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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSONALITY DISORDERS
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Author Topic: BPD BEHAVIORS: Problematic parenting  (Read 45252 times)
Major_Dad
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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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HeartOfaBuddha
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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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Sandcastle
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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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JoannaK
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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:

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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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HeartOfaBuddha
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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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Major_Dad
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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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owdrs
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owdrs


« 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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A mind stretched to a new idea never returns to its original dimension; 'the more I learn, the more I realize I don't know, the more I realize I don't know,...the more I want to learn.'AE
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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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blackandwhite
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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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What they call you is one thing.
What you answer to is something else. ~ Lucille Clifton
Randi Kreger
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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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