These last couple years have been very difficult, not just for me but for everyone alive at this time. I wasn’t visiting my family regularly due to covid restrictions and became a hermit since working from home. These last 6+ months have been very productive for me career wise, however my mental health has been stagnant and slowly declining.
If you know me, you know I am extremely sentimental and family-oriented. I have an incredible relationship with my Grandma Pearl in particular, she is my moms mom, who spent so much time and effort raising me up to be the person I am today. One tough thing about my grandma is her desire to not think or talk about anything negative.
She is widowed… my grandpa passed away from cancer in 1991, just a month or two before my older brother was born. My brother and I never got to meet our grandpa, so being the curious and family-oriented kid I was, I was constantly seeking answers to questions I had about him. The image that was painted in my head by my family was that my grandpa was the best, most fun, funny and smart person of all time.
Since therapy, I have been able to release most resentment I held toward my abusers. However, I still strive for self development and would grow from some closure as to why my mom hurt me the way she did. Since leaving my mom, I’ve never stopped seeking answers from both my aunt and grandma but as per usual I’d get the same old, “your grandpa was just so smart and fun, and sometimes had a short fuse…”
I accepted these answers for so long, until I got both vaccinations and was finally able to spend time in person with my grandma Pearl again. I love my grandma so much and want to spend as much time with her as I can to make up for the time we missed, so we decided to see each other every Sunday for mandarin lessons and dance work-outs!
I think my grandma finally understands that the things my mom would say about me are completely false, so she took some walls down that I’ve never seen past before. When I asked my grandma about my grandpa last month, again I got the same ol’ same ol’ I had gotten for years. I finally broke down and said “I think I always ask you these questions because I’m trying to fill in the gaps and piece together what went wrong with me and my mom”.
For the first time in my life my grandma took a deep breath in, then out and looked into her lap. She was completely vulnerable with me and disclosed that she always thought it was her fault, at least my mom frequently told her it was. She said that when my grandpa passed, she was so busy preparing to raise 3 kids without him that she may not have been there often enough for her girls.
I asked more questions and dug a bit deeper, all while comforting her and reassuring her of course. I knew my grandma couldn’t be the sole reason for my mothers trauma because she’s always been an incredible person the whole 23 years I’ve known her. My grandma was finally open to me about my grandpa, she said he was raised in terrible conditions and vowed to be the best family man ever. He truly was the best husband and father, until he was diagnosed with cancer.
My grandparents kept the terminal cancer a secret from their kid’s for years. I can only imagine how traumatic this would be for them to keep a secret, as well as for my mom and her siblings to find out years later. I can understand how my mom would feel resentment towards my grandparents for not telling her, and perhaps guilt for all the times she was hard to deal with, having no idea her dad was dying.
This information helped me empathize with my mom and understand where most of her trauma came from. My poor grandma was cracking hundreds of almonds daily and making spreads to try to treat my grandpas illness, even though it was stage 4. She was driving him to and from the hospital daily all while raising a new born son and 2 teenage daughters. My mom took her pain out at my grandma and had convinced her that she was the worst person on earth for years.
This was most tough for my grandpa obviously. I guess within the same year he was diagnosed, his entire personality changed and he became miserable. I had never heard these stories before but my grandma says he started yelling and fighting all the time, plus he stopped parenting the way he used to. He always spoiled my mom and aunt but would also set boundaries, but once he was diagnosed, he began spoiling the kids even more and would get angry at almost anything.
This information does not forgive or justify my moms treatment towards me or others, however it helps me understand and empathize with her trauma. I know that a normal, healthy person would have had much more insight and wouldn’t exhibit her same behaviours, but this is where understanding mental illness becomes extremely important.
I believe my mother is lacking the emotional intelligence and has numerous mental illnesses stunting her to the mental age of 15, the age she found out about my grandpas cancer. This of course is speculation, so I will continue to search for answers within myself and my family so we can continue to heal.
This is all I can do for now, it’s time for bed. Thank you for reading 🙂 If you have any questions or want to add any comments I encourage you to do so!
Hey all. It’s been a while since I’ve been on here.
I’m sorry for my absence. If you’ve experienced trauma at all, you’ll understand that it takes a toll to recall the traumatic memories and share them with the world. I needed a few months with myself because I felt like I wasn’t posting to advocate anymore, instead I was posting to update my blog. When you’re sharing your story it brings up a lot of suppressed memories and feelings so it’s been hard for me to even think about posting. Not only that, but I’ve been holding off on Therapy for just as long because I have my walls up right now.
I wanted to come on here again because I’m finally feeling a bit better and I have some emotional ware with all to talk to you guys. I’ll be taking a break from sharing trauma, but I’ve got some recent experiences that I’d like to talk about and advocate for. I’ll start by saying this: it’s really hard to want to put yourself out there when you feel like nobody gets you. I’ve always been open about my struggles and unconditionally supported by my dads side of the family but was taken back by some BPD stigmas that were brought up through conversation.
BPD stigma – you lack empathy if you have Borderline Personality Disorder. (This perception is incorrect and damaging)
BPD truth – the inability to regulate feelings due to childhood trauma and the difficulty differentiating between logical thoughts and crippling emotions.
What am I struggling with now? – since being diagnosed with BPD and Complex PTSD I haven’t gone a single night without nightmares. Each night I fall into another dimension that brings me back to when I was 12-14 years old. I’m back with my abusive mother, people from Jr.high and dance that I forgot even existed, and some toxic people from my past too. This is always happening in my junior high school, childhood home(s), a barn (where I used to see my horse) and wilderness. All around a huge lake surrounded by hills and trees. I get around by sky-diving, swimming or driving my moped, all of which make me nervous to an extent.
My interpretation – it may seem like these dreams aren’t that bad… but what I’m feeling in these dreams is real. It’s abandonment. I’m constantly chasing after and longing for my friends, family and partner… all are running from me and pushing me away. I keep wanting their approval and love but am constantly rejected. I’d do crazy things to impress people and try to win them over (similar to real life) but nothing seemed to make me desirable to anyone.
These feelings are a reflection of my on-going internal emotions. I’m constantly feeling empty, not good enough, un-trustworthy etc. I wake up each morning with the weight of my dreams on my shoulders. “But they’re just dreams, why do you still wake up sad?”. Well my friend, because those feelings are so real to me. My dreams aren’t just dreams like everyone else’s… my dreams are my trauma and I can’t get away from them.
4-5 months after being diagnosed – I spoke with my Dr. and started PTSD sleep cycle pills to help relax my REM state. These made my dreams shorter but the debilitating feeling I have while waking up didn’t leave. So I stopped the meds because I don’t like taking anything that’s not necessary. I fear sleep and dread my vivid dreams so I decided to muster up the courage & book myself in for therapy.
Therapy is great, I finally feel like I have a decent therapist. The last 15 I’ve seen were essentially students prepping to become therapists (no real advice or tools to help cope, just the re-telling of my trauma over and over again). My therapist now has been giving me tools and coping mechanisms to help with my mental illness and I will be sharing everything I’ve learned on my blog as well.* With therapy I started to feel confident in myself and the positivity started creeping back in.
I knew I was starting to feel too good…..So good that I forgot to take my anti-depressants for 2-3 days. I started getting sick, headache, nausea, flashes etc and I knew it was withdrawals. I impulsively took a handful of meds to try to numb my symptoms but immediately regretted it afterwards. I googled if you could overdose on these meds and what I thought I read “you’d have to take over 100 pills to overdose” was not correct. I later found out in the hospital that it takes 100 MILLIGRAMS to overdose… not 100 PILLS. I had hundreds of milligrams in my system and was high-risk for seizures. Don’t worry they gave me some yummy coal to shit out for 2 days prior. 🙃
Lesson learned: there’s no such thing as numbing pain by using more meds…. that can only lead to overdose or accidental suicide (maybe obvious but not while you’re cracking out I guess). I’ve attempted suicide in the past and was unsuccessful. I saw the damage it did to my family and vowed never to even think of such a thing again. This overdose was not an attempt to harm myself, instead it was a desperate attempt to calm my withdrawals. Dr. said I am too small to be missing pills as I have SSRI Discontinuation Disorder; meaning I’m a lightweight for pills and the withdrawals will hit 10x harder.
Suicidal thoughts are common amongst people who suffer from BPD. It’s a lot of feeling lonely, empty, worthlessness and so many other overwhelming emotions. After trying to explain my harmless intentions and gratitude for life, the Dr. taught me that the goal for someone with BPD usually isn’t to end their life, it’s sincerely just to end the pain. Which shook me to the core because that was entirely my experience. I learned quickly how easily I could have lost my life and will never be doing such a stupid and impulsive thing again.
I’m doing okay now. The nightmares are the worst but I’m getting used to them. Overall – since being diagnose with BPD 1 year ago, I have learned so much, I’ve grown so much and even down-wards spiralled too! I’m learning that this is life and I just have to take care of my soul, body and mind first.
Well, it’s been a ball guys. Like I said, I haven’t posted on my blog in a while but I will be starting again and will post helpful tips and tools for mental health moving forward. On or off the blog, I will continue to advocate for mental health and do my best stop mental illness myths.
It was about a year after having my EX around constantly when I really started to question the relationship I had with my mother. I was getting tired of putting her on a pedestal while she’d beat me down and invalidate my efforts on a daily basis, so I started to take my rose-coloured glasses off. My mom had always made me think that we were the closest a mother and daughter could ever be, and at one point I can truly consider that to be true, but after becoming more independent, I started to see that we weren’t as close as I had previously thought.
As a child I was known for my big heart, especially with animals and family. I can thank these positive attributes for helping me become the confident person I am today, but that doesn’t stop the fact that at the age of 12 I stopped hearing kind words and started being verbally attacked. I didn’t feel good, and I was becoming the person I was once so afraid to be. Once I started to compare my life to the others around me, I noticed the patterns of crippling fear when going home to see my mother.
I met Jack and my outlook on life started shifting faster. I began to realize how toxic and unstable my home life was compared to Jack’s and friends around me. At this time, I was still brainwashed into thinking that my mom was a serial victim, but began being less empathetic and more numb each time she started with antics. I thought there was something wrong with me, my mom had called me cold and heartless over the last 5+ years so at this point, so I was genuinely convinced that I was a cold-hearted monster. I was slowly able to realize that I wasn’t lacking empathy and was rather becoming desensitized to my moms manipulation.
Although I was becoming more and more aware over the years, it was a year of dating Jack before I first caught a glimpse of my moms true colours. My mom had been going on camping trips with her life-long “best-friend’s” husband so for the first time in my life I had the freedom of being alone at the house while my mom was away for the weekend. Since I was always grounded I never really had the chance to feel independent without my mother guiding me or controlling my every move. I was getting closer to Jack and detaching myself from my mom. Jack clearly didn’t care to entertain my moms manipulation either so, without reason my mom began attacking Jack’s character. She would ground me for the smallest things just to prevent me from being able to text, talk to and see Jack. She’d pick a fight right before a date so I wouldn’t be allowed to see and on the odd time I was able to see him, she’d find any excuse take ground me and go off on him for “not taking care of me”.
It had been years of waking up terrified of what kind craziness id have to deal with. Each day, without failure, a fight was picked by my mom over anything. She had gotten to the point where she felt I was slipping away so her solution was to cause issues and set me up for failure so I’d have to rely on her. I started causing trouble at school with friends and was trying to get as much time away from home as possible, although being out was never really an option for me. These issues have my mom more confidence that I would need her by my side moving forward, but little did she know, I’d been much better off without her.
One day, just before the end of my last high school year, I got the usual meltdown from my mother. On this day, we took our issue a step further and I actually ended up pinned to the ground by my mom. As usual, her reaction to whatever I had to say was to get my phone from me and for the first time in my life, I didn’t hand it over. She did’t think twice before jumping at me, sitting on my limbs while ripping my phone from my pants pocket. She always loved to look through my phone to find something incriminating; she’d take it to my principle, blast it all over social media or even try to get the cops involved.
I wasn’t as done with my lack of freedom as I was with being emotionally abused. The night my mom jumped at me was different than any other night. I remember getting random calls from family and friends; they were all concerned about my moms whereabouts. I wasn’t worried at the time because it had only been a few hours since I had last heard from her and I wasn’t too eager to find her after what had happened either. I took note that my mom hadn’t been around but honestly, it was exactly the distance I needed to realize how abusive my home life was. After a day of my mom being “missing”, I decided to call the police to file a missing persons report. The police officer asked me to wait 48 hours before filing anything as there were many reasons she could not be answering. I was starting to get worried later that evening because growing up, she’d take off for drives and would threaten or imply suicide. I didn’t want her to hurt herself and although I was certain that she was safe, I had her on the forefront of my mind the whole 48 hours later.
On day two I decided to stay the night at Jacks house because for the first time in my life my mom wasn’t actively tracking me or freaking out about me not being with her. I was woken up throughout the night with multiple phone calls from my older brother Jory. He didn’t seem to be too concerned about my moms whereabouts at all, instead he was furious that I wasn’t home and was instead with Jack. This raised red flags for me because #1 Jory didn’t care enough about what I did to call me in the middle of the night, and #2 He somehow knew I was at Jacks but he didn’t have any way to track me. Immediately, I knew that my mom was in contact with Jory and was forcing him to pepper me. I know because I had been that person for my mom hundreds of times before and because my mom had put a tracking device on my phone and my car keys.
The next morning we still hadn’t heard from my mom and it had been just about enough time for me to call the police again. I had spoken with my moms friends and my uncle who claimed they had still not heard from her so I did what any daughter would do and I filed a missing person’s report. The police had to dispatch someone out to come get a statement from me and my brother, but miraculously when the police showed up so did my Uncle. My Uncle Cris informed the officer that he knew where my mom was, he said she was safe and just waiting to see what I would do and if I would care that she’d gone missing. The officer left shaking his head in disbelief and pulled me aside to let me know that I should never have to deal with something like this, even if it’s inflicted by my own mother.
That was the straw that broke the camels back. I was ready to just distance myself before, but after she had gone missing “as a test” for me, I was mentally exhausted. I didn’t pack a thing before moving in with Jacks family, but even after leaving my mom still had my phone, car and my some “friends” as leverage against me. This is when all the lies, harassment and trust issues started. As mentioned in a previous post, this is when my mom reached out to Jacks mom to tell her that I was trying to get pregnant and ruin his life. Thankfully my mother-in-law didn’t flinch and honestly knew me better than my own mom did. I had her support through it all and I don’t think I’d have the courage to leave my mom if it weren’t for her and Jack.
I was so lost having my own mother lie like that about me… and even though I hadn’t talked to my dad in years, he was still the only person I wanted and trusted in that moment. I reached out to him, he picked up the phone as if he had been waiting for my call and drove across the city to get me. I didn’t have anything from my moms other than my phone and car but I also knew those were going to be gone very soon. My mom took things a step further after not being able to get in touch with me and she started lying to friends and family, as well as posting things on social media about my behaviour and personal life.
Things started to get invasive when my mom reached out to my friends to ask them to keep tabs on me by sending her photo/video updates throughout the day on my whereabouts. My mom even took it to the extreme of borrowing a family friends car to park in our school parking lot and spy on me during my spares or lunch breaks. I was unaware of this for a few weeks until my friends started to notice how poisonous she was and they spilled the beans on the crap she had them doing for her. My friends were pretty much drawn between being loyal to me, or loyal accomplices to my mom. I was hurt so badly by some so-called “friends” at this time.
By reaching out to my friends, their parents and our family, my mom was successful in planning an “intervention” at a hotel one day after my classes. A “friend” of mine and his mom had booked a whole room at the Carraige House Inn and convinced me that it was just dinner with his family. When I got there, I felt weird immediately. We went up an elevator, someone opened the door to a hotel room and the place was packed with people. My mom had convinced these people that I was on drugs. My grandma, uncle, some “friends” were all staring at me waiting for my mom to beg me to get sober, instead I was bombarded by false accusations. This behaviour opened a lot of peoples eyes and they realized what my moms true intentions were, but some still believed her… even after a close family friend had to put a stop to the nonsense 5 mins in and drove me home to my dad.
I remember this being a pivotal part of my PTSD. I was driving home with my dad after being dropped off from the attempted intervention when I went into a full panic attack thinking my dad was taking me somewhere against my will next. I asked him where we were going and although he was the only person I could trust at the moment, I lost all faith in him. My dad realized that I was having a panic attack and quickly reassured me that we’d be going home. Never in my life had I been worried about the intentions of someone who loved me, until my mom did that. You’d think it would end with me leaving my mom, but it didn’t.
At this time, I had been away from my mom for a couple weeks but I still had possession of my phone and car. I was entirely ready to cough them up but I was occupied at the time with trying to avoid being harassed and stalked by my mom. There was a PCHAD order she had placed on me (an order from a guardian to restrain and confine a child under the influence of drugs or alcohol). Legally, because my mother was still one of my legal guardians she was able to place the PCHAD order as her last attempt to get me away from my dad and Jack. Luckily, as my other legal guardian, my dad was able to stop them from forcefully taking me away from his house, and my principle even took me out of school so I couldn’t be dragged out by cops. My dad took me to have the order terminated and thankfully the judge declared that I was in no way under the influence/control of drugs or alcohol and was instead in an unsuitable environment with my mother.
Since the efforts my mom made to force me back did not work, she felt compelled to resort to physically taking me from my friends house and detaining me with 3 men in her vehicle. During a birthday celebration at my friends house one night, my mom tracked my phone and showed up with my brother, uncle and Brandon. They came through the doors, each picked me up by a limb and carried me towards my moms car. I screamed, fought back and stuck my leg out the door so my family couldn’t shut the door, all while being restrained by my hands and feet. My mom called the police on me (silly mistake) and I was able to give my phone and keys back and got a ride home to my dad from the cops. They could tell that I was distressed and told my dad that even though my mom said I was on drugs, they didn’t catch any signs of me being intoxicated at all.
After this brutal night, I woke up with marks on my wrists and ankles from my uncle and brother forcing me into the car. All trust was gone, how could I trust my own mother, let alone friends and other family! It took me a few days but not much longer to decide that I wanted an EPO against my mom (Emergency Protection Order). I had my Grandma bring me to the courthouse one day after deciding what I needed to do in order to keep myself safe and my mind sound. I stood in front of a judge and made my best case, fortunately EPO orders can be granted immediately until reviewed later and after being reviewed, I was able to keep the order for its maximum term, a year. Once this year was up I was happy to cancel the order due to the fact that my mom has absolutely zero hold on me now.
The EPO was bittersweet, I was able to have the freedom I needed and the time away from all the drama and turmoil, but it was definitely not my moms last attempt at getting in the way of my happiness and success. At this time I developed my worst symptoms of anxiety, depression, CPTSD and BPD so my dad got me in with awell-qualified therapist. I had gone to see her only a few times when the Therapist let me know that due to intervention from my legal guardian, I was no longer going to be able to be treated by her. My mom had access to an old email of mine which was getting confirmations from my therapists office… she decided to reach out to let them know that my dad is brainwashing me and my therapist and that she did not give consent for them to see me.
After this, I felt hopeless. I had a protection order against my own mother, and still she was managing to find obstacles to throw in the way of my pursuit of a healthier and happier life. I never went back to therapy and went down the most unstable mental health spiral of my life. The experiences during a toxic relationship are terrible and can affect you for the rest of your life, but what I’ve learned is that the pain does not always end when the abuse ends. There is still a long and difficult process of grief, trust issues, relationship issues and more. From here on I went on to have very unstable relationships with Jack, my dad and a few friends. I’ve made the mistakes that I needed to learn from, but I also hurt a lot of people along the way. Hopefully soon I will have the chance to touch on how BPD got in the way happiness, relationships and self-awareness.
I was about 7 when I remember first questioning my father. My mom would make claims about my dad and his family hating her and mistreating her. Whether she genuinely believed it or not, she sure had me brainwashed into thinking they hated her too.
As a young kid, I would lock myself into rooms and bathrooms during visits with my dad to talk to my mom the whole time about wanting to go home. I didn’t really want to go home, or really have any issues at with my dads family at all, but I fed off of my moms behavior and adapted it as my own. And, why wouldn’t I believe my own mother?
I started to try to make life as miserable as possible for my father. I played hurtful games and would scream at him for hours about how he couldn’t possibly love me because he doesn’t love my mom. These conversations would get nowhere because when my dad would try to defend himself or comfort me, I would scream over him and hang up if the conversation didn’t go my way. I didn’t know why I was doing this even, I wasn’t mad at my dad for anything he had done to me, but I felt like my mom needed my support.
My mother had a “victim narrative”, in fact, I am pretty sure that she has BPD along with many other mental illnesses. Anyway, my mom had this way about her that sucked most trusting people in immediately. She loved to tell sob stories about being a single mother to a daughter with a dead-beat dad and a disabled son with another dead-beat dad. She would also talk about being the most selfless person in the world, and how she gives and gives and receives nothing in return, especially not any appreciation.
As a daughter, I felt it was my duty to undo all of the injustices done to my mother. If she had a falling out, she would cry to me about it and say that she had no support until I would agree to harass the person(s) she wasn’t getting along with. She had me planning to egg these peoples houses, slash peoples tires and “peanut butter” their windows, all because I was underage and would get in much less trouble. If these plans would come up in conversation with other people, my mom would laugh and say that I think up the craziest things.
Basically, I was manipulated into being my moms puppet and ruined many of my moms and my own relationships due to years of supporting her instabilities. We would constantly be losing people in our lives and on more than one occasion we were alienated from my aunt, uncle and grandmother (my moms family) for years at a time. My mom would use my brother and I as leverage and would have us try to charmingly convince our family that my mom wasn’t crazy. If they didn’t want to reconcile with my mom, we were forced to become estranged from these family members and would have negative stories about them drilled into our heads.
At a certain point, I had just turned 13 and mine and my dads relationship had become too rocky. He had never given up on seeing me, in fact, he moved a few blocks down from my mom to be able to see me more and be closer to my school and friends. I was getting in more and more trouble at home, I was getting older and more independent, and so when I said I wanted to do something with dad she would have a melt down for hours and leave me feeling confused and upset. It was so painful having so much tension about my relationship with my own dad, so unfortunately at that time it was just easier for me to cut my dad out of my life.
From 13-17 I didn’t see my dad and only had minimal contact with his side of the family. Occasionally by phone-call and a yearly public visit (if allowed by mom). When my mom would go through my phone and see long phone conversations with my grandparents or dad, she would snap. She would say that I was betraying her and playing both sides, even though I was really just confused. I wanted a good relationship with them but would curse and scream at my family to leave me alone and to contact my mom if they wanted to see me. She never believed that I supported her when she wasn’t around and would punish me for “disrespecting her”. From here on out the punishments just got worse and her tolerance for me only got thinner. She had to do something to keep me within her arms reach because I was clearly becoming less responsive to her usual meltdowns and suicide threats.
Around this time is when Brandon came into our lives; I was constantly compared to him and told to do better. I was torn down daily, told that I was useless, disrespectful, troubled, lazy, a thief, a liar etc. After years of hearing these things, I kind of became them. I wasn’t happy at home and was rarely let out anyway so when I was allowed out, I went wild. I went from being a loyal, trustworthy and kind-hearted friend to a lying, stealing and hurtful enemy to people around me. After getting into trouble at school and a little with the law, I was doomed, to my mom I was a criminal and a write off. Before I knew it, my mom hated me and really buckled down on the emotional, verbal and mental abuse.
Things got real bad from here. I had no privacy… My mom already had all my passwords from the start, but she started sifting through my apps, text messages, photos and more to find incriminating things about me. There was never too much for her to find other than the odd sexy text to my bf or a funny inappropriate photo of a friend but she would still find a reason to ground me for lack of appreciation to her. She would put tracking devices on my phone and car keys, and would frequently have people from my school update her with pictures and explanations of what I had been doing that day.
In my next post I will introduce my partner Jack. He came along during the most stressful time of my life, when I needed him the most and he’s been my rock through it all.
I want to take this time to thank any of my readers for your patience while I was away from my blog. I dipped into a bit of mania and have been disassociating all month. It just wasn’t the right time for me to write and I apologize for anyone who was looking forward to my posts. I will be writing more often!
I didn’t know how to feel about my diagnosis because I didn’t feel properly represented by the title “Borderline Personality Disorder”. The name is actually very misleading and has not helped with the stigma in the slightest. There are many assumptions about BPD for anyone who is not well educated on the issue, that is why I am here! I want to raise awareness and tell my story one post at a time. Without getting into what people think the disorder is, I am going to give you my own breakdown of how it’s affected me.
BPD to me is the result of my childhood abuse and exposure to extreme stress and conflict. It has affected my ability to trust the people in my life, has made me attach myself, feel abandoned or neglected if my love isn’t reciprocated, and has created a devil and angel on my shoulder, one that says “this person deserves all of me, they are my favourite person”, and the says “this person could be using or manipulating you, do not trust them, actually…. RUN!”. There is no grey or in between, and this is called “splitting” – where you put someone on a pedestal one moment but think they’re out to hurt you the next. I am very unstable with my emotions and have the inability to regulate them on a consistent basis.
These symptoms started right after I got an Order or Protection against my mother in 2016. I remember shopping for Halloween costumes with my partner at Value Village when I took note of the physical symptoms I had been having… I called my father and explained that I was feeling light headed, had blood randomly pump through my veins, my chest was tight, and I felt like I was having a heart attack. The worst symptom of all was the crippling feeling that I was forgetting something or had done something wrong. I was later diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression and started medication which settled the physical symptoms immediately.
I had issues in many of my relationships during the following years. I had been surrounding myself with toxic people as well as starting unnecessary drama in other areas of life. I was destroying healthy relationships by victimizing myself and projecting my fear of abandonment onto the people I loved. At the same time, I was giving my everything to very unstable people who were similar to my mom and had no intentions of being genuine friends of mine. It took months of pain and self-reflection to realize that I was the root to all of my problems… I simply needed to weed out the toxic people and learn how to be a good friend to the people who care about me.
After making these realizations I was able to get my head straight with the people I trusted vs. the people I couldn’t. But I was still battling my thoughts within; I was experiencing flashbacks, re-occurring nightmares and had no ability to regulate my emotions under stress or frustration. I was strengthening my relationships again but would still have random moments where uncontrollable emotion would take over and all I could do was hyperventilate and cry in the fetal position. At times I even had thoughts that it would be easier to die than to feel the pain of my crippling emotions.
Children are very emotionally sensitive and can be influenced easily; I now understand why adults used to warn me not to fuck up the most formative years of my life. Being raised in a separated home with a disabled brother and parents who were also enemies, I was exposed to a lot of stress and tension. Emotionally I had to grow up very quickly and even tried to mitigate disputes between my parents as early as 2 years old. The only time I remember my parents being together, my mom screamed at my dad the entire drive home and I cried for her to stop. Although my dad began to avoid her for those reasons, these situations continued to escalate and over the years I started to exhibit physical symptoms of stress such as stomach aches and limb pain.
My mom’s hatred for my dad reflected on me in every way and I eventually endured the abuse after I picking a side and cutting my dad out. My mom had extremely high expectations for me, often I was set up for failure just so I could be grounded and under my moms watch and control. I grew up a sweet, loving girl and became a troubled child with behavioral issues that affected my school, friendships, and more. I was walking on eggshells all the time, being told to hate my dad constantly and if I had anything good to say about him I was shut out and emotionally tortured.
The fear I felt each morning of not knowing what could set my mom off that day gave me terrible anxiety. I would tell myself to behave and plan to say or do anything she wanted, but either way my mom would always find something to punish us for. This is an introduction to how my mental health issues started and what comes next is the story of my relationship with Jack, the Restraining Order and how BPD affected my loved ones.
She always had something critical to say about the people that no longer want a relationship with her. She’d create a victim narrative and would rally outcasts together to cheer her on. Once she is done with these vulnerable people, she slanders them and is on to the next victim. This information is very important for the following segment because from ages 1-17 I was around several different people that my mom had wrangled in with her charm and would abuse over time. Each of these people would be in our lives for a couple months or years at a time, but one of them was an ex-boyfriend of mine that my mom conveniently decided to keep around.
His name was Brandon, I don’t care to keep his name private as I personally think he was aware of what my mom was doing to me and got a thrill out of watching it all unfold. I was introduced by a friend to an older guy from high school, I was only 13 at the time so I was eager & only in junior high. Shortly after meeting this person, I got to know his family, and coincidentally I had been going to school with his younger brother Brandon. Brandon had a crush on me and his brother knew it, so he asked me to give him a shot and go out with him. I dated Brandon for 3 weeks and broke up with him because I had no attraction to him other and was only intrigued by his infatuation with me. My mom met him a at my band camp (she always had to volunteer to my school events) & was friendly with him from the start. Brandon was shy and weak-mined so when I broke up with him, my mother asked me to remain friends with him because he had been so nice to me.
Days, weeks and months went by and Brandon never left my house. He was frequently there from 8AM (with a coffee for my mom) until bedtime. It felt weird but my mom would rant and rave about what a good guy he was and that I was rude to not hangout with him. She always guilt-tripped me into inviting the outcast kids over and then she would be-friend them, usually after finding out they had a strained relationship with their parents. Months, bouquets and dozens of love letters later and my mom had helped Brandon convince me to date him again. I was miserable the entire time but decided to be happy with a “good guy” and please my family at the same time. My indifference to him quickly became resentment and then hatred. It felt as though he knew I wanted to be on my own and didn’t want him around, so he got a kick out of kissing my moms ass and being on her side of arguments.
At this point what I thought was a very close relationship with my mom turned into a relationship full of spite and frustration. My mom knew after months of dating again that I was done, and she tried very hard to change my mind. I broke up with Brandon in my Garage and expected him to go home right after so I could continue on with my life, but nope, he waited in my garage for 40 minutes until my mom came home. They spoke for hours and trust me when I say; this kid never left my house again. My mom told me that I wouldn’t ever find a guy that cared about me like he did.
This break up was different from the first. Brandon became a monster. He knew my relationship with my mom was not healthy, and decided to work against me in every way possible. My mom decided that since he would never be with me, that he should be an older brother figure and go with me everywhere. From junior high through high school I was grounded constantly, for anything from doing chores incorrectly to “talking back” which was really just anyone disagreeing with her. These groundings were a perfect way for my mom to keep a close eye on me and a tight grip as well. Id have my phone and electronics taken away, my social media passwords changed and would be forbidden from seeing my friends for an upwards of 3 months at a time.
Since Brandon was around every single day, it was an opportunity for my mom to keep another set of eyes on me! At this point I was just going into grade 10 and Brandon already had his license. I was happy to take the bus each day to and from school but because my mom didn’t trust me, she had Brandon drive me to school and back every day. I had no say, it was a part of the punishment, she did anything in her power to keep me and Brandon together. At first Brandon would mind his own business but with time and my mom’s influence, he eventually started thriving off of mine and my moms fighting. He began to spy on me at school and update my mom with pictures and texts about what I was doing or who I was with. I should mention that my mom would always drive a wedge between my brother and myself by telling him I was abusive to him, and this became a trend with Brandon too.
This became an issue for my privacy as I was constantly being watched, monitored and would get grounded for months at a time, taking my social life from large to almost nothing. My mom was happy and had everything she wanted when I was stuck at home with no contact from anyone but herself and Brandon. She had all my passwords to everything (bank included), had “friends” of mine to keep her updated 24/7, a tracker on my phone and car keys and would punish me for “not respecting her”. Over time I felt completely harassed as my mother was always battling me, my family didn’t trust me, my friends had heard rumours about me – from my mom – and had absolutely no sense of self. I had years of my mom calling me names or telling me there were too many things wrong with me and I eventually became that person.
Read my next post about my relationship with J to get a better idea of where life took me after this. But I will say that Brandon continued to live with my mom, he enrolled in the same program as me at university and essentially stalked me from the back of class. Today, he is just another one of my mom’s enemies. I have no contact with any of them but mutual friends and family have informed me that Brandon was kicked out for having too many girls over as my mother claimed he was a sex-addict. Her biggest claim was that he said something rude about her to my older disabled brother. I saw this coming of course, not her accusations, but I knew Brandon would eventually branch off from my mom and get major backlash from her while doing so.
My mom was working me against my dad from the beginning. I remember the first time I understood that they hated each other. The story my mom tells is that Auntie Kelly (dad’s sister) was bullying her and that I begged my mom to let me listen to a mean voicemail… We were in her bed laughing and cuddling when she suddenly put her voicemail on speaker. I can remember my Aunt’s stern voice telling my mom to leave them alone and never to harass them again. I have no recollection of asking to hear this, but even as a child I would nod and smile when my mom would tell her versions of stories. Just recently my aunt explained that the voicemail I heard as a kid was recorded after months of harassment and false accusations.
All I felt was confusion, why is my family treating each other this way? My mom taught me that my dad would take her to court to fight child-support. I now know that my dad was paying more than ordered and my mom was taking HIM to court for more money. While this all was becoming the norm in my life, I was also adjusting to school and “counselling sessions”. My mom would tell each teacher and therapist/psychologist I had that my dad was abusive and to trust him. Specifically not to let him take me or sign paperwork for me- which is not how it works as my dad had joint custody of me and had all rights. But because there was so much controversy, I was constantly being asked by teachers and staff if I was safe at home.
My mom would tell me awful things about my dad and my own family. Anyone that cut her out would get the wrath of Nat. When she would argue with my grandma (her mom), she would make sexual abuse claims about her with her own children- which both my Aunt and Uncle deny being abused by her. She’d also make accusations about her brother and sister, one story was about my aunt provoking someone to kill themselves in high school. The things that hurt the most were the things she would say about my dad and his immediate family. She claimed they were abusive, crazy, incestuous, and many more sickening accusations.
If I questioned anything she said or defended my dad in any way, she would melt-down and lash out. My brother and I were too often exposed to adult-issues and bared the weight of all of my moms emotions. If she felt like we were not going along with the way she wanted to portray things, she would threaten to leave and never come back or sometimes even threaten suicide. My brother and I were so young and wanted nothing more than to make my mom happy so we had to walk on eggshells constantly. We’d wake up every morning, just wondering what would spark the blowup that day…. so I developed stomachaches and behavioural issues.
I began stealing from friends, from stores and eventually even people I babysat for. I didn’t want to do these things, but my mom had access to my accounts and would send herself money (I started working at 12) after buying me school supplies or winter jacket; she once took out $2000 of my own savings to put as a down payment on a Jaguar. I had no sense of self-worth, I was being told daily that I was a criminal, liar, mentally ill, bitch that had no hope for a healthy future. I did not feel like I had much to lose.
The emotional turmoil over the years forced me to choose a side and unfortunately I chose my mom… I guess this is normal with parental alienation. Often the abusive parent makes it so hard for the child to maintain positive thoughts about the other parent that it forces the child to choose a side just for the sake of their sanity. My mom would rant and rave everyday about everything my dad had apparently put her through and if we didn’t have anything to say, she would freak out and say that we were not supportive or appreciative of her. The most stressful punishment of all was the silent treatment… Do you know how heartbreaking it is to have your own mother ignore you? when you have no idea what you did wrong or how you could make it better?
Throughout the years my mom had made very large purchases with my brother’s huge dollar settlement from his accident. The house is under his name, her RV, horse, hellcat challenger… ETC. It was all paid for under my brother. She not only abused us mentally, emotionally and verbally, but she financially abused my brother, grandma and father too. She was so manipulative that she would convince my brother that these purchases were for him, but he doesn’t even drive: due to epilepsy he cannot get his licence. My brother was into Manga and comic book expos…not sports cars and property.
Anyhoo – I did not see my dad for four and a half years from 13-17 years old. He attempted to reach out multiple times and came to my school with a birthday card each year, but my mom would lose her mind anytime she heard he was around. After I met my boyfriend, I re-united with my dad and we’ve been back together ever since, but before I get to that CRAZY story…. I have to tell you about someone from my nightmares. Brandon.
DISCLOSURE: The names I have used in this post are fake and used to protect the individuals mentioned. My abuser was a child herself (we had a 5 year age gap) and was more than likely abused before she started taking advantage of me herself.
I was just 6 years old, it was spring/summer and my mom was excited to be re-connecting with an old friend from her high-school. We made a trip down to Redwood Meadows to surprise “Anne”, which she had planned with Anne’s husband over the phone. When we got there my mom asked me to take a gift to the door and ring the bell. Once they had reunited, they introduced each other to their families; Anne had an 11 year old daughter Sandy, with her high school sweetheart Mike.
This evening was the first night I had ever seen my mom drunk (to my knowledge). I remember being terrified, I was upset that my mom would be acting this way at a random house when I needed a parent to feel safe. She decided that we would sleep there for the night since she had been drinking and at this point I was a very unsure about the whole evening. Their daughter Sandy approached me ever so kindly and offered to show me around her room. Right away I felt like we were best friends and she was almost twice my age so I really looked up to her.
She was different, she was much older than me yet she was so interested in being a part of my life. So much so that when I slept there, she invited me to have a sleepover with her in her room. We stayed up the latest I had ever before and we had tons of fun getting to know each other. Sandy told me that she wanted me to be her little sister and that we could be this close forever, but under one condition – We had to make it official by drawing blood. Although I was scared, I agreed to become blood sisters and she pulled out a razor to cut both of our fingers. It didn’t take me long to realize that she was very charming but also had a dark and almost evil side to her.
Shortly after I met the family, we took another trip down to Redwood to see “The Bowens” again. This time we stayed the whole weekend and I was excited to get even closer to my new best friend and “blood sister”, but this meeting was different. As soon as we made ourselves comfortable at their home, Sandy pulled me aside to show me something. We were looking around her room and immediately she told me not to touch any of her things, I was insecure and embarrassed that she didn’t trust me touching her stuff. We then sat together and she showed me two diaries that she had asked her parents to buy for us.
She told me that these were our ‘sister diaries’ and that if anyone were to read them or question anything about what was in them, that I was to lie and defend the book with everything in my heart. She disclosed that we would be doing things together that were very secretive and that if anyone were to find out, we would be in huge trouble. I did not understand but I agreed, this is the first time anyone has confided in me, especially an older female influence. We filled out the basic information and went about with our games, which included ‘doctor’ and ‘girlfriend/boyfriend’.
Sandy couldn’t wait to show me what these games were really all about, but because it was a secret, we had to wait ’til bedtime and hide from our families. In the meantime, Sandy had me do a few things to ensure I could keep secrets. The first thing I remember her doing was have me crawl through a water culvert (metal piping for water to run through under the road). It was small, dark and dirty but I was also small and was eager to impress my new friend, so I crawled through. We then walked across the street to a convenience store where she handed me a pack of gum and told me to hide it while we walked out together. These two things I was not allowed to tell anyone about and in those moments I had experienced my very first shadow of guilt.
Later that night, Sandra told me to change into my pajamas but also brought me over to her parents room where she said she preferred to change. Just a few minutes later her father walked in and asked us if we needed help changing to which I replied “no thank you”, so he just sat and watched. At that moment I felt very uncomfortable and didn’t really know what or why I felt that way.
To this day, I am not sure why but Sandy begged our parents to let us sleep in the back of the SUV in the garage. Once they were convinced, we set ourselves up in the trunk and started our night with a portable DVD player and some snacks. We started playing Sandy’s games and each time, she would tell me to be the guy in the game because she already had grown breasts. I agreed because Sandy was my role model and I was just happy to be playing with her. She then proceeded to take my clothes off and kiss me.
I was not exactly sure of anything that was happening because she had been the first to expose me to these things. She continued to perform sexual acts on me and told me to do the same to her. I did not know it was wrong but I knew that I was not allowed to tell anyone, not even my mom. The next morning I remember my mom asking me why she came out to check on us and we were naked, and asked if Sandy had touched me or kissed me at all that night… All I could think about was what Sandy had told me; “do not tell anyone or else you will get in so much trouble and we will never be allowed to see each other again”.
After a few weeks together and being exposed to all kinds of sexual acts, I was shown a game called SIMS and a website called pornhub. Sandy would google and print off pictures of male private parts and tell me about all the places those parts should go in a woman. We played SIMS for hours until her parents were asleep, then she would show me what she really used the game for, as she would undress the characters and make them shower or have sex. If you’re familiar with the game you should know that these scenes are censored for good reason, but she would use cheat codes to uncensor the private parts. This was the very first time I was ever exposed to male genitalia or the mere concept of sex.
This is just the intro to my sexual abuse with Sandy. She continued to force me to do dangerous and/or sexual favors to please her for 3 more years. If I ever refused she would punish me with the silent treatment and say terrible things to hurt my feelings. I think back now and at this age it would be so easy to tell her off and not even entertain her requests but I was 6 and trusted as an elder sisterly role-model. We visited the Bowens every week or so for about 3 years until our mothers had a falling out resulting in our families hating each other.
I was completely brainwashed for those years and it took a long time to realize that I was being taken advantage of sexually. I had been shown several things and was forced to do multiple acts that I shouldn’t have ever been exposed to and I never told anyone out of fear that something bad would happen to me. I was manipulated and abused sexually, verbally and emotionally by Sandy from 6-9 years old which started the mental warfare in my life.
Next blog post: Parental Alienation and Toxic Parenting
From what I know, my mom and dad met at 26 and 30. After just a few months, I was conceived and then born the day before my dad’s 31st birthday. He has always said I was his birthday present and always wished for a brown hair and brown eyed baby girl. My mom always said that my dad didn’t believe I was his and refused to pay full child-support. Before I get into things, you should know that I’m a bastard… Yes – You heard that right! My parents were hardly dating let alone married. And they never did marry or stay together.
The earliest stress I remember feeling was watching my mom scream and cuss at my older brother, Jory and ground him for months at a time for watching too much tv or not remembering to clean the litter, etc. Jory is 7 years older than me and has another dad that has unfortunately never been in his life. My brother has always been the most charming, giggly, happy and motivated person I’ve ever met but unfortunately, before I was born, my brother was in a trail-riding accident in Radium BC when he was just 4 years old. His head and body were smashed in by the horses hooves and he was flown by helicopter to a hospital in a coma. Ever since, he has suffered from severe mental and physical disabilities but has never let those issues get in the way of his work ethic and desire to please everyone around him.
I was stressed because I was mad that my brother was being so bad all the time and that he was causing my mom such anger. I was also stressed because that’s my big brother and he needs patience and support. I was confused. Other than when my brother would run around the house for hugs before bed, I don’t remember any times that my mother was affectionate with my brother. In fact, we were grossed out by him with because my mom would say things like, “Ew he drools” or “Jory you smell so bad”, as a 3 year old these were the only things I heard therefore they were the only things I believed. So I regretfully admit to abusing my brother verbally and emotionally throughout my childhood as well.
Back to Mom and Dad… All I felt was love. I loved my mommy and daddy more than anything in the world, but I knew from birth that they couldn’t even be in the same room as each other. To me that was normal, I never dreamt of a husband and family, I dreamt of being a single mom. I knew something wasn’t okay when my mom started crying about my dad’s family and pestering me with questions and accusations after weekend visits. I loved both sides of my family, but I saw my mother hurting and began losing trust with my dad’s side.
From the ages 7-12 I started to rebel against my dad because I knew that he was constantly in court with my mom. I didn’t know what court was but my mom said I couldn’t play sports or learn instruments because my dad would not pay child support let alone extra-curricular activities. As my social life got cut more with less actives to do, I would start to test my dad with accusations I had heard from my mom and he would just tell me I was too young to understand. He would also tell me that I shouldn’t be hearing these things, even if they were true. These statements just made me mad because, well that’s how my mom would react.
Stay tuned for my post on the 4 years I was alienated from my dad and the severe emotional and verbal abuse I endured during that time.
Borderline Personality Disorder…. where do I even start? If I were alone at these times and didn’t have my partner of 5 years and my new companion Jersey, I’d be hooped.
The thing about BPD is that you often feel more than you think. It’s as though you have a gaping hole in your heart and it takes a very special connection with a person and/or animal to fill it. It feels like nobody could possibly understand the level of loneliness and uncertainty you feel each day. I often say; I can feed off of everyone’s energy around me and it can make or break my mood, but my emptiness came from my belief that nobody I loved could possibly understand or reciprocate my feelings.
I am very lucky to have such a strong support system in my life because when I don’t, I want to die. It doesn’t come from a place of wanting anything from anyone but from a place of abandonment and neglect. In these moments I feel like anyone who loves me is absent and especially when I’m misunderstood, I feel like they’re just going to leave me and never turn back. The difference between most other personality disorders and mine is that I have a crippling fear of abandonment as well as an intense uncertainty of who I am and what my purpose is. It feels selfish to have these feelings but because of my childhood trauma, I have little trust left to give anyone. Not even myself.
If you’re reading this and my words resonate with you, please remember to get up and do something. Anything. The more time you spend alone or on social media, the less you’ll know about yourself. Pick up a book, or a pen or ball. Take your passions and interests seriously and distract yourself with those things each time your mania begins. You are loved but you’ll only feel that love if you love yourself first.