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Surviving a Borderline Parent: How to Heal Your Childhood Wounds and Build Trust, Boundaries, and Self-Esteem Paperback – January 1, 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 187 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“If Stop Walking on Eggshells has become the bible for people with a borderline family member, I predict that Surviving a Borderline Parent will become the ‘must have’ book for people who have a parent with borderline traits. Authors Kimberlee Roth and Freda Friedman have done a stunning job of validating the isolating experience of these ‘adult children,’ and more importnantly, shown them how to overcome the constant feelings of guilt, abnormality, and self-doubt. This book belongs on the shelf of every clinician and adult child with a borderline parent.”
—Randi Kreger, author of Stop Walking on Eggshells



“Kimberlee Roth and Freda Friedman provide comprehensive guidelines for adult children with borderline parents that help create balance and boundaries in these tumultuous relationships. The authors point to the need to break the ‘silent treatment’ around Borderline Personality Disorder and encourage clinicians to educate patients and family members about this diagnosis. This book is well worth the investment for any adult child with a borderline parent.”
—Christine A. Lawson, Ph.D., author of Understanding the Borderline Mother



“Life with a ‘normal’ parent can be hard enough. All of us have stories about low points in growing up. But ultimately we can look back on childhood with a warm feeling about our parents and feel that we were loved and nurtured. Not so for children of a parent with Borderline Personality Disorder. These adult kids may need to do years of work to recover from the narcissism of their caregivers. Surviving a Borderline Parent provides life-affirming signposts to the road back to emotional health.”
—Ross Werland, health editor for the Chicago Tribune

From the Publisher

This is the first step by step guide for adult children of parents with Borderline Personality Disorder. It teaches them how to overcome the devastating effects of growing up with a parent who suffers from BPD. Foreword is by Randi Kreger, coauthor of "Stop Walking on Eggshells" and "The Stop Walking on Eggshells Workbook."
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 185 pages
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications; 1 edition (January 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572243287
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572243286
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (187 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a 37-year old woman who has lived with a borderline mother since birth -- but who did not know it until recently -- this book is outstanding. When I read this book I kept saying to myself "how do they know that?", because what the authors write is exactly what happens - taking onboard all the negative self-misperceptions that result from a BPD mother's twisted idea of acceptable child raising, living with a mother who is incapable of emotional warmth and the subsequent fallout for children in terms of insecurity and the "am I going crazy?" dilemma, and the "jekyl and hyde" nature of BPD in terms of outsiders never knowing or accepting how crazy and chaotic life inside the home really is. This was a difficult book to read, yet compelling reading. For the first time in my own life I felt understood for what I suffered as a child of a BPD mother -- and that's AFTER a couple of years of therapy (which was very helpful). This book, however, is even better than therapy. It achieved in one week what therapy did not achieve in two years -- it validated my experience as real, and I realised I am not alone. There are many, many other adults who have suffered the same fate -- and survived.

If you have, or suspect you have, a BPD mother, read this book. Read it now. I'm not saying it will be easy to read, but you will not regret it.
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Format: Paperback
Excellent book! After 50 years and a graduate education in psychology, I couldn't see the reality of my own (step) mother. Once I suspected, I ordered this book and couldn't put it down. My copy is full of underlining, side comments and sticky-notes. Chapters are easy to follow and include information, respect for one's own experience, and tools for making changes when you're ready.

The book helped me to deal with my sense of guilt and over-responsibility, especially now that my parent is terminally ill. There's a fabulous quote in the book: "I feel sad that my mom is suffering, but I also know that she is the only person that can do anything about it, and she chooses not to . . . I won't allow her to inflict her suffering on me anymore, either."

The book includes a realistic, not syrupy, discussion of forgiveness, as well as tools for "grief, acceptance, and overcoming guilt." This book contributed significantly to my ability to take my life back and conduct this difficult relationship on my own terms. Sort of a midlife rite-of-passage.
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Format: Paperback
I gave up on highlighting the pertinent passages in this book - every word of it applied perfectly to my realtionship with my mother. This book gives you the validation you probably never had, and gives solid, practical ways to overcome the effects of growing up with a BPD parent. The examples sited in the book could have been lifted from my journal. It was tremendously healing and empowering to finally learn that the behavior I endured as a child is actually part of a mental illness, and that I/we are not alone anymore. I cannot express effectively how much peace this book brought to me. You will not be disappointed.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wonderful & Practical!!!!!
Kimberlee and Freda's book draws on the insights of previous books concerning people in relationship with those who have borderline personality disorder. Having read this wonderful and very practical book, I can see why Randi Kreger wrote the forward.
As I read this book, I saw a very good but non-technical theme throughout the book. The term is never used, but the issue of co-dependency is addressed. Also, the way out is clearly outlined.
While written for adult children of parents with bpd, I see two more audiences to benefit from this book.
First, the children of those with this personality disorder who still live at home can benefit from this book. If used wisely by the non-bpd parent and/or the therapist of the family's children, it could help them greatly.
Second, those whose mother-in-law or father-in-law have this disorder will find practical help here in dealing with very challenging 'toxic in-laws.' Thank you very much for writing this book.
Sincerely,
John
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Format: Paperback
Not sure what was wrong with my relationship with my mother, but suspecting BPD, I read this book in 2 days. It is the only book I've read that offers practical advice for dealing with difficult people, especially the overbearing, moody, and negative parent. This book was my saving grace and I have given it to friends who also have difficult family members. I can't say enough about the positive change this book has brought, helping me create boundaries and be able to communicate effectively and respectfully. It has also helped me, as a borderline mother myself, not make the same mistakes my mother did.
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Format: Paperback
As the grown child of a woman with BPD, I am forever grateful

to the authors of this book for shining a spotlight on this

mystifying, tragic, devastating disorder....

Like many of the case studies cited in this book, my own mother

behaved quite normally (and acted quite lovingly) toward me from

my birth until about the age of four....

Then -- only intermittently at first -- her paranoia and rages

began.

She started telling me that I hated her(???!)

....She told me that she could "see it in my face"....

....And that and that she wished she could "throw me back"

(like a dud fish that's been caught, I guess.)

....Or that she could "lock me in a cage," (like the

despicable creature I was to her, I suppose.)

She began looking for signs that I was "betraying" her, or

"sneering" at her behind her back.... She would study my

facial expressions and vocal inflections INTENSELY, looking

for any excuse to explode....

And (God help me!!) if I slipped up and allowed myself the

luxury of a NEUTRAL facial expression (instead of a continuous

smile), or did not answer her with a properly "enthusiastic"

voice, there would be HELL to pay.

By the time I reached the age of six, my life had BECOME a

living hell.... With no way out....

(My dad, by the way, was an extremely passive man (...he had

been severely abused himself, as a child, by a domineering

mother...), and he offered NO resistance to my mother when

she would target me for abuse.
Read more ›
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