My reading of Surviving a Borderline Parent by Kimberlee Roth and Freda B. Friedman, PH.D., LCSW has continued. Here are excerpts I connected with.
Ongoing or frequent feelings of being hollow, empty, or fake.
“Lacking a strong core, a sense of self they can trust, they feel out of control and dependent on others, forever victimized.”
The books goes on to give the example of one woman’s experience:
“Generally she [mother] was inconsistent and sabotaging, and we never knew when she’d blow up and then give us the silent treatment, lock us out of the house, or punish us for some unknown transgression. She blamed us for her shortcomings.”
My mother was infamous for giving the silent treatment, to one of us at a time as I talk about in my previous post, or to all of us. I was punished for the smallest of things, while being reminded of all of the big mistakes that I made which made any punishment of hers acceptable.
Once, me and my sisters were at the grocery store with her. I started to put a yogurt in the basket and she said, “No, I can’t afford to be getting you yogurt.” And I looked at my sister and said, “But it’s only 40 cents.” My sister laughed, and all hell broke loose. She yelled at me and embarrased me, then punished me with her ever-favorite silent treatment, grounded me for days which included her yanking the t.v. in my room out of the wall and telling any friend who called that I was grounded. She reminded me how I wasn’t a good sister or role model to my sisters, and I don’t appreciate anything she does for me. No, the 40 cent remark wasn’t nice, but the punishment did not fit the crime, her cruelty was uncalled for, and assigning thoughts and emotions to me was just dumb.
Either underexpressed or overexpressed feelings of anger, seen in frequent displays of temper, rage, recurrent physcial fights, or extreme sarcasm or withdrawal.
“Those with BPD may go to great lengths to deflect anger in others, which can be infuriating to a loved one trying to communicate honest feelings. Parents with BPD may not accept responsibility for their behavior nor be willing to listen to how they might have caused emotional or physical harm. If you try to point out their behavior, they may lash out with an abusive tirade or stone cold silence, attempting to place blame on you instead (“If you hadn’t of done this, I wouldn’t have had to beat you.”).
The one physical thing that I remember she did was push me into my closet. I peed in my pants because I was so scared and taken off guard. And I was in middle school when that happened. In that aspect, I guess you could say I was lucky. I don’t know how I would deal with or overcome physical abuse. She was physical with my stepdad, and I witnessed their fights, called 911 once because I was so scared. After my mom learned that I was the one who called the police, she told me after they left as I laid in bed crying, “Thanks a lot. Now I’ll have a record.” Then she left the room. I was about 5 years old when this happened. Oh no, comforting me because I obviously had been scared to death didn’t make sense. But shaming me and blaming me for her “record” was a reasonable response from her. Bitch.
She definitely deflected her feelings on others. Telling me in elementary school that she had to walk around on eggshells when she was around me. Are you bleeping kidding me? I was like six years old, too young to even understand the concept of walking on eggshells. She kept on with that eggshell business until I left to go to college when I was 18. News flash mommy: we had to walk around on eggshells. Not the other way around.
I think if I told her about these experiences she would deny them, and may actually and honestly not remember saying those things or doing those things, And if she did, it was because…repeat after me, “You don’t appreciate anything I do for you. You weren’t being a good sister or role model. You probably did x or y or z.” Basically a big shaming f-you to my childhood experiences.
Despite these memories I am having, and because of these memories I’m having, I’m going to continue reading Surviving a Borderline Parent. I need to expunge these thoughts and emotions so I can better heal. And I believe within these pages, healing is awaiting my discovery.