Trying To Break Free When She Is Manipulating Me.

Hi,
I've never posted on a forum about this before so forgive me if it ends up being over long, I have a lot to get off my chest!
Me and my younger brother have just found out our mum has BPD after she made several suicide attempts in a row. The toll of dealing with this new development in what we had till now figured was a depressed, agoraphobic, OCD, mystery pain having mother has been severe for us both (she doesn't have anyone else- she's pushed them all away and won't deal with anyone else either- she often uses us to hid behind so we have to deal with her actions for her) we have both lost money and jobs and my very recent marriage is going through the wars because of it. Emotionally I am frazzled. I have been displaying the coping behaviour I used to use when I was younger and this is causing me no end of mental health worries.

I have always been her scape goat and the one she used to parent her and make her feel good when she was down then caste aside when she was feeling better or had a new boyfriend or a new friendship. I haven't felt anything but resentment towards her for years and discovering her BPD diagnoses has not made it any better in fact now I am angrier at her than ever because I know I will never get the acknowledgement or apology for all the years of hurt I have always craved. Further to this I have always sort to protect my brother from her harmful ways and now she is dragging him into her horrible world it makes me furious!

I am now at a point where I need to heal myself. I can't keep being used by her I can't keep being blamed for her suicide attempts (missing a phone call or not being able to read her mind when she says shes fine is enough to trigger her) its all too much. I had thought I was free I'm 30 and now married, that I really was my own person and not 'hers' any more. I can't go back to being the little girl I was then and I don't know how to cope with her any other way. I am starting to seek therapy and get some help and clarity and work out who I am when I'm not what she made me. Theres no room in that for her in the background polluting me further. Even the whinny baby voice she uses when she is feeling low makes me want to literally strangle her I have no patience for her any more and can't even stand to look at her and have nothing to say to her that is nice. Its a real struggle just to say hello without wanting to scream.

The issue is that I am happy to cut all ties with her but my brother having always been the golden child and didn't have to deal with her mind games as a child is not giving up on her and I don't want to leave him in it alone. Its too much to handle and he is already struggling. How do I cut ties with her without her going and responding with suicide again and how do I support my brother in this without being around her?

I have tried to impose boundaries which she just guilt tripped me for and I am loathe to give her any more contact with me. The adult in me says "Just cut her off. She's damaging." But the child in me wants to protect my mum and not see her harm herself for something I have caused.

I just want to be free to live my life and not hers.
isishurt isishurt
31-35
3 Responses Sep 24, 2012

Your desire to not leave your brother alone sounds like the byproduct of being parentified. Your brother is a grown man, and can make his own choices. You are not responsible for the happiness of anyone else. I know it can be extremely difficult to not speak to a parent or feel like you're giving up on them, but that feeling is the guilt you developed over the years of constantly being told you weren't enough, the product of constantly ignoring your own emotional needs to try to finally become good enough. Keep going to therapy, journal, walk on the beach, stop and listen to what you need. It's going to be strange because growing up with a bpd parent often means giving up your voice, yourself, anything to survive the emotional minefield. Good luck.

Follow your instincts to take care of yourself. I know how scary and overwhelming it all feels around you. Pay attention to that little voice telling you how you deserve to be treated, and what you have to do to keep yourself safe. Pay attention to your marriage, your friends, your hobbies, the things that you enjoy and make you feel good. You deserve them.

This is something I struggle with, but we cannot change, save, protect or fix other adults. We can support others in what they choose, but we can't do it for them. Try to trust your brother to look out for himself. If you stay strong, you will be able to support him when and if he needs it. Just start by taking good care of yourself. You can be a role model to him if he does get sucked in.

Hi,
Here is what i have learned. I am 59, my mother died a few years ago. It never gets better, there is never an apology and they get even better at being a borderline for each year that they grow older. You get to add growing older as an extra bonus point for manipulation.

From what I have read (thousands of pages) borderlines usually pick a target. He probably wasn't the main target.They do go back and forth but usually the main target is the main target most of the time. My thought is that if you withdraw from her, you will really be the target of her rath for a long time and he may not get the brunt of it.

I think your instinct is right. Save yourself so that you can support him. Please don't waste years of your life. It really is a no win. You are very lucky to actually know what her problem is early in your life. That is good news! The best possible help is to run, don't walk to find a therapist that kind of specializes in borderline personality ( the borderlines usually are not thrilled with therapy but families show up quite a bit).Really take to heart any advice she might have. Work though seperating from your Mom while you are in therapy.The therapists are fantastic with clarity in this situation. Pulling your on strings is amazing!!