Many people wonder why I cut ties with my parents and most of them can’t imagine what it’s like to go through life without speaking to my parents, or seeing them… So I thought maybe now is the right time to be an open book about this topic and share what’s been on my chest for so long.
Being a bad parent is also a parent, right?
As you all may, or may not yet, know I had a pretty rough youth. Rough in kinda mild for being abused mentally and physically, ahh well..
My parents were hard on me and my sister. We’ve experienced abuse since we were little kiddos. I honestly don’t remember a lot from the first years of my life, only flashes of images and scenarios. My grandparents and some specialists told me the truth about my parents and what they did to a 2,5 year old me and my newborn sister. Until this day it’s pretty traumatic to even try to imagine those stories. They’ve haunted me for so many years until I found the strength to put an end to it.
I do remember everything from when I went to primary school to when I moved out of ’their house’. Especially the last years were a horror because I stood up for myself and felt the need to defend myself from my violent and aggressive father. As a little girl you can’t hit back, but once you become older and try to rebel your way out, you feel like the only answer to violence is more violence…
I am truly happy I didn’t have to spend every single day from my 15 to 18 years in their house. Being in an institution seemed bad at first, but ended up saving me! It finally felt like having a place that I could call “home”. And when I had to go back to my parent’s house, I felt anxious and scared. You never knew when the bomb would explode…
Why I cut ties with my parents
Once I moved out, the mental games went strong
The communication between me and my parents has always been pretty cold, distant and awkward. So once I moved out the connection and contact kinda faded away. I felt judged and unwanted and there was so much pressure coming from them. I also felt like failing them, ALL THE TIME! Then I felt the need to hide myself from them, to later pick up the contact a few months later. After a while the stories repeated themselves and it became a vicious circle with many, many heartbreaks.
Being in a bad mental and emotional place didn’t help either as the demons from my past were catching up on me and eventually took me down. Fortunately I found the light at the end of the tunnel and had the courage to work on a better version of myself. To finally live the life I want and to chase my dreams without feeling pressured or judged by someone. This couldn’t be done without the love and support I received from my beloved ones.
It is only since the end of 2018 that I cut ties with my parents and found the courage to disconnect from them. And to be honest… BEST DECISION EVER! Cutting them, and other toxic people, out of my life has helped me to become unstoppable (can I say that?) and live a happier life.
Do I miss my parents?
Yes and no. On one side I really do miss having parents in my life, but I don’t miss the ones I have. They never understood the true meaning of being a parent and I always feel sad and a little heartbroken when I’m watching a movie or tv-show with loving and happy families. And my heart breaks even more when it’s “fxcked up childhood”-related.
Stromae once sang “Tout le monde sait comment faire des bébés, mais personne ne sait comment faire des papas.” and he’s damn right about that! I think the same goes for moms, because f.e. mother didn’t know how to act like a real mom and got carried away by the decisions of my father.
Do I want them back in my life?
NO, no, no no, no and more no’s! Just the thought of it is enough to make me feel anxious and panicked.
I did see my parents again last year during the funeral of my beloved grandpa, but didn’t talk to them, except for a simple, short “Hi.” and “Bye.”. It felt so awkward to see them and something in me refused to walk up to them and pretend like nothing happened. That’s just not who I am.
No support whatsoever
I know that my parents don’t support me or whatever I’m doing in life. They know I participated in a national cooking program, they know I’ve started up my own business, yet none of them gave me a call or wrote me an email to say “Hey daughter, I just want to tell you that we are proud of you.”. Instead they refused to watch my participation on TV and used the excuse “My chinchilla’s had their daily evening run. And recording it? Nope. We all know Deborah can cook.”. I mean, damn! Once I heard about how my mother said this to my grandma, I felt so much anger towards my mother. On the other hand it showed me how she hasn’t changed at all!
Time for forgiveness
Forgiving my dad
After a while I thought about forgiveness. Something in me felt ready to forgive my father for all the awful things he did to me. I was thinking about his past and how he also had to experience physical abuse and how he probably didn’t know any better than to raise my sister and me by ‘The Iron Hand’.
It’s like a circle of terror: My father saw it with my grandfather, my grandfather saw it with his dad, etc.. And now it’s happening to my sister as well, so you would think it also continues with me. Fortunatelly I didn’t allow that to happen. A never ending circle can be cut through in order to find a way out!
In my opinion my father never found his way out of the circle or terror, because he didn’t know any better + talking about abuse used to be really taboo. Reflecting on his past and how he became the person he is on this day, made me feel ready to forgive. So one evening I found it in my heart to speak the words “I forgive you for what you have done.” and it felt really powerful. I could literally feel something heavy floating away from my body and heart. But keep in mind, forgiving doesn’t mean I am forgetting!
Forgiving my mom
Although I forgave my father, I can’t do the same for my mother. She really failed me and I just can’t understand why. She grew up in a good home and was raised properly, without any signs of abuse. Her personality changed completely once she met my father and somehow her soul became darker. She never put her kids first, but did put us last. My heart and ‘cat mom’-feeling just can’t understand how a mom can push her kids away like that..
I am not ready to forgive her yet. Maybe I will be somewhere this year, or maybe not. But at this point my heart is still too broken to take this big step.
One reason why I do feel grateful for my rough youth:
It changed me into a warrior-princess (at least that’s how Mr. Boyfriend calls me) who wasn’t giving up any time soon. Even though I wished to die multiple times when I was younger, I’m glad I fought for the life I wanted and to not let those dark experiences take control over me.
So thank you father and mother for creating a strong and stubborn daughter who isn’t allowing anyone to abuse her or to take control over her, like you used to do.
Have you experienced something similar to this story? And do you feel like being trapped by your emotions and horrific memories? Know that you are not alone on this planet and that you are worthy of living a happy and beautiful life.
Some tips that helped me:
- Talk to a specialist
- Share your feelings and stories with friends or beloved ones. Those who truly love you will always listen to you.
- Find a hobby. For me these were: baking, cooking, blogging, Yoga and working out
- Read books, blogs or articles about people with similar stories to yours. You might find strength and courage in those.
- Yoga and mindfulness: Yoga and being more mindful over my thoughts and feelings has also helped me to let go of anything that no longer serves me and the things I cannot change. It’s been a journey of many years, but I’ve enjoyed every second and the progress of it!
- Stop living in the past! I used to make this ‘mistake‘ (it’s not really a mistake, but you know what I mean) and kept living in the past. I relived scenarios and kept wondering “Why?”. Living in the past won’t help you with moving forward in life.