My Life With Crazy
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Borderline Mothers: Articles and Stories

Mother's Day and Borderline Personality Disorder: When Mom's an Emotional Terrorist

By Mrs. Treasures
  • Borderline Personality Disorder and the Effects on Children.
  • Borderlines are Emotional Terrorists.
  • Stories of Children with Borderline Moms
Terrorism had a face on September 11, 2001. It is also known as "9/11". The despicable act knows no boundaries. It is one-sided. It is disguised on its omnipotent goals. It is devoid of empathy and awareness of human feelings. It uses threats and suicide as its weapons. It is spurred by feelings of vindictiveness and vengefulness. For the terrorists, their actions are legitimate, justifiable and a response to an injustice. The terrorists become obsessed with a self-serving plan based on their distorted reality.
The Emotional terrorist Defined
Hollywood film makers portrayed the Emotional terrorist character in many of its movies including "Mommie Dearest, Body Heat, Fatal Attraction, Sophie's Choice, Single White Female, Basic InstinctBlack Widow, and All About Eve".
History gave us Hitler and Osama Bin Laden as terrorist epitomes.
Erin Pizzy, referring to her work with women, explained the working definition of an emotional terrorist in the article "Working with Violent Women". An emotional terrorist seeks to achieve a destructive goal to her family member and carry out actions without boundaries. These violent-prone actions are seen as legitimate grievances. The real or imagined legitimacy turns into an obsession.
The emotional terrorist has "unresolved tendencies from a problematic childhood'. The powerful, overwhelming outrage is a mirror to their childhood's painful memories. Thinking of themselves as victims, the emotional terrorist recreates their violent-prone past into their relationships. The emotional terrorist recognizes only her pain and thus becomes insensitive to the feelings of other family members.
The above definition puts a face to many personality disorders including borderline personality disorder (BPD). indicated that mental health resources showed 75% of those with BPD are women. The undetected statistics of men fall under the category of narcissism.
Mother's Day for Children of Borderlines
Many children of borderlines dread Mother's Day. The thought of having their mother feel special, important and loved makes them sick. They sift through Mother's Day cards in a store. They look for a card with nothing mushy written on it. Sometimes, a plain "Happy Mother's Day" print is what they would pick. They knew that their mother's response will always be "What do I have to be happy about?" Greeting card companies should start making plain cards for a specific market niche for children with emotional terrorist moms.
Many daughters have managed to stop sending cards to their borderline mothers. Instead, they pick up the phone to call them with a simple greeting "Hi. How are you?"
Many children of an emotional terrorist feel confused when greeting their mother on Mother's Day. They notice their mother getting sweet and superficially thankful while obviously becoming uncomfortable. It occurs to them that Emotional terrorists like to behave like normal mothers. They know the stereotypical mother from watching them on TV. But, their expressions seem artificial and phony. The truth is they do not enjoy motherhood.
A real-life Mother's Day incident occurred with a borderline mother with 6 children. The children gave an array of gifts to their Borderline mother in bed early in the morning. A bouquet of flowers, personalized cards, hand-crafted gifts, coffee and breakfast in bed were offered by the family. The borderline mother, stunned by the surprise, gave an emotionless "Thank you but now look at the crumbs on my bed. The coffee is not even hot. Do you really know what I have to go through to raise awful kids like you? No one ever helps me around the house. I am like a glorified maid." Then, she bursts into tears of how her hard work as a mother is only appreciated on special occasions. She expects them on a daily basis. She draws out a list from her memory of how the children have ripped her heart out. The list amazingly covered a span of several years. Later that day, she drove the children to her in-laws telling the kids she deserves time by herself on Mother's Day.
Flowers, cards, gifts and calls you give a borderline mother are never good enough. The common statement after giving it to them is "Thank you but..." Some have sent Mother's Day cards to their borderline mothers only to receive photocopies of their own cards a few years down the road. Borderlines must constantly accumulate evidences of their good parenting skills.
The over-sentimental fanfares on Mother's Day elicit anger feelings from children of borderlines. As they struggle to keep their head above the water, their borderline mother throws a boulder to keep them beneath the water. Every child of a Borderline has this fantasy of sitting down their mother and telling her "Look here. This is what you have done. Look at me. I am broken because of you." The children of Borderlines have no voice.
On Mother's Day, we are programmed to celebrate and appreciate motherhood. Many grown daughters and sons of Borderline mothers have opted for closure, limited or no contact. They live at arms length from their emotional terrorist mothers. Otherwise, Mother's Day is another episode of the endless drama. The drama includes the Borderline mother fighting with their Dad all the time, wailing hysterically, door banging and things breaking.
A facade of normalcy is displayed to the outside world. But in reality, these children live in self-contained prison camps. While a traditional greeting card will say "My mother , you are a guiding light" for children of borderlines their mother is like a "guard tower spot light in a prison". You cannot escape.
The beautiful personifications of motherhood for children of borderlines are imagined. The sad reality is children have no legal rights for even the Department of Social Services (DSS) will take no action until there is broken skin. The judges of the family courts continue to give visitation rights for the law must protect the parental rights of mothers. What about the broken spirits and shattered dreams of the victims?
Mother's Day seems to be a life sentence for children of Borderline mothers until they find a way to navigate to the spiritual side of their sufferings.
Erin Pizzy, "Working with Violent Women",
"Film and Fiction with Borderline Characters",
"A Tribute to Motherhood",
Ginny Moyer, "Strong Role Model or Impossible Standard?",
"Coping with Parents with BPD",
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