Re: On Cluster B and Borderline
Something I noticed quite early on with my BPD SIL, even before I knew about BPD, is that she is a grown woman who needs and craves parenting.
Her husband parents her (as though she is around 5 years old) by styling her hair, choosing her clothes, giving her pocket money for good behaviour, doing everything for her, being over protective, arranging friendships, cooking and cleaning for her.
Even though her mother is in her mid 80's, she still treats her like a small, vulnerable child. SIL cannot care for anyone but needs to be cared for. I have even seen her children overtake her in maturity and have taken on a parental role in her life.
For years I found this all very inappropriate and weird, but now I have read so much about BPD I can now see that 'parenting' her as though she is a small child is what she wants, needs and craves. Whereas I would be highly patronised and irritated if my family were to treat me like this, it certainly seems to be comforting to her. I believe he has worked out this is his effective technique for soothing her.
yep. that dynamic makes them feel safe. i do many of the same things with my wife. style her hair, pick out her clothes, arrange friendships, etc. i also give her tasks to help her gain self confidence in her own abilities. since i am gone a lot, (i have only been home for about nine months out of the last three years) its part of how i take care of her. i want to know she can take care of herself, and i want her
to know that she can take care of herself, so that she can let go of much of the anxiety of not having me around. the idea is to make her feel safe enough to grow, and encourage her to grow so as to empower her to live her life to the fullest.
her mother is learning that she can take care of herself. she used to constantly treat her like a child, but my wife has been telling her to back off lately when she oversteps.
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