Adult Children of Those with Borderline Personality
I was the child of two parents with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) growing up. My mother had BPD and my father had BPD and Narcissistic Personality Disorder. They were both alcoholics. Both were highly invalidating and emotionally unavailable. They worked and had some functionality but drank every night and weekends. They were both fairly angry to outrightly raging often. The only person they regularly raged at was me. Once in a while my younger brother would catch part of their rages but I was the one they chose to be the container of all the emotions they were dissociated from - their pain - pain that was only expressed as rage.
Adult-children of a parent with Borderline Personality Disorder, whether or not you are also diagnosed with BPD often have profound scars from childhood that have lasting consequences. Understanding more about rage in your borderline parent and the different ways it can manifest is important. Under the central core wound of abandonment that is a consequence of, among other things, the abandoned pain of BPD there is such pain from the shame of that abandonment that rage is not only a common response but a necessary one. Most adult children of a borderline parent, have in one way or another suffered greatly due to the rage and anger of the borderline parent's anger/rage whether it is obviously shown or not.
Adult Children of BPD - Personality Disordered Parent(s) Need Their Own Recovery
Speaking not only as a Life Coach, BPD, and mental Health Coach, A.J. Mahari emphasizes to you, if you are adult child of a parent with BPD, NPD, or any personality disorder (or combination of said) that you need your own recovery. Children do learn what they live. A great deal of the inter-generational suffering of those who were the children of a personality disordered parent or parents has to do with the toxic legacy of not resolving issues such as codependence, enmeshment, toxic relating, chaotic and unhealthy relationships with one's parent(s). There is a legacy to having been the child of a personality disordered parent or parents and A.J. Mahari knows this all-too-well in her own personal life as well having had a mother with BPD and a father with BPD/NPD. Personality Disordered parents are not emotionally available and children are negatively impacted as a result. Adult children of a personality disordered parent or parents need their own recovery.
Many an adult child who growing up had a mother or father with Borderline Personality Disorder and/or Narcissistic Personality Disorder separately or co-morbid and perhaps even co-morbid with other mental health challenges and/or other personality disorders need to recognize that they have been psychologically wounded.
Wounded in ways that perpetuate suffering in other relationships, suffering inside, alone, often reeling from unresolved abandonment, invalidation, and grief. This applies to all adult children, to varying degrees, whether you yourself have also been diagnosed with a personality disorder or not.
Adult Child Of BPD/NPD Mental Illness and Your Recovery © A.J. Mahari, February 2011 - All rights reserved.
Many can and will benefit from my Life Coaching Services to sort out what you need to do, how you can heal and leave the past behind and move forward in your life. I have been there in my own personal life and I know what it takes to win your freedom from the soul-crushing and painful chaos of the toxic relating with a personality-disordered parent. Until you resolve these issues and find your closure, something I work on with many adult children of a personality parent or personality disordered parents, you may well feel anxious or depressed, not trust your instincts and judgment, not know who you really are, be repeating a toxic pattern of unhealthy relationships. You can free yourself from all of this. You can find your own happiness. You can heal the codependent enmeshment and over-come toxic guilt. You have a right to make your own choices and to empower yourself in the here-and-now.
© A.J. Mahari, February 14, 2011 - All rights reserved.
The Borderline Mother BPD Inside Out Podcast Episode
One of the major consequences of my parents having Borderline Personality Disorder wasn't only that I went on to develop it and be diagnosed with it, (subsequently I recovered from BPD in 1995 at the age of 38) but, how the fact that they had BPD obliterated any secure bonding or attachment. My needs were not met. I wasn't heard. I was not validated. There was no emotional support. The "me" that was there in pieces in childhood was further disintegrating because I wasn't being loved, nutured, or taught anything. I wasn't given discipline or boundaries just their raging abuse. I wasn't really even an after-thought, just an inconvenience. Everything revolved around them. They had an enmeshed and codependent relationship. Somehow it worked for them. There was no room in it for me, however. I was the family scapegoat and the one on the outside looking in. I was abandoned in so many ways, over and over, continually throughout the course of my childhood. My childhood was a war. It was all about just trying to survive. It set the stage for what was to be over 20 years of unsuccessful toxic codependent and enmeshed relating in my own life. A legacy of pain that grows in many ways as one transitions for the child of a borderline parent or parents into an adult-child of a borderline parent or parents.
Adult Children with a parent (or parents) with Borderline Personality Disorder respond to A.J.'s questions about Ending relationships with a BPD parent
An adult-child of a Borderline Mother speaks about Rage
A.J. Mahari is currently writing a memoir about her life and experience as a person who had two parents with Borderline Personality Disorder, as a person who was diagnosed herself with BPD at the age of 19 and from her perspective as someone who has recovered from BPD. There is a new section on her BPD Blog called The Diary - My Borderline Years where A.J. Mahari shares snipets of experience from her own life that will give you just a small peak into what her memoir will include.
Surviving a Borderline Parent: How to Heal Your Childhood Wounds & Build Trust, Boundaries, and Self-Esteem by Kimberlee Roth, Freda B., Ph.D. Friedman
Although relatively common, Borderline Personality Disorder, or BPD, is often overlooked or misdiagnosed by therapists and clinicians and denied by those who suffer from it.
Symptoms of this tragic problem include unpredictability, violence and uncontrollable anger, deep depression and self-abuse. Parents with BPD are often unable to provide for the basic physical and emotional needs of their children. In an ironic and painful role reversal, BPD parents can actually raise children to be their caretakers. They may burden even very young children with adult responsibilities. They tend to demand unreasonable levels of emotional and material support from those least able to provide it. Plagued by irrational fears and anxieties, BPD parents often transfer feelings of self-hatred onto their children. Salting the wounds inflicted by their insatiable need with constant denigration and abuse.
If you were raised by a BPD parent, your childhood was a volatile and painful time. This book, the first written specifically for children of borderline parents, offers step-by-step guidance to understanding and overcoming the lasting effects of being raised by a person suffering from this disorder. Learn what psychological criteria are necessary for a BPD diagnosis and identify the specific characteristics your parent presents. Discover specific coping strategies for dealing with issues common to children of borderline parents: low self-esteem, lack of trust, guilt, and hypersensitivity. Make the major decision whether to confront your parent about his or her condition.
Understanding the Borderline Mother: Helping Her Children Transcend the Intense, Unpredictable, and Volatile Relationship by Christine Ann Lawson
"Childhood lived with a borderline mother results in an unspeakable tragedy, few of the child's developmental needs are met because the mother cannot be a parent. Consequently, the child is programmed for a lifelong struggle against failure. For over twenty years, people have shared their own agonizing stories with me, looking to my journey for a sense of hope. The compassionate understanding and professional assistance in this book are a road map out of failure." -Christina Crawford, M.A. -Author, Mommie Dearest
"This wonderfully readable book is totally devoid of jargon and pedantry. The writing is concise and simple, although the subject is complex and weighty. With picturesque nosology, Dr. Lawson writes about the waif, hermit, queen, and witch mothers. Her unique examination of borderline mothers and how they relate to their children culminates in a discussion of what can be done for both from an interpersonal perspective. Replete with clinical vignettes, this book is entertaining as well as informative." - Peter L. Giovacchini, M.D. - Author, Impact of Narcissism
"This well-researched and beautifully written book presents in graphic, specific, clinical detail overwhelming evidence to resolve any ambiguity about the relationship of the borderline mother to her children. The many faces of the borderline mother are nicely differentiated and described. Dr. Lawson also provides guidelines on how to manage a relationship with a borderline mother constructively. A helpful read for all therapists who work with borderline patients." -James F. Masterson, M.D. - Author, Psychotherapy of the Borderline Adult: A Developmental Approach
"Masked by a smile, behind the pinafore of maternal attachment lurks a borderline mother. Dr. Lawson offers a compelling portrait of mothers who project massive states of confusion and terror into their children. She presents a variety of mothers, including the make-believe mother, the fairy tale mother, the queen and witch mother, along with specific clinical suggestions for dealing with each type. This spellbinding contribution to the literature provides effective treatment procedures for therapists working within the spectrum of borderline phenomenology." -Joan Lachkar, Ph.D. -Author, The Many Faces of Abuse and The Narcissistic/Borderline Couple
The Narcissistic / Borderline Couple: A Psychoanalytic Perspective On Marital Treatment by Joan Lachkar
Defining the narcissistic/borderline couple as "individuals who, when they are together, form a shared couple myth that gives rise to many collective fantasies," Lachkar explicates the network that underlies this type of relationship and demonstrates how two theoretical constructs -- self psychology and object relations -- can be integrated to create an effective conjoint treatment of marital pathology.
Children of the Self-Absorbed: A Grown-Up's Guide to Getting over Narcissistic Parents by Nina W. Brown
This book from describes the different aspects and forms of narcissistic/toxic parenthood.(Often this is the experience of a parent with Borderline Personality Disorder) The reader can learn to analyze their particular situation and how to counteract it. This is a very practical book. If your feelings about your parents are somehow strange, loaded with guilt or fearful etc, the author helps you to clarify the situation and offers practical adivce. Interaction and communication can be improved. I highly recommend this book to anyone with a Borderline parent.
The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family by Eleanor D. Payson
Every day headlines are filled with examples of narcissistic individuals in positions of power who are nothing more than impostors plundering and wrecking havoc on the lives of others. From the corporate moguls of Enron and WorldCom to the clergy leaders of the Catholic Church, we daily encounter narcissists and the self-serving systems that enable them. Helping people reclaim their lives from this sinister exploitative force is the mission behind Paysonís book, The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family. Using simple metaphors from the American classic, The Wizard of Oz, Payson illustrates how Dorothyís journey captures all the seductive illusions and challenges that occur when we encounter the narcissist. Empowering the reader with the ABCs of unhealthy narcissism and the unique problems that occur when a person becomes involved with the narcissist, Payson gives step-by-step practical tools to identify, protect, and heal from these destructive relationships. Largely un-addressed in the psychology and self-help literature, this ground breaking book offers hope and help to those who have been drawn into these devastating relationships. She includes illuminating case studies that identify the problems that occur in the different types of relationships, from co-workers, to friends, to parents, to lovers. Readers employing these insights and skills will find new abilities to identify and protect against the narcissist's manipulations and take back control of their lives.
The Narcissistic And Borderline Disorders: An Integrated Developmental Approach by James F. Masterson
If you want to learn more about pathological narcissism, borderline conditions and other low-organization personalities - this book is for you. Essentially a textbook, it is a surprisingly interesting read.
Narcissism and Intimacy: Love and Marriage in an Age of Confusion by Marion Solomon
Marion Solomon uncovers pervasive narcissistic myths about marriage and love and explores what it means to be intimate in a culture that values autonomy and self-fulfillment above all. This book not only reveals the social and psychodynamic factors that lead to marital unhappiness, but also offers guidelines for understanding how relationships cause deep wounds and how change is possible.
If you are the adult-child of someone with Borderline Personality Disorder this is a must read. You will want to know more about this to make sure that you aren't repeating some of the relational styles of your Borderline/Narcissistic parent(s).
Whose Life Is It Anyway: When to Stop Taking Care of Their Feelings and Start Taking Care of Your Own by Nina W. Brown
This book is amazing. They say that the support group for children of functional families is the smallest in the world. This book is for the rest of us. If you have ever done something you didn't want to do because you lacked psychological strength of self and adequate boundary control, or if you have ever had someone else violate your boundaries in other ways, you need this book. It will help you identify the reasons you have allowed boundary intrusion, and will teach you how to mature into a self-directed person with healthier relationships and overcome what you may have learned in the past due to family or parental pathology.
Loving the Self-Absorbed: How to Create a More Satisfying Relationship with a Narcissistic Partner by Nina W. Brown
This book does an admirable job of validating what anyone who's been in close consort with someone with NPD already knows. It's also laugh-out-loud funny! It describes scenarios that the "experienced" will recognize immediately. Then it tells us how to 'cope'; how to create and don emotional insulation, etc. The question then becomes, "Why would anyone want to do this?" Life's about choices. If you're trying to come to a "decision" about remaining in a relationship with a narcissist, then this book will let you know what you'll have to do to try to keep some sanity!
A.J. Mahari is currently writing a memoir about her life and experience as a person who had two parents with Borderline Personality Disorder, as a person who was diagnosed herself with BPD at the age of 19 and from her perspective as someone who has recovered from BPD. There is a new section on her BPD Blog called The Diary - My Borderline Years where A.J. Mahari shares snipets of experience from her own life that is will give you just a taste of what her memoir will include.
Audio Program "Preparing For Recovery From BPD" Parts 1 & 2 by A.J. Mahari
Audio Program Rage Addiction in BPD by A.J. Mahari (sold separately or packaged with Mahari's Ebook, "Rage and BPD")
- Purchase all 3 of ebooks for NON BORDERLINES
- Non Borderlines - You can purchase 6 ebooks packaged together with or without audio.
- Those with BPD and/or Non Borderlines can purchase A.J. Mahari's 3 "Core Wound of Abandonment" series ebooks packaged together with or without audio.
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