Post # 1
Well, it is that time again. Issues with my father have come up again.
I have spent my whole life trying to make things work with my family and it just keeps biting me in the ass. I think, for my mental and physical health, I need to just completely sever all ties.
Has anyone else done this?
How do you feel about it?
Also, how do you get over the guilt of “abondoning” family?
Anyone else keeping contact with family even though it causes you mental anquish?
Post # 3
I did it. My parents were horribly abusive. I left home in 1990 and did not speak to either one of them for 10 years. Tried to have a relationship with them when my SIL was expecting (to keep the peace around the new little one) but they didn’t change. They are still the same horrible people.
I now have no contact with them at all. It’s the best decision I ever made. You shouldn’t have to deal with poisonous people just because you are related to them.
I found the book “toxic parents” to be very helpful.
Post # 4
I was taught that blood doesn’t make family…love makes a family. So you can and should cut toxic people out of your life and create your own “family” with people who will love and support you over the long haul. My “family” growing up was huge and their support enabled me to become a healthy, giving, compassionate person. If I had been limited to just biological family I dont think I would be very healthy today. Don’t feel guilty. You need to protect yourself. Praying you find terrific people to become your family. 🙂
Post # 5
- Wedding: November 2011 - Florida Aquarium
I don’t have a relationship with my mother. I’m 25. I started out as a total momma’s girl, but by the time I was 16 and my parents were divorced, I hated her. She was emotionally abusive and seriously bad news for me. I didn’t see or speak to her from 16-18. She called me in tears the day before I left for college. I agreed to see her. I tried to have a relationship with her through college… I really did.
Then, my college graduation rolled around, and she told me what horrible, selfish person I am and how I’m such a bitch… well, I told her I didn’t need or want her in my life. I was 22 at that point.
When I was 24, I sent an email telling her I was engaged. She proceeded to “surprise” me and my brother (we live really close together and a ten hour drive from our mother) with a visit– but she didn’t know our addresses and her family (my uncles) wouldn’t give them to her. I agreed to meet her dinner. She was two hours late. While at the restaurant with my brother, my cousin, my mother and her husband, she turned it into a screaming match (just her and her husband) about how horrible I am.
So, she was not invited to my wedding, and I haven’t spoken to her. It’s always been pretty easy for me to cut her off. Maybe it’s routine for me at this point? She’s my mother. I appreciate that she gave birth to me, but that doesn’t mean I have to like her. She feels entitled. My successes are all a product of her effort, is how she thinks.
My brother feels differently. While he would prefer not to speak to her, the fact that she’s his mother means a lot more to him than me. We both respect the other’s choice. Her family also understands our decisions.
I went into detail on this because you’re not alone, and you’re not the crazy one. You do have to do what’s best for you. Sometimes relationships are just way too emotionally expensive. Blood matters, sure, but that connection doesn’t give them the right to treat you badly.
Post # 6
@GroovyHippieChick: Thank you for sharing. I am going to give myself some time and I will definetily look into that book.
@secondchances: You are completely right about not having toxic people in your life. I am getting a lot better at cutting toxic people out of my life and hopefully I can do that with my dad for good
@Mrs. Gremmlin: Thank you so much for going into detail! I can see the connection between your mom and my father.
Without going into too much detail, this weekend was really the last straw for me. Long story short, I got involved in a argument that turned physical between my parents (not severly bad but physical enough for me to feel the need to get involed). Well it turned into a big giant yelling match.
And for the first time in my entire life, I felt betrayed by my mother. She defended him (which she has done before) but this time she slapped me. I still cant believe it.
The crazy behavior is expected from my father. I have cut him off before and I think at this point I know it is right. But now, with the way my mom acted, I feel like I might have to cut them both off. It hurts because I really love my mom. UGH.
Post # 7
@tranquility: I know how much it hurts when they keep letting you down. My mother stood up at Easter one year after we got into an argument and announced that she should have had an abortion instead of having me.
Post # 8
I’m not in the same situation, but a similar one. I have pretty limited contact with my father. They separated when I was very young and he just hasn’t been reliable. I tried to keep him up and involve him in major life events, including my engagement and wedding. However, after a series of under-the-influence phone calls (from him, not me) I decided it wasn’t worth it. It just wasn’t worth it to me to deal with his erratic and unpredictable behavior. Sometimes I feel like an awful person for not trying to encourage contact, rebuilding the relationship, but at the end of the day, I can’t make someone do something they don’t want to do. My husband and I have committed to being open to having a relationship with him (he hasn’t even met my husband after 6 years together), but I’m no longer making the effort.
Good luck with things — it certainly isn’t easy, but, as selfish as it sounds, you have to think of yourself first, especially when things get physical.
Post # 9
@tranquility: I can only imagine what you’re going through. You’re in my thoughts and hope you can emotionally get through this time as easy as possible.
Post # 10
I’m 32 and have not had a relationship or have seen my mother or 3 other siblings since I was 12. She always denied the abuse I suffered at the hands of her boyfriends. Also the 4 of them have done nothing but criticize my sister who raised me since I was 12. Last time I checked she was doing your job?! I’ve tried a few times over the years to reconcile and she never takes responsibility and is just hostile towards my family and I refuse it. She’s ugly, bitter, vengeful and I refuse to have that in my life. Blood does not make your family and anyone who tries to tell me otherwise ends up on the losing side of that battle. It’s sometimes better and cleansing to cut all ties, some people will never change. And no, she could be on her death bed and my feelings would not change so people can leave that argument alone too.
Post # 11
Thanks ladies for sharing with me.
I actually feel like I am in physical pain. My whole body is sore. It kills me because I just wish the relationship was normal.
Do any of you have children of your own?
I have a daughter and she was there when this whole thing happened. It breaks my heart because I NEVER wanted her to have to see or deal with any of the things I did growing up.
I just want to “break the cycle” as they say and luckily I am in a healthy relationship but having contact with them is just bringing me back to a place I dont want to be.
Post # 12
Has anyone else done this? I haven’t spoken to my adopted mother in over 25 years. (My adopted father died over 35 years ago.) She was an abusive alchoholic. She has no idea I’m getting married and wouldn’t be invited if she did know.
How do you feel about it? I only think about it when something like seeing this post reminds me or my brother says something. She’s just one of those people I used to know, like a person who picked on me in high school, who I am glad I never have to deal with anymore.
Also, how do you get over the guilt of “abondoning” family? I have always had zero guilt. People who abuse you are not family in my book, and by abuse I don’t mean only physical (although there was some of that in my case), but emotional as well. If someone in your life brings you a lot more misery than joy, and it seems unlikely that will ever change, it’s time to let them go.
Anyone else keeping contact with family even though it causes you mental anquish? My brother chose this route, which I respect – it’s his choice to make as to how to handle his relationships. He understands that every interaction with her is going to be frustrating, depressing, and completely not worth it, but feels the need to be “the good son” and to look good in the community. That said, he’s put a lot more distance between them due to his wife and child. A parent who is abusive towards you, will likely be abusive towards your spouse and children as well, and he is far less willing to let his family endure her abuse.
Post # 13
@tranquility: no, I have no children. It is by choice – I was terrified that I’d be a poor mother because of my experiences with her.
Post # 14
@tranquility: I am so sorry. I know it hurts physically. I promise it does get better. You will heal much faster withut toxic people in your life. Yes I do have children which it one of the reasons I encourage you to find your own “family”. Kids need more then just their parents in their lives and you need someone to turn to in an emergency. But neither of you need toxicity if that makes sense. Kids dont need to see physical violence. I am proud of you for having the strength to draw the line. If you ever need to talk I am just a PM away. I hesitate to share to much on the open forum because people IRL follow me on here all the time.
Post # 15
@tranquility: I have no children as of yet. When I was younger I feared having children bc I thought I’d be just like her but I know that’s not the case. However when we do have children I won’t hide them from my past but never will it present itself or be a part of their future. My “family” lost that privelage so long ago.
Post # 16
@tranquility: Please know that you are not alone. Toxicisity exist in all shapes and forms..including family members. My father was a toxic man and abused my mother. Thankfully I don’t remember any of the abuse because I was so young but I saw the scars on my mother. I have heard the story and have lived the life. I know exactly what it is like to have a toxic parent and all the guilt that you must be feeling. I made the decision to cut my father out of my life when I was 6, yes..6. Whenever he would call, I would just hang up the phone. When he would send things..I would toss them. I ignored that he was even alive most of the time. In highschool, I attempted to have a relationship with him..and whenever we would finish a conversation I would always feel so drained. Like he was physically sucking the energy out of my cells. He eventually let me down again and I cut him off for the last time. Last year he commited suicide. When I found out…I literally laughed. I don’t know that I knew how to feel. I didn’t feel guilty at all. I knew he lived as a coward and died as one too. However, I started feeling really badly about not having a good father while growing up…I just think of all that I could have been had I had the support of 2 loving parents instead of one forced to work so much that she could never be around. I was very angry…that my mother chose him..that he had to be the way he was. But I was never angry or sad that HE was gone.. only the idea of a father (that he had never been) was never even a chance anymore. I feel at peace with the decision that I made so many years ago and hopefully when you are finally at peace you will know that your guilty feelings were just holding you on to something that hurts you. Like a toxic marriage (after all spouses are family too)… My Fiance has recently made the decision to cut his family out too… they have been pretty hurtful to him and our relationship. I know that he still feels guilty and I don’t know if that will ever change.. but I hope for his sake that it gets a little easier. People react differently to these life altering decisions, but the moments that you are not thinking about them.. will be great! I wish you all the best.