In writing here this morning before I return to work on manuscript #4 for “The Demise of Mildred” I am collecting some thoughts that, quite frankly, I don’t know where to put in this book which is being written in a series. It might be that the thoughts I have this morning will need to be placed in an earlier volume. Perhaps they will need to be put into the series introduction. It frustrates me to have an insight come to me at this stage of my writing that I wish had appeared much earlier! Oh, well – now to think this all through a little bit more.
“When opportunity knocks.” Is this an idiom? A cliche?
At the end of one of Mildred’s letters I worked through yesterday she wrote about the combination of thrilling highs and heart wrenching lows she is experiencing as she first moves up to her Alaskan wilderness mountain homestead, “I know I can’t have my cake and eat it too.”
Those are her words that evidently triggered a whole chain of thoughts for me that I don’t know what to do with at this moment.
I have tried hard thus far in these volumes to explain and describe to readers what I mean when I mention “Mildred’s BPD-matrix litany of words.”
Long, long ago I identified that it WAS an abuse litany that Mother created as it concerned me. The launch point of this abuse litany was her delivery of breech-me as she suffered a psychotic break, believing that the devil sent me to kill her. It didn’t help that I was born alive and that she made it through this delivery alive, as well. All that meant was that the second addition was made to her litany: “You are the devil’s child sent as a curse upon my life.”
I was NEVER human to Mother.
I deeply – and finally – now understand how her psychosis operated as she abused me from my birth until I was expunged from the family home when I was 18.
Yes, if I were to be gentler and more supportive of myself I would let myself know that I am working deep within a pitch dark mine that was my severely mentally ill mother’s mind as it expressed in the hundreds of thousands of her words left somehow with me when she died in 2003. I would let myself understand that I am doing a darn good job at finding absolute gems of truth about Borderline Personality Disorder as I examine this one massive case study of Mother.
No, I am always having to battle my way forward through what I DO NOT YET KNOW as I write my own version of Mother within her words.
I so rapidly shove what I discover behind me as I move forward in this book writing process because it is always what I DON’T KNOW that I am searching for. Thus, when an insight like the one I have now appears out of order (as I see it) and too far down the line from where I think I SHOULD have been able to see it — I am very frustrated.
Mildred’s verbal litany, as I have discovered in writing “The Demise of Mildred” series did NOT ONLY apply to me. Mildred had a litany of words for everything! These litany words appear in segments as phrases that are repeated over and over again in her writings as they were in her life. Watching which segments appear in which context in which combination allows me to see patterns of her illness — and thus, see her BPD-mind at work.
I so far believe that Mildred lost her ability very early in her life to grow and develop a healthy self. Instead her disorder replaced her self. Instead of a ‘real’ self she was consumed by and trapped within what I call her BPD-matrix mind.
As I move forward in my forensic biographical work on Mildred I have come to understand that her BPD operated in EVERY SINGLE aspect of her life. There was no part of Mildred that was not influenced by her mental illness. Why was that so hard for me to see?
And why, then, did it surprise me that she had a litany of words for EVERY part of her existence – not ‘just’ for me?
And, how to I explain what her litany WAS? Let alone her BPD-matrix that was all Mildred had of a mind?
So, back in full circle, I think about idioms, sayings, expressions, metaphors, cliches that I suspect have infiltrated and have been created within every language spoken within every culture on earth.
Some are so mundane we would not question them: moving lock stock and barrel; a stitch in time saves nine; a penny saved is a penny earned; it’s raining cats and dogs; you have me over a barrel; make hay while the sun shines.
Others appear obtuse because they were generated in an older era: make no bones about it; grease my palm; a chip on your shoulder; can’t cut the mustard.
There are over 7,000 idioms used in English explained in The Cambridge International Dictionary of Idioms. But we all know they exist. We have all used them ‘at one time or another’. What has struck me this morning is that these segments, these phrases are actually patterns of a language litany of words that hold no sinister meaning within their particular combination of words.
I postulated to my daughter the other day that I would not be surprised if in the future when Borderline Personality Disorder is far more understood, that it will be found that one of its underlying components is a language processing disorder. I would also postulate that as researchers work to determine some of the major abuse-related common origin points for this disorder that they will find that verbal abuse is perhaps the MAIN shared early abuse for people who develop BPD.
Researchers have already found that of all abuses done to children it is verbal abuse that outruns them all – combined – in its power to change the brain development of little people within traumatic environments.
Meanwhile, “back at the ranch” if not out here “in the back 40” I think about BPD-Mildred’s matrix replacement for a mind. Mildred spoke in her own matrix-generated idiom litany segments because she THOUGHT in them. The more important a concern was to Mildred’s BPD-matrix, the longer its corresponding litany became and the more likely that part of her overall BPD-matrix litany was to appear — over and over again.
Because Mildred needed to separate her upper ‘heaven’ world from her lower ‘hell’ world, her matrix litany of me as her proxy in hell was MASSIVE!!
At the same time it was Mildred’s matrix search for ‘the perfect kingdom’, for ‘the perfect home’, for ‘heaven on earth’, for Shangri la, that fed her Alaskan homesteading obsession. Homesteading and Alaska were described in an ever-growing corresponding litany of word phrases/segments.
People don’t CHANT idioms – not normally, anyway. BPD-matrix litany phrases – at least for Mildred – became mantras that both described and had the power to motivate her life, her actions. A BPD-matrix mind is a closed system. Mantra-litany repetitions are not, therefore, subject to moderation or modulation once they are formed.
I suspect that much of the power for harm that comes from verbal abuse to children is that the phrases used, the segments of a litany of abuse, are not said JUST one time. Oh, no! How many times, for example, does a verbally abused child (or any adult who is in an abusive relationship) hear something repeated over and over again like, “I hate you! I curse the day you were born! I wish you were dead! I wish you had never been born! You are so STUPID!”
And on and on and on such abuse litany word segments go – over and over and over again.
Even though, as I mentioned, I identified Mother’s abuse litany of me years ago, it is only as I write these book manuscripts now that I understand that her BPD-matrix mind THOUGHT in litany patterns of words. That is how her mind worked.
This explains to me why it is impossible to ‘reason’ with a BPD-matrix mind. Because the matrix exists as a replacement for a healthy self, it is an entirely closed system in which nobody or no important thing (in Mildred’s case, a thing like a home, a house, her belongings, her children, her mountain, etc.) ONLY existed as a BPD-matrix THOUGHT.
Which also explains to me that even though it is often said that borderlines ‘fear abandonment’ – this so-called pattern has NOTHING whatsoever to do with actual people! A BPD-matrix mind has NO PEOPLE in it. It has IDEAS – only. In order for such a matrix to provide ‘order and orientation’ of ongoing experience for a BPD person in the world, the matrix must have what it needs to function.
Having ‘people’ in particular ‘places’ within a BPD-matrix mind is essential for it to function. ‘Fear of abandonment’ is an outsider’s way of describing the great quaking that such a matrix mind will undergo if one of it’s ‘thought-ideas’ (say, a person) is removed from its functional place in the matrix.
This also explains to me why BPD people cannot accept responsibility or blame. A BPD-matrix ‘sorts’ things out – anything ‘bad’ simply cannot exist in the upper matrix and hence is banished to the invisibility of the lower part of the matrix. (I see the matrix in 2-D as a diamond shape; in 3-D as two pyramids, one extending upwards from a platform base, the other downward.)
On and on this forensic biographical study of my severely abusive BPD mother Mildred goes, complete with my study of her litany.
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I just added this thought into a comment:
I realize that I am working with the patterns I see that are particular to my own BPD Mother. I KNOW she suffered a psychotic break while she was birthing me, probably under the influence of the drug ‘twilight sleep’ that I most strongly suspect she was given during labor.
I cannot generalize to BPD in any way what I am coming to understand about Mildred.