I find it sad but interesting that there aren't threads around that say: Do I leave/abandon my family/children in search of a better life (whatever that is) and yet there are moms all over this board from families of single mothers...or raised by their grandparents, etc. And I'm thinking more in terms of fathers who leave because that seems to be the majority of parents who leave--not mothers who leave WITH their children.
And yet, at the same time, there are threads like this all over the place that ask: why can't I, as an adult, break the ties with my parents who are ___fill in the blank: verbally or emotionally abusive, cruel, sexually abusive, toxic in a myriad of ways, etc., etc.,______?
I think if your parents are toxic, it's your responsibility to cut them loose. I disagree with the poster who said that her parent is ill and so now she is re-connecting with her parent. I hope it does work out for her, but guilt should never be a reason for a relationship---which may not be HER case--but it sounds like if YOU (the OP) continued in a relationship with your own parents it WOULD BE out of guilt. It doesn't sound like it's out of love.
I love my father, he is a limited human being in many many ways--but the difference between him and my mother is that now and then, he will surprise me and call me out of the blue and tell me that he has been thinking about me because he read an article in the paper about a project that I am involved in, etc. However, my mother is another story: I will call her (something that I have recently given up and SURPRISE SURPRISE--she does NOT call me--EVER) and she will literally cut me off in mid-sentence about something major that I have done: run a marathon, my child is now reading, potty trained, I just got a research contract, etc., and she will COMPLAIN about her dog, or her cable bill! She is not limited, like my father, she is selfish and ONLY cares about herself. She has NPD BIG TIME. And I cannot trust her with my feelings. Ever. She is poison.
So--I just say to myself: you are not my role model. And now I avoid her.
By the way--cutting your parents out of your life does not have to be this big official write-off with a letter or a phone call--it can be gradual, like not returning calls, not calling and allowing them to drift away--maybe passive aggressive in some ways...but healthiest for you. Like you might do with a person in your life that you realize is not meant to be a friend.
My brother did this to my mom long ago--and it actually worked really well. He said he was working whenever she demanded to drop everything and run to her house to fix this or that...and not caring about his responsibilities, etc. And he still sees them once in a while--but by and large, he knows his limits and avoids them. He will call Dad now and then (my parents are still together--but they might as well not be) and then he spends a few minutes talking to Dad--but as soon as he hears Mom's voice in the background--he gets off the phone. A slow break might be better in the long run...and then if you feel like you have to TELL them that you are terminating the relationship with them, then it will be in title only for the most part, if that makes sense.