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Understanding the Borderline Mother: Helping Her Children Transcend the Intense, Unpredictable, and Volatile Relationship

Understanding the Borderline Mother: Helping Her Children Transcend the Intense, Unpredictable, and Volatile Relationship

Written by Christine Ann Lawson

Narrated by Heather Auden


Understanding the Borderline Mother: Helping Her Children Transcend the Intense, Unpredictable, and Volatile Relationship

Written by Christine Ann Lawson

Narrated by Heather Auden

ratings:
5/5 (16 ratings)
Length:
9 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Dec 27, 2016
ISBN:
9781515986539
Format:
Audiobook

Description

The first love in our lives is our mother. Recognizing her face, her voice, the meaning of her moods, and her facial expressions is crucial to survival. In this book, Dr. Christine Ann Lawson vividly describes how mothers who suffer from borderline personality disorder produce children who may flounder in life even as adults, futilely struggling to reach the safety of a parental harbor, unable to recognize that their borderline parent lacks a pier, or even a discernible shore.



Four character profiles describe different symptom clusters that include the waif mother, the hermit mother, the queen mother, and the witch. Children of borderlines are at risk for developing this complex and devastating personality disorder themselves. Dr. Lawson's recommendations for prevention include empathic understanding of the borderline mother and early intervention with her children to ground them in reality.



Addressing the adult children of borderlines and the therapists who work with them, Dr. Lawson shows how to care for the waif without rescuing her, to attend to the hermit without feeding her fear, to love the queen without becoming her subject, and to live with the witch without becoming her victim.
Publisher:
Released:
Dec 27, 2016
ISBN:
9781515986539
Format:
Audiobook


About the author



Reviews

What people think about Understanding the Borderline Mother

4.8
16 ratings / 8 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    I learned so much about myself as a mother, as well as my mother as a mother to me ... both waffes
  • (5/5)
    Life saving book, I highly recommend this book to anyone who is considering reading it.
  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    I wouldn't have picked up this book without being told "Holy crap, this is your mom." Who already has an idea of what borderline personality disorder is and how that can manifest in its various forms and then present in our mothers? Not me.

    I've always known in some way that my mom is a basket of dysfunctions, a walking trail of tears, an emotional vampire, a bulldozer, a blackhole for attention, unstable, and a child but it's all lost in a nebulous abyss of "something is wrong with her. Why can't she just be a, b, and c and do x, y, and z for me? You know. Be normal." And the crux being, others DON'T see her extremely dysfunctional behavior because the borderline presents different faces to different people.

    So, for anyone that feels somehow diminished, the parent, or more like crap in the presence of their mother or meets other people's mothers and finds themselves in shock because those ladies might as well be an alien race from another planet, this book is a must read.

    The book doesn't set out to cast BPD mothers as villains but more as a validation of the child's experience who lived with such a mother.

    The author, Lawson, breaks down borderline personality disorder into layman's speech in easily digestible parts and, though a highly educational and not necessarily a fun read, I wasn't overwhelmed.

    The book starts off defining BPD and then we learn the why behind it...which I would think for any child of a BPD mother isn't a mystery at all, at least not for me.

    The author then breaks the BPD mother down into four archetypes: The Hermit, The Waif, The Queen, and The Witch.

    I'd say this is the part in the book where the rubber meets the road and the epiphanies are firing off with nearly every word because the examples are so crystal clear and line up with the behaviors of our moms. Seriously, I nearly ran out of ink highlighting the passages.

    Each mom usually presents more strongly with one archetype and then also has a secondary. Along with their primary and secondary archetypes, characteristics from all four can be in play at different times while some never arise at all. She explains how Princess Di is as an example of "The Waif" on one end of the spectrum with Susan Smith and Joan Crawford as "The Witch" on the other.

    Lawson also goes into the types of men these women marry, also archetypes, and how all of the parental archetypes in this BPD world impact their children, us. And, for the love of Pete, she mentions ways we can be aware so we don't pass BPD down to our own kids.

    She ends the book with tips on how to have your mother in your life in a healthier way in present day. To be clear, this isn't a "fix your mom" book. This is a book about validating your experience, offering the child of a BPD ways of changing their OWN behavior to protect themselves when with their mothers...and that may even mean not having your mother in your life at all.

    It may sound confusing but really the book offered me a deep understanding of the hows and whys of my own mother and gave me a way to talk about her and my experience. It's really an invaluable tool and one I'll continually refer to when I need it.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    "Understanding the Borderline Mother" is a highly informative book for the outsider, and is helpful in understanding not only the borderline parent, but in understanding and helping her children as well. This book was very well organized, and very well researched.My personal experience with the book, however, was a sense I was the fly on the wall at my family reunion. I often found myself saying, "Oh, there's Grandma..." and "That explains my mother a lot." But the biggest surprise for me was the realization that my dad, not so much my mom, was a borderline... a big A-HA! for me. This should tell you that the book is a very accurate portrayal.I would reccommend this book for anyone who works with, psychologists, social workers, etc, or is an adult child of a borderline parent. For me, this book is a bit late, as my father passed away in 2004, but I found much of what the author reccommends the adult child do, I did long before he passed. But I did learn a lot about myself as well, including why I picked my name, "The Kool-Aid Mom", and why that has been a wonderfully helpful name for me, too!

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Absolutely fantastic and from personal experience (with someone else's mother, not mine) this is completely on target. For anyone that has a borderline parent, this is a must-read.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)

    2 people found this helpful

    MY DH came home to find me on the couch with two highlighters in my hand, one pink, one yellow and this book. He asked me what I was doing."Everything in yellow is my Mother, everything in pink is me. I'm terrified."This book explained alot to me, and allowed me to accept my mother for who she is and what she can never be.

    2 people found this helpful