If your mother has Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), it is almost a given that you’ve had a difficult relationship with her at times. A BPD mom can behave in any number of ways, ranging from neglect to over-involvement.
Even if your mother hasn’t received an official BPD diagnosis, there are some signs to keep an eye out for. Let’s take a look at some of the many ways BPD often manifests itself in parenting.
- Neglect: People with Borderline Personality Disorder can be so absorbed in their own pain that they are incapable of putting even their own children’s needs before their own.
- Over-control: It is quite common for parents with Borderline Personality Disorder to attempt to control their children’s behaviors, feelings, and actions to a degree that inhibits their child’s ability to develop independently.
- Rage: Parents with BPD can have reactions that are wholly disproportionate to the perceived infraction. Occurrences of prolonged rages and angry outbursts are common.
- Criticism: Mothers with Borderline Personality Disorder often hurl put-downs and insults at their children. As children are often seen by their BPD mothers as merely extensions of themselves, this may reflect feelings the parent has about themselves and represent a form of projection.
- Blame: A child of a BPD mother may be made to feel that they are to blame for their mother’s sadness or anger. People with BPD have trouble taking responsibility for their own feelings.
- Enmeshment: People struggling with Borderline Personality Disorder have a deep fear of abandonment. Sometimes a BPD mother may develop a relationship with her child that is stifling to the child’s attempts to become an individual. She may look to this child for comfort and validation rather than the other way around.
- Parental alienation: A mother with BPD may not be able to tolerate a loving relationship between her kids and their father. She may feel that this love threatens her own relationship with their children. Sadly, it is not uncommon for these mothers to speak poorly about the other parent in an attempt to turn their children against them.
Learning to Cope with a BPD Mother
Children who are raised by mothers with Borderline Personality Disorder can develop any number of emotional problems themselves. They face great hurdles in overcoming their dysfunctional upbringings and may need to seek professional help to work through their feelings.
Are you or a loved one struggling with emotions that feel out of control? Have you been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)? No matter what type of treatment you need, Clearview Women’s Center can help. With residential, day, and outpatient programs, Clearview is proud to be one of the only treatment centers committed to helping women suffering from the symptoms of BPD, emotional dysregulation, and other acute psychiatric disorders.
Clearview’s experienced intake counselors will help determine which treatment options is best for you. A team of experts will put together an individualized treatment plan focused on your specific needs. Call (866) 756-8819 now or complete the form below to get started on your path to recovery.
If you are one of these children, you may be struggling with low self-esteem, anger, or depression. Recognizing that you are not to blame for your mother’s behavior will be a necessary first step toward healing some of your wounds.
Talking to others will help. Find friends, relatives, support groups, or a therapist who can lend an understanding ear and lend moral support. There are websites with forums for people who have a loved one with BPD. Venting in a “safe” place and learning from others’ stories will let you release some of the pain and validate your feelings. Books such as “Understanding the Borderline Mother,” by Christine Ann Lawson, Ph.D., can also be helpful.
Educate yourself about ways to change the dynamic in your relationship with your mother. Learn to set boundaries and overcome feelings of guilt and obligation. It is possible to move past a painful home life and form a healthier relationship with your mother.