Maybe Mum

For all the Maybe Mums out there wondering whether motherhood is for them

Borderline & mother – daughter tells her story

Borderline & mother – daughter tells her story

Are you diagnosed with Borderline and unsure about your desire to have children? I interviewed sixteen-year-old M. Her mother has Borderline Personality Disorder. She shares what it’s like to live with a mother who can change in an instant from charming and loving to an angry, irrational woman. “She hit me and sometimes ignored me for weeks.”

My mother has Borderline

“I found out last year that my mother has Borderline. Then everything fell into place. My childhood was very chaotic. I was often ignored for weeks. During those times, I didn’t exist to her, or she would hit me. It happened so frequently that I thought it was normal in all families. It wasn’t until I got to high school that I realized something was wrong at home. That’s when I started talking about it with my friends.

‘I knew she would hit me’

She wouldn’t let me do anything. I couldn’t go outside or visit friends. The only thing I could do was watch TV. I wasn’t even allowed to have my own opinion. She would notice immediately if I disagreed with her. I knew she would hit me then. It even happened during birthdays when guests were around. If I walked into the room with a red face, no one noticed, or they didn’t dare to say anything.

Too scared to tell anyone

I was also too scared to tell anyone. I thought they wouldn’t believe me anyway. Mom had everything under control. No one noticed anything about her outside the home, except me. Everyone thought she was so perfect, kind, and charming. But that was just a facade. When she took everything out on me, I thought it was because she was stressed. I tried to stay strong, but it was very difficult.

‘Tears streamed down my face’

Why she hit me was often a mystery to me. Her mood could change over the smallest thing. I didn’t know what I had done wrong, but she would yell, ‘You know exactly what I’m talking about.’ I had no idea. Still, I always stayed calm. It was better to control myself because otherwise, it would only get worse. When she lashed out at me, I kept looking at the ground while tears streamed down my face.

Ran away

Last year, I had enough of being beaten down. I cleaned the house, took care of the animals, cooked, but she never thanked me. She only criticized. She would first tell me to cook for myself because she would be home late, but if I did, she would get mad at night for not waiting for her. After yet another argument, I packed my things and ran away. I had often thought about it after a fight, but I was scared. I also felt like I had to endure it. She would tell me daily how much she wished I would just leave. How great that would be. When she said that, something snapped in me, and I said, ‘Okay,’ and packed my things.

‘Mom went crazy’

My mother didn’t want to let me go. She went crazy, pulling at everything, hitting me, and trying to trip me. It all became too much, so I dropped my things, ran past her, and slammed the door behind me. I ran away, down the street, further and further. After an hour, I called my dad.

The worst time…

I regretted it. I wanted to make things right with my mother, but to her, I no longer existed. She wanted nothing to do with me anymore. For half a year, she didn’t respond to anything. That was the worst thing she ever did to me. Thankfully, things are better now. Mom told me she missed me too but didn’t want to admit it. Now, if I sense things are about to go wrong, I leave, so I don’t get in her way. I don’t want to experience those humiliations anymore.”

Interview by Patricia de Ryck. Names have been changed for privacy reasons. The story was previously published in a magazine. My English is not very good, so I’m translating this with the help of Google Translate and ChatGPT. Photo: Pexels – foto/portret-van-een-jonge-vrouw-in-het-bos-326603/ – pexels-pixabay-326603.jpg