Out of the FOG

Coping with Personality Disorders => Dealing with PD Parents => Topic started by: Bunnyme on April 09, 2021, 06:50:54 PM

Title: Parent who has "fleas"
Post by: Bunnyme on April 09, 2021, 06:50:54 PM
As I'm reading more and more about npd/bpd and working with my therapist, I'm realizing one of the reasons I put up with my stbxUNBPDh is that my own parents exhibited so many of the same characteristics.   In my case, my maternal grandmother was unquestionably npd and terribly abusive to my mom.  She would openly say that she loved her son and not my mom.  My mother was a caretaker in every sense, dropping everything to go take care of grandma's crisis of the day.  I grew up learning not to make waves, push my own feelings aside, it doesnt matter how mean someone is to you...it is your job to do whatever you can to make them like you, etc.  At the same time, my mother exhibits some PD traits.  She is attention seeking, always has ailments she wants me to cater to, and has a level of learned helplessness that is unmatched.  Still, she does have empathy, keeps promises, is very kind. 
Now that I'm divorcing, she is putting all of her issues on me and is extra nice to stbx because she thinks she has to make up for me.  I remember in high school that she literally tried to jump out of a moving car when my dad left, which is something her own mother did often. 
I'm not sure if my mom would be diagnosable with a pd, but she does have traits.  I'm glad that I'm working to de-flea myself with my own behaviors and set clear boundaries with her.  It is amazing how it can pass down.  Has anyone else experienced generational PD issues or "family fleas"?
Title: Re: Parent who has "fleas"
Post by: Leonor on April 09, 2021, 09:14:16 PM
Hi Bunny,

From my own experience, personality disorders are usually not isolated to a single individual regardless of his/her sirroundings; family culture and behaviors can perpetuate what might be some kind of genetic, biological disposition to mental health issues. They're called "formative years" for a reason!

My whole family is a mess; my mom is dxhpd and BPD Queen 👑. We used to call her "Queen (her name)" as a joke before we realized she, like, really meant it. My mil is a total waif hermit and her daughter a hermit witch (I'm using the terms suggested by Christine Lawson in "The Borderline Mother," btw), but the entitlement and nastiness is so huge with them both that while my mom may be the Queen,  my MIL is the Empress  and my SIL the Grand Duchess.

And I have fleas too, itchy un-fun ones, like ticks: I'm a waif sometimes and a queen other times when I'm triggered. When I come out of the trigger and can self-soothe, I look back and call my own self the Moody Princess.  :dramaqueen: Not to be mean to myself, but just to recognize it as a mood, with fleas, and to be able to have a sense of humor about being a human being who do what she do can sometimes take the sting out of cptsd.

I wonder if your mom is really dealing with fleas or something deeper. The image of a mother trying to get attention by staging a would-be suicide attempt while her husband is driving and children in the car, to me, is classic hpd. And horrifying, and traumatic, for her children. How did you feel when you were little and saw your mom almost fly out of the car?

It is very painful to know that a parent has lived with trauma, is traumatized, and is in pain. But that does not give the parent a pass to traumatize her own children. It's not an excuse. It's not even an explanation.

Remember that many people have lived through horrors, true historical, life-or-death horrors, and still risked their lives to protect children, to keep them safe, to raise them with love and hope. The trauma cycle has to be broken somewhere, sometime, and yeah, when it's you, it sucks to be you, but it had to be you. Not fair to cross your arms and say, "Oh, well, *I* was hurt first!" and leave the hard recovery work for the next generation.

Gentleness to you!

Title: Re: Parent who has "fleas"
Post by: Cat of the Canals on April 09, 2021, 09:50:39 PM
My whole family is a mess; my mom is dxhpd and BPD Queen 👑. We used to call her "Queen (her name)" as a joke before we realized she, like, really meant it.

Wow. I collected pinback buttons in high school and bought one once that said, "Queen of the F*cking Universe - Any Questions?" I thought it was funny, mostly because anything with a swear word on it seemed novel to me at that age. The second my mother saw it, she scoffed and said, "Ha! You think you're the Queen of the Universe? I don't think so. Queen in Training, maybe." She started referring to herself as the "Q.F.U." She still signs my birthday cards, etc. that way sometimes. As I was reading Lawson's book, I said, "I think my mom might be the Queen type..." My husband looked at me and said, "You think? She literally refers to herself as the Queen of the Universe!" It was the first time it occurred to me that it wasn't actually a joke to her.

Anyway, she learned it all from her mother. From what I remember and what I've been told, I'd say she was a BPD Queen/Waif.

My MIL is a BPD Witch/Hermit. She'd love to be a Queen, but she lacks the social skills. Her mother was an NPD Witch/Queen. My husband's brother had severe fleas that resembled BPD Waif.

My dad has a lot of OCPD traits, but I don't think he's fully PD. I know very little about his parents, because he moved out when he was a teenager and had little contact with them after that. I don't remember his father at all. I remember meeting his mother 2-3 times. I know the reason he left was because both of his parents were physically abusive, which is a big fat PD red flag, IMO.
Title: Re: Parent who has "fleas"
Post by: Bunnyme on April 10, 2021, 12:43:41 AM
I was 18 when she did the car thing, and I wasnt in the car.  My (equally as dysfunctional) dad told me about it to justify why he was leaving because she was "so crazy."  He was actually cheating and failed to tell me that part.  No idea why he thought sharing her car thing with me was appropriate.   He kept saying she was nowhere near doing it.  Their versions of events were different, though they both include some version of trying to jump out.  :doh:
Title: Re: Parent who has "fleas"
Post by: Leonor on April 13, 2021, 11:36:48 AM