Borderline mom — now insecure relationship

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

I grow up with a borderline mom and an in-denial father who retreated into his religion. I become the caretaker and comedian and parent for my two younger siblings. I ended up breaking down and acting out in my teen years. Doing drugs and sexually acting out. Then sent to a treatment center by my dad at 17years old. I then lived on my own ever since. I have always been independent and freedom loving in my relationships and in control. Now I am in love and with someone who is clingy and allowed me to need him emotionally. I am anxious, overly jealous, controlling, and really insecure.

A: It makes sense to me that someone who has been a survivor in a family with emotionally unavailable parents and an excessive sense of responsibility would have the type of responses you have had. You were used to being needed (by your siblings) but most likely never allowed yourself to feel needy toward someone. My guess this is new territory for you in this relationship. Of course you would feel threatened. You protected yourself from emotionally needing others, and now that you do your insecurity is bubbling up. You are afraid they too won’t be there for you.

If he is willing it may be wonderful for both of you to enter into couples therapy. This would give you both insight about what is happening in the relationship. If he is not willing you will want to think about individual therapy to get yourself properly oriented. The find help tab at the top of the page will help you locate someone in your area.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 24 Sep 2011

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2011). Borderline mom — now insecure relationship. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/09/24/borderline-mom-now-insecure-relationship/