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Going NC with toxic parents, aftermath. Need Advice/Support(59 Posts)
I am 26 years old and have been living on my own. I recently got married a few weeks ago in Vegas with a very very small group of my friends (Only 10 people),
To start this: I'm chinese-american. I was born and raised in California my whole life. My parents had immigrated from here over 40 years ago and I have an older sister that's almost 11 years older than me. Starting from grade 1, my mom began to physically beat me because I wasn't scoring A's on my tests, It first started as me holding out my hand flat and her hitting it really hard with a ruler or some type of flat wood/plastic object. It was 30-50 times, but it escalated quickly to punching me in the head, kicking me, beating me everywhere on my body with either her bare hands or items she could grab hold of. It escalated because I'd pull my hand away and she was INCREDIBLY angry ALL the time. I've been beaten all over the body with pipes, hangers, belts, the handle of knives, etc. This happened 5 days a week until I was in the 10th grade. Only time I wasn't being physically abused was in the summer. My dad was more verbally and emotionally abusive. He never laid a hand on me, but also had a really ugly temper.
From as long as I can remember, my dad would throw raging outloud tantrum fits when something didn't go his way. Whether he was privately at home or in public, he had these incredibly scary outbursts. Most of which happened while we were on vacation somewhere. One incident I'll never forget is when we took a tour bus to Yosemite and he got mad I had brought my Harry Potter book for the trip. Yelled super loud in front of 30-40 people and then when we got to our stop, he threatened to kill me and physically came at me. 8 people had to hold him back from getting to me.
Also, as far back as I can remember, my parents always blamed me for staying in their marriage. There was once incident where my dad nearly choked out my mom. Him on top of her, with his hands around her throat, and her on the floor. Not sure what would have happened if my sister wasn't there as I'd already experienced being abused myself. They never got divorced and instead blamed me for "having" to stay in the marriage.
My mom got arrested when I was in the 7th grade because I escaped mid beating. I'd ran to a nearby classmate's house and her dad called the police. I was in foster care for nearly 2 weeks and judge ruled in favor of giving my parents a second chance because the lawyer they hired was good and they were sentenced to anger management classes and a full year's supervision of ensuring no other harm would come to me. While the physical beatings did stop, the verbal abuse and emotional abuse did not.
After a year went by, the physical beatings resumed immediately. So, here I am 26 and living on my own. I moved out a little over a year ago, against the wishes of my parents. They'd told my fiance that they'd "washed their hands of me" and that they'd never bother to visit. Furthermore, I was never close with my sister and only spoke to her at the most 3 times a year (birthdays, holidays type thing). My parents have never understood me and have spent their entire lives trying to get me to conform to their idealistic way of living.
A few months ago, I went NC with them. The last time I'd ever spoken to them was on Memorial Day. I'd gone to visit them as I usually did every week or every other week. But, ever since I moved out...over the last year, I tried to maintain a somewhat 'cold' relationship with them, but every visit was drawing my spirit and energy lower and lower each time. I could never talk about what was happening with me because they'd find some way to put it into an negative light, again unless it was something THEY wanted. Even a simple subject as, "I adopted a puppy" immediately is, "Yeah you care more about a dog than me."
I felt like I was walking on eggshells each time and started to develop high anxiety to the point where I was throwing up the day prior to the actual visit. I was incredibly stressed. I started seeing a therapist with my fiance to get advice and further support on what to do with my marriage. I'd wanted to get married, but my parents didn't want me to marry him (due to him not being asian). We'd already been together over 6 years and we were at standstill on how we'd get married. I'd struggled with waiting and hoping that my parents would come around or go against their wishes and marry him via city hall or something. Instead for a whole year, each time I went to visit, they'd spend 98 percent of the time reaming into me about something or turning something positive I was telling them into something negative. They'd also pick on me like calling me fat or "looking like a whale". My mom wanted me to be under 100 pounds (I'm 5/4 and weighed 115-120).
A few months ago, in June, I typed up a letter to my parents outlining all the abuse I'd experience with them, both physical and verbal abuse. I'd basically stated that I was no longer going to continue communication with them unless they could be the supportive, loving parents I deserve. I didn't hear back from them. My sister had reached out but I kept it neutral and told her to stay out of it. She understood.
Furthermore, I had completely turned off my phone that I still had connected to them. I'd gotten a new line with my fiance and new phone, without telling any of my family members. Eventually, a month later, I'd received a facebook message from my cousin and sister (few hours apart) and while my cousin didn't really care or press why I have a new number..my sister was very angry that I had a new number and wouldn't provide it to her. I explained that I couldn't risk my new number being given out to my parents and that they know to e-mail if there was something urgent. I haven't spoken to my sister since then.
Eventually, I'd recently received a letter in my e-mail from my parents (more than likely written by my dad). He basically blamed EVERYTHING on me. He didn't address ANY of the abuse at all and said that they did everything they could to fix me and that I just wouldn't become what they wanted. They spent 2 paragraphs comparing me to my sister and how I "was supposed to go down the same exact path". The entire page and a half letter was basically what they've always said to me my whole life. Making me feel like a burden, black sheep, mistake, and just all-around not wanted person. They said believing in happiness is stupid and that it doesn't exist.
So, here I am...a few months later having made the jump of marriage with my now-husbnd. We had a ceremony in Vegas at a venue and NONE of my family knows. I'm slowly learning to accept that making decisions on my own is a-okay and that I don't need to worry or stress about what my parents would think or what they would say. I'm slowly learning to live without guilt.
Except, both my parents are diabetic. They're in their late 60s and they always pressed to me that "they wouldn't live as long as grandma". My grandma passed away when she was 74. I'm fully aware of the fact that I made this decision and I accept that. But, how does one not have guilt knowing that their parents are not in the best healthy place? They'd also put on me that they expected me to live at home forever so that I could take care of them.
I never responded back to the letter. I have basically just moved on and started planning things for my future. In your opinion, was I right to go NC with them? Would you have done the same? Any further advice? (I am in therapy)
I also wanted to add that my mom has tried suffocating me with a pillow 2-3 times when I was a kid and she would lock me in her closet for 6-7 hours at a time with no light, water, or food. She merely laughed it off when I tried confronting her about it when I was 21 years old.
The abuse has never ever been addressed and they laughed in my face when they found out I was cutting myself 12-15 times a day for over 3 years. I was told in Chinese to, "go kill yourself then. No one would care and you're a burden anyway. Go kill yourself!"
You were very right to go NC with them.
I'm NC with my mother (my dad is dead) and although she could be physically abusive and thrashed me as a child nothing on that scale.
But it was the emotional abuse which continued as an adult, constant criticising, mind games, putting me down, sulking, being nasty, lying, denying she had said stuff. I went NC, ive had a letter and like you ignored it.
If I were you I would block their email address. You don't need nasty emails like that. They've proven they haven't used the opportunity to reassess and have regrets over their behaviour.
I think accepting they will die while you are NC is something you need to come to terms with. My mother is in her 70s and has no other family so must be lonely. I do feel guilty. But then I tell myself she has brought it on herself. Even now if she wrote and apologised I would be prepared to pick up contact. But she won't say sorry. I think if your parents won't say sorry, mean it, and change then you owe them nothing.
Of course you were right to go NC with them, your story is one of the worst I've heard.
I hope their diabetes gets so bad their legs get gangrenous and they both die in terrible agony while being fucked in the arse by Satan. And soon.
And I only read your story and didn't have to suffer it like you did
Never ever talk to them again and if they come at you kick the shit out of them.
You are most definitely doing the right thing by going NC. Your story is one of the most shocking things I've read on MN and that is really saying something. Your parents' behaviour towards you is appalling and despicable and also criminal. There can be no excuse for it.
You are a separate person from your parents and you have started living a separate life. Well done. You have survived so much. You deserve to move towards peace and contentment. Learning to live without guilt after an abusive upbringing is far from easy but it can be done. It becomes more of a habit as time goes on.
Do not respond to any attempts they make to contact you. The only way to be sane and happy is to keep these people out of your life. Very good decision to seek professional support with recovering from this trauma. I was in therapy for 7 years altogether and it was the best thing I have ever done for myself.
I wish you nothing but luck for the future. You are a very strong person and you have chosen yourself over them. That was the right decision. Never give up on yourself x
Hey OP, that's a lot you've been through. Well done on going NC - it's a big step and a difficult one but one that protects you.
I don't know how you can accept the guilt. It sounds as though you've been brought up in a way that instilled it into you as a manner of control.
One way to think about it is every time you feel guilty to remember that that is an equivalent to being beaten for having your own needs/wants/desires/being you. You've been programmed to feel guilty if you don't put them before yourself, so you do. Once you're aware of that, it can be easier to question whether it's really justified.
But then there's the other part, their ages and health. The length they live or don't live has nothing to do with you or the length of your grandmother's life. That's another subtle guilting.
And death. Well, I don't know, because I haven't gone through it, but I have also thought about it a lot. I can see that I could feel very guilty if my "D"M were to die now. But sometimes I think that I'm NC now, because that's the best thing for me now (and to protect my kids from her behaviour directly, to them, and indirectly, because of the affect she has on me). I don't think it's ideal, but given the alternative, this is it. Protecting myself is not wrong, putting her before me is, because it would be like self-harming (without the pleasure). So I tell myself I'm making the best of a bad situation, the best way I can now. If she changes, or I can suddenly tolerate her behaviour, I'd change it. Therefore (sorry, it's really long!!), if she were to die now, or when I'm NC, it will be sad, but that's it. The fact that she gave birth to me, raised me (apparently) the best way she knew how, doesn't matter. I don't need a mother now and the mother I'd like to have around her grandchildren doesn't exist, because in reality she's someone who is toxic.
So, sadly, her dying would mean someone from my past died, with some extra feelings, but in reality I've had to mourn my mother already. Going NC involved a sort of mourning for me. For my birthday, the first since NC, I was devastated not to have a card even from her. But then I realised, that's it. When she dies, all those things that people miss, the little reminders, I'll have gone through them already.
And my mother is also not in great health and delightfully told me the reason I needed extensive trauma therapy was because I traumatised myself!
How shockingly awful all of that is - so shocking I felt compelled to reply - I would do some of the following:
Change you surname - because you no longer want to be linked to them in any way!
Get some kind of restraining order against them contacting you/Hassling you/coming near you.
Hold some kind of meta-funeral for them - remove every single item/memory/link to them - signify you are passing into a awesome life that you and only you control
Write them a letter explaining all of the above to them - that you've given them every chance to redeem their disgusting deeds - let them know this!- no more - fuck off!
Get some quality counselling/Therapy
Live your life to the full, knowing it was never ever your fault, you are/have been and always will be such an amazing person!
I think your absolutely right to go n/c. You gave them a chance to apologise/ admit it all but they don't want to know
Going nc means protecting yourself your husband ( congratulations btw) and any future children you might have - You and him are totally your priority now ( and your kids )
I'm sorry to say it but I suspect your parents won't change but you have chosen to break the cycle of abuse and that makes you awesome
Meant to add you've just not married so am guessing kids may be in the cards in the future. Would you want your kids being exposed to such toxic behaviour?
Don't think they wouldn't pull such stunts with their dgc. My mum did with my dd. Which was one of my main reasons for going NC, I had to protect her.
Firstly, you are incredibly strong and brave to go NC, and 100% the right thing to do!
They sound like the worst narcissistic abusers. From personal experience I would not write any more letters (or ever see them again).
They abuse their own children, you will never make them see sense. Ever. All it will do is give them ammunition to hurt you more, and/or gaslight everything you have said to convince you it's you, and not them.
It is them.
You don't need to justify breaking contact to anyone. Cut the toxic out of your life forever, and look to the future.
I have no family because of abuse, but I have DH and 3 children and my future starts here, and I changed it.
I wish I had been as wise at 26. At 26 I was with an abuser AND abusive family. It took till my thirties to go NC.
I hope your DH is supportive and you are happy. It will get easier with time.
Good luck, keep strong
And I agree with chameleon about having already grieved my mother.
I see mothers and adult daughters out shopping, having lunch and I grieve that I couldn't have that relationship with my mother. But even if we were still in touch we wouldn't have that. I'm sad that she can't be a decent person but she is incapable.
You're doing the right thing, op. I think you know that. Don't second guess yourself. I hope you are able to enjoy living in safety and freedom as you continue your journey into wholeness.
You would be justified in bringing a criminal case against them: severe child abuse.
I am so sorry you went through that, aubs
Good that you're in therapy - ime it takes some years to work through all the trauma - so stick with it.
Keep going, lovely. On no account have anything to do with them ever again. They are criminals; what they did to you is beyond comprehension. yy I get the Tiger Mother thing - and they are probably a product of their culture - but they knew what they were doing was against the law but they carried on.
Change your name, cut them off for good. yy grieve for what you should have had. Your therapist will support you through that.
Bless you (((hug)))
aubs427 - what an amazingly strong woman you are. You are totally right to go NC with this shocking shower of individuals. I hope you can hear the fury being expressed on your behalf in our responses. You owe them nothing. They are criminals.
FWIW - when my parents died, it was a a good feeling. One of liberation. Keep strong and get some good counselling.
Hi everyone that responded back to my thread! I have read every single response, several times. I want to personally thank each and every one of you who took time out to provide advice and even more support.
I have been having the hardest few months and I know I still have a long way to go. The one main thing I struggle with letting go was the belief or idea that BECAUSE my parents provided for me, I was obligated or indebt to them for it. It was always slightly mentioned and engraved that "we did all this for you and this is how you repay us??" And, more so that "we love you so we provided [insert material/food item]"
My best friend told me that it is as if they were trying to buy my forgiveness or love like how a boyfriend who does something wrong and tries to buy you everything you want to make up for it.
My last question is do I do the same with my sister? She has always sided with my parents, regardless of whether she feels they are right or not. Her and i do not have much of a relationship to begin with, but how do I handle her outburts if they happen in the future? Mainly concerns of her calling me selfish or ungrateful.
Again, thank you guys SO SO much. You do not know how much this helps me.
They are making a choice - to try and justify and even perpetuate their cruelty to you. Their choice means that you cannot have a relationship with them. That is very sad but you cannot change them. Well done to you for forging your life with a loving partner (husband - congratulations on your marriage) despite the abuse you suffered. Look after yourself and the people around you - you deserve happiness and freedom
You are not obligated to then just because they provided for you growing up. That's like saying my husband is allowed to beat me with belts and lock me in cupboards because he brings home a wage and does the washing. It is not your fault. They are absolute nasty arseholes and you do not have to put up with them. If you want to keep in contact with your sister I would set ground rules that you don't won't to discuss your parents. I don't know if anyone has mentioned it but the stately homes thread might be helpful.
The one main thing I struggle with letting go was the belief or idea that BECAUSE my parents provided for me, I was obligated or indebt to them for it. It was always slightly mentioned and engraved that "we did all this for you and this is how you repay us??"
Children don't owe their parents for being born and raised. Not in my opinion, anyway. Children with great parents generally feel gratitude, but that is for the love they got, not for board and lodging per se.
So, you owe your parents nothing. And besides, you have already had to pay in so many ways. For their apparent regret at having you. For the fact that they emigrated and found it difficult. For their inadequacies, fears, resentments and thwarted aspirations. For the fact that they preferred your sister. For being different from them, due to the fact you were being brought up in another country. For being the family scapegoat, whipping boy, sin eater, rage outlet (like my husband. I freed him, like a princess in a feminist fairytale and now he is happy and loved by me and our children).
In all likelihood, your parents are broken people and cannot be fixed. Please don't damage yourself any further trying to rescue them. It would be a pointless sacrifice and they would hate you for trying. The diabetes is a red herring, ignore it. Your parents can look after their health themselves if they want to. Or your sister can do it.
Instead, live well with your fiancé. You've been resilient and brave, you deserve to be happy.
When I tell my parents how grateful I am for everything they've done for me, my dad always says that in families you pay forward, not back. He says his parents did everything they could for him, he and my mum did everything possible for me and my dbs, and now he's happy to watch us do our best for our families.
I pick up a lot of guilt, perhaps that you owe them. But you don't owe your horrible parents anything. Your life now is about your marriage, your future and any dc you may have. You can build a happy worthwhile life. You have already achieved so much.
Please keep up the therapy. Sounds like you've got a lot to process.
Yes do the same with your sister. She adds nothing good to your life.
Thank you for responding back to my worries and you guys definitely have eased anxieties about it.
Do any of you have any thoughts on the fact that I went and got married and didnt bother telling them (meaning any of my blood family including cousins, uncles, etc)? I personally felt I had to in order to not have my day being even slightly ruined by them, so I did because I wanted it to be a happy day with zero bad feelings whatsoever, which thankfully I did.
Would you guys have done the same?
Again, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you now and in advance for responding and helping me and supporting me through this.
They sound absolutely revolting!
Leave them behind, keep moving forward and find happiness with your husband.
They didn't deserve you. A child is a gift.
You are making all the right decisions to move on.
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