• Thu, Apr 11 2013

Anonymous Mom: I’m Disowning My Parents

disowning parentsAnonymous Mom is a weekly column of motherhood confessions, indiscretions, and parental shortcomings selected by Mommyish editors. Under this unanimous byline, readers can share their own stories, secrets, and moments of weakness with complete anonymity.

My parents are both dead now. They died a month ago and I’m still grieving. The problem is they are both very much alive, a 20 minute drive from my house.

Yes, now in my mid-30s, I had to disown my parents. Having a mother with borderline personality disorder had finally taken its toll.

This was a long time coming, but when it happened – when I finally told them, “I have no parents,” – I don’t think it was any less painful than actually losing your parents to sickness or a car accident. I think losing a parent is always painful.

I hate when people say, “People can change,” Or, “They’re old!” or, “How can you just cut them off like that?”

I’ve also asked myself these questions numerous times. But the truth is, my parents made me feel as they have always made me feel. Like I was drowning. I have always felt that even if I were actually drowning, depending on my mother’s mood that moment, she may or may not try to rescue me.

I had to disown my father too, because after all these years, especially during my childhood, he didn’t step in to “save” my siblings or I from my mother’s vicious streak. He, too, was under the roof of borderline personality disorder and was probably just as scared as we were — and still is.

I’ll be brutally honest: I feel like I hate my mother and I have no respect for my father. I have all the symptoms of an adult child of a borderline personality disorder parent. These include, but are not limited to, huge self-esteem issues, panic attacks after talking to or seeing my mother, and I’m wary of trusting people.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was when I told my parents I had a serious medical issue and asked if they could they please help out with my children for a couple of weeks. They said they couldn’t until May.They are both retired and their excuse for not helping out was so pathetic, it’s heartbreaking for me. For years, before I disowned them, I asked myself, why do I walk into this?

I haven’t been able to look my parents in the eyes for over a decade and when I used to see my mother, shivers immediately went up my spine. To grow up with a mother who never once told you she loves you is only the start of my upbringing. The lack of love affected both of my siblings, too. One tried to kill himself when he was younger and the other moved half way around the world because in his words, “I couldn’t stand mom and dad.”

I didn’t move. I didn’t try to kill myself. I disowned them instead.

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  • HPM

    I’m trying to sum up my situation into a tidy single paragraph, but I just realized that the madness I’ve witnessed from my BPD ex-wife would fill a book.

    The main reason for adding my comment to this piece was that I identified with the poor father who was also disowned because he didn’t “SAVE” his daughter from the BPD Mom. My 12 year-old daughter is currently under the spell of a BPD mom who has her convinced that I’m a horrible abusive father. Under her mother’s care she has missed most of 6th grade and will have to repeat. The only contact I get from my daughter is a weekly text asking for child support to be sent early. Or the parroted words of her mother blaming me for something.

    I’ve written letters to my daughter trying to explain what a normal life is without bad-mouthing her mother. And just to let her know that I miss her and wished she wanted to see me. All I get in return are angry emails, texts, and voicemails from her mother berating me for even trying to communicate with my child.

    Today, I wrote my daughter another letter to let her know that I can’t save her by myself. That she has to use her own smarts and common sense to let me save her. She’s a smart kid. And hopefully, as she becomes a teenager, she might see through the insanity of her mother’s BPD, parental alienation, and just plain selfishness.

    And yes, our school system and PCS are aware of the situation. Unfortunately, there are cases with greater priority – my ex-wife, in true BPD fashion flies just below the radar of true whack-job nuttiness when the spotlight is on. So sad for my child…

  • Linda Schillinger-Spiegel

    Unfortunately kids don’t get to pick and choose their parents. None of us are chosen in some sadistic way as if to say..”give that one the cruel parents and that one the loving ones!” When we are born into families it is all a gamble either way..the cards are dealt and wherever they fall..they fall. I think it is most brave to remove toxic people from our lives whether they are family or not. We have to see ourselves as individuals in this life; some of us just don’t get the stable and loving upbringing that every child deserves, however, when we can grow above this .. and turn the situation around with our own kids, then this is when life really begins. It is easy to mimic our parents bad behaviors and just blame that behavior on them, rather than trying to learn from it and be better than they chose not to be. In life we are given a choice whether to be kind and loving or just plain evil. What we don’t know or understand…we find a way! There are so many self help tools we can find in books and online. There is no excuse for abuse! BPD people usually like to pride themselves on being evil. These are the kind of people who feel more comfortable with anger and chaos rather than stability..this is all they know. Their hate protects them from their own past and pain that they have never chosen to deal with in their lives. If they refuse to get help and they refuse to take responsibility for the way they have treated others…than good riddance. Walk away and don’t look back. Our parents have us but they don’t own our lives…we own our lives…we own our lives and only we can decide who we want in it!!!!! BPD Moms are absolutely toxic people and they will never change…very few do…so unfortunately when we are young we sometimes get thrown a bad hand of cards…but there comes a time in our lives…where we can just fold, and we don’t have to fear their emotional hate games any more. Done, over, enjoy life..be happy and make your kids happy…our past makes us stronger people and we are our best teachers; so take a deep breath, be proud of yourself for your unbelievable strength and determination to make life a better place for yourself, your children, and the generations yet to come! Bravo!!!