Please share stories. I need to know that there are other people out there who finally put their foot down and say "enough is enough!"
Did it make you feel better, make you feel worse... Did it eventually lead to a better relationship? Or still no relationship to this day?
I am 25 years old, married, and nearly finished 2 university degrees. (Just for some background)
I have been having some major issues with my parents for quite a while now. I am SANE and RATIONAL, two traits which I'm currently feeling my mother does not have.
I see their number on my call display and I want so terribly to just ignore it. It is pretty much a given that by answering, I will end up hanging up angry. If I ignore the calls too frequently, she will cry and complain that I'm avoiding her.
I am contemplating saying "enough" and just leaving it to phonecalls and cards on birthdays and Christmas. Family is very, VERY important to me, unfotunately I have spent many months and many tears trying to get this relationship in working order. It's just not working... and I'm exhausted.
I think holiday cards were sent, etc. but there were no phone calls or visits, and we all lived in the same area.
Anyway, my dad and our immediate family (me, my mom) were happier without them for the most part. Sometimes they are just not worth it. If you want more details, let me know.
i don't talk to my dad much any more. i moved 3,000 miles away which really helped with that. being around him every day was driving me insane- way too much in the way of random outbursts, panic, chaos, extreme stress (you could feel it in the air and my shoulders were so tense i had no neck) changeable moods, misplaced hostility, control, and making me feel guilty and like crap, etc.
i started to realise a while ago that every time i spoke to him on the phone (at my mums instigation) it was ending in tears on my end, so i've asked her to call me when he's not home. she tells him whats going on with me (the edited version) and he's still a part of things, just not all up in my face (or earhole).
i'll speak to him now, but not anywhere near as often (maybe every month or 2), and i keep it to about five or 10 minutes, i'm polite, civil, talk about random things like my tomato plants, and i've learned to tune right out any silliness and let it go right over my head when he acts like a turd.
i won't get manipulated or drawn into anything, i won't commit to anything i don't want to, i'll draw lines if i need to (eg: "i don't want to talk about that. lets change the subject", "if you continue to shout at/lecture me, i WILL hang up. i'm not speaking to you unless you can be civilised/ i can see you're getting stressed. lets talk tomorrow if you're feeling calmer then."- and stick to them). i've learned that i don't need to take sides, listen to him badmouth people, explain or justify myself, and i don't need to take onboard his freely offered but not requested advice. i'm polite, i'm there, but i'm not playing any games or being played with.
i know he's not doing it on purpose, he's just seriously messed up, and he's doing his best to be less messed up. i understand why he's messed up, and i care about him, even when it hurts to. but i have to do my best to look after me. and if that means we speak less often, for less time, less indepth, but with dramatically less upset, then so be it. my sanity is paramount, hehehe.
i think if you're exhausted, give yourself a break. if you haven't got help, step back from the problem, catch your breath, then go get it. whatever you decide to do, it can be ok.
Jen - your Dad sounds JUST like my mom. Talking to her is a whirlwind that always ends up with anger and upset.
I have known for a while that I need to see a therapist about my feelings towards my mom. I have been to councellling before about other things and it was great. I just have been putting this off. Maybe it's time.
I have told my husband that I'm taking a week off from my mom. If the phone rings and it's her - he can answer it and make an excuse for me, or simply let it ring. I just need to clear my head and decide what I want from our relationship.
I would do what you do and go through my father to keep in touch, but that won't work. She is dominant in the relationship, and only talking to him would cause problems for both him AND me.
Thanks again. I have a lot of thinking to do.
Unfortunately she is very dominant in their relationship so by cutting her off I've had to pretty much cut off my dad. I've explained my reasons to him and he understands but he can't / won't tell her because it makes it worse for him and open contact with me is just as bad. She's really psycho. Before I left last week to come to visit my mom I was told he has had a fight with my brother (who still lives with them) and was living at a friends. I don't know if he still is gone; My sister and I are really hoping he severs ties to them.
I do agree that you should set up some personal boundaries for yourself and for her. A therapist and a break to think ought to help that. Just make sure you stay strong and dont get stuck in her drama. Good luck whatever you end up doing
No family is better than a dysfunctional one.
Better yet, a created family, one chosen from a healthy place, out of love, empathy and trust is the best one anyone can hope to have.
For me, I have not fully cut out my dad, but I have come to accept that he is just not a reliable person, has other priorities besides me, and is not that interested in having a big relationship or having me make demands on him for time and attention. Every couple weeks, we briefly chat and occasionally I see him for an hour or two. But I have learned it does not pay to beg for attention or get into any sort of passive-aggressive stuff with him about why didn't you call etc. I have made peace with it. When I see him, we don't fight or anything, but I could go a long time without speaking to him and neither of us would particularly miss each other It bugs my half-sister though. She has a real judgmental streak when it comes to me and Dad, and has turned out to have inherited some of his lesser qualities. It would not surprise me if she booted me out of her life one day. I mean, I have made efforts and have really learned with her to keep it light and small-talky and not try to have a big thing. But she periodically will come out with these completely ridiculous things and seems to have a lot of conditions and rules under which I must operate to be friends with her. I have absolutely zero interest in that sort of thing. She's immature, she's spoiled and she's a little crazy. I'm not sure I need that in my life I'm playing nice, for now, but I suspect there will come a point where I will accidentally piss her off, and she'll give me the boot
While it does hurt, and sometimes tear you up a little, it can be necessary to cut ties with your family. It doesn't have to be forever, but there is a time to say enough. Indeed.
I moved out of my dad's house when I was 18. We didn't talk for about 2 years. We talk now though and are very close. We needed the space to grow I think. It was hard, but I am grateful for it. I didn't talk to any family during that time actually.
I don't talk to my mother either. Occasionally I will answer the phone from her but not for the most part. When I do, I brace myself for her antics and accept her for what she is. She's a bipolar, unmedicated alcoholic/drug abuser, with liver failure to boot. I've made my peace with her which I think is VERY important. Hating her and ignoring her will make me regret it when she dies. I accept her, but keep her at her boundary. This did take a few years of not talking though.
I do recommend telling them how you feel then cutting them off. This is what worked for me. You have to examine your own soul though to be able to tell if it will work for you. After a year or so, perhaps you can begin talking again and have a civil relationship like my mother and I. I don't recommend burning any bridges and throwing hate around, I do believe its important to try to keep someone forgiven in the chance of death.
That's my two cents. Goodluck. It's hard, I know.
My hubby has to limit time around his family. He will likely cut ties with them completely once we have children. They are racist, crazy people who have always favored his sister. In their eyes, his sister can do no wrong even though she has led quite the wild and crazy life (we'll leave it at that).
My husband is so much happier not seeing his parents, and mental and emotional health trumps spending time with insane family members any day! It just wasn't worth it to leave feeling down on himself wondering what was wrong with him to make them that way. In the end, he finally figured out it was his parents with the problem--not him. Sometimes it's just like that. (Stinks, I know.)
Wise words. I spent a long time beating my head against the wall with my dad and trying to get him to be the kind of father I wanted him to be. He just can't do it. The last time I tried to talk to him about my feelings, I could actually see his eyes glaze over and his brain shut off. He is not built that way. He cannot engage with me (or anyone) on that level. He's not bad, he's not evil, he's not mean. He just is not wired to be in that kind of moment like that, and this incident really made me realize that. So when I see him, we have a pleasant conversation and it's fine and nobody has a bad time. And periodically I will call him with a banking question or he will call me with a computer question and we'll trade general how-are-yous. But other than that, he has his life and I have my life and that's fine.
When my dad walked out when I was 15 I was the only person my mother had and so it was me that ended up looking after her. I'd stay up with her all night and would then go to school, wondering what mess I'd come back to. She used to tell me she wanted to kill herself a lot, and I felt like it was my responsibility to prevent all of that. We did become close through this but I did start resenting how our relationship was. She'd get a new boyfriend (who was always a complete scumbag) and ignore me, but as soon as they left she'd be clinging to me and treating me like I was the parent. At one point she got dumped by a guy who threatened to hurt me if she contacted him again, she went out that night looking for someone else and left me alone in the house, crapping myself.
Things got better when we moved house and she found someone who is a bit of a prat but who was good to her. By this point though, our relationship was very strained. She discovered about some abuse I suffered when I was very young that she'd never heard about and I don't think she could take it. I think she felt guilty even though I assured her she wasn't and that I just wanted to deal with it on my own. She started getting angry at me over everything and this is when the real problems started. My dad was paying her hundreds of pounds a week that was supposed to be used to support me. She decided to live 6 days a week at her new boyfriends house and left me with £5 a week to buy food with. She got me a therapist (free on the nhs btw, so my support money didn't go toward this) for my problems but when my therapist wanted discuss some of my issues I had with her, to her, she refused to accept them. I was diagnosed with mental illnesses and to this day she won't accept them either. She's asked me why I can't just get over them and gets furious if I don't look happy and smiley all the time. By the time I was going to university she was violent, rude and a very unstable person to live with. She sold the house my dad bought for the family to live with her boyfriend and left me homeless for 2 weeks. I lived with my nan and then moved into university halls, cutting all ties with her.
I sent her a birthday card later in the year and we slowly got into contact again. It was going well but I made the mistake of living with her this summer before moving into my new student house. Things didn't get as bad as they had been, but they weren't great. I still think I would probably be happier if I cut all contact from her, she does a lot to bring me down and criticise me. It hurts me that she has never appologised or admitted any fault. She just brushes it under the carpet ready for when we have an argument.
I have learnt how to act around her though and I can often stop a situation from turning ugly. Since moving out I've spoken to her on the phone a few times, and this works. But living with her is completely different. I admit it was very hard to cut all contact, but you need to get to a point where you think about what is best for YOU and your life. The reason my mother is so much calmer now is because she knows that she no longer controls our relationship. She knows that if she really messes up then I will cut ties for good.
I know this a long post but I hope it helps you to reach the right conclusion for you
Anyway... this has always been my thoughts on family, blood means nothing. I know a lot of people will find offense to this comment but it's how I feel. My mom isn't family to me. I don't know how you feel about your mother but before you cut off contact, lay it out for her. Tell her how you feel, in a letter or face-to-face, whichever works best. Let her know you think she should get help and until then you can't communicate with her. Then take the step back and leave the next step up to her.
Good luck with everything, do what you think is right.
I hope this doesn't happen to any of you, but once I had to move 1100 miles to get away from some of my family, and right now, they're working on getting the silent treatment from me for certain.
It's not all my family, but just one or two individuals who can't seem to live right. Always getting into trouble and creating drama for the whole family. I am in a situation right now to where there's nothing I can do. I am staying at my mom's while I am in school... just 2 more months!... then I am moving out after I get a job. Once I get me and my favorite dishes back into my own apartment, I'll do little phone watching because I don't care what they have to say. From my sister it's always borrow money money money, and she's sick and she hates her husband and they can't pay the rent and the electric will be shut off on Monday. So, I usually pretend like I'm not available, but here at mom's it's hard. She caters to my sister and my sister uses her like trash.
So, now I get in my car and make myself unavailable and pretend like I had no cell phone signal.
Maybe you should pretend like you are not available as well? Sometimes they get the message.
About 5 years ago, I cut ties w/my mom for about a year. We were both going through some things, and I guess we clashed at that time. After we started talking again she became my best friend, but we still had issues (that only I knew of, I never told her). I would kill to re-do that time and not cut her off. She died almost 3 years ago, and I regret not having that time w/her-even considering our issues. I cut ties w/my brother about 3 years before that... it was my mom's death that we started talking again, and now he is my best friend. Now me my dad & my brother are as close as can be.
I guess what I'm saying is really think about why you want to cut them off, and is it worth it? I've had SOOO much anger, issues, etc. towards my family in the past, but since that, I've realized it's not worth it.
My mom has always been a user for as long as I can remember. I guess because she had me young she didn't really know what she was doing ( had me at 19). I was an only child until she got married when I was 7 and gave me a little brother at 9 then a set of mixed gender twins at 14.
I was the babysitter ALWAYS while she went out with her friends. When my step father and her divorced those kids were all mine. I would wake up at 3am get the meals ready, get them on the bus, head to school then work after, then rushed to be home for them.
I also washed all the clothes on the weekend.
I am now 25, recently got my nursing license, married to a wonder and man and have no children...yet.
From the time I cut my mother off...at 24, my bank account has GROWN tremendously, I feel happier and am no longer depressed.
It was hard at first, there is this misconceived notion that parents can do whatever they want, my ex-mom would say" I gave you life"...then I relized....no...God gave me life, you were just the vessel that brought me here.
I was plagued with guilt the first couple of months...but it get better with time.
My mother was/IS a toxic, self absorbed person...and I'm better without her in my life.
Thank you all of you for posting and sharing. Many would probably like to think that these types of sites are merely reinforcing the notion of misery loves company. However, me being a victim of parental abuse I can also see that knowing and understanding that others have gone through the same life experiences as me is also very comforting. Not because I enjoy reading about other people's misery, but rather because it is so important to learn how they have dealt with their issues, and perhaps being able to offer my own advice where I can.
I chose to sever ties after my then wife and I lost our baby to still birth and my mother thought that a wonderful way to comfort her in her time of grief was by sending her a letter to call her several dirty names, one of which was "murderer". And my mother was working in a hospice as a volunteer at the time!?
My only guess is that my mother, who definitely displays the symptoms of the "martyr complex", figured that she was being outdone in the "attention department" and resented people feeling for someone else in her family. However, my mother's emotional, psychological, and physical abuse went far beyond just that...this was just the culmination of years of similar abuse.
I more or less severed ties with my parents (my father simply stood by and supported her insanity) at least 15 years before that horrific event. I kept in touch with them once or twice a year...none after that letter. But from what I have learned over the years too is that what I have done was absolutely the right thing to do. My mother is incredibly manipulative, and always put on a great show in front of people...most of my friends always thought she was so nice. It's when there was no one around to witness her behavior is when things got ugly. However, she also made errors in that judgment and would always opine in front of her own friends...to the point of shocking them too. Her views on politics, religion, social issues, and of course her immediate family, would turn most people away. As a result virtually all of her friends stopped visiting her after a short while. She would make new friends over time, but the pattern would always be repeated. In fact, after my dad passed away none of her "friends" ever came by to see how she was doing. Her "friends" were always more interested in talking to my dad...not her.
My strategy has always been to sever all ties for a period of 5 years. After initially walking away I made it a point to tell her if she ever wanted to talk she could always call. I would then touch base with her after the first 5 years, and if the abuse continued I would reset the clock for another 5 years. The philosophy of this strategy is to forgive, forget, and move on, but because it is also pointless to continually subject myself to that torment the onus at this stage then is to leave it up to the abuser to reconnect. When she's ready to reconcile she will call...and she has never called.
I believe that she has never called because of the martyr complex. These people are always the victim and usually hurt as many people around them as possible to ensure that everyone sees that they are the only ones who deserve sympathy and love. And many will do some pretty evil things to ensure that no one else steals their spotlight. I saw my mom at my niece's birthday party in 2010. In front of everyone she said to me, "please call me". I called her 7 times...she never picked up the phone, nor did she return my calls...and all she did at that point was, quelle surprise, tell the rest of the family that I never call and that I'm such a horrible son who always hurts her. I have reset the clock
Naturally, I have been disinherited. But you know...she has always told us (me in particular) dating back 40 years what she intended to do with any inheritance, and I was never in the picture anyway...and this was long before I ever decided to sever ties. She seems to have thought that the threat of money and material possessions would keep us in line; however, money and material possessions are irrelevant here...I would MUCH rather have my sanity. I have found peace and serenity not having to deal with her, and that in itself is one of the most rewarding things anyone could ever do for oneself.
Unfortunately, my siblings are suffering terribly...me not as much but I still have issues because of all this. They chose to stay connected and both are severely emotionally and psychologically damaged. I fear for my brothers...unless they get major counselling at this stage they will never find peace. But on the other hand...this was their choice too; however, at this point all they have to do is call.
This might help for some people, but can also backfire. My mother, for instance, is well connected and can make life more miserable for you in the community as a whole if you continually push her buttons. My mother's primary goal was to prevent her kids from succeeding. The best way to deal with this is to simply "succeed" in spite of her, but without revenge or tormenting of your own. I think that one can gloat much better by continually demonstrating "who is the better person".
I can see your point though...there can be an urge to seek immediate justification or satisfaction. However, in many cases sometimes it is just best to win silently.
I have decided to cut ties. My mothers abuse started 40 years ago when her bad decisions started
1-she started screwing her boyfriends with me in next room w/ my father out of town. Drug me from one party, drinking, drug place after another b4 age 9. My first memories are all of bars.
2-she gave me to her boyfriend and sent me 500 miles away to "take care of him". He treated me well and and dumped her
3-one of her boyfriends molested me when i was 8. I told her and she said I was lying
4-she encouraged moved my 21 year old boyfriend in my room to pay my bills.....when I was 13
5-when she found a "new" man she threw mine out (he was the only kindness I knew)
6-her new man beat, kicked and spit on me....her answer was to ship me 4000 miles away to my grandparents THANK GOD and keep the man and my little sister.
7-she manipulated me to moving back two years later where the abuse started again...she again stayed with the man...i went away.
8-My grandparents bought a house and told the banker to put it in my name. She called the banker and had it switched to her name. My GP caught that and she stated...WHAT GPARENTS LEAVE GRANDKIDS ANYTHING.
9-Gparents moved into the home and I took care of gparents...they asked to be with me. GFather had stroke. She SUED ME for control of the grandparents AND their estate. Took me to court attorneys and all.
10-her sister also sued me. they spent all the 750-G in 4 years.
11-They took my GP out of state. When they passed.she cremated my Gfather against his wishes when he already pre purchased mausoleum and saved up 30K for the funeral. She saved money by cremating him and selling the vault he paid for 30 years. She gave me $100.00 to pay the preacher and she nor her sister not one family member showed up at funeral. I paid for everything and buried them by myself. Instead of going to funeral she went where the will was and decimated it. Claims there was nothing left of the 750K. They had spent every dime on their care. GF only lived 2 years.
12-My Gfather gave me $1300 to give a DR for a procedure I needed (not cosmetic) to better my life. Just tonight 15 years later she brought it up AGAIN.
13-She told e she would find a loop hole and take my house away leaving me homeless in the street. I won that battle.
14=My Gparents put up 10K enuity (sp?) for me in high school. She stoled it.
This is a small look into what all has been done to me. The final straw came when she told me her thieving/evil/POS sister sent message to me saying...happy birthday. Sounds small but its what finally broke my patience and I let it fly. Her sister that also sued me is who I am referring too. I told her I hope they all rot in hell where they most certainly belong after doing what they did to my grandparents and me.
They are liars...cheaters,,,manipulators EVIL and thank the GOOD LORD I live in the Bless Ed South and 2k miles away from THEM. Otherwise..it could get uglier with me being the one dishing it out this time. My only regret is there is no benefit in me telling her any of this because she lives on another planet where she is a good person. How she has decided that is beyond my ability to conceive. Oh and I am successful and happy and she has never been. That's the best pay back of all.
Wow. Many of us have been abused when growing up, and some of us had it worse than others. Your experience is pretty bad, but good on you for having the courage to get away. I have been advising people for quite a few years now myself that the best remedy against any type of abuse is distance. Some have to move away further than others, but severing ties and communication is the best remedy to allow oneself to heal.
I would advise seeking any type of therapy you can find to help you recover (it doesn't have to take as long as some may think), and you will probably be a very happy and well adjusted individual as a result. It took me about 10 years to recover from continual mental and emotional abuse, but now when I visit my brothers I can tell immediately that based on their behavior and how they socialize with people that I am doing MUCH better :-). You can do this too.
Thank you so much for your reply. Day one is almost complete and I am asking myself how I feel about it. She texted me this morning and I answered...scathingly...that I was done. I tried to abide a promise I made to my Gfather to keep the family together. This isn't a family...and I have to believe he knows that in Heaven and wants me to get away. He never knew all she did to me. Or does to me.
So to answer the question of how I feel??? I feel clean...cleansed...free...and scared. I don't want to hate anyone so I want to choose to live in a world where they do not exist. Where they cannot touch me or my serene world that my husband and I have created. She is getting older and was starting to say I, ME was going to have to take care of her BAHAHAHAHAAAA. I promise I will be there as she was for me.
I pray that every day brings me a new level of peace and serenity. As I step into a world I don't know where I start healing my life long wounds I need to release my emotion of wanting them to burn in hell and damnation. Or my desire of her to be miserable all the days of her life for what she did to me....and may it be a long, long life.
Now she lives in a world that doesn't exist. For instance, she tells everyone she shipped me away at 15 because the teacher went on strike at my school...in December. I was THERE and I know the truth. Her husband beat me and bruised me and I told her I was going to the Navy Commander and have him prosecuted for child abuse. The navy does not play. He would have been demoted, thrown out of the Navy. She knew I had all the proof...the bruising and sister saw everything. Her answer was to bribe me. We lived on Guam. She bribed me with a ticket back to my grandparents in TN and I jumped on the chance to get away from them. I went into personal survivor mode....I was 15 and my sister that she kept was 7. She has told herself and others this teacher strike lie for so long she believes it herself. Once I heard her friend tell me this story I confronted her with LIAR...you are a LIAR. You married a child abuser and chose him over your own child. Then she tried to tell me it was my grandmothers scheming is why she sent me back...LIAR you are a LIAR is again what I said. She twists everything ****ty she has done onto my wonderful, loving, grandparents that saved my life when I had NOBODY. I cannot help to want her to burn in hell. She speaks evil against my only saviors. How dare she..............................
So I told her today that she made her choice in 1981 when she chose to stay with the child abuser and send me away. It was the best thing she ever did for me and the last thing any REAL MOTHER would have done. A real mother would have also prosecuted him for child abuse. She was even beaten by my father and knew what it was like first hand and still stood by and watched me be beaten. I guess she has to tell herself those lies as the only reason she can create as to why she stayed with that POS....still today.
I have a long and winding path ahead and I know that. I will wake up each day knowing I have no blood relatives....only the family I married into. Thats the scary part. But good lord...the B^#ch has never once been there for ME so why in Gods name would she if anything happened now. She would NOT. So I have to get past that fear and rely on ME the one person thats alive that has always been here. Just Me.
Thank you again...and I will look into counseling. I just wont go to one intent on me Patching Things Up. I have never felt more sure and grounded in a decision in my entire life. This is the only choice I have for myself. After all...Tomorrow is another day : }
Step one, or day one, is always the toughest. But it will soon become much easier after a few days, and after a few weeks you won't even realize that it's scary. The fear will dissipate.
Counseling is also an excellent way to find acknowledgement and validation of your experience, and to help you move on. One of the most difficult things for victims of abuse to do is to forgive, but this is primarily because most people do not understand what forgiveness is. Forgiveness is not reconciliation, and if any counselor ever tells you that then you should walk away from them too. So if a counselor tries to get you back with your abuser, then that could be regarded as a form of abuse too, and you should leave.
Forgiveness is really nothing more than an act of self-healing and self-empowerment. It does not involve the abuser, except in the mind of the forgiver. You most certainly do not have to meet with your abuser to convey any forgiveness...that would be reconciliation and cannot work unless the abuser is willing to repent. Forgiveness is purely personal and internal, and is what gives the abused a sense of peaceful release of all negative feelings for the abuser. It's also what allows you to walk away from your experience in peace (this is important for recovery).
What I found too is that by harboring negative feelings for the abuser, such as resentment and hatred, it only serves to hurt you more, and there is nothing the abuser would like better than to see you continue to hurt yourself after you have left. One of the best lines I have ever heard that sums up this concept is: Not forgiving is like taking poison, and then hoping that the other person dies. Counseling will help you see and understand this concept much more clearly than I can here, and you don't have to work on this right away. Just keep it in the back of your mind so you know that you do have other avenues available to you that will help you recover from your experience.