April 28, 2012
Dear survivors raised by abusive Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) mothers,
Off the top of my head and from the depths of my heart I would say, “Don’t be fooled by so-called mental illness diagnoses you have received that lay the SICKNESS you have been exposed to – to the insides of YOU!”
There is nothing WRONG with US! We have to live in a body that was changed in its development due to the terrible TRAUMATIC STRESS-DISTRESS that our abuser created during the most critically important developmental stages our body-brain would ever go through.
We don’t need to learn what is WRONG with us, we need to learn about how the powerful biochemicals stress created in our developing body-brain changed us. We are changed beings — but we are not in any ordinary sense of the word SICK or WRONG people!
For everyone just now or recently coming into the light of discovery that abuse and severe trauma you experienced was perpetrated against you by — yes — a very sick BPD parent, especially by your mother, please consider the fact that in your essence YOU ARE PERFECTLY FINE! You are beautiful! You are WELL in your essential self!
The beginning of our real work comes as you realize we were/are likely to come out from under the burden of the abuses our BPD perpetrator did to us nearly covered up with stinking sticky inky black ugly rotten toxic CRAP that DOES NOT BELONG TO US!
When it comes to “what to do with the memories we have of abuse done to us” — there is only ONE thing we can do – one healthy, wise, necessary thing we can do.
Find our own self in the memory — inside the abuse — we were FINE! If we did not come out of our abuse having the terrible, tragic disease of BPD our self — we can – we CAN and MUST locate our own self in the middle of the memories.
I would NEVER advocate dealing with the emotions we might believe belong to any memory. Those emotions were part of the in-the-moment abuse experience – true enough. But those emotions, any emotion that was not about joy and peace and calm – belonged to our BPD abuser and NOT to us!!
Inside the memory we existed then and still exist as perfect beautiful children!
Nothing about the abuse we received had ANYTHING to do with us! NONE OF IT!!
Nothing that was said to or about us belonged to us!
Not one part of the condemnations, the allegations, the miserable contaminating experience belong to US!
ALL of it came from the place of original pain within our BPD abuser that was NEVER healed on their inside.
We did not know this as infant-children – as little people being made to suffer on levels most people cannot ever begin to imagine.
We CAN know this now!!
This healing journey for us is in essence a kind of sorting-out-the-silverware process. What goes in that slot? Forks and spoons and knives — each into their slot — but only so we can find that when all of what happened to us is sorted out and put away into its appropriate slot, there is NOTHING of the abuse we suffered left in our hand. Close the silverware drawer and walk away.
There is NOTHING LEFT of the abuse that belongs to US!
None of it. None of it belonged to us THEN – and it does not belong to us NOW! Sorting it out serves this one purpose: We are removing from ourselves every single LIE that was told to us along with any emotional impact those memories might have for us today.
I am NOT saying we can ever remove all of the emotion from within our body. Unfortunately – and realistically – the emotions were remembered within our body – because that’s what bodies naturally DO! They retain the memory of our lives from the past – but only so those memories can serve to protect us from similar experiences in our present and future.
Once we are SAFE in the present, that information is not necessary for us to be – or stay – aware of. Personally I live with such a deep painful sadness in my body that I nearly continually have to recognize its presence and then live NOW in full recognition that the pain is real and very present in my body – but it does NOT define or control me.
My pain does require very focused effort on my part to live each moment ANYWAY as if the pain does not exist.
But at the same time I no longer carry the inky terrible blackness that belonged to my mother. I do not allow myself to entertain the lies as being a part of ME. They are not. They never were.
Someone mentioned ‘guilt’ as a residual emotion carried from an abusive BPD mother past abusive history. NEVER have I felt this. NEVER!! True, my abusive history was so extreme, so insane, so abusive – that if I had EVER picked up Mother’s own guilt and carried it as my own I do not believe I would be alive today (I am 60).
I won’t even bother myself with thinking about the negativity contained within the abuse Mother so expertly perpetrated against me. It’s not mine. It never was. It never will be.
This is a rather strange thought that just popped into my mind. If I think about what the word ‘voyeurism’ is said to mean, “the practice of obtaining sexual gratification by looking at sexualobjects or acts, especially secretively,” I realize that this concept applies (to me) to much deeper aspects of invading another person’s boundaries that have nothing to do with ‘sex’.
In fact, in its origins, I see that I am correct: ”French, literally: one who sees, from voir to see, fromLatin vidēre“
THINK ABOUT THIS!
My BPD mother SAW in me was HERSELF! She had NO boundaries between herself and her daughter, Me. Mother had no boundaries between her inner self and me. I was she – although of course she would never have understood this. I was a figment of her sick mind. I was her projection of all badness within herself.
She WATCHED me invasively – always – and hated what she saw – and then tormented me for the inner torment of her own she could not tolerate.
Because these patterns are so centrally a part of the changed BPD brain’s functioning – I most definitely DO NOT WANT TO PARTICIPATE in this part of mother’s sickness!
I do not want to WATCH her sickness inside of ME!
Once I sorted out what was hers of my childhood and what was me and mine – once I can leave what was hers behind me as having never been mine in the first place – I can completely stop WATCHING her — inside of myself.
This is a complicated concept – yet a simple one.
Mother was mother. Linda was and IS Linda.
BPD does not allow this distinction to be made within an abusing Borderline.
Our own healing requires that WE make this distinction, that we separate our SELF from our abuser.
Then we can experience that we were/are fine – and that what belongs to our abuser (then and forever) is their PRIVATE inner world – and has nothing to do with us. We have to leave THEIR stuff alone and keep it OUTSIDE of us!!!
As my present moment moves into my future right at this instant, I find this to be an interesting thought to appear in my mind as I have been thinking about writing my mother’s story in book form FIRST rather than finalizing the writing of my own story at this time.
So I will be doing exactly what I am advising against!
Yet I also accept that I am in a very unique situation in that at Mother’s death all her papers – childhood stories, pictures, diaries, her Alaskan homesteading journals and letters – found their way into MY hands. Perhaps for a stunningly powerful reason!
I now know very clearly whose story is whose.
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