Understanding the Borderline Mother: Helping Her Children Transcend the Intense, Unpredictable, and Volatile Relationship [NOOK Book]

Overview

The first love in our lives is our mother. Recognizing her face, her voice, the meaning of her moods, and her facial expressions is crucial to survival. Dr. Christine Ann Lawson vividly describes how mothers who suffer from borderline personality disorder produce children who may flounder in life even as adults, futilely struggling to reach the safety of a parental harbor, unable to recognize that their borderline parent lacks a pier, or even a discernible shore. Four character profiles describe different symptom...
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Understanding the Borderline Mother: Helping Her Children Transcend the Intense, Unpredictable, and Volatile Relationship

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Overview

The first love in our lives is our mother. Recognizing her face, her voice, the meaning of her moods, and her facial expressions is crucial to survival. Dr. Christine Ann Lawson vividly describes how mothers who suffer from borderline personality disorder produce children who may flounder in life even as adults, futilely struggling to reach the safety of a parental harbor, unable to recognize that their borderline parent lacks a pier, or even a discernible shore. Four character profiles describe different symptom clusters that include the waif mother, the hermit mother, the queen mother, and the witch. Children of borderlines are at risk for developing this complex and devastating personality disorder themselves. Dr. Lawson's recommendations for prevention include empathic understanding of the borderline mother and early intervention with her children to ground them in reality and counteract the often dangerous effects of living with a 'make-believe' mother. Some readers may recognize their mothers as well as themselves in this book. They will also find specific suggestions for creating healthier relationships. Addressing the adult children of borderlines and the therapists who work with them, Dr. Lawson shows how to care for the waif without rescuing her, to attend to the hermit without feeding her fear, to love the queen without becoming her subject, and to live with the witch without becoming her victim. A Jason Aronson Book
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Editorial Reviews

Peter L. Giovacchini
This wonderfully readable book is totally devoid of jargon and pedantry. The writing is concise and simple, although the subject is complex and weighty. With picturesque nosology, Dr. Lawson writes about the waif, hermit, queen, and witch mothers. Her unique examination of borderline mothers and how they relate to their children culminates in a discussion of what can be done for both from an interpersonal perspective. Replete with clinical vignettes, this book is entertaining as well as informative.
James F. Masterson
This well-researched and beautifully written book presents in graphic, specific, clinical detail overwhelming evidence to resolve any ambiguity about the relationship of the borderline mother to her children. The many faces of the borderline mother are nicely differentiated and described. Dr. Lawson also provides guidelines on how to manage a relationship with a borderline mother constructively. A helpful read for all therapists who work with borderline patients.
Joan Lachkar
Masked by a smile, behind the pinafore of maternal attachment, lurks a borderline mother. Dr. Lawson offers a compelling portrait of mothers who project massive states of confusion and terror into their children. She presents a variety of mothers, including the make-believe mother, the fairy tale mother, the queen and witch mother, along with specific clinical suggestions for dealing with each type. This spellbinding contribution to the literature provides effective treatment procedures for therapists working within the spectrum of borderline phenomenology.
Christina Crawford
Childhood lived with a borderline mother results in an unspeakable tragedy. Few of the child's developmental needs are met because the mother cannot be a parent. Consequently, the child is programmed for a lifelong struggle against failure. For over twenty years, people have shared their own agonizing stories with me, looking to my journey for a sense of hope. The compassionate understanding and professional assistance in this book are a road map out of failure.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742599932
  • Publisher: Aronson, Jason Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2000
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 350
  • Sales rank: 109,426
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Christine Ann Lawson, Ph.D., is a clinical social worker in private practice in Indianapolis, Indiana. She has previously served as adjunct faculty at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, and Butler University.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Make-Believe Mothers
Chapter 2 The Darkness Within
Chapter 3 The Waif Mother
Chapter 4 The Hermit Mother
Chapter 5 The Queen Mother
Chapter 6 The Witch Mother
Chapter 7 Make-Believe Children
Chapter 8 Fairy-Tale Fathers
Chapter 9 Loving the Waif Without Rescuing Her
Chapter 10 Loving the Hermit Without Feeding Her Fear
Chapter 11 Loving the Queen Without Becoming Her Subject
Chapter 12 Living with the Witch Without Becoming Her Victim
Chapter 13 Living Backwards
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2013

    I wanted to know the difference between bipolar (manic highs/dep

    I wanted to know the difference between bipolar (manic highs/depressive lows, chemical imbalance) versus borderline (kind/cruel, a distorted way of thinking as a result of child abuse) and something about this title or cover caught my eye.  I was expecting descriptions of symptoms and was not prepared for the visceral writing style of the author.  If you can stomach reading the terror a child feels when he/she is abused or murdered by a parent then you will weather this book much better than me.  After reading each passage at night, I was wide-awake and restless just as I was when I saw "The Exorcist" or "Silence of the Lambs" for the first time.  That is not to say there isn't terrific information in this book because there is.  I just think the reader should prepare to go to some dark, unhappy places to understand how BPD starts from parent to child via abuse, how facing the terror and helplessness they felt as children makes borderlines deny the problem or drop out of treatment as adults and how continued denial or lack of treatment is an almost guarantee borderlines will pass BPD to their children because they repeat the same behaviors as if blind.  I highly recommend this book if you have BPD or know someone with BPD because this book also stresses the important of PROFESSIONAL treatment (i.e. forget “saving” them if you are not a trained professional and start reading up if you are co-dependent because two wrongs don’t make a right – they make a mess) to find love, lead a fulfilling life and to break the BPD cycle for the next generation

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2014

    Changed my life

    I wish I would have found this years ago.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2002

    Amazingly Accurate

    I have just finished reading this book and want to find the author and give her a hug. She has written a very important and therapeutic text for children of Borderline mothers. Growing up and even now, people think I am exaggerating when I tell of the things my mother does or things I've lived through. Now I know there is a reason she acts this way and also that I am not alone. This is NOT a mother-bashing book. It seeks to detail behaviors and explain why she acts the way she does. The author breaks the general category of BPD into four types. This is most helpful to the reader, because all mothers do not exhibit all characteristics that can be associated with Borderline Personality Disorder which can steer people away from that diagnosis (as it did me). After reading this book, I realize that my mother, for instance, exhibits all of the 'Queen' behaviors, some of the 'Witch', with none of the 'Waif'. I hope this book reaches other children of Borderline mothers. Perhaps the best part of the book is the last quarter which offers advice on how to set boundaries with the different types of Borderline mothers

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2002

    Thank you for a year's worth of therapy wrapped up in three days

    After my detached,'Borderline' mother committed suicide I felt like I needed therapy everyday until I read this wonderful book. When I completed the book in three days, my very young children got their Mommy back. For over a year I have been wanting to write the author of this life changing book to thank her for letting me know that there are others out there that have gone through similar situations. I've always felt alone in this matter and had difficulty expressing to others just exactly what my mother had put me through. Now I feel confident in telling my story because I have knowledge and references to back me up, as well as a better understanding of what my mother was going through and why she did the things she did. Not only is it informative but easy to read and that is why I reread this book every so often when I feel overwhelmed with guilt or grief and it soothes me. My sincere thanks to the author and all those who shared their experiences to complete this book; you're helping to heal lives.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2002

    Amazing

    This book was clear and concise. The details were pertinent and helpful. I barely started to read this book before I had sent copies to both my siblings. I'm seriously impressed by how this book manages to make something very clinical so available to the average reader.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2013

    Very good book

    Having a borderline mother is very difficult! This book gave amazing insite and was very liberating. I highly recommend it.

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