Still somehow I wish she would wake up, the difference is I've stopped pushing and am trying to accept that I don't really need a parent like that, though somehow I feel I do as my identity is so deeply anchored in hers.
In response to flicker_thru who made the above incredibly insightful observation (and generally to everyone). The wish for one's mother to as you say, "wake up", is the longing of the lost, very young, abandoned, and wounded inner child in those with BPD.
I can relate to what everyone so far has posted in this topic area. When I had BPD, I was so angry at my mother, but at my father too. My anger toward my mother was mixed with how incredibly unimportant I seemed to make her be in my reality even as a young child. I thought she was just dumb. I thought she was more like a little kid than I was when I was only 8. I had no sense of how I was supposed to be able to trust this person, who had sexually abuse me and beaten me before the age of 4. Who was she? Why was she always so angry? Why was it I couldn't get what I needed? Why was I always obviously not an emotional priority? So many questions for so many years.
There was a time also when I used to believe that my lot in life, when I had BPD, so my lot in life for the first 30-38 years of my life was my mother's fault. Now, however, and since my recovery over 12 years ago I realize that while there wasn't a bond or even insecure attachment with my mother - I felt so estranged from her even as a young child, that what was lacking in my life as I chronologically hit adulthood was my own personal responsibility.
No, we are not responsible for the failings of our mothers (or parents) but once we reach adulthood, if we don't start to accept that we are now responsible for what we do or don't do - for what we choose or don't choose in our lives, we continue, as most with BPD do (for various amounts of time) to live through the false self which has within it dissociated from fragments of that lost, abandoned, and wounded inner child.
It is the pain of the wounded inner child that are the toxic ties that bind and that can keep you stuck in BPD and suffering. Anger is natural. Anger, however, can either be a motivating force toward healing and change or it can be channeled at getting even, vengeance, punishing your mother - and really, even if you could ever punish your mother "enough"
a)It won't change the past
b)It can't save you from the woundedness you've already experienced
c)It keeps you stuck in the victim mentality of the borderline false self
d)It keeps you separated from your inner child - she needs you!
e)At some point you will realize just how emotionally incompetent your mother was/is and then you
be faced with the realization that she didn't have the tools necessary to parent you
And back to what flicker_thru said,"I feel I do as my identity is so deeply anchored in hers."
Very well said, well put and right on! As someone who took the journey of raging against my mother fo years, of hating her, of re-experiencing her in and through everyone I tried to relate to when I had BPD, I have found my way to forgiveness and compassion for my mother, personal responsibility for myself and the realization that it is only through that journey that one can true find freedom from one's mother, especially, if like mine, your mother is a borderline mother.
Our identities as little girls totally do begin and end with mother. The wounds of abandonment, rejection, and lack of bonding with a mother who couldn't meet your needs and/or who has abused you and not nurtured you truly hold you bound to that legacy because the inner child longs and fights hard to try to GET what never was or recapture some moment that was but for a second. There is a symbiosis in even the unhealthiest of experiences with one's mother that is in essence the reality that identity (the self lost) is anchored in mother and the unmet needs of that relationship until such time as one is ready to take the grief-filled journey of letting that go and accepting it for the devastating loss that it was and has continued to be.
In my BPD Inside Out Podcast I have an episode (free) about being the adult child of a borderline mother at:http://www.borderlinepersonality.ca/ajmaharibpdaudio.htm
I have a video on my Blog about the need for recovery if you are the adult child of a borderline mother at:http://borderlinepersonality.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/01/adultchildrecovery.html
On my BPD Blog I have written about being an adult child of a borderline mother and how I had to choose no contact in order to heal and recovery at:http://borderlinepersonality.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/08/as-an-adult-child-of-borderline-parents-i-had-to-choose-no-contact.html
I have also written about forgiving my mother and if I can find that link I'll get it up here. Otherwise you can search my blog for it at:http://borderlinepersonality.typepad.com
Please know that what I am saying, from where I am at in my life now, with the whole "mother thing" is meant to give you food for thought. I absolutely do not mean to invalidate at all how anyone feels toward their mother because how you feel is valid because it's how you feel. My point here that may be trying to somewhat challenge you, isn't that you aren't entitled to your feelings - you absolutely are - but the point is that if you continue to focus on those feelings rather than getting actively into choosing to free yourself from your mother - which means working through the pain of the anger and loss - you can suffer a long time (even after your mother passes away) if you choose to continue to invest energy into wanting to punish or seek revenge. Understandable emotions for sure. But "young" emotions. As an adult now you will find emotional freedom, over time, in learning to let go of that anger, let your heart break, grieve the loss, and then set out to learn ways that you can become the mother that you so needed as a child, to your own wounded inner child - that's the path of so much healing.
I recovered from BPD 14 years ago now but still I have some grief about the loss of my mother and that we didn't ever bond or attach or have a relationship. Being open to the sadness when it comes, now and again, means that I can be free of being attached to that pain, sadness, or what used to be anger. I radically accept who my mother (who has BPD) was and still is.
My father was also borderline. I used to just hate him so. I was so angry there too. That was a whole other process of work in therapy to through the issues with him and his abuse of me. He died in 1997, I hadn't spoken to him in the last 7 years of his life. My mother didn't tell me until 8 months after my father had died that he was actually deceased but then I hadn't spoken to her in those 7 years either.
My point is this, if I had made different choices, or chosen not to make the choices that I have to grieve, to face my pain, to get the professional help I needed, to stick with it, to heal and recover, I wouldn't have the emotional freedom I have from both parents, but, specifically with my father. I truly do not hate him anymore. I have forgiven him. I have compassion for his suffering in life. I used to want him to go to hell and now I no longer feel that way. Not only do I believe that my father didn't go to hell but I believe he was forgiven my God and that his energy is still and that it has shifted. I can feel it.
Think about your own pain and brokenness and then think about what pain and brokenness your mother or father, or as in my case, both, might well also have suffered and carried or still suffer and carry. It is not an excuse for abuse or poor parenting - no it isn't - but it is a reality that when faced and accepted can help you to grow past the anger of the wounded inner child to find some emotional peace as an adult. Emotional peace that can't be known unless and until you can take personal responsibility for yourself and not lay the blame or fault for what happened to you or what you didn't get that you needed in childhood with your mother and/or father.
When you have BPD, it isn't your fault. But what is your responsibility now is to find your way to the best life that you can and to find your way to the healing and recovery that you so deserve. What was lost with a parent (more often than not) cannot be made up for or changed. One just has to radically accept it, grieve it, and in the process stop letting it hold you precious identity, your precious lost authentic self hostage to anger, wanting to punish and/or revenge.
Just for your information I have an ebook coming out very soon about BPD and Punishment and Revenge which is written to and for both those with BPD and Non Borderlines. It will likely be a tough read but might be one that will help those with BPD to gain insight into another huge piece of the puzzle of recovery.
You'll be able to find that ebook, when it's available, in the Ebooks Borderline Category of my website at:http://phoenixrisingpublications.ca
I really hope that you (all of you and others that my join in) will continue to talk about your feelings here and I hope perhaps I might have added something here that can plant a new seed of thought and seeking in your process with regard to your anger with a parent or our parents.
I have many miles to go and many pieces to find, yet.
My father is the one I grew up most angry at. I never was angry at my mother. She left me when I was 6. I remember that terrible day very clearly. It was all my fault that mommy left.
She visited once, then I didn't see her till I looked her up when I turned 18. When I saw her and how she lived I knew she was an emotionally unstable, whiney, goaless drunk. Whenevery I hear the song, "Queen of the Silver Dollar" I think of her. She was the Queen of the Smelly Ginmills.
I'm just beginning to feel that anger at being abandoned by my mother. She didn't care one wit about my brother and I.
My dad, though, was another story. He 'raised' us. Actually, past age 6, I raised us. I protected my brother as much as I could from the terrible beatings my father gave him. I would feel so helpless, screaming into my pillow as I heard my brother's body hit the walls and his screaming pleas, "Please, daddy. Please, don't daddy."
The first time he hit me with his fist rather than his belt or open hand, I ran away. I would have stayed away if my brother hadn't followed me. At 16 and 14, we turned ourselves in to the cops and made a pact that we wouldn't go back to that awful man. My mother and grandparents weren't to be found, so there we sat in juvenile. I finally relented.
A hearing was set, but no one showed up, so back to lock up we went.
The next week he showed up and I will never, ever forget his words. He looked at me with that sickening expression of self pity and said, "How could you do this to me?"
Here is a quickie profile of 'daddy':
Violent -- he would beat up any woman or child who got in his way.
Alcoholism made his violence very unpridictable in intensity. He'd be passed out in his room with the fumes of second hand muscatel seeping out of his bedroom. We never knew what would come out ... demanding his supper ... beating up on my stepmother for 'hiding his booze' or a violent raging bull.
He always sat in his big chair with one leg folded beneath him dressed in stained and torn T Shirts and old gray workpants. His bottle of Carstairs whiskey, or when the money ran out and my stepmother went to the store to steal wine, Muscatel on the floor next to him.
There, in his thrown he would throw orders, demand to know what we were talking about, demanding us to stop whispering and to 'get that dirty look off your face.'
He would sit there, in his chair, drinking his booze or eating a stolen steak. He would often regurgitate and then swallow it. Often times he would be in his briefs sitting in that chair and he would fondle himself.
I am well aware of the premise that forgiveness is for the forgiver. I can't, yet. I don't know if I will ever. Actually, I don't want to ever forgive him. It would be like saying it is all ok and it isn't.
A few injuries: he broke my brothers foot and ankle and caused my brother to have a permanent stoop from hitting so many walls and tables. He broke my stepmother's shoulder, gave her a blood clot on the brain.
I was always so guilty over not getting beaten as badly as they did. I was always trying to make things ok...cooked the meals, did the shopping and laundry, cleaned the house, bought my brothers school clothes with my babysitting money so he wouldn't steal.(My dad would bring home the most awful Salvation Army clothes for him)
I hadn't seen my brother for twenty years, although we would talk on the phone every couple of years to keep in touch. Ten years ago, I moved back to our home state and at every Christmas time, I'd search for him. Two years ago I'd found out he died two years previous.
It hit me very hard because I had visions of him knocking on my door, clean and sober and ready to start anew and we could talk and talk and talk then put the ugliness to the ground for good.
Poor guy never had a chance. He knew nothing but that he was a "Dirty little sonofabitch."