Friday, October 16, 2009

BPD Family Continued -- Control

ON THE SURFACE, the BPD's family seemed normal. Quite normal.

Things definitely weren't normal. However, she wouldn't reveal too much about her family. She always seemed to assert that they were normal, and they seemed normal to a fault. What I did know reeked of problems:
- The BPD's mother had her younger brother die as a toddler while under her care. Her parents were out of the house, and the child died when she was watching him. I think it was from SIDS or a similar illness. She is an alcoholic, drinking a bottle of wine every night by herself, self medicating herself from her early born soul wounds
- The BPD's father had a strange background. He was unemployed for quite some time and was home, not working, for a good portion of the BPDs childhood. I know that right before the BPD's parents were planning on retiring, he came to the BPD quite scared because he had racked up over $70,000 in credit card debt.

They were nice people overall, however, they were quite judgmental. They passed judgment on most everyone, most everything. At first, it seemed that they really liked me. Then, over time, I became a bad guy in their eyes, most likely because of the things that the BPD was telling them about me.

One time, when the BPD had gone off about something and I sat her down for her daily talking-to where I explained the world to her, I was quite upset. I forget what she had done, but it was bad, and I wasn't happy.

The BPD was drinking at that time -- we drank espresso martinis. Out on her porch, when I began tell her just how unacceptable her actions were and seeing why she was acting the way that she does, she blurts out, "my parents were so controlling when I was a kid."

Huh? I never understood anything about that comment or sentiment. If you think about it, however, if you were her parents (particularly her mother), wouldn't you also be overprotective and controlling with your daughter?

I don't remember how her parents were controlling of the BPD. I remember that she felt like when they were growing up, they had no money and could not buy clothes that were comparable to those living in her affluent town in Central New Jersey. She also was not allowed to go out and do things that her friends were allowed. She went to college and kicked loose, never going home again. She met her husband in college and married him shortly thereafter.

I think that the Controlling Parents issue is pretty common with BPDs as there are BPD-focused books titled If You Had Controlling Parents. So, this seems to be a common thread with them.

Now, was the BPD just making excuses because she was about to be reprimanded by me? I'm not sure. Clearly, there were big issues with her parents that we never got near. The last counseling session that we had together, when she walked out in the middle of it, revealed that she needed to explore these issues more. The last night that we spent together, as we shared a bottle of champaign, she told me that when she fought with her parents and they asked her what was wrong, she was going to scream "I learned it from you," like the drug commercial.

So, the more I write, the more I realize just how dysfunctional it was. I've spent my last two years healing, not looking at her existence. These are clear indicators that I should have seen -- I guess that I did see these indicators and this is why I insisted on counseling so early. However, I got myself too involved -- I cared too much when there was so much out of my control.

We live. We learn. Life is not about all of our successes, but the journey that we take to get where we are.

I'm in a good place. Things aren't perfect -- they never will be. They're pretty good, and I'm grateful for that.

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