Understanding the Borderline Mother: Helping Her Children Transcend the Intense, Unpredictable, and Volatile Relationship

Understanding the Borderline Mother: Helping Her Children Transcend the Intense, Unpredictable, and Volatile Relationship

by Christine Ann Lawson
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Understanding the Borderline Mother: Helping Her Children Transcend the Intense, Unpredictable, and Volatile Relationship by Christine Ann Lawson

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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780742599932
Publisher: Aronson, Jason Inc.
Publication date: 09/01/2000
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 350
Sales rank: 222,654
File size: 1 MB

About 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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Understanding the Borderline Mother: Helping Her Children Transcend the Intense, Unpredictable, and Volatile Relationship 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book played an important and pivotal part in my life. It was revelation written directly to me and my family. As i read it, i was amazed at how acurately this author described my mother (the hermit), my dad (the huntsman), my sister (the all-bad child), my brother (the lost child), and me (the all-good child). Somehow, without even knowing us, this author manged to capture all the emotions felt by each individual in my family and explain their origins and their implications I read it in three days, and afterwards the shadows of confusion, doubt and fear that ruled over me did not seem so daunting. Afterward, I felt as if I had woken up from a dream. It showed me that 1) there is a problem and that it's real, 2) i'm not the only person in this situation, 3) my mother's emotions are as strong or stronger than mine, and are very damaging to me. This book taught me what my mom's tendancies are exactly, and why they occur and how they affect me. This book is for the millions of families that live under the dark, disoriented rule of a borderline parent. If your parent is unstable, confusing, or abusive, then this book may bring light to your situation. Along with diagnosing the different categories of borderline mothers, this book explains how to foster a healthy relationship that is defined by YOUR boundaries. Along with being a fascinating book on a little-known area of psychology, it is a life-changing and comforting book for the distraught family members of borderline mothers and is a must-read for all under their influence. I will forever be grateful for the author for her impact on my life and my relationship with my mom.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wish I would have found this years ago.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the first couple chapters and was not sure if I was ready for what I might find. Much of the book I could strongly relate to. Other part's not so much. I have found some of my own behaviors and choices were actually in writing and that gave me a sense of relief. I would have never thought that some behaviors are so generic amongst blood family's. The book also reinforced decisions I had made that have always been called into question. I feel more self assured those choices and decisions were right for me at that time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book was helpful in explaining why our loved ones do the things they do, and what is even more wonderful, is what to do about it now. It also explains how this affects children to grow up with a mother like this. I do think there are too many references to the Mommy Dearest story, however there are a lot of examples of others and what they have been through to help explain how this is fleshed out in daily life. This book can be helpful for those who know children with mothers like this, or if you yourself have a mother with BPD. It is written for your average person to be able to understand, and not filled with a lot big words and technical terms.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Having a borderline mother is very difficult! This book gave amazing insite and was very liberating. I highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago