Growing up, I never lived in a particularly calm environment. Fights among my family members would break out often – mostly due to my parents. As I would learn much later, they both suffered from chronic mental conditions. My stepfather suffered from narcissistic personality disorder, and my mother suffered from borderline personality disorder. Both of these are classified as “cluster B” personality disorders. These types of disorders are known to cause emotional instability and irrational thoughts and actions in those who have them.

sad young boy with blonde hair head in hands

641-07846583 © Masterfile Royalty-Free Model Release: Yes Property Release: No Portrait of defiant boy with head in his hands

As a child, however, I’d never even heard about these personality disorders. Like most kids, I just assumed that my parents were right about everything. I felt powerless to stop anything that happened because of them, and I ended up blaming myself for a lot of their problems. If my mother said that I “cost her too much money,” that I “caused her so much trouble,” I felt like it was completely my fault. Often, I wanted to run away or even die – just so that my parents wouldn’t have to pay for my survival anymore. I thought things like, “I should have never been born,” “I don’t try hard enough,” and, “everything is always my fault.”

It’s very hard to put these experiences into words. I’ve actually forgotten a lot of my childhood memories. I’ve been told by some that my brain probably did it on purpose, and that I probably suffer from a form of PTSD from the longtime emotional abuse. A lot of the memories I do remember, however, cause me a lot of pain to talk about.

two women sitting on bench outside looking at water and mountains

It’s been very beneficial for me to learn how to accept my past and move on. Thankfully, there are a lot of free resources that have helped me along the way – along with some amazing friends and their support. It’s been a long road, but it was worth the journey. If you relate to what I’ve said above, I would look into doing some research on toxic parents or cluster B personality disorders – there is a lot of information you can find online, as well as guides and tips on how to deal with them and manage your life. If you can, I would also recommend seeing a counselor and letting them know as soon as possible.


Family therapy is a great tool to get your loved one’s communicating in a healthy way again.

CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF FAMILY COUNSELORS NEAR YOU.

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