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Understanding the Borderline

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"Understanding the Borderline Mother"

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all4peace

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"Understanding the Borderline Mother"
« on: October 14, 2016, 07:37:57 AM »
"Helping Her Children Transcend the Intense, Unpredictable, and Volatile Relationship" by Christina Ann Lawson

I found this book very helpful and enlightening. I've been reading nearly nonstop about PDs, family systems and other psychological issues, and this book stands out from the group.

The book first describes the overall problems between borderline mothers and children (lack of trust, denial, making children feel bad with shame, anxiety, guilt and rage).

Then it talks about four types of borderline mothers:
Hermit
Waif
Queen
Witch

and how they each behave, as well as the damage done to the children of each type (they can overlap) and how to survive them. I felt that it was well written enough that when I got to the sections that most pertained to my mother, it was like reading directly about her, and one of them I couldn't stop crying it was so spot on and emotionally wrenching.

I would recommend this book
« Last Edit: November 01, 2017, 07:15:54 AM by Spring Butterfly »

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moglow

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Re: Understanding the Borderline Mother
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2016, 08:04:50 AM »
One of my favorites on BPD (if there can be such a thing)! I read it highlighter in hand, tears streaming down my face. It horrified me reading what I could so easily have written, words I have said, thoughts I have had so many times.

I didn't identify with the four types of fathers, as neither were around during mother's performances, but the mothers??  Oh yeah.  Mine was very much Queen/witch when I was growing up, and has evolved more into Waif/hermit as she's aged. I suspect that's because she realized the old behaviors simply don't work anymore. She doesn't have that power over our lives that she had when we were children.

I love that UTBM gives real time advice for how to manage yourself when faced with the various types. That's the first place I became aware of JADE - don't justify, argue, defend or explain your choices. She doesn't have to agree or understand??!  I don't have to keep explaining myself over and over?? Groundbreaking for me!

Thanks for reviewing this one!
« Last Edit: October 14, 2016, 08:50:02 AM by moglow »
“Nothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.”  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

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all4peace

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Re: Understanding the Borderline Mother
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2016, 11:24:58 AM »
(it was too late to modify my original post, so I fleshed out my original review into the more detailed one below)

Understanding the Borderline Mother: Helping Her Children Transcend the Intense, Unpredictable, and Volatile Relationship, by Christina Ann Lawson

I found this book very helpful and enlightening. I've been reading nearly nonstop about PDs, family systems and other psychological issues, and this book stands out from the group.

The book first describes the overall problems between borderline mothers and children (lack of trust, denial, making children feel bad with shame, anxiety, guilt and rage). It describes the All-Good child, No-Good child and Lost child.

Then it talks about four types of borderline mothers:
Hermit (fear, persecution, possessive and overcontrolling, fears rejection, jealous, perceptive, superstitious, evokes guilt in others, "life is too dangerous")
Waif (helplessness, victim, passive, chronic medical problems, uses drugs/alcohol/money/food/sex to self soothe, abandonment issues, "life is too hard")
Queen (emptiness, deprivation and envy, seeks attention, demands loyalty and discards those who aren't, children "on display", intrusive and violates boundaries, believes rules don't apply to her, determined and ambitious, "It's all about me")
Witch (annihilating rage, exhibits The Turn which is a sudden attack, abrupt withdrawal of love and razor-sharp words, self loathing and conviction of self being evil, least likely to seek treatment, sadistically controlling and punitive, campaigns of denigration, hostility masks her fear, degrading others does make her feel better, intrusive, domineering and violates others' boundaries, destroys valued objects or is intentionally withholding, fear of entrapment--such as psychiatric hospitalization, poor prognosis, "life is war")

and how they each behave, as well as the damage done to the children of each type (they can overlap) and how to survive them. I felt that it was well written enough that when I got to the sections that most pertained to my mother, it was like reading directly about her, and one of them I couldn't stop crying it was so spot on and emotionally wrenching.

It also covers four types of fathers:
Frog-prince (perceived as underdog, emotionally constricted, may suffer from BPD) Likely to pair with a Waif
Huntsman (good-hearted, loyal, principled, easygoing and hard-working, uses denial and avoidance to regulate emotion, derives self-esteem from duty, honor and service)  Likely to pair with a Hermit and subtly encourage their children to tolerate the Hermit's abusive behavior.
King (feels entitled to special treatment, requires constant attention and admiration, tends to withdraw when hurt--leading to vicious fights when he withdraws from his spouse, may also withdraw when conflict arises between mother and child, leaving child emotionally abandoned) Likely to pair with a Queen.
Fisherman (quarrels constantly with wife, relinquishes will to the witch, has little or no self-esteem and sees himself as a loser, fails to protect his children from abuse) Likely to pair with the Witch.

Additional chapter titles:
Loving the waif without rescuing her
Loving the hermit without feeding her fear
Loving the queen without becoming her subject
Living with the witch without becoming her victim

I would highly recommend this book.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2016, 11:27:52 AM by all4peace »

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all4peace

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Re: Understanding the Borderline Mother
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2016, 11:26:47 AM »
One of my favorites on BPD (if there can be such a thing)! I read it highlighter in hand, tears streaming down my face. It horrified me reading what I could so easily have written, words I have said, thoughts I have had so many times.

I didn't identify with the four types of fathers, as neither were around during mother's performances, but the mothers??  Oh yeah.  Mine was very much Queen/witch when I was growing up, and has evolved more into Waif/hermit as she's aged. I suspect that's because she realized the old behaviors simply don't work anymore. She doesn't have that power over our lives that she had when we were children.

I love that UTBM gives real time advice for how to manage yourself when faced with the various types. That's the first place I became aware of JADE - don't justify, argue, defend or explain your choices. She doesn't have to agree or understand??!  I don't have to keep explaining myself over and over?? Groundbreaking for me!

Thanks for reviewing this one!
Thank you for commenting! It's such a pleasure to share an experience of a book with another who also enjoyed it. Thank you also for adding that the mothers can change from one category to another, or embody more than one.

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moglow

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Re: Understanding the Borderline Mother
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2016, 11:45:44 AM »
Quote from: all4peace
Thank you also for adding that the mothers can change from one category to another, or embody more than one.

Yes! People don't always realize that BPD isn't static nor are the "types" set in stone.  They're very changeable depending on circumstances and even the people around them at any given time. I'm not altogether sure if phases of the moon don't come into play as well!

What I have realized is that mother can and does control her behavior, she just chooses not to at times. I stopped believing the "she can't help it" bs a long time ago. I've seen her flip from one to the other and back again literally within minutes too many times to believe otherwise.

I'm due for a reread of this one, so thanx for the reminder.  :cool2:
“Nothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.”  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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all4peace

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Re: Understanding the Borderline Mother
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2016, 12:18:27 PM »
Quote from: all4peace
Thank you also for adding that the mothers can change from one category to another, or embody more than one.

Yes! People don't always realize that BPD isn't static nor are the "types" set in stone.  They're very changeable depending on circumstances and even the people around them at any given time. I'm not altogether sure if phases of the moon don't come into play as well!

What I have realized is that mother can and does control her behavior, she just chooses not to at times. I stopped believing the "she can't help it" bs a long time ago. I've seen her flip from one to the other and back again literally within minutes too many times to believe otherwise.

I'm due for a reread of this one, so thanx for the reminder.  :cool2:
I'm considering buying it also! It'd kind of stink to have it lying about when mom comes to visit, though :D

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Is This Normal

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Re: Understanding the Borderline Mother
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2016, 12:40:04 PM »
I read this years ago when I did my longest stint in therapy. Don't remember much about it. I don't think I was ready for it. I believe I am now. Thanks for bringing this back to my attention, All4Peace!

Rereading your very nice summary, I believe my parents fit the Hermit/Huntsman dynamic. I'm going to order the book today and go straight to that description when it arrives.

I can also testify to BPs cycling among the types. My mother vacillates amongst all the types, w/the Hermit, Witch being most prominent.

Quote
I'm considering buying it also! It'd kind of stink to have it lying about when mom comes to visit, though

 :yeahthat: Right?!? I have a whole stack of books that I keep in a drawer for that reason!

-ITN-

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all4peace

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Re: Understanding the Borderline Mother
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2016, 01:11:14 PM »
Haha! I also read When You and Your Mother Can't be Friends (will review it later) and was joking with my sister that it's most definitely not Visiting-Home-For-Thanksgiving reading :D

ITN, I found it interesting that both mothers and fathers mainly fit 1-2 categories, but there were characteristics in all of them that I could see them fitting. I'm so sorry that Witch is the most prominent. If you notice, it doesn't saying "Loving the witch," like the other mothers. It says "Living with the witch." It was the most hostile and dangerous category, and it was the one where I couldn't stop crying, especially when it talked about how children survive a witch mother. My mother is most prominently Queen, but the Witch certainly came out too often, and the description of how to survive her is what I instinctively did as a child. Plus, the companionship and love of my little brother really was a constant point of light for me.

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moglow

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Re: Understanding the Borderline Mother
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2016, 01:30:53 PM »
Quote
Plus, the companionship and love of my little brother really was a constant point of light for me.

This. 💜 I'm not sure I'd have survived without mine. They're good men - how that happened with her as our main influence I'll never know, but I am truly thankful for them.
“Nothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.”  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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Is This Normal

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Re: Understanding the Borderline Mother
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2016, 01:36:24 PM »
All4Peace,

YES! I have "When You and Your Mother...." too! I think that's the first book that led to my creation of the "secret drawer." That and Trapped in the Mirror, about having a Narcissistic father or mother.

I tend to diminish the Witch thing. My mother wasn't ever physical, she didn't necessarily scream either, although she definitely will raise her voice. Most often she just starts in with this angry, accusatory, scornful voice which signals the start of what I call the  Harangue. Now it's my father who bears the brunt of that. And yes, I think he's just "living" with her at this point. But as a Huntsman, I think he really does derive some sort of self-sacrificing satisfaction from this. Well, better him than me. I can't do that.

Yeah, I'm definitely going to order this book!

-ITN-

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Fiasco

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Re: Understanding the Borderline Mother
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2016, 12:57:25 PM »
The neat thing about the book is how much it seems to change as you go along in your journey Out of the FOG. I read it at the very beginning and then when I re read it a year later it was like a whole new book! My old underlines and notes were old hat to me by then, and I gained a whole new set of highlights that resonate with me.

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all4peace

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Re: Understanding the Borderline Mother
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2016, 07:13:41 PM »
The neat thing about the book is how much it seems to change as you go along in your journey Out of the FOG. I read it at the very beginning and then when I re read it a year later it was like a whole new book! My old underlines and notes were old hat to me by then, and I gained a whole new set of highlights that resonate with me.
That's really interesting, Fiasco. I haven't yet bought it, but this makes me want to do so.

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Fiasco

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Re: Understanding the Borderline Mother
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2016, 02:02:28 PM »
All4peace the first time I read it I was in so much mental anguish I think I was really focused on the most painful and outlandish behaviors in the book. I kind of glossed over a lot of the subtleties and nuances. It was like when you keep poking a bruise to see if it still hurts ;)

I was also initially not ready at all to see my dad (who did have the good sense to divorce BPDm after a short time) as anything but another victim. I think I was afraid I would come to find him somehow guilty and would lose the only halfway decent parent I had. The second time I read through I was ready to address the section of fathers and it did not harm my relationship with him at all, but I did gain some helpful insight on him.

I'm probably gearing up to read it again as I'm coming up on some extremely stressful interactions with BPDm before I move next year. If you (or anyone else) wants to have a mini book club about it in here I'm game.

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Is This Normal

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Re: Understanding the Borderline Mother
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2016, 02:28:05 PM »
I'd love to do that, tho I've got to snag a copy first, & it's not cheap. About to go back to school & have to get out of the "I can buy whatever I want whenever" mentality.

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Fiasco

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Re: Understanding the Borderline Mother
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2016, 06:11:32 PM »
Right? I eventually pointed out to myself that the book is cheaper than going out to dinner and drinks and probably a better choice for my dress size and my liver ;)

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Is This Normal

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Re: Understanding the Borderline Mother
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2016, 06:36:32 PM »
Haha!!  ;D

Yes, it's definitely a better investment! Cheaper than therapy & drugs too!

-ITN-

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Sunshine days

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Re: Understanding the Borderline Mother
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2016, 07:33:01 PM »
I have not read the book but i find all your comments interesting my mother is a hermit , I mean one who stays in the house forever , she use to be a queen but now she's a witch , could this be a horror story I am near the end of her life . I await my true freedom , these mothers are purely evil. Learning about this stuff has totally consumed my life, I nearly said ruined it, in some ways yes but in other ways I was a slow learner. Thanks to everyone on this thread who offers me love and understanding x

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DJCleo

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Re: Understanding the Borderline Mother
« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2017, 05:47:41 PM »
One of my favorites on BPD (if there can be such a thing)! I read it highlighter in hand, tears streaming down my face. It horrified me reading what I could so easily have written, words I have said, thoughts I have had so many times.

I didn't identify with the four types of fathers, as neither were around during mother's performances, but the mothers??  Oh yeah.  Mine was very much Queen/witch when I was growing up, and has evolved more into Waif/hermit as she's aged. I suspect that's because she realized the old behaviors simply don't work anymore. She doesn't have that power over our lives that she had when we were children.

I love that UTBM gives real time advice for how to manage yourself when faced with the various types. That's the first place I became aware of JADE - don't justify, argue, defend or explain your choices. She doesn't have to agree or understand??!  I don't have to keep explaining myself over and over?? Groundbreaking for me!

Thanks for reviewing this one!


My husband has explained about his upbringing often enough for me to say that this .... makes a lot of sense. The fact that sometimes the BPD exhibits different parts of the borderline mother traits at different times in her life makes total sense.

She's probably more of a hermit than when he was little, when they used to have friends (at least it seemed like it to my husband when he was small). She's more of a waif too, but she's been RAGING off and on during the wedding and then sometimes after. So she's still acting like the queen and witch, but at the same time, tries to pretend that she's made amends for things and tries to trick people more than she used to vs. just hit them when they were young.

My husband explains how once they were big enough to fight back, he did. My husband is extremely polite and warm and friendly, but he was extremely rebellious as a teen due to the bounceback of queen/witch mother being so controlling that his parents sort of gave up, according to my husband. They also talked to their kids *so* late about the facts of life and everything else that kids need their parents to talk to them about. It's so sad.

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DJCleo

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Re: Understanding the Borderline Mother
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2017, 06:10:06 PM »
https://thrivingisthegoal.com/2013/07/23/understanding-the-borderline-mother-part-i/

This is a link to a blog extrapolating on the Borderline Mother book.

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moglow

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Re: Understanding the Borderline Mother
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2017, 02:49:54 PM »
It is an incredibly difficult read, DJ, particularly in early days of facing that you have a borderline mother and accepting that everything really isn't all your fault [as you've likely been told all your life]. There are so many questions and emotions flying all over the place while reading, everything is crazy and makes sense all at the same time.
“Nothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.”  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!