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.
ZOMBIE THREAD ALERT: This thread hasn't been posted on for a while.
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.
I sent Christmas cards with money in the back unopened. She had previously said she never felt welcome in my house but her gifts and money always were she used to make a big thing about how hard up she was, how she couldn't afford Xmas etc I said look don't get DP and I anything and just get the DC a token present they get too much. She gave them £50 each that year (usually £25) we had 3 at the time. It was the statement she was making. The year after I had cut contact but my brother brought up cards with money in then I sent them back unopened, I do not want anything from her. Nor do I give her anything anymore.
DD1 was 4 last time she saw her she's the only one that can remember her a bit, she calls her grumpy gran she doesn't see. My mother told me DD1 will know the truth once she's 16 (what truth???) oh I'm a cow that think I'm better than her.
The thing is she used to brag about me to everyone how great I was, the only one in the family to have gone to uni etc how she was the perfect mother.
I broke off contact with my Mum and her husband about 2 years ago after many years of abusive behaviour. She would delight in putting me down and would literally scream abuse at me. I would cry in the car on the way to see them - a 7 hour journey from London. I also found out that she beat up my younger daughter when she was about 2. The final straw came when she accused my lovely DH of being a paedophile.
Overwhelming relief at not seeing her is the main emotion. It is difficult sometimes - I have no other close relatives in the UK (DH's are all in Ireland) - it was my daughter's 16th this year and it was a very low key affair. No more visits to Cumbria, no phone calls, cards or birthday presents for the kids. It seems weird to me that other people have parents, cousins, siblings etc that they see and seem to get along with. My children support my decision, the incident that ended the relationship was in full view of them and they realise my Mum is probably insane.
My sister lives on the other side of the world and visits every couple of years. She has informed me that my Mum has heart disease and step-father's cancer has returned. I don't intend to go to their funerals should they die before me, they are already dead to me. My Sis will have to organise it or neighbours etc - I no longer consider them relations.
I broke off contact with my dad 11 or so years ago. It just got to the point where I had to decide whether I wanted my dad to be able to manipulate and hurt ds1 (then a baby) like he had manipulated and hurt me throughout my childhood. I decided that I didn't want that so I dropped all contact. I haven't seen him at all since then (well, once across the room in a sheriff court during my parents' divorce). I don't even think about him at all, unless something (like this thread) reminds me. I have no regrets. I doubt my dad cares at all. I doubt he even knows where in the country I live, or what my job is, or anything. Or even that I have 2 kids now. His loss, not mine. The only thing I've ever really regretted was that stopping contact with him stopped all contact with the rest of his family. I like my cousins, but it was either contact with everyone (including my father) or no one. I know I made the right decision.
It took me longer to distance myself from my mum (who is probably just as damaging, but in different ways). My parents basically used me (but not my sister) as a 'weapon' during their separation and eventual divorce. And my mum is generally quite controlling (although she sees herself as 'helpful' and 'generous'). I still have contact with her, but not all that much and on my terms. It took a debacle around DS2's birth (which she wanted to control and dictate) to get to this point. I feel very detached from her generally and would never phone for typical 'mother-daughter' stuff. I just don't trust her not to use stuff against me (usually when I'm at my weakest). It helps that we live about 3 hours away from her now and earn enough that we would absolutely never need anything from her. She's much easier to cope with now that the power balance has shifted.
OP: you don't sound stupid. I think you're really grieving for a mother-daughter relationship that never existed. It's very hard to come to terms with the loss of what you should have had. And this is what probably kept you holding on for so long, hoping that you'd suddenly have the kind of mother you should have. The hardest thing, I think, is realising that you never had it in the first place and never could. I think that's what I struggled with most when I stopped contact with my dad (obvious a father-daughter bond in that case). And the needing to have a mother is what kept me in my mother's power for so long. Having detached now (and it was really difficult to do so, and took a crisis to initiate it), I can see that I am not missing out on anything because I never really had it in the first place. Stupid power games are no substitute (and it is so wonderful not to care about all that anymore).
And also, it's really hard to get to the point where you see that it is not your fault that you don't have these great relationships with your family. There's nothing you can do; the relationships are flawed because your parents are damaged (and damaging) people. And it's nothing really to do with you.
The best thing to do is to concentrate on having healthy relationships within your own family: your DH and DC. And cutting off contact with your parents is one step towards that.
It's 10 years since I have had contact with my Father and tbh the only thing that helped with my guilt was receiving psychotherapy and learning to deal with it that way. i think I needed to come to the realisation that it was him, not me, and the relationship i wanted with him was actually never going to happen and it was okay to feel sad about that - because it is sad, most women have a loving father - but I don't!
My reasons for cutting contact were similar to above in that I felt I didn't want him as an influence in my children's lives.
It's 12 years since I had any contact with my dad and for years now he just hasn't been in my thoughts at all. Five years since I spoke to my brother (he cannot be in touch with my mum/me and my dad at the same time so I decided to make that decision for him and stopped the contact after my DS was born - had had enough bullshit)
I suspect I've probably buried a lot but I'm ok with that. There is zero chance of bumping into him at anything family related - I do not speak to anyone who speaks to him (not deliberately, but happily - there is no one I'm in touch with who is in touch with him). I do consider him dead to me, in a way, but if I give it enough thought then I do feel sad that it ever was like this - but not regretful. But I have very solid concrete reasons for not being in touch - I mean, any individuals reasons are completely good enough but this is not a personality thing it's a lifestyle thing so it's very black and white. So I never dwell on it because, he is who he is and that's the end of it.
4 years down the line since I was disowned by my mum and one my sisters. I am happier with my mum out of my life as she spent all my childhood telling me how having kids ruined her life and not to have kids until I was at least 40
I am sad for my eldest dc as they were close and now only see her twice a year-my mothers choice btw though she tells people I dont let her see the kids which is a complete lie!
I am expecting her annual xmas visit this weekend and am dreading it. She has recently found out my youngest sister-whom I am still in contact with-has had a baby and I know she is going to blame me for not telling her-should be fun especially if my other sister comes with her...
All of you sound very brave and I hope you can remain strong and have some closure...I'm not affected by this so find it very shocking and sad to read these experiences..I just wanted to wish you all well through this difficult time of year..merry Christmas xx
i haven't had any contact with my dad for a year, although prior to that our relationship was always strained, but last year, i made the decision to cut all contact completely.
oddly enough, just after i made the decision, i came face to face with him in the street. he didn't recognise me, which is kind of typical of our relationship and just compounded all the reasons why it was the right thing to do.
there were many reasons behind it, him being violent when we were growing up being just a small part of it all. the icing on the cake was when i found out he'd given both my brothers 10k as a gift and told them not to tell me about it.
i am better off without him tbh.
Coming up for 12 years nc with my mum. Best decision I've ever made. It would have been longer but my resident parent dad made me wait a bit longer than I did as he wanted to be sure I'd done it for myself and not out of loyalty to him (she left the marriage) -which it wasn't.
Would be better if she didn't live locally but it's still better than having a relationship with her. It haunts me a bit if I'm having a shit time and I feel like having a mummy or milestones - big occasions, kids etc but she'd only steal the thunder anyway.
No cards, no phone calls, no contact. Seems such a waste but there's no way of having a good life with her in it. I've been having counselling and it's just confirmed everything and that she didn't become shit one day. She always was shit and has left such a mess to deal with.
Stay strong x
18 years for me so well down the line - I don't have contact with any of them. They don't know where I live - Good.
I was told when I had my DS my feelings would change - that was 7 years ago, they haven't.
Bumped into them last year purely by accident. I completely reverted back to how I was before contact was cut, just in that very brief period of time. It took a fair old while to get over it.
2 years NC for DH with his family. They are still treating him like shit as they are trying to do him out of £40,000 in property that he owns, but every time they do something else it reminds him why he cut contact. They had actually cut him off first for not doing exactly what they wanted, when they wanted, but he then decided to not respond to any communications from them when they decided that they wanted something from him.
In many ways I think that he is coping with it better than me as I feel guilty because they blamed me for everything he did "wrong" and he defended me to the hilt. But then, he had bereavement counseling after he seemed to be struggling with the loss of his dad (many years ago, but he seemed stuck at anger and couldn't move on from that). The counselor actually focused on his cutting off, and being cut off from, his mother and siblings. She said that she felt that his anger was more likely coming from that. So she gave him bereavement counseling based on the loss of her and the sisters, and it really helped him. It helped him to see that he was grieving the loss of the mother he had always needed and wanted, and he was angry at her for not being any real kind of mother to him. He saw that he didnt miss her, he missed having a loving and kind mum.
I would definitely recommend counseling for anyone in this situation as it made a huge difference. It also helped our relationship because it meant that he understood that not everyone you love will hurt you so you dont have to protect yourself or get your punch in first (speaking figuratively).
He now calls my mum "Ma" and gives her hugs and kisses when he sees her. She treats him like her own son, and he has said that the few years he has had with her as his "mum" have shown him what he had never had as a child but also that he has it now and it makes him happy.
OP, I'm so glad I read your thread and posted, and am now reading a lot of other posters' stories. I think a lot of traits that toxic families have are very similar: controlling, emotional abuse, manipulation, turning siblings against you....
I think counseling is a good step and from your thread I can see that I shall be needing some...
Another whose decided to go NC with my toxic parents for at least the time being. I haven't seen of spoken to them since early this year, although I have managed to watch their crazy games from a distance. Earlier this year was last time I spoke to my mother, and she shouted at me until I cried over something trivial. I am seriously questioning whether or not to allow them back in my life ever. I've decided that I only want people who can bring happiness into my life. My self absorbed parents can't do that, everything gets turned around to be about them.
My narc sister I cut off about 15 years ago and have never regret it. The last time I spoke to her was when she rang me to diss on our mother for not calling her soon enough when our GM died. I will never forget when she said "Are you saying I'm not important enough? [to call sooner]" I hung up on her, and she has never bothered me since. I now know that it was the right decision all along.
Cathartic . Thanks for listening.
Ooh, there are a lot of us about, aren't there? 2 years down the line here. Whenever I remember that I don't have to see them this Christmas, I can't help it, a huge smile appears on my face. . <- like that.
Basically life is much much nicer without them in it. The sadness comes from seeing other grannies with their gcs, or mums and daughters, and knowing I never had that and never will. But I'm missing out on that because of the way my parents are, not because I don't have contact with them. The children don't even ask about them. It was never me that stopped my children having loving grandparents.
I do worry a bit about what I'd do if one of them got ill (I tell myself that I'd treat them the way they treated me when I was in ICU, but I'm not as evil as they are).
I'm watching out for the Christmas cards at the moment - I will bin them though. If they want to communicate with me, they can phone/email/write me a letter. From the comment they printed in large captials across the bottom of dh's birthday card, we know they are still being "poor little victim us, patiently waiting for evil Bertha to see sense and take things back to exactly the way they were, with no effort from us". Ain't gonna happen!
Snoopdogg - yeah, my mum wouldn't post presents - presents are for buying attention, aren't they? Well done on your decision, glad you're looking forward to your Christmas!
SleighBells - a couple of people have asked about my parents, and I've tried to say a non-committal "I don't see them" but that telltale huge grin sneaks across my face as I do it ... People have been surprisingly understanding, actually.
10 months for me since ive went NC with my dad
put up with his crap abusive,nasty behaviour until my DS was born,i saw the same behaviour starting with the way he spoke to my DS
he abused my DM, DB and me mentally,emotionally and physically
i have gone through lots of emotions this year,happy,sad, guilty,scared but i also feel free that i dont have to put up with the shit he used to give me anymore
i also still feel like im grieving but DH says im grieving for the dad i never had
i cried on my birthday and no doubt ill get upset at xmas,stupidly there is that tiny bit of hope in the back of my head that one day he ll apologise and magically become a different person
i no that wont happend and wont go back on the decision i made
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.