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For starters, everyone's experience with a loved one with BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) is different, just like with anything else. These are personal stories from the author (Torrey B.) with a Mom who has explicitly shown signs and symptoms of BPD.
Entry 1: October 29, 2017
For starters, my Mom was the kind that seemed to always give me this sentence as a feeling: "I hate you, don't leave me!" The world is no better than that of Wonderland, without a guide to know what was real, what wasn't and how to get from A to B. My world was full of hateful words, belittling remarks, and nights crying myself to sleep or feeling so tired but not being able to calm my mind enough to sleep.
If I had to say anything, my Mom was easily a concoction of the Waif and the Queen, if using the four personalities of BPD mothers. Now, she did show all four personalities, as many BPD mothers do, but these were her two most dominant forms. Goodness knows she loved to play an act and game, for friends and non-immediate family members to fall in love with her like she was the greatest thing since sliced bread, but was also the largest martyr I had ever grown to know (and later claimed I did it more than she did, or accused her father of doing it).
For my mother, it was either you were on her side, always defending her to the ends of the world, or you were like me and my little brother and had thoughts of your own and free will. You see, for her, if we argued, we clearly hated her and were abandoning her. Out of all of her kids (which she had six children in total), my little brother and I were her two "No Good" children. And if you have a BPD mother of your own, you know exactly what it means to be known as the "No Good" child. After all, it isn't too hard to know what that means. But I'll explain "No Good" vs. "All Good" later. Today, this is about the four different and most common BPD mothers there are.
According to James Masterson (1988 ), there are four types of BPD Mother Personalities. These four are The Waif, The Queen, The Hermit, and the Witch. Like I earlier stated, the mother tends to show elements of all four at one point or another, but can also have one or two they switch between and combine. Each personality has their own special little quirks.
The Waif- The Infamous Martyr and Victim
The Waif personality is the one who often portrays the helpless victim in an instant, exhibiting how everyone is treating them so awfully and how they need protection. Waifs often look towards their children or others for constant reassurance, for them to "save her" like the helpless damsel in distress she believes herself to be. Funilly enough, this mother also believes that people are out to get them and do not trust either, meaning they want help from someone they do not trust, in order to protect themselves from being abandoned and hurt.
Yikes. How do you help someone who doesn't trust that you won't hurt them, especially when it is a child trying to help their own mother? Not mention very sensitive to criticism and can take it as an attack on them, which again, falls under their victim personality, believing that they are worthless, hopeless, and fall into huge amounts of despair. This ties into the fact that they have a very low self-esteem.
Remember how I mentioned abandonment? This sense of abandonment can be real or imaginary. Think of it like when a child decides to marry someone their mother does not approve of. This feels like a betrayal towards the Waif mother like it was done on purpose to hurt her, and then the child moves away. The child has just "abandoned" their mother, even though it was simply the child growing up to move on and raise a family of their own, but any moment that isn't spent with the mother turns into abandonment, especially with large amounts of time between visits. This isn't something I personally did, but my brother did, as he chose his now wife over my mother and over what she wanted for him, simply because he loved his wife. It wasn't a personal attack on our mother. He just loved her, while our mother did not like her.
The Queen - Entitled and the Center of the World, for the Queen rules all.
Pay attention to me! Love me, love me, prove to me you love me and do everything as I say! Aren't I such a wonderful mother? Oh, and have you done all those things I wanted you to do for me to prove to me you love me?
That is the life of a child under the Queen BPD Personality. Once more, this is a personality where if you disagree with her, don't do as she says, and the worst of all, have your own needs, you don't love her. Everything is about the Queen, as she is the end-all-be-all person for you to please. Oh, and by the way, you know how mothers tend to have many of your secrets and know you very well since she "raised" you? Hope you were the perfect child with absolutely no flaws, no lies, or even a simple tiny blemish on that perfect record! The Queen is vindictive and has no problems with blackmailing you, and yes, this does include her own children. After all, no one has dirt on you like your own mother.
Not to mention, her own fragile self-esteem is pushed aside to show this dramatically perfect woman who has it all together, independent, powerful, and in control of everything. Except, you sometimes are surprised she is the Queen of her own mind. The children of a Queen Mother is supposed to be her loyal subject, look like a beautiful Princess and loyal Prince and not be afraid to say "Yes, of course, my Mother is right, she is the Queen! And anyone who disagrees does not respect her, including my own siblings and father, for if they especially argue means they hate her and wish her reign to fall!"
Except... How often is one single person right all the time?
This is a confusing life, as a child is expected to attend to every need their Queen Mother asks of them, no matter what, to show they love her, but to expect nothing in return. This Queen is too busy being the Queen to give her child the attention they need. And that includes any simple need the child would need. After all, you must hate her if you need something.
My own mother was a very strong Queen Mother personality as she showed how independent she so was, except for when she needed everything done for her. I never asked my mother for anything, not even for time off from being her go-to maid/caretaker/teacher/whatever else my Mother needed, in order to spend time with my then boyfriend. I was her babysitter, watching all of her grandchildren, my nieces and nephew from 7AM until 8-9 PM every weekday, sometimes on the weekend, doing online school with an autistic younger brother ( since she didn't have the time, patience, computer skills, or knowledge to be able to read the online textbooks, to try and teach anything that wasn't social studies or art classes ) from 7 AM until 4-5PM, go to college two days a week sometimes from 9:30 AM until 6:00 PM or later, also take care of her father who is diabetic, wheel-chair bound, arthritis, etc., do laundry ( which we hung up outside or inside, depending on weather, to dry ), clean the kitchen, bathrooms, and living room, and let my nieces and nephew spend the night in my room for a night or three. You see, her blackmail came from being not very good in college, as I got a lot of zeroes with work being turned in late because I had no time or energy to do homework because I was trying to do my other giant list given to me by the Queen herself. But it was a constant struggle to do my college classes under her room, so that when it was time to show her my grades (because according to her, me being an adult didn't allow me to be free from Progress Report Cards), and I had zeroes? It was a storm of rage, screaming, calling me a lazy, ungrateful b****, and all I was going to be good for would be asking "Do you want fries with that?" in the drive-through. Not to mention, she took away my phone (that she doesn't pay for), my laptop ( hat she didn't pay for, again, and that I NEEDED for college as I usually had at least one online class a semester), even saying she will force my relationship to fail with my boyfriend by keeping me from talking to him in any way, and basically cause him to leave me, "if it means you'll finally pay attention to your school work!" (actual quote from my Mother). Yeah. But sure, I was lazy when I was doing everything in my power to give her as little of a work-load as I could, sacrificing myself in order to gain her love and approval, but having no way to meet every requirement, without having an anxiety attack ( in fact just typing this sometimes still makes my heart race and my chest to tighten, just from the thought ). I wish I was kidding. This is the life I grew up in, and I am soon to turn 21-years-old, and have recently cut all ties with her.
The Hermit - Shield yourself away, for the whole world is awful and out to get you!
This mother is easily explained as the paranoid one, fearful of everyone and the whole world. This is another personality which shows off as independent, confident and determined. Except, they're actually terrified of the world, and distrust everyone. They're insecure and prone to shutting themselves out. They have no desire to go out in the world and have close friends outside of their family, especially their children. Their self-esteem is usually built with hobbies and work.
This is one where my mother definitely shows and seems to openly admit to. She often said that as she got older, she became afraid of everything. Except, that makes it pretty difficult for someone to want to experience the world, even simply go out once in a while with friends, unless one of their children is there with them. At least, that's how it was with her. We could never get her to try and go out with friends unless we took her out for coffee or shopping. We were the only real "friends" she had. And honestly, we were because we had to, or else, who else would she have? Not only were we her soldiers and loyal subjects to defend and protect her, we were her best friends.
The Witch- Cruel, No-Nonsense, and Random Attacks with Little to No Provocation
This personality is probably one I see frequently with my mother, but it never stays for an excessive amount of time. If I had to equate it to anything, it would be the Evil Step-Mother from Snow White. After all, off-ing your husband's daughter just because she is the fairest is not a good enough reason to hate her. This personality is just very cruel and hateful, as they are consumed by their own sense of self-hatred.
The Witch is someone who acts out viciously when they feel threatened by the child or by someone else. Typically, this is the personality that if a BPD Mother is going to be physically abusive, it will come in here. The Witch has no remorse and will not apologize for hateful and nightmarish acts she has done to her child.
My own experience with the Witch is usually when we are having a fight where I have disobeyed, or done something she did not approve of. Typically when I try to argue my point and defend myself. I have had to fight with her about how I needed glasses. When I was in 10th grade, one of my friends gave me a pair of glasses to try and help me read the board, and it worked! She and another friend also mentioned that glasses framed my face well, so wearing glasses could be attractive and flattering. I told my step-father first, hoping he would relay it to my mother (as I have always been more comfortable talking to my father figures than her). Weeks went by, and I was never taken to an eye doctor. It hit a month or four, and I still hadn't gotten glasses. When I went to the movies with my Dad and little brothers, I told him I was having a hard time reading the actors' names in the credits. Concerned, he wanted to take me to an eye doctor that day, but it wasn't open then. When he took us home, he talked to my mother, and I was shot a nasty look from her. When he left, saying he promised to take me to an eye doctor as soon as he could, she told me off about it, claiming I only wanted glasses because my friends said it would make me look pretty, when they just wanted to make me look worse to make them feel better. I kept trying to say it wasn't true, and she yelled at me saying, "Fine! I guess we'll see if you're telling the truth! Otherwise, guess you'll f*** up your vision over a few girls saying you'll look prettier with them on!" I cried for an hour, not understanding why my mother would think I was making it up that I needed glasses. She even got my older sister to talk to me saying that if it was really about looking prettier, I could always pop out the lenses of reading glasses, so I don't mess up my eye-sight.
On another occasion, there was a problem with my report card, showing I had a 0, even though I knew for a fact I had done the assignment. I didn't have enough time to tell the teacher about it, so I would do so the next day, in order to fix my grade. I showed my Mother, trying to explain it to her, and even though I had a simple solution to fix it the next day, she proceeded to slap me across the face and scream at me for getting a 0, as well as proceed to call me lazy and not caring about my education. Yeah, I had the proof to show her I had done the assignment, could easily get my grade changed, and even then, I was still getting yelled at, grounded, and getting my things taken away. And slapped across the face. Fun.
These were the four personality types of Borderline Personality Disorder. Hopefully, this gives you a little more insight into the personalities, a little insight about me, and gives you a sense of closure if you or a loved one has grown up with a BPD Mother.
Just remember, you are NEVER alone. And if you want to explore further about BPD Mothers, and how to identify it as well as know of a way to be able to build yourself up, I have a few books that I was shown during therapy sessions, read, and have loved. Give them a try, and I feel like you'll really be able to come to terms and find closure.
And something else I love to do is listen to a SOTD, or Song of the Day. Today's SOTD is "Human" by Christina Perri.
"Understanding The Borderline Mother..."
"Surviving a Borderline Parent..."
And this book is to help children, especially adult children to be able to heal the wounds left behind given by a Borderline Mother ( or father ), to build trust, self-esteem, and learn boundaries to set for themselves and others.