I am a  married 44 yr old mother of 16 yr old twins and often wonder if I am the only person  in the world who is still daily affected by the impact of my mothers behavior growing up.Its in my thoughts daily like a poisin I just dont want to drink! I remember journaling when I was a teenager and it reads about the kind of life I would one day  like  to live  once I am grown up and on my own.Well...I am all grown up but I AM STILL THERE! I feel like there is a life living inside of me still waiting to be rescued,noticed, helped! She is the helpless one who had no choices but to live,watch recieve the pain which  my mother  delivered. Can anyone understand what its like ? I lived every day of my life in constant fear of her unpredictable behavior, her rages ,her drama. To physically shake so hard you could hardly catch your breath. I watched her 'come undone" so much that I retreated into myself since there was no rescue.
And then you finally do grow up and then WHAT?
You are expected to just get on with things?Just like that?Its as if I need to stop the world and say" wait a minute! Did you not know that I have been through hell?"
And yet we go on with our lives,get married,have  children  but when we stop for a quiet moment it comes....it enters in the form of a feeling, a memory, a despairing sadness. What are u so depressed about ?They ask? That was so long ago????
But not inside. My insides have not yet caught up with the outside.I am still frightened.I am still grieved. I still want to be taken care of. At least a part of me does.
 
I am in therapy now,and its a painful process. But I cant think of any other gift to give myself ...and my daughters.
And I try with every bit of strength I have to provide my daughters  with what I didnt have.They are loved and know it! They have a mother that notices how they feel and is there to talk to them. I hope they will be able to look back on their lives and see it as a happy one. Then I will know that I have broken the line of pain from mother to daughter. ~ MR
My Life With Crazy
A Place For Adult Children of Borderline Mothers to Share and Heal
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Borderline Mothers: The Adult Children's Stories

This could be YOUR story. Email Stephanie with your story as a child of a borderline mother at stephanie@mylifewithcrazy.com if you would like to have it considered for this section. Space is limited on the page so keep it to 1500-2000 characters including spaces. 
Hello Stephanie,I really want to share my story: it helps me so much to read about others' and telling mine would be intense but liberating, a way to aknowledge that there WAS a problem and that no, it was NOT my fault. Though I have no official diagnosis of my mother's disorders, her behaviour and personality totally match the BPD's profile.She was never there when my sister and I were growing up.We were grown by our grandparents (her parents) which she hated.If she was there it was all orders, derision and anger outbursts.If I won a prize in school or something, she would scream at me with "Who do you think you are?!" arguments.She hated that I might have/want/need a tiny bit of attention. I started hiding my success.I could not talk to anyone: relatives, schoolmates, I could have no friends at all, at any age.Secrecy was of paramount importance.We as a family lived very isolated: both socially and geographically.Daily life had no sense of order: no times to do nothing, no schedule, no rules.My sister and  were expected to clean the whole house and cook meals, even if we were 7 and 9 years old.There were no rules, but she would come home and scream if she didn't find anything ready.We were alone all day: she would come pick us up after school, bring us home and just leave us there until she came beck from work with our father.My sister abused me physically, verbally and psychologically during those long afternoons.I used to get the shivers as I heard her steps out on the stairs.I wanted to run away, or not let her in.She would storm in and do something violent: scream, throw something on the floor/table, switching the tv off by punching on the button, throw something at us... then she would start screaming that the table wasn't set, that dinner wasn't ready, the house wasn't clean...I remember being up at midnight or 1 a.m. scrubbing floors on our knees, my sis and I, with our mother towering and screaming upon us.Nobody would help us with homework, talk/listened to us, give us affection, read us a story, play with us.Our dad sometimes would, but she resented him so much... If he was nice to us, consequences would follow.After my high school diploma she literally locked me into the house: I was supposed to just stay in and clean, cook, iron, shut my mouth and obey.My sister went to college, I had to be a live-in maid in my own house.I would sleep on a matress in the laundry room, she (as always) would sleep on a double bed with my sister.My dad slept alone and had his own room and bathroom.I remember waking up with her punching on my "bedroom" door screaming... "Wake up you lazy ass, the kitchen's so dirty I could throw up in it and nobody would notice! I hate you, you make me sick!"I felt weak and traumatised, especially when She started theatening me of killing me "I want to kill you, I want to see you dead! I'll kill you with my own hands! I know you want to kill me, but I'll kill you first!"It felt like death every time.I felt threatened and locked the bathroom door to wash my face: I was afraid she came strangling me from behind while my eyes were closed.I had nobody to talk to.The only activity tolerated was work. No sports, no reading, no relaxing, no watching tv.She would be happy about something one day and throw an anger tantrun about the same thing the following day.I stopped knowing wrong from right, good from bad.I stopped trusting myself or others.I stopped thinking, I stopped feeling.I lost great part of my memory: my mind was probably trying to defend itself.She would tell me to do something and then said she had said the opposite. I started doubting myself.Sometimes she would call me: it meant I had to stand up in front of her and let her insult me.She would scream the worst things to me, and I just had to stand there, look at her, and listen to this torture.I couldn't talk, I couldn't cry. Any of these would bring much worse consequences.She forbid me to eat at the table with everybody else: I was supposed to stand up beside the family dinner table, waiting for instructions. She treated me as an incompetent, live-in maid she hated.I would cry and scream every day, as soon as I was alone.I hated my life. I was depressed.My bowels stopped functioning, I had trouble sleeping, I lost a lot of weight.Running away was off-limits, and I even stopped thinking about it.I had tried to sneak out, jumping from the window for a walk or something but she used to call on the house phone to check if I was there.She would do it often.After a while I started to think that was what I deserved, so I had to adapt: "If my parents wanted this for me, then it's probably fine this way..." I sickly thought.I was pennyless. I couldn't look for a job, I couldn't have gone out to work anyway, I was 19 years old.Girls my age were in college, had friends, a boyfriend, a life... My sisted was allowed to do/have all those things.All I was doing was trying to survive my own mother. One day, at age 22, I ran away out of desperation, my things in a carton box.My grandmother had a spare room on the other side of town.I told my grandma I was coming for a little holiday, I stayed for 3 years.I cried for days out of guilt for leaving my father behind, for leaving my dad with her.I had years of PTS, with flashes of my mom's words striking my mind.When I started to work and had my own life, my mom came knocking at my door and wanted me to give my salary to her on a regular basis.She didn't need money but she wanted mine anyway.I offered to give her 2 thirds every month and she screamed I was treating her like a beggar.Now I'm 33 and my memory hasn't come back as it was yet.I'm still very lonely and do not enjoy company. I never had a real relationship with a partner.When I asked my mother why she had done/said those things to me, she said nothing of this has happened ever and she called me crazy.My sister does the same now: she says I made it up and how in the world could I accuse our mother of this?! As a kid I thought I was crazy and just all wrong, I realized much later in life that SHE was abusive.For all this time I wished she wasn't my mother, I wished I didn't love her. It hurt so much...It still does, even though we have a good relationship now.She's still inconsistent and a liar, but at least now she's so old she has lost her temper and this gave me the possibility to grow a bit of a garden inside myself.For as guilty as I might feel, sometimes I think her death only will set me free in my feelings and emotions. Thank you so much for reading all this Stephanie :) ~C
Stephanie, I also grew up with a bpd mother.  I remember clinging to her and her telling me I was “such a baby” in this really sarcastic voice.  I often felt like she could and did rip my soul to shreds, along with self-confidence.  There were times when I literally felt afraid for my life because when she raged I didn’t know how far she would go.  She was so out of control.  Afterwards I would call my father when I was older (a teen-ager) and he would say “your voice sounds so strong” because I would have been fed up with her out-of- control rage, and “Your mother’s temper was one of the problems we had”, as he left when I was eleven.  He told me years later that two weeks after they were married she locked herself in the bathroom with a butcher knife, and said “Don’t come in here”.  She used to go ballistic whenever my father showed affection to us, although he had his own boundary issues.  I remember my mother being hospitalized in the psych ward, and later found out from my sister that she had turned herself into the police because she was afraid she was going to hurt us (my two sisters and I).  I always felt too needy and grew up wondering what was wrong with me, and hating myself.  I exhibited some of the same behavior for years, the raging, and the remorse, and the pushing-pulling in relationships, but after quitting drinking, anti-depressants, and years of therapy, as well as having a husband who loves me consistently, I have gotten a better handle on it.  I still have problems acting out and don’t feel comfortable around people.  When I am at my worst it can be very humiliating.  This week has been particularly trying as my father passed on August 22nd 2012 and his birthday is coming up on October 9 (same day as John Lennon’s).  His celebration of life ceremony is October 21st and I have invited three people from work, my boss and two co-workers, so two men and one woman.  I have felt like I am imprisoned by inviting especially the female, and have regretted it and wanted to undo it, but I haven’t – I don’t want to make things worse.  I suffer from worrying about what other people say and think about me, in other worse paranoia, but am dealing with that also.  I try to do the right thing and then have less to worry about.  I was always terrified of having children because I didn’t want to do to a baby/child what was done to me.  It started for me in the womb (I think) and I have trouble with attachment.  I have two dogs and the female I have had a hell of a time bonding with.  It’s a tad less stressful now that she is older but it’s still not easy.  I’m so glad to have found your site.  After complaining to my husband and my friend and starting to write about it and checking out ACOA, I somehow started looking up adult children of bpd’s and found your site.  I feel relieved and less alone.  It’s a relief to write this.  I also struggle every day and feel like I’m slipping backwards but really I guess it’s another step forward. ~ AC
 Stephanie, I grew up with a Borderline mother. It is difficult for me to talk about but I hope it might be cathartic in some way. I hope that my words may help others who have been brutalized by a Borderline parent. There was so much secrecy to the situation that it’s difficult to discuss even now, when there are few repercussions. It’s difficult to say it out loud and make it feel real. How does one get past the eternal scars of adolescence without acknowledging their ever-lasting and profound existence? I have internalized the majority of my childhood and I fear that it is finally starting to affect me. I am twenty-seven; I am distrustful of people and I am scared to death of the idea of becoming a mother. I live in the fear that I could become like her; that I will not have the capacity to love. That she took it from me. My mother has never acknowledged her abuse in any way. She has fabricated entire theories of my departure without recognition of why I left and why I stayed away. She has never tried to explain to me or to others why she let me live with strangers in another city without attempting to intervene. She emotionally and physically abused me for twelve years before I found a way out. I’d like to say that I never looked back but I cannot. I have tried my best to move forward, to look only forward. Something deep inside of me is still living with that scared little girl who vied for her mother’s approval; who only received contempt. She has never given me a genuine hug or attempted to show me affection in any way. Interaction in adulthood has been forced and sadly awkward. I once asked if she had ever loved me; she replied that she had loved me in infancy alone. My mother is a Gemini. She would read her horoscopes out loud and giggle at the eerie accuracy. It made me uneasy. Two adjoined people represent the Gemini; two forces in one body. What could be a more accurate description of the woman who raised me? It made me feel crazy. She could be unpredictably vengeful and angry toward me but articulate and mild-mannered in public. She would give me nothing but bile and bruises, but hold my brother with the easy care of true maternity. How can a child process that? It’s difficult to reflect on my childhood because the good memories are overruled by the predominance of her anger. The unpredictable mood swings… over zealous rages… being the bad child… the one who could never do anything correctly… the beatings… the threats… the isolation. But what seers in my memory with the greatest strength was her ability to look me in the eyes so directly, as if she was seeing through to my soul. It looked like pure hatred; but what does a child understand of hatred? I saw demons in her raging eyes. I saw a monster that could not possibly be my mother. Only in the painful closure of my adolescence can I fully understand her rage. The rage I saw was that of self-hatred. As her daughter, I was a reflection of her and that is what made me ultimately evil in her eyes. I carry that rage in me now, somewhere deep inside. She put it there; passed it to me like some kind of malignant torch. If I ignore it, I fear it will eat me alive like it has her. Most of the people who know my mother hold some belief that I am justified in my feelings toward her, yet do not fully understand the complexities of her illness and how it has affected me. It’s difficult to truly understand what it is like to stand in the spotlight of rage at such a young age. I can only hold the perspective of that child in pain and fear and how I have carried that through life with me. I know I have to forgive myself; to tell the younger me that it was not my fault. I need to tell myself that I am not an inevitable replication of my mother. As long as I remain aware of my actions and my own emotions, I will not repeat her abuse. But it’s a difficult thing, an every day thing. You can’t wage war against the pathways of your own psyche every moment of every day. And you cannot do it without help. ~K.K.

Stephanie, Where do I start?  OWhWhere do I start?  One of my first memories is of my mother packing her bags, yelling, marching around the house, planning to leave me and my father.  I think I was about five years old.  I was crying, pleading for her not to leave.  Eventually she relented and decided to stay. At some point following this event I started crying every time she dropped me off at school.  I was, naturally, scared that she would drop me off and never come back.  I never told anyone why I was crying.  I guess my teacher asked my mother what was wrong, because when we were driving home one day my mother yelled at me for embarrassing her with my crying. I was an only child, and my mother mostly stayed at home.  She was chronically miserable, and I learned to believe that I was responsible for her feelings. When I made a B, or even an A minus, on my school assignments I would be berated for my laziness.  It became frightening to take tests for fear of being less than perfect. I fell into a deep depression (undiagnosed) and often contemplated suicide.  I felt trapped, suffocated.  I developed anorexia.  Throughout my illness and recovery, she never offered a kindness.  Never told me she loved me, never prayed for my recovery.  Instead she constantly reminded me that everyone was talking about me and how embarrassed she was of me. I wasted six years of my life pursuing a bachelor's and master's degree in a field that I did not like in an attempt to please her and/or make her proud.  It didn't work.  I now have a Ph.D. in a field of my choosing.  She never read my dissertation. Somehow, still, I desperately wanted a loving relationship with my mother.  I wanted her to love me, to be kind to me, to be proud of me.  There were moments of hope, or course.  And there are still moments of devastation.  I am a grown woman, and I hate that she can still make me hurt so much.  My life is full of joy, and I am genuinely happy--until I have a run-in with my mother. We are distant.  I would be content to cut her off completely, but she is enamored with my children.  I, of course, feel responsible for sharing my family with her.  I fear it would destroy her entirely to cut ties.  So we maintain the fascade.  She gushes over my children and completely ignores me.  She almost never offers me a kind word or affection.  She behaves as though our distance is my fault, as though I am not trying hard enough.  I am tired of trying.ere do I start?  One of my first memories is of my mother packing her bags, yelling, marching around the house, planning to leave me and my father.  I think I was about five years old.  I was crying, pleading for her not to leave.  Eventually she relented and decided to stay. At some point following this event I started crying every time she dropped me off at school.  I was, naturally, scared that she would drop me off and never come back.  I never told anyone why I was crying.  I guess my teacher asked my mother what was wrong, because when we were driving home one day my mother yelled at me for embarrassing her with my crying. I was an only child, and my mother mostly stayed at home.  She was chronically miserable, and I learned to believe that I was responsible for her feelings. When I made a B, or even an A minus, on my school assignments I would be berated for my laziness.  It became frightening to take tests for fear of being less than perfect. I fell into a deep depression (undiagnosed) and often contemplated suicide.  I felt trapped, suffocated.  I developed anorexia.  Throughout my illness and recovery, she never offered a kindness.  Never told me she loved me, never prayed for my recovery.  Instead she constantly reminded me that everyone was talking about me and how embarrassed she was of me. I wasted six years of my life pursuing a bachelor's and master's degree in a field that I did not like in an attempt to please her and/or make her proud.  It didn't work.  I now have a Ph.D. in a field of my choosing.  She never read my dissertation. Somehow, still, I desperately wanted a loving relationship with my mother.  I wanted her to love me, to be kind to me, to be proud of me.  There were moments of hope, or course.  And there are still moments of devastation.  I am a grown woman, and I hate that she can still make me hurt so much.  My life is full of joy, and I am genuinely happy--until I have a run-in with my mother. We are distant.  I would be content to cut her off completely, but she is enamored with my children.  I, of course, feel responsible for sharing my family with her.  I fear it would destroy her entirely to cut ties.  So we maintain the fascade.  She gushes over my children and completely ignores me.  She almost never offers me a kind word or affection.  She behaves as though our distance is my fault, as though I am not trying hard enough.  I am tired of trying.ne of my first memories is of my mother packing her bags, yelling, marching around the house, planning to leave me and my father.  I think I was about five years old.  I was crying, pleading for her not to leave.  Eventually she relented and decided to stay. At some point following this event I started crying every time she dropped me off at school.  I was, naturally, scared that she would drop me off and never come back.  I never told anyone why I was crying.  I guess my teacher asked my mother what was wrong, because when we were driving home one day my mother yelled at me for embarrassing her with my crying. I was an only child, and my mother mostly stayed at home.  She was chronically miserable, and I learned to believe that I was responsible for her feelings. When I made a B, or even an A minus, on my school assignments I would be berated for my laziness.  It became frightening to take tests for fear of being less than perfect. I fell into a deep depression (undiagnosed) and often contemplated suicide.  I felt trapped, suffocated.  I developed anorexia.  Throughout my illness and recovery, she never offered a kindness.  Never told me she loved me, never prayed for my recovery.  Instead she constantly reminded me that everyone was talking about me and how embarrassed she was of me. I wasted six years of my life pursuing a bachelor's and master's degree in a field that I did not like in an attempt to please her and/or make her proud.  It didn't work.  I now have a Ph.D. in a field of my choosing.  She never read my dissertation. Somehow, still, I desperately wanted a loving relationship with my mother.  I wanted her to love me, to be kind to me, to be proud of me.  There were moments of hope, or course.  And there are still moments of devastation.  I am a grown woman, and I hate that she can still make me hurt so much.  My life is full of joy, and I am genuinely happy--until I have a run-in with my mother. We are distant.  I would be content to cut her off completely, but she is enamored with my children.  I, of course, feel responsible for sharing my family with her.  I fear it would destroy her entirely to cut ties.  So we maintain the fascade.  She gushes over my children and completely ignores me.  She almost never offers me a kind word or affection.  She behaves as though our distance is my fault, as though I am not trying hard enough.  I am tired of trying. ~MT
Mom was a stripper, it was a job she could do and still be crazy. It meant odd hours and an extended "family" of people like her. My earliest and most constant childhood memory is nausea. I was always afraid and my stomach would twist and turn. I was perpetually underwieght and anemic. We were often left alone and her return usually meant a rage fit or a strangely affectionate out of state road trip for ice cream at 3am. Once on a school night, mother came into our bedroom and flipped on the light. She held a leather belt and was shaking with rage because she was certain that we had not cleaned our room. We were hauled out of bed and forced to clean while being whipped and screamed at, I remember unfolding my neat clothes to re fold them and look busy so she wouldn't hit me. Her preference for my brother was often noted by outsiders. I was the target of her hate filled glares, sudden slaps, and nude whippings. I was accused of being too sexual with her boyfriends as early as 5 yrs old. I was "flirting" by not having a robe on over my pink unicorn nightgown. When one of her husbands did molest me, it was my fault. I ruined her life, I was the problem, it sickened her that i cowered and it enraged her if I didn't. I escaped at 18, the closer it got to me being free to leave, the sweeter she would act, as if it would erase my entire childhood. I joined the military and spent mor than the next decade overseas, she finally admitted to some of her actions, tho not all. She apologizes and somehow finds a way to make herself out to be the victim. She was too young, she was a single parent, she was abused as a child, she has mental health issues. Now I am a 36 yr old single parent and foster parent and I still see/speak to her as rarely as possible. It's the only way I can have a relationship with her, from a distance.
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