Letting Go Of A Toxic Relationship… With A Parent

Regrowth & Rebirth

I have briefly mentioned a harassment issue that was partially responsible for my creation of a new blog and social media presence. Sadly, the harassment in the form of relentless phone calls and hateful, demeaning messages comes from a very close loved one (biologically speaking, anyway… one of my parents) and stems from a long bout of on-again off-again verbal and emotional abuse that I have endured throughout the majority of my years.

Lately, I’ve had to distance myself from this parent of mine who constantly plays the victim… who blames others for every problem… who is so very unhappy.

And let me tell ya, folks…

It breaks my heart… to know that all the things I can do, I cannot fix this.

I feel terribly guilty… like the worst daughter in the world.

Yet, I can’t move forward with my life because I’m paralyzed with sadness and anxiety. I dread visits. I don’t offer up information about my life. I have to be cautious and careful with every word I say to not set off an irrational outburst. I cringe when my phone rings or the LED is blinking. Even my beloved ‘always by my side’ dog has been conditioned to run away into another room at the sound of my ringtone.

I try to stay strong. I try to look for the positive in life and take the verbally and emotionally abusive hits in stride… words that roll off the tongue so smoothly and sting so harshly. I try to not let those words that are filled with so much hatred and contempt to tear me down… to not let them bring me to anger and frustration… to not let them bring me nights of tears and despair… to not let them control me. I try to not laugh and scoff when I hear the words “I love you but…”.

However, I’m only human. And being human, I can only take so much of the drama, the screaming, the degradation, the lies, and the harassment of not only me but now of my family and friends.

After all the psychological study and research that has been done, love and relationships whether it be with parents, spouses, or friends can still be quite a mystery sometimes, no?

Add in a myriad of mental illnesses along with depression as well as other personality and self-awareness issues, and relationships cannot only be downright unbearable and painful but also toxic to your emotional, mental, and physical health.

I don’t have the answers or the perfect solutions (and I’ve tried a few!), but I do know that…

real love is not…

  • feeling unworthy
  • riddled with guilt
  • being responsible for another’s happiness
  • painful
  • controlling
  • full of despair
  • feeling lonely (even when not alone)
  • feeling unwanted
  • abusive in any way

For a peaceful mind… for growth and development of your being… for a fulfilling existence on your terms, I urge you to set the boundaries of your life and free yourself from unhealthy relationships in which you feel unworthy and unloved because…

real love is…

  • unconditional
  • beautiful
  • warm & caring
  • filled with kindness
  • understanding
  • supportive
  • energizing
  • not hypercritical
  • not rife with hate

Seek, cultivate, and embrace healthy relationships with only people who make you feel valued and cherished. And more importantly, learn to value and love yourself, and know that you and you alone are responsible for your own happiness.

My personal experience with abuse is something I have rarely acknowledged to anyone but a few close friends, and it is something that I will most likely not dwell upon too much in future blog posts. Acknowledging it with more of my friends and speaking and writing about it has been quite the therapeutic release though, and for that I am thankful to all those who have listened without judgment or criticism.

And so while I feel the need to briefly touch upon the matter here, I can’t help but wish for wanderwhirl to be my happy place  …where I’m free to be me, to move forward, to grow and develop as a strong, independent woman, and to create the life I want free from unwarranted emotional turmoil.

But at this moment, I want you to know you’re not alone. 

I understand. I truly do.

And, I know how much relief that can bring to know someone else gets it.

If you or someone you know is in a toxic relationship, especially with a parent, here are a few articles that have brought me some insight and comfort. I feel they can give you more advice and solace than I can at this time because I am struggling right along with ya.

And remember (my favorite quote of inner strength)…

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

~ credited to Eleanor Roosevelt

 ***Update 1/16/15

I have watched over the past year as the ‘visited’ count has increased on this post which is great but also sad in that there are so many others out there in similar relationships looking for guidance, insight, and understanding.

Today, I received an email from a very sweet and thoughtful woman thanking me for sharing my experience. That email brought both joy and pain to my heart as well as tears to my eyes. I am so grateful that even just one person has connected with my words, my feelings, my trials… and that it brought her some peace in knowing she is not alone and the strength to say no more.

Wishing you all peace & contentment… 

xo~ Frani

 

*Disclaimer: This post is for informational and educational purposes only. If you feel you need advice or counseling, please seek a professional. If in a physically abusive or life-endangering relationship, please seek help immediately.

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Posted on: January 29, 2014, by : Frani
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