind of atmostphere are bound to have some major difficulties.

Invasion of Privacy - the need to control had him searching the kids room, reading journals, etc... without any cause

the teen years - As the kids become more independant the BPD tends to become even more controlling/critical of everything they do, don't do, may do...BPD had intricate scenarios all played out in his head as to what the kids were doing...he believed it although it had little or no basis in fact and would react to the kids as if it was fact.

I worry about the long term effects his behavior will have had on my kids...I can only hope my parenting offsets it.

This makes me feel bad as i recognise these behaviours in my GF who is my daughters stepmam. Always "stalking" my daugher on facebook and meddles with stuff my daughter write there and what her friends write and comment.

Always thinking the worst of what my daughter is doing.

Andy

Hi Andywho,

You are welcome to post on the [L4] Raising a child when one parent has BPD board.  You mentioned that it was your partner and for all intents and purposes plays an active role in the parenting.

The parents over on that board are varied from "non" stepparents to divorced parents.  Many of the issues you were concerned about are tackled frequently by members and the feedback can be very helpful.

-GM

Thank you GM. Have alredy once posted there and asking for people with experience with BPD stepparents. Did get some responses, but only a few. Surprisingly few.

This is one of  the most important issue in my RS as i myself can work with me og getting better and doing my part in the RS. But... if my daughter and me and my RS to my daughter suffer... i dont know if i can stay.

Andy
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« Reply #46 on: April 03, 2014, 03:21:25 PM »

Oh boy- this is my first day on this site, and this post really hit home for me.  I've had a troubled relationship with mom as long as I can remember, and I finally stop talking to both my parents four months ago.  In those months, with encouragement from my therapist, I've been looking at my instinct that there's "something off" with my mom, and my therapist mentioned BPD. 

All of these symptoms in this workshop are true, but #5 "Emotional Incest" really struck a chord.  It's a creepy phrase, but I've never heard of anyone else who's mom would crawl into bed with them just to talk...  when I was in high school.  The last time I visited her, when I was 25, she tried to get me to take an afternoon nap in the bed with her and my dad.  Just...  no.  She often tells me that my "rebelliousness" (which involves me getting engaged and going to graduate school) is the reason for her life-threatening health issues.

Thanks so much for posting this.  It's very reassuring to find stories like mine.  I feel much less alone.





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« Reply #47 on: January 07, 2015, 03:22:52 PM »

Our daughter is 6 months old and my ex keeps saying" she's really coming along"  drives me nuts,sounds like he is talking about a turkey cooking. And its hard t describe , if its dark out she has to be in pjs, he always carries her in her car seat, he gets different wipes for ear, nose,butt and heaven forbid you mix them up, he won't put her baby tub in the tub because its made for a sink so he says, he has insisted she needed a feeding and sleeping schedule since day one, even though I nurse, you know how baby clothes have a weight and length as well ad months for sizes, same with diapers, he insists on her wearing her size in months even though I have her in bigger sizes during my time because she is bigger, longer, than a 6 month old. It is like a guy with a new car and he has to do an oil change at exactly 3k miles and polish it once a week.
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« Reply #48 on: January 07, 2015, 03:28:06 PM »

One time she had been constipated while with me so after she went to him I texted him and asked if she had been able to poop yet, his response was" yes it was normal with good consistency" like he had to Google a response.
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« Reply #49 on: January 07, 2015, 03:38:47 PM »

He doesn't want her to leave the house if it's raining, windy,too hot, if there are mosquitoes, bees, he doesn't let people hold her unless they wash their hands in front of him, no one is allowed to change her diaper while she is with him, he puts her toys in a zip lock bag and then puts that bag in her baby bag. Lavender lotion is only to be used at night, and old ladies shouldn't give him advice because times have changed,
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