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Living with a Borderline parent — part 1. And some traits of toxic relationships.

Updated: May 17

I was born into a reality of my parents: mum with Borderline Personality Disorder, and dad Master of Ignorance. I would yell, argue and fight back my mum, who was treating me like rubbish. I'd fight for myself since I was a 5-year-old.


As a child, I grew up in an environment where:

  1. I would feel that people didn’t believe me.

  2. I would feel things weren’t fair.

  3. I would feel ignored, unseen, unimportant.

  4. I was chocking on my feelings of anger and injustice.

  5. Aggression and yelling were daily occurrences.

  6. Physical violence was a daily occurrence until I was around 15.

  7. I was not hugged, talked to with compassion. I was not said I was loved. My emotional needs for love, safety, and security were not met. I didn’t feel loved, safe and secure in my own home. Correction, the home wasn’t mine; It was my parents’, and I was told that I would either be the way they wanted me to be, on their terms, or I could "fuck off".

  8. I was emotionally manipulated; my love for my parents was used against me.

  9. I was humiliated, laughed at, laughed at my body and how I looked.

  10. My self-confidence would be driven to the bottom, by telling me I was not worth others' attention, and ignoring me.

  11. When I was yelled at, humiliated, manipulated, and I’d yell back and cry, I would be told I was too sensitive, should just "suck it up" or "shake it off", do something about myself.

  12. There was a push-pull game of emotions: look, it seems that I love you now, but I don’t. I love you… not. I care about you… not. Now, it’s OK to think I care about you, but not now. 

  13. When I was standing up for myself, taking up the fight, yelling, releasing my anger and frustration, I’d be silenced by others.

  14. I’d be refused to buy clothes I liked. Bah… some of my clothes would be thrown out, just because my mum didn’t like them, or didn’t like me in them.


It was devastating, it was lonely, it was closing my heart, it was cold, it was exhausting… There are so many “it was"... 


The “fair” word was so sensitive for a very long time. 40 years to be exact. I could just explode when something was unfair. I felt I could fight to change that unfairness, until my last breath. It would drain my energy… to the bottom. I’d be exhausted with an outburst of sore cold on my lips. I was skinny and fragile. It felt that my chest was empty of air... collapsed....


When I saw injustice, I’d get triggered on the personal, emotional level.


I yelled a lot when I was a kid. I could yell and yell until I lost my voice. We argued a lot at home. I’m surprised that the neighbours didn’t call the police.


I yelled back as much as I could. At some point it stopped. There was a halt. Because it didn’t matter. I could yell and tell others that what was happening was wrong, but others told me to shut up. My mum thrived on anger. But it was the environment, that wanted me to be quiet, to give up. It was everyone around who wanted some peace and quiet. And I was the one standing there, with an imaginary baseball bat in my hand, yelling “Come on! Let’s do it! I’m just warming up here.” Being a 5-year-old… I think, I started arguing with and yelling against my mum when I was around 5 years old. Yes, “yelled against”, not “at” my mum. Because I was protecting myself, again her aggression and humiliation. Against the unfairness.


The qualities I grew up with were combative: battle, battle, fight, argue, argue. And that wasn’t something I liked. So, in my later life, I tried to avoid arguments and conflicts. If someone argued with me, that was really disappointing. 

- “Why are you angry?”

- “But I’m not angry. I’m just disappointed.”

(Yeah, sounds funny 🤣. Add this tone "nothing's worng, all is fine" and that's how I sounded.)


I was just tired of arguing. Being angry — emotionally, you explode, you yell, and you’re done. Disappointed — you stay on the same level without losing energy. It’s like being depressed. There are no ups and downs in depression. Everything is --------------------------------------------------------- a straight line.


I have always pushed myself to the point of complete burnout. There was no "me" left. Where was the stop point? I couldn't identify how far was too far to avoid burning out. I was used to my parents pushing my boundaries to the maximum, and beyond… I didn’t know where I should have stopped… How bad was 'bad' and how good was that 'bad'? 


I lived in that environment for 25 years. I survived.


Borderline Personality Disorder
“You know, people talk about creating your own reality? But not as children. As a child, you come to other people’s reality, and your job is to survive, long enough to be able to create your own. We make decisions, quite early, than we bury them, and they are there for so long, that we believe that that’s the way we are, that’s the way things are. You had to fight your mother. Stand up for yourself. And then everyone took her side.”

And that’s the thing. They took her side, but they were telling me that she was wrong. They were telling me that I was right, and that she was wrong, but I had to shut up and play along. Do what she wanted. Let her have her will. I was right, feeling that something was not right, but it didn’t make any difference, because she was still right. Her righteousness was "righter" than my.


I was so angry. I’d say to the rest of my family, “She can’t do this!” “To nie jest normalne!”. “It’s not normal!” “This is not love!” And they would say, “You know how she is. That’s the way it is. Just let it be.” When I was fighting her, she’d fight back with pleasure. I was frustrated and angry, and I could release this energy. The rest of my family, my dad, my sister, my grandma, would tell me to shut up. Not because I was hurting. Because they were tired. I would never give up. I’d die, but not give up. They, on the other hand, wanted to have peace of mind. They would tell me to shut up. I had to give in. They pressured me to give up... on myself.


“You have to be smarter” they’d say. I HAD TO BE SMARTER! I was a child. My mum was older than I. Everyone was older than me, and I WAS THE ONE WHO HAD TO BE SMARTER. I HAD TO TAKE THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR HER ACTIONS AND THEIR INACTIONS. I HAD TO BE AN ADULT.  I had to switch roles with her. No wonder, I am so much more mature than most men my age. I became 40 when I was 5 years old! 😳 😂. I’m 80 years old now! 🤣.


I never realised that before, that arguments with her helped me to release the anger. She would help me by allowing me to yell at her, to release all this. Don’t get me wrong, it would still burn me out. My dad, a person whom I would look up to, would use my love for him against me. It felt like by telling me to shut up and let it be, he was saying, “If you love me, you shut up” in a way. “If you love me, you suppress those feelings for my peace of mind” way. He’d finish our arguments by losing patience, standing up, and yelling “Enough. You (pointed at me) do what she says and then go to your room. I’m tired of this yelling!” And then he’d come to my room, see my crying and tell me in that soft, caring voice that I HAD TO understand, that mum was this way, and there was nothing to do about it. That he loved her.


What about me? Didn’t he love me?


That is emotional extortion. Blackmail. 


And everyone did the same… my sister, my grandma. I was the only one releasing this energy. And each time they would tell me to stop, to be smarter than her. I had to become an adult when I was 5.


How did I know I was angry when I was arguing with her? What was going on then? What feelings did I have? Anything physical? Somewhere on the way to my teenage years, I forgot how it was to be angry. I learned to be sad. Instead of being angry, I got sad.


I stopped being angry and started crying…


I remember the feeling of helplessness. Being angry and shouting, trying to make others see what was happening… It didn’t work. So I cried instead, because I was helpless. Because my actions and emotions didn’t bring any reaction from others. But when you cry as a child:

-“Poor you. Why are you crying?”,

-“Because she did this and that, and it’s not fair”,

-“Oh, you know how she is. Just pull yourself together. You’re so sensitive.”

The outcome was the same. Then, I chose to leave the sadness and I got disappointed. Disappointed is different from being sad.


It was easier to be disappointed than sad. I didn’t have to explode any more. It didn’t cost me as much energy.


I didn’t want to admit I was giving up, but I was. I was made to give up. Pressured to it. By my family. There was no help. No one wanted to help me. No one wanted to do anything about that situation at home… “I failed. I’m powerless. I can’t change anything. It’s sad and disappointing.”


“I give up. I can’t fight any more. I feel sad and defeated and powerless.” It still didn’t matter. Nobody cared. They did nothing, and they put the guilt on me. They put the responsibility for the existing situation on me. I was told to be smarter — to grow up; I had to grow up, to be smarter than my adult mum and my adult family, to be able to deal with it, and survive it.


Frustration looks like anger. People mistake it for anger, but it’s powerlessness. It can look like giving up. Disappointment and sadness and powerlessness… Especially powerlessness, that word hurts inside.


My unconscious mind looked for disappointments. I looked for them, so I could protect myself from them. That’s what the unconscious mind does. It scans the environment for possible danger. That’s what trauma does to us. It wants to protect us, by filtering out the things that hurt us in the past, that did things to us on the inside, to our emotions, and heart. You might see 100 things, but the two, that did something to you will get your attention. In my case, it was disappointment. In your case, it could be… (fill in the gaps).


Was this how I picked my partners? 😳. I could pick the bad boy from a row of 100 men standing in front of me… “There you are! You’re my boy!” “You’re gonna disappoint me, and you’re gonna do it right.” 🤣. “And we’re gonna see how long it takes for you to disappoint me. Coz it will happen. You’re gonna do it.” 😂 And then I could say, “I knew it! I was right.” ☝️


By recognising what we are filtering for, we can start to change those things. And to begin to filter for something else, something positive we want for ourselves.


I thought: when I meet a man, I don’t want someone who has kids, because I know it’ll be difficult for me. The rejection by my mum and dad. Being always the last choice, the last point on the “no longer priority” list. I was the last rotten tomato no one would pick up in a grocery shop. I still chose them and gave them a chance and… I more or less sat and waited 😆. As they would fall into this trap… I was so bad! I was terrible! 😂. Instead of just turning my back on them right away… I still was like “maybe”… Because I haven’t been disappointed today yet. I was like addicted to disappointment. “It’s lunchtime and I haven’t been disappointed yet.” 😂.


I was not aware of my addiction… It was a pattern I was taught in my childhood. A software that was installed in me. That was the environment I grew up in. That’s how relationships were shown to me. A relationship with me, towards me. I learned to be disappointed, not worthy better. 


But here is the thing: I DID NOT KNOW ANY BETTER. I didn’t know the other way to be, live, love. I’d love men emotionally unavailable, just so I’d try to make them happy and love me… 


All my childhood I saw my mum miserable, unhappy, aggressive, frustrated, angry, disappointed… and I tried to heal her with my love. As a baby, I loved my mum, just because she was my mum. I saw her negative emotions, and I tried my best to make her happy. But she didn’t want to be happy… I spent 18 years on choosing men, who I tried to make happy, heal them, but who didn’t want to be happy and/or healed. So they would reject me over and over again, disrespect me, so I would finally be disappointed, burn myself out and leave. And I’d leave them showing them, or me? 🤔, how strong I was! “Look! I am leaving you! So strong I am!" "Now, you hurt me one time too many! Now you disappointed me one time too many!” — and each time it would be like leaving my mum and home. 


I couldn’t leave that environment when I was a child. I depended on them on so many levels. And the only thing I wanted was to leave it all! Open that door and leave! Just like that! And I couldn’t… I spent 25 years locked in my parents' emotional jail. I spent 18 years proving myself and those oblivious men that I could finally leave that disappointing relationship. With a slamming door! 😉


And that's just the beginning of my story, how it was living with a Borderline parent, in a family blind to the reality.


I’ve been there and I survived that. I have been working with my therapist on that. So many holes my parents made in me. They sure did know how to wreck devastation. I am healing. I have done a lot with it. And I want you to know that IT IS POSSIBLE TO HEAL. But to heal you HAVE TO WANT TO HEAL. No one else will do it for you. 


You might be scared to face the past. The past happened when we were children. It was scary. We were small. Everything was bigger, louder, stronger. We depended on others. But this changed. You changed. You’re an adult now. There are ways to face the past in a safe way. And you don’t have to do it alone.


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If you, like me:

– have negative experiences, repeat certain negative patterns, for example dating the worng kind of people, and have beliefs about yourself that make you unhappy,

– relate to my stories somehow:

– the borderline parent - growing up in an environment of sudden outburst of anger, frustration, emotional instability (aggression, silence, positivity, aggression), push-pull emotions,

– unhappy relationships,

– feeling of lack of love in your childhood or adult life, feeling of not belonging, emotional burn out (especially in romantic relationships),

– sexual assault, bulling, discrimination…

– helplessness, powerlessness towards people and situations,

– disappointment and mistrust towards people, love, doubt you’ll ever find love,


and you would like to:

– learn to recognise and get rid of as many as possible triggers, red buttons, negative patterns and beliefs,

– neutralise these sons of bitches,

– work with a therapist who has compassion and capacity to listen (click The kind of therapist I am to be)


in order to

– have a better live, 

– learn to deal with the rest of the triggers on your own (who wants to go to a life-long therapy? No one),

– be happier, lighter and…

– accept yourself as you are, with the buttons or without them,


Get in touch with me on

Email: LoveYourLifeEFT (@) gmail.com

Tel, WhatsApp, Telegram: +46 727 919 609

Or book your free information session on https://loveyourlifeagain.setmore.com/

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