Home > Abusive relationships, Borderline Personality Disorder, Parental Alienation, relationships > Cutting Ties with an Abusive Parent, Sibling or Child

Cutting Ties with an Abusive Parent, Sibling or Child

breaking tiesThere is a new article on www.shrink4men.com that discusses the painful choice of ending relationships with toxic and abusive parents, siblings, children and other family members. It is rarely an easy choice, but in many cases it is a healthy and necessary choice.

Here’s the link:

Ending a Relationship with an Abusive Parent, Child or Sibling, Part One

Shrink4Men Coaching and Consulting Services:

Dr Tara J. Palmatier provides confidential, fee-for-service, consultation/coaching services to help both men and women work through their relationship issues via telephone and/or Skype chat. Her practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Shrink4Men Services page for professional inquiries.

  1. Mick
    January 15, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    In order to get better I had to severe the ties to things places and people that had an investment in keeping me sick so that I continue to fulfill my role is out dysfunctional family dynamic. There was a rule in our house and I would imagine in many houses at that time. We didnt discuss family business outside of the family. One thing i learned from early on from my mother was that I could not trust what I was seeing or hearing. This was accomplished and reinforced every time I found my mother crying (and she cried alot), and asked her what was wrong, she’d say nothing, I’d say but you are crying, she’d say I’m not.

    I was an alcoholic and addict from the age of 10, driven by a death wish, and an almost suicidal rebelliousness, I railed against any authority and would sooner see myself jailed than be seen as cooperative or compliant. When at the age of 16 my step-father passed away I used my anger and his sudden death as an excuse to become even more rebellious. So, by the age of 20, after being repeatedly incarcerated, after suffering from multiple near death over doses, I found myself on the road to recovery. Confronting my demons, sharing my secrets and admitting to the wrongs I had done. In order to remain on this path, I had to remain vigilant. My life had to be structured and I needed guidance to perform tasks so simple that most people take them for granted. I had to ask to be taught how to do laundry, I had to be taught how to apply for a job and deal with the result. How to handle rejection without anger or retaliation or self punishment. I had to learn how to be responsible, sign a lease, pay rent, show up at work etc…

    But the hardest was not looking for the acceptance or approval from my family. Acceptance and approval I had always sought and never gotten. I was the black sheep, the scapegoat. It was my job to bare the sins of the family, to be the designated problem, the project. I was constantly in therapy, constantly being tested, constantly watched, monitored and assessed. At least until I drew a line in the sand and said enough…..and I left. I returned once after 3 years to meet with disastrous results. One visit with my family is like picking up one drink, snorting one line or shooting one gram. Ive had to make peace with these choices over time, I’ve had to learn how to forgive. I have leaned that parents are not owners, their children are not their possessions or property. Parents are stewards and should be care-takers, they are vehicles through which children pass. My mothers job was to get me here. She did that, from what I understand from her before her death, she had one one point contemplated aborting me. I’m grateful she didnt! But I still have to be vigilant, watchful and look after myself and situations that do not help me, as well as well meaning ignorant people who could hurt me if I let them or let my guard down for a moment. I got clean and sober and have remained so since November 27th 1982 thanks to people to numerous to mention here. But they all know because Ive made it a point to express it.

  2. Liam R
    June 23, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Nearly seven years ago, I severed ties with my violent brother. He posses several black belts in martial arts, and for decades physically threatened me with horrible harm whenever he saw the opportunity.

    I was recently invited to the wedding of a relative, but turned it down because my sibling was also to be there. I’ve never told my other siblings in detail about the bullying and death threats, so they believe I’m ‘too sensitive’ and should unconditionally forgive his behavior.

    For my safety (and for his) I will never allow any contact with that man again. Should I relate in more specific terms what I went through? Since the pain, resentment and fear have been so unpleasant, I am hesitant for others to see my ‘former’ brother the way I do.

    Any comments?

  3. M. Wamsley
    February 3, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    I really think I have reached the end of my rope. I have been divorced from this woman for 3 years now and after a period of homelessness, a near fatal heart attack and living in a room in a run down share house my situation has improved. However, for the past year and a half she has found one excuse after another for denying me access to my young children. Of course i didn’t catch on right away and didn’t help matters by taking her bait when she pushed buttons to get me to react so she could ;be right and paint herself as the hero. I kept appealing to a conscience she didnt seem to have, I tried to reach empathy that didnt exist within her. Suddenly all of her writings were so much more articulate and disciplined in their structure always portraying herself as the dutiful concerned parent and me as the unreliable, irresponsible one.

    I have struggled with insidious and intrusive thoughts, depression and at one point not long thought of stealing a sick friends pain medication to end my life. I’m 52 and don’t bounce back from things as quickly as I used to, its taken a lot to come to some progress with my thinking. I find myself struggling to gain some power and yet almost always find that it eludes me. I simply can not bring myself to go to the same lengths and depths as she is to win. She informs me that if I want to see my kids I have to take her to court a year later in a conversation with my son she gets on the phone and denies ever saying it.

    After a year she finally allows my kids to call me but is quick to point out that it is only because the new phone plan she just got has unlimited calls to mobile phones. I watch helplessly as she exploits my 4 year old daughter as a clothing model for her hand made children’s clothes on her facebook page. Then I accidentally stumble across a picture of my daughter and a blonde woman who I don’t recognize, until I realize it is my ex-wife a natural brunette who has changed her hair color to look more like my very blonde haired blue eyed children.

    I am at a complete loss, I am confused and devastated not knowing what to do. I love my children, I waited until I was 43 and left a country all my friends and family and support to have them. I am constantly told i should fight her, take her to court, but in my heart I know its what she wants, she loves the fight, she loves beating me. I have feelings and I am sensitive and it has always been my downfall. I feel awful most of the time and still fight thoughts of suicide. The only life saver is my faith in God and the support I get in AA but this woman has nearly destroyed me, I know my children need their mother and for that one reason I wish no harm to her no matter how much she hurts me. I would just like to see a bit of justice, I would like to see the veneer crack, see her pay some prices and experience some consequences for a change.

    This has all been so challenging and painful. I have finally learned what true powerlessness is, there is nothing I can say to get her to behave the way I want, I cant make her feel things she lacks the ability to feel genuinely. I can not appeal to a conscience that doesnt exist. She is like the perfect predator, picking up on vulnerability, judging it as weakness and seeks to destroy it.

    But she has concerns about my influence on my children, she is solely on the basis of gender and possession the better parent. She is the apparent hero portraying me as the one to be concerned about. I have no idea how to combat this woman and her tactics so I have chosen to withdraw from the battle…..and it is all BATTLE!

  4. November 24, 2013 at 1:45 am

    The people I want to detach from completely are my sons, but I have allowed them to contact me and I’ve allowed for me to contact them by phone and that has only brought higher anxiety to me. This leaves me with a question, How can I stop thinking of my sons ?

    I ask myself, if I can actually detach emotionally from them, after me loving them so much ?

    If you have managed to detach from your sons and you used to loved them, how did you do it ?

    Thank You

  5. May 12, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Just wanted to say that this is a worthwhile and interesting blog. Abuse of men is not an often discussed topic and I wish you every success in the blog. As for the article, cutting ties with someone in your life who is abusive can be a real challenge, especially if you have deep emotional links to the individual, such as your son or daughter.

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