Monday, February 2, 2009

Moving on Over (1982 )

The situation with my step-mother became unbearable. I couldn't live in these conditions. Now, in a 'normal' situation, a child would have to deal with the conditions and adjust, one way or another. But in my case, I complained about the living conditions to my mother and step-father one night over dinner during a visitation, and their solution was for me to move in with them. I look back on this situation often, as I have had many positive results from my ultimate decision, but I also wonder what would have happened if I had chosen differently (made to face my challenges and deal with them). At any rate, I take up my mother and step-father on their offer and choose to move in with them.

I tell my Dad my decision, and he was very upset about it. I don't remember all I said to him, but I know that he made a selfish decision to marry my step-mother, and as a result, I made a selfish decision to move out. Now, that's key too. I didn't choose to move in with my mother because I wanted to be with my mother. I moved in with my mother to get away from my step-mother (and step-sister too on a lesser level). I think my mother deep-down knew this, but I also think that she SO BADLY wanted to get back at my Dad that she would take what she got.

When I moved out of my Dad's, no one was there to help me. I was alone, gathering my things. That day was very strange, and I remember not getting all of my "stuff" (like toys and odds & ends) as I thought I would always be able to get them whenever or come over to play with them whenever (I am now 14 years old). I was wrong about that.

Anyway, I move in with my mother and step-father, and everything seems copacetic until the day of court, when the custody was changed over officially. As we were driving away from the courthouse, my mother turns to me and says, "Now that we have custody of you, we are thinking of moving out of state". I was really taken back as it suddenly seemed that her offer for me to move in was a ploy to get me as far away from my Dad as possible. I said to her, "I didn't move in with you to move away", and she almost leaped into the backseat at me. See subsequent blog entry: Borderline Mother Alienates Daughter

She was enraged and repeated what I said in a loud and angry tone. I didn't understand why she was so pissed off at me, but she had my step-father pull over and she reamed me, saying how selfish I am, how I am living with them now and that I have to go where they go where ever that may be, and that she can't believe I just said that to her. I didn't realize this is the way my life would be for the next 3 years.

"Like a cat with a mouse, the borderline mother may lie and wait, pouncing when the child least expects it, deceiving the child into believing that she is no longer angry, and then unleashing her rage" p 130 Lawson. She definitely set the stage for this-- being very kind and considerate, as well as listening & being empathetic when I was going through challenges with my new step-mother, and then changing into the Witch when I made the move to live with her. Her desperate fear of abandonment compounded with the rage of betrayal set the stage even further. “The issue of betrayal is critical to understanding the dynamics between borderline mother and heir children. The borderline’s sensitivity to betrayal results in paranoid accusations, annihilating rage, and abandonment of the offending party” P 42 Lawson.


  1. "...lie and wait , pouncing when the child least expects it...unleashing her rage."
    My "mother" was another perfectionist-and my grades in school, one of her prime "feeding grounds." She was furious when I received a 99 on my Algebra Regents exam as a HS Freshman. I struggled with Geometry the next year and she was on me constantly about it, making me a nervous wreck. I spoke to Dad about it finally and he must have spoken with her. (I can't imagine that went...well.) Anyway, one day she came to me all kinds of concerned-and fake-stating I should, "Just try to do your best" on my upcoming Geometry Regents exam. I shook all the way through the exam and walking home. As I was coming around the back of the house after the exam, my "mother" just happened to be "working" in one of "her" gardens. (We had gardeners.The gardens could be viewed in slick magazines.) She called me over and demanded to know how I did on the exam. I told her I didn't think I did as well as my Algebra exam, and she proceeded to beat me to my knees with the trowel in her hands screaming at me, me trying to protect my head and shoulders from the blows of the trowel and crying, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry" over and over again. Of course, it would be a week or more before the grades came out. "Annihilating rage" that can not be assuaged. Ever.
    I didn't even try to escape her. Where could I go? I knew she was lying to me when she told me to "do my best" because my best was never good enough-and neither was I.
    I'm so glad I NC'd her decades ago, long before the internet, the self-help industry etc. I walked away from a Trust Fund telling her, "I'm not for sale to any one at any price and that includes YOU." The physical abuse was minor in terms of the Legacy. Bruises fade. Broken bones mend. Burns scar over. It is the psychological Legacy that leaves the deepest, longest demands.

    1. "It is the psychological Legacy that leaves the deepest, longest demands"... so very, very true.

  2. You stated, "...I know that he made a selfish decision to marry my step-mother, and as a result, I made a selfish decision to move out." You weren't being selfish; you were trying to survive. The mind is a powerful thing.
    You didn't have the knowledge back then that you have today, and it is only now that you fully understand the dysfunctionality of your childhood. I haven't finished reading all of your entries yet, but from what I have read, I feel that you are hard on yourself even though you try very much not to be.
    Your story is unlike my own, yet the same. It's hard to explain. I am looking forward to reading the rest.

    1. "You weren't being selfish; you were trying to survive. The mind is a powerful thing."... thank you for your comments. I appreciate and value your insight. Thanks for taking the time to stop by. Look forward to hearing from you again :)