My Parents Are Dead (To Me)

Dec 12th, 2010 | By | Category: All Posts, Christina's Blog

Christina Enevoldsen

by Christina Enevoldsen

It would be easier to tell people my parents are dead. Orphans get sympathy; I get judgment. When I tell people that I don’t have any contact with my mother or father, it’s usually the same response: Oh, well, OH! Some of them move on to safer topics but a few of them inquire in hushed tones, “Why not? What…happened?”

I respond with something vague like, “They aren’t very nice people” or the more detailed version that my dad sexually abused me and that both of my parents are defending their ex-son-in-law for raping my daughter.

How many people do you think respond with, “Good for you for standing up to such awful behavior and for protecting yourself and your daughter.”? Not many.

I’m still surprised by how many assume that my boundaries mean I’m bitter and unhappy. I might become bitter if I had to endure a relationship with them, but I’m very happy that I had the freedom to leave. I’m much better off without their destructive influence.

Well-meaning people feel compelled to try to fix whatever’s wrong with me—certainly something must be wrong with me if I don’t have a relationship with my parents. A few reluctantly approve of a temporary separation, as long as I work towards reconciliation. How can I work toward reconciling? What am I supposed to do—learn to be more resilient to abuse? Why is what is perceived as my hard-heartedness worse than the perpetual abuse from my parents? Why is bitterness more evil than raping a child or protecting a child rapist?

The truth is—I understand people’s concern. I might have had the same reaction to someone else while I was still under that system. It was wrong to even question that system. I was taught to respect my parents, to honor my father and mother by my parents, by my church and by society’s example.

The cultural expectation is eternal obligation toward our parents. The rule is that we know they aren’t perfect, but we treat them as though they can do no wrong. Parents get a free pass. Whatever they did, whatever they do, they are our parents.

For most of my life, I went along with that. After I remembered my childhood sexual abuse, I never confronted my father; I treated him as though nothing ever happened. When my dad verbally abused my daughter for her entire childhood and into her adulthood, I never spoke up. When I realized as an adult that my mother contemptuously treated me like the other woman while I was growing up, I didn’t complain.

I only stood up to my mother for one thing in my life. It was only after she asked my husband and me to compromise our values by insisting that we stay silent. I was finally growing enough to speak up. My mom’s response was a reminder that I’m not perfect. So only perfect people are qualified to set boundaries—to say no to harsh treatment, deception, manipulations, and betrayals? I wasn’t claiming perfection; my claim was I was in danger. My parents weren’t risking my physical life, but they were severely compromising my mental and emotional well-being.

Why do those two people—the ones who brought me into this world, the ones who should have the biggest interest in preserving my life—why should they get to take that life from me? Who gave them that right?

There are some people who claim God gave them that right. Their interpretation of the command to “Honor your father and mother” gives parents an untouchable position. Parents have all the rights and the child has none, including the right to resist certain types of treatment.

In my abuse-informed belief system, I agreed with that interpretation. I may not have defined it that way, but I practiced it that way. Now that I have some healing under my belt, I see things differently. I allow myself to question what I believe, to question the rules that I choose to live by, to question the people I want in my life.

By questioning, I see the intent behind that instruction. I see the intention is to preserve life. The roles of parents are ones of nurturers and protectors of the life they began. Their position is to guide us and teach us to take care of that life. People who fulfill that role should be honored. But my parents didn’t do those things.

“Honor your mother and father” still means something to me. I believe I still honor the spirit of that instruction. I’ve taken the good things my parents passed on to me and I protect, value, and honor those things and I’ve left the rest behind. I honor the gift of life my parents gave me. I honor it best by keeping it far away from them.

Related Posts:
Unfriending My Abuser
What If My Family Rejects Me? Part 1
What If My Family Rejects Me? Part 2
What If My Family Rejects Me? Part 3

Christina Enevoldsen is cofounder of Overcoming Sexual Abuse, an online resource for male and female abuse survivors looking for practical answers and tools for healing. Christina’s passions are writing and speaking about her own journey of healing from abuse and inspiring people toward wholeness. She and her husband live in Los Angeles and share three children and four grandchildren.

[read Christina’s story here]

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84 comments
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  1. I am so remiss in this area of my own recovery. It has come to my attention how little I say in support of other survivors, My own denial is an area where I can concentrate in growing not only for my own health but the health of other survivors who are in my life. thank you for bringing this out in the open.

  2. Christina, oh my how you’ve touched a place that is so full of emotional tiger traps and land mines! My in-laws and some friends and distant relatives often ask me when I am going to make things closer or better with my parents and brother. I have learned, even the dear friend and distant cousin who is a therapist, that people can fall for their spin on things and their show of ‘perfection’ so when I say I’ve set boundaries that’s all I say. What do people expect from me? That I would forget while they never have to acknowledge what they did? I have to try harder or do something different while they remain the same? Hardly!

    When my little boy set his boundaries with my dad I just about burst. Even at 5 I had given him something no one gave me, a sense of self strong enough that he could say, “Just let me be.” Together we are setting the boundaries.

    I don’t know how to answer people when they ask why I’m not closer to them – everyone assumes there is something wrong with me that this situation exists. They say, sometimes with some contempt, “Aren’t you supposed to honour your mother and father?” and I reply that yes I am and I do but they also are supposed to not vex their children or push them to wrath. Everyone forgets THOSE passages – especially with children who survived abuse and neglect.

    Superbly written post Christina…thank you for sharing and for being there for us!

  3. Kimberly, thanks for commenting. I’ve been writing a lot lately on family issues becaused I’ve seen from working with so many survivors that’s it’s by far the #1 issue that keeps people from progressing in their healing. It’s either a false sense of loyalty to still-abusing parents (or partner or other member of the family) or the deep-down fear that if they keep growing, they’ll either ‘know’ too much or have to make decisions they aren’t prepared to make. So I keep writing!
    Hugs to you, Christina

    Shanyn,
    That’s sometimes the hardest part. It’s tough enough to have those types of parents in the first place and then it’s tough enough to have to separate from your own family, but then to have people who supposedly care about you refuse to support your own well-being, that’s REALLY tough! But since when is growth ever easy? lol. It’s a good thing we’re so strong even when we don’t feel like we are.

    You might be interested to know that my husband (a pastor) wrote a companion blog to this one that explains the scriptural support for boundaries with parents. I usually don’t post anything with a religious bent to it, but so many survivors have been hurt through spiritual abuse and the twisting of scriptures. I’ll be posting that soon.
    Hugs, Christina

  4. Hi Christina

    I have to say is when I read this blog everything in it resonated to me. I felt like you’d stepped in to my head and were telling me much of what I’ve faced over the years in terms of attitudes, beliefs, assumptions and so on.

    Actually this is one of the reasons why I avoid church and most social situations because of the awkward questions about family which tend to crop up. When facing those questions down the years I’ve said things like “I have no family, I have no contact with my parents, I’m alone in this world, I have no family or relatives”.

    The responses – invariably – “what happened? What did YOU do? Do you not want any contact with them? Surely you have someone, no one has nobody? Have YOU done all YOU can to seek reconciliation?” I heard assumptions that I must be bitter, angry and unforgiving to have and want nothing to do with them. I’d say something along the lines of “oh I was abused by my entire family and then disowned when I was of no further use to them”.

    Again – “have you forgiven them? It is not good that someone should be alone, you should forgive and seek reconciliation”. Many times I’ve tried to explain further but ended up in arguments. Nobody seemed to get what I was saying – crimes had been committed against me.

    And why? Simply because I’m talking about family.

    I’d never have had any of that had my abusers been from outside the family.

    Why is it that when it is family suddenly it’s a different set of rules. They’re still child abusers, child torturers, child rapists, child murderers – regardless of who they, regardless of their being related to me. They are criminals who destroyed my life by their crimes.

    “Honour your parents” was not written with child abuse in mind. It was written in the context of having loving parents who guided and supported their child. The commandment was not written to tell victims of terrible abuse to honour people who only did and said dishonourable things and to whom no honour is due, only shame.

    Let’s get real. How can you reconcile with people who’ve never admitted and never will admit anything was ever wrong with the family “system”. How can you reconcile with people to whom abuse and lies are “normal” behaviour? Let’s be honest – do you want anything to do with people like that? Why should I just because they’re my parents, my family.

    When “the family” has been a toxic, destructive, abusive, manipulative, controlling environment there is no reason, however compelling to sustain that system.

    The truth is I am an orphan – not through the physical death of my parents –but because of abuse. I am an orphan of abuse. I am an orphan because of incest. I am an orphan because my family rejected and disowned me. The truth is I did nothing to deserve that.

    Reading this has really connected me with my experiences. It’s also connected me with the emotions – the frustration, anger, disbelief, confusion that such responses caused me. And I feel really angry at how isolated I’ve become because I just could not deal with the “family” questions and assumptions anymore. Reading this has also inspired me to write a blog post on these issues.

    Thanks for lifting the lid on this topic, this is so well written!!

  5. Fi,
    I know what it’s like to try to explain to people. It can be so devaluing to hear them say you should just go back and endure it. Now, I’M the bad guy and nothing I can say can change their mind. But the truth is that I don’t have to follow what they think I should do, so I don’t have to change their mind. It’s just really sad how most people think about these issues. It leads to more abuses on top of abuses.

    When you post your blog on this topic, be sure to leave a link here, too!
    Hugs, Christina

  6. Here’s the link to my blog post “I Am An Orphan to Abuse”

    http://fromchrysalistobeautifulbutterfly.blogspot.com/2010/12/i-am-orphan-to-abuse.html

  7. Fi,
    Thanks for posting the link to your blog. I read it and it’s very powerful. This was the part I especially liked:

    My own parents beat me and as they beat me they said over and over “you will honour your parents because the bible tells you to.” Then Christians beat me over the head with the commandment “honour your parents” and added a “regardless of what they did to you honour them because they are your parents, forgive and forget, you only ever have one lot of parents.”

  8. Yeah, it’s amazing. When I your post it resonated so powerfully that stuff which has been locked inside me suddenly came pouring out. Suddenly I was able to process things which up until now I’d found hard to process or express. That is when I write my most powerful stuff, when I just let it pour out like that.

  9. Thanks for that great post. Just yesterday, there was a sermon at church about Christmas gatherings and how to survive. The pastor referred to having overflowing joy and how that only happens when you dwell in God’s love (John 15:11). She then went on to give tips on showing love, like laughing at Uncle Bob’s stupid jokes or accepting Aunt Lucy’s 13th pair of orange socks because you never know when you’ll need another pair! I felt that was discounting the real reasons why people have great difficulties/conflict at Christmas, and it doesn’t come down to not liking someone’s jokes or the gifts we get. The only reference to abuse was when she said that if we are immersed in God’s love, we are so full of it it doesn’t affect us if someone abuses us because we still have so much love to give.

    I guess what is missing is the more complete definition of love – that to love yourself, you need to protect yourself from danger, and true love also doesn’t enable evil. That’s why there are passages of scripture that encourages us to withdraw from fellowship with people who are immoral/drunkards/abusers.

    My parents did not sexually abuse me (in fact, I find it very very hard to believe that fathers do that, because I cannot imagine it as my father was a strong, gentle, kind, wise father figure). But I did live with 25 years of abuse with a physically, sexually, spiritually, financially and psychologically abusive ex. My mother was a selfish controlling woman and she taught me to have a high tolerance of such behavior. Now I am trying to limit contact with my ex because he continues to abuse through the children, who visit him regularly. My mother lives very far away so it’s not hard to limit contact with her, but I don’t want to cut off contact because she can support me with money and I am being squeezed financially by my ex, who is being very unreasonable with any financial settlement and I am unable to work because I have very young children. I know it is hard to justify keeping contact for financial reasons, but I feel that the welfare of my kids depends on having that back-up resource.

  10. Great blog Christina,

    I can certainly relate about others asking you about your family. It’s my family that asks me about my family. lol. “Have you spoken to dad lately?” Don’t you think it’s time to forgive and move on from this?” Blah, blah, blah, blah. What I would like to hear is ” I am proud of you for putting up your boundaries against an abuser.”

    I don’t really see that happening, but I am at peace within myself about my separation. And the longer I am away, the more empowered I feel. I also am able to divide the truth and the denial that my family is in. It was a good choice for me and my kids.

    I appreciate you touching on this hard subject. Going against parents seems to be one of the hardest things to overcome. First to admit to yourself that they did wrong. And then to walk away. I’m glad I did tho.

    Love ya ((hug)) Patty

  11. I am thinking about cutting off ties with my mother completely. Yesterday I was at her house to see what kind of printer cartridges she has so I can get her some replacements. I intended on just being in and out, not wanting to be there any longer than I had to. But I had to wait “two minutes” for her beans to boil (actually more like ten, but if I couldn’t wait “two minutes” then I was a selfish bitch). I scooted back to the computer room to at least boot the thing up. I noticed a note which had my name in it. Not trusting her to write anything about me which was helpful, I picked it up and read it. Sure enough, she had written that my two friends I had asked to visit her b/c “nobody ever visited her” had “criminal intent” b/c they had lured me away from working for her, that it was my church’s requirement that I not do things for her anymore, and that now she had to do it all by herself, which was torture, and torture was against the law. (No mention of her three other caretakers.) No mention of any relationship she was missing with me since our cult-church (actually a very mainstream one) had taken me away from her.

    (I stopped working for her because I couldn’t stand the constant complaining about others and snide remarks to me.)

    I could chalk this up to creeping dementia, except that she’s been this way as long as I can remember. Thisepisode once more reconfirms for me three things I already knew, but in a more powerful way, b/c it involved other people besides me.

    1. My only value as a daughter to her is in what I can DO for her.
    2. She can easily take things that are meant to be good and twist them into something ugly.
    3. I’m so stupid that at 49 other people are still making my decisions for me.

    Trying to be kind to her is like trying to be nice to a rattlesnake.

    I hope I’m making some sense. A couple years ago, I found out she has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and dealing with those kind of people is like walking through a house of mirrors.

  12. Great post, Christina! This really resonated with me – why is it the victim who is always approached to make things right?? To reconcile relationship?? It’s not up to me to do that, I’m not the one who committed a wrong. I went through so much struggle with the ‘honour your mother’ bit when my mother had been so abusive to me. I agree with you every little bit on this one as I came to the same conclusions as you. I also recently came across a scripture verse that says, “Give respect where respect is due.” (I think that’s word for word.)

    I am like you Christine, where I took what was good from my parents and implemented it. What was bad, evil – that I discarded – expediently! I can better ‘respect’ my mother with her out of my life than being in it. Great post!

  13. MZC ~ Honey, I can so relate – my mother was the very same. I am 45 and ten years ago, the abuse got so bad it was destroying who I was on the inside. My mother did the same thing and my mother too has Narcissistic Personality Disorder!! My mother hasn’t been in my life for ten years now. I waited ten years for an apology (which I know now I will never get from anyone with NPD). I waited ten years for her to want me back in her life and still – nothing. Things came to a head with the rest of my family about 4 1/2 months ago … and even though I cried for two days – I AM NOW FREE and man, does it feel good. I feel like I am finally free to discover who I am (as my mother robbed me of any identity of my own) and I am free to overcome all the crap once and for all. I currently have no contact at all with my NPD mother, my father or my siblings now – and you know, it wasn’t the loss I thought – it was freedom I gained, not loss.

    And so true, trying to be kind to them is like trying to be kind to a rattlesnake!!

  14. This blog is something I am able to relate to deeply like most here. This is one of the hardest areas for me and one that I struggle with sometimes on a daily basis especily near birthdays and holiday times. See I have no contact with my parents and I havent for a long time. But it hurts that I have no family that I am close to other than my children and partner. I long for a family that I never really had, I am sick of people saying to me time heals all pfft no it does not it can make it easier but it does not heal. I am sick of people who tell me that my children will cut off contact with me like I have with my family ; granted these people have no concept of what abuse does to a person and well they should it needs to be discussed more often so it does not occur or something is done about it. Some of these people who were my friends struggle with me having no contact with my family. I have no idea what it has to do with them that I have no contact. I have none due to my abusive parents. Due to the sexual abuse I endured over years from my father and my mother trying to deny and ignore the fact she married an abusive man. I grew up in a domestic violent household with the extras; abuse directed at me. I am sure it gave my mother a break from it occuring to her but that is not my fault. I was made to feel everything was my fault, I hated being at school as I never felt like I fitted in. I feel as if my life was taken away from me and who I could be earlier on. I dislike when people suggest that I reconcile with my parents as I only have one set. Someone might have suggested to my parents to treat all 4 of their daughters better and not sexually abuse them, just a thought. Or when people have to ask about oh you dont talk about your family how come to accept the answer I give or do not ask the question. I usually say either because they were abusive and leave it at that I do not need to go into details. Or I say well why do you think I dont talk to them its not hard to work out; usually this is when I am in a peeved off mood and sick of people asking. What is the obsession of people asking why not just accept that some people do not discuss their family for whatever reasons. Why not focus on the here and now I have two teenagers and a partner why not focus on us and direct your questions there. I have been told by numerous people ( I cant class them as friends) that my children are missing out on the meaning of family by not having contact, or surely your parents could not have been that bad. If I tell those people just a little more than my parents were abusive and I say my father sexually abused me and my mother ignored it they seem to freak out and distance themselves. Well they should have stopped at my parents were abusive and no we do not have a all in one get together family gatherings. The subject of abuse needs to be discussed more and the effect that it has on survivors or people who have experienced abuse. I use to tell people my parents died in a road accident due to the obsession some people had with asking questions about family of origin. That was far worse as some people would then feel the need to inform me that my parents would be proud of me if they saw me today WTF ? I realised I made it worse. I had to be upfront and truthful. I struggled with finding the words that I could say regarding this topic. I will stick with my parents were abusive during my childhood and I have not had any contact now for over 10 years. If they wish to ask or know more and they dont accept what I say then that is fine goodbye I will not be made to feel less than and guilty anymore. I could do without these people in my life. I need people who are supportive and understand and most of all accept me and my decisions. I do not want to have toxic people in my life and they seem to be at times the ones I attrack not all but some. I need to heal a little more so I can have people in my life that are supportive and not nosey or pushy. I remember telling my mother at 16 I some things that were happening and she told me no this is not true as my father had a vasectomy and the priest at the church we attended as a family had spoken to him of his struggles WTF? That made no sense then and it still does not know. I have since found out part of that meant my father had abused my older sisters and he had a vasectomy so he did not get them pregnant again WTF. I wished my parents had put me up for adoption really I do. I could have done without them in my life as I have struggled I have found it hard to be a parent and well as a person. I do not have a stong support system at the moment I have my partner/husband and some friends dotted around and a new therapist and a new support group face to face. I am sick of the struggle and the fighting I just want and long for a regular life full of minor issues not the nightmares and memories that I have. I do see I have a future and I do know I have not abused my children and have broken the abusive cycle. I just want to be in a better postion in life. I cant think of the nice lessons they have taught me as I am sure I would have learnt those lessons and been exposed to certain things that are considered normal and regular if I did not have the abuse in my life. I too honor my mother and father by keeping as distance from them also and to keep my children and myself safe.
    So yes this is a hard time of year for me due to the questions people ask about family I wish they took note that I do not talk about them. I realise people I do not know well will ask but why does it have to be part of society because most familes are kind of okay and a little quirky just not abusive. I feel guilt and shame over having no contact with family when people suggest I should even when they are aware of the abuse. It is getting less as I am finding the words to say. Being able to speak about it is hard but for me important. I do not feel the need to tell everyone but if the question comes up and people pry a little more I will tell them. I have no contact as my family of origin were abusive. It is just going to take some time before I feel comfortable with that. Society has numerous pushes surrounding the word family of being together and being all happy. Sometimes bad stuff happens in families or to families. Some people need to comeout of their little hidy holes and realise this. Then society as a whole might be able to look at it and realise something needs to be done. Sorry for my rambling on. Thankyou for writting this blog and this topic.

  15. Leslie,
    I absolutely agree with your comment: ” I guess what is missing is the more complete definition of love – that to love yourself, you need to protect yourself from danger, and true love also doesn’t enable evil. That’s why there are passages of scripture that encourages us to withdraw from fellowship with people who are immoral/drunkards/abusers.” In all of my 40+ years in church, I’ve never heard one sermon on self-love. I’ve heard lots of warnings against getting carried away with the whole self-love thing as though it was something to be afraid of. I guess that shows just how little understood it is.

    You also said, ” I know it is hard to justify keeping contact for financial reasons, but I feel that the welfare of my kids depends on having that back-up resource.” I hope you don’t feel judged here because of that. We all have different circumstances, resources and are at different places in our journey. I’m sorry you don’t have the best mom, but it’s great that you’re doing what you feel is best for your children. I have a lot of respect for that.
    Hugs, Christina

    Patty,
    You’re so right that going against parents seems to be one of the hardest things. But as you and I have seen, it also reaps some of the best rewards. I feel more empowered since taking my stand, too. It was definitely a grown-up thing to do! Thanks for always being there and cheering me on. I love you, big Sis!

  16. I heard someone the other day talking about not having communication with their parents and I jumped to conclusions that they were an unruly, disrespectful person who couldn’t submit to authority… All while forgetting that I don’t even speak to my own father. My first reaction to someone not having communication with their parents is that the kid did something wrong. But setting boundaries with my own father was the best thing I ever did for myself. And the right thing!

  17. Bethany,
    Your comment made me laugh! (for anyone who doesn’t know, Bethany is my daughter) I know what you mean about having a certain perception about people who don’t get along with their parents. We’ve been brainwashed by that abusive system and it’s hard to let go of that old way of thinking. I remember even encouraging you to have a relationship with your dad after you told me about the abuse. I just thought he was safe for you now that you’re an adult. I didn’t consider that control and verbal abuse were that serious or that being around him might be distressing to you. How wrong I was!!!!! I’m so glad we escaped that old belief system and can make better decisions now. I’m so proud of you for standing up for yourself. I know it’s been an incredibly hard journey, but it’s been wonderful to see your growth.
    Love, Mom

    I’ll just add here that a few people have asked me: “What kind of an example are you to your children?” or “If you don’t honor your own parents, how do you expect your children to treat you?”

    I think standing up to my parents has been one of the best things I could have done for my children. Once I took my stand, it wasn’t long before Bethany took her stand. I encourage my children to stand up to abuse, no matter where it comes from. If I was an abusive person, I would hope that my children would take measures to protect themselves from me.

  18. Christina and Clare ~

    I got this too – that my kids will ‘reject’ me like I did my mother. It’s one of those things that people use to get you to do what they think is right. In essence, its a control tactic. If I do my job as a mom the best I can, my kids won’t reject me. And I feel the same as you both in that I’ve done my kids a GREAT justice and service by removing them from my abusive mother and from people who make their mother (me) out to be a liar because its easier than facing the truth – my truth.

    Respect where respect is due … even though our mothers and fathers aren’t in our lives – we can show we honour them by not allowing them in our lives to wreak havoc, as allowing an abusive parent to keep control will just lead to increasing anger and hatred. What honour is there in hating one’s parents?? Better indifference than hatred (and it took me a long, long, long time to go from seething hatred to indifference.)

    Gosh, I love this site! I love the support I find here – as well as the acceptance and understanding and validation. Hugs to all!

  19. MZC,
    Some people just can’t be pleased and every nice thing is twisted. My mom wasn’t like that, but I always had the feeling that I needed to do just a little better. I didn’t even realize how exhausting it was to be in a relationship with her until it ended. You make perfect sense. Even though the truth is ugly, it’s still good to recognize it. Your mom may not value you, but you’re still a valuable person.
    Hugs, Christina

    Paulette,
    Thanks for the great compliment! I feel the same way too, “It wasn’t the loss I expected”. Actually, I didn’t think my mom would really choose that other stuff over me, so I wasn’t expecting a loss, but I was surprised by how little of a sacrifice it was to gain my freedom! Thanks for commenting!
    Hugs, Christina

  20. Clare,
    I’m really glad you shared all of that. It’s evident that you’re a very strong person. The thing that stood out to me was your reference to people asking you about you depriving your children of grandparents or of being around family. I think that’s one of the most ridiculous things for people to say. Children are better off without abusers in their life! Children are fine without grandparents, but they are NOT fine when they are abused. I agree with you that society’s idealic fantasy about family needs to change. I guess that’s where our voices are useful! Keep using your voice and I will too!
    Hugs, Christina

  21. Thanks Christina I have to say I do not feel like a strong person just annoyed and angry and protective of my children.

    Paulette I am working on being indifferent, I do not have hatred for me feels like to much energy but I do have anger. I liked what you said here:

    Respect where respect is due … even though our mothers and fathers aren’t in our lives – we can show we honour them by not allowing them in our lives to wreak havoc, as allowing an abusive parent to keep control will just lead to increasing anger and hatred. What honour is there in hating one’s parents?? Better indifference than hatred (and it took me a long, long, long time to go from seething hatred to indifference.)

    I have to admit I do love this blog and the other blog Emerging from Broken I have learnt so much and truly inspired by what people share and say and of course what the bloggers of each site write :)

  22. “Good for you for standing up to such awful behavior and for protecting yourself and your daughter.” and good for you for not swaying from your decision. I’m sorry you and your daughter had to endure this travesty. God Bless.

  23. Steve, thanks for the encouragement. It’s nice to hear those words from someone other than me! lol.

  24. Clare – I’m so glad you wrote all that stuff, I related to much of what you wrote. For years I longed for the family that I never had, it’s taken me a long time to accept that my family never loved me and never will and that I really need to redefine “family” for myself. That was quite a breakthrough for me. I know the avoiding social situations because of the family questions and the hurt of birthdays and holiday times. When you said that you wished your family had put you up for adoption you reminded me that throughout my childhood I repeatedly told myself I was adopted and would one day find my real parents. This was because I could not believe parents could subject their daughter to the depths of cruelty and degradation that mine did. It was only when I got my birth certificate that I finally had to accept I wasn’t adopted – my abusers were my real parents. Oh boy, that was immensely painful for me.

    When you said “I am sick of the struggle and the fighting I just want and long for a regular life full of minor issues not the nightmares and memories that I have” I so related to that.

    It’s one of the most devastating things for me that I’ve not had the normal life most people take for granted because of the abuse but have spent my life in isolation without relationships of any kind with my sleep [when I sleep] full of nightmares and my waking times filled with horrific painful memories. As survivors we’ll never have the normal regular kind of life we dream for and most take for granted. BUT I’m beginning to see that there is hope for a life not so filled with the nightmares and memories. It’s gonna take a lot of hard work, but the journey is worth it because I cannot continue with my life as it is – I’ve had it with all that stuff and will do whatever it takes to get through to a more peaceful life.

    I liked the bit where you said “Sometimes bad stuff happens in families or to families. Some people need to comeout of their little hidy holes and realise this. ” – That puts this entire situation into a nutshell. Yes bad stuff happens and people do have to distance themselves from their families because of it. “The family” is not the be all and end all of life – there is life beyond “the family”, life beyond the fantasy.

  25. @ Fi Thanks for all you have shared, it is true there is life beyond family. I am now focusing on ways to live a more peaceful life for myself and I hope my children will benefit from this so they can have a peaceful life.

  26. I’m feeling very anxious after reading all these posts. I admire the bravery of those of you who have cut off ties with your abusers. And I am scared that if I am unable (or unwilling) to do this, then there must be some part of me that WANTS to be abused. And that just gives me something else to hate myself for (which I absolutely do not need…I have enough). I recognize how much easier it would be (for me) if I would cut off all ties with my mother. But I don’t think it would be easy living with the judgment I’d get from my siblings, and I don’t think it would be easy to all of a sudden not have anyone to “be” for. I know that it’s ridiculous, but I’ve spent my whole life being (at least trying to be) what my mother wanted. Granted, I have never quite hit that mark. But I have spent my whole life trying. What will I do/be without that? That has been the entirety of my identity. Even typing that sentence makes me cry. What will be the point of me without her?

    And of course, that reality makes me angry and resentful and hurt and all the other bad things, but it doesn’t make it any less reality. And I’m angry at myself because I’ve known I have to give up this identity for some time and have been unable (or unwilling) to do it, being terrified that there will be nothing in its place once it’s gone. There will be no point to me, to my life.

    So I guess I am choosing the abuse. I guess its familiar desolation is better than complete nothingness.

  27. Lisa,
    I went through some of the very same feelings that you are experiencing. Your uncertainty and fear about leaving your mother doesn’t mean you want to be abused at all. It’s a sad fact that those who most need to leave their families of origin are the ones who are least prepared to do so. Healthy parents prepare their children to live independently without them, but the unhealthy ones teach dependency by constantly undermining the child’s self-esteem and by depriving them of unconditional love so the child has a tendency to cling to the parents, hoping for that need to be filled.

    I hope you don’t feel like a healing failure for being at the stage you’re at. Every step you take toward health is a step away from your mother. You can still learn to be there for yourself and love yourself and fill in for the missing pieces you never got. You’ll get stronger as you go. Whatever you ultimately decide about your relationship with your mother, you can still work on your healing.
    Hugs, Christina

  28. Christina,
    This is very powerful. I had forgotten how my mother also used the “you’re not perfect” statement. I forgot that I never questioned what exactly “that statement” (your not perfect) ~ had to do with ANYTHING? It was such a deflection statement. Such a perfect trail away from the point. Abusers are masters at doing this! It is such a tactile and manipulative way of getting away from (and getting us away from) the truth. Realizing this kind of stuff was extremely helpful to me in the process of coming out of the fog.
    This is a great post !
    Hugs, Darlene

  29. Darlene,
    You’re so right about deflection and abusers being masters at it. Anything to draw attention away from the truth. My dad also used the same excuse for Bethany’s abuse. He excused Bethany’s dad by saying, “Well, she’s not perfect. She’s shacking up with a guy.” My dad never denied that the abuse took place, only that it was deserved. How outrageous! Yet when I was still under that abusive system, that ploy really worked with me because I was so painfully aware of how flawed I was and in my heart, I believed I deserved the abuse. It was so helpful to make myself aware of abuers’s tactics. Now they’re easy to spot. Thanks for your comment!
    Hugs, Christina

  30. Great post. I just wanted to say that I have heard the “Honor thy mother” verse used over and over again in my childhood. It wasn’t until recently when I learned about the other part of that. Matthew Henry’s commentary helped me out a lot to be able to go back and re-read this without feeling so angry:
    “The great duty of children is, to obey their parents. That obedience includes inward reverence, as well as outward acts, and in every age prosperity has attended those distinguished for obedience to parents. The duty of parents. Be not impatient; use no unreasonable severities. Deal prudently and wisely with children; convince their judgements and work upon their reason. Bring them up well; under proper and compassionate correction; and in the knowledge of the duty God requires. Often is this duty neglected, even among professors of the gospel. Many set their children against religion; but this does not excuse the children’s disobedience, though it may be awfully occasion it.”

    Anyway, just wanted to share. :-)

  31. Tempy ~ I love that – this was one thing that was always held over my head, “honor your mother” – it was like her ‘get out of jail’ card she always played – that no matter how cruel she was and how unkind she was, she’d play this card. It took me a long time with careful study to realize that there is more to ‘honor they parents’ – there was also, ‘fathers, don’t exasperate your children’ which could be applied to mothers as well. There is also another scripture verse that says in so many words to give respect where respect is due. Abusive people who have some knowledge of scripture love to hold scriptures like this over our heads to keep us in submission to their abuse. I love what you shared. Thank you.

  32. May I just say a loud, resounding, AMEN!

    Kellie

  33. Thank you. I just had a sleepless night again debating whether I should just suck it up and let my parents’ abuse start again because they have my oldest child, who they haven’t let me see in almost seven months. They have turned him into an abuser and because of his “age” I can’t do anything about it. I was so sick of hearing “it is in the past” and “forget about it”. Meanwhile, they used the past against me over and over again always making me feel like it was me that did something wrong by telling the truth. Thank you for making me feel like I am not alone. Luckily, I have wonderful in-laws who have shown me what it is really like to have parents that love and support you.

  34. “I honor the gift of life my parents gave me. I honor it best by keeping it far away from them.”

    Amen. I had contact with my parents and siblings after staying away for over 20 years. It was WORSE when I “came back” than when I left. The defamatory lies and stories they have been told about me had reached mythic proportions. My mother did not want to see me even on her deathbed. Who ever heard of NOT having a “deatbed reconcilliation?” I had waited all my life for this and my sisters hatred after my disclosure was even worse than what happened to me. Makes me wonder if they were all not “willing participants.” One of my sisters is married to a pastor who I have met for a whole two and a half hours, 20 years ago, who has passed judgment on me and found ME “guilty” since he “doesn’t believe in repressed memories” and is “in relation” with my father and “not in relation” with me. Those two are worse than all the rest put together.

    Now that my mother is dead, they are starting the “beatification process.”

    I’m taking the whole bunch to court for defamation, slander and libel – one by one – to clear my name and set the record straight. I’m going to go public in a big way as soon as I get the courage to stand up for myself with this entire 10 person abusive family system. Military Irish Catholics with alcohol abuse, physical beatings and sexual abuse… what do they have to be proud of? What do I have to be proud of? PLENTY. I GOT OUT OF THERE AND I SURVIVED.

    catherinetodd.blogspot.com/

  35. Candie,
    What a hard situation with your son! I’m sorry for how they’re treating you, but I’m glad you see the truth and are standing by it. How wonderful to have in-laws who are supportive. I have that with my in-laws, too. It was a shock to me to see how healthy families actually work when I married my second husband. I’m so glad to have found them!
    Christina

    Catherine,
    I love this!: “What do I have to be proud of? PLENTY. I GOT OUT OF THERE AND I SURVIVED.” YES!
    Christina

  36. Reading Shanyn December 12th, 2010 8:58 am … really resonated with me. I just received news of a death in my “adopted family” in the midst of my angst over my “biological family” and all I can think of is “Why can’t we all just get along?” What to do. Pray. Pray. and Pray. Dear God help us all. Thanks for this wonderful blog. Means the world to all of us out there. We have survived and lived another day to write about it and share our stories. And Pray.

  37. I understand completely. My circumstances are slightly different , but the outcome is the same. My parents are dead to me. I hear my mother is dying of brain cancer and everyone thinks I am bitter by not going to see her. I try to explain, she is already dead. No one gets it. Good Luck and enjoy your life without their drama.

  38. Ronata,
    I understand being judged for being bitter. I feel just the opposite of being bitter. I feel liberated by setting boundaries and deciding what kind of a relationship I want. But some people will never understand that kind of freedom. I’m glad you’ve found it!
    Christina

  39. My mother died two years ago, and did not want me at her death bed. All of my other 7 siblings were welcome, of course, but I was the one “who told.” All I could think of – even though I had waited so many years for a “death-bed reconciliation” was that SHE COULD NOT HURT ME ANYMORE.

    She was dead and gone, and my wishes for her to be different could also not hurt me any more. It was my desire for the loving mother I never had that hurt me the most. Now that she’s gone, it’s OVER. No more wishing, hoping, wondering what I could do different, what I did wrong… all GONE.

    Peace at last.

    I had no contact with any of them for over 20 years, and before and during the time she was dying from cancer I resumed contact and could not believe how NOTHING had changed. All those years didn’t mean a thing. Same attacks, same lies, same contradictions… I swear, it’s got to be some kind of mental illness. Narcissism and Borderline Personality Disorder and Domestic Violence and Incest and Sexual Abuse and everything else all rolled into one. Sick sick sick but I am finally learning how to pray. I ask God to heal me and heal the world every single day.

    And as one friend put it, my mother is “somewhere, with a lot of explaining to do.”

    Well said and Amen. Thank God for websites like this one. Reading these stories, I feel like I have come “home” and I am no longer so alone. Thanks to everyone for sharing. Means the world to me.

    Today is the 4th of July, 2011, and it’s another day of FREEDOM.

    CatherineTodd2@gmail.com

  40. Catherine, I’m so glad you know you’re not alone! Hugs!

  41. Well it is 3 am and having trouble sleeping , angry at my m and full of questions why did you do this , how could you and so on, after reading from your website I’m feeling WOW! I see that there are others with the same feelings and questions. I am in recovery from 20yrs of addiction and have been clean for 2yrs and 9mos now and at times its a battle especialy since I am very much controlled by my toxic family and forced to face my abuser everyday. Since I got clean little by little Ive been gaining my independence. I no longer work fulltie for my parents though still living in one of their properties, I am in college getting my degree so that I can support myself . I figure since its all out in the open and since they are well known in our area that if they did not support my recovery it would not look very good, so Im getting stronger everyday learning more about myself and your website has enlightened me that It Is I whom has the choice well not completely yet but soon to come, and I will be able to break free and be on my own , as it stands if I were to walk away now it would mean zero money, no place to live, nothing. cause they controll everypenny I get since I work for them they controll how its disbursed but thats ok for now I will be done soon with school and I feel that I can do it on my own, many of you have and I can too. Its amazing how long I have let this go on, but I wont negative self talk my self to death and now I have your inspiring words to reasure me that I am entitled to have a life of my own and I dont have to look at my uncle whom sexualy abused me when I was little or seek my mothers approval, I just need to stay strong and keep the faith that this too shall pass. and my true recovery can begin . I feel sorry for all of them and may god have mercy on all of them, in some sick twisted way I still love my family very much But I see that they wont change but I love myself too and It is I that I need to look out for. Its not easy to walk away from the ones you so desperately want to love you, and accepting the fact that they will never love you the way they should have and accepting the fact that they choose my sick uncle over me their child is a tuff one to swallow.

  42. Ida,
    I love what you said, “I still love my family very much But I see that they wont change but I love myself too and It is I that I need to look out for.” YES! Absolutely!

    Good for you for all the steps you’ve already taken and for your exit strategy! There are big rewards, but they are often gained by taking little steps. It’s very encouraging to hear that you’re slowly taking your life back. Yay!
    Christina

  43. I have been so conflicted about my decicison to disown parents. I hv only recently come to terms,with the help of my therapist, of the fact that my mother knew about the abuse. And, that she was a jealous wife toward me and my sister because of my fathers attentions. I always suspected, but my mother is a very good victimized narcacistis that will not take resposibility for anything. It has been about 2y since I have spoken to her. It has been 18y since I have any contact with my father. My sister is still in contact w/ my father. It concerns me for the sake of my nieces. I actually found the courage to remove my parents from my life for the sake of my children. I want a better childhood/life for them. Unfortunately, because I have had such ridiculuously bad parenting examples, I feel like I’m coming up short most of the time.
    With the holidays upon us, my second thoughts are more frequent. I ache for the “Norman Rockwelll” postcard family. Holidays are lonely, but my sanity and my children’s innocence is more important.

  44. Brandy,
    I understand the conflict. To cling to our parents is part of the survival instincts we needed when we were children. Even if I had seen the truth about my parents earlier, I was so needy from their abandonment of me and I thought if I waited long enough and worked hard enough, they’d finally meet my needs. I can especially relate to your comment about the “Norman Rockwell” image and giving up that fantasy. It’s especially difficult around the holidays, but I completely agree that I prefer the separation to the dangerous alternative. Thank you for sharing.
    Christina

  45. Thank you Christina,

    My mother-in-law called me on our 40th wedding anniversary to tell me that my parents were still my parents and that I should forgive and forget or I would regret not seeing them before they die. I am called “unchristian” by my sister and two ladies at church, one of whom is our minister’s wife and some other family members when I talk about God and prayer…that I do not have the right to speak of Him. One psychiatrist that I went to for help told me that “to err is human, to forgive divine”. Another doctor said that there are more people with problems greater than mine ( I know that)

    My daughter-in-law’s mother does not want to associate with us and seems to feel that I will damage our only two grandchildren (2 years and 1 month) and manages to monopolize time with our granddaughter. My sons and my daughter-in-law have been very supportive and my husbands and two sons don’t want to see my parents.

    But there is the question of going to the funerals when they do die. I don’t want to offend my uncles, aunts or my brothers. My sister thinks that I owe my parents an apology. I don’t know how to cope with going through the same dynamics of our family 40 years ago and keeping up the lies. My mother has been put on a pedestal by her nieces and nephews and I am continually being asked what is wrong with me, that I am putting such good people through such pain.

    I have been having nightmares that people pass me on the street and move to avoid me and I walk into a room with our whole family and find myself alone, with no one to speak to me. I am so tired…I don’t know how to cope with this anymore. As the holidays come, it seems like the only family I have left are my husband, sons, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. I am blessed for this, but it is so difficult to know that because I “chose to tell” I am now facing what my father drilled into my head for 16 years, that if I ever told, no one would ever speak to me again.

    Thank you so much for listening…may God be with you for the holidays and always,
    Linda

  46. Christina,

    The other thing that is so difficult and was mentioned in some letters here are the people that have told me that my sons and grandchildren will eventually desert me as I stopped all contact with my parents 15 years ago. I try to see something better in the future, but an almost daily dose of “what goes around comes around” by some closest to us is very wearing.

    I am so sorry to complain, but an understanding ear is a blessing.

    Prayers always,
    Linda

  47. Linda,
    I don’t think you’re complaining at all, but even if you are, you have a lot to complain about!. “Complain” is such a bad word in our society, but I think that’s kept a lot of valid feelings from being expressed and helped to protect the abusive system. This is a good place to express yourself, so there’s no need to apologize for that.

    I’ll repeat what I wrote in comment 17 in case you missed that:

    ” I’ll just add here that a few people have asked me: “What kind of an example are you to your children?” or “If you don’t honor your own parents, how do you expect your children to treat you?”

    I think standing up to my parents has been one of the best things I could have done for my children. Once I took my stand, it wasn’t long before Bethany took her stand. I encourage my children to stand up to abuse, no matter where it comes from. If I was an abusive person, I would hope that my children would take measures to protect themselves from me.

    I hope that helps.
    Hugs,
    Christina

  48. Hi Everyone,

    I just found this site a few days back and it’s truly been a godsend. I am a bit over a year into the “healing process.” My childhood is marred by incest which my parents covered up to protect the abuser which later led to more sexual assaults not associated with family. I grew up in a faux Christian home and like many of you, was bombarded with the “honor your father and mother.” And so I did even though my life was like living with the black plague. A bit over a year ago, I cut off all ties with my mother after she started playing games with my kids. Funny, I never stood up for myself but as soon as she started manipulating my girls, I ended things. I put a big exclamation point on the end by sending her a letter lining out the incest and the nothing they did about it. I went a step further and attacked her faux Christian faith letting her know that the god she served wasn’t the one in the Bible. Of course, I’ve never heard anything back.

    I have lamented the loss of my parents for years always knowing something was wrong but never quite able to put my finger on it. I made excuses for them, etc. and continued to live under the guilt that I was not honoring them with my underlying need to get as far away from them as possible. Or my hatred of them which I kept in check for the most part.

    I am a Christian. I lost a precious son to a horrendous four year battle with cancer 3.5 years back and after that devastation, I decided to pick up my Bible and actually read it. That was truly when my healing began. I started to see God as He was and realize that my mother was not following Him. I started to see all the places where things were NOT right in my family so when things came to the superior head with her, it was easy to end things. I think that is an integral part of the healing process when parents are unrepentant.

    I do want to speak to the “honoring parents” guilt because like most of you, somebody somewhere has fed me this line as well as the fact that “I” should seek reconciliation, etc. Some of this came from people whom I know ARE godly people and in their case, the depravity of my parents and all others involved cannot be grasped so I extend them grace because their heart is right. They just cannot understand my pain. The other “holier than thou” people however, haven’t read their Bibles. What exactly do I owe people who all but murdered me? People who threw me under the bus and left me for dead only picking me up when they wanted to offer a “guilt offering”‘ to appease their consciousness. What is owed? What does God actually say here?

    Levitical law says that all willing participants of incest be killed. Even though we live under “grace” currently, God’s opinion of this hasn’t changed. It is only by His mercy and longsuffering that my parents even live. Furthermore, levitical law also equates rape to murder and this is in referrence to adults. How much more serious is it then when a child is involved? All over scripture there is emphasis on standing up for the weak and taking special care of them. I could go on and on but the point of this is that my parents and all others involved deserve death according to scripture. They may as well have murdered me. What do I owe them? They owe ME. And sadly, there is nothing they can do to recompense this. I AM an orphan. They abandoned me when I was five and probably even before that because I never ever remember trusting them. I didn’t trust them even enough to tell them about the incest. They found out through my brother. Because they never did anything about it, or even spoke to my brother about the vileness of these acts, my brother went on to be an offernder. It’s a vicious cycle. One which I stopped in my own family.

    I “honor” my parents by no longer pretending their many sins are okay or forgiven. None of it is okay. They are unrepentant and thus I am not obligated to forgive them just as God does not forgive those who do not repent. I don’t wish ill upon them but I cannot live under their terror. God has called His children to live in peace, not with murderers, liars, thieves, etc. He says He is the father to the fatherless and I have found this to be true. . I do wish my parents would come to their senses though I believe if they ever rightly understood the damage they have done, the hideousness of that would actually stop their hearts.

    Thank you for this great resource. Looking forward to getting to know you all better.
    Jen

  49. Jenna,
    AMEN!
    Your comment about parents is something I’ve believed for a long time, “I started to see all the places where things were NOT right in my family so when things came to the superior head with her, it was easy to end things. I think that is an integral part of the healing process when parents are unrepentant.”

    I believe that one of the things (if not the primary thing) that hinders healing is the unwillingness to face our parent’s failures and set appropriate boundaries. It doesn’t always require complete separation to do that, though it often does and it always requires a willingness to separate. It’s a sad truth that those who most need to cut off a parental relationship are least equipped to do so. The thing that is most needed is the thing that is the most difficult. Thank you so much for your insights.
    Christina

  50. Jenna,

    After reading your comparison of truly Godly people and “faux” Christians, I had a greater understanding of the motivation of others. My parents and my in-laws consider themselves to be devoted Christians. My parents are in denial that anything they did was wrong and my in-laws continually hammer at me to forgive and reconcile before I lose everything, including my place in Heaven. My mother has been placed on such a high pedestal by her brothers and her grandchildren that when I hear of the lies she tells them at family reunions (I don’t go but it comes back to me anyway) I get physically sick and have nightmares constantly. I don’t understand why she is believed and I am not. She has admitted to me that she knew and didn’t care…she even caused it to begin when I was four. Some of my clearest memories are of her dressing me up and sending me to my father’s bed. I haven’t spoken to them since 1997, but things never dim in my memory.

    By the same reasoning, I don’t understand why my mother-in-law is so adamant that I be the one to “make things right”, that my sons and grandchildren won’t love me if I don’t forgive my parents and come back into the fold. Her constant lament is “what goes around comes around”. She wants to know why I didn’t run away from home and that other families had “funny uncles” without breaking up.

    My son’s mother-in-law is actually great in her own way, but she avoids me at all costs. They are so afraid to hear anything bad that they are afraid that I will somehow “slip” and contaminate my grandchildren, aged 2 and 4 weeks. Slip at what I don’t know. My son and daughter-in-law think we are wonderful grandparents and are sometimes thankful that we are so aware of the things that can happen. My daughter-in-law says that her parents are terribly naïve and don’t think of things in the same context.

    It does make me sad, though that my son has found the extended family he never had with us. Every few weeks there is a gathering of anywhere from 16 to 90 people getting together for trips, dinners, vacations, etc. And her mother has a bedroom setup for all the grandchildren to come and stay. That is when the regret that I told anyone about my past haunts me. If I had not told, I would have my children and grandchildren around me and I would not hear from others that God will never forgive me for “gossiping” about my parents. I am so old and tired that I keep hoping that it will all end soon and I will have some peace at last.

    All my prayers,
    Linda

  51. Linda,

    That’s awful! I feel your pain to a degree.

    Just before I cut my mother off, my mother-in-law was badgering my girls to contact her more often. My mother (thankfully) never wanted to be a grandmother which pained me greatly but now I am thankful for it as they have no damage from her being near. My in-laws have been great grandparents to the kids and for years admitted that they could not believe my parents wanted nothing to do with them. They thought that was just awful. Right up until my mom left the state and apparently starting calling my mother-in-law to complain that I wasn’t letting the kdis talk to her. That wa a lie but at any rate, my mother-in-law told my oldest that she forgave my mom for never being around and that they should make every effort to keep a relationship with her from now on regardless of MY feelings about her. (this all under the guise of faux Christianity, meaning, I was a bad Christian because I could not forgive. This has nothing to do with forgive. But, “obviously,” I was using my kids as a weapon against my mother) Yes, mother-in-law actually told my oldest this. She started having her call my mother from her house, etc and this made my oldest VERY uncomfortable. Once she told me what all was said and done, I was LIVID! At both. I called them both out, mother-in-law first for her betrayal. She denied it all but later called my mom to complain that I told her off. This is silly high school stuff. Really! My husband got involved at that point and told his own mother to back off or we’d never let her be near the kids either. That worked really well but my oldest tells me she still gossips with my mother. It’s not a fun road. It is lonely to be sure because I have no parents on either side. I don’t take betrayal well.

    People do reap what they sow though and God hates people who sow dischord among their own families. While my family is now at peace, my mother-in-law’s marriage and household has completely fallen apart. This just in the last year and after she started meddling. My own parents ahve been divorced and miserable for many years now each roaming the Earth looking for the elusive peace in money. Never gonna happen. Sometimes you just need to look at the big picture to see God’s hand in things. Who is truly blessed and who is faking it?

    Hugs, Linda. Hang in there.
    Jen

  52. Jenna,

    Thank God my children are so supportive of me that they consider my parents dead. Evidently my mother-in-law said something to my sons one time because they see them very rarely. I think that when she says that I will be left behind, it is her that is being left behind by both her children and grandchildren. My husband heard her tell me that she never wanted to be a grandmother (interestingly my mother said the same thing at almost the same time) when I was pregnant with our oldest. She never held the boys and was constantly critical of them and me over the years, even before she knew anything about my past. That opened the gate for every criticism thrown at me that my own mother never thought about and she thought a lot! Both she and my mother are much alike in their treatment of their children and grandchildren…extremely dismissive and critical. I don’t know why my cousins put such stock in my mother…she is using them like she does everyone else. But at this point, I can’t start a war within my family to get attention focused away from my mother and onto me. I am just trying to be thankful for the wonderful things I DO have and try to forget the things I will never have…loving parents, an uncomplicated relationship with others and a strong sense of self.

    Love and prayers always,

    Linda

  53. Jenna,
    I am so sorry for the first statement in my last letter. It did not come out the way I intended. I am not thankful for the fact that my parents have done so much damage that my children don’t even consider that they have grandparents. I AM thankful that I have the unwavering support of my children, my husband and my daughter-in-law. I am so sad that my parents and my husband’s parents have made it impossible to have a normal loving relationship with my sons. MY grandparents were wonderful and if it were not for them, I do not think I would have survived my childhood. They knew nothing about what was happening, but I have sometimes wondered if they didn’t have some subconscious feeling that something was wrong. When I lost them, I felt like my true parents had died.

    Jenna and Christina,
    I do want to thank you for listening. This website has been comforting, although there is a great sadness that so many of us have had similar experiences. I do believe that we will be comforted and will have peace at last in our next life.

    Prayers always, hugs,
    Linda

  54. Dear Linda,

    You don’t have to apologize. I understood what you were talking about. Like you, I had one set of good grandparents most especially the grandma. Like you, I feel like my true parents died because they are both long gone. LIke you, I also lament that my children do not have grandparents at all on my side of the family. Without my grandma, I would not be the person I am today. She was good. When you were with her, it was like being with Jesus. I do wonder where she went wrong with her children though. My dad’s parents hated us and it was their home that my nightmare began so I’m just thankful that the grandparents my children do have, aren’t like them. Of course they do not compare to the grandparents I had either though. I guess if you don’t know there is better, you don’t miss it. I comfort myself knowing that my kids do not need a grandparent to help them cope and survive as I did and perhaps that is why you and I had such good ones.

    My children are still young, 15, 13 and 7 (and one with Jesus) . They do not know my past yet as I’ve only in the last year began to let it out fully. They know my parents have never wanted anything to do with them and don’t even think of them. My cutting them off entirely hasn’t affected their life at all since my parents never wanted to be a part of it. They want as little to do with my kids as they did their own. That is truly sad.

    Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that your notes touched my heart. Sounds like we have some things in common. And you are correct, the next life will be the reward for us.

    Much love!
    Jen

  55. My husband didn’t get it, I was nc when I met him. He thought I was the loneliest person he ever knew. He came in when things were at a head. I was phobic about leaving the house and always had the curtains drawn. Being christian he thought reconcilatition was in order, he didn’t know my family or how horrid they could be. I tried to reconcile that Xmas, Mom gave my husband a rubber monster as a gift! lol That sure put him straight in a helluva hurry the wickedness I spoke of. I was another 10 yrs. nc after that. My Dad and brother(abuser) died in that time. My sister insisted on getting back with Mom, that she wanted it. It was more my sisters design not hers. It showed by Mom still being resentful and pulling games that were meant to rip my heart out. I don’t regret that I tried and it finally brought home to my husband how evil my family is after I was left off the will in spite of what I did to reconcile and forgive. I guess it was one-sided because my siblings lined up in agreement how it ended and were perfectly fine that I not inerhit as my parents wished. .My husband is the one going through more emotions then me now about how a family could be so damned evil. He had to see it for himself. He comes from a loving family and it is hard for him to get how my siblings could be so wicked and leave their sister out. Especially knowing I have struggled so much financially and healthwise (I’ve been disabled the past 10 years). Reading it is the typical norm in these sick, depraved, families to deal the final blow leaving the incest vicitm off the wiil makes it a little easier to bear. They are mentally ill the whole bunch, they tapped into a mindset further inflamed by Mom’s mental manipulations the five years she lived on after Dad died. They are all in knots, don’t trust each other, resent the golden girl who got double what they did. They are so mentally disturbed it is incredible, never so obvious then Mom’s funeral and how they can’t relate for real with each other. Real strange stuff came out of them that made you wonder if you heard them right. It was surreal. I told my husband I don’t totally regret going back although it did set me back which I didn’t need. But now I can move forward with my husband at my side protecting me from further insult. We don’t have to revisit this issue with them anymore. I am moving on from them. I write an email to them everyday that I don’t send them but send to myself. My letters are getting shorter and less bitter, I feel pity for them more then anything now that they may never get themselves right, too many lies to face. They have to know on some level how they treated me was wrong and have to live with their poor choices. They are more dysfunctional then ever. My sisters, one hasn’t had a relationship with a man in 20 yrs. and emotionally vacated her kids when they were young. Spreading christianity around the world, Mexico, Thailand, was more important then giving of herself to her own, (she is the most narciccissitc one of the bunch, I thought her christainity would give her more insite and the fact she was abused too, but she froze me out when I wanted answers, I see now how her faith is to edify her fragile ego and neediness, the other is promiscious and one relationship after another and two failed marriages back to back and an only son that shows contempt because of her bullying him.(He’s since moved out TG because he is a good guy, too normal for them) My one brother has contempt for women, he is handsome but deadly, he takes the spirit out of women in no time with his controlling behavior, (his daughter moved out at 17) the other brother couldn’t wait to say divorce, he was only putting on an act until Mom died. Funny how I am the sick one in their minds but have been with the same man for 17 yrs. They did their best to criticize and try and take him down too. He seen them for what they are and said they are the cause of your illness. I said maybe not but they are the reason my symptoms got worse. I learned to lvoe him unconditonally, we both have our weaknesses but we alos have our strengths. I am glad for him and my children who have come full circle. (My sons were twisted up by all of them) they now see wth I left in the first place and think my siblings are a crock. They’ve moved on from them too.
    So my parents were dead to me twice, once nc and the 2nd time for real and now my siblings are dead to me because they tried to kill me by their actions these past few years, it came down to me or them, life or death, they left me no choice. They are so sick they can’t see reality, they are narciccistic and I doubt they ever will. Realizing how entrapped they are, narciccistic, dysfunctional, it feels better everyday that I become freer from their snare, web of lies!

  56. Jenna,
    Thank you so much for your kind words. It does sound like our lives have run almost parallel. My sons are 29 and 36 and my husband told them when they were 5 and 11, the day I told him. We had been married for 15 years and I finally broke down and told him when my brother had twin girls. I was terrified that something would happen to them. My other brother’s daughter is about 10 now and I know that both boys are very protective of their daughters. What I don’t understand is how they seem to dote on my mother. They do love me, unlike my sister, (16 years younger) but who blames me for everything. Like I have a hard time seeing my cousins doting on my parents….I have never told them. My husband says I should, but I am 62 and I don’t know if I can handle the repercussions that would come with such a vengeance if I tell them at this late date. My brothers and sister haven’t told any one and I feel like I am out on a limb. Perhaps it would be better for all of us if I just let God take care of it all.

    But please keep in touch…I wish we could meet and talk…but here is wonderful, too. I truly believe that Christina is so strong and God bless her for starting this blog. Here we can all begin to heal.

    Hugs and prayers,

    Linda

  57. Linda,

    You can always contact me personally through my blog’s “about me” page.
    http://backusfamilyblog.blogspot.com/
    Anytime!

    Hugs and love,
    Jen

  58. I feel so free. Nearly 2 years ago I made the decision to not visit my family to avoid the pretense and toxic environment which has prevented me from living my best life. While I am happier for doing so, I still get a bit sad around the holidays. I have learned to plan my holidays with fun things so this past year was better.

    But as I read your entry this morning, I felt my heart get light. You have expressed so well what I have been feeling and suffering especially as a Christian. I had no idea that people and so many survivors too have made this decision for their own sanity. I don’t know anyone (IRL) like that and it feels so empowering to hear from the other posters who have taken this stand. I knew that it was the best decision for me but what you have given me is freedom from the guilt that came from being so happy away from my family!

    I told my mother years ago that she and my other family can visit but without her husband. Since then she has not come to see me so I was making those painful trips to see them several times a year. This ‘man’ abused my mother physically, verbally and emotionally and even abused me sexually. When I told her as an adult of what I blocked out as a child, she chose to deny what had happened and the effect it had on me by believing his lies and eventually saying that I should have gotten over it already since it wasn’t intercourse.

    Since standing up for myself, I see the difference in all other parts of my life. I am much better at establishing and keeping boundaries with which I am comfortable. I am fnally becoming the confident young woman I always knew I was. Thank you for this and the wonderful work that you both are doing.

  59. Amayra,
    Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m so glad you’re standing up for yourself and are now free from the guilt. The abusers are the guilty ones. Yay for all of us who have dared to declare our value by protecting ourselves from our abusers!
    Christina

  60. Through you I have found a place, I have found the strength. Thank you!

  61. “You are to respect your parents!” How many times did I hear that, it was used when they knew they weren’t right and were losing ground in a disagreement with me. When I was a teen I stood up to them and paid dearly for it. But it was worth it! The last time my Dad said that to me I retorted back “you get respect when you earn it!” Of course he slapped me upside the head and dragged me by the hair up the stairs to go to my room. That’s when I began my seperation that took 20 more years to complete. I had to go through marriage with a narciccistic husband who found allies in them when it came to any argument between us. I tried to be a good wife, mother and daughter but it was impossible with these people. It wasn’t until I went to a psychiatrist after my divorce who told me to mourn them all like a death, It gave me permission and valdiated that I was on the right track.
    Now that my parents and abuser passed I’ve had to do the same this past year with the rest of my siblings who turned out as depraved and sick in the head as they were. It was hard to realize they were no different. We are not from the same planet, or so it seems.
    I now am stepping back and wondering if my present marriage is healthy, something I wouldn’t even allow myself to think before. It seems now that I am becoming empowered he wants to undermine me. Subtly and not so subtly. I see now we have to work at a lot or let it go. I can’t settle for metiocre or compromise myself to suit another anymore. I need to feel free in spirit and I don’t need anyone clipping my wings just as I am ready to loft to my potential heights. He is either with me and for me. We have gotten into strong talks and I won’t back down. If it feels abusive I address it. I am fighting for this relationship but I am also fighting for me. If we can get on the same team and work together that would be best, but if it isn’t working I have to be strong and let it go too. I don’t want to lose him but I don’t want to lose me again either! I have found me again and want to explore all of my potential and I can’t let anything get in the way of that. Not even him.

  62. Mary,
    That’s so fabulous that you’re willing to look at your current relationship through the eyes of truth. I know how much work it takes to have the ability to do that. Yay for putting you first! You deserve to be very proud. It did my heart good to read that. Thank you for sharing!
    Christina

  63. Elizabeth,
    I’m really delighted that you found us and that you’re finding your strength!
    Christina

  64. I have just found this and the face book page and I must say that I am overwhelmed at the moment with feelings of validation and release. I have struggled all of my life with the fence sitting and hopping ..I love my parents…My parents are idiots…I am 50 years old and my mother calls me her baby!!! She never called me that when I was a baby. “Get over it” “Grow up” My dad would say “Nothing is stronger than blood” Yet they were the only ones who ever beat the crap out of me, told me I was going to grow up to be a whore because I had sex when I was 5.
    Then of course I met all the men who could fill their shoes and my mother would say to them ” Don’t you hit her” OMG I cannot tell you how many times I have left the family only to be brought back by the guilt of being the child that does not respect her parents and will go straight to hell.
    Right now I am sitting flat on my butt like I just got hit by a Mac truck.
    Wow. Thank you

  65. Christina and Jenna,

    I would like to hear how you feel about a situation I have found myself in. A few weeks ago, my husband and I went to tell my 90 year old uncle Happy Birthday. One of their daughters is about 5 years younger than I am.

    She talked about how wonderful my mother and father are, that she feels like they are her second parents. Then the boom was lowered. Both she and my uncle and aunt told me how much my mother and father regretted not having heard from me (since 1997)…that no matter what my husband has done to me??? that I can come home any time and have a place to live???.

    When I met my husband in 1971, we married six weeks later. He has been the most wonderful thing to have ever happened to me. I feel that God sent him to me so that I could have a life beyond daily beatings, sexual abuse that started from the age of four (with my mother’s blessing), daily rapes from the age of eight to sixteen, horrible psychological torture by both my mother and father and countless other physical abuses that I not only remember all too clearly, but can never forget.

    My husband thinks that I should write my cousin and tell her what happened and set the record straight about me (I would like to because I don’t want someone thinking that my husband is capable of doing the things to me that my parents did)…that it would make me feel better and rid me of some of the demons that continually haunt me. I don’t know…I trust him implicitly, but do not know if I am strong enough to withstand the repercussions of “telling” again. It would destroy what that part of my family thinks about my parents. But I don’t want part of the world thinking my husband is bad. I am so confused.

    I do not usually ask “what do you think”, but I am now. If nothing else, can you tell me if you have ever found yourself in that situation?

    Thanks,
    Linda

  66. Linda,

    I’ve not expereinced this…..yet. I have cut ties with all family on my side so I doubt this will ever come up. However, if something like this did come up, say my cousin and her parents said the same things yours did, I would have probably said something immediately like, “Oh, they must have my husband confused with someone else, like themselves.” Then, I’d leave it at that. If they asked for more details, I’d tell them they’d have to ask my parents if they wanted to know more. But that’s just me. Since I am cut off from these people, I wouldn’t much care what they think even if it did come up.

    I could be wrong but it sounds like your parents have “bought” your cousin since we know that these kinds of people don’t truly love, but control and many people confuse love with “stuff ” that makes them feel all gooey inside. That said, your cousin would probably not be able to “hear” what your letter would say and you’d then have to deal with that stirring up the family against you etc, etc. You don’t owe them anything and they are going to think and believe what they want regardless of you sharing your past. Are you emotionally prepared to deal with that? I do know that being emotionally prepared IS possible after much healing work and distance. It’s great that you have your husband’s support, however, if you do choose to say something.

    With love,
    Jenna

  67. Forgiveness has many forms and true Christians know this. I forgive my abusers, for my own good, I can’t hold on to hate, that would eat me up. I forgive but that doesn’t mean I condone their actions. It sure doesn’t mean I go up and tell them either. It would be meaningless to them anyway. They wouldn’t know what for, they think you hurt them. For my health it is best to have nothing further to do with them. I release them and myself of their evils. they weren’t mature enough, together enough to be parents. Something is missing in them, so if I sorrow at all for them, it is for them not being able to get a grip and lead a fullfilling, rewarding , real. and loving life . We are reminders of how poorly they did, that’s why their actions almost killed us off, it was meant to in a roundabout way. They wish we would stop to exist so they don’t have answer to it anymore. That’s what outsiders will never understand. Unless you live the dynamics of such a depraved family, normal people don’t get it. My husband is a Christian and thought the same thing, you have to forgive, until I went along with them and came back for a while, long enough for my husband to get a taste of true narciccisitc ego’s. He’ll never force the issue again. They didn’t waste time tearing us apart and finding every fault they could in both of us and what they didn’t, they made up.
    True christians would be supportive and try to understand, not put you in a corner and tell you what a bad person you are for not forgiving. one, that is a place only you can come to on you own, it can’t be forced and two it doesn’t mean you go and tell the person, it is releasing them to God in your heart. Eventually you may get to a place where when you think of them, it won’t be with contempt but with mercy. They are sick. I pray for my offenders souls now rather then curse and hate them. They got twisted up by evil and they are the ones trapped, not you. They may hate you because you escaped. You upset the family balance they were accustomed to. Let them blame you from afar, it won’t change anything, but you don’t have to be a party to it anymore. And the well meaning people who think you are the sick one for cutting them off, they haven’t walked in your shoes. They don’t know how it feels like hell having them try to twist your head back and put your face back in the flames. They don’t know what it feels like. It is best to just not let it be a topic of conversation for those who don’t get that. You’ll only stress yourself out trying to get them to see. Leave it in God’s hands and maybe that is the only answer you need to give when confronted by ones who say you must forgive. I leave it in God’s hands, I have no control over them, so I must trust Him and leave it to Him. If they can’t leave it at that, then they are not true Christians if they don’t have faith to we have leave some matters up to Him.

  68. I truly believe that my cousin and her parents are good people, that they would be devastated if they knew everything that had happened to me. My aunt and uncle are 89 and 90 and I don’t think it would be fair to them at this late stage to burden them with such devastating information. My cousin is 58 and I truly believe is innocently trying to bring me “back into the fold” so to speak. They are all Christians in every sense of the word and I’m not sure they would be able to comprehend everything.

    The Devil comes in many disquises and fools many people and I’m sure that this is the case here. If I had told them when I was 36, at the time I told my husband, things might have been different. That was in 1985 and there would have been enough time for working things through. However, at that time, I had just told my husband, sons, my two brothers and my sister for the first time and it has taken up until now for me to be able to discuss my history rationally enough to not be torn up each time the subject comes up.

    Both of my parents tried everything in their power to keep me from leaving home. I would never have gone to nursing school except that it would have looked odd to outsiders. I didn’t drive until I was 20 and had to drive to work. I had been beaten almost daily for the least offense from earliest memories and it got worse after I was able to stop the daily sex when I was 16…molestation started at age 4 when my mother sent me to bed with my father after dressing me up and putting make-up and perfume on me. Full blown sex started when I was 8.

    I did extremely well in school and had a measured IQ of 180. The teachers couldn’t figure out why my parents turned down a full scholarship to MIT…I have since found out that the school was told that it would have been a hardship on my parents to leave home. Thus I went to the local nursing school…to school and the hospital, then straight home…my father driving me each way…just like all of the rest of my childhood. I never spent the night away from home until I married. Even when I went to take state boards, my father took me and begged at the door for me to sleep with him. I scored highest in the state on the exams that year. Somehow, everything else that happened in my life did not keep me from succeeding in school.

    But they tried desperately to keep me from leaving home and especially from marrying. I had women calling me at home, telling me that they had a date with my husband. My parents hired a private investigator to find something wrong with my husband. And now they are trying to tear him down by telling lies to others. My brothers know the truth and are supportive in their own way, but still associate with my parents. The reason I am so torn about attending their funerals is because of my brothers.

    My sister blames me for everything and says I am going to Hell for telling “lies” about my parents…I am not so worried about what she thinks otherwise. Oddly enough, although she was not beaten and did not suffer intercourse, she was fondled and had to perform fellatio on my father. She told the counselor at school and a policeman came to the house, but my parents said that she was confused and nothing else was done. My sister is 16 years younger than me and no one ever told me what happened until 1985. Sometimes I think that she was more damaged than me. I left her when she was 6 and I had helped raise her and my brothers. She is an alcoholic and abuses drugs. She divorced her husband (also a very good and kind man) and left him and their son and has been through a number of women companions since. She has so many problems, blames me for all of them and hasn’t spoken to me since 1998 when I told her that I was going to stop talking to my parents.

    I met my husband when he came in with friends whose wife was having a baby. Oddly, the wife was a nurse that I worked with. We married 6 weeks later. I truly believe he was sent by God…he proposed three days after we met and we have been married 40 years. There were so many things surrounding our meeting and things that have happened since that have strengthened my belief in God. That is the reason that it hurts me that people have been told that HE is the one mistreating me, when that is so far from the truth.

    But we do not see these people frequently. So I think that for my own sanity, I am not going to say anything unless it comes back or becomes a problem. My husband says that what they think does not bother him, that he is only concerned for my well-being. And I truly believe that he feels this way…he is not so egotistical as to make this about him.

    But thank you all for listening,
    Linda

  69. Debbie,
    The way your parents have treated you sounds so familiar. Isn’t it funny how abusers have requirements that we love them and remain loyal to them, but it doesn’t flow from them toward us? I never questioned why I “deserved” less than they did until I got away. I’m so glad you found validation here! Thanks for your comment!
    Christina

  70. Linda,
    I’m glad you figured out what you need to do for your own well-being. Sounds like a great decision!
    Christina

  71. Christina,
    Thank you for listening. I so badly needed a sounding board. I don’t want everything to be about me, but right now, for my own sanity, I truly need to focus on my husband and my children and grandchildren. I have lost so much already.

    Hugs and prayers,
    Linda

  72. I also wanted to thank Jenna and everyone else on this board that commented and helped me muddle through this. I have gotten more help here than from any therapist, self help group, doctor, minister or any one else that claims to be a specialist on this subject. No one can possibly know what all of us have been through unless they have been there, too. Unfortunately, most of us are too overwhelmed by all that has happened to help ourselves, much less be able to professionally help others. Those that can are few and far between and become overwhelmed themselves by the flood of clients.

    Everyone here understands the ramifications of the damage done and the longlasting effects. If we can continue to help each other, perhaps there is hope yet that we may all survive and continue on until we have a better life.

    I hope this website continues on into the future. The term “one day at a time” is so true and is the only way to be able to achieve any peace in our lives. Here I am able to get my daily “fix” so that I can have some peace of mind.

    Thank you all and go with God,
    Linda

  73. Dear Linda,

    After commenting on your dilema, I have been without power, internet, phone, etc for just over four days due to a severe ice storm here. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you how sorry I was to read of all you have endured in your lifetime. My heart hurts for all you have been forced to endure and overcome and I did not want to leave this tread without telling you these things after you opened up so much of your life to me, and to all who read here. I just wanted to say that I did not just skim all the horrendous details without feeling for you.

    ((((Linda)))

    Much love.
    Jen

  74. I am also a therapist and have moved to the other side of the world to get away from my family, who sexually, physically and emotionally abused me, from childhood into adult hood. After my emigration to a totally different culture, I decided it was easier to say my parents are dead, than have to explain anything. I just don’t want to go there. They are dead to me, because they are dangerous, toxic people. I don’t see anything wrong with saying it. It’s a white lie- psychologically and emotionally were are estranged, due to the denial of my abuse, and requirement that I say nothing or be disowned. So I have been disowned and that’s fine. Even my siblings colluded with that rule set by my parents. So, now I am rebuilding my life and do not wish to acknoweldge their existence any more. It’s easier this way for everyone, and when they do die I won’t be contacted about it or invited to attend funerals, as I am blamed for every tiny thing that goes wrong in their lives still, even though I’ve lived thousands of miles away for the last 4 years, and have not seen anyone except my father for over ten years. I have no regreats about telling people ‘my parents are dead’. It’s a metaphor, and it’s my self protection from havng to deal with any more toxic fall out from the previous 40 years of my life.

  75. Janine,
    I’m glad you feel the freedom to tell people whatever you feel comfortable with concerning your parents. I actually like it when people ask me about my parents since it’s an opportunity to talk about the issue of sexual abuse, but I’d feel fine doing so if that was what I felt I needed to do for my own comfort or well being. I don’t think we need anything else to make our lives more difficult.
    Christina

  76. I “divorced” myself from my parents from the age of 16. My mother was mentally unfit for most of the years i knew her. She got pregnant at a very early age. They ‘encouraged” (forced) my parents to get married before my birth. (15 and 16, respectively.) My mother and father moved to NYC to finish high school and begin college, they left me with my grandmother. at age three I moved with my mother in NY. Her mental illness was not as obvious then but it soon became apparent that she was not well mentally. I lived with her and was abused until age 13. I was then sent to live with my father who and physically and sexually abused me. His wife also physically abused me. I ran away five months before I turned 16. They (the state) sent me back to my mother who at the time was living in a shelter and she wanted me to live with her and I refused. I started to walk away and she yanked my hooded sweatshirt and began to choke me and almost choked me into unconsciousness. Once I got free I promised that I would never be abused by her or anyone else ever again. I got a job and a room in a women home and finished high school as an emancipated minor. that was twenty-eight years ago and I never looked back. Reconciliation is not a part of my life path, I forgive and have moved on (years of therapy, and personal self-help work) but I cannot allow anyone that has abused me in the past to get a chance to do it again or hurt my children. Self-preservation is a very good thing.

  77. Miz. T,
    That’s so great that you’re keeping you and your children safe. There’s such a push to “keep the family together” in spite of the dangers that often come with that so I applaud anyone going against that cultural “rule”. Thanks for sharing that.

    Christina

  78. First of all, good for you for protecting yourself and your daughter.

    Secondly, this is why I just tell people my parents are dead. It blows my mind how many virtual strangers have demanded detailed accounts of the abuse I endure so they can decide if I am justified in cutting off my parents. I really don’t know who the hell they think they are but I don’t owe anyone that. I shouldn’t have to recount abuse to satisfy anyone and I won’t do it.

  79. I have not been on this site in a while. It helped me more than anyone could know…I have learned to be free in spirit but am still learning how to let go of anger. I may never let go but I will learn to manage it, and put it to good use somehow.
    People say I am a strong person. I can take no credit. Its in all of those who have been put through the ringer and just try to cope every day….although it is seen as strength please don’t mistake it for pain. Strength is this site. Talking to and seeing what some people have done to others, and facing it,. Strength is knowing there is still a person inside the body that was so mistreated…..there is still a mind inside, even though it feels like its nuts. Strength is still being on your feet in the last round!!

  80. Christina, that was wonderful, deep and it was concise. I wish you all the best in this life. I thank you for writing this post. It is the kind of healing that is difficult to get. But you have been there, you have gone through and you are wise for it.
    Best wishes.

  81. It has been a few years since my parents passed. It is hard to imagine how they could have been so dastardly towards their children, grandchildren. I was the one booted off the will because my siblings demanded a family conference I wanted no part of and pleaded they leave alone. I was cut out of the family that night and the will and it wasn’t even my doing. My sibling happily collected and shared 2 million and threw me a few thousand to ease their conscience I guess. They are furious and spread lies because I took it and told them to bag it and cut them out of my life for good. The only reference they have is how I put our parents through hell when I was a teenager. They rewrote the script, they know damn well I ran away for good reason, they knew I was tortured and abused by my brother and parents. It was irrelevant anyway as I was a good daughter for 20 years(until their powwow got me kicked out of the tribe), but if they need to go that far back to back them up and twist it, that makes them pretty sick and evil too! They did me a favor, it isn’t a family I want any part of with that kind of stinking thinking anyway. Karma does work. The brother who orchestrated that whole meeting against my wishes and then ran up to me the next day and said your out of the will, is the one the rest attacked like a cur dog and sent him packing far away from them. He got a piece of the treatment I did, ostracized, belittled, no support when he was going through emotional hard times. He found out, they kick the one down until your crushed, then he fled too. Maybe he will do soul searching and read about the dynamics in an incest family and put the pieces together, or not, doesn’t matter to me. I’ve been independent of them a long time and don’t need any of them. I hate my children had to go through shock and anger when their Grandma lied what she was leaving them. It was her last means to cut my throat by leaving them bleeding and bewildered and questioning if there was anything about her that was ever real, especially her love for them. The didn’t realize until the outcome that she was so hateful. It is too bad because they unfortunately adored her and she let them all down. They didn’t deserve it! They didn’t hold judgement against her because of our relationship. They were loving and kind right till the end. Now they have nothing to do with my siblings, (their choice) and my siblings can’t figure out why, what did they do wrong, they honored the will didn’t they? Hardest part for me is when a relative dies and I don’t attend the funeral because they\ll be there and every other person they’ve convinced that I’m straight from hell. That’s the only issue for me because there are relatives I haven’t seen in 20 years and likely never will because of distance and circumstance and sometimes wished I could, but then it would likely open a can of worms anyway. So I pray for them in my heart and the ones deserving I’ll see on the other side someday anyway. I’d like to think my parents confessed and owned up and will be of good heart and are in a good place now,but hard to say because they were awful stubborn during their time here on earth. I didn’t hate them, still don’t, I only wanted them to be real. All I can do is be honest with myself and not be like them!

  82. I, too, disowned my father. It took 32 years after the abuse ended (when he got remarried), for me to do this. I was in the hospital for suicidal tendencies. I slept the first two days, trying to avoiding facing, and dealing w/ what I didn’t want to: the sexual abuse from my dad and older brother. I was writing in my diary, when I began getting extremely angry at my father, and brother for putting me in the position where I doubt my self-worth, and whether it was my fault, or not. I asked the nurse if I could go into a room, in order to scream and get out my intense rage. She looked at me funny, (apparently) she’s never been asked that before. Anyway, they found a room, w/ just a mattress, and, a camera to keep an eye on me. I screamed the most primal scream I have ever heard myself do in my WHOLE life. I threw the mattress, punched it, kicked it. And, went I was exhausted, I decided to call my dad to tell him I want to cut him out of my life. I was very matter of fact about it. I didn’t give any apologies, nor did I try to console him. He kept saying, “I love you”. I said, “I love you, too, but this is the way it has to be. I am taking care of myself for once in my life. It is about me. It is what it is. Bye.” Then I called my brother, and told him the same thing, but I left the door open, for him. I told him IF he got the help he was supposed to get back in ’03, I might consider letting him in my life, again. Otherwise, I can see where his priorities lie. I said, “It’s my life, and it’s about me, or I’ll be 6 feet under. Bye.” I called my mother who lives 2,000 miles away, and has always been a source of strength, and support for me, stood by me 100%. I feel like I have experience deaths of 2 people I still love despite the pain, I have endured. I’m glad there is a place I can actually express my emotions w/ others who have gone through the same thing. Disowning a brother, let alone a parent is VERY hard, and I still keep doubting myself, wanting to call them and say, I am sorry, etc. I am a people pleaser, and I blame myself all the time when bad things happen. I do know this is the right thing to do. It’ll be hard for me, because I don’t think I can go up north to visit my family, either. (They know nothing about my brother and dad, etc.)They’d disown me, because the cherish my dad. They wouldn’t believe me, either. I know this because I told my aunt about an uncle (not her husband) that molested me and 2 cousins, and she told us, that he would not do that, and to shut up. And, to stop talking that nonsense. I didn’t tell anyone until I was 17, and I didn’t tell my Mom until I was 18 (they had divorced when I was 2-3), she was enraged. He had raped her when they were married. Anyway, I feel better to have my story out where people understand, because it is a very lonely thing to disown family, and I just don’t know where to begin in my life now. I’m confused.

  83. I totally understand. You have to distance yourself from those who make you sick. I divorced my narcissistic family for my own good. Yes I get lonely and have longings that they could get normal and make it up to me, but that will never happen. The lies run too deep and they hold on to them for their survival I guess. My brother sent a short email that he missed me, (not the abuser) just another with abusive behavior like the rest of the family learned well from my parents. I sent him articles about abusive patterns and roles in an incest family. He never responded so he isn’t there yet and may never be, but my life goes on whether he or any of the rest finally come to any understanding. There is a lot riding on their lies, 2 million my parent left them, they are much too selfish to eat the truth and share rightfully for my sake. It has helped to learn that narcissistic parents generally disinherits the victim who chooses not to be victimized anymore and break away. I’ts their hard truth they cannot face, when they no longer have you to blame. Consequently what I figured would happen with them from my Mom leaving the lion’s share to the golden girl happened. They have nothing to do with each other now, they all split apart and can’t stand each other. I’m happy not to be caught up in that drama anymore. I’ll take lonely over abusive people any day.

  84. I just can not understand how a parent can abuse their children and expect them to honor them. If you do not want to see your parents, that is your choice. My wife, her younger sister were abused by their father. They alerted their youngest sister to “Daddy’s” roaming hands and rushing fingers. Their brothers wife was accosted by their Father. Their brother and his wife confronted him. Of course lied! Their fathers sister daughters, did not want to be left alone with him.
    What he did damaged my wife and she is getting professional help now.
    This happen when my wife’s Mom was taking care of her mother with Cancer. My wife was a teenager.
    How true that incest takes place even though Daddy’s is having sex with Momma. Very sick and no one will confront him.
    All you ones out there who have disowned family for their cruel treatment of you, stand up and be proud. You do not need them. We all have enough drama in our lives. Any we can dismiss is a relief!
    I give you all a big hug and say hang in their!

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