Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
For those of you who no longer speak to your parents...(41 Posts)
How are you finding it down the line?
I'm a year post breaking contact. It was at my mum's suggestion 'until you can come round to our way of thinking, there's no point in continuing to see each other'. They send birthday and Xmas cards, and gifts to DS at these times too.
Last night there was a family get together, but they didn't bother turning up. Luckily, my family knows the story, are aware of they'd oddities and are very sympathetic to me. If they'd have gone, I doubt he could've controlled himself and would have ended up screaming at us all.
I feel strange. Like accepting, in a way. Part of me feels like they've died. I look to the future, and I can't see them in it.
I think I'm moving on, and I feel really weird.
I'll stop now, because I sound stupid. But just that really. I don't want to talk to anyone in rl about this. I don't feel like I need to. This is enough.
Thankyou for reading.
4 years down the line
Feel ok about it, I grieve for a mother but not for her, I want my children to have a lovely Gran but they don't. I rarely see other family members, it gets o me when I hear about how she has my nephew overnight every week to give SIL and DB a break, how she does their childcare for them etc when she I'd nothing for us (but that's all my fault too as everything was).
I just try and focus on my own family.
We managed 4 years before dh relented with his parents. I still say very very little to them and haven't really spoken to his dad for seven years.
It's very much an arms length relationship but at the moment it's working.
I'm sorry your having to go though this, but just remember the dim,y who do love you
i haven't spoken to my Mum or my older brother for a year and a half, although I am still close to my younger brother.
I am finding it fine actually, I do worry about what I will do if she gets really ill or when she dies <morbid>.
Like sweetkitty I just concentrate on my DH and DC just now, I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
Me too. Cut contact in feb of this year after my parents were reported to the police for abusing my 2yr old DD at a bus stop while I was not there. They made that into my fault too
I sent them birthday and mother/father's day cards from the DC this year. They sent the kids cards but no presents. And no card for me for 40th this year
Don't know whether to send Xmas cards from the kids or not. Kids still ask about them and when they will see them again. I just fluff it and say 'yes maybe sometime'. Does anyone have any advice on how to deal with this. DS knows a bit about what happened as a) he was also there when the abuse happened and b) he overheard me talking on the phone to my cousin about it one night while he was in bed
I have no siblings and am only really in contact with one of my cousins from my day's family
I do feel a bit disenfranchised now so to speak. I also got divorced last year so I now have no next of kin really. That is hard.
12 years down the line. (possibly more if i count)
feel fine. if you broke contact knowing that it was absolutely the right thing to do then i think it just gets easier. i had some counselling last year after mother tried to make contact, however it was not the right thing for me and she wasnt saying anything i wanted to hear. it was best not to go there.
family for me is dh and dc.
I don't have any siblings, and they've largely cut themselves off from the rest of the family.
I feel sorry for my son, that he has NO gps in the sense of that word (people can act as gps, but it's not your mum is it?) and that I've provided him with that.
I feel sorry my DH has had to watch me go through this and put up with it all.
And I feel sorry for myself. I don't have that person to connect with in that mother-daughter way.
I don't feel as much as I feel I ought IYSWIM
If I really allow myself to drift into thinking deeply about it, then there is definitely a well of sadness there, but it is like you say - more like grief and acceptance. I know it's permanent. And I feel as though I did most of the really painful grieving over the period of years before I finally cut the cord, the years of trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. The relationship was dead long before, on my side.
And I cried on Christmas day every single year without fail, until the last few Christmases when it has just been us. I am not dreading Christmas. It's worth it.
It's not ideal - nobody wants to have "failed relationships" in their past. But I look at how much my life has expanded in the few short years since I drew the line - I had no friends, no job, no confidence, nothing in my life except this huge vortex of need (my mother) which gobbled everything up and was never satisfied. Now I have friends, I'm a teacher, I have a strong relationship with dp and some days I can even bring myself to answer the phone. And I haven't had a proper panic attack for ages.
You don't sound stupid by the way. And there are LOADS of MNers who post about this. Hopefully they'll see your thread too..
fuck me, you lot type fast
Non Contact was the only real way forward. I'd cry before every visit, phonecall or contact. I'd work myself up, need to sleep for hours after from the sheer exhaustion. My whole body was on tender hooks, waiting for something to blow up. It was horrendous. Honestly some kind of mental torture.
I feel a bit flat, like I thought I'd be in pieces. But I'm not.
greensleeves do you think that's where my fear of talking on the phone comes from? I never thought of it like that.
I don't want to talk about what happened, it's in the past. I've had CBT etc, I find if I go over old ground, I end up going round in circles, searching for answers that aren't there.
I have had no contact with my twunt of a father for years.
Feel liberated now, couldn't give a shit if he dropped dead and wouldn't go to the funeral.
I did feel guilty for a couple of years thinking DS's would miss out but they haven't.
As long as you feel 'at peace' with your decision that is all that matters.
OP - I understand the relief at not having to face them ever again. Not having to be on tenterhooks in case my Dc did something to piss them off (like try to get their attention!!). If they pissed them off then it would be even more apparent that they weren't the GP's I wanted for my kids. I worked myself into a ball of stress before every visit. And then my mum would talk to my DS in ways which would make my blood run cold as it would bring back memories of how I was treated as a kid
But do you know what? I still feel a bit guilty that I couldn't sand up to my parents and say - don't talk to my kids like that. I still feel bad that I am denying my kids a 'relationship' with their GP's because I am too 'weak' to lay down the rules. I never stood up to my parents about anything. So I have turned my back and walked away from these people and in the process have stopped my kids from seeing them too.
They do still have a very good relationship with their other GM ( my ex's mum). But they still ask to see my parents all the time. They are only 6 and 3 tho. Doesn't make it any easier really.
I think it's possible - I know for me that's where my fear of the phone comes from. My mother used to use the phone like a choke chain on a dog when she was having one of her tantrums (think 30+ abusive messages left all through the night). So I haven't been able to answer the land line for a long time, I've panicked when it started to ring. It's receding now. Gradually. I actually phoned a friend today
I thought I would feel more guilty, actually. But I don't at all. In fact I stopped feeling guilty more or less immediately after I accepted that I'd made my choice.
You only get ONE life IMO. It's OK to do what's best for you and your dc. If you have a mother like mine, who likes to eat her young.
I've been sitting here fretting for about two days because I've decided not to extend the tattered, overused and cynically abused olive branch which has been in my sole possession for the past 45 plus years. After yet another abusive phone call about four weeks ago making me aware of my shortcomings as a mother, woman and member of society and of the extent of her disappointment in me, I have not called back to apologise or smooth things over. Yesterday I decided not to make a 400 mile trek to spend time with her over christmas and be tutted at, belittled and generally mocked.
I feel dreadful and empowered at the same time. I feel very sorry for my younger sister who will have to take up the christmas slack and for my children who will not see granny over christmas. As granny will not send presents or cards, they must be personally bestowed in order that she can bask in the full light of appreciation and gratitude (familiar anyone?) they will not get anything for christmas.
Empowered because I will not have that voice at my shoulder, questioning, mocking and deriding my every move. I will be relaxed, I will be able to answer the 'phone, have friends round, pop out when ever I feel like it, have a glass of fizz with breakfast, not have a gallon of bailey's after dinner, watch the queen, eat at 2pm, let the kids stay up/put them to bed early, go to church/not go to church, fart, sleep in my own bed and not walk and toilet her dog because she can't be arsed to do it herself.
I spent (invested) several thousand pounds in therapy after my father died. I thought I just wasn't coping with losing him but it became clear I wasn't coping with what was left behind. Once he was gone - the buffer between me and my mum - I had to deal with her and how I felt about her and how she feels about me. She doesn't like me, she's never liked me and, to her credit, she's never pretended otherwise.
I can sum up three years of intensive psychotherapy in one sentence and this is my christmas present to everyone who posts on this topic:
You can't change them, you can only change how you respond to them.
I still feel guilty, I still struggle but the above is a basic truth.
re your comments:-
"I understand the relief at not having to face them ever again. Not having to be on tenterhooks in case my Dc did something to piss them off (like try to get their attention!!). If they pissed them off then it would be even more apparent that they weren't the GP's I wanted for my kids. I worked myself into a ball of stress before every visit. And then my mum would talk to my DS in ways which would make my blood run cold as it would bring back memories of how I was treated as a kid
But do you know what? I still feel a bit guilty that I couldn't sand up to my parents and say - don't talk to my kids like that. I still feel bad that I am denying my kids a 'relationship' with their GP's because I am too 'weak' to lay down the rules. I never stood up to my parents about anything. So I have turned my back and walked away from these people and in the process have stopped my kids from seeing them too".
I would suggest you post on the "Stately Homes" thread if you have not already done so and read "Toxic Parents" written by Susan Forward.
FOG - fear, obligation, guilt are commonly felt by children now adults of toxic parents. You have not denied your children a relationship with them, your parents did that to themselves by their actions towards your children. You were also conditioned by your parents from childhood to believe that you had no voice.
Children need protecting from such toxic malignant relatives and to my mind you are doing the right thing by protecting your children from them. They do not need such awful influences in their lives but positive role models. Toxic parents more often than not make for being toxic grandparents as well so are not nice to be around anyway. They use the children to get back at their what they see as errant offspring. Card and gifts are used as control mechanisms. You would not tolerate such from a friend, family are truly no different.
Your parents abjectly failed you as a child (understatement) and continue to do so.
Re cards and gifts I would suggest you do not send any cards; cards can be used by such toxic people as a way in to establish contact.
Also if you do receive any cards or gifts from them, shred all cards without opening and take any gifts to the charity shop.
I wrote this very same post one year after I cut contact. Almost word for word!! I was mourning. I spent a whole year panicking that they would show up and when they didn't I really felt low, lonely and orpahaned.
I am now 2 years on and it had got a little better. It is very hard to see other people with their parents. Christmas is very hard because I know my children are missing out on grandparents altogether. My DH's parents are deceased.
I still dream about them all the time, still have that 'oh' moment when I realise that I will NEVER speak to them again. I never know what to say when people ask.
It will get easier I am sure. But yes, I too felt like they had died and I felt very guilty for the sakes of my children. But there was no other option as I am sure there was not for you
Hi slattern, 12-ish years for me. Immense relief that I didn't inflict this toxic rubbish on my daughters.
That line you said about "until you can come round to our way of thinking" is an absolute GIFT. Great, that's not going to happen - so you are FREE!
I have had no contact with my mother since August 2011. She was seeing my dd (2 yrs 11 months) up until New Year's Eve when she decided that she could not bare the fact that she could not make demands over seeing my dd. I realized a long time ago that my mother is a very controlling person. Our relationship has always been unstable since I was around 16, and only deteriorated even more as she sent me to live with my emotionally abusive dad, who has also been violent towards my older half brother and then myself.
I tried to re-establish contact with herself and my dd I around May of this year, she point blank refused and she did not like the fact that if she behaved how she previously had then she believed it was a possibility that myself and my DH would stop her seeing DD. I also invited her to my wedding, she said no, fair enough. Since our falling out last year I had sporadic contact with my two younger sisters and older brother, but they decided this year that they would be taking sides with my mother and therefore also cut off contact with myself and their niece.
Contact with my dad has always been sporadic, finally cut him off this June.
The only things that make me sad is my daughter not having a GM, and her Auntie's and Uncle from my side. I also have two young half siblings from my dad's side who I don't get to see now.
Apart from that I feel free from my mother's manipulative a d toxic ways. She's abandoned me many times over the last 10 years, so I'm not surprised she has gone so far now. I feel anger towards my siblings, and betrayal, big time. But they are all adults and the fact that they don't support me and choose to take sides which such a manipulative and judgmental person is sad. They should be helping the family stay together, but everyone has turned their back on me.
My DHs husband is extremely supportive, but I am ashamed of my family as they have directed their disgusting behavior towards very important members of my DH's family and also tried to isolate them. I am very close to some of them, but am still aware that if shit hits the fan, I am essentially alone apart from one or two very close friends who have supported me and tried to help me mend things through the fall out with my family.
I'd also like to add that I have ALWAYS been the one to extend the olive branch to my mother because I was never confident in my own choices, and always wanted to feel loved and validated by her. I wanted to MAKE her motherly and loving towards me, IYSWIM. But this time around I realized the way she treated me I COULD NOT tolerate. And I also realized as much as she likes to slate my dad, she like him is also emotionally abusive. All relationships - friendships, family, husbands, etc should be equal, and both parties should be happy. It was never like this with my mother, so I know I've made the right decision, and I feel FREE.
And also, both my DH's parents passed away when he was very young. But his family are great and since the fall out with mine they have given me more support than I could ask for. I was very sad leading up to my wedding day knowing that NONE of my family would be there, I thought I would be sad on the day too. But it wast until about 4 pm that day when one of DH's cousins who lives abroad asked me about them that I realized I hadn't thought about them all day and I had felt HAPPY.
Hi, thanks so much for all the feedback.
I don't really question anymore whether NC was the right thing because I know it was. But around the beginning of December (when historically, it's all kicked off), I have been experiencing these brief periods of intense anger, almost rage actually. It seems to have gone now, but it really is like a period of mourning, even though the stress caused by contact with them was horrific.
25 years here! But it's only my father as my mum died when I was young. No regrets, I don't care how he feels about it, and I don't care if he's changed or not. It was the best thing for me, and it means my DCs have never had to tip toe round him, or worry about his temper.
I am 20yrs in from cutting contact with my mother. To be honest, the way she is treating my siblings right now, no regrets at all.
I have 2 dc & I know for a fact that she hurt them to hurt me so I have no wish to put them in the position.
It is hard in the beginning, various times passed (my birthday, Christmas, birth of dc1) where I wouldn't hear from her & I would be upset, but in time I came to realise that she would never be the motehr I needed or deserved & that I was better off without her.
The fact that I have a wonderful MIL, who treats me like her own daughter, helps immensely.
Many, many years here with my Mum and two to three for my Dad and sister. I now have absolutely no contact with any of my family. What do I feel? Relief mainly.
Join the discussion
Please login first.