Something a Little Different

Daily Prompt for December 21st, 2013

I’ve decided that today’s blog post is going to be doing something different: I’m doing the Daily Prompt offered by the WordPress staff. (writing about family issues abound)

Why?

I’ve been going through family issues-wait

I’ve always struggled with family issues. If it wasn’t my mother I was quarreling with, it was a sibling or a detached father figure. If I created a bond with my dad, it tore another with another sibling. It’s been irritating and I’m sick and tired of holding this inside of me.

I’m going to write about the cause of my Borderline Personality Disorder:

Her name is Dana***.

Dana is my mother. She grew up in the Northeast at the time the Civil Rights movement had passed. Dana is the youngest of five siblings, and all four siblings were far apart in age from her. She had no one to share the first part of her life with because by the time she was cognoscente of everything going on around her, everyone was out of the house. Her parents were constantly fighting, she was constantly abused, and it turned her into a rebellious teenager.

Then her rebellious ways betrayed her and she became pregnant.

She had my two older siblings from her side. She struggled as a single mom after her second child was born, and had the stress of working full-time and raising two kids. A few years later, my dad came into the picture. And a year after that, I was born.

My mom had enough. She was now raising five kids, two of which were from my dad’s first marriage. She was bitter, unhappy, resentful, and gave in to the postpartum depression she developed right after I was born. This bitterness got in the way of my parents’ marriage and they divorced when I was five.

And now the catalyst for Dana’s reason for creating my BPD came into place:

Alcohol.

Dana was always under the influence of alcohol when I was growing up. She got drunk while cooking dinner, hiding glasses with the remnants of her last glass in kitchen cabinets, the refrigerator, medicine cabinets, laundry room cabinets, outside on the back of our fence…it never ended. Sometimes I would take supposedly clean glasses to drink out of only to discover that she hadn’t really washed them from her booze guzzling. It was terrible. What was even more terrible was the fact that Dana is an angry drunk. I’m sure you know the combination of a needy kid and angry alcoholics produces…

My mother is a master of manipulation, game playing, and abuse. She denied everything that wasn’t a basic need. She continuously ignored my being teased at school and blamed it all on me. She called me a liar when I spoke up about being molested by my first step-father three times. She hit me when I misbehaved. She yelled at me when I wanted to watch TV. She refused to let me go to friends’ houses unless she could control the relationship with the parents. When I would be sick with something, she’d always tell me I was seeking attention.

And it goes on. And on. And on.

Dana is my catalyst for BPD. And are you wondering why I put this in my daily prompt?

It’s because I’ve finally started learning to forgive her for her alcohol abuse. I’ve forgiven her for the times I was called a liar, hit, manipulated, hurt, and anything else she’s done. It took me 25 years to do it, but I’ve finally done it.

What can I take away from this sob story?

True forgiveness is really hard to practice the more you have to forgive for. It’s even harder to forgive when you don’t understand why the person did what they did to hurt you. It’s a long process to do and can take anybody years to get over if anything like this happens.

Practicing forgiveness is also a skill. It’s one I’m still working on with one of my sisters. All I can really say on practicing it is start by forgiving for the small things – the person who cut you off in traffic, the person who took all the sugar for the coffee, the person who keeps walking slow when you want to walk fast…it’s easy when something so trivial comes up.

Then, ask questions. Why am I angry? What happened from this that impacted me? You’ll be surprised at how far this can take you.

I hope you’re able to forgive. And if you decide to forgive, I hope it makes you happy.

***Dana isn’t my mom’s actual name, but to respect her privacy, I’m changing names.

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6 thoughts on “Something a Little Different”

  1. First of all, thank you so much for sharing the story of your mother. Secondly, I’m really sorry all of that happened to you. Thirdly, I’m really happy you’ve found a way to rid the pain from your life that she caused in you, I really need to learn to do this for myself for the abuse I have suffered from my own family.

    1. Thank you, I really appreciate that. 🙂
      I’ve broken ties with my mom three times in my adult life already, and I think that’s a lot of why it’s been somewhat easy for me to forgive her. I’m not around that toxic behavior so I have time to reflect and whatnot. I hope you’re able to do that, too.

      1. That’s exactly what I want with my family and that. How did you break ties with her exactly? I could really use your advice if you would be willing.

      2. I’m perfectly willing to answer that. 🙂

        The most tremendous help I’ve had with separating from my mom is just being physically hard to get to. The first time I tried to cut myself off from my mom, we both lived in a town with about 18,000 people in it and about 3 miles separating us. It didn’t work very well. The second time I cut myself off, I moved 700 miles away to Utah, and it helped tremendously. I didn’t have her badgering me at my door and I didn’t have to worry about running into her at the only supermarket in town.

        From my own personal state, I get angry easily and when I do, I want to be away from what’s angering me rather than fight or try to deal with it head on. My mom angered me enough where it was really easy for me to say “I’m done!” and cut the strings. Also, time helps tremendously. I think I subconsciously started mourning the end of our relationship when my mom told me flat out her and I would never have a stable, solid, or good relationship when I was 18/19 years old. I just turned 25 a month ago, so I’ve had 6/7 years already where I really haven’t had her be a part of my life.

        Something unique though, is that about a year and a half ago, I tried reinitiating contact with my mom, and she apologized over the phone about treating me the way she did and her alcoholism. At the time the apology sounded heartfelt, and even though I question its sincerity now, hearing something like that was mind-blowing and it made everything that had happened feel less important in my life. It was like I could move on from that part of my life.

        So, for me it’s really been a huge mixture of things and trial-and-error. I really hope this helped, though. If you want me to go into more detail about anything, let me know. I don’t know what your situation is, but if it’s possible for you to, get out of living with abusive family members as soon as possible. It’s almost next to near impossible to learn to forgive if you’re living next to them getting the stuffing knocked out of you. 😦

      3. Thank you so much for explaining this in such detail, it was extremely helpful and beautiful, I really appreciate it!

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