BPD Mother Adding Stress to Early Pregnancy

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  • Katy
    February 5, 2024 at 5:05 pm #1128027

    I am so happy to have found this group. I have been really struggling for the past few weeks since I’ve told my mom that I’m pregnant. I am currently four months along, and my husband and I are just overjoyed. We’ve been together 15 years before deciding to have a child and a part of the delay, honestly, has been my fear about the struggles I would endure with my mother and her anger towards my in-laws and now here we are.

    My mom was actually very emotional and happy when I told her I was pregnant, but within days all her anger, anxiety, fears around my in-laws has come to head, and of course I am dealing with all of that. She rarely asks how I’m feeling and shows no excitement for the pregnancy. She often tells me she’s scared and also just about every single conversation we have about the baby involves her anger towards my in-laws and it just makes me feel so depressed. She has a ton of anger towards my mother-in-law in particular because she has “never made an effort to ever call her on the phone and establish a relationship with my mom.” She finds that to be extremely disrespectful over the past 15 years because my in-laws live in the same town as us and my mom thinks that she should be calling and letting her know that me and my husband are doing well over here, etc. Etc. My in-laws also have more money/toys than my parents as well as a really good marriage unlike my parents. Sure, my in-laws have their oddities and annoyances but my mom just really has it out for them and thinks they have been incredibly rude. She also has it out for my sister-in-law who she’s only interacted with twice. My sister-in-law has a pretty strong personality but is still very nice, and I think my mom just doesn’t jive with that so she also has projected a lot of anger and towards her too. My in-laws honestly are the nicest people, they’ve always been really kind and generous to me. Sometimes they are a little bit over demanding in terms of seeing us but nothing we can’t handle.

    I’ve tried to explain to my mom that I’m really OK with dealing with my in-laws and that they have always been generous and never rude to me but my mom but it just causes a fight between us. She tells me she is not being heard. The worst part is that my mother-in-law is oblivious to all of this and so she’s always asking how my mom is doing and telling me to say hi to my mom. If they know my parents are going to be in town they always say they would love to get together. Of course my mom hates all of this because she thinks that my mother-in-law should be saying all this to my mom directly instead of through me. I’ve had to make up numerous excuses for them not getting together. To me, it feels like my mother-in-law has made effort, but of course for my mom, there’s nothing I can do to fix her opinion.

    Now that I’m having a baby, she has just been saying lots of hurtful things. She says that theyy in-laws are going to take ownership over this child. That they have more of an “in” and will demand possession of the relationship. The most recent hurtful thing is that she told me that my “husband‘s parents are rude and never talk to her, and that my husband himself is rude and never talks to her, and that this kid is going to be rude and never talk to her. That he is going to have horrible role modeling.” The fact that this little baby is only four months inside of me just hurt my heart so so bad. I can’t stop thinking about that projection and he isn’t even born yet!

    She told me that if my sister-in-law and mother-in-law offered to throw me a shower, she’s not going go. That caused a lot of stress and so I planned on telling my closest friend first in hopes that she would offer to throw me the shower before my sister and mother-in-law, which she did.

    However, just the other day at breakfast knowing that my friend is throwing the shower, my mom told me she doesn’t think she’s gonna go to my shower. She said she just doesn’t know how she’s going to be able to look my mother-in-law in the face and put on a smile, and she doesn’t want to be around them. It hurt me so bad. I always stay calm when I talk with my mom through these things and let her know how I feel, but she ends up getting really escalated and screaming at me. She tells me she has no one to talk to about this and she needs more from me. This last conversation she was visiting my house and I had just showed her my baby’s heart beat with my Doppler… it was such a happy moment. And then shortly after my in-laws came up and after getting so angry and at me as well, mid conversation she told me she “better go” and she ended up just leaving. I tried to stand up for myself and said to her that the shower is about me and the baby and all of this is not about her and I asked her to please put these feelings towards my in-laws aside. Her response to this was “it IS about me!” That’s when I knew I just needed to stop.

    I guess I’m really grappling right now with all of these hurtful things she said. It brings me to such a low! In a way I think it will be a relief for her not to be at the shower so I won’t have to stress about her interaction and and the dynamic with my in-laws. At my wedding (which she made negative and toxic) I drank so much from my anxiety about it that I got so so sick during my wedding and had to leave to go to bed early. I have no idea how to explain her not being at my shower to everybody. Some people know a little bit about her BPD but my mother and sister-in-law certainly don’t. I just think it’s going to look so sad and horrible that my own mother is not showing up to my baby shower and I don’t think anyone will understand what they hells is wrong with her because they aren’t victims of BPD. The worst part is that I also feel protective of my mom. Like I don’t want to embarrass her or have people dislike her because of how she is hurting me. So I end up lying.

    I just can’t stop thinking about all of this and it’s keeping me up at night. I’m only four months into pregnancy. How am I going to get through actually having this child with the dynamics between my mom and in-laws?? Any advice is very appreciated. Thanks!

    February 5, 2024 at 7:29 pm #1128028

    It’s time you set up some boundaries with your mother. It’s going to suck, but you need to do it now instead of after when the baby is born.

    You need a hard line with her and let her know that you’re not going to let her trash your in-laws anymore.

    “Mom, I don’t have it in me to listen to you bad-mouth my in-laws.” And if (realistically, when) she pushes that boundary, you stop talking to her. Yes, she’s going to feel bad. She’s going to be angry. You have to stick to it.

    Every time she does something that triggers your anxiety, you exit the conversation.

    She won’t like it, but you are not responsible for her emotions. You need to be taking care of you and eventually taking care of that baby. You cannot manage her emotions for her and you’re only going to hurt yourself and your family in the long run by trying.

    If she’s not at the baby shower, that’s on her. “She couldn’t make it” is all you have to say to anyone who asks about it.

    BPD is tough, but trying to manage the emotions of someone who has BPD is a losing game.

    February 5, 2024 at 8:38 pm #1128029

    First, congratulations.

    Secondly, is your mother diagnosed and in medication/it’s being managed? Because this doesn’t sound like her BPD is going so well right now, and if there is someone who could help her see the light- her dr, your father, a sibling, etc reach out to them. Depending on what you want, which wasn’t clear but I think you want your mother around and for her to cut the shit with your MIL and now your husband and soon to be child.

    You should write this all down, or show her this post or something and try to have one last come to Jesus. This is not a competition, but if it is and she decides to spoil everything by not showing up and missing out in her grandchild’s life because of her feelings and perspective of what is happening is not your fault.

    If your mother is undiagnosed and none of the above is possible, I am sorry. But you deserve a mother who loves you instead of one that fights off anyone close to you. That she would call your husband and unborn child rude is at the point where I think she needs help, therapy, a dr, someone to help her into better treatment. And that really shouldn’t be you, because you’re pregnant and you don’t need the stress.

    Are you seeing a therapist? You may want to. My mother is not diagnosed but I’m fairly certain (I’m not a dr but I did take courses in psychology in college) that she is BPD and she behaves like this and will isolate herself from everyone who she perceives has personal slighted her. The best hint I did (after I became a parent) was to see a therapist about my own childhood.

    Good luck, protect yourself and your child, sadly even from your mother if you need to.

    February 5, 2024 at 8:44 pm #1128030

    Sorry, to be clear I meant, if you think it’s worth a shot maybe plan a come to Jesus intervention with your dad or another qualified adult. She can not tell you that your family is rude and expect you to take her side. And if it is between your child and husband, and her, she’s going to lose. I expect this is what is making her lash out and act this way. You will no longer be devoted to her, the tie is breaking even more and she’s upset and acting out. Not okay, even with a diagnosis. It is not okay for your mother to add stress to your life when you are pregnant. If she wants to be positive and helpful, great. If she’s going to be catty and negative, no. Explain this very, very clearly and treat her like a toddler if she breaks the rules. This may mean you need it write down what that means for you. If you mom says a catty thing on the phone, remind her once that you won’t tolerate it and then hang up. She will be angry and say you’re disrespectful, she is disrespectful and you will hang up every time she is. If it’s in person, tell her once, remind her once to her face, and then pack it up and leave. Even if you’ve just got there. Even if it’s making a huge scene. Unless she can reign in her petty imagined slights, you and your husband need to be a United front in protecting your stress levels at all times.

    February 5, 2024 at 8:46 pm #1128031

    If you can’t imagine this, just don’t forget it is not you, your mother is doing this. Just remember that. It’s not your fault.

    I’m sorry. We don’t all get the mothers and grandparents we deserve.

    February 5, 2024 at 9:07 pm #1128032

    Thank you all so much for taking the time. Yes she has pushed away everyone. She doesn’t have a single friend and her and my dad are mid separation at 75 years old after years of hell.
    When I try and set boundaries or exit the conversation, she gets more angry and says she needs to be able to talk about this. And then she blames me in-laws for putting her in this situation to be made out to look like the bad guy. When I tell her talking about this makes me feel stressed, her response is that pregnancy is not “all butterflies and rainbows”. It just feels like a battle I can never win, even just the smallest move as trying to set a boundary.

    February 5, 2024 at 9:56 pm #1128033

    I’m really sorry. Things with my mom came to a head long before I had children, but our relationship has actually gotten better (my description) with space and time. She lives in AZ and I live in PA and we really have nothing in common. I wish my parents were different people- but I have finally accepted that they are who they are. (Therapy.) You may think you know and understand that your mom is this way, but it sounds like you’re really grieving that she is not well, and cannot be a well mom for you. I know I’m annoying, but my therapist really helped me understand that she is the only person who can change. And she has to want to and work toward it, and some people just will never. The only thing I can do is make boundaries to keep myself happy and sane, damn anything else, even a relationship with her if that’s what it comes down to. Because I don’t deserve abuse and neither do you. Making boundaries that make you unhappy to give her a little, is not going to make her happy. Your baby doesn’t need a nasty old lady in his life, even if it is his grandma. Trust me.

    I have had to find parental figures. I don’t really have a mom figure right now, but I have a dad figure who was an early boss of mine and he and his wife have bee involved in my life since I was 18. They truly appreciate and love me for the person I am, and it’s a different, but it takes up some of the space of a mom or a dad.

    Good luck, and internet hugs,

    February 6, 2024 at 6:57 am #1128034

    I don’t think confronting your mom is going to have any positive effect here. Your mom is not rational and has more issues than a comic book store.

    In my family we politely listen to the other person and then do whatever it was that you were going to do in the first place. While you’re listening to the person ramble on about all of the things that you should be doing, you just go to your happy place until they tucker out. You nod politely, say non committal things like “That’s an interesting thought, I’ll have to consider that.” or “I hadn’t seen the situation from that perspective” or “mmm-ok” none of these things are actual agreements. We love one another, but we also recognize that we’re all adults now and we each have to make our own choices. And we totally call one another out when we get stonewalled – but all we can do is shrug our shoulders and say “got it – I’ll stop”. And if it really goes into areas that are not up for discussion we may throw a “this conversation is over” or “we’re not having this conversation.” and the rules are you gotta shut the fuck up at that point. You can’t push, even if you want to.

    Look up grey-rocking – start practicing this with your mom. She’s an adult, responsible for her own emotional well being. You are going to be a parent, your attention needs to turn to the small human who has absolutely no concept of emotional well being and it’s your job (and your husband’s job) to make sure the kid is taken care of and is safe both physically and emotionally. If that means limiting your crazy-ass needy mom – so be it.

    I’m going to ask a weird question and I may be totally wrong here – but go with it. During these conversations, does your mom push you until you are crying or yelling or exhibiting some sort of extreme emotion? If so, that’s her control. That’s her way of making sure that you still care about her. If you didn’t get upset, it would prove you didn’t care. If she’s doing that, it’s because she needs to damage you to prove to herself that you still care. Kind and loving people don’t damage one another like this. I’m not saying my family is perfect, but I like that we are allowed boundaries.

    February 6, 2024 at 9:18 am #1128038

    Grieving your mother night now, while you’re about to bring a child into the world and feel huge earth shattering changes in your life is a lot. …I grieved my life, my singular solitary existence when I had children. You may have PPD, nursing issues, hormonal blasts. You go through a lot. Friends change. I would really suggest speaking to someone about this sooner than later, and trying to figure out what you want. What kind of relationship do you want to have with your mother and her to have with your child? Is that realistic? Talk to your husband.

    February 8, 2024 at 12:49 am #1128054

    Therapy.. you need a therapist who specializes with BPD parents. You need to learn to draw HARD and firm boundaries that have consequences. Think of it as training for dealing with your future toddler (congratulations). Boundaries only work if you enforce them and impose consequences.

    You tell your mother that comments about your in-laws are now 100% off limits. Let her know is she starts the conversation is over and you will talk to her a couple of days later. Then DO NOT ANSWER THE PHONE… silence her.. temp block her. What ever you need to do. She will pitch the MOTHER of all fits (imagine a toddler in a store). You 100% HAVE to ignore this and NOT give in.

    Then in a few days you call…and chat. When she brings it up, you repeat she is to no longer EVER talk about your in laws and the next time she does it, you won’t speak to her for a week. Rinse repeat. Extend the no talking time longer for each violation. As long as you don’t cave… she will eventually. Right now she has trained you to jump

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BPD Mother Adding Stress to Early Pregnancy

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