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Aibu to not forgive and forget

(31 Posts)
Lovinglife786 Fri 23-Sep-16 15:30:26

Hi all first post on mn so please bear with me I feel I had a bad childhood which my mother admits to but my father says there are people who have been through worse I harbour alot of anger towards my parents I think and I say think before sometimes I feel love towards them and at other times I don't want them in my life but I feel guilty at the thought of just cutting them out of my life let me give you a few examples of my childhood

My parents were shoplifters they would take me and my younger brother out with them but would leave us in the back of my fathers van for hours at a time a few days a week after school and every saturday

My mother was a drinker and my dad smoked cannabis

My father was very dominant and controlling and my mother was scared of him and would do anything to please him I witnessed a lot of domestic violence and would lie under my duvet at night scared to death

My father hung himself in front of me and my brother when I was thirteen and he was five because my mother left him for a short while,he survived and she took him back

When I was about eight my dad got sent to prison for two years for smashing my uncle's house up in this time I remember my mother posing at the top of the stairs in her underwear and asking me to take pictures of her so she could send him

Alot if times I would wake up at night and they would of gone out for what seemed like hours I remember been very scared

Tbh I could go on and one but these are the main things that do my head in,I have a relationship with both parents still but only because I feel to guilty to cut them of ,I'm sorry if I have given tmi or if I have posted in the wrong place I just want honest replies as I have never really spoke about this aibu to not forgive and forget I am otherwise happy in other aspects of life but I just can't let this go aibu

JellyBelli Fri 23-Sep-16 15:33:41

Of course you are not being unreasonable to dump these people from your life. What positive things do they add to it? Have they ever apologised to you?
Normal parents want a better childhood for their kids than the one they got themselves. Yours failed at that.
I went NC years ago and never regretted it. Toxic people drag you down and its not until they arent around any more that you realise how much.

RebeccaWithTheGoodHair Fri 23-Sep-16 15:35:45

You poor thing, I hope you and your brother have managed to support each other and you have someone reliable in your family.

No you don't have to forgive and forget, your foul parents should be begging forgiveness from you and your brother.


ThatStewie Fri 23-Sep-16 15:38:02

Cutting contact is a completely reasonable response to your childhood. It is the guilt that is more difficult to manage - even when cutting contact is clearly reasonable.

Would a slow withdrawal of contact be easier for you to manage emotionally at this time? Or do you feel that an immediate cut would be easier so that you can process your own feelings of guilt and grieve the loss of the family you should have? flowers

Tiptoethr0ughthetulips Fri 23-Sep-16 15:45:08

That sounds like a pretty crap childhood to me. Have you had any counselling or help to deal with this? Do your parents still behave badly now?

YANBU at all to cut contact.

redexpat Fri 23-Sep-16 17:59:34

Woah yanbu to not forgive and forget that. I would say that you need to come to terms with it though.

I would be interested to know what your father thinks could be worse for 2 children than seeing their parent hang themselves. Because actually I can't think of anything much worse. I don't think your parents realise how dysfunctional they are. They say other people suffer worse to minimise what they've put you through.

Have you had any kind of counselling to deal with this? How is your relationship with your brother now?

ragz134 Fri 23-Sep-16 18:58:29

I had a similar childhood in many ways, I have not forgiven my parents and I won't forget, but I still have contact and they see the kids a few times a year. They have mellowed a lot and these days the only interaction is positive. I avoid situations (eg family parties) where I know they will get drunk and fight and only call them when I known they will be sober.
This works for me, but if I felt the relationship was detrimental to me or my kids I would cut it off.
You don't have to forget all the bad stuff, it made you who you are. You don't have to forgive if you don't want to. You don't have to have contact if don't feel it will benefit you, so put yourself first.

ItsJustNotRight Fri 23-Sep-16 19:06:24

Blimey. I thought I had a bad time but I don't want to get into competitive who's was worse! For your own sanity I would put plenty of distance between you. If you want to maintain contact text/what's app etc but don't visit or speak by phone. You can ignore anything you don't like the sound of, don't get drawn into arguments and just block their number if things get worse. It takes a very long time to shake it off so start now on improving your future. You can't choose your parents and some definitely get the short straw. Cut your losses and leave them to it.

Laiste Fri 23-Sep-16 19:13:10


Only forgive and forget if it brings you peace of mind. Have NO qualms about cutting contact if that's what you wish now though. They lost any right to any respect or contact from you years ago. You owe them NOTHING x

Goodgriefisitginfizzoclock Fri 23-Sep-16 19:15:56

Sometimes we don't get the parents we deserve. However, your still here and you don't need to carry it with you, no you cannot change the past but you can influence the future. I speak from experience. Be kinder to yourself, it is ok to move on you know and if that means nc or just keeping at arms length that's ok too. Keep strong and move on x

Lovinglife786 Fri 23-Sep-16 22:18:41

Thanks for the replies my parents are not together any more my mother lives with her mother and my father lives alone I don't speak to my brother as we fell out and he told me not to contact him again my mother apologies often and I tell her it's OK but really it's not I'm to much of a coward to tell her what I think my dad has never spoke to me about anything and this pisses me of as I again haven't the courage to talk to him about these issues a few times I haven't spoke to them for months but for some reason I always end up initiating contact with them it's like I can't keep away

aquashiv Fri 23-Sep-16 22:33:56

Have you spoken to a professional about this op..I can't imagine how you coped with all of this.
How is your Mother now?

bellasuewow Fri 23-Sep-16 23:00:01

The stately homes thread in relationships and the toxic parents book by Susan forward have been life changing for me. You are not the only one op and I wish you the best of luck in getting through it. You can make sense of a shitty childhood with time and find happiness. It was not your fault op not then and not now.

Lovinglife786 Sat 24-Sep-16 09:03:29

Aquashiv I have not spoke to a professional about this maybe I would benefit from it though tbh I'm surprised by some of the replies I was expecting to be told to stop feeling sorry for myself etc

alizondevice Sat 24-Sep-16 10:15:27

The onus to forgive toxic parents can be as difficult to bear as the original toxic behaviour. You don't have to forgive. I believe true forgiveness happens spontaneously, in its own time. It can't be forced. Here's an article I found helpful:

Mishaps Sat 24-Sep-16 10:27:19

You can forgive in your heart and at the same time ditch them! - I would definitely keep your distance - no-one needs this crap in their lives.

You are not obliged to forgive them and it is no reflection on you if you cannot. I wouldn't be able to.

Turn your face to the future and all the happiness to come.

RedSauceAndJellyJuice Sat 24-Sep-16 10:31:26

Be kind to yourself OP
Don't feel any guilt whatever you decide to do

Lovinglife786 Sat 24-Sep-16 10:31:30

Alizondevice thank you for the link

BillSykesDog Sat 24-Sep-16 10:31:30

No, you need to work through it. You can get to a place where you can accept it and not let it affect you quite so much but it takes a lot of work. It's certainly not a matter of 'stop feeling sorry for yourself' as these things in childhood affect your whole development and personality and it really takes a lot to get to the point of acceptance. You may well be suffering from some degree of PTSD.

There is an incredibly good organisation called the National Association for People Abused in Childhood who can help you access appropriate support. They are very helpful and quick to respond. Their website is

Lovinglife786 Sat 24-Sep-16 10:36:11

BillsykesDog thank you for the reply and information I appreciate it flowersbut I don't think it would be classed as abuse

differentnameforthis Sat 24-Sep-16 10:43:59

OP, what you went through would now be considered child abuse and neglect. I think finding someone to help you make sense of all this would be a great help to you.


differentnameforthis Sat 24-Sep-16 10:46:06

but I don't think it would be classed as abuse Witnessing DV, even if the child is not in the same room, is classed as emotional abuse.

Leaving you alone at night - neglect
Leaving you in the van by yourself - neglect.

So yes, op. It certainly IS abuse.

paulweller73Murielswedding Sat 24-Sep-16 10:49:12

I'm not sure if I got forgive or forget but i'd feel pity for the inadequate people they are and the shambolic lives they've lived.

BillSykesDog Sat 24-Sep-16 10:51:26

Loving, it very much is. Go and have a look at that site, give them a call. I think that one of the first things you need to do is accept that it was abuse.

BillSykesDog Sat 24-Sep-16 10:53:50

Napac would certainly consider it abuse and you would be eligible for help. You do realise abuse doesn't have to be sexual or even physical don't you? It can be emotional or neglect - and it certainly sounds like that was the case with you.

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