Reply with quote #1
Thank God for the therapist I have been seeing for years who knows my life story inside and out and can support me in staying away from my elderly mother as much as possible because she is toxic, narcisstic and borderline. I know it goes against the grain to label any "mother" in a negative spin. It is not right we tell ourselves. But narcisstic personality disorder is real as is borderline personality disorder and many of the people who have it are mothers. A qualified mental health professional, my therapist has heard my life's story enough to know that I have been honest and consisent and she has been able for me to discern (not disagnose) the behavior of the person I describe. The person who happens to be my mother. Nature tells us to defend our parents and look down upon anyone who would dare say anything negative against of all people their mother. So does society. But when your mother has mental illness and behaves in a way that society does not approve of and the law says some of those behaviors are criminal (child neglect, child abandonment, child abuse) we still want to make excuses and say that can't be. I think it is because the mother bond is so tight we can't bring ourselves to believe a mother can behave in a way that is unforgiving because at some level, we feel that is condeming someone else's mother, we are condeming mothers all around the world and therefor out own mother. Unless you have lived with and been raised by a mentally ill mother, you would never know they even exist. And still, hearing someone describe such a mother sounds evil and even mean. As though the person doing the decribing is making it up to be cruel. It just is something we can't bear to hear. That a mother would harm her children in any way. It is so unconscionable we cope with it by denying it's existance because in doing so, the world seems like a better and safer place.
Reply with quote #2
You certainly summed it up. And they'd be the last ones to admit there's anything wrong........with them. It's always someone else. And the maddening, and frustrating thing is that they can usually convince others of that. To they community, they're wonderful people. When they get caught in lies, they were "confused," or "forgot" and always use "their age,". They might only be 40, but at their age, they need so much help. All the while, casting a pity morsel, trolling with guilt, until they snare what they're after. I'm glad you have a good therapist.
Reply with quote #3
Unless you have lived with and been raised by a mentally ill mother, you would never know they even exist. And still, hearing someone describe such a mother sounds evil and even mean. As though the person doing the describing is making it up to be cruel. It just is something we can't bear to hear. That a mother would harm her children in any way. It is so unconscionable we cope with it by denying it's existence because in doing so, the world seems like a better and safer place.
Hi jk204, As you probably know, I am one of those people raised by a mentally ill mother. (actually, I should not say she "raised" me because she seldom got out of bed except when she felt the need to abuse me.) I actually raised myself and I did a darn good job! The only time I truly felt safe was when my mother was passed out from alcohol and drugs, but even then, I knew she would wake up and I would not be safe any more. You're right when you say that people don't want to hear about abusive mothers and if a child dares to say, "I hate my mother!" that child is often seen as demonic and cold hearted. Over the years, I've had so many people say to me, "Well, she is still your mother" and "How can you say that about your own mother?" (As if merely giving birth gives a mother some kind of 'get out of jail free card'!) Don't children have the have the right to their own feelings? My mother is gone now, so I don't have to take any more cruelty or abuse from her. I don't say anything disrespectful about her now. (don't speak ill of the dead, you know.) I don't referrer to her as "Vampira" any more, but I still stumble if I have to refer to her as "mother". I try not to think about her at all, but I do and sadly, good memories are few and far between. I've spent my entire life mourning for the mother that I never had and trying to be the mother that I wanted, to my own child. My dad has changed our family history to suit him. In his mind, my mother is now a saint. I just listen to him talk about her and keep my own feelings to myself. Just last Tuesday, when I visited my dad at the NH a woman walked up to me as said, "Your dad is such a nice man and he really misses your mother. He's told me what a good marriage they had and what a good mother she was." I smiled, nodded and I let it go, but inside, my inner child was screaming, "Did he tell you about the time she did this and the time she did that? I wanted to set the record straight! I have not forgotten one cruel thing and I suppose that I never will! Really, what right does my dad have to put a fresh coat of paint over my life? Nope, society does not want to hear about abusive mothers and I bet they sure don't want to hear a child say anything against a dead mother. I always wanted 'June Cleaver' for a mom and now, I suppose it's best to let outsiders think that I did! Sometimes, I guess it's best to let sleeping dogs lay. ~OK~
Reply with quote #4
I'm sorry you have a mother like that and I'm glad you have a great therapist. Understanding the Borderline Mother by Christine Ann Lawson is a good and supportive book about dealing with bpd moms.
Reply with quote #5
jk, I'm glad you are seeing a therapist. I hope it helps. You sound at the end of your rope in some of your posts. Angry...upset...
no one here will look at your situation through 'rose colored glasses' - trust me!! We're a bit more "with it" on this board (my own personal opinion).
Many here have narcissist parents. They UNDERSTAND. And those of us who don't have that type of parent (my mom is just very negative, controlling, histrionic, manipulative, etc) we have learned all about narcisstic parents by just reading on this board! It has been enlightening.
I hope the therapist can guide you to a more peaceful and less angry life. It can take a heck of a lot of work to get over such a childhood. Or maybe not "get over" but just come to terms with.
Reply with quote #6
Bless you...you must have really been through hell, but are working through it with the therapist because the "toxic, narcisstic and borderline" combination must have been the ultimate nightmare for a parent. I have never been to a therapist but hope to do so someday. In the meantime, I'll post here to try and work through some stuff. Feel free to vent and talk about things here, if you like. This year I have learned personally of the transformative powers of writing in one's life. You are among friends. Especially child survivors of nightmare parents.