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You Don't Talk to Your Parents, and That's OK

by Stephanie DePalmer 15 days ago in advice

You're not alone, and many people will never understand.

My sisters and I. Christmas 1993 Bridgeport, CT. Photo credit to my late Grandmother.

In today's society, it is not uncommon for parents and their children to have estrangements with one another. Especially when our family morals have changed over time, and our awareness of our mental health has gained precedence in our day to day lives.

Whether it was over petty squabbles, toxic behaviors, trauma, abuse, etc., it was our decision to make. The truth is we are tired of the way our parents have treated us, and we can no longer allow that toxicity in our lives for our own sake.

We shouldn't be forced to deal with the negative aspects of our parents simply because they are family. It does not give them a right to treat us badly, try to control our lives, and/or be able to manipulate situations to their own benefit.

To tell you the truth, it's our right, and our obligation to remove people that have a negative impact on our life.

Regardless of the reason you chose no estrange yourself from your parent(s), it should be respected by those you surround yourself with, or so you would think.

However, not everyone sees it that way. Especially those from older generations.

Many times when I have discussed my now non-existent relationship with my parents, I have gotten retorts like:

✿ 'You should talk to them, that's not right.';

✿ 'She's/ He's going to die one day, and you'll wish you could talk to them.';

✿ 'You need to talk to your mom/dad. It doesn't matter what they did.';

✿ or 'My kids won't talk to me and it breaks my heart.'

If you have experienced people spouting similar statements like these back to you, you'll more than likely understand how it can instill doubt within yourself about your decision. In some cases, it may even do the complete opposite and make you firmly stand your ground.

Either way, it is simply not their life, nor their choice.

After all, this is your life, and you do not have to explain yourself to anyone.

If you need to, read that last sentence again, because it took me years before I finally realized that.

No matter what their beliefs are, or how much they express their discontent, please remember that they weren't there. You are the one who gets to choose who is in your life.

There is absolutely no one that can force you, or manipulate you into accepting poor treatment or any further heartbreak from your parent(s). That toxicity is the last thing you need around, especially if you're trying to heal, and it is not your place to make them understand.

Many of them will never understand, because they may have had outstanding parents, and a wonderful childhood. Quite the opposite of what you may have experienced.

This makes them incapable of imagining what it is like to be in your shoes, and express empathy to your situation.

Hopefully, they can respect your decision, and if not, cut them out too.

If you do end up wanting want to reconcile with your parent(s), that has to come from you on your own terms, not anyone else's.

Accepting Toxic Behavior From Your Parent is Not Going to Bring You Happiness

Believe me when I say that only you know what is best for you.

In the future, if it's something that you believe can be fixed, and you want to pursue a healthy relationship with your parent(s), by all means do what you have to do.

However, if that parent is exhibiting unhealthy behaviors that are having a negative impact on your life, do yourself a favor, and really evaluate the situation.

Perhaps, if you are on the fence make a list of the pros and cons of keeping your distance from your parent(s), and one comparing the pros and cons of bringing them back into your life.

There have been times when I, myself have felt uncertain about my resolve with my parents. The way I see it, is I have finally stuck up for myself, and set up boundaries that I am no longer willing to let my parents cross.

For many of us that climbed our way into adulthood, we have realized that we are not willing to let go of our dreams, our happiness, and our truth. We are no longer going to accept being pushed back by our parent(s) any longer.

Many reasons for parental estrangements include but are not limited to:

✿ Emotional Abuse

✿ Physical Abuse

✿ Sexual Abuse

✿ Rejection

✿ Having Different Values

✿ Behaving disrespectfully or rudely

✿ Not being supportive

✿ Overbearing behavior

✿ Abandonment

✿ Denial of what they did to you in you past.

✿ Blame for how their lives turned out

✿ Or an unsavory cocktail of any of these reasons

Accepting these toxic behaviors is not going to bring you happiness, but only more pain. It will further your suffering and heartache. Believe me I have been there one too many times, hoping my parents had changed, and were actually sorry for what they had done to me.

It only lead to more toxic behavior and them thinking that they still had control over my life. The manipulation, lies, blame, threats, the abusive tendencies, and the alcohol abuse did not simply just disappear because I wanted to forgive them, and have them in my life. In fact, it had only gotten worse, and I truly feel happier without them in my life.

Being away from them really gives you time to reflect on your relationships, your goals, your mental health, and it gives you time to heal from the trauma they caused.

Some parents, may actually have turned over a new leaf, and have accepted what they have done to you and/or your siblings (if you have any). They really might be working on themselves, and are physically trying to change, but only time will tell. Remember trust needs to be earned not given. Ironically, I'm sure many of you have heard those exact words from your parents.

Dealing With The Estrangement Emotionally

For many of us, the decision to separate from our parents was not an easy one to make. What you need to understand that those feelings of sadness, anger, regret, and rejection are all normal emotions to have with estrangements.

Many of us struggle with the fact that our parent(s) will not change for us, and that there is a chance you may never speak again.

Let me be one of the first to tell you that it's ok to feel sad, angry, and frustrated with your parents. Holding onto those emotions, and not learning how to deal with them in a healthy way, is not.

The first thing you need to do is come to terms with everything that happened to you, everything you went through, and that you can't change the past. Although, you can look to the future, and break these toxic cycles.

You are not your parent(s), and you CAN break the cycle. Take everything that happened to you as a life lesson that you wouldn't want to inflict, or reflect unto others.

Everything is going to be OK. Your life moves forward, and if you put positivity out in the world, it will be reciprocated back to you.

They can't hurt you, yell at you, manipulate you, or threaten you anymore, because they are no longer in your life.

Now that you are older, you can try to come to terms with all that you have gone through, and accept all of the awful things you cannot change. Choose to learn, grow, and prevent them from entering your life again.

That toxic behavior will no longer be a part of your family.

Please remember that you and your family deserve so much more than the unacceptable behavior shown towards you by your parent(s).

Many mental health professionals will tell you to cut out whatever is providing toxic energy into your life.

If you haven't already gone to counseling or therapy, I highly recommend making an appointment. It truly does help you come to terms with your estrangement. You may even forgive yourself, and your parents.

(On a side note: Forgiving someone does not mean you need to let them back in your life.)

The Benefits You May Be Experiencing From Estrangement

When someone hears nothing except bad things about themselves for a long period of time, they start to believe it. Now imagine eliminating those words from your life completely, by taking out the person feeding them to you.

Now that your parents are not in your life, take a break from the drama, relax, and focus on your personal growth. Embrace that you don't have to feel the stress and negative emotions that you were once showered with.

Take the time to heal from your past traumas.

That fear of rejection from not being good enough, or being accepted by your parent is no longer a heavy burden you must carry. No longer will you be forced into silence, held back, or blamed for matters you truly had no control over in the first place.

My boyfriend and our youngest daughter at 2 months old. 2020

Finally, you can focus on building that life you've always wanted to live, and turn into that person you have always truly wanted to be. Aside from what they may have force fed you to believe about yourself, they are so wrong, and now you can prove it to yourself.

Grow your own family, and be the parent you wish you had for your children.

We will always love our parents (YES, we can love them from afar), but we by no means are required to keep them in our lives now. Go out and enjoy your life with this new freedom away from your parent(s).

We Deserve Better and Who Better to Give It To Us, Than Ourselves

"Your mother’s dysfunctional behavior has demanded an enormous cost to your mental/emotional well-being and you’re simply no longer willing to pay that cost." (Bethany Webster)

Reading those words really hit home for a lot of us, because it is NOT a price we are willing to pay anymore.

We deserve better, we always have, and now is our time to take control of our lives. Now we can give ourselves a fighting chance to do just that.

Revisiting back my my comment earlier, only you know what is best for you, and in the end that is all that matters.

Who's to say that later on in life, you won't be able to rekindle your relationship with your parent(s). Once again, just make sure that it is on your own terms, and not someone else's.

Now is your time to restore your self confidence, and your happiness. Be grateful for this life you were given and know it is all going to work out in the end.

If it's validation that you were looking for in this article, here it is. There are other's out there that know exactly what you are going through, and will support your decision. Just because your blood didn't except you, doesn't mean others will reject you too.

Don't be afraid to love and put yourself out there. It is time to move on, and let the past traumas stay in the past. You are capable of advancing in your life, and giving yourself the best life you've always wanted.

References:

https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2021/01/why-parents-and-kids-get-estranged/617612/

https://www.bethanywebster.com/blog/going-no-contact/

advice
Stephanie DePalmer
Stephanie DePalmer
Read next: Understanding the Effects of Addiction on the Family
Stephanie DePalmer

I have just started my career as a Freelance Copywriter. Writing is something that I have always felt very passionate about. There is power in words, and I cannot wait to share them with the world. Hopefully inspiring others along the way.

See all posts by Stephanie DePalmer

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