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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I am new to these forums and just wanting to find some friendly voices to talk to as I deal with something so horrific I can barely understand it's really happening.

I'm a woman in my 30s who has a surprisingly happy and healthy life despite the toxic family situation I grew up in. To make a long story short, I grew up with a mother who kept us all prisoner in her house. My father, who is disabled, has been sexually, physically, and emotionally abused by my mother to the nth degree since I was a very small child, and I have been too, to varying degrees. It was always worse with him because I became very good at living a double life and escaping as soon as I could. My mother made us live a life with minimal outside contacts, full of lies. She controlled the money, the tone, every word we said and every thing we did. I got out early, but she crushed my father, especially as his disability progressed.

To make a very long story short, the other night she finally completely snapped. My father woke up to a butcher knife at his throat. I don't know how he did it, but he got it away from her. My mother had a grand plan to not only attack him but to then accuse him of being the attacker (no one talking to my father for more than a minute could ever believe this, due to his personality, physical state, etc, and the fact that my mother over the years has lost the ability to act sane in public). It didn't work out for her, finally. My father escaped and is in hiding; she finally had a psychiatrist who stood up to her, and finally we have escaped her contacts and control....mostly. Now she is in the legal system.

If anyone has had a situation like mine that escalated, I guess my main question I pose to the forum is: how do you let go of the fear? Last night she came to my house and tried to push in the door. I had to call the police, but she got away. Until she is safely in a facility of one type or another, I am so full of fear, mostly for my dad, but for me too. I have slept less in the last four days than you should in one night. I'm just so scared, so angry. And yet, somehow I do have this optimistic general way of being most of the time, where I can see the good in this, how getting through the short run could lead to a fairly wonderful long run. I would love nothing more than for my father to have a rest of his life where he can be allowed to sleep for more than an hour at a time (this is one of her primary methods of control, and it's an insidious form of abuse, let me tell you), to have the money for a cup of coffee when he wants it, to be allowed to talk to his family or have a hobby or be allowed to watch television. And the blatancy of her act has finally killed off whatever part of me might have thought I could one day have a relationship with her. I know now that she is not 99% monster 1% "mommy" but all monster. The very best I could wish for is never to see her again.

I apologize that this post is kind of disjointed and incomplete, but I'd be glad to answer questions or talk about anything, and I would love to make some friends here in similar circumstances. Let's support each other. :) There is something so wonderful about ending my lifetime of faking and lies, to admit the horror of what has happened, not just recently but over my life, and to realize what a beast she really is.

Pearl
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Shaggy - That's a good question! I'm sure such a thing exists, though I have to admit that I'm a little shy to talk to someone in person right away on that topic. I do think that's a good idea for the long term, and probably part of a good healing process.

I am lucky enough to have a really great psychiatrist (who acts as a therapist for me right now). Her support has been just incredible. I do know there also is a very good support group for family of borderline personality disorder (mother's diagnosis), which I do plan to attend as well.

Thanks for your reply - it's nice to reach out on the internet and hear a voice in return. :)
 

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Hey, Pearl!

One of the regular posters on here who has a wife with BPD has recommended bpdfamily.com, a support forum for family members who have relatives diagnosed with BPD. I know THEY have a message board section like this one here at TAM, so THAT may be another resource where you could remain anonymous and receive support.

Good luck to you and *hugs* to your Dad. I hope you all have a WONDERFUL holiday season and a calm, peaceful, healthy, healing 2013!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey, Pearl!

One of the regular posters on here who has a wife with BPD has recommended bpdfamily.com, a support forum for family members who have relatives diagnosed with BPD. I know THEY have a message board section like this one here at TAM, so THAT may be another resource where you could remain anonymous and receive support.

Good luck to you and *hugs* to your Dad. I hope you all have a WONDERFUL holiday season and a calm, peaceful, healthy, healing 2013!
Thanks! That is helpful. Man, I remember when I first read the list of symptoms/indicators of BPD my jaw just dropped - you would have thought it was written ONLY about my mother. The thing that got me the most was "everyone is a demon or an angel - no in between" - that is so, so true of her. The worst thing is that my whole life has been her alternating between the two for me and my Dad, always trying to play two against one for the "odd one out." It's shameful how skillful she can be at getting otherwise sane people to play along.

All those holiday wishes back at you! Incidentally, I like your user name - that's me right now, slowly getting wiser, and hopefully stronger, too! ;)
 

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Your mom doesn't have a personality disorder, she's psychotic or a paranoid psychopath depending on how coherent her general mental processes are. The kind of people who burn the house down because they're mad at you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So that we can understand more.. what is your father's disability?
He has FSHS muscular dystrophy. No use of his legs, which have atrophied and withered and turned inward, little use of his arms (he can his use hands with I'd say 20-30% of the strength of an non-afflicted person). He's wheelchair bound and in a lot of pain, so the refusal of sleep is especially horrible. On top of this, he also has significant arthritis and scoliosis.

I am also afflicted with MD that shows "atypical" symptoms - my symptoms are much more typical of limb-girdle MD, but since it's not "officially" accepted that a parent with one form could pass it on in another form, my official diagnosis is FSHS too. I was in a wheelchair for a while, but I luckily went through therapy and medical regiments to keep pain more under control and allow me to live a much more "normal" life. (His, unfortunately, was more advanced and did not respond.) When I was unable to walk unassisted - and the whole time with my dad - she would tell us how pathetic we were, how we turned her stomach, how she'd rather never have married/produced us. She would take my father's walking aids away or knock him out of his chair or kick his crutches out from under him, make him crawl on the floor to do housework for her, dragging his legs behind him (she is not only able-bodied but in perfect shape) telling him he was no man, not even human, calling people to tell them that too, withhold food and not allow him to take medications, and so forth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Your mom doesn't have a personality disorder, she's psychotic or a paranoid psychopath depending on how coherent her general mental processes are. The kind of people who burn the house down because they're mad at you.
Psychosis is a large part of borderline personality disorder, as is paranoia, especially where the constant theme of "I'll be abandoned" comes in. Don't let the "personality disorder" part fool you - it's extremely serious.
 

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He has FSHS muscular dystrophy. No use of his legs, which have atrophied and withered and turned inward, little use of his arms (he can his use hands with I'd say 20-30% of the strength of an non-afflicted person). He's wheelchair bound and in a lot of pain, so the refusal of sleep is especially horrible. On top of this, he also has significant arthritis and scoliosis.

I am also afflicted with MD that shows "atypical" symptoms - my symptoms are much more typical of limb-girdle MD, but since it's not "officially" accepted that a parent with one form could pass it on in another form, my official diagnosis is FSHS too. I was in a wheelchair for a while, but I luckily went through therapy and medical regiments to keep pain more under control and allow me to live a much more "normal" life. (His, unfortunately, was more advanced and did not respond.) When I was unable to walk unassisted - and the whole time with my dad - she would tell us how pathetic we were, how we turned her stomach, how she'd rather never have married/produced us. She would take my father's walking aids away or knock him out of his chair or kick his crutches out from under him, make him crawl on the floor to do housework for her, dragging his legs behind him (she is not only able-bodied but in perfect shape) telling him he was no man, not even human, calling people to tell them that too, withhold food and not allow him to take medications, and so forth.
You are 30 years old and left the home a long time ago. I'm sorry but I have to ask.. why did you leave your father there all this time? And younger siblings as well? Why didn't you go to social services and get them help and get them out of there?
 

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Your fear is a wise fear and until your mother is secured you should heed the fear and find a place to hide. If you don't have a restraining order you should get one and have it served, that way the police can do something should she find you.

I have been in similar circumstances and no the fear/worry doesn't ever go away completely...in the back of your mind you're always thinking they will show up, and in what state? My mother went so far as to find out who I was staying with, etc. and to frame the issue as though anything I said about her was nuts or delusional. Of course, over time, the insanity of my bio family has been demonstrably proven, a nephew is in the secure psych unit, his sister is dead, two gunshots in her head in front of her school-aged kids...the tip of the iceberg (and well, now people take me seriously when I explain about my bio family really being nuts, not just the way some people say their family is nuts, has problems, etc.)

I changed my name and job and residence and lived under that identity for quite a few years...during the worst of it, so as to hide, my neighbor was a state police, retired...I make sure to live in places where there are other people around, much as I like the woods and seclusion at times, this isn't an option for me. My kids, I've had to educate about unsafe relatives showing up, grandma, etc. They know unless there is a password that's stated, they shouldn't believe any story they're told about getting picked up by grandma all of a sudden. My eldest is 22 and despite warnings from me a few years ago, he didn't secure his FB account and my mother started stalking him. I'd warned him, but he didn't listen. So he had to do damage control on that, and got to see first hand how it was.

Anyway, you do need to wake up, and to protect your father from further abuse. You have been focused on survival, and are likely addicted to the cycle of abuse-survive. It's possible to become accustomed to the adrenaline rush and from having to protect/stay safe rather than think rationally about any other lifestyle, i.e. you are stuck in the paradigm of survival...both your mindset and your physical state of being. You probably don't function in any other kind of frameset, the thing is you're going to need some serious therapy. It's gone on for so long...you did get out, but what did you do then? You stayed connected to it. You haven't yet survived, you're still attached to the business of surviving...you need to get serious about getting independent, both physically and emotionally and logistically.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You are 30 years old and left the home a long time ago. I'm sorry but I have to ask.. why did you leave your father there all this time? And younger siblings as well? Why didn't you go to social services and get them help and get them out of there?
There are no younger siblings involved. I could not get my father removed because he would not go. In fact, for a long time, he was her crony and the partner in her abuse when I was the target. When I separated from her, she would not allow him to contact me, and those times he could have, he refused to. He played "two against one" whenever it was necessary - although he didn't have to, did he? He has not always been disabled, or at least not debilitated. He had a job, the opportunity to have taken me out of the house when I was a minor child. Where's your concern about why he didn't do anything for me? Unlike him, I would have accepted the help. Unlike him, I acknowledged what was going on was wrong.

You're completely ignorant of the way the system works if you think one person can get an adult who in no way will tell anyone they're willing to go out of a situation, when that person is an active participant in helping the abuser cover up their lies, out of a home they won't leave. It's different with children. You have no idea what steps I tried to take or what I did and what did or didn't work. You're mistaken if you think I'm going to let you insinuate that even one part of this is my failing or my fault.

Pearl
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Your fear is a wise fear and until your mother is secured you should heed the fear and find a place to hide. If you don't have a restraining order you should get one and have it served, that way the police can do something should she find you.
Just got back from the DA's on that one.

and to frame the issue as though anything I said about her was nuts or delusional.
Me too. For a long time I believed it was possible - I've spent so much of my life asking "Is this an okay response? Can I be mad? Am I overreacting?" I can really relate to this, even as prove surfaced, as in your case.

I also wish people would not use "dysfunctional family" so loosely, even in media. It doesn't mean "goofy dad" or "bickering siblings" - it's a serious state of affairs.

I'm so sorry to hear about your kids being affected.

Though I do differ with you on some assumptions you made about me in the last part of your post. I have never abused nor been abused since I left that house; I have good friends, an excellent job and education, hobbies, and leisure time, a wonderful relationship of twelve years that is nothing like my family background, and overall a very healthy life. I have been largely separated from my mother this whole time, except where I needed to have contact to keep up with my father. I can honestly say that short of breaking into his house and abducting him I couldn't have done more to get him out. The system offered no assistance, because she carefully programmed and controlled his replies. One post (not yours) assumes a lack of effort on my part to remove my father; yours assumes a much greater imagined tie to my mother.

For those reasons, I think I'm better off at the BPD forum someone here was kind enough to recommend. I do appreciate that very much! As for this forum, I wish you all the best and apologize for bringing a topic here that probably wasn't that appropriate; I was rather desperate and googling like crazy.

Pearl
 
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