Seeking Some Advice

My mother sent me a text message today. Something simple, she claims a friend of hers wants advice about a cardiologist, I happen to know a few. There has been radio silence between us since I "irrevocably damaged" our relationship by allowing my father to meet my boyfriends parents before her. As an aside, we were in therapy between thanksgiving and Christmas, and had been tenuously dancing around each other for months before that. I didn't think it was the time for her to meet boyfriends parents, and when I told her this, she found boyfriends father on Facebook and left him a private message demanding to meet since boyfriend and I had been so rude in not passing along her repeated invitations. Should i reiterate that i am 25 and boyfriend is 27? I am digressing from my point, which was her quitting counseling in a telephone tantrum and telling me she needed to "put herself first" for a change. Two days after quitting counseling she told me if my father met boyfriends parents first we were done. She was sick of me always blaming her for everything and she sarcastically apologized for being the worst mother on the planet. I took a deep breath and told her that those were her words and not mine, that I didn't feel comfortable introducing the two parties when our relationship was in a difficult place and that me loving my father and having a relationship with him did not mean I loved her less. "Your father was a liar and a cheater." She tells me this repeatedly, despite me asking her not to. So I cut her off by asking what she wants, she tries to pick up the subject of my father again and I tell her the conversation is over. Now it is halfway through January and she is texting me something seemingly innocuous, is it wrong of me to feel that this is a ploy? Her way of edging back in? Do I want no contact with her, when the thought leaves me breathless with grief? But I can't trust her, and she doesn't seem to want to change, it is either her way or no way. Navigating even a casual relationship with her is exhausting to me, setting boundaries is difficult, especially when she refuses to respect them. What should I do?
Naplesnurse Naplesnurse
3 Responses Jan 29, 2013

I agree with PatientMan's post.If anything, I think you need more time to really solidify those boundaries, to make them feel consistent, for her, and for you. This is what I plan to do [in theory] - when I am on my own in a few weeks. It's going to be a mess, but it'll be for the best for everyone, in the end.<br />
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I realize my comment to your previous post was obnoxiously long, but your stories resonated with me so much, I hope you don't mind.I hope you've held fast to your resolve.I'm thinking I'll cut phone contact when my mother inevitably oversteps boundaries, and yells/threatens/guilt trips. I think I'll restrict her to email contact [I don't even bother with facebook because I'm rather introverted- and, my mother's harassed my friends/boyfriends before, to try to control me- she's taken extensive measures in the past to gain information about them, to be able to continue her "resource management" - control, to feel more secure, that no one else comes before her in my life [not even me]. If only email correspondence doesn't suffice, which it likely won't, knowing how she is.. then she'll only receive holiday cards in the mail to know I'm alive, and that I DO love her. I think that'll be the most I can offer her, at that point. Perhaps it's some middle ground between cutting her out completely, and allowing her to worm back into my own personal space. Perhaps it's something you might want to do. Not saying you should-I'm in a similar boat as you, I'm just figuring out as I go.<br />
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But definitely, I would be careful in these relatively early days in your healing process. A good friend of mine, in trying to allay some of my own cognitive dissonance on setting boundaries, sort of described the emotional abuse as an infectious disease, something you really can only heal from by "quarantining," to some degree, and through consistently healthy behavior on your part. Healthy diet, if you will. Only taking in healthy things, not drinking her poison. Even if she doesn't mean for it to be, in the end that's what it is. In the end, that's all she knows how to create, if she is unwilling to face herself. You know the apple's poisoned. Trust your judgement.<br />
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Good luck.

Yes, I think you know her very well. She does want back in. The BIGGER question is do you want her back. Are you ready? It sounds like you may need more time. If so, just erase the messages without reading them. Or change your number. She will NEVER get help if you allow this bad behavior to rule your relationship with her. She is your mother and will make more attempts later. Wait until she is healthier. Her drama will only hurt your relationships right now.

I have BPD. I believe my Mum does too. We're both volatile pretty emotionally unstable and have had a rough relationship for most of my life.

Since learning about BPD, and understanding that it's truely my perception of the world that is making it so scary for myself, that the voice in my head telling me people WILL leave me and hurt me is WRONG, that I am interpreting the simple way a person looks at me as them disliking me is wrong too.. who knows what they we're thinking.. maybe they've always pulled that face? That when my mum says something cruel, perhaps it's not exactly what she wanted to say, but as a BPD sufferer, maybe she was just reverting to a hurt child... maybe something I said upset her because I wasn't thinking about other ways it could be taken and she lashed out... Basically, the world isn't so easy to understand for us. It's a mess of doubt. If I had a child, and they were as obviously as embarrassed of me as you seem to be, I would be hurt. I would hate myself more for being the way I was. I would tell myself you had a boyfriend now and would have a family soon, you didn't need me. I would feel like your Father was laughing at me. Even though my logical brain says you ARE perfectly in your rights to not see her again, after all, you've tried, she has not, the BPD sufferer in me says don't leave her. Keep trying to get through to her, gently. And for God's sake... how embarressing can she be? Surely your boyfriend's parents won't judge you entirely on your mother?

Well, I missed out on 22 years of friendship with my mum, she chose the first 14 perhaps.. but i was chose the next 8. I've only been friends with her for 2 and it's not been easy. I find that the more I tell her I love her, and call her on weekends for a chat, take her flowers just because i'm in the area.. you know, just BE THERE, the easier she is. Unlike me, she isn't willing to accept she has a problem. The most I can do for her is tell her I love her and will always be there, I don't know you or your Mother, but family is important.
Imagine this; you give up on her and push her away, you don't speak for a whole year then she just passes away... just like that.. gone.
I thought I had more time with my Nan, I always knew I should go see her more, atleast call her. She was always so healthy...
Isn't your Mum worth more love? That's how we've develope BPD.
Peoples keeps walking away because our everyday is too much for them for a few hours.

Keep Talking xx

See, the thing of it is her not meeting his parents has nothing to do with embarrassment, and everything to do with boundary setting. My mother has issues with my space vs her space and my life vs her life. She views me as an extension of and reflection of herself, so her behavior is embarrassing to me yes, but not her. She only wanted to meet his parents when she heard my father was meeting them. She doesn't like this boyfriend as she hasn't liked any boyfriend or close friend I've had ever because they are in competition with her for my time and attention. As much as her illness demands her enmeshment, my sanity demands boundaries. I have spent 25 years trying to bend myself into any possible shape so that she would finally, finally be happy, but here's the thing, she never will be. It is not my responsibility to take care of her emotionally, I don't have that much emotional energy. I'm in counseling as it is just dealing with the aftermath. If she died tomorrow, it would be terrible, and I would feel guilty but that would be nothing new. I'm hoping and praying that by showing her that her actions have consequences, we can have a healthy relationship. But what I'm afraid of is giving her and inch and her running off with a mile

I wouldn't risk it. My mother is just like yours and is always trying to get an inch. So many times I have given it to her, out of kindness, without a second thought. Without fail she has taken advantage every single time, whether or not I recognized it. You know what she's going to do. You are completely justified in ignoring her. When I'm finally in a position to do so, I don't plan to speak to my mother for years. If she passes away, guilt be damned. I know I was doing what I had to do to take care of myself. As children of borderline parents, we've been raised to put them before ourselves. It's time to put yourself first, and unfortunately our borderline parents have not given us the luxury of being able to trust them.

Amen, couldn't have said it better!

Agree with PatientMan and Sometimesifeellikeanut! It's so interesting to read your accounts of your mother. It's like we have the same mother. The irrational thought process of her needing to not only be involved in everything but also first to be involved. It's wrong. My mother never liked any of my friends or boyfriends either because they are her competition too. And introducing her to the parent's of my boyfriends and later to my fiance's parents. UGH! Trainwreck. My mother always hated hated hated the fiance's mom. It made it very difficult for me to be in a relationship because my mother was always plotting to make me hate everyone including myself. She always tells my sister lies about me and vice versa so that my sister and i don't form an allience against her. And don't even get me started wth my father! She is so jealous of the relationship i have with my father, or rather had. She has pretty much brainwashed him into hating me too.
My advice is STICK with your boundaries. She only wants in to feed her addiction to unhealthy behavior. She wil act like she loves you and cares, but will pull the rug out from under you as soon as your are comfortable with her again. It's dangerous to your happiness to trust her.

Right with you.

I am 47 and have tried that method for years and all it has done is backfire on me. I am damned if I do and I am damned if I don't. So, guess what I have decided to be? DAMNED IF I DON'T! I am happier, healthier and more peaceful than I have ever been! I harbored a lot of bitterness for years as I tried. And now there is none. I don't have to like her. I love her because she birthed me and I am respectful when I see her but there is nothing between us now. It is strangely freeing.

hi thankfulmomof8: thank you so much for your reply here. i know this chain is very old, but i just did a google search to see if there was anyone out there that is in my same situation and I've been so relieved to find this site. You say you are happier, healthier and more peaceful than ever. Can you share a little bit about how you got there and what exactly you've done with your mom? How have you set boundaries and managed her as a mom AND as a grandparent?

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