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.
Will the anger I feel towards my toxic parents ever go away?(26 Posts)
I have been NC with my parents for just over a year. I feel it is the best thing I have ever done and wish I did it earlier. I feel like if I had seen the light in my teens or early twenties my life would have taken such a different direction but as it was it took me until the age of 32 to finally decide enough was enough and I was going to cut my losses and move on with my life without them.
Both parents deserve a thread on their own. My Dad was a cold angry man. Constantly screaming and shouting. Would totally ignore me if I tried talking to him, I can honestly say that he has never asked me a single question about my life ever. The only feedback I got from him was just criticism, put downs and nasty glares.
My mum never stuck up for me for any of the above. Would tell me off if I ever dared upset my Dad by sticking up for myself etc. But she also had her own shitty ways that she liked to treat me. She would always undermine me, never support me (told me when I was at school that people who get bullied deserve it after I told her I was having trouble with some peers and also told me it was my fault I had been raped by an ex). She was always very sarcastic and put me down. She was constantly gaslighting me and made me confused. She had no respect for my personal space, not letting me bathe/shower in private, would read my diaries/mail, tickled me even though I didn't like and would tell her so, would stand too close to me even though I didn't like it. Never ever listened to me or took on board my feelings. Would deny everything I said that may have been a bad reflection on her and told me it was all my fault, that I was 'born that way', that I'm different, I'm weird and that I have mental health problems. The list could go on and on.
From my teens to now I have always had an absolute rage brewing up inside me which sometimes comes to the surface where I have to lock myself in the bathroom or my bedroom to scream it out/hit pillows (I don't want to shout in front of my DC because that is what my Dad used to do). Sometimes the anger really scares me. In the real world I am actually a very quiet and meek kind of person as I have been 'trained' to not show my anger towards anything. It was only after i had my DC that I realised truly where this rage came from and it is from the frustration and anger I feel towards my parents.
Even though it has been over a year since I have gone NC with them, despite feeling a million times better and the anger is not what it used to be, I still get quite overwhelmed by it all. Will my life always be like this? I wish I could just let it all go and let go of the baggage.
Any ideas or experience of the same?
My DW had a father like yours. Yes it goes away, but it takes a long, long time. However, she never tried counselling. That may well speed up the process. She still hates the memory of her father (bastard's dead ) but the anger's gone.
Oh yes, if you're NC stay that way if they try to get in contact with you sometime in the future. A couple of times my DW slipped and got back in contact with her Dad. Big mistake.
Yes, the anger can go away and turn into pity or something approaching that.
But you need to stay nc and talk it through with a trusted counsellor or confidante, I think.
Yes. But as the others said it takes time.
For me it was when I became sick of having that anger I'm my life. It was draining and took up a lot of my energy. I just didn't want that in my life anymore.
That doesn't mean I am all good. I am still dealing with the effects even years later. But it's not as draining and more and I can use that energy elsewhere
You need to get some psychotherapy. There will be a long waiting list so try to get some organised as soon as you can.
I had rage inside me from a very young age. I knew even as a child it wasn't normal and wasn't good for me to be so angry.
I have had two years of group psychotherapy and it's really made a difference. I am still angry at my parents but the towering rage that consumed me has gone.
It can for some people, but it doesn't always. If it doesn't, you learn ways of handling it. Running, swimming, writing it down, punching pillows like you do. Speaking to someone you trust completely (therapist? partner?). Channel it into something positive, like volunteer work for a family charity or something. Bit of a cliche but it can help - it's a sort of revenge, to help stop the same happening to others.
As aussie says, it takes up so goddamn much energy though and becomes its own burden. It just isn't always easy to know how to let it drift off.
It does get easier over time though. But it's never exactly easy, or comfortable.
I found john bradshaws book healing the inner child very useful when I went nc with my father - it did help me with the anger
I think the anger for me began to dissipate when I truly started to accept that they would never change. The anger, I think, comes partially from a tiny little glimmer left alive in your mind that one day they'll turn around and say "Oh love, we're sorry," and become the wonderful parents you hoped for. Accepting that that's not going to happen involves a sort of grief process where you go through the stages (one of which is anger) of coming to terms with the loss of an ideal - you have to essentially mourn the parents you could have had.
Wanky though it sounds something that also helped me is "parenting" myself - applying the same love and compassion I have for my children to myself and my past self. I've imagined giving my scared lonely 7 year old self a big hug, telling her it's ok, things will turn out fine, that she is loved, by me if by no one else. It's been far more comforting and effective than I ever thought it would be.
My parents were neglectful but not actively abusive. I can't say I've entirely come to terms with my feelings towards them but my feelings have definitely veered much more towards pity and, indifference, I suppose. Rather than seeing them as the awful idiots who fucked up my childhood I see them as immature people who weren't really fit to be parents and who are now reaping the rewards of that - a miserable retirement with my entitled shithead of a sister terrorising them the way she used to terrorise me and my other sister. My other sister and I have built up a wonderful relationship (which was previously lacking due to the toxic environment at home) and I have discovered great happiness in cherishing that family connection.
It will get better. But you have to go through the shit process of acknowledging how badly you were let down.
I pity them now.
But what I will never get over is the fact that they stole my life. Decades that I can never, ever get back, stole any chance of my dreams ever being fulfilled.
My father is dead, when he died I said Thank God for that. I wish my mother would hurry the fuck off too. That bitch STILL tries to infiltrate my life, even after five years of NC.
With my father, I knew for certain that if I was angry or upset about him, he wouldn't give a toss. You are making yourself unhappy and using up energy in respect of people who probably don't care at all what you feel about them. It's not worth it. Aim for complete indifference, try to stop thinking about them, concentrate on the present and the future, on people you care about and who care about you.
I find it comes and goes, but it gets easier.
It triggers for me when I am tired and I see others with "normal" parents helping out. Not jealously, but anger at how it could have been. Then I get on with life as nothing can change.
Just read Queenof comments and I have been thinking the exact same thing about my own mother. Can't say it out loud though as it sounds harsh, but it is true.
No, it is a taboo. But it doesn't stop it from being MY truth. And many others truth too. More than you may think.
Yes, the anger can go away.
But it is a necessary stage, so go ahead and feel that anger. IME, the process was anger -> going NC -> detachment -> acceptance -> entering r/s with parents on new terms
Do what feels right for you.
This thread is just what I need right now. My Psychodynamic therapy was £35 per hour. Really has helped. I still feel repressed, angry and self blame/hate, I am sensitive and hurt easily and I still isolate myself as I feel unable to find other people whom are not bullies. I am frightened of bullies out there.
I am still angry at my parents but none of it whatsoever was my fault. NC for nine years now. Never ever going back to my parents and they're just bullying people who wouldn't have me back as they're right according to them and I was always wrong and felt unwanted.
I felt for many years that I had my real life stolen from me. The person that I could have been.
Having cocked up relationships, a career and so on along the way I always wondered what I could have been.
But now as I get older I have found things that complement the person I am. I have found that my experiences are actually valuable in their own way.
Going through it was terrible, and I wouldn't wish that on anyone, obviously, but you can get to some sort of peace in your soul about the whole thing, and I found that peace by leaving yet another abusive relationship and having psychotherapy.
You have to find the way that works for you to get rid of that anger. It is only damaging you, and your family, not the people who deserve the anger.
At my advanced age I have also found a job which calls on all my experiences and I hope will make a difference to others who have had difficult times.
I dread reincarnation, i hope I never ever live again after my death.
I have had barely any contact with my parents and sister this past year. Like you, I had had enough of being made to feel bad about myself. I was often made to feel like this over very trivial things. My mother is the one who is at the centre of this and my father/sister want an easy life so can't be bothered to intervene (which speaks volumes).
Yes, the anger does subside and the reason being is that you are stronger in yourself. I now no longer react to any of her antagonistic behaviour etc and this is what has confused her. Since my 'break' from my family, I have found it is more common than I thought, many people are estranged for all manner of reasons. I know that this has been the right thing for me, as I am happier and that is what life is all about.
Yes, it will go away. I'm 26 years Into NC. One of them is now dead and their passing left me stone cold.
You are angry because you expected a different outcome. Once you realise they could never provide that different outcome, you will stop expecting it and accept the situation. They have no power left to harm you.
Time and therapy helped me hugely. I still have a relationship with my parents and it's by no means perfect, but I have learnt to handle it differently. I do still get angry about the past, but it doesn't consume me in the same way.
Good luck. I think things will improve (for all of us) through time, but I doubt it will ever completely be gone.
My sister and I went NC many years ago (never regretted it) and when 'they' died (I still find it hard to say 'my parents') we were both very pleased and shed not one tear. In fact, I told the crematorium to just chuck his ashes out on the road. And hers went under some roses at the crem, but they'd been newly manured so she ended up in the shit where she belonged.
I was angry and very disturbed by my childhood abuse for years. But I had some good counselling and therapy, and gradually the anger burnt itself out.
However, when others say 'you should try to forgive them' I feel like poking their eyes out. You only forgive when people are sorry. And they weren't.
I think there is a difference between forgive and indifference.
The letting go to a point that they don't matter and are of no consequence.
Not sure if that is the same as forgiveness but the outcome is what matters.
I'm 54 and still angry. Not seething, life sapping anger but angry neverthless. And baffled. I can't forget my anger because every day I live with the consequences of my parents' inaction. My health is totally f
-- up and by extension so was my education because I missed around 1 week in every 3 or 4 because I was so ill. Half my childhood was spent in bed, hallucinating and vomiting and in severe pain. I understand my anger and my right to be angry on behalf of that little girl who's parents neglected her health and suffering for years on end.
Join the discussion
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.