If you ever find yourself thinking back to your childhood and describing yourself as the scapegoat or the black sheep of your family, I have a suggestion for you. Consider that you may be the orphan child of a borderline mother. If this is the case, it means that not only did you not really have a mother, but that you yourself were invisible while the body that brought you into the world was identified by her as being the recipient of the “disagreeable” aspects of her internal world. You did not, therefore, really exist at all.
If you could watch a movie of your childhood with a technology that could separate the double exposure process you experienced, you would find that the projections of you mother’s unacceptable self that she externalized outward onto you would pull apart and move off in two different directions. You would then be able to clearly see that who and what you were told you were had nothing at all to do with who you actually are.
A borderline mother is an inside-out person. She wears what most people carry inside their own minds on the outside of her self. But her outside psyche is not integrated, either. She rejects a vast array of her personal characteristics because they are intolerable and cause her too much pain. The only thing she knows to do is to send the worst of them off to the chosen person who is to take the unsuitable clothing, put them on, and act the part. And believe me, doing this job for your mother is usually a fulltime job. There is little time left to grow and be you.
A borderline mother was hurt terribly as a child, I believe from infancy onward. Most borderlines were sexually abused as well. This means, in the end, that they never grow up past about the age of 5 years old. They got stuck at the level of pretend mode thinking and without serious help from an expert mental health professional, they will never get any better. Their lives were stolen from them, and if you have a borderline for a parent, particularly as a mother, your life was or is being stolen from you.
This misery is passed down, generation to generation, usually through the mother’s side by the treatment received from her mother all the way back. This is why I refer to this as the grandmothers’ club. And I mean that literally.
At the center of the seed of severe child abuse that begins at birth is what is called the intergenerational transmission of unresolved trauma. The trauma that happened to someone way back there has been passed right on down through the generations, through time, to you. It’s not something anybody either wants or knows what to do with. So now it is up to you! What are YOU going to do with it and about it? Big question without an easy answer.
The next thing I have to say is that you can see unhappiness. It is not normal for an infant or a child (an adult, either, for that matter) to be sad for very long. You can see it in anyone’s face if you look and you pay attention and you are open to your own, or another person’s truth. Sad people have a faraway look. You can see this as easily in the eyes of an infant of 2 months as you can in a child of 2 years or someone that is 20 or older. All you have to do is to look.
The next message is to children who know that their siblings, or any other child that they know is being hurt and mistreated, your self included. Tell an adult, a relative, a trusted neighbor, a teacher, a police person, even a worker at the grocery store or the post office. You have to tell someone and you have to get her or his attention. When I was growing up this was not a possibility. But it is one today. Do it.
Next, I do not believe that evil people do child abuse that begins at birth. I believe people who had it done to them do these actions against another precious tiny human being. It changed their brains, and if the extremes of child abuse that began at birth happened to you, it changed your brain, as well. This is serious stuff, with serious consequences and ramifications.
In its essence, we are talking about attachment, which means in its essence we are talking about safekeeping. We are talking about meeting basic human needs from birth – all of them. We are also talking about something called rupture and repair.