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For those with abusive parents/relatives

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

For those with abusive parents/relatives:

 

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/family/2013/02/abusive_parents_what_do_grown_children_owe_the_mothers_and_fathers_who_made.single.html

 

I came across this today and this is something I have been really thinking hard about for the past few years.  Just wanted to know what you thought.  I still have daily contact with my mother and father via Skype.  Some days it's OK other days I feel like I could reach through the phone to strangle both of them.  I've only ever completely cut them off on 3 ocassions.  And then relented because 'maybe I wasn't being fair'.  But it occurs to me that after the childhood we had, and as my DH is often reminding me, there isn't anything I owe them because I dug myself out of the emotional and financial nightmare they left me in and didn't see/still don't see anything wrong with their choices.  And yet I feel this obligation....

post #2 of 11

That is a good article! Thanks for sharing. I think it's true that parents that were cruel and unloving can't be too shocked when they are aging and need help to be surprised when their kids aren't eager to help them.

 

I have been with my husband 6 years all together and it feels pretty unfair to me that he has had to un-do a lot of damage that my parents did and that is one reason why I don't feel guilty about cutting my parents out. It would such a slap in the face to him to take them back even if I wanted to...which I absolutely do not. Being that I just turned 26, I feel like they negatively effected the first quarter of my life and now I am moving onto the next quarter without their influences.

post #3 of 11
The most DH have had to deal with is setting some boundaries with my parents as they tend to be overbearing, but not abusive. In an abusive situation, I would absolutely understand cutting off parents completely or setting firm limits on visits. Personally, I don't think you owe abusive parents anything and I think those pressuring people to reconnect should keep their opinions to themselves, if you choose to keep a connection, that's fine, but you don't owe it to them. I think those who don't have abusive parents often don't get that it isn't just the "normal" family annoyances that you do tend to put up with. I can definitely understand why you feel an obligation, I think we all do to our parents because of the sacrifices made by them, but I do think it is ok to let go of that feeling when abuse happened and especially if it continues to happen.
post #4 of 11

That's exactly it quinalla, those who didn't grow up in an abusive environment just don't get it.  And I'm glad they don't as it means they didn't have to go through what I went through.  My mother admitted to my brother that she was abusive to us and then went on to blame us for it.  No shame, no regret.  Tell me exactly what I should owe someone like that?  I know what she thinks I owe her and she is in for quite the surprise when I don't offer and flat out refuse to bail her out in any form when she needs it.  Hopefully it won't come to that as I am hopeful she'll flip out on me relatively soon and I can make a clean break but that's a sorry state of affairs for any relationship, much less one with a parent.  Even my grandparents are circling her wagons asking me to fix the fact that my brother has already been fortunate enough to have her lose it on him and cut her off.  Mind you, this request came in a valentine's day card and was followed with, 'I know it's not your problem, Amanda, sorry.'  Um damn right it's not my problem and I am way too pregnant to put up with this shit.

 

*pardon my language I get a bit testy when talking about my mother

post #5 of 11

Love this. I cut my mother out of my life completely on my 18th birthday, and it has been a huge weight lifted. I don't miss the emotional abuse one bit, and don't ever plan on bringing her back into my life.

post #6 of 11

Came across this the other day on another forum and thought it might be useful here:

http://parrishmiller.com/narcissists.html  

 

Tweeted that to my brother and SIL and got this article in response http://narcissists-suck.blogspot.com/2007/09/narcissist-grandparents.html?m=1.  Both good!

post #7 of 11
I came from a pretty messed up past but also some really good parts too. At this point I am not able to reconcile as both my parents have passed. That being said an unhealthy relationship is an unhealthy relationship and personally feel we model relationships to our kids. I certainly don't want my children to think an unhealthy model is acceptable. There was a time when I stopped being emotionally available to my dad. Once he got sick he eased up on his behaviors quiet a bit. To be honest I miss having him around (he did contribute a lot to my life that I feel blessed about). But sometimes I talk about what I survived ( survived is the perfect word) I am amazed I have arrived to where I am.
I tell my friends all the time: "if this was your partner I'd tell you to get out. The fact that it is a parent doesn't change that."
Thanks for the articles.
post #8 of 11

I think not wanting to have the bad role models for my daughter is a big reason I was so willing to do it when I did, when I really should have done it on my 18th bday like alaskanmomma. I guess I was willing to put up with it for myself, a little less willing to put up with it when I got married, and just flat out not putting up with it once I had a baby.

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by BaileyB View Post

I think not wanting to have the bad role models for my daughter is a big reason I was so willing to do it when I did, when I really should have done it on my 18th bday like alaskanmomma. I guess I was willing to put up with it for myself, a little less willing to put up with it when I got married, and just flat out not putting up with it once I had a baby.

I mostly cut her off because I had a my daughter and she was projecting her negativity and emotional abuse on to her(and she was a baby... 4 months old at this point.. defenseless and completely innocent in any wrong doing of the world). I only waited until my 18th birthday because I didn't know about emancipation(even though I didn't live at home, I didn't know they couldn't force me to move back if she tried). Ugh, looking back I wish I would've even earlier, before my DD could have seen any of her negativity, regardless if she remembers it or not.

post #10 of 11

i read this a while ago and forgot to comment.. its crazy isnt it. how people convince you cutting something terrible out of your life is bad.. but then everyone berates me for supporting my bf.. even tho what he does is nothing compared to what was before.. its interesting, im listening to the power of now at the moment (audio book) and it covers this a little bit..and it talks about our pain bodys and how sometimes you live through your pain body and have to give people pain or give yourself pain.. arg anyway it made a lot of sense listening to it xx

post #11 of 11

I can identify with the article. My father was the abusive one in my home growing up, verbally and physically. I've cut ties with him since turning 18. I've seen him on a few occasions since then and he always wants to act like nothing's happened and that we can be "buddies" or something. Truth told, he was an ass hole. Every apology I've received has been followed by more lies, more manipulation and abuse. I'm done. Every time I think, maybe I can give him another chance... he always does something that reminds me that I've made the right decision to stay away. I don't feel indebted to him in any way. The abuse from the past still surfaces in my life today, in particular when my husband says something inadvertently that triggers a memory of something my father said/did. The flood of emotions comes raging back and takes me to a place in my childhood when I was insecure, lonely, a victim. That's enough of him in my life. The memories still plague me occasionally, and it's completely unfair for my husband to have to deal with that. Absolutely, cutting ties was one of the best decisions I've made. No forgiveness. I know he doesn't really regret what's happened, and I know I can never trust anything he'd say. I've accepted that I had a shitty life as a kid, plagued with insecurities because of the abuse, but I've moved on. Enough of my energy has been wasted on him, and I'm content to surround myself with only supportive loving people from here on in :)

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