You can’t just undo invalidation: borderlines in relationships- family

29 Apr

Most people who have Borderline Personality Disorder have strained relationships with family members. I think this has to do with most people who have BPD had an invalidating environment growing up or were abused. 

I’ll talk about the invalidating environment first. As a child I was constantly told what I was feeling was not reality. My dad never believed how sick I was. When I got upset I was frequently told I was over-sensitive or “making a mountain out of a mole hill.”  My dad was over critical and my mom was emotionally absent most the time. Even now as an adult I still feel invalidated a lot by my parents. I also find it hard to trust/believe them when they act supportive. 

As a child I also grew up with emotional abuse. Which has contributed more to the lack of trust/belief in my parents. It also constantly makes me believe there are alterior motives when they are being nice/supportive. Even though for the most part the emotional abuse has stopped. I still feel its effects. There is fear that it could come back at anytime, even though I’m an adult. 

I find myself stuck in childhood patters; thinking and feeling like a child. I kind of was forced to grow up early and strangely now I’ve regressed. I feel a lot of resentment towards my parents even though they sometimes apologize. I’m scared. I get angry and I feel like I have a right to. But most times I’m that timid little child trying to gain approval and not “upset the apple cart.”

4 Responses to “You can’t just undo invalidation: borderlines in relationships- family”

  1. manyofus1980 April 29, 2015 at 10:51 AM #

    Altho my primary diagnosis is did, I do have borderline traits. I relate to a lot of what your saying here. Parents who were emotionally unavailable, and sometimes emotionally abusive. Its so true it is hard to undo years of that kinda behaviour and its effects on us now as adults. XX

    • mm172001 April 29, 2015 at 5:26 PM #

      Yep and sadly most families think we should be “over it” by now.

  2. the Prodigal Orphan April 29, 2015 at 11:21 AM #

    Hey Marci.
    I’ve been following you for a while, reading up, getting to know you…
    … and I understand that can be a bit daunting at times.
    My wife lives with Borderline. Borderline, Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, and me, who in turn shares my journey through life with Depression, Anxiety and ADD.
    Liz was a Site Director and teacher in a school district Pre-school program for almost thirty years having to retire due to her mental illness: loved the kids, hated the bureaucratic bullshit, could barely tolerate the cavalier attitude of the Powers That Be with MBAs who hadn’t finger painted since the early 1950s.
    Her mom was an emotional sadist, one of her brothers a pedophile.
    She kept telling Liz she was being “stupit” (not a typo, that’s really how she pronounced it) and blamed it on Liz’s dad for being an alcoholic.
    Big brother Joe just couldn’t seem to get enough.
    You can probably guess how she figured that out about him.
    Both of us made the decision early in life that we were definitely heterosexual, so we’re not going to go to hell after having lived through it. (Sorry, Jesus. Love you, dude, but can’t buy into all this shit I keep hearing about what you disapprove of and who you hate.)

    Much of what I’ve read of yours touches me deeply, and I’ve meant to reply. Just waiting a bit till I get to “know” you better. Until then, it’s not necessarily my place to toss in my two cents. I know you put your life and soul out there for us, but while your invitation is appreciated I don’t want to show up without at least putting on some nice clothes and bring a token something-or-other for the hostess.

    Here’s something I thought of after reading this post. Something I posted almost a year ago. Decided to re-post:

    Hope it works for you or gives you something to work with.
    I’m glad you’re finding people who know.
    We’re easy to find if one is not too busy hiding from those who don’t.

    Best wishes, Harris

    • mm172001 May 3, 2015 at 8:07 PM #

      Thanks. Feel free to comment anytime. I love the community, feedback, and support.

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