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

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.

[bctt tweet=”There’s a kind of hurt that can only come from people who are meant to love you. ‘Healing from Toxic Parents'”]

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.

    [irp posts=”793″ name=”Toxic People: 12 Things They Do and How to Deal with Them”]


  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.

    [irp posts=”1042″ name=”Letting Go: How to Master the Art”]


  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.



A great article!! I do suffered some depression due to my toxic parents too. Toxic parents pretty norm for asians as they love to compare the grades with other people. Now, I try to cut-off with my toxic dad as he didnt pay my education/colleges, lodging and etc. Not only that, he loves to shout at me and my siblings in public to make himself to feel so great. Besides that, he still deny that he is wrong although he is wrong since the beginning. Even my mum also didnt border to protect me.

I am currently pursuing accounting professional part time and hoping I can get certificate from it. I also had purchased a house for myself and hope I can get out hell from there.


I finally realized that I have to break off all contact with my parents. People have been saying it to me for years, but I was in denial or scared to break it off.
A good example of how much stress I have had from that relationship is that once I left my elderly home I had big red spots all over my body for two weeks, but after that the red spots left and so did my headaches.
I guess I have always been scared of my parents due to emotional neglect on one hand and emotional abuse on the other hand. For some reason I got in my head that its not that bad, because it isnt physical abuse.. but now I see I cant move on with my life if they are in it. The fact that they stopped the abuse and only neglect me made it harder on me to break it off, but I see now that they just really dont care about me. Never takes inititiative to call, visit, help, say nice things, support.. only criticizing me for things out of my control. Im done with them now, but its such a big decision that makes it hard, but I think its the only thing I can do.


Hey Karen! Thank you for writing this and it definitely resonates so much with me. I’m 30 and still staying with my parents because it’s an Asian thing. I’m getting married next year and I can’t wait for that to happen. I am extremely blessed and grateful that I have a wonderful fiance and an understanding mother in law who respects boundaries and me as a person.

I grew up with parents who condescends, passive aggressive, immature, shuts down…the list goes on but you get what I mean. They would always expect me to do things for them, take care of them etc and recently, guilt tripping me for spending more time at my fiance’s place with a comment “You are not even married yet but you are already spending so much time there. Don’t do that or others would think you are a ‘loose woman’.” and “You don’t like us anymore right? Whenever you come home, you don’t talk to us anymore. You just go into your room and shut the door.” – Oh goodness, Major assumption right there. I close my door whenever I want to, mind you!

So, I’ve been talking to my fiance about it and he encouraged me to just do what I have been doing recently – which is to take care of myself (and I have been!) by eating better, meditate and keep myself busy with life. I really enjoyed that actually and they are definitely not happy about it but decided to stay quiet anyway (until they have a chance to say something).

I just want to say, thank you for this post. I really needed this. 🙂


This is going to be an extremely long post and I apologize. I’m happy I stumbled upon this page tonight. I have not one but 2 toxic parents. One is my absent father who I have tried and begged for him to be a father and he just does not care to even call me or say happy birthday to me. We have never lived under the same roof and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t even know where I live. I’ve came to terms that he is my father by blood and that’s just about it.

Now the real reason I’m writing tonight is because I have a TOXIC mother. She is so toxic that when she messaged me tonight I instantly felt the need to cry because I knew her message was going to be negative, and as always it was.

She has this control over me where she can not talk text or message me for 5 weeks and then pop up on my phone with “why are you ignoring me ” …. Well I’m not ignoring her I’m just staying away from any name calling, belittling, being called fat, or I need to wear this kind of makeup or i need more or less of this or that.

When I went to college she did not congratulate me instead she told me that i would never make more than a lousy $15 an hour in front of my whole family and boyfriend.
I had that message in my head allllllll the way to the end of college . WHICH i am super happy she said that because I went looking for the best and highest job that I could find which had nothing to do with what i went to college for. I buried my life in 3 jobs working up to 65 hours a WEEK Just so i didn’t have TIME to see her. I moved out the second i turned 18 and worked ever since.

Now I’m 24 I own my home and i have an amazing career . I don’t even want to share this news with her because i don’t want her to ruin it for me. How sad is it that i cant even tell my mother I’ve moved.
I have been verbally and physically abused by the person who is suppose to love and nurture me .

I honestly could go in depth about what its really like being a daughter to my toxic mother but i cant or else id have to write a book about it. Starting from when she left me as a kid and decided she would rather run around town that be a mother.

I really want to distance myself from her before I have kids, I’ve actually PUT off having kids because I don’t want them to meet her and I could never imagine being called even more names and being pregnant at the same time.

im going to cut this off here.

I just needed to vent and it felt good to do so.


Kuddos to you and WOW what a strong woman you are. I’m so proud of you! You are searching online for answers and found this wonderful website.
Your mother is miserable and she doesn’t understand it herself (obviously because her abuse of you continues), but wants you to be miserable too. I also continue to search for the answers as to why, and I haven’t spoken to my mom in almost 5 years. The hardest part for me after these 5 years is that she hasn’t even tried to re-connect, my best guess is because she’s the victim in all this. I have come to realize that she will never be able to give me the answers herself, because she is so closed up in her being ‘the victim’.
She has never accepted any responsibility for her choices or decisions in mothering all seven of her children. Her oldest is 58 years old and is solely dependent on her because of her controlling and self serving ways. I believe that my mother was so traumatized by her mother up to age 17, that I do believe that she wanted to do better as a mother, but was only able to do what she knew. When things were bad for me growing up, I told myself I would never forget. I have never forgotten. So, when I became a mother, I made a concious effort to do better and to NOT repeat the patterns of abuse. My hope is to share what I know or have experienced so that you can possibly see other examples as to why she isn’t going to change or can’t change. Happiness and blessings to you 🙂


I’m looking for resources. A book to read. Events of this week have me thinking that I may never see my father again. I found this article when searching for advice about how to grieve the loss of a parent who has not died.
A few years ago I read “Will I Ever be good enough?” by Karyl McBride and it really helped my relationship with my mother. While I am emotionally detached I still see her once in a while and it works…mostly. For better or worse I will probably maintain some contact with her until one of us dies, but I have mourned the loss of my mom.
Any tips on negotiating this with my father?


Google search “Power and Control Wheels” -this will show you exactly which behaviors classify as abuse (and will help you to not do them to others)

check out (more for dating violence, but still works with family)

look up anything on how to be healthy (ie: safe/unsafe people; healthy relationships/families; breaking from manipulation/; loving others for who they are [healthy people]; how to identify toxic behaviors; domestic violence; when to involve the law [like restraining orders], if needed; ect)


It’s okay. Thank you for sharing. It took a lot of courage. Glad to hear that you pursued your dreams anyway, and graduated from college! Congratulations!! You can do MORE than you think you can!
Yes, you should tell him you don’t want him to come. You don’t owe him anything, and he doesn’t have a ‘right’ to see you or your children. You have a right to protect your family and yourself. If you don’t feel like you or they would be safe with him around, then tell him you don’t want him to come. You don’t have to give a reason, just that you don’t want him to come. Be firm, but respectful. If he doesn’t respect what you said, or he keeps showing up out of the blue or uninvited, get a restraining order. You have every right to protect your family. By the way, showing up uninvited is stalking; stalking is a way toxic people try to maintain or control you with fear.


My step father was extremely cruel growing up, he would belittle me, call me names, make fun of my weight, tell me how weird I looked, tell me I would never be as good as my brothers who were his blood. He always told me I was no different and that he saw me as his son, my father wasn’t in the picture growing up, I diddnt meet him til I was 14. Any time I talked about college he would tell me I wasn’t smart enough. When my mom died, he got even meaner, sometimes growing up he would beat me badly enough to leave welts. As I get older this has left me with feelings of self loathing, thinking I am never good enough. My step father growing up would have some good moments, one time we went fishing, and he taught me how to shave. I always grew up thinking this is how fathers are supposed to treat their children, as I got older I realized this was far from normal as my wife’s family is great. I have children of my own now and would never treat them how I was treated, I try to be as loving and nurturing towards them as possible. I started taking anxiety and depression medication which has helped a little. I graduated college with my bachelor’s and have a great job, but I always feel I’m not adequate. My step father does not call or come around, but considers himself a grandpa. He only shows up at kids bjrthdays, he even came to the last one uninvited, i am upset he does not come around and have talked to him about it bjt he just tells me he forgets.
He has met a new girlfriend and does all kinds of things with her kids like camping frequently and going oit and doing things he neber would have done with myself or siblings growing up, recently he distanced himself from his biological children and barely speaks to them, but will show up to family functions like nothing is wrong and chat like everything is great. I chose to stop talking to him at family functions and do not my want him in my life ad he apparently does not want me in his, trust me I’ve tried so many times. I’ve decided I don’t want to confuse my children and I’m tired of talking to him at family functions like nothing ever happened. My son’s birthday is coming up and as much as it still hurts I don’t want him there, should I tell him?


Yes, if he comes again, you should tell him, that he should not show up anymore, for the next year. And next year, don’t forget to remind him of that before the date. I am dealing with my own parents right now, both of whom come from tough childhoods. I feel like I grew up with a reckless angry teenager and a hurt, emotionally unstable child, such two parents I got. Living in different countries right now, still communicate through skype and such, and I come once a year for a visit. But some day, I know that I should stop. My dad kind of been there, but he’s beat up my mom, he’d leave us for several months at a time, he is rarely if ever gentle, and is quite a coarse person. Speaking about my mom, I was always my mom’s emotional scapegoat, and also had a super high standard set to me. As a straight A student, if I’d get a B on an occasion, I’d be “doomed to spend my life as a custodian” according to my mom, I got into all kinds of extracurricular activities and I liked it too, but everyday I’d spend 10+ hours at school, and after that do homework at home. Once I had enough, maybe in grade 8 out of 12 grades, at school, and reduced my extracurricular activities, I became “a lazy slob”, and when I did artwork like drawing, sculpting, painting, all I did was “playing around” and “better go do something useful”. I wanted to go to art college, but my parents said no, because I’ll end up unemployed, will do drugs, and stand on streets trying to sell my paintings which are already full of failed artists. Etc., etc. I was such a perfectionist, never feeling good enough, if people would compliment me, I’d think they’re lying – I didn’t do anything special or whatever, I just did something which ended up not perfect anyway. Perhaps they never physically abused me, but they did physically abuse each other, and emotionally abuse me, each other, and extended families. And calling names. And remembering everything bad from the past, every time listing a long list of “mistakes” and “bad behaviour” and “failings” I’ve ever had. The “memory” gas lighting is mostly my mom, as dad is more easily uncaring and unfeeling, avoiding to share if he feels anything, or cares. Example – I was talking once to him about something uncaring he did towards me, and the harsh words he said that hurt me, and started talking about life and death, etc., he just said “it’s everyone’s choice whether to live or die” which basically translates into “you can go off yourself if that’s what you’re talking about, because I don’t care”. Well, still, with glimpses of the good things now and then, I always thought I have very nice loving parents, but of course, I have been living in illusions. I guess, my self defense mechanism is putting on some pink tinted glasses, for as long as I can wear them. Now it begun recently that my mother is starting to abuse me emotionally by attacking my husband, of course while he doesn’t hear it – and my husband is a person with disability (Parkinson’s), and this is definitely over the top now. I’ve had enough. I will see how it goes, probably will visit next year, but make it a shorter visit, and gradually stop visiting at all. It often just ends up like a battlefield of blame games, and neither of us is healthier from that. I believe they too would be happier I’m out of their lives.


Thank you for this very important article. I shared it with my husband whose parents are severely toxic and narcissistic.

He has finally, once and for all, cut all ties with his family. Family and friends have been and are still fooled by his toxic parents’ “normal” appearance and their pathological lies to explain why their son is estranged from them.

I give him so much credit for trying to have some form of relationship with his parents, but he always ends up getting hurt and becoming that abused little boy all over again.

The emotional turmoil has nearly destroyed our relationship more than once. He has finally admitted that they are who they are and they will never change or acknowledge the abuse.

His dad is gravely ill, and his mom and sister have been using guilt to try to get my husband involved with his dad’s care. My husband finally stated in writing that he wants nothing to do with any of them and to stay away from him and our home.

Our relationship is stronger than ever and he feels no guilt – finally after more than 30 years!


I’m so happy to hear that, Kay. Let those who do not wish to see the truth remain in their illusion. After all, we do not need their approval. Keep moving forward and enjoying your lives’–our narcissistic families have taken enough from us, and we’ve taken enough from them.


Reading your response to this article hit very close to home for me. This is what im currently going through and because its around the holidays it makes it rather tough to cope with the feelings of rejection. I know im better off but i still find myself trying to fix things that are completely destroyed. Thankfully ive found a partner that is supportive and shes been one of the greatest blessings in my life. The cycle ends with me. This is my story and i choose to be happy


I’m finished with my father. He is a violent and abusive narcissist, and a religious fanatic (I believe in God, mind you, just not his Calvinist protestant “god”). The man is a closeted homosexual, a twisted pervert who delights in killing small animals and a 12-step program retard (oh yeah . . . he’s one of those loonies, to boot). I don’t care anymore about “honoring my father”. If I burn in hell for that then so be it. The way I see it is I’m honoring him by staying the fuck away from him forever.

Nobody has to serve a parent who has so disordered a personality that every contact – however brief – winds up in anguish for one’s self and the folk one loves. Nope. I am done. Good luck for you if you want to stick around a sicko. Not me. Contempt is too mild a word I have for these abusive pricks : my compassion is spent, and I could give a rat’s ass about what caused their “wound”. I have too much kindness and love to give elsewhere than to piss it against that dim brick wall.


Hi Sean! I understand and you will find so much support and validation with this online community! I have not been in touch with my narcissistic mother for 6 months now and it has been great! Depression that haunted me for decades, now gone! Being raised by my parents was the perfect storm to influence me to date abusive men. I dated one man who was abusive in every way including spiritually. He is a Fundamentalist Christian and I am Agnostic. I also have reason to believe that he is closeted which can multiply anger, resentment, aggression, etc…. Out of all of the abuse the spiritual abuse was the hardest to recover from. Religion can take manipulation to a whole other level. There is so much that influences religion including man and whatever motives the man may have. Power, control, abuse, manipulation, wealth, entertainment, etc…. Honor thy father is one of those manipulations. But it can be looked with different perspectives as well. Through hypnosis and meditation I have discovered past life karma that I have with my mother as well as one of the contracts I have for this carnation is to help my mother ascend. Fortunately one of the only ways, if not the only way to help a narcissist is by isolating them! Therefore, perhaps, not being in contact with your father is honoring him! One of the greatest ways I have found to love myself is to discern who I allow into my life including family. One of the main things that helped me recover from the spiritually abusive relationship was a support group. As well as media. When little support and validation is available media can be a great resource to understand what is going on and feel less lonely. On a side note, another member of this community suggested I read the book “The Body Keeps the Score” which I have and it suggest EMDR. It has been mind blowing how effective the EMDR has been. I think it is going to take my healing to a whole other level and I am excited to get there.

S. К

Sean (that’s my name too),

The “honor thine parents” verse is, like so many other verses, misunderstood and taken out of context.
There are other verses about how sometimes the members of your own family can be your worst enemies (sound familiar?).
Don’t feel guilty about getting away from him.
From the way he sounds he’s the one headed for hell…NOT YOU.


I was getting there, feeling so much happier, feeling like I had a right to my own life, was taking steps to get healthier etc. Now that has all come crashing down.

Toxic elderly parent now in hospital. The golden child (niece) now realised there is no more glory and money to be had so has washed her hands of him and is putting pressure on me. Parent is assuming that of course this changes everything. Needless to say golden child still in the right and I am the problem, lists now of all I should have been doing.

At first I felt quite in control. I decided that I would arrange practical matters, speak to doctors etc but that I would not visit. Ensure he was safe but not put myself in the way of toxic comments, lies etc. If I’m honest I guess I was also drawn in by being ‘wanted’ which I never was.

But now he is a bit better I can feel it starting again. I am anxious all the time even though I have not visited and my own blossoming life has ended (health issues mean that energy is low at the best of times).

I feel I have lost everything and it is almost worse because I had been so happy three weeks ago, feeling like my time had come at last. Now I’m back to defending myself all the time, listening to how wonderful golden child still is -honestly if she can drop him and still come up smelling of roses with me being in the wrong is there……….omg I get it! there never will be a time when he really loves or likes me, he will always be lying and badmouthing (albeit subtly) won’t he?

I thought I had found a path I could walk and still keep my self esteem. Ensuring he was safe and caring was organised. Now it seems that that will not work and I don’t know how to reconcile the not wanting to be a bad person and wanting to stay within my values with the toxicity that won’t even go away if I restrict actual contact to text or phone.

I almost wish the illness was worse (!) but this may well go on for years and years.

Maybe I truly should have gone no contact years ago but I’m not sure I could have lived with myself then anymore than I can now.


Hi Jess
Reconciling the concept of being a bad person in meeting your own boundaries is my biggest struggle too. What I have learned about myself is that feeling like I’m a bad person is part of the toxic relationship, I was never allowed the freedom to be my own person. You have every right imaginable to protect yourself. Rising about it too help out is kind and you are strong for doing this but don’t let your boundaries slip too far, my friend, because it is so hard to build them up. My mother was diagnosed with cancer last year and she expected me to drop everything,I didn’t, life has gone on. I felt guilty often. You’ve done what you felt was right, your duty, free yourself however you can ?


This thread of comments has become a lifeline for me when I don’t know what to do. My mother continues to ask to see me regularly despite me saying via email that I would see her every few months. Even when I say I’m busy and will see her next month, she keeps pushing me. I don’t know what to do, I’m exhausted and tired of being firm but polite. But I also know that no matter how I say it, she won’t get it. I’m loathe to cut her off completely as she won’t accept it. How can I better manage this situation for myself? Any advice from the lovely people who know what it is like?


What about setting a specific date, say 2 or 3 months out, and then remind her that is the next time you will see her? At some point, however, it seems like you might have to work on accepting that she will not change and finding a way to have peace with that. Not easy!


Thanks AM, this is essentially what I did did, I offered late October. I have done a lot of accepting but it’s just so difficult to deal with her intrusion across my boundaries. I feel more angry than anxious these days and wonder if I should have it out with her.


I am not an expert but I doubt ‘Having it out” will make anyone feel better. Ignoring might be more healthy if that’s another choice, just a guess. There is no reason you have to respond to her e-mails at all. You can write to her when you have something to share, or are confirming plans for your visit. Just a thought.


AM has a good suggestion with the setting of a date but I’m curious as to how you are communicating with your mother. Is it via email all the time or are you speaking to her when you say she is pushing you?

I just wonder if you are speaking to her and she is getting mixed messages – the email stating every few months and yet there is telephone communication?

What have you agreed or what are you happy to accept with regard to communication other than face to face?

Only seeing her every few months may not be work for you if there is lots of communication in between too – you might as well see her?

This is just a thought but I do think if there is a loophole for control they will take it.

I struggle too with setting boundaries after many years of having none and toxic parent does as they’ve never had them before either!!


Hi Jess, no I’ve successfully stopped phone calls but she emails instead, probably once a fortnight, but she ignores what I say, if I say no, she tries to push me to change my mind by continuing to email back. Overnight I couldn’t sleep and I decided I just wouldn’t reply. So if she emails, I reply once and that’s final. I’m only maintaining this relationship as I have a young child and my grandmother would be caught in the middle if I cut off my mother. I have done it before and it was great for a time but my grandmother is now a lot older.


I am struggling emotionally and mentally with the realization that my mother is toxic. I am 27 years old and have dealt with a lot of irrational, aggressive and threatening behavior from my mother for as long as I can remember. My parents relationship was very volatile before I was even born, I have heard this from both my siblings. I was the straw in my mother;s eyes that broke the camels back and killed her relationship with my father. There relationship kept deteriorating over the next 22 years, with myself as the emotional punching bag and emotional life raft for my mother.(My father traveled constantly for work and would be gone days at a time.) I was constantly told in a belittling manner by my mother that I am exactly like my lying disgusting father, that I even look so much like him. This I feel, the physical similarity, allowed her to justify the emotional abuse. I have tried to discuss with her as an adult the sadness I feel over the wreck that is our relationship but she gets so furious that I say anything negative about her or how she behaved. In her eyes she was a saint to deal with my behavior as a child and teenager. That I was the one who mentally wore her down. Honestly, I was a boring teenager, I did love TV and would escape into the shows and the characters and in her eyes that was my greatest downfall, that I watched TV too much. Which she still brings up to this day when we have arguments, a skill she is a master at, bringing up my mistakes and failings.
I am rambling, I guess this is me acknowledging the problem with each letter I type. Which has trailed off without much coherence.
There is so much more, as there is with everyone’s story in the comments here. I guess I just wanted to say, ME TOO.
I am still struggling but this has helped my evaluate some aspects that hopefully will benefit my relationship with myself.
(I hope this made sense.)


My mother is 86 when i was a child she physically and mentally abused me. My father never took my site and he never did anything to stop her. My father now is very sick he has congestive heart failure and one day he said to my mom that I am her daughter and am exactly like her. I have thought about it all my life that it is a possibility of him not being my father but never had the guts to ask, but when he said that to my mother I then started questioning and she denied everything but she told my father about it. I told her that she shouldn’t tell him this with his condition because he is going to feel worse his heart only works at 13%. When I was talking to him on the phone he keeps blaming me and accusing me of not believing them that he is my father then he started crying and telling me how dear you accuse your mother of cheating on me then he hang up on me. But prior to speaking with my father I had a conversation with my mother and during the conversation, her abusing me as a child came up because i told her that when you were beating me and calling me names my father never stopped you only stood their and watch. Well, she never told him that, she only told him that i am questioning of him being my father. I hope you can understand my concern and let me know what to do in this situation Thank you


I can hear and feel the pain that so many of you are experiencing in the relationship with your ‘toxic parents’. One of the challenges is that, even though we might physically set boundaries and disconnect from toxic people, their impact lives on emotionally and in our physical bodies. (great book – When The Body Says No, Dr. Gabor Mate).
As a psychotherapist for twenty five years and daughter of emotionally and physically injured parents – the most helpful modality I’ve ever found is Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT/tapping). It is a self-help strategy as well as a therapeutic/coaching intervention. Great place to start is Best wishes on your journey to peace and freedom.


I have tried several times to have deep conversations with my parents and have even suggested counseling. It is like beating a dead horse. I have posted on here several times and shared my story so I will not go into all the details. My mom who is also a borderline narcissist can not have more than a surfaced conversation or she will EXPLODE. My father who is so in denial and/or brain washed about his marriage gets very defensive. He was a workaholic, partly, in attempt to escape time with my mother but at the same time, in his eyes, she was a more than a suitable mother. My parents feel that since all of my material needs were met that I was fed with a silver spoon and had the best childhood a girl could ask for. Never mind that I was bullied, sexually abused, suicidal daily for years, etc… Why try to reason with an unreasonable person? Exhausting! Why try to communicate and understand parents who are surfaced, defensive? Exhausting! Save your energy! If you are not in my mother’s immediate family she is the nicest person in the world but behind closed doors she is completely different. Classic narcissism. Therefore, my best friend who is also my mother’s facebook friend gets fooled by her. Its like I told my bestfriend, I am not expecting my mother to be a perfect parent but it would be nice to have them admit when they are wrong and apologize sometimes and validate any trauma they may have caused. There is not support or validation or basic emotional needs met from my parents. Recently I wrote a book on my childhood and how it has effected me in adulthood. I had my bestfriend edit it. Now she gets it. I have found not only the best thing to do but the best way to show myself love is to discern who I let in my life including family. I have cut my parents off. Depression that haunted me for over 30 years is now gone. Things are happening for me in my life in regards to work and money that would have not happened if they were still in my life, etc. It is sad but true that if your parent is a narcissist they probably do not love you. You were probably just a pawn in their game of life. This sad but true realization is also freeing. It is so freeing to not be obligated to return phone calls, to return emails, to visit, to give in to guilt trips and other manipulations, etc… Free yourself! Don’t exhaust yourself! If your narcissistic parent needs to be understood and supported they can do the work and go to therapy and be on message boards, etc… like all of us have. LOL. Yeah right! Btw… Someone on here suggested the book “The Body Keeps the Score” a while back! Great book! I have never read the brain and nervous system explained so well! If you have anymore book suggestions I would love to read them!


Hi Robin: I may have been the one that recommended TBKTS. I have read many, many books on these topics! There are a few I recommend to people regularly, including “Mindsight” and “Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships.” Two books I have not yet read yet, but that have been recommended to me and I will read soon, are: “Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom” and “In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness.” Keep on reading!


And let me be brutally honest with you. By pointing out your narcissistic family’s shortcomings, you are causing major narcissistic injury, and it’s only a matter of time before they make you pay dearly for daring to imply that they aren’t perfect. They are seething and plotting to destroy you. Simply put, you cannot reason with the unreasonable. But good luck with your attempts.


@StacyD – Your comment implies that I’m letting my narcissistic family get away with abusing me, while I cowardly slither away. You seem to be making narcissistic abuse a “one size fits all” resolution—and it isn’t. Our abusive parents/family/spouses/friends have abused us in ways that only WE know what will work and what won’t, because most of us have tried EVERYTHING imaginable before finally going No Contact with them. Do you know how many years I’ve spent trying to show them just how much their behavior was hurting me and pleading with them to stop? Here’s the point you’re missing: If they are TRULY narcissistic—meaning they have Narcissistic Personality Disorder—they will NOT be capable of self-reflection. That part of their brain doesn’t work like yours and mine. They do NOT have any empathy—so they will not be able to put themselves in your shoes. Most of us here have done what you’re doing only to realize that it caused narcissistic injury and made them retaliate by abusing us even further. In addition, if they are truly narcissistic, they will have sadistic tendencies and will enjoy the fact that they’ve hurt you—they will get a high from it and feed on it. So if what you’re doing to resolve your family’s abusive behavior towards you is working–and you want to continue having a relationship with them—great! I wish you all the best. But please understand that just because it worked for you and your family doesn’t mean that it will work for others. I’m DONE with my narcissistic family’s toxicity and have chosen to move on four years ago. It’s one of the BEST decisions I’ve ever made in my life. My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.


@StaceyD – You don’t get to leave me such a comment then tell me not to respond. You honestly sound narcissistic yourself. I find you to be very self-righteous. Take a hint when someone tells you they’re done with someone and have moved forward. It’s not your place to tell them that they’re wrong or they should pursue the relationship. The diplomatic thing to do is to wish them well on their journey. The irony here is that you’re telling everyone here to confront their abusers–and yet you, yourself, won’t engage in a confrontation with me when I try to tell you it’s fruitless. If you want this conversation to end, then YOU stop engaging me. When you finally do, you’ll see the WISDOM in ‘letting go’.


Elizabeth I completely understand where you are coming from and agree there is no hope with a truly narcissistic parent. This thread is very supportive in general. The rest of us all know what it is like and how hopeless it really is ♥️


@StaceyD – BINGO! This is the conclusion that so many of us here have reached about our narcissistic family. I’m glad I was finally able to make you see the light! ?


@StaceyD – Please give your family my condolences. I see now who’s the real narc. ; )


Hi Stacey, your comment comes across a bit judgemental to be honest. I can tell you that at least for me, and I am guessing for others, being brutally honest can be very difficult. For some it may be physically dangerous and for others, it may have been tried and tried again. I’m glad you have been able to ‘force change’ on your family but in nearly 34 years, I have not been able to force anything, except teach myself to protect myself. I know you were probably trying to help, but every situation is different.


Hi aus_woman33
I must agree with u, i tried to be honest or explain to them, but its nearly impossible rather than difficult.
They will agry more, irritate more, and blame me why i become so brutal, brash child and etc.
I have try many method, and the result is always not good for me.

So my boyfriend teach me that the only one i must to do is protecting myself.. because whenever i try to change them, the result is always destroy me and hurt me a lot.
Its more hurt because i really love them and always forgive them.
This circle is always on and going on, and this keep me into depression.

Bu now im quite well controlling my feeling. I just let it go..
I cant change people and i use to believe that sometimes there is a people who never change no matter their behaviour show bad impact for them.

My boyfriend keep telling me that this is part from being adult.
The only one homework for me is not to fall into deep feeling again. Because when i start think about them, its like im destroy my own protecting wall and i hurt myself once again.


(Sory if my english so bad)
I feel so relieved because i know im not alone face all of this..
Thats happen to all of you in this room. I feel more sane, because lately i feel so depressed and dont know what to do. And always feel guilt.

My mom, i dont know she loves me or not.
Since i was a little kid i always affraid to my mom, although sometimes she looked like care for me.
When im kids (6-8years old), if i accidentally drop the glass of, she will very mad at me. She argue that she mad because she affraid i can hurt by piece of glass. But everytime i make mistake that 6yo kids doing, she always very mad. And always say that madness is the shape of her love to me.
Or when im in middle school, she can shout me “bitch” if i accidentally step on her foot.
When im goin to have a little brother, my mom always say to other people that i dont want any brother, because i always want to be only child, i dont want be compete to my brother.
After my brother grown up, my mom always say that a sister must concede to their little brother. She also mad at me in front my brother.
Since i little i always raised with the thougt that im a selfish child, never want to concede with brother because i consider him as rival.

Sometimes when my mom mad at me, i hold the tear so im not looked weak in front of her. And i looked invulnerable to all of her shit. But her madness become more worsen. The point is, she want to make me cry and feel affraid to her.

More grow up, i realise that my mom always manipulate me.
Her childhood background just same as she doin to me, her mom raise her with discipline, hard and never spoil her.
Because of that sometimes i feel sory for her, but in other times there is always thing which trigger her anger and we once again become enemies.

Previously i feel that things is normal, until i meet my boyfriend and my bestfriend.
In my boyfriend’s family, everyone especially her mom is very very nice. His mom very understanding, her voice is so gentle, and she loves her child without discrimination.
Same things in my bestfriend’s family, her family is so intimate, her mom always care for her children.
Its make me feel there is something wrong with my mom..
After all this time, i feel this in always my fault, my mom not loves me because i always make her mad.
My mind always collide each other, in one side i feel so depressed and dont want see my mom, but the other side i feel so pity for her because she never raised well by her mother which made her like this now
I always feel guilty, never good enough, and i always want my mom love me as it is.
After my mom mad and yell at me, sometimes she will show her regret by act nice to me (but she never say sorry)
She can be so nice if her mood is good, and quick change to angrily when mood is bad.
Thats why for long time ago, i can’t decide how i should act or react to her, because i feel she still love me a little.

But until my 30th, i realise that how much effort im doing to make her love me, there is a thing which always trigger her to hate me.
And now i am tired.

I read so many article in internet about BPD mom, unstable parents, manipulative parents, and ending in this article.
This article is like a forum who i never had (because i raise in asian country, and the people still hold on norm, manner, etc)
And i realise not every child blessed with nice parents who have unconditional love.
I start to accept my condition and try not to taken along euforia (when my mom was being nice) But sometimes i feel weak and want to make my mom happy. Then i feel guilt again because i never be enough for her.
I hope i can be happy and not affected by her behaviour as long im read this article..


Hey all,

It feels good to finally have an inkling as to why I’ve believed I’m a horrible person for so long. It feels like a weight is gone and there is no need to feel bad, because I am actually me, not just there for someone else’s folly.
It feels good to acknowledge the fact that although I deserved love and nurturing as a child, I can discover it for myself, now, with permission.

Growing up as a child was a muted experience.
It was not gaily coloured, bright, exuberant or happy. It was shrouded with silence, criticism, complaining and negativity. I cannot recall one shred of positivity from my mother.
The examples my mother set left me aware of the fucked up perspectives that people can con themselves into, and also set those parameters as some sort of normal. I did not realise that I was an anxious child because my mothers’ juvenile parameters of ‘Everything is bad and not what I want’ deftly engineered every situation into a harvest of pain, suffering and negativity.
I did not know how to have a positive perspective. The constant weight of life being a hassle and full of negative possibilities was handed to me, inadvertently, by the constant childish exertions and retaliations by her.
Social life and positive interactions with others were pretty much non-existent.
There was never encouragement to grow or form new friendships, I was not allowed to have friends over, my mother did not show me how to forge connections, she only pushed them away, even the love of my father.
She complained even at the prospect of forging connections with my fathers side of the family, always whinging how they don’t acknowledge her, instead of being herself and enjoying life.

During a period in my twenties, my mother was going through her divorce, we were in the same work environment with mutual friends, and every day everyone around her was exposed to her self pity, crying, whining, blame and hopelessness. All she could do was focus on her plight.
I made the mistake of feeling sorry for her, again, being a well trained daughter who just wanted peace and for everyone to be happy, yet this was just enabling the child-like behaviour patterns that satisfied her needs for attention from me, her daughter.
I told her these things were not good for me to hear. Tried everything. Quit the job. Self preservation. Inevitably followed by the guilting process, whereupon my mother blatantly makes my decision to ‘leave her’ seem like sort of unforgivable personal affront, with no acknowledgement of the huge mental, emotional, physical and psychic toll it had on me or acknowledgement of her choice to act in a particular fashion.
My father has his own demons, but he has never let them deter him from making life a positive experience, and despite being browbeaten to utter exhaustion by my mother, has benefited from divorce and his own development. I can rest easy that he is his own person, and did his parenting.

I understand my mother had her own inadequacies, but I cannot believe, or realise with shame, that she has continually chosen to act in ways that are spiteful, goading, hurtful and attention seeking, even into her sixties. I can’t be near her any more. I have grown and need to focus on myself, my husband, our plans and my strong, grown stepsons, who already understand the value of honest communication, yet, strangely, were not invited to her recent wedding.
The lack of any sort of validation and the blatant examples of pathetic self-sabotage killed the child in me and set a hopeless premise for social interactions.

All I’ve wanted is to make people happy. I’ve only been able to believe recently that I am actually making a positive difference. Actively. Because I want to. I have finally allowed myself to believe that I’m good enough. I’ve discounted relationships because of my own fucked up psychology. I’m sorry that I have never known what is good social behaviour. My god I value those that love me for who I am.

I don’t want things, I don’t want anything from her anymore. I just wish that she showed me how to be a good, functional, positive and resilient person, and that I hadn’t wasted so much of my life believing that it was my sworn duty as the eldest daughter to coax her fragile, needy ego into some sort of flickering existence.

I’m done. Not My Problem. Keep your monkeys off my back. I am worth everything I can be. I’m allowed to do my own thing. It is right. You have made a good choice. It’s time to be awesome again. Thanks for listening.


Hello All.

I am going through this with my mother.

I lost my dad as a young adult. He was more of my “dude” as he was (is) one of my closest friends.
He passed away from suicide due to new management at his company. He worked there 34 years, wanted to retire at the age of 72 to make his career there an even 50 years (for personal goal/achievement). I doubt he would have ever left to pursue similar positions elsewhere. When he passed.. there was no life insurance due to the way he passed.
Additionally… the pension he had will not be granted to my mo until she hits a certain age — but having to remain unmarried.

Okay so.. let’s see… so the beginning 7 years (after my dad’s passing), my mom and I maintained the house that was thankfully paid off mortgage free. (Apparently— that was another one of my dad’s goals/accomplishments he wanted to achieve in life, which is understandable).
The first 2.5 years of that period I paid more than just rent. I worked seven different part time jobs, all at the same time, amounting to 55-65 hours a week, as well as any other odd jobs whenever those opportunities came by. I gave my mother every single paycheck from all of those jobs for the beginning 2.5 years, as I felt that my dad would have wanted me to help my mom with the bills and the house.
After the first 2.5 years of giving her every penny I earned, I started paying normal rent for my room.
Rent increased in my home over the following years, just as it would have out there in the real world.
I paid rent 6.5 out of the 7 years we were there.

A few years ago, she met a guy.

This guy was in the very early stages of declaring divorce from his second wife.
One year ago, they both sold their homes.
His home was in his ex-wife’s name.
Additionally, he oddly missed a few of their court dates, (during when the divorce case was present), and has been paying his ex-wife triple in alimony. (Even though he was the one to declare the divorce due to her incest).

So… with that bit of background.. that leads to almost a year ago when “they” bought a home “together”.
I put quotations around “they” and “together” because it is not really something they purchased together.
First it started off with my mom mentioning that she would be putting 60% down, and him 40%.
Shortly thereafter it changed to her at 70%, him at 30%. And then you guessed it…. those percentages changed to 80%/20%, and eventually landed at 90% her and 10% him.

His 10% was a only a loan that “they” needed in the amount of $100K. (He was denied the loan).

(I should probably specify that this guy has a great career of over 40 years and ‘supposedly’ makes great monetary compensation).
*I should also add that I have learned from a doctor as well as a real estate agent that a person only needs to annually accrue 25% of the loan they need.

So.. now we are at my mom having to get the loan.. which she did.. thus; putting her at 100% investing into this new home.

Now, I had a job that needed last December.
Also last December I had three traumatic incidents occur to me, personally.
Two physical assaults and one breaking and entering into my private property while I was there.
These events have lead me to experience PTSD several for the first time in my life. As well as a bout of depression, anxiety and even physical sickness.

With that being acknowledged, although I haven’t been working due to what I was going through emotionally/mentally/physically.. I managed to find some energy to do part time school.
I have also been looking full time for a full time job as of the past two months.

I mention all of this so you can understand my position a bit in regards to why I still live at home.

Alright.. so now I’m at the place where I need to explain why I feel I am going through this needing to find solutions and heal from heartbreak in regards to my mother.

The past two years since she has been with this guy she calls her boyfriend, she has changed a lot as who I know her to be — as a person.

(Please understand.. I am ALL for her changing if it is for the better and if I notice that she is truly and genuinely a happier person with this guy), however…. this is not the case.

She had really really really changed..

We used to go have dinner with just us every 1-2 months to catch up. (I have only had three short dinner opportunities with her the past year).

Every time we have had dinner… it is the same conversation.. complaining about me not having a job, negativity, shaming, blaming, no empathy, and always the focus is her feelings and frustrations and NEVER how I may be feeling.
One occasion.. I found this AMAZING opportunity for a new career and they were willing to train. I really thought it was something that suited me and something that I can do and also have a stable career! I was SO excited and when I told my mom over dinner about it…. she just didn’t care. She held zero enthusiasm about what I was very excited about and how I could excel and live on my own in the near future if I was selected to pursue.
Well…. no joke.. but, after her lack of love and support on that, I started questioning my own capabilities and got back into a bout of depression and thus, didn’t even apply to the open position. (So you can see how her behavior and attitude makes me crippled), especially when at that time I took her opinion into a high consideration.

Anyways… that’s just an example.

In conclusion.. the past year has been the most difficult year of my life. I feel like along with losing the love and support on my dad’s side of the family (which was lost over 6 years ago), I feel I am currently losing the love and support of not only my mom, but also her side of the family.
I feel that because this is the first time in my life I have had a break from working as well as school, she is all of a sudden judging me. I feel that she is gossiping behind my back. I feel that the once happy, positive, loving mom she used to be is no longer in existence. She is physically here, but she is a completely different person with this new guy she is dating.

Another example…

One of the times I had a dinner with her there was a free event I thought would be fun to go to as it is a similar taste of ours. I asked her three weeks in advance and she couldn’t confirm until 2 days prior to the event. One week prior to the event she said she would have to check with “him” first.
(I find this occasion to be the most insane example of what I’m trying my hardest to explain about how she as changed). But yes… absolutely ridiculous.

Okay.. I am not realizing I am basically writing a book in this comment, and for that I apologize.
I feel very blessed to have come across this article and the support on this page as I genuinely feel that I am in the sharp pain of heartbreak in regards to my mom’s change in who she is. This is more difficult than having lost my dad but the way.. I feel like I should mention that to make that clear.
I am a very spiritual person and know that my dad is still with me spiritually and in my heart… and that is very comforting even though I really miss going to the beach, car shows, playing pool and watching odd humored movies with him in the physical world.
As for my mom… I miss dinners, shopping, looking at fashion, cooking with and watching romance/drama/comedy movies with as that person I knew not even a little over a year ago has since disappeared.

I have told her my boundaries, I have made them known multiple times– (which is no negativity allowed in my life, no pessimism, no talking about what a failure I am because I have yet to secure a job, and no talking about me to other people). I feel that all of these boundaries have been crossed, several times and my heart cannot take the pain any more.

I recently told her I can no longer talk to her or with her because she keeps crossing my boundaries and I also told her that if she so desperately needs to talk about me to please go see a therapist and do it there.
Also have promised myself that once I get my life back together (decent paying job and my own place), that I will slowly cut ties with her because her mindset/attitude has been too toxic for me and I mentally/emotionally can no longer take it.
No mom should have to ask their significant other for permission to spend with their own flesh and blood.. This instance, for me, was my breaking point. (And I knew, that the time we had together a few months ago will most likely be our last)– which is why I still went.
Going out with one last memory, even though it wasn’t even mostly positive.. (damn it). *we tried..*

But yes… so this is where I am at. — (Cutting ties).

In regard to how I’ve been doing.. please know that over the past month I have changed my routine and added my daily walks back into my life as well as yoga 5 times a week. I have added coloring for the first time, back to cooking most of my meals, and I have also gotten back to reading books again. : )
Although it is difficult to maintain my level of positivity, and sanity, in a home of angry negative people… I feel I am doing the very best I can. Additionally.. I have applied to 48+ positions over the past 10 days and I finally have an interview for one position I applied to tomorrow. ( I think 48 is a lot… but I honestly have no idea if nearly 50 applications in 10 days is good or normal?? You guys will have to tell me on that), and please be honest.

Praying that whatever position is meant for me, finds me very soon.
If it is this upcoming one I have an interview for, then terrific!
If not, then I’m guessing God has something better planned for me and I will just need to keep up with my search and applications.

Apologizing again for the digression!
(I do tend to go into diatribes when I talk/write).

Also, please keep in mind that this comment is coming from a hermit who has been too scared to go back out in society to hear the beautiful music, all due to the traumatic incidents from December 2016.
(I typically used to go out for music 1-2 times a month. Sometimes 3 times if there was a special artist in town that was rare).

Okay, well..

In closing..

I hope that some of you folks can relate to what I described in regard to what I am going through, and I truly hope any of you who are in the same boat or in similar boats are coping in healthy ways and taking good care of yourselves.

Love and blessings to all people who are dealing with this type of loss in their lives.

Take care and thanks again for reading.

<3 <3 <3



I am 60 years old and it’s taken me this long to finally leave the relationship. It is a roller coaster of emotional abuse that is wretched. My parent is a narcissist and I spent my life in and out of therapy for this. They are ill, and they really believe their ways are normal. Making the decision to leave the relationship is hard, but for me, it has gotten easier at this point in my life. If destroys your own family for the pain that you carry as you try and stay in something that will never be. I had to mourn what I never had, and get strong enough to know I was worth more than this toxic form of love. I finally came to realize that i had spent more years in therapy leaning to become what I should have gotten from home LONGER than I lived with her from birth to 19. I am an alien to her as I have boundaries and a completely different way I view life and love. I spent a lot of time working on learned behaviors, because the cycle stopped with me and my children.

They did have some pain from this because their grandmother couldn’t be close or like “other grandparents.” It can be done if you really really work on yourself. I finally feel at peace with my decision and the guilt that was always ingrained, has been replaced with self love.


I am at a stage where I simply do not want much to do with ANY member of my family – the sole exception being having some regular contact with my mother and nephew and niece.

The rest can get stuffed.

I have simply HAD IT with all the expectation and pressure to be perfect whilst they get to act like a bunch of utter assholes. I am sick to all hell of their fucked up double standards -sick of breathing in this foul, lethal even, message that I am some unworthy walking mistake who must bend over backwards to change who she is, whilst they are somehow perfect human beings who are entitled to act aggressively and abusively.

I AM SO SICK TO DEATH that, even after having achieved some amount of perfection (or near it) that I have NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT …that they are all still so much better off than I HAVE EVER been in over 15 years of constant struggle to be better to be accepted. And that they continue to enjoy a status in society that, if anything, I am much more worthy of having than them – quite frankly!!

All of this unfairness is so typical of their SPITEFUL vindictive behaviour -that is all about causing harm and sufferring. …This is the sort of attitude I am supposed to accept and be completely forgiving of in my father and any others in my family …but I am NEVER TO EXPECT ANYTHING OF THE SAME IN RETURN.
And I am to simply bare any cycle of misfortune and disadvantage that has, to a large extent, resulted from having been treated as if I was such a flawed and unworthy human being.
…when in reality, my only fault was to be a little too similar to my father.

I got the opportunity to be FORCED into the position of being a PARENT to him -an UTTERLY thankless role, since whether I succeed or fail in shouldering this burden, I will get little to no credit for it. And if being FORCED like I was to evolve to such a higher level of thinking and behaving resulted in DAMAGE to my mental health; and from this then, further disadvantage like long term unemployment and subsequent descrimmination because of never having established my self in the workplace as a young person …. well, what does my father care so long as he never has to look at himself as he actually is.

The same is true for my family. They have scapegoated me -even, more significantly in how I was labelled with a mental illness which they actually played a major role in creating. …Again, they get to pass the buck and hand all the burden of responsibility for SHARED PROBLEMS along with any shame onto the “weakest” member of their party …i.e., most likely young (since the older members get the right to be abusive now, just like their parents were to them) and most likely also female.

What a thankless, no-win role I have been dealt. Where I am given little option but to scramble to behave well above my age in terms of wisdom (and in fact, having to be wiser and stronger that her own parent ever managed in their 55 plus years to acquire) that even if I made/make it, gets little acknowledgement or reward.

I got shamed for in fact having an emotional vulnerability/struggle that my stupid inept SPINELESS father has himself.
…And if I can’t EVOLVE to a higher level of thinking, I will be the proverbial threatened species that goes extinct. …Such is trying to function in such a toxic environment.

AND I AM FUCKING OVER FEELING LIKE I HAVE TO BE A VIRTUAL SAINT JUST IN ORDER TO MAKE SOME KIND OF HEADWAY IN MY LIFE. Watching all of my rotten, nasty, bitchy family go on holidays and buy houses and marry and have children. There I was like a sucker trying to better my self all the while it was a bunch of fucking assholes who had judged me.


Stop trying to function in that toxic relationship. Go no contact and find your own inner self without them and any hoops they want you to jump through. It will be hard, but you already know you need to evolve out of that whole thing. Find self-love and self-soothing in whatever way works best for you. Live for your OWN growth just because you already know you ARE worth it.


This is so helpful. I cut ties with my parents (which actually means my whole family, because it’s a toxic matriarchal system) about 3 years ago after the birth of my 4th child. It suddenly became clear that any time something good happened in my life it was opportunity for my family to tell me what a crap person I was. This time it was all about how I badly I had ‘coped’ with the death of my 3rd child 18 months beforehand. There was much ranting about how I didn’t understand what it was like for them to loose my son and how all my other kids are going to grow up with “major psychological disorders” and are “deeply insecure” because I’m a terrible mother. So, yeah, that’s when I decided that I’d had about enough, and I cut things off. Now we only talk very superficially on Christmas and birthdays. The grief of it all took a huge toll on my health, I guess because it was compounding by my other grief. It’s been so great to have that toxicity out of our lives though. On a side note, my eldest child is school captain, top of his class, lead in the school musical and was selected to the rep regional soccer team just yesterday… and above all of that, he’s a happy kid, so I think he’s doing ok. All 3 of my living kids are happy, thriving and confident kids. But, I still struggle with guilt and letting go. How do I just stop thinking about what I wish things were and how sad and hurt I am that they can be a part of our awesome family without damaging it? I feel like I still give too much emotional and mental energy to this toxic relationship by constantly assessing and justifying the decision I made. It gets frustrating. Does anyone else struggle with that?


Hi Jakki

I too very much struggle with giving too much energy to the thoughts going round in my head. I still worry that I am the problem (wasn’t I always told that?!) so I constantly revisit what has happened. I’m looking for definitive proof I guess that my interpretation is correct. I wish I could use that wealth of energy for me – there’s so much of it I’d be flying!!

I think the problem is exacerbated where the loss is not just of a parent but of a wider family too. My remaining parent is so convincing to everyone (everyone who has never seen or heard what happens when it is just the two of us) and so my whole family has effectively been turned against me as have the neighbours and family friends who were also part of my life. I’m the mad, bad one.The result of this is that there is noone who will listen to us and be on our side so we run it through our heads. I thought the problem might be easier if I’d got a family but clearly even your wonderful family doesn’t stop the thought spirals so I guess it is part of the process, maybe of grieving.

As you can see I don’t really have a solution, sorry, but just wanted to reply so that you’d at least know you are not alone in the struggle.


I have just come across this site and like halo i am struggling greatly. At the age of 39 I have finally realised what a destructive influence my mother is. Through counselling and being forced to assess my thought processes I now understand how negatively she has imprinted my mind.
I have gone from minimal contact for six months which culminated in her being extremely manipulative, using my children and although it was only ever her who contacted me after I set out boundaries of what I no longer find acceptable she cut me off she said to protect herself from my diatribe and venom.
I am still really struggling with anxiety as a result of my upbringing and subsequent problems. Out of somewhere I found the strength to stand up and object when she tried and for some time succeeded to undermine me as a mother.
My mother was always extremely controlling of me and I had to portray a certain image and even as a child if that image was not wholly maintained then her rath would come down on me. My earliest memories are of her rage at me which would disappear when my father came through the door. She wasn’t like this the whole time but enough for it to affect me deeply and make me hyper responsive to her moods. As I got older it got worse, my parents marriage fell apart, father not wanting to come home, her either staying out and leaving me with my younger siblings…most of the time I was her unpaid childcare and felt that’s all I was. My brother and sister would misbehave and I would be raged st for how selfish I was to allow it to happen. There were beatings which they referred to as a smack, because she would be so enraged if my room was slightly messy, she be on my father as soon as he got home to sort us out as we were so terrible, he’d be angry at coming home to that and I paid the price. As did my brother but not my youngest sister who was both their pets. As I got older and in high school I flipped one day, intervened and told them if tell school if they laid another finger on us and we walked out. Went to school late, they asked questions but I didn’t tell. I always thought I was ultimately responsible. If I asked for anything is get her temper, dinner money, feminine products, anything so I stopped asking. She must have known I had none but I had no money do is make sanitary towels out of kitchen roll and feel so ashamed.
We were not wealthy or even well off but both parents worked and they had a small house….money went not on me but if I asked for anything I was a selfish wee bitch.
This was mixed with periods of neediness ftom her and offloading but generally the theme was, she had nothing, it wasn’t fair, she was so good and the world was bad, it was my fault that she had nothing and I owed her.
Every supposedly nice occasion in my life she has tarnished in some way. Yet for my life I would call her daily looking hot her approval at everything I did and doing only things I knew would get her approval. I married the man she wanted to who appeared nice but wasn’t and is now after our divorce dedicating himself to me suffering….he has actually told me this. After I tried to put in boundaries with my mother they have now joined forces to diagnose my instability.
Through her I have lost my whole family. She talks about bringing up my children, she helped with childcare while I worked. She talks about how they do so well with everything they have to deal with…..meaning me. It’s outrageous, I work and take care of my children that’s all.
The list is endless about her manipulation yet still I have this gaping black hole and a feeling of shame of who I am and the fact my mother doesn’t even like me. It’s a grief nobody can see or recognise.
It’s so hard. It’s horrible to read all these experiences but at least I feel slightly less alone.
Well done.


This article just might change my life!!

Im a 33 year old woman who moved 5200 km because my father contacted me saying he needed dyalisis and his health was deteriorating. I packed up my entire life and my partners to move back and help him. The whole thing was a lie. He does have heart issues but his kidneys are fine.
I don’t think I could even begin to explain the pain in knowing his blood runs through my veins. At 6 years of age I lost my mother in a car accident. As the youngest and only female in the family there was and is no care for emotions. This breaks me. To be told I was to young to even know what the loss of my mother felt like. Nothing I ever do is good enough. It’s such a strange relationship. He thinks that money is love. I would just like a hug and an “I love you” but that’s never to be offered.

Today was a breaking point for me. I lost my treasured pets. My mothers sperm donor . The best way I can think to describe him blamed their deaths on me.
Something broke inside me. I looked at him and thought why couldn’t it have been you that died in that car accident.
This article has helped me in ways that I can’t explain. Those toxic thoughts aren’t going to better my situation. Small steps and I think it will start with finding an elastic band.
Thank you for the words you wrote that may just change my life.


You have your own blood, it is separate from his. You are definitely enough and are entitled to your feelings and validation. I hope you can get some additional help from therapists or support groups. You deserve it!


I stumbled across your blog on one of those sleepless nights of mine. Could it have been luck or devinity ? I am now 42 years old and past many things yet I have been fighting with my guilt . You see ,I was raised by an abusive mother and alcoholic stepfather . Growing up I was hit , verbally abused and neglected . For my parents to tell me they loved me meant that a hidden agenda existed ;such ,as for my stepfather’s
sexual advances and my mother’s unwillingness to knowingly protect me . When I was 12 I chose to run away with an older guy that only took over where they left off . It wasn’t until I was 17 that I chose to run away from that situation shortly after surviving a failed suicide attempt and hit a scary life on the streets . At age nineteen I met a wonderful man that showed me acceptance with love and since have raised 3 children and have formed a loving home , all the while achieving a BSN in nursing for which I am now in the pediatric icu .The sad reality is that in my heart I thought that the longing to have my family (my mother aunts and uncles ..etc)would fulfill me ; yet, after associating with them I was left with a sense of emptiness. As for the feelings of guilt that I expressed at first , that is directly felt after I repeatedly have to explain my reasoning behind my decision to simply let go of a “mother ” to those that judge my actions and deny the harsh truth . The hardest part was escaping my own self punishment ! How could I ? God would want me to stay by my mother , right? Stumbling by your blog ( call it what may) clarified a lot for me. As I write this it is clear to see how one must cut away what is wrong in ones life to pave a better way for the next generation . More importantly one must change ones own perception of self . Thank you for taking the time to write about this subject . With tears of joy -I find myself not so sleepless after all : goodnight and God bless .


Hi all,

I have posted prior and see so many people helping others. So I thought I would ask for help. My mother is narcissistic. I am 33, married with a 2-year-old son. I only realised she was narcissistic about 2 years ago after my son was born and he was unwell. We were seeing a psychologist to help with PTSD / trauma and the psychologist suggested, based on my mother’s behaviour, that she was narcissistic. It was like a light bulb!

I have reduced contact to very minimal levels and this has been working. At first she was clearly struggling to respect my boundaries and there were months and months of her calling and calling me, showing up unannounced etc. She says things like ‘you are restricting the natural love of a grandparent’ etc. She has no concept of how she is, a typical narcissist. She has however, gradually stopped harassing me but not completely.

10 mins ago, I received an email asking me to clarify and agree on how often we would be seeing her and how often she would see my son. I call it my son, because personally I don’t feel she has any rights to have a grandson particularly. However, yes it is her grandson.

I have been very close to cutting contact completely but my grandmother would be greatly affected by this. We moved further away to get some distance and see them maybe once every three months. My husband’s family are much more involved in our lives and I don’t feel my son loses ANYTHING by not having a close relationship with my mother. Only daughters and sons of narcissists understand this.

What should I do? Ignore the email? Respond to the email (noting that every time I respond and try to communicate, she twists everything and tries to win).

Thank you.


Seriously — my suggestion to you is to move as FAR away from your NM as possible. She’s trying to guilt you, and that’s one of the myriad ways she’ll try to control you. You must be strong and not let this get to you. Take your power back by moving away from her so that it would be very difficult for her to see your son on a regular basis. She is not “entitled” to seeing you or your son. I would respond to her by saying “I cannot guarantee when we can see each other.” Please keep in mind that your NM will gradually try to turn your son against you — so you must not allow her to have quality time with him. I had the worst case of GERD when I was in contact with my mother, and had no idea she was the cause of it. When I finally went NC with her almost 4 years ago, it went away completely. Good luck.


thank you, how wonderful you are for responding. We moved 2 hours away about 1.5 years ago, but I have told my husband, it’s not far enough. It certainly helps. Thank you for saying she is not entitled. It’s so hard to separate out my guilt from my head. I know she isn’t, but she has such a knack for making me feel guilty. You are right about my son and that is why I keep her at arm’s length. On one hand I feel like I’m setting a bad example if I cut her off, what does that say to my son, but then again, when he is older, I could explain. My son has GERD, it’s awful, I am sorry you went through that. Thank you <3


I am so sorry that you have to deal with this. The first thing I would say is that you don’t have to decide right away, and you don’t have to respond right away, and your decision doesn’t have to be permanent. Because your mother asks for a schedule, doesn’t mean you have to give it to her on her terms. You could write her back telling her you will think about it, and then you can respond whenever you are ready.

Are you close to your grandmother and is your love for her enough to establish a schedule or boundaries with your mother? Have you asked the psychologist? you might want to go back for a session if you haven’t been lately. Since that person knows your individual circumstances.

I am no expert. I only know what my therapist has told me for my situation, which is that I have to decide what is best for me. And that I have to be able to separate emotionally from my mother, which it sounds like you are already able to do (meaning her actions don’t affect you emotionally). On the other hand, if the fact that she twists things still upsets you, that may not be the case. My therapist did not advise me to cut off all contact, for various reasons, but that doesn’t mean it is not right for others.

I hope that is helpful in some way.


Thank you, AM for replying, and so quickly as well. You are right, I always feel this urgency (guess where that came from) to reply and it is hard to overcome. I have come some way in separately emotionally, but not fully. I used to be extremely affected by her actions, now I am mildly affected, sometimes more, sometimes less. You are right, I can reply and say ‘I will think about it’ or like the previous poster said perhaps just saying ‘can’t commit to anything’ is better. One of the ways I’ve built boundaries is to say as little as possible. I saw my psychologist just two days ago and we did not talk about my mother but I have this wonderful book called ‘will I ever be good enough’ and it has a lot of guidance which is so helpful in these situations. Thank you again


I am right now planning to get out of a toxic relationship with my mother. My father died, self inflicted in November of 2014. My mother has five children (two with first husband and 3 with my dad)and only two of us have most interaction and connection with her. It’s my oldest half brother and me. Growing up was horrible. It was hard to keep friends because she was so controlling, my self esteem was always so low. Anytime we went shopping if I even picked up something that I thought was cute, she would snap at me and tell me I can never wear that, it won’t fit my “body type”. She’s accused me of having abortions, which I never have. She says that I always leave messes for her to clean up and if I would just get married and have a baby, all my problems would be solved. Really? I admit I’ve made some bad choices and gotten myself into messes before, but really? She is squandering away all the money she has, and she’s getting older and having physical and some cognitive issues, I specialize in geriatric healthcare and I see where she is headed, which probably is making this harder on me. She just allowed the pastor of a NEW church she just started going to move into my parents house the day after my half brother and SIL had her completely downsized to her smaller home ( in April) and I just got them out this week. It was a nightmare and has cost her SO much money. Because of what I do, I warned them that this was shady and things better be in order, I didn’t know them and just because your a pastor doesn’t mean you can be trusted. They’ve even had the audacity to tell her that her children could have her declared mentally incompetent and take over her estate due to what they did!! She keeps changing her will every three months reflecting which child gets the “most”. I keep telling her to stop, every attorney visit cost money and 0 divided by 0 is ZERO no matter what. I am right now secretly getting my things in order so nothing that belongs to me is in her possession so she can’t hold it over my head, like she always did. Heck, I even had a charity coming to her home to pick up a bed that belongs to me, to get it OUT of her way, she freaked out and wouldn’t let them take it because it was my college graduation present from my parents and she just couldn’t “let it go”. OMG!! Let’s not mention the four pieces I purchased to match it, and she sold all four at a yard sale for $10.00/piece and I had over $400.00 in those pieces. I am going to stay with my Aunt, my father’s sister in South Florida. My mother is going to visit my youngest brother tomorrow to see his little girl in a dance recital. I told her she better go since they know I’m here and if she doesn’t they’ll never let her forget it. At least I will have an opportunity to get the rest of my things in storage and my car packed. AND I don’t speak to my full brother or sister. It’s a mess, but I will go to counseling and get past this. I’m also secretly trying to get things that belong to me through my father because every time I ask for my set of china, she yells at me that everything belongs to HER until she dies. It’s not hers, it is mine from my father’s mother. Sorry for the long post, I’m just sucking it up and trying to help her until I can get away. I feel bad because I am a Christian, but she has pushed “religion” on us for so many years I can’t let her continue to play that card on me. What I do is between me and God and he will forgive me. Should I leave her a note? Or just be gone? She owes me money, which I could really use right now, but I’m fine with writing it off too. I am expecting a check from my last consulting contract to come to this address, which I desperately need. I know this is going to kill her and it’s going to be hard on me too, but I can’t continue like this. Any suggestions?


My mother wants to have complete control over me. I want to cut contact with her completely, there is only one problem, I love my Dad and he has a terminal illness. She uses that against me, tells me I don’t love him or spend enough time with him. He is too sick to stand up to her. I was leaving the hospital one day from him being transported by ambulance and she made the remark it must be nice to go home, I wish I could go home but I would have to kill him somehow. What the heck? She is currently upset with me because I said that God and your husband should be before all us to which she replied HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER. She is a complete nut job. She is always emotionally abusing me and I am almost 30 years old. I want to cut contact but my Dad is very important to me even though he never defends me, I think he is also emotionally abused by her. She has turned one of my older sisters against me, speaks badly about my dad’s daughter who passed away and my oldest sibling has no contact with either one she just got tired. Any advice for me? I really want to be around for my Dad but it’s getting to the point where she is affecting my health, I have been hospitalized from the stress.


When I was 7 years old I was given a Blood Initiation. I was at the birthday party of a classmate who lived a few streets away from where I was at the time living. For the party, my parents forced me to wear a white lacy toddler dress, white tights and black Mary Jane shoes. However, when I got to the party I immediately saw that everybody was wearing hoodies, jeans and sneakers. Since we were going to the movies and out for pizza, I had to go out dressed like that in public. When the party was over and all the parents came to pick up their kids, my dad got out of the car to greet me. Before I could say anything, he punched me so hard in the face that I fell over backwards. My nose was gushing blood so hard that there was blood all over my dress. The ritual of pouring blood over the white dress of a seven years old is the Blood Initiation. And to add insult to injury, when I returned to school on Monday, everybody in my class announced that I was retarded and nobody would ever invite me to their birthday party ever again.

Karen Young

Jessie I’m so sorry this happened to you. I hope you have been able to find strength and a way forward, and know that none of this should have happened to you.


Jessie: I am so sad to hear about your childhood violence. You deserved so much more. I also hope you have found a way to heal. If not, please ask for help.


Jessie..I wish I had something helpful to say other than, I am sorry this happen to you .I have not found anything very helpful to say to myself .My father did stuff like this to me in front of other people.

Norma J

It’s nice and sad to know other people share the same toxic memories with in there own family and your not feeling horrible on your own


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As long as they are safe, let them know this. Let them see you believing them that this feels big, and believing in them, that they can handle the big. 

‘Yes this feels scary. Of course it does - you’re doing something important/ new/ hard. I know you can do this. How can I help you feel brave?’♥️
I’ve loved working with @sccrcentre over the last 10 years. They do profoundly important work with families - keeping connections, reducing clinflict, building relationships - and they do it so incredibly well. @sccrcentre thank you for everything you do, and for letting me be a part of it. I love what you do and what you stand for. Your work over the last decade has been life-changing for so many. I know the next decade will be even more so.♥️

In their words …
Posted @withregram • @sccrcentre Over the next fortnight, as we prepare to mark our 10th anniversary (28 March), we want to re-share the great partners we’ve worked with over the past decade. We start today with Karen Young of Hey Sigmund.

Back in 2021, when we were still struggling with covid and lockdowns, Karen spoke as part of our online conference on ‘Strengthening the relationship between you & your teen’. It was a great talk and I’m delighted that you can still listen to it via the link in the bio.

Karen also blogged about our work for the Hey Sigmund website in 2018. ‘How to Strengthen Your Relationship With Your Children and Teens by Understanding Their Unique Brain Chemistry (by SCCR)’, which is still available to read - see link in bio.

#conflictresolution #conflict #families #family #mediation #earlyintervention #decade #anniversary #digital #scotland #scottish #cyrenians #psychology #relationships #children #teens #brain #brainchemistry #neuroscience
I often go into schools to talk to kids and teens about anxiety and big feelings. 

I always ask, ‘Who’s tried breathing through big feels and thinks it’s a load of rubbish?’ Most of them put their hand up. I put my hand up too, ‘Me too,’ I tell them, ‘I used to think the same as you. But now I know why it didn’t work, and what I needed to do to give me this powerful tool (and it’s so powerful!) that can calm anxiety, anger - all big feelings.’

The thing is though, all powertools need a little instruction and practice to use them well. Breathing is no different. Even though we’ve been breathing since we were born, we haven’t been strong breathing through big feelings. 

When the ‘feeling brain’ is upset, it drives short shallow breathing. This is instinctive. In the same ways we have to teach our bodies how to walk, ride a bike, talk, we also have to teach our brains how to breathe during big feelings. We do this by practising slow, strong breathing when we’re calm. 

We also have to make the ‘why’ clear. I talk about the ‘why’ for strong breathing in Hey Warrior, Dear You Love From Your Brain, and Ups and Downs. Our kids are hungry for the science, and they deserve the information that will make this all make sense. Breathing is like a lullaby for the amygdala - but only when it’s practised lots during calm.♥️
When it’s time to do brave, we can’t always be beside them, and we don’t need to be. What we can do is see them and help them feel us holding on, even in absence, while we also believe in their brave.♥️

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