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Publisher's Summary

The first love in our lives is our mother. Recognizing her face, her voice, the meaning of her moods, and her facial expressions is crucial to survival. In this book, Dr. Christine Ann Lawson vividly describes how mothers who suffer from borderline personality disorder produce children who may flounder in life even as adults, futilely struggling to reach the safety of a parental harbor, unable to recognize that their borderline parent lacks a pier, or even a discernible shore.

Four character profiles describe different symptom clusters that include the waif mother, the hermit mother, the queen mother, and the witch. Children of borderlines are at risk for developing this complex and devastating personality disorder themselves. Dr. Lawson's recommendations for prevention include empathic understanding of the borderline mother and early intervention with her children to ground them in reality.

Addressing the adult children of borderlines and the therapists who work with them, Dr. Lawson shows how to care for the waif without rescuing her, to attend to the hermit without feeding her fear, to love the queen without becoming her subject, and to live with the witch without becoming her victim.

©2000 Christine Ann Lawson (P)2016 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

It took me 45 years to finally know why my Mother is as she is.

This book was recommended to me by a therapist who sat next to my husband on a flight. They were discussing my Mother and within 3 words she tore a page from a magazine and wrote he name of this book down and said "once she starts to read this she will begin to see and understand with a new found clarity" and for the first time in my life such a recommendation held true from beginning to end. I took notes, I identified all my Mothers traits and am grateful to the depths of my soul and all whom may be suffering with such. It was comforting also to know my intuition has been guiding me very well as I thankfully did not inherit my Mothers "Queen/Witch" or any other personality disorder, I do feel I would like to do as the book suggests however and seek out a therapist to help in the healing of all of the past pain that still when I speak to her surfaces. Cruelty from a Mother is unlike any other and finally I no longer have to survive on hope. I am forever grateful to you Christine Ann Lawson as are all of us who choose to heal and grow from this so we too can allow ourselves to live a life we deserve too, one that is FULFILLED!!!

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Questions Answered

Answered every single question I have ever had about my parents,mother and father. The book explained the mystery of their childhood and rid me of self blame, guilt, and the hope that they can change. They don't have to, but I can and have the choice to. Thank you to the Powers that be that this book and I have finally crossed paths. Thank you. The narrator was fabulous-on an end note.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fairytales Guide Reader to Freedom from BPD Mother

This was the most comprehensive of all BPD help books I have read. With that said, it was narrated simply and effectively with popular fairytale analogies. The author breaks down the BPD mother into four possible characters, each with the possibility of overlap: Waif, Hermit, Queen, and the Witch. The descriptions of each type of BPD mother were very accurate from my experience. I found this book to be therapeutic and validating of repressed feelings I could never verbalize. I am grateful to Christine Ann Lawson, for her outstanding contribution to the children of BPD mothers, and for helping us to feel like deserving human beings.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • ESVK
  • Atlanta, GA
  • 03-09-17

Amazingly Comprehensive & Accurate

Would you consider the audio edition of Understanding the Borderline Mother to be better than the print version?

The print version is equally valuable as a reference as this book is deep.

What did you like best about this story?

The author accurately and comprehensively covers a very difficult subject

Have you listened to any of Heather Auden’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

N/A

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Too deep to listen to in a short period of time. I need to listen to this book multiple times.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent, insightful book!

I liked that this book provided insight to what the BPD sufferer may likely be experiencing. It was full of examples both historical and actual patients. It helped me get an idea of what my mother is facing and understand my own trauma from childhood and why I am the way I am. I highly recommend it!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Unsure of my feelings

I'm unsure of how I feel after reading this book. Though I am relieved to have answers to questions I didn't know to ask, I have so many feelings and no words to describe them all. I am unsure of how I feel. Relief, vindication, understanding, remorse, fear, uncertainty, panic & empathy are some words that come to mind. I highly recommend this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Too much negativity

This book is extremely enlightening and I truly believe the author has deep insight on what makes borderline mothers tick. It did not deliver much more than just the insight. I was hoping for for more material on how to help someone recovering from having a borderline mother as part of the title "helping her children transcend the intense, unpredictable, and volatile relationship" promised.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing read

If you believe your mother has BPD, this is a must read. It is presented in a way where anyone can understand and resonate with the language, all while learning a great deal. It is very comforting to read a book and know that there are others experiencing what I am going through. I highly recommend this book, it has helped me tremendously.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

very interesting an accurate view

great material to helping understand borderline personality disorder and the various faces it can have. the only reason I did not give the performance five-stars was because there were several places where it sounded like they had stopped recording and pick back up the next day so the tone was difference and a little distracting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

loved this book!

This book helped me a great deal to understand my childhood. I highly recommend this book.