Tuesday, January 31, 2006


I just had the biggest break through..and all from watching "The Soprano's" (First Season)

So I was watching it, and the lead character (Tony Soprano) has this crazy mom, and from the second I saw her she reminded me of my mother. She's eternally miserable..all that stuff. Plus, in the show, he puts her in a "retirement home" because she kept having incidents at home, kitchen fire..stuff like that. So he sends her there, it's a really nice fancy place, but she hates it of course, and continues to act in a way that always keeps him feeling bad, and on his toes because of constant antics.

What's even stranger, is just like my mother, the mother on the show had 2 other children besides Tony (girls), but they had disappeared the minute they turned 18, leaving Tony...who was always the one who felt like he could make things better, and with the idea that "this is my mother, how could I abandon her?" type of thing. Much like me. (My mom had 2 children from a previous marriage, before she adopted me. Her son, and other daughter are non-existent)

So anyway, Tony see's a psychiatrist who eventually addresses the issue of his mother, and tells him that from what she knows of her, she's a classic case of "Borderline Personality Disorder" and then she goes into the symptoms.

My mouth about dropped open. It's my mom..through and through. We all knew she was crazy..but I didn't know they had a name for it. It explains a lot about why she's always acted the way she has.

If you have a sec, read some of the symptoms of it. I had to look it up online. In the show the doctor is trying to make Tony understand it's not his fault, and it was totally out of his control how his mother acted. He has a lot of feelings of worthlessness because in his eyes, if your own mother doesn't like you, or treats you how his did to him, than what good are you...type of thing. I can totally relate...but knowing the way my mom acts actually has a name, REALLY HELPS..well as much as it can.

Signs and symptoms of borderline personality disorder may include:

Difficulty controlling emotions or impulses
Frequent emotional ups and downs
Impulsive actions
Mood swings
Stormy relationships
Intense anger, possibly involving physical fights
Casting others in terms of good or bad
Feeling of emptiness inside
Fear of being alone

"Borderline Personality Disorder, or BPD, is relatively common yet it's not talked about very much. With at least two to three percent of the population suffering from BPD (by conservative estimates), there are many millions of kids--now adults--who were likely raised by someone with its symptoms. The effects on these adult children can be profound and long-lasting."

Growing up, did your parent:

- Tease you, often cruelly, about physical attributes, mental abilities, intelligence or habits?

- Say one thing one day and the opposite the next?

- Share inappropriate information or secrets with you?

- Expect you to take his side or share her opinion?

- Treat you like an adult instead of a child?

- Discount, deny or ignore your feelings, especially anger?

- Did you often feel: scared; confused; angry; guilty; responsible; old; listless; invisible; unlovable?

As an adult, do you:

- Find yourself in abusive, unfulfilling or unhealthy relationships?

- Have difficulty trusting?

- Usually expect the worst?

- Feel responsible for others?

- Have a hard time knowing what you want?

- Feel uneasy with success or enjoying life

- Get highly anxious in social or new situations

- Hold yourself to standards nearing perfection

- Feel worthless, hopeless or depressed?"

And one last thing to totally convince me this is my mother :

The Borderline Mother

1. Confuses or frightens her child
2. Does not apologize or is unable to recall inappropriate behavior
3. Expects to be taken care of
4. Punishes or discourages independence
5. Envies, ignores, or demeans her child's accomplishments
6. Destroys, denigrates, or undermines self-esteem
7. Expects child to respond to her needs
8. Disciplines inconsistently or punitively
9. Feels threatened or resentful if the child is loved by others
10.Uses threats of abandonment or actually abandons the child
11.Does not believe in her own or her child's basic goodness

It's scary how fitting this is, everything from how I was treated growing up to some feelings I have now. Anyway the stuff from above is from a book called "Surviving a Borderline Parent" of which I will be buying ASAP. It certainly can't hurt.

What's cool is, now if anyone asks me about my mom, and they've seen The Sopranos...all I have to say is.."You know Tony Sopranos mom? That's her." Heh..makes it easy. In the show she stirs up enough shit to eventually get his own people mad at him and get a hit put on him. So thankfully my mom has no Mafia affiliations, haha.

Yes...long post...sorry about that. Had to get it off my chest.

P.S. - If your interested in some background info about my situation with my mother, refer to:

"Bat's In The Belfrey"




TC said...

Very weird to go back and read the old blogs about you mom, now knowing the comparison made to Livia Soprano! Pretty....spooky. And yes be glad you aren't in the mafia.

jennifer gelco said...

Livia was a great borderline case to present because many people haven't heard of borderline personality disorder and cannot imagine the hell the children go through growing up with a mother like that!