Abuse is NOT Love - Cluster B Parents Fail Us in Love, Bonding and Attachment
Updated: Jul 6
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Borderline co-morbid Narcissist "Mothers" or #NarcissistMothers or Fathers or Dark Triad fathers are not capable of love. It is their own projected out hate that means as the child and then adult child of a #ClusterBparent or parents we need to acknowledge, grieve, then accept and heal that were unseen, unloved, hated, scapegoated children.
They always choose the most sensitive and gifted loving child who feels their emotions as the #scapegoatchild. We are the strongest. We always were and they hated that about us.
Why is it that so many people can't see that they need to still deny the truth and believe that a borderline narcissist mother "loved" them? Why do people think that abuse could be, in any way, love? Do you or have you thought that while being abused by your BPD/NPD or NPD mother that you were also being loved? That you were ever seen for who you were or are now?
#Abuse is not love. Abuse precludes love. Abuse is the absence of love. Abuse is the narcissistic mother's own inner hatred projected out often solely on her daughter. Sometimes onto a son. Except that I am here, and you are here, these women should not be allowed to have children.
There are many levels or degrees of adverse childhood experiences that are traumatic and wounding to infants, young children, and children throughout childhood. Many people may not realize the extent to which you have been traumatized by a parent or both your parents. Many people grow up accustomed to emotional neglect, emotional abandonment and even worse thinking that does not mean that a parent, or family member didn't love you.
"They did the best they could" right? Do you know how many clients in 30 years of working with people to heal after a Borderline, Narcissist, or Psychopath (or Dark Triad) parent and/or family of origin that will say, of a Cluster B parent, "He, she loved me, well, as best they could, anyway."?
The answer is, almost every client I have ever had. Why? Because in Narcissistic Dysfunctional families of origin we are "brainwashed" - conditioned to believe that we are loved by a Borderline, Narcissist, Psychopathic or Dark Triad parent or parents. I know I was. We need to believe they care somewhere inside or how are we to survive in our younger years?
I thought well into my adulthood, despite all being the scapegoated child ( I didn't learn this until I was in my late 20's back in the early 1980's) We didn't have all the information available today. I really believed that despite the sexual abuse, the physical abuse, the emotional abuse, the name-calling the raging at me, the blaming me for everything that they deemed as having gone wrong, for how the golden child felt or when the golden child made mistakes that became my fault somehow, if something happened or not, including when nothing even happened ... I thought they still loved me. Why? I had no known information to the contrary. And, even more importantly, however, I was too wounded to be able to cope with the pain of the reality that I was unloved. I wasn't only unloved, I was hated. Deep down in a small part of myself, that I would totally lose for almost 30 years, there was a knowing that I was not loved. That I was not seen. And that who I was, and later knew myself to truly be was of no interest to the parents or family that I had - in a manner of speaking as I was never connected to them nor did I in anyway other than biologically or legally "belong to" or "come from" them.
My mother, a borderline narcissist, my father a Dark Triad, other relatives with BPD, NPD etc. all shared the same unreal "reality" that I was the problem. I was the scapegoat. I always knew so much was wrong. I was suffering. I became what is now known as the "patient" that the family shoved out, rejected, and abandoned as the mentally ill one while they all thought themselves quite "normal". One is far too busy trying to just survive this traumatic experience and there is no room or space inside or ability to even begin to tolerate let alone cope with what I came to know, understand and have to grieve and cope with as so many do. I was not a loved child. My parents had no empathy, no compassion, and they never saw me.
I was only a mere extension of them. I was not ever seen as child, a separate growing human being with emotional needs. They could not bear that at all. When I felt anything, they went to their own primal rage. They abused me. They shamed me. They did this behind closed doors most often. But the shaming, the blaming me for their misperceptions of narcissistic injury that they were re-living that never actually happened all those times visiting family or friends left and they would feel an encompassing abandonment that meant each and every time this happened, people left, they turned the deadbolt lock after closing the door that I was going to be verbally, often also physically abused, targeted and they would take their own inability to feel anything out on me.
By the time I was 14 years old, I had no idea what it all meant or why it was as it was, but, I would just go downstairs as company left to the deadbolt locking sound to "take it" and get "it" over with. I never know what "it" was or why or what to do with "it". I would be raged at, blamed for things that didn't even happen, things I had not done, often physically beaten by my father, and then suddenly after 20-30 minutes of this "ritual dumping" gaslighting and other forms of abuse they'd just stop. My father would literally fling me, or drop me, or just stop pushing and punching me, they both would stop raging and walk away. Go to their respective ends of the family couch and drink their beer like nothing - NOTHING - at all had even happened.
I would lay there, in disbelief time after time. When I could get up, I would. I would go back to my bedroom. I was way too numb to feel a thing, emotionally. I felt and focused on the physical pain though he physically abused in a patterned way (often) that left no visible bruises on my face or arms or legs. I would lay on my bed T.V. on or off and feel an agitated emotional numbness. This happened only to me, not the golden child. On occasion my father's patterned physical abuse was witnessed by a couple of neighbours and one of my aunts. Then they would also act as if nothing had happened. It was an out-of-body experience. These occurrences of abuse were inter-mixed with daily rages at me and blaming me and often shaming me in front of others and in public (the shaming name-calling disguised as "humour". I felt crazy at the thought of thinking anything about any of all of it because each and every time it happened - everyone else acted as if nothing had happened. I was that invisible.
Then they would wonder why I didn't want to eat dinner with them, visit relatives with them, do anything or go anywhere with them. I started refusing to do these things anywhere near them at the age of 13. This they didn't rage or punish or abuse me for.
They acted like two wounded children themselves these bullying abusers because they could not "get" or deal with my not wanting to be with them or around them or near them. That's right, they had the unmitigated gall to "act as if" I abandoned and rejected them. That egocentric. That out of touch.
This, they 'accepted' and were only too pleased - in their woundedness - to leave me home alone. I needed to just be away from them. I did not have any words to express what was happening to me. I did not speak of "it' or about "it" to anyone. I was a shell of a self long since gone. I didn't know then how lost I truly was.
Yes, I continued to tell guidance counselors in junior high and high school nothing. I visited their offices often. I was talked to and listened to a lot. It was the 1970's - a time, an era lacking in awareness. I continued to talk generally about anxiety, fears, of people or school, stuff, but I said nothing of what was going on at home. I still believed, so wrongly, that I was "loved". I really did.
This would change in an evolving way at the age of 25 which is the last time i went "home for Christmas" to be the punching bag scapegoat to two Cluster B parents, a narc golden child sibling and other crazy relatives that now also included the narc golden child's cluster B wife. That year I listened to Canadian singer and songwriter Anne Murray's version of, "I'll Be Home For Christmas" with such denial and a false hope of a Christmas with the love eluded to in the song. I had the honour of meeting and talking to Anne Murray, who had performed a concert in Sault Ste Marie the night before, at 6am as we met in a tiny practically empty airport in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario.
I approached her for an autograph and she was there with her husband and band (who were walking around) waiting for a flight to go on the next city she was to perform in further north in Ontario and I was waiting for a flight to go back to Toronto, leaving after having gone "home for Christmas"
It was this Christmas when I was 25 years old that my father gave me the worst beating of my life. He exploded and chased me into a back bedroom where I was staying and pounded the shit out of me. I was screaming for the golden child (brother) to come or anyone and as he rained punch after punch on my head, my body, no one came. It might have been 10 or so minutes this beating, maybe longer, not shorter, and I was hysterical. He would not stop. No one was coming from the living room just down the hall. Not my brother, his wife, my aunt, or my mother - no one.
There was a moment, in this bloody beating of me that I thought, that's it, I'm going to kill this son of a bitch and a part of me with a life's worth of rage of my own, primal to the core, with a very strong athletic body for a young woman, was going to fight back. As he continued to rain down punches on my face, head, chest, arms, stomach, as I was about to start to fight back (and I did know how to fight) I was sure that if I started to fight back I would kill him. So I dove on the couch and grabbed pillows to try to protect my head from his punches and his blow after blow of utter hatred. Then, finally, in the doorway appeared the narc brother, golden child, 21 years old but over 6 feet and 200 pounds. He said nothing, he did nothing, my father just stopped beating me up. Not a word was said by me or either or them.
Then my mother came back to the bedroom. I was hysterical at this point. He had stopped beating me. I lunged toward him, I grabbed him, like an infant in a way, desperate, I hugged him, I was crying hysterically and so beyond hurt, I told him "I love you, why do you do this to me?" "I love you" - I must have said that 10-15 times, that I "loved" him. I hung on hugging him while he stood stiff and unresponsive. He then just took my hands and arms off him and turned and walked away, no emotion, no words, not hearing my cries or questions or words begging him to get that I "loved" him. He was calm and cold as ice. Again, as if nothing happened at all.
My mother then said to me, "Come on dear, come back in the living room and finish your Gingerale" as if NOTHING HAD HAPPENED! As per usual. I was bruised from head-to-toe. I was dizzy, and I had an enormous headache. I was sure I was, among other injuries, concussed. I didn't respond to my mother. She left, back to the living room. I remember vividly wanting to jump out of the window. A dissociative experience and impulse I frequently had when my father sexually abused me from the age of 8 to almost 13 when I started to menstruate. It was at that time in my life he (as far as I knew with repressed memories of this sexual abuse at that time) that he started being physically abusive to me seemingly out of nowhere. It wasn't out of nowhere I would years later learn it was the same pattern of abuse in a physical way without the sexual abuse because after all sexual abuse is about power, abuse, control etc and not the sex.
My mother sexually abused me when I was 3-4 years old. That, I had not repressed or ever forgotten. My mother was physically abusive to me, the earliest I remember, though not likely the first time, was when she round-house punched me in the middle of my back when I was 4 years old, after I had run home from my first day at kindergarten because the bell rang and scared the living shit right out of me. I was 4 years old and a ruined, lost, wreck of a lack of a person already. She hit her elbow on the door frame coming out of her bedroom after phoning my father because she didn't know what to do that I had run home from school and she was damn angry and raged at me for it. I was playing in the hall as if what, I'd run from the too scary world at 4 to the "safety of home"??? I was just being, playing with some toy and in blissful denial of the terror I'd just suffered at being out in the world and overwhelmed by all those kids and the bell, well, I had no idea that was going to make that noise and it caused me to panic and run. So feeling "safe" I was playing with a toy in the hall and my mother was mad as hell anyway, then hit her elbow on the door frame and as that was somehow in her "mind" my fault, she punched me with all her might in the back.
I remember the shock. The terror. I couldn't breathe. All the air was knocked literally out of my lungs with her blow to my back. I was gasping and flailing and experiencing what I thought was sure death number God-knows-what at the age of 4 when my mother grabbed my arm, threw me across the living room toward the front door. I crashed into a wall and hit the floor. I was screaming. She didn't miss a beat. She shoved my shoes on me, jacket, grabbed me and pulled me out of the house, and dragged me to two or so blocks back to school. Raged at the people in the office, "where is this brat supposed to be?" I remember being numb, and rather out-of-body and they were shocked at how my mother was yelling. We were shown to the room of my kindergarten class by this nice lady at the school. My mother smashed her fist on the door. A lady, the teacher, opened the door, and my mother violently shoved me at and into her. "Here, this one is supposed to be with you!!" I was too young to understand how embarrassing all this really was. The kids in my class looked scared. I was too shocked, I think to be scared. I was scared of everything and the world though, because it all, I thought, was just like my mother.
I loved that mother and father because I was once their helpless infant child. I needed them to survive. Even though there was no bond between my mother and I which is a trauma bond in absentia. Though I was not ever emotionally seen, loved, supported or cared about. They were all I had. They were the ones who despite birth trauma, neglect, no breastfeeding, no affection, no empathy, no soothing - all that abuse and just NOTHING else were still needed by me to survive. They fed me. They clothed me. Emotionally - nothing. Unseen, unheard, told to play literally in traffic, left to drive a motor boat in an ocean alone at the age of 9 while they were focused on their conversations drenched in endless drinking and in them being drunk more than not.
Every night until I was about 11 or so they would say, "Good-night dear" - that "dear" word was always fake and hollow and I think as much as I could I had always known that. I would say "goodnight" trying to hug them, stiff and not present as they were, and I needed obsessively to have them both answer me back cause I'd always tentatively ask, "See you in the morning?" They would say, "Yes", and on that I hung my hope that I would survive each night into the next morning.
They fed and clothed me and I had toys. We moved a lot. My father would get me a dog, and my mother would make him get rid of it, or that was the "good-cop-bad-cop" understanding I had of "it" anyway. Loss after loss. My seemingly so gentle grandmother, my mother's mother, died when I was 7. I loved her. I think she kinda saw me. I know I spend a lot of time with her and my other grandmother as a young child, they are the ones, I believe that gave me an ounce of myself to survive with. After my grandma died when I was 7, the one night in my life my mother wasn't home, it was fun playing outside late with the brother and neighbour friends. I didn't miss her at all. No one ever spoke about my grandmother again. "Out-of-sight-GONE-out-of-mind". I would grieve this actively year later in a University course I took called, "On Death and Dying" in which we had to write a major essay about a loss in our lives and how we dealt with it. I wrote about my grandmother. I was in my late 20's and hadn't really been aware of all I truly felt about her death. It all poured out in and around the writing of that essay. An A+ I got on that and in the course. If only they knew why I was so "educated" about grief eh? It was what I knew best, I realized at that point in my life.
It took me into my early 30's even after I went no contact, before books and the internet would define this process as well. It took a lot in the therapy I was in to recover from sexual abuse, Narcissistic abuse, emotional neglect, etc. etc. and oh yeah, the BPD that I was labelled with that was my response to the endless and always ever-mounting trauma of my infancy, toddler-hood and entire childhood and beyond. It was in this therapy, and after finding the book, by accident at the library, "Toxic Parents" by Dr. Susan Forward, that I would take a long year or so journey to the realization and a deep understanding that I had not been loved at all. I had been abused.
In abuse subsequent to my no contact in my early 30's it became more than apparent to me that I had yet another very deep and primal grieving process to go through. Facing that I was the hated child of two Cluster B parents. One thing I know for sure, where abuse is present, love is absent. I grieved. I was in a group therapy program at this point which was supportive and provided me with enough emotional safety and already burgeoning and unfolding journey back to myself, at the age of 32 in getting to know my lost, terrified and abused inner child. It was my dedication to learning to re-parent her and unburden her from all the pain she held away from my consciousness so I - we - could survive. It was this process unfolding that helped me grieve that I was a hated child, and remain to this day the hated "daughter" of the BPD/NPD still surviving mother that was no mother to me. She was a nightmare. I was able to grieve, to process, to let it all go, to find my own closure and healing and forgiveness for the mother quite separate from anything to do with her. I have been and remained no contact with her (with a few ridiculous things on her side) for just over 3 decades now. I am 62 and she is 92 and never the twain shall meet. I radically accepted that. "It is" what "it" is and what "it" actually always was. I don't hate her, I don't love her. I may have a bit of some kind of love for her in that I do have compassion - more pity really for her in absentia the way I want and need it to be. Aside from her abuse, and neglect, she was a mother absent emotionally with whom there was no bond either way and a person that I, growing up, made as irrelevant in my life as I could. That was some denial I'm sure as that absence of bond, that no connection turned out to matter greatly, but, only as I became aware of its always absence in the grieving of it what it was "supposed to be'.
To book a session or sessions with A.J. Mahari please go here: https://ajmahari.ca/sessions-with-a-j-mahari/
You can't get blood from a stone and you can't get love from many borderline mothers and none from the borderline narcissist mother. "IT" is not in them, or known to them, they have no love to give. They have only hatred, petty competitive jealousy and endless assumptive projections to cast onto their daughters in a way different from their sons. I know that my mother's hatred of me is, was, and still is, her self-hatred projected out onto me, just me, the scapegoat for and of her life. It is who she is and all that she never was and isn't to this day. I have no feelings toward her anymore. For over 30 years, after much desperate pursuit into my 20's still trying to find an ounce of love, acceptance of validation of any kind from her, to be seen by her, none of which ever was, I am now in as healthy a neutral place as one can be.
There is a legacy factor to having been and still being the invisible unseen hated daughter of a borderline narcissist mother. I feel a twinge of sadness at times. No more, no less. And I continue to be blessed with other's mothers, as I was motherly neighours as a kid, and now friends who are nurturing (just who they are many of them mothers and grandmothers now who loved their kids) and I have made peace with finding and accepting this type of bond, friendship, and yes, a "mother-like" love from some over the years and currently in my life that know that I just don't know what it really is like to be a mother (I chose not to have children) to truly have or be loved by a mother, or to be a loved daughter. This I have experienced only through other types of relationships and the sorrow that years ago became joy at knowing my friend's daughters and witnessing their loving, nurturing, healthy mother-daughter relationships. Some of them from the time they were babies until now, in their 30's with children of their own, all still seeing, loving, and caring about each other.
Though nowhere near as heavy as it once was, I live with the legacy of not ever knowing or having that connection, or bond, or love or nurture from a mother. I live with the legacy of being an unseen unloved and more to the point despised daughter of a borderline narcissist mother. I feel blessed to have been planted here more deeply that I was not forever lost to empathy, compassion, and learning to love myself. I know that she has no idea who I am and that she cares not to this day to know. For she still can't tolerate the thought that I, her daughter, am someone, very unlike her, thank God, someone worth knowing. That God planted deeply within me something that she and my father together could not destroy, me, a person capable of love empathy, compassion, and so much more. All the feelings I have always had. It was especially my parentified feelings and attempts to "parent" my parents as young as the age of 8 that strengthened there hatred of me into and unrelenting, projected out contempt.
Make no mistake about it, the borderline narcissist mother or father, does not know love or how to love. It is okay to grieve that. To know that. To admit that. And to come home to your authentic self, letting go of any and all false hope or illusory notions that somehow they "kinda" "partly" "sorta" "in their own way" "despite everything" "LOVE YOU" - no, they don't, they can't and when you go through this healing journey of your own to inner child healing and re-parenting and self-nurture, you, like I, will know that you are so worthy and that the fact your BPD/NPD or Narcissist mother and/or father could not love you, you do not have to take it personally or let it define you in any way, not for one minute longer than it takes you to feel that sorrow, grieve, and know that it had nothing to do with who you really actually were and are now.
© A.J. Mahari, December 30, 2019 - All rights reserved.
To book a session or sessions with A.J. Mahari please go here: