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Feb 21, 2001

But I'M NOT BITTER...
The Goddess of battle, strife, and destruction explains it all for you
by

Despite our best efforts to dissuade you, many of you have still decided to write to us with your problems, complaints and crises of the moment. We don't have a trained therapist on staff, and this isn't "Dear F*ckin' Abbey", but we DO have Bonnie, who has graciously volunteered her time and heartless perspectives in order to minister to (or macerate) the misguided, with "Dear Fuckin' Bon..."


November 21, 2002

Dear Fuckin' Bon,

Thanks for Heartless Bitches! I identify THOROUGHLY though very much too late!!

Having had about zero experience with real liars, manipulators, and controllers...
Having never heard about Borderline Personality Disorders, not really...

I married up to one of these Romeo-Don Juan CAD men in my mid-twenties. We had two kids. And eventually, to dispose of me, he turned me in to a psychiatrist's care -- GET THIS -- and told that doctor a completely made-up "history" of chronic schizophrenia. I was full of mind-numbing brain drugs before I got to speak with my doctor!!! Needless to say....

Before I was released from institutional care (three years of it!) he divorced me and got custody of our children. He claimed "mental cruelty" (ME against HIM, unh-huh) for grounds, explaining that I had directed my hypersexuality at his colleagues -- which jeopardized his work career (he'd "held" seven (7) different work positions in 5 states during 'our' 10 years!!!!!)

I'm pretty much over it, as far as RANTING on my own, for my own sake.

BUT my children, my dear dear, strong, bright, graceful children had to suffer his paternal custody from the ages of 6 and 10. OUCH!! On top of being allowed to believe their Mom was hopelessly mentally ill, and on top of the adverse quality of the CAD's 'fathering style,' they were subjected to even more place changes, with different apartments & schools in yet another state -- at a 1000 miles from their Mom.

Whether or not children enjoy stability of parenting, IT STILL TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD. My children's father denied them the village too!! I kept contact, as best I could. After working and scrimping for 3 years, I could afford to move those 1000 miles to live closer during their junior high and high school years.

This move was a mixed blessing, as it involved having to see and interact with and get taken advantage of by The Ex more than anyone would like. Not sex, but everything else, of course blaming me for undermining his control over the teenagers AND his girlfriends!!

He never did anything for them but pay the rent & food, sign report cards. I went to the teacher conferences, took them for clothes on my money - hahaha what money?? If they had an outing not with me, it was because one of his girlfriends made a plan for acting like a family. He insisted on free local jr college instead of going away for college.

This 'father' was a college teacher with a PhD; both kiddos in gifted track in HS with wonderful grades in AP classes. They might have picked any college anywhere and got scholarships BUT when I bought a Petersons Guide and handbooks for getting college money help, TheCAD literally threw the book(s) at me screaming at the top of his lungs that those kids' education was none of my business!! (I was at the time a PT college instructor myself with 2 Master's -- disqualified for good paying position by my psychiatric background!).

The upshot of all this, is that This Heartless Bitch STILL lives without. It was so heartwarming to read your analysis and rants - after Fw to one of my sisters even she kinda gets it - OH WE DIDN'T KNOW YOU WERE ABUSED she said.

Is there a good way to share with the KIDDOS - now 28 and 32 years old, and set in their minds with the made-up Tales of their Dad's invention??

Help!!
Anagram

Hey Anagram,

I can't tell you how strongly I feel for family members who must continue to deal with borderlines out of necessity, since when someone is very ill with this disorder, it's constantly chaotic and frustrating. For the purposes of answering I'm assuming that he actually has a diagnosis of the disorder. Is he being treated?

I can reassure you that your children undoubtedly have had MANY of their own conflicts and disappointments with their father. If he has the dx and you have read up on the disorder, I would just casually mention it to your kids and see if they want to discuss it or know anything further. You've worked really hard to stay near them and stay in their lives, and those actions ultimately speak louder than his words/manipulations can. Try to just be straightforward and honest with them without expressing too much of your anger. Your anger may be justified but expressing it to THEM may make them feel as though you're putting them in the middle, and might even keep them from opening up to you. Then I'd just back off and let them do what seems right for them, and in their own timing.

Additionally, one of the most important things to remember when dealing with a dx'ed borderline is that there is no fixed answer, and no set technique that will help. The ground keeps shifting and you just have to be aware that you're living in an earthquake zone, and become adaptive around it. (This is not the same as enabling, you shouldn't encourage destructive behaviour, but you must be aware that a frustrated BPD will shift tactics). Even this advice is not fixed, as BPD, like all personality disorders, is on a continuum and depending on the severity it will impact their and your life in different ways. Some folks have every area of their life and relationships impacted and disfunctional, and others can live normally and work on healthy and productive relationship skills.

Ultimately, I think you should get some support of your own, get some counseling and deal with your (understandable and justified) anger, and then let your kids know that you will help them with information and support if they choose. They may choose to stay more involved with their father or they may choose to distance themselves from him to whatever degree they are comfortable with. However, at the ages they are now, there should be no reason for you to be very involved with him at this point, and if the two of you are still entangled to the point that he can affect your life now, you need to get out of that position (counseling can help with that too, if you're having difficulty setting the boundaries). I may be off with this, but it's not entirely clear if you still deal with him closely. If not, you really do need to get some help with healing and moving on. Your kids are well into adulthood, and you'll need to be able to manage your emotions before you can be a truly strong support for them, especially if they are still dealing with him.

Just get what you need for you, and be available for what your kids want and need.

Good luck,
bon


Copyright© Bonnie & Heartless Bitches International (heartless-bitches.com) 2000
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