April 17, 2014, 10:33:48 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Today's Feature: ARTICLE: Emotional Memory Management (Ruminations)  Learn more
Moderators: DreamGirl, P.F.Change, Rapt Reader
Advisors: an0ught, heartandwhole, livednlearned, pessim-optimist, Surnia, Waverider, winston72
Ambassadors: crumblingdad, DreamFlyer99, growing_wings, Kwamina, learning_curve74, maxsterling, maxen, Mutt, peaceplease, scallops, Turkish, ucmeicu2
Guidelines: Terms of Service, Abbreviations
  Home Blog   Boards   Help Login Register  
What is this?
Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: BPD BEHAVIORS: Waif, Hermit, Queen, and Witch  (Read 48479 times)
Skip
DSA Recipient
Site Director
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 12476



WWW
« on: August 26, 2007, 11:20:42 PM »

Borderline Personality Disorder can manifest itself in mutliple ways. In her book, Understanding The Borderline Mother, Dr. Christine Lawson describes four role types which BPD is exemplified by:

~the Waif,
~the Hermit,
~the Queen, and
~the Witch.

The Queen is controlling, the Witch is sadistic, the Hermit is fearful, and the Waif is helpless.  Each requires a different approach. Don't let the Queen get the upper hand; be wary even of accepting gifts because it engenders expectations. Don't internalize the Hermit's fears or become limited by them. Don't allow yourself to be alone with the Witch; maintain distance for your own emotional and physical safety. And with the Waif, don't get pulled into her crises and sense of victimization; "pay attention to your own tendencies to want to rescue her, which just feeds the dynamic.

This workshop is about identifying the BPD types and ways to cope such as:

Being Firm But Sensitive - Personal validation, which is important in any situation, is essential with a borderline parent. Express your awareness of their emotions even as you set boundaries.

Trust Yourself - Many children of borderline parents say they felt crazy growing up. They experience a lot of inconsistencies—an action or statement that earned praise one day would touch off a three-day, stony silent treatment the next—as well as sudden outbursts and overreactions.  They never learn to trust their own judgment or feelings. An important element of recovery is to accept that you're not crazy"

Trust Others -  People who've survived a borderline parent most frequently suffer from feelings of worthlessness, fear of abandonment, and fear of people in general because these adult children received "such mixed messages—you're a great person one day and you're horrible the next" — there's a certain mistrust of people because you're always afraid they're going to hurt you.

Defend Your Boundaries  - Children of borderline parents are often forced to act as the parent themselves— it's often like a child raising a child.  The children grow up very quickly in many ways and can act as caretaker for everyone, often at the expense of taking care of themselves.  An important part of recovery is to set limits for the parent, set them for other people and learn to put yourself first.

Thanks in advance for your participation in this workshop.

Skippy

***********
The link to the discussion of Understanding the Borderline Mother:

http://www.bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=53779.0
Logged

Mollyd
Distinguished Member
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 1334


« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2007, 10:58:55 AM »

Unfortunately, I've loaned my UTBM book to someone, and can't remember who.  However, as a jumping off point, I'd like to add:

"Degradation by someone who claims to love you is qualitatively different than degradation by a stranger," (Christine Ann Lawson, Ph.D.).  

The types described by Lawson are not absolute categories.  For example, I can recall my stepmother vacillating between the waif/queen and waif/witch.  The importance of this is in coping strategies needed, if one determines they would like to maintain some sort of relationship with the person acting out in these ways.  Soping strategy ideas are identified in the titles of different chapters, such as:

Loving the Waif Without Rescuing Her (Implying a clear sense of self and ability to hold boundaries.  De-tangling co-dependent relationship tendencies would be part of healing)

Loving the Hermit Without Feeding Her Fear (I've seen this played out a great deal with folks who refuse to drive (their afraid), refuse to work (people bug them), refuse to leave the house (they'd rather stay at home).  So, not enabling these fears by "doing for them" what they need to is part of the boundary work with this type of acting out.)

Loving the Queen Without Becoming Her Subject (I view one of the needed skills to be able to do this as exemplified in the Four Agreements [Do my best, be impeccable, not take anything personally, and don't make assumptions].  Understanding that people acting out Queen behaviors are operating with faulty filters and in an unrecovered state may allow us to walk away when the "Queen" is being queenly, and rejoin when he/she has returned to a more civil state.  The demand of the Queen on her children or those around her to be a subject can be influential in one's ability to maintain some contact or not.)

Living with the Witch Without Becoming her Vicitm (Lawson, imo, implies, even in this title when one is in "witch" form, loving is not really part of the picture.  I read this as the name of the game is survival.  Boundaries about what we are willing to tolerate, and more, why we would tolerate abusive behavior is the work here).

I also found the following summation of Lawson's words of value:

The Waif  "learned that submissive behavior was the most adaptive response to an oppressive environment." She also "sees herself as an incompetent failure, and is overly dependent on the approval of others."

The Hermit is "a perfectionist, a worrier, and . . . an insomniac. . . Hermit mothers suffer from persistent fantasies of harm coming to themselves or others, and tend to attribute hostile intentions to others."

Queen mothers "compete with their children for time, attention, love, and money." And "The dramatic and sometimes hysterical behavior of the Queen mother can terrify her children."

And finally, Witch mothers can be "bitter, demanding, sarcastic, and cruel," and "Witch mothers know what to say to hurt or scare their children, and use humiliation and degradation to punish them."

Best,

Molly
Logged

It's a strange game when the only move .... is not to play.


screamingfire
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 1536


« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2007, 02:40:53 PM »

I think we also need to add in the fairy tale fathers. It is pretty common on the children of board to watch a person process their mother's illness and then have a lightbulb moment where the father is concerned.

page 179: Understanding the father's relationship with the Borderline Mother is essential in understanding the child's experience.

The Waif marries a Frog Prince, someone she can rescue and who she thinks will rescue her.The Waif identifies with the Frog's helplessness and fantasizes about providing for him what she needs for herself.

The Hermit seeks a Hunter, a partner who will pity and protect her. The Borderline Hermit envies the Huntsmen's courage desperately seeks his soothng presence.

The Queen seeks a King, somone who attracts attention through his prominence, wealth or power. The Queen therefore is more likely to marry a Narcissist-or King.

The Witch seeks a Fisherman, someone she can dominate and control (hey there dad). She chooses a subservient partner who admires her courage and who relinquishes his will at her command.


Logged


GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENT

This board is intended for general questions about BPD and other personality disorders, trait definitions, and related therapies and diagnostics. Topics should be formatted as a question.

Please do not host topics related to the specific pwBPD in your life - those discussions should be hosted on an appropraite [L1] - [L4] board.

You will find indepth information provided by our senior members in our workshop board discussions (click here).

Mr. M
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 4296


« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2007, 08:08:57 PM »

I have a tendency to simplify things to the least common denominator.

There isn't one "category" that cannot be met effectively by pure detachment.  Once you truly realize that you're "in it," you discover that you cannot fix it.  You have to begin by putting your own life in order to prepare for the next appropriate step (be it divorce, break-up between unmarried partners, etc).   Becoming selfish with the important things in life... yourself and your children (if there are any)... and detaching yourself from becoming embroiled in the drama, no matter which category s/he is in - you will ultimately be better prepared for the end of the relationship, whether initiated by you or her/him.
Logged
screamingfire
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 1536


« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2007, 10:31:47 PM »


Once you truly realize that you're "in it," you discover that you cannot fix it.  You have to begin by putting your own life in order to prepare for the next appropriate step (be it divorce, break-up between unmarried partners, etc). 

I do see what you are saying, Mr. M. However, it is very hard and difficult to put your own life in order when you have never seen what a  real life looks life. To me, chaos was normal as it was and is for many children of BP parents, adult or otherwise.
The categories do help. The way a person detaches from a Waif mother is vastly different than how one would detach from a Witch.
Logged
Mr. M
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 4296


« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2007, 09:06:59 AM »

I do see what you are saying, Mr. M. However, it is very hard and difficult to put your own life in order when you have never seen what a  real life looks life.

I agree, which is why I wrote, Once you realize you're in it...

The suggestion I offered is rather simplistic as many of those dealing with a suspected BPD have issues of their own that prevent them from realizing that there is something very wrong with their partner.  The longer they're in it, the worse this can become and the vicious cycle only gets worse.

Personally, I never reached a point where I was ever convinced that I was who I was portrayed to be, but that very often is the exception, not the rule.  I didn't even "discover" BPD until after everything came apart.

That's a big issue... being able to discover what you're dealing with as early in the process as possible.  In the absence of that discovery but still realizing something is wrong, a person must find the inner strength to realize:

- I am not the demon my partner oftentimes makes me out to be.
- I am a very good and caring person.
- The stories/version of events given to me by my partner are not real.
- I will continue to be who I am and will simply not be convinced I am something else by this person.

Logged
Love the man hate the BP
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 1321


« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2007, 10:00:44 AM »

Perhaps the distinction lies not so much in the type or category of the bpd, but in the individual's relationship TO the bpd.  In other words, if the BPD is your parent, there are far more complex issues to consider when attempting to disengage oneself.

Quote
That's a big issue... being able to discover what you're dealing with as early in the process as possible.  In the absence of that discovery but still realizing something is wrong, a person must find the inner strength to realize:

- I am not the demon my partner oftentimes makes me out to be.
- I am a very good and caring person.
- The stories/version of events given to me by my partner are not real.
- I will continue to be who I am and will simply not be convinced I am something else by this person.

Considering these very valid points through the eyes of a child (even an adult child) would present a different perspective than it would from a partner of a bpd.  I think that may be your point, screamingfire?
Logged
JoannaK
DSA Recipient
Administrator (Retired)
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 26381



« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2007, 09:01:38 AM »

I'm also convinced, based on reading here over the months and years, that people can switch "types"...  either as the situation demands, or over years.  I think that many with bpd turn more "hermitish" over the years.
Logged

Moving On
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1706


WWW
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2007, 08:21:49 AM »

I just reread the book recently, and I read it out of order some.  I read about all of the "Mom" traits, then went back and read about the Fairy Tale fathers part.  Until I got to the fathers part, I saw bits of her in all of them, but more of the witch than I originally thought. 

I analyzed myself as a Hunter / Fisherman.  And this explains my stress when I realized that I was letting her get away with her bad behavior, though not specifically helping with it too often.  I turned that around...  and here I am.  And the Hermit / Witch definitely fits the bill for her - I'd have thought more waif before, but not any longer.

I have to wonder if analyzing myself is actually a better way to gauge her?  I reread the book with the upcoming D in mind - I needed to get a feel for how she would likely react.  I now know that I haven't yet really abandoned her (I work from home, don't travel much, enabled, enabled, and enabled).  So it could be that "I ain't seen nothing yet".
Logged
ForeverDad
Distinguished Member
Emeritus
**
Online Online

Gender: Male
Home Board: SO-Leaving
Posts: 11377


You can't reason with the Voice of Unreason...


« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2007, 12:20:58 PM »

The Borderline mother, especially the Queen/Witch variety, will view the children as all good or all bad.  Either way, the children become her emotional victims.  This books shows that children treated as all good do not get a realistic view of life and are at higher risk of becoming Narcissistic.  Children treated as all bad become very insecure, have low self esteem and are at higher risk of becoming Borderline.

I've found that in my case, and apparently others, when the mother sees the marriage disintegrating and the father preparing to stand up for himself and the children, the children may at first be viewed as all good since the father is being blasted as Mr. Evil Incarnate.  In a way, this serves to protect the children from the worst of her animosity since she is so focused upon the now rejected spouse who is all bad.  But eventually as time goes on, her interactions with the children will allow her to resume splitting.
Logged

tryintogetby
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 1414


I DON'T have to save the day? Wow!


« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2007, 02:53:00 PM »

OK, wow...

I just finished the book, and I loved and hated every minute of it.  Here's my questions:

1) The book seemed to imply that "The Witch" could emerge from any of the other 3 types at any time, if the right buttons were pushed, but I wasn't sure if I was reading that correctly.  Do you agree? 

2)  My uBPD mom seemed to have aspects of all of them at different times, but the Waif was her primary role as I went NC.  Multiple suicide attempts, threats of suicide, etc. Is it possible to move through these types in stages?  Or even several different types at once? 

3)  I'm now very concerned that my all-black sister could become a BPD, but since I went NC, momster now has unrestricted access to her.  .  At the very least, when we were growing up, I could help sis process things.  But more often than not, I didn't know what to do, and I didn't know how to help.  I'm afraid I hurt her.   cry    Maybe now she's "the good child," since I "turned against" momster.  Should I do ANYTHING to try and help sis?  I really don't think she believes me when I tell her that momster is the problem----she thinks it's all my fault, and if I would just "forgive and forget," then we'd be "a real family again."  It breaks my friggin' heart. 

4) the book says that, in order to fully recover, we need to understand where we've come from.  That seems true.  But what do you do NEXT once you've digested all this?  Therapy seems to be the book's only recommendation.  I guess I'm just like the "good child" who's afraid of trusting in the therapist...

Gosh, I really think I tried to take in too much at once.  I feel like I need to lay down, drink some water, watch some fall leaves blow around----SOMETHING. 
Logged

Minds are like parachutes---just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can borrow mine.
HugginMyself


Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 47


« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2007, 06:19:11 PM »

Joanna, I completely agreewith swiching roles - in my case anyway.

I believe they have complete control over this as well.

My BPDm is a witch - completely rageful, physcially and mentally abusive.  However, in front of my dad she is a waif - boohoo poor me.

This helps her survive.  I have, since a little girl, told my father about moms behavior because she is NEVER the witch in his presence.  In order for mom to remain in control she turns into the waif so dad will believe her and feel sorry for her - with him she appears helpless and abused.
Logged
bibo
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 238


« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2007, 06:00:29 PM »

Trust Yourself - Many children of borderline parents say they felt crazy growing up. They experience a lot of inconsistencies—an action or statement that earned praise one day would touch off a three-day, stony silent treatment the next—as well as sudden outbursts and overreactions.  They never learn to trust their own judgment or feelings. An important element of recovery is to accept that you're not crazy"

wow- this is he most important piece of information that I got off this board so far. I didn't realize that the crazy feeling was so common.
Logged
bart11
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 188


« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2007, 02:09:35 PM »

Though I have not been able to find a copy of the book that I can afford, I was reading sections of it last night in a book store.  There were many times where I was gasping outloud.  So many descriptions of behavior (especailly The Witch) and the effects they had on the child cut very close to my emotional bone.  I will be sure to buy the book when I find a copy that I can afford.  I know from reading the sections that I did, I know there will be items that will make for future threads on this board.
Logged

"It's not like my mother is a maniac or a raving thing. She just goes a little mad sometimes......."

Norman Bates in PSYCHO
Abigail
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 776


« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2007, 02:27:54 PM »

Bart,
  You can request the book at your local library.  If they don't have it, they can get it from another library.  It will just take some time.  As a last resort, they can get it from the Library of Congress (thas is, if you are in the U.S.)

Abigail
Logged
SaintJudeFan
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 243



« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2011, 09:24:07 AM »

I also found the following summation of Lawson's words of value:

The Waif  "learned that submissive behavior was the most adaptive response to an oppressive environment." She also "sees herself as an incompetent failure, and is overly dependent on the approval of others."

The Hermit is "a perfectionist, a worrier, and . . . an insomniac. . . Hermit mothers suffer from persistent fantasies of harm coming to themselves or others, and tend to attribute hostile intentions to others."

Queen mothers "compete with their children for time, attention, love, and money." And "The dramatic and sometimes hysterical behavior of the Queen mother can terrify her children."

And finally, Witch mothers can be "bitter, demanding, sarcastic, and cruel," and "Witch mothers know what to say to hurt or scare their children, and use humiliation and degradation to punish them."

My mother fit the bill to all of these (practically a textbook case). 8 years have passed since she died and I actually feel guilty for making this post.
Logged

"It's not me that needs the doctor, Blanche."

-Baby Jane Hudson
amoart


Offline Offline

Posts: 41


« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2011, 10:50:28 AM »

I only recently learned about BPD and I read many books, including Understanding the Borderline Mother.  I have many questions.  My dad has NPD and my mother is the Hermit with Waif tendencies.  I am the all good child and my brother is the scapegoat (these roles were reversed when we were younger).  So, my questions are

1.) Do the behavoirs of NPD and BPD parents "feed" on one another

2.) when one is in crisis mode and the other stays calm sometimes and not others - why is that?  

3.)  My father used to frequently threaten suicide and still does, I believe, (I do not have a relationship with him). Is there anything to be done?  

4.) When parents split their children from earliest childhood into adulthood, is it possible to heal the parent-caused, old wounds between you and develop a relationship, and if so, can you recommend some resources?  

5.) Is there a book that deals with a NPD and BPD relationship and how that affects the children or are the affects the same as having just one parent with a disorder?  

6.) Can a person develop a sense of identity if they do not have one or will they always lack their own identity?  

7.) I have almost no memories from childhood (about 10 or 11).  Is the loss permanent?

8.)  I dissociate sometimes.  Are there techniques to teach myself not to do this behavior?  I apologize for the volume of questions and an answer to any or all of them is most appreciated.  

Logged
ShadesofGray
Formerly DEPKBC and Loveisaverb
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 1254



WWW
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2012, 11:57:38 AM »

I'm no expert but from what I've read here, and what my T says, yes it is very common for a pwBPD to switch between the types. Most, however, usually have 1 or 2 prominent. I was confused by that at first, too. I read the Borderline Mothers book thinking everyone with BPD would fit neatly into one category. That's not the case.

For example, my mom is mostly queen, with some witch as well as hermit thrown in. Every now and then the waif would show up.
Logged

“If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.” ~Buddhist Proverb
jedicloak

Offline Offline

Posts: 84



« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2013, 10:13:50 PM »

The resources on this site are fantastic!
Logged

Serenity: change what you can, accept what you can't.
doogals
NEWBIE
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6


« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2013, 08:27:32 PM »

To Amoart
I discovered this book that deals with NPD and BPD relationships:The Narcissistic/Borderline Couple
Lachkar, Joan
Logged
Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.10 | SMF © 2006-2010, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!