Sunday, January 8, 2023

Understanding the Borderline Mother

Laura explained that her mother “went on tirades.” Something could set her off and she would whirl around the house like a cyclone. The warning signal was “the look.” The look was a piercing, threatening glare that meant “I could kill you.” When Laura was a child, her mother actually said it, with no awareness of the power of her words ....

Therapists hear horrifying stories of child abuse that never make the headlines. The media seem drawn to stories about children who die, as if the suffering of those who survive is any less terrifying.



More than any other personality trait, my mother seemed to be ruled by anger and sadness. She seemed to hate being a mother. Watching her unhappiness as I grew up made me conclude that the answer was to try and be as unemotional as I could, which many therapists have taught me is a bad idea. It also made me want to avoid marriage and having children.

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