The decision to cut ties with someone in your life is a difficult one. That decision is made even more difficult if the person that you want to cut ties with is your parent. However, if the relationship is unhealthy or filled with abuse, cutting ties with your parent may be your best option. Still, this action isn't without consequences. For many, the grief, depression, and anxiety that come along with eliminating a toxic relationship from their lives can be challenging to manage.
While some people may have success distancing themselves from a difficult or abusive parent, others may need to maintain a superficial relationship or may need to cut ties altogether. If you do decide to end the relationship, here are some important things you need to know.
Let Go of Guilt
Guilt makes you feel as though you owe your parent. However, your parent chose to bring you into this world or to adopt you, and it was their obligation to raise you and provide for you. It becomes easy to fall into a pattern of guilt when you decide to sever ties with the parent who raised you. You may even feel ashamed for wanting them out of your life. It is important to remember that you can feel grateful for what they provided while maintaining healthy boundaries for yourself. You are not obligated to be a part of their life or allow them to be a part of your life if they have become abusive, destructive, or manipulative.
Accept That They or Others May Not Understand
Siblings, relatives, friends, and the parent you are removing from your life may want to hear your reasons and justifications for what you are doing. These people may use blame, guilt, deflection, gaslighting, and invalidation as ways to keep you from setting the boundaries you need and walking away. You are not obligated to justify your reasoning or to stay and allow yourself to be subjected to these behaviors. You are not obligated to worry about their need to understand because your decision to remove a toxic parent from your life is your business and your choice.
Embrace the Uncertainty
You don't know what the future holds for you or your parent. Over time the loss of their relationship with you may be a significant motivator for them to seek the help or counseling that they need to repair the relationship. Go ahead and close the door if you need to right now, but understand that if they indicate that they are working on their issues and the way they treat you, you can choose to form a relationship with them again. If you are uncertain about how you would feel about reestablishing a connection with them, don't feel pressured to make any promises or decisions that would obligate you to do so in the future.
If cutting ties with your parent or parents has left you feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed, Legacy Freedom can help. Our care team has helped thousands of clients heal from abuse, neglect, or other challenging family situations through our holistic approach to mental health. By combining traditional talk therapy with alternative treatment methods, our team can create a plan of care that is tailored to your needs and goals.
Call today and take back control of your life with compassionate and confidential mental health care from Legacy Freedom!