Psychotherapy/Transactional Analysis (raised by waif uBPD mother)

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absolutelynope

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Hi Everyone, newbie here! I can't believe how much I relate to so many posts on this forum!

I wonder if anyone recognises what I'm going through and has had success trying to do the same thing?

So my mother was widowed a few years ago and basically wants me to emotionally replace my father. Obviously not going to happen. But because I've been trained my entire life to make her happy, I'm having a lot of internal conflict about this. My psychotherapist has used 'Transactional Analysis' to help me understand this internal conflict. The Child is deathly afraid of my mother and will do anything to make her happy. The Adult just wants to be free from the obligtion and can see clearly that what she expects of me is not reasonable or realistic and the critical Adult just spends the entire time berating the child for not being a good enough daughter and for being weak.

He has said that I need to start being compassionate towards the child but I just don't feel like that could ever be possible. I hate her! She is completely pathetic, shes a doormat. She is the golden child and when I let her have the final say, my mother's attitude towards me improves dramatically. I feel like the adult is the scapegoat. I have no siblings so it's almost like the sibling conflict you sometimes get with a PD Parent is happening internally.

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treesgrowslowly

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Re: Psychotherapy/Transactional Analysis (raised by waif uBPD mother)
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2019, 09:53:10 AM »
Hi newbie. Welcome!

This approach is discussed in the book the body keeps the score. I have found it helpful.

But I have found that therapists can either forget or not be aware of this as a process for us. Meeting our inner child this way isn't some happy reunion, there's a ton of grief and anger that we have to unpack. Gently if possible. Like carefully and thoughtfully diffusing a bomb. And managing during this process. Unlike a bomb we are not going to get one chance we will go at it many times each day or week.

Myself, my ability to hide all my anger from my uNPD parents as a child was a pure protection mechanism. People whose parents are not PD didn't have to spend their childhood like I did, supressing all my upset and anger. To stay alive!

Your emotions are valid and I speak as someone whose counselling experiences have been less than ideal. I still got through the stage you are at. The stage I am at is a bit less confusing but still challenging. Keep at it because you are on the journey to truly accepting yourself- a journey most people never take.

Those who were raised in relative safety a comfort, a lot of them just live without really going inside to grow. The work you are doing will be recognized by others who have done these sorts of things.

You may not know anyone in real life right now who is also working on integrating their desire for a joyful life with their adult responsibilities and roles. I'm with you though and a lot of people here are doing this work too!

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absolutelynope

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Re: Psychotherapy/Transactional Analysis (raised by waif uBPD mother)
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2019, 11:39:59 AM »
Thank you treesgrowslowly, it's great to heat that you're further along the journey, it gives me hope. I really hope you continue to make progress.

Also thanks for the warning. I'm still struggling to understand the inner child, I think there might be some repressed experiences in there because at the moment I can't understand why my child is SO terrified of my mother. I remember being smacked and it hurting, I remember her dissaproval and anger, but I think there's potentially more I have to discover. I will be careful. I'm sure my therapist will be too. He deals with people with personality disorders in his other job so I trust him to be gentle in this process! it's been 5 ish months now and I've definitely had no bombs go off. it's all been very gradual.

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all4peace

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Re: Psychotherapy/Transactional Analysis (raised by waif uBPD mother)
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2019, 11:51:53 AM »
absolutelynope, if you can't find tenderness for your own inner child, it might help to pay attention to someone else who is a child who you love. If you can find compassion for ANY child, then try to see your own child self through that lens. Children are helpless, innocent, good, needy. Those are all good things (even though we may not value some of that as adults). It's just the nature of a child.

My DH was never once hit as a child, but he has a deep fear of his mother. Imagine a helpless infant or toddler with a raging, unpredictable mother. That child would learn at a very early age to have no needs and to try to soothe its parent, rather than the reverse. We can have traumatized attachment bonds without there having been overt physical abuse or violence.

I'm sorry for your struggles. It is painful and slow at times, but worth the journey!

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absolutelynope

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Re: Psychotherapy/Transactional Analysis (raised by waif uBPD mother)
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2019, 12:05:42 PM »
Hi all4peace - thanks for the suggestion, that makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately I'm not good with children, there are none in my family and I find my friend's children difficult to relate to and my interactions with them are awkward. When a child is badly behaved/upset I struggle to see that they're just a child and wonder what the hell is wrong with them. My rational adult knows full well they are helpless/innocent etc etc but the voice of the critical parent is too strong.

Actually writing all that out..... neurons are firing, pennies are dropping..... I really do have deep rooted issues with children, and by extension my own inner child.

I love puppies though, specifically golden retriever puppies! I need one of those  :P

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treesgrowslowly

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Re: Psychotherapy/Transactional Analysis (raised by waif uBPD mother)
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2019, 09:42:05 AM »
Our energy or emotions that we have regarding children and our own inner child, is about feeling safe.

Babies need to feel safe so that they can explore their environment. And within us, each of us, is a detector that tells is if we are safe. Are we safe to walk down this street? Are we safe to tell this co-worker our struggles? Are we safe to cry in yoga class?

Part of my work now is to look for people whose mannerisms tell me that they feel safe. Not confident, grounded. I want to see others who have found that safety as it gives me hope.

I've had to see that actually a lot of people are struggling to feel safe, not just us.

Find what you feel good around and spend time with them. If its puppies then thats awesome! Spend time with some puppies each week even just at a local store or shelter. For some people its baby humans for some people its baby dogs.  :)

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athene1399

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Re: Psychotherapy/Transactional Analysis (raised by waif uBPD mother)
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2019, 11:29:06 AM »
I've been thinking a lot about your post.

I used to be mad at my child-self for making stupid decisions. Then I really thought about it like an outsider would. Like what parents put their 5 year-old in charge of their 3 year-old?! Of course I made stupid decisions. I was 5! I was dealing with what was going on with the best tools I had. I was taking care of my sister the way a 5 year-old would. There's nothing wrong with that; I am not not the one to blame for my stupid (Immature) decisions. We did what we had to do to survive. We did the best we could in our situations with the limited tools we were given. It took me a while to find the compassion for that 5 year-old when I remembered a decision I made that could have killed my sister (i was actually the one who got injured, but for a bit I dwelled on what could have happened). Then I remembered I was effing 5, working through problems with the logic of a 5 year-old. That's on my parents and not me.

It sounds like your child-self did what she had to to survive. Maybe that meant you did whatever you were told or tried to become invisible so you didn't have to deal with the rages. It's hard when we lived with our parents. There was no getting away from the situation as we lived in the same house. Self-compassion for the inner-child doesn't mean we do what she wants. It's just that we understand why she feels what she does and why she wants what she does. We don't have to be that person anymore, we just have to understand and be self-compassionate about where she is coming from. She did what she had to do for us to become the adults that we are (or are becoming).

I hope some of this helps.

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bohemian butterfly

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Re: Psychotherapy/Transactional Analysis (raised by waif uBPD mother)
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2019, 01:17:52 PM »
Thank you for this post.  I had never heard that term, transactional analysis (so down the internet rabbit hole I went.  VERY enlightening and it makes total sense.

As a child I had to soothe both mother and father.  I still struggle with voicing my needs to this day because I do not want to be a burden.

I will bring this up to my therapist.  Thank you for your post.

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ingenting

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Re: Psychotherapy/Transactional Analysis (raised by waif uBPD mother)
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2019, 02:09:30 PM »
Great topic, thank you! I do not have an answer for your question OP but I'd like to look into transactional analysis more. It makes a lot of sense given that I think those with PD family members had to adapt to their environment with the PD person(s). Just a wild thought but I think when someone says to show or have compassion to the child, that means to understand where the child comes from. It does not mean that you need to become the child through actions that appease BPDM but just to empathize, understand, maybe even forgive depending on how you feel about the child wanting these things.