I Cry Silent Tears

My mother is borderline. For the longest time, it was difficult to accept this. As i child, if i would venture off on my own there was a paranoid panic to her voice that i should "stay close". She would be loving and comforting one minute and then the next she would flip out...for something that made absolutely no sense relevant to anything. I suffered anxiety from the age of 8 and when i was a kid i got migraine headaches. that was probably when i grew up too as i remember being very young and feeling like i had to take care of my mother - not realizing it was supposed to be the other way around. I was in and out of therapists and psychiatrists for years and while i did suffer from a legitimate anxiety disorder i recently (about two years ago) learned the problems with my mother were not or had they ever been because of me.

My parents split when i was fourteen. My mother trashed my dad at any and every opportunity to me and whoever else would listen. when she got involved with someone else she said she wished that person (who in my opinion is lower than pond scum) was my father. i can remember looking her dead in the eye and responding "don't you ever say that". she tried to defend her point but i told her never to say that to me.

When i was in college, things got really bad. I can remember my mother telling me i was "an awful sister" and that i had spun off an account with her name and was "a criminal" without giving me even a chance to say i had no idea what she was talking about or why she was saying these things. when i was a junior i cut ties with her and didn't communicate with her at all - and this was one of the healthiest choices i ever made. it wasn't until after i finished graduate school that i reconnected with her and our conversations are only though email. i tried a phone call once last year on mother's day and got the guilt trip about why i didn't come to my sister's high school graduation when i had made plans way in advance of knowing of it. not calling her again anytime soon. even in email she is inappropriate. her last email managed to simultaneously question my choice of a boyfriend (ie - religion doesn't matter is he kind, compassionate, moral, cares about animals, ethical...) ummm no mom actually he kicks small puppies... and then slam my dad as she then goes on to say that all her relationships except hers with her current husband have been crap..wow...

she then goes on to tell me how exercise can improve things in the bedroom..no sense of boundaries or what is or isn't appropriate at all. at least im at the point where i can laugh at how ridiculous she is.

My stepmother. is borderline. For a long time i tried to connect with her and have some "normal" adult female in my life but she is just as sick as my mother and in some ways worse because she is sneakier about her illness. recently, i have cut ties completely with her because she said that an issue we had was "completely my problem " and that she didn't understand why i was upset or her role in the situation and that i "hurt her intentionally and with malice...but then at the same time im a good person...well which is it?!?" she reacted in typical borderline fashion. it's always my fault. she's never wrong. i'm just like my mother. i need professional help...all over something minor. this isn't the first time she's acted like this but it's going to be the last time she pulls that crap with me.

i eventually had to talk with my father about it. he told me "fix things with mom (being my stepmother)". i explained why i couldn't do this. he's asking me to relive that emotional abuse. i told him how he never protected me when my mom was emotionally abusive and how i wished he had and how hurt i was that he didn't and that's when i lost it and started to cry. accepting my mother's and stepmother's illnesses was difficult but far moreso is accepting that my father stayed for as long as he did with my mother (19 years) and then is doing the same thing with my stepmother!!! it just feeds into the illness.

the issues with the stepmother happened fairly recently and it was incredibly challenging but what made it easier was knowing that i had good supports with my friends and boyfriend even if my immediate family wasn't able to be there for me like i needed them too. but it's still hard when i see my friends that have good relationships with their mothers and i know that i will never be able to have this until things change with them.

As harsh as it is, i truly feel like my mother and stepmother are dead. Physically, they are there but for all intents and purposes they have no role in my life whatsoever. I hate thinking it, saying it, and even writing it because i know how harsh it sounds. the good part is that there are two incredibly women in my life who have stepped up to the plate and have been like a mother to me and i know i could turn to them for anything if i needed and they would help unconditionally.

to be fair, most of the time this stuff doesn't bother me but every now and then i wish i had a mother who actually knew how to love instead of hurt.
healerdw healerdw
8 Responses Mar 26, 2011

Oh my goodness. I feel like you and I have had the same life. When you said you feel like your mom is dead, that's exactly why I feel. I've felt like an orphan growing up with a BPD mom but everyone always thought I had the mom of the year. My heart hurts for you but I am so inspired by your strength and wisdom through this. P.S. I also had the migraines and anxiety disorders as a child. Thank you so much for sharing your story and your wisdom.

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I can relate to your story so much !

My mother has borderline personality disorder as well. I am 14 years old, and this story almost brought me to tears because I relate so close to this. I wish there was some way we could communicate haha, I am totally lost on what to do. I have not been talking to her for a month now, because I can't handle her constant guilt. But if we never talk, or this letter never sends to you, thank you for writing this. I needed to know there are other people out there with the same issue.

I can't believe how hard that must be at 14. I am 28 now and I wish that I had the courage to separate from my mother at your age. Keep setting healthy boundaries and you will get through this. I was once a 14 year old girl with a borderline mother and my heart goes out to you. You are not alone.

I am new here, and gotta say-people here are GREAT! :D Their stories, such as your's, show the strength of the human spirit, that God created in us all!<br />
You really struck a chord with me when you mentioned in your story, your Mother calling you an,'awful sister'. I say this, because my BPD Mother considers all her daughters(4 of us) more like sisters or friends, then ever, ever as children. And when we point out what is really wrong in a given situation, he is high-school-drama all the way!<br />
The 2nd thing you said that especially struck me too was the issue of boundaries. There have been times my Mom, in her impulsive behavior, said things to me, or to those close to me, that were *very* inappropriate. Creepy even. <br />
But if you really want to, you can get stronger and more sure of what God made you for, every day you do not listen to those toxic comments and give them validation. I have grown so much in the past 10 years, and though I am still growing, it gets better every year. I promise! Never give up-knowledge is truly half the battle, so know your feelings and your worth my friend!! ((hugs!))

I feel for you ... it's so wrong to have a parent with an illness that not only robs you of your childhood, but makes surviving a struggle and thriving a coveted, sometimes challenging state to attain.<br />
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I am so very happy that you found two kind women to be the moms your mother and step-mother were incapable of being.<br />
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Boris Cyrulnik's 'Resilience' is a great book, and worth a read--you seem like a very resilient person. Wishing you lots of love and support in your life, and lots of thriving :)

My mother has BPD too, like yours. Oh, I could go on and on about what I faced as a kid. I was put down and called names and ignored, and then my mother would call my grandmother who would in turn call me and ask why *I* am driving my mother crazy and why I can't be a better daughter. What did she really think to hold up as evidence for that? I was a good student. I was quiet. I spent most of my days reading alone in my room. But when I did that, she'd yell at me that I should be outdoors. When I couldn't bring myself to come home at night as a high school student, she'd yell at me that I was never home. Oh, the words she would use would cut me like knives. I still feel that pain...Like you, I cut her off and have had very little contact. But last year, right around my birthday, she sends me an email saying she's giving me my college fund (finally, 3 years too late...the same fund the rest of my family contributed to) for my *birthday* as a *present* and then says what a bad person I am, that I don't call her (!!!), that her philosophy has always been peace (what??). I couldn't contain myself (I also have BPD). I wrote her a raging letter about how if her philosophy had always been peace, perhaps there would still be people in her life...<br />
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Ah, it's so hard to think past all the old pain sometimes. But here's the thing. People who have BPD, even in lashing out at others, are doing it out of the deep sense that the OTHER person has more interpersonal power than they can EVER have. They try to put people down because they're terrified of being left alone and they're testing them to see if they'll leave. Your mother has been acting out an abandonment trauma of her own on you: it's the highest form of unfair, but there it is. She is pitiful, not dangerous or powerful: if you recognize that, and recognize that YOU are the powerful one in the relationship--especially in her mind--then you'll be able to have some form of half-healthy relationship with her. My boyfriend has a trick that I think is incredibly healthy: he thinks of his parents as being his own kids, and not the other way around. So if they say anything that would otherwise hurt him, he simply ignores it or lets it go because it's just a child talking, not an adult with authority. He has the best, most loving and consistent relationship with his parents of anyone I've ever met...<br />
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It's very empowering. Try it--you don't have BPD, so you're the one with the power in this relationship. Perhaps it would mean healing for the both of you.

I VERY much feel for you, hope for you , and know deep down, that you, just like me, will be ok, no MATTER...WHAT....I have read so many things now online about emotional abuse and critical, degrading, awful, obnoxious behavior, and I know now that really SEEING it is the first step to getting away from a bullying tyrant/terrorist (which is really what my mom is....) <br />
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I love her, but she , like you had said too, is not really even in my life , and it is sad...She has kicked walls, threatened to "check out", and then "I'd be happy" about that, called me names, compared me negatively to many, points out if I'm too caring, then not enough, too shy, then I shouldn't "say" anything to make someone else "upset" (which is why I've walked VERy much on eggshells everyday of my life ...) I have GAD and know that my anxiety definitely stems from thinking subconsciously, I'm not "good" enough, "smart " enough, this /that, "know" enough...<br />
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It is just such a wretched thing to now know that I've been SO brainwashed in thinking me even SAYING my own opinion, if it is different from hers, is "bad" (I know deep down this is ridiculous and obnoxious, and yet never knew before as a teen or kid, what this was doing to me)...<br />
She'll yell at me/scream if I talk to her at "the wrong time" and say, "Don't you think of me? Don't you respect your mother? I always respected my mother..." and she'll say, "oh wow, you can just deal with what I have to say..I'm a human and I don't need to lay down and DIE for anyone..unless you'll be happy when I do/????" =( <br />
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I've read about abuse now, and know that intimidation, controlling behavior, monitoring, degrading, blaming, and raging are all extremely toxic things to deal with over a period of time, and i am still reading every book that deals with things like this, to see that if I talk, that is NOT BAD..or if I have a FEELING about something, that is O...K..... more than ok in fact..it is human and perfection itself...so I hope you know that you are a great person no matter what, just for BEING ..that is key!!!! This manipulating obnoxious, and toxic behavior and abuse takes a big emotional toll in forms of anxiety and COnSTANT self doubt...I just cannot do this anymore, I have not even moved out yet b/c I feared my anxiety might get /be elevated..and what if I can't do this /that??? even though DEEP down, I am VERY capable, responsible, kind, etc, ..i know it is essentially the anxiety that has kept me like a prisoner, which came from her...... <br />
When I've made honors, studied in the past, she has said, "don't take life or yourself too seriously...get out....stop studying for God's sake.." then COMPLETELY contradicts herself ALL the time, and I second guessed most of my life..then says.." Why don't you do such and such..its good to keep moving, learning, trying...you NEED to do that..that is what "I" do....." <br />
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ARghhh...I literally could go on for about 5 books worth, on physical abuse and rages beyond belief..where the cops have been called a few times to my home..=( <br />
But just wanted to let u know you are not the only one...and you ARE strong, and GREAT!!!! and you , and I do NOT need to handle, take on, accept this anymore...u KNOW????? messsage me anytime, really =)