My mother is horribly abusive. It took me until I was 25 years old to admit this, and even then I felt like a traitor. I grew up in an environment where abuse was considered affection. When I was 6 my mother ripped the sheets off my bed, threw them at me (nearly knocking me over with the weight of a heavey bedspread) and had me make the bed over and over, until I got it the way she wanted, because she loved me-so she said. I had to learn to do things “right.” Therapists and my father told me that my mother pushed me so hard/stomped on my soul because she loved me……because I was such a forgetful child……because I was a messy child……because I was so disorganized…….because I was me. I was punished for being me. The essential parts of being a child, of being carefree and more interested about worms in the dirt than how mom got the dirt out of my clothes, were seen as deliberate affronts to mom.
I can't tell you how or whenI knew I had to lock away a part of myself far, far away from the reality of what I lived. My mother annihilated what was left of my soul. Whne I try to describe to others what was like to have a mother with BPD, some people think I am a whiny, bratty drama queen when I tell them of the things my mother has done to me. I wish I could impress upon these same people that what they se as minor annoyances or basic teeanage rebellion were actually the bricks of the wall mom built around me. The constant displays of her disgust with me wore my spirit down and built her wall even faster. What they saw as something normal between a mother and a child was so much more…..taken as an isolated incident they are trivial; when the puzzle is put together it’s astounding what my mother got away with. Her hatred for herself, for the knowledge of her own madness, took form by my mom shoving me down the well of her own despair and self hatred. The well had no bottom. I rubbed my fingers raw in that well as I slowly climbed out. My fingertips and nails are gone. The remaining stubs are raw from climbing out of that well. I use those stubs, what is left after a childhood with a Borderline mother, to navigate my life. .
One stub used to hold me back from setting goals. I have slowly healed that over and marvel at the new pink flesh. It’s tender flesh and cuts easily but it’s there. I’m a 1/3 done with my college degree and am a High Honors student. Right now I want to quit because I am quite sure at some point in the near future I will screw this up yet I press on. Another stub still smarts daily. I know that stub will not heal completely for a long time just as my trust in the mental health community will take a long time to form.
Professionals who put an abusive person’s well being before that person’s children have a lot to answer for.
Other stubs are no longer pink but blend into my skin tone. The only give away is the shininess of the new skin. I give myself away when I try too hard with a new friend. The newness of friendship is so obvious to others that I am quite sure some people think I am off my rocker. My shiny earnestness can be uncomfortable for those who don’t know the reason for it yet I am finding that the same shininess attracts others like me. The unspoken understanding I share with these people is beyond description…..to belong in a world and a place where I hid in plain view for so long is uncomfortable. The skin of that stub, the need to belong somewhere, is the furthest along. It itches and feels tight but I know scratching it will only open the wound. So I leave it alone, gritting my teeth as it heals, grinning and bearing it in life when the only thing I want to do is run back to the well where it is dark and cold yet familiar.