• Thu, Apr 11 2013

Anonymous Mom: I’m Disowning My Parents

I go between feeling a huge sense of relief to huge pangs of guilt and sadness. I’ve talked this over with numerous professionals and friends. The professionals, one who is an expert of children of borderline personality parents, told me that nothing can be done to “cure” a borderline parent. In my research, too, I found this to be true. I asked this specialist what most people end up doing.

“Unfortunately,” he said, “They do need to cut their parents out of their lives.”

How awful for me to think, “Do you mean unfortunately or fortunately?”

I hate to say this, but I wish my parents were alcoholics. (Really, I wish no one was an alcoholic.) But at least people would understand. “Oh, I get why you would cut them out of your lives.”

But saying, “My mother has borderline personality disorder,” — well, let’s just say most people don’t understand and I don’t want to explain what that entails.

The problem with having borderline personality disorder is that you can’t recognize that you have it, which is why borderline personalities generally don’t get help. And it’s left up to the child (me, now an adult) to make the decision to kill the relationship and salvage the next 30 years of my life  – trying to move on from the first awful 30 years.

What scares me  is that this personality disorder can be passed down generations. Although I tell my daughter I love her all the time, there is so much to be learned about parenting and where you can go wrong. Because I grew up with a lack of love, to say the least, I find myself treating my young daughter the exact opposite of how my parents treated me. I’m always going off about how wonderful she is, how proud she should be of herself, telling her that no matter what I’ll always love her. And I know precisely why.

I would tell my mother something wonderful about my career and she wouldn’t say anything, just move onto the weather. She would just kind of frown whenever she saw me. I made her angry, no matter what I did, or didn’t do, even as an adult. Strangely, too, she only asks after my daughter and not my son. Ever. She has never asked about my husband either.

As I’ve told the therapist, “She just doesn’t want me to be happy.” After a decade of thinking about how miserable my parents made me, which affected all aspects of my life, I finally came to the conclusion that they are never going to change, and there can’t be a middle ground. I needed them out of my life if I was ever going to be truly happy.

I think about karma too because I am a mother. I don’t think any mother wants to be disowned. How would I feel if my children one day disowned me? Well, no child wants to disown parents either. And though I’ve now told my parents that I no longer have parents, and they have told me I’m out of the will (typical borderline personality) I feel an emptiness in my gut. The guilt flits in and out. But I am no longer anxious about life.

Overall I am a happier person since I have disowned them. I feel relief mostly, like I’ve gotten out of jail for a crime I didn’t commit.

Many adults are just not strong enough to cut ties. It took me more than a decade to do it. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Many people, I’m sure, won’t understand how I could be so cold. Can’t I just forget and forgive or try to find a way to be civil?

No. I can’t. I’ve tried everything.

This is a very sad time for me, and yet, I am no longer drowning. I feel that I’m in calm waters and, for the first time in my life, everything will be okay.

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(photo: VVSV / Shutterstock)

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  • LEWWWIE

    i understand ur pain.

  • Mousetail

    I have a bipolar, abusive dad and an enabling mom. While I’ve set a lot of boundaries, I can’t make myself cut off my mom, and she won’t leave my dad. I applaud you for taking such a difficult step.

  • Rosie

    I wish you peace with your decision. When I read your story, I was looking in the mirror. I have disowned my entire family as they are poison. I hope you feel the freedom you so richly deserve. Best wishes xo

  • Nonia

    A lot of what you guys are saying I can agree with even though I’ve not had the experience. I mean, extreme abuse, being chased with a knife and so on is very evil and of course you are right to distance such parents. However, being hit or spanked as a child, well that was normal in our countries not so long ago, and legal too. I was spanked sometimes too and I knew at the time that I did deserve it. Sometimes just screaming at children or trying other more psychological methods does not work. Although, I don’t know about you, but when I was hurt it was only my feelings; I wasn’t hurt physically by the spanking.
    And the thing about being cut out of the will is not just a symptom of a parent with personality disorder. Parents in the normal range who are just either very hurt, very angry, or very narrow minded (often a generational thing) could also do that if they were told they were no longer someone’s parents. They’d be pretty shocked to say the least, and many older parents don’t want to admit their part in a problem or try to change (and as you say, she most probably can’t change, and your father supports her and keeps the peace probably since he doesn’t want to break up a long term marriage and sees it as the lesser of the possible evils, not to say that it is a good thing but how he might see it). So they may not see it as a reason to stop short and modify some behaviour, get professional help to do so, etc, since their pride and generational thinking would get in the way and they’d maybe just not see it that way. I am certain if I did that to my mother, she’d also do something in retaliation, and her only problem is her narrow-mindedness in some areas. Also, I’d not want to shock her in any case.
    Of course I do not agree with staying in a situation that makes you feel abused. But on the other hand, I’d feel for them to some degree, and I’d want to show kindness so I’d find a way to distance them perhaps even a great deal so as to protect myself, maybe even saying that this is until they got professional help and proved that they had changed to some extent, but I’d not cut them off. I’ve an older relative who I believe has a personality disorder, and I also haven’t disowned him but only really distanced him with some very minimal contact since I feel bad for his loneliness and I know that some other family members have done what I have done.
    Sorry if I’m not totally agreeing with everything. Maybe it is true that not having been there I don’t completely understand. But I also believe that caring gives out more positive vibes to the person, and totally cutting someone off and disowning them sends out the opposite and would be extremely shocking no matter how they try to hide it. It also affects you, not just them, and at the very least it hardens you or causes guilt. I’d find a compromise, even if it were the barest minimal one. Also, no psychological problem is totally genetic in its roots. There is always an environmental element. If the environment is negative, the situation develops more. Therefore, prisoners of war and those experiencing shellshock for example suffer from reactions they’d not even known they were capable of had they not been in the situation. And sensitivity to one’s environment differs between people.
    I’m also talking from personal experience, although I won’t get into the details.

  • willow33

    My breaking point came two years when my mom became crazily emotionally abusive to me towards the end of my second pregnancy. I developed PTSD. I haven’t seen my parents for 2 years now. A couple times over the past two years I tried to call to reason with my mom…there is no reasoning with BPD. I would get off the phone with her and vomit every time. When you finally wake up and let go of all your delusions that things will ever change and that you can make it better, there’s a lot of grief. I feel like I lost my whole family of origin because my BPD mom turned everyone against me. It’s like they all died. The price has been high, but I feel like a fully functioning human being now. I did almost a year of therapy but now I have hope for the future. I never had hope before. All of my energy went to my BPD mom and it was NEVER enough. Now I have energy for my husband and children and was even able to get a couple dogs. BPD is sad. The thing is, once I rehashed and processed all the pain and anger from my childhood and adulthood and forgave them; I realized I love my parents and I always will…but trying to have a relationship with them was killing me and hurting my children. I legally changed my first and middle names which helped a lot and am now taking steps to move out of state away from the home I’ve always known. I pray for everyone who is going through this. It’s so very hard.

  • Stephanie

    Good for you Anonymous Mom. My sister and I had to disown our borderline mother and our silent father over a year ago and it is still difficult as she continues to lash out in any avenue she can possibly reach us through. The hardest part is dealing with the public reaction when I tell them that we don’t have a traditional family, and that I can’t have a relationship with my parents. People won’t understand, but they don’t have to. Stay strong, hang in there, the happiness you will gain will far outweigh the pain you are giving up, even though the wounds will take a long time to heal.

  • Newby

    This is so helpful for me to read. I was raised by an abusive alcoholic father who committed suicide & a mother with what my Therapist & I believe to be BPD.
    I’m in my 30s now. And, just last week, in a fit of rage, my mother disowned me via text. She did it as a form of punishment saying that she’ll let me back in when I’m ready to give her the respect she deserves. I’m very hurt by this, as I have spent most of my life trying my best to care for her emotional needs. Deep down, I know that staying away from her is the right thing. For years, my Therapist has told me to distance myself from my mom, but I wasn’t strong enough.
    I feel scared that she’ll hurt herself or others. And, I feel shame. I haven’t told anyone but my loving husband and one friend. Both have my back. But, I feel so scared about the people who won’t understand. They’ll think I did something bad. Like many of the other comments below, she is very charming & loving toward people who don’t know her. But, she is manipulative, dishonest & emotionally abusive to our family. She has screaming fits that appear to be provoked by nothing. She lies constantly (even lies about me to the rest of the family). She’s an adulterer. She throws & kicks things…sometimes at me. She blames others for anything that doesn’t go her way. She threatens the rest of the family when they don’t agree with her (She has threatened to divorce her husband over & over. She threatened to lock him in the house & burn it down.). She puts people down, especially me. When I was a kid, I was a regular size…not fat, not skinny. She would tell me how obese & disgusting I was. And, how pretty she was. She once made me wear maternity clothes when I was 12 years old as punishment for being so “fat”.
    She used to laugh & joke with people about how afraid of her I was. I still am.
    Even though I know I’m better off without her, I’m sad & scared. But, I’m lucky enough to have a strong support system in my friends & in-laws.
    Thanks for posting your story. It gives me hope.

  • Mindy

    My BPD mother has been the bain of my existence. My sister died at age 40. My brother is a sociopath, my father was an alcoholic and drug abuser, and my step-father was a violent physical abuser and emotional batterer. People don’t have a clue about these adversities unless they have experienced the hell of growing up in this environment. My mother decided she did not like her neighbor so she took a jar, filled with her own urine and poop, and then put it on the neighbors door step. She has been sent to jail for shop lifting and continues to do it. I divorced her for about eight years because my therapist said I could not expect to make much progress with her toxic behavior. I’ve had fifteen years of therapy and she still hooks me. She is 75 now and demanding every bit of energy I have. My boundaries are much healthier than earlier but she still terrorizes every one around her.

  • Lorraine

    thank you for writing this…. Its so difficult to explain whats wrong when you have a parent with this problem (borderline personality disorder)… Its like dealing with a dead person. I tried to heal my relationship with my mother recently, after cutting her out of my life for 8 years. I thought I was strong enough because of the relationship I am in but I realize that he is my family. Not these people… I really related to the article above. Thank you for writing it!!!! so much. Its given me the courage to do what I have always needed to do.

  • Reach

    Wow, I am so glad to read the stories of others who can empathize with the decision to let go of a parent with a personality disorder. I got off the carousel earlier this year and truly no one understands the pain of having a mentally ill mother like others who have shared the experience. Thank you for your stories and comments here, they encouraged me!

  • Lizza

    Hurrah! Thank you for being brave and bold and validating me. You’re not alone. I’m not alone. Anyone who suffered with a bpd mother gets it, anyone who didn’t doesn’t. I”m sending this to my friend who gets it.

  • Shelley McNamara

    I’m just running across this article in an absolute desperate attempt to understand, make sense, stop the hurting and sadness that I am feeling right now. I read this article and am completely dumbfounded that this woman has described my mom perfectly, my dad is an alcoholic to add to the chaos, and in the last 6 months my mom has been in and out of mental hospitals atleast 3 times. They can’t keep her because she is not a physical danger to herself or anyone else…What about the mental abuse I take daily??? I’m at the end of my rope, both of my parents are hateful, cruel and as my brother put it…We pretty much raised ourselves. I feel so sad and empty that I am making the choice to actually consider saying “my parents are dead” …The whole things makes me sad, sick, and very much at a loss right now. Amazingly like this writer, I have two grown gals 25 and 21 and just like her…I tell them daily how much I love them, how wonderful they are, and how I have no idea how I got so damn blessed to have them considering how my siblings and myself were raised. Uncertain, and confused but so sick of the hurt they bring to my life…

  • What I know

    I would be interested to learn how many people worship their horrible, mean parent(s) – for fear of getting more abuse. My mother was a bully, who intimidated my dad. My sisters are all bullies, who after my mother died, then turned their nastiness on me and my dad. I for one never treated my mother badly, though I had plenty of reason to. You see, I was afraid of what she would do if I stood up to her. As it turns out, after she died suddenly, my nasty sisters all had mean things to say to me about what “mom said about you” (meaning me).

    My sisters are all horrors and their kids (who are all grown) think they are the greatest! But, wait, I used to tell people my mom was the greatest, too. She wasn’t. She was a narcissist who was jealous of everyone and spiteful to the core. I’m the outcast of the family because I refuse to “fall in line” and take their abuse. More than the outcast, I would call myself the family scapegoat. After all, they have to blame their abuse on someone! They would never take responsibility for their own nastiness.

    What’s sadder? I married a man who was just like my mom (and sisters). We were married for nearly 30 years and he has successfully turned even strangers against me. I have children who are just as bad as he is. He is personality disordered and kept his diagnosis a secret for 15 years before I finally divorced him. That was 10 years ago and he is STILL abusing me. Now he is using our children to do it for him. My mother used to call me horrible names or stop talking to me when I wouldn’t go along with her hate campaigns against my dad (or who ever). My ex belittles and bullies our children and they have witnessed what he’s done to me (which included a skull fracture) and they don’t want to feel his wrath. They somehow feel his abuse is justified? Yes, he is very charming and also gets people to feel sorry for him.

    It’s a terrible situation to be in, but I am learning to move forward because life is too short to waste on people who are nasty and self absorbed. I wish everyone peace.

  • Ce Couture

    Omg i thought it was only me. I’m 22 still live home, everything u stated i have gone or going through as we speak one of the main reasons im on here. Smh if its ok i would really would like to tlk with yu n email or something. I’m so damaged

  • Peter

    It’s hard for people to believe that there are moms who actually abuse their kids, since moms are supposed to be, supportive and caring. Disowning them is much easier (like I did) and you won’t have to hear negative objections or slanders for hating your mom. They seem like the most caring person in public (the use of crocodile tears and public displays of niceness). They especially like to “spread” news of their love and concern for humanity, in public of course but only for the sake of publicizing their good deeds just to prove how wonderful they are. Everything good my mom does in public just seems so fake and intentional, and what happens at home, everyone here already knows about.
    So, stop complaining to people about your narcissistic parents (unless they also had narcissistic parents) cause they won’t believe it and will probably scorn you for thinking in such a way. This in turn makes you the bad person, overwhelmed with guilt, probably filled with extreme remorse and regret which makes you go back to want to “love” your chaotic mothers again, then the process starts “again”.
    Disowning them is much easier, seriously, they know how to play the game and you will never win. You will forever be the scapegoat

  • Lola

    I am in almost exactly the same situation. They do not change with age. They just get more manipulative. Give yourself the love they never gave you and run far, far away and don’t look back.

  • Albert8184

    I haven’t talked to my mother in over 25 years. After my parents divorced when I was two, I wanted nothing to do with any of her six subsequent husbands. And my dad? Well, he loved wife 2 and her daughters more than his own son. Apparently it was just KILLING him to walk a tightrope between being loyal to them and sticking up for me against their abuse and catty evil. So…. I let him have his choice. My father died never knowing why I just packed up and left in the middle of the night one October. And my step monster made sure I was totally cut out of any share in his estate.

    I’m afraid I’ve transferred my rage to American social culture in general… this country treats children like crap. From before birth (in some cases) to adulthood. In every way imaginable. So many kids are destroyed by the whole divorce blended family evil stepchild inheritance fight thing. It’s pitiful. Children are garbage in America.

    Being a step child, over and over and over again, is like being a dog adopted from the pound by people just looking for a junkyard dog. They feed you because they have to, and they’d just as soon not have to deal with you but they can keep you out of the way..

  • survivor of mentally ill moth

    I think there is an ingrained bias to view motherhood / mothers as saints. Most mothers are rather saintly, but there are mothers who are too mentally ill, or disordered, or addicted, or narcissistic to be raising children.

    My mother was emotionally dysregulated, violent, paranoid, jealous /envious of most everyone, very controlling / domineering / perfectionistic, and blamed me for “trapping” her in a marriage she felt had been a bad choice. I was basically resented, and punished for existing.

    She nearly neglected me to death when I was an infant; I required emergency surgery related to being dehydrated. God knows why I wasn’t removed from her care, but I guess if you were married, lived in a respectable middle-class neighborhood, and kept the property values up, it was OK to abuse your children behind the privacy of the closed front door and solid brick walls.

    I learned to disconnect from my feelings in order to endure the atmosphere of disapproval and unpredictable rages and batterings. I still have lingering PTSD symptoms in late middle age, and have never had a long-term adult relationship & never had kids. I was told I was “loved”, then treated like I was dog crap. Dad wasn’t abusive, but he rarely, RARELY ever intervened or protected me.

    I wish that people who think they want to be parents could be screened first; those with severe personality disorders or other mental illnesses or addictions could then be monitored 24/7 or something, be supervised constantly to reduce the amount of psychological trauma to their children.

    • RaisedbyCrazy

      Your life sounds identical to mine. The only satisfying long term relationships i have managed have been with golden retrievers. My mother died last week peacefully (lucky her) from old age and I am finally free to live my own life but I am afraid it’s too late for me. To others in my situation: get off the sinking ship. Unless you have a lot of support, relationships with borderline people will suck the life out of you. Sorry to anyone who is borderline and getting help but you are in the minority.

  • shill1

    My mother, I am convinced, had Borderline Personality Disorder. She wouldn’t seek professional help to get a diagnosis, so it has been up to me to research and this is what I have concluded from what I have read about it. My father didn’t know how to deal with it, so I, an only child, ended up being in the middle of two very volatile people as I grew up. When I became an adult in my 30′s, I had had enough and cut them off after trying to talk with the both of them frankly about the abuse I had endured from them as a child. I just wanted closure and to be able to sort it out in MY mind as to what I had done to warrant their often violent and unpredictable behavior. My dad was willing, but my mother, mocking me, fell on the ground and began to kiss my feet for “forgiveness” in her usual kind, understanding manner. When they took me to the airport the next day for the flight home, she chased me through the airport to my gate, loudly begging me for forgiveness (where everyone ELSE would think that I was the heartless SOB) until I boarded the plane. In short, the SOS I had dealt with from her since about age 7. (At least, that’s when I began to NOTICE.) I didn’t speak or communicate with them for the next 2 years. Finally, my wife (loving woman that she is) convinced me to resume relations with them, much to her regret as for the next 25 years my mother’s behavior resumed. My mother’s last words to me before she died were that it was MY fault she was in a nursing home (this because I didn’t let her move in with MY family which WASN’T going to happen!), that I had spent and mismanaged all of her money (of which she had very little to START with), and a few other things about my daughter that I won’t mention here. Borderline Personality Disorder, I am convinced, cannot be dealt with in any other way but to totally avoid the person who has it unless they receive professional help and proper meds. Otherwise, these folks are broken beyond repair.

  • Survivor

    Everyone’s situation is different, so I can see where cutting off BPD parent(s) may be the best solution for some. But for what it’s worth, here’s how I deal with mine.

    As background, looking back, my mom has all the hallmarks of undiagnosed BPD, and two therapists I’ve seen have suggested as much. I could tell you horror stories. I think the stress of being a single parent 24/7 combined with constant financial worries, while not an excuse for what she did, surely exacerbated it and she hated me for ruining her life (she said so many times during her rages). After one of these times, when she made me grind my foot on her smiling high school graduation picture when I was 11, I finally tried to kill myself. Thankfully I was unsuccessful in that attempt and the several following. While things improved for me after I was out of her direct control, she impacted me in many ways into my mid-30′s.

    But now that I have reached the “ripe old age” of 44, I have started to deal with it in a few ways. First, while she has definitely had a negative impact on the course of my life (I never did get married or had children, somewhat out of fear), she has also in some ways made me a very strong person and gave me several good qualities — a strong ethic of honesty, a love for animals, etc. I try to focus on those while I continue to try to undo the damage as needed in therapy.

    Secondly, I haven’t cut her out of my life but I’ve put a firm emotional yardstick in between us. I recognize now, that she’s mentally ill and when she “gets her crazy on” that’s simply her and is not reflection of me and let it blow over like a bad storm. It’s not pleasant, but I know it (and her “threats of abandonment”) will pass and then it’ll be like nothing happened. And I try to glean what I can from the good times–she’s not evil, she’s just sick, and when she’s behaving normally we can actually enjoy the time together. But only in small doses–it’s too exhausting to avoid the land mines for much longer than a day or two in person, and I’m not always successful. The other advantage is we now live very far apart and so I see her maybe once a year or less. So we have a phone relationship where we occassionally talk and enjoy the topics we CAN talk about, and can exit pretty easily if needed. Any discussion about the past is futile and will lead nowhere good.

    And I can’t tell her I love her. She seemed to have mellowed a little so I started to tell her I loved her at the end of calls a few years back and she reciprocated, until about two years ago, when she said she wished I wouldn’t do that anymore because it only makes her feel like she has to say it back, and that she doesn’t know what love is. Wow. Okay then! I won’t lie, it hurt, and let me know in no uncertain terms that the volcano was only sleeping. But I also realized that it’s just another symptom of her mental illness, and even if she can’t say it, she does love me (now that I’m no longer “ruining” her life).

    And for what it’s worth, I’ve slowly ventured being respectfully assertive with her as needed to protect myself, and waited for the other shoe to drop, and while it still does, it drops less often and less hard. She always circles back around eventually. The irony is that it’s her very fear of abandonment that causes her to threaten the same to me–to her it’s the worst of the worst you can do to someone–and it’s that very same fear that will never let her actually “abandon” me because she’s afraid that one of these times I may make her put her money where her mouth is and abandon HER. So when I don’t bite and just leave it alone, back she comes. Even if she did ultimately “abandon” me for good, well, she was just sick. Sad, but true.

    I just treat the situation as if she has a certain brain injury or a dementia that causes her to be this way, because that almost what it is. And I feel sad for her, frankly, that so much of her life was ruined, not by me as it turns out, but by her mental illness, to where she couldn’t even enjoy the blessing of a lovable and worthwhile daughter, and still can’t truly engage in a normal, loving relationship.

    So I glean what I can as I can, because I do love her. At the times that she says something to try to be hurtful, I feel sad for her and for me that we can’t have the relationship that I have seen others have. But I don’t internalize it–I will never again put my emotional eggs in her basket to carry because she is sure to drop them, and they are way too precious.

  • Sarah

    I found this because I was looking up if you can disown parents at 30. Our parents sound a lot alike and because of their recent choice, my fiance and I have decided to cut them off. Years of physical and verbal abuse from my father when I was little and the verbal abuse has not stopped. My mom knew about the abuse, but didn’t do anything “I have your father’s side always.”-My mother told me that when I was 14. My whole life everytime things are going great, my parents would step in ruin anything they possibly could. 30 years I have lived a non stop roller coaster and everytime I spoke to my mom I would get panic attacks because I didn’t know if that would be the day she would fall off the deep end and start the abuse to me again. She has always been great with my daughter, but I still stayed strict on my daughter’s visits and phone calls. This past Christmas they made a huge mistake, they kidnapped my daughter and filed for custody. While my daughter was with them, my mom told her that we did not love her or want her anymore. It has only been 2 weeks since I brought police to their house, but the pain, the betrayal, the distrust, and heart ache are still going strong. I do not feel like I can ever forgive them for what they did and I know I will never be able to fully trust them. I feel ashamed to call them my parents, I feel ashamed to call them ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad.’ As soon as they made the decision to keep my daughter and fill her head with horrible lies, they lost their right to call themselves a mother and a father to me and they lost their right to call themselves grandparents to my daughter.
    Back in August I told my mom that I would be civil when it comes to matters involving my child, but when it comes to me, they have lost me as a daughter. That was not an easy step for me to take. Me looking into disowning them is not any easier. I agree that no mother wants to face the scare that their daughter wants to disown them, even at 30. But I have lived 30 years with abuse, low self esteem, in fear of what they may do next, lies they spread about me, ect. I do not and will do whatever I can to protect my child so she will not have to live anymore years of her life going through pain from what my parents have caused. I want to live a long and happy life and I want that for my family. My parents have made it clear that we will never have that and our daughter will never have that as long as they are in our lives.

  • Jenn

    It makes me cringe when some ignoramous tells me i should love my mother or “awe, she’s your only parent”. No, living with my borderline mother was a hell i’ll never get over. And fwiw, “i wish i had an alcoholic parent” is just grass is less horrifying. They are very similar to borderline parents. They are horrifying too. They throw the same trantrums, the same rage, the same self pity, the same arrogance, the same ugliness. Unfortunately for me, my borderline asshole mother was also an alcohilic. I wouldn’t wish an alcoholic mother on anyone, let alone myself. : ). I hear what you’re saying but trust me, alcholics are ugly ugly people. At least with bpd they can’t be cured. Alcholics are just self absorbed a–holes who could change but choose not to. Ugly ugly ugly people. really.

  • Jamie

    Thank you for writing this. I am amazed at how your story is almost identical to mine. The only difference is my mom smothered me with love as a kid. Everything else is right on. I am in the midst of getting a restraining order against my mother. This is a very turbulent and painful process. Your promise of calm waters ahead is inspiring to say the least. Though I don’t fully believe it, I have glimpses of a freedom that in and of itself would make life worth living.

  • Jennifer

    I get it. I totally get it. I have been struggling with this decision for years.
    I’m still not sure what I will do. But I know exactly what you mean when you talk about feeling like you are drowning.

  • Jane

    You are in Danger From the Grandparent Right’s association.
    The moment you try to keep your parents out your life they can apply for court ordered contact with your kids. The second you have children they can force themselves back into your life in a big way. They can get free council as members of a ” special interest group” and the whole weight of the grandparents rigths organization can come down on you.
    Mounting a defense could cost 10′s of thousands of dollars as you desperatley try to prove that they are dangerous persons. Unless you can prove without a shadow of a doubt that your parents are dangerous, they can and will get access to your children.
    This group has consistantly placed violent and abusive grandparents with children under the guise of protecteing child rights. They play the victim and in turn earn the right to court sponsored child abuse. Be aware, you could be in danger if you have children.
    You may need to move to another country in order to keep you family safe.
    Be ware the wrath of the Grandparnets Rights Association.

  • Anne

    I can completely relate to and empathize with everything you have experienced in your life. I myself am an only child of a borderline mother and a father who has tried his best to compensate for what my mother lacks. He is a very patient and kind hearted man who has put up with my mother for almost 30 years, initially because he thought it would be best for me to be raised in a two-parent household. Now that I’ve been out of the house for over 10 years (I am 29 years old and engaged to be married next year), I can’t for the life of me understand why he doesn’t get out. My mother is a miserable woman who inflicts constant pain and heartache to those around her and my father suffers her wrath on a daily basis.

    I have, for the most part, spent the last decade trying desperately to avoid contact with her, but it is difficult since she and my father are still living together, albeit miserably. I too hate my mother for never being able to be genuinely happy for me, although she denies this vehemently and thinks I am being dramatic and there must be something wrong with me for feeling this way. Whenever I would bring up my feelings of sadness and emptiness over our lack of relationship, she would attack me and tell me I must have depression issues because there’s nothing wrong with her.

    It’s becoming harder and harder for me to respect my father, who fluctuates between telling me to manage her and show more compassion towards her and then complaining to me about how depressed he is that he’s wasted his life in a miserable, unfulfilling marriage. As much as I feel horrible for my father, as he really is a very good person, I find it difficult to understand why he chooses to stay (he says the reason is purely financial and that my mom would destroy them financially in her spitefulness and irrationality, if he were to ask for a divorce) and I find myself resenting him for allowing her to destroy the remainder of his years (he is 67). If it weren’t for them being together, I have no doubt that I would disown my mother as you have, but I can’t imagine not having my father in my life, as I love him dearly.

    Now that I am engaged, my mother has made some half-hearted efforts to be involved in the planning and I am extremely stressed because I know my mother will make every step of the process excruciatingly difficult, as much as she wants to be involved and wants us to get along. Sadly, I know in my heart that we will never get along because of her illness. I know if I want her to attend my wedding, which I suppose I do (mainly because of my father), I have to manage her and try to be as accommodating as possible, since she takes everything so personally and can become offended by the smallest thing. Essentially, I learned very early on as a child that if I want to avoid a scene, I have to swallow my words and “act” in a way that will not provoke her, since she has no patience and is completely unpredictable and has no regard for shaming her family in public. This is a very phony way to live and I hate her for not allowing me to be myself, for fear of what she might say or do.

    It hurts tremendously that all of the joyful events leading up to my big day and the wedding itself will be tainted with the stress and sadness of having to deal with a borderline mother who is unable to truly share in my happiness. I’m almost 30 years old and the thought of my mother and the relationship we lack brings me immense sorrow. I truly feel for you and understand what you’re going through. I guess we have to try and make the best of the unfortunate hand we’ve been dealt and follow our happiness, however that may be. I’ve learned to seek and find what I lack with my own mother in friends and extended family/in-laws, etc. and try to create our own happiness. I wish you the best!!

  • Anne

    I can completely relate to and empathize with everything you have experienced in your life. I myself am an only child of a borderline mother and a father who has tried his best to compensate for what my mother lacks. He is a very patient and kind hearted man who has put up with my mother for almost 30 years, initially because he thought it would be best for me to be raised in a two-parent household. Now that I’ve been out of the house for over 10 years (I am 29 years old and engaged to be married next year), I can’t for the life of me understand why he doesn’t get out. My mother is a miserable woman who inflicts constant pain and heartache to those around her and my father suffers her wrath on a daily basis.

    I have, for the most part, spent the last decade trying desperately to avoid contact with her, but it is difficult since she and my father are still living together, albeit miserably. I too hate my mother for never being able to be genuinely happy for me, although she denies this vehemently and thinks I am being dramatic and there must be something wrong with me for feeling this way. Whenever I would bring up my feelings of sadness and emptiness over our lack of relationship, she would attack me and tell me I must have depression issues because there’s nothing wrong with her.

    It’s becoming harder and harder for me to respect my father, who fluctuates between telling me to manage her and show more compassion towards her and then complaining to me about how depressed he is that he’s wasted his life in a miserable, unfulfilling marriage. As much as I feel horrible for my father, as he really is a very good person, I find it difficult to understand why he chooses to stay (he says the reason is purely financial and that my mom would destroy them financially in her spitefulness and irrationality, if he were to ask for a divorce) and I find myself resenting him for allowing her to destroy the remainder of his years (he is 67). If it weren’t for them being together, I have no doubt that I would disown my mother as you have, but I can’t imagine not having my father in my life, as I love him dearly.

    Now that I am engaged, my mother has made some half-hearted efforts to be involved in the planning and I am extremely stressed because I know my mother will make every step of the process excruciatingly difficult, as much as she wants to be involved and wants us to get along. Sadly, I know in my heart that we will never get along because of her illness. I know if I want her to attend my wedding, which I suppose I do (mainly because of my father), I have to manage her and try to be as accommodating as possible, since she takes everything so personally and can become offended by the smallest thing. Essentially, I learned very early on as a child that if I want to avoid a scene, I have to swallow my words and “act” in a way that will not provoke her, since she has no patience and is completely unpredictable and has no regard for shaming her family in public. This is a very phony way to live and I hate her for not allowing me to be myself, for fear of what she might say or do.

    It hurts tremendously that all of the joyful events leading up to my big day and the wedding itself will be tainted with the stress and sadness of having to deal with a borderline mother who is unable to truly share in my happiness. I’m almost 30 years old and the thought of my mother and the relationship we lack brings me immense sorrow. I truly feel for you and understand what you’re going through. I guess we have to try and make the best of the unfortunate hand we’ve been dealt and follow our happiness, however that may be. I’ve learned to seek and find what I lack with my own mother in friends and extended family/in-laws, etc. and try to create our own happiness. I wish you the best!!

  • GoodDadWI

    I feel sorry for your Dad. Getting a borderline diagnosed is hard enough, my ex-wife has BPD, several therapists acknowledge it but are unwilling to diagnose it (because she isn’t the patient), and the courts, and therapist then just point fingers at each other and absolutely refuse to protect my children from it (claiming, that she is just going to “change”). After 10+ years (we have been divorced over a decade, she isn’t going to change… Not without help, and she just recently quit family therapy for the third time, (where she still won’t acknowledge she has a problem). Unfortunately for my kids this began when they were 2, (they are 14 now), and they still have attachment issues and haven’t figured out that something isn’t quite right with Mom yet. I pray they make it through these teenage years when they hit that stage where living in a house hold with no rules, no responsibilities and no supervision don’t put them in more harm’s way.

  • Emmy

    I have always questioned if my mother has BPD or not. I’m 18 years old, and my mom was a single parent ever since I was born. Now she has a boyfriend that we now both live with (They met at work, he was married and the affair went on for three years until he finally left his wife). My mom isn’t how you described in every way, though there are many similarities between the two. She has mood swings, disregards my feelings completely, never admits she’s wrong, used to be violent with me until the day I fought back (I don’t regret it, she hasn’t laid a hand on me since), overreacts to everything (for example, if you try talking to her while she’s cooking she will scream at you and tell you how you’re stressing her out). There’s many more things she has done to me and our family. Her three sisters cut ties with her and yet she still can’t see that she’s an obvious problem if her own family wants nothing to do with her. Now here’s the tricky part with my mom, she does say she loves me and she can be affectionate when she’s in a good “mood”. I’m a senior in high school and I’m planning on getting the hell out of here when I graduate. She knows that I’m moving out and she’s extremely upset about it. She believes I’m “abandoning” her and that I won’t ever talk to her again, which will most likely be the case because I feel the exact same way you do, like I’m drowning. She can say the most hurtful things to me, but when I say something like “Well, you had an affair with a married man for three years, I don’t think you have a right to judge me” I get called a horrible selfish little monster (happened just a few days ago when she began saying terrible things about my relationship with my boyfriend, and we have a very healthy relationship so the things she says are untrue and just hurtful). Now, the most difficult part for me in that when she’s actually normal (about 2% of the time) it makes me feel bad that I think stuff like ” I’m going to cut off ties with my mom when she’s gone”. Now, her “boyfriend” is no help what so ever. He never stands up to her (unless she’s acting a certain way towards him, only sometimes though). But when it comes to me he sides with her, probably because he doesn’t want to deal with it. From the outside (unless you know about their affair) they both seem like perfectly normal people, great jobs, big house and my mom can put on a show (only for so long though). My very close friends and boyfriend of a year have seen my mom how she is, not to the worst extent though. So, I was just wondering if her behavior are signs of BPD or maybe something else, because I know she is certainly not normal.

  • hovah

    As someone who suffers from BPD, this is the exact reason why i would never have a child. i simply could not put them before myself. i doubt that i could really even love them.

    Also, my spouse had Antisocial Personality Disorder, and frankly, he’s a bigger sociopath than i. Our children would be disasters.

  • sarah7867

    i am thanking Dr. Ekaka from the ekakaspelltemple@yahoo.com for the love spell he did for me, he brought my ex boyfriend that i love so much that i have tried everything i can to get him back he brought him back to me within 24hours after i contacted him i am really happy with the love spell he did for me all thanks to him for taken his time to help me and to give good result that i really need to me without taken my time and without any delay my heart is really filled with joy and excitement that i got the love of my life back

  • RYN

    I disowned my parents for the exact same reason when I was 15-16 years ago. I had NO idea what borderline personality disorder was until I just ended an intense relationship with one that was like my mother and lead me to the info on this disease. The reason I cut my mother out of my life was basically my instinct; she was toxic; she wasn’t good for me. AND to this day NO one understands and they judge me for being so cold; but it was the best thing I ever could of done. AND I have the same strength to walk away from my recent intense amazing relationship with my ex because she is a full blow high functioning borderline that was so toxic it was causing me health problems; which have suddenly vanished since cutting ties for 5 weeks.

    Good on you for cutting ties, it’s your life and your family now. You don’t need people that hold you back in life; even if they don’t know they’re doing it. It’s up to you to recognize and walk away.

    Keep it up!

  • Sara

    This post has really spoken to me. I am going through this exact same thing. After a lifetime (I’m 33) of what feels like torture from my mom, I feel the only thing left to do is disown her. I am so terribly sad about this but yet just want to get it over with so I can get on with my life and try and mend all the damage that has been done. My husband and I want to have children but I am so petrified that I will pass along what my mom did to me that even though I desperately want to have a child I am scared to. Just reading this post has made me feel better in what I am going through.