Borderline Mom: Emotional Self Defense for Children

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November 14th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Borderline Mom: A Quick & Dirty Manual of Emotional Self Defense for Children is a new title by Georgiana Wright for people dealing with a mother suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), whether formally diagnosed or simply suspected. One of the key decisions children of Borderlines eventually must make is whether the destructive relationship with their mother can be fixed by setting boundaries or whether it is better to cut off all ties and write their mother off. Author Georgianna Wright explores both choices in her new book.

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Recognizing Borderline Women

Borderline women are generally abusive to those around them, particularly to their husbands, boyfriends, partners (including women partners — lesbians and bisexuals can be Borderlines just as heterosexuals can), and children. It is important to realize that many Borderlines were abused as children, some have genetic tendencies for extreme emotional behavior, and some have both characteristics. Recognizing a Borderline often depends upon noticing how they affect the people who are their close family and friends. These people often are afraid of the Borderline and can spend years being manipulated and controlled via abusive tactics, rages, and false blaming. The Borderline will often have endless complains about all of these people, seemingly justifiable unless you have actually met and seen them and therefore know that they are not the source of the problems.

Borderline Behaviors Often Are Child Abuse and/or Domestic Violence

Many people who are not well-versed in child abuse and domestic violence do not immediately recognize the Borderline’s behavior as abusive because their styles of abuse are frequently emotional, verbal, and psychological. Many practice parental alienation tactics in divorces and child custody battles. They also have a tendency to be dishonest and make false accusations against others, often in an attempt to control them or wreak vengeance for some perceived slight that may not even be real. Some Borderlines are also physically abusive.

Children of Borderlines At High Risk For Long-Term Psychological Harm

Children of Borderlines are at increased risk for many of the problems common to abused children including depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, identity confusion (including gender confusion), sexual promiscuity, self-harming behaviors including self-mutilation and suicide attempts, and other mental health problems including Borderline Personality Disorder itself.

Many children of Borderlines are tormented by wanting to love their BPD parent but at the same time loathing exposed to her. It’s natural for children to want relationships with both of their parents, but it is also natural for them to be afraid and resent a parent who treats them abusively.

While men can be Borderlines, too, more has been written about Borderline women and mothers in part because typical Borderline behavior is often outrageous, harmful, and sufficiently illegal to get the men arrested and thrown in prison. While the women can be just as dangerous and aggressive, societal biases against men result in children being more likely to be extensively exposed to a Borderline mother than a Borderline father. A Borderline Mother can be very dangerous to a child, leaving the child psychologically devastated and perhaps set up to repeat the cycle of child abuse against their own children.

Often men stay with a Borderline woman because they have kids together. Unfortunately, simply being in the same home as a Borderline mother is enough to do a lot of damage to children.

(from 10 Lies Men Tell Themselves In Order to Stay in Emotionally Abusive Relationships with their Wives or Girlfriends)

7. My kid(s) are okay because she doesn’t yell at them. I could cite study after study about how witnessing physical and emotional abuse is harmful to children, even when they’re not being targeted. Just because your wife/girlfriend isn’t currently attacking your children doesn’t mean it’s not affecting them. We learn about relationships from our parents and other caregivers.

What do you think your children are learning by observing mom’s and dad’s relationship dynamics? If you could choose a relationship partner for your children when they’re grown up, would you want it to be like your relationship with their mother? By staying in the relationship, you’re telegraphing that it’s okay for the person who “loves” you to abuse you and that one individual’s needs and feelings are more important than the other’s.

8. I’ll lose my home, my kids and all my assets. Yes, you’ll have to part with some of your assets and you won’t be able to spend as much time with your children. However, if you’re determined, you can recoup your financial losses over time and forge a new and healthier relationship with your kids. Healthier because you’re setting the example of not tolerating abuse in a relationship. Don’t confuse being a martyr with being a parent.

Your kids are going to have issues, especially around relationships, whether you stay in the marriage or not. You’ll be in a much better place to help them later on if you’re healthy, strong and happy. This half lie/half truth is a fear that’s planted and encouraged by your wife/gf. She controls you through your fear of loss.

Similarities Between BPD and NPD

People who suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) often display many behavior patterns similar Borderlines, especially those Borderlines prone to “acting out” to harm or control others. Two other personality disorders with many similarities to BPD are Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD or ASPD) and Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD). Together, these four personality disorders make up the DSM-IV Axis II Cluster B set of personality disorders. Those children who have parents who suffer from one or more such mental illnesses may benefit from this book, even the parent does not have BPD.

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More Information on Wright’s Book

The publisher’s description of the book reads:

This book focuses on one particular group of people affected by the disease: children whose mothers are borderline. The Borderline Mom does provide insight into the disease and why borderlines act the way they do. The primary focus of the book, however, is providing everyone with a borderline mother a concrete course of action, which will help you defend yourself from the instability and emotional pain borderlines sometimes cause to those around them. Should you learn to enforce boundaries? Or cut off contact to avoid further pain? The final course of action is up to you, but this book provides you with all the tools to take the optimal course of action if the relationship with your borderline mom is causing you pain.

The table of contents of the book reads:

Chapter 1. Life with a Borderline Mother 1
Chapter 2. Stay or Go? 11
Chapter 3. Isolation: How, Why It Happens 23
Chapter 4. Defend Yourself Against Isolation 32
Chapter 5. Verbal and Physical Abuse 36
Chapter 6. Defend Yourself Against Abuse 43
Chapter 7. Cutting Off Contact 47
Chapter 8. Boundaries in Depth 48
Afterword 69

Further Reading

Custom Search

Borderline Mother, Miserable Father

How to Spot a Girl with Borderline Personality Disorder

Talking with a Borderline

BPD Distortion Campaigns

Borderline Personality Disorder

The No Contact Rule: Ending an Abusive Relationship

Can a Relationship with a Narcissistic or Borderline Wife or Girlfriend Change your Personality?

Will My Emotionally Abusive Girlfriend or Wife Be Different With the New Guy?

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  1. Linda
    November 18th, 2009 at 14:24 | #1

    This is truly a ground-breaking book that will speak clearly & concisely to the hearts of its intended audience. Long overlooked, these children/adults suffer deeply. How does one make contact with Ms. Wright? I want to thank her for her inspiring contribution to healing.

  2. onlythetruth
    May 2nd, 2010 at 20:46 | #2

    Someone should check into Bonnie Russell’s background, having been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and soon therafter, losing both of her children, neither of whom want anything to do with her. She makes it out like the fathers were the bad guys – the truth will come out that she is a fraud and a deadbeat mom and psychologically ill – but she is good at putting on a front and pretending to be the good guy! More to come.

  3. michael
    June 13th, 2010 at 10:18 | #3

    At some point, perhaps we should get a copy of this . .

  4. dad
    June 30th, 2010 at 18:45 | #4

    Would this be a good book to give to my 12 yr old daughter?
    Her BPD mom has been raging at her a lot lately.

  5. Helen H
    May 22nd, 2013 at 13:52 | #5

    Attachment disorders are common with children who have BPD moms.Actually, a lot of BPD sufferers had a condition known as Reactive Attachment Disorder.My SS has RAD and his mom has BPD symptoms,,,her ex therapist ( treating my SS currently) has mentioned that she diagnosed my SS because of his mom`s history ( unresolved RAD)..basically, she downloaded her BPD into him

  6. Cole Stuart
    May 28th, 2013 at 23:43 | #6

    I’m so sorry Helen–your heart has to hurt for this kid. The awful tragedy of ruining lives caused by BPD enablers like the San Diego Family Court “evaluators” and judges who enable acrimonious fault-finders, alienators, and psychopathology for profit. I’ve seen far too many lives ruined at the hands of greedy lawyers, psychologists, and judges. It’s time to put a stop to it.

    Stay tuned.

  7. Matt
    August 21st, 2015 at 22:40 | #7

    I had a borderline mother and my grandmother was around and she said her and my aunt were like that for as long as they remember. There was no abuse there. I learned to ignore her. I stopped bothering because no matter what I did, she’d have a fit about it. My brother who is a lot like her now used to feed into the drama and they beat each other up and everything. My dad left her and his dad moved out when over the weekend, she sent us to our aunts and we came home and she was lesbian and that was that.

    She died from her overuse of pain meds and xanax. When she was in the hospital for her back and lung problems, she emailed us and expected immediate replies and since we were both in our own lives, I don’t speak with him either. She said she regretted the one thing most in her life and that it was that she “gave birth to two of the most narcissistic sociopaths on the planet”. I assumed it was her typical drama and ignored it and they fought like cats and dogs so there was no point. I am not heartbroken over not being there. I feel relief the most even though I have a sibling like that. His dad who adopted me, killed himself and I suspect his marriage to my mother started that because me married and dated ones like her after too. I don’t hate her but I can’t really muster the emotion to really feel for her either because that was the crap therapists used to tell us. “She’s sick, have compassion”. I am hoping never to hear from my brother again too.

  1. February 2nd, 2010 at 19:54 | #1
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