Before I post here an important comment and reply made this morning to the post
I want to tell you a little story about something that I experienced during the last two weeks I lived in my parents’ abusive home. I had already experienced 18 years of severe abuse by my psychotic Borderline Personality Disorder mother — with my father’s tacit approval as Mother’s enabler — by the time this incident occurred. I turned 18 on the 31st of August, 1969. This story is about what happened during the last weeks of September of that year. My parents ‘put me in the Navy’ and I left for boot camp October 3, 1969.
By the time this incident happened I had long been formed within the exclusive reality of being the center of Mother’s psychosis that I was the devil’s child sent to kill her while I was being born. I was never given any alternative version of reality to include in my own thinking about myself in the world. I therefore COMPLETELY understood what my mother said in this ‘story’ from INSIDE Mother’s psychotic BPD universe.
My thinking about myself in the world had been entirely formed within Mother’s universe. I had no power, no ability, no resources to think about reality in any other way but hers. (Yes, Mother took ‘brain washing’ and ‘mind control’ to a whole new level, one that is impossible for anyone not intimately familiar with being raised and abused by a psychotic BPD mother can begin to understand.)
Being the center focus of Mother’s psychosis of evil meant that I lived in a world from which all light, all hope, all goodness, all safety, all reason, had been obliterated. Imagine a world within which a newborn infant has been placed, confined, captured, and contained in which all oxygen has been continually sucked out by an abusive psychotic mother — for 18 long years. Eventually the little one must learn to continue to survive without light, without air — or die.
Such is the life of an innocent born to a psychotic Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) mother. Even children who are not the central focus of such a mother’s main psychosis are forced to live in a twisted bizarre universe of neurosis. In my case my 5 siblings were the witnesses to what my psychosis-infested mother did to me.
My parents moved off of our Alaskan mountain homestead in the fall of 1969 into a large rented house on the shore of Lake Wasilla, 60 miles from my father’s place of employment in Anchorage. Because I was now 18 I was ‘allowed’ by Mother to seek and to gain employment in an entry level word processing job at a bank in town. I rode back and forth to work each week day with my father.
After two weeks my father and I walked into the house one evening to find two place settings on the dining room table. Father at the head. Me on his right hand. Mother sat directly across from me without a place setting at father’s left hand.
Silence. Deadly silence once our plate of food had been plopped in that special ‘you know Mildred is most displeased’ way in front of Father and me.
Mother’s deadly stare. Mother’s deadly silence. Appetite? Don’t think so, but fork to mouth, fork to mouth, my father and I ate. Until……..
Mother, in her voice that made ice seem warm and friendly, began her tirade in a whisper that grew into her special kind of ROAR.
“Well, Bill,” she began. “It is obvious from the amount of time you spend alone with Linda and NOT with me that you love Linda far more than you love me. You should have married Linda instead of me.”
All of my life until this present moment at my current age of 60 I have been unable to return to this clear memory without viewing it from INSIDE the memory, from inside of myself.
At that inside place, where all light in the universe had not only been shrunken down to a single pinpoint of light — but was forever and continually STILL shrinking — I believed my mother. I understood not only what she was saying, but also understood that she was PERFECTLY correct in her statement.
I had no choice but to think with my mother’s Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) brain-mind.
I have spent half of my life now trying to get over to the OTHER SIDE of that pinpoint hole of light — into the REAL world, into my OWN world — and to leave my mother’s thinking out of the picture of my life.
This has been not only a most difficult task, but also a nearly impossible one. I do believe that only someone raised as I was from the moment of my birth through the next 18 years in an environment that makes hell seem pleasant, can understand what I am saying.
With this tiny background story I now share the reply that came in from a reader this morning to
along with my reply:
Whew, I feel such anxiety – tight throat, burning chest, pain in ‘tummy brain’ when I read your mother’s letters! I definitely can ‘see’ the false reality, make-believe
Life and sense the anger. Its all so subtle – like my mother’s emails – I don’t know which type scares me more: when she sounds lucid yet superficial
Or crazy-emotional. Thanks for sharing such important information on this site, its helping me make sense of things. I feel when I read something here that
Its going to shed light and that there will be grief yet understanding.
Good morning, Barbara! Yes, it’s so clear sometimes why dealing with these BPD people makes US feel nuts!! It all IS SO SUBTLE – yet we know ‘it’ is there! I sure didn’t growing up! Not for a LONG time did I know Mother was nuts (tho my siblings did when they were kids).
I went thru therapy off and on all the way through my 30s. Thinking back, it has always been the last therapist who I thought helped me most when she told me, “What your Mother did to you was nothing like ordinary child abuse. What your mother did to you was evil.”
She had me read M. Scott Peck’s book “People of the Lie”
which DID help me begin to understand with a shift in my own perceptions that something was TERRIBLY wrong with Mother
But NOBODY told me she was insane! Nobody told me Mother was psychotic. But then it wasn’t until the 1980s that Borderline Personality Disorder became recognized as its own THING
I am STILL coming to understand that while all infant and child abuse and maltreatment is harmful, there is something unique about abuse accomplished by BPD people. Beginning to understand the fact that their body-brain does NOT operate in anything like a normal way is finally helping me make more sense out of the ways my abuse experiences are different from nearly ALL other forms of abuse.
The question of why nobody recognized what was happening to me continues to be important to me. What is it about the snakey subtlety of this disorder that makes it so hard for everyone to know the truth about what life with a BPD person is like?
It’s almost like the foundation of lies upon which my mother’s BPD reality was based had a power of its own to reach out past my mother and somehow influence EVERYONE she came into contact with — as if being around a BPD person makes EVERYONE somewhat (or a lot) NUTS themselves!
There is a lot of info online about BPD, but I stay away from it. I believe there IS a continuum and a range of damage that exists for those who have this disease. At the same time I know my personal history is with someone who had about the WORST this disease has to offer.
I imagine it’s natural for ‘the helping professions’ to want to ‘protect’ and to ‘help’ BPD people. Yet much of what is said about this disease seems like a lie to me, also, given what I know about how devastatingly serious the psychosis and neurosis this disease OFTEN creates — and the potential for ALL levels of abuse it holds.
So I would rather rely on the words of people like yourself about what it feels like and IS like to have been or to be in any kind of relationship with a BPD person.
There is a blog for daughters of BPD mothers you might like to visit:
I am a fan of our gaining ‘informed compassion’ about our experiences with BPD mothers, especially. But I also don’t believe that anyone who has not had very personal experience of harm from such a mother can begin to imagine what we are talking about.
Just as the BPD mother has her own reality and own language, so to speak, so too do we as we try to gain clarity and try to communicate our own experience to anyone else.
Thank you so much for your comment!! I hope to read more from you in the future. All the best with love, Linda – alchemynow
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Links to some of my childhood stories:
These ones being most closely related to the ending of my life under my parents’ roof:
- +Age 14 – SCRUBBED IN THE TUB
- +Age 14 – MIRACLE IN THE PARKING LOT – DISSOCIATION
- *Age 14 – SILENT TREATMENT
- *Age 14 – Gardening and the Sabotage
- *Age 15 – MY ‘VISION’ – ALONE NAKED IN THE WOODS SINGING
- *Age 15 – FORCED TO WATCH AN ALASKAN SUNRISE
- *Age 17 – What My Parents Taught Me About Racism
- *Age 18 – LEADING UP TO GONE FROM HOME