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All those who have cut out toxic parents from your life

(67 Posts)
BettySwollux Tue 12-May-09 12:03:43

Have you ever regretted it?
Are they still alive, and if not, how did you feel when they died?

I ask because I think I have to do this with my mother.
We have never really got on, I put my name on the council housing list on my 16th birthday, as I couldnt wait to get away, and was offered a flat at 19.
She has put me down all my life with negative comments (you never see anything through, you'll never have anything unless someone gives it to you on a plate, etc. Morning of my wedding, I asked if she was looking forward to it (am only DD) she said she wished it was over, and we hadnt even got in the car to go.)

Yesterday she sent me an email saying various things, and ending with "Betty, I have had 3 children, and loved you all equally, but for various reasons, I do not like any of you".

I feel so hurt. One of my brothers died last January, but hadnt spoke to her for around 15 years, my other brother only speaks to her very occasionally, and cant be bothered with her.
She upsets me all the time being so negative, rarely says anything nice or positive, and I have had enough after this email. sad
But, I worry I may regret this when she dies.

Please help.

gardeningmum05 Tue 12-May-09 12:11:01

dont speak to my mum, and to be perfectly honest it was the best thing i ever did.
i can honestly say that i will not regret it when she dies.
my life is happier and so less stressful woithout her and my evil stepdad in it.
like i said in a previous thread, surround yourself with people that you actually like and love, lifes too short to allow others to make you unhappy wink

BettySwollux Tue 12-May-09 12:16:16

Thanks gardeningmum05

blushingm Tue 12-May-09 14:39:46

i haven't seen my mum since before my ds was born (7 1/2 years ago)

I don't regret it as such as i must look after my family first but i really wish we had a close and loving relationship - she's never seen either of my 2 dc. Mr db sees her though (he just moved into the same street as her) but he doesn't really discuss her with me

PurpleOne Tue 12-May-09 15:17:41

Not seen my mum in almost 2 years. She decided to cut ties, not me.
She's already lost a sibling, and now me too.

I hope she's happy somewhere out there.
I wouldn't mind so much, if we'd had an argument or a few words...but my only crime was to ask her not to smoke in my house.

It's be easier to deal with if the old cow as dead TBH.

itsgottogetbetter Tue 12-May-09 15:55:14

The best and healthiest decision I ever made. I might momentarily think I miss her but then the memories of all the horrendous things she has done and how she behaved over the years overtake any positive feelings I have about her.

The hardest part is other people's reactions but I know longer even try to justify or explain, it's my business.

TheProvincialLady Tue 12-May-09 16:02:04

Mine is an extreme example - I won't go into the details here - but I haven't seen my father for about 15 years and never will do again. I have absolutely no regrets about that, even though he is getting old and is in poor health. But even so, I worry about how I will feel when he dies...only to the extent of, will I go to his funeral? though.

I suppose you could start by limiting your contact and then restricting it more and more, and see how you feel.

ChairmumMiaow Tue 12-May-09 17:56:01

I haven't spoken to my mother in about 8 years and it was the best decision I made for so many reasons.

She is not the healthiest person and I do worry that I might regret if I didn't go to her funeral - if only to make sure she were really gone, but I know I couldn't deal with the confrontation that I'd get from the rest of the family.

Its still hard sometimes - we've just made our wills and writing a letter to go with them to explain to DS (who is currently 15mo) why he hasn't seen that side of the family was particularly difficult, but writing it all down reminded me why I cannot maintain a relationship with her, and my own sanity at the same time

dizietsma Tue 12-May-09 19:31:59

I cut contact when DD was 18 months. She's now almost 4, and I don't regret it.

I told mum that until she was willing to sit down with me in a room with some kind of therapist helping us work things out, then I was not going to have contact with her anymore. My mum, who is a fecking professional Psychologist FFS, has yet to meet on my terms hmm Practice what you preach much, huh, mum?


It's been a massive relief. My self-esteem has never been better. I feel freer, happier. I wish I could have a relationship with mum, but there's no way the situation could've continued the way it was. She would abuse me emotionally constantly, and it was affecting my whole life.

I genuinely meant what I told her about re-establishing contact if she could start to work on our relationship. But I'm pretty sure she wont bother. Pride, denial and delusion all play a part in her refusal. It's been a good to finally put the ball in her court, leave it there and walk away with clear conscience.

mogwai Tue 12-May-09 19:58:51

Like the previous poster, I have also requested that my mother seeks professional help.

She is very unwilling to deal with her issues and therefore I'm unwilling to deal with the fallout from them.

Feel better than I have in years (haven't seen her since xmas).

In a way, I'm glad she will never seek help. I really dislike her and don't want to be in contact at all - this gives me the excuse.

HolyGuacamole Tue 12-May-09 20:17:23

I'd like to echo what others have said about not regretting cutting contact with a toxic mother. I am much happier, more confident, more relaxed, in fact everything in my life is much better.

I don't know how I will feel when she passes away and TBH I guess I might probably feel some sort of regret? Not regret that I cut contact, but regret that she could not be the type of mother that I would have wished for and that no matter what I done, it never could have worked. I could talk to her tomorrow and it would all be fine......for about 6 months....then it would all start up again and I have absolutely no doubt she would wreck my life. So I will not allow that to happen. In fact, part of me feels like she has already died....sorry if that sounds weird but it is true.

She will never, ever, ever see that she has caused this and continues to ride on martyrdom, sympathy gathering, poor me syndrome and emotional blackmail. I will have no part in it.

I don't know the answer, time will tell but I am happy and I will deal with things as and when they happen if I need to. Right now I have no regrets whatsoever and am proud of myself for being a good person - to me that is what is important and I will never, ever be like her smile

Cutting out is not for everyone, the repercussions are big, other family members feel obliged to take sides, people will judge you on it without knowing your story and it is weird when people ask you about your family and you don't really know what to say. It is actually quite remarkable the power that toxic parents can have over your life even when they are not in it. Only you know what is best for you smile

DippyDino Tue 12-May-09 21:22:16

What holyguacamole said!

Never for a second have I regretted it, though it did get some getting used to at first.

Christmas is for me the best time, I don't have to buy gifts for two people who have done the things they did, and plaster on a smile and be so happy about it all! I can spend a lovely Xmas with my proper family instead.

I hope you can decide what is best for you.

BettySwollux Tue 12-May-09 21:41:00

Thank you so much, all of you, for your replies.
I think the thing that cemented my decision was DS1 stays at my mams on monday after school. He came home tonight saying how Nana had started smoking again, and refused to go outside. She had asked him to invite a friend for tea if he wanted, and sat smoking while they were eating!
Eventually moving to the kitchen door after he had asked her repeatedly.
He was ashamed to go to school this morning because he stunk of smoke.

Dont get me wrong, I smoke <ok, flame me> but I do not do it around my children or in my house, and certainly not when people are eating.

She has less and less thought for anyone but herself, and I have had enough!!
I have an email drafted (yes, I know it sounds cold, but it seems to be her prefered method of communication) I'm just trying to grow some balls big enough to send it (not tonight, have had wine, and want to do it with a clear head).

HolyGuacamole Tue 12-May-09 21:56:28

Oh yes, don't do anything rash or anything you might regret....or....anything that can be twisted and used against you. (after getting to the very end of my tether and almost at nervous breakdown stage, I sent my mother a very final email which I attached as a password protected PDF document so that she could not edit it and use it against me, sad but true). My experience is just to be careful and watch yourself.

Have a good long think about it over a good period of time, consider all your options. Only you know what is best for you.

Wishing you luck with whatever you decide.

PurpleOne Wed 13-May-09 03:30:28

another smoking mother issue sad

I smoke too, BS. Just not around the kids nor in the living quarters.
What pisses me off about my mum, was I was actually trying to pack up at the time. No smoking in house at all...and the cost of the patches was coming out of my own pocket.
My mum also refused to go outside also.

At least your mum went to the kitchen door. Not minimalising how you feel BTW, my mum never even attempted to go outside even when I asked her.
So glad I'm not alone on such a trivial issue.

If it were my own kids houses, I wouldn't even need to be told...I'd just expect a decent chair out in the garden thats all wink

Sakura Wed 13-May-09 06:19:46

I have not regretted it so far, even though my mother has never seen my DD.
In fact, not only do I not regret it, but every time I think of my mother I thank my lucky stars that I am free. FREE. FREE. Thats all I can think of. That I am finally FREE from her abuse! Its wonderful. I can live at last. I can raise my family the way I want. I have finally found the things I have a talents for and enjoy. All this has happened because I have cut her out of my life.
I am sure that if she was still in my life my life would be a piece of shit like it was before: me depressed, drinking too much, dodgy men, couldn't get a job....all my energy getting sucked into her because she needs her "fix" of abuse.
I'll stop now, but you get the idea

mamamila Wed 13-May-09 09:52:52

hi Betty,

I rarely talk about my parents but I walked away from both of them when my DS1 was around 5, around 11 years ago. They were extremely toxic and I'd carried the stress my whole childhood but when I became a parent I saw clearly how bad they were and I couldn't accept their behaviour being continued towards my own ds. I simply didn't want my ds to grow up with any nastiness in his life.

I really felt I had no other choice if I wanted to protect my ds. I also felt they as parents could make an effort to regain my trust if they missed me enough. But of course they just hated me for rejecting them!

My mother died in 2000 and I've grieved plenty over the years and still feel sad for the loss of 'my mum' (but I did anyway when she was alive)and sad at the finality, no possibility of her ever changing but I don't regret at all walking away from them. And I don't expect to be reunited with my father so I kind of feel that he died too at the same time.

What I gained was PEACE and freedom from their craziness and I'm sure I couldn't have achieved all I have if they had remained in my life draining me.

oneplusone Wed 13-May-09 19:26:25

On the 4th of July this year it will be 3 years since I last saw my parents. I consider it as my own personal independence day! I do not regret it for one minute. My only regret is that I didn't cut them out sooner, but better late than never.

In my mind and heart, they are already dead, they died a long time ago for me, so when they actually do die for real, I really don't think it will have much impact on me.

I am healthier and happier and only have people in my life who love and respect me for who I am. It feels good. smile.

mogwai Wed 13-May-09 19:28:27

The last post is very relevant to me also. I can't stand the thought of my daughter growing up with extended family who judge and bicker and try to manipulate.

I also feel I've found peace and freedom.

Mamamila, I'm interested to know how you handled this with respect to your five year old? Presumably he knew your parents and you had to explain why they were no longer around.

DD is almost four and I struggle to know how to approach this.

Feel free to CAT me if you prefer?

Pennies Wed 13-May-09 19:50:07

Mogwai - my two are the same age as yours.

I kind of lost contact with my dad last summer after a disastrous holiday during which I realised that he wold never stop juding my parenting negatively despite the fact that his own parenting and general behaviour in life left a LOT to be desired and that he was shaping up to be a worse grandparent and a poor role model for my children. Whilst he has never been abusive to me me is dangerously arrogant and judgemental. Since I last saw him he has not sent me - or more importantly the children - a birthday o Christmas card but he has sent letters to other members of the family saying how I should apologise.

So we're in early stages i suppose. Whilst I often think about the "what if he dies" thing it causes me no bother (beyond a fleeting query as to whether I should attend the funeral or not). What does give me further thought though is the question of what if he gets some slow, progressive illness. How will I react to that. I can't answer that at the moment.

As for how the DDs react (aged 4 & 3) - well there are a few questions which mostly stem from them overhearing stuff but TBH it's not beena problem at all but he was pretty much a stanger to them before all this kicked off anyway. I try to be honest but not harsh about him or the situation we're in when answering questions.

happilyconfused Wed 13-May-09 20:00:54

My dad has not sent my dcs christmas or birthday cards for about 6 years - nothing. He left my mum when I was 13 and we were peniless - f*ing b*d - he lumbered us with debt etc. We have seen him once when visiting mum but that was by accident than by choice. He now wants us to attend his 70th birthday party - cheek of the bloke - he called me last week - I am not dragging my kids to some smoke filled place to parade them in from of people they do not know.

Sorry about the rant but him getting in contact has caused my stress levels to raise - just as well I have finished my A level marking.

I dont regret making an effort but I think he regrets not making an effort with us. I refuse to put my dcs into the firing line of his fraudulent activities.

happilyconfused Wed 13-May-09 20:03:15

And just to add ... Betty - dont do it - you will not regret it. It is not worth the stress for you or your brother.

FabulousBakerGirl Wed 13-May-09 20:03:25

I'm sorry to hear of your brothers death. sad

My dad never wanted me and I have spoken to him 3 times in 37 years. He took offence at some home truths and that was that.

My mother is a 24 carat gold bitch and I want nothing to do with her.

I wouldn't mind 5 minutes with her but she wouldn't listen or see my point so would be a waste of my time and I would end up being worse than now.

BettySwollux Wed 13-May-09 21:07:34

Thanks for all the new replies.
Here's the update, DH went to see her tonight (under the pretence of talking to her about the smoking - which got sidelined and never mentioned. Also when I say she went to the kitchen door, I should have clarified that it was the living room/kitchen door, and not outside - not that I suppose it matters in the grand scheme of things.)So, DH went to tell her how upset I was , thinking that he was building bridges, she said I dont show her any respect <hah, you have to earn respect mother> and she started crying, saying she loves me.
I told DH, I dont bloody care if she cries, I have shed a river over the years, and if she loved me that much, she might consider an apology.
He doesnt understand, he says "But she's your mam".
I say just because you've given birth, it doesnt automatically qualify you as a nice person.

If she genuinely apologises, I may consider what she has to say, but I wont hold my breath.

Thanks again for the support ladies x

BettySwollux Wed 13-May-09 21:09:21

Also, happilyconfused do you mean dont do it as in forgiving her, or sending the email, or...........??
Now I am happily conused smile.

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