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 have cut all contact with toxic parents...

(31 Posts)
annabanana84 Thu 26-Sep-13 16:29:52

...do you regret it, or was it the best thing you did?

Reason I ask, is my mother has tendencies of toxicicity. Things she has done include:

Forced me into abortion in my teens

Asked to borrow tens of thousands of pounds of my savings to pay her debts off. I knew I would never get it back, so I said no in the nicest way possible. She then said the repossession of her house was my fault because she couldn't keep up with her debts

She talked me out of uni when I was offerered a place in one of top institutes in country.

She's negative about anything I achieve

She's negative about anything full stop

I joined a club today to make new friends in towni live in because having moved here in January, dp and i still bArely know anyone. She was negative about that. It's an animal protection group for owls and when I told her, she was yelling 'owls, fycking owls' down the phone.

She always sided with my step father despite him being EA towards me.

She regularly belittles me over my weight

As a kid we couldn't afford to go away, yet she could afford a 60-a-day habit

Grandparents left house in will to my mother and then to me, but only put mother in will just surmising she would respect their wishes and pass it on to me, but she won't rewrite her will, absolutely refuses, meaning it will go to my stepfather.

She's lazy and doesn't get up til mid day

She makes me feel guilty by complaining about her finances/lack of food when I go over

I have fab in-laws and am really envious of the fact theyre dp's parents and he had a wonderful upbringing. They've made my mother seem worse than ever Becaue They're so great. I would

Weegiemum Thu 26-Sep-13 16:32:44

Never regretted it (my parents are divorced I cut my mother out, on great terms with dad and Stepmum).

Really never regretted it for a moment. She deserved it!!

filee777 Thu 26-Sep-13 16:33:39

I cut out my toxic parents back in February, got to admit it's been really really hard and culminated in me phoning my mother while she was in the country to rue and 'put things right' and her denying, completely that I had suffered any abuse in my childhood and refusing to acknowledge anything that I said.

That made me feel a whole lot better because it validates my need not to have her in my life.

I do plan to see her, but very rarely for day trips etc once or twice a year, so that the children know who she is. I see no time when I will choose to spend anymore of my time with her.

KellyElly Thu 26-Sep-13 16:34:59

Don't regret it one bit. It has made my life much better and put me in a better place emotionally. I have also been able to become more grown up as when I was around them I was always in some weird childlike place.

BigW Thu 26-Sep-13 16:43:16

I think that you can list things, but nobody can tell you the right thing to do.

I have not spoken to my father for about 10 years. It was a terrible decision to make, but in the end having in my life was just too hard. I don't know whether I regret it. I regret that I never had a good relationship with him. I regret that my DS will never have a grandad. But those things wouldn't have happened anyway.

I guess that I am trying to say, it's hard and not a decision to be taken lightly. In the end I don't regret it, but only because the alternative was worse sad

oreoaddict Thu 26-Sep-13 16:44:34

I have a decent relationship with my parents. More so my mum and I would say if I'm being honest, my relationship with my dad has been on and off, fairly turbulent. I think this is quite a common story though and actually I wasn't replying on behalf of me really, but on behalf of my gf who is currently seriously considering cutting out her mum.

I won't go into details, as I'm not sure she'd want me to, but she's the most selfish, self obsessed, narcissistic, manipulative woman and I'll be 100% supportive when dp decides to do this. She's an emotional abuser and for years, she got my dp thinking that she was the one in the wrong and that she should have done more for her. Even though she's done absolutely nothing for my dp. Nothing and for that, I hate her more than anyone.

I will be watching this thread with interest, as I fear it's going to be a bumpy road for us and if I can seek any advice for her, then I'll be very grateful.

Good luck to everyone going through this. You know in your hearts if it's truly the right thing to do.

80sMum Thu 26-Sep-13 16:46:08

The choice of course has to be yours. Whatever you decide, always remember that you are your own person, separate from your mother. Don't allow yourself to be controlled in any way by her shortcomings. By "controlled" I mean that your responses to her behaviour are entirely your choice. Choose not to let her make you feel guilty, for example. You know yourself and who you are, so be confident that you are the person that you want to be and should be - If she doesn't accept that then the problem is entirely hers. Just don't allow her to drag you down there with her.

Lottapianos Thu 26-Sep-13 16:48:46

Watching this thread with interest. I went low contact with my parents (both narcs, loooooong history of emotional abuse) a couple of years ago. Overall I feel better for it - I keep thinking that I 'should' miss them but I really don't. However, I do still struggle with the guilt and I have a hard time trusting in myself to do the right thing. I'm not ready for no contact.

A huge thanks to all of you who have made the decision to cut contact. I know how utterly gut-wrenching all of this stuff is and what an incredibly painful decision it must have been. I'm really glad for you that you feel your lives are better for it.

perfectstorm Thu 26-Sep-13 17:10:58

Best best best thing I ever did. I've suffered low level (and at times acute) depression my whole life. It was gone completely within a couple of years of cutting my father off - he's horrific. My mother is a lot more complex as she's not just straightforwardly awful (she has lots of great qualities to go with the histrionic tendencies) and I will miss her when she dies, but part of me does feel that when she passes away my issues with my family will finally die with her. So contact even with someone who is damaged and unhealthy but also loving, rather than genuinely toxic, is draining.

Cutting out my father was lancing a boil.

Wellwobbly Thu 26-Sep-13 17:15:10

Hi, I did it in order to not be completely engulfed. Never spoke to them again, ever (narcissists do not do well with being given boundaries).

Sadly now going through the same thing with my H.

Take enormous care that you don't repeat the pattern in your relationship OP.

I woudl sugget do the 'me' work you need now whilst you are still young!

Are you OK job wise? Accommodation wise?

And YOU GO with the owls! One hobby/friendship leads to another.

Scrounger Thu 26-Sep-13 17:22:11

I don't have anything to add on the NC point just about your GM will. Consider talking to a solicitor about your GM's will, depending on the terms she may have left your mother an interest but not given her outright ownership so she cannot then leave it to her partner. I'm not a solicitor so ask for some advice and you can see if you have any rights under your GM will and then decide if you want to enforce them. Take it one step at a time.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Thu 26-Sep-13 17:23:18

I'm Sorry it's happened, and its hard - but know its the right thing for me and my family, so no regrets.

In some ways it's given me an insight into how my DSD feels about her own toxic mum - I do understand the fact that she so desperately wants her mums approval and that is the motivation behind a lot of what she does. The desire for my parents approval has never gone away for me, even though I've been NC for over 4 years.

Scrounger Thu 26-Sep-13 17:23:57

Oops ignore what I said, just reread it and seen that only your mother is in the will. Sorry. Good luck with whatever you decide to do, it doesn't sound as though she adds anything positive to your life.

noslimbody Thu 26-Sep-13 17:26:39

I have gone NC with both my parents. I went semi-nc at age 19, due to continuing abuse from childhood. The final decision came when she hit me in my head with a shoe, blood dripping everywhere and she refused to call an ambulance because of what people would think. (sad) This was not the worst thing she had ever done, not by a long shot, but the final straw for me.
I have never regretted it. Recently I saw some photos from a wedding and they were both there, and even seeing them, I know I do not miss them at all.
They always criticised every achievement, put me down, my mother tried to make me leave university too. She said I was a slut (shock) for having my first child (I was married and in my 20's) because it meant I had sex.
The only thing I learned from her, is how to not be a parent..

noslimbody Thu 26-Sep-13 17:28:34

By the way, I have been completely NC now for 15 years

CookieDoughKid Thu 26-Sep-13 17:29:58

Yeah. Went no contact with inlaws after they demanded I apologize to them!! Just because I wanted to disclose the criminal details of what happened to my dcs(their gcs) to the expecting parents of their newest GC.

Their favoured son, uncle x to my dcs coerced exposed himself to my toddler dc1 and involved my other toddler dc2 in a peodophile chat ring. Despite uncle x arrested twice on the above and found with child pornography on his PC?

So I'm supposed to keep schtum and say nothing to bil or sil about this potential threat to their unborn child because of course, I'm the mad one totally unfair wanting their dirty secret out and stressing out on mil?

No regrets whatsoever.

I do not condone any person even my dearest blood who refuses to be transparent about peodophiles in their family.

CookieDoughKid Thu 26-Sep-13 17:34:40

IMO. Sometimes you gotta do what you have to do to look after yourself and your dcs. They come first. Because if you don't look out for you and your dcs, no one else will.

melmo26 Thu 26-Sep-13 18:34:09

I disowned my mother at 20. My whole life was about her. We went without food so she could go to the bingo.everything was always turned round on us with emotional blackmail, we were terrified of her as she was very heavy handed and this was just another way to control us. She would launch things at us like forks and ashtrays. We were always made feel guilty about any independence we gained.
The support I have had from my dh has been amazing. He has been my rock through everything. It was very hard at the start but I do not regret it in any way, my life has changed for the better without her, I would never want her in my life now.
Oreoaddict no matter what your dp chooses to do you need to support her. I am very thankful my dh supported me through it all, I will never forget him comforting me all night when my mother kept trying to get me back under her control.
Anyone going through or been through this I feel for you it is so so hard but will get easier over time, I promise smile

captainmummy Thu 26-Sep-13 18:42:18

I cut out my father about 30 years ago; I've only seen him once in that time - at my wedding, when my mum persuaded me to invite him. He got drunk and said his usual poisonous crap, and I've not seen him since.
My sister is going the same way; Ive not seen her or had any contact with her for 4 years.
Don't regret a thing.

TheArmadillo Thu 26-Sep-13 18:43:53

Nearly 4 years and I don't regret it. The longer it goes on the more I am sure it has been the best thing to do.

At the time I thought it was the best of 2 bad options, but as time has gone on I realise what a positive decision it was.

I found after a few months everything I went through hit me hard and I had a breakdown. I now know that it was the first time I could deal with everything I had been through. It was hard at the time but even then I was happier than I was with my family. Others I have spoken to have often been through similar as a result of escaping the abuse. But it does force you to deal with it and you do come out stronger as a result.

I'm still scared of them but enjoying the freedom, and being to accept this is it and not just a temporary respite before getting dragged back in.

TheArmadillo Thu 26-Sep-13 18:47:59

Also I meant to add I did not realise the effect they were having on ds until I cut contact. We kept in contact for so long as we felt guilty cutting him off from his gps.

However as soon as we cut them off nightmares stopped and he became a happier, more confident child. We thought it was just his personality or how he was, but we were wrong.

I am also a much better parent without them around.

captainmummy Thu 26-Sep-13 18:51:10

Oh and I did feel a bit guilty about my dc not having a granddad (MIL was a single parent) but they have 2 grannies and have never even asked about granddads.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Thu 26-Sep-13 18:56:50

A year and a half NC and I don't regret it: I needed a complete break in order to cycle through grief and anger and finally acceptance.

Now I am pondering how to go from NC to low contact. I have accepted that they will never acknowledge any of my feelings, ever, and luckily at this point I don't want or need them to any more. But it took 18 months NC for me to achieve that.

I know that the contact I am willing to have with them is very minimal indeed. I will be telling them nothing personal about me, and I will always make sure that I can leave whenever I want to (in practice, this means I need to get a car before I can ever visit them again, or only meet in public places we can both easily reach).

Weirdly, the year and a half NC also (recently) helped me to realise that I love them. I think I needed this too, in order to be able to love myself, iyswim. After all, our parents are a part of us, and I think that as long as I "hated" them, I was hating myself too. Or at least keeping hate alive inside me, which hurt me too.

NC, in short, helped me to ACCEPT. Accept that they are who they are, accept that they will not hear me, accept that I have a lot of them in me, and accept that that's all ok.

Good luck on your own journey! Your mother sounds like she has much more than toxic "tendencies", by the way. NC is a useful tool, if you think it will help you.

Hubb Thu 26-Sep-13 23:00:57

I have not regretted it for one second! It really is the best thing i have ever done, no exaggeration. It is not the magic solution to make the pain go away but it has given me the space to work through issues in therapy without any new stuff being thrown in, if that makes sense.

Like you I have fab in laws, it is a huge bonus and support when considering cutting out your own. It does highlight the crapness I agree, but you should make the most of it and embrace them.

Good luck with whatever you decide, hope it's useful to hear some "success" stories!

Zazzles007 Thu 26-Sep-13 23:23:43

I've been NC with my self-absorbed parents for about 18mths, so shorter than some posters. Like Hissy, I needed the NC to sort through my anger, grief and acceptance.

However, the difference is that I know it is likely that I will never go back to having contact with them again. There is much mental illness in my family, and I simply can't afford to sacrifice my mental health and happiness in order to have contact with them. My parents are highly, highly neglectful, and although I don't blame them any longer (they know no better, and were likely to have been raised in even a worse manner), I don't want to be subject to the neglectful treatment any longer either.

Even thinking about visiting them builds a rising anxiety in my throat! So I know I have made the right decision. Good luck with your decision, its not an easy one thanks.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now