Why BPD/NPD Mothers Sabotage their Children


bad mom 2This article discusses potential ways some Borderline, Narcissistic and other personality disordered mothers sabotage and harm their children’s intellectual, emotional, psychological, physical and moral development.

To read the article, please follow this link:

Why Some Borderline, Narcissistic and Histrionic Mothers Sabotage their Children

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Dr Tara J. Palmatier provides confidential, fee-for-service, consultation/coaching services to help both men and women work through their relationship issues via telephone and/or Skype chat. Her practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Shrink4Men Services page for professional inquiries.

  1. Sandra
    February 15, 2013 at 12:14 am

    I am connected to a BPD individual because she is married to my son. It pains me to see my son and grandchildren at the mercy of this woman. At this moment they are planning to move to a town where they know no one. This woman has my son so wrapped around her fingers that he is moving again, because she says she is not happy. She controls when we the grandchildren see the children, and since my son does not want to rock the boat, says nothing, and does nothing. I have watched over the past 6 years they have been married the abuse to my son, the children and now watch the children as they are helpless in their lives. Scary because she doesn’t want them to want anyone but her, and I cannot even imagine what their life will be like now that they are moving AGAIN, because she is the primary caretake when my son is at work, but he is afraid to take leadership because she has angry outburst and there is no telling what will happen. I feel so bad that I am powerless over protecting my grandchildren. The smiling little boy that once jumped in his grandmas and grandpas arms always seems sad, and the little girl (4) still cries for her mother. She since she has been married to our son, continues to isolate our son from us. And this is just another attempt at getting him away from the people he loves. As they are moving again, she recently just told the children that they will never see their grandma and grandpa again. I confronted her because I am so tired of her putting lies into the grandkids head, of course she claimed she did not say anything to them. I mostly wanted her to know I know what she is doing, because my grandson made me promise to see him. Sometimes I feel so lost because no one can see that she is crazy and does’t see her for the sick person that she is and the damage physiologically she will eventually do to the kids if someone does not step in. My son basically chooses to stay in the relationship, left twice, went back because she continuously made him feel guilty and now he is planning on moving out of state because she stayed on him to find another job somewhere else. Unfortunately with them moving the times when we are able to see them, I pray I have showed my grandchildren real love that will outweigh any mess she puts in their head. I can only pray, since my son is choosing to stay in this unhealthy relationship with this woman and leave her in the care of this women. I could go on about the damage she has already done, but it could take days, thats how badly things are.
    Are there any grandparents out there who can relate? It would sure be nice to have someone to talk to because I am so concerned for the sanity of my grandchildren, and my son, but he is an adult, but the children do not get to choose their circumstances.

    • Mellaril
      February 15, 2013 at 12:20 am

      Sorry to hear about your situation. Check out the Forum. There’s at least one grandmother posting there about her son and her grandkids.

      • Sandra
        February 15, 2013 at 12:25 am

        Thank You for your response. Would she happen to have a name I should look for? I know I am not alone that there are other parents out there who share my pain, so making an connection for the sake of support and encouragement would be a blessing!

        • Mellaril
          February 15, 2013 at 1:41 am

          I don’t want to identify any Forum members but if you read the blogs in the Parent’s Issues Forum, register and post your story in the Introduction thread, I think she’ll respond.

    • Jan
      February 26, 2013 at 10:25 pm

      As grandparents,we are in a similar situation. However, after 7 yrs our son has decided he has had enough as he recognizes the damage already done to the children. Yet it is very difficult to become emotionally and legally unhinged from this woman and convince the courts who is the better parent because she cares only about herself and plays the victim in her image to others. it is constant conflict. Manipulation of the truth is classic. More than you, I have become the “cause” of the breakup and I don’t even know why. She constantly tries to turn our grandchildren against us and is jealous of our relationship with our older grandson. However, we are doing everything we can to support the children and our son thru this turbulent time. I share your pain.

      • Sandra
        February 26, 2013 at 11:05 pm

        Jan,

        I pray for that day when out son realizes the negative impact this woman has and is having on his children. Our grandson (6) on many occasions stated he did not like his mommy or the way she treats his dad. That alone shows he is affected by the drama he is forced to live with. He of course is stating how he feels, and those feelings stay with a child until they are given a chance to feel otherwise . Because they are no longer close for us to continue a relationship with him, my heart and prayers go out to him. Have no contact or info to where they live and I know just because they have moved she has not changed, it’s just a matter of time until she will pressure my son to move, because she won’t be happy there either. I’ve had to Let Go and Let God, because no matter how much I tell my son that his kids are being affected, he is deadest on trying to save this girl. It’s been real frustrating we get close to the grandbabies she gets mad my son supports her and then boom no chance to see the grandkids. I don’t advocate Divorce, but pray he will wake up and realize that he can live without her and he can find someone who genuinely loves him. When the day comes and he needs help and support with the kids I know we will be there.
        Is your son seeking some sort of counseling? When my son tried to leave ( but went back) some of the things he stated going on in his head, I could see would require him to do some type of counseling. Each day gets easier , but still worry about my grandbabies will turn out, the longer he is with her, but now all I have is God protecting their minds, heart and spirit. Thanks for responding, thought I’d never find some who relate to my pain. Now especially since my son and I are estranged from one another. Your story gives me HOPE. I hope we can stay in touch. If u are okay I will give you my email address.

        Thanks Sandra

    • l j akers
      March 27, 2013 at 4:00 pm

      I can relate to “everything” you said. my daughter is very emotionally abusive to me. she had a baby boy in march. I was there when he,was born. I am a very forgiving person so I put all her past abuses of me aside in the hopes of a new beginning, but sadly it didnt last long. in the beginning she let me take him for weeks at a time. then something wou set her off and wasnt allowed to see him. this is my own daughter. this back and forth or the love hate cycle is on going. the last I had him for ten days. he was turning one in 2 days. she showed up at my house in a fury wanting to file for divorce. I tried to calm her down and my crime was saying her husband loved him too. she left without the baby, went home, made up with hubby. she called said they were coming to get the baby. so I was denied his first birthday, easter and the last time was right before her wedding. she invited me over showed me her dress, and asked me to fit her veil. (I had no clue she was getting married) she said sorry mom your not invited. he,was 4 months old. she showed up a couple,days before thanksgiving and I decided for his sake to make ammends. she,was nice through christmas and after I spent hundreds to give them all a nice christmas she once again found a “reason” to deny me a little baby who has been with me so much she put her hands out to him and he refused to go to her. he looked into my eyes and I said “its okay” he wouldnt go and I had to coax him to go to his own mother. this cycle of abuse is all about power and control. After she pulled this 2 days before he turn one. I had to make the gut wrenching decision to get therapy for myself and let him go because I am not well and I dont have money for lawyers. she has no empathy, no heart. he is a pawn. the parents,have all the rights. I cant tell.u the countless diapers, clothes, toys, I have purchased. funny. when the money dried up so did visits to grandma. For my own sanity I had to let him go. I pray each night for him and that one day when hes old enough he will come back..My biggest fear of all is he doesnt turn out just like his mother. I made a promise to myself after giving them a nice thanksgiving and christmas that if she ever pulled this on me again I will severe all ties with my daughter. I have to for my own self preservation. I love my grandson very much but the laws in Texas favor the parents. I dont know where I went wrong to have a daughter who has no heart. no empathy. looking back I sort of feel she gave him to me for extended periods of time to make sure I would bond with him. she would say we can raise him together. he has two moms. I feel her motive was much more sinister in that she knows one of us truly loves that little boy. I pray for her that one day she will grow a heart, but since I doubt that will ever happen it has come down to self preservation. if I let her the cycle will continue and she too is unsettled, always wants to move. can someone help me? My X is a nurse and of no help. She is a master manipulator she stabs everyone in the back spreading lies so nobody will talk to each other and she keeps the control. I feel utterly helpless

    • Blackanease
      April 8, 2013 at 2:41 pm

      HI Grandma. How you doing? Listen grandma, this is what you do okay or try to do.

      You gotta focus on your son.
      He is the key to solve all the problem.
      You gotta make him strong, make him want to leave this woman.
      And I mean leave with his children.

      Start seeking custody for the children first, then tell him to get the hell
      outta there.

      Im with one of those women now, and she tells me she is pregnant, but could be true I’m
      not sure, still even before reading your post my intentions are not to stay with her and I wish
      this baby the best of luck as I’m sure they will take it away as she is telling me she needs me to lie to the authority’s and I must say I’m with her in order for her to have this baby.
      The Authority’s already have taken away her first child which is not mine so they surley will do it again if Im not around.

      To be honest grandma, I feel like your son, but tell him that Andrew says to get his skate’s on and do as I say….

      Mine is saying she is pregnant, Im getting the hell out.
      He Has Kids and they definately gotta get out and that is going to be with his mothers help by any means nessesary.

      • Sandra
        April 8, 2013 at 4:01 pm

        Hi Blackenese,

        Thanks for your response. I appreciate the comment, and my heart goes out to you if you are a man living in this type of relationship. If you are planning to get out, yes by all means begin the process now, as from what I can tell the longer you are in a BPD relationship it is more difficult to leave, especially if there are children involved. My son has made it very clear to me that he wants nothing to do with me. I don’t want it this way, but he does, and I would like nothing more than to get his children out of there as they are children and do not get a voice in their lives, but my son has heard, seen, and knows what he is dealing with and still chooses to stay, I guess hoping she will change or at least holding on to those as he described “highs” and seeking to have more of those then the “low” or “bad”. For my sanity, because I see how it will eventually turn out, I have removed myself, because he will only continue to move or do whatever it takes to stay in this unhealthy relationship with her. I have been seen as the bad guy in all this, as much as I love my son, I cannot spend the rest of my energy trying to talk him out of it. If he wants my help, it will have to be when he has clearly made a decision to move on, and that would mean me seeing him file documents to rid himself of her. He does not appear to be strong enough, and I did what I could with the time I had when he left her (but went back) to share knowledge as to why he should work on himself and getting a voice. The manipulations on her part are working, and I know when I have to let go. It frustrating to watch and I have to move on at this point and just pray for my son and grandbabies that one day he will wake up and recognize that this woman is only out for herself. Until then, if you have the opportunity to get away now, I would suggest you do exactly what you are suggesting me tell my son, seek counseling to help you get stronger and answer some questions that you may be asking yourself. When my son shared what it was like to me, I suggested he get counseling and support from an counselor to help him answer those questions. You lose your self-worth and value in these types of relationships because of the insults and belittling so it is important to let someone help you begin to feel better about yourself. When someone is constantly making you feel bad, just for existing and blaming things on you instead of taking responsibility, that does something to a person, well from what I have seen, you actually begin to believe it, but that is a lie that after sometime the victim begins to buy into. I have come to the place where I realize I am powerless physically but not powerless prayerfully.
        You deserve a relationship as my son, where you are appreciated and loved for the person that you are. I am presently working on forgiveness, because I do feel like I have lost my son, but he is grown and chose to shut me out of my grandchildren’s lives, so there are some hurt feeling going on. He will have to learn through this, so God forbid he does rid himself of this toxic marriage he can be healthy enough to find someone who will love him the way he should be loved. He is a kind, gentle loving individual,(not just saying because he is my son, but I know the type of man I raised) and I just pray that he will learn to stand and speak, empower himself so his children will leave this environment with self-worth themselves.

        God bless You and make sure you have a strong support system, and some counselor set up so you don’t feel alone and feel like she is the only one you have and end up back with her. That’s the lie of the abuser, to get you thinking that they are the only one that cares for you. If the child is not yours, and you have no children with this woman, I would say, don’t look back. You have nothing she can hang over your head.

        Keep me in touch and I will say a prayer for strength for you.

  2. Sandra
    March 4, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Hi Jason,

    First of all, let me say “Thank You” for your reply to my post. I appreciate and overappreciate you speaking from my son’s shoes. I try my hardest to believe what you are saying about my son, some days when I think about it, I say ok he is trying to protect his children, then on the other hand when he left her and told us how miserable his life has been since he has been with her, I try to understand why he will not seek knowledge about what his rights to his kids. The counsel we gave him once he told us all the sordid details of his life was, “son you will need to talk to a lawyer to find out what your rights are”. You do understand that you have rights, dont you? Being the kind, gentle man that he is, he wanted to let her have them and said he would fly to minnisota to visit them once a month, so she had already threatened to take them from him already. My husband told him that was noble, but given the behavior you have described, why would you want to leave them in her care. We let him know that we are there to help him in anyway with the kids, but to no avail. I have worked with victims of abuse, so I know all the issues that they face. I know this isnt an easy decision, because there are some good times. But as the article said, this type of behavior can have longlasting affects on a childs development process, and I not just as their grandparent speak, but as another human being, mother, etc, they do pay the ultimate price because they don’t get a choice in the matter. They do what they are told, and taught. At first, when I met my husbands wife I had been told about her past abuse, and open my arms to her not to save her (because I can’t) but to help her, but mostly be a source of support. It may affect me a bit more because of the type of work I do, and I know when a individual is angry at something in their life, they seek out to find someone who will tolerate that abuse from them, because if they don’t they will just find another person who will. I have worked with the unlovable by the worlds standard, so she was really not that difficult except for when I let my guard down to reach out to her, or she calls and wants to forget the past, (and I give her the benefit of the doubt, many times) we always end up in the same place. Because as you stated she acts out anywhere and does not even care if I am standing there when she does it. I have been in that positon many times and said nothing. Mainly, because 1) whats the point in my saying something if my son isn’t, he doesnt defend himself, and makes excuses for her behavior. (Hard yes) because he is my son, and noone should be talked down the way she does him. (So I realized my powerlessness and stay out of the way and keep my opinions to myself). Is this hard yes because the grandchildren often witness it. Grandson has told me on many occasions that he does not like or love his mommy. (Of course, later she accused me of teaching him this, again, I wanted to tell her the truth about herself. (But held my tongue). You CANNOT have an constructive conversation with her because she always turns things around to My first experience see this, was we were out shopping for christmas, and she made my son feel so bad with her words,(and this is in public). I wanted to make her feel even worst. (And I could have) The hard part was seeing him trying to make her happy, she wasnt, insulted him and the look on his face the way he walked away. He is not just a my son, he is also a human being with feelings, and it pained me to see this. Then minutes later, she is sweet talking to him as if nothing had happen. And he accepted it, without so much as expressing how he felt when she treates him this way. I have done everything that I can think of and the Lord has guided me to do with this young lady. Took ownership of the issues between us, (Apologized) being the bigger person, while she took none and still claims that it is everybody but her. (The well finally ran dry) and I have nothing else left to give to her. My son and his children are already her victim, I choose not to be. She has done some horrific things, just selfish abusive things, but I just cannot take a person who claims how much she loves her children but uses them to hurt people, even their own father. I draw the line when you tell them that they will never see someone (grandparents) that they truly love ever. (This is what she told them, because the little girl happily told me this , and the little boy was worried and ask me why he would never see me again). Before they left when she did show which was 1 time since he left her and told us everything, i am very cordual and nice, but thats all I have. He is a good man, just like I am sure you are, and to see this type of abuse just discusses me, because I know he is a good husband (not perfect) but I am also married to his father. He had a good example.At this point, we do not have an relationship he only contacts his dad, since they left and moved AGAIN, I don;t like the way things have turned out but you are correct, that I have to focus on my own sanity and thats what i have chosen to do. I understand his predicament, but I also know my grandkids (the little boy) little girl is extremely attached to her, have expressed an desire to stay with his grandma and grandpa. Thats all i can do and I know when i am powerless over people, and things so I just continue to pray ferverenly for my grandchildren that they do not suffer in some of the ways that the article describes from living with a BPD or NPD mother.

    I am grateful that someone taught me about the power of Prayer! So I will continue to seek and trust God for this situation. I am glad that things appear to be working out in your family however. God bless You and yours!

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