These are the words my mother left me with after finding me on Etsy. ETSY! How she found me can only be due to her stalker-rific online behavior. First, she messaged me on Etsy a few times asking about my artwork and if I can customize. I didn’t realize it was her until in one message she said, “I thought you might be my daughter. And you are. What are the odds of coming across your pictures out of the thousands on this site.” Yeah right. You searched me out. Let’s get real. She signed this message with her first name, not Mom. Which, whatever. Still kind of grappling with that. After not responding to her, a few hours later she sent a message that said, “May God have mercy on your soul.” WTF.
This is a perfect example of her extreme, unwarranted behavior. First she wants to buy stuff from me, then she wants God to have mercy on me. Why? Did I not answer her back like she expected? Who really knows…I don’t even think she knows. As much progress as I’ve made this incident was a major set back. I missed a day of work and was very lazy this past week, sleeping every chance I could get. Her words are so damn hateful. And I hate to admit it, but she struck a chord in me. She infected me again, and I hate it.
My counselor helped me make some sense out of it. She said, “It’s like you have this little gem, this online shop where you can be creative and share your work with others. And it’s almost as if she robbed you of that.” This is very much how I feel.
She’s pushing mid-50’s and her behavior is the same as it was 30 years ago. When will she change? When will she start living a better life? Does she think she is living a better life? I want to know, but she would only lie and deny…her best traits.
In Surviving a Borderline Parent by Kimberlee Roth and Freda B. Friedman, PH.D., LCSW, I’ve hit the section about guilt. I didn’t really think guilt applied to me until I started writing this post. I feel guilty for my disdain of my mother. I feel guilty for saying these things about her. Not because “she’s my mother” but because I realize how utterly unhappy and unrestful she is, and it hurts me to talk of someone with emotional handicaps, someone who I know has so much to give to this world.
I was telling my husband the other night, “I’ve seen her at her best. She is active. She is funny. She is caring and gives great advice.” These qualities are trapped inside of her, strangled by the Borderline she is perfecting to become.
I learned from my sister she talks about “not being here” and “I think it would just be better if I went to sleep and never woke up again.” Making suicidal threats is characteristic of Borderlines. But, are these threats? Is she asking for help in the only way she knows how? I told my husband about this and he went into action mode, the mode I sometimes cannot stand, but the mode that shows he cares and he’s listening. “Can you have her committed? Even if temporarily. Have someone look at her?” I don’t think so if she’s not in immediate danger of harming herself or others. But what if she is! Do I intervene? I can talk to my sister, ask her to dig a little deeper when our mother makes these comments. But my sister and I have an unspoken promise – she doesn’t talk about me to our mother, and vice versa. But maybe this is an exception. My mother is such a liar and manipulator, I don’t know what to believe or what to dismiss, but when one hints at suicide, it seems to me that you should always take them seriously and not dismiss their words. More to come on what transpires from this.
For now, I’m continuing to read Surviving a Borderline Parent. Quickly, there is one passage I want to share with you, one that caused me to put the book down for a few days without realizing this passage was the catalyst.
“While it’s indeed possible for those with BPD to change their feelings, beliefs and behaviors, it’s not likely, especially after so many years.As you try to accept your situation and move beyond it, you must give up the hope, the fantasy, the wish, that your parent will change significantly. Think of it this way: if they do change, it will be a wonderful gift, a bonus, but it’s not something you can realistically expect.” (pg. 56)
Not something I can realistically expect. I suppose this answers the many questions I’ve asked in this post. Such a sad realization though, don’t you think?