This is the second post in a series I started called "Surviving the Trauma of a BPD Mother." Read the first post here.
Before I dive into my post, I just want to point out that I am NOT a therapist. I am speaking from my own perspective, experience and observations.
I have been to therapy for dealing with my BPD Mom numerous times over the last twenty years, so I was better equipped for handling the strategy that I am about to share.
Please get support for yourself in your healing journey!
By the way, BPD stands for "Borderline Personality Disorder," which is a Cluster B disorder in the DSM-5 manual of the American Psychiatric Association.
My BPD Mom is undiagnosed but she meets many of the diagnostic criteria in the DSM-5 for Borderline Personality Disorder. I am not concerned about the lack of a formal diagnosis. The lack of a diagnosis doesn't negate the real world damage she caused me, my family and countless other people.
The biggest issue I have with modern-day therapy as a non-BPD person is that it puts the responsibility onto the non-BPD for managing the BPD person, usually because the BPD person isn't interested in changing.
This leaves the non-BPD person no choice but to agonize for years and then eventually cut the BPD person out of their lives, and sometimes their entire family.
In a nutshell, most of the current day advice for non-BPD's is to go no contact and cut the person out of your life.
There are currently very few effective treatments for BPD. In my opinion, this is primarly due to the BPD person's success at getting what they want with their dysfunctional coping tactics.
I've attempted a scaled back version of no-contact, which is low-contact. The problem with these current tools available is that it's isolating, puts the burden on the non-BPD to learn basically a whole new skill set (which is basically stuff that normal people don't have to do, such as learning to predict mood swings), all while managing the rest of their normally-functioning lives.
What does the BPD person have to do? Nothing.
They just continue to wreak havoc for non-BPDs, until the non-BPD runs away from this person, by going low-contact, no contact or using other strategies.
The non-BPD has to run from this person, which is challenging in many situations. Especially if you are child to a BPD parent or you find yourself in a relationship with a BPD person or co-parenting with one.
BPD persons don't like no contact, because they like draining off your energy and resources. They aren't going to give up their perceived position of control over you without first attempting to manipulate you to keep you stuck.
This sets off sort of a tug of war between the BPD and non-BPD. If the trauma is severe enough, the non-BPD who is escaping from the BPD will have years of healing ahead, and probably PTSD, which can get triggered over and over again by the BPD's brazen attempts to get them to break no contact.
For the non-BPD, always being on the run from this person keeps them trapped in the trauma and trapped in the victim consciousness. This is a disempowering situation.
I did not have the option to leave my BPD Mom, because of the pandemic. And, interestingly enough, when I started to set boundaries and stand my ground, she realized that she couldn't leave, either.
It took me months of questions, soul searching, prayer, meditation and journaling to figure out what was happening between us.
I understand that there is a huge split happening between low frequency people and people who are actively working to raise their frequency, but how did that look in 3D?
I have finally concluded that I am there with her for a reason, but HOLY HELL, constant battles between us have been something else. I think this is because the two of us have very different frequencies, and she is ultimately resisting the higher frequency from me and the shifting consciousness on the planet.
Fighting and arguing don't seem very enlightened to me, though. I have been reading Denise LeFay's blog, called High Heart Life, for several months. I asked her about this conflict in the comments.
Her response was an eye-opener: she said that in this new frequency, the dark and the people stuck in lower vibration are now the ones running away.
This made a lot of sense to me especially with BPD and other Cluster B disorders. Have you noticed how often the workd "narcissist" is used lately? A lot of people have discovered that they have an abusive person in their life, and as a result, the Cluster B playbook of manipulation tactics is freely available on the internet now. YouTube is loaded with videos about people with these disorders.
They can't hide anymore.
Denise pointed out that I should no longer allow the lower vibrational people to push me off my timeline! I never really thought about my BPD Mom pushing me off my timeline, but in terms of the damage she had caused, she had repeatedly pushed me off higher timelines through her sabotage and manipulation.
I think of timelines in 3D as choices. Had she not done most of the things she did, I would be in a very different place in life. The sabotage and manipulation began as a child.
So, in essence, the conflict between us is me defending my plans to remain on my highest and best timeline. (It's hard to believe that THIS is my highest and best timeline from a 3D perspective, but I am where I am right now for a reason.)
I could only get to this perspective through CONFLICT. I couldn't leave, so it was either allow her to drain my energy constantly or fight back to hold my boundaries.
So, for awhile my BPD Mom did all sorts of things to trigger me, and they worked. I would get upset and then angry with her for doing this stuff. It was literally stuff that I had trouble believing any grown woman would do: soiling herself in my car repeatedly (my BPD Mom has literally thrown up, urinated and defecated numerous times IN MY CAR), not bathing, not brushing her teeth, refusing to walk, refusing to clean or do laundry, using adult diapers as a toilet (and regularly soiling the carpet and bathroom tile), not caring for an open wound on her leg and other literal crazymaking stuff.
She has also repeatedly attempted to triangulate me and my brother to start a fight between us; she has attempted to triangulate a couple of her neighbors who don't get along; she will sabotage events that she knows I am looking forward to, starts fights before I leave the house OR stages dramas of being sick or injured when I return home after running errands.
One of the major realizations I had in the last couple of months is that some of my beliefs and idealism about situations and places were beliefs I adopted as a child.
At some point, around age 4-5, I realized that Mommy wasn't functioning normally and that I needed to protect her. So now, at age 46, I realize that I'm still protecting Mommy. This is a huge awareness for me.
It explained the weird push-pull between us, where I kept expecting her to change, only to be triggered again when demonstrated the same conduct or pattern.
Someone recently called Adult Protective Services because they thought I was abusing her. I told APS that I was prepared to hire a lawyer to defend any accusations. However, the investigator had already figured out that there was no truth to the accusations.
I learned a lot about BPD from that situation, but the main point is that I could no longer afford to underestimate her. She is not really a sick and busted old lady, but rather more like a viper waiting to strike.
As time went on and I realized that all of these situations were really just designed to control and manipulate me, the fighting continued.
I was worried about getting into trouble for awhile, but at some point I stopped seeing myself as a victim and took my power back. I didn't feel guilty anymore about fighting back on her repeated manipulation attempts.
There were months and months of triggers and cycles and I eventually was able to predict the patterns. As I started predicting them and asking her ("You're not going to start a fight later when I get home, are you?) about them ahead of time, she gradually stopped doing these things.
The manipulative behavior has stopped by about 80% over the course of the last year. I think this is because I have continued to point out to her that these things don't work anymore, probably because she had no idea that what she was doing was manipulative AND perhaps she was embarrassed that I called her out on her behavior.
We're not out of the woods yet, though. There will be setbacks and more fights, but now the conflict comes more in cycles.
The more we fight, the less I am attached to her in an unhealthy way. The conflict has served to burn off my unhealthy attachments to her and the rest of my family.
So I don't avoid the fighting anymore. Let it rip! Every time there's a fight, there's another part of me that realizes that the old way is no longer sustainable.
This kind of transformation would have taken me YEARS in therapy.
For now, we are co-existing on two different realities in 3D, which is strange to think about. It's hard to imagine that my 3D Mom is living completely in a different reality than the one I'm in.
BPD Mom goes through cycles now, though. She gets triggered by something (I don't know what triggers her because she doesn't talk about it) and then she starts being less and less functional. She will lay in bed and sleep for a week or so, will start fights and crank up the drama machine with me to seek validation in a dysfunctional way. We fight and I don't back down, and she realizes again that she is in a losing battle.
It is obvious to me that she is struggling to cope with the shift in consciousness. Her old dysfunctional ways of coping don't work anymore and she doesn't know what to do instead.
I don't know what will happen to her. I worry about her on a basic human level but the child that felt like she had to protect her Mommy is gone. There is no going back to the Christine who related to people in unhealthy ways. I'm no longer codpendent or even enmeshed with anyone in an unhealthy way.
I'm not exactly sure what the timeline is for me, either. I will eventually return to Phoenix and consider next steps, but after that I'm not really sure.
For now, I'm pushing ahead to get my businesses up and running after the pandemic, and I'm excited to see what I create from this new person I've become after all of these awarenesses.
I hope this helped you!