Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

My mother and BPD... A bit of help rationalising my thoughts please.

(157 Posts)
filee777 Sat 20-Jul-13 08:36:42

So, to cut a (very) long story short, I have not been in contact with my mother for the last 5 months.

This stems from my childhood, the fact i was abused by my older brother emotionally and physically and she ignored it, leaving me alone with my two older brothers from around aged 8 for 2+ hours a day, plus leaving us for 10 days to go to vegas when i was 12 years old. My brothers are 3 and 5 years older than me.

She had plenty of money and there was plenty of opportunity that things were not right which she had just ignored.

When i got to 17 I tried to cut them all off but she stopped me and put down a deposit on a house for me to live in, which i did for the next 7 years. I loved my house because it was the first place i ever felt safe but i still felt very angry with my mum and she made me see that this was terrible of me, how could I be angry with someone who gave me so much/treated me so well.

So, with little else to go on and still believe i was the most awful, irrational person in the world, I ran with that and amended my behaviours and taught myself not to be angry with her. Despite this work our relationship has always been fraught with underlying issues and constantly revolving around money and what she gives to me and why aren't i more grateful.

Throughout life i realised a number of things, i met my husband and he changed my perception of a lot of the stuff that had happened to me, like my brother would kick me in the stomach so i was winded and hold me down screaming in my ear that this is what death felt like and i would die alone because nobody would ever love me because i was so evil/pathetic/ugly etc etc. So obviously DH has had to break through a lot of barriers and teach me that him loving me is not part of some great plot or whatever. Its been hard because its always there in my mind but we work through things.

The other major issue has been that when i have flashbacks i find it really difficult to talk to him because when i did open up to my parents my mum would tell me that i had wound my brother up and i should be better at not getting him angry so that he would leave me alone.

This is hard because he would just randomly attack me for loads of stuff like leaving a cup out of the dishwasher, or colouring in while he was watching telly and making a scratching sound on the paper... etc etc.

So all this stuff went on, at one point i picked up a knife because he said he was going to kill me and ran out of the house, he followed me and rugby tackled me and received a downward scratch on his chest, it was not deep, needed no medical attention yet my mum spoke of it like i had 'stabbed' him and beat the shit out of me and refused to listen to my point of view about it. That was when i was 12 and because i was punished so much for it and he was not, it sort of made it clear that he could do what he wanted to me and there was no self-defence or comeback towards him. So he just used to torture me for fun and there was nothing i could do about it.

Anyway, so it was suggested that i visit a child psychologist when i was 11 and i did that, they told my mum they thought i had Borderline Personality Disorder but it could not be diagnosed formally until adulthood.

I heard my dad and her speaking about it and they said it was a 'made up' condition and just shrinks wanting money and ignored it.

Moving on.

When i got older and met more and more people and learnt to open up, i realised that peoples general perception was that no matter what i had 'done to wind him up' i didnt deserve to have three of my teeth shattered or any of the other stuff he did. I mention the teeth because though not the worst thing i remember it was obvious to my mum because she paid a private dentist about 2k to veneer my four front teeth.

So back in February, we are driving in the car and she asks me for a 'balcony view' of why i dont get on with my brother (this is honestly the way she talks) and i begin to tell her. So she says that I was the difficult one, i was the one that caused her the most 'bother' and that it was my fault because i wound him up. Well i stopped speaking to her from there really because i am not up for being told that anymore.

We had a lot of email communication but it was basically her ignoring everything i said and instead just focusing on one point of an email and telling me i was awful for not moving on with my life and that i blamed her and how dare I and I had so much anger in me and it was totally irrational.

So we stopped communicating that way and agreed that she would stay in touch with my husband to get updates on the kids. This all went fine until she started sending him emails saying that she was 'praying for my happiness' and bullshit like that which made me really angry.

So i told her to stop it and husband didnt know what to do so it was hard for him.


So thats the background, now 2 weeks ago Thursday, i got an email from her saying that she had researched BPD and agreed that i had it, that she had ignored the obvious signs of personality disorder because she wanted a perfect family and it was getting in the way of that. She said that she wanted to be a part of my family life now and didnt understand why issues in the past were getting in the way of that.

I sent one back basically saying that BPD is a product of abuse in childhood and that she was not prepared to lose this 'golden boy' image of my brother in order to validate me and i was not interested in a world where i constantly had to scream to be heard, it hurts my head and its created real damage within me.

she ignored all of this and focused on the last line which was that i agreed that it was nicer for me and the kids to have her around sometimes.

So eventually, after many emails i got her to understand why it was so hard to grow up never being heard and being treated like a thug (like with the knife) and never helped to see how i could communicate with people better.

So i thought we were getting somewhere and i was putting numbers by paragraphs on a very long email detailing everything so she would actually answer it rather than avoid it, but i did say to her that it was not acceptable for her to make me feel guilty for being angry with her, that i didnt anymore and also that i do still have flashbacks and emotional issues stemming from my childhood and that she would have to work with me to deal with those things

so she sends an email (about 4 days ago now) saying 'I think we both need to go and have a think about everything'

and thats it, have heard nothing more

opened up to her, told her what i needed and what she needed to do, really allowed her an opening into my life and i feel like shes sent me an email telling me that she'll 'consider' whether its a good enough offer or not for her!

I dont know what to do now, i feel like just telling her to fuck off again but i dont know if thats a bit presumptuous .

I am happy to copy and paste a couple of the emails, or the last few or something that describes everything in detail but i wondered if anyone was up for helping me with this? Because i dont really know where else to turn right now and i could really do with some support... Thank you in advance.

filee777 Tue 30-Jul-13 10:19:16

Today is mostly yawny! I just want to go to sleep! Need to keep awake n clean the kitchen before work

Doesn't help that it's a little bit chilly today so snuggling under my duvet sounds great...

Hissy Mon 29-Jul-13 23:02:08

Oh I took that once, trying to medicate myself out of feeling the panic stemming from the DV relationship I was in at the time. Of course we all know that was daft... ending the relationship would have been more effective!

First day was wacko! smile second day was better.

Citalopram is good for mood/panic. See how you get on with it, it ought to help.

Have you tried Rescue Remedy too?

filee777 Mon 29-Jul-13 22:42:26

I feel quite fucked on the citalopram actually, a bit like I've taken half an E

Which is unexpected I have to say...

Hissy Mon 29-Jul-13 22:28:58

Remember too that with all that you have been through, feeling sad, hurt, angry, scared and every other émotion in thé book is totally natural, and on some level needed.

The ADs may take a while to have an effect, but with any luck they will help you feel less vulnerable.

You've been on a heck of a journey love, well done!

EBearhug Mon 29-Jul-13 22:22:41

Anti-depressants can take a couple of weeks before you start noticing the effects, so you won't feel different for a few days, or at least, not because of them. You probably will feel different because of how things have gone at work, and for telling your mother what's what. So keep it up!

filee777 Mon 29-Jul-13 19:06:05

Thanks hissy smile I did go to the doctors today and she has put me on anti depressants for a few weeks, to be honest I am glad of the break from my head.

Can't say I feel any different today but hopefully will soon

Hissy Mon 29-Jul-13 18:59:51

You see?

You really ARE wonderful! What an idiot your mother is, to have got it all so catastrophically wrong!

Still, you have given her your best chance, she still can't see it. You tried, it's her that failed, certainly not you!

You are a great carer, wife, mother, friend, daughter and sister.

What others think of you can't change any of that.

Bloody well done love!

filee777 Mon 29-Jul-13 15:12:16

Had my meeting with my boss and it went really, really well. The only thing she was really unhappy about was that I should have told them straight away I was having problems and they would have moved things around so I was doing my usual run and not feeling out of my depth.

EldritchCleavage Sun 28-Jul-13 19:48:53

I'm so glad you're feeling better. And sorry about the work thing, sounds awful but I do find blamers like your colleague often come a cropper with it (let's hope so).

Your brave decision re your mother sounds like a plan that will work for all of you. Agree with not reading responses to it.
Go filee!

Hissy Sun 28-Jul-13 15:35:22

Yeah, and printout that para where you describe yourself!
So you remind yourself that you ARE normal, lovely and loveable!

GoodtoBetter Sun 28-Jul-13 15:15:11

That's a brilliant e mail, you sound so strong. Now, stick to your guns. Direct mail from her to a junk folder and don't read it, screen her calls. Don't listen to a word more of her crap, if there is any, withdraw.
You've been brilliant, now focus on the family you've created and who value you and love you.
<hugs>

filee777 Sun 28-Jul-13 15:03:00

I'm glad it's 'over' and I don't have to think about it anymore! I do feel better than I have for weeks yeah smile

Hissy Sun 28-Jul-13 14:19:32

You sound the strongest, and most powerful you've been since this thread began!

How does sending that email make you feel?

ChasedByBees Sun 28-Jul-13 14:15:25

Good for you. x

filee777 Sun 28-Jul-13 12:28:22

Okay I've made my choice and I have emailed her to let her know, I hope it is clear enough that I don't want to communicate about it anymore

Right, I've come to a decision about all of this, which is great for my head and I thought that i should let you know as soon as possible.

There is, no way that our relationship can go 'back' to how it was. I think how it was is/was quite damaging for me and i will endeavour to protect myself from that.

I don't want to feel guilty for anything, I am not prepared to be made to feel guilty for anything, any attempts to do so will result in me completely shutting myself and my family off from the lot of you.

I realise that it is great for the children to know you, that they will have a good time seeing you with Liam in September and that it is right for them that such meetings are allowed to continue. I think that you living abroad will help.

I am not prepared to talk with you about these things again, I don't want to hear any more nasty comments, i don't want to read the victim blaming you do so freely that you actually think it will comfort me, things like 'when Ian really lost it with her there was a sense from others that he had been provoked, that he was as much a victim' bollocks, who are 'others' we are taking about you and dad. You and dad who were the two people that decided in 1983 that you would create a life, two people who barely a decade after this sacred promise to care for and support a life, decided to leave me to deal with it because 'i deserved it'

You speak of Ian quite naturally as if he is a beacon of self-restraint, as if i pushed him completely to his very limits and that is at the point that he 'erupts' (the poor beast) into an uncontrollable rage and behaves in an unnatural way. This is fucking bollocks.

The reality is that Ian has a succession of broken relationships and friendships, this is a boy who when called a 'twat' by his best mate who had housed him, fed him and lent him thousands of pounds, decided he would punch him in the face a day after he'd had his eyes lazered and knew any movement to his retinas would leave him blinded.

Thats Ian, Ian who has a reputation far and wide for pushing people to their limits and then when slightly affronted becomes violent and aggressive at the drop of a hat.

And then there is me. I have a loving husband, two children who have never had a hand raised to them and I am employed by a company that frequently comment on my compassion and empathy for the rest of the human race. Not ONCE in my adult life have i been violent to anyone.

So, I am sick of it, the passive victim blaming and the inability to see reality, i am not dealing with it anymore. Your ability to help me has long gone and it will not return, i never ever want to talk it through with you again.

Now, as far as 'us' goes, I think the best suggestion i have had is that i see you for days out once or twice a year, I think this is a good compromise, you get to see the children, we stay in touch but we do not have any more than a relationship based upon those meetings.

I do not want to see you in September when you are here. It is too soon and obviously i am still coming to terms with the reality of the situation, that actually i was right and you had made a (sub) conscious decision to allow me to be abused at the hands of your son because i was 'such' an awful child.

the fact is i was a child, my behaviour was negated by my being a child, your role was to love me, not judge me, to protect me not leave me and you did not achieve those things.

I hope that you enjoy your day out with the children in September, I will see you when you return to the UK in February, or whenever, we can have another day out with the children and focus our attentions on them.

filee777 Sat 27-Jul-13 16:04:16

ghetto thank you for your post, a lot of that rings very true

I had a really rough morning at work this morning, it's been really tough the last week particularly but increasingly tough for the last month I would say.

Another carer wrote in one of the report books that I had 'failed to dress' a lady for bed, despite that not being in her care plan, the call being at 6pm and no other carers at that time doing it, she also wrote that I had 'failed to cook the correct food' despite me checking where it may have been left out and not finding any and checking the book to see where someone may have left it.

It was basically just an attack on me which is such a shame because if this lady is struggling to dress herself for bed, we actually need to review the care plan, not attack each other. It's just so bitchy and it really, really upset me. I am going to go and speak to the office about it on Monday but its just made me feel like handing in my notice, I don't know if I can handle such negativity flung at me by a member of the team sad

mrchip thank you for your post, I think this is a really sensible idea, it allows me space from her whilst still mantaining an arms length relationship. Just seeing her once every few months for the day, though not on this visit I am not up for that.

I will think about that thank you x

Mrchip Sat 27-Jul-13 10:13:50

My best friend has a family with lots of issues.
Her brother smashed her car windscreen and chased her with a knife to cut her face.
She called police from bathroom.
Her parents were furious with her!

They buried their heads in the sand/worried about outcome for her brother.

He was later sectioned and diagnosed with schizophrenia,

Best friend hadn't forgiven. She is well aware that there are lots of mental health issues in the family and things are not normal.
However, she does see them a few times a year and it I'd fine.
Not a lot of contact between meet ups.

What I'm saying is that she has accepted that they didn't :don't behave as should but still likes infrequent contact.

You could try this with you Mum? Your have to accept that she is flawed and you might not get answers you want though,

Hi there, I'm a long time lurker. OP - you don't sound like you have BPD to me. It sounds more like Complex Trauma Disorder. I'm a professional in a relevant field, and while I can't diagnose you over the internet, all the indicators point in that direction.

This website gives an overview:
http://outofthefog.net/Disorders/CPTSD.html

Sometimes some of the symptoms can mimic other disorders, which is why sufferers are often misdiagnosed.

On a non-professional note, your mother sounds like a self serving bitch and I'd advise you to have nothing to do with her. You'll never get an explanation that makes sense because there isn't one -some people just don't know how to behave like human beings, and trying to rationalise that will just drive you crazy.

Hissy Fri 26-Jul-13 22:34:42

Sweety, we KNOW what we're saying you should do, many of us have done it, many of us are seriously faced with it, or will have to. We know it's massive.

Please try to put conditioned feelings, expectations, stereotypes, obligations before the absolute facts that you were hideously abused, and repeatedly so, by multiple people, all of which are more interested in coming out of this as unscathed as possible at your expense. Again.

You don't have to make decisions at all if you don't want to. Big ones or small ones smile you have your H, and he understands, supports and loves you, just the way you are. Can you look to him to see what love is? Can you look to yourself and him to see what parenting in. Can you ever imagining doing to your DC what she did to you? No, thought not!

This is your life, you do call the shots, and if you want it to be, your word is final.

We are all here, willing you to free yourself of your past, so that you can be the wonderful happy woman you deserve to be!

We know this is Big Stuff, but we know the rewards are worth it. We know the hope you are holding out for is empty. We wish it wasn't.

When I left my abusive ex, the first word I learned to use was 'No.' just that. No.

It allowed me to stop others riding roughshod over me. It gave me a little of my life back. It was a real rush! smile

You have your H, he can help support you say No, if that's what you need to say. Many of us are isolated and alone and have to do this, having someone on your side will help you do whatever you need to do.

Whatever you need/want to do is just fine. Your H will support you, and so will we.

Try to rest, this stuff is exausting!

((hug))

cleopatrasasp Fri 26-Jul-13 22:14:23

I am not pressuring you and was very supportive in a lot of what I wrote in earlier posts and even complimentary about how far you have come and how well you've dealt with what you've endured. I can see that you are in a very angry place, that's fine and understandable but sometimes when you have been under attack for so long can you see everything as people attacking you. If you want to just pour out your feelings like this thread is a blog then fair enough but you didn't really make that clear in earlier posts, you did make it sound like you wanted advice and sometimes advice is going to be things you aren't comfortable hearing.

For what it's worth, it is certainly not 'easy peasy' to write a parent off, I know this because I've done it and it was very hard, I was 16 when I did it. It is, however, possible to lead an extremely happy life afterwards and it makes me sad when people are trapped in relationships with people who hurt them again and again because I know what life's like on the other side.

Anyway, I won't be back on this thread - so don't bother writing a reply - since I obviously can't help you and have no interest in adding to your anger and pain. Good luck whatever you decide to do.

filee777 Fri 26-Jul-13 21:42:58

You accused me of ignoring advice. Which I have not done, I am also not contacting her, it might be very easy for you to just say 'oh don't bother with her' but she is my mother, she's supported me a lot financially and she was there when my children were born.

So this easy peasey writing her off that you guys are all pressuring me to do is not so easy for me, life is more complex than that.

I like the idea of leaving it up to Liam to decide if he wants to meet with her in September because actually not having to make massive decisions right now is really important to me. I just can't handle it all right now all at once.

I thought your post was absolutely awful and really dismissive of me being able to talk about things and how they have affected me, it made me wish id never bothered posting which is a shame

I do not need to be pressured, accused of ignoring people or told I am not allowed a voice. It's exactly what I've had to deal with in the past and it is not appropriate for you to treat me like that.

cleopatrasasp Fri 26-Jul-13 21:17:07

No one is criticising you OP, I asked a genuine question because I was puzzled as to why you seemed so keen to keep engaging with someone who many of us see so clearly as abusive and horrible to you. When people keep engaging with an abuser it just keeps hurting them.....and hurting them......and hurting them. It's actually horrible to watch, especially if you have been through similar. People who have had to deal with narcissistic parents are trapped by the FOG (fear, obligation & guilt) and sometimes can't see clearly any way out. They long for resolution, explanations and the love and care they were denied as children even though they are often desperate to pull away from the past for their own mental health. Sympathy and support are essential but, sometimes, straightforward questions can cut through some of the mire of conflicting emotions.

I wish you nothing but happiness and a way out of all this because I can feel through your writing how much pain you have been through and how much you are still feeling, but I fear that you are looking for answers and actions from your mother that will never be forthcoming no matter how many emails you send between you. She was extremely cruel to you and she continues to be cruel to you because she has access to you and to your children. She wasn't a little bit neglectful or shouty she abandoned you, left you to be abused by your vicious brother and then denied (and continues to deny) your experience. It also worries me that she identifies your husband as 'gentle and loving' because this, along with the fact that she contacted him about you, tells me she sees him as a way to get to you.

Anyway, I'm sorry if you felt attacked by my question but, in all honest, it is one worth asking because to those of us on the outside it is difficult to understand why you would give this person the time of day.

missedith01 Fri 26-Jul-13 20:17:46

You said in your original post, "Well i stopped speaking to her from there really because i am not up for being told that anymore. "

Damn straight. Good for you. No more needs to be said, IMHO. If she can't deal with that, it's the end.

Hissy Fri 26-Jul-13 20:01:22

I know you are frightened, but once you've reached the place where you put yourself and your family unit first and foremost, trusting your instincts, you will see how easy it is.

You can do this, I know you feel you can't, but you really can!

Keep talking to us if it helps, keep talking to yourself, your DH too if that helps.

It will get easier.

Hissy Fri 26-Jul-13 19:57:57

Please leave the decision to H then. If he doesn't want to see her, or have the DC see her, then he's allowed to make that call.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now