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Counsellor, Life Coach, and Mental Health Coach, A.J. Mahari, is an adult-child of a Borderline Personality Disordered Mother and (until the time of his passing in 1997) she was also the daughter of a father with Borderline Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder along with alcoholism. What is an adult-child of …. supposed to do when everything they’ve tried since childhood to make some emotional connection has not worked at no fault of their own? How long and to what age does it go way beyond healthy to chase after the invalidating, critical, emotionally unavailable and not healthy parents who do not meet your needs? How long should one long for all they were never able to get in the way of all that a child needs to develop in a reasonably healthy and balanced way? How many kicks at an empty can blowing in the wind that is about as familiar or you are about as disconnected from as personality-disordered parents who have not only hurt you in so many ways but go on to maintain everything is the fault of their (when we were kids) child?

I will have an Ebook out soon on how to cope and find your way and the games a family will play if you decide to care more about yourself (because they don’t) and do what you need to do to in order to find yourself and all the rich purpose and happiness that you deserve in your life. (Please check back  here for that  link in December 2014)

heart in hands no contact pd parentsfamilyThe answers to these questions vary for everyone. However, one very important cross-roads of the recovery of an adult-child of … (you name it) is coming to terms with, to radical acceptance that what was needed, longed for and what has to one degree or another, until you heal it, leaves you with abandonment trauma, fantasy trauma bonds that really don’t include healthy connection of any kind, is toxic and often the child/adult-child is blamed and that pursuing the chase of parents like I had an am describing is futile and deeply painful. Until and unless you find healthy detachment, which often includes going no contact, at least for a time, these toxic parents will remain obstacles not only to your personal growth but to your healing and recovery.

Adult-children of personality-disordered parents, I learned first-hand, must often make, very painful choices. First I took my broken heart into my own hands and the hands of the professionals that helped me heal in 1995. Then I learned to love myself, value myself, know that I am enough just as I am, validate myself, and I took my own heart back no longer broken but whole again and gently took loving-care of it and my emotions. I had to make a choice between what I know, without a doubt, was my life experience (my truth, and more to the point- THE TRUTH) growing up in an abusive and toxic family that to this day blames me and its members take no personal responsibility for what they not only did but continue to do. I was the child! The child is never at fault! The adult-child still gets blamed too but we just cannot change, control, rescue, or in anyway change the “reality’ – often denied and/or dissociated from past on the part of the personality-disordered parents and other family members who do not seek to get professional help.

When no contact as an adult-child, no matter if you are 20, 30, or older, is necessary to find your way in life and to heal and recover, yes often, as is my case, without any closure or acknowledgment of anything from the toxic family I had to walk away from which lead me to recovery from BPD, recovery from Codependency, recovery from Childhood Sexual Abuse. A very painful choice. But, one that made it possible for me to get healthy emotionally and to not continue “the dance” with the toxic family. I, at the age of 30 or so, some 27 years ago, no longer wanted to be blamed for my parent’s every mood. I was their garbage container – the one they blamed for everything that they couldn’t feel or deal with emotionally. My brother, somehow, became their “good child” and I was the “bad child” – typical splitting right? To this day, it remains so with my surviving “parent” – my “mother”.


Copyright A.J. Mahari – All rights reserved.


To this day, she continues to manipulate and outright lie of course collapsing to victim for her son’s rescue, while demonizing me. She has told me recently, (I’ve heard it like a million times, really) “You are living in the past, why don’t you just get on with your life!” Recently, their was brief contact, unfortunately, distant, meaningless, and from my mother’s side devoid of anything connecting or emotional at all as it always was. In this brief contact it became more apparent to me than (for some reason it had been in the last 18+ years that my “mother” and all who “feel” for her and demonize me based upon what she has told them, has not only a brother I have not heard from since 1987, but his wife and two children, now in their early 20’s actually hating me. Wow. That was a moment. They actually have such contempt (projected upon me more than anything else from their own issues) – outright hatred of me based on the reality that it is my “mother” that lives in the past. It is my “mother” that hasn’t changed or grown. It is my “mother” who remains the consummate victim of her own life and choices, and frankly inability to be an effective or healthy “mother” at all. I never bonded to this woman at all. She never once uttered a word of support, nurture or encouragement or validation – EVER! Okay. So I made my choice. The thing is, I didn’t know it would have to be forever. I changed. I grew up. I healed and recovered 20 years ago. Still, not one person from that “family” will acknowledge that my truth is solid and that what I say and write about and how I work with people and what I’ve dedicated my life’s work to (beyond my initial goal which was my own recovery 20 years ago) has any truth to it at all. Well, it can’t for people that are in denial and believing either their own lies, or her lies, as they all live to a point, in the past.

How much has that past repeated itself with the next generation? There is growing evidence, that it has not only repeated between my estranged brother and his oldest daughter exactly like the breakdown between myself when I was younger and my own father (I resolved this on my own as he died in 1997 when I had not talked to him for over 7 years). But that this next generation has been told the lies about me, my “mother’s” “split [lack of] so-called truth” and that they now too view me through the child-like judging, critical, cognitively distorted mindset of my “borderline mother”. No one has ever, in over 27 years, from “that family” ever tried to really see who I really am. I am not the one living in the past. I am just the one still tarnished by the dishonest blaming and shame of my “mother’s” holding to her version of truth that does not stand up under all the facts. She is in massive denial. She would have others believe that I, as a child, was to blame for her “pity-party” dependent existence on my father and that it was I, as a young child and then teen who totally made their lives hell. Well, there’s a ton of holes in that version.

When it is necessary to go no contact, the ones that you walk away from to find yourself and get out of the crazy-making vortex of gaslighting and abuse of all kinds, sadly the only position most personality-disordered parents (and indeed siblings who will pass this lack of truth on to their spouses or partners and own kids) and alienate you from many, if  not all family – as in my case – are not able to look at their own personal responsibility, or in the case of a sibling, see beyond the manipulation of the “victim borderline mother” who blames her own child for her pain in life rather than looking at how her parents failed her cause she still idolized them. The result is on-going “borderline punishment” as their revenge for as my mother said to me once, years ago, in a drunken stupor, “When you left home at 17 I felt so abandoned” I left because I was abused. I left because I wanted and needed to find myself. I left to be able to discover my own truth – the truth of the abuse I had suffered and the damage done to me as a child that I needed to heal and did go on to heal 20 years ago. I left that “family house” at the age of 17 to go to College but mainly to just escape them because I was and I felt (and was) HATED.


Copyright A.J. Mahari – All rights reserved.


Ironically enough, on November 12th of this year, just 6 days ago as I write this, I found out just how much active hatred and punishment of me for escaping 40 years ago now, is still actively being held against me. Sad, but true.

Adult-children of personality-disordered parents and toxic families in which no one even realizes their own “pathology” or ever goes to get professional help are doomed to live in the very past that they have repeatedly claimed I “live in”. I left that past behind over 20 years ago. They don’t even know who I am. I am okay with that because I have long-since known who I am and what happened, what really happened in that toxic mentally ill family. So they sit still with hatred for me. Well, way to go! Way to continue the legacy in that “family” of not being mentally healthy. I do not hate them. I have forgiven them. They continue to find ways to try to hurt me. What they really need to understand is that they are actually not only living in the past themselves, still broken, have passed that on the next generation in that family, and that all the hatred in the world they have for me, is hurting them, not me!. It has been over 27 years since that hatred and their child-like fantasy about me as the “bad child” the “scapegoated one that never fit in or never wanted to belong” “just had to be an individual” Isn’t that the point, (that we need and have every right to individuate) that the enmeshed family never understands and always sees as themselves being abandoned and punished so they abandon and punish back? That hatred they hold and carry about and for me, is truly their issue and is hurting them, not me. It speaks to their toxic issues and their living in the past. It speaks to taking sides, the side of my “mother” (seems like an oxymoron really). Taking sides is primitive – beyond childish and child-like. What a great place for a sibling to hide eh?

Sometimes, often, in fact, it is necessary for the adult-child of personality-disordered parents (and in my case I was physically, sexually, emotionally abused by the parents) to go no contact to find themselves, heal, recover, move on and define and live their own lives. Being your own best friend and finding chosen respectful healthy family in your life truly will for you, and has for me, be the way that you will learn to be a giver, through healing, closure on your own terms, compassion, forgiveness even in the face of their continued hatred. I have no anger or energy left to allow them to touch my emotions in any way anymore. If they want to stick with the past and the lies of the “parents” and my “mother” stick to her projection on me of her actually being the one “living in the past”, well, have at it. I mean, I feel bad for them and the next generation they’ve dragged down into their toxic negative “family” energy but that’s their (more than likely subconscious) choice. I come from a family that really aren’t the brightest of bulbs. Yet they continue to seem to need, for their own reasons, to cast their dark and ignorant, hateful, disrespectful shadow onto to me. That’s their problem – not mine. I am not engaging it. I have been hurt by it or I wouldn’t be healthy and a feeling being but I am not hurt by it anymore. It just is what they do and who they are. It is their lack of intelligence, education, insight, and their choice to remain toxic. Who am I to try to change that? I mean, I only have control or the empowerment to change myself not them. So, on it apparently goes. Talk about a waste of time and an energy suck. I’m not giving it time (other than writing this blog) to help others with similar experience at the hands of a personality-disordered parent that will not ever choose to wake up and get help. If people hate, they hurt themselves, not the person that is the object of their hate. I don’t go through my days thinking about this at all. I was surprised really, somehow again, 6 days ago (at the time of writing this) to hear more of this vitriol but then what is, is what has always been with them. I am detached emotionally. Though I guess I still sometimes think how sad it is that they cannot face what actually happened in that past they are still clinging to totally erroneous cognitively distorted beliefs about. They are stuck. I can’t help them. They wouldn’t let me. After all I’m just the “painted black ‘evil’ one” or something to them. Okay, great, believe what you want and at your own peril. I’m not the one, like my estranged brother, who has had a myriad of health issues, who has a massive lack of education and has been chronically unemployed more than employed over many years, he is. Life has a way of dealing karma and while that doesn’t make me happy I simply have let it go. There’s nothing I can do. I called almost a couple years ago where my estranged brother was in hospital (as it was put to me potentially fighting for his life) and in the face of just making a call to find out if he’d be okay – not wanting anything else from him or his wife, his wife said with hatred, “We really don’t want to talk to you” (Click). Wow, really? After she asked what I could possibly want. I only called out of care and concern for someone (“family”) that hates me. Imagine that. What can you do with that really? Detach, and move on, is all I have been able to find as a healthy action in the face of this toxic hatred. Otherwise I would allow them to effect me negatively in ways that would effect my happiness (hard fought for) and would not leave me with the inner peace that I have truly found. An inner peace that all adult-children deserve and have always deserved and equally been robbed of in the chase to try to resolve emotional issues with “family” that is not capable or not choosing to face the issues that need to be faced to have a dialogue of any kind. We have to let others do as they will, even when they choose to hurt themselves and their kids in the name of hating. We cannot control others. Detach!

We have to detach with acceptance of who these people are and how they are. If they do not seek professional help and they do not change or work through their own past issues they will continue to see you as I am seen,innerpeace from the past in which they live, not I. I live in a here-and-now in my life that they cannot possibly know.  I am still perceived by my “mother” as a 10-14 year old child, who yes, was of course, at that age, very angry at the pain and blame, and guilt and shame, critical judgment and absence of any healthy love they daily showered me with. Then I was blamed and shamed for how I felt in response to all that they lacked as parents and did not provide to me. No thank you! No thank you then, no thank you since, and no thank you forever! Sad, but true. Sad, but out of my control. I cannot rescue them. I cannot change anything about the way they choose their own defensive cognitive distorted thinking from the past. Because for them, their version of “reality” or their version based upon my “mother’s” highly inaccurate (and this is provable on my part) cognitively distorted “borderline denial” and lack of taking personal responsibility for all her failures as a “mother” is just so distorted, sad, and a huge waist of time and energy. Yet, I guess they thrive on it. The saddest part of all may be not ever knowing my two nieces because they were told the “legendary untruths” about me and I guess also now have a version of me via my “mother” and estranged brother, their father, that proves they live in the past.

However, if they hold to the “family line” the “family denial and untruths” then they wouldn’t be the type of people I would want in my life anyway.

I have just been forever laid out as the scapegoat for telling the truth and for going no contact to heal and grown and live my life. I’m fine with that. I guess I didn’t know, however, that the hatred and emotional immaturity of my unchanged cold, distant, and punishing “borderline mother” knows no bounds because she has to make it all about her and be the victim, when really, I was her victim, though I have not been her victim for over 30 years now. I was not going to deny myself my own truth, healing, and recovery just to continue to be her “split and painted-black child” the one upon whom all blame for all her hurt and shame was dumped. Nope. I showered myself, washed away her stuff, healed, and in spite of my “mother” winning her toxic war to ensure that the rest of that family – even her own granddaughters hate me in the service of everything being about her, well, that’s sick. That’s sad. That’s what I have to forgive, let go of, not give energy to, and radically accept.

If you are the adult-child of one or both personality-disordered parents from a toxic family, don’t  you too deserve to heal? Don’t you too deserve to surround yourself with people who are emotionally healthy and available and who will respect you and care about you in healthy ways – I definitely think so. There is a loss to grieve through when any adult-child finds it necessary after all else fails to go no contact. But the freedom, the inner peace, the passionate compassionate way we can learn to live our lives fully regardless, the freedom, yes, it so worth loving yourself enough to get help, to let go and to move on.

© A.J. Mahari, November 18, 2014 – All rights reserved.

I will have an Ebook out soon on how to cope and find your way and the games a family will play if you decide to care more about yourself (because they don’t) and do what you need to do to in order to find yourself and all the rich purpose and happiness that you deserve in your life. (Please check back  here for that  link in December 2014)

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When No Contact as an Adult-Child Is Necessary
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