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Stronger for the Breaks – How to Heal from a Toxic Parent

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Stronger for the Breaks - How to Heal from a Toxic Parent

It’s one thing to be dipped in venom by those you don’t really care about, but when it’s by the person who is meant to love you, hold you, and take the sharp edges off the world, while teaching you with love, wisdom and warmth how to do it for yourself, it changes you. There is a different kind of hurt that can only come from a toxic parent – someone who is meant to love you. Kind of like being broken from the inside out.

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The scarring and hurt that comes from a toxic parent probably isn’t something we talk about enough. None of us are perfect, including our parents, but there is a point at which imperfect becomes destructive, taking away from children the love, warmth and nurturing they deserve and replacing it with something awful.

When children are raised on a diet of criticism, judgement, abuse and loathing, it’s only a matter of time before they take over from those parents, delivering with full force to themselves the toxic lashings that have been delivered to them. 

Toxic parents come in many shapes. Some are so obvious that they can be spotted from space through the eye of a needle. Some are a bit more subtle. All are destructive.

A toxic parent has a long list of weapons, but all come under the banner of neglect or emotional, verbal or physical abuse. Toxic parents lie, manipulate, ignore, judge, abuse, shame, humiliate and criticise. Nothing is ever good enough. You get an A, they’ll want an A+. You get an A+, they’ll wonder why you aren’t school captain. You make school captain, your sister would have been a better one. And you’ll never be pretty like her. They’ll push you down just to criticise you for the way you fall. That, or they’ll shove you off a cliff to show the world how well they catch you. They oversee childhoods with no warmth, security or connection. 

Any negative behaviour that causes emotional damage or contaminates the way a person sees himself or herself, is toxic. A toxic parent treat his or her children in such a way as to make those children doubt their importance, their worth, and that they are deserving of love, approval and validation. If you’re reading this and thinking, ‘Well yeah, my parent/s did that, but only because it was true – I’m pretty useless at life,’ then chances are that parent was a toxic one. The truth is that you, like every other small person on the planet, deserved love, warmth, and to know how important you were. You’re not useless at life – you’ve bought in to the messages that were delivered by a parent too broken to realise what they were doing. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. 

It is possible to heal from by toxic parenting. It begins with the decision that the legacy of shame and hurt left behind by a toxic parent won’t be the way your story will end.

How to heal from a toxic parent.

Here are some ways to move forward.

  1. It’s okay to let go of a toxic parent.

    This is such a difficult decision, but it could be one of the most important. We humans are wired to connect, even with people who don’t deserve to be connected to us. Sometimes though, the only way to stop the disease spreading is to amputate. It doesn’t matter how much you love some people, they are broken to the point that they will only keep damaging you from the inside out. You’re not responsible for them or for the state of your relationships with them, and you are under no obligation to keep lining yourself up be abused, belittled, shamed or humiliated. Healing starts with expecting more for yourself, and you’re the only person who can make that decision. 

  2. And it’s okay not to.

    Don’t be harsh on yourself if you stay in the relationship. The act of returning to an abusive relationship can set trigger self-loathing. ‘Why aren’t I strong enough?’ Know that loyalty is such an admirable trait, even if it gets in the way of your capacity to protect yourself. Own where you are and give yourself full permission to be there. Accept that for now, this is where you’re at, and fully experience what that’s like for you. You’ll never love yourself enough to change your expectations if you’re flogging yourself for not being strong enough. It takes tremendous strength to keep walking into a relationship that you know is going to hurt you. When you’re ready, you’ll make the move to do something differently. For now though, wherever you are is okay.

  3. Be honest about the possibilities.

    If you’re going to stay, know that it’s okay to put a boundary between yourself and your parent. You can act from love and kindness if you want to – but don’t stay in the relationship unless you can accept that the love you deserve will never come back to you. Ever. If it was going to, it would have reached you by now. See their behaviour for what it is – evidence of their breaks, not evidence of yours. Put a forcefield around yourself and let their abuse bounce off. Love yourself and respect yourself enough to fill the well that they bleed dry. They might not be capable of giving you the love and respect you deserve, but you are.

     

  4. Be careful of repeating the patterns with other people

    You might find yourself drawn to people who have similarities to your toxic parent. There’s a really good reason for this. All of us are driven to find an ending to things that remain unresolved. Because love, warmth and nurturing are such an important part of child development, yet so elusive for the child of a toxic parent, it’s very normal for those children to be driven to find a resolution to never feeling loved, secure or good enough. They will look to receive what they didn’t get from their parents in others and will often be drawn to people who have similarities to their toxic parent. With similar people, the patterns will be easier to replicate, and the hope of an ending closer to the desired one – parent love – will be easier to fulfil. That’s the theory. The pattern often does repeat, but because of the similarities to the parent, so does the unhappy ending.

    The decisions aren’t conscious ones, so to move towards healing, the automatic thoughts and feelings driving the choices need to be brought more into awareness. If this is something that’s familiar for you, it’s possible that you are being drawn to the wrong people because they remind you of your toxic parent, and somewhere inside you where your wanted things stay hidden, is the wish that you’ll get from them what you weren’t able to get from your parent. Look at the people in your life and explore the similarities they have with your own parents. What do they do that’s similar? What do you do that’s similar to the way you are in your relationship with your parents? Which needs are being met? What keeps you there? The more awareness you have, the more you can make deliberate decisions that aren’t driven by historical wants.

  5. Own your right to love and respect.

    One of the greatest acts of self-love is owning your right to love and respect from the people you allow close to you. You’re completely entitled to set the conditions for your relationships, as other people are to set the conditions for theirs. We all have to treat those we love with kindness, generosity and respect if we want the same back. If those conditions aren’t met, you’re allowed to close the door. You’re allowed to slam it closed behind them if you want to.

  6. Be careful of your own toxic behaviour.

    You’ve been there, so you know the behaviours and you know what they do. We’re all human. We’re all going to get it wrong sometimes. Toxic behaviour though, is habitual and it will damage the members of your own little tribe as surely as it damaged you. You don’t have to be a product of the inept, cruel parenting that was shown to you, and this starts with the brave decision that the cycle stops at you. People who do this, who refuse to continue a toxic legacy, are courageous, heroic and they change the world. We’re here to build amazing humans, not to tear them down. How many lives could have been different if your parent was the one who decided that enough was enough.

  7. You’re allowed to make mistakes and you’re allowed to do it on your own.

    You may have been lead to believe that you’re not enough – not smart enough, beautiful enough, funny enough, strong enough capable enough. The truth is that you are so enough. It’s crazy how enough you are. Open yourself up to the possibility of this and see what happens. You don’t need to depend on anyone and making mistakes doesn’t make you a loser. It never has. That’s something you’ve been lead to believe by a parent who never supported you or never gave you permission to make mistakes sometimes. Make them now. Make plenty. Heaps. Give yourself full permission to try and miss. There will be hits and there will be misses. You don’t even know what you’re capable of because you’ve never been encouraged to find out. You’re stronger than you think you are, braver, better and smarter than you think you are, and now is your time to prove it to yourself.

     

  8. Write a list. (And get yourself a rubber band.)

    Write down the beliefs that hold you back. The ones that get in your way and stop you from doing what you want to do, saying what you want to say or being who you want to be. Were you brought up to believe your opinion doesn’t count? That parents are always right? That you’re unloveable? Unimportant? Stupid? Annoying? Incapable? Worthless?

    Now beside each belief, write what that belief is costing you. Has it cost you relationships? Happiness? Freedom to be? To experiment? To explore? Then, rewrite the script. Thoughts drive feelings, behaviour, what you expect for yourself and what you expect from relationships and world. How are you going to change those beliefs? Just choose one or two to start with and every time you catch yourself thinking the old thoughts, actively replace it with a new, more self-nurturing thought – then act as though that new thought is true. You don’t have to believe it – just pretend it is. Your head will catch up when it’s ready.

    If it’s difficult to break out of the old thought, try this: wear a rubber band (or a hair band) around your wrist. Every time you catch yourself thinking the old thought, give the band a little flick. This will start to train your mind to let go of the old thoughts that have no place in your life anymore. You just need a little flick – you don’t need to hurt yourself – your old thoughts have been doing that for long enough already. There is no right or wrong on this. All the answers, strength and courage you need to do what’s right for you is in you. You just need to give yourself the opportunity and the reason to hear it.

  9. Find your ‘shoulds’ that shouldn’t be.

    ‘Shoulds’ are the messages we take in whole (introject) from childhood, school, relationships, society. They guide behaviour automatically and this can be a good thing (‘I should be around people who respect me’) or a not so good thing (‘I should always be ‘nice”). Take a close look at your ‘shoulds’ and see if they’ve been swallowed with a spoonful of poison. Our ‘should’s’ come from many years of cultivating and careful pruning, so that when that should is fully formed, it direct you so automatically that you don’t even need to think.

    It’s likely that the should that’s keeping you stuck has come from the person who wanted to keep you that way. Were you brought up feeling indebted to your parents? Like you owe them? Like you’ll never cope if you separate properly from them? Were the messages delivered to keep you small? Quiet? Hidden? Believing the messages may have worked when you were younger, steering you way from their foul mood or toxic consequences, but it doesn’t have to be that way now. Don’t pick up from where they left off. You’re older now, with different circumstances, and in a different environment. Bring your ‘shoulds’ out in the open so your actions can be more deliberate. If your ‘shoulds’ are working for you, love them up and keep them, otherwise let them go. 

  10. Nobody is all good or all bad. But don’t be guilted by that.

    One of the things that makes ending any relationship so difficult is that there will be traces of exactly what you want. Even toxic parents can sometimes be loving, warm or nurturing, though it’s mostly, if not always, done to further their own agenda. In the same way that being ‘a little bit bad’ probably isn’t enough to sever an important relationship, being ‘a little bit good’ isn’t enough reason to keep one. Zoom out and look at the big picture. If you feel miserable in the relationship more than you feel good, question your reasons for staying. If it’s because your toxic parent is old, frail, sad or lonely, that might be all the reason you need to stay, and that’s okay. If it is, own the decision in strength and put limits on contact or how much you will give to the relationship. You’re entitled to take or give as much to the relationship as you decide. Just whatever you do, do it deliberately, in strength and clarity, not because you’re being manipulated or disempowered. The shift in mindset seems small, but it’s so important. 

  11. Build yourself up.

    Toxic environments are toxic to the brain – we know that with absolute certainty. The human brain is incredibly adaptive, and in response to a toxic environment it will shut down so as to protect itself as much as it can from the toxicity. When this happens, as it does during prolonged periods of emotional stress, the rate at which the brain produces new neurons (neurogenesis) slows right down, ultimately making people vulnerable to anxiety, depression, cognitive impairment, memory loss, reduced immunity, loss of vitality, reduced resilience to stress, and illness (research has shown that migraine and other pain conditions are more prevalent in people who were brought up in abusive environments, though the exact reason for the relationship is unclear).

    We also know, with absolute certainty, that the damage can be turned around. Diet (omega 3, green tea extract, blueberry extract, reduced intake processed sugar and unhealthy carbohydrates), exercise (anything that increases heart rate), and meditation (such as a regular mindfulness practice) will all help to rebuild the brain and heal the damage done by a toxic environment. Increasing neurogenesis will help to build resilience, cognitive function, vitality and protect against stress, anxiety and depression.

Healing from a toxic parent starts with deciding that the lifetime of messages that have left you hollow or scarred are wrong. Because they are. It means opening a heart that’s probably been closed for way too long, and receiving the love, approval and validation that has always been yours to own. Sometimes, it means realising that parents break too, sometimes irreparably, sometimes to the point of never being able to show love to the people in their life who deserve it the most. Sometimes it means making the brave decision, in strength and with the greatest self-love and self-respect, to let go of the relationship that’s been hurting you. 

Breaking free of a toxic parent is hard, but hard has never meant impossible. With the deliberate decision to move forward, there are endless turns your story can take. Brave, extraordinary, unexpected turns that will lead you to a happier, fuller life. It’s what you’ve always deserved. Be open to the possibilities of you. There are plenty.

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812 Comments

Freida

Honestly, I had a very clear vision for my future at age 19.
My extremely toxic mother dragged me into her bad drama with my biter father. I nearly had a nervous breakdown.
I am now 62 years old. These people have never changed and my siblings all fended for themselves. They were alienated from my messed up parents in their own way.
It’s your life. It’s okay to tell your parents to leave you alone.
Just go your own way. You will never get support from parents whose main objective is fulfilling their own personal agenda.
Very well put comment. It will never change and the siblings may unwittingly be involved in the whole scapegoating process. At least it wasn’t one of them.
Frankly I wish I had never tried to speak to my parents about my dreams and goals. They crushed them all.

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Brielle

I am 18 years old and the day you posted that comment (yesterday) I had an argument on the phone with my mom for not allowing me to travel to Indiana to visit my amazing friend. I am currently in college and was told (yelled at) over the phone “You won’t even be able to travel alone at 25!!” Just wanted to say its ironic and very relatable. Thank you.

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foxhq

Your childhood was one in which you felt unloved, unseen, and marginalized, and were subject to endless criticism and perhaps scapegoating. You did what you could to armor yourself, or perhaps you placated others instead; in any case, you did what you could to deal until you finally moved out into your young adult life. It’s at that moment that you began to make your own choices about where to live, friends, how to support yourself, partners, and lovers, but also how to deal with your family of origin. Most unloved daughters — relishing the fact that they’re out from under their mothers’ direct influence — do little to challenge the status quo and do what they can to manage the situation. It’s when their efforts to manage begin to fail — they are still hurt by encounters with their parent or parents or perhaps siblings, are unable to manage the resulting emotions, still feel adrift, and are unable to set healthy boundaries — that they realize they’re stuck and have to disengage and find a new way of relating to their family.

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Clara

Thank you for the post, it is helpful to start healing.

I am 30 now and although abuse was very low key at my parents house, emotional and physical neglect were part of the routine.

My mother never really cared for having a child but it was good bragging material if neighbors were around. If not she just ignored me or tried to make me feel ashemed for what I was doing ( mostly reading). On top of that she is very manipulative and mean (luckily for me also not the brightest). My father couldn’t be bothered with me most my life, he loves my mother and that is it.

I remember trying to go my grandparents place as often I could when I was young because I got a hug from my grandma when I arrived. Although she is a controlling woman that was the best I had.

Now I grow up, moved to a different country to physically distance myself and have no idea how start learning to love myself or convince people I am actually worthy of it. Couldn’t manage either of it so far.

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auswoman_33

Is there EVER any point in trying to communicate with the toxic parent to share WHY you are frustrated?

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Clarice

Hi I am 60 years of age and really struggling with having no choice but to end my relationship with my very toxic mother.
I/we my amazing husband and I have been there for her during all her surgeries, her chemo and in her darkest times.
She has alway favoured my second youngest sister from childhood.
I have tried to ignore her nasty remarks, her put downs and guilt tripping if my hubby and I even go out for a day trip. We have not had a holiday for 6 years as we felt guilty for going away. I have the above sister here who could take care of her but my mother of late has been so nasty, spiteful and toxic to the point where hubby and I stayed away for 10 days thinking that she might have a think about her behaviour. It made no difference. We both tried to talk things out with her in a rational manner but she just sat there and bare faced lied in front of my sister in law about all the nasty things she has done to me, denied everything and never batted an eyelid. I have come to the decision that things are never going to change. I have been respectful we (Hubby and I) have done so so much to see that she is cared for and whatever she needed doing in the garden etc was done. Taken her on holidays when we could go away, took her meals. did the gardening and we never even get a thank you. She treats me with so much disrespect I have to cut the umbilical cord before she destroys me completely. I have a huge mix of emotions but I wont feel guilty as she has to “Own her behaviour” She is always going to take this one out of the will or that one out of her affairs and I have had enough of her sucking the emotional well being out not only myself but my hubby who sees me in tears constantly nad has no mother of his own. I don’t care for inheritance nor any of her belongings. My sister and her husband have been deceitful behind her back, lied about so many things and she thinks the sun shines out of their backsides. They are also Narcissists I am concerned about what she will tell my other brother as she has told so so many lies about me and she is so believable. Is anyone else had to come to this decision.

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Sandra

I personally found it liberating to stop expecting anything even after I cut contact and moved very far away. Until my late 30’s, I expected the day when my mother would finally see the light and apologize for all the abuse. Then I realized it will never happen. It was a big relief and I recommend to stop expecting and cut off contact.

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liz

Hello Clarice
I think we share the same Mother!
I know your pain and emotional turmoil so well. My Mother has always been a very controlling woman all her life and I have always been her scapegoat and my younger brother has always been her golden child!
It doesn’t get any better in my experience., I am now 65 and my Mother will soon be 90. Her mind is as strong as ever with no signs of Dementia. In order to protect myself I’ve tried to go ‘No contact’ for periods of time ( the last one lasted 5 months) but I always seem to go back for more!. Mainly because my conscience leads me back. My Mother will not make the first contact ever! It’s always my fault!!
I feel drained after more than 2 hours with her and as I get older it gets worse.
By the way I’m a strong, independent woman with a very loving family of my own . My Mother is the negative force in my life and old age has only made her more ‘nasty’ towards me.
Don’t feel guilty. If you need time out then take it. Your Mother has chosen her life pathway and you are in charge of your own well being.
Dont worry about what others think. Your Mother lies and exaggerates and always will. Just like mine!
Live your own life and do what’s best for your own health and well being.

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Elizabeth D

Hello Clarice,
You’ve spent over half your life trying to please someone who will never be pleased. I nearly went bankrupt buying a house that I couldn’t afford in my narcissistic mother’s neighborhood just to try to get the love I never received from her while growing up. Her abuse towards me only increased. Through a blessing in disguise (although it seemed like a curse at the time), I lost that home but was able to buy another house (with cash) far away from her. Not too long afterwards, I decided to go No Contact with her and my siblings in order to stop the abuse and save my sanity. That was 6 years ago, and I’m loving my life each and every day. Someone said it best when they said that we should never continue to go back to a dry well. And Kris Godinez said it best when she said, “If these people were not related to you, would you have anything to do with them? If not, act accordingly.” Good luck with everything.

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rachel f

When I was a little girl, my father used to abuse me, and this event caused me to feel unwanted. You’re right; it doesn’t matter if we love our parents if they’re damaging us from the inside out, it’s alright to let them go. I hope there is a way for me to ease this pain maybe therapy or anything that can get me out of this mess.

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Nomsa

My mother started to show me her true side when my brother got married. I knew she was strict and expected only the best from me, but I only saw that her being strict was actually a mask. She started to compare me with her beautiful daughter in law and nothing that I did ever measured up and I finally made the decision to leave and have her enjoy her beautiful relationship because to be honest I didn’t want to get in the way. I have been happier ever since.

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Ras

Hey I am from India. 23 years old, my parents have a unsuccessful marriage but still we live in the same house. Now they say that the only person responsible for their unsuccessful marriage is me. I don’t talk to them. It feels depressing living here. May God give me some solution.

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Fraa

I am 21 yrs old n my parents..they actually does nt atleast respect my age…always blaming me for evrything….they do not accept my personality and treats me odd…i dont even have an identity for myself..exept my name…my email is actually being used by my dad who is a scrooge….always disencouraging and disregarding me…comparing me with my cousins..and always imsulting my career…he wanted me to be an allopathic doctor…and unfortunatelty ended up being a homeopath…and yes i am happy wth it…but dad is like…insulting and disregarding me…treating me like a scapegoat for all his problems…he does nt lyk spending a penny for me ..all i have is couple of friends…but the sad part is ..my mum..she dont lyk me getting attached with anyone else …feeling lonlier than ever…

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Richard

Fraa, I recently had to let go of relations with my father who has been toxic, neglectful, and verbally abusive to me ever since my mother had passed away when I was 10. I am 26 years old now and have finally gathered the strength to not only completely cut off contact with him this last year, but his entire side of the family as well. I too only have a couple friends and I believe this has been subconsciously on purpose due to developed trust issues I’ve acquired over the years. My only advise is to stay strong, seek advise from a professional, and continue to build healthy relationships. It’s not perfect but things will get easier with time. Remember, you’re a beacon of truth in a dark web of hurtful feelings and lies. stay strong.

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Hilary

Dear Fraa
I feel your words so so deeply.. I’m 54 now.. My father passed way 3 years ago and although I was sad I was also very relieved in thinking he wouldn’t be able to berate and control me.. Low and behold my 2 brothers and mother have been doing an exceptionally good job if not far far better than my father ever did.. And through this I have realised everything I ever thought or felt was true.. Ie being ashamed of me.. Not loving me.. Defiantly never liked me.. I have so wanted to leave my family for many years but always felt obliged to interact with them… But Now!!! They have decided to throw me out of the nest because I don’t play to they’re tune..
Fraa!!! I have never felt more happier in my life. I feel completely free to be me.. I can smile /skip dance laugh because that’s who I am!! And for to long that part of me has been hidden.. I have 3 beautiful daughters who unfortunately have suffered in my suffering.. They still have contact with they’re grandmother but it is very limited as they have seen first hand now the vile way in which they have treated me and them also at times… I never ever felt good enough for them and have wasted so much of my life trying to understand why they never loved me like my brothers… That doesn’t matter any more as I only focus on those that love me and want me in they’re life’s… I now love myself which is crazy to say but I do!!! And so Fraa should you 💖 you are still so young you have so much to live for. Be Strong Stay Strong.. Always keep your head up and try to realise that your not the problem they are.. Be the best you can be 💕 try to get independence as soon as possible try not to rely on your parents for anything as that will keep they’re hold over you.. Find your inner strength my darling and set yourself free into freedom as soon as your cage door is open.. Everything will be OK.. Go get your life.. A year from now will be so different from now you’ve just got to want it.. Good luck and much love to you
Hilary xxx,

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Kumari

I can so relate to your comment. When I was 22 and gave birth to my child and I wasn’t married my dad quit talking to me. (my mom was already dead) At first this estrangement hurt my feelings but after a couple of years I realized what a wonderful opportunity this was. I realized that up until then I had made all my decisions based on either towing the line or ticking him off and now? Now I was suddenly free! Free free free to be me, and my son was spared any weird toxic behavior on my dad’s part. When my son graduated from 8th grade my then husband invited my dad to the party, Dad behaved ok, but quit talking to my son about 10 years later. Luckily that didn’t hurt my son too much because he had already observed on his own that my Dad was uses withholding as a method of control.

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Natasha

I am so glad to have found this website…I am 55 years old, my mother whom I loved dearly, passed away 13 years ago, but the pain she caused me keeps coming back. It was in the form of seemingly innocent comments about me being overweight, not having the best figure, not using my free time properly and getting more education… When I had a miscarriage and told her about it, she acted angry!!! Like I failed her expectations to make her a happy grandmother… I have two beautiful daughters now but that’s a different story. I was growing up with a very wrong idea that it’s okay when your mother gets angry for some strange reason. S This one is really bizarre: she got mad at me when my infant sister diaper was dirty and she had to deal with it. Yes, she used me as a punching bag for her frustration. I I am in the process of getting over all of the pain and confusion. Only now I see clearly how unfair and damaging to me it was…Sorry about possible grammar and spelling errors, typing in my bed with very dim light. Thank you for listening…

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Widowed Grandmama

I absolutely detest the use of the verb “hurt” to describe the feelings we have for the monster who bore and “raised” us, or the monster we’re married to, or the criminal siblings we also got out of the deal. My mother and 2 sibs do not make me feel “hurt”. Oh, far from it. Mumsey dearest (dead since ’08, reduced to a flaming canker in my brain via programming), is a great big female genitalia with a head and feet. What sad little hurts does a normal human derive from what’s dished out by a misbegotten caricature like that? I hold my nose and stay away. Who wouldn’t? My sister and brother, who loathe each other, LOL, are also that caricature. If we just hadn’t so overused the B-word that it’s practically a comment we even like to call OURSELVES, I wouldn’t have had to graduate to the word that describes them even better.

OK, that is my purge. Delete away. Just remember when you do it, MY mother sympathized with child-killer Susan Smith, and without batting an eyelash, having to cognizance that it sounded repulsive and unbelievable. Her phrasing was, “You don’t know how those kids may have made her feel.”

She used to hold forth on how infanticide was a standard practice until Very Recently. She used to say to me that various exerts in magazine articles she reads say that superior parents can have inferior offspring, I don’t have 4 days and endless space here, so I’ll have to quit without even touching the ole tip of the iceberg. :o)

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Sam

Hi everyone, I think I know what I need to do before I write this but its really nice (in a horrible way) having others who understand and have been there to discuss these things with.
I don’t have a good relationship with my mother and no relationship with my dad (he is an alcoholic who lives between hostels and the streets, I tried to help him but eventually after 20 years I gave up and he doesn’t bother trying to contact me). My mum I feel is very manipulative, she lies, uses emotional blackmail to try and maintain control of me and my sister, she can act loving at times but this is only for her own benefit, I feel, it is never unconditional. She will try to get me to agree to do things and tell me the plans before I have said yes, if I don’t see her for a few weeks she will always make a comment like ‘guess I’ll see you in another 3 weeks’. In the past she has told me that my dad has openly said he doesn’t care about me at all, I feel she says this just to try and prove that she is the better parent!! I cut all ties with her last June and had no intention of ever seeing/speaking to her again. She contacted me in February to say she had cancer, I felt so guilty that I decided to try and help her through it. She has no-one as everyone has cut ties with her, my brother, sister all our partners, her old friends etc. they are all gone and I feel that if I cut contact again she will be totally alone and it torments me a lot. I know I don’t want her in my life, she told me when I left she wanted to kill herself and she couldn’t do it again…. she has never asked me why I felt the need to sever all contact with my parent! I am now pregnant with my first child and I feel that for my sake and my babies sake I need to walk away again, but she will be alone and still has cancer! I know she is alone because of her own actions but I feel so tormented. I do know that when I wasn’t seeing her at all my life was less stressful, I was happier and my husband said that he could tell the difference in me. I guess I know what I want, especially now I am having a child (I will not let her treat my child the way she has me and my sister), but struggling to make that final push!!

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JEIYA

Heya ,thanks for this great article. Writing this up cause emotionally drained and need to flush things out . Don’t know where to begin with but I love my parents , their habit of dominating my life is what has put me into this emotional setback . Being in 20’s yet my parents withhold my life , I have to grant permission for silly stuff. Coming back from college makes me feel like coming back to prison . My phone is checked regularly to see if I am seeing someone. They tell me that they want to be my friends, but friends are there to help you get over breakups and emotional setbacks , but they are the reason of my sadness . Its not like I’m not good in academics or so , actually I’m doing fine but as I’m growing up into this age where I want to see people , socialize or perhaps get into relationships, my parents restricting me to do so , affects my concentration on studies. I’m not allowed to stay awake after 11 pm , like imagine a 20 yr old being asked to go to bed at 11 and been checked in the middle of night if been on phone or even watching a series . They hovering on me ,checking on stuff really makes me feel depressed at times . Like having a boyfriend is a sin. They don’t trust me , I’m not allowed to have night outs even with my girlfriends. They criticize me on every step . People say I’m rude but the real reason is I don’t socialize because I would not be able to match with them cause my parents won’t let me. I recently had a breakup (secret relationship with a guy at college, or my parents would house arrest me if known) . My parents being so toxic has became an add on of me being emotionally drained . When I was in a relationship I would at least have some reason to be happy or excited , I was doing great with my academics but now everything seems useless as I’m not happy. Just working to make sure that I can be independent and stay away from my parents . Hoping for good days to come.

Reply
C

I’m a 60 year old women and can see my situation in may of these posts and in the initial article posted( a very good read). I have suffered mightily. Fortunately I did not repeat the pattern with my own daughter and we have an amazing relationship and always have. I won’t re-live the pain here but I will share recent revelations I have had and the actions I am taking. Meditation has made these revelations and changes happen. After reading the book, “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself” by Joe Disperenza. I learned his meditation techniques. Its not for the faint of heart! It requires a big commitment. Meditation has changed my life. I have meditated in some form for years throughout my life for many reasons. So I have some experience. I have immersed myself in this practice full time for 7 months. I recently wrote my mother to end the abuse, she is now in her 80’s. The abuse is still coming at me as strong and damaging as it always has been and I have made the decision to end it now! Forever!
In Knowing my self worth, knowing that I have the right and the power, to live the happy life I have made for myself, I have finally done what I need to do to care for myself. I don’t beat myself up for not being able to do it sooner, but rather find peace in having done it now. We do it when we have reached a total saturation point I suppose, and it is different for us all. If you struggle, give your self a break and meditate. There are many ways to go about this and lots of help here on the internet. It is up to you to relieve your suffering and live a joyful, happy and purposeful Life, Give it a try! What have you got to loose?

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Jenna

I’m beginning to think my parents care more about my education than me. I’m watching LEGO tutorial videos on YouTube and my parents ask what I’m watching. I tell them LEGO videos. They say that either get off YouTube or watch something better. EX: math, social studies, 6th grade advanced math. After a while of watching “junk” they completely blocked YouTube. They are also about to delete every game I have and replace it with educational games. It’s even worse since I have Crohn’s disease and I learned my dad gave it to me because he smokes. I really need some tips right about now,

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