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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.

Pawprint Sat 20-Jul-13 14:42:27

Your brother abused you monstrously. He has a problem, not you. The term BPD is a much disputed term and it sounds to me as though have no sickness except for utter despair at your brother's wickedness and your mother's cruelty. He knocked your teeth out??? She beat you up????


My brother was vile to me when we teens. I remember him hanging over the banisters of a very high staircase and threatening to drop me. My parents didn't know what to do, but they didn't take sides.

I suggest you distance yourself from your mother. It seems that she will not see the situation from your point of view and will not accept how vicious and sadistic her son is.

filee777 Sat 20-Jul-13 15:44:16

Yeah, you don't think she's said she's sorry and deserves some sort of chance to make things right? I am so totally torn in half by it all.

I suppose there still is a bit of me that thinks its my fault a bit.

filee777 Sat 20-Jul-13 16:46:10

Yeah, you don't think she's said she's sorry and deserves some sort of chance to make things right? I am so totally torn in half by it all.

I suppose there still is a bit of me that thinks its my fault a bit.

Pawprint Sat 20-Jul-13 17:10:10

Why is it your fault, F?

I would feel torn too. Your mum says she is sorry but still seems not to believe your version of events.

What it boils down to is whether you can forgive her move on. Sorry I haven't read the complete thread how is your relationship with your brother now?

filee777 Sat 20-Jul-13 17:16:24

Oh I won't have anything to do with him, haven't for years, he's tried once or twice and I have put him off, once or twice let him get to arms length and just pushed him away again when he's been an arsehole, the only thing he's ever apologised for is pulling me out of bed and down the stairs by my right arm the day after I had my appendix taken out, it pulled the scar apart something awful and I got an infection.

Said he was having a bad day that day. He wanted me to walk to the shop for him and I didn't feel up to it.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 20-Jul-13 17:54:55

It was not your fault your parents and siblings were and remain abusive

Toxic parents as I have said before do not apologise nor take any responsibility for their actions. Fundamentally your mother has not altered.

I think counselling for you asap would be an excellent idea but the first counsellor may not be the ideal one for you. They are like shoes, you need to find someone who fits.

turbochildren Sat 20-Jul-13 18:09:33

This sounds awful, your mum does not sound like she will change. just skimmed through your email exchange, but you know, she sounds like my mil, only a lot worse. Which I appreciate must be so very hard when it is your mum.
She wants things to be the way she imagines, she does not accept your experience, which in this case is particularly cruel. The support from your husband seem good, and my only advice would be to keep the non contact.
She sounds like she wants you to accept having some sort of mental illness, when in fact she did not protect you living through hell. But as she cannot take that responsibility, it looks like she'll push it onto you. Would that be something you can keep defending yourself from?

Pawprint Sat 20-Jul-13 18:18:33

Your brother is a cunt. The appendix incident is appalling.

What is your brother doing now, if you know? Has he had any successful relationships?

He sounds ghastly.

filee777 Sat 20-Jul-13 18:48:22

He has had a succession of relationships, he is coming up 33 now.

He also has drug induced epilepsy (sp)

He seems to have sorted it out a lot but just a couple of years ago he stayed with my nana, she was 80 at the time and got upset with her asking him if he wanted a cup of tea and he verbally attacked her and towered over her ( he is six foot two, she is 5 foot nothing) and told her she was stupid and everyone wanted her dead and that she would die in the house alone and nobody would care. She doesn't want anything more to do with him and said she won't ever see him again, my mum said 'well you know how she can wind people up'

I am worried about his relationships, it worries me that he sees my happiness as a direct attack on him and I prefer for him not to know where I live.

I worry that he will revert to type when his girlfriend / wife gets pregnant and that thought really scares me, or how damaging it could be if he has children.

He is psychotic I would say, it's terrifying.

mummytime Sat 20-Jul-13 19:14:13

I would say: Get some counselling - now, don't just wait for some future date. Talk to your GP and tell them about the past possible diagnosis of BPD. BPD is very hard to diagnose and is very controversial. It could very easily have been mis-diagnosed even if it was diagnosed

Next but just as urgent. Cut all contact from your Mother with your family, and that includes your husband and children.

Thirdly keep posting, read the stately homes thread. You can conquer this.

filee777 Sat 20-Jul-13 19:15:40

My gp don't deal with mental health, there is a referral system and if its anything like last time I will be waiting for 6 to 8 weeks to see someone.

samsungsing Sat 20-Jul-13 19:26:28

What Atilla said

No matter how detailed your communication is. No matter what you set out in emails/letters. No matter how crystal clear the information is - your mother will not recognise, nor acknowledge it as being the truth if it doesn't fit in with what she wants to hear/remember.

I have sent the emails and the 12 page letters. My mother headed for the hills because the information scared the shit out of her. She was shocked at how much I had remembered, but then she reverted back to her old self and said that none of it is the truth, as she cant remember it.


Hissy Sat 20-Jul-13 22:36:08

darling, if you ask today, the appointment wiil come round faster than you think.

You are worth investing in you, honestly you are!

filee777 Sat 20-Jul-13 22:51:19

Okay I'll enquire about counselling on Monday, thanks all.

Still don't know what to do about my mother though, keep checking the email to see ifs she's returned and she hasn't.

Latara Sat 20-Jul-13 22:51:46

filee777 please reconsider getting your diagnosis rechecked - ask your GP for a Psychiatrist referral, 6 -8 weeks is a normal wait & will be worth it.

I was diagnosed with full-blown BPD but now they think I have only some BPD 'traits' luckily (but unluckily that's because I turned out to be suffering from Psychosis which is a whole other story... basically medication worked for that anyway.)

My point is that you could have been misdiagnosed at age 11.

filee777 Sat 20-Jul-13 22:53:41

Well you can't be diagnosed at 11 for a personality disorder, it's only available from 18.

The other thing stopping me is a formal diagnosis might hold me back in a lot of ways, I'm just about to train to be a social worker.

Latara Sat 20-Jul-13 23:01:56

I was and continued to work as an RGN when I got my (partly incorrect) BPD diagnosis (the Occupational Health Dept were aware of it), so don't worry about that, it shouldn't prejudice a future job as that would be discrimination.

I'm working as an HCA in the same hospital (an Acute Surgery ward) until I've fully recovered from my Psychotic Episode but the Occupational Health are considering me returning to an RGN role in 6 months to a year.

So most public sector employers should be the same as mine ie non-discriminatory, and only the Occ Health dept of your future employer should be aware and will keep your condition confidential.

With a BPD diagnosis you should be able to continue to work providing the symptoms are treated with eg. counselling, therapy or even meds if appropriate (eg ADs if you get depression as part of your BPD).

But you may not have BPD anyway hopefully.

filee777 Sat 20-Jul-13 23:13:56

I take Valium every now and again to stop me getting
'The fear' and just not doing anything because the order of importance drives me mental and I just do everything wrong.

So that's really helped me be able to work effectively and my company do love me which is great.

Plus husband has just let me be me and that's stopped me being crazy, he is like my anti depressant! However sad that sounds but he just validates me and makes me feel so good about myself and that being a bit crazy is normal and okay.

HoopHopes Sat 20-Jul-13 23:15:36

To be diagnosed with bpd as an adult you need to have a referral to a psychiatrist and proper diagnosis made through the SCID-D tool. It is not a diagnosis through a meeting or a history of someone's childhood but there are proper diagnostic tests. A counsellor or gp cannot diagnose. So a referral for assessment not counselling would let you know whether you had a pd. however you would need to declare this diagnosis often when applying for jobs etc which is not always easy as it is misunderstood.

filee777 Sat 20-Jul-13 23:20:59

latara it's great that you manage to work despite a diagnosis, I am worried, I suppose that being formally diagnosed will hinder me rather than help.

Will definitely speak to the mental health team about counselling.

AngelinaCongleton Sat 20-Jul-13 23:25:53

Absolutely, get some counselling. Don't put it off. The emails, counterpoints etc must be an absolute headf@ck. Stop torturing yourself and get someone to talk this through with. The emailing is twisting you round in circles and you might not ever get her to admit to/say what you need her to/ she should ideally say. A good counsellor will help you achieve a different perspective which will let you move on and get some peace of mind.

filee777 Sat 20-Jul-13 23:31:03

Yeah her getting in contact has absolutely tied me in knots, I had my social work interview a few hours after I got the first one too and I fluffed my interview a bit. Still got in but I didn't come over as well as I would have hoped.

Now it's been a week of just waiting for her to say whether or not she wants to have a relationship with me. Which is hard.

Hissy Sun 21-Jul-13 09:12:07

What annoyed me about the emails to you was that it was all about her, that she knew she was contacting you against your wishes, demanding your H's involvement, even demanding that he reply so she knows her dagger has reached it's target.

The best thing your H can do is to say, don't email me again. If fillee wahts to contact you, she will.

Then block her email.

Take back control, remove the last method she has of making you feel bad.

Don't worry about the diagnosis, even if there is on. If you are better as a result of having a great H, and less contact with your family, then i'd suggest that environmental factors are at play, not necessarily a PD.

You owe it to yourself to know what cards you hold in your hand. If you are honest with yourself, you'll gain strength from that.

What happens if/when you get a clean bill of MH? That your horrendous childhood triggered behaviour that was entirely consistent with the abuse you were experiencing?

It could happen!

Whatever the outcome, you will be ok. You really will.

filee777 Sun 21-Jul-13 10:16:39

Thanks hissy, I suppose you are right in that she's been quite forceful with making me speak to her, emailing my husband who is a very gentle and uncomplicated beast so obviously found it very hard to know what to do or what to say, she's emailed him a few times about a few things and I've had to answer because he just doesn't know what to do.

So yeah it has been a bit forced but in a way I do want it to be all over and take 'the easy road' though I'm starting to realise perhaps that's not the best thing for me or my family.

Kundry Sun 21-Jul-13 10:17:34

Do not send any email to her acknowledging you have BPD.

Please don't, I can't stress this enough.

You have a diagnosis suggested when you were 14 but you are older now, maintaining a marriage, going to university etc etc. You have no recent psychiatric assessment to confirm the diagnosis.

The fact you are happily married without having any treatment makes BPD vanishingly unlikely.

Your mother only wants you to have it because it lets her off the hook - 'I tried so hard but look, my child was faulty, it's nothing to do with me what happened'.

I also think pages of e-mails hashing over the past are going to make no difference to her and only upset you. She has her own version of the past - even if you could show her video evidence of what happened, she would interpret it as her being wonderful and it being your fault.

See your GP, get a proper assessment and DO NOT AGREE WITH YOUR MOTHER THAT YOU HAVE BPD!

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