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Breaking all links with parents - have you done it? (a little long)

(4 Posts)
Eriktheviking Tue 21-Jun-11 20:43:00

Hi all

Name changed to protect the innocent!

I wanted to ask for some advice on how to seperate yourself (and your dc) from bullying parents. Also to find out from those who have done it, how it went and how you feel now...

I've seen another thread where people have talked about 'distancing' yourselves, but my parents won't allow this and it would have to be final.... I should also point out that I am an only child and so the focus of nearly all their "efforts. Tradesmen and neighbours share in some of my pain. My father particulary is rather calculating and spiteful and likes to make me (and my mother) suffer, and spends time calculating how best to acheive this... My mother had a rough childhood, and possible this is why dislikes me, and is jealeous of my freedom, having "escaped" the family home.

While I love both my parents dearly, I realise now (in near middle age) that I don't like them, their values or their way of dealing with the wider world. I knew many years ago, that no-one else liked them, as a child I noticed no-one would speak to me where I lived and I found myself as I got older appologising in shops for their behaviour. I have been careful since marriage never to mention my maiden name nor even to mention where I grew up for fear of being exposed.... They have made me feel inferior all my life, making it clear that they thought I would never amount to anything, and showing no interest in any acheivement I or my children have made. I am embarrased to say, many of my life decisions were made to please them often opting to the path of least resistence - such as not going to University because mother said "who would take her shopping" (she can't drive).

My dh finds their behavior v difficult to deal with, he is my rock, and I probably would have withered long ago if it were not for him We rarely argue, but if we do, it will be about them. He is lucky in that they see him as insignificant and so he is pretty much ignored, but they have now wanted to spend time with my children and I have noticed that as they ignored me they are doing the same to them, simply plying them with toys which of course young children love.... but giving no real attention or no play time too... they swear in from of them and at the weekend my mum told my eldest that she would "slap mummy"... I can't remember what it was in response to but DD was horiffied.

My father has now started his latest attempts at making me feel incapable and pushing me around and eventhough I try not to let it get to me, I find that just thinking about the scenario leaves my breath shallow, and me unable to sleep...

So I've decided to at least consider breaking all ties, I know that my father will make my mum suffer if I do this, but she has made it clear that she will always stand by him rather than me, and so I've concluded she's made her bed....

However, I'd like to hear how you got on after making the break. My dad has been told recently that he has only limited time left before his cancer kills him, but truely I don't know if I can bear it that long, especially as this latest bullying episode has been sparked by his illness, and his desperation to control me even from beyond the grave, it will only get worse...

Thanks in advance
Erik

Chrysanthemum5 Tue 21-Jun-11 21:23:18

Yes i have. Mum died when I was a teenager I put up with dad and his violence for a bit longer but one day I reached my limit and I just left. I took what I could carry and made my younger sister leave as well and we never went back. To be honest it was much easier leaving than spending one more minute pretending my dad was normal.

He just accepted we'd gone, but tells everyone I left because I'd been caught stealing from him. I've had no contact with him (apart from seeing him at funerals of grandad and aunt) for 23 years. I don't regret leaving, and I'm quite happy to have no contact.

If anyone asks about my parents I just say mum mum is dead, if they pursue the issue of my dad I tell them I have no contact. No-one ever asks anything more although I'd talk if people wanted to know. I just don't discuss it because I don't want to be defined in terms of being his 'victim'.

The only thing I'd say is thaty sister resented us leaving and my counsellor says it's because she hadn't reached her lowest point so leaving was something she wasn't ready for. Just be aware your children may find it confusing or upsetting to not see the GP s any more so you will need to reassure them.

Good luck

TheArmadillo Tue 21-Jun-11 21:52:29

I did it - originally only for 3 months but I never went back. Its been over 18 months now and there has been moments when its been hard but I'm pleased I did.

I sent them a letter outlining some reasons why - I wanted to give them something but to open up fully would have been too painful and too risky.

I asked them to only contact me by letter if at all (I felt that giving them no method would only lead them to ignore my requests and letters are easier than any other). My mother sent a first letter replying to mine (sadly only confirming the reasons I'd stopped talking to her in the first place). She sometimes sends cards to my ds but we don't give them to him.

They leave presents in our porch which I don't like but I'd have to contact them to stop so I put up with it and give most of them to charity.

I have not contacted them at all but my mother did ring once - dh answered luckily and told her to go. My sister turned up at our door with some easter eggs - dh was polite but didn't engage.

I have no contact with any of my extended family as a result. I only ever contacted them through my mum so no contact details and none of them has contacted me. One did contact me recently to say one of my relations had died but if I wanted to go to the funeral I had to contact my parents. I didn't.

I have deleted all online stuff that is in my real name - facebook, friends reunited so noone can find out anything about me. Dh still has facebook but with very high privacy settings.

I've given up on friendships where they knew my family well (e.g. our mums were friends) and on friends I had in common with my sister. One was using the friendship to spy on me so I am taking no risks.

The times when I expected it to be hard (e.g. having a new baby) haven't been - in fact having dd showed me how much easier it was without them around compared to having ds when they were. But there are times when it hits me and usually I am unprepared for it. I worry about when the children get older and ask me about my childhood - I have no photos, no one else to share their memories. If I die suddenly there is no one they can ask.

There are also times when near strangers or acquaintances ask about your family and I don't know what to say. I don't want to explain the situation and neither do I want to lie. Friends, family, even my colleagues know the situation and if any think I am doing the wrong thing then no one has said.

Ds is 6yo and we haven't told him yet - he's decided himself that we don't see them cos they live too far away (they live in the same city). I don't know how to handle it as he gets older.

Sorry this is so long.

It is a million times better overall. The freedom in unbelievable

LilBB Wed 22-Jun-11 07:27:41

I did this with my dad and his family. My parents separated when I was 14 and I thought I got on with my dad ok. After a few years I started to realise him and his family (GPs, aunts, cousins etc) were all bullies. I thought I was close to them but then it started to feel that they were controlling and negative. My dad would phone me (usually after a drink) and argue with me about stupid things. I was 17 and I just couldn't cope with it. I think he was starting to treat me how he treated my mum. My grandma refused to speak to me as I had moved in with my now DH and was living out of wedlock, two of my cousins have also done this and one has a child but they didn't get any negativity. My cousin phoned me and screamed down the phone at me cos I couldn't make her birthday tea. My cousin and aunt screamed abuse and chased me out of asda for 'thinking I'm better than them'.

I haven't seen any of them for 8 years. My siblings still have some contact with them. My dad sent my dd a Xmas present which I thought was an olive branch but turned out not to be. Dont know why he did it. Apparently my grandma wants to meet dd but I have refused. She once, to my sister, said she only had one great grandchild and thats my cousins child. If she denies her existence why should I pander to her now, I suspect because she hasn't much time left.

I didnt go to any great lengths to cut them off. I have a different number and high Facebook privacy. They know where I live though and have made no effort to contact me. Im better off without and when I stopped contact it was a weight off me. I do of course still have my mum and her family. I cut off before dd as well so it was easier for me.

I hope you manage to come to the best conclusion for your situation.

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