Friday, August 14, 2009

Borderline Mother Alienates Daughter

One would think that my life would be filled with the love and support of family, having a mother, birth father, adoptive father, AND step-parents. My life is quite the contrary. Throughout my life my mother has manipulated and molded my life to suit her emotional needs. With "loyalty not a choice" for their children, Queen borderline mothers can be "vindictive when enraged, emotionally bribing and blackmailing others" Christine Lawson p 111. Here is how my Borderline Personality Disordered mother manipulated my life to the point that relationships are tarnished, splintered, and shattered... alienated.

I was born to a mother and my 'birth' father, and at a few months old, my mother divorced him in order to marry her high school sweetheart. He adopted me, and that is whom I call my Dad. My baby album and baby book were both altered, and absolutely no evidence of my birth father remained. This is the first example of Parental Alienation Syndrome used by my parents. No words were spoken about this birth father, but I did know about him. I didn't care-- my Dad was my Daddy, my father, and whom I loved. All my memories from the earliest are with my Dad.

When my mother had an affair with my Dad's best friend (late 1970's / early 1980's), and the tumultuous divorce happened (You Dropped a Bomb on Me), my mother moved into an apartment. If you read in the blog about the divorce and all the craziness that happened, my mother and Dad had a very dramatic, confusing, and hurtful divorce that involved us kids (Parental Alienation Syndrome). They both were going after each other with all they had-- which included using the kids to hurt the other.

Well, when I went to visit my mother for visitation when I was 13 years old, my mother, OUT OF THE BLUE, says to me one afternoon, "I know how to get a hold of your birth father. Would you like to speak to him?" I was taken back by the question but curious. I remember entertaining the notion, and we did speak to him for a short phone call. After that, I had no interest whatsoever talking to him again. LITTLE DID I KNOW, my mother used this information -- that I was in touch with my birth father-- to hurt my Dad. She leaked the information, making sure he found out. And I didn't find out until recently how much that hurt him. My mother is ruthless.

Now, later when I moved in with my mother as a teenager, she again pushed the idea of communicating with my birth father. What her motive was, I don't know for sure, but I feel like she was trying to 'right a wrong' (taking his baby from him and and abruptly leaving him the way she did) by getting me back in touch AND trying to hurt my Dad even more. Funny, but I was not interested in the least in getting together, talking with, or whatever with my birth father.

During a vacation with my mother and step-father, I got a case of food poisoning VERY BADLY. I was very ill on the drive home as well, but my mother insisted that we drive by where my birth father lives, in the dark of the evening, and meet him and his family at a McDonalds. Remember how much I have used the word 'bizarre' in my blog posts?? Well this meeting epitomizes BIZARRE. I didn't have much to say, and I was like an animal on display at the zoo. After eating some burgers, we got back in the car and were on our way again.

My mother definitely had an agenda.

When she and I had an estrangement when I went off to college (she claimed that I didn't love her because I came into town and didn't call her: Out of the Nest), she proceeded to call my birth father and his family and tell them ALL KINDS of outlandish things about me. She told them outright lies, very awful things (campaign of denigration). Why in the world would a loving, caring, and supportive mother do this type of thing to her child!? BAFFLING.

She certainly tried to create a wedge between my Dad and me, from the point I moved in with her in high school onward. She tried as hard as she could to discredit our relationship, make him seem so evil (nicknamed him Captain Nasty), and would become enraged if his name was even brought up. Parental Alienation Syndrome exampled again. Also, I think she has tried to alienate me so that I am dependent on her-- trying to guarantee that I wouldn't leave her. The hallmark of Borderline Personality Disorder shining brightly.

She has also brought up the fact that I have a different father than my brother to my brother at stunningly inappropriate times. First of all, why bring it up anyway--she created the deception from the very beginning! Second of all, I love my brother with all my heart & soul. I don't care of he's full or half blood, but why bring this up if it's not necessary!? Third of all, now that we are adults, and I know how I want to conduct MY life, I don't want to talk about the issue PERIOD.

Well, my mother hadn't seen my brother in TEN years when she went into the hospital for a pulmonary embolism in 1999. I flew my brother to see her as the condition could be fatal. This was the first time that my brother, mother, and me were all together in the same room in almost FIFTEEN years. So, we were all in the hospital room, and my mother was acting like Mr. Hyde. I don't know what got into her, but there she was in the hospital bed, being very boisterous, pushy, and rotten. I was trying my hardest to get my brother to the hospital in between working and so forth, and during this particular visit, I had to get to work.

OUT OF THE BLUE, my mother brings up that I have a different father, and that my brother "is ONLY" my half brother. WHAT!? Excuse me!? I was floored. My brother means the world to me, and to have her even step into that area to try to put a wedge into my relationship with him-- HELL NO. I remember feeling breathless and wanting to put my hand over her mouth. What is her purpose!? Again, what is up with her!? My brother was stunned looking, kind of blank. But I quickly changed the subject, and my brother followed suit.

I brought this up with my mother later-- saying that I would appreciate allowing me to divulge information about my life, and in regard to this, there was no reason to bring this up. She reminded that my brother being a half brother is only a 'fact', and I agreed but added that if the fact is so innocent and neutral why did she take such extensive efforts to hide this fact for DECADES. My brother has enough going on in his life (and believe me, he DOES), trying to shatter his sense of family for no reason is ruthless. Not only that, he is my ONLY family that is the pure, honest, and unconditional love from my original family unit of mother, Dad, and brother.

Next, about 6 years ago, we were sitting out on my back deck when she said that she is upset with my Dad to this day because he left her. SAY WHAT!? She said that although she was having an affair with his friend, she had no plans to leave my Dad. She said that she was forced to tell my Dad when my Dad's friend decided to tell his wife (he was in a miserable marriage and wanted out). Anyway, my mother said that although she admitted the affair and wanting a divorce, she said that my Dad abandoned her because he walked away. She said that he could have asked to stay and that she reminded him of that, but he just ignored her and walked up the driveway. All of this is SO typical borderline! Fear of rejection and abandonment! Anyway, that's why she becomes so CRAZY when my Dad is brought up-- he did the unthinkable for a BPD... he rejected AND abandoned her.

Once I was older, she would continually say to me how we are the only family we have and how much we need each other. I would never respond because I didn't view things the same as her. Although she had cut off her father, sister, son, and more, I hadn't. I didn't have an isolationist point of view like she did. She also talked about her Will more than once, reminding me that she would take care of me because my birth father won't be, my Dad won't be... so, she reminded, I should remember that she is the only one I've got.

Well, as I mentioned earlier, my mother and I didn't see eye-to-eye on my wedding thoughts: Little Women. And on that day that she blew up on me, saying that she is out of the wedding, she shouted out that she was going to call my birth father and tell him that he and his family aren't invited to my wedding. WHAT AGAIN!? This is the point that I got PISSED as it's one thing for her to be mad, threaten to stay out of my wedding, or whatever, but when she starts to bring people into her crazy rage, that's completely uncalled for. In the past she's started a campaign of denigration through letter writing and phone calls, but this time she is threatening to meddle right to my face.

I asked her why she would WANT to tell them they aren't invited when NO ONE was invited to the wedding as NO wedding plans had even been STARTED! She said again, "That's it. I am telling them that they aren't invited" as if to egg me on to talk about them. I told her not to mess with my life, and questioned why she would even want to try to hurt people like that, especially since it's an outright lie. Once backed into a corner, she went back to shouting that she is out of the wedding. I was baffled at her outrage. I was baffled at how she decided to handle herself. I was baffled at her attack on me. I was baffled at how she suddenly changed from the loving mother to the wicked witch.

By the way, my birth father wasn't invited to my wedding. Why would he be? My Dad is my father. Not only that, he was contributing to some of the wedding expenses-- why would I show my appreciation for his generosity by having my birth father, who gave up his rights as my father so that my Dad could take care of me since I was an infant, attend my wedding (especially given we don't have a relationship)!? What a huge slap in the face that would be! And why is my mother so insistent on having my birth father, Dad, AND step-father all in the same place at the same time!? Can't she see how uncomfortable that would be for not only them but for ME!? She left my birth father for her high school sweetheart (flying out to see her high school sweetheart BEFORE she even asked for a divorce), cheated on my Dad with his best friend, and is now married to my Dad's ex best friend. Do you really think these men want to hang out together? Isn't my wedding supposed to be the happiest day of my life? Why would she want to put me in such a NO WIN situation? And that's what she was trying to do that day on the deck when she brought all this up. I walked out of her house that day, and I haven't talked to her since. She, however, started a campaign of vilifying me that hasn't stopped to this day.

Looking back at my life, my mother created my path by meddling in my life:
  • Taking away my birth father by removing all evidence of his existence (creating the deception and the first alienated father)
  • Having me adopted by Dad
  • Trying to push my Dad and me apart by bringing my birth father back into the picture (taking the first alienated father to assist in alienating the second father-- WOW!)
  • Continually discrediting my relationship with my Dad to the present day
  • Starting a campaigns of denigration against me
  • Attempting to have my step-father replace my Dad (forcing the relationship)
Each move she made, she effected my life by trying to alienate me. She seemed to try to position herself as the only family member in my life, to create a dependence on her, and to attempt to guarantee loyalty so that she isn't rejected or abandoned (Borderline Personality Disorder).

As an All-Good Child, "forced teaming is an effective way to establish premature trust because a 'we're in the same boat' attitude is hard to rebuff" Gavin de Becker p 66. The Borderline mother promotes teaming with the All-Good Child with comments like "You're just like me" or "No one else understands me like you do" or like what my mother would always say to me, "We're the only family we've got". The Borderline mother's need to "merge" with the All-Good Child can push the child away-- just as my mother has driven me away.

"The Queen mother instigates chaos and conflict and then enlists her children to fight the ensuing battles" Lawson p 257. The Queen mother treats her children like "subjects", and adult children may take years to have the courage to tell the Queen mother the truth of how they feel, which may cause huge eruption. When I finally had the nerve to tell my mother how I felt, she completely blew up and we haven't talked since.

I have never felt like I had an authentic relationship with my mother due to not being able to express my true feelings about my fathers, or when I have expressed my true feelings about my fathers my mother hasn't accepted my feelings. Alice Miller encourages grown children to express themselves to their parents, both anger and pain, to develop an authentic relationship but warns of the danger of such openness with a Borderline mother. I have had to suppress feelings about my childhood, my parent's divorce, and my past with my mother as my mother is irrational, conditional, and not accepting of my thoughts, memories, and feelings-- it's important to note that returning to the past for the sake of the future is so important: to live life with unrestrained love and joy, to find your real self and free will. I don't have validation from my mother, her love is conditional, and her actions are vindictive. All of this has lead to my feelings of not having an authentic relationship.

Although my mother tried to guarantee my loyalty by alienating my fathers, she failed to keep herself honorable in my life as she has lost credibility, trust, and love through her ruthlessness, conditions, and bizarre nature of her moves. She did manage to effect my relationship with my Dad-- and of course effect my relationship with my birth father by removing him from my life as an infant. Now that she and I are estranged, and I don't have contact with my Dad either, I feel very alone in regard to parents... successfully alienated as a subject of my Queen mother's rule.


  1. Wow. I'm floored. Your story is very, VERY close to mine - from the BPD mother to the fact that her second husband adopted me. I suddenly don't feel so alone anymore. I developed PTSD thanks to her BPD (she singled me out worse than my sisters and enlisted my youngest sister in her quest to try to bring me down), for which I am still undergoing extensive trauma therapy.

    My mother pulled another one of her stunts 9 months ago, 5 days after I lost my baby to miscarriage, accusing me of so many lies and things that she had brought up before and I had placated in the past. Once again, she ordered me out of her life, because I am "such a monster." Only this time, I finally told her that I used to think I needed her (longing for that mother-daughter relationship), but I now realize I don't, and that I welcome my new life without her in it. My dad has now moved in and taken over both roles, with my stepmom right beside him. I am so lucky to have them in my life!

    In fact, I even maintain my own blog on blogspot highlighting PTSD, BPD, stalkers (my "personal stalker" has BPD and Narcissistic Personality Disorder - a truly deadly combination) and other blog posts on surviving those things. I just can't believe how parallel our stories are!

  2. @Kori: thank you so much for your comment! And yes, your story and my story indeed sound so very much alike. BPD is a disease, and just like other diseases, it's symptoms manifest themselves similarly. Have you read "Understanding the Borderline Mother" by Lawson? You will see the common thread that binds all BPD's, the husbands they select, how they treat their children, and the patterns they fall into in life. I would love to talk further with you. What is your blogspot?

  3. wow...i feel everything your saying and im tryna find out if my mother is borderline or narcissistic...i always thought that she was simply narcissistic but maybe she's both? reading this i can definitely relate to your pain and frustration, im still going thru all this because i unfortunately still live with my mother and have to deal with her and my brothers attacking me as the black sheep of the family..its horrible..i wish you the best and hope u find peace

  4. Have you read "Understanding the Borderline Mother" by Lawson? This book could really help you to pin-point issues / challenges / characteristics. When looking it up on, take a read of the comments. Even the comments blew me away-- it was like reading my whole life but written by someone else!

  5. I instantly do not feel so alone. I am completely estranged from my mother for almost exactly the same situation that you mention in your post. Multiple marriages, siblings that are only "half", and she even didn't attend my wedding, much less even call me to congratulate me on my engagement. Unfortunately, my father that she left for another man when I was 2, has died. This was definitely yet another turning point as I made the mistake to call and tell her of his passing, to which she replied, "He got what he deserved." It's been 8 years since I told her that I cannot let her treat me like that and I hung up and haven't called her since. My mother has both Queen and Witch traits, and other than the sadness of having no family in my life, my main sadness is that my half brother I love dearly, is the All-Good child and she does not act out on him negatively, like she did with me, the No-Good child. I know he loves me and keeps in touch via email/FB/text, but he refuses to discuss my mother with me so I have never received validation from him that he "believes" me about the estrangement. He is younger than me and doesn't remember all the times I was kicked out, singled out, told my real dad didn't love me, was left home on vacation while my mom, step-dad, and brother went without me, etc. I've heard from friends I went to grade school with that when they see my mom she tells them I emotionally abused her. Luckily, they have kept in touch with me over the years and knew better, but it upsets me to think about who she tells these lies to and what they think. Nobody believes my mom would do this to me, nobody knows about BPD, and I have not had close friends for years because I fear the dreaded "but she's your mom" comment everyone gives you should you dare to explain your family situation. I have learned to simply say, my family is deceased. I long for family contact but the thought of calling family (aunts, uncles, cousins)after they have "ditched" you and "didn't want to get involved" it becomes too much and I feel pathetic. I've made progress (therapy and yoga) but the only question I can't answer is: should I tell my brother about BPD, explain in more detail what mom did to me, and ask for validation, or should I just accept his occasional text and picture on his FB page of him and mom enjoying their life together?
    Thank you for telling your story! Nobody talks about this and when you're estranged, they always think it's your fault. I don't have a blog of my own, but maybe I'll join the fray...

  6. "...he refuses to discuss my mother with me so I have never received validation from him that he "believes" me about the estrangement" My brother too! My brother is younger than me as well, and remembers very little of the details that we went through. He remembers the neglect and the abusive environment as a whole, but specifics, not so much.

    "I've heard from friends I went to grade school with that when they see my mom she tells them I emotionally abused her. Luckily, they have kept in touch with me over the years and knew better, but it upsets me to think about who she tells these lies to and what they think." Oh my goodness, how I know what you feel! The same with my mother! She tells people how I "ripped her heart out" and more. She completely made up lies about my wedding (which no plans had even been made) and then continued a campaign of denigration to this day. I have to just ignore it, and realize that those who know me know better. And those that chose to believe her weren't meant to be in the first place. Hard pill to swallow when it's your own mother who is spreading such hurt and filth! A mother should be your biggest supporter, providing unconditional love, and giving you a boost of confidence through life-- not the other way around. Thus the power of the Borderline Personality Disorder.

    "I feel pathetic" ... (((( Hugs )))) You are NOT pathetic! You are trying to make the best of a situation that you did not make... that you were BORN into ... that you have SURVIVED. Kudos to you for surviving! Kudos for having the mental fortitude to have persevered! You are certainly NOT pathetic! People don't understand as they have mothers who are loving, supportive, and caring-- they can't fathom a mother like ours.

    The question you pose about your brother is the same that I have lightly treaded. I have talked superficials about the fact that our mother is mentally ill. He doesn't disagree; however, he doesn't want to delve deeper. He refused to talk any further about it (and by the way, he's the All Bad child, who to this day, is verbally & emotionally assaulted by our mother). He choses to hang-in there because he needs financial and material help through life (the way I've termed it is that he's sold his soul to the devil).

    As far as your brother, how open is he to talking superficials? You could test the waters by trying to open conversation about your mother with small talk... if he is receptive, try a bit further. If you want to keep him in your life and he's not receptive to talking deeper or in more specifics, you may want to hang it up. The other thought is: be prepared for what he has to say. You may not like his point of view, so maybe things are better left unsaid.

    As far as starting a blog, go for it! It's a WONDERFUL way to get things out of your mind and into words. Also, typing it all out creates such clarity, validation, and vision. I highly recommend at least typing it out on your computer, if not to share in a blog form.

    Look forward to hearing from you. Thank you so very much for stopping by and telling us a bit of your story. I am amazed at how our stories correlate. HUGS!

  7. Thank you all for your honesty and sharing your experiences.... i too now feel less alone! I has realy lifted my spirits today reading your words....just the fact that I am not the only one with such a difficult mother has given me a little bit of peace. thank you

  8. I feel your pain. I have suffered for 55 years from the manipulations of my mother and my older sister, who also has the same symptoms. I feel so isolated. I have finally cut off communications personally. They now use my daughter to try to upset me.

  9. Hi Gretel, thank you so much for your blog.I have found much strength in your story. I am the biological father of a beautiful six month old daughter. Mother took off with another man when we were six months pregnant, albeit she did not tell me this. I had to learn about it after the birth our child. Although I begged to be at her birth, she simply had a friend send a text message and found it more expedient to have her new lover at the birth of our child. I had to get a social worker to see my daughter, have been accused of assault, child sexual abuse and neglect. She has tried everything to alienate me and remove me from our child's life and I cannot begin to tell explain in words to you quite how obliviously cruel our daughter's mother is. She unilaterally named our child and I am relegated to a single chair in a dark room during the visits that with my daughter from which I may not move. I am not "permitted" to bring my daughter presents or clothes. Mother's behaviour is simply beastly. I have launched court papers and am in the process of finalising parenting plans and contact arrangements. I will not walk away. I am so concerned that our daughter picks up on all of her mother's awfulness. Mother is highly manipulative. Rules apply to others, never to her and she displays in her cruelty a complete lack of empathy and conscience. The strangest thing for me is that just does not even see her bad behaviour and never takes personal responsibility for her behaviour. I am also keenly aware that already the Parental Alienation has begun. I have taken the view that this will be a marathon and not a sprint and that as my daughter gets older she will spend more time with me. Your courage gives me hope, thank you. Christopher

  10. My heart goes out to you. I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayer. All my best to you.

  11. My heart also goes out to ALL of you who have suffered so much in a relationship that is meant to be protective, loving and to teach you about life.
    My story is a little different.
    I am a stepmom to four children whose mother has been diagnosed with BPD with narcissitic and obsessive compulsive traits.
    They all came to live with their dad and me after an episode of heavy drug use by their mother.
    The ages were 14, 13, 11 and 6.
    The 14 year old girl had always taken care of the other children. She was like a parent to them= a co parent with her mother.
    Anyways, this was a very difficult situation. I had never been around or heard of anyone with borderline personality disorder and I truly thought the mother would one day "cope and move on".
    Now, 6 years later I realize there is no coping and moving on for her.
    This is her way.
    Now for the children. The 14 year old, when she came to live with us, acted to me in a bizarre manner. One that was foreign to me. I felt every interaction was a struggle and then some.
    I had read many books on being a stepmom. I had also been a mom and so had some experience with children/teens.
    Something was not right.
    I used to say to my husband "I think she has learned some borderline traits from her mother". My husband never responded to this comment and I would dismiss it only long enough until the next episode.
    The 13 year old and the 11 year old also displayed behaviour of alienation of their dad and definitely of me. They would call me names- ones that they would not have understood at their age and therefore had been coached by their mom. I never responded to their name calling because I knew it was not from them.
    These children had difficulty communicating with other people- except the ones their mother condoned. They were arrogant, distant, secretive (as taught by their mom) and did not display a joyful or loving attitude toward anything. The few times I did see them display some sort of affection it was reserved and appeared self forced. This was toward their maternal grandparents.

    Six years ago I was reading about being a stepmom and about BPD of the person affected. Now I am reading about the effects on the children of parents with BPD.
    I can tell you NOW I SEE and am beginning to understand the behaviors of these children.
    The youngest one does not display all of the behaviors of the older three. I imagine this is related to the age she came to live with us, she was 6 and has not had a constant influence of her mother.
    The older one was and still is quite difficult for me to even have a conversation with. Funny thing, when she lived with us after 3 years of her behaviour one day I had just had enough, so I started drawing distinct boundaries with her, very distinct. I did not let her draw me in anymore or "set me up" like what the writer of this article speaks of when she talk of her mom asking her if she wanted to be in touch with her birth father and then her mother used it to hurt her Dad.
    It is hard to live with these kids even now. They appear arrogant, aloof, disrespectful, deceitful, secretive, lazy....... especially after they visit their mother. Now I am thinking it most likely is related to the way they were raised by their mom and the way she relates to them.

    I will read some of the books I see here and do my best to show them respect, love, joy, peace and the sharing of all of these things.