When we are born, infants, helpless, totally dependent upon mother, we can’t know that we have, as was in my case, a very personality disordered mother. It starts off very traumatic in life and it just builds from there. This trauma can occur in many ways, here I share where mine began and from where mine developed.
In my case, I had a traumatic birth experience. I also sense that my coming into being journey in her womb was not without trauma and a lion’s share of stress as well. I was for hours, in the process of my birth, after being 12 days off the delivery due date for my entry into this world, in the breach position, in 1957. Good thing I was 12 days late or I would have had to share a birthday with my BPD/NPD father and my BPD/NPD Mother’s father, my grandfather, October 31st. Being a lost child from the get go that would have not been anything but a nightmare. I wouldn’t have even had my own separate birthday.
Way back, now, when I was born, in 1957, they would try all kinds of what we now know are damaging and traumatic methods to birth a baby when the baby, like I was, was in the breach position. The breach position for anyone who might now know what that means is when the head of the about to be born infant is not facing down toward the birth canal. The picture on the right (searched for randomly) really says it all I think for how a personality disordered mother like mine would experience this situation. I was the “difficult” or “bad baby” before I even arrived here based on what she had to go through and her perceptions more to the point of what I was blamed (yes before my birth) for “putting her through”. Everything, even my birth, was of course, all about her. Shouldn’t we have shared that experience or something about it over the course of my life? We never did.
The doctor who delivered me (dated practice back then as C-sections were far more risky) after some amount of time, the process of my birth, or my mother’s labour lasted around 18 hours or so, placed forceps on both my temporal lobes and yanked me from right (really wrong) side up to upside down pulling me into the head down to be able to be vaginally born position.
Forceps are a surgical type instrument like pincers or tongs, for seizing and holding objects (in my case my infant head). In my case, it was discovered when I was around 18 years old, in fact, ironically I got the brain scan results back on my birthday 1975 that showed I had two rectangular shaped scar tissue areas – one in each temporal lobe shaped just as the forceps that were used to pull me out of the breach position were shaped. This meant, still does mean, I was born with brain damage. Luckily it is not significant of disabling brain damage. When I was playing hockey at College when I had these brain scans done part of the reason they were done was I was experiencing what a neurologist back then described as “temporal lobe epilepsy”. This was believed for years and I was on some medication for this for years. Their was some question at that time if I should be allowed to play hockey. That if I had a significant head injury I could be put into “neurological deficit”.
It was as I recovered and then was recovered from Borderline Personality Disorder (1995) that I stopped taking the anti-seizure medication and had none of the old symptomology that I had for years prior. How could this be? This, is (long before science knew this) living proof of how I created new neuropathways in my brain in my recovery from BPD. Why? Because I went off the medication, to this day have the temporal lobe scar tissue from my birth and have not experienced any of the “seizure-like” symptoms or experience that I had from the age of 18 (known) to the age of 36 or so. The neurons that traveled that well-worn path firing into that temporal lobe scar tissue for years due to traveling those old neuropathways no longer have done so since my recovery from BPD in 1995 – or a couple of years just prior to that. I changed my thoughts, creating new neuropathways and despite this scar tissue still being in each of my temporal lobes it has not caused me one minute of the issues and seizure-like experience I was put on meds for. Tegretol, which I stopped a few times, but had still those “epilepsy-like” episodes but the last time I stopped this medication for good in 1993, not one single symptom ever again.
The next thing that I was made aware of in the scarce lore of my family – not much into talking about anything that might touch on a real feeling – was that I was apparently a very colicky baby the first 3 or more months of my life. Hmmm, any connection, I wonder between birth trauma meets with stressed out cold mother upsets baby’s tummy?
From this often told truth of my infancy, as a criticism of me, like I had anything I could do about why I was colicky or troubled by gas and stomach pain I believe came just another stressor that my mother was ill-equipped to cope with. Where there should have been nurture and patience – love? – there was stress and anger and coldness – a growing resentment that I was blamed for causing something over which I had no control but that my mother clearly blamed me for and saw me as “bad baby” for. The beginning of a lifetime of my borderline narcissistic mother scapegoating me. I would go on as I got older to be diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (I.B.S.) that painfully consumed a lot of my time in my youth and through to my recovery from BPD. That too, while, I still have it, hardly ever anymore. And not ever like I used to.
An emotionally unavailable mother is ill prepared for a baby (for the most part emotionally for sure) who isn’t “easy” versus one that is experienced as “difficult”. In my BPD/NPD mother “not easy” not only meant for her from her perception “difficult” but I was split off as “bad”. I was her first born and it’s not like she knew what she was doing anyway. Nor, did she come by anything about “mothering” naturally. All that matters to an infant and young developing child was not in my mother’s cold, insecure, detached, and critical, stressed out smorgasbord of what she could not cope with. I was a young infant and my needs were lost to “all about her” already.
There is a “home movie” (ancient now type film) of me doing my best at the age of 1 year old on my first birthday to get away from my mother. It was no joke or play. There are other home movies of me at very young ages 1 to 3 years where I want nothing to do with my mother. We had no bond. I did not and could not trust her. Us scapegoats are born with a “knowing” and we start to “get it” very young but we can’t know what is exactly is (cognitively) that we are feeling in an instinctual way at such a young age until we get much older. Being born to the personality disordered mother I was I believe I had an instinctual knowing that began through fear, the fear of my unanswered cries that were me mounting the cry of my survival needs. Needs thwarted that felt like my very survival was threatened.
When she had her second child, my brother, who was still is, (though he scapegoats me still to this day with my manipulative mother having shared the endless capacity she has to hate) three years my junior but was to quickly become the Golden Child to my being the scapegoated child. My brother’s birth, so the narrative of mother went, was easier for both my mother and him than was mine. Apparently, he was a “good baby”. He slept more at night, if not through the whole night, and was just easier to deal with for mother. Right there was the reinforcement of the split of “good and bad” regarding both my mother and my father’s perceptions. It all had to do with what they could or could not cope with and what stressed them most. No doubt my traumatic birth coupled with colic and a lot of stomach pain and gas as an infant that led me to cry was met with anger and frustration. My parents were raising me by reading the “Dr. Spock” book – (this was before Star Trek and that Spock). In that book as they sought advice from it, a book not highly thought of at all anymore that is now recognized as causing a lot of difficulty for a couple of generations of children (before and my generation) – the book recommended, as did the doctor who delivered me, who was still my parents doctor, no OB/GYN or pediatrician by the way, “Oh, just let her cry, she’ll cry herself to sleep.” What a “sweet” NOT though eh?
Of course, even with a sensitive child, having had a traumatic birth and having colic a non-personality disordered mother will do her best to bond, to love, to comfort, even when it may well seem not to be helping. She will consistently care and love her infant and not take that child’s discomfort personally. My mother clearly made my every gas pain about her. The stress of her incompetent and inadequate parenting might have actually given me the gas pain. Who knows.
I think my parents had been trying to respond to my cries not knowing what to do as I guess. Likely, their frantic or angry efforts left me feeling unsafe anyway. I could not be comforted for a plethora of reasons. But when the “Spock” book and the doctor said it was okay to just let me cry well, I’ve always thought that, after the traumatic birth was trauma number two and huge abandonment number one.
Huge abandonment number three on the heals of number two was my brother’s arrival. I was 3 years old. It was not I that caused his arrival to feel like an abandonment to me. It was an abandonment as whatever attention I had gotten was quickly (even more so than the average baby vs toddler type share of attention) ripped out from under me and mostly gone. It’s hard to lose something that was never near enough in the first place. There was no bond between my NPD/BPD mother and I. Common because the personality disordered don’t know how to bond. Being the same-sex child doomed me too as my BPD/NPD mother would see her self-hatred in and through me and then ascribe that to me doing something to her. The mirror is absent. Or the mirror is only pointed at the borderline/narcissist mother and she must project out all her “stuff” on a young innocent infant who has not way to cope or protect herself.
That coupled with experiencing how my family – extended family, even, beyond my parents, taking their cues from my parents, saw my brother as the “Golden Child” and I was the Scapegoated child. He could do no wrong, even when in later years he did lots wrong. I could no right, even though in later years, unlike my brother, I would accomplish so much more and not fail a grade in school to his failing grade 4 twice. You see his “Golden Child” status and my Scapegoat child status were all about the parent’s wants, needs, and perceptions – not about anything that had to do with the reality of who he was or who I was. He did go on to learn to hate as my parents hated. I wonder if he is proud of that or even has the capacity to be aware of that? I really don’t care anymore!
Perhaps just being female with the personality disordered reality of both my parents was the most relevant reason for this split of me and my brother. My father always wanted a son. The mighty penis had arrived. Misogyny. My BPD/NPD father was a proud, arrogant, ignorant misogynist. So, however he was trying to make due with with me, the disappointment of a female versus a male, and even my mother’s no doubt blaming me for what she might have felt was her fault, quickly changed to my fault for disappointing my father. This would make itself clearer in years to come in undeniable ways. Ways that just kept blaming and shaming this scapegoat.
As is the case, in many varying circumstances, this infant, (that I was) was not welcomed to this world by “the first world” “the original face” as John Bradshaw describes the importance of mother, going on to describe mother as “our first love”. Wow, I was born in a traumatic way to a borderline narcissist and like I would stand a chance at having my needs met or at being allowed to be my own person or being even seen beyond her feelings, absence of feeling, constant stress-anger-rage devaluing episodes – nope. Crazy-making dynamic even for a young growing child.
In my entire life (and yes to date) my mother never has said one word, (years ago when I used to ask) about my birth or how she felt or what her experience was of having me, her first born. When I was 14 years old in the middle of some fight SHE started and yes I emotionally strongly reacted to and tried to protect myself against her “crap”, my mother screamed at me, so arrogantly, shockingly really, in a message of outright devaluing hatred of me, “I CAN”T BELIEVE YOU, CAME OUT OF ME!!!!” I remember how much that really emotionally hurt me at the time, but already I knew better than to show her my getting buried deeper inside (then) vulnerable hurt feelings. My response, though I wanted to cry, and I felt the burn and sting of such hatred, was, “Well, I AM THE AFTERBIRTH, don’t you know, blahhahahaha!!!
She immediately started to both play victim or collapse to victim, who really knew or knows, as she screamed more at me, but, I, scapegoated, abused, defeated, hurt again by her, I was running up stairs to the comfort of the emptiness of my bedroom. I sat there hearing her yell for another 30 minutes. She never would come to my room or ever care a thing about what I was feeling. No. I sat there, with that pain, did not cry. Felt my own rage against her. Equally, looking back now, though, feeling the rage against her and the longing for her to see me, and to care about me and to not hate me and for every last bloody thing said, thought, done, not done, not said, to NOT BE ALL ABOUT HER!!!
As it began, it always was. As it has always been so it continues to be. I am 58 years old and my mother is 89 years old. I am not in contact with anyone in that “family”. Though once in awhile, I do still hear how hard at work she is spreading her manipulative, self-victim persona to control and spread the distortions against me still with her Golden Child (unaccomplished, uneducated, often unemployed as he has apparently been often for years and only got jobs his Daddy and than Father-in-Law got for him) his wife, their two children – two nieces to me but that I have not ever known. The punishment of a borderline/narcissist mother is very real and as they age without treatment living in denial it just keeps compounding itself. My mother knows the “truth” and she knows how much she has lied about me, but it serves her being all about her and getting everyone to worry about think about or care for her.
I have been for 30 years now, in this place of having been shunned by my whole family as the scapegoat so they can maintain their false persona beliefs about themselves. What a waste eh? They continue to hate and punish me at her whim and guess what, it’s only them that lacks mental health and effects their physical health with lies, deceit, enmeshment, not thinking for themselves, hating, punishing, and being so angry at me for what turns out in REALITY to have nothing to do with me. I feel sorry for them. They are all lost. I don’t hate them. I don’t love them. I have disengaged them to be free to be the unfortunately lost souls they are for whom truth is just too much to cope with.
I may still be to them the scapegoat, but, I guess what they don’t know or realize is that the scapegoat who disengages as I have, is the one that is the healthiest and the one that not only heals and grown and individuates and accomplishes. More importantly, as their scapegoat I am the one who got away. Yes, I got away. I tell the truth. I want to help others to tell their truths and recognize their truth against the lies and manipulation/control punishing agendas of the BPD, narcissists, or psychopaths in their lives.
These people win nothing unless you let them. Know there is a way out. You can find your own healing and resolution. Who needs the care, or validation of people too mentally ill to even be able to get themselves help? To not care about anyone but themselves? Who needs to even remain in any way connected emotionally or otherwise to these types of people. No one does! Be glad you are the scapegoated child, I am. It really means we are the healthy ones who wanted to speak our truth, the truth about the abuse and all that went on in our families of origin. We are the whistleblowers. We are the ones who can break free. I have. I hope if you haven’t yet, that you will.
Let the sick BPD/NPD Psychopathic family you came from (if you like I were the child and then adult child of this) hate and punish, just don’t be involved. It’s their problem. They hurt themselves. My “family” of origin does not hurt anymore. And has not hurt me for 30 years now! I got away. I know why they do what they do. I’m not involved with their petty unaware patterned to the family “loyalty” that denies not only my truth, but that also sees them unknowingly deny their own truth too. Their loss, not mine!
© A.J. Mahari, February 27, 2016 – All rights reserved.