Mommy Dearest

November 14, 2010

The relationship between borderlines and their parents is usually a troubled one. Trust is an issue. Feelings of rejection are ever present. And abuse is almost always part of the equation. When we think of abuse, most of us think of sexual abuse or physical abuse. And while those are certainly a possibility with BPs, most of the time the abuse is much more insidious. A battered child is left with visible bruises. But a child that is emotionally tormented is left with scars that are harder to see. One borderline survivor, Skye, tells her therapist about her relationship with her mother and how it has affected her :

I told him the feelings of constant worthlessness, the guilt, the shame, paranoia, anger, my starvation for attention, and my relentless need to cause conflict in my marriage when things are just going too damn well.

Relationship sabotage is a survival skill you adopt when those who are suppose to care for you, abuse you. While there is a genetic component to BPD, it is clear that much of it is a product of an abusive environment. A turbulent relationship with a parent then becomes a model for every relationship to come. All their fears and insecurities can be traced back to these formative years. Sadly, it is the partners of BPs that usually get punished for their parent’s crime.

I recalled all of my childhood, or the most that I could within an hour. The parts filled with my mother informing me that I was a worthless bitch and locking herself in her dark bedroom only to ignore and give the “silent treatment” to her 10 year old daughter for days on end. I told him that this nastiness only began around the age of 10 or 11. He wasn’t buying it, I could tell. He asked me why I would think this abuse would just suddenly appear at that age when all the previous years were filled with love and sunshine. I had no answer. I could feel my heart sink, because I knew there was something, I just am not aware of what it is. Maybe it was physical violence at a young age, maybe it was intense arguments between my parents that I witnessed, I have no idea. He went on to explain hypnotherapy and how we can, as trauma victims, hide things. How we can have absolutely no memory of them in our consciousness.

People, who are in a relationship with borderline, might wonder where all the anger is coming from. They think it can’t all possibly be due to their interactions. And they’re right. It’s bottled up emotions from the past that have never been resolved. Most parents of BPs will deny abuse, even project their “madness” onto their children. They may even deny their own children’s illness for fear it could be traced back to them. Borderlines rarely get the satisfaction of closure. It’s a wonder why emotional abuse is not considered a crime. The fact that such abuse can cause trauma is a reminder that it is just as abusive as hitting a child. Even the abused don’t realize the extent of the damage:

Trauma ? There is no way that what I have endured is considered trauma. I feel as if my battles were not nearly as atrocious as most people.  Trauma is a title or category for people who have seen awful things. Death, war, sexual abuse, physical abuse, the list is long, but I surely cannot be on that list.

Victims of emotional abuse are usually reluctant to label it abuse. Some don’t even realize it’s abuse until their childhood is re-framed by a mental health professional. Her therapist explains:

“What you went through in your childhood is trauma. It’s hard and stressful enough to be growing as a child, add onto that stress or physical or emotional abuse and it changes your neurobiology.”

While borderlines may endure more suffering over the course of a lifetime. It’s in their early childhood where we can find the trauma that started it all. Until they are treated, BPs will continue to act out the trauma of their childhood. Every relationship will remind them of the way their parents treated them and each other. If a father was abusive to the mother, then that child will use that as a model for relationships- Gravitating towards partners who treat them with disregard and abusing/abandoning those who treat them with too much kindness.

2 Responses to “Mommy Dearest”

  1. […] like to grow up in a borderline family. It’s like something out of a bad soap opera. Some, like Skye, have chosen to acknowledge their past in order to make sense of their disorder. Others, like Andrea, live in denial. Despite the abuse, infidelity, the violation of boundaries and […]

  2. darius82 said

    Hello, i Was dealing with a borderline Woman for Two years and i must admit i.used to be a Player back in my day im 30 so i used to with women only to realize i Was wrong and i did it to avoid pain and rejection. Plus i have a daughter that changed me alot. I met This women at a show in sept 2011 texted here and there so i her on fb two months later so she gave me her number again so we Finally hooked up a day after christmas she came my Apartment she Was cool. Spent new years eve together etc. Red flags Was shown Early but i didnt Know. She would send me Pictures of her everyday and if i didnt Respond back with enthusiam like She expected she would be upset. Also we We went out to eat with my brother She ordered a steak.. The waiter forgot to put grilled onions on the steak she gets upset and i say eat ur side items until your steak is ready. She gets upset then storms to the ladies Room..i wait for a while i go after her She is crying calling for her friend to pick her up. I calm her down She is cool again RED FLAG #1. talking to her she Started to tell me about her life her father raised her and her two siblings her mom walked Outta her life and she hasnt seen her since age 6 réf FLAG #2. Also her last relationship ended because She found out her ex Boyfriend Was gay RED FLAG #3.. So time moves on we become closer She is over my house everyday just about then one day She got upset at me over something trivial and i ignore her while she fusses and She throws Juice on me and i tell her to leave then She comes back to my house 2 in Da morning banging at my door RED FLAG #4. time moving her and her Dad get into so She stays with me for a month one night She is fussing about something trivial i ignore her so She grabs my phone and Slam it against the wall i tell her she has to go She Falls on the floor crying for me to Not leave her She is grabbing my ankles to not leave her. #Red flag number 5. Moving Forward She moves into her new place the Apartment Complex she works for is also her Residence.. She moved one of her close friends into the Complex Also. One day the get into a petty arguement my ex said She is gonna get her friend evicted i begged her not to be dumb just let it go. A few days later She calls me and says she saw her friend car getting towed but She didnt stop it. Come to find out She got the car towed illegally She lied about it ended up getting caught and lost her job! Réf flag #6 at This point im confused scared and concerned about her behavior. I took to a company Christmas party she Was upset i wasnt showing her attention so She storms off i go after her to calm her down we are in the parking garage She takes her heel off and hit me in the face red flag #7.. Also She said She had Horten restraining orders on Two ex lovers in the past. Fast foward i tried to break with her She say She Maybe pregnant She take a test it says She wasnt but something in me didnt trust her so i look Thru her phone She is flirting with ex boyfriends and new guys i confront her She of course get angry calls me names then calls my phone All day saying She dont wanna lose me She loves me it isnt what it seems. So i confronted her and caught her in a lie She Was sleeping with another guy and She said it wasnt my business i told her i didnt wannabe with her anymore She Started hitting me and i grabbed to get her from hitting she the police i get arrested. After i get out She say She will do whatever to get the charges dropped She loves me etc. I told her i didnt wanna continue a relationship and we can be friends She blocks my number, fb and instagram.. Then She unblocks me and blocks me again Smh. Im confused hurt and angry at myself for taking This shit.. I truly loved this woman and tried to help her what made it worst she sings in a church choir and had people fooled because She is attractive. Its a sas case

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