When and How to Cut the Ties of Bad Family Relationships

What Is Family?

In just a few words... family defines us. It's a significant part of who we are to the core. An interesting thing about families is that people can tolerate more bad than good, and even a strained relationship can still be considered satisfying for both people. Families can be the ones who drive you nuts, but are also there by your side in tough spots. That's a fair trade: Take the good with the bad. Family members are the ones who've seen us at our best and worst, and the love is consistently and unconditionally there... or should be. The key ingredients are forgiveness, unconditional love, the ability to agree to disagree at times, and mutual respect without having to change or control each other.

These are ideal conditions though, and for some it's never been this way with certain family members. These relationships, when stressed or tense, are the worst to endure because our family means so much to us. Unfortunately, many people are faced with the excruciating decision of whether or not to continue a strained family relationship with a parent, sibling, grandparent, son, or daughter. If you have to cut the ties, it's usually because you feel you have endured years of discontent (or even abuse) and you have no other choice. Many who are reading this have endured too long.

Just because someone shares some DNA with you they get to take your stuff? Call you names? Demean you? Sabotage your relationships and career? No way!

— Dr. Phil McGraw

Evaluating the Relationship

Chances are you've been evaluating the strained relationship for awhile, but committing to cutting the ties brings on feelings of guilt, failure, emptiness, doubt, abandonment, and even grief. No matter how strained, intolerable, and/or abusive the relationship is, it's a difficult decision to make. Asking yourself the questions below can help.

  • What's the history? Psychologists have an old saying: "The best prediction of future behavior is past behavior." Having an extensive history is what hurts the most when breaking up with a family member, but if that history has been chronically negative, this can make it easier to make an informed and intuitive decision. It will be hard to let go of the relationship if there were good times, but easier to cut ties if it's been a long, torturous road in general. Sometimes it helps to put it all on paper— one column for positives and one for negatives—so that you can see both sides objectively. If they keep insisting that they've changed, then keep your eyes open to determine if that is true. Even if they have changed, they still need to earn your trust again.
  • Who else is affected by this relationship? Sometimes, breaking ties with one person means you could have the entire family upset with you. What a weight on your shoulders! It's important to manage other family relationships and evaluate the effects on others as well, but don't feel entirely responsible for everyone's feelings. Will breaking ties effect others? Is this person so awful that it's worth upsetting the family unit? Will other family members support your decision? Is there any chance that your decision to take care of yourself could have positive repercussions for someone close to you or for the family as a whole? Don't hesitate to cut ties if the only reason you are keeping contact is for other family members. Enabling a harmful family member is sad but common.
  • How is the stress effecting your personal life and current family? Many people get confused and think their parents or the family they were born into is more important than the family they build for themselves. This is wrong. Your wife and/or husband now take precedence over your mom and/or dad, so don't tolerate original family members if they negatively effect your current family: You are responsible for their well-being and action must be taken. Preferably you, rather than your spouse, should handle your family members.
  • What's your role? We take on a label or role from an early age in the family unit. Sometimes we get stuck in that role and transfer it into our lives beyond the family. For example, your role in the family could be "the baby," one who is enabled even into adulthood. Or you might be "the fixer," one who lends money and keeps the peace at all costs, taking care of everyone. Sometimes a family needs a scapegoat, one to blame everything on. Don't be this person. It takes immense effort to change your role in the family.
  • How do they feel about you? Ideally, family should be based on unconditional love within reason. If you're not feeling the love, then what are you feeling? Sometimes it's helpful to ask yourself how you feel around the person, because this is probably connected to how they feel about you. If you feel awful when that person is around, it's probably triggered by their true feelings about you. Picking up on subtle cues may help you realize the truth of that relationship. In other words, the feeling may be mutual, they just may show it in passive aggressive ways. Keeping that in mind, remember that it's not your fault they feel this way.
  • Are there any boundaries? One thing many families have in common is a lack of boundaries: People say what they want, do what they want, and respect is nowhere in sight. Often their figurative shoe print is stamped on your back cause they've used you like an old doormat. Somehow, people equate a lack of boundaries with unconditional love. Specialists agree that for children, having boundaries gives a sense of being loved, and childhood is where some of the mayhem started between family members. If you're still undecided about cutting off the relationship, setting boundaries now can be a helpful.
  • How close are you? (Literally and figuratively.) If the person you have problems with lives far away or you don't see them often, you can endure it and then get back to your normal life. A quick visit with the negativity and drama — maybe two holidays a year— might be manageable. But if the strained relationship is with a close family member, then they usually mean more to us and therefore, the hurt takes a bigger toll. In this case, keeping in touch may not be worth the hurt and pain. It is more difficult, of course, to break close family ties, but those can be the ones that damage us the most: This is a double-edged sword and requires evaluating risks versus benefits.
  • Is resolution possible? If the answer is no, then it may be time to move on. Don't bother hashing out major issues between the person and yourself— you've probably tried this in the past and walked away with a big heaping serving of that person's denial or self-preservation. As children, we are powerless against family members because we're too young to have a say or coherently express our feelings. Sometimes that pattern follows us to adulthood. Remember, any decision can be temporary. If the ties are cut right now, they may be mended later. Cutting ties isn't always an open and close, final case.

One more thing: Sometimes, instead of having an issue with one person, the problem lies with more than one or even an entire branch of the family. In that case, it's best to evaluate the issues as a whole. It could be that letting go of an entire chunk of your family would be more stressful than maintaining distance, and it's entirely up to you to make that decision.

Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.

— Brene Brown

It's Okay to Say Goodbye When...

  • The relationship is physically or mentally abusive. Don't downplay the effects of these kinds of abuse, especially long-term. It may take counseling to realize you've been abused.
  • It causes enough stress that it effects important aspects/areas of your life, like work or home life.
  • You find yourself spending a lot of time thinking about the sour relationship and losing sleep over it. Don't underestimate how lack of sleep and stress effect your health.
  • The relationship is one-sided when there is no valid reason why there isn't some effort made by the other person.
  • The relationship is only about borrowing money.
  • The family member is taking you down with them or constantly demanding favors or asking you to bail them out of trouble. Don't get involved in risky business and legal trouble, even if they are family.
  • The person is using gossip to manipulate and control you and/or other family members against you.
  • All contact with them is negative. They only call to bring you down and put you down, too.
  • There are negative consequences every time this family member doesn't get what they want from you.
  • They play childish games— the silent treatment, blame games— and there is no talking to them. It's their way or no way.

Most people know intuitively when it's time to cut ties. Listen to yourself.

Cutting people out of your life doesn't mean you hate them, it simply means you respect yourself. Not everyone is meant to stay.

When You Decide to Sever Ties with a Family Member...

  1. Try it out... less contact through calls, visits, and emails. This is especially important when the relationship stress is emotional. Breaking the pattern of mental abuse helps to shed light on how the person effects you so you can make a clear-minded decision.
  2. Set a few boundaries. Sometimes it's not necessary to cut ties, just adjust them. Even giving a few ultimatums is okay.
  3. Keep a neutral position. If certain subjects always end in argument, avoid them and keep the conversation neutral.
  4. Limit contact to times when something major happens. Send an email to let the family member know you are pregnant, someone died, you got a great new job, or you're moving to another state. You might consider including them on family group emails, but avoiding one-to-one exchanges.
  5. Know that it's difficult. Death is final, but cutting ties is like death without the closure. You will probably feel the worst when the first birthday or holiday rolls around, but you can prepare yourself by just expecting difficulty. Remember that these new feelings are less harmful than if you kept the relationship intact.
  6. Concentrate on who you have. Having a good support system of friends or other family members makes cutting ties easier.
  7. Don't pretend everything is okay. When applicable, talk to other family members about your situation. Let them know you will be avoiding contact with this person. Briefly explain why, and don't back down.

Please join the discussion and read the excellent comments below. 641 comments

James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

I see that you are not afraid to tackle the tough issues!  I cannot turn my back on my family members—or sever ties—and I have a huge family, which I extend to cousins, nieces, nephews and beyond.  A lot of it is one sided.  It is usually me who calls, who helps, who is betrayed, who forgives and keeps on loving.  Life can be rough in this Vale of Tears.  I think it is my calling to comfort all those people I can, beginning with my relatives.  But, that is a personal choice.  I wouldn't judge anybody else for choosing differently. 

Thanks for a fine, thought-provoking Hub. 

pgrundy 7 years ago

Wow, great hub. It's not an easy decision, even when outsiders might look at it and say, "Cut! What are you waiting for?" I also like that you mention that it doesn't have to be all or nothing--things can change. Sometimes it isn't so much a matter of cutting ties completely as it is about setting firm boundaries for the first time.

Often, within families that are suffering for any of a number of reasons (addiction, mental illness, abusive persons), the relationships that grow naturally are not functional and make all the bad things worse. Sometimes it's a matter of redefining the relationship--more distance, firmer boundaries and limits--while making it clear you will be there when crisis hits or when it truly matters. This is what I've had to do with my immediate family, but it took many years to make those changes and I do still show up when something goes wrong--illness, death, crisis, etc. But am I there for daily dramas and BS that hurts me and doesn't help them? No. :)

barryrutherford profile image

barryrutherford 7 years ago from Queensland Australia

mmm interesting info !

izettl 7 years ago

James A W~ Thanks for reading. It's safe to say we all tolerate a great deal with our relatives, but if you have never been in the position of cutting ties with one, then it may be hard to understand how someone would not just keep on tolerating. I think of myself as a person with a big and understanding heart too, but even I am capable of cutting ties. THe closer the family member, the more hurtful enduring a strained relationship can be. We expect less from our cousins than we do from our parents.

You may also want to read another one of my hubs:

pgrundy~ Thanks for picking up on a couple of those points like boundaries and cutting the ties temporarily. I wasn't sure if I emphasized that enough because cutting ties is such a huge decision. Good for you not getting caught up in daily family BS- that is boundaries.

illustros profile image

illustros 7 years ago from Washington, D.C.

Cutting ties with your relatives could be healthy, depending on the kind of relationship you have with them; but, cutting ties with your first degree family is a self-destructing act . It will be a foolish decision to make.

Mireille G profile image

Mireille G 7 years ago from Kansas

It is indeed a tough issue, that I have had to tackle as well. I found much healing in restoring the cut ties. Family in the end is always family. Sometimes it takes a long time to heal hurts, but it is worth it. As for first degree family it is best even when you have to cut some ties to leave one thread attached.

This said I realize that there are some hurts that can never be repaired.

tdarby profile image

tdarby 7 years ago

Very tough subject to tackle. Thanks for your insight. Great Hub!

TrudyVan profile image

TrudyVan 7 years ago from South Africa

Great topic so little written about it. I agree with you. get out and start new again. Every person deserves love and happiness and if you are not getting it from your present relationship get out now. Always remember that you might have to go through a few bad apples before you find your true partner.

NeverAgain69 profile image

NeverAgain69 6 years ago

WoW" In response to all I have to admit I myself have attempted to cut several times certain ties with Immediate family members..

Very tough to do.. it seems we end up having a weak moment and relenting.. for many reasons, we all have our own reasons for cutting and for re uniting,

Since the death of my 20 year old last xmas, I have found myself asking the same old question over and over,What is appropriate.. and how to carry on,when you were raised with these people, or these people are actually your own children.. If i had a nicle er even a penny for everytime I have blamed myself, I would be filthy stinkign rich.. I have continued over and over after years of remaining absent , to forgive and drive my mother here and there and loan this or that paid rent for and utilities, for her aswell as my brothers.. and in return.. the one night with all four of my kids I was told I was not welcome when i was down from out of town visiting.. so my 4 small kids and i slept in our car on the side of the highway.. at night.. I have watched my own brother b4 he had kids order and eat pizza right in front of my kids.. while they stood and watched with little mouths watering, only to be told they are acting like mooches and to go away.. now that same brotehr has 2 small children of his own my niece and nephew

and I could not dream of such an act.. I think the world of them.. however due to lack of unconditional love I have had to cut all ties.. with my mother and both of my brothers.. My youngest brother who has been in and out of jail for the last 10 years.. I love and have more respect for him in many ways however I said i would visit him 1 time.. I refused to be a supprt system whiel he was in jail.. if he wanted my support he has it on this side of the fence.. the side i live on.. not only was he not present at my daughetrs wake nor was the other brother.. nor my oldest daughter.. I have found myself for so many reasons stabbing myself over and over.. my oldest daughter who was raised by my motehr has spent the magority of her life attempting to turn my other children against me.. due to her resentment at not being raised by me as were the other siblings of hers.. I spent her entire childhood and adolesence trying to make up for it giving to my mother whatever whenever she asked.. to make it right.. only to find my own mother was insulting me aswell to my kids and anyone who would listen.. Now i remember why i moved away.. .. to read in an email your oldest child insulting you to your youngest.. is a killer to have your oldest or anyone tell you your deceased child hated you is a killer.. I have lived thru it and continued to love and give.. Im almost 41 and Its to the point that if I do not walk away I will not live anotehr year to tell about it... I have forgone myself over and over.. and all the times I gave matters not.. to those i gave to.. and now I have not left to give.. no desire.. even to those who do matter/.. I hope that my rambling here has helped someone to feel not alone, or not so bad, or whatever it is they feel so long as my rambling has not been in vain. and yes i have left out TONS.. it really does not matter anymore.. what matters is the next 10 years

izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Neveragain69~ first, I am so sorry for the loss of your 20 yr old last year. I'm sure xmas is hard for you.

Your situation with some of your immediate family seems really unhealthy. Your youngest children depend on you and you have to do what's best for you and them. One thing is true for us mothers; we have a special place in our heart for others who care about our children so your instinct to cut ties may be right.

Focus on bringing your youngest children up in a positive and loving environment- people that don't portray that need to be kept at a distance.

People who are adopted can have close ties (exactly like family) with non-biological parents and other family members.

I know what you mean it hurts most because parents are expected to have unconditional love for their children so this makes it hard for you to understand why your mom is not closer and more loving. UNfortunately your oldest daughter raised by your mom is a product of your mom's selfish agenda against you. You priorities are your present children. Your children need to be around people who love them. I can't say I love those who don't love and cherish my children- that's where my heart is.

Thank you for sharing a piece of your life. it is inspirational and heartfelt.

NeverAgain69 profile image

NeverAgain69 6 years ago

izettI Thank you muchly.. for responding. I guess I more or less thought I would vent it here , get it off my chest some of it at least , at maybe I would feel some what lighter.. Is why there are so many typos.. Your words were chicken soup for my soul.. even though we already know deep down, that the emotions or ties that bind are enough to have us question our own sanity at times.. we still need Validation.. You have done this for me.. Thank you Even more important when it is from a complete stranger at times.. at least then it is unbiast and more then objective.. The worst Part.. is i still find myself going over everything in my own minds eye and checking and double checking again and again.. to see if I was in the wrong.. It frusterates me to No end absolutly to a fit of tears at times.. and I have found it really can rock the very foundation of your soul that has already been crumbling and patched together by tid bits of toothpaste,glue,& and gum here and there... & to be totally honest It is a Huge Unimaginable feat knowing the truth is you have to at this age tear it down completely and re build from the ground up.. I think the scariest part for me is the inability to trust.. period.. when you go thru life in a bubble of denial , IE Denial in many ways... either denial of your own self worth, or denial that it was not so bad to denial of ppl being decent and visa versa.. and you find out the latter it makes it extremely un comfort able... the truth is.. Your Gut knows... so when in doubt trust that inner knawing it comes for me from the depths of my soul.. its that pang twang er whoosh that says something is just not right.. with one of your children.. and for those who have no kids maybe a pet.... so again Thanks izettI

Laura 6 years ago

My husband is dealing right now with this decision concerning his mother. All his life her relationship with her kids has been one sided. Her eldest son. When he grew up it was his kids, and now his grandchild.. No one else is as important as he is.

My husband is called upon only to take her to the doctor and he puts up with her 'so and so this and so and so that' to the point where he just can't stand it anymore.

He has had very hard times in his life and his family was never there for him. The only meaningful relationship he has is with his sister and even that is long distance.

I think that for his peace of mind and sanity he should break the ties with his mom. He has said it many times. It is to the point where he is over drinking to try to get the pain out of his mind and stop thinking about his life then..and now. He has been emotionally abused. Now he is physically hurting himself and his near (me, his kids) with alcohol in an attempt to forget.

Liza 6 years ago

It's a subject I've been wrestling with over the few years. Shortly after losing my mother I found that my aunt (her sister) took out a life insurance policy on her. Without going to deep into details, there were clues my mother was unaware of it. It seems this can be possible with out consent. Most hurtful is my ant didn't contribute anything to the funeral services. I took out a loan to make up the difference. Some battles cannot be fought. I let it go by distancing myself from her as those (her siblings) she shared the payout with. I just find it difficult to continue in a relationship where trust continues to be broken. Our relationship had been strained prior. I have since cut her out of my life completely, by changing my phone number name (there has been years of hurts) and rejecting mail. Recently I found out she was terminally ill and wants me to care for her children. As a recent college graduate it wouldn't be possible. With student loans I am financially strapped.

izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Sorry for late replies- these comments usedto be sent directly to my email but something has gone wrong with that process so I'm answering these comments late.

Neveragain69~ I'm glad what I've said helped you. Know that I've gone through similar tough family decisions. You will always be going through everything in your mind. I still do with family that is cut. I still think how could I have done better, what could I have done, etc. We do that becuase we have a conscience and then I remember the other person probably is not stressing themselves out about missing me or wondering what they did differently so why should I. Hang in there.

Laura~ My husband is barely hanging in there with his mom- sounds like your situation minus the drinking. My husband actually went on anti-depressants to deal with his mom and issues from teh past. There is something about a man's mom even if he didn't have a good childhood with her. What made my husband start to feel better about his situation is seeing how almost everyone else, myself included, has had a less than ideal childhood. We have to get over our childhood and start new with our family. Have you tried pointing out to your husband that he is making history with his kids right now. Does he want them to grow up and feel poorly towards him because of his drinking, etc? Sometimes the best revenge on parents who did us wrong is to change the patterns and be a better parent than our parents were. He should also try saying no to at least every other demand or errand his mom needs taken care of. That will break the habit of him running when she calls for all the little things. Guilt is an emotion that has to be dealt with. He needs to understand he will feel guilty for saying no and what I learned in psychology courses is that guilt is the most unnnecessary emotion of all yet torments us the worst.

Liza~ I just got done writing in my above comment about guilt. It's an unnecessary emotion- it ONLY causes us pain. Your aunt has to deal with the seeds she sowed. Don't feel guilty if you can't do something. I understand student loans for sure. Her kids may have picked up on some of her bad intentions and manipulation habits nad that would be a big liability if you were responsible for them. THe tough part about cutting ties with a family memmber is the ties are never completely cut. We get hurt many times, break or minimize contact and we still consider renewing things at any given moment. It's tough.

Mario S. 6 years ago

I am a 44 year old male who "divorced" his family last year. So far I've been the better for it, although honestly the guilt still rides me almost daily. But I cannot deny that I am not more productive and self-confident just knowing that I won't have to see them--at least for until I decide otherwise. My family dynamic is probably not all that different from many others. I am the youngest boy out of three older sisters. I have an emotionally disabled mother and a complacent father. Every family member is prescribed roles. Mine has been the "spoiled brat" who must pick up the pieces everytime someone falls down. I labeled myself as "Cinderfella." I was sick of being the guy who was mistreated and ridiculed, then expected to take care of everyone. Sadly my family aren't really bad people; they just treat me really badly. I sometimes miss them, but mostly don't. I look at it like a divorce. Divorce can be healthy.

izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Mario~ "Cinderfella" so clever!! Sounds like you were the scapegoat in the family. Guilt is something we put upon ourselves- don't know if it ever goes away, but important thing is not to dwell on it. But in your case, and myself personally, I noticed such a difference in how I am and how much happier I was once I let go (divorced) a particular family member. If the benefit of cutting ties outweighs the guilt, then it's probably a good decision. Make sure you have a good suppot system/friends to share your life with.

Gg 6 years ago

Thank you for sharing, I recently hcut ties with one of my sisters, she is rude and disrespectful. I am uncomfortable around her, Like I am walking on egg shells.

You can Heal Your Life 6 years ago

I am new to this site. I have read every comment and it is nice to know that I am not alone in all of this. I have just in the past 6 months had to finally server my relationship with mother and sisters. I have been trying for years and years to have that postive,loving,healthy relationship. I am 39 yrs old and I am a mother of 2 kids one is grown and the other is almost grown. I have been strugling with this for 19 years. All of my life my mom was verbally abusive and she also intimadated me for years and was always controling and kept me from being able to grow into a normal healthy adult. Into my adult life she and my sister has continued that control. They were able to control me even when I lived a long away from them. I felt powerless as I did as a child they treated me like I could not or have a right to make my own decsions. It caused alot of problems in the beginning of my marriage and just about destroyed it. There were never any boundries in our familys life growing up or even into adult life. It was my mothers way or the highway. Both of my sisters still live in the control and I was able to get out and it has caused all kind of problems. I love my mother and family with all of my heart. I have forgiven them for all of the things they have done, but just because you forgive the ones you love does give them the right to conntinue to treat you badly or abusive in life. I have realized that they are the ones that is losing out. You can't lose something that you NEVER had. I to made every effort to come to see them to call them to keep them in our lives as the kids were growing up. It was never good enough. I would come out and stay for weeks at a time and be away from my husband and it was not good enough because we did not live in the same town. Nothing was ever going to be good enough unless we conformed to what it was she wanted and that was control over me. We did not live in the same town as they did so I wanted to make sure that they had all the opportunities to have that wonderful loving relationship. My mother and sister is both very co-dependent on each other. They feed off each other when I would come to visit. After the first 2 days the claws would come out my sister would say how I was not deserving of the life that I had. All that I was doing was flaunting my life in front of them. My mom would then take her side and back me in the corner to where I would come out fighting with all of my strength and saying okay I am sorry I am wrong I would back down. I would come away believing that maybe if I had not did something whatever it was the look or a certain word it would not have happened. I was always walking on eggshells wondering when the next thing was going to happen. I was wrong it was going to happen just by me being there because they cant stand the fact that I was becoming something they wanted to be but could not do. It was alot of hard work with being able to finally believe enough in myself that I could achieve anything I wanted. I have worked very hard for my life. I had to look at my own life in the very early stages of my marriage and face my demans and change the way that I was doing things. I had so much pain and hatered and bitterness that I was angry at the world and felt the world owed me something. it took me years to find my enter strength and find the peace that I have today. All I ever wanted was for them to share in my life and be apart of it. I do have guilt that I severed the ties with them but it was a very toxic relationship. In the beginning it was only a little jealousy and then as the more that my husband and I was building the peaceful and loving life together it got worse. Because I started being more then they thought I should have been because I was not able to be controled anymore. I could never imagine with our kids that I would want them to be less then I was. I want them to shoot for the stars and be the best they can be. Only in the past 2 years have I started realizing that I have the right to stand up and say no just because you are biologically realated does not give you the right to treat a human being the way you are doing so. The more that I stood up the worse it has gotten. It is now to the point where it has gotten way out of control. My sister calling 64 times harrassing my husband at work and calling all of my other sides of the family involving them and threatning them and my family. 6 months ago I had to changed all numbers and email addresses because of this behavior. She has been so out of control that I do fear that she may come to my door someday even if I do live in a different state. She contiunes now on FB even though I have deleted her thru that as well she seems to be able to private message me. She has no idea if I am getting those messages or not. I have not responded to any of her threats or emails and it is driving her crazy. She is obessed that she will stop at nothing. She has also always given me the guilt trips about how my mother at least kept us and put food on the table. My mom has always taken her side and said that I am the problem. Well if I was the problem then why does she not leave me alone. If I am the problem then her life would be better without me in it. I am not calling or harrassing her at her work or calling everyone to hurt them as well. I have enough self respect and control not to do that. She is sick and needs help and no one wants to stand up and do anything about what she is doing. I know that this is her choice of drug. She has to have confusion in her life and cause drama all the time in order to just live. I had a conversation with my mother 7 months ago and ask her if there was anyway that we could build a foundation in our family relationship without it being about me her and my sister. Her response was no if we can't all be family then she was not going to have that relationship with me. I am truly saddened by this but that was her choice. I was not asking her to stop having the relationship with my sister. What I wanted to do is separate the 2 and make a special foundation with our life together. I felt like if she had done that she would have to accept that I was not the problem and I was truly the one that does love her and want a healthly happy peaceful realtionship. I hope that all I have shared on this site will help someone else be able to make there own choices. It is never an easy journey but like someone said that unless you have walked thru this it is hard to imagine. I have finally started to live life for once and I am slowly being able to let go of the guilt and hurt that has been inside of my soul for years. I have always wondered why my family could not be happy for the life that I have. I have a wonderful husband and wonderful kids. I am proud that living in turmoil for years that I was able to rise above the hurt and still be able to create the peaceful love that I have. It was not all my doing though I can not take all the credit for being able to break the chain and the cycle. I owe alot to my husband for being so patient and loving thru all of the hard times in this. I also had so many great friends and other family that was able to help me understand that I was very loveable and deserved that in my life. I hope this helps for anyone that is or has struggled with this hurtful decision. signed you can heal your life

izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

You're proof you can heal yourself. You mentioned some key things in your comment- the more you stood up for yourself the worse your mom and sister got. I noticed that before cutting ties with one of my family members as well.Mental abuse is actually a lot worse than physical abuse when it comes to lasting effects into adulthood. I also have great peace in my decision as well. Guilt rears it's head on occasion but usually only from other family members inquiries. Other than that I was shocked how much better I feel.

You also give a good example of how cutting ties can get ugly when the other person still hangs on, like your sister in your case harrassing and calling, etc. THat's to bad she still needs a fix like an addict. Thanks so much for sharing your story.

You Can Heal your Life 6 years ago

Thank you izetti! I have been so much better off and more happy then I have ever been. I feel like I was in prison for 35 years and am now free and I am reborn and able to live the life I wanted to live. I just recently went to my niece's graduation because she invited me to go. For the first time in my life I was able to rise above all of the drama. My sister tried and tried she just wanted to start something and it did not happen. When I looked at my mother and sister I felt like they were another face in the crouwd. They allienated me from the enitre family and sat me by someone I did not know but i just took that and turned it positive. I enjoyed chatting with them. I laughed and it just tore them up inside. My mother did not even want to hug me which was fine by me. I am proud that I was finally able to release the hurt/pain and guilt and finally be happy with my decision. Thanks so much for all that everyone has said because it has truly helped me heal much faster. You Can Heal Your Life

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izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

It helps to know that so many other people have this tough decision to make. I think the peace comes when you know you've done your best for that relationship and there is no more you can do without doing further damage in your own life. It's too bad that seeing you happy makes your sister and mother unhappy. Let them be unhappy together. I know the feeling of being in prison for most of your life due to a family member's hold on you. I never knew how powerful the person's negativity was until I let them go- released from prison is agood way to put it. Take care...

You Can Heal Your Life 6 years ago

I am so gratful that I have websites like this to be able to share the journey I have expereniced so someone else can also be able to heal there life. It has truly been a blessing from God to be able to find the true enterpiece. I wish you all the best as well in your journey and hope that what I have shared with all of you that you can find some healing in your own life. If you ever need anything please do not hesitate to email me on this site. I check it often. Take care!!!

Rosy 6 years ago

My problem is with my inlaws who have 3 daughters all married and living in the same city.The second one was protected along with her husband who is related to my Father in in;aw as nephew.This way they are partial and favor

r the second one and sometimes the third one.My wife is neglected every time all meet together.They give lot of presents to the second one.Over the years this ill-treatment of my wife has got into me to the extent that I hate my Father-in-law who pretends declares as just honest and love all the daughters equally.Over the years he did not show any affection towards my children.Now he is trying to woo them against my will by visiting them or talking to them over phone.I have stopped visiting him or talking to him for the past 2 years as we live separately in the same city.My wife visits him as he is over 80- He slights me too much despite the fact but for me he would have suffered most.Now he is alone and his wife my mother-in law died of cancer 4 years ago.Still he is selfish and steals the show in all parties claiming himself as the top Elder in the family.I have almost cut off wityth him.My wife's visits irritate me and get stressed that she visits such a bad living soul.How to get out of this by forgetting and sealing the split?

flower 6 years ago

izetti, How can you say " I laughed and it just tore them up inside."

You don't know what they were thinking or feeling. I don't think you are healed or free. the only way you are ever free it to discuss things with people. find out both sides, growing up is learning to deal with all kinds of people not push them out of your life. I feel sorry for you, you are going to find out that what you needed to do was learn to deal within boundary's no throw people away. It may take years but you are going to be sorry for what you are doing.

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izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

flower~ I did not say "I laughed and it just tore them up inside"- that was a comment left from someone else dealing with their family who said it tore them up inside that she was happy with her life without them. It should make family members happy to see other family memebers happy ,but she was saying they don't like to see her happy. Obviously that's not a healthy relationship.

Most people cut ties because they ARE the ones willing to work on the relationsip, but the other family member is not. The toxic family member usually makes the person put up with their abuse and agree with them or get out of their life. They are the ones who need help and should have the most regrets about not even trying. Most people have already spent many years trying to mend a relationship.

I can deal with boundaries as most people who decide to cut ties, but it is the other family member who disregards boundaries- they usually want control, using revenge, vindictiveness, gossip,etc. Who needs that? you go ahead and hang onto your bad relationships, but no one really knows what's best for another- only that person knows. I wanted the topic to be out there so people don't feel alone.

You can Heal Your Life  6 years ago

Flower I am the one that said that comment about how my family did not like to see me happy. They can't be happy so they wanted me and my family to be happy. For 17 yrs I have put up with the abuse and vindictiveness, no boundries revenge ripping my niece and nephew in and out of our lives when she is mad at us or was not getting what she wanted. I finally said well she is getting old enough to make her own decisions I will not put a child in the middle of this anymore and that was why I decided to walk away because nothing was ever going to change. It saddens me that I had to do this. It was not an easy decision but I realized that if I did not it would destroy all that I have worked for in my own life. I do believe that ever situation is not the same and you have to decide when enough is enough. I feel peace in my heart because I know I tried ever option that I could to provide that love and peace with healthy boundries. They did not want boundries they wanted control and control meant giving up my identity. Well I hope that what I have wrote clears up some of your confusion in that statement. You know Jealousy is a very ugly word and it is a powerful word. The more someone is happy the more a person that is unhappy gets jealous and wants the other person to suffer as much as they do. You can heal your life

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izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

you can heal your life~ I agreed with you. I don't think it's good when other family members don't want you to be happy. And 17 years of that (and more)is a lot to put up with. Boundaries don't happen with people who have no respect in general- they won't respect boundaries. That's the problem. And you are right- it is all about control they want to have and they often have "tantrums" about losing control.

Timetoleave 6 years ago

Hi Izettl

Wow, other people out there have been faced with this same heart-wrenching dilemma that I am now faced with. Essentially my father passed away 2 months ago, and my mother approached me (I am number FIVE out of FIVE children) and asked if I would pay for the funeral, of which she would contribute a third (via a government payment). I stated I would pay for the other third, however that my older brother would need to pay for the other third (my mother has been married twice and him and I are a product of our father's marriage to her; the older three siblings are half-siblings with a different father).

History repeated itself.

She made every excuse under the sun why he couldn't pay it, that he was in deep financial debt etc etc (she has made excuses for this man his entire life; as a result he is socially dysfunctional and cannot deal with issues or confrontation at all). I repeatedly said to her that I will pay for the funeral on the condition that he organises a plan to pay me back, and he has assets he can sell such as collectible items that are of value to cover Dad's funeral.

Stupidly, whilst my mother was in great distress over my father's impending death I said I would handle it and to place the invoice for the funeral in my name.

I have now paid for two thirds of the funeral, and the Funeral Home have called me to state that my older brother called them and stated that I WOULD PAY THE REST OF HIS BILL!!

I called him re: this matter and left a voicemail. I have tried to leave several voicemails since re: the outstanding money and he has his voicemail now switched off.

I called my mother to discuss the situation and she stated,"he is in deep financial stress". I stated no, this is not my problem and she stated,"well if you don't pay it, it's your problem as they will take you to court".

Before she could voice her usual vindictive remarks about everything she has done in history I cut the call short and stated,"I'm heading out the door. Goodbye and hope you are well".

I was floored by her response and my brother not taking responsibility for something that morally and ethically I believe he should.

It is not the first time she has done me over financially ... this time it is different.

After a long process of emotional manipulation by this woman (she is a classic matriarch) I have opted as my only way forward to cut ties with her and her toxic behaviour. Unfortunately my siblings still buy into her behaviour and as a consequence, I must cut ties with them as well. I can no longer contribute energy into her destructive behaviour to gain attention, and her efforts to 'protect' my older brother at my expense.

I believe it is the most gut-wrenching thing to have to do to walk away from people that supposedly love you, however when the relationship is extremely toxic and impacts on you as a person, you only have one positive choice. Cut ties, move forward and hold your head high knowing that your friends love you.

I've realised (after therapy of course!) I am a good, loving and sharing person. What I've also realised is my family manipulates my generosity and this can no longer occur in my life. I am loved by my friends and their families, and as sad as it is to move forward, I only have one option.

Cut ties and move forward with a smile, knowing I have done my best.

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izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

timetoleave~ yep your story is classic, maybe not the details, but the slow decline into cutting ties with a family member. Of course money isn't the reason you would cut ties, it is the fact that your mother has been manipulating you for years. What people who haven't gone through this do not understand, it is not one thing or one event that causes a good person to walk away from family member. It's an accumalation and many years of mistreatment.

When I was studying Psych, it was amazing to me how children when they are born already have a role in the family- some are the "victims" and need to be babied, others are the "scapegoat", the "mediator", the "fixer". And it is nearly impossible to change these roles and patterns within the family unit so people are almost forced to walk away.

Many times it is the nicest person in the family that ends up walking away. You said you "are a good, loving, sharing person" and I remember saying that to myself and being ok that I had to walk away from a toxic family member, even someone as close as a parent. I don't have siblings, but my husband goes through the same thing as you- he doesn't talk to his mom, but his siblings are always relaying messages from her and giving him guilt trips. As a new mom, it makes me sick to know a woman would use her kids to manipulate.

I hope to move forward myself and teach my daughter what family should be and I hope you do well moving forward too. There's many feelings associated with cutting ties and you wouldn't be a "good" person if you didn't feel sadness, guilt, etc. family should be unconditional love and yes, as you say, it is hard to walk away from people who are supposed to love you no matter what. You are lucky to have good friends so you have a good comparison of what love and acceptance should feel like.

THanks for your comment- all the best....

charowdy 6 years ago

It is helpful to see that many of us struggle with family relationships. I have struggled with guilt and pain over the relationship with my mother. As a child, she failed to protect my sister and I from her verbally and sexually abusive husband. It was a total nightmare living in that house. This combined with the fact that my mother is not a mentally balanced person. She is extremely controlling and has a volatile personality. The littlest incident will set her off into a screaming fury. I cut off all contact with her last year because I physically could not endure the relationship any longer. She has blocked out all of the abuse from my stepfather (now deceased). She said she had to stay with him for financial reasons. She rationalizes by saying, "Well, I wasn't the one who did the abusing." I felt that her number one priority as a mother should be to protect her children. She failed miserably at that. She tried to make up for it by buying trinkets and gifts over the years. I have come to realize that she is a very insecure person and compromised her children's safety for financial peace of mind. This all became very clear to me when I became a mother myself. I could never imagine knowingly staying with a man that has harmed her children in the most damaging way possible. Now she is in the hospital, just having undergone a kidney transplant. I am conflicted, but I am going to visit her today in the hospital with my sister. I know she will think that this will mean all is forgiven. I know that going to the hospital is the right thing to do, but I do NOT wish to resume a relationship with her. I am trying to set a good example for my child that even though things are very strained, you should always do the right thing. It may or may not be the right thing in the long run, I just don't know. Time will tell. I would appreciate any thoughts or comments. It is a long road to the healing process for all of us. Take care and God Bless.

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izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author


A lot of my feelings for my parent, I eventually cut contact with, changed after I had my own child. My last visit I saw clearly how that person was doing what they did to me, but now doing it to MY child. I couldn't let that happen because, as you say, it is our job to protect our children.

In my opinion, what your mom did was selfish- financial well-being is important to her so she believed that was most important for her child,you, but that's not even close. A lot of women/mothers confuse financial stability with security and being best for their child, but safety is number one. As a mother now my child's safety is most important.

Did she know you were being abused? I know she knows now, but did you tell her as a kid or was it obvious in some way. If so then there is no excuses for your mom. But with most family members people eventually cut ties with, the parent avoids taking responsibility for their actions or saying they were forced into their actions.

Also you say your mom is emotionally/mentally unbalanced and I had to realize with my parent that this only gets worse with age so you are probably doing the right thing by keeping distance. I know it must hurt ofr her not to acknowledge your side of things or take her share of the burden of resposibility.She played victim during a time when you and your sister were the actual victims.

Just be thankful you are not living her legacy and you have your own family with healthier boundaries. Sometimes it's necessary to cut ties to get away from a false reality and see things more clearly.

I would do the same thing you are doing- visiting your ill parent in the hospital. Of course it's easy to get sucked back into resuming a relationship again but you have that choice. I would do it for the exact reason you are doing it too- teach my child a lesson to do the right thing. I can't tell you if you're right or wrong about the visit, but I'd do it too. I would just keep everything to a bare minimum- emotions, talking, etc so she doesn't get the idea she can pick up where you left off in your relationship with her before this last year.

charowdy 6 years ago

Thank you so much for your kind words. It was difficult, but I did visit my mom yesterday in the hospital. She is responding well to the treatment and the new kidney is functioning properly. It will be a long road to recovery as she will be closely monitored for possible rejection. The doctors are pleased with her progress and she must focus on getting well. As for our relationship, things are going to be taken very, very slowly. I do want my mom to be happy and healthy. I am ever mindful of the fact that people rarely change their past behavior. I have not made any promises. I do know that she was very happy to see me and was crying when she first saw me. I had not seen or spoken to her in almost a year. My heart told me that visiting her was the right thing to do, although I was very anxious about it. I don't know how things will progress from here on out, but I will be taking baby steps. My mom found out about the abuse after the fact, but there were many signs that it was going on that she missed. The first sign was that she was warned by former co-workers of my stepfather's that he raped his own daughter. Then, after she found out about what he did to us, she initially threw him out. He threatened suicide, so she felt sorry for him and took him back. He did not abuse us after that, but we were much older by this point. Still, I found holes drilled in my bedroom walls where I discovered that he was spying on me as I undressed. He was a very sick and disgusting excuse of a human being. I found ways to prevent him from doing that again. I was always creeped out in his presence. I know that my mother felt that she had to stay with him for self-preservation, however misguided that was. It is very hard to forgive her for that. Not to mention dealing with her controlling and volatile personality. Alot of mistakes were made on her part, but for now, she needs to focus on getting better. Thank you for taking the time to respond and offer your perspective on what can only be called a difficult situation.

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izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Charowdy~ I'm glad your visit went well and with your mom crying at the sight of you is at least some justification she cares. She did make bad decisions and you don't have to forgive her- you have the right. Forgiveness is personal for everybody and personally for me, it's not all roses and sunshine just because you forgive a person, but anyway you are absolutely right to focus your relationship with her on getting her recovered and healthy. Having learned more about all the abuse you (and your sis)had to endure as a kid, really makes my heart go out to you.

finding peace 6 years ago


I cant tell you how much your topic has helped me to gain perspective today. Thank you so much for bringing a complicated subject into the light.

I have struggled with the dilemma of whether to maintain a relationship with my family, mainly my mother and sister or to cut ties for my own well being and peace of mind. I hold family and loyalty to be very important. I am very close to my immediate family in the respect that we talk on the phone and online and I know them well. They've been there for me when Ive fallen on hard times such as always reminding me I always have a home to go to should I need one and being at the hospital when Ive gone and things like that.

Its difficult to explain this. It would seem that my family is perfect. They do the "right" things out of duty. In an emotional sense or mentally we are very divided. That's the dilemma I'm having.

My family are very religious people. They are very verbal about their beliefs and constantly try to convince me of them. Although I respect their beliefs they have never resonated with me personally. I always avoid the subject and refrain from expressing my beliefs for fear it will hurt them.

My mother in particular is very judgmental of me and most people. Its frustrating because I am a productive member of society and a self supporting adult with strong moral conviction and compassion for my fellow man- still she finds fault with my "life style" to a very insulting degree. Each time I make what she perceives as a sinful mistake she reminds me of my certain demise.

My mother is extremely controlling and insensitive. She has treated myself, my father, and my younger sister in such a way since I can remember. My father has dealt with it by busying himself excessively and turning to drugs to avoid her (she is unaware. I only know because he uses with extended family). He used to confide in me about everything including his regret over marrying her but now he rarely speaks at all. He works long days in a back breaking job that's wrecking his body, but each time he dares to dream of more she mocks him-even in front of friends, but claims to love him with all her soul. It pains me to see him so unhappy-I love my Dad so much. He seems brainwashed. She keeps him on an extremely tight rein and dictates his every move. I find it very difficult to approach him. My Mother seems to want he and I to have a very limited relationship when she says things like: "you don't have to call him, talking to me is as good as talking to him" .

My sister has increasingly become more like my mother. She lives with my parents and has been supported by my parents financially into adulthood. She and my mother are very close and have a tendency to join forces when one or the other is angry with me. My mother controls both my father and my sister. My sister's relationships never last with a man because my mother never approves and drives them away. A person can only take so many cutting remarks, rejections or interrogations before they give up. My mother has always compared me with my sister and shown great favor to her. I have pursued a relationship with my sister, putting myself out there and extending myself but it is one sided and I always end up disappointed and embarrassed when she doesn't reciprocate.

I have always been a sensitive soul and expressive with my emotions. I feel talking things out and open communication are best. My mom admits that she has no use for emotions. She claims they serve no purpose. I completely disagree. She views my nature as weak. She prefers to brush things under the rug until they cant be denied any longer and inevitably someone blows up and trust is damaged once again.

She has told me since early in life that I was too sensitive and even went so far as to have me put on psychiatric drugs around age 10. It was before they knew that anti depressants were not healthy for children and it really did a number on me. She would lie about my behaviors to psychiatrists. From kindergarten on I was an exceptional student and very well behaved in school. Later I was class president, I volunteered and had a full time job and I was very involved in school and liked by my peers. The drugs interfered with my ability to think clearly or be myself so I would often try to avoid taking them. She would take me right back to get on something else.

This continued until I finally left at age 17 during one of her months long silent treatments (they always broke my heart) and after she wrote the school telling them she wanted nothing to do with my education. It was humiliating. I moved in with a friend and stopped taking the drugs and felt normal for once. I believed I was crazy and that there was something dreadfully wrong with me. Anytime I cried or felt real emotion that I believe is normal her only response was: "did you take your medicine?" Friends were always reminding me that I was a good person but my mom would say that they were only my friends because they didn't know me.

Ive craved so badly for so long to have that classic great mother/daughter relationship. I wanted her approval desperately. I have tried my whole life to talk to her about real things and share my goals etc but she only destroys my confidence and plants seeds of doubt. Nothing has changed over the past ten years. I do all that I can to show my mother love and to spend time with her and to be close to her, but I know that unless I conform to her exact way of life I am sub-par to her.

I have subjected myself to so much hurt by my mother through her manipulations and judgmental rants. I mull over her insults and struggle to convince myself that what she said is not true. Its an ongoing and exhausting process. I struggle to forgive myself for past mistakes she wont let me live down. She is extremely prideful and cannot apologize or admit when she is wrong. The only way to solve a conflict is to abandon my stance completely and beg for forgiveness and sometimes that doesn't even suffice. It is so frustrating. and painful.

My therapist recommended that I write my mom and express openly my perspectives on our relationship and some events and to let her know one more time as an adult my hopes to connect with her and be close. So two months ago I did so. I explained that I was writing it because I loved her and wanted respect and openness between us and invited her to respond openly. After more than a week she never brought it up or responded. I gave her time and brought it up lovingly. She seemed receptive and said she understood. She didn't want to "talk about it" and claimed she didn't "remember it that way" but really wanted us to have a "real" relationship. It took all of my courage to write that letter and Ive tried so hard.

I've only spoken to my therapist about any of this until now. I live with my boyfriend whom is immensely supportive. He has tried to forge a relationship with my mom and dad and Until this past week I really felt that maybe things had changed since I wrote the letter. My boyfriend and I moved a month ago to a house 7 hours from my family. My mom disapproved of my decision even though I live in a beautiful place on the beach and a much safer community than previously.

They came to visit this past week. My mom and sister made snide comments about my place (its actually very nice- im finally living the life ive worked so hard for) and seemed very unimpressed with the sunset cruise we took them on and the fun we tried to show them. Two days into their visit a conversation concerning a past event came up very briefly while my boyfriend was at work (brought up by them ironically) after which it was revealed that they've lied to me about something that was very important to me. When I expressed my hurt over it (reasonably, maybe three sentences spoken) they packed up and left while I was in the restroom and left a check on the table for what my boyfriend and I had treated them to. It was embarrassing and hurtful.

I left them alone for a few days, and then called to talk about it today. They (my mother and sister put me on speaker phone) responded typically by yelling and sa

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izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

finding peace~ first, it takes a lot of courage to deal with your childhood and still find it in your heart to forge a realtionship with past "abusers" such as your mom. It is clear she rules the family and things seem tougher on you when she is in company of other family members such as your mom and sister. What do you know about her past? I know you are already tolerant of her antics, but knowing someone's past can help you understand what type of relationship you can hope for or what they are capable of. For instance, someone not shown love and reinforced not to show emotions will typically not forge a strong emotional bond with you. and that sounds like your mom. I bet she has one hell of a past and childhood stories of her own. Granted, that doesn't give her an excuse. One thing i learend studying psychology was people with rough childhoods have a couple of choices; repeat the pattern (sometimes even being worse) or go the opposite direction and change what was done to you. You have overcome- your mother has not. Imagine still being completely controlled by her as your sister and father are. You are not, while this issue gets to you, you are not controlled by it.

One of the main reasons why i am not talking to my father is because he will not listen to my opinions or thoughts or talk about past matters or try to resolve issues. I am still a child to him and he stil wants control. Only his way, no options and his way are extremes because he has a mental illness. While I feel for his past and his issues, I can't continue the roller coaster. I feel responsible for him because I was the last of the family members to have a relationship with him and I'm the only child, but guilt is associated with intent and I have to remind myself wen I feel guilty that I did not intend for this.

Guilt is why people keep going back for more in hurtful relationships, but the guilt isn't actually real unless there is harmful intent behind it and you did not intend for your relationship with your mom to be turbulent. You may have becomea different person than you mom and overcome obstacles in your past, but when we have ever been abused (verbal and mental too)we tolerate more and we still need the abusers approval and still need a relationship with them. This is happening to you. It is very real to you and your mom and sister treat it as a game.

I am action oriented, make a plan person, and it sounds as if your therapist has done the same by making you write a letter. But I have one more suggestion. Everything you have discussed in your comment had to do with you being put on the defensive. Your mother and sister are on the offense- that is the pattern between all of you. You have to defend who you are, your move, your decisions, your boyfriend; your mother chimes in with her disapproval.

When your mom voices her disapproval, simply turn things back to her. She wants to act like the queen then give her own medicine. Keep the focus on her, not you and your decisions. You can involve more of her past and ask her if everything she did made her parents happy. Ask her what her parents did to make her so great. Tell her you admire her faith, but then ask her what she admires about you.

Be realistic, if you want that ideal mother/daughter relationship, you are probably not going to get it. What can you settle for without ruining yourself. I finally realized I had to compromise myself far too much to keep a relationship with my dad. Also I got a real eye-opener when I had my own kid and saw that things shouldn't be hurtful between parents and kids. You are not an extension of your mom, you are your own person. May I suggest reading on narcissistic personalities/disorder. It sounds like your mom. Accept who she is, because currently she is hoping to change you and you are doing the same; hoping to change her too. If nothing changed, would you continue this relationship? Also, people with issues, mental or otherwise, tend to get worse with age so consider that too. How much of this effects your daily life. I was getting short emails from my dad almost everyday that would suggest what I needed to do or who I should be and I never realized how taxing those were until I stopped our relationship and don't have those toxic reminders anymore.

boogawoo 6 years ago

family members are the most difficult ties to cut.Wouldn't life be great if that were not true. Especially when you are faced with the future of dealing with them for future unavoidable issues like say funerals. people who have close knit families, are trully blessed, and not reading this. The rest of us have to deal with crap we wouldn't tolerate from a total stranger. yet we have no choice when it means family.

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izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

boogawoo~ agreed- everything you said. I think you can have issues with family members but still be close and not resentful or even tempted to cut ties. But there are those types that do more damage than any oligated good we can possibly do if we stick around. Some people can't stand each other, but those that are hurtful on purpose shouldn't be tolerated.

plj03 6 years ago

My mother is schizophrenic and my father is a co-dependent alcoholic. Coincidentally, my sister is a toxic co-dependent, my brother an addict, and I am an alocoholic (sober 4yrs). Since the begining of my sobriety I have learned that the most unhealthy, emotional "driggers" in my life are my immediate family. I have been slowly distancing myself from them and they hate me for it. They think I'm selfish, heartless, and concieted for not doing laps with them in the family circle of crazy. They accuse ME of being the sick one and seemed to be more comfortable with me when I was actively drinking even with all the problems my drinking brought me. They never congratulate my sobriety dates or any new successes in my life. Just recently I put number blocks on my phone because the contact had become soley negative and to point out how "selfish" I am for the distance. The most horrific, emotionally disturbing, pit-of-my-gut awful feeling comes from encounters with them and the feeling lasts for days. I instantly become depressed and the feeling of whether or not "its me or its them" lingers as well. I doubt myself when usually I am stable, helpful, and confident. I am a good person and I do good things in the world but all it takes is for one of them to point out an imaginary fault and I fall to pieces. That's why I cringe when people say "family needs to stick together no matter what" and all that other crap people that haven't experienced sheer hell in their home lives say. THANK YOU, sincerely and appreciativly.

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izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

plj03~ I knew exactly where you were going with your story when you said you were "sober" and they continued their crazy circus of issues. The truth is change really upsets people and you upset the sick "balance" between your family members. As long as you were drinking, they felt "normal" because you being healthy makes them face ugly truths that will crush their version of normal.

The last half of your paragraph I can deeply relate to. I cut off contact with my father (who I had issues with) and noticed that I felt better about my life and none his nasty passive-aggressive comments nagged at me for days, making me feel awful- like what you went/going through. My dad was certainly a fault finder and quick to mention it. i understand you probably feel good about yourself and they come along an knock you down. You can't have that in your life because it effects your life so much. My dad now leaves me alone, but I know other peoples' family members sometimes continue to pester them which makes cutting ties really hard. I too hate to see comments about sticking with your family no matter what- it's a silly cliché or something that makes people feel better about sticking with mentally or phsycially abusive family members. Best of luck to you- I believe you are a good person.

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wannabwestern 6 years ago from The Land of Tractors

I recently did this after many years of verbal abuse from a sibling. Actually, I didn't cut ties completely, but I did "de-face" her because she was making insensitive and obnoxious remarks on my facebook account about my very young children, whom she has never met. A few weeks later my uncle suddenly passed away and my mother called to chew me out for breaking ties. Your article is insightful and helpful. People who are being verbally abused by a family member have the right to draw firm boundaries that shield them and their families from further abusive behavior. Another excellent hub!

izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

wannabewestern~ there isn't anything wrong with setting boundaries. boundaries need to be pre-determined and followed through with to be effective. What gets most people in this situation is when a family member effects your own family (your kids,etc) like in your situation, another thing is when the family member doesn't respect the boundaries and ignores them completely. I think we all face issues with family but just how much can or should be tolerated is individual and usually we put up with much more from family than anyone else so they're already getting the benefit of the doubt.

I know what you mean about other family getting upset with you for cutting ties with another family member-like your mom and sister. I got the same thing when I cut ties with my dad. Even though I was the last one of EVERYONE in the family, some still made me feel guilty about it. A lot of double standards within family dynamics. best of luck to you.

Kim 6 years ago

My problem is with my brother and sister in law. He is married to my ex-husband's (who was extremely abusive)cousin. There are so many things that have happened over the years that have led to my decision to break ties, so I'll try to keep it short. My brother has a son to a previous relationship. When he married his wife, they pretty much abandoned his son, even though he desperately needed his father, having a mother who was a drug addict. They said they couldn't afford him. A few months later, they happily announced their pregnancy. So, after years of skipping jobs to avoid child support payments, very rarely getting his son for visits, and hearing his wife say that my brother actually told him their children together meant more to him than his first child, I guess my opinion and feelings about my brother changed very much so. We have had several arguments concerning this, which ended up in my brother developing a relationship with my ex-husband, (I guess his form of revenge) who my brother witnessed him punching me in the face, as well as a time when he repeatedly rammed his car into my car that my brother and sister were riding in without me. He would actually come to our house to pick up my daughter in the passenger seat of my ex's car with a big grin on his face. Another time he accompanied my ex-husband to a meeting with a psychologist that the courts had appointed to intervene in a custody case.

The latest event, and what caused me to come to this final decision was when we had all our children together making milkshakes for them. Their son (who is 12) asked to try a taste of my son's drink (who is 7) and when my son playfully tapped the cup as if to say please give back to me, their son slammed the cup into his voice, covering him with the drink, making his lip bleeding, and completely humiliating my little boy who absolutely did not mean any harm in the first place. He was sobbing hysterically, and I came to the rescue, cleaning my son and taking care of his lip and all the while they stood there not saying one word to their son who had gotten his brutal revenge against his younger cousin. He actually said he was happy he had made his lip bleed. After fuming about it all night, I calmly brought it up to my brother the next morning that I felt it was a little over the top and not necessary, to which he replied that my son deserved it and he didn't blame him. Of course, I got angry and said I wouldn't be taking my children around their son again, especially since they condoned his behavior. They defriended everyone of us (me and my older children, 19 and 12) on FB and I haven't talked to them since. This, of course, is definitely a case of pent up anger leading to a decision that I think should have been made a long time ago. I feel I made the right decision, but I know it will be difficult to maintain my boundaries, since we live not even a mild apart and I live next door to my parents.

izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Kim~ Sounds like enough events over a long time to put up boundaries and neutral contact. I say neutral contact because living so close it would be impossible to say you'll never see them again. If you back down or cave in to the boundaries you set, then they will continue to abuse you because then you will appear weak and someone not true to their word so stick to your guns. Maybe tolerate them on holidays since you live so close, but you'll have to at least make your house off limits to them. You have a right to defend your son and make rules to support his safety and as long as your brother hangs out with your ex, then you won't hang out with him. Don't engage in arguing with your brother (or any of them really).

Keep in mind people will throw a fit when you try to set boundaries so it may be harder in the beginning, but stick with it. I also believe it's the healthiest decision you can make. Most people that make the decision to cut ties, usually say it was long overdue. And when we put up with abuse for so long, it almost always gets worse, not better.

It's clear your sister in law has a lot of control in the family so if she tries to turn anyone else against you, then simply tell everyone else that their son gave yours a bloody lip. If they try to say your son started it, say he didn't do anything and no one deserves a bloody lip- end of story. You obviously got away from your ex's abuse so why let other abusers be in your life- kick them out, or as close to cutting ties as you can get. Keep any contact neutral and hospitable.

Best of luck Kim.

Kim 6 years ago

Thank you so much for responding. I keep doubting myself, wondering if I went over the top because of the past history and some anger that I needed to release. But, when I go back to the night and how everything played out, and my oldest daughter also witnessed the whole thing and agreed with me 100%, I know that I didn't over-react. The kids are unsure how to act or what to do, so I told them tonight that if their cousins talk to them, they should always be polite, just that things would be different in that we wouldn't be going to their house and they wouldn't be coming to ours any longer. My brother actually isn't friends with my ex anymore, not because he felt bad about doing that to me, but because my ex became verbally abusive to them. So, that isn't an issue anymore, just constant belittling, putting my husband down, my children, and myself, as well as allowing things like the cup incident to go on. Hopefully, I'll be able to stick to this. I have broken down in the past for the sake of my parents and the rest of my family. I do feel much stronger this time. Thanks again.

izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

kim~ glad I could give you an outsider's unbiased point of view. Knowing your oldest daughter agrees is helpful to re-affirm your decisions. I know the feeling of thinking you are overreacting, but that is something that someone else put into our heads- someone who probably abused us and made us think we are the ones with a problem or we're not strong unless we tolerate abuse- all false statements. Yes, I think you can stick to this promise because you've told your son what the rules are now and you must stick to your word- it will earn you respect too. You can't promise no contact so like I said before, be polite and neutral, and don't let them get to you- I know that's hard with family, but you can do it. Take care Kim.

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SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA

I always had the love of my mom and sisters, but my grandma never loved me the way she loved her other grandchildren. She mentioned on several occasions how she had wished my dad had married someone else, and how our family was not up to her standards. These comments used to hurt, and it made me distant towards her. I should have written more, but her and my grandpa never really made an effort to come see us, and when we went to see them the barrage of hurtful comments was not to my liking. I had a grandpa who passed away in 1997 who provided unconditional love, and gave me a glimpse of what a loving grandparent was like. As an adult I have overcome the sting and hurt of not being loved truly by my grandparents, and advise others to do the same. If someone only says things to hurt you then why do you care about their opinions anyway? I suggest only focusing on things and people that make you feel loved and accepted.

Kimberly 6 years ago

I guess it was inevitable. My sister, who said she completely understood where I was coming from, has been hanging out with my brother and his wife quite a bit. It hurts a lot, but I kind of knew it was coming. She won't stick up for me because she doesn't have a car and right now she is driving my brother's car that he is letting her use while he is unemployed. My sister has called me before fuming about stuff that has happened with my brother and his wife, but now she has deserted me, and I feel like a complete outcast. Her son, who has so many behavioral problems, was at our house the other night (that's pretty much the only time I hear from her, when she needs a sitter), and he got mad at me for making him turn the Wii off and took off out the door at 11:30 at night. It's not the first time this has happened. So, I told her that he couldn't come up anymore, that I just couldn't handle him leaving at the drop of a hat as soon as someone says something or does something he doesn't like, and no matter what, he always turns it around on me or my kids. So, I'm thinking since she knows she can't use me for babysitting anymore, she figures "why bother." Now, thinking back, I think that's what I've been to her my entire life. She had quite a serious alcohol and a problem with sedatives, and it was me who came to the rescue many times when her daughter (who is now 21) would call in the middle of the night to come and get them because her parents wouldn't come home from the bar. This is so rough for me. My mom and dad are very supportive and completely understand. My other brother lives far enough away (about an hour from us) that he doesn't have these problems. I've been crying off and on for two days. Although my husband is very supportive as well and knows the problems that I've had with my family, he is away on another deployment, so I feel so alone. I do have my daughter who is 19 and very helpful, thank God for that. I think I may have to make an appointment with my doctor and maybe talk about antidepressants to help get me through this. I'm the oldest out of four children. All three of my siblings have had substance abuse problems. I was lucky enough to escape this, and I have a fear of medications because of this. I'm so afraid I'll become addicted to something.

izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

sweetiepie~ YES! I totally agree with what you say about focusing on the people who love you unconditionally and accept you. Your story of your grandma resounds deeply with me- actually concerning my daughter. My dad was one of those to let many hurtful comments slip our of his mouth constantly, and I knew it was enough, for myself, but when I saw him doing it with my 3 yr old daughter. I just couldn't let her be around him. I am sorry, by the way, you had to hear hurtful things from a grandparent- it just doesn't seem right. "If someone only says things to hurt you then why do you care about their opinions anyway?" Great advice from your comment. That alone would help many people with their struggle.

izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Kimberly~ I know you feel bad for what's been done to your neice and nephews, you really must consider your kids first and if the one boy especially has behavior problems, he shouldn't be in your house- if he is a minor, you could be held responsible for anything he does if he is at your house. So that's part of having boundaries.

The tricky part about family, and nature set it up this way being we're born with them and closest to them, is that we are dependant on them for various things- sometimes money, babysitting, acceptance, love. Your sis uses your brother for his car and what you get from the relationship from all of them is a need to feel loved and accepted, but it looks to me that even if you go along with their games and bad behaviors, you are still not accepted by them. Your crying is grieving what could have been or should have been between you and your siblings- like love and a decent relationship, but that's not the reality. If you look at your reality with them, it's nothing to be grieving, rather celebrating cutting some ties at least temporarily. Another example, I see women who cry forever about losing a boyfriend they only dated a few months, and I know exactly what they are grieving is the loss of what could have been, a fabricated reality like possibility of marriage and kids. So please stay in reality about your situation and I guarantee it will be easier. Concentrate on your support system, people who are loving and supportive like your husband and parents. Some of this will pass, either some family members will better or worse and either way it will not stay just like this forever, kids will grow up too, etc.

It is normal for you to be sad because this is not how you envisioned it. Also it seems to me that you are using your siblings as well ,like for company and to feel needed. People endure bad relationships all the time for these reasons. Your siblings had substance abuse problems, money problems, kid problems, and they've used you for those issues and in essence you are using them to feel needed. Have you read anything about co-dependant relationships. Some of that sounds familiar with how you describe your situation.

As far as needing drugs, well doctors will easily prescribe them to you and some are low key, not addictive and could help you get through this time. Please don't take my opinion on psych drugs as the gospel, but I believe they are for people with depression or worse and that would mean you would need a dr evaluation on that. Surrounding yourself with good and strong thoughts and people, even books on your situation should help. right now is the thick of it, meaning it is the worst when you have to "take sides". Just say to yourself you need a break from them and tell them you need a break too. Simple as that. Get some distance from them so you can view this situation with a level head. You have a choice of being abused in exchange for the love, or not feeling like an outcast, from them or you can set your limits and boundaries with them minus abuse but you will be temporarily sad you not feeling needed or loved by them.

Kim 6 years ago

Yes, I think you have me pegged quite accurately! I think my biggest problem is that I worry too much about what other people think of me, and try too hard to keep everyone else happy, most of the time at the expense of my own happiness and sanity, example: Always agreeing to keep my nephew, even though 9 times out of 10, we are going to have problems, and some of them have been serious. Once he punched a neighbor girl in the face while he was playing outside at our house and I had to deal with the police because my sister wasn't able to reached by phone. Then, the father of the little girl went on a rampage thinking it was my son who hit her, and we dealt with quite a bit of harrasment from this man because of it, to the point where I had to call the police myself to protect my family.

To sum it up, I absolutely hate it when anyone is mad or disappointed in me, and cannot stand the thought of having other people talk about me negatively, so I try to be everyone's best friend. Maybe it's an eldest child syndrome,wanting to please everyone all the time, which is pretty much an impossible task to accomplish! I do know that I need to keep a comfortable distance for awhile and worry about myself and my own family, otherwise I'm going to drive myself crazy.

izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Kim~ Somehow your comment slipped by me on here and sorry to not respond sooner. It's only easy for me to say to you what I did because I recognize myself in you on making myself unhappy before I would let others feel that way. However, on a personal note, if you don't take care of yourself I strongly believe you will be forced to. Just the law of nature. For me, this was was getting a chronic illness- for some time, I could only take care of myself and now if I don't pay attention to my needs, the pain gets worse in my body. I can't have high maintenance people in my life anymore- part of my decision for cutting ties with one of my family members.

Your nephew is a problem but you know this. If you are somehw held responsible for something he does I'm not thinking his parents would take your side.

I grew up a pleaser, like you, but I was an only child and I didn't have a big family so I felt responsible for keeping together everyone that I could. Keep the distance as I was saying- this is good for boundaries and for getting a decent perspective of how unhealthy things have been. Sometimes when you're in the middle of it you don't realize the effect on you. Please don't drive yourself crazy!!

Jack 6 years ago


Thanks for a great post. It has been over 3 years since I cut ties with both my parents and one sister - I still keep in touch with my younger sister.

It was a long journey where I spent a great deal of time trying to figure out a way to "fix" my family. Unfortunately, after working with a great therapist, I realized that I was the scapegoat of the family and that was never going to change.

In the end, it was a visit to a child psychologist that helped me realize that I needed to take care of my wife and children and stop putting up with the destructive behavior of my narcissistic father. I wanted to make sure I was making the right decision for my kids... The psychologist said, "these people will never change."

I wouldn't wish this experience on my worst enemy but it has made me appreciate what I DO have. I have a great wife, 3 great kids and the best in-laws a guy could ask for. I think I have become a better husband and father because of this experience.

Thanks again,

- Jack

izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author


I am so happy for you. Most people don't get as far as you do. Luckily you had a good counselor who opened your eyes about your new family (your wife and kids) as your priority. It is sad when we have to protect our new family from our destructive first family. I let go of my dad because of his narcissism and things he was doing to my daughter that he had done to me. At least you count your blessings and sounds like you do have a lot. I am glad you realize the damage of people like your father and separated yourself from him and also didn't follow in his footsteps to be like him either.

Take care Jack

Lucy 6 years ago

I am about to erect a boundary for the first time in my relationship with my brother. All my life I have felt that he looks down on me because I am a single mother and chose to not re-marry and carry on, alone, raising my children. It's like his masculinity was insulted by the fact that I'm doing okay without a man in my life.

Growing up, he was a "touchy-feely" older brother when I was in my teens and it really creeped me out but we got past that without ever having to discuss - he married and left the family home before it became a known issue in the family. I think that still has a bearing on how I never feel like more than an object when I'm spending time in his company. He doesn't seem to acknowledge my person hood. My oldest son died a few years ago and my brother distanced himself because "he just didn't know what to say". No phone calls during my son's illness or after the funeral to see how me and my other son were coping. He did attend the service and did visit my son in hospital once although his behaviour was off-putting as he joked and laughed and turned the visit into a light-hearted party atmosphere to make himself more comfortable with what was going on before his eyes.

So, the last straw has been my brother becoming best friends with my ex-husband who was abusive to both myself and my children. He never liked this man before, in fact, he expressed extreme dislike for him when I was married to him. But now, they are best buddies. I feel this is a real lapse of loyalty on my brother's behalf and it hurts.

I have decided to stop socializing with my brother. I don't feel comfortable in his company any longer, especially when anything I say or do in his company may be taken back to my ex whom I try to keep out of my life completely. It's a breach of trust, I guess.

I will tell him that I'm always there should a need arise, like serious illness or injury to his sons, whom I care about (love is too strong a word here). And we should be able to discuss any needs our aging parents might encounter in life. I'm still close to my parents.

Otherwise, I don't want to spend time with him anymore or pretend to be close and unaffected by his behaviour. Wish me luck because my family is famous for being non-confrontational. They will see me as a over-sensitive bitch but I just can't cope with the bad feelings I have about myself after spending time with him and pretending all is well.

Thanks for a great post and all the great comments.


Sometimes 6 years ago


First, I would like to begin by saying everyone's stories and suggestions are all so very helpful. Of course I probably wouldn't be on this if I weren't going through the same situation but my issue has nothing do with any relative you have mentioned. It has to do with my cousin.

Now, I can't seem to solve this problem for myself. Some of what most of you are saying makes a lot of sense, at the same time I have a big family and cutting a cousin out of your life becomes a big deal. The whole family points the finger at the one who made the cut. You see, I am 27 years old. I am the sensitive, caring, the worrier and the funny relative in my family. I am the one that would give you food and money if you needed it, even if it left me with very little. For that reason, I pretty much don't have a backbone.

My cousin is two years younger. Her mother has been an alcoholic all her life and has been abusive. Her father suffers from anxiety and is an enabler-as a result of the anxiety. My cousin always had the characteristics of a loud, jealous, greedy,whiny, and angry individual. You know the ones that cried if you played with someone else? You know, the ones that ate a cookie in front of you? The ones that bit you because she wanted the purple crayon? The one that wants to take your friend from you, just to do it? But sometimes when you are together, it is fun and you feel sorry for her because you know where she has come from, so you let all the uncomfortable stuff go. She also never had a high IQ and sometimes I believe she has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. However, she can function fairly well.

I was forced to spend lots of time with her since she practically lived with me for three years. She had her gentle moments and we had many fun years growing up together. Once we aged into adults, her personality altered. She had become even more angry. For years, she would insult me infront of people and make fun of me in front of others, tried to control everything i do or wear to our night outs. She would tell me to shut up, in the middle of me having a nice conversation with her or anyone else and she would curse at me because "my voice annoyed her" or my hair is messy. For example, I stayed over her home one day and was snoring. She woke me up to tell me to "Shut the F up" in my face. At that time, I was having problems in a relationship. She had driven me to the train station, rather than my home and called me a drama queen for crying over him. She was not supportive and yet I would do as so much a paid dinner for her whenever she went through anything or a vacation. Everything annoys her. She always wants to argue. For years after, she continued to be rude to everyone and especially me.

If i didn't call her, she would call and scream at me and say I don't care about her and that I think I am better than her. What is so strange, is that I spend time with her and I am so very supportive and kind to her and even during those moments, she finds the time to make me feel horrible.

Now, what really gets me, is her gossiping. I have two very close cousins. She loves to say anything about me to them, to get them to turn against me. She tries to befriend them and then when she is with me, she says awful and personal things about them, throwing in that i shouldn't trust them. She has caused me and my other cousins to argue because she would use conversations she told me about them and because i was there listening, she assumed I agreed and would run off to them and say I said those things, a game of he said she said.

I asked her if she can just please tell me why she treats me this way, she says she doesn't treat me bad at all and that I need to stop being a drama queen. She says when she is insulting me in my face it isn't really an insult, its the truth and that i should appreciate "that she is real" Then her answer is, EVERYONE GOSSIPS AND EVERYONE SAYS STUFF AND YOU NEED TO F$#KING DEAL WITH IT. I told her we are too old to be dealing with HE SAID SHE SAID, I mean i have a family, my career, my health, and everything else to worry about and enjoy. I know i shouldn't care about what she thinks. But i am really tired of her gossiping and her insults. I am getting married and just pulled her out of the wedding because I got sick of her running to other people in my family, making up stories about me. She said i hurt her feelings for taking her out but I imagined her stressing me during the whole process, insulting me and criticizing everything i do. I can't assess myself! I love her and I fall very weak when she apologizes because i see the little girl i once loved in her but I have been doing this for years and sometimes I feel like I shouldn't cut her out because she is my little cousin that always seem to have had problems, and I always felt i needed to help and guide her, not cut her loose. I end up feeling guilty and think that just maybe i am over reacting and should just ignore her comments and ignore the fact that she foes around town shattering my image. Can you help me?

TOBFREE 6 years ago

It's amazing to realize others are in situations similar to mine. My father passed away about a year and a half ago and immediately aftwards my mom and brother have completely excluded me from the family. I live three hours away but was with my father during the last three weeks of his life and prior to that often visited my parents on weekends. My mom and brother promised to let me know when the funeral was but instead sent me pcitures via email of it, they immediatley planned trips and would lie to me about them. when i visit it seems like they are anxious for me to leave and ther eis always tension in the air. My mom does not call at all nor do they ever visit my home, I call her and visit them and if i don't i get guilt trips. I feel like I came close to having a nervouse breakdown last year as i feel i lost my dad, mom and brother. I don't understand it but now that i am stronger i have decided to cut the ties in order to preserve my mental and physical health as i lost 22 pounds and suffered from severe stomach problems and stress as a result of this. If I try to talk to them about things that have happened they act like they don't know what im talking about or start acting like i need medication. I still have mixed feelings about this as i have only come to this decision last week but i think i give up. It was great to find this website.

izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

SOMETIMES~ the best thing you can do is save yourself and be an inspiration. She treats you that way because you allow her, you need to be a martyr, and save the world. If she's already turnign family against you before the cut then I wouldn't see why cutting her out of your life would be so bad. THe others in your family must know her so why would they blame you for cutting her out of your life. She has no boundaries with you and mainly because you never set any. Anybody who goes back and helps someone or befriends someone who treats them bad is a sucker for punishment. We all have problems and it is not an excuse for her to bully you. She is bullying you, I hope you understand that.

She is not likely to stop this behavior, but give her fair chance at setting boundaries for her. SHe is not to call you names or cuss at you in anger, etc. If she does, she's out- period. Good luck!

izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

TOBFREE~ In your situation, I'd tell them you've had some health issues and next time they can come visit you. In the mean time don't get your hopes up because they may not. It sounds like you have asked them why they didn't invite you to the funeral? I'm not sure if youv'e asked them but how could they deny nothing is wrong if you weren't even advised of your dad's funeral? That's crap!!!

You may have to move on and part of cutting ties means grieving the person (or people) whom you cut ties with. THat's a tall order for you since you are still grieving your dad. It's a very stressful situation, but if they are not part of your support then you need to build that support elsewhere. put your effort into others; friends, other relatives. Do any other relatives know what is going on or have any clue why you're an outcast to your mom and brother?

The ball is in your court, no more guessing. If they want to see you they can come visit you at your place. Let them make the moves to incorporate you into their circle, at least you will know for sure where you stand.

Take care...

TOBFREE 6 years ago

--Yes, I asked them about the funeral and they denied that the pictures where of the funeral, yet the email with the pictures had the heading "saying goodbye to dad." It was suppose to be a small private funeral at the beach where my dads ashes were scattered at sea. AFter i questioned them they stated they took the dogs to the beach yet I never receive a date for the funeral.

We have a really small family. I grew up only knowing my mom, dad and brother. And as an adult ,I can look back and see how my mom discouraged building relationships with my dads family who live in another state while hers was in another country. There is no family to share this with. Although since my dads death my mom and brother have strengthened ties with our relatives in Germany by spending the Christmas after my dads passing there (of i found out after the tickets were already purchased, even though I told them to let me know the cost of the tickets and i would go if i could swing it)I always thought we a were a tight small family. However, the same type situation is going on with my moms family in Germany where her brother and his wife has isolated two of their adult kids and chosen the third child as the one to be involved in everything (doesn't of the other two kids or their grandchildren in the house-) In spite of all this, I find myself stressing over hurting my mom, as she is 70 but very healthy and energetic. It's almost like my brother has taken my dad's place with her. More recently, I ws suppose to go visit mymom and brother for a weekend but mymom called and told me she had company form Germany coming and there would really be room and she didn't want me to ne uncomfortable, that was hurtful, the final straw and when I realized i needed to make a decision As my mom has a three bedroom house and my brother has a 4 bedroom house.

Thank you for your advice and comments. They are really comforting to read and lead me closer to peace about my decision althought it will be a journey for me to arrive completely at peace. Thank you.

Sometimes 6 years ago


Thanks for your advice but I already set boundaries with her, months and years before. It works out well and then it happens again. Its not just me she gossips about. She plays the field. I know its because she feels its the only way she can get people to like her. She is not mentally challenged or has special needs. She can very well function, she just has an attitude problem. A couple of days ago, I left an email sharing how I felt and asking her why she feels the need to put family against me? It has to be jealousy because all our lives, she has tried to compete but she does not admit to gossiping and she did not apologize for the way she treats me in public. She says, I need to stop being a nut case and to stop being sensitive. She says I HURT her for accusing her for all those things. But thats the thing, she has caused so much trouble and she clearly says awful things to me. So, guess what???????????????? She left me a voice message and pretty much said that i think i am better and that i am fake. She said she doesn't care about my stupid wedding and that i can go to hell and if i want to call her a B#$%h for saying such things then whatever. She lied and said on the voicemail that my cousins don't want to be near me and then contradicted herself and said that my cousins and I can form a group and talk about her behavior. She cursed me out and told me that she doesn't care about what I think and that we are not family. So i am guessing, the cut stays? I hate that she got one of my closest cousins Lee to believe that i don't care about her. She is that cruel, cruel enough to lie to people. But i didn't make it easier because i went directly to my other cousins and i shared to them all the hurtful things that have been said about all of us. Did i do something wrong by looking for support through my other relatives? I mean, we all have something in common and that is, we have a pain in family.I think the best thing is to cut her off because i wouldn't feel the need to run to family when awful things were said about them or me through her and I wouldn't have to walk on egg shells or fear her when she is around. I can't feel bad for her anymore. I am going far enough not to invite her to my wedding. She needs consequences.

elly389 6 years ago

I haven't spoke to my sister or brother and their families in two years. There are a lot of in depth circumstances that make this something that would take days to explain. I wanted to know something though, has anyone ever cut ties to family and then had meltdowns later? For the past month I have been an emotional wreck, I am sad and angry and I think it's because I feel all alone. I got into a huge fight with my husband that lasted like all weekend and he is the best guy in the world. The trigger was going to one of his family parties without him and seeing all of these happy people and feeling like I don't fit in. I just wish my family was like that but I have no real contact with them (save my parents) and my other brother who is in and out of jail all the time. I know if my parents could speak to my sister they would act like everything is perfect (she does not speak to them either)

I want to get my life back. I don't want this to take over my life and speaking to them is out of the question,as I have tried and well it didn't go well. I miss my nieces and nephews. I just don't want this to effect my feelings about other things in life and I don't want to fight with my husband anymore. I have no one to talk to, people don't really get it. So has anyone else had these feelings so late into a family "breakup"?

TOBEFREE 6 years ago

Hi Elly389

I literally thought i was having a nevous breakdown when i had to cut ties with my brother and mom, which is still new to me. I've only been on this site for a week or so but it has been a tremendous help for me. I feel stronger just knowing that i'm not alone. I suggest that you focus on your husband/kids and appreciate that you have him and he will always have your back. from the advice i have received from izzetl, I am learning to embrace the fact that i have to be well and healthy and anyone who causes havoc on your health and emotions are not healthy relatonships for you. althoguh easier said than done, it is a one day at a time process. I think being on this site will really help. Stay strong and empowered.

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izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

tobefree~ Well I think you are gradually getting to a point where you have to at least distance yourself from them. All the signs are there and if you must cut ties, do it for yourself- don'do it for their attention or to spite them, just do it for your sanity. One thing I've heard, and experinced, is it's not as hard as I thought it would be- really. If the relationship is causing ditress in your life, the distance will be uplifting and you should notice a positive difference. Good luck.

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izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

sometimes~ I just got done commenting above to someone else about this, but cutting ties should ideally be about yourself. You seem like someone who will do anything, put up with b.s included, for someone, but what would you do for yourself? Cut ties or distance is a great option for you at this point. But I stated above that you should not do it for revenge or getting attention- not that I'm saying you are doing it for either, but I want you to think rationally. Your cousin has you on an emotional roller coaster. Like i said before, no need for getting people on your "side", but rather letting them see it for themselves. If she is this toxic of a person, people will see it for themselves. Some may resent you for not putting up with it and now they have to put up with her more, some may feel sorry for her, etc. but you need to determine what is a healthy relationship- sounds like this isn't. I have a very dramatic cousin like this that I cut ties with two years ago. She was like this in our childhood, and we made ammends, but began to revert back to her old ways with me so I simply don't get involved with her life anymore. if I have to, I tolerate her at family functions and say a pleasant hi, but that's it. You are driven by your emotions because that is how she is controlling you. Reflect on this when you are not so emotional. But I still maintain you may have set boundaries but didn't follow through. Hope this comment helps.

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izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

elly389~ Well as you can see here, you are not the only one with this issue. I thought i was the only one until I decided to write this article.

I usually take a couple days and mull over some of the more serious comments from people, such as this topic. THis is your life and I've been through this, witnessed it, and helped support others who've gone through it. I know your feelings. Most of the feelings exist because we have an ideal in our heads of what our life and our family should be like. Actually the feelings you describe are more common later into the process. It's like grieving a family member, except they aren't gone so you still have to deal with that aspect.You may be aware of the grief model; first step is denial, then anger, bargaingin, and finally depression and accpetance. The last two steps are the hardest. You may experience emotional lows because you don't know if this situation is forever so you can't completely accept it; it's "like" death but it isn't death. Things can change drastically quickly. You never know which way this will all turn out. Be open to communication with your siblings. You are not alone and we all face something periodically that makes us feel that way. Strengthen your support system you already have and it doesn't matter if they haven't gone through this exact situation, just know all people experience times when they are lonely and sad and angry and all other human emotions- that is what bonds us. Find the bond in that with others, not within your exact situation. My best to you.

TOBFREE 6 years ago

The hardest part was making the decision to do it and accepting that it doesn't make you a horrible person. I feel at peace but there has been no interaction from either sides so far as this has been an independent decision with no discussion. Eventually , i'll get a call and that will be difficult as the guilt and emotions will surface. I really want to stay calm, not sure what i will say.

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izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

tobefree~ If they call, I would tell them they can come visit you if they would like. Just be sure to put the ball in their court, so to speak. Let them do the work to be around you. You have been doing most of it and you feel expendable at this point. I had been thinking of cuting ties with my dad for years, but then it occurred to me what I was missing from our relationship was him making effort to be ina relationship with me. I finally said if you want to see me, you can come visit me. He still hasn't. He hasn't ever visited me anywhere I've ever lived, but this was just one of the many issues we had. However, I used this to see if he was willing to do as much as I did for him in our relationship.

If you do end up cutting ties with your mother and brother, then you will feel less guilt about the decision if you inadvertantly make it up to them.

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wifelv 6 years ago from mi

Wow!Great hub. I am one of those who has walked away from toxic family members. It is not easy since 5 out of six are not in my life anymore. As I began to trim off those who fit the descriptions above, I found myself being able to set better boundaries with all people in my life. They say in order to give love you must love yourself first. To love oneself is to have healthy boundaries. We must be able to love ourselves enough to walk away no matter what blood line is attached.

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izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

wifelv~ great comment. I know what your mean. I had to walk away from 3 family members in one year because I couldn't handle all the negativity and manipulation. i know that many years of having set no boundaries with these people had come to a point where they did not respect boundaries when I made them. It's hard to walk a way but you are right. Thanks for the thoughtful comment.

TOBFREE 6 years ago

That's exactly what i plan to do, put the ball in their court. In the meantime, I'm planning on having the holidays at my house this year, for the first time ever, no travel, no dealing with traffic, road conditions, etc. and feeling great about it. Love this hub.

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izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

tobefree~ I've done the holidays by myself before and actually had a great time away from all the hassles you mentioned. Glad you found this hub helpful and just realize how many others here are going through the same, but all have ended up better, sometimes years down the road.

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wifelv 6 years ago from mi

Sometimes people who are toxic don't get it. You can set boundaries and they will some how twist it back on you. There seems to be no win in these cases. I have a sister who is sweet as pie, as long as I do everything her way and cow-tail to her every wish. The minute I say "No" a demon comes out and I am verbally abused and slandered. I finally had to stop contact. I love her, but she has a bitterness in her that contaminates and shows up like fruit flies,(out of fricken know where)! I do get sad about the loss wishing some how there could be a solution, but it takes two to want that. These types of people often lack problem solving skills are often stunted or frozen in an immature mind set. They lack education if you ask me. We have to get out of those situations because they rub off on us. Much like one bad apple in a bag of apples. You have to toss out the yucky one so that the rest don't get rotten too. ( :

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izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

wifelv~ what yo usay about the effects of these people on us are true. It's like slipping and getting caught up in their world because they are often so manipulative. I only suggest people set boundaries before they cut ties because it helps to know you've done all you can before letting them loose. And I agree with you; they often don't stick to boundaries. Thanks for the added input.

janleelev 6 years ago

Dear Neveragain69,

My heart goes out to you, but please think about setting up some real boundaries in your life and stop trying to correct yours and your family's past, which you cannot, no one can. It doesn't sound like you "have" a family. There is a great difference between sacrificial love (real love) and sentimentality, which much of our culture is so good at. You are a child of God and created to love and to be loved. Stop falling into the trap that you can fix everything and stop listening to the lies that you are to blame. Pray for God's guidance and you cannot fail. I'll pray for you too. God bless you.

sandy 6 years ago

I cut ties with some of my family members this past year and now see that my life is so much more peaceful - no more chaos... I had no idea that they had such a negative effect on me. This article has some great tips!

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izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

janleelev~ great advice.

sandy~ I was also amazed at how better that part of my life was and happier I finally stuck up for a decision. The peace is nice, isn't it? Thanks for reading

CocoB 6 years ago

I have a similar story. I have a lifetime of awful experiences with my mother and twin sister. The three of us all live in different parts of the country, thank goodness.

I have no doubt that I should end communication with my mother. Actually 6 months ago I was given an ultimatum by my long-time step father (by voice mail)to apologize to her for being such a terrible daughter and for hurting her feelings OR me and my family would not be welcome at their house for spring break.

This was the first time my step-dad had involved himself in the problems between me and mom over our 35 year history as a blended family. It was a real gut punch. After years of manipulation and bullying I was washed over with the realization that this drama was "never going to end." So I took it day by day and decided that I would not do "my ususal thing"....that is, react emotionally.

My parents manipulate the five children in their blended family with occasional threats of being left out of the will...they are sitting on a large fortune. A few years ago, one of my step bro's was told he better "get his wife in line" or end up being written out of the will. His wife was sick of my mon's tricks and told her how she felt. Of course my step bros and step sis all hate my mom and seem to be able to put up with her demands since they all live very far away. My mother's only children are me and my twin sis. My sis is very accepting of all of my mom's manipulation and abuse. She usually sides with my mother on everything...probably because she needs my mother emotionally and also because of the constant stream of cash and gifts that come from letting my mom have her way on everything.

My husband has been a wonderful support over the years at first not understanding our disfunction. He encouraged me to try at all costs to get alonfg with my parents. He came from a very loving family. But now after all of the years and tears, he's ready for to support me cutting everthting off with them. I tried looking at the situation as a job since I don't have to see her more than 3-4 times/year.

My problem (and I am hoping to get input on this) is my 3 teenage children. Despite the fact that my mother ignores my birthday (okay with me:) ) she sends large sums of cash on their birthdays. I have given them the gifts with no comment but I feel that this is even more manipulation from her. I am always "doing the right thing" and I think that she wants to continue her legacy of controlling the family with money by giving me and my husband none and giving it to my children...almost as if she is setting them up against me. I know that my children love me and they are not happy about this situation. I do not want them to be in the middle. But I feel that my mom wins when she continues to motor right over me and continue a purely financial relationship with my children.

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izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Coco B~ I think you said your kidsare aware of the situation between your mom and you, but they are still accepting money from her. This isn't a good lesson. We sacrifice a lot fo our kids and we think the money is useful and we want all good for them, but the lesson of not being bribed with money is more important than anything the money could buy.

You may hesitate to cut ties because of the money you or your kids get, but I was in this same situation. Every time I pulled away from my dad, he would send money. You're walking a fine line and I assume the 3-4 times a year you see her it's on holidays. I tried doing that for a while too, but I got tired of being stressed and upset on holidays and dreading them so enough of that. At least you have good support and I believe you are doing the best thing you could be doing right now- keeping your distance.

Concerning your kids and the money, I would guage how they act about it. I'm sure it's a way for your mom to feel she still has control over you. The relatives we want to cut ties with are controlling and manipulative and disregard all boundaries you set. Good luck.

hellosunshine 6 years ago

Hi - Its good to read your post. I cut ties with my sister almost a year back, and she has still be contacting me every few months saying that she cannot tolerate it anymore and that it is not okay with her. I'm so drained every time she emails me, and fall back into appeasing her and apologizing and empathizing with her. I'm really tired so I'm just writing down my thoughts here to share, to feel better.

I've always adapted to her, I've always been there for her, no matter what hour she calls me at, no matter for how long. Loved her, comforted her, I basically got trained to guess her every need and give it to her. She too is incredibly loving and she babies me (I'm the younger one) in her good moods. But in the bad moods she controls me and demands too much. Even after a year, I feel affected by all her past behavior and don't know if I can get over it. She is also diagnosed with bipolar and I'm pretty sure she has borderline personality disorder as well. I wish I could be there for her, but I know I've tried very hard. In the end, her disorders became an excuse for every mistreatment of me.

Every part of me has wanted to eject her completely from my life, and that feeling has not changed in all these months. So everytime she emails me, I feel this toxicity rise all over me again and I struggle to get back to feeling normal. I just want to live in a world where I'm respected and where I have some control over what to do.

I feel like I'm struggling against the rest of the world because no one understands why such an extreme measure is necessary. They all know how much she loves me, so they all look at me like I'm some terrible person. But I know I've tried so hard to set limits and boundaries but she never respects them, instead gets furious that I'm trying to set them. I think the time has come to cut her off completely and stop responding to her emails. But I'm so scared to do that. She may right extremely mean emails back and throw tantrums, my parents may start pressuring and emotionally blackmailing me and overall I just feel like I'm doing something criminal. But it feels so right inside and now that I'm in a world where I'm free to build my life bit by bit without her, I cannot imagine throwing myself back in the fire. I love her tremendously, so its really hard because sometimes I want to soften and just hug her and think that it will be okay.

Anyway, I feel very lonely in all this. Thank you for reading.

hellosunshine 6 years ago

I also just read your profile information Elle. I relate to you in a lot of ways! I'm just 24, but I feel quite old and wise. I feel like I've had to be the only mature person in my family growing up, taking care of all of them and their craziness. I also love to dance and love music. Walking in the sunshine, by the water, listening to music and feeling like dancing is the best feeling. And I love dogs. So cheers to you! I'll try following your blogs.

roxystarz 6 years ago

I'm trying to decide whether or not to cut ties with my immediate family. Basically, my brother broke up a family. He's a recovering alcoholic who at 32, lives in my parents basement. His girlfriend/fiancee'/whatever is a manipulative psycho, with 3 children, who basically has my entire immediate family wrapped around her finger. She has essentially moved into my parents' house, to be with my brother.

My parents are coddling him, and enabling him to have no job. Why work when mommy and daddy are paying your child support, and you're eating their food, and you, your daughter, your girlfriend, and her 3 devilspawn are living rent free, under their roof?

I've been on my own since I was 21. I go to work every damn day to pay my bills. I ask them for nothing. However, my husband and I are expecting our first child this winter, and, I'm expected to have this woman at my baby shower, and in the recovery room when I have my baby, and I'm supposed to just suck it up and be happy about it. I've been through countless turmoil over this crap, and I'm tired of it.

Several months ago, I had to call the police on my brother, because he lost his temper while my husband and I were out of town, and sent me texts that he had broken into my house and killed my 3 golden retrievers. My parents threatened to disinherit me for calling the police on my poor, downtrodden brother.

I've been making sacrifices for my brother's happiness since I was a child. He was sick as a baby, and because of that, he's been coddled his entire life. It's disgusting.

You'd think that just once, it could be about my happiness, instead of his. I don't want my kid around this kind of dynamic, and the more I think about how unfair it's all been, the more angry and disgusted I get. I think after the kid gets here, I'm done. I'll still talk to my dad, but I'm done with my mother and brother. They don't really care about what I want, but I do.

Amazing, the clarity that comes when you realize you're about to bring a kid into the world. I wouldn't tolerate my parents'(well, mother's) blatant favoritism if it was my child and my brother's, so I see no reason to tolerate it for myself.

Etch 6 years ago

This is so helpful. I cut ties with a family member somewhat recently. It is so unbelievably difficult. I question myself constantly and the guilt is almost unbearable. This person called to confront me, and when I told them just one reason why (verbal abuse), they completely denied it. As though I would upend my life and go through this over something I imagined. Other members of that side of the family have stopped contacting me completely, and have been quite rude on the rare occasion we've seen each other. I just assume now that side of my family no longer cares to have me around (although I could have gathered that from the way they've always treated me).

I agree with other commentors, it took having my own child to see clearly what was going on. When my infant was actually included/used in abuse of me, that was the final straw. I just wish this process didn't take so long. I want the cutting to be over with so I can start living my life!

Etch 6 years ago

roxystarz, PLEASE PLEASE consider not letting any of the people you're talking about into your delivery room!!! I let one person in and it ruined my birth. I will never get that back. The one person brought in others against my wishes. I was unable to stand up for myself. The situation spiraled out of control. I have literally spent over a year trying to heal and accept what happened. I had very bad PPD and I believe a good bit of it developed from my bad birth. I don't want to scare you, but I don't want someone else to go through what I did. I was trying to be nice, scared to tell people they couldn't be there. In the end I suffered, and they didn't even appreciate being there. (In fact they abandoned me after the damage was done, and didn't even stay to see my child.) They called to berate me and call me selfish while I was lying, alone and in pain, cut open in a hospital bed. Of course I can't say for sure, but I believe them being there greatly contributed to how difficult my birth was.

I thank God for my daughter, she opened my eyes from the day she was born, in more ways than one. Good luck no matter what!

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izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

hellosunshine~ as you can see from other commenters, and even myself, is that it can be a rough spot to be in by cutting ties willingly with a family member. We are trained to put up with the most abuse from family.

However, it all can cost you your self-esteem, other relationships in your life, or your health. Most of the bad behavior from the other is called toxic for a reason- it hurts us inside and out, and transforms into different people. This isn't the way it should be.

The battle of feeling lonely in this tough decision versus putting up with your sister, is still outweighed by getting healthy again. I always suggest people try it out for a while and if you notice a good difference, aside from guilt because that's human nature, then it's a good choice. Some people will cut ties and then in a moment of weakness slip back and realize after being healthy and free of the person, they did the right thing. I hope you find this out.

Bi-polar is a tough one, but she is already riding that ride, you can't do it too. Bi-polar people are known to be manipulative by nautre and a self-preservation mechanism. In other words, it's all they've got when they're up or down. They have to know how to get what they want when they want it, but this will never help your sister. You are not helping her.

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izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

ROXYSTARZ~ Family almost always enables the person who is most toxic and needs the most help.

You mention a baby and I will tell you now- you don't get a re-do and this is the most personal and memorable moment of your life. Put the boundaries up now. SERIOUSLY. You will regret tolerating certain family to things like your wedding or baby. This is absolutely your choice and time for you to be selfish. Start now by getting yourself away from this family dynamic because later you probably won't want your chld around your brother's g-friend's kids.

it takes time to put your foot down and stick up for yourself a few times before people will respect it. You'll find eventually they may have respect for you more later on. They do this to you because you put up with it.

Trust me, there is a lot more clarity and less putting up with b.s when you have a kid.There are no do-overs for the birth of your child or for your child' life. Make it right and do it now. Stop the enabling of your brother now. Your parents may someday follow suit but not for a while I'm sure.

ETCH~ Thanks for stopping by and great advice. It can be hard sometimes, but I look at how much harder it was before cutting ties.

roxystarz 6 years ago

Unfortunately, I agreed to allow her at my shower to keep the peace, but the delivery room is another story. I'm the one doing the work, and I do NOT want her there. I WILL be informing the nurses that she is not welcome, nor are her demonspawn. Frankly, I don't CARE if her widdle feewings are hurt.

It's really sad that my family is more concerned with her feelings than mine.

We had a death in the family not too long ago. My 32 year old cousin died, due to complications of drug use. My parents are terrified that this will happen to my brother, so they tolerate the fact that his girlfriend, who was still married up until a few weeks ago (they've been "dating" for 8 or 9 months now), and who sees her children every other weekend, is basically living in their basement. They take up for her feelings, over mine, every time.

I think the worst part is that I have zero support. My husband is tired of the drama, so I get yelled at every time I bring it up. I have actually contemplated harming myself, or taking my own life, a few times, just so I can be done with the pain of feeling like I am third best, behind both my brother and this ridiculous woman and her sneaky, manipulative ways.

I was actually told by my mother, upon objecting to this person's presence at MY shower, that my role was to show up, and shut up, and I wasn't entitled to an opinion. I was also told that they were doing me a huge favor by skipping 6 months in Florida to spend time with the baby. You know, the stuff NORMAL grandparents do, without expectation of kudos or a medal.

Frankly, I'd like to tell them to please feel free to stay in Florida, in fact, please leave me and my family alone, but my husband objects to this. He thinks it's "weird" and that there's something wrong with me, for wanting to cut ties.

It just doesn't feel like MY family any more. It feels like my mom, dad, brother, and his girlfriend are a family, and my husband and I are allowed to intrude about once a week.

I've shed way too many tears over this. My mom has obviously made her choice. I'll spend the time with them that it takes to get the baby linens and baby furniture done, and then, I'm finished with them for a while. It may be a permanent split, it may only be a month or two, but I need a break, for my marriage and my sanity. Plus, I do NOT need my mother interjecting, and telling me how to raise my child. She's already screwed me up, I'll be damned if she's going to do it to my child.

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izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

roxystarz~ an amazing thing happens when you have a baby. One, you don't have time for b.s in your life because you are exhausted and focused on taking care of a baby and two, you become protective of your child and should only allow those that love your baby around. I have no tolerance for people who treat my child poorly so you will soon learn this and it will make you stick up for yourself better because it's not just you anymore. You wouldn't want these people to treat your child bad, right?

I have an alcoholic step cousin who has run the show in our family since my uncle died. She has two kids who were always invited to family gatherings, but somehow now that they're older, and my daughter is only 3, little kids are not longer welcome to family stuff. I told her off in front of everyone and I just don't get invited by her and that's fine by me. She leaves me alone now. Other family makes plans with me, excluding her and realize her issues, but no one knows how to stick up to her, except me. I'm not sure how serious you are or vocal about all this because htere is a reason they are walking over you feelings.

When you have a baby, you can use excuses like you are too tired to visit with them or whatever and your husband can't say anything against that. If your husband doesn't want to hear about your complaints with your family then it gives you a reason not to see them. "Tell him if you don't want to hear it then I won't be around them so you don't have to." People cut family ties all the time and it doesn't have to be forever. Situations are always changing.

Wanting to hurt yourself is a sign of low self-esteem and you should concentrate on making yourself a better person for your baby. You are too focused on family issues right now and you have a much bigger life event coming soon. You need to get ready emotionally and be a strong, good mother. If you can't change your circumstances, change yourself.

Steve 5 years ago

I'm so glad I found this post. I've been grappling with this decision for years now and every year I feel worse and worse but cutting ties is so hard.

Long story short, I'm the middle of 5, 4 boys, 1 girl. I've never really fit into my family, I'm the only one that does not drink, boy can they drink. I'm the only married one, the only one with a child and as the days go on I fit in less and less with this biological family.

10 years ago, my sister had some mental insight to why she turned out to be the thing that she is and accused me of raping her when she was 5 or something like that. This would have made me 11 at the time of this so called incident (I did no such thing, but once its said, the truth no longer matters in this case). She told everyone in my family that I did this thing and all they would say is they would not take sides. For years I tried to just pretend this wasn't said, but at family events she would start sitting next to me, try being friendly with my wife and child and it got to the point were all I could think about was how could someone who actually believed I did these things to her sit in the same room as me, try to have conversations with me and as the years went on, the frequency of time I spent with my family became less and less.

Now I cannot even be in the same room as her (been that way for a 4 years). It just makes me sick. I used to feel bad that something happened to her but now I just don't care anymore. I have not had a holiday dinner with my family in 4 years because my mother and/or father will not tell her to stay away one year or one holiday so that I might have a holiday dinner with my wife and child along with the siblings.

I've past the point of caring about who believes what, but there are have been family reunions that I've not been invited to because of this and whats worse, I didn't do anything wrong.

Now one of my brothers has died and I spent the last 3 days home alone (I insisted my wife go to work, I did not want her seeing how this was really effecting me). Every time I went to my parents house to be around family, within 15 minutes of arriving, she showed up and it makes me physically ill to be in the same room as her so I would just leave. I've asked my mom a number of times to just give me a few hours when I can be there with the family without her around, but they would rather upset me than upset the only girl in the family. Today I found out there is a family viewing of my brother before the funeral tomorrow and I was not even invited.

I guess my heart is broken and I'm so tired. I think the time has come to finally cut all ties and that is so hard to do. I'm actually worried about upsetting my mother and father more, but it's not like anyone is caring about upsetting me.

Oh, and did I mention today is my birthday and not a single family member has called to wish me a happy birthday..... My friends all have and that means the world to me, especially considering the situation.

It amazes me how a single false statement can destroy decades of family relationships. I'm just tired of being hurt. Not a very manly post I know, but even us guys have emotions like this sometime.

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author


I know men feel this way. My husband has a vengeful and grudge-holding mother who did him a lot of wrong all his life.

I don't blame your reactions to your sister. That is horrible thing to say and can never be taken back or "unheard". Maybe setting the boundaries of not coming around if she is around is good for now. I know you said it was a single statement, but family relationships usually go back further with past issues that build upon each other and other dynamics. You sound like the "healthy" one of the family and that probably reminds everybody what they are doing wrong so it's uncomfortable to have you around. It's probably the alcohol talking- it's a disease that controls people. They have to slowly destroy you to bring you down to their level and make them feel OK.

This all sounds awful, but it happens a lot. I am sorry to hear about your brother and could see why you would have strong emotions right now. Your family was wrong to not invite you to the viewing. They are making things worse and purposefully being hurtful. Like I said, my husband's mom has done things like this and all his siblings complain about her but everyone but him follows her every command and he is punished for it because she runs the family. Sometimes it seems the "sickest" person in the family has the most control.

donewithit 5 years ago

This is hitting home with me. I think I have to cut ties with my own mother and sister.

Im one of a very large family. For whatever reason that I cannot explain, I was both physically and emotionally abused by my mother growing up. I was essentially picked out and set aside. I wasn't as great as the other kids. I was hardly ever allowed to play with the other kids and even if I did, they made stuff up to get me into trouble. I was put through things that today seem bizarre and psycho to me. I was forced to lay in one position in my bed for hours and if I moved, I got hit. I was only allowed to sit indian style in the corner with my hands on my knees...again, if I moved, I got hit. I was never told I was loved, I was never hugged (not until my adult life), I was never included. She allowed my siblings to do the same to me. Imagine never being told by your own mother that she loves you or is proud of you while you are a child...the most impressionable of years. I was pulled by the hair, hit in the face, humiliated, and treated like a dog most days during my childhood. Once I hit junior high, it stopped being physical and was more mental and emotional...being called fat and things like that.

I feel like I was never able to bond with my siblings. They essentially were "trained" to not like me. As I got older, the abuse stopped, BUT the feelings of not being good enough and the strain remained. I was never allowed just to come in the living room and just sit with my mom..I always had to stay in my room. High school came and went and things got slightly better, but I was still the "outsider".

As I got to adulthood and married, things were very fake and forged. My mom never calls, never emails, never comes to my house to see how I am. She never takes an interest in anything I am doing. When I had kids, the trend continued. She never talks to them or has tried to get to know them. She never comes to anything they do or is overwhelmed with love for them. When there is family gatherings, she essentially ignores them. Every picture I have with her and my kids, she is frowning or has a mean, stoic look on her face. My sister, who is clearly her favorite, is the worst. She makes snide remarks about me and my family. They feed off each other can spin a story about me in a minute...saying IM the snotty one, IM the antisocial one..IM the one with a problem. We got into a huge argument last year and my mom straight up told me that she feels no connection to my children. What grandmother says that?

I post pictures on facebook and put things my kids do and they NEVER comment on them or say "way to go" to my kids accomplishments. But if my sister as much says her kid took a crap on the would think my mom would throw a ticker tape parade for her kids. Its so obvious that she does not like me or my kids.

I try anything to get praise from her...for her to voluntarily tell me she loves me...for her to think of me and let me know that she thinks of me. You know..things a mother should do...but it will never happen. Every visit, every holiday, everyday I feel more and more inferior to my siblings and that I will never be what she wants me to be. Im not under her thumb like my sister ( they live together and my sister is up my mom's ass all day, everyday...they feed off each other and no matter what, my sister is always right.) When we get into an argument, I NEVER EVER say anything bad or nasty about my sister and her family..but she goes all out saying nasty things..YET, my mom says I am the mean one.

I truly believe that the strained relationship I have with my siblings and my mom go back to the abuse I suffered as a child. She denies it it never happened or if she does acknowledge it, it was because I deserved it. I never did anything horrible as a kid..I was too AFRAID of her to do so. Even normal kid misbehavior does not call for being pulled by the hair, having milk dumped on your head to sit, being ridiculed, being forced to lay in one position for hours and hours, being forced to sit in a corner and read the same book over and over for months, being ridiculed by the siblings and made to feel like a dog.

For years Ive been trying to be a part of the family but it is painfully obvious that I am fighting a losing battle. I am not welcomed and am uncomfortable around them. Its a shame, but I guess I can't mourn something I never had to begin with. Family is supposed to be supportive, loving, and helpful...not mean, gossipy, vindictive, abusive, and nasty.

Im so much happier without their drama. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my chest. I feel I can live my life and make my own family with my kids, husband, and wide circle of friends. The holidays are going to be the worst, but now that I think about it, Ive never had a good holiday with them..I always leave gatherings feeling sad, inferior, and so bad for my kids to be the low ones on the totem pole.

Joe Giallanza - goodbye daughter! 5 years ago

After so many years of battling the courts to stay in my children's lives and then having the mother abandon them in their mid teens at my home, I had to deal with my youngest child and swallowed an enormous amount of manipulation and lies until she was 18. Then when she moved out, it was short and a revolving door for 3 years that cost me dearly. Now, with a child of her own, she comes back again (at my expense), but with the bum that gave her a beautiful baby that I adore and was having so much fun with. My daughter, out of the clear blue, takes the child, leaves everything I bought them all, and stabbed me right in the heart by my learning how much she hates me from friends..and then her own statements to me in person when confronted. No reason given though!

Now, pretending to go visit her mother, her baby, at only 10 months old, gave me a look of sadness I will never forget. Though it confused me at first, when I checked my Facebook to see if any new pictures of the baby were posted, I saw; "Guess who won't see his Grandson any time soon?"

How a 10 month old baby knew what was to come is beyond any understanding of life that I can comprehend. But, he knew! Just days before his first Thanksgiving I am not only devastated for him and what his future holds, I have cut the ties with my daughter forever. I am still eradicating everything that may remind me of her and never want to hear from her again as long as I live.

I truly hate you Bettina for what you have done to me, but I cannot stomach you for what you are doing to your child. I beg God to have mercy on that baby.

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Joe Giallanza~ What a sad story over the years with your daughter. How someone can use another without regret or looking back is beyond me. Many people with the isues described have an underlying mental illness- usually a personality disorder of some kind. It may be that or she just may be too young still to be unselfish and concerned about anybody but herself.

I totally believe babies and children know and especially senses everything around them. They don;t have much language yet so they use other senses to be hyper aware of the things and people around them.

The way it seems, I wouldn't write them off yet. It seems this is a revolving door scenario and she may be back- and with your adorable grand child. It is sad to see parents inadvertantly teach their children their bad ways and chldren have to grow up seeing and experiencing all this.

Anonamoose 5 years ago

I think whats left out are the feelings. You will feel gut wrenching emotional upset over the fact that you probably must cut ties with a close family member. This should be accompanied in the background by a kind of euphoria at the idea of being free of the relationship.

bootzzz 5 years ago

I have had to let my brother and sisters go in order for me to be happy before I leave this earth, they still have not changed yet im 44 years old, they have used me untill all I left is me, you live and learn. but best thing of all learned to let go i feel so much better

0zzy 5 years ago

i belive your story really touched me and to be honest it was realyy touching

Blueeyedgirl35 5 years ago

I just recently cut ties with my mom and sister. My therapist (it took him 2 visits to flesh all of this out--hallelujah!!!) told me they are both narcissistic personality disorder, with maybe some bi-polar thrown into the mix. My close friends who are older than me (I'm 35) cannot believe that through the course of what they know about my life, and what they have observed recently has actually happened. They can't believe a mother treats her child the way my mother does, and then that a sister lives with the sense of entitlement that she does.

For background, my mother used to beat the heck out of me, and I am not talking about spankings. I am talking about choke-holds, when I was a teenager and would try to leave to get away from her anger. I was the typical oldest child, straight A's, good kid, good manners, had a job in high school, etc. My sister (10 years younger than me)was always the victim. Poor baby, she has to work for everything, now she has grown up, stolen from me, abused me verbally and physically, stabbed me in the back, and I don't know how, butis getting married. God help him! She had the you know whats to tell me I wasn't celebrating her life properly, that I must be jealous. And my mother backs her up. I could fill page after page after page of stuff they have done that you would not in a million years believe.

Even my counselor said he thought he had heard it all until he met me. But he did say they would only get worse as they got older, to cut ties completely. There was no "let's see what you can do to work it out." He told me to GET OUT NOW. And he mentioned something about a drama triangle, there is always a victim, villain, and rescuer, and that the roles change depending upon the perspective. THEN HE SAID, and here was my pivotal moment, guess what? If there are only 2 people playing the game, there is no triangle, and no scapegoat. He said it again--GET OUT NOW. And life is good. Sure I miss them, but it's nostalgia and regret for the way things could have turned out but didn't.

So I cut ties, and they made it unbelievably ugly, forcing me to say the words, "Don't contact me again." It's liberating, and yes, you will feel guilty, but the freedom is worth it. I have often wondered why God is letting me go through all of this, and the answer my counselor gave me was, "So you will know how to be a good mother." That was answer enough for me. Know that this feeling will come and go, but nobody can make you feel guilty without your permission. I am alone for the holidays this year, but I can assure you, it's better than having the ache in my heart that those 2 always caused.

Nikki 5 years ago

Reading blueeyedgirls story is like reading my own life story.Iam 32 yrs old and have finally come to the decision to cut all ties with my parents and siblings.

No matter what the problem I'm always to blame and should apologise to my sisters and ask for forgiveness.I sometimes wonder when this started.

thanks for a wonderful read.

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

thank you bootzz and 0zzy!

blueeyedgirl35~ you know it's time to cut ties when the pain of keeping them around is harder to tolerate the pain of letting them go. Personality disorders are hard to deal with. Many of these mentally ill people can go through life and manipulate their way through it without having to seek treatment or get help- they always blame everybody around them, especially the healthy oners. Your situation was too much to tolerate and the beauty of being an adult is you get to choose not to be abused anymore. I think you're making the right choice. THanks for sharing your story.

Nikki~ definitely sounds like you are the scapegoat in your family. You'll forever be in debt to them for reasons you don't even know. It's unfortunate that so many have to go through this.

Majorshadow 5 years ago

Song Title: "Time Will Tell" (a song about cutting ties to move to a better place in life.

Hear @ URL:

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

THank you

Karen Wodke profile image

Karen Wodke 5 years ago from Midwest

Sometimes cutting the ties is the only sensible thing. Especially when the contact has become toxic and the only thing you seem to be able to do with the family member is hurt each other. It's time then to stop the contact. Life is too short to spend it with your guts twisted and tears in your eyes.

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Karen Wodke- couldn't have put it better myself. Thanks for the comment!

Mandeeadair profile image

Mandeeadair 5 years ago from California

Wow, great hub! A very emotional subject. Can't say I haven't considered it, but never actually had to do it (knock on wood right?!). Love the way you write!

amanda 5 years ago

I found this hub to be a life saver. I was unsure what to do about my family of parents and 2 sister's the issues have come to a head in that at 44 yrs I cannot take any more and have decided after the last verbal bashing from of all people my Mother (during ) I asked her, to leave and to pass on to the family same. I am out! Meaning no more contact as she had explained they all feel the same way. I feel guilt at present and unsure I can maintain distance as they are controlling people who think I have issues and all I do is make mistakes and apparently Im stupid. After hearing this I felt rage inside survival is imperative staying strong and not buying into the pathetic person my family think I am. I am not that person. I am kind strong and a decent human being. I after divorce, brought my Son up alone now 20yrs is well adjusted and successful. I started Uni last year undertaking a degree in archaeology. After suffering an accident have climbed my way back, alone, most of what I lost in physical movement. I would say I'm doing just fine and the only thing that brings me down are negative family members who accuse, control, judge and manipulate. Goodbye family I tried I really did. I will miss you. Smiling still Amanda :)

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

THank you mandeeadair!

amanda~ oh the burden of guilt. It can sting sometimes, but guilt is temporary and it can come up from time to time but I've found it is far less painful than other harsh emotions felt by family who should love us, but treat us horrible instead. These relationships we endure for so long and they sometimes are the worse, they drain us, and all we want is their love in return.

Avoid thinking about it or dwelling on it is best for now. It can be frustrating to repeat and relive conversations or arguments and wrongdoings of your family. I was not only mad and all those feelings you've felt, but also losing sleep and effecting my health so I really had no choice but to eliminate the constant bad. When you can say to yourself the relationship is more bad than good more often than not, then it is time to at least take a very long break. I can't tell you the overall relief I find by not dealing with that stuff anymore. Good luck and thanks for sharing here. Come back any time.

Joel93 5 years ago

hello, first of all i have been reading all of your stories and izetti i cannot thankyou enough as you have helped me also.

im seventeen years old nearly 18 and i am still deciding whether to divorce my family - grandparents, uncles, auntys and couins from my mothers side of the family, i have recently come to the conclusion during the time that my grandparents were in a rental home basically at the other end of the street from mine that none of the other family came to my house and hasnt done so my whole life and that they only brag about their expensive newly built "mansion" in front of my mother, this does not help at all considering my parents arent exactly rich and the rest of the family knows it, i am sick of playing "happy families" at each family gathering and it makes me sick that i have to do so, i havent talked to my family in the last 5 months and although christmas was held at my grandparents house i basically sat in the kitchen the whole time, my parents are refusing to even acknowledge the fact that i dont want to see my mothers family anymore, my whole childhood i spent every christmas sitting with my great grandmother who has dementia, and they didnt so much as acknowledge her, yet they want all their inheritance from her so i have nothing, i know this is a bit of a rambling post but i am only seventeen and deciding whether to leave my mums family is one of the hardest decisions in my life, i feel that my mothers family is emotionally controlling, i am a very artistic person and believe in individuality and i feel absolutely alienated when ever i see them. im not really sure what so say right now but i know it will be difficult..

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Joel93~ you see what others don't or aren't willing to. For some people it is easier to pretend than to confront or walk away from. I find it hard to pretend too, and especially in your case where you live close to your mom's family.You can always take baby steps and try it out for a while- next family gathering, don't be there. You can also confront, in the most polite way possible, the errors of your grandparent's ways. Most likely they won't acknowledge it anyway. But I can tell you from experience that if you need exhaust all your options in trying to get them to see what they are doing and how it hurts you and others. Then if that doesn't work, you will feel better, not great but better, about letting that part of the family go. The feelings of guilt will be lessened if you try to explain your feelings about them to your family. if they choose to ignore it, then they have made the choice for you. They don't seem to have much conscious about the way they treat your great grandmother and put money above family.When you say you are artisitc I know you don't see the world as black and white and you may see what others don't or pretend not to. That's why it probably bugs you more than your mom. I always try to do whatever I can and let others know what I'm thinking so that later I can say I did what I could and feel much less guilt about such ahrd decisions as this. I hope this helps and good luck.

troddenon 5 years ago

I have just sat and read through an awful lot of people's experiences, choices,(something I have never had!), and the pain they are going through... and I feel for them.... I can relate to a lot of them, GUILT is my big issue, as a child it would always be ME who spilt the squash, broke the window, said the wrong thing, never got it right.... I am well into my 40's now and am still suffering like that little girl did. I have suffered much trauma (not that I have suffered more than any of you guys on here) in my life, I have 2 great kids, and have broken the web of deceit, lies, cover ups, abuse, mental and sexual, and am proud of my kids, I have allowed them through my own painful journey to BE the people that THEY want to be, have freedom to speak, question, I had none of that, as the old saying goes, "kids should be seen and not heard!!", I'm not sure if this is a uk hub? makes no difference as all the pain, the decisions to cut ties is the same for EVERYONE. My husband of 17 years died suddenly on our first family holiday abroad, 7 and half years ago, my parents took over my grief and as always, I was the one who tried to fix everything throughout my life, i have a brother who moved away from them about 25 years ago, and I was too weak, and stayed close by, patching their quarrels up, a total pig in the middle.... my kids lost a loving, kind and special dad, and I am left with one who seems to want me to pay for an accident that happened to me and my mum just over 4 years ago, she was left severely brain damaged, and just like my husband's death I stood and watched it all, my father has blamed me publicly, and has wished it on my daughter and myself.... my mum is doing quite well, but the day of the accident, my brother and I and our kids lost our mum and their grandmother.... his words are "she is MY wife, My sweetheart, I love her, etc etc...." she is in a nursing home and my father has been evil and vile about me, he has blown the family apart or rather maybe I have allowed him. I am in therapy 4 times a week, my life has been a catalogue of mental and sexual abuse and I am trying hard to come through the other side. I am in a dark place at present, my severe depression and PTSD and my father's unkindness has lost me my job, I have no self esteem, self worth, and the guilt that I feel through him blaming me, (I am not imagining it, I actually asked him if he blamed me and he said yes he supposed he does!!" I am a gentle, soul, well I like to think I am, and have tried to maintain some kind of relationship with him, but he treats me like crap, and that's how I feel, so he just reaffirms it. I am not sitting here woe is me, or even feeling sorry for myself, I am sitting here realising I have to cut all ties with him, for my sanity, I have already been in hospital after suffering a breakdown with the guilt of feeling the cause of the accident..... people tell me that it WAS an accident but when your own father is blaming me, it is really hard to accept... I'm not sure I can live with this guilt and the hardest thing is he lives just literally doors across the street from me.. my brother and I get on well and he has never blamed me, I think he too suffered abuse from my father, my childhood memories are very limited..... he is not really a well man now and looks so old, he makes his way to the nursing home every day, and makes it look like he is the most wonderful husband in the world,when I know the pain and crap he put my mum through...I suffered mental abuse for 3 solid years at middle school and never told my parents until I was 23, I have kept everything inside, wrapped up, daring not to undo it, I also suffered severe Post Natal Depression after having my son and daughter which took 4 years to get under control.

I know in my heart that I must rid myself of him out of my life because I am very ill, I have self harmed, and I take the anger out on myself. I have a wonderful supportive boyfriend, therapist, kids, auntie and a small, very small, (as I do not trust easily) circle of friends who seem to care and help me. I have nightmares at night, do not get any quality rest and am really struggling at the moment, and it is good to read that there CAN be an end to my torture, guilt, pain, but I will do it slowly with my therapist and boyfriend and kids.... thing is although my father abused me from a VERY early age, I cannot find it in my heart to hate him, I guess I pity him, he has no friends or family left only my mum... I don't go visit very much because I have flashbacks of the accident and he has poisoned her into believing that it is MY fault she cannot come home to him, she could be doing so much better, but he keeps her in her room and away from all the other residents, she is now exactly where he has always wanted her to be, right under his control and thumb, he talks to her like a child and she isn't, she has so much more inside, but because he is there every day I don't get to spend time with her, she lost nearly half her brain and we didn't expect her to live. My father sometimes when challenged by my bro, threatens suicide and I am scared that if I confront him and tell him that I know what he did to me and is continuing to do to me, that he will carry it out. I am in that place sometimes, but my kids have already lost their dad and I won't leave them although sometimes it seems the only option. My therapist is amazing and like I said hopefully there is "a light at the end of the tunnel" I just want peace in my heart, not poison and toxins in my guts..... Well done to all of you on here who have had the courage to make a difference to your lives.... maybe one day I can, but it's not yet a while. thanks for listening..... bless you all....

walkingthepath 5 years ago

This is my first visit to HubPages and I'm so thankful to have landed on this hub. I, too, am walking the path away from my family.

@troddenon I feel your pain. The pain your father causes you is much like the pain I feel from my relationship with my sister.

She is 3 years older and was a bully as a big sister. I learned early on to keep my distance. My parents third child was stillborn with water on the brain. A boy, John Charles, was buried when I was 3. It changed our family forever. We grew up in seriously dysfunctional home. My father became an alcoholic, after the loss of his son. He was physically and mentally abusive. My mother would begin the violence by throwing dishes or hitting him with a pan but I, in an effort to spare my mother further injury was always on the receiving end of the abuse, never my sister. She stayed shut away in her room, reading until my mother would make her get in the car as we fled our home, time and time again. After high school, she went away to college in 1981. I left my parents home before graduation in 1983. I stayed with a friend until commencement then a job, apartment, and classes on the side. I was on my own at 18 and finally, at peace. My father's health failed shortly afterward, he became disabled in 1985 and was no longer able to drive for hard liquor. My father's sobriety allowed me the opportunity to make peace with him, which I sort of did. I helped my mother, his primary caregiver until his death in 2001. After his funeral, my mother privately asked my husband if he would consider moving us into her home to care for the property so she could remain there.. big property 7 acres.

My husband did not know my family dynamics, first hand. He's African-American and my family is largely racist. When I say I mended fences and participated in my family... it was on my mother's terms. I took Michael to my parents home to introduce him and bring him fully into my life in 1985 it was the last time my husband was face-to-face with my dad. My mother was no longer the instigator of his anger, she had become the peace at all costs keeper. A month later I told my parents that we had broken up and kept mum about our relationship. I felt obliged to my mother to respect her wishes, My mother was "very disappointed" when after 16 years of living together, we married 6 months prior to my father's death. She successfully kept the news from my father and enjoyed their final months together.

Fast forward, 2009, Mike and I are still living with my mother. Her health has seriously deteriorated, and it's further complicated by her addiction to narcotics for chronic pain, and being a smoker on oxygen. My worst fears were realized early one Sunday morning when she called my name from across the hall. She had dropped a cigarette under the bed where her oxygen hose laid blowing. The bedskirt was engulfed in flames and the fire was spreading fast. I called for my husband and battled the flames. Somehow I managed to lift her off the bed and over the flames to safety and with Mike's help, we got her outside. She suffered only two small burns to her hand. Mike had one small burn on his knuckle, I had third degree burns on my right foot and leg and lesser burns on my hands and left foot.

We saved my mother, we saved ourselves, we saved our marriage that day. I have no doubt that God intervened on our behalf - it was finally, a jumping off point.

We'd been on a downward spiral. My mother's needs were tremendous she needed 24 hour supervision and I on the verge of collapse. For 7 months prior to the fire I had existed on

Troddenon 5 years ago

Walkingthepath, thank you for sharing your experience, I wasn't able to read the last bit of your story and would like too..maybe the hub page has no more room?

I am in therapy 4 times a week and I am trying to cut the ties with my abusive father... God it's hard, but it helps when others share and you don't feel so alone, if you know how to extend the page so I can continue reading, I just go to the For 7 months prior to the fire.... bit.

thinking of you and sending special vibes and care to you, Troddenon...

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Troddenon~ wow what a story. I can read between the lines the level of abuse you've endured. You say you asked your father if he thought it was your fault (about your mom). That's a self-defeating question- you know what he will say and you feel like ou deserve to hear it plain in words from him. You have a big heart so you must have done some work with yourself and your life because you have sympathy for your dad despite his abuse. You must take a break from his abuse, even it were a break for as long as necessary because the hold on you he has can make one of his comments to you undo years of therapy because you still seek his approval. You may never get it and that's what you need to work on and make peace with. The fact that he is still in your life and you've always tried to make things OK shows he has a hold on you as most abusers do. You have a tough choice to make but you will always be in therapy if he is in your life because you are trying to get over the old wounds and he is making new ones with your current interactions with him. Try to focus on what you have and even if it's a small support network,it's something and a lot more than most people.I really thank you for adding to our discussion, but I've been in this position and certainly not to the extent you are going through so I can only imagine what you've gone through hopefully the cycle of abuse will cease and you can make peace or cut ties with your dad.Is there a way to see your mom without him there/ He must be gone sometimes and maybe you can explain the issue a little to others to make that happen. He is still obviously trying to control you too with threats of suicide. You know that would never be your fault. People find even lesser things to blame themselves about so the issue is dealing with guilt overall. He somehow has made you feel like you deserved the abuse. I really hope the therapy continues to help you.

Thank you also walkingthepath~ your story resonates with many people. You talk about hiding things from family and it's such a shame that those who should give us unconditional love are sometimes the biggestg critics in our lives. You are clearly showing you unconditional love for your mom, but that is a heavy burden to put on you and your husband. Your mom is putting your lives at risk and she needs to be told that. It's sad to me that even your mom wanted to keep your husband secret and ironically he helped save her from a fire. This is quite a story and thank you for sharing.

mh 5 years ago

I haven't spoken to my mom in three years. She has always been emotionally and physically abusive and I have always felt horrible around her. She insulted so often from such a young age that I grew up having no self esteem and ended up marrying someone just as critical and cold and hurtful. I am a very kind and loving person and I have never, ever been disrespectful to my mom--mostly because she terrified me, not because she did not deserve it. I have struggled with such guilt and such grief and such pain over this, even though in my mind I know none of this was my fault and her behavior was intolerable. She has only gotten worse with a horrible backlash since I cut her out of my life: turning other family members against me, awful untrue gossip, etc. Even still I have to remind myself that forgiveness is fine, but there are some people that, when you are finally able to, you SHOULD keep as far away from you as possible. We are here to be happy, healthy and to thrive and there are unfortunately some mentally ill people who "should" want the best for us but are simply incapable of real love and respect. It is OK to cut ties with them, in fact if you keep allowing yourself to be abused you are allowing them and yourself to be hurt over and over and they will never learn how to treat people; but most importantly breaking ties with an abuser is the most loving thing you can do for YOURSELF, and if you don't love yourself others won't either.

Joel93 5 years ago

my family had a gathering today, i didnt go, and i can honestly say that its weight off my shoulders when i think i dont ever have to go to one of those again, as for now all ties with my cousins, aunty and uncle are broken, and i am happier for it, i havent done so with my grandparents yet but i think it could happen soon, my grandpa visited me before he went to the family gathering - he didnt know that i wasnt going, this morning, i showed him my last year's final school report - 3 A's and 2 B's, what i considered extremely good, he told me straight out that it was not as good as his reports in high school, then he went to rave on about my cousins and comparing me to them, im seventeen and there thirteen, i just wanted to show him that i can do well in school as well! and also hoping it would shut him up unfortunately it didnt, then he went on about me not yet having my drivers licence, at that point i walked out of the room.

i know it will be hard not too see them, there are good memories with them, ones i will treasure forever, but i just cant see them anymore. i figure why build myself up and every time i see them they just tear me down. i and all you's others deserve better, im not sure if im allowed to post this video on here, i heard it recently and i just thought, thats the perfect video for me,

i wish you's all the best, yes it is extremely difficult not to see your family especially when you have good memories with them, but happiness will eventually come.

troddenon 5 years ago

Thank you Izzie for your response, it's so good to know I am not alone in all this mess.

I, with my therapist am trying to get the strength from somewhere to face HIM, I can't even call him Dad or Father, it seems too difficult, and tell him that I know what he has done and is continuing to do with me mentally, and sexually when I was a little girl.... and I want to be able to turn, and walk away.... My bro doesn't want anything to do with him nor my kids, nor my sis in law, it's so sad, as like you picked up I have a heart, and find it hard to see ANYONE struggling, but there is no more I can do. I need to get well, find myself, who I am, as I have never known, I look at photos of me as I was growing up and I don't recognise that girl in the photo. I am blessed to have a lovely supportive boyfriend and 2 wonderful kids and a few friends, and of course my therapist. I know it's going to take a long time, all I can do at the moment is try to face and get through each day, in one piece....

Thank you again for taking the time and trouble to reply.

Dear Joel93, I so feel for you, you sound like you are in a very similar place to me, and I can feel the pain too, I am trying hard to break and cut ties with a man who is supposed to by my Father, but he has been so cruel and has mentally tortured me, so much so I have lost my job, as I just couldn't cope with work, I am hoping for happiness and peace and HE can't be part of it, I am trying to keep in touch with my mum who is in a nursing home, it's really hard how families screw you up isn't it. You were very brave to not go to the family gathering, I didn't attend HIS 80th birthday last October and I felt so guilty and sad, but I will not put on a face or live a lie or be two faced, I am an honest, caring person.

Good luck with your cutting ties, and I hope for happiness for you..... troddenon

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

troddenon~ oddly enough I wrote this hub because I did think I was alone in this or being irrational, but this hub has garnered quite a response and I'm just glad I have it out there for people to feel a little better.

If you have some distance between you and your dad, you will truly see the situation for what it is and won't feel obligated to feel bad for him and continue that mental abuse trap he uses to guilt you. It will take a while, first your healing your memories. I'd say you've suffered trauma basically and that's takes intense therapy. I can't tell you how lucky you are to have a therapist, family, and friends who do support you! Best of luck and come back any time to comment again.

Joel93~ You are very smart to realize what's going on is not right and you don't deserve it. 3 A's and a couple of B's is awesome- are you kidding?!!! That's great. I always say if teh bad times are outweighing the good times then you need to at least take a break and build yourself up for a while. They are family so it's difficult to ignore hurtful comments- take a break and know you've done a good job for yourself with your grades. My dad told me I'd never graduate high school, but I did and went on to graduate with a 4.0 in college. Believe in yourself and as time goes by you'll see the flaws in them and you'll realize their opinion doesn't matter as much.

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izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

mh~ the best way to cut ties is to not repeat the abuse you've received and sounds like you are nothing like your mom so that's great! Keeping a distance between you and your mom is probably best. Like you said sometimes it's the only thing you can do if you want to regain some self-respect.I love your advice here to everyone. Well said and thank you for your comment.

troddenon 5 years ago

Thank you izzy for your comments... I am trying to do exactly what you are saying with my therapist.... I have a hard week ahead, it is my daughter's and my birthday next week and am dreading a knock on the door, which my therapist, boyfriend, kids and doctor says I MUST not answer and he will have a "to a loving daughter" card, which is a load of crap, he doesn't love me, never has he only loves himself. I find birthdays really hard, since my mum's accident as she always got me a lovely card, and I think, pray and hope she meant the words in it, but she is now unable to do that and it hurts and I miss it, but both my parents have abused me in different ways, my mum's was more guilt, mental abuse and HIS (I can't even use the dad or father word for him) was sexual, mental and now total guilt, he wants me to pay for what he feels I did to my mum, I have a hard week ahead, and I am trying to build up some strength.

A word of advice, well not advice, but something I find useful to do is to write down, (I tend to do it in poetry) how I feel about what he has and is doing to me... I trust my therapist totally and without her I would not be here today...

I think of all of you other guys out there who are suffering the same pain, it is indescribable and intense and torture... well off to bed now to try get SOME sleep.

It is so sad that I have to cut my ties, but I am trying hard to for my sanity, as I will not get better....

thank you for listening.... troddenon x

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

troddenon~ You may have a hard week ahead, but you are prepared- you know what to expect and you have support of good people. I know what its like building up strength to not be persuaded or fall for old antics used by those who've abused us. I never endured physical, but mental for sure. I know what it's like to be told how awful I am and then sweet-talked once more into falling into that same trap. You also know that not cutting ties would set you up for failure, disappointment, and regret, not to menion stirring up past stuff even more than it is now, knowing what you have to face.

You have to realize you have some good memories of your mom and it may not be like that ever again so hang onto the memories as you are now and pass them onto your daughter- she needs to know the good things. As a parent, we have to work hard not to place any of our burdens on our kids. It sounds as if you are doing remarkably well even though it may feel uneasy for you right now and during times meant for celebration.Which I hope you do- have a good week and enjoy the birthdays. DOn't say you are "trying" to build strength, just do it. You can.

Writing down is such a great outlet- don't know where I'd be without it either. Luckily I have found great therapists during various hard times in my life- I've seen some bad ones, but times when it really counts, I've had a couple of great ones. Being someone who went o school to be a therapist, I say they are a wonderful resource.

It is sad to cut ties and I get sentimental too sometimes, but I have my daughter to think about and my health and it's not worth the stress. Sleep well!


troddenon 5 years ago

Dear Izzeti, thanks for your response, and one thing I can TOTALLY assure you is that I would and do never burden my son or daughter, I would get out of this world before I would ever do to them what my parents did and to a point still do, to me.

My therapist is amazing, and am so so lucky, I realise that, I have to pay privately and I lost my job just before Christmas through my ptsd and depression, so it's a bit of a stretch, but what price can you put on your health, like you said, I need to keep my kids safe, even if it means putting myself through hell sometimes. I don't want them to ever feel I am a burden to them. I have brought my kids up to speak up, be honest, be challenging and to be THEMSELVES and have thoughts and decisions of their own. That is because I love them.

Birthdays come and go, so this one will too.

I just get so tired of it all. Sorry feeling a bit low tonight, now going to bed, guess everyone is different. But I know I want to face HIM and turn away, on MY terms, but it will take time.... take care, troddenon

joe 5 years ago

I broke all ties with my family it hurt and I was the problem bipolar child. And now seven years later I regret the decisions it has been the worst bi far. Yes with good bad gossip and abuse is family.

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izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

troddenon~ I know you would never burden your children with your past because you are a deeply empathetic person. You feel everything- I'm a little like this too. I feel others' pain sometimes more than I think they feel it. A person like you luckily will not repeat such a tragic past with your own children- it stops with you.

My 3 yr old daughter is already so sympathetic and sensitive, but strong too and I've raised her similar to how you've raised you children.

Yes, take all the time you need to face "him" if you need to someday. The abuse you experienced is a big part of you so you probably are tired and exhausted of those feelings sometimes. That's understandable- lows and highs are normal. Wishing it would all go away or magically fix itself is normal too. You were tortured basically so don't torture yourself anymore with your feelings surrounding cutting ties and facing him. Just take care of yourself.

JOE~ I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Sometimes it is not too late to repair broken relationships. Bi-polar is a difficult disease and especially if you suffered from it starting as a child. You have to seriously weigh the odds when cutting ties and there must have been good reason. I am sorry to hear your regret it though.

troddenon 5 years ago

Hi there, well mine and my daughters birthdays have come and gone and didn't see or hear from HIM.... thank goodness, I would rather not hear than get a "To a lovely daughter" cards, it's just lies and deceit and leads nowhere apart from hurting my heart as I so yearn for a dad.... it's harder than him actually dying as he is still around the corner and doesn't love anyone other than himself, but I KNOW it is the right decision to rid him from my life..... I have a surrogate dad, probably the first ever MAN to not only listen to me, but HEAR me, he is wonderful, I don't get to see him much as he lives a way away, but I have a picture of him and my surrogate mum next to my bed..... the damage HE has done to me is irreversable, he has lost my trust, respect and his grandchildren, but he is not bothered?????

anyway now going to bed.... he is in most of my dreams, but my wonderful therapist will get me through this alongside a handful of the greatest friends and my son and daughter.... their dad, who sadly we lost in 2003 would never have hurt them like HE has, and I miss him like crazy at the moment. thank you for listening. Thinking of all you guys out there who are having to face, maybe in different ways, cutting ties with members of your family, bless you all....

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izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

troddenon~ I wrote something about Children of the mentally ill and some of your story sounds similar to what I've written. I've said things about how having a parent like his is worse than having a deceased parent. Even though he didn't acknowledge your b-days, it still hurts because things are changing. Change is good and scary at the same time. Soon, with help of your therapist, and maybe even now, you can clearly realize what is best for you. I've said this before, but I am confident you are on the right track and have support where many people do not- you've experienced deep misfortune, but you are actually fortunate now with being able to let go on your terms.

Bless you too.

troddenon 5 years ago

Izetti, the thing you have written about, it is published? is it possible for me to buy a copy and read it? it sounds good.

It's now been 9 days and no birthday card of acknowledgement from HIM, part of me is sad in my heart, but the other relieved that I don't have to endure an emply worded card, although of course it would have all the lovely words in it like, Lovely daughter, wish you happiness but I know it is all crap..... so it's a 50 50 really. Have just finished a therapy session with my therapist and am shattered..... I have started to ride my horses again though, so that is a real positive...

cutting ties is really hard, and it cuts at MY heartstrings... it is my mum's birthday next Thursday, HE will of course be there all day, so I am arranging a little meal to take her to the day before, without HIM, I cannot put myself through sitting making polite, conversation when I know how he has and still is to a point abusing me.... there has to be a stop and that is what I am working with with my therapist, boyfriend, kids.... thanks for listening, troddenon

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Troddenon~ I've published articles on business and write business blogs,presentations,and newsletters mostly, but I am making my way into life issues and the tough stuff in life. There is certainly a need for it and boy have I gone through a lot of it.

I am finishing a book with my mom that we hope to send out to publishers by April, then waiting for one to pick it up to sell. Some of it has to do with cutting ties, but a little more detailed experience than that.

Some of what I've written here on hubpages is just getting my feet wet, so to speak, because these topics are close to my heart and I know they can overwhelm our lives.

Something I wrote on hubpages might interest you:

troddenon 5 years ago

Hi Izzeti, hard week for me, it is my mum's birthday on Thursday, and I'm having to arrange a secret meal for her the day before her birthday, because of HIM, I don't want him to be there with us, he has my mum everyday of the week and noone visits, well a couple of her friends do, because of HIM, my mum is missing out cos of this and that isn't fair...... people won't visit because he slags me off and blames me totally for her accident and the fact she can't come home to live.

I went to buy her a birthday present and have bought her a 100 piece jigsaw, some snap cards and dominoes, and tonight I broke down, as I looked at the presents, I felt so guilty and sad that I am buying something that I wouldn't even buy my 8year old nephew.... I hope that she likes them and that they are not degrading, I find it so hard, every year, my auntie and uncle are coming to the meal, and so is my boyfriend, and my kids and their partners..... but it seems so sad that I am sneaking round behind HIS back, but what can I do? I try so hard to do the right thing.... my therapist says that I need to realise that he is a very selfish man, and that he doesn't deserve to have a daughter like me.... I would swap places with my mum, then maybe he'd be happy....

I have had a quick look at your hubpages re crazy in the family, trouble is I feel I'M the crazy one in our family, not HIM.....

take care, thanks for listening... troddenon...

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

troddenon~ just as you stated what you were buying for your mom, I felt a pang of sympathy for you and then you said it hurt you that it seemed like those gifts were for an 8 yr old. I can feel the pain in that for you.

I agree with your therapist about not deserving a daughter like you- you seem very special and are trying to so hard. Who needs to make HIM happy? Yuo certainly dont. I have a dad who is very narcissistic and it's always about him. I think that's why we get sympathetic because we've always had to put someone (our dads) before ourselves. THat's not right and it takes effort to get that straight again, effort to put balance back in your life. You have to preserve yourself for your children.

You're certainly not the crazy one. But I also mention in that hub that the children of mentally ill or abusive parent are often made to seem to be the one with the problem. The reason why it's important you work with a therapist is because you have to be "re-trained". You've been burdened with all of HIS issues and your own throughout your whole life. I know what it feels like for everything you do, every step you take, everything you say, you wonder what the consequences will be from your dad. I really know that feeling. Sometimes the consequences are manipulations and passive aggressive remarks or actions. If I failed at something I would wonder what names my dad would call me and I can still hear those names in my head 25+ yrs later. BUt I've learned to put that area of my life away, like an unreal world that never existed. Like a movie you watched and you didn't like the scary parts or the outcome so you put it out your mind and make yourself realize it wasn't real.It's important to find the separation.

I personally get inspiration from people who've been in similar situations in life and made a better life for themselves. I think of people like Oprah who have been abused and made something better of it. You can get through this- you need to have some good things to say about yoursel for getting this far. Don't downplay the work you've done.

Joel93 5 years ago


its been four weeks since i last came on here, its hard to believe how quickly it all went, well here it is, i finally got through to my mother about my grandparents comparing me to my cousins, my mother then confronted my grandparents, the only problem was they didn't acknowledge it at all, its not that i did expect them to acknowledge it because i sort of knew that they wouldn't,

two days after my mother confronted them i went over to their house, they asked my father and i go over there to help move some flower pots for them, i wasn't exactly happy about going there, i didn't bother to hide it either. my grandparents acted like nothing had happened at all, i left their house as soon as i could and haven't been back since, that was two weeks ago, although i did previously say that i would break ties with my grandparents i just want them to acknowledge what they've done, i want an apology from them and i want them to put some effort into our relationship, otherwise then they have lost me.

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Joel93~ Congrats for bringing it up. It's good that mom is on your side. Have you directly asked for their acknowledgement? Sometimes it't just the issue of them not knowing what you want from them when you confront them. Also you may need to tell them bluntly, if they do not acknowledge the issues, then you at least need them to put more effort into the relationship, as you have stated, but be specific about what that effort might be- what exactly do you need.

You may not get an apology. I hate to sound ageist here, but I'l risk it. Older people sometimes have a tougher time apologizing for and acknowledging issues. Maybe they've been around long enough to know everything and be right all the time.

When you are frustrated with a relationship, you must always understand that person's background. Where and who do they come from? Was apologizing a weakness, was expressions of love a weakness? Things like that.

Be specific and realistic. Good luck and shoot us with a comment about your progress. I think you'll come around to a happy medium. I hope so! Take care.

Claire 5 years ago

Hi Izettl, I'm amazed you still answer comments here after to years! Your article is a really good and comforting read. I come from a toxic family. My mother is someone who spits poison at everyone, family inclusive. And ahs nothing but bad thoughts about everyone. She has never supported me in anything I do. I'm the oldest of 3 daughters and I left my country (Belgium) after I finished my studies to work abroad. I lived in different countries for 14 years. Before I met my ex, my life as basically a party. Work to live and have a really good time. But I never did drugs, nor did I ever date a lot. I was still a virgin at 23! (after having worked for Club Med...) My two sisters got married before me. So My mom always said I should get serious and settle down. After 30, no one would ever want me, I would be too old. I believed her, so I married my 14 year older ex husband, because I was worried ending up alone. I found out later that my mom told my sis she believed I had an abortion when I was 22 because I had a birthmark on my back removed, and it seemed back now. SO I must have gone in for another procedure, an abortion. I told you, she thinks bad things. My ex, now I know, is the toxic copy of my mom. We never communicated. He was nice to me until we got married, and defended me also against his daughter that was quite nasty to me (and everyone else I must say). All changed after the marriage, but that too took long to see. In short, I lost my smile. I was not allowed to have male friends (it was all done very subtly). After my kids were born and I was out of work, I wanted to start an import business (he is a rich man) but he ded everything to stop me, even wrote an email in my name to my sister-in)law telling her I was not interested anymore. When I finally started on my own elsewhere, he basically picked me up at the airport after my scouting trip, and told me I would get no more money, the bank accounts would be closed (he knew I would succeed in my project) that was the start of the divorce. I found out years earlier that while we were supposed to have financial difficulties after he split up with his business partner, and he even reduced the child support for his children from a first marriage, that he was actually saving huge amounts of money in his own name. And that is how it still is, all is for him to enjoy, nothing to share with his kids. The divorce was hell and took three years. In that time, my parents came to visit me to take the kids for a weeks so I could have a badly needed break (I was still living abroad). As the last time my ex had been in my apartment, and it ended up with him insulting me as he was leaving (in front of the kids) I told my mom she was not to let him in my home, my privacy. She did anyway. And she did worse, she asked my dad to drive her to my ex's office to tell my ex I still loved him and wanted to get back with him again. I was furious when I found out, and I told her to pack and leave. I moved back to Belgium to get away from my ex (got the agreement of the family judge). Some of the wrst things she has done in the past few years: after a really horrible 3 year divorce, she still thinks she should side with my ex, so when he called her to come and stay at her place to see the kids (he has money and can afford a hotel, he has so much money he can charter a private plane to fly around Namibia), she said yes, without even telling my dad. My ex is devious and knows my relationship with my mom is difficult and he exploits that whenever he can. ANd the sutpid woman just plays along, because it is her duty to her grandchildren. I did not talk to my mom for months after that. My ex also asked my mom once if she could find out if legally he was allowed to enter in my house (he just wants to control my private space) The latest is that my mother, who does not agree with the study choice of my teenage children (my son is in art academy) went to see my son's school last September to talk with teacher and to tell them she thinks he made the wrong study choice and should change; She also gave her details to be registered as the contact for school matters! The school called her before they called me... I was furious, because I have been following up with my son since year, see school counsellors etc (he has dyslexia) and just had him changed schools after lots of discussions with my son and counsellors. She thinks she knows best how I should lead my life, and the life of my children. And she has the right to meddle for that reason. She does it in our interest. She doubts all my decisions. I sold my house in the capital city recently, and moved to the country side. After some consideration (one being that I was only going to stay there 5 years) I decided to invest my money in the capital city again in a rental property. And rent a house for myself in the countryside. It would be a breakeven deal (rental income same as rent I would have to pay) She convinced me this was a very bad idea and I should buy a house; I caved in in the end, and now I am stuck with a house that has nothing but problems, financially I am rock bottom, so I am resenting her a lot. I am unemployed, and at 45 it is not easy to find a job. My sisters are starting tobe mean too and at every family even they comment on how they never have been unemployed in their life and shame to them who are. My sister told me never to mention her name when applying for a job in the area as she did not want to be associated with me (I have good job references, but I have always done short term contracts) So I told them to go stuff it too. Things with my ex are getting worse too. He broke up my holiday with the kids last summer, because even though he was warned since Christmas that our son would not succeed if he continued like that, he did not bother to talk to the school. I was seeing people all along, and then slowly finding out other options. When it was official that he had to change schools, the end of June, and I had already chosen a new school, he decided he should have his say too (boarding school preferably!) and that was obviously in my holiday time in August with the kids... We came back early fro mour trip. With Christmas due to the fact that it fell in the weekend and New Years eve too, he had both holidays, but would not give New Years eve to me (was my turn) they would come back the 2nd. Because of heavy snowfall, planes didn't leave on the 24th as planned, but on the 25th in the end, so he decided that they should come back on the 3rd now, without asking me. Our family event on the 2nd (Sunday) was cancelled for that reason. Now he wants to take my month of July with the kids because he has a huge family meeting in South Africa, his country and booked all that without asking me. Still he never changes any of his holidays for me, he never does me any favours when I ask. And I am being unreasonable because I don't do as he asks. It is after all in the best interest of the children (my holiday time with the kids is not)

My kids were in tears. I want to teach them to stand up to their father. I don't want them to end up like me, not knowing how a healthy relationship is (oh yes, my mom and dad do nothing but fighting an insulting each other, my mom taught me stealing peaches and nectarins in orchards on our holidays, and her pet pieve is foreigners that are scum forgetting that my kids are foreigners too), not knowing how to communicate with people, not knowing how to be assertive and not have people walk all over them. I do not want to deprive them from this holiday, but I do want something in return, and that is a holiday with my kids in spring our autumn when I normally never have them. I know he will not give it ever to me. He will continue doing as he pleases, the world evolving around him. While I sacrifice all for my children (my career most of all, I will not have a pension). I am also afraid that I am starting to harm my kids. But is it better just to let their father continue walking all over me, and him controlling my life with the kids? Should I just say yes to whatever he decideds for the sake of the children? How do I teach my chi

Claire 5 years ago

Just forgot to add that in the past she has given me st john's wort and a book on anger management and last week a calming syrup and a book on stress and depression. While she is the cause of all this turmoil in my life. I'm not allowed to be assertive and tell her that I can handle my life and kids and that she should mind her own business. And I should feel really good about what she does... Oh I'm so thankful!

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Claire~ Just reading that last comment, why aren't you allowed to be assertive with your mother? There are things you can let people take, like money, but not dignity or happiness. You definitely are in an area of your life where you need to work on you. It seems the focus is on your family and ex, and however they make you feel is what you believe about yourself. You want to separate yourself from them, but somehow they get mixed into your life.

One example of the school thing with your mom going and talking to them about your son's academic choice. I wouldn't have gotten mad at my mom (OK a little), but then I'd go into the school and be furious with them for allowing her to have a say at all.

When everybody is treating you in a foul way, you know that you must be taking it. People don't do things unless it effects you or they get a rise out of you- your mom and your ex enjoy your reactions to things and how they can control you. It's how they thrive and that makes them not so great as people. Like I said before, they can't take your dignity or happiness. Even if you have to fake being happy in spite of all they are doing to make it otherwise, fake it! If your mom gives you anger management books or other stuff like that- say no thanks, I already have those. Just catch these people off their guard.

Your children must be younger- teens or 20's because children will go with the flow, so to speak, until they reach their own decisions about life and themselves, which will be into their 30's. That's just the natural course of life. Some of your comment seems to sound like you are believing what your mom and ex say about you and you can't let that happen. THe greatist gifts you can give your children are an example of dignity and happiness with oneself. You can teach them that they don't need money to be happy- money is just a band-aid and makes the wounds feel better for a while. If your ex was happy with his money, he wouldn't have to enjoy seeing you in pain.

You still have control over you. I went through a transition in my own relationship 2 years ago. I was a career woman and suddenly I got a chronic illness which made me unable to work. My husband began treating me worse and less because I was not contributing monetarily anymore and it took all my energy just to take care of my young daughter. I began to feel bad about myself, but then realized I always have control over myself. I don't have to defend myself because I don't need to. My dad was a lawyer and taught me one very useful thing- never be caught on the defense. If you are always defending yourself, people will take advantage of you and put you in that position. While people felt sorry for me because of my illness, I started pretending I was happy, and it amazed them. I realized people who become disbaled or lose a leg still find ways to be happy and they even roprt saying they are a better person for it. If you view the pain you've been through as making you a better person, then things can trun around. You need to think about yourself and realize what it is you can learn from the pain your mom has caused you and your ex.

As to dealing with them, change it up. Make them explain things to you. And I know your kids know who their father is as a person, they will come around and learn things for themselves. You don't have to let their father walk all over you. He can't take your dignity, pride, or personal happiness. The reason your mom and ex do these things to you is because You need to figure out why you married someone like your mom or you could make the saem mistake later in life. Your life certainly isn't over at 45. You've already sacrificed while raising your kids, let them raise themselves for a while and keep telling them you love them and hope they can see past their father's money. Love will always be there, but not money. Let them know what you want from them and their relationship with you, the rest is up to them. Don't give up though, just be persistent about letting them know your love. I spent most time with my dad in my 20's because he had money, but when I reached my 30's and had my own child, I began to have a closer bond to my mom. Say an enthusiasticly nice yes to your ex about something and he won't get so much out of doing things against you to see you in pain. If it appears it doesn't cause you pain, then he will get less joy-same with your mom. If she violates something with your kids or something else, don't go to her, go to the school in that situation or to your kids and explain what she shouldn't have done. You won't get anywhere explaining anything to your mom about her faults. But don't appear apathetic like you've given up, just fake some happiness for a while and it may come your way.

We have a notion in the U.S to take care of ourselves so that we can take care of our children. If you don't take care of yourself- career, personal happiness and dignity, then you can't take care of your kids. Your kids will relate to money if you appear unhappy without money and their dad appears happy with money- that's not a good lesson so find the things you can be happy about and build yourself back up again- Life is not over at 45! POeople lose their arms and legs and still find ways to be happy. If you can't get out of your house to move to a place that has a chance for getting a job, then you must find jobs you can do from where you at or from home.

You stated your mom hates people who aren't assertive, etc and you sound like you are beginning to be that way, maybe because of what she's done to you, but also because she knows she can do it to you. Maybe read a book about how to be assertive or find info online. I took an assertiveness class in college- it's helpful.

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Claire~ One more thing... What example do you want to set for your kdis. I know you love them. When I got a chronic illness I could have stayed in bed all day, but instead I focused on what I could do and make the best of it. I wouldn't set a good example for my daughter if I stayed in bed all day or gave up. My point to you is do what you can. People are happy without money, I found jobs online that I can do while taking care of my daughter and having the bad days with my illness. Your kids will be controlled by him if they see how you controlled by him. He doesn't have control over how your react to him, you do. You can be happy and assertive and set a good example for your kids even if you have to start all over.

roadtopeace 5 years ago

I found this hub and am thankful I did. I am struggling with cutting ties to my siblings and mother. I grew up in a blended family, and as the middle child, was always the "fixer". My dad passed away 4 years ago, and the role I play in the family has intensified since then. It is to the point where I am either going to live my life in peace or pain. The berating and manipulitave behavior is something I can no longer deal with. My siblings are constantly in some sort of "ruin" and my mother is always there to "save the day". They have no idea how to cope without my Mother financially handling life's problems for them. We are talking about 40 - 50 year old siblings here. Like everyone else, me and my children are irrelevant because they have been raised to take care of themselves. I thank my Dad for this lesson. Growing up, he knew of my role with my mother and siblings, and took it upon himself to love me unconditionally. He compensated for what my mother lacked. He is gone, and they have come in like a pack of wolves. I am following the guidelines to cut the ties "gently" and in a loving manner. My ties have to be cut permanently for me to have inner peace and teach my children these behaviors are unacceptable. I feel guilt for my decision, but again when I weigh the pro's to the con's, it seems to be the decision that makes the most sense. I do love them, but I can't sacrifice myself at their expense. What keeps me going is the 37 years I had with my Dad. The man who was family, unconditional love, patience, and who molded me in to be the person strong enough to make the decision I am forced with. Thank you all for opening your souls to this hub. It has shown me that I am not alone, and that I am not the bad one for distancing myself for my own good.

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

roadtopeace~ after reading your story, how did your dad deal with all that for so long? Yes, you were lucky to have a wonderful guide, your dad. I am sorry for your loss, but happy for what you gained by learning from him. I won't lie, it takes a lot of strength and not without guilt either. The guilt comes and goes, but you have weighed the pros and cons and know what is best- it's too bad family sometimes backs us in a corner of choosing our peace, health, and well-being or them. I am a true testament to choosing a couple of my family members over my well-being. I don't think it's a coincidence that I got a chronic illness known to be caused by stress. I always say to people, make your decision before you have to make them. In other words, when I got ill I had to cut those toxic people from my life. The stress takes a toll on my body so I had to make a decision that I should have before the illness. Plus i can't get back all the sleep I lost over family trouble. I tried to put boundaries in place but family dynamics are perservering and hard habits to break so boundaries don't always work and that's when people have to cut ties.

THank you for stopping by and taking the time to share your story as it might help someone else.

Noah 5 years ago

This is an excellent article. Spot on advice!

disturbed 5 years ago

Hi guys,

Great article. Thanks especially to izetti.

I have been thinking about cutting ties with my parents and sister over the last few months but more so today after receiving a call from my aunt who is in UK(mum's sister)

Basically i have never got the parental love that most kids get and my parents always had arguments on and off with lots of shouting etc and it still happens to this day.

I have only one other sibling, my sister who is 18 months younger to me and we fight every now an then.

On a couple of occasions over the last 12-18 months, my mum got involved in one of our fights that never concerned her. It was so serious that i didn't speak to my sister and mum for months. I would talk to my dad but just a bare minimum to communicate the bare essentials as he was obviously going to take my mum's side.

it was not until my dad collapsed one night that i started talking to my sister and mum as we had to get dad to the hospital etc.

things were ok for a few months as we sat down and discussed what we should do/not do to avoid a situation like this again i.e. the non-talking for months. i told my parents that they shouldnt get involved when me and my sister are arguing as it can get very heated and that there is no point ruining things again. My sister and i have never interfered when my parents argue as from past experiences, it only gets worse.

Guess what, a few weeks down and my mum and dad butt into a heated argument between my sister and i. She was basically not pulling her weight and using all of us and i gave her a peace of my mind.

Anyway, its been over 5 months and i havent spoken to my sister or parents. Its either sms or email and just to communicate the bare essentials. We all live in the same house.

I decided 2-3 months ago that i wanted to get out of this all and move to the UK for a couple of years and distract myself from all this negativity as its causing me unnecessary stress.

I didn't tell my parents until everything was planned. Even then, i left out some details. I was going to be staying with one of my aunts (my mum has 4 sisters in the UK). I organised the accommodation with her son (my cousin) and all was ok until this morning when i got a call from my aunt early in the morning asking me whats going on and why my parents didn't know all the details, why i am not speaking to them, not respecting them etc. I was basically told i cannot stay with them until i sort my issues out with them.

I was so angry to a point i was considering ending my life as i was furious that my mum went and told someone external to our immediate family what the internal issues were without even making an effort.

You may ask why i didn't try and make a mends, but this is not the first time this has happened and i get treated like crap in the family. I never get told any stuff, i am always the lowest on their priority for cooking food etc. Basically they just do everything amongst the 3 of them.

I am so furious that my parents have tarnished my spotless reputation with my aunt and her family and i'm sure the rest of the 3 families in the UK will soon know.

We reside in Australia and this means that my plans for the UK are pretty much ruined.

I am thinking of cutting ties with my immediate family and move far away possibly even carry on with my plans to move to UK but not contacting any of the other family members.

Sorry about this long rant and if i have may confused anyone by the different elements in my situation.

But i am at a stage where most things don't phase me in life anymore and i am only 26. I use to be a vibrant popular person. But this relationship with my immediate family has had serious effect on me and i have a feeling i am definitely depressed.

I have always assisted my parents and sister with anything they wanted at short noticed and never expected anything in return but its always been one-sided. I am always treated like crap still. I have a kind nature and will never speak ill of my family outside and would never disclose what i have just disclosed here to any person. I am only doing this anonymously.

I feel like i am being judge my my aunt's family and soon the rest of the families who will take my mum's side, without even knowing what i've been through or how i've been treated.

PLEASE help with any advise.

Finallyoffthehook 5 years ago

I am so glad I found your blog. I am 43 and have been working hard my whole life to gain the love, approval, pride of my mother. As everyone else on here can attest, there is too much history for me to possibly type it all out. I guess it feels like it has just always been this way my whole life. It started with my mother always telling me that I am just like my father. The guy she hated and divorced. I look like him. My mannerisms are just like his. I guess that means I am him. A liar. A cheat. A bum. An alcoholic. Only, I'm nothing like him. I never have been. I have spent my whole life trying to prove that to her. To get her to really see me and who I truly am. I always felt like if I could just do that one thing, get a college degree(so I got two), marry well (I did), have her grandchildren(I have two perfect children). Maybe then I would get her attention and finally she will see me and know me. She didn't. It seems ridiculous to me that a grown woman who is educated and successful could still be in such turmoil over wanting her mothers approval. In my rational mind I know it is silly but there it is.

To add to the drama I have a brother who is a complete bum. She worships the ground he walks on. I just can't understand it. I have never been in any trouble. She has never helped me in any way. I moved out when I was 16 and yet she has bought him countless cars. He moves in and out of her house on countless occasions. Whenever he gets in trouble she is there with her checkbook. She has never been there for me not once. When my first child was sick I begged her to come (we live in different states. She refused. She doesn't work or have hobbies so there was no reason she couldn't. She just didn't want to. I have two kids, a boy and a girl, and I couldn't imagine loving one so much more. What is even more frustrating is my brother is so much like my dad is sickening. My mom just can't see it.

So I am hoping from one foot to the next trying to please meanwhile my brother is crapping on her and getting rewarded for it. No matter what I do she finds fault. When she comes to visit I hear later of all the things I did wrong when she was here. Ie: I didn't feed her often enough, I wasn't sensitive enough to her needs. My husband says that no matter what I do it will never be right. He's right.

So last Mothers day she went off on to one her many tangents about what a horrible person I am because my mothers day card was late. Despite the fact that I called on mothers day. And the reason the card was late is because I was making a special recording of my kids for her. But that shouldn't even matter. I immediately appologized. Repeatedly! But when she gets in one of those moods it doesn't matter what you say. She spent the better part of two hours be-rating me. How I was terrible daughter and I wouldn't even be there for her is she was sick. How I have never earned her trust or respect. On and on. I have heard it all before. I finally had enough. I finally get it that it's not my fault. She doesn't like me and she never has. I don't know why and it really doesn't matter. What matters is I finally get it that it is not my fault. It hurts to come to the reality that your mom doesn't like you. But there is a certain freedom to letting myself off the hook.

I don't have to stress every time she comes to town. Worry that I am not going to do it right.

I cut ties but I am not sure where that leaves me with my kids. She claims to love them so much. I don't want to cheat them out of the love of a grandparent. Every encounter she has ever had with them has been positive. It seems she reserves her hate for me. She has always been very sweet and generous to them. She also accused me that I would use them as pawns against her. I would never use my kids like that, like she did me in her divorce. But I do struggle with whether it would be better for all if she was not around.

I just want her out of my life but I don't want to be selfish to my kids. Also, there is a certain amount of guilt about how happy I feel to have her out of my life. I feel like I shouldn't feel that way. I mean she is my mom and I believe so much in the importance of family.

I am just trying to sort it all out! :(

Finallyoffthehook 5 years ago

Disturbed-Please don't give your family so much power. I know how you feel. It is hard to feel that you are a good person when your own family, the people who are supposed to love you the most and know you the best, can't see you for the good person you are. Don't use their feedback to label yourself with their negativity. Go by the people who really know you. Your friends who truly care about and value you. I know I am a good person in spite of my family not because of them. Don't doubt yourself. Migrate toward positive people who treat you the same way you treat them. I know how hard it is to break away. It doesn't mean its forever but it is okay to protect yourself.

Disturbed 5 years ago

Finallyoffthehook - thanks for your support and comments.

I am still determined to carry out my plans for the UK and do it all independently i.e. Not ask for any help from the aunts.

Only thing I am worried about is they will all come together and become one, come tumbling down on me like a house of cards.

Feel like I'm between a rock and a hard place.

Finallyoffthehook 5 years ago

You can't control what they are going to do. Only what you are doing. If you know that you are leaving for the right reasons, to protect yourself and gain your independence, it doesn't matter what they think or do. I think too often I have let my family control my decisions. I have often thought, "Oh if I do this what will so and so think". Don't live your life for them. They are your family. Even if they don't agree they will come around in time. And if they don't you may be better off. Believe it or not you may not need them as much as you think.

Cyclone08 5 years ago


First off, thank you everyone for sharing your experiences. I've been reading all of them for some type of insight or reassurance that we have done the right thing.

A little background (I could go into alot more detail, but I won't). I met my husband at age 22 through my best friend since 8th grade (who is also my sister in law). Her and I roomed together, and at the time I new her "future husband" and randomly met his brother. The rest is history. My husband's brother is the oldest child, my husband is the youngest.

Things got off to a rocky start when we first got engaged. My now sister in law/best friend became VERY jealous that the spotlight was off her. (She has her own issues). Two things I need to mention that add to this complex story...My father in law and brother in law work together...and my sister in law's mother and my mother in law work together.

So, my husband and I got married in 2007. My mother in law had a hard time letting her "baby" leave the house. When we bought our house together her response was "Don't forget where you came from!!". We became pregnant in 2008. The first words out of my MIL's mouth were.."Oh my, was this supposed to happen so soon? I thought your brother and sister in law (Robin) were going to have the first grandbaby!". This then followed with a phone call from my best friend/sister in law.."I can't believe you did this without telling me!..I thought there was an agreement that I was going to have the first grandchild!"

My entire pregnancy was overshadowed by this intense jealousy of my sister in law (whom got pregnant 3 months later after she found out I did). And then my mother in law became increasingly over bearing. She would show up at my house unannounced, would call my husband like 10x a day!

Once baby was born it got worse. We finally decided to set some boundaries (at the advice of a therapist we decided to see). They kept over stepping these boundaries, and we kept giving them chance after chance. Finally one day my husband gets a phone call from his father. His father is telling him that his mother is chasing him with a knife. So, I agreed with my husband to have his father come to our house to get away from the chaos. Obviously this was a mistake on my part because what follows is unimaginable...

His father comes over while I decided to take myself and the baby out so husband and his father could talk. Both agreed mom needs help, and until she does we really didnt want to have baby around this behavior. He told my husband NOT to tell mother about this visit, but father told husband he would get mother some help. A few months pass, and his mother continues with leaving messages on phone. And since my husband isnt returning them, she leaves horrible messages about what a bad child he is, and how God will punish us for not letting her see her grandson.

Come to find out, his father never said anything to my mother in law. At this point, I decided that a 3rd party needed to intervene so we could get help as an entire family. No one agreed to this, so I sent my mother a letter explaining the visit his father had with my husband (at this point it had been over a year). Of course, she got really upset and confronted my father in law. Who, until this day REFUSES TO ADMIT THIS VISIT EVEN OCCURED!!

Its, about 3 years later since his father in law admitted the visit never occured...and in this 3 years we have tried to have visit between our son and them (his grandparents), offered to connect with a 3rd party to TRY and resolve these issues, continue to send gifts/card to my nephew, the son of my once best friend(sister in law).....I dont know what else to do!! We have apologized for our mistakes (I believe everyone plays a role in these relationships).

I'm at a loss. My husband as in a sense given up...he "cut ties" a long time ago! I guess I just feel guilty. Will my son hate me for not having a relationship with his grandparents and aunt/uncle? Will God punish me like my MIL keeps saying he will?

Sorry for the length, but history in this was important.

Any advice would be appreciated. Everyone keeps telling me to "let go"...but I am having a hard time.

Finallyoffthehook 5 years ago

Dear Cyclone08, I can relate to your concerns about your son. I have the same feelings about my children and them having a relationship with their grandparents. I go back and forth in my head. One minute I think why do I want to subject my kids to the craziness. I mean I can look at how I was treated. What makes me think my kids won't be treated the same way at some point. Maybe I am doing them a favor by protecting them from that. And maybe it will break the cycle. Then the next minute I am thinking but they have only been sweet to my kids. So maybe I am doing the kids a dis-service by not allowing them to have a relationship with them.

I haven't figured out the answer to this myself. I do know that at this point if it was just me I would cut the ties completely. My kids are the only thing that make me think twice. Kids change everything. Its like you have a greater responsibility.

This probably didn't help. I just wanted to let you know you are not alone.

Cyclone08 5 years ago

Well, its about 10pm my time...and I am doing my daily/nightly back and forth "am I doing the right thing" in my head. I mean, they are great to my son, the times they have seen him. I've wondered if maybe subconciously I am keeping him from them because I am so so angry with what they have done. But, then I think....I have tried so hard at making things work, and they won't. They wont apologize for anything. They don't care about the fact that their two children havent talked for over two years because of them (the older brother "sides" with the parents). All they want is their hands on my son. Its never a "Oh hi, how are you guys"...its "When can I see my grandson"

I always give in. I always go back and try to apologize and make things better. But, I am getting tired of it...its affecting my marriage and my happiness. I just dont want to deprive my child of a relationship with his grandparents because of my husband and I's issues with them. Then I he really going to know any different? He is two..has no clue who these people really are.


Thanks for your reply, it helps knowing there are other people going through the same thing. I wish I didnt care so much sometimes...why did God make me so emotional? :)

finallyoffthehook 5 years ago

Cyclone08- Sorry I haven't responded in a while. I don't get to get on the computer very often. Kids keep me hoppig. You sound so much like me with regards to my feelings about my kids. I want nothing but the best for them. I tell myself that children can never have too many people to love them. But I do keep coming back to the fact that if my mom is a bit unstable with me why wouldn't that come out at some point toward my kids too. A person can't hide their true nature forever. I just don't want that craziness on my kids. So then I wonder if I am just allowing that relationship with them because I want to prove to my mother that I am not the person she has always said that I am. She accused me of being the kind of person who would use my children against her. Like by keeping them from her to hurt her. That is not who I am. I worry that her saying that is influencing my decision to let them know her. If I keep them from her it will make it look like she is right about me. Then I think, who cares what she thinks of me? That is how we got her to begin with. She has never thought well of me. For reasons I don't understand. No matter what I do that is never going to change. I don't want to keep a toxic person in my childrens like just to prove a point to my mother. OMG! I just talk in circles. I feel like even when I am not talking to her she still manipulates me.

If it was just me I would be so done. It would be such a relief. I just don't know what to do about my kids. Your right it is so frustratig. It does help to know that I am not alone. :)

I too am very emotional. A flaw my mother has pointed out many times.

Cyclone08 5 years ago

Hey- Thanks again for the response! New developments on my husband's sister in law (my "ex" best friend) text my husband to let him know about a 30th bday party she is having for his brother. She hasnt talked to either of us for....2 years. Something is definetly up.

Just when I was ready to wipe my hands clean of them, this crap happens!!!

I understand where you are coming from about the whole keeping your kids from your mother mother in law said I was using my son as a "pawn". She also said I flaunt him in front of her by sending pictures of him. I think I do these types of things (send pictures, email her, etc.) because I keep thinking she will change!!!

They won't change. Your mother won't change. My mother in law won't change. My husband keeps telling me this too. I am wearing a rubber band on my wrist...and everytime I think about his mother and my sister in law...I snap it. Its actually a technique I used to give my clients when I did marriage and family therapy. :) Yup, you would think being a marriage and family therapist, I could manage dealing with these problems. Actually, I think it has made it worse!! I over analyze everything! :)

Im sorry you have similar issues with your mom. My husband always reminds me that I don't know what it is like to have my own mother make me feel this way. And he is right, I don't know how that would feel. I guess I should be thankful its just my MIL and not my own mom. :(

We can control our worries. Sometimes it doesnt feel like we can, but we really do have control over how we feel and how we let others make us feel.

Im new to this hub page thing! Is there a way to keep in touch through here w/o posting to this particular article? It sounds like we have alot in common and more to discuss.

troddenon 5 years ago

Hi, I haven't been on the hub for a while.... I am in a very hard and often dark place at the moment... I have written my abbreviated circumstances a while ago.. I see there are a lot of new people with their equally disturbing, difficult stories.... why do we allow certain members of our family make us feel like crap? and they look like the saints and the ones who go to church, pray!!! etc etc....

Yesterday was a hard day, it was mother's day and my mum, due to an accident 4 and half years ago, with me, which left her brain damaged and in a nursing home (she is doing remarkably well considering). Because of my father, (I don't call him father or dad anymore as I am told by my therapist he is not worthy of it) I had to go and see her the night before... he visits everyday and blames me everyday I know for the accident... and has wished it on myself and daughter. I have 2 horses and the accident was horse related.... HE hates them. HE has made my life hell since the day I was born I have come to realise. It's 6.15 in the morning, and another fairly sleepless night... my doctor and therapist are getting me to come off the medication that i have been on for years.... as I have nightmares, vivid dreams, and am unable to get up much before 2p.m in the afternoon. I lost my job in December due to my depression and PTSD. LIke a lot of you guys on here, all I wanted was to be loved, to feel loved and worth something from my parents... my mum tried hard under difficult circumstances before the accident, I never realised what a nasty man HE was..... I have had to cut ties with him, it's hard, as I so need my parents, I know I am 47 but wasn't given the skills of decisions, choice, worthiness, when I was young, HE gave me abuse, and my mum did a great job on the guilt trips... I have been in therapy for nearly 5 years... I lost my husband nearly 8 years ago, and now have a wonderful man in my life who is supporting me coming off the drugs that the abuse, guilt, lack of self esteem etc made me go on... I am scared of the future, all I have known is doing what I think everyone else wants me to do, and long for people to like me and respect me. My sleep is horrendous as I have vivid dreams of HIM and what he did to me when I was only about 2 or 3 years of age.

I don't know if I could ever confront him about it because both my parents have had a great knack of turning it round and I end up feeling the guilty and BAD person.

I have 2 great kids, 20 and nearly 23, who I have broken the cycle with, they have no guilt, they are heard and listened to, and advice offered when they ask me. It's been hard without their dad.

I also lost my dear Granny before Xmas, we were very close and i miss her loads, some days I just don't think I can go on.

Can you regain self worth, self esteem, trust in other people? self respect? I have a wonderful doctor and therapist who are with me in all of this crap.

I am trying so hard, but sometimes it looks all dark... I have a brother who I am quite close to, but he lives about 250 miles away and has issues with HIM as well. I just want to belong somewhere, and need help finding that somewhere... as I have no resources at the moment to give or know what to do.

I also have eating problems, basically I don't eat hardly anything, that stems from the early abuse and force feeding..... I get so angry with myself as I am supposed to be an adult but at the moment I feel like a little girl trapped in an adult's body... I have to trust my boyfriend, therapist and doctor and a few close friends that I will get well, and that I can break those ties completely and not feel bad when HE dies... they are holding me at the moment as I don't have the belief or faith in myself or to hold myself at the moment.

Thank you for listening.... this hub is good as you can just get things off your chest and not be judged, talked about or anything.... take care everyone... however far down the line you are with your experiences of having to break ties, or however new you are to it like me.....

perfecttheory626 5 years ago

I like alot of you did not have the greatest relationships with most of my family. The most recent events are causing me more grief than ever before and so I happened to find this while searching for consuling on weather or not it would be healthy for me to cut ties with a family member. I have had confrontations with this family member who is my aunt for years, she tried to tell me who I could invite to my wedding or she wouldn't attend, I politely told her I was not going to be rude and uninvite a friend, if she loved me she could handle being around this person for a few hours. The person she didn't want there was one of her closest friends until my aunt became jealous of the time she spent with me when we chose to become room mates. Whichshe didn't spend much time with me we both worked and i was pregnant and engaged and I'm really just a home body most of the time. My aunt always gets my Grandmother involved as her go to and body guard after she starts confrontations. Well I should have known when my aunt offered me a job not to take it so i blame myself for that but i was desperate for a job in this economy, and vowed to keep things professional which I kept up my end of things, and it wasn't hard I had already at this point reserved time spent with her to only special holidays. I worked n the childcare field wih this aunt and had a child in my class that was slapping me on adaily basis and my aunt and other supervisors refused to do anything about the situation, this child is only three but hit me, other teachers in the classroom and other classmates so hard he was causing redness, bruises and welt. I delt with this for almost five months and still nothing was done after discusions with supervisors. Finally I felt some relief they bagan to take me seriously and made a contract btw me, parents and director of the school which was my aunt, that if his behaviors continued these steps would be followed up to expulsion. Problem was they never did stick by the contract and I and my students were still being abused by this child, and no one including my aunt took this seriously. When i asked for the private owner's phone number of the school I was fired on the spot by my aunt. She then talked to my mother and told be I was great teacher, reliable, and she wanted me to come back the next day. Which i asked her if this was true and she said yes, so i returned to work the next day to be completely humiliated by gossip my aunt had spread about the conversation i had had with her professionally about this child and that sh had fired me, so for the whole day i was being asked why I was there i was fired. When asked my aunt about this she said people talk abt her all the time it was nother place to tell them what to talk abt, but i told her it was unprofessinal for her to cause that kind of environment for an employee, she and i had discussed and agreed i would go home for the day and hopefully it would die down a little my the next day, only to come in and be handed a ltter of termination due to insubordination the next day. I had never not obeyed anyone of my supervisors while working there and this reason was wrong for firing me. I tied to ask her what i did that was insubordinate and she said generally that the conversations i had with her were insubordinate. NOw i am out a job and i am fighting with myself on weather i should cut ties because she has left me my husband and my son in a bad situation financially for no reason. I have thought abt if there was anyting else i could have done differently and the only other option i had was to continue to be abused by a student. my husband contacted an attorney and they say i have a case because i had a contract to work there for at least a year with they voided for an invaild reason, but im still not sure how i should handel this but i know me bing upset is not healthy for my son and husband and i seem to be at peace with not speaking to her, am i wrong to have a lawsuit with my family after she has put me in a very bad situation for mo reason. I love my family, I have always been the one who has to fix everything, my family always has taken her side and i am responcible for appoligizing even when i kno im not wrong, and she tends to walk all over everyone in her life. In the past she has been dyagnosed manic depressant, and bipolar and I'm stuck with would i feel right if all of this is because shes ill or sick, but then what she has done to me was wrong as a professional employer as well as realy wrong as a faily member.

cherbear 5 years ago

This was an excellent read. Just like everyone else, I am cutting ties with my family. I'm taking an extended vacation from my brother. And I don't know when I'll talk to my dad again. I know that he will be taking trash about me to the whole family. He already said that I'm on the path to becoming a low life useless person like my mother. etc etc. What kind of a father says that??!!

My mother was verbally and emotionally abusive and VERY unstable. I do have instability in my life that I'm working on. My dad says that he is a great role model but who takes low-blows at their own daughter (I'm 29 by the way and recovering from a major illness.) I just give up on these people. It's hard because there are the feelings of guilt and all the emotions that come with this.

Ughh. Too tired to think. But I'm glad I'm not alone in all of this. This experience has taught me a lot about myself. I'm a complainer, make too many excuses and am unstable (my dad's words). So I guess I have a lot to work on. But I'm cutting my brother out of my life for now. I just need a break. I could write a story on my family. But I won't. :)


finallyoffthehook 5 years ago

Cyclone 08, I am sorry I disappeared on ya. It was a crazy week with the kids. When I am busy it is easy to not focus on the issues with my mom. I don't know how we can get together outside of this page. I would be open to it but not sure how.

It is hard when your own mother doesn't treat you right but no one should under estimate the power of in-laws. I am very lucky that I have a great mother-in-law but my husbands sibling are always having drama. We pretty much stay out of it.

I also wanted to address cherbear, I know how you feel when you say what kind of parent talks about their kid that way. My mom says that I am a manipulator and a liar (just like your father). I have been getting that message all of my life. It is hard because when your parent says that you start to believe maybe it is true. It has taken me a long time to realize that just because she says it doesn't make it so. I can still be a good person even if she doesn't know it. I have spent many years trying to convince her that I am not that person she has always believed I am. I finally get it that she isn't going to change her opinion because she formed that opinion of me long ago. I didn't have anything to do with it. She looks at me and see my father. The man she hates. It doesn't matter that I am nothing like him. I have lived my life completely opposite to him. Don't let your dad make you doubt who you know you are.

Joel93 5 years ago


sorry i havent posted anything on here for the last few weeks, well here it goes...

i lasted 4 weeks without talking to my grandparents, my mothers constant nagging to just forgive them made me go to see them, my grandmother stumbled backwards when she saw me at their front door, i guess Ive had to forgive and forget because they are my grandparents, but the anger and emotion i had still.. hangs over like a black cloud in the distance, i think they are relieved that i am communicating with them, admit-tingly when i wasn't communicating with them during the four weeks it just always seemed to be at the back of my mind 24-7. im still not sure if Ive done the right thing or by talking to them again but i will just have to wait and see. as for my aunty, uncle and cousin well although my grandmother

hasn't acknowledged what is going on i think she has realized that she is partly to blame for the situation, with her playing 'favourites' when i was a child and teenager.

- that was about my mothers side of the family, now onto my dads side

my two aunty's/ dads sisters had a falling out with my parents when i was a very young child, and my parents have had nothing to do with them since, i have been told that one of my aunty's tried to reconcile earlier on but my mother said no and hanged up the phone.

im on the verge of being an adult - 18 in three weeks, i have recently seen one of my aunty's while on a holiday at my nanna's house, i got along with her extremely well/ better than i expected, i thought i would be able to hear crickets when we were sitting at the dinner table, my mother doesnt know that i got along with my aunty well. but when i was with my aunty she treated me more like family than my mothers family ever did in the 17 years that i have been alive. im considering reconciling with my dads family, it is my nanna's 70th this year and she wants to have a party, i dont think my parents have any intention of going if my auntys are there, ive seen my auntys and cousins rarely over my life time but i always got along with them, im just extremely worried what my mothers reaction will be to all this, do you think it is a wise choice to reconcile? i have talked to my dad about it and he just told me " we all want to know our family at one stage or another and we all make mistakes in life", " i dont care whether you see them or not but just dont expect us to see them".

im really torn, any advice about what to do would be really appreciated.

Joel93 5 years ago

also, i am not talking to my aunty, uncle and cousins from my mothers side of the family, and i dont intend to anytime soon, according to my mother my aunty and uncle are having marriage problems, although they are not married they have a defacto relationship, and that me not talking to my cousins could be a reason for one of their arguments, if you ask me i think me not talking to them hasnt even affected them one bit and not talking to them hast affected me either, i think im better off for it.

Hamstermole 5 years ago

I have eight siblings. Over the years I was constantly trying to win their approval. Their image of me is not who I am. I have been outspoken about family secrets and that had everyone in a tizzy. They tried to put me back to "my spot in the family." I thought I had dealt with it, but recently my husband of 36 years had a very serious heart problem. They never called, even though they knew something was wrong. I have put them out of my life and intellectuality I know it is for the best. I feel like I am grieving and just want to get past it. They will never give me what I need and it's hard to let that go. I am a strong individual, but this has put me back, psychologically, farther then I thought possible. It helps to know other people have had to do this, too. Thank you.

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Joel~ the good thing is you're 18 and who you choose to talk to in the family is now your choice. You don't even have to tell anyone else who you talk to either. It is really hard to cut ties, as youv'e seen with your grandparents, but maybe they've gotten your message through your recent actions.

I don't see why you can't see your other family members at your nanna's 70th. Your parents are the one with issues with your aunties so that's their issue. Just remind them you are going for your nanna's 70th and don't make an issue out of seeing the others.

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Hamstermole~ You are in a sensitive and vulnerable state of mind right now so everything else will be magnified. Cutting ties will wax and wane- good and bad days, but you have to always be moving forward and if those relationships are holding you back further then keep on moving forward with or without them. It's easiest to think of cutting ties temporarily and just see how it goes. Maybe it's not forever and that will be easier to withstand if you think of it short-term and days at a time instead of telling yourself never.

What they've done to you is hurtful so you need to be constructively honest with them about it so they know why you ar breaking away. Give them a fair chance, as I'm sure you have, and be on your way, with or without them in your life. Best of luck.

troddenon 5 years ago

I have had to cut my father (or HIM, as I call him) out of my life because he has been so cruel to me not only sexually abusing me from an early age of 3 or 4, but because he has also and still is to a point mentally abusing me, blaming me for an acccident that happened to my mum 4 and half years ago.... she loves horses and came to help me load my daughters, she got knocked over and suffered severe brain damage, although they wrote her off, she survived and is doing well... he goes every day and so I have little chance of seeing her. I won't go when he is there, it kills me to see her like she is, but she seems happy, but he has told her that she can come home and she CAN'T, and I find that so cruel.. he is a control freak..... the other night my son came in and said he had seen his granpa trying to hitch a ride to the nursing home, which is about 12 miles away from his home, at about 6 o'clock in the evening.... my son offered to take him, but was worried I would feel he had betrayed me by helping him... I must be stupid or thick, as I did not feel betrayed, just relieved that my son said he would take him... people who know the full story, loath him, why can't I? I guess I still live with the tiny hope that he will forgive me for the accident that changed not only his life but my mum's and ours..... I hated the thought of him getting knocked over whilst trying to get a lift to the home..... Last week, his wish came true, I got knocked over in the field with my horse, and ended up in hospital on a spinal bed for 2 days..... I hope he never finds out, he wished my mum's accident on me or my daughter, how cruel and sick is that? there are days when i wish it had been me injured 4 years ago, then it wouldn't have messed his and her life up.

The guilt I carry is a heavy weight, and he could have eased that burden, we could've been there for each other, but his cruelty, evil words and actions have made it impossible......

I am in therapy 4 times a week, and also trying to come off all the anti depressants, anxiety tablets etc, and it's really hard, it's hell coming off them, but the dr, my therapist and I dont' feel they are helping, and the only way to find out is to come off them all.... and see what's left, so this is a very hard part of my life. I feel pity for HIM, why can't I dislike him? it's like he has this hold over me and I battle to try to get rid.

Thanks for listening, like I say, every day is a battle to get through at the moment, but I am trying so so hard.

thinking of all you guys out there who are trying to do the same......

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Toddenon~ Can I be blunt? I hope so but I don't want to be insensitive. You have a very typical abuser and abused relationship with your father. It goes beyond being a sympathetic person. You have been conditioned to please your dad and this mentality was literally forced on you. I was "only" mentally abused by my dad and grew up trying to please him. He ended up turning into a not so nice person the older he got so I took a step back and asked myself why I would want to please someone like that and what does that say about me, aiming so low to please someone with so many issues. Once I completely stopped, I began getting my self esteem back.

Common sense would tell you there is no mercy this man, you father deerves. You can still be a good person and you can still forgive him without saying one word to him ever again. You are still hanging onto the relationship you began with him when you were 3-4 yrs old. You son can give him a ride- that is him and this is you. You don't have to give him a ride though.

You have been so abused by him I can feel you almost think you deserve something bad to happen to you. Please don't be like him. Realize your thoughts are prioritizing his thoughts over yours. He believes you owe him so you think you still have to be nice to him, he believes you are worth little so you believe that too. Since your thoughts are governed by the abuse, you'll never be able to let go. YOU needed a dad the way a dad should be. If you realize you will not get that, you could move on. SOmehow you still want that and you hope to get it from him even thought it will never happen.

There are numerous cases in which someone has been aducted or badly abused and that person will favor the abuser over and above everyone else. You need to realize this is part of the abuse pattern and you are not a helpless little girl anymore, you don't have to be abused anymore. But you are torturing yourself the way he tortured you. You simply cant do that to yourself anymore. It is all your choice. If someone said to you; do you want to be unhappy and tortured? Of course you'd say no, so why are you doing it to yourself. It really is your choice to make. If you have some biological issues then medication may be necessary. My husband was abused and is prone to depression so he has to take medication. Just don't go overboard on them and make sure your doctor monitors them well and often.

Jeanine ... 5 years ago

this is so sad... but great advice... I will be praying...

troddenon 5 years ago

Izzetti, I hear what you are saying and I am trying to do exactly that, cut him out of my life, but it is not simple... I have no respect for him... I know I am not a little girl anymore, but it doesn't take the fact that I can't just slam the door... my therapist is working very hard with me, and I feel that I am distancing more... as for the medication, it's hell coming off it, and my doctor does keep a close eye on it... I seem him usually once a week.... please don't judge me, I am trying with all my heart to get well, and to let go of the abusive past... but it's not something I can just switch off...

Everyone has different stuff to deal with and deal with it in different ways... and only the person who is going through it knows, everyone is different... but believe me I am doing the best I can with what resources I have... I want a life, a life free of guilt, abuse, regret and that is what I am working hard at.

I'm sorry if it seems I am not trying, but I am.

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

torddenon~ I didn't mean to sound as if I thought you weren't trying. I know you are, I know this abuse has made you who you are and it's hard to change something such a prominient part of you. All I was trying to say was there aren't many alternatives to just "getting over it". That being said, it's not easy, but it's a conscious decision everyday. I realized that it was myself who made it more difficult whenever I hads something big in my life to overcome- it was my obsessive thoughts that made it worse. It was literally a mental swtich that I had to train myself that when my thoughts went to that awful place, I had to think of something else- anything else. It's like a trained response after a while. I also mentioned how my husband suffers from major depressive disorder and he has to take medication. He was abused as well. So I realize not everyone even has the capacity to get over it themselves.

You say you want a life free of guilt and abuse, but it's not realistic. That's kind of the good news though- you have to live with those feelings and still be OK. I want a life free of pain, but it's not reality right now so I live with it, I do things in spite of it. You want 80-100% and most people never have that. Don't work so hard, let go, relax a little, don't beat yourself up. Good and bad days will happen, nobody is immune to that. The comfort that will come to you someday will be that you have been abused, you do have guilt and regret, but you will be OK despite it and you can be happy even though it's there. Don't try to get rid of all that, just try to live in spite of it. Perhaps you aretrying too hard or working too hard. Give yourself a break.

I'm never here to judge. I have seen and even been through a heck of a lot in life to judge anybody. But I have seen people overcome and many will testify, it takes living in spite of all the bad stuff. They tried so hard, but all it was is changing your mindest and accepting it's OK to not be good enough sometimes.Many had unrealistic expectations of how life should be.

when you learn to live with guilt, the fact you were abused and go on to live and find happiness just a day or two at a time then it will be comforting for you to know that all these bad things can happen and you're still OK. You still control how you feel about them- don't let them haunt you. These thoughts can be a full time job so skip over them when they take over and find something else to concentrate on.

Melissa 5 years ago

I am trying to cut ties and live without the constant disapproval from my father but have such feelings of guilt and sadness. I am 50 years old and can't remember not trying to win his approval. I can't remember ever having it either. I pretty much have felt worthless and inadequate my entire life. Things really began eating at me when my children were born and he basically said he didn't like being around them. My niece was another story, she was the perfect child. The one they would babysit and he would brag about constantly. Unfortunately, my kids were boys and I was told he didn't really like boys. If I ever rock the boat slightly I'm read the riot act of how this family has to stick together, even though his version of sticking together is putting money in an envelope on your birthday. The rest of the year don't bother me. Even if I don't see him, I'm eaten alive by resentment. How can I get past this and feel like I maybe have a little self worth?

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Melissa~ your story sounds so familiar to mine as well. My dad has never approved of me either and when m 2 yr old had a tantrum in front of him,he said she needed psychotherapy. Over the years, I have proven him wrong- he said I would not graduate college, I did with honors. He said my daughter needed a psychologist, she has not had any tantrums since turning 3-it was just a terrile 2 phase.

My point: You can probably find times that your own dad has been wrong about you and your achievements. This should tell you logically that he doesn't know what he's talking about. Often these attacks toward you are hiding his own insecurities.

I'm not sue how old you are, but it took me until about 30 yrs old to see the indiscrepencies ad hypocrticism in what my dad told me or made me feel bad about. I suddenly stopped having a need to please him and do things for myself.

Right now your dad has manipulated the situation to be all about him. Another quick personal example here: My dad told me if I had a boy (this was before my only child was born)he didn't want anything to do with him. My dad is a transsexual so this exaplains things for me, but I wonder about your dad's issues with having male grandchildren. Something is wrong there.

How you get over this? You clearly realize his faults so how is this person your measure of self-worth? I just doesn't make sense if you think about it. He is not good enough to judge you or make you feel bad. For your own health and well-being give it up- don't hold onto the guilt or resentment. You are essentially torturing yourself as he has throughout your life. Forgiveness is part of this- forgive him as you would a child who doesn't know better. Don't excuse anything, just let go enough to not make this change you as a person so that it changes who you are for the worse. You're waiting for him to let you go, but you have to let yourself go. My dad is 67 yrs old and I've finally realized he's not changing nor will he ever apologize for what he's made me feel like in the past so only I can let it go.

Melissa 5 years ago

Thank you for the response. You seem to have come to peace with your situation and I hope I can achieve that at some point. I realize now that my dad has insecurity issues. I don't think he has ever felt good about himself, which is no excuse for how I let him make me feel. We had a major blow up just last week where I ended by telling him to just leave me alone, and of course I feel guilty, especially for my mother who is in the middle. I've never really spoken back before. Maybe I can work it out where it doesn't have to be a total cut off. We'll see. I'm sure it would require an apology from me, as it always has. I have never heard an apology and some truly awful things were said to me in the past.

Reading your response and the other posts has helped me see that I'm not the only one who experienced this and that maybe it's not all my fault and I'm really not that worthless. Luckily I have wonderful husband and kids. I'm blessed in that regard.

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Melissa~ I truly hope you find peace too, but I can almost guarantee it will from you you and not him. I've been married 7 years and my dad still has not met my husband, not even attended my wedding because he doesn't believe in marriage anymore- no matter that it was my special day, not his. These are things I give as an example because I want you to know I've been where you are at and truthfully the more I expect from him, the mroe I am disappointed and set myself up for ill feelings.

At least you have a good support system, your husband and kids, but I understand your frustrations. This may help, but you might have to realize he will never change. The issue I found was that the older I got, the more confident I got in voicing my opinion and that I was right when my dad was wrong on some things. We had never argued before I was 21 and now that I'm 36, we've argued only a handful of times, often resulting in not speaking for months or year at a time. It's a bum deal, but I have to strike a balance between not losing myself to appease him and having a decent self-esteem. He always has an opinion on my life and yet I'm not "allowed" to have one opinion about his so again, being hypocritical and easy to point out others faults is a sign of deep insecurities.

ALSO, I began learning more about my dad's side fo the family to help me understand where he came from and why he was who he was so it's no longer personal to me or that he is doing this TO me, but rather he doesn't know better. My husband did this for his mother who was not a good mother by his definition (and most people's), but he can understand a little because her mother died when she was young. This is not and excuse for them, but it does take the pressure off you that you may have done or not done something to have your dad act this way toward you. It's probably not as personal as you think although I'm sure its hard not to think of it that way.

Peace Finally - but guilt revails 5 years ago

I was so happy to find this hub!!! I feel so not alone as I was feeling an hour ago.

Without getting into too much detail of exact arguments has been several months, since late last year, that I last spoke with my brother and his family. It's easy that though we live in the same city, we are both across the country from family. However we have many of the same friends, and soon our parents will come and visit for the arrival of my 2nd child and I am stressing at the thought of what will happen.

Things had not always been smooth between us and we had a falling out over 10 years ago which we never fully recovered from but his wife and myself were able to carry one. Since then I have married, and we each have our own families and of course times change. I don't think that my DH is "their kind" but they seemed to "put up" until...he disappointed them, which they got all in a huff about then tried to get me involved and I tried to stay out of it, then of course I disappointed them. Needless to say, things broke down VERY quickly after that and because of personal things I had gone through in the recent past (nothing to do with them actually), I had already decided that 1. my family is my priority 2. I was no longer going to "play" into my family role as scapegoat and peacemaker, which I am sure played a part of putting them off in the first place.

It was an easy decision to "say it like it is" since in my mind I was already fed up with their guilt trips, bend over backwards for all of their requests and requirements, ignoring unsolicited advice and putting down my foot for my sister in law treats and talks about my family (rude, and none of her business quite frankly) and ignoring me when they felt like it, with no explanation. As the conflict played out, I could never apologize enough or explain myself enough, they still could not get over anything and continued to add and add and add to the pot grievances never mentioned before. I had absolutely had it, I was fair in my response, I tried to avoid a tit-for-tat, I defended myself and my family and the stand that I was taking in my life to create more peace, less chaos, more quality time with my family and if they had to have an issue with everything, hold grudges, not get over anything even if it came with a heartfelt apology that it was their issue to deal with and not mine, leave me out of it. Although I probably never would have said anything and just went happily about my life, reading all the comments on this page has made me realize that toxic people will not let go and it only gets worse, it proves to me that I am not crazy kook-koo, that there IS a reason I feel at peace and my hubby and I are happier for it that they no longer add a negative element do our lives. It amazed me that this was a result, because I was single the last falling out I was very lonely and felt I had no choice but to make amends. Now I have a choice and a reason to remain focused on my family and my life and our own happiness.

What is getting me is the guilt. My father asked me to "fix" things before they get here for the birth of my child. I said that I feel bad that he feels bad but I have nothing to prove, the ball is in their court, and quite frankly I have quite a bit on my plate as it is without trying to "make amends" with them before my parents. How do I make my parents understand that I must do this? This is not the first time in our family, my father is estranged from 2 of his siblings, and it broke his mothers heart, and knowing that I know it upsets him since she is now gone. I am trying my best now with my parents, mostly father, to stay neutral and just let them deal with it and maintain my ground (I know in this situation getting out of the stronghold of family expectations of me being the peacekeeper and scapegoat includes not just siblings but parents too!). Also how do I handle the announcement of the birth of my child and any disappointment that I might feel if they don't come around? What would one expect that they do? I told my father that since the ball is in their court it's their call to "do the right thing" and come and visit, if anything for the children, not just our first child, but the children of my brother. It's sad if they miss this, and miss interactions with cousins. How do I deal with this and what is the "right" thing for everyone involved to do?

Funny enough, I had gone to a psychic several years ago, before I met hubby, she told me that a child that arrives in my family, given birth by me, will arrive at a time that will save my family from it's past. The past meaning a loss of a sibling when we were very young, and the soul of this child was returning, to save the family from it's past. I had not idea what that meant until now. It's eerie. Thanks in advance for your feedback.

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Peace~ Guilt is always the most prominent emtion whe ncutting ties or dealing with family. Most families have played the guilt game on us our entire lives and especially while we grew up- "you should do this, or that...".

It's not up to you to "fix" anything. You are carrying a baby and that's work enough to have to stress about fixing family issues. For the sake of making the arrival of your baby peaceable, offer and invitation and discuss nothing that has to do with anything besides the baby, etc. Having a baby is not meant to be a family reunion. Put everything aside and concentrate on the baby.

The psychic thing is a bit eerie and you shall see if it comes to fruition, but that's a heavy burden for someone just coming into the world. Let it be a time to get together, if you want, it's your time. DOn't feel guilt or pressure to 'save' the family ties. It's not a good position to be in or even worry about with a baby on the way and getting used to a newborn. Accept your family's love and attention and that's it. If your father wants you to fix things then it is soleely for his selfish purposes, not for you. It is to resolve his guilt and the guilt is then passed to you. I'm sure he is not doing that on purpose but it is essentially what he's doing.

Peace Finally - but guilt revails 5 years ago

Thank you Izetti - you make very good points that I wouldn't have realized myself because my emotions get in the way. The arrival of the baby is not a family reunion, it's a welcoming of a baby to the world. And my father would, absolutely unknowingly, be passing on his own guilt about his own sibling estrangement, I never thought that. And thirdly, it IS one heavy burden for a child to be born into that this child might save our family. I will focus on trying not to think about that, as eerie as it is. One thing that I have realized is that well, my sister in law comes from another country/culture and has her own family issues etc that I may never understand so I don't bother trying to figure out what she has so against me and my husband, and what all her issues are, it's just not worth the energy. HOWEVER I did have an interesting A-HA moment in the last several months about my brother. Of course experiencing loss and dealing with death of a child (my sibling) as a child is a heavy burden and I make no bones about how it has affected my life. I have also done A LOT of work on myself to deal with that, I have not been afraid to do so. I have found though, in that process, that I feel a lot of judgement from my brother about how I viewed my life, our upbringing, and the struggles that I experienced, he always said I was over-dramatic about everything and it was just causing more trouble, he didn't have any issues, why should I, so there must be something wrong with me. I had always fell for that. Well I came to realize in my work on myself that we each had our own experience of growing up even if we were "raised the same" and damn it I did not have to feel something was "wrong with me" because I chose a path of enlightenment to deal with sadness of my childhood and the struggles I had with my parents. (really not that he never had any issues with my mom, they mostly came about in adulthood). Fast forward to this year and thought about me coming to conclusions about how I had played out the grief of the loss of my sibling throughout my life, I realized that everything that I saw in my brother that he "fought" me about was part of his grieving.....and he probably doesn't even realize it. And that made me feel an enormous sense of compassion and love for him, as mad as I still was, I felt compassion and love still. And anything he says to me in the future that I feel is a "judgement" call on me and my life (that is if estrangement does not continue) that it is his own grief speaking. I wanted to write this as inspiration for anyone else that is having a hard time to understand the other person that they are estranged from in their family, if you can find a way to feel that compassion for them, it is an incredible burden lifted. Less angry, less judgement back, and feel there may be an open door on your end, if only slightly ajar, and maybe not for a relationship but at least for understanding and avoid making things worse, which can help at those times when you MUST see this person. :) Thanks for reading and letting me vent, thank you Izetti for your feedback.

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

peace~ could be cultural issues and certain expectations your sister in law has toward you and your family. Too many people have the view that their way is best; their religion, their beliefs, their values, their preferences. Too many are too rigid about those things. Rarely is everybody going to get along when families unite through marriage and otherwise. This isn't anything you can control.This is the same thing for your brother- he didn't have issues so why should you? Its sad when people mistakingly apply their thoughts to others and overlook differences. You are a woman and will likely handle and process things differently. He should not hold that against you, bt don't bother explaining it to him because he probably can't understand.

You've come to a great place of forgiveness for your brother. You understand and don't personalize his feelings of grief- you realize his "issues" were not yours or because of you. People all don't handle grief the same- impossible. My step-dad lost a sibling at 9 yrs old and my boyfriend died at 21 when his only sibling was merely 9. Ive seen what this does to families. This has lasting effects.

Feeling that compassion really displays your forgiveness. It's a great sign of your achievements.

Your welcome for the feedback and thank you for sharing your important story. I also hope others read it.

Lynn 5 years ago

I'm currently going through something so similar to what the article stated.

My older sister is bi-polar with OCD and has had for over 40 years a very tense relationship with my parents. I was therefore the one that would hear all about her antics, rages, etc. My Dad passed over a year ago and now my Mom, although seeing her outburst at my father's service, blames me for not wanting a relationship with her....even after hearing about how disturbed she is and how embarrassing she is to our family. She has threatened my life on 3 occasions and tells me I'm to blame for all the disruption in my family. Well, to my face, my Mother will say one thing and to her another, and as of the last week, my mother is not speaking to me because I refuse to have a relationship with my sick sister. Mom is using a guilt trip, blaming me for the lack of relationship with my sister, etc., when Mom is blocking out all the hurt and pain my sister has caused my family....I've tried to cut ties, but get blamed for being.."selfish, spoiled, and wanting attention"...My Mom and I get along like best friends and enjoy each other so much...yet...she's alway talking negatively about my sister without telling my sister how she truly feels. So, I'm stuck...My sister hates me and has all these false ideas which she's brought up in front of my mother, and Mom will NEVER stick up for me...I have no idea what to do!!!

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Lynn~ having dealt with a bi-polar extended family member, I know it's tough. It seems they are experts at manipulation. It's hard to believe they lose touch with reality when they can be so calculating. Families that have to deal with illnesses and disabilities in the family are prone to more stress and discord. Be thankful you see the situation for what it is- sick! Your mom has spent her life defending her sick child. You can view it that way- if you are (or become) a mom, you know that you would do anything for your sick child, but your sister is not your child and you don't have to torment yourself. Your mom doesn't either, but she is stuck in a mother-infant relationship as if your sister is still a little girl. It's not even good for you to be around your mom if she does not stick up for you- this is sad to say. Essentially your mom is sick too if she can not get out of this predicament. You have to hope (or pray) that she will find her way out. Until then, you must distance yourself, but let your family know you love them, but they bring too much pain. Time goes by and we forget why somebody is mad at us or why we are mad at someone so always let your reasons be known so they have a chance to remedy them in order to get a relationship back with you. Bi-polar usually gets worse with age and can turn into schizophrenia so I'm not sure how much you can hope for the relationship with your sister. They can be dangerous so that's good you are staying away from her. This is all I can offer you right now and I hope some of it helps. There is no easy way.

themiddle1 5 years ago

Can't believe I found this site! I am in therapy to figure out if I want to cut ties completely or just have a civil relationship with my older brother. We live in different parts of the country so we don't see each other often but phone calls can be just as bad as visits. He has belittled me for years. He can also be a very good person but it always degenerates into a personal attack.

Right now, I have pretty much made up my mind that I will not go on a long planned (&paid for ) vacation with him, my sister, their spouses and my nephew & his fiance. I am not married. I had a very hurtful phone conversation with bro a couple of weeks ago. I am still close with my sister and she does see that he can be very cutting. But when I told her about the call and that I decided not to go, she asked me to keep an open mind and give it some time. I know this hurts her and I don't want her to be affected by this but I just can't subject myself to a week in the same house with him.

On top of all this, I am also limiting my time with our father who has been living the last year with a gold digging grifter. This woman moved into the family home and promptly removed all photos of my mother, who died almost 9 years ago. She has been very successful in isolating my father and has convinced him that I really don't care about him. He is 90 yrs old and she's pushing him to move to another state quite far from my sister & I. There is no talking to my father as he always is on speaker phone and has refused outright to have a private conversation with us. So, I decided to neither encourage or discourage him about this move.

On top of that... my nephew who is going on vacation with the family is getting married in October and my niece is having her first child in September. I have already bought ticket to go to the wedding but if I break off with my brother, I think that would be very awkward for my nephew and niece. It is a shame that cutting ties with my brother will most likely mean not seeing his wife and their kids.

I'm not concerned with the money already put out. I could care less about it. I made these commitments and feel an obligation to stand by that.I did tell my sister that I was sorry I said I wouldn't go on the vacation but did not say I would or would not go. I don't want to ruin her time off when she worked so hard to get us all together.

I have not heard from my brother nor have I contacted him. Therapy has just started and I don't know what I will do but think that the vacation is definitely out. We have a long history, he once called me a bag lady, and I never know who I will be speaking to - the good bro or the mean bro. There have been times when he's visited and he could barely stand to be in the same room with me. His contempt is palpable.

I don't believe I have giving him any reason for treating me this way. I'm no angel but I have never been a bum nor do I disrespect him. He has always intimidated me though so any effort on my part to stand up for myself is met with more belittling. I don't want that in my life anymore.

I did noot

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

themiddle~ I'm not sure if it sounds like you've confronted your brother about this in a neutral manner- just to let him know he hurts you or degrades you. Since he is hard to stand up to it sounds like you need to use techniques that work on bullies because that's what he is.Things that work with bullies is simply ignoring them they like any reaction, another option is finding their weakness and targeting that (that's like playing their game though), and finally you can kill them with kindness. I have a bully in my family and I stand up to her which has ostracized me from some of my family. However, if i put up with her abuse, what kind of message does that send to me about who I am. I would rather do what's right then sell myself short or be a fake about her issues.The whole family knows her drinking problems and other issues so either they come around to reality or they can live in her hell with her. That's the choice you may have to make. It's not easy cutting ties but you can limit yourself and avoid him for sure.

Your father is long gone and controlled by this woman. He is not likely to get out of that easily if at all. Cutting ties is all about how often you see certain people. If you don't have much contact with them then it's not bad. The difficult part is breaking ties inadvertantly with people you don't want to just because you choose not to be around one person in particular. You must let everyone know the reason for not being around your brother and if they know, then that;s all you can do. It's not easy to cut any ties, but living hell with degrading comments hurts people deep. That's not a way to live either.

PhoenixLake 5 years ago

I cut ties, officially with my inlaws 3 weeks ago. My DH and I have been married for 10 years. My MIL is a very aggressive, controlling and self-centered woman who needs to be the center of attention at all costs. There are times when she can be agreeable and fine to be around but these are when she is in control and the

attention is focused on her.

There are many hurtful incidents that I could share but I share just a few. At our wedding, she went out of her way to compliment my matron of honor, in my presence while completely ignoring me. She didn't really even look at me or talk to me at our wedding.

After we had the children, I endured long painful visits. I was a new mom. I was scared and anxious about caring for my new baby. She was cold and one time, stated in front of my husband: "Maybe you should go to work and he (husband) should stay home with the baby. My son cried a great deal as a new born.

When my dtr. was about 2.5 y/o she walked upstairs and opened her draws and threw some of her clothes on the floor. I walked upstairs to find out what she was up to. MIL followed when she was the mess, she grabbed her camera and started taking pictures of the room. My mother told me a month later that MIL sent a photo of the mess to her with the sentence: "Anne trashes her room" printed on the back. My mom has told me that when the kids were babies she would send strange photos of my kids crying. I think she was implying that I wasn't being a good mother to them.

I have sent her several letters over the years and my husband has spoken to her. This seems to make things worse and she behaves in a more hostile and manipulative fashion.

The last straw for me was when I realized how extensively she was bad-mouthing me to my husband's family. She uses one on my DH's half-brothers to send message and deliver cleverly disguised insults.

MIL is very skilled at delivering cleverly disguised insults. She does alot of insulting by comparison. These remarks sting but they are sneaky enough to keep one off balance.

I confronted this half-brother and his wife. Of course, they denied everything. His wife admitted that MIL is a very difficult and hurtful person and that her kids "have figured her out". These two have sucked up her abuse for 3 decades and seem to expect me to do the same. After I confronted them, they also became hostile.

This isn't suprising. There is a will involved. She has control of the will as my FIL passed away 10 years ago. They aren't MIL's blood relatives. It is interesting what people will put up with for money.

I haven't visited MIL or others in family for 2 years. I confronted her on the phone 3 weeks ago. She lied, denied and minimized. I realize that no boundries will be respected by her. My husband will take our kids to see her and have contact with his brothers totally a few times a year. In the past, this has been painful as I feel very left out. At the same time, what am I being left out of?

I feel horrible at times. I have guilty feelings, sad feelings, angry feelings and frustrated feeling. Who would want to cut ties with one's husband's family? Someone who is healthy enough to let go of an unworkable relationship. Someone who is unwilling to drive 2 states away with their three young children to feel utterly uncomfortable. Someone who has learned that once MIL's agreeableness has worn out the claws will inevitably come out. Some one who has dignity.

I sometimes guilt-trip myself that I should have been able to ignore her treatment. Afterall, she badmouthes everyone and they by their own admission now what kind of person she is. But this isn't correct thinking because as soon as she enlisted other's to do her dirty work I was being run out of the family probably on a conscious level, at least on an unconscious level.

Other times, I feel excited that I can move on with my life and invest in healthier relationships. I realize that I do have opportunities to connect with reasonable people capable of an honest, caring relationship. I have three great kids to raise and a husband who is willing to put our family ahead of his troubled family.

Peace Finally - but guilt revails (baby follow up) 5 years ago

Well, the baby arrived, my family flew here to see the baby. And my brother and his family opted not to come and see the baby.

I took your advice....and am happy with how I handled the situation though confused and still disappointed with their "antics".

Getting close to my due date I received a good luck email from my SIL. I responded, probably rather cooly however I really had not much to say except thanks and provide the due date info she asked about. When the baby was born I texted the news as I did to many people. I got an email the next day asking if they can visit us in the hospital. I said we were leaving that day and that they could visit the house in a couple of days, would that work for them? No response.

My family arrived the day after we left the hospital and my dad asked if he could arrange to come for a dinner all together later in the week, and I said fine. The day before said arranged dinner, my brother advised my dad that they would not be coming as there were "still things to work out". I assumed this was my brother's view on the situation so I emailed my SIL and said it's too bad he feels that way you and the kids are still welcome if you like to visit the baby. I also mentioned that I felt I had nothing to "work out" enough had been said and I had moved on. I got no response.

The following week my brother dropped off my mom at my house, she had decided to stay to help me out for another week. So my bro met the new baby albeit by default. I wasn't very pleased it was on these circumstances but just tried to keep it to myself. A day later I got an email from my SIL asking for my address and noting that my bro had told her the baby was cute. She sent flowers from their kids saying that they "couldn't wait to meet the baby".

????????????????????????????????????? WTF is with all this back and forth with NO real action to meet this child even for the sake of the children?????? My parents pressured me all week in a number of ways from "just phone them" to "can we take your son there to see them" and I said NO NO NO. The last straw was having to hearing their daughter asking to SKYPE my son (they live half an hour away) and my mom getting all excited to have the 2 kids talk and then my mom wanted me to show the baby to my brothers kids over SKYPE! Again they live half an hour away and have made only false interest in visiting.

I feel guilty for standing my ground but with these weird antics and attention getting behaviour I am not buying into it. I am not sure what they are trying to prove but at this point I don't give a shit. I am trying to stay focused on my family, my newborn, and my marriage. We have had plenty of family visit us and friends that are genuinely excited for us and this new arrival.

Reading some of the recent posts focusing on the positives in your life and healthy relationships seems to be the best "reaction" rather than react in a way that only adds to the drama.

Thanks again for letting me vent. :)

silvergirl23 5 years ago

This was very helpful to me and has made me feel not quite as alone in this situation. I am considering cutting off ties with my mother and may already have due to situation.

My mom and I always had what I felt to be a good relationship when i was growing up, but when I was 16 she met this man who has done nothing but bring evil into my life. I'm now 42. I'll create a short list of really offensive behaviors that will exclude all of his general negative demeaning comments and language.

1)When I was 17, he and my mother were playing around on her bed and I was there. She ended up putting a hicky on his stomach and to get back at her, he throws me on the bed and puts a giant one on my neck. Her response was: ha ha we were just playing around and don't be so sensitive.

2) When I was 18, we had gone out to a restaurant to eat. She left from rest. to go to work and he took me home. When we got there, he proceeded to put his hand up my shirt and started trying to kiss me while pushing my on the couch at the same time. I wracked him and freed myself, grabbed my keys and ran out to my car to go to a friends for the night until I felt it was safe to come home. (My biggest regret of my lifetime is that I didn't think to go to the police) He told my mother that I came onto him and she believed him. This took therapy for me that I sought out at the college I was attending and my insistence that he seek therapy if I was going to remain around them anymore. This resulted in a bi-polar diagnosis for him, but it has gone largely unchecked since then.

3) I left and trasfered to an out of state college. I met my husband there. When my Mom and SF were to meet my future in-laws, my SF came in and sat down on my MIL's lap and made a crude comment. That started created a situation that has never recovered. The relationship between my in-laws, myself, and my husband has been strained forever due to SF's behavior.

4) When our daughter was 5, we were at my Mom and SF's for a visit. We have always taught our daughter about private parts and how it isn't ok for anyone to touch them. She is out swimming with my mom and SF is there. He apparently tries stuffing a towel down my daughter's bikini top. She told us on the way back home which was 4 hours away at the time. This resulted in my husband letting both my mom and SF have it. From that point, my mom had to drive the 4 hrs to visit wo SF. We only allowed him to come for holiday meals and then are very vigilent. My mom is in complete denial that we are always watchful of him.

5)Two years ago my mom took a job where we live and they moved to house only 30 mins from ours. This spring, my mom was suppose to pick up my daughter from school and deliver her to her dance class. She sent my SF instead, who took her to a restaurant before class and sat and told her that myself and my mom were fat and that she needed to watch it. He also told her that she couldn't write the novel she wants to someday write because she isn't famous. Daughter is in 5th grade. She told us days later and we now will never allow them to pick them up.

6) Also this spring, my son and daughter were again swimming at their pool with my husband and I within close range. We hear a bit of commotion and my SF comes to explain to me that he was trying to help "expand their lung capacity", by holding them under the water. Needless to say, they were both scarred senseless and my mother was unable to stop it.

7) My mother goes to a conference about a month ago and SF calls and wants to go to a waterpark with myself and kids (I"m 7 mos pregnant at time). I explain that my daughter has dance practice and it wouldn't work. He asks to just take my son. I said I don't know if that will work either. He won't take no for an answer, so I say well call me tomorrow and we'll see, trying to just put him off. Well, he calls and I just don't answer the phone. 20mins later, he just shows up and walks through our front door without knocking. Fortunately, my husband has stayed home that morning. My husband meets him and says they have things to do, it's not happening. SF turns on his heels and leaves immediately. My husband wasn't rude and didn't yell at him, he just told him no. SF must have told a story to my mother because that resulted in my mom not calling me when she got home from conference and we normally talk almost everyday. We went for about a week and a half and finally started talking due to daughter's dance recital and my mom always comes.

Well, my mom is about to have knee surgery and my SF calls me and tells me that they found a spot on her lungs in the catscan and she may have lung cancer. Then, he proceeds to tell me how I need to seek healing and get over it because my step-brother told him the reason he wasn't allowed to take my son was due to his history of behavior. He also tells me that I needed to not count on my mom to be around for the birth of our third child because we all needed to make it all about her right now. Well, I got mad and told him is wasn't about healing nor me forgiving him, it was about having boundaries respected. This conversation ended with me hanging up on him and I haven't spoken to either of them in 4 days. I found out today from my uncle that her petscan came back and she is fine, but my uncle told me that my SF told her that I started the argument. She is siding with SF!

I don't want it to be this way, but I think we are finally at a place where they just can't be part of our lives. She sides with this bas***d every time and it is emotionally draining for my husband and I and damaging to our children. We have tried very hard for her sake to find ways of including him without allowing a great deal of access to our kids. We have tried to do it in a way that doesn't rub their noses in the filthy fact that he has a real problem. Well, now we have been backed into a corner and there is no way to do anything but tell them that this is the way it is and he doesn't ever get to take our children alone. Period! Sorry if that hurts everyone's feelings!

Ironically, I now feel like the bad person and the bad daughter. I just need reassurance and comfort that I've done the right thing and I'm not a bad person for all of this. It's a double edged sword too because my husband and i also feel bad that we've already allowed too much access to our kids as it is.

PhoenixLake 5 years ago


Your SF is sounds like he isn't a safe person for your children to be around. Your mother is very defensive about him. The relationships between you, SF and your mother do not sound workable anymore. You need to protect your children and your own emotional well-being. The only way you will likely be able to have a realtionship with either your mother or SF is if you don't make waves with them and then find a way to protect your kids and again, to protect your own emotional well-being. I think it would be very difficult to protect your children and keep peace with them at the same time because your SF is an unsafe person to be with your children unattended and the fact that your mother is in denial about your SF's behavior.

It sounds like it is necessary to cut ties as you stated they cannot observe and respect your boundries and their troubles place your children at risk. There are many times when it is wise for adult children to avoid their parents. Your case sounds like it is clearly one of them.

Invest your emotional energy in your husband and children and other healthly and supportive people. There comes a time when we sometimes have to step out of the way and let people face natural consequences so that God can work in thier lives! Take care!

silvergirl23 5 years ago

Thanks PhoenixLake,

I know it is the way it has to be, it's just that it's not "normal" to cut off your parents, so it feels wrong even though it's absolutely the right thing to protect my family in this situation. It is so unimaginable to me that anyone would be in this circumstance and yet here I am....

silvergirl23 5 years ago


I stepped on my power cord before I was finished writing...

I was reading about your situation and it is really great that your husband is supportive in the situation, it would be a nightmare if he wasn't.

I'm constantly amazed at how people don't understand the developmental stages of young children and expect them to act like grown-ups from birth. If you had said she took pictures of her playing in the dresser drawers because it was cute, that I would have understood, not to make you feel like a bad mom for your child doing what ALL 2 year olds do. I have the most adorable picture of my son when he was about a year old with flour all over himself and the kitchen floor. He did that and I was standing right there with my back turned loading the dishwasher. If the woman can't enjoy the beauty in watching her grandkids grow up, she doesn't deserve them or you. My daughter is now 11 and my son is 8 and I miss the days when they did cute things and can't wait to have our new daughter to watch do those funny things. If the lady likes to pee in everyone's cheerios like that, it can't be a good thing for your husband either. It is not respecting his decision for who he will have as his life partner by acting the way she acts. I just picked up the book BOUNDARIES by Cloud and Townsend. I'm only a chapter in and I don't know if it will really help, but it is giving me some perspective because the examples of boundaries that get crossed in this book are so benign compared to the ones crossed in my life and it sounds like yours too. Thanks again for your support, it means alot!

PhoenixLake 5 years ago

I am also a psychotherapist. The fact that I would put up with my inlaws tells me that I have "stuff" to work on myself. My MIL is a narcissist. I also felt like I would be a bad person if I were to set limits and hold her toes to the fire so-to-speak for her maltreatment of me. My MIL is very powerful, she is key to a large will. So my inlaws have kept their mouths shut and put up with her abuse for decades, for money.

I do not play the family game, so I am the scape goat and I feel like I have been run out of the family. Really, at this point I have nothing to lose. There is little love in the family, I don't care about the money and I don't have any meaningful relationships.

My husband grew up with this mother her always preferred her step children who kept their mouths shut and let her run the show. He gets it. I am done playing the game. I feel sad that she will miss out on her 3 grand kids but I spent years enduring her insults so that she could see them. I am 40 years old, I need to focus energy on my husband, my kids and my career. Her loss of us is natural consequences, that are long over due. I have turned this matter over to God and He will guide me.

silvergirl23 5 years ago

I've just copied and pasted the message I sent on FB to her about this and she just sent a response. I shouldn't be shocked but somehow I am... Changed names to SF for step father's name DD for my daughter and SS for my son

Hi, SF called me today and told me your CT scan was for your lungs and that they found a spot. Hopefully it will turn out to be nothing so all you have to focus on is your knee. He also proceeded to tell me that I needed to get over it and seek healing for my feelings towards him. I really don't know what he has said, but you need to know what happened while you were in Orlando. He called me Thurs. night and asked if we wanted to to to Schlitterbaun. I told him that DD had dance pratice and that wouldn't work. I suggested we wait until 3 when DD was done, well that wouldn't do. He wanted to take SS by himself. I told him I wasn't sure and we could say maybe and to call me in the morning. He didn't wait to talk to me, he just showed up. Husband and I decided it wasn't a safe situation. Both SS and DD had expressed to us how frightened they were that day SF was holding them under water to "expand their lung capacity" and it wasn't something either of them wanted to do. So, SF walked through our front door and husband was still home and simply told him it wasn't happening. He didn't yell he wasn't rude. SF didn't wait for an explanation, he just turned and left...

DD also told me that the day that SF took her to IHOP that he sat and spoke continually about my weight, your weight and hers. He also told her she couldn't write a book because she wasn't famous. It made her really uncomfortable to the point that she requested that I let her go to after school or wait until I could get there. We weren't going to make an issue of it or say anything, but if this is going to be turned into a bigger issue than it needs to be, you need to know. I love you and because he is your husband we really try to include him more than many would considering his history of behavior, but there is nothing that will make the boundaries with the kids negotiable. I'm sorry if that hurts everyone's feelings, but this isn't about forgiveness, it's about using good judgement. We are really really grateful for all of his help lately, but I won't be manipulated by good deeds into putting the kids into a situation that I don't feel it safe. He also told me today that husband needed to step up to the plate when the baby comes because it was all about you right now. Husband has never failed to provide for us and keep us afloat, so no worries. I agree that if you are sick, everyone will have to do what is necessary to get you better, but implying that we are only concerned with ourselves and no one else is insulting. Whatever you want is what we will try and make happen. I love you and I"m sorry you are having to go through this...

THIS IS HOW SHE REPLIED: 4 days after I sent the above note...

Just saw this. Ct showed spot. Had PET. Get resutls tomorrow. Don't really need to focus on anything but myself now. Don't know what to say about the kids -- I was there and the kids asked him to hold them under to see if they could hold their breath. They wanted to do it more and I said it was enough???? Just glad they have lung capacity. SF called you in the morning, but you didn't answer the phone. I looked on his phone records...

This just goes to show that she never believed me and now she is going to go down the same road with my kids, I won't let it happen. My uncle called me yesterday to let me know that pet scan person has already told her even though it's not official until oncologist reads results, there is nothing to worry about. She doesn't know I'm aware of this. In some ways, a real illness and death would be easier to deal with. It is sad that the they will miss out on the grandkids, but I for one and I can tell you as well want to break the cycle. I am in a very fortunate situation finacially. My husband is an attorney and it affords me the luxury of staying home with our kids. I was a teacher before and I only work now when it is conveinent for our family and when I get bored frankly. Since I'm expecting in the next 3 weeks, it isn't conveinent right now :0) I'm 42 and this was a suprise! A welcome one, but a suprise non the less. My mother has a large nest egg put away as well, but you're right, money is not worth it. God will protect His children and all that doesn't kill us will make us stronger. I loved the book THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED by M.Scott Peck. It speaks to the condition of human evil, you would like it.

PhoenixLake 5 years ago

"Birds of a feather flock together". We have all heard this saying. It is very true. I wonder about your mother's character. Something is clearly wrong for her to be married to such a disturbed man. People with character disturbances/personality disorders really do not change very much. Like I said,earlier, the only way to have a relationship with such people is to appease them, not make waver and protect yourself and children at the same time. This is a very tall order. Often times it becomes impossible to manage such relationship and that is when it is time to cut ties.

If you do cut ties and then reconsider and let them back into your life you will likely find that they have not changed at all.

I am a big fan of Scott Peck. I have a copy of People of the Lie in my car!

BTW most of the people including children I see in my practice are people whose parents could be diagnosed with a personality disorder. We are not alone.

My kids are 9, 6 and my baby is 13 months old. MIL has seen the baby 1x. Beleive me, it was a very difficult decision to make to cut ties. My older kids think of my MIL affectionately. My husband will take my two older kids a couple times per year to see my inlaws. The baby will likely go when she is older.

Congratulations on your pregnancy blessing! Our baby has made our family complete. I think having her has made this process of letting go of the inlaw relationship easier. I have to put my energy into caring for my three kids and to stop wasting my time on these hurtful and unworkable relationships.

silvergirl23 5 years ago

You're right, it's not fair to the children to do anything other than put them first, which is what has to happen. My mom has had a good relationship with my oldest two and they are the only reason I worry about it frankly. As for myself, I"m numb now, too many years of dealing with the same nonsense. I'm actually considering finding a councelor for them just in case they have issues with what is happening. Although, they actually see things for what they are better than myself, to be quite honest. I've done the therapy and read the books and gone to church. At some point you have to just help yourself, which as you know feels a little odd. Since what you are trying to do is not be as narcissistic as they are right? But, in the end, it is the most loving thing to do for everyone else in your life that provide positive relationships.

ExoticHippieQueen 5 years ago

Oh, Izetti, such a timely hub, when I am saying goodbye in my heart to my 21 year old adopted daughter who has been so verbally abusive, manipulative, using me where she can, lying to me, threatening. I now am watching her use my beautiful grandbaby to hurt me in ways not possible before, and I just can't do it anymore. It's been 8 long years. The pain is so great that it would be less painful just to close anything left of our relationship, knowing that includes the baby as well, which breaks my heart. Other people have now become like family to my grandbaby, and I have been shut out of her life. It is time to say goodbye and your list of questions has helped clarify that for me. Voted up and useful...........

PhoenixLake 5 years ago

Today is the 1 month anniversary of us informing my MIL that I am cutting the ties with her. It has been a roller coaster of emotions. I have felt depressed, anxious, guilty, resentful, angry, disappointed, relieved, excited, elated, free and happy on different days.

I want to move beyond the processing of all of the hurts and pains and recover. I want to be at peace with this decision. I am getting there bit by bit.

Protecting yourself and your emotional well-being isn't being selfish its being healthy. If you allow yourself to remain in a harmful relationship you are not going to be present for your kids. You baby once she is born will need a fully present mother.

Some people have an over-active conscience that make them very vulnerable to being overwhemlmed by guilty feelings. Guilt can be a very destructive emotion. Character disturbed people will prey on this and use this to manipulate you.

You will likely need to work on acceptance of who these folks are and that they will not likely change, you have no power to change them. You do have the power and the right to have a happy life, free of harmful relationships. You should not let inappropriate guilty feelings sabotage you.

I understand your concern about your older kids. My older kids do enjoy my MIL. At the same time, I am not going to continue to endure bad treatment. I am also not going to drive a very long distance and endure bad treatment so she can see them.

This is where it is important to suspend irrational guilty feelings. I have written her several letters over the years informing her of the troubles in the relationship. The letters were honest, and kind in my opinion. Things got worse after each letter and she became more hostile and manipulative. My husband has spoken to her alone. Things deteriorated even further. She then resorted to using other family members to deliver insulting messages.

In the final analysis, I spent all 10 years of my marriage trying to deal with what seems to be an impossible relationship. It is no longer reasonable for me as I am a psychotherapist and a person who has grown and matured and developed a great deal over the past 10 years to continue in such a hurtful and futile relationship. I have to move on and be at peace with it.

Yes, I realize that plenty of people will not understand this and say all sorts of awful things about me. So be it. At the same time, there will be many people who will completely understand.

Like you, I have some reservations about my kids' relationship with MIL. I believe God will guide me. I am not oppossed to her seeing them if it doesn't involve me and it doesn't create problems between my husband and myself.

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izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Exotic Hippie~ It sounds heartbreaking, but it gets to a point when there is no other choice and you can sacrfice only so much- years of this will bring anybody to that point. I am glad to have helped in some way with my hub here. This has been part of what I learned through counseling for myself, being trained as a counselor, and personal experience. Again, I am sorry you have to go through this- it's never easy, but it sounds like it's time.

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izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

silvergirl~ I just read your story and this is such a tough situation, but the premise of mom meeting a "bad" man happens all too often. It's good you have come around to start helping yourself. My parents became so selfish when they divorced and forgot all about the kid (me) so I grew up putting everyone's else's needs first even if that meant I'd be hurt the most. That's why I said it's good you are making your needs a priority to start healing. Sometimes, and this is what I found, is that healing is much easier when you cut ties for at least a while, mayboe not permanent, but you need time to get out of the situation to see it clearly. The other best thing to do is not repeat any of this and be differnt with your kids. Thank you for sharing here.

I read the book Boundaries long time ago and it was a good book. It helped me a little and seemed to help my mom out a lot on stuff she was dealing with- good luck.

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izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Peace~ thanks for the update and CONGRATS! Sounds like same ol antics like you were saying. Don't feel guilty for having boundaries- they are hard to set within family, but very healthy and a good model for your kids. You have the right focus- your family (newborn kids and husband).

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izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Phoenix~ Thanks for sharing with us here- you've added so much to the mix. Wow, can I relate to you with the mother-n-law thing. Mine has done so many hurtful things to her children (one of them my husband) and yet she knows best and doesn't talk to me because I'm the only one that will confront her on her hypocrisies. I was trained in counseling,etc and I still have some of my own famiy isues to work through- famiy is certainly the toughest and sometimes you don't even think you have the right to assert yourself with the in-laws, but in your situation it seems a good idea. In mine it was, but has caused many other family issues because of it so it's a catch 22. Again, thank you for sharing.

PhoenixLake 5 years ago

Thank you izetti for creating this page. It has been so helpful to me to express myself and communicate with others who understand!

There are many people in the helping professions that are "wounded healers". I can say the my experience with my inlaws has made my skin thicker and has made me more wise.

I agree that one has to think things out very carefully before cutting ties with a family member. There are inevitable consequences and you have to anticipate what they are and how things will play out.

Many people cut ties temporarily and they are able to work matters out and end the rift. This is the case if you are dealing with a regular, imperfect person. None of us are perfect. We all make mistakes in relationships. You have to be dealing with a person who will take responsibility for their role in the conflict and be willing and able to make ammends.

However, when you are dealing with a person with a character disordered person, not a regular, imperfect person it is a completely different situation. A character disordered person will be unable to take responsiblity for their role in the conflict(s). Hence they will be unable to make changes since they do not see that they did anything wrong. It will always be somebody else's fault.

One can have a relationship, with a character disturbed person if again, you do not make waves with them. This means do not confront them or threaten their distorted beliefs and find a way to maintain your self-esteem at the same time. It breaks down to not challenging them, dismissing their hurtful remarks, and setting limits with them. Its alot harder than it sounds but it can be done.

I believe when you recognize that you are being scapegoated then you have reached the point of no return so-to-speak and you must make a quick exit. In a dysfuntional family a member who speak up and questions the status quo will be attacked and pushed out. So, if you are in a family controlled by a character disturbed member and you speak out, question things or in anyway appear to be a threat you will pay for this. You will likely need to cut ties.

In my case, my MIL would rather maintain her image of perfection. She refused to admit any wrongdoing, therefore work on our relationship. I have been more than willing to work on this relationship for many years.

I have nothing to work with. She will likely lay low. Then she will send us gifts and cards to provoke guilty feelings and so that she can slink her way back into our lives. If she could change she would have done it a long time ago. For me, it is time to move on.

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izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Phoenix~ Oh I agree about dealing with regualr imperfect people, but with so many undiagnosed personality disorders and depression, character disorder, etc, it is hard to work things out. In my experience those with sicknesses and disturbed are experts and masters at manipulation which imakes it that much harder to deal with them. They hold the most control in the family because, as you were saying, nobody wants to rock the boat.

Oh how I wish cutting ties with one person meant just cutting ties with them, but it changes family dynamics completely sometimes. And others think 'if I am putting up with them, so can you' so they get mad if you don't put up with that person too.

I am in the same boat as you and feel the same way as you with my MIL- I have been nothing but cordial and when she had issues, I would try to work them out and yes I did bring up some of her hypocrisies so needless to say it didn't score me points. I haven't spoken now to her in over a year, which has in turm made all of my husband's siblings not on speaking terms with me- for no reason other than my issues with her, but that's the control factor and manipulation.

Thanks again for the discussion.

silvergirl23 5 years ago


LOVE the gifts and cards thing! We have that kind of junk going on too. Among my mom's ways of manipulation, money is key! She actually sent me a bill in college for practically every dime she had spent on me growing up!

Last night she sent me a blue mountain card with the sentiment of I'm sorry for my offenses and you will always be my baby, yada, yada, yada... I sent a message back that my uncle had told me last Saturday that she didn't have cancer and what a relief, but it didn't change my stance on the kids, I believe them, end of story. Today she sends my uncle a nasty note telling him not to talk me about her. She was mad that I had known all week that she was fine and hadn't been sitting around worried, i'm pretty sure. I told her that I had two children about to start school (one who is starting sixth grade at our new jr. high, which means she's nervous) and a baby on the way and I didn't have the luxury of focusing just on myself. I'm pretty sure it made her mad.

It's funny because my husband and I have thought for years that we all understood that we keep the kids at arms length from him and we were all just dancing around Elmer the Elephant in the room, which I was kind of ok with, it seemed like a decent arrangement. Not my fault that he wanted to illuminate Elmer and make us all have to stare at him. She always wants me to say that Elmer really is gray and isn't made of color and is normal (sorry if you are unfamiliar with the children's book Elmer for my analogy). I'm sure that Burney Madoff is probably a fun chap to hang around with and has many decent attributes to himself, but would I give him any money to invest? NO!, and I'm not handin over my kids to her perverted husband either, even if he has a few redeeming traits.

PhoenixLake 5 years ago

Yes, cutting ties effects others and shifts the dynamics of the entire family. My husband is in the middle. He realizes that MIL has a personality disorder as I do. She treats him quite differently and he keeps things "on the surface" with her. He likes to spend time with his 3 half-brothers and they have a good time, they also "keep things on the surface", as he puts it. Since the inlaws live 2 states away contact always involves traveling and staying overnight either in MIL's house or our house.

I am not willing to have any of them here any longer or travel with my kids to participate in this farce any longer. It is too exhausting, frustrating and hurtful.

My husband's 20 year high school reunion was last weekend we chose not to attend because we are worn out dealing with his family who live in this small town.

I have really no relationship with any of my SILs. They are much older and 2 are grandparents. I did try and thought at least we could have a cordial relationship but the gossiping and bad mouthing done by MIL coupled with me trying to talk about the elephant in the room has turned me in to the family pariah.

Again, in my situation I do not believe my kids are at risk to be harmed by my inlaws and my husband obviously has a right to have a relationship with his family. It isn't fair for me to demand that he avoid them. At the same time, he has to set limits. It would be unfair to me for him to be excessively involved while I sit here by myself. Big balancing act to say the least!

I would rather have a healthy relationship, not perfect but healthy than any gift money can buy from my MIL. It is just not going to happen.

Silvergirl, I like your comment about Madoff. So spot on!

silvergirl23 5 years ago


As hard as it is on you (my husband is freaking out about all of this more than me), my heart goes out to your husband because you know his mother's behavior has hurt him deeply. She should respect his choices as an adult and not put him in this position. My guess is that she gives you a hard time because it brings light to the mental abuse she has put her kids through and it makes it hard to pretend that her own behavior is valid. The gifts and Emily Post cordialities are a way of saying, "see, I'm civil, I really do care, I'm not the bad one." When in reality, the behind back conversations and the snide remarks reveal the truth of the situation. It has been my experience that the way people act when they think no one is looking is the truth.

My husband has always given me the benefit of a relationship with my mom and understood, which is a classy thing to do. I know it's hard to sit by and watch the circus take place.

PhoenixLake 5 years ago

Yes, my husband however spent years being in denial about his mother's behavior towards me. He rationalized her poor treatment and gossiping and unkind treatment of other family members as well. I haven't been to the ILs in 2 years while he has been there 4 or so times, with my older kids. I sat here alone and he was treated well, enjoyed dining out with them etc. None of them have ever contacted me to ask me why I don't come there.

I suppose they know...

This isn't a normal or healthy situation. At the same time, we aren't guaranteed to have loving relationships with our parents, other family members or inlaws. I want to be fair to my husband but take care of myself.

I think for him to make 2 trips per year to see family is fair. I can handle that.

Phoenix Lake 5 years ago

My last words, one month ago to MIL were: "It is really hurtful to know that the family loves my children and my husband and to know that I am not loved."

I have had no further contact from her. That says it all. Hopefully, my story and my words will help someone else that stumbles onto this page.

It is time to accept and enjoy the positive relationships in my life and work on building new, supportive relationships to move past the difficult feelings of resentment, sadness and bitterness.

This is my life...

SadGirl 5 years ago

I've been through so much with family, and have come to believe that sometimes you do need to let them go and walk away. When I got sick in my 20s and had a botched operation and some awful follow-up health problems my family pretty much deserted me. It's like I wasn't useful to them any more, so they wanted nothing to do with me. They were actually emotionally abusive to me while I was sick. My Dad said that my health problems were all in my head and that somehow this proved I was crazy like my mother (whom he had divorced 17 years before). He also said he had nothing he could do for me and I should solve all my problems on my own without trying to drag him into it. He also told me to declare personal bankruptcy and give up on my life because I would never be able to make it back to a better place on my own. He then told my brother that he had offered me financial and emotional assistance and that I rejected it and had treated him badly. I stopped dealing with him and did manage to handle my unfortunate situation with my mother and stepfather's help and my own efforts. My brother turned on me too though, and basically told me that Dad would NEVER lie to him about helping me or saying awful things to/about me. I told him I did not need that and maybe we should skip contact for a while until he could say something different or more supportive, or at least stay out of it. He refused to speak to me for four years. Now I'm married and having a child and my brother has said he is "sorry" for the past, so I'm trying to deal with him again. But it's hard because I don't trust him and still feel very hurt. My father I have no contact with. He has gone around and told all family members on his side his version of events and how upset he is with how I've treated him. I will never deal with him again. Still can't understand how family can do such things? But I feel like I'm better off without people like that in my life.

nomore 5 years ago

Hello. I wanted to really express my sincerest gratitude for this blog and ALL of your stories. I keep this page as a bookmark on my computer and I read EVERY single one that I can. I just wanted to share with you my story (I’m sorry if it’s too long) as I have been on the sidelines and something happened yesterday that would change everything between my sister and I. My sister and I come from a broken home. She had an absentee father and my father still remained a steady part of my life after the divorce. So in actual fact, I am closer in relationship to my father than I am to my mother. When we were younger, mom was mean to us. If we asked for something out of the fridge we would get hollered at and my sister and I learned from an early age not to bother mom unless we had to. I thought it was all in my head until a year ago mom apologized to both my sister and I about being mean to us. From the time on, I developed a personality where I am very private and I only form a few small relationships. When I lived at home with mom and my sister I would go in my room and never come out. I would have a book to read or listen to my music. Kids in my neighborhood said that they wondered if I lived in the neighborhood because I would never come out. Although that dynamic was there, I was the older sister of the two and I managed to be like a counselor to my mom through all the things she went through with my sister’s father. Believe it or not, I had good memories through it all, as mom would have good days and of course, I would visit dad on the weekends. (daddy’s girl) And yes I had a good relationship with my sister. In fact, because I knew that her dad wasn’t around I become that support system for her. I would talk to her about anything at all and I counseled her through her relationships. I made it a point to get to know all of her friends so that I can see the kinds of influence she would have. So our relationship was good and we hardly ever fought and if we did it was really small and we always made up after that. (we are 7 years apart) Our mom was not good at expressing her emotions as we found out later she was abused by a stepmother and by someone in her family. And we eventually learned some aspects of her personality as well as ways of handling conflict. My sister’s father was very abusive to my mother and I learned to hate conflict. The way I deal with it is I would rather not so I leave or go to my room or my space. Six years ago everything changed between my sister and I. It all started when I got my first apartment (I was still living with the guilt of my parent’s divorce because up until 27 years of age I had lived at home (long story) and decided to move out on my own. I didn’t have a car yet, but I was glad that for once I didn’t feel the guilt of being shuffled back and forth between homes. At that time my sister started hanging out with two girls that were a bad influence as well as a boyfriend that she had. She started doing things that I warned her about and even more things that I won’t go into here for respect of her privacy. It in turn, mad her depressed and she was even in the hospital for trying to commit suicide. Well, I started distancing myself from her, because I couldn’t deal with the fact that she was unhappy and quite honestly I felt drained whenever around her, but she still wanted a spend time with me and against my better judgment we started to make plans where she would come over. To make a long story short, she moved into my mother’s boyfriend’s house and she was very defiant and disrespectful. I noticed that when together we would be at a loss for words. Naturally, for me as the big sister, I want to give advice not to fix her but to help her to see things in a different light but she would bristle against it. Over the years I moved areas in our region and from each apartment we got into a major fight. Each time she would apologize. In the past year, I really started to distance myself from her. I noticed that she started saying things to Mom like she felt that I didn’t love her and other things that were very discomforting. I started to dread Thanksgiving, Father’s Day more and more and found myself leaving when I heard she was coming to visit Mom. She would write me or want to visit me, but I didn’t want to spend time with her. Finally, I said that we could start planning something, I even gave her my new cell phone number and e-mailed her but she wouldn’t answer it. I guess she got offended that I wanted to plan things out and she likes to be spontaneous. I had enough. My mother called me Evil for not wanting to spend with her and for avoiding her. ( I don’t blame her I would be hurt too if someone avoided me) But how does my sister repay me? Yesterday, she came over just as I made it in the garage of the duplex I share with mom. I thought I heard something at the garage but thought it was the neighbors. I went upstairs and I heard a loud BAM BAM BAM BAM. I feared for me life. I thought somebody was trying to break in. I looked through the peek hole and it was my sister! She was about to leave and I opened the door and asked her what her problem was and she got in my face and told me I was rejecting her over and over and that I had the nerve etc etc to do this and do that. Our duplexes are situated with my landlord’s duplex that she was causing a major scene. Well, I told her not to disrespect my house and to leave, well she said oh no I don’t and stormed into my apartment. She pushed me to the ground then she pushed me again and I threatened to call the police and she acted shocked that I would do that and she walked out of my door she kept giving me the middle finger and kept telling me to “f--- y---“. I am finished with her. Mom did ask me if I was okay. I am done. I was obviously right in my decision. All of this stemmed because of a response to a letter she left in my mailbox and my response by e-mail that I needed some space. I am done with her. She is just another stranger on the street. So the lesson is: If you get a bad feeling about your relationship with a family member and it doesn’t feel right or you find more excuses to avoid them, then cut it off before you lose your mind and it’s not all in your head no matter what others try to tell you. Sometimes you grow apart.

nomore 5 years ago

Now that I think about it I think my sister is borderline, bi-polar and she was definitely using emotional manipulation on me over the period of 6 years. She is definitely a drama queen and when she is not around I am HAPPY. She helped me to make up mind yesterday. I know I can forgive her, but I won't forget and I still won't want a relationship with her then. Mom feels that family sticks together no matter what. I never denied she is my sister. My mom made me angry when she called me Evil and when she said the same blood that runs through her veins is the same that runs through mine (we had since made up but she says she doesn't get in the middle of it-her boyfriends agrees that my sister was out of line for what she did). My body is kind of sore and I am angry. My sister said she wanted me to feel the pain that I made her feel. Two wrongs don't make a right. She should have just let the blame fall on me for avoiding her and for needing space but she took it to another level yesterday. I feared for my life. She was banging on the door so loud that I could see the front door was bending. I knew she was going to do something to me or my apartment if I let her in. If I didn't answer she would have done something worse. She might even kill herself. Knowing her. She's just another stranger on the street.

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izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

sadgirl~ I can relate to your health problems. Much of my family and even my husband's family deserted me during the roughest times. I was thankful that my husband did not- he was great. I just had to focus on the who was there for me, who had the nicest things to say, and not let the painful things echo in my head or I'd drive myself nuts. Family dynamics are most difficult during hard times. The way your borther and father were, they were just trying to relieve themselves of their responsibility toward you and wanted to also relieve their guilt. My mother was going through a separation from her 2nd husband during a time when my illness did not allow me to walk almost at all. She could only see her issues and just gave up on trying to help me out. I partially blame self-help books that encourage peopel to take care of themselves and be self-important when in reality family should work together for the greater whole. I am truly sorry for your experiences and wish you the best. I hope some of the words here help you a little.

Lola 5 years ago

I'm glad that I found this page because it helps me to feel a little better in the fact that I'm not alone. I am at the point that I feel that it is necessary to cut all ties with my second sister and possibly my brother. She has been spreading lies for years and roughly about every 4-6 months she gets a fight started within the family. This chaos has literally been going on since she was a kid. She was very "fast" for her age and despite all the good parenting she got, she still became pregnant at the age of 15 and my mom had to raise the child. He is now 20 years old and a SUPER young man with a great sense of humor and high morals. He has said on many occasions that this would not have been remotely possible if it were not for my parents, his grandparents. My sister left her son when he was 14 years old, kicked him off her health insurance, married an ex-con and spent every cent of my nephew's child support monies on herself and her "sorry excuse for a man" husband. I can't blame all of her decisions on her loser husband because he wasn't around when she initially started on her "psycho streak" but he surely helped her along when he got into the family. To make a long story short, they've done so much dirt that was so bizarre that I don't think half the people on this forum with the same issue would believe it! It finally came to head for me today when I received several calls stating to me that the ex-con pushed my 68- year old father down and put him in a choke hold because my father decided after careful examination that he was not going over to their house anymore. He was going over to their house frequently to see my niece but he said that every time he would go my sister and the ex-con would start treating him like he was a silly child and making fun of him(I'm enraged just typing this) so her decided that it was time that he couldn't take being belittled in their house anymore, so he stayed away for 4 months and then today the LOSER put his filthy hands on my dad and I feel so extremely helpless because I live 5 hrs. away and there was nothing physically I could do. If I had been there I PROMISE he would not have gotten those hands back!! Maybe it's a good thing that I wasn't there because I probably would be sitting in a cell by now! It's disgusting to think how far my family has fallen because we let certain aspects come in and tear us completely apart. I'm feeling the same way about my brother too because he was right there when the LOSER was choking my father and he didn't even try to defend my dad, a 29 year old man didn't lift one finger to help his own father...Can you imagine it??? I can't!! How dishonorable and disgusting of a human being he is in my opinion! I no longer want to consider them my siblings and it just leaves me crying and broken but what else can I do? I don't want anything to do with them for the disrespect and the disloyal behavior that they've shown over the past 20+ years. It's so much more to this whole story that it would take another 2 days for me to type but how would you guys would handle it? It just burns me to no end when my parents are disrespected or hurt in any way because those are the people that gave me life and I take it extremely personal if someone is bothering them...seriously considering moving back home to be closer to them and play "security" if I have to!!!

Bailey 5 years ago

I have just starting reading this, and it is amazing advice and insight. I have lived in my apt for the past 18yrs and love it. My 54yr old brother moved in directly underneath me 4yrs ago, we share a common hallway to enter the building, and his childhood/adolscent ways from home have come back to abuse and torture me. He rages and then gives me the silent treatment for months. He will walk in the other direction when he sees me, if I come up the back stairs, he closes his door in my face, he is just so cruel and mean it is unbelievable. He clears his nose on people's door's, if someone pisses him off he follow them and pull the plugs out where they can't air in their tires so they have 4 flats and no way to insert air. He is proud of that. He is a bully in all forms. He is a drug addict and alcoholic and explodes for no reason. Last year he called me all kinds of disgusting names from behind his door after he stormed out of a resturant because of seating arrangements he did not like. I have always been there to help him throughout his life but I have to say that since he moved in and I have been shot back into my childhood horror, it is taking a toll on my health. I put myself into therapy last year which helped me see my role in the family etc and my co-dependence. It took his six months to apologize and it was hardly an apology. At that time I told him that he was so out of control I was now privy to his private "alone" moments and that is was so unnatural. The last time we spent chrismtas together he intentional sat me in the chair where he has his "alone" moments to see how I would react. I told him how this made me feel and I was in tears, I told he was a bully and needed to move out. He agreed but immediately took steps to firmly set himself up not to leave, paid up his rent, started painting. This is all part of the bullying while he makes himself look like a victim.

To make a long story short, recently I decided since he lived in the same building we should be a least on pleasant speaking terms even after all this. We have been, in general when we run into each coming or going.

Then.... again last week out of the blue for no reason he is giving me the silent treatment again. Now I am ready to cut ties and I believe I am in the stage of depression, my question is when I run into him or if he approaches me, how do I handle this. This is the hardest thing I have had to go through, both parents are passed, but this is incredible, especially since he has decided to live right undernearth the place he knows I love. How abusive is that??? I cannot continue to have a relationship with him because I feel I will be a willing participant in my own abuse. I can't do that anymore. Also why are we so connected to our abuser, what is the psychology behind that?

Appreciate any help you can give.

nomore 5 years ago

Hello again. I am back. I am now more calm about the situation but looking back in retrospect I still don't want a relationship with my sister. I just wish there was a respect of the boundaries I set in place. I never asked for much. We are both grown adults. Me in my thirties and her in her twenties. No one should ever feel it's okay to put his/her hands on you in anger. Mom still talks about my sister's goings and comings but I don't respond. I just don't say her name or ask about her. Everyone else tells me to bury it but every time I think about what happened and the past 6 years I get annoyed and angry. Since my last visit to this web page, she has visited Mom. I am already planning on no Thanksgiving, no nothing. I find that I also love her less or have no feelings toward her at all. I think that is why I had been avoiding her all along. It's too bad things have to be this way. Please be encouraged everyone! Thank you Izetl for this webpage. I read your profile and we sound so much alike. I pursued a major in Psychology while in school! :)

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

nomore~ thanks for coming back- it's been hard for me to get back to everybody that writes in...and with such in depth things going on in their family. I never imagined, whe nI wrote this, that so many people had long-time issues with family. Boundaries have to do with respect and I find that many family members do not have either between each other.

Holidays are tough, but I've skipped out on some, especially during a time when I needed to detach myself mentally to get healthy and away from situation. I think the best thing I did was that detachment and then as I got further away from the situation and some family members, I was able to see things more clearly. unfortunately you have to give up an ounce or two of caring so deeply so that the people and situations don't hurt as much. It's such a tricky slope to navigate and as I've read your story, you have so much going on. If you can, see a counselor on how to deal with your sister's mental illness (clearly she must have one, maybe bi-polar as you said). Maybe read up on how to deal with bi-polar family member. Best of luck- keep us posted.

Poobear 5 years ago

Hubby and I live abroad, our families are back in India.. a few yrs back, my parents and in laws had a disagreement and things turned pretty ugly, first my mil and then my mom started badmouthing each other n saying nasty things in the community.. At the time, my parents told me not to intervene and keep quiet. Then they called hubby  (who had no clue what was going on) and tried to explain (complain) and they ended up talking disrespectfully/shouting at him. Dh and i had some arguments and fights abt the issue and played the blame game and chose to put it behind us.

A few yrs after that we went to india and mil and my parents had a discussion in front of us, which soon ended in a  fight. We were caught offguard and chose to stay neutral while calming both of them down. during the fight my dad lost his cool and shouted at mil, and mil being the cunning type stayed quiet.. Later i understood she wanted dh to see she's so innocent. It made my parents look bad and they didnt even realize it. The problem is my parents have hung on to each and every word that was exchanged in all these years and they blame Hubby and me for being cowards and not standing up to mil. We should correct her and put her in her place. They hate Hubby and badmouth him all the time, they call him mama's boy (to a certain extent he is but its irrelevant here) and they have called me a sinner bcoz I stood there while 'some lady' was insulting my parents. They want me to leave dh and come back home. They are very judgmental and take everything personally, if I try to correct them they are sarcastic, taunt me, remind me of my past mistakes and remind me what wonderful parents they've been and how ungrateful I am. They keep pin pointing hubby's and his entire family's mistakes, bad habits, appearance, eating habits, drinking etc they are loud, eating, drinking, outgoing, outspoken  type.. 

You must know that this was an arranged marriage to begin with (which is quite common in India) i didnt ask to be married to dh or try to convince my parents how wonderful he and his family are.. my mom n mil were friends, now they wont even look at each other n If they ever come face to face my mom will kill her.

Things are so stressful right now, dh doesn't want to call n talk to them but has no problem if they call him first, same with my parents parents keep complaining, they don't sleep, they r depressed, have lost weight and they turn against anyone who tries to tell them to let go.. I have a younger sister who called me a coward and go stay happy with MY husband and MY mil.. She too doesn't talk to dh, and he used to treat her like his kid sister.. my parents completely deny badmouthing my in laws and shouting at my hubby (I was right there). They have blamed the entire thing on in laws.

And now next month, we are going back to India, if hubby visits them they won't treat him properly, we have got the cold/silent treatment before and if he doesn't visit them they'll complain .. Like how disrespectful he is, in front of me he can insult my parents, etc I don't know what to do.. I cannot correct my parents, I HAVE ALWAYS been the shy, reserved type and my parents have put me in such an awkward position.. They say I have become like this after marriage and I'm blinded by his and mil's fake love and sweet talks. I want to pull my hair out. I have always been terrified of my parents and I can't talk to them or talk sense into them or to my sis. Hubby agrees to visit them if i assure him tht they will treat him properly.. I cant ask or tell my parents that.. In their eyes they r not doing anything wrong but protecting their pride.. I cant leave dh , he treats me really well but doesn't talk to my parents except on birthdays..

While I do agree it was mil's fault in the beginning and she started the fight, my parents reaction has made the situation worst. They are looking bad and she has stepped back and looks like a Goddess to dh, she treats me really well, talks nicely to me, if it's been a while I called her, she will call me or dh and ask for me. Shes very diplomatic and knows exactly what to say when. I have an elder sis who is also scared of my parents and has tried to reason with them.. I have no other family to turn to, we are. Not really close to anyone , uncles, aunts, cousins whereas dh family is close knit and very close.. I'm stressed about next month and Now we have a baby too who'll be 6 months old when we travel...        

Sorry for being so random and I can't gather my thoughts my parents and sis are so rude and disrespectful to my hubby .. I don't think I can ever cut ties with them but looks like they are pushing me and don't even realize it.. Thanks for reading

marie 5 years ago

this is a very difficult subject

Jason 4 years ago

The article was well written and I can relate to most points given there. I too, have contemplated cutting ties with family members for the better part of my life now because it is strenuous indeed. Granted, I'm was very young and may not be mature enough to make the decision in the past, but now I think I am capable of making such a decision now.

I'm in my mid-20s now, and my family has not been very respectful of my interests since I can remember. I often times felt like an orphan in my own "home" even though I do have biological parents. I remember the days where when I was a kid, to think that life as a homeless person would be better than a tortured one in a home. It is a scary thought and very disturbing indeed for a child to think of such things. It was in good luck and timing then that I've found some friends who are genuinely supportive of my interests and appreciate.. me. Of course, without much to go home to each day, I grew close to them and I've got a taste of a healthy, nurturing relationship.

However, it was inevitable that life was to separate us as we grew older and now I have lost that support. Moving to a new place and having the only people I knew in this foreign area to be my family, I thought it be a good chance to start over and cultivating a healthy relationship with them.

It was a futile attempt. It is beyond believe, but almost every trait I despise in humanity, they posses. Lying, Manipulative, Self-centred, Insincere and pretentious, Arrogant, Incapable of basic manners like saying thank you or sorry. It is truly unbelievable. The sad thing is, I have a younger sibling, who is growing up to be just like them. My other sibling isn't helping either, as they sometimes to realize the behaviour of my parents to be inappropriate, but do nothing about it and "pretend" like nothing out of the ordinary had happened.

There seems to be a lot of play pretend in my household. I am not an actor and do not like to participate in this pretentious acts that seems to be a norm in my household. It probably is hard to describe or justify my comments and feelings about my "family" in this post, but I've been keeping a diary since I was a kid on every occasion and event until today. Perhaps reading that could better explain their behaviours for your own justification.

Last week was the last straw. I'm in the stage of my life now where I'm going to start moving and going out to make a living. It is an emotional time for me as I think I want my relationship with my family to end. It had been a strenuous few years all my life (as far as I can remember) and it really bothers me. I can't eat well sometimes, I don't sleep enough, my productivity plummets when I think about how abusive they were, though not physically but mentally. Perhaps I think too highly of myself and expect too much of others. Why then could I have perfectly fine relationships with others but not my family?

Sorry about the rant, I started typing it just.. comes out. Anyway, thanks for the article, it was helpful.

Bob Dowd 4 years ago

Wow great advice! However no one ever gives an example of a letter? Check out my blog for how and why I did it.

izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Jason~ of all the people we shouldn't pretend with , it is our family. Yet so many people put up with this in their family. I think a lot of people need the time to mature to figure out the wya the world works and what they can tolerate or not. I was about 30 when coming to the decisions I had to make with my family. I don't even have siblings and things were so screwed up, still are with some of my family. It seems the sickest (mentally or addiction) are the ones the family caters to.

I like to think that people who recognize theses things in their family are the healthy ones and more power to you, but it's real hard to sit by and let everyone still be sick. The pretending is/was hardest for me too. And I'm not sure what good pretending does other than enable the bad behaviors. Perhaps you just need to cut ties temporarily to find your own way for a while. And good luck.

nomore 4 years ago

Thank you izettl for your encouragement and support. It has been some time since I have checked your website, but some interesting things has taken place since I last wrote. I found out through mom that my sister was really going through hard times...I mean possibly being kicked out on the street, losing car-kind of thing. So one night while with my mother, I went out and bought tons of groceries for her. At first, I didn't want her to know I did it because I didn't want her to think I would throw it back in her face later that I did it or try to make her feel bad for assaulting me. I then left it up to mom to tell her I helped. I also did some other significant things to help her out including helping her get parts to her car and also buying her a heating mechanism for her apartment. When my sister found out, she was overcome with emotion. I wanted to prove to her that I loved her and that everything that happened was out of control. Is she manipulative? Of course! But I am in control now. Since I last wrote, we went to the movies and she has since apologized for her actions and I told her it was all in the past. Do I want to send all of my time with her? No. But now she leaves the ball in my court and we plan to spend time together which was all I ever wanted. When she comes over to visit, she doesn't knock on my door. She leaves me alone and I leave her alone. In fact, it's my turn to come over to her place, but mind you I am in control. I know it's the job of the manipulator to want to be in control, but I make sure I am honest and forthright with her, when I do or don't want to do something. She has also been diagnosed with a type of depression so she is on mediation now. It has been a very uplifting experience for me. I have learned quite a few lessons from all of this. In fact, I am more sure that our relationship has changed but I believe it's because I have. She accepts the good and bad in me, and I her and that's all that matters. It might not work out for everyone like that, but sometimes you need a break from each other. Sometimes it takes years and sometimes never, but you never know until you do it. Love conquers all, even if from a distance.

nomore 4 years ago

I'm sorry for my typos and bad grammar.

noone 4 years ago

One last thing. I also apologized for my part in not communicating effectively with her and for the way that she must have felt as a result of my lack of communication. I leave nothing to chance now. I like the advise you gave to Jason. Sometimes you really do have to find your own way for a while.

izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

nomore~ thank you so much for an update. Much of this topic all boils down to time. Sometimes we really do need time away. There is a fine balance between accepting people for who they are and putting up with too much at the sake of yourself. I hope you reach this balance and seems like you're heading there.

the last shoe dropped 4 years ago

my Christmas gift one year ago was severing ties with my sister and her family...warning to tell my story there is some graphic language. It started nine years ago when my husband paid for the bodyshop guys to go to Vegas for a Bodyshop convention. My niece worked there and had begun an "affair" with a painter. She got very angry my husband wouldn't pay for her flight too. She stopped speaking to us over it. Within three months he stormed out calling my husband a f**Ck** two months later we found that he had been stealing from the business by now my niece is pregnant and they eloped. We gathered a court case but decided to not serve him papers because the low life had married my niece and my husband said my sister would never speak to me if we did ...biggest mistake of my life. My sister and brother-in-law found out about the stealing and stopped speaking to us for 4 years over it, she (and the rest of her family )wouldn't come for family functions, we were the enemy! She would even throw our Mother out of her house.No one could talk to her, I was devasted and cried no shit for 3 years, even went to therapy but my therapist said she was a narcisist and to walk away ...she was right and we were wrong to accuse him of such an act. Drama went on and on thank god I had my mother and my older sister supporting me and of course we had proof he did steal. I finally set boundries and said we are to never dicuss the past, I worked really hard to get past the hurt she put me through... My husband was the best, he would come to every family function and sit in the room with them-but my brother-in-law wouldn't come and as the years rolled by slowly we were all beginning to communicate with each other. Last year at Christmas in the middle of opening gifts my sisters husband walked over to my husband and asked him to step outside, my husband refused and said this isn't the time nor place to do this, then my sister, niece, and newphews future wife ALL got in his face. My husband said" i've had enough, and walked out with our daughter crying behind him" then all hell broke loose. Fist started flying my brother in law was yelling he was going to kill "that no good Mother f****er " my newphew was swinging fist, they were all screaming and cussing and there stood their two small grandchildren holding their present. The look on their's Christmas and their 4 and 8 years old!. Their father, the guy who stoled, just stood there and smiled through out the whole ordeal. I got my purse, told mom "Merry Christmas, I love you, and I will never be back" OVER. Done, I haven't spoken to her since. I'm having Christmas this year and my mother and older sister are coming. My younger sister is no longer a part of my life nor is anyone in her family. I'm done. Forever. To sever ties sometimes is the only choice and believe me when you hit rock bottom with someone you know when it's time, i went throug hell for almost 10 years and she just couldn't let it go. I wish them nothing but peace in their life but for me, my family is now reformed and she is no longer in it. I learned the hard way you can't change a Narcisist, you have to walk away before they suck you dry of the love in your heart. This Christmas will be beautiful, peaceful and with people who love me and my family.

Been there done that! 4 years ago

life is too short to waste it on hurtful revengeful people-sometimes people just can't accept the truth so they want everyone else to pay for their misgivings. I pray you have a peaceful beautiful holiday with the family that loves you.

last shoe dropped 4 years ago

it's so difficult severing ties with a close family member because everyone is affected, all the cousins, parents, etc. that's way it's so important that those closest to you know exactly where you stand. Since I'm having Christmas and my younger sister isn't invited she's had to cancel her flight and blame it all on me. I will not feel guilty, I refuse to discuss it and plan on having the best holiday ever. I have a new outlook on life-only positive loving people in my life. The drama is over and life waits for no one.

Max 4 years ago

This article has been extremely helpful to me, along with all the stories that others have submitted. It is painful to know that there is a void where my family member should be, but it helps to have validation and also the knowledge that I can fill that void with a fulfilling life of my own. I am also lucky to have a mother and two siblings who all share unconditional love, during good and bad times.

Without going into detail, I have never had anything but a negative relationship with my father. I am 22, but I am old enough to know that this person has only ever been abusive towards me and my family, to the point of doubting that he is even capable of loving me. What complicates the situation is despite my mother having gone to domestic abuse meetings and being fully aware of his alcohol abuse and anger problems, she has never divorced him and we all continue to live in the same house. I am trying desperately to bring in enough income to move out, and ideally to help the rest of my family to leave. It has never escalated to physical violence, although he has smashed and thrown things. He is extremely controlling about money, even though we have a middle class income and have no money problems. I have tried my whole life to do the right thing. I was always an above average student and believe myself to be responsible and forgiving. I even spent time trying to fix our relationship. But he is unwilling to get help or admit that he is wrong. I have effectively cut ties with him already on an emotional level, but I feel like a prisoner in my own home. It is an easy decision to make once I am on my own, but for now I am forced to pretend everything is normal for my own mental safety. As bleak as it all sounds, I have hope for all of us as we get older, and maybe even hope that my father can find some sort of new life once this is all over.

last shoe dropped 4 years ago

Christmas is getting closer, I'm having flash backs of last year and as the knot grows in my stomach I know I've made the right decision to server ties with my younger sister...I can't change the past, all people who had the courage to share their pain and made the hard decision to server a relationship, know what I'm going through. This first holiday will be hard but I'm not going back for more abuse from her, I must stand my ground. She's already bad mouthing me to my mother and older sister but that's ok, my therepist told me to expect that and hold my head up, refuse to discuss the issues with anyone and keep moving FORWARD. This post is my only outlet - thank you all for listening, Merry Christmas

izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

last shoe dropped~ I have read your story and know that the holidays are the worst, but abuse is far more devastating. Very glad you have a therapist to bounce things off of. I wrote this blog/article for exactly what you're going through because its important to justify your needs- it's hard to recognize that when you're stuck in family disputes or disagreements. I am glad you see this post as an outlet. I do read everything as the author, just so many to reply to and not enough time to read and thoughtfully respond quickly. You brought up such a good point about cutting ties with one person can lead to so many other family members being effected. Sorry for your situation but you msut know by now so many of us have had to do this- it's best if it's out of releasing someone/letting go rather than hate or playing games- do it for the right reason and I see that you are. Merry Christmas!

Jodi 4 years ago

I need help making this decision. My 14 yr. old daughter has been in a phychiatric hospital for the last month. We adopted her at the age of 3, She has several problems such as ADHD, Reactive Attatchment Disorder, and was just diagnosed with schizophrenia. She lit our house on fire and ran away, trying to kill us. The hospital is dicussing discharging her in the next 30 days. I felt like I was going through hell with her problems before this final act of violence. She is hearing voices, and it's like she's lost in a different world. I do not want her to come home. Her anger has always been directed at me and I don't know if I can handle her. We have 3 other children still at home and I don't think I'm willing to put our lives at risk. She tells us she might try to do this again and can't control it. I have never been one to give up on anyone, but I'm at the end of my rope with her. I'm having difficulty deciding if I'm willing to make my family live a whole differnt way with bringing her back home, or if it would be easier to cut the ties. If I cut the ties, I do have some family members who may not accept my decision, including my parents.

last shoe to dropped 4 years ago

jodi, my heart goes out to you. Sometimes in life we must make decissions that rip a hole in our hearts. Cutting ties is so difficult because everyone is affected but you have really no choice-you must protect the other children in the home. Let's say you do let her come back and while your all asleep she does burn the house down, you already know she's capable of doing this, how would you feel. You have to protect the other children and you have to find her the best place for treatment to protect her. Don't ask for your parents approval, do what you must do, it won't be easy but at least the other children will be safe and so will you. I will pray things work out for you.

ML 4 years ago

I got a cousin who thinks the world revolves around her. Of course being, me being the youngest cousin in the family, am not spared but bullying since we were kids. Now that we are grown ups, she got to have things her way be it ideas,opinions and heck even conversations! Just last night, I had the last straw from her while having dinner, the restaurant just happened to play an album from my favorite artiste and I was amazed! It's rare that I talk about this artiste but when her album was played, I was so happy to hear that I just started talking about her and mentioned which albums were the songs being played from. Not long after I just talking about this singer, my cousin snapped on me telling me to "shut up" indirectly. I was greatly offended and hurt as I took the day off to spend time with her shopping and never complained about it. But when I was overly excited about the singer, she snapped on me by telling me to stop talking about her. So much for ruined my weekend and sharing what I love most. Now, I couldn't be bothered by her and am not a huge fan of family gatherings. I think the entire family is whack...have another uncle who has an overly inflated ego but I will not go there. Whoever is reading this, thanks for "listening". I just needed to vent out my frustrations and hurt.

Isabella 4 years ago

My in-laws give me the silent treat me. And I've tried to ask them what problem do they have with me and they make up excuses. And also make up excuses why they don't call. But I've been treatment didn't come about until my brother in law got a new girlfriend. And she's the towns favorite. She Gets all the phone calls and I'm left with excuses on why no one calls me. The saddest part is no one sees it and I'm always excluded. They would invite us to events and act like I'm not even there. And people have been saying I've been talkin about them and I've never said anything. So when I seen the 2 things on the list on when its time to cut ties.. the rumors and the silent treatment. Then I know I'm makin the right choice. My husband doesn't care and the fact he's deployed is even worse. But I've been praying about it and just to know people are this mean for no justified reason hurts when you've only been nice. But its time to cut ties.

movingonnow1 4 years ago

Our parents both died over 30years ago. I have three sisters all of whom I find it difficult to communicate with. One of them I have not spoken to for 12years and the other two are emotionally damaging to me. If I visit my sister with my son or a friend she is ok and she treats me fairly well. But when I'm there by myself she is mean to me. The last time I visited her in Harrogate I was by myself. After driving 6hrs to get there I was informed that I would need to go to a fish and chip shop to get the evening meal. The house was cold and the large bedroom I was in had a small elec heater which they kept switching off. The idea of the visit was to meet up with the sister I had not seen for 12 years . The meeting was very strained and I felt very panic struck for most of the time. When alone with the sister in Harrogate I had a panic attack. She was mean and unkind and all she could say was grow up. Over a long period of time I have had dreadful comments made about me insulting. I have been excluded from family events and the few times I have been invited I feel most unwelcome. I suffered a few years ago and still do with PTSS. I have a loving husband and a wonderful 18 year old son. I have always been there for everyone but they have never been there for me when I needed them. Have decided to reduce contact to minimum and feel so much better for this decision.

seabreeze 4 years ago

Thanks everyone for your comments!! I am divorced with 1 grown son and 1 sister. I don't have a great deal of support or friends right now. I think that is why it has been so hard for me. My sister is not supportive and my son is an addict, first heroin, now etoh. I wonder why I have previously tried so hard with my sister when she clearly doesn't want a relationship and why I continue to help my son when it has finally become evident to me that he is just not making the progress that he needs to. I helped him out when he first went to rehab and he progressed: got out, got a job, moved into an apartment, etc. I helped him out financially, and I have told him that I can't continue to do it. I thought he was getting ready to return to school or get another job, instead he tells me he has realized that hes an alcoholic. It is more that time for me to cut ties with both of them. The reason why I haven't done so previously is no support group since I have moved into a new area. But, I guess it doesn't matter. It isn't acceptable the way that it is now!!

last.... 4 years ago

I severed ties with my younger sister 13 months ago and while i still have flashbacks and emotional moments, i feel so much better inside knowing it's over and that i'm done with her abuse. My problem is everytime my older sister and mother do things with her ( which is very limited since she's cut them off due to me ) I become an angry emotional wreck. I want them to tell her to go to hell like I did and stand up for me, I want them to stop enabling her since part of her abuse to me was always cutting me out of family functions or refusing to show up if I was present ( dramma queen bitch) but i know that's not possible. I know that I'm the one who severed ties but it still hurts to have them be near her. While they do support my decision it's still my decision and not theirs but then I was the one my narcissit sister choose to torment and verbally abuse all the time. My older sister and mom don't share much info from when their with her but its still there-the giant elephant in the room. Severing ties may be the RIGHT thing to do but it is a never ending battle. I do not regret my decision, there is no hope left of ever having a reconsiliation, it's just learning to navigate my way through family get togethers when she is present. Hopefully with time, I will stop freckin out when my mother and sister do have contact with her and have more peace inside. Time is definately on my side.

beknlee 4 years ago

I am making the difficult decision..again, to end my relationship with my daughter. I know I need to separate myself from her emotionaly. She is Anti-Social and with that comes a host of issues. Mainly she only will contact me when she wants something. Everything she does is to benefit herself. No empathy what so ever. Wish me luck. Its killing me

last.... 4 years ago

to beknlee;

hey, this site is like a giant boat and we're on on- board with the same issues...ending relationships with people we love but can't cause it's toxic to us! I support you and I know you're devastated inside, my sister is a narcissist and anti-social and has no empaythy for anyone. I will pray for you and hopefully you can pray for me...together we are strong! We will survive.

LilyHill 4 years ago

Thank you everyone for your comments. I feel like I'm not alone. I was blindsided 1 1/2 years ago when my older sister by 12 years verbally attacked me and said the most awful things to me that I still to this day am not over with 6 months of psychological help. It started when her daughter moved to my town and I was waiting the day she moved in to go over there and see her, my sister (her mom) and the grandchildren. I went over with my daughter to welcome her and just to visit with them and see if there was anything I could do. I felt so unwanted and was basically shown the door. My daughter and I left and then I decided not to call my sister because I really felt not wanted. A couple days passed and she read me the riot act. She told me that she didn't want her daughter to hang out with the people I know in town and that she would make her own way and didn't need my help. She banged up the phone on me and wouldn't talk to me for a couple days. I called her back, sent her a beautiful floral arrangement and asked if we could please talk. She called me up and said that the best thing I could do for her is leave her the F alone. She didn't want me to have anything to do with her daughter or her family. She said that she doesn't feel comfortable coming to my house and hasn't and she also told me that she hates my husband who I've been married to for 30 years. She said that I ruined the family by marrying him. He has been nothing but nice to her since the day we married. It hurt so badly but thankfully I have great kids and husband that told me it wasn't me. They tried to talk to her but she just screamed at them that I needed to be catered to. I have done a lot for my sister and her family so I know it's not true. A few weeks after the blow-up she put a certified check in my mailbox and told me that now I'm paid in full. I gave her a party and also her daughter and son-in-law a after wedding party so that's what she paid me for. I returned the check to her and told her to cash it. I didn't want any money from her. We've invited them on vacation with us and she never wants to come but cries poor mouth and then goes off on her own vacations to Greece, Italy, Germany, etc. years after. I think I've been in denial that she really doesn't have feelings for me and that she has built up resentment. I could go on and on. I feel she has poisoned my siblings against me and they have sided with her. I am a breast cancer survivor and the way I feel is making me physically sick. I don't want to go down that rode again. I would love to cut all ties with her because of the way she has made me feel but I know that I will feel guilty if I do. I had them to my house for a holiday dinner and they came but it was tense. I would rather be with people who want to be with me. If I cut her loose than I'd be cutting my other siblings loose too. She has made me out to be the one who caused this and my siblings don't stand up to her and tell her what she did to me wasn't right. Has anybody had a situation like this. I'm prepared to move out of this town so I don't have to see her and her daughter. My husband said why should we leave the town we've lived in for 30 years. I don't want this to ruin the relationship I have with him.

aberdeane 4 years ago

I want to say I am so grately for finding this hub. I "divorced" my family about a year ago, and it's definately a process. I truly feel for all that are going through this painful process, I would love to say as time goes by it gets easier, {that would be awesome) but I find myself kind of morning the loss. For me it has been a grieving process. At first, after coming to a head, I felt so free for once in my life. I am 40 and have had a long road of heartache and pain. I have been the caretaker, problem solver, fixer, have given both my brother and sister places to live, money, etc. which engulfed my whole life at my demise. The stress made me sick, the stress of their problems affected me deeply and kept me from fully enjoying my life as I look back. I find myself missing the good times, but it was always by my efforts. I gave too much, was too available, and felt like a walking ATM. I guess I wanted everyone to be happy, keep the peace, and felt like I was obligated to be the responsible one, to make sure others needs were met. I compensated due to fact of our past upbringing. My parents divorced, remarried bad people, alcoholism in the family, and all the drama to say the least. I can can elaborate, but keeping this kind of short. I wanted to express that I am grateful that I'm not alone. I have a great spouse, and he has the picture perfect family, so it hurts when you don't have family after you cut them off. I can relate to so many of these posts and heart goes out because I have been there. It's wonderful to see people support others. Cutting off siblings is hard at first, but you have to love yourself enough to just say "NO MORE". Just my two cents in this journey of life... it isn't easy. Definately bittersweet, but much more peaceful.

mlk 4 years ago

OMG lilyhill !!!! I read your story and you're sister is exactly like mine! I thought I was alone with a crazy narcissistic sister but hey, you have one too. Honey, I too was hung up on and told "don't ever call her again we don't want to talk to you" I too was sent a check and told I was paid in full for things i did out of the goodness of my heart ( because she was my sister and this was her daughter ) my life fell apart 10 years ago and it's still was going on...she wouldn't come because I was there, she pitted me against my mom and other siblings etc. just like you. I too wanted to move away but my husband of 30 years said NO. NO more, you've done nothing wrong and i went to therapy and learned i really hadn't done anything wrong except love her. She resented me for having a beautiful life. I cut ties over a year ago. It's sad, it's hard and it's the best thing i've ever done. NO REGRETS.

LilyHill 4 years ago

Dear MLK, thank you for your post. It makes me feel so much better to read what you've been going through. Thankfully we have beautiful lives supportive husbands who have told us it's not us. I am also grateful that I can go to a therapist to help me. It's life grieving a person who is still with you. I thought she was not only my sister but best friend and confidante. I am getting stronger but it's a slow process and I hope to one day be in your position. For right now I'm easing out of it. I'm not going to invite her to do anything anymore, ask her to come to holidays, college graduations, birthdays, etc. and slowly stop contact with phone and e-mail. I will be cordial but just not be as available as I was. I also stopped talking about my feelings to my siblings and the hurt I am feeling. They didn't help matters and even now I think they are on her side because of the stories she's made up. My Mom is gone now so it's easier not to have to get together. Thanks so much for sharing your very similar story!!

izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

I have read everyone's stories that posted lately. While I don't have time right now to respond to each one. I can really feel the pain in some and relief in others who have let go. Although there is pain in letting go too. I am so glad to provide this page here so others know they are in the same boat. When i wrote this I thought I was the only one but somehow knew I wasn't.

Thanks to everyone who has participated in these discussions and comments! It means a lot to me and others.

4 years ago

Thank you so much for this. I had a narcissistic mother and sister that it took me more than 60 years to identify and protect myself from them and I am still learning to recognize others. This would have been wonderful to have 25 years ago but I me very grateful for it now. May I make a small but I think important grammatical suggestion? Effect vs affect. Both can be nouns or verbs. How many others in the family does the behaviour affect is correct/ effect is not. What are the effects is correct. Lots of people don t think grammar matters but the language is beautiful and precision helps. It also teaches. I know there are not great example out there in the open skies these days so I try to add my two cents to help where I can. The analysis is brilliant and original and so I believe should be elegantly presented.

sad girl 4 years ago

i made my mother unhappy on her birthday because i broke our pipe(for water). so what should i do to make it up to her and im just 13

mlk 4 years ago

Sad girl....just tell you're mother you love her and she's the best mother in the world. I'm a mother and yes Mommy's have bad days too but I know when my children look me in the eyes and say "mommy we love you, bunches" I am overwhelmed with happiness. She will forgive you and if she doesn't you report back to all of us here on this site!

Free Bird 4 years ago

I am going through the same things with my mother inlaw. We just officially cut her off 2 weeks ago. I have been with my fiance for 12 years and he was always the scapegoat of his family. When I came into the picture it got worse because she didn't want me to take her scapegoat away. I tried to be friendly and get along with her for years despite that, but it got to where the thought of her made me sick with anxiety attacks. She has a way of always belittling us, making snide comments, and making us feel worthless against her golden daughter. My fiance has put up with this his whole life and I had never witnessed such disrespect.

Mother inlaw never tried to get to know me and we have never had one happy moment together. Every chance she got she would make undermining insults and snubs to me and my fiance. Before I got pregnant she would make constant remarks to us about how we didn't need any kids but she couldn't wait for her daughter to have one. Little did she know we had already been trying and I ended up pregnant a month later. When we told her she called people right in front of us and told them we were pregnant but we weren't happy about it. She continued to make snide remarks and spread lies throughout the whole pregnancy and kept us a stressed out mess the whole time. I'm surprised I never had a miscarriage. Her and father inlaw planned a vacation to her daughters house in Florida the day of my C-section. They stopped at the hospital long enough to run the show (about 30 minutes) then left before my child was born. When they returned a week later they would come visit the baby, whisper and make rude comments. MIL said my childs name was ugly, my child looked nothing like their family, snubbed everything I did and how I decorated the nursery. So we quit answering the door or phone for MIL. A few weeks later we went outside and there were 2 shirts hanging on our door. The shirts read Proud Aunt & Proud Uncle with a note from MIL saying SIL was pregnant. The baby was born exactly 9 months after mine. Thats when the favoritism between my fiance and his sister turned into the favoritism between their babies. We were then made to feel like even less than we were before, while SIL and her kids were put higher on a padastool. Yes, sister inlaw went on to have another baby after she heard I was trying for number 2 (which I still have not been able to conceive). Her and mil were hoping she could have the first boy since we both already had girls.

For the past few years we have avoided them at all costs, barely seeing them at holidays. But then Facebook came along and the whole process started over. We were stupid enough to accept their friend requests and let them play the whole bully game on there. We finally had enough! I wrote mil a letter telling her how she has made me feel all these years and set some boundaries with her in a very non attacking way. I held on to the letter for months until one day my fiance had enough of their Facebook games and decided it was time to put mil in her place. (He has never in his life stood up to her). He asked that my child and I stay home so he could handle it himself and I gave him the letter and asked him to give it to her when he was done with what he had to say. He came home 3 hours later and told me that she played the victim, tried to make him feel like he was imagining everything and placed all blame on us. MIL called and asked if we'd come back over so she could talk to me about my letter. I agreed and we went back over there, and it was all for nothing! She still tried to make us feel like idiots, belittled us and played the victim. There is no winning with a narcissist. We left her house with no resolution on anything, she never attempted any kind of apology or sincerness. We later found out that she called her whole family and told them we attacked her and were making up stories about her. Golden SIL even drove up here 500 miles away to stay a few days with poor mil the victim.

We decided to get on Facebook and delete and block the whole family for good. When we logged on we saw that her and SIL were posting horrible things on Facebook and aiming them at us. So we let her know that we no longer wanted them in our lives and we gave them the boot! It has been 2 weeks and we have heard nothing from them. But we have made up our minds that we will not answer the door, phone, emails and if they send mail it will be returned.We have to get this toxicity out of our lives for our own sanity and health, take care of ourselves and be with the people who make us happy. Thank you so much for this hub!! It has made me feel so much better! Sorry for the long post but I had to get this off my chest. Believe me I could write a novel about all the things MIL has said and done to us!

Jørgen 4 years ago

@Free Bird: Thanks for your story. Regarding Facebook, that site definitely can compound problems with family one is trying to make clean breaks from. I've had the same issue; whereby I felt it best not to advertise my Facebook presence to many friends and extended family due the fact that they are mutual friends with family (on Facebook) I do not wish to correspond with. In order to avoid hurt feelings, internecine squabbling and gossip, I found that kind of Facebook austerity is the wise choice.

Jørgen 4 years ago

due "to" the fact that they are mutual friends... (grammar malfunction) :)

By the way, I've considered posting my own experience in-depth on here, but I can't quite articulate all my feelings on it yet, and in a way that's coherent or might be helpful to other readers. But, in brief, I made a clean break (for my own sanity) from toxic family a few years ago. I grow stronger and more confident in that decision with each passing day. Frankly, it's the best thing I ever did. There is a twisted code in our culture that says that family loyalty must be maintained at all costs. There is a small grain of wisdom in that perhaps; in our highly individualistic age (families ARE important). But for those of us who have seen our physical and mental health deteriorate amongst dysfunctional blood "family" - that constantly make us miserable - the choice is clear to get as far away from that as possible. I know from experience of being the family scapegoat, that after making that break, you will become even more of a marked man by the perpetrators. They will play the victim and spread gossip and slander through their surrogates (mutual family and friends) to try and guilt you into submission. But mostly I think a lot of the behind the back slander is just a way to maintain face by these people. After all, for the narcissist it seems to be all about appearances.

movingonnow1 4 years ago

Its a month now since any contact with my Sister. Although she text me yesterday re my son, but I ignored it. I knew if I started to converse with her she would soon turn it around unside down. Over a life time she as made me feel so depressed by her criptic remarks about how I look or where I live. She never as been there JUST for me never given me a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen to me. When I was going through the worse time in my life she ignored me. But when she wants something from me I have always been there. I remember once coming of Night duty on Christmas eve I wanted to stop by and give her and her partner presents. I was informed that they would still be in bed ( 8.30 am ) so leave the presents in the front garden. I know this sounds trivial but its just a taster to so many of her ways. Then she smiles and hugs strangers and welcomes them into her house just because they are well connected ... Never Never again ...

jillrene 4 years ago

I am going to have to agree with this however....It is often really tricky when the MIL is so evil and good that she is a perfect actress and act like she likes me. A perfect example is when I went over there for xmas which was real hard since my blood pressure spikes instantly just being around her. She flips the switch to cold as soon as my husband is not around. I even think she might of tried to kill me. I cannot wait to move far away from this nasty evil wench.

liz 4 years ago

i did cut ties withmy brother years ago after he insulted me & my kids.

however i always felt something for him & thought i missed him. that was around year 1999 i think. however fast forward to two yrs ago when i had forgotton how bad things were & i decided i should make up with him he is one of a twin but you know how twins can be very close so i didnt see much of the other twin either which was hurtful. anyways all i wanted was to be friends again & i took for granted that he also wanted this-seems 2yrs down the line i am wrong. after a family get together last yr where he apologised for the first time & cried about our falling out. fast forward to just at the w/end at another family get together he started on me big time-i thought we had well moved on-he has a drink prob & he was nasty to me. I was hurt & was in tears at my newphews wedding of all things it wasnt about me or him (brother) it wa sabout my nephew & his lovely bride. anyway its made me so wary about any futre gatherings ie my dad is 81 & i am dreading his passing etc. why is my brother being like this-he blamed me for him making a fool of himself & asked why i dont have a man etc. my other brother his twin has quit drink & is now approachable to discuss his brothers behaviour-he just said he is an idiot & not to worry-i spoke with his doormat wife & she said the same in fact everyone i spoke with was in the opinion he is an idiot. i have always kinda looked out for this brother ie he was akways drunk with young & getting himself into bother or thinking of killing himself i use3d to help him - is that it he doesnt like the fact that he knows i think he is an idiot & everyone else for that matter-but actually he hurt me the other night & i do actually still care about his wellbeing-but he is just too farr to reach. i am not perfect, i am a m h nurse so understand what impact all this can have on ones own m h, in particular my daughter who is 22 & saw how upset i got-all the young ones were so understanding but it stills feels like a failure you know what i mean-i should be able to handle this kinda thing i am 52 yrs old with 2 grown daughters & i work in m h. he is hurting about something but i just cant afford to reach him-cause he is purposley trying to bring me down-aaaarrrrhhh help. i still have unresolved issues with my dad & i do feel left out the loop most of my life with the men as they tend to get together more that i am with them my mum died 21 yrs ago & things did get a lot worse when she died-in fact me brother blamed me for her dying!!!!! aaarrrh i want him to grow up & offer me some support i am selfish or what????

movingonnow1 4 years ago

Re above from Liz. Best not to expect anything and then if he gives anything think of it as a bonus. Also if he is drinking and is nasty when drinking stay away. Best he should try and stop drinking and then he may revert back to being someone who is not an idiot. Take care

movingonnow1 4 years ago

As anyone got any advice how to cope after the ties are cut ? Keep checking emails etc not sure if I do or do not want them to pick up communications. Somehow I feel relief that a toxic relationship is on hold but another part of me feels a failure.

mary52 profile image

mary52 4 years ago

I have just come to hub and started my own Your article has been very informative and supportive for me in this instance I am hoping anyone who comes to my hub with also find yours so that they can know that violence is not the only reason people cut ties with their families it gives up for for moving on thank you very much

AND FOR Moving on now the failure is theirs not yours that much I have learned out of my own issues with my family godspeed and bless you for taking your life back into your own hands

mlk 4 years ago

I cut ties from my younger sister 14 months ago. It was the best decision of my life but it is a struggle...a daily struggle. My mother just called to tell me something about my younger sisters son and some health issues. My response is " I'm so sorry to hear this" I quickly changed the subject because I just can't go there anymore. I've made my life changing decision to severe ties and I'm not stepping back. How do I handle my mother when she calls and relays info???? I just can't break her heart but I can't stand hearing this it tears me up inside. I turned to this site because just being able to put my feelings out there has helped me to remember I'm not alone in my struggles....I have you.

mary52 profile image

mary52 4 years ago

mlk you have to remember that although your honesty will hurt your mother You have a right to Your opinion and She needs to understand this. Comming from a Mother who has heard the same thing from one of my children about the other. It was hard Yes

But I respected my daughters right to have an opinion about her brother and given all that has gone on I am glad I never pressured her to listen to me talk about him.

For now I have had to cut ties so be gentle yes but be honest with Your mother. You as an adult have a right to Your own opinions and feelings. And she as an adult and parent has an obligation to respect your wishes good luck and god bless

Melissa 4 years ago

Makes perfect sense to me. I've cut all ties with my mother. She is a selfish, manipulative, greedy narcissistic person who is not capable of love. I have 6 siblings who follow her as if she is the ruler of their universe and I am enemy number one. She's abusive and runs the family like everyone in it are unwanted pets she has the displeasure of owning. All the reasons listed above for severing ties apply to the household she ran with me as the the slave with the most responsibilities even removing me from school to look after the youngest children while she was unemployed and ran around town all day doing nothing but visiting her drug addict friends. She claims she never did drugs but what other explanation would there be for what she did to me?

I feel free not only from her but from the disfunction that surrounds the entire family and the way I felt when I was around them especially during the holidays when I was once again forced to be a slave with all the cooking and cleaning while the rest of my siblings sat around doing noting to help. The majority of them are losers with nothing to show for themselves. Only one owns a home. The rest have failed both in their personal and financial lives. Most have issues with drug and alcohol abuse as well as mental illness' and personality disorders.

I will never make the mistake of exposing my child to their disfuncuntional ways.

hooch 4 years ago

i do not want to cut ties, but my wife of 29 years and my family are like oil and water. my wife is and must be my priority. I have let my family run over me forever and my wife resents this more and more each year. I love my wife and will do what it takes to make her happy, i just hate the thought of needing to make that choice...

Lindajane1324 4 years ago

My brother and sister are 21 and 17 years older than me. They have both been married 4 times each. My brother had 5 children and my sister two. Within their lives there have now been 12 divorces total. Their children: 1 has gone to jail, one is a drug and alcohol addict, the other girls are stressed, 1 didn't claim a child out of wedlock for 5 years, etc.

My sister's 4th husband has treated me with hate and doesn't speak or says something rude. My brother physically beat me up by punching and kicking and tore my clothes when he was 44 and I was 23. He broke down the bathroom door to get to me. I didn't understand I have been a victim of physical and emotional abuse until I was 46. I had panic attacks and denied. I've suffered depression. I am a survivor! I just cut ties with my brother and sister and it felt great other than the attempted guilt trips by my 90 year old mother. My mother's mother killed herself with drugs and left a suicide note, my mother's father was suspected murdered in a fire, my mother's sister killed herself with alcohol. Sadly my mother doesn't see how this affected her entire life and the lives of her children. My mother told me the other day, "if I loved my sister I would have put up with her 4th husband". Etc etc erc...... My father died of cancer when I was 23 years old. He treated me kindly. nobody went to my brother's eldest daughter's wedding because he couldn't control the wedding. This one niece and I are close. My husband and I went to their wedding along with only one other aunt and uncle. They are mad when I brought this up. Told me that was none of my business. I feel great about my decision to cut ties. When I did cut ties though my brother sent horrible emails stating I have mental issues and my sister said I was he common denominator of the family and I was a twerp. I'm 48 years old this year. My siblings are in their 60's. I've been married 23 years this year. I have 3 succeeding children. One attends university of Oregon, another attending Gonzaga in the fall and a daughter in high school. I couldn't continue with their constant blame and denial of the mistreatment. They don't see the dysfunction that has gone on and I suffered tremendously. I am a survivor of physical and emotional and verbal abuse. When I cut ties I unloaded, to say it mildly!

SL 4 years ago

I have read through two years of comments. I relate to the pain of everyone. My mother died a year and a half ago, and then I got cancer, and am a single mother to two daughters, one in college, one in HS, and have not worked, am plowing through retirement savings. Seems the family was held together by my mother, and without her, there is little desire on my father and brother's part to get together. Money has always been the currency of control, and so my question is this: If my elderly father is sending money once a month, but really has no interest in contact beyond that (which is hurtful of course), does taking the money make it impossible for me to feel the liberation I would feel without taking it? I have told him not to send it, but he does, and because I need it, I cash the check. I thought of turning it over to my daughters immediately, for college expenses, or sending it back, or justifying it as money he has gotten over the years from family inheritances. Part of the dynamic is that I am the scapegoat, the underearner, the person who never made enough, had a bad marriage, etc. Now I am the cancer survivor. I sent a Valentine and no response. My daughter will be visiting him over Spring vacation. He has a new lady friend, and they took a cruise over the holidays. He seems to be doing okay. I feel sadness and guilt over the disintegration of the family, as if as the remaining female, I am expected to bring us together as my mother did. Maybe it is the illness, but I don't have the will. Oh, the thing that has precipitated the desire to slip away, is that he told me how difficult I was with my mother. I asked that we not dwell on that now, with her gone. This is jumbled, but the feelings are messy. I just wondered if anyone has feedback on whether I should return the checks? And if so, how to do it with minimal conflict and drama. Thanks.

Mark 4 years ago

I couldn't agree more. My mother is a total psycho that has ruined my life. I am fat, bald, 2 steps away from being a virgin.

Email me at:

movingonnow1 4 years ago

Re message from SL Just a thought but do you think your Father is sending you money to help him ease his own feelings and behaviour. You say also that money is the currency of control. I live on a modest amount and have just one son. One of my sisters as millions of pounds but she only ever sends rubbish presents to myself and my son in financial terms presents about $10.00 I have only just found out she as bought another niece a car, and another she as given $40,000 to help with a house. My son heard about it and was a little surprised and I think a little hurt. Why she is treating me different I dont know but one thing I do know I shall never be indebted to her. For that I feel emotionally free.

SL 4 years ago

Moving, Yes, that is just it, I feel indebted and sad.

kristin k 4 years ago

I have seen and been in or on the outskirts of abusive relationships for almost my entire life. Even though it has left its scars, the truth is I’m no longer living with abuse and I can finally “see the light”.

I have always tried to teach my sister not to follow the same path with men as my mother and most of the women in our family since they have always led to abuse and divorce. I tried to teach her that her independence and self-reliance were more important than anything and that once you can master taking care of yourself, the right relationship will come around. I wish the best for her and want to see her living a happy fulfilling life since she deserves it.

The problem is that her fiancé (and baby’s father) is extremely disrespectful and demeaning to women. He has posted on facebook things like “all women are cunts”, kicked my sister out of his house, threatened to take her car, he has thrown all of her clothes into the pool, and disrespected my mother and my boyfriend as well. And he has disrespected me. He has illegal activities going on at his home (of my 9-month old nephew), he goes out to strip clubs upsetting my sister, etc etc etc. The other problem is that this is all I know of the guy. It’s an abusive relationship. My sister has punched through walls and has high blood pressure. But she has been leaving him for a few days every few months because she can’t take it. She keeps going back. The last time she stayed at my mom’s I let her know that I would support her 100% and make sure that her and her son are taken care of. She doesn’t want the help.

I want nothing to do with him, and I don’t feel comfortable being around him or his family. Since they got together 2 years ago my family has spent the holidays with his family. His are wealthy people and throw lavish holiday parties that my entire family attends. I need help figuring out what to do in this situation. I am wondering – do I stick it up, put on a smile, be civil for the holidays and birthdays and things like that? Or do I do what my heart tells me, which is to stay away, not supporting the relationship and not surrounding myself with people who disrespect me and my loved ones. I am a bit of a feminist and I am severely disgusted by men who treat women demeaning or disrespectful. I need guidance also as to what is the best thing for my sister, but at the same time not going to affect my health and happiness. Now that they are back together again, my sister is downplaying some of his actions and is highly offended and taking this all the wrong way. I’ve talked to her and explained everything to her but she just doesn’t understand. She attacks me!

movingonnow1 4 years ago

Hi Kristin 1 . I'm from the Uk not like I guess most from the USA. I'm so so worried about the bit you said about your 9 month old nephew !! Please Please if you have any concern get in touch with the social services ( thats what we call them in the Uk ) Everything else can wait but not the welfare of this baby. PLEASE

Nancy Texas 4 years ago

This is a very helpful article. My one and only sibling, my sister, backstabbed me to our mother's attorney over money she thinks I cheated her out of. My heart is broken. She has cut me out of her life completely. This article helps.

carolnb 4 years ago

I read alot of these comments, and think its really sad the affect family can have on your life- I definitely have strained relationships too, and finally realizing I need to focus on my own life, and not get caught up, or jump every time one of them needs help.- Its funny how that seems to be the time you only hear from them- is when they need you.- alot of problems they have really caused me, and I'm not trying to play the victim- between years ago my brother inlaw umteen times exposing himself to me and really being a creep to my sister- I love my sister, and was put in a situation as to whether or not tell her, being the fact she puts her husband up on a pedestal, says she can't live without him, etc.- and also they have kids together, and my sister has high blood pressure- so anyway, really screwed up all of it I never knew what to do when the times happened- its different when it happens to you, because your really uncomfortable and scared and don't kow how to react- the way he would do things would really be sick- I would just always up and leave, pretend I didn't see anything, and just always thought it would stop, but it didn't - finally, I came clean with my sister, told her everything, soon before my wedding day- the worst timing on my part- well anyway, years now later of course, thers a big strain on our relationship- she's still with him, and believes him, thinks I'm probably crazy- he's very manipulative- so I have to move on, water under the bridge- and he now treats her better, and they seem happier, so it weird, I think all of it put a good scare in him being confronted by my sister, if they could work things out, good for them- I just don't like feeling like an outcast sometimes- very stressful

Maria 4 years ago

Moving away from family members is the best decision I could take.It doesn't hurt me one single bit.They were my backstabbers all the way .

Jenn 4 years ago

We had a great childhood, my brother, sister & I, shame they don’t see it that way, we were all treated equally, they act as if they were hard done by, it was through watching them I learnt how not to treat our parents. They were just as selfish then as they are now as adults, all I see is selfishness, and being the youngest I was labelled the “spoilt brat”. They both have had multiple partners and are incapable of sustaining long term relationships, I have been married for 27 years. They are now 50-51 y/o, I was the one they came running too when their lives were in turmoil, I have spent my life supporting them, raring their children due to their relationship breakdowns, moving them from house to house, supporting them in their depression. I also support our parents in there elderly years, neither of them give our parents a thought or offer to help. All I ever wanted was their love only to be used, abused & continuously lied too, they are hurtful which affects my life, they have deceived my husband & children. When their life was fine I wouldn’t hear from them, if they visited there was always had an alterior motive or it was simply because they were lonely, I sat patiently listening to the latest poor me story. When our 6 y/o daughter was diagnosed with cancer, I didn’t see either of them for dust, never have they reciprocated in anyway, I didn’t count of any support from them in my darkest hour but it would have been nice, they are truly selfish & cruel. My brother even went to the point of getting in good with my husband, degrading me trying to cause trouble in our relationship, he is a pathological liar, he never admits the hurt his lie’s cause, well that was the final straw. They are also both alcoholics who put on an innocent face in front of our parents & they despise each other. I have always remained neutral, loving them both, up until now. Enough is enough I told my parents, I will no longer be their punching bag, I will no longer roll over ignoring their bad behaviour (which is just expected from me), I will no longer say how high when they say jump, I have had enough of both of them, they affect my life and are very hurtful. Yes, this does affect my loving relationship with my parents, it hurts when they don’t believe my reasons as to why I have now turned my back on my siblings, but I will no longer be the tolerant peace maker at the detriment of my OWN family.....and if my parents can’t accept this decision, I will be forced to CUT the tie with them also, I need my sanity and have been through enough.....I have enough hurt to deal with, if I have to have this last bit of hurt to be done with a continuing lifetime of be it, I will pull up my big girl pants once again & strive forward leaving them all in my wake. Sorry for the novel but I feel so much better, thank you for listening.

yeouxleigh 4 years ago

Add me to the this list. My story starts with sexual abuse that broke each of my two sisters, myself and my two brothers. I thank God my little brother died when he was 16 he was the lucky one. I have no relationship with my oldest sister we hate each other. And my other brother and I have had maybe 200 words of conversation in the past 40 years. Now my little sister has turned against me after helping her for years, financial, emotional, taking her in and her children. yada yada. Now I want to not want to be missing her. I want to hate her like she hates me. I want to cut her off like she cut me off. I want to just erase every single memory of her from my mind forever. i just don't want to care at all. my siblings have turned their backs on me and i want it to be ok with me. i don't want to hurt anymore or be bothered by it. i want peace about it all and i want them to know without revenge from them. i am tired of them i don't want to care what they think.

Dental Instruments 4 years ago

I appericiate your effort its such a nice nice, and has very informative.

Sick and Tired 4 years ago

It has been great therapy to read some of the comments posted here. It is also somewhat liberating to write some of my feelings on this issue, because it is a topic that I discuss only with my husband.

2 of my 3 siblings have caused nothing but pain and suffering in recent years. I don't share this with anyone because I guess I am still somewhat protective of them, and don't want people to have a negative impression of "us".

The truth is that my brother drinks too much and says wildly inappropriate things--things that are hurtful. My sister, the baby of the family, has been spoiled by our parents, and now by her husband. She and my brother have formed an alliance that has to do with continuing the party and letting the booze flow. For years I have been the target of my brother's nasty comments, most famously, negative comments about my learning disabled son.

There are 4 of us. Our parents are aging, my father suffers from a very debilitating chronic illness, and alot of our parents'issues land on my brother's doorstep. (the rest of us are living out of town) I get that he might be resentful, but I am tired of being the punching bag. Every holiday involves drama that takes weeks, if not months to recover from. When I tell my mother that I just cannot be in the same place with the two of them, she cries and tells me that I am too old to still be fighting with my siblings!!! What is a grown daughter to do about this situation????I do not want to cause my mother any more grief, but I can't take anymore myself!!!! Any advice would by appreciated!!!!

izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

While I can't respond to everyone's many and most of them need a very thoughtful reply...time to think about their situation. I am glad that others' comments help each other though. I think it's helpful in itself that we're not the only ones to have undergone some family issues.

sick and tired~ If it isn't working for you, you can cut ties. I don't think that's likely in your situation. But if you continue, you have to let it go once the holidays are over. Good thing you live out of town. Most of the time the person with the most troubles with their families are the ones with a conscience... the ones who care for others as much or more than themselves, but I will tell you, you must care about yourself or you'll drive yourself nuts trying to please or not hurt anyone or worry about whether someone else in the family is hurting. Do any of them know or worry about how much you are hurting? Either way you can't lose sleep about it. If you can't let it go, you should seek a counselor who can can guide you to specifics that would help you.

Sick and Tired 4 years ago


Thank you for your very thoughtful reply. Admittedly my situation does not rise to the horror level of some of the others who have posted here. You have channeled a mountain of pain and suffering!

I am the oldest of the four siblings in our family, and I am 51 years old. So when my mother says that I am too old to be fighting with my brother and sister, she is absolutely right, yet she misses the point. At a certain age I think you do get the right to say enough is enough.

You are intuitive to speculate that my ties may not be cut for good, because there was a time when things were great, when we got along (most of the time), and when we were there for each other. But as my brother has grown older, the obnoxious shock jock routine has become tiresome and not funny. He has become resentful and bitter. My sister is totally self aborbed, and can ONLY see events through the lens of her own selfishness. There are so many dynamics to explain here, that it would be impossible to do so. I will just write about the one incident that seemed to spark everything 12 years ago.

I had just given birth to twins. It was a very difficult pregnancy to say the least, and I was very ill at the end. My brother and his wife were having fertility issues, though they did not talk about it. When the babies were born, he demanded to know what I had named my daughter, and had a fit that I had chosen the name that he and his wife had chosen for their daughter--should they have one someday. ( My choice of a name for my daughter was made with no knowledge of his plans.) Instead of being concerned for my well being and that of the newborn babies, all he could do was rant about how I had "stolen" his name! Let's just say we've been on a downward slope since then.

Kathleen 4 years ago

It's hard when you have to cut ties with someone in the family. Deep down you hope later on it can get better. I have this niece, who was causing me a lot of problems. My son's ex girlfriend that he has two kids with is now with my nieces husbands brother. Well, she was writing things online, all I asked that she took it down, because I knew it would cause drama. She refused, saying she would put up what ever she wanted. It got so out of hand that this ex girlfriends boyfriend, my nieces brother in law wrote terrible things and threats she still left them up until people started getting mad. Then she had the nerve to call my grandaughter this man's daughter, my son who loves his kids dearly said just consider the source. Wow talk about being low. I was so upset with the drama that I blocked her. I got a hate mail and this boyfriend was going around telling people how he wanted me dead it was awful. All she had to do was take that post down, but she doesn't live here so she didn't care. Broke my heart that my relative could have care less about our welfare. No one knew what to do, I took the post to police for my own safety, but I didn't press charges because I do love my niece very much. I just wish she would grow up. Maybe, I should have. I just wish she understood all we have had to go through and how hard it has been on us. Her brother in law is not a very nice person and runs his mouth. I do feel this person is crazy, I mean who threatens to kill someone. She has made my life a living hell with my son's ex's boyfriend. My poor grandaughter and grandson were so upset when I seen them again. My grandaughter was crying so hard that I had to calm her down. She said I hate that person grandma, well I sat her down and told her we don't hate anyone sweetheart. I don't know how this can be fixed. My grandkids who are little have to come first. I would write what was written but it was pretty bad and very uncalled for. This person has secrets with my grandkids, wants no one coming to his house to we meet at the gas station. I have asked about this to people and they think he is hiding someone. My niece who doesn't live here needs to stop before someone gets hurt.

chris60 4 years ago

I think the pull to maintain family ties can be devastating to the family member who is no longer in denial about the level of abuse and addiction in a dysfunctional family, which acts like a destructive cult rather than a source of love and support. To outsiders the scapegoat can appear the healthiest member of a sick group as he or she refuses to continue the abuse and neglect endemic in the system. Have no answers beyond the fact that choosing to stay or leave can be a no win dilemma where pain will come from abuse or loss regardless. Sometimes grieving your losses and being more conscious about trying to break the unhealthy patterns of behaviour seems the best option or you are likely to gravitate toward an equally unhealthy partner or group as a surrogate for the family system you left. Learning to become independent, functional and relate healthily is a major task, which calls for the development of new skills and knowledge. Many victims flip into abuser mode instead of becoming balanced and healthy. Drama is tiring for all involved and abuse hurts many people as it impacts the abuser, victim and witnesses and can create generational cycles of abuse that ripple out to affect the wider community as well. The emphasis on catching abuse early and trying to break the cycle is what matters and therefore I find it unwise to place children at risk by taking them into unhealthy family systems or not addressing their abusive behaviour and trying to correct poor social skills before it damages their relationships with themselves and others. Keep safe and avoid people who make you feel uncomfortable seems wise advice. Maybe retain ties from a safe distance via occasional cards and emails or letters that leave minimal room for negative interactions. People do change, but only when they choose to become responsible and accountable. For many people abuse and exploitation is a way for them to gain benefits. This is a sad but true state of affairs, but many abusers are unconsciously or consciously driven by the need for power and personal gain and lack the empathy to care about their victims or recognise the impact of their behaviour. Firm boundaries are vital to maintain your own well-being and keep safe. Do not feel guilty pulling away from anyone who hurts or uses you. This is actually a healthy response to unhealthy behaviour.

izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

SICK AND TIRED~ I am sorry for your difficult pregnancy- I just had one of those myself, but only one baby- can't imagine twins! It sounds like your family and you are fighting over some petty stuff like the name of your girl. You must try to overlook those small things and concentrate on the real issue and if that can't be resolved, you know you must keep your distance. I am similar to you in that I have a heart and care if someone is upset at me even if it's for somethnig small, especially when it's family., But I had to choose between family and sanity. two ties that I've cut in my family- one is better and the other is distant. I know you've been close to your family and sometimes thats why family can be worse on you- they're unhappy about something in their own lives so they take out on those closest to them. I'm sure you've heard that wisdom before, but it's true. To me that means being a little more distant and keeping your space- not getting involved in anything petty. Keep your distance and see if the dust settles after some time. People take famiyl for granted and your family probably assumes you'll always be there to stomp on.

CHRIS60~ GREAT ADVICE ALL AROUND!! LOVE YOur COMMENT!" I think the pull to maintain family ties can be devastating to the family member who is no longer in denial about the level of abuse and addiction in a dysfunctional family, " Your first sentence is so true. It hurts the most when we finally come to our senses and realize the years and types of abuse we endured.

last shoe dropped 4 years ago

It's been 15 months now since I severed ties with my sister. I have had zero contact with her and don't miss the abuse but don't ever, EVER under-estimate how difficult it will be to save yourself and pull away from this type of abuse. When important days pop up ( Christmas, Easter, Mom's birthday etc. ) I've learned to take control and do the invites. This way I have control of the sisutations and can have a lovely holiday without the drama. Yesterday I invited my mom to go shopping and lunch for her 75th birthday. I also invited my other sister that I have a relationship with to go along. We had THE most wonderful, beautiful day..but when I arrived to pick mom up the severed sister had been there, mom started to tell me how upset she is and I just stopped her and said " she is no longer my sister, the relationship is over and please don't ever bring her name up to me again" while I know she was hurt I felt liberated. I've made it, I've turned the corner, I'm done grieving the loss of someone who had died in my heart and I'm moving on with my life. No more drama and abuse from a narciccistic sister who never gave a damn about me and only wanted to suck the life out of me. The journey is difficult but only until you live it can you truely understand how it feels. I am a victim of abuse but I am a survivor and that truelly is the most empowering step one can save themselves.

sandy 4 years ago

Breakup is one point in a relationship that you do not want to happen. However, this is often part of reality and cannot oftentimes be avoided. When this happened to me, an easy and smooth life does not come easily after this. With the feelings of sadness, guilt, anger, bitterness, and the like, my life automatically become miserable. Hence, you will do anything just to get yourself out of this kind of situation, until a friend told me about this temple called At this point, this temple helped me a lot and get my boyfriend back to me. It is important for you to know how to get over a breakup easily, just contact I am sandy

A. Stone 4 years ago

Thanks for posting this. Until recently I hadn't considered completely cutting ties with my younger brother, but I'm beginning to accept that it may be the healthiest option for me. He has used emotional and physical intimidation to attempt to control me since we were teenagers (he is about a foot taller than me), and the hurt just never stopped even when I tried to initiate a "mending" of the relationship. Anyway, thanks again for posting this where folks can see it. I really needed to read this.

Shellyf59 4 years ago

Our oldest son stopped paying rent on an apt he was subletting from our daughter that we were the guarantors . Our youngest son living with him paid his share of the rent and kept the money. Several eviction notices to him were ignored and not told to his. Brother . The Marshall's evicted two weeks ago, Our oldest son. knewthis was happening and younger son had to deal with the humiliation. We had to pay out of our retirement $14,500 for rent and lawyer fees. We moved everything out and oldest son did not show up as he promised to help. We saw him once and he agreed to use his 401k funds to begin paying us back, to contact his brother none of which he has done. Wondering what legal actions we can take. He continues to work at his job , and is out of touch with his close friends. He has a history of financial issues but we thought he had resolved them living on his own for years. We think he has an alcohol probl though he denies.We all feel so betrayed, angry and scared. Any advice would be welcomed. My husband and I are seeking therapy to get through this. And face losing our son unless he begins the process of mending his family relationships.

Ccruth 4 years ago

I am not sure what to do...all of you seem to say don't cut ties...what about when your mother talks bad about you to everyone and they all believe what she says....have you ever walked into a room if people that stop talking and look at you a certain way because you are who they are talking about...that is hard to move past. I have tried

formy whole life. I was a daddy's girl and my mother held it against me as soon as they divorced. My mother remarried and my step dad called me a bit**anytime I had an issue when I was a teen.. I have four kids and never would I say things like that or allow anyone to talk about my kids that children are not perfect, no kid is, but abusive talk is not the answer! I am still to this day referee to as such because I stand up to my mother, while everyone else can talk bad about her, she is this she is that, but when they are all together I am this horrible person. I feel sad for all of them...but the worst part is I can see in my nephews face the judgement....its not fair they are turning the kids in the same way!!!! Its disgusting. At the very least wait until the kids are out if the room! So, cutting ties is so very tempting...but I will hurt my kids....and I refuse to do so. So I will continue to suffer inside because I am the monster of the family....according to my mother and

peace is mine 4 years ago

Thank you for this article. I am ending a relationship with a cousin. Realizing that it takes 2 to build or destroy a relationship. I must accept my responsibility in the destruction of it. Which means it is the most loving thing I can do for both of us. There is no mutual respect and neither of us are adding to the others life. My cousin has children and my interaction with my cousin has adversely affected them, my cousin's Mom and our Grandmother and since it's bigger than us both separation is the only logical kind thing to do. I pray God's forgivness, mercy, love and kindness over this situation becasue He is the only one who can fix it.

last 4 years ago

to peace is mine....I feel your pain and know how it is to be in the situation that " only God can fix this relationship" I too have choosen to walk away from my sister and havefound peace. I will someday see her again "on the other side" but not here on earth. The relationship is over and it is the best for everyone. When all the nieces, nephews,brother-in-laws, grandparents etc are involved lives change forever-family dynamics have been changed forever. Yes, i'm devastated but I will survive and as time marches on I've found peace and so has the rest of the family. You too will know just how impowering it feels to at least take YOUR life back and make this decission. Just the fact that you've reached out to this site shows you

are've made the right decission.

Sadbuttime 4 years ago

My brother is the only member of my family that is left. I do have cousins and uncles and such, but no one from my actual family.

Things have been strained in the past and we have made up. This time the bridge has been burned.

I am accepting my part in this fire, but I just can't live feeling bad and guilty about things that I don't feel I should feel that way about.

It's time to cut the ties.

Golden Mom 4 years ago

SadGirl, like you, when I became ill and had a major surgery (which has left me with a 1-foot-long scar on the side of my left leg and total hip replacement prosthetic), my family members deserted me.

I am sure it's because I'm of no use to them since they only telephone me when my mother tells them to, and I am only invited to "holiday" meals (once a year) begrudgingly because one of my sisters feels she is hurting my mother by not inviting me. Both my sisters despise me, as if I've committed a murder.

I'm guessing -- since they never have revealed to me over the years, despite my repeatedly asking them, why they treat me as they do -- that they think I'm not ill or injured enough (with my second surgery in less than a year and a recalled DePuy hip) to receive disability.

I hate the hours and hours spent on the phone, doing paperwork, never knowing whether you might not receive a letter that you couldn't have known was on its way, but because you didn't know that you didn't receive it because you're not a mind reader, results in your benefits being terminated; then you have to begin the process of trying to get approved for benefits again, constantly "living" with knowing that at any time the government could make a decision to cut your benefits off permanently forever.

I tried to get off disability twice and both times wound up crying at my desk with agonozing pain and falling asleep at work (torturous pain makes it almost impossible to sleep and doctors in the U.S. fear prescribing anything for pain; how hypocritical is it that we humanely euthanize our pets while extending the suffering of our humans?).

I presume, while I'm up to my ears in unfiled taxes, disability paperwork, medical bills, hobby-related items I must donate to charity since I will never again have time to engage in those hobbies, clothing I must donate because I will never again wear it, months of unopened mail, a sick dog, a broken down house and no help at all, my sisters presume I'm out shopping with friends, although I have none, or out to lunch with ... no friends, or even having fun.

I haven't had fun in years, so much so that I don't remember what it's like to feel the joy of having fun. I have no friends, no support, and I've wasted time and energy, which is very little, trying to get support in the last several years. My state does not offer support for the disabled. Neither do the stores, the government entities, and so on. But no one cares. I'm nothing.

I do have my mother, who will call me with her problems, and I try to help resolve them for her, even though she is supposed to be contacting the sister who has the power of attorney, whom our mother fears. I have spent days working on my mother's tax return, which is very complicated for me, because unlike one of my sisters (the one with the power of attorney), I'm not a CPA/senior auditor.

My life is nothing but pain, physical and emotional, but I don't plan to do anything about it until my dog passes, which I hope won't be for a very long time, but realistically I know otherwise.

I make sure not to attend the once-a-year "family" meals so as not to stress myself out more, although it seems to me that the stress of our lives has really taken its toll on my sisters and me.

As for my mother, because she is elderly, I can't even blame her for how she treats me. She seems to forget that I have had multiple surgeries and that my immune system is non-existent, that I don't have the same amount of money she has because disability is nothing and that I often have to decide between spending what little money I have on a prescription or food.

I eat very little and skip eating 2 weeks of each month because I can't afford it. I put my dog first, so sometimes I don't eat anything but watered-down milk for months on end. My car is old and has problems, but I can't get them fixed. My state won't help me, even though my income qualifies me, because I am single without a spouse or children.

I wish there were a family out there who would be willing to adopt me. I've been told that I have an outstanding sense of humor and am great at making people laugh, that I'm resourceful and inventive, a hard-worker, and that I attract people who take advantage of me or mistreat me because I am kind, compassionate and charitable to others. I am trying to be more ... mistrusting ... like all the people I've known, but it's hard because it doesn't come naturally to me.

I guess my worst fault and the one that makes life hard for me is that I have a heart.

Summer girl 4 years ago

This site has been an inspiration. My older sister has never respected me, turned my parents against me by constantly complaining about how I live my life (I have always worked full time, supporting my family, and have been happily married for 33 years). She left her husband after 31 years because she had been having an affair for 4 years, which my parents did not know about. I kept my Dad at my house for 3 months before he died, even though my husband had no income and was going to college, and we were saving for my daughters wedding. My sister never visited my Dad during that time or called him. But when he died, she convinced my Mom to give her his death benefit check so she could put a down payment on a brand new, one of a kind, special order car! Prior to my Dads death, she convinced them to put their house in her name because she did not have a man!! (was having affair, and still is with this man after 11 years of this). I was diagnosed with cancer 2 mos. after my Dad died, was living at poverty level, and she used Dads death benefit to buy a car! She had already blown through the tens of thousands of dollars she got from selling her house when she left her husband.

She used my mother's money at will for years, until I put a stop to it. She put my mother in assisted living , moved into my Mom's house. Mom is now in a personal care home. For the last 2.5 years I've been battling stage 4 cancer and take chemotherapy daily and will always be on it. She does not even call to ask how I am. On Saturday she accused me of not caring about my Mother (who she has brainwashed against me) because I said I was not coming to eat Easter dinner with Mom (but I intended to visit) and she called me a "FU--ING B--CH" 3 times and screamed at me to leave the premises. My brother, the oldest of us 3, has not said a word to her about her past antics, and he witnesses her attacking me on Sat. After reading this site, I now know it it time for me to CUT THE TIES with her. (I am 55, she is 61, brother is 67-and doesn't need any money)

There is a lot more to this story but I don't want to write a book! thanks for letting me post this. I feel better already. I did manage to tell her not to expect me to live my life just to please her.

Suzanne 4 years ago

My goodness Summergirl! You have much more patience and tolerance than I could ever have! I thought my older sister was bad. What your sister has done and is still doing to you is DISPICABLE. You would think she would show some compassion and sympathy for what you're going through. It's a shame that good people like you have to suffer which such a terrible illness. As if you didn't already have enough on your plate. Life can be so unfair. My heart goes out to you.

In regards to your sister, there is no other way to put it except SHE IS ONE EVIL SELFISH BITCH FROM HELL. She only thinks about herself, has no heart or soul, shows very bad character, and only cares about money and material things. Sadly, people like that never change. But there is such a wonderful thing called "KARMA" which will soon come her way. I firmly believe in what goes around, comes around. Someone like her doesn't deserve your tears or your time. You are much too good of a person to be around such negative energy. I think for your health's sake, you should cut all ties with her completely. You can keep being there for your mother, but you don't have to deal with your sister anymore. The best punishment for people like her, is to just cut off all contant with them and act as if they don't exist anymore. Period. She will try her best to make you feel guilty, but I promise you, if you stick to your guns, you will feel so empowered. Continuing a relationship with a person like that, is almost like rewarding their bad behavior. The only way to let them know you will no longer tolerate being so disrespected, is to say goodbye and mean it. Good luck to you and I hope and pray you find the strength to let go of this toxic person who causes you nothing but pain and grief. God Bless You.

notsofreeatlast 4 years ago

I'm the youngest of 6 children. Both parents have passed. My one sister and I made the choice to leave my extended and immediate family after the death of our parents. My only sister I speak to lives a few states away. I live in the same state as the entire family. I have children. I worry about the decisions I’ve made, and how these decisions will affect my children. My oldest is not worried about the issue, but my youngest is, he doesn’t understand the family problems. Years ago I felt I was the glue keeping my siblings together. I was used to relay information from sibling to sibling. I kept the peace only for my parents. My sister that I talk to has deep seeded problems with my siblings and extended family. This same sister is the only person that has been there for me my entire life. My nephew and nieces are coming of age and graduating and marrying. My Son is graduating too and he is fine not inviting any of the family. (He said just do what you want mum) I have also been invited to my nieces wedding this fall. My youngest doesn’t understand why I’m having difficulty deciding if we should attend. I’m just sick about the whole thing. I just hate it! I don’t want my niece to think I don’t care about her. I don’t want to upset the only sister I speak to. I don’t want my youngest upset with me. I hate all of the drama that my extend family brings. I’m just so confused. This has consumed my every thought. My husband is awesome but doesn’t want to push me in any direction or help me make the choice of inviting family members to the graduation or attending the wedding. I was just wondering if anyone could relate to this or help me with their wisdom.

Last... 4 years ago

yesterday I had to spend three hours in the same room with my ex-sister who I severed ties 15 months ago. I was so stressed out knowing all the women in the family would be attending and I just knew she would show up with her new grandbaby since she is so lame and sure enough in she strolls. I kept my distance, didn't approach her nor did I acknowledge her in any way. I have severed ties and my life is offically peaceful for it. I don't miss her drama,nor abuse at all. It takes so much strength to pull away from abusive family dynamics but it is worth it. I felt so liberated when I left and my "good sister" hugged and kissed me and told me how much she loved me and was proud of me. It's so hard emotionally but the peace out weighs the drama and pain. This site has been my lifeline of support-when I get overly stressed I read comments and know I've made the right decision. God bless all those who struggle with severing ties, it's never an easy road to travel even if it is the RIGHT path in life.

toolate 4 years ago

Thank you for the carefully chosen thoughts... My close family member has already damaged my life, I lost jobs, not just one, I made wrong decisions. It is too late. Now I try but fail. I will try again. I hope to be successful once more. This time I am not going to allow this family member to interfere but maybe now I am too old at 47

~C 4 years ago

Thanks for this article, I've been the scapegoat in my family since I was little and always wanted an out. My problems are with my mother, she absolutely hates me and I know this, she has emotionally abused me since I was a child that I know I was clinically depressed by at least age 10. Her role in my life hasn't been as a supportive mother, it's been to abuse, degrade, make me know how worthless I am and it never ends. I moved out of her house and barely talk to her ( for 2 years) and she only contacts me to make me know I'm worthless in order to make herself feel better about herself. I don't deserve this treatment and neither did the little kid I used to be, I really want to cut ties with her because all she does is bring me down for her own enjoyment. I've confronted her about her treatment of me and told her she made my childhood a living hell, and she pleaded innocence...that broke the camels back that she had abused me for so long and it meant nothing to her and she was denying it! It's hard because she's my mother...I want to forgive her but she never changes and my resentment of how she treated/treats me never goes away. No one really knows my situation and they wouldn't understand if I cut ties with my mother, even my immediate family turned a blind eye to the abuse I got. If I cut ties with her I effectively cut ties with my stepfather (who I love like my own father) and my sisters. But I see no other way forward, it's a relationship that causes me much pain both in the present and reverberating throughout my past. I deserve better treatment for myself therefore I need to cut this cancerous relationship.

Thank you so much for this article, I had so much doubt because I don't know many other people in a situation like mine, I didn't want anything to do with my mother anymore but felt trapped because despite the abuse she is my MOTHER. This article made me think about the toll this relationship has taken on me in my relatively short existence (22 years) and that it is not okay. I know now that I can choose my own future without her abusive influence. Wish me luck!

Betternow 4 years ago

This story is a little dark, all apologies. After being molested by my father since birth to about age 10, I think I've come to the point in my life when I need to shut out that entire side of my family. Growing up, not knowing what was happenning or that it was wrong, was I think now a calculated plan by my father so he wouldn't be sent to jail. I always found incest related porn lying around his house, and he would frequently tape over my vhs' with homemade porn of him and his girlfriend. Later when I realized that this wasn't going on in my friends homes, I told myself that my finding these things must be accidents, but now of course I know that I've just been lying to myself to try to hold on to whatever "relationship" I have with him. Me having to watch him take baths, riding on his shoulders backwards, finding pictures he had taken of me while I was asleep, terrorizing me so that I would be too afraid to sleep in my own bed until he forced me to when his "maid" moved in...these things can't be overlooked anymore. Not to mention his drug use. Finding needles...belittling me to tears when I had trouble with my school work. And then suddenly it all came to a complete halt, I guess when I would start to find out it was wrong.

I never confronted him about all this, don't really see any point now. And anyway, I'm sure he would somehow convince me it's my fault or whatever...he can be incredibly manipulating like that.

My Mother knows, but can't really help me out. How could she now? Also, I had called her once when I thought he was about to beat me & I was afraid for myself and got screamed at & hung up on because she had a date. Her boyfriend heard and came to pick me up.

In regards to my Dads side of the family, I have nothing really against them. It's just always been glaringly obvious that I was looked down upon for being his daughter. Especially my Aunt. All except for my Grandfather. I never see any of them, just the typical facebook "forced family" relationship, & I just don't care enough to do it anymore. They don't need me, I don't need them. Period. Just because we share blood doesn't really mean much to me anymore. But, I just can't believe I can feel as cold as that towards them. We used to be pretty close as young children.

And I have an email sitting in my inbox from my Dad filled with all the typical pleasentries. Is it so wrong for me to just stop responding? I've spent my entire life making excuses for these people, and honestly don't want to waste another second on them. Finished. Over. Done. It's the only way I feel like I can take complete control over it and move forward. I don't want to be reminded of that little girl nobody wanted anymore.

I have a new life now, a man that loves me for the right reasons, and just a few really close friends. And that's all I want. I just hope I'm moving on in the healthiest way possible...

And I must say, reading all these different stories from all these brave people has been such a big help! Thanks to you all!

KVC 4 years ago

what about if you own mother wants to cut the ties with you because she didn't get what she wanted from you anymore and that was the "one-sided relationship". I have a mother who always cares about herself and what she wants but not about others' if what they believe are differently than her. She feels like people attack her if they disagree with her. She does not want to talk about or learn from the past that involved destructive consequences she made due to anger and pride issues when such issues continue to be the problem. She makes decisions with great impulse and a lack of insight because she does not slow down to think. Everyone around her is hurting because of her words and action, yet she fails to acknowledge and does not have any remorse and always thinks that she's right. It's amazing how she always plays victim when she is the victimizer. I love her and want to help her because her life has always been so destructive when it comes to relationship building and maintaining with others. Yet I get burnt out sometimes and say what I mean to her which can involve my disagreement on her way she treats people. I am her only outlet or trashcan so she can dump all her hurts, anger, and frustration in me since she is paranoid of others around her to let them know anything deep inside her heart. Let me know what you guys would do!!! Anyway, lately, she said she wants to terminate her relationship with me because I said she was wrong and my dad was right, and that I always accused her. I swear it's not true. People always say how I can be so patient to be there for her so much to listen to her. I don't say things in a black and white manner like that but that how she thinks: black and white and nothing in between, and that either she's right or wrong. What do you guys think?

jimmy 4 years ago

My brother (16) is cold towards me and for the past two years he has not even spoken a word to me. We stay in same house. He just walk past me as if i'm non-existent. I tried to make 'peace' with him numerous times even though I haven't done anything to him that I know of. I keep asking him what have done to be treated this way, but he just ignores me. Why? About two weeks before his awkward behaviour we were best of buddies...plz help. Im 24

quasiquasi111 4 years ago

I would really appreciate some perspective on this issue. I will be giving a lot of background to give as much of a viewpoint as I can. (Obviously it will be my viewpoint.)

I have two sisters and a brother - I am the second child, with an older sister - lets call the oldest Alpha and the younger sister Beta (5yrs younger than me) and brother Gamma (6yrs younger). Life has not been terrible, but it has not been ideal and constructive either. Kind of a "battle" that we've all sort of gotten through. With an alcoholic father with lots of issues of his own, and a passive aggressive mother with lots of issues of her own, and a relationship between them that has been fraught with tears, fights, verbal and physical abuse - the home situation was not the model of an ideal family. In the face of all that, we were raised to believe that blood is thicker than water, you will always have your family, family comes first, support each other in any way you can, - that kind of mindset. And one big thing was, always forgive each other - or don't hold grudges.

Alpha was the sweet shy little girl that everyone thought was very nice, and that was that. Dad's favourite - often admitted by our mother - in fact her words were "the apple of his eye". I was the musician, the performer, the entertainer, the outspoken one. I really believe that she wholeheartedly resented me for the attention that I got. I - being a Leo - was sometimes brash and opinionated, and probably put my opinion forth at times when it was least appreciated but have learned that this was/is just who I was/am. She being the Gemini was quiet and polite and looked up at people through her eyelashes and never put a foot wrong. We got along. We did things together, laughed at the same things, went to things together, and then after a while, we started to grow apart - and it was at her instigation. This was in high school. And I never really put it together until really recently.

She didn't like who I was, though she never articulated that. But sometimes you just know things. I was interested in boys, I was interested in the "cool" gang at school and I just hung out, and showed off and mucked around and had fun. She was quiet, plain jane - conservative, had quiet friends and didn't really stand out, but was respected. She didn't get great grades, but never really indicated that she minded that much. She just got along and did her own thing. I was always more the creative type, wore experimental clothes, did really well at school, but then by year 11 and 12, I was totally sick of school, influenced by the "bad" kids, and just wanted to wag and do what the other kids in my group were doing - which involved doing things that we really shouldn't have been doing. All very normal stuff, and I've since learned that it was all a reaction to the overbearing-ness of my mother who would not hold back from going through the private drawers and cupboards and even diaries of her kids - even at the age of 16, 17 and 18.

The interesting thing is, when I confided in Alpha about things, she invariably broke that confidence and told Mum. (The "good child" syndrome.) She made assumptions about stuff - for instance, when the group I was hanging out with was experimenting with pot, my sister told my mother that we were taking heroin!! (Ridiculous - but my mother seriously believed her?!!?!) I confided with Alpha about very very personal things that I would have expected that a friend and trusted confidante - such as a sister who is 15 months older and who was always described as a twin - would keep totally to herself. But she told Mum. Because she "thought it was best". When she was in a bad mood, she would bring out all of the things that I had confided in her about, and twist them and turn them against me. She was incredibly manipulative and highly passive-aggressive.

As soon as I could, I moved away from home at the age of 18. Home life was very tense, father depressed and drinking a lot, mother overbearing and often very mean. Plus we grew up in a very depressing and boring small country town where the only thing that the teenagers were doing was getting into drugs and alcohol and going nowhere - I went to the nearest city where the friends that I was associating with had also moved. I was there for about four years, and Alpha lived 1.5 hours away in a large regional centre where she was attending uni. I visited her quite often, but she literally never visited me. Never. And my parents visited a single handful of times. Hardly ever. I invited Alpha to things all the time, but she never came. Except when it was on HER terms and when she wanted to do a certain thing. Like go to a club, or experiment with drinking or things that she hadn't tried before, and I was by then over with.

Alpha moved interstate to the town that we were born in, and where a large number of my cousins were. That is a four hour plane trip away. Things went very pear-shaped for her. She was in an abusive relationship, physically and psychologically. It was a seven-year relationship where she was very dependent, and submissive. He completely exploited that "quality" in her. She ignored all the advice of those who loved her, and put him first. Always. My parents were constantly stressed about her, supported her financially, bought her a car, and then bought her another one when that one was no longer suitable, and we also visited her a few times. She really played the role of the victim. And my parents really lapped it up - particularly my mother who in fact had probably created that role through her overbearing nature.

Ultimately, I went up there when things had gone really bad between them. She had been physically assaulted by him - really badly from what I'm told, and still had moved back in with him. In support of her, we accepted him back into the family - although we were very cautious about him. She was visiting my parents down south, and I was moving out of the current living/work arrangements I had been in, so took the opportunity while I had free time to go up there and spend some time in my birthplace, and arranged to stay at her house until she returned. Her partner -shockingly and slyly- tried to accost me while I was sleeping - which I quite obviously refused to allow, and I left immediately the next morning - he was gone. When she returned from visiting my parents, I told her she needed to get out of the situation and she refused to believe me. Called me a liar, and when I finally convinced her that it had in fact happened, I supported her through the process of leaving there and moving back to where my parents lived down south.

During the next few years, she lived with my parents, got a degree, worked a daycare job, and got on her feet - with the solid support of my parents. Once she was finished her degree, she got a job, - which she asked my advice about and I told her to absolutely take it. It turned out I was right, and she has been totally supported in that job ever since. (My instincts about the organisation she was going to be employed by were right on.) So as a result, she got herself good income, a nice car, and rents a nice flat. She took herself for an overseas holiday, did all the things that she "wants" to "for herself" and seems to have sucked up the generosity of my parents and in a troubling and almost passive-aggressive way has completely justified all of this with herself. She still plays the role of the "good child" but has now created a hard outer layer because the victim role does not work for her anymore - I'm sure she uses that in her relationship however.

She is paying off her uni debt, and now after about ten years of being single (which I believe she was never really happy about - but always defensively stated that she was) has found a partner who has two kids and a very abusive ex. Interesting choice of partner. He is a nice enough guy, but is very introverted, his oldest daughter is completely off the rails, and his youngest (11 years old) is super clingy, socially inept and literally never lets go of the father when in a social situation. It's entirely weird and very dif

rondagail 4 years ago

I am trying to decide whether to cut the ties with my one/only son. I have spent thousands of dollars on him since 2007 and he constantly disrepects me.(money was spent on legal fees/fines as he has become a criminal) He and his girlfriend had a baby four weeks ago and after using me to purchase 95% of all new baby items they are keeping the baby from me. This will be the hardest decsion I have ever had to make! My son blames me for any and everything and constantly calls me a liar. I feel as though I am being verbally and mentaly abused by him. I am 52 and my health seems to be failing and I feel deep down within my soul it could be due to the troubled relationship with my son. Thanks for allowing me to vent and I have enjoyed reading the posts on this subject.

stuck midway 4 years ago

I am in the middle of this situation currently. I chose to live close to my family about three years ago because my parents are elderly and they need physical help with their property and like having us nearby incase there is an emergency.

But at the time my husband and I made that choice to rent our own house out and relocate, it sent a couple of my siblings into a frenzy of name calling, bringing up the past (my past, never theirs, that is NOT ALLOWED or the fury that it's inappropriate comes out) and accusing me of being the one who doesn't really care about family! We are shocked that our move closer to my parents in their 80's turned into this. We are only here to help and we are not financially dependent on them at all. And by the way my past is as normal as anyone's and I was always an open book.

It has been ripping me up inside trying to get through this, it is mentally and physically draining me, I do feel sick and TOXIC. Each time I figure something out and put up a boundary of how I need to be treated, two out of three siblings put their foot down on me. The eldest is also not speaking to me because, well, I am not sure. I suspect she thinks I need to make more effort to get along, but it's a recent thing my not trying to get along now, you can only poo on my pillow for so long, I guess.

My oldest sister was always irritated that we were born and can't stand if we are in the room with her when she wants to talk. I learned not to talk around her. She, normally, left home right after high school and married has been disengaged from our family for a long time. She never really reached out until now and I am finding out her pain is as deep as mine and needs more attention from us. I do not want attention though. I know she needs more support, and gave it to me for a while but I failed in taking all her advice so our connection is lost it seems like.Our family dyanmics have been skewed for a long time and I am not innocent, I am a failure at making this work.

I admit it's hard to give right now and I appear selfish, maybe that's exactly what I am, I do not KNOW YET!!! I still live with all the names I was called in my head.

I am struggling with whether I should cut the ties, or try harder to see things their way. I am not sure but think they might have cut ties with me. They do not write or call but do have conversations about me with my mom who I do talk to on a regular basis. I also have to be careful not to bring this up with my mom because it hurts her and leaves her feeling helpless.

I do not like the idea of cutting ties with my siblings but am caught in a dark tunnel and don't want to back out of it either because I can't go back to the being the family scapegoat. It is brutal standing up for yourself when they take it as an insult to "their ways". I think about them constantly and live in pain. It is a real struggle figuring out how much effort to make and if I really want them around me anymore.

I have always been the "baby" of the ENTIRE family of 30+ cousins, but I am 42 now and going into premenopause. I am married for the first time to a man that supports my emotions when they get raw and confusing. He and my mom might be the only ones who truly know me. He found out first hand that he has to protect his self esteem with my family as recently as last night when he was called "not in shape enough to dig a hole himself" then called out for causing the problem because he tried to communicate gently that we can handle our own property and planting our garden. My mom witnessed the discussion and said he was LOVELY and mature and a good communicator and that the response he got was CRAZY and mean and he was called out for starting trouble andthat he was out of line and wrong.

His physical dilemma is news to us...he was a college athlete, ROTC, and still exercises every day. He was told this in the same sentence the angered person applauded their own being in shape and they are just "worried about my husband". It makes NO SENSE TO ME. But can't tell you how many times my boundaries were violated then be told I'm delusional, they were just helping me because I needed it! I did not ask for help. My other sister gave us the same speech when she broke into my husband's house when we were preparing to move out. She said "aren't you glad I'm here to help?" and I was not, I was furious but held it in because the backlash is always horrible with her, then she runs to my brother and he goes after me. I still managed to anger her into the silent treatment to date while he's still trying to lure me back into his grasp.

My age and maturity to give up my life and harmony to come here to be a caretaker does not seem to get through their heads that it is also hard for me and my husband. They accuse us of coming here to be spoiled like they have always called me. I was not spoiled, I have been working since I was 14, I was the FIRST ONE to get a job in fact out of all of us, and I bought very little for myself even until today. YOu could pretty much say I have NOTHING but a few important things.

Recently I have asked my brother to call or message before he visits me (because he also makes plans involving me to babysit so he can go shopping or hang out with the friends he keeps bringing with him, he says it's "networking" and ok, but... ) I love my nephew but sometimes I have previous plans and it is getting rediculous to keep canceling mine so my brother does not have a tantrum and scream at me and tell my nephew I don't really care about him. I tell my nephew I love him so much and he said "YOU DO? Thats not what my parents say".

Apparently my putting up boundaries has insulted people. I am constantly judged and hung, that has been a pattern throughout my entire life. I have a hard time standing up for myself and hold a lot in.

He has recently shut me down by saying I just don't understand he's a nice guy!

He has used his temper to control me since we were kids and he still says that I cause him to lose his temper and how it is usually MY FAULT. Actually, always my fault. Since I was a kid I kept the secret that he beat me physically while saying I caused him to do it. It was terrifying and demoralizing and he was much bigger. And it added to my life experiences, lack of trust and low self esteem. And in our family you DON'T HIT GIRLS. I guess he hit my sister a lot more though, she says now if I bring it up. The other sister says "don't go there, you were just kids".

I tried opening communication with him about his most recent temper tantrum where he ran after me screaming I was a baby and his son is more mature than me. This was the week I was trying to plan my wedding with my mom but accidentally used the computer he gave my father that my father told me to use. I'm apparently the only one who is NOT allowed to use it because I'm spoiled and it's his, he yelled and threw out his arms saying "everything here is mine"!!! yes, that is true, he has been using the house as a storage unit for a very long time. I asked him if he thinks acting like this is ok, but he told me to grow up already, get over it and "move on". Never an apology. Now he pop surprises me often and I know he wants a friendship, or at least for me to appreciate him. I understand that he acts nice to a lot of people and he is often nice to me, but I can not handle the temper.

Now at holidays his young son picks on me and tells me he doesn't like many things about me that I have heard his father saying about me. My sister in law has NEVER been nice to any of us and I have always tried to understand it is her and tried for 10 years to stay kind with her. She tells my extended family (cousins and their folks) that I, and all my sisters do nothing to help my mom and she has to do it all. BULL. Plain and simple and we here all know it, my cousins do not know what to think now.

I did not cut ties tho and that is why I am here. I was also raised to believe family is the heart of it all. But my heart has been broken for most of my life and I can find fault with myself faster than anyone now. I am toxic and the one you'd say "get away

P. Gilbert 4 years ago

A woman got ahold of my computer, she has ruined all communication with my family. I was not even able to move safely to somewhere else someone thinks so little of moms. I was so looking forward to seeing my children grow up, go to college and for me to get a better job. Also thinking about a different car--but none of that happened. No one seems to be able to break though and find out why there are so many people holding different members of my family like hostages--however they still have thier houses, i ended up divorced,no car and out of my house i wasn't even behind on.People i had no even known before got involved out of the blue.

An organization from LA? why? and Who?

someone writes articles for a news paper? and they can just get you out by sending their newspaper to your home?

this all seemed very strange to me. I can't even seem to get anyone on the phone for years now--

This is very humiliating to say the least and not right--

I didn't even have a lawyer at all and some man i didn't even know showed up as if he had been around me for years.

I didn't know in this day and age people would be allowed to do such cruel things to a childs mom--the fact that i never mistreated Steve meant nothing to anyone, people we hadn't even seen for years , if they really are the same people at all.

I really miss them!! and thanks alanna, i thought we were freinds.

Pamela Marie

Wyatt 4 years ago

I decided after years of mental abuse, in my 30's and done trying. After i spent my 20's drunk then getting sober in a 12 step program and finding my whole problem was the way i was thinking. I made up for my wrongs in life and its clear i will never be seen as a man who is loving understanding kind honest and open. enough is enough Im only wanted around for work and money never seen as a productive member of society now in life. Ive traveled alot a business owner who became a person with drive in life positive healthy minded living today and making plans for tomorrow. I just cant deal with the mental abuse any longer of my family my mother and only sister live together and see how they ve effected me for too long and its not fair for me to cut my life short. they re unhealthy and unhealthy to be around. have 2 brothers who have also used me for money a roof over they re head. i cant say i gotten much if any at all positive comment feeling etc from most of these relationship in kindness love respaect understanding or trust. stepped on walked on put down be littled the scapegoat in a way i guess. so its a healthy choice i make doing it and thankful for the 12 staeps for a better family for support. I will take care of myself and protect my well being since no one else has to..

claudia 4 years ago

Thank you for this great post! It has been so helpful. I have dealt with a manipulative Mother and Sister all of my life. Mom was physically,verbally and mentally abusive when I was a child, as an adult the mental abuse continued. I was often told I was an unwanted pregnancy, never good enough,etc. As you have said, having children was the final straw. I am married and have two children, when my first was born mom would never visit him in our home, insisting I bring my son to her if I wanted them to have a relationship. I complied wanting to give my son a relationship with grandma. However,when my sister had her daughter mom took off six months from work to care for my niece. To this day she visits her every weekend, and my kids every six months, no excuse since my sister and I live very close to each other. Whenever I confront her with anything she denies it and says I am making it up. It would hurt me to have my kids listen to my niece tell them all the wonderful things she does with grandma. Right before Christmas of 2011, we had a talk that went south very quickly and it ended up with me telling her that under the circumstances, I did not want her in our life any longer, she stormed off after calling me a cold hearted you know what. Then at the end of March she shows up at my door claiming she was there to see my daughter for her birthday (never mind that it was three weeks past her actual birthday. She has never bothered to remember my kids birthday, always showing up weeks later). I did not know how to react and my daughter who is only 6 was happy to get gifts(that is the kind of relationship you build when you only show up with gifts to see kids, it is a shallow materialistic one). My sister is a person with mental issues, because of the abuse she endured as a child. she is in a bad relationship with a drug addict and I refuse to be a part of it. In the past few months I have dealt with guilt mainly for my kids wondering if I have a right to deprive them of their grandma and aunt. I do realize that the reason she wants to force herself back in my life is self serving, you see whenever she has needed anyone I have always been there, she caught some virus on a trip and was sick for several years and i was the one driving her back and fourth to her dr and hospital visits. My sister the one she has always been there for was never available to help her. Unfortunately it is too late and like many people here I feel sooooo!! much better for keeping them out, and I only wish I would have done it sooner as many a night I stayed up crying over the fact that my own mother did not love me and therefore was not the best mom I could be. Not realizing how lucky I was to have such a loving and wonderful husband and two sweet beautiful children.

Breakfree 4 years ago

It all has to do with "crab syndrom" all that.....

The toxic people are "stuck" and they like you to be stuck with avoid to face the realisation of what they are, which your departure would cause.

So they hide behind ideal concept "we are a familly, why would you leave your familly......." with insinuation that you are crazy or that you may have psychological problems

Don't be fooled.

It is probably about using, exploiting others so they can feel good in their pants but there is also worst than that: abusive people tend to have this sadistic thing they like you when you suffer.....

With mothers it is more tricky, they like to possess, dominate their kids to enhance their position in the world....

Usually males are sensitive to women cry, so when the son want to leave the mum faint a cry....if she can't control her son, then she ll try to exist in his mind through guilt.

Now if we take into consideration the fact that they use you to avoid facing themselve to trap you in their cage and that before you leave they cry.....likely you you might feel some guilt but I ve read somewhere that we tend to make ASSUMPTION about why abusers cry, you may think they have remorse but the thing is they probably cry because of HOW you made them feel

When you leave you shatter their reality, their world, their sense of importance....

I realize guilt is what block people to break free....

Even if we consider one second that you are suposedly the problem then that is reason to leave

Even if they are all angels.... well you know, you still have the right to leave......maybe you are emotionnaly self sufficient and don't need social contact and find contact with them dull and consider you don't want to be part of their world because you don't want to be CONTAMINATED and have fudamental values, ideal, ideas dear to you in your life, or maybe you prefer to talk to birds and horses and breath in nature.....what is wrong with that ?

Why fake something that is not there ?

Even romeo and juliet was temporary.

We are individual, right ?


You belong to no one.

I didn't read all the comments yet, what about the health problem ?

I ve been throught heavy anxiety ( to the point of feeling fainting in the street) depression, emotionnal pain, joint pain, stomack problem, constant running nose,

self sabotaging thought...sleeping apnea.....too much in my book....

Also if we consider the concept of love (wether that thing exist or not) then love should not hurt....


Moon 4 years ago

Thank you for the post. It has been 3 years since I've spoken to my brother. He has managed to allow his wife to turn their children against me. I have always shown them love. I would welcome the children with open arms. I always loved having them come over since they were little but as soon as they were old enough--they were ripped from me. This has to go with money from a family business. How it is his family right to control everything in the business because he was the only boy in the family. Now that I have left the family business. I do not get a dime from it. I am totally left out of it all, I'm still talked about, left out of family celebrations. My niece is getting married and all my family and friends are invited but my family is not. It tears me up inside because now I know there will be no resolution. How can someone not include his baby sister. The sister that always supported and loved him. It hurts and this article hit the nail on the head. Thank you for posting it.

ugottobekidding 4 years ago

bullshit advice ,wrong, wrong, look into your own behavior first ...believe me you'll find something you have contributed to the destructive relationship.

izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

ugottobekidding~ so if someone is abused then it's their fault? my response to you: You Got To Be Kidding!!

Lawrence63 profile image

Lawrence63 4 years ago

Well, who's at fault in a relationship is hardly self-evident (izetti and ugottobekidding), nor are charges of abuse necessarily just or true. As the hoary cliche goes, "There's your side and their side, and then there's the truth."

Bad relationships of any kind are, in my observation, rarely one-sided. The only thing that is almost invariably one-sided is our own point of view. It's easy to portray the other person as the bad guy through a selective descriptive lens. Judging from the complaints I've read in single sites' forums, everyone's family members or ex-lovers are evil incarnate.

If you find a relationship with an important other to be unpleasant - be it romantic, friendship, or family - then I think it's wise to step back and take a dispassionate look at everyone involved, including yourself.

This isn't to dispute anything in Melissa's fine article. I'm just suggesting that we be as fair-minded as possible in evaluating our relationships.

breakfree 4 years ago

There is no justification for abuse

Diane 4 years ago

Wow..and I thought I was a terrible person and so full of guilt to cut my family ties to my sister..thanks for all the support I need to now be guilt free.. My sister is 1 1/2 years older than me.we are in our sixties and you would think we would be close as we are aging..nope.. all my sister can do is rant and rave throw tantrums argue, bitch,negative on life and everyone in the world..I have tried everything to share a sister relationship and all she has done is make fun of me run me down to my adult children..she has no kids married a terrible guy whom has nothing to do with her for years which I know he has had alot to do with her meaness..I am a smiling loving personable person and she always made fun of me..she even told my husband my brother whom we had not seen in 10 years was my new boyfriend because I made over him when we got together..when we would go to the local fair just us she would yell at me to push through a crowd, yell out loud if they did not have onions for a hot dog or unsweetened tea.. she demands every restraunt to give her extra ice for her tea in a commanding voice..a day with her starts out like her yelling at cars parked or running.. yelling at strangers they are dopes makes fun of handicap people they should know better if they don't know how to get around ..she has a answer for everything mostly insults..she is obsessed with peoples shoes they are all wearing the wrong cannot have a nice lunch with her,, she talks about everyone in the restraunt the waitress the food she always wants to pick until she is arguing with you and insulting my job, running my kids down.I have Grandchildren and she can't stand for them to call me Grandma.. she says grandma grandma making fun of them..she has made fun of my whole life and remembers every detail lives in the past and uses terms like I have been entering items in the fair for 40 years and now everybody is doing it.. by the way she ridicules all the exhibits they are awful or should have been disqualified..I know she needs help but she said right is on my side and i sleep good at night famous quote when she took our Mothers home and my Mother was displaced when she married the monster she is mom put the house in her name as my sister lived with her at the time to get a loan to fix up the house..thats all her husband needed to know..her husband told my sister he would straighten my mother out because he was moving in and things were going to change ..because my mother did not want him there because she knew he would be abusive to her she said no to my sister.. my sister stopped payments to the morgage co. her husband played pranks on my Mom scasring her like having her phone cut off..having a realestate person come out because he called them saying she was selling her home..finally my Mom left and lived with me,my brothers and finally got an apt..her husband was causing problems with everyone ..we had strained family ties 4 years then.. my mother has sinced passed..i could go one forever talking but i always wanted a sister i could confide in do sister stuff.and i have accepted it i will never have that ..also i know her husband is in for cremation and scientific study after my ister passes the house which all of us kids grew up in was my Moms is going to be given to her husbands girlfriends children if my sister dies before he does..I am really angry at my sister for all the mean things she is doing and has done.I will not return to be abused anymore..

SunnyAngel profile image

SunnyAngel 4 years ago

I want to share this with whoever is struggling with sarcastic, rude, and passive aggressive relatives who leave you feeling confused and unhappy after you speak with them. Today, I arrived at this final proclamation to completely cut the ties, which means all communication with these negative relatives who I have allowed in my life for too long.


Cutting the ties will serve as the explanation as to why they are no longer welcomed into my life. Enough is enough! Their evil words and whatever motives for being condescending and manipulative have finally been exposed. The scales have fallen off eyes and I see that their communicating with me is not healthy for my life. They have never been well wishers to me; rather they have been negative and abusive and I no longer will allow them access to me.

Let them stew in their own juices in figuring out why I have stopped communicating with them; if they choose to do so, since I do not owe them an explanation. If they do figure it out, or not, if doesn’t matter since their thoughts about me are none of my business.

A toxic relationship filled with sarcasm and hostility through passive aggressive behavior is not allowed in my life anymore. Conversations from these relatives that have left me feeling confused and unhappy will no longer be accepted or allowed in my life anymore.

Their sarcasm and passive aggressive behavior that has insulted my intelligence for years is no longer allowed in my life. I no longer will deal with the stress resulting from calls that have left me feeling confused and wondering why they called if not just to bring me down. I no longer will have to deal with the stress of fighting back the instinct to respond back to them in a negative way since their words evoke anger in me that I surpress. I no longer have to question my sense of despair and anxiety after hanging up the phone from these so-called friendly relatives calling to talk with me. I know that their intentions are not good when they call and I no longer allow their negative intrusions into my life.

I no longer allow myself to be a willing victim to these violators. I only want and will allow people in my life who wish me joy, peace and love.

These negative relatives are now permanently ousted from my life. All ties are now cut without any threads remaining connected!


Wow! I feel so liberated. Thank you izettl for a wonderful article about this subject and platform. Also, all the insightful comments posted have helped tremendously to lead me to finally writing this proclamation. I feel like a weight has been lifted and a new whimsical feeling of freedom is running through me. It’s exciting to think of how life will be now and feeling so free!

Thanks for reading – and all the best wishes to all who need to cut ties from negative forces in your life. It’s not an easy thing to do but it’s your life and don’t let anyone rob you of one second of living it to the fullest because they are dumping their need to control you with negative thoughts about yourself which are not true since you can only judge who you truly are.

"Be yourself. Everyone else is taken." - Oscar Wilde

Last shoe dropped..... 4 years ago

to sunny angel

I think I love you!!! I'm going to print out the above statement and live by your words. I too have severed ties with my sister and have stopped the abuse, negative behavor. You summed it all up and it is time we take control and have only positive people in our lives. Thank you.

SunnyAngel profile image

SunnyAngel 4 years ago

to Last shoe dropped

Thank you so much! I really appreciate your kind words! I am so happy that you will be able to use the statement; especially since I was hoping that it would help others.

All the best wishes for as much peace and love for you to enjoy your life!

SunnyAngel profile image

SunnyAngel 4 years ago

Hi Last shoe dropped

Thank you so much for your acknowledgment. I am so glad that you have found the post useful. I’ve been struggling for a long time to cut the ties and glad that I have finally been able to do so. I really applaud your courage and commitment to having only positive people in your life. Congratulations and all the best wishes to you for continued peace, love, and happiness.

Alone 4 years ago

I thought I was Was I wrong. I found this site by accident...or was it. For years I've been abuse by my mother....verbally. My brother is an additic. She's the enabler. And I'm the red bulls eye.....I just can't take it anymore.

kramer 4 years ago

I have had to cut the times with my parents and only sibling due to their constant disrespect, violent language, and inappropriate actions towards me and my children. It has been the toughest decision I have ever made, especially when it comes to birthdays and holidays. I wonder all the time if I made the right choice. Thank you for validating my decision for self prevervation and putting my spouse and children first.

LovingLife12 4 years ago

Some people might think cutting ties is too extreme when in fact it can sometimes be the best thing to do. My manipulating sister has tried to run my life for so many years. I've cutting ties with just her instead of the whole family once before. That didn't work because our mom wanted us to talk. My mom wasn't that bad she just made excuses for everything my manipulating sister did. I couldn't handle that, so I cut ties with all of them. Life is too short to be manipulated. Now I don't have to constantly worry about what she's going to do next. She didn't like my wife from the first day she met her which made it really hard, since I love my wife and can't imagine life without her. My wife and kids are the best thing that has ever happened to me. I can honestly say if my sister had anything to do with it, my kids wouldn't even be here because she has tried to cause problems between my wife and I. Since she has been out of my life all the burden, regret, manipulation, gossip, and torture that my sister has inflicked on my family and I all these years is finally gone. Its a shame that so much sacrific had to be made just to get one manipulating person out of my life. I don't regret anything I've done, in fact I would do it all over again if I had to.

James 4 years ago

i am upset with my first degree fmaily, i am the one laways makingp eace or was trying to, but now im at the point of getting angry with them in 24 and it has hasppened ever since i was 9, it is also giving me pyshical pain and causing me breathing problems and chest pain,i ahve no job and i am always lending money out to my mum, no fair enough she doesnt earn a good wage but atthe end of the day idont have a job and my siter does whos at university when cant she ask her for any? can someone please advise me on what to do cause this is affecting my health both mentally and pyshically.

@You 4 years ago

Hi, I can't even describe all the emotional abuse from my family. On top of that I had to deal with bullying at school. So there was no escape and no happy moments for me ever. I'm 20 years old, yet I feel and move like i'm 80. The i'm so drained, I need to get away now. Unfortunately, I'm broke and don't have the means to leave. No matter how much I desperately need to. I'm seriously a ticking bomb. NO AMOUNT OF COUNSELING WILL HELP. Unless, I get away now. I'm trying my hardiest to get a good paying job. But, I don't have money to get to the job, and now I feel like I'll be trapped in this hell of a "FAMILY" and I mean that in the worst way possible. My family has deluded themselves into thinking they are the perfect family. They think that having "family days" is going to fix the years, no decades of turmoil "my grandma" (Sadly to say) started.

Cassandra 4 years ago

I'm so glad others have shared their stories. It makes it easier to realize I have just been looking out for myself like the rest of you have. My problems started early on. My father died at 7 and ever since then my mother became an emotionally and mentally abusive parent. She wasn't as bad as some of the other parents described here but it was enough to hurt a growing child.Thankfully I have realized her shortcomings and can healthily forgive her but instead of forgetting I choose to learn from her mistakes.

I am the 3rd child out of 4. I have always been the most mature and most responsible, because my mother saw this she took advantage of me and gave me much responsiblity (cleaning, watching my brother, etc..) without rewarding me even if it was just with verbal rewards.My older brother could do whatever he wanted, when he wanted. My older sister played the "victim" and her and the rest of my siblings were always given excuses as to why they couldnt do whatever it was that needed done. But when it came to me, I didnt get excuses. Instead of calmly talking to us and explaining why we needed to do some chore or work harder, she would criticize us and yell at us telling us why we were not good enough and a lot of times she would tell us she wish she could just kill herself! Most of the time, I was the one to deal with this irrational behavior/"discipline" and had to sit through an hour or more of her bitching about my other siblings and why they were bad kids but then later she would pretend it never happenend or he would tell us she loved us.At first, I was angry and just took it all in and I used it as a way to lower my self-esteem. As I became a young adult, I realized she was wrong for treating me this way and I didnt need to put myself down any longer. I met my husband at 17, he was 28 and my mother freaked out when she found out we were seeing eachother because she was losing control over me.

He seemed like a threat to me and my life, to my family because he was very assertive, aggressive and spoke his mind. My mother always thought he was going to become abusive but as our relationship progressed, my husband grew up and matured into a wonderful man and he has empowered me in many ways, he helped me grow into who I am today. He actually became the thing I needed to realize my mother and my family were so manipulative. I moved out shortly after turning 18 and so I was able to keep my distance from everyone for a year. Then I got pregnant at 19 and after my daughter was born, I was able to mend the relationship with my mother. I only visit her once a week now because too much of her and we butt heads. She can no longer take advantage of me and if she does try to bitch at me about my siblings (which is rare now), I use my common sense and rationality to let her see the other side but mostly I stay neutral. The safest way to calm her down is to let her speak her mind and not comment. She is very irrational and angry inside, now that her last son is growing up and moving out (he dealth with her bitching after I left, which I felt bad for leaving hm alone) she is becoming more depressed than anything. Its kind of sad to watch. my little brother is a good boy and she puts him down when she should be teaching him valuable life lessons. He is ready to move out and I dont blame him one bit.

Sadly, I had a similar "taking advantage of" situation with my older sister as well. Now that its been a few years of slowly putting distance between us, I see how she manipulates and takes advantage of everyone around her. She is like a sponge who cannot support herself. I felt lots of guilt over the past few years and still do but I know that if I had let her abuse my generosity it would just get worse. On top of her maniuplative personality, her lifestyle is not one I can tolerate. Partying, getting drunk and stupid on a regular basis, getting arrested is not my idea of fun and her house is always disgusting. She lets her cats piss and shit everywhere and doesnt really clean and I wont be around it nor have I let my daughter be around it. Sometimes I think I miss her but she is not who I grew up with. That person is gone. Her boyfriend was actually my husband's best friend growing up. He has had to sever the ties with him as well. My sister said he was cutting back on drinking (he's an alcoholic), but then she mentions how got arrested for being so drunk that he tried to unlock someone else's house because he thought it was his house, and he went on a 3 day drinking binge without telling her. I cannot say that is getting better.

Thankfully I have my strong, supportive husband to help me rationalize why I shouldnt feel guilty and why it is for the best. It is also not only me that has pulled away from my sister. My best friend/cousin actually moved away somewhat because she felt she was being depended on by my sister and she still acts like a child, its like she stopped growing.

It is a big difference helping someone in a time of need because they are trying to make their lives better, but to continue helping someone who is expecting you to help them and they are not trying to lead a healthy and productive life that they can grow in, let's just say you are only feeding the negativity of the situation. No one can grow from it. The only way boundaries have been able to be set is to keep my distance and I have even had to tell her Im not going to give her a ride because Im pregnant with my 2nd child and I dont need the extra responsibility, but not in those words.

I'm happier and much better off even though I still analyze our situation every now and again. Sometimes it consumes me and Ill spend a whole day trying to figure out if Im still right for doing all of this, if it still makes me a good person. Right now I can say yes because I am leading a very healthy and productive life and I can still love her and support her without being in an intimate relationship with her.

Angela 4 years ago

I have always been treated negatively, and 22 years ago my mother openly admitted she loved my brother more than me, and i will never amount to anything.

My Brother has used this against me since then, and both are and have been mentally abusing me with it. My brother hates my mother, but uses her for babysitting whilst he works. She knows this, but cant say no. She never would babysit for me, her comments were i had made my bed, so i must lie in it.

I have recently had to cut ties, none of my romantic relationships have worked, and twice now i have been told i am cold.

I think the way i am is due to being neglected by my mother during childhood, and being given the information whilst pregnant with my first child has cut me up. I am now 41 years old, and given up with attempting to please my mother.

It has been a vicious circle for far too many years.

this information on this site has made me understand that i have made the right choice for my own sanity. I am now completely on my own.

LSD 4 years ago

i had a sister who didn't believe in me, I had a sister who decided the word of someone she had only known for 6 months was more truthful than her mother or two other sisters. I had two sisters for 40 years but now I only have one. When you have a narcissist in your family sometimes you're only left with severing ties. It has been 18 months and counting and it is the best decision of my life.

momof2 4 years ago

My question is: What to do when those you have cut ties with(mother,sister and brother) send birthday cards, graduation cards etc...with checks to your children (17 and 14)? Should the children cash the checks? Send a thank you?

My husband thinks they should cash the checks and send a simple thank you. I feel(it's me who has cut the ties) no check should be cashed or thank you sent since they haven't bothered to see my children in over a year and they have nothing but cruel words and negative thoughts about my husband and me( the parents of the wonderful children they want a part of w/o us). Don't want my children used as pons and caught in middle and don't want to do wrong by them and feel this is my mother's way to continue to manipulate and control me by attempting to make me feel guilty or make my children feel guilty and call her. What should I do????

tricia 4 years ago

Cutting ties with a sister would be hard, but it gets tiring when she's a sister only when it's convenient for her. She never takes accountability and most definitely is never wrong. I can't endure an on again and off again relationship. I don't believe my expectations are unreasonable, just regular sister-type expectations. But when she started talking about our parents and not caring at all and never thinks about them (they are deceased), I realize that we are very different. So different, that it's too much energy to try to deal anymore and hate to admit it, but I think she has a serious problem. Thanks for the article!

izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Lawrence~ I've got to totally agree with the other commenters here that state abuse in a relationship is not a two way street- there is NO reason for it.

Cassandra~ so glad you shared you story. Wow. I've heard so much similar to this and know that you're obviously not alone. Thank you for adding to this discussion.

Diane~ you're definitely not a terrible person. And you're definitely not alone.

Loving life~ yes cutting ties can actually be beneficial. And sometimes it can be temporary and somtimes permanent but a break is usually best to get an objective point of view. Thank you for sharing.

James~ I am so sad to hear of your physical problems but I know of this firsthand- it has happened to me. Cut ties to save your life. Cutting ties can be uncomfortable but being physically ill is also- know when to say when.

wrestling17 4 years ago

Im 17 and my relationship with my mother isn't really the best. She had a tough childhood and I think maybe that affects the way she is now. I always try to make her proud of me and I also want to see her happy. When i tell her something she usually comes out with something negative or she would get mad and not even talk to me. Sometimes i think I'm just doing everything wrong and not trying hard in this relationship.

MrsEdwards 4 years ago

I'll soon be 41 years old and am the youngest of three girls. Yes, I am the baby of the family and was labeled "the spoiled brat". I probably was for a number of years. ;-) Then in my 20s I started to grow up. My mother is an alcoholic and my dad was a workaholic (he is now retired). My sisters were older than me and I often felt like an only child. My parents tell me they feel like they can talk to me better than my other sisters. One of my sisters (I'll call her Tracy) is an alcoholic and the other one (I'll call her Lisa) lost a child a number of years ago.

At times I've had to distance myself from Tracy because she does and says things to intentionally hurt people around her and she makes up horrible stories about them. She does not come around during holidays or anytime for that matter. Lisa lives in the same town where my parents live. I'd say for the past 10 years or so (before one of her kids got sick and when the kids were tweens) she stopped saying "hello" when she saw me (we live in different parts of the state and I typically visited once a month) and has never really asked me how my job was going, about my house, friends, anything about my life.

Lisa got an associate's degree and married at 22 and moved back to her hometown after her husband received his degree. I received a bachelor's degree and moved to the biggest city in the state, got a good job, made a lot of friends and went on fun trips while she started having kids.

I try really hard to be nice to Lisa because our parents are still alive and I don't want to make any strife because my parents always invite her and her husband (Bob) along when I visit my parents.

Recently my parents both got sick around the same time. My mom has been in and out of ICU for the past few years due to damage in her heart, liver and kidneys because of her alcoholism. My dad, who has been a smoker for the past 59 years, had surgery for his clogged arteries.

My mom is in a physical rehab place to regain her strength and my dad is at home recupperating from his surgery. I've been going home for a few days a week to visit them. A week ago, my husband and I visited them and Lisa called and asked if I was planning to make an extra visit to my dad. I explained I had to get back to my house to edit stories for volunteer work I do. She then explained that she had a lot to do. I told her I could stay late and visit him and she replied "Don't bother, I'm used to doing all the work." Then later that night, she called to ask why my husband and I left the fan on in the bathroom of my parents' house, why two ice cream bowls were not put away, and told me that she did the laundry, took out the trash and picked up the mail (I didn't know I was supposed to do that.) Her tone was very angry. The next day, my dad was released but she didn't tell me. I had to call the hospital a day later to find out he was released. She postd comments on his condition that my husband and friends saw, but did not tell me about his condition.

I emailed Bob to ask him if he could call me with updates and said that I was hurt and feeling punished by the absence of an update. He emailed back and told me that Lisa needed a break because she has high blood pressure and has an excuse to snap and that they couldn't take a vacation like they wanted because they were doing all the work with my family.

I HATE conflict, so I e-mailed and apologized and e-mailed and apologized to my sister. I even asked them to let me know when I can watch my parents for a week so they could go on vacation but haven't heard from them since.

Since then I felt so bad that I cut myself and tried to commit suicide. After all the support I've received from my husband and my friends, I realize that they are my real family. I don't know why I keep trying to have a relationship with Lisa and need her acceptance, however I've told my parents I can't handle her behavior anymore and refuse to take it. They said they don't blame me a bit. But since Lisa lives in the same town as they do, and the fact that my parents are getting older, I don't know how to sever ties with just Lisa because I don't know who else would contact me if my parents were to get worse.

Very scared 4 years ago

We have a different situation, My wife and I were just cut off by our daughter as she says she is damaged because of us. We had relocated here 20 years to a small town.My daughter is 33 years old had gotten married and has two children, our grand kids. Up until two weeks ago everything was fine, my wife watched the grand kids 12 and 5 then boom , she cut us off and had all of her in laws cut us off . She says we are dead to her and Her husbands family is now her real family, she blocked our calls and e mails I have to work out of state and now my wife who cannot drive is cut off as am I. All of our neighbors have moved in the past few years and now I worry about my wife being all alone as I can only come home every few weekends with no support system and like I said she can't drive to get to the store. I am in shock.

LSD 4 years ago

I severed ties with my younger sister 19 months ago and have had zero contact. Now in the last couple weeks my mother and other sister are starting to quiz me about letting her come to this and that etc. I've spent two weeks just thinking about the past 10 years and decide that her past behavorior will be a strong indication of future thanks, I'm done. I will stand my ground. I'm not going backwards, I feel better knowing I just don't have to deal with all the drama anymore. I've read every comment posted on this sight and I know what I must do,keep moving forward.

negar 4 years ago

thank you thank you thank you .... very muuuuuuuuuch

now im feeling more relax

Monika 4 years ago

I don't want anything to do anymore with my only sibling, my younger sister. She's always been nasty to me, while being nice to everyone else. I helped her with a lot, especially with her kids. I loved those kids as if they were my own. When I married I convinced my husband to move close to her so we can help each other with our kids. We did help, but not her. Her kids were at our house from 9 to 9, and we didn't mind, we thought they were family. When was time for my child to enter kindergarten at the same school her kids were going to, we faced rumors started by my sister. It was so heart breaking and hurtful that my sister had spread lies about me to her school friends only so that I don't enter that circle. Those people were nasty and tried to bully me and were horrible to my child. When I miscarried in my 4th month my sister never called to see how I was, or to offer to babysit my child so I can take it easy for a few hours. Instead she spread lies that I had an abortion. Neddlesss to say we've moved to a different town, but the hurt is there.

Helen 4 years ago

Where family relationships do not work it is healthier to leave them be, where there are no winners.

Last shoe dropped... 4 years ago

Helen, you are so right! There are no winners, you either stay in the relationships that are destructive or you mourn the loss and sever ties, either way there is no winning.

Helen 4 years ago

Thank you 'Last shoe dropped' - what you say makes sense. My relationships have been destructive and I don't intend to put up with it any more. I am going to stay with the positive and do without the negative - I hope this will help others.

izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

In many of these situations it is better to agree to disagree or possibly cut ties for a while. Family runs deep and so do the wounds. But you can't heal if you are always getting wounded- hope everyone keeps that in mind.

Helen 4 years ago

Thank you Izettl. Time will tell, likening the name of the James Bond film Live and Let Die? so that one can get back to some normality after having gone through a lot of emotional hurt.

Helen 4 years ago

Thank you so much for this hub site. After the way I have been treated by my family relations I would not feel comfortable being back with them, they have expressed their feelings towards me, I feel I am an outcast with most of them - but now they can do without me. Thankfully I have many friends with whom I can relate to. I am so glad I have discovered this site, for I can now get on with my life surrounded by positive energy. This site has helped me a great deal for I was beginning to worry my friends with the problems I have had.

izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Helen~ Glad you found the site helpful. That's why I wrote it...that and I have had to deal with this issue as well. It's most helpful to know many others have been down the same road. This is by far my most popular article I've written so that tells you how many...

I used to reply specifically to all comments but there are just so many now and often commenters help and reassure other commenters so that's nice too. It sounds like you are getting more peace of mind and that's good.

Jenn 4 years ago

So, this is my second comment, I last commented 4 mths back. It is now 6mths since I cut off my brother, I must say I finally feel at peace, no longer do I have to tolerate his lies & put downs whenever he is trying to impress the latest girlfriend.

He had always lied, even about ridiculous insignificant stuff, but it's the major hurtful lies we could no longer over look, never did we call him out on his lies, we saved him the embarrassment at our own expense, although he lied & always broke promises he was quite a loving brother, but only when he was single & his in between bachelor ways were also a bad influence on my husband. It was only when I called him out that my husband realised how aggressive he can be when one dares to question him, it was upon meeting his latest girlfriend that I decided to cut off, I wasn't willing to tolerate all the lies again which go along with him entering a new relationship, if he didn't involve me in his lies & impact my life & family I wouldn't give a hoot who he's in a relationship with, it's his lack of respect towards us, unfortunately he continuously took advantage of our easy going giving nature, he didn't like us standing up to him at all, he could no longer walk all over us, and did that bring out the worst in him.

Long story short, he has apologised but not admitted or acknowledged his lies or wrong doings, his girlfriend has neither admitted nor apologised for her interference in family matters she had no business entering into, she was swayed by his lies, their relationship is based on lies, is she in for a rude shock one day. Even though he has apologised there is no point in going back to what once was, it would be impossible to have any kind of relationship when denial still reins in their court.

My parents have accepted my stance, they know he's an obsessive liar & have not tried to sway me either way, which gives me a huge sigh of relief, we have a close relationship & my biggest concern was the damage it would do to this relationship, but it's all good. In regards to my alcoholic sister, well, she is civil when round me, she knows I will not take her crap or she will lose me again. Easter & Xmas was a concern for us, we have chosen to do good Friday Easter lunch with our parents instead of Easter Sunday with them all (that’s if they turn up, they have let mum & dad down many times), we will spend Xmas Eve with our parents instead of Xmas day with them all, we are quite comfortable with this and so is mum/dad.

Our little girl has also had ongoing issues since her cancer treatment & recently been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, my siblings weren't there for us with her initial 3 year cancer battle, instead we were there for them, once again, so they will not be missed through this latest development, if anything we will do better without the hurtful feelings we endured last time through their unspeakable actions & lack of care or support.

All in all, to put my siblings in their place & sever the ties has been a positive move; we no longer have them complicating our head space or our life.

Thanks for reading everyone, I have read all the responses, I'm so not alone when at times I thought I was, this is a great hub, it helped give me strength!

izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Jenn~ I'm glad you've found some peace. I remember reading your original post. I bet this has freed up some stressful space in your mind. it's nice to let it go I'm sure. then you realize how much time and thoughts it consumes. Your energy should be concentrated on your family now and your daughter. I really wish her well- as that is every parent's nightmare. I have two little ones. I think when I realized a couple of family members were hurtful and negative influences was when my kids were a couple years old and I thought about what kind of influence and people I want in their lives. When they are young, we can control their influences so might as well keep it as positive and good as possible. I want them to experience as much love as possible too.

Keep us updated.

Helen 4 years ago

Me again. For me it has been hard to cut ties with my family relations, but since I did so I am getting more invitations to events than I could possibly have imagined. Relations don't seem to care what they say. They were there for their elders but not for their equals. When I arrived in Wales I was very timid, but my confidence has come back since having made and had the support of so many friends. I used to be put down and used and blamed for this that and the other. And I was the last person to be let in on the know, my relations have been far too tight lipped. I am in touch with my brother only now, and he and I get on reasonably okay.

last shoe dropped.... 4 years ago

To Jenn:

I too have severed ties with my toxic sister. It's been 20 months now and I'm feeling so much better inside knowing the drama is finally over and I've taken control of situation. The holidays are very tricky, but I too made the decision not to have Christmas at Mom's, instead I invited Mom and my other sister to my house. When you do the inviting you control the situation and the other sibling can stay home ( if yours is like mine-they never GET they even have a problem) I'm right there were you are and trust me, you'll have your moments of "did I do the right thing" but I think you did. I pray you stay on the right track and not allow negative people control you and put you down. Best of luck-pray for me too since I'm right there with you!

holly 4 years ago

i have a younger sister with a bad temper anyone have the same? (i need help)

holly 4 years ago

to be more pesific.... she needs help i need help deeling with her i mean im only 11! shes 8 she just wont understand the word... KIND (looks at scar on arm) i hope one of you can help me...

holly 4 years ago

please someone have some advice please let me know :) i will check this daily. _i would love it if even the smallest advice _ thank you for reading this :)

Helen 4 years ago

To Holly

I understand what you are going through after I suffered when I was a child. I am glad you found this site as you will probably find it a great help with so many of us having undergone similar experience. If you can I suggest you read through the experiences others have undergone and the replies afterwards.

Be strong and be happy.

JazzyRed 4 years ago

im on disabity income myself due to hearing impairiment im deaf and i read lips well so i can get by greatly. my sisters have always treated me like dirt. yrs ago my youngest sister and i couldnt get along so i left to take care of my grandmother being moms, mother ok when grandmother died i came back to live with mom and dad awhile i had absolutely no money when grandmother passed away i had 50.00 in pennies to go get cash for gas to go to parents in a six hr drive. ever since i came back i have been miserably dealing with my two sisters. they are always lashing out at me calling me the b word and just on and on

ok this time...just back in april i moved to an assisted living by choice. during the move one sister came to help with garage sale and help me decorate my room at the facility. on her way to leave she an di talked and she gave me a hug but the talk was about that i needed to be here assisted living cus i used mother and mother is 71 yrs old i know mamas age im not dumb. ok well i ended up three moves first facility didnt like then a second which had unsafe shower regulations and the admin at the facility would not do anything about it so i left for a second facility then found a one bedroom appartment ok.

just this last weekend my sister was down but never came to see me i wondered why and if she was mad at me cus i moved. well on facebook chat three days ago she started in on me that i used my mother and took advantage of my mother and mother is 71 yrs old did i not forget my mothers age? i logged out of face book but the a few days later i emailed her on yahoo...she totally denied telling me to act my age and a few other words so i called her a wino...and that it is probably no wonder why todd (her ex husband) had left her

i feel badly saying those things but she had lashed out on me till i coul dnot deal with it anymore. well a few days later i tried to email her on yahoo again and she was nice one minute but then not the next she asked for my number i was out not on computer and then got another email saying stop with the 5 ugly emails. they were not even ugly i was trying to explain each reason why i left both assisted living facilities then i said in email they were not ugly i was trying to explain why i left both facilities then after that i got you have been blocked on my cell phone, facebook, via email here and work email no the long run she was still hurting from me saying what i said about being a wino and no wonder her ex husband had left her she stated that i took advantage of mama and all this i wish i saved that email i did not i had email address changed. i help my mom just as my mom helps me what about all the years of when sisters bring their kids and grand kids after they leave i end up cleaning mama and daddys house before they retired i dont clean anymore due to disabilities bu ti di dmany a times and did dishes many a times after mama cooking for all of em it was only me and 5 in both families of them plus mama and daddy and my self i was only one for myself i feel like cinderella most of my life. used. well this time im done with my sister she has called me names made fun of me and told me to act my age when i have done nothing to deserve it so many times its pathetic my guess is they are jealous of the close relationship i have with my mother...not as close with my dad but its getting better

holly 4 years ago

thanks i will try to be more happy about this and try to use your advice

holly 4 years ago

thanks! so much

Jenn 4 years ago

izettl ~ Thank you for your kind reply, I realized many years ago how much time & energy they consumed but I knew it would cause a major family uproar, which I was too fearful to face. Our daughters Dx's changed us, you are right about "every parent’s worst nightmare" fear of losing her was all consuming, no other fear in our life can match it, it's breaks my heart to see her suffer still, half her life has been spent trying to save herself, she is our hero. She gave us strength to face our future, a future on our terms, I finally spoke the words I imagined myself saying to my mother for a very long period of time "I will no longer be the tarzan grip that keeps this family together, I have let go"....and to think I was fearful of that! It was a walk in the park in comparison to our past/recent fear, which continues to pop out of that locked volt in the back of my head & linger until I shove it back in, childhood cancer really is a lifelong struggle, it's never over in regards to long term side effects, but we have adjusted to our "new normal", life goes on.... surrounded only by loving, peaceful, positive influences.

izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Holly~ yes i would suggest what Helen said actually. I wrote this article hoping to get reassurance from others in similar circumstances and as you can tell (by large aount of comments) many have gone through similar and worse. Maybe try reading through the comments.

Obviously you are too young to dis-own your sister so I'm wondering where your parents are on this- do they know the hurt on you has been physical from your sister. If your parents don't listen then other adults may such as teachers, school counsleors- once they're involved they may urge your parents for your sister to get help and give them a plan of action to help you. Just some thoughts....

izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

jazzyRed~ bieng disabled ( i have a disability too) the first thing I learned was to limit time with negative people in my life. Also practice getting those negative comments out of my head. Focus on the good, the relationship with your mom and don't feel the need to explain yourself- that's a trap. I hate those scenarios where people place you in needing to explain things- makes you look guilty before you say anything. Hang in there but put your energy (I know, I have a lack of energy because of my chronic illness) into good things.

izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Jenn~ it sounds like you've got your priorities, obviously, intact. Like I said, I couldn't imagine, but I gues I've visited that fear for my children and wondering what I would do- but like all other struggles it's one day at a time. For now, you have to let go of those negative people/family and focus on what helps you be strong for your daughter. I know little kids, they're stronger than us parents and adults so you need to at least match her strength and by getting rid of all that small wastefull connections to "those" people. you are on the right track. i admire you.

Helen 4 years ago

With reference to my earlier comments I changed my mind and decided to persist with making contact and was surprised to get some favourable connection.

izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Helen~ sometimes all you need is a break from family. Hopefully things will get better.

Helen 4 years ago

Thanks Izettl - I agree with you.

Toni 4 years ago

Thanks for this page...and reading through some of these comments (I'm sorry, but there really are too many, I tried!) made me really ashamed about how I feel about my family. I am from a single parent family with my mum and my bro. He is 4 years my junior. I am an Asian female, 24 this year. I am severely hearing impaired in both ears and wear hearing aids. My parents divorced when I was 6, I do remember all the fights they used to have, lucky for my brother he doesn't remember anything from those times. I do think that those times did make me who I am today, both the good and the bad. I am very smart and mature for my age (even from when I was a kid), just emotionally and mentally immature. (low self esteem)

My mum is the type of person who, whilst she's really hands on and not neglectful in the usual way, she has made me feel so discounted all the time. I feel she values everyone else (even my brother) more than me. She never listens to me beyond superficial level, resulting in her not understanding me at all. She says my feelings are not valid. (not verbatim, but she's always, "why'd you feel like that, you have to be strong!" not helping when I tell her my fears) that's one reason I really dislike some of my cousins, she pays too much attention to them when they are not disabled like me, they dont have people making snide comments about them. It's this green eyed monster in me rearing, and I hate it. But I can't help feeling so jealous. I don't outright treat them bad, I just treat them as invisible beyond the mandatory 'hi' I have to give them. I just hate being around them and my mum forces all my hated things on me despite knowing how I feel about them.

I really feel damaged because having been through all that I have, has made me feel that I want to cut ties with everyone, all relatives included.

I do feel like I want to do it, but I have no one else in the world for me. Having family problem suck big time, having them when I'm almost deaf and having feelings of extreme low self worth...I don't know what I am living for.

Toni 4 years ago

I wouldn't term my family as toxic people, Infact it is me who is toxic. I have a caustic tongue (I don't sugarcoat things and I am very perceptive) and very realistic, an eternal pessimist and have trust issues. I don't see things through rose colored lenses at all. It is our family relationship which is toxic.

My mum doesn't listen to me, and in this sadistic way I'm doing the same back to her subconsciously, just to let her feel how I feel. I admit I'm trying very hard not to do that, but the years of hurt are taking its toll on me. I seriously hate myself and how I let her affect me negatively, although she treated me like this without realizing it.

She and I are different as chalk and cheese.

Some people treat me as an Agony Aunt so I know I can't be all bad, but I often close up everything about me to avoid being hurt. And I do leave people in the lurch when that happens.

My dad is the reason I don't see much stock in romantic relationships, my hearing is the reason I don't see much stock in friendships, my mum is the reason I don't think I will ever open myself up ever.

Toni 4 years ago

I cry all the time because I can never say no to her, and I feel terrible and useless and helpless that I'm so weak. And then in the outside world i am the same, people treating me as dirt, as a doormat. I bite back sometimes when it gets too much, and people use this as an excuse to treat me meaner.

Everytime I try to voice an opinion to my mum, she will just about glare daggers at me, if looks could kill I would be immortal. She uses guilt trips on me and when I voice them out she blames me for 'feeling that way'. Her way, or the highway. She is never wrong. I think I can blame the beginnings of my development of my caustic tongue on her, but it wouldn't be fair. I'm trying to change and it's so hard when I still feel this way, invalidated by her.

She tries hard and tried hard to bring us both up singlehandedly to be good people so I don't think it would be fair to cut ties like that, or cut down ties.

But I think this relationship is hurting me beyond repair.

Helen 4 years ago

My cousins continue wiith their disinterest and continue to give me as little information as possible. I have given them my telephone number so they will have to telephone or write. I know they will not volunteer to make contact - but it is their loss. They have made me feel I am a stranger - and I can no longer understand them. Where I live it is equivalent to the film Brigadoon, and I feel a part of the community.

Helen 4 years ago

Re the above - I have tried - but I have become exhausted with my efforts when it is so clearly futile to keep trying.

Helen 4 years ago

For myself to be happy I have to let my deceased parents family go. I emailed to those responsible that I have contributed to this site, and as I expected they have not contacted me - so it is time for them to go. But of course they will, as is custom, send traditional seasonal cards.

Deb Thwaites 4 years ago

Thank you so much for this artical. I have had issues with my mentally ill alcoholic sister for my entire life. She is a habitual lier and is contastantly eaten up by jeoulously over what other people have that she doesn't. I don't mean just material things, but also happiness and calm in their lives.

She is older than me, however my husband and I are always the ones that have to bail her out of various situations only to later be blamed for taking over and treating her like a child after she has asked for the help. She refuses to acknowledge her alcohol issues and more then not is off her medications (which are useless anyway as she drinks so much). Everytime that I spend time with her I feel like I have rubbed myself up and down against a cheese grater.

What makes me really sad is that she is a sole parent of my 7 year old nephew, who is not receiving any guidence or stability in his life, and due to his mothers contact issues and the way she treats others (including family) he is slowly being alienated from the world. The poor child has no chance of a stable, well balanced life.

The way she treats our parents is totally astonding, but they keep going back for more as in their words "she has no one else".

I have been left with no other choice but to cut the ties between us. It has taken me many years to finally come to this decision, but I am doing it to protect firstly my 5 yrs old son, my husband, our marraige and myself.

We have decided that we will no longer enable her behaviour. I don't want my son exposed to the situation and it is not fair on my husband, who for the last 15 yrs has done everything he can to help her.

So thank you again for your artical, it really has helped me see that I am not this evil person that is taking the easy way out.

Last Shoe dropped 4 years ago

To Deb.

your story reads like mine and I too finally after 10 years of putting up with her antics and bad behavior I finally said no more and severed ties. I haven't spoken to my sister now for almost two years and it was the best decision of my life. My husband and children were tired of every holiday sitting in the room while she drank and became obnoxious and everything was our fault. Now she runs to moms and cries because she isn't invited anymore ( I started having all holidays at my house and she is NOT included-no one in her family is invited ) It is the only way to control the madness and live your life peaceful and happy. NO MORE DRAMA. My mother and older sister support my decision since they too were victims of her never ending bitching and bad attitude. Trust me, when you hit rock bottom and have no other choice with someone you love, severing ties can be a life changing, uplifting experience FOR YOU. It lets you sit back and get a better perspective on what's been going on and you'll be a whole lot happier. Give thanks for the good things you have and love your family that will support your decision. I pray you make the right move.

Helen 4 years ago

Thank you again Izettl for this site - I wish I had discovered it much sooner. For those who have followed my case I have made my decision now in that I am going to get on with my own life amongst my friends - my relations except my brother and a very small section of family are the only ones I will be in touch with occasionaly, but the others who find it too much trouble to make contact I will no longer contact - if they want to they have my telephone number and I will be polite.

I will be backing off now - no doubt much to the relief of others - but I too along with others have been through a terrible time.

laoshir 4 years ago

I have a brother who lives out of state due to a job transfer. When he was 45 he married a wonderful woman. However, since his move and well before his marriage, he has been one who is not afraid to talk disrespectfully about other siblings (there are 4 boys and 4 girls in the immediate family). We are a very tight family, especially after our parents died.

It’s the same old BS (excuse my French) every time I visit with him. He rants and raves negatively about a particular brother and sister. I suppose when other siblings are visiting he does the same about me. Who knows? Sadly I hear about this behavior from nieces and nephews as well. I do not know his step children that well so have no idea how they deal with it.

My wife and I were out of the country on a job, came back to the states and recently visited my brother. Its been 7 syears since I have last seen him.The first morning while having coffee with him he began to harp on a sister who has been out of work for two years. I told him I heard about this before but understood his feelings (sort of).

When he targeted my favorite niece who has a weight problem, I put a stop to the rant. I told him, “Be careful how you talk about my treasure.” Surprisingly, he immediately stopped.

Strangely there are times when my brother is a kind and considerate person and then suddenly, out comes Mr. Hyde. It’s like a quick strong storm blew through a room and you wonder what just happened. Oddly he approaches it like nothing happened.

He is very regimental, everything must be done according to his time schedule. If you disagree with him, he does not stop until he gets in the last word. I heard this is typical of people who want to be in control or are very narcissistic.

I believe the only thing saving me from breaking ties is living at a long distance from my brother. I’ve also learned not to “feed the fire” and quickly change the subject. I’ve even discussed his behavior with him but to no avail. He basically says, “I tell it like it is.” I am afraid this "tell it ike it is " attidude is going to get him in trouble with some intolerant people.

After seeing this childish nonsensical behavior from a man who is now 57 years old, my out of state visits to him will not be as frequent as before. Other siblings have literally stopped the visits. Perhaps when he is visiting and we are all together, it would be a good time to have a serious talk with him.

Thanks again for your article. My prayers go out to the posters with similar family situations.


izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Helen~ thanks for updating us- your story can certainly help others. There are different levels of letting go/or cutting ties. You will find what works for you and it may change over time too.

Since writing this years ago (geesh can't believe it's been that long), I have renewed ties with someone in the family, but after no contact for 2 yrs, we now have very minimal contact- I think that's best. these relationships are so complex and even though I find myself wanting to work everything out (hash it out) the other person is not receptive to this at all. I think that is the case with many people who visit this article- they want to resolve things but are unable to mostly because of the other person.

izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

laoshir~ rigid people like your brother are hard to deal with. First person in my family I met like that was my mother-in-law. Her way or no way. First you must realize there is no changing them. If you can't be around them, then you probably shouldn't because it is stressful and not fun. Sounds like you've come to that point in which it hardly makes the trip/effort to see your brother worth it. With my mother-in-law, family doesn't visit her often but when they do it's out of duty...sad really.

I'm sure you have tried to point this out to him, but at this point, these are people who won't likely change. Most people mature and grow with various life situaitons, but sometimes these people also have underlying mental issues or a light case of a mental or personality disorder.

Best of luck and prayers to you too.

jccook1028 4 years ago

Hi, I'm a happily married 50 yr old that's been with the same man for 24 years (29 years total including dating and living together) with 2 older sons 21 and 23 years old. I was born the baby of the family, a surprise...there is 12 years between myself and my oldest sister and 8 years between myself and the middle sister. Our mother died when I was six. I've had problems with my sisters all of my life. It is such a long I'll try to make it goes...I haven't spoken to my oldest sister since Christmas 2011...she NEVER calls me therefore I never call middle sister has tryed through social media to keep in contact with me, however I ended that because I felt she isn't being honest about things...meaning she is just playing words with friends with me to have a relationship with my sons...we have a stepmother who has favored her other grandchild (middle sisters kid) for years over my boys...both sisters married into real father is deceased. Our father willed the cottage to his three girls...everything was fine until we had to ask them to buy our 1/3 due to my husband having a spinal cord injury...basically that is when everything started. I truly feel deep in my soul that they do not like my husband and put on a fake face when needed...such as family gatherings...holidays, that kind of social interaction. They agreed to my oldest sisters dismay to buy our 1/3 of the family cottage. They have NEVER once asked us to come up there and it's been 9 years. They have asked my sons but it was usually to do work (for our youngest anyway) 2011 we lost our home to foreclosure and was forced to move into my husbands mothers house (she was in a nursing home)...then it was decided that she didn't have to be in the nursing home any longer and she came back home...we are now her primary caregivers. Before moving here I had a strong realtionship with my two sister-n-laws but ever since it's been strained...WHY? I don't understand...I am nothing but kind to "Doris", I clean the toliet daily so she doesn't have to sit in bacteria from her battle with bowel movements, I clean the rest of the house, her bedding is washed, her meals are provided, she is taken to doctor appts by my husband (her son) I pay most of the bills and my husbands social security takes care of the rest. Doris pays the occassional grocery bill and sometimes a utility. The middle daughter has control over her money and did pay the tax bill with Doris's money this year. I feel lost, alone, have no privacy, and feel I have lost the respect of everyone I used to see I lost the love for them due to the way they have treated me...I used to be the one to call but I am not doing that any longer. I'm husband is nothing but understanding...he has always been there for me, always...he told me that we can move out in March of 2013...that's when we would have enough money for a downpayment on a rental property. I'm ok with waiting however it's getting harder and harder. Yesterday my oldest son spent the day with my sisters at a place called Frankenmuth...were we invited...NO. I do not understand how they can be the way they are toward myself and my really hurts and I need some advice. I have decided to not attend any Thanksgiving, or Christmas gathering due to my feelings. I feel our boys are old enough to go on their own if they chose to. So much more to say...I've been through hell and back in my 50 years and I just want some time for my husband and I...the questions to I say no thank you to any invite and how do I tell the sis-n-laws that we are moving out in 2013, should we tell them now or wait? So confused and hurt...was raised to treat everyone how I would want to be treated and am finding myself being treated like absoulte CRAP...I just don't understand why...

Helen 4 years ago

To jccook1028 - I know how you feel for I have been there myself. Regarding your query about how to say no to any invite just say something like you can't give an answer yet, or that you have other plans, that is being polite. Regarding telling your sisters in law about your move it might be best to leave that to your husband. Regretfully other people can be very selfish, very inconsiderate, and they can stir things up without realising that there are two sides to a coin. I have been there believe you me, and I know what you are going through. I hope you find what I said is helpful and I wish you well.

jccook1028 4 years ago

Thanks Helen...what you posted is helpful and I truly thank you for that :) 4 years ago

Thank you for your article. I am 44 and I am pretty at ease. I have had three surgeries for epilepsy and they are not working. My "older" sister was very upset with me just earlier this week when I explained I had three surgeries. She did not believe me. The reason I bring this up is a brother passed who did have three surgeries at Mayo Clinic. Anyway she kept telling me I have only had one which is clearly incorrect. When I get no respect from her and I still am have having seizures monthly it is very hard. I have been thinking about not being friends with her. She is my senior by 14 years. After reading your column I feel that is the right thing to do. If you want to contact me I did give you my e-mail. Thank you.

movingonnow 3 years ago

Have not written here for ages . My three sisters have over the years treated me dreadful for a wide number of reasons.... I got back into contact with my niece about a year ago and we have enjoyed re kindling our relationship. I was aranging to go down to Cornwall to see her for a few days all was going well with the arrangements. Then one or more of my sisters have been in touch with her I dont know what was said but she now tells me I cant go and visit her. I would take calls 2 or 4 times a day when she wanted my help. I paid for a holiday for her and her two girls bought presents etc and now she is saying Im not wanted Im devestated and wonder what I should do I feel Im treated like a door mat

Helen 3 years ago

To movingonnow. It sounds as though your niece is caught up in the middle - it might be best to give your niece some space and wait for her to contact you. She probably does not know which way to turn. I hope all turns out well for you - I have had to give up my relations - as they all decided that I should take the blame which was most unfair - I now get on with my life now amongst my friends and I let my relations get on with it. Maybe when Christmas and the New Year things will turn around for you. I hope things will work out for you.

Helen 3 years ago

For those who have been following my case with interest I will not now be returning to England as there is nothing left there for me to encourage me to go back, after having been let down so badly by those who have, so I will now be continuing to live on in Wales.

byrdawhite 3 years ago

My story is a little different. It's regarding my ex-daughter-in-law and my grandchildren. When ever my son and her would split up, I was cut off from my grandchildren. My grandchildren and I have been really close over the years and they have lived with me, spent lots of time here, gone camping with us, etc. But, when their mother is mad at their dad, they're not allowed to talk to me. She has turned on me so many times I've lost count. I have alway forgiven her and things will be fine for some time and then just as quickly, she won't answers calls, return text messages, and usually moves.

So over the years I have found myself trying to carefully to keep the peace to see my grandchildren. It's always about her, not enought money, she's looking bad, needs this or that, always something. If she isn't happy neither is anyone else. With the exception of her parents (her mother is just like her), they have a really strange relationship and her mother has always been jealous of me. She may be you best friend one day and the next just the opposite. Never the less, between my daughter-in-law and her parents they have now convinced my grandchildren (15 and 10) that their dad and I deserve to be punished because she has been hurt so badly by us and it's all over what she believes and has made up. She has been diag. 51/50 bipolar.

Since I lost my oldest son to cancer 2 yrs ago and my youngest moving to Denver (2000 miles) to get away from her I really miss my grandkids. Since she called and told me I was dead to her and her kids and that I would never see them again I haven't even contacted her. I would love to see my grandkids and my heart is broken over this but I think they are old enough to pick up the phone themselves. I did have a friend take them birthday presents but not so much as even a thank you. So I'm feeling they have turned on me too. It is so hurtful but this time I'm not forgiving her and I'm thinking no Xmas presents them this year.

fkthsht profile image

fkthsht 3 years ago from southern CA

excellent article. I agree 100% with advice given on why, when, with whom, and how to cut the ties that make you sad and not comfortable.

I don't know know what to do with a few members of my family at this point but I know what I will do if it keeps up. I don't need the BS in my life. Life is way tooo short. MY kids need to learn respect. I taught them but they are in their 30's now and it seems they need refresher course.

Helen 3 years ago

Again, for those who have been following my case, I have now started to get on with my life amongst my friends - in order to do so - I have decided not to make further contact with my relations, but I will acknowledge them politely where due.

I wish everyone a Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year.

sadauntt 3 years ago

Just found this website today. Extremely helpful to me while I decide how to handle my relationship with a nephew that I have always loved very much. I don't have children of my own (although I do have 3 wonderful adult stepchildren), so I have always loved my nephews and nieces as if they were my own children.

The biggest problem I have is with my nephew's wife who is passive agressive and just generally angry with her life and everyone around her. It is too upsetting to go over the details.

After reading through this site, I have decided that I should step back from being involved in his family. I will still love my nephew, but his wife is twisting his mind against his family. It breaks my heart, but pulling away from closeness with his family is the best thing for me.

movingonnow1 3 years ago

Hi You do not say how old your nephew is. But if we assume he is a young ish child then you can maintain some sort of contact with him ie post cards when on holiday, emails, presents,ask him that you want to be involved with his life.... ie sports days birthday parties etc. Remind him that you are there if he needs advice as he gets older ..... dont for sake a relationship .....

izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

sadauntt~ I am sorry for your situation. I guess the best thing to do is step back before more damage is done- by that I mean the more you are involved the more his wife will probably shed a bad light on you and make things worse. Hopefully your nephew will miss you and see how she is damaging the relationship and controlling. Passive agressive people are really bad. There is an article somewhere here on hubpages about "Stonewallers"- it's good, maybe you can find that to help too.

Helen~ that's good to hear that you have come to a decision. Been following your situation for a while. Sorry to hear about not going back to Wales. But you need some time to get on the positive side of things and get away. Best of luck to you and come back and share.

Martin Jo profile image

Martin Jo 3 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

This article is really helpful. I now know that I was right all along and have to cut ties with my sister completely when I go to college. She's a totally ignorant bitch who always try's to put people down (mostly me), over her own self pity. Either I have to cut ties, or she needs to go to a mental ward where she belongs for the rest of her days.

noALLY 3 years ago

I am so glad I found this article. My problem is my brother and sister.

I am just turned 45 and my brother and sister has treated me like crap for that long. I really don't have a relationship with me brother. It was ended by him 5 years ago when I called him and asked him to pay back a loan of a significant amount of money that I would have let go but I need the money because I was going back to school. He paid me back (with money he loaned from his girlfriend) and has treated me and my husband and daughter as if we don't exist. That's fine. No love lost.

The problem is that he has successfully manipulated his kids (who now have babies) to snub me. Except of course, when they think they might get some money or a gift out of me. 10 years ago my sister lost her best friend and suddenly wanted a relationship with me. I have tried to be a sister to her but I don't trust her and I don't feel good around her.

The worst thing is that brother and sister and father (who I don't have a problem with except for the fact that he doesn't stick up for me) all live in same neighborhood and are all very close and I am left out of their get togethers (even holidays). The very worst offense was in August when they threw my dad a birthday party IN MY TOWN and did not invite me and when I confronted my sister she lied to my face about it. I'm getting too old for this shit.

izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

martin jo~ probably a good step in the right direction. Also practice forgiveness because it saves you from guilt and other negative emotions.

Helen 3 years ago

Thanks Izettl - Its England I am not going back to - I feel far too uncomfortable to go back to my relations - here in Wales I have a voice - but not with my relations - keeping in touch with my brother though, my aunt won't allow me to contact her by telephone at all - she has put a permanent block on me, and the other relations of mine are more or less completely disinterested with me.

A Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year to yourself too.

movingonnow1 3 years ago

I would like some serious advice please will add my problem soon

movingonnow1 3 years ago

My niece in Cornwall asked me to go and help her clean her house. So I travelled the 300 miles when I got there the house was in a very bad state. No crockery, no food, the house was a mess dirty and un kept. The two young children 3 and 6 looked ok but they dont go to school and there is no real evidence of home teaching as what I was told. My niece does nothing but looks very disturbed and her behaviour is worrying. They all sleep in one bed although there are 4 bedrooms. The washing machine is on all the time with small loads and no powder then the laundry is piled high on radiator. She as moods swings which are frightening at times. She as cut herself off from her parents although I persuaded her to allow her father in to help me clean up. He had not been in the house for 6 months so was shocked at the state of things. I contacted the Health Visitor but they cant help. Im the only member of the family she will talk to so I must not get her to cut off talking to me. The children I fear are not being looked after properly. The father is allowed to see them but not at the house and after speaking to him he really is only worried about himself. Im sick with worry. Also the house she is living in belongs to her sister and Im worried that when she sees it she will ask her to leave. There is a man friend about 15years her senior who hangs around whom i met and took an instant dislike to. Im just a little bit concerned if she is thrown out she will move in with him, and im not sure if that is a good idea. Mainly because of the children is his interest in her or the girls ? I ask

myself. Any ideas suggestions ?

LJ 3 years ago

My father is the center of the universe in my family. Sorry to be so dramatic but it's the best way to describe it. He is extremely selfish and my mother is his enabler. Discussion or giving an opinion in my family is not allowed. Children were to be seen and not heard and were for washing dishes and being given the occasional whip with the belt. My father was a factory manager and treated his family similar to how he treated his workers. He believed intimidation tactics are the way to get things done. My sister and brother have bought into his techniques whole heartedly and bow to his rants and demands. I have married a man who is the opposite of my father and have a great marriage. We are in our early forties like many on this board. I have never had a single loving moment with my father that I can recall. Nevertheless I'd do anything to obtain his love and acceptance but it never came. I really did become the scapegoat as it was just easier to blame me than deal with any issue. I've told my mom how I feel and she admitted my father was an extremely selfish man who writes people off at his will - daughter or not. After my Thanksgiving trip I realized I had been unhappy the entire time. My father was very congenial even to my sisters husband I know he hates. I have come to a crossroad where I know nothing I do or say will ever change how he chooses to see me. There is no love there much less unconditional love but I can't ignore the elephant in the room. I always want to talk things through my parents want to avoid that at all cost. I think I finally realize my dream of a happy family if we just talked things through will never happen and it's too painful to keep seeing them knowing I'm treated but not welcome in their home.

Helen 3 years ago

For those who have followed my story the senior member of my relations - a family solicitor - has told me that "I have been a nuisance to us all". The family solicitor's words not mine. I will not be continuing with contacting them again except where politeness is required. I was never allowed to have a voice - which has been truly sad for me, for I get on so well with the people here in Wales.

LSD 3 years ago

to Helen........i've followed your post now for at least 12 months or more. WHY in god's creation are you STILL dealing with these people who don't respect you, don't love you and frankly are tearing you up inside. STOP IT!!!! It ends when you decide to take a stand for yourself. Who gives a shit if a senior member of your family thinks your a nuisance, he's a jerk- let him go, let them all go. YOU keep letting them hurt you. Don't even be polite, tell em to eat shit and die.

americaneon profile image

americaneon 3 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

I read this, and am dealing with this as I have all of my life. My family lives in another state, except for my dad, whom I've always been closest too, but now even that relationship is taking it's toll.

I have cut ties, but, where I am finding it hard and where I really would appreciate help and comments and advice is my two kids, who are wonderful, my joy. Every birthday and Christmas my mom sends a package and expects a call, and since I stopped making the call, now she calls. I can't bear it. My kids remember her as kind and loving to them as I shielded them, so I just say she lives far away. I feel tremendous guilt, but, having her out of our lives is the best for me. I want to just send those packages back telling her to leave us alone, but the guilt I feel that someday when the kids grow up and eventually talk to her she will make them resent me for it. Please help! I am miserable. Thanks in advance.

Helen 3 years ago

To LSD - Thanks, and you are right, my relations do not respect me, and from today I will not let them hurt me any more. Thanks for knocking sense into me - it hurt to know the truth, as they and I were once very close.

Helen 3 years ago

To Americaneon - I am sorry to hear of your situation. I don't know if I can be of any help - but my nextdoor neighbours are partners and both have had previous marriages with children of different ages. They have an arrangement with their previous family that the children visit them at the weekend. What about letting your children go and stay with their grandmother at the weekend and you have them for the week? That way, nobody would get hurt.

izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

americaneon~ I'm in a similar situation- we don't talk to my husband's mom. Mostly because she is mad at us for not getting custody of my husband's first daughter which was out of control -we fought but ran out of money to give to a lawyer. We have two kids together- both very young but my daughter now 5 does not understand why her grandma doesn't see her- she lives a few miles away. However, I have faith in the way I've raised my kids and know they can make a decision for themselves whether they want to see her someday when they're older. Lies may be told but my kids know me and I have more faith in that bond than them getting turned on me. If you are worried about this with your kids... talk to them appropriate for their age and explain why you don't see your mom much. Explain in a way they understand. As a child I hated not being told anything and left in the dark about stuff- your kids should ultimately trust your judgment.

Helen 3 years ago

Since I last posted my comment I am no further ahead with my situation, except I told the main member of the group of relations what I thought of him and told him he shouldn't suffer fools gladly meaning myself. I told him he was arrogant and he put the phone down. I have told another group member that I am now keeping out of the way.

fkthsht profile image

fkthsht 3 years ago from southern CA

Hi, I'm fkthsht's wife of 20 years. Sorry I didn't have time to create my own account so I could post here. I'm not the same person I was two years ago. For the last ten years it seems each year I got closer to the truth but I really wouldn't accept it because I honestly had such faith in my ties with my sister. At the age of 53 I learned that for me nothing is the way I believed it to be. My sister who I grew up and who I gave hours of my time to through her two divorces, her life afterwards, in meeting new people, her horrible job and the abuse she bitched about nightly as she drank herself into a slur of words which was my cue it was time to really hang up now. It was the only part of our "Thing together" that I found to be very ugly and upsetting. Yet I endured it because I loved my sister and wanted her to know it. I thought she thought just like I did. Hell we had the same two parents. Our parents were married 47 years before my mom died in 1986. I was 26 and my sister 6 yrs older than I. I promised my mom I'd love and care for my dad, my sister and my son Brandon. I forgot to take care of myself though. I put everyone else before me and I have since paid that price all alone in that place where my parents left me standing and where my sister and I joined hands and said to one another without needing words " Here we go like two orphans, no ones love but ours we can trust to be unconditional and true withstanding the test of time. Our friendship never swaying even when hit with bombs meant to destroy countries, our walls were built on LOVE like no other, it's material genuine, 100% pure and 100% ours. I can't explain to anyone really the deep friendship I thought I had. I believed we honestly knew each other, how we were, why we did the things we did, and the background of the person we grew into from childhood being raised by two very good people who loved us both equally. How could I be so wrong in this since after all we knew each other longest of anyone else in our lives. We loved each other unconditionally, understood each other, accepted one another flaws and all, AND HAD A BOND THAT NO MAN, WOMAN, LIVING THING COULD BREAK. I believed that we would be there with til the end. She would be the last person I saw before I passed on or vise versa. I believed that lie with all my heart. Until the day came that my world came crashing down around me and for once I needed her!!!!!!! And she turned her back on me. It was the absolute lowest time in my entire life. I had no one. My youngest son age 22 was in Afghanistan dodging bullets and landmines, the paper each day was heating up with news about "US Marines" having casualties and mother's having son's returned in body bags. My oldest son was in the middle of an even scarier war on drugs right here smack dab in the USA. At same time a friend of mine was living through her home being auctioned off from under her feet. My husband of 20 yrs I learn has been betraying me for a year and a half along with my cousin who was also married. All while he was telling me he was working on our marriage and going weekly to christian counseling and lying to his counselor and in our meetings we shared with same counselor he was acting the loyal devoted husband and accusing me of things that later I learned he was doing with my cousin who lives 7 hours away if driving, just one hour by plane. And when I had the print out of all the very descriptive secret face book chats and yahoo emails and his work emails too between my husband and my cousin. The I love yous and the talks about their encounters ( encounters that were when I was 600 miles away helping a woman alone pick up her pieces after it was taken from her (she is also the grandmother to my stepson's son-also my grandson-she is family and I went to help family because it was the right thing to do since her daughter lives on the other coast) and in those printed secret meetings a plan to run off with each other. He still lied. I dug deeper until I found other out my husband left work when he wanted to and even told me he was working on days he took off. I dug and found other email with women that I also knew and words he said to them when playing the role of devoted husband. Finally he admitted it but never admitted he ever got together with anyone. I reached out to my sister who told me it was too much drama then turned her back and remained friendly with our cousin. What a sad day that was and it still feels the exact same way today. Two months ago I over hear my husband who butt dialed me with his phone. He is having a conversation with a woman he knew through work. It was a very intimate conversation. I stayed on the line. This was the second time in two weeks he butt dialed me and I was able to hear him in conversation with other women. But this time I got angry and started yelling in the phone and he finally picked it up and said it was a joke. It just so happened that an hour before another woman working with him left a message for him about his sexy legs and his cheetah speedo briefs and him sprawled out on the fur rug for her. My husband rushed home and told me it wasn't what thought.It was just friend talk and this gals having troubles with her husband and the other gal who left the message was crazy and does that to all the guys there at work. My husband even gets some guy to call me saying he works at my husbands work and to say that the woman who left that message has worked there for 16 years and is a weirdo who has problems. I of course want to believe that there was nothing going on with anyone else. But it sure struck me as NOT JOKING material considering everything I'd dealt with 11 months before that. It wiped clean any trust I was struggling with giving my husband. I'm not a jealous person. Never have been and I refuse to become a jealous person now. I know I handle truth very well once it's out there. Now with me seeing the truth about my sisters love for me. And my husbands ability to lie to my face, accuse me of things he does, and to not mean he is sorry when he claims he is sorry. I trust no one now! My husband was fired two days after Thanksgiving 2012, just two months after learning of his flirting with co-workers. He claims it wasn't at all his conduct. The reason was they said he wasn't able to meet the goals for sales and they let him go after a big month of used car sales. Doesn't add up. He has been home 6weeks now and my house call logs show private calls and unavailable calls and he claims he doesn't know who is calling or who is taking those calls. Any lie I catch him in he tells me I'm crazy and he has had enough of my out there accusations. I'm ready to walk. I'd like some feed back please

Helen 3 years ago

To fkthsht - I am very sorry to hear of your situation and I hope it improves for you, but now you need to look after yourself - have you seen the film "Sex and Mrs X" - I recommend it to you - I have seen it a few times now and it has helped me quite a lot. Good luck.

fkthsht profile image

fkthsht 3 years ago from southern CA

thank you I will check out the film.

I went this last weekend to Las Vegas to watch the NFL playoffs with hubby & friends (they use to be our friends-now they are his friends). We had a good time but there was a chick there who is the soon to be-X wife of one of my hubby's friends who is sooooooooooo much like my cousin it ain't funny. This chick is evil. Why she went only she knows the answer to. They had separate rooms. She kept eye balling me and my hubby kept putting on a show with extra kisses and hand holding with me that it seemed like it was fake. A year and 4 months ago when I was digging when I found out about my cousin I found email and "Tango" with someone named MO. Funny but this chick is also a MO. My husband at the time said it was this old guy named MO who came into the car dealership alot. There was porn from him too. But I wondered why my husband would video chat with "MO" the dude on Tango? My husband would never be kewl and answer simple questions like that. He tried to make me feel like I was just some jealous whacked out tweeker. Ahhhhhh, but I so wasn't at all jealous. Concerned and jealous are two different things. I've never been the jealous type and I refuse to ever become the jealous type. I just want to get down to the bottom of all this with him so we can fix or move on is all. When I was going to counseling I found out that my husband had also told "MO" about my counselor Sue and she was seeing her too. So my husband had to be having conversations with her enough to recommend Sue to her. Anyway, This "MO" chick is out to cause chaos in the group of friends. My husband made a comment earlier last week before the Vegas trip about the Drama that was expected to maybe happen on the trip. I wasn't looking forward to it at all and figured it was Mo and her husband Mark my husband was referring to in that statement. I've now come to think maybe it was more than that and probably it was suppose to be me and MO. Which if that was what my husband thought then he doesn't know me. I've come back from this Vegas trip knowing now that my husband has serious issues and he does in fact play games and he does in fact think some pretty weird stuff. In me trying to work on my marriage and my sobriety I've changed up everything to where I'm home 24/7 accept when I go to meetings or on occasional one or two day trips with girls I know through my meetings. I still have a lot of work to do on me but the down side is I've given him the wrong impression. I look weak and needy. He, while he has me under his thumb is paying me back for all the things he thinks I did to him. Which is sad because I never did anything mean or out of spite to him ever. He even had the nerve to call me a scammer and that I scammed him which is just the opposite of my character. He use to say that I was talking shit to all my friends about him when in fact I never said a bad thing about him. But I know that that is his deal that he does with the people that use to be both our friends. He is a terrible gossip. He always wants to look like the good guy and make me look like the mean one to hide the truth about him. I get it now. He came from a family that was fucked up. His father did fucked up shit to his mother. I was caring for his mother and she told me about a lot of it so it clicks when he says and does certain things. My husband use to scream and say horrible things with my son sitting in a room 20 ft away and I would not want that to happen so I'd leave. He then made me out to be the bad guy. I should have left him then but my son was in high school and I didn't want to disrupt his life. And when I keep my friends away from my husband I find I still have friends a yr later. My husband is a likable guy, but he likes to stir shit. Today was my husbands first day back to work after 6 weeks off. I was looking online at the phone bill of his to get our credit card 800 number and I see where he called and talked to the person he said he was talking to the time he got caught talking intimately which he then said he was just joking with me, and he knew I was on the phone listening. I'll bet you that all the private calls coming in to the house stop now that he is back to work. Or are only at times when I am at meetings and out of the house. My husband says he loves me and does all these things for me. And I certainly do appreciate everything good he does do for me but it's all wasted when he does thoughtless hurtful things and treats me worse than he does strangers. He doesn't listen. A lot of messed up stuff has happened to me because of things he has done. I've lived a life away from my home and got involved in drugs too where I know if my home life wasn't so hurtful and messed up wouldn't be like that at all. If I feel strongly about something and I tell him about it it hurts me when I find out he lied to me about not doing something he did. Am I so off the mark. I gotta go research that film recommended I watch and watch it. So I'll close for now. Thanks again.

last shoe dropped..... 3 years ago

to ftkhsht or whatever it word of advise. ARE YOU CRAZY, i would have thrown that man out on the second lie!!! You deserve better than that, you can't trust your husband as far as you can throw him. Pack your bags and go to a friends home, better yet, get a good attorney and throw his worthless ass out.

Helen 3 years ago

To Last Shoe Dropped - It's none of my business you will tell me - but one cannot just walk out if one is penniless - here in Britain it is freezing - where would ftkhsht go if her husband is in control of finances - hence my advise to ftkhsht is to get her husband to fall in love with her again, it can happen.

Efficient Admin profile image

Efficient Admin 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

All of this information is Spot On! Very insightful and well written and I've been there and done that. Thank you for sharing this awesome hub. I'm just speechless how spot on everything is -- you hit all points on the head. Voted up and across.

LSD 3 years ago

I tell myself everyday; " past behavorior is a good indication of future behavorior" so when I get emotional over my decision of severing ties with my sister, I know I've made the right choice for me.

Helen 3 years ago

I felt I had to point out certain issues which might have become overlooked. When I was a child I ran away from home, not very nice when one runs of money. For myself I am going to call it a day where my relations are concerned but will be polite to them if they contact. I wish everyone a very happy new year. I do not wish to step on anybody's shoes so I will end by saying thank you to those who helped me and God Bless.

Helen 3 years ago

I will not be writing here again unless asked to. Goodbye

LSD 3 years ago

To Helen, please don't go away, we're all suffering and we all need each other to vent to. You must stay in contact with us all, it's good for the soul to vent your frustrations and to know you're not alone! xoxo

Helen 3 years ago

To LSD - Thanks - that was very kind of you. I stupidly telephoned my Aunt last evening, which put me back. Where I am concerned my relations can be very cold hearted

To LSD 3 years ago

I will stay

Helen 3 years ago

To LSD - I will stay comment is from me, forgot to put my name - am getting forgetful in my "old" age!

L.A.M 3 years ago

In the last five years of my life everything has crumbled around me. Started by a broken relationship, loss of a company, my oldest son at 18 started useing drugs. I decided to relocate myself out of my town and out of the state even to just get out of my life. I knew it would be difficult to relocate my two children but I slapped money down on a Attorney and left.

My brother and sister in law worked for a good company in the state i was relocating to and offered for me to come there and live with them and work where they work. Sounded great at the time, but three months living there, my brother started giving me settle hints that maybe me coming there was a bad idea.

I was feeling depressed and was feeling like I just ran away from my life, well, I did. I couldn't hide the depression very well from my brother, and it bothered him. Things went from bad to worse at home but as for work I was doing very well and up for a raise. My sister in law always complimented me on how well I was doing at work, but tired of trying to tame my brother down at home. I ended up not eating at home and driving around for hours after work trying not to go home. I stayed in my room at night and tried to leave on weekends just to avoid my brother. I even went to a park and sat around all day just to avoid going home.

The history of my brother and I was long distance, he moved away when I was very young. When my brother came home ..about once every five years, he was great to be around. I noticed he drank a lot but all in all seemed like a good guy to be around. Little did know know how bad his drinking problem was. He was drunk every day . I would not drink with him, and he was almost like I was affending him, or disrespecting him in his house. My brother always asked me to stay out of my room for the night and hang out with him but when I did all he would do is put me down, so I found reasons to go out or go back into my room. One time he asked me to watch a movie with him and I said i would but I have to call my kids and he replied that he didn't give a #$%^ about my kids. He bullied me and drilled me around like I was his punching bag. I would clean the house and always did dishes, my room was clean for inspection and my bathroom was spotless. I gave him little to complain about as far as the house chores. By the way... I'm almost fourty years old.

I was in shock, and figured that this was a bad idea, and what did I walk into. I just stayed to myself and went to work and tried to relocate my children there, but thinking no way in hell do I want my children around this. Two weeks ago I had enough after eight months, I just lost it, I packed my stuff and left, called a friend from back home and asked if I can come back and stay, and was on the first flight home. Now I have to try to get my kids back because the Father, another crazy mess and a was a huge reason why I left too in the first place.

My life is a mess but I'm not running out now. I'm home and going forword. However, I will never , ever speak to my brother ever again. I trusted him and my sister in law to move 1500 miles away for a better life to find a more abusive enviroment then I was in before. I am so angry right now at him, I don't care if he dropped dead at this point. I trusted him, gave almost everything up to be there with him. I lost my house, my car, everything, and please know this was about a six month decision to go there in the first place. Now, I have nothing..and I did this to myself. As for my brother, he can drink himself to death for all I care. I just need some peace and trying to get over such a bad idea that severed him and I for life. I'm not a victom, I know it was my doing to go there.... but feel like am the one to blame for my brother and I going wrong, because I do that about everthing, everybody. Always been like that, I will take the blame and feel shame... but trying to change it one day at a time.

Helen 3 years ago

To L.A.M - You need to look after yourself and become strong again emotionally, and at the same time work out a plan to get your children back. Does this make sense?

LAM 3 years ago

I fear it may be to late but am working on that …. My son wants to be with me but is afraid of his father and my daughter is being manipulated by him. He lets her do whatever she wants. I think she is angry at both her dad and I and should be. I have been down and out before and swore never again…. But this one takes the cake .

It makes perfect sense!

Thank you.

YR 3 years ago

I ran across this page while I was looking for answers to my situation. The problem is that for years 20+ my brother has used the family for his personal gain. He began his abuse at my expense by physically and verbally abusing me when I was around 12 years old. After that he went on to physically abuse his girlfriends and later his wife. Then he got into drugs and drinking which exacerbated the problem. During this time, his wife was diagnosed with cancer and later died from the disease. He was left with two young children whom my parents took in and raised as their own. I have a wonderful relationship with the two kids and think of them as my own. He has been in and out of jail but every time he comes out he is welcomed back into my parent's house. I feel impotent in the sense that I have expressed myself to them to let them know that I cannot be around him nor do I want him to part of my life. I believe that he is not a good influence on the kids and that his continued relationship with my parents is hurting the entire family. Most recently he hit my mother and was put on probation for a DWI. I do not talk with him, although he is often at the house, and because my parents continue to allow him to be there I feel that our relationship is strained and broken. I believe that they have chosen him and not me or what is best for the family. In addition to his treatment of women, he has verbally abused his son, who wants nothing to do with him. I am tired of dealing with this from both parents and having to see the destructive nature of his relationship with his children. I have made many attempts to talk with my parents but they do not see reason or perhaps feel a sense of obligation to him. I do not. My parents are the type of people that would rather sweep issues under the rug and present a good front to the crowd, and I just don't feel up to doing this anymore. My problem is that my niece still lives with them and to cut off ties from them would mean to distance myself from her, which I am unwilling to do. I feel guilty for not wanting to be around them and feel like a failure when I am. Just writing this down has brought some clarity to me and that is that since I want to have a relationship with my niece I believe that I can find ways to put up with my parents and their son, until she graduates from high school and moves to college at which time I will re-evaluate the situation. I truly believe that the day will come when we have a falling out of massive proportions, until that time, I will grin and bear it.

Helen 3 years ago


I don't want to take over from Izettl the hub author.

From my past experience my brother had schizophrenia - it was hell for my parents and myself to live with my brother - so I know what you are experiencing. Are you in a position be able to live independently but to visit? I am sure your parents love you - that I am certain of - it is more I think that they have this extra responsibility which they have resigned themselves to. I ope everything works out for you.

Helen 3 years ago

To Izettl - the Hub Author

Please let me know if you wish me to leave this hub site - I have been offering advice from personal experience, but please tell me if I in the way. If I don't hear otherwise, I assume it is alright to continue where I can be of help

Helen 3 years ago

Am glad to say that for me things have improved - I have become much stronger to speak my mind and it seems to have brought respect, instead of my having been used for a door mat for those to wipe their feet.

LSD 3 years ago

to Helen.....I'm so damn proud of you!!!! See what happens when you take control of your life and stand up for yourself, you get respect and it feels good to take your life back! I hope you continue to get the respect you deserve, you've been hurt way, way to long.

Helen 3 years ago

To LSD - Thanks - I do feel better for it - but working on them still needs to be done.

izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Thank you "Efficient admin". Thanks for stopping by.


This all sounds horrible. If I were you I would work on a life without him, but with him...if you feel you can't leave him. He may get interested in you if you have your own life and besides that it would give you more self confidence as well. Do your own thing girl. Right now my mom is extremely unhappy with her husband so she moved into her own place, has her own life...because he controls the finances. He doesn't s want a divorce because his money will be taken so he provides for her on her own without the divorce. Yes, she wants a divorce but this is second best right now. One day at a time and you shouldn't go another day in this situation so if you really can't leave, live your own life.

izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author


Also, find another hobby besides finding out if he's cheating. Get your own life. It is possible even in this marriage. Kids act badly when they want attention, well your giving him plenty of attention by checking up on him. Give it up. If you think he is cheating, he probably is so don't let him control you emotionally and give up on him. Focus on you, even within the marriage, you can.


You've hit the proverbial bottom. No where left to go but up. Sit down and get your life on track. Think of step 1 then 2 then move slowly toward a goal you have. Make some short term plans because right now you're reacting to everything instead of being proactive. You need to get back in driver seat. Where's the attorney who's working for you? In my state mom usually gets kids unless she is really messed up by drugs or abusive so if that's the case get yourself straight and if you are still on drugs, your kids shouldn't be with you. You want what's best for them, not just to win them. Get yourself on a path then get your kids and make a plan. Don't be on the defense, take charge. Taking the blame like you do is reacting like a victim. Nobody deserves crap, you choose crap. If you have low self esteem, work on that. Try to be in a position where you at least have consistent contact with your kids.


I think your advice is perfectly fine. We can all help each other out. I think positive and constructive advice is best. And you seem to be great source for support on here.

Helen- 3 years ago

Thanks Izettl

A newish problem has come up. I have new neighbours of about five months. One or two days a week, usually at weekends, they have their own - understandably winding down after a tiring week at work. But they have the volume on full blast - last night their music sounded as if it was in my bedroom - semi detached with thin walls. I have spoken to them three times about this. I own my property but they rent theirs. When they have their "party" they are unapproachable, as they will not come to the front door to answer. I had no problems with previous neighbours. I have informed the police and their landlord, but am trying not to take it further. They are partners with previous marriages with children. But they go about their own way. It has been suggested I move but why should I? Any advice would be welcome - Thanking you.

LSD 3 years ago

I had to do the second hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life.....tell my sister that I will not sit down and talk with my younger sister who I severed ties with two years ago. The hardest thing I've ever done was make the decision to sever ties in the first place. The best decision I've ever made was to sever ties in the first place.

Helen 3 years ago

To LSD - These decisions are difficult - I agree. I gave a severe talking to to my Solicitor cousin that he can't go around treating the rest of the family like dirt, he was shocked because I used to be too afraid to answer back.

LSD 3 years ago

The past should never define us. We must rise above it and not be chained to the pain. I want to teach my children to have compassion for people who are not emotionally or mentally on the right path but not to let them define our future as a family. I severed ties because my sister will not change, is causing damage to my family and we must move on. Women MUST set examples for their children. It's not about hate, revenge or spite, it's about love.

Helen 3 years ago

I had to make a very difficult decision today - my relations have told me that they do not want many telephone calls from me. I have now told them that I will acknowledge, be polite and be friendly - but for me to make voluntary contact - no. They are now too set in their ways and will not change. It seems strange for what has just occurred, but it was necessary - for it was beginning to affect my health, and I cannot let their ways affect my "relationship" with those around me where I live - it is a small community here in Wales and we all seem to get on well with each other. I will be fine, and I wish everyone well

Grace 3 years ago

Hi everyone,

Thanks for sharing on such a difficult and painful aspect of relationships!

First i would like to help clarify that it is alright to cut "soul" ties with whoever you are related to or engaged with in an unhealthy relationship that is "killing you softly" little by little affecting your personal well-being, self-esteem and overall health!

Secondly, you cannot cut family ties because the lineage is intact!

So there is a difference between "soul-ties" and family ties!

Just remember to make your stand if some family member(s) try to control you, manipulate you or deceive you... keeping a distance or lessen your contact/visitation or even absent from him/her will do you good! Forming healthy "soul ties" in a reciprocal and mutual relationship benefits our souls... help us to grow and bond as a family...

Only in cases if some events need you to be present should you then show up because you are still family! Otherwise do not stay around to be abused or taken advantage of/taken for granted!

Also be mindful not to be resentful nor bitter towards your offender! This will help you stay healthy in your spirit, soul, mind & body!

Take courage! God bless

Helen 3 years ago

To Grace - Thank you for your advice - to me it makes sense, as I have been hurt by my lot - they were fine when my parents were alive, but my relations treated me as if were the family idiot. I thank Izettl for this hub site as otherwise my friends would have become frantic with my constant disbelief that I have had to endure since it began. But now I feel I should step aside.

Helen 3 years ago

I thank all those who kindly helped me - all the irritation I have had to endure with my lot has now gone - God willing.

God bless to all

movingonnow1 3 years ago

Hi Advise please... I am one of 4 daughters ... we are all well over 50years of age. Only two of us have children myself I have a lovely 19year old son at University. The other sister as two daughters both in their late 30 early 40's. My sisters over the years have been dreadful to me and without going into great details I have had to struggle with life issues without their help and support. However, about 2 years ago I had a call out of the blue from one sister going into great detail about our niece. I had not seen my niece for years and years ..she was seperated and was gettng over very bad post natal depression. Being a Midwife I wished someone had conntacted me sooner. Anyway she was renting her sisters house along with her two very young children 3years and 6 years ( two girls) We got talking maybe once or twice a week and then she would start calling me 3 4 5 times a day. Her moods were all over the place accusing people of all sort of things. I went to stay with her for a couple of nights. The house was in such a mess there was no crockery or cutlery the floors filthy the girls looked sad and drawn. She keeps the eldest from school on the grounds she home tutors but there was no evidence of this. They all sleep in one room even though there are 4 bedrooms. There is a much older man around whom I took an instant dislike to and fear he is interestead in her vunerable state and with two young girls !!! Her parents live only a few minutes away but they have all but given up on her. My other sisters also have given up which I'm upset about. I live 300miles from her so I cant keep going down there. I speak to the father of the girls now and again but I think he is hiding his head in the sand. I really think she needs help and that she is suffering from some sort of mental disorder. I have spoken to health visitors, social workers, dr's, police to no avail.... Any suggestions

Helen 3 years ago

to movingonnow1 - I was going to step aside, but felt I had to help where I can. Are you able to make arrangements for your niece to be seen to by her doctor - to assess the situation or not. I am worried for the niece that she might do something silly -I do not want to worry you but I heard of a lady who suffered with post natal depression so badly that in the end sadly she took her own life which was a great shock to all who knew her. I think she should be assessed by a doctor who can help her with treatment. My brother suffers with schizophrenia and he is much better after treatment - and is living in a half way house amongst others with similar mental health problems. Or/and is there a self help group which she can go to? Perhaps you should nag at the social services until they give in. I hope I have been of some help.

elipoo 3 years ago

I love this article. I'm turning 34 this week and I'm finally realizing how 'done' I am with my abusive family. I think some people really should not have children. I loved reading the comments here, as it made me feel less alone. My parents physically and mentally abused me all throughout my life. They have never admitted it and instead say things like, ''Abuse? We never abused you. It's called discipline''. I remember my friend's mother trying to get legal custody of me because of the bruises and all of the scars she saw on my body. I'm just happy that I'm now in a place where I'm making new (healthy) friendships, so the whole process of severing ties is much easier. I really hope that at some point my parents realize how terrible they were, but I'm guessing that won't ever happen. I'm just trying to learn how to take care of myself now that the 'jerks' (including ex-boyfriends/shady people in general) will soon be completely eliminated from my life. YAY.

Paradise 3 years ago

TO elipoo,

welcome to our side of the world !! It's a place where all we seek is peace and solitude and to be treated with respect. We've all walked down the lonely road of hurt and abuse in one form or another and now we're all learning to move on ( hence we've all found each other on this webpage ) Stay strong, and carry on! Don't look back just keep moving forward. No one can hurt you anymore.......we won't allow it!!! xoxo

movingonnow1 3 years ago

To Helen Thank you. I have spoken to her GP but he can not do anything, re patient confidetiality. She must go to him for help herself. When I have suggested this to her, she can not accept she needs any professional help. Her Mother ( my Sister ) does not want to know her anymore and as told all sorts of things to my other sisters who now do not want to support my niece. Her Mother is not a very nice person I broke off relationships with her about 8 years ago the best thing I have ever done.

rosielu 3 years ago

I cut ties with my dad five years ago and my sister 12 years ago, last year i mend the relationship for my mother who has left me when i was 6 years with another man....the reason is my dad all my life favorite my sister and brother and i was the dark sheep ,,i can do no good in his eyes.

Helen 3 years ago

To movingonnow1 - I hope things will be better for you and your niece. These things take time - and now you must look after yourself.

Helen 3 years ago

Today, I have decided to cut ties with most of my relations.

Pinky muwah 3 years ago

Hi there please help I have had start a drama on my family / cousins and aunties because I have said bad thing about them only because I was bein selfish and rude but to say bad stuff to make myself look better. I don't know how to deal with it because I know they will hate me don't know how long but it hurts and I don't think I will forgive myself for it.

Helen 3 years ago

Probably my last time on here - To Pinky muwah - These are strange times we are living in, I feel, and there are times when things are said under duress - and I can understand it. Be happy with yourself and when you are next with them show them that you have changed, that way you will be able to forgive yourself and they will in turn I am sure respect you for your honesty. Good luck.

izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Pinky Muwah~ If you said the bad things all you can do now is earn trust and forgiveness and prove yourself with honesty going forward. There are consequences to all we do. Work on yourself and concentrate on that.

Rosielu~ sounds awful. I was an only chikld and still not my dad's favorite and could never do right in his eyes, but realized he was in his own inner pain and it reflected onto me, now I just don't take his words personally and if he gets negative I walk away or change subject. It works, but we did cut ties for a few years. sometimes some space helps you gain your confidence back so someday you can better deal with the circumstances

izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Elipoo~ Sounds like your decisions are good right now. You will se a difference in your life when you fill it with more positive people. I still have things to learn and some people that I cut ties with whom I've been in contact with again, I have to keep strict on boundaries. I just can't let myself be victim because they often have patterns of behavior where they just take advantage or abuse. They don't often change, but I did and strong people change. Good for you!

Paradise~ great words and so true! So many of us have gone through this and go through it ongoing. Stay strong.

Helen~ dont accpet peopel around you who do not fully appreciate you. Ive been in my life where it seems if I cut ties with all the "unhealthy" people in my life, there would be nobody left. It was kind of true for a while until I got myself together and everything else came together. I really limit some people in my life who are from my family and some others still no contact. I just make peace with it and know I did my best. Having kids makes me realize there are some people I just don't want around. I shouldn't have to do all the effort- neither should you.

Helen 3 years ago

To Izettl - Thanks for your advice. I thought there was something wrong with me at first. But I realise it is not me - it is my relations. I live in a countrified village with really friendly people - and I am now glad I came to live here - I couldn't go back were I to win millions - as time has distanced me from my blood relations. I am accepted here but am not accepted by most of the relations, their loss. Again Izettl thank you for your advice.

brenda 3 years ago

Thire is no reason for some one to be rude and unkind to you. We all have unfaire things happen in our lives. Love yourself and others will love you to,and those who dont love will learn the hard way. You can lead a dog to water but you cant make him drink.

Helen 3 years ago

To Brenda - Very true to what you say.

Paradise 3 years ago

when you finally come to the realization that you're "DONE" and you severe ties with the people who continuely hurt get to lay your head down on your pillow at night and say out loud " it's finally over, they can't hurt me anymore"

Donna-1 3 years ago

I have dreamed for years about detaching from my family permanently. I have schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (have been diagnosed with both) and have a tough time dealing with relationships. All I want is to get far enough away from them to finally have a life of my own and not be permanently entangled in all the daily demands of emotional housekeeping. While I realize mental illness may skew how I see things, I don't think I'm far off the mark to say I'd be better off on my own. The normal feelings of bonding and attachment are not there, so it is like being in a houseful of strangers when we get together. I have my own set of friends with whom I feel much more closeness, inclusion and understanding. Every phone call, holiday party, email, luncheon, serves as a reminder that although they are my family of origin there is nothing left to tie us together. It's not that I am a monster seeking to rip family harmony to shreds, I just want privacy and respect and freedom to heal on my own.

Pegasus2005 3 years ago

I have probley been in a similar situation to Donna, I have never been to the doctors or been diagnosed with anything but I have been looking on the net and I think I probley have some sort of bipolar, not sure. But there was a time where I was really messed up mentally and emotionally, smoked a lot of dope and drunk a lot and I sent some not very nice e-mail to a relative, some pretty crazy e-mails and ever since they have hated me and when I thought we were making progress I did the same thing again. Its like I had certain impulses, crazy impulses to say crazy things that I later regretted. I really just want to cut my ties with this relative aswell as their mother, my auntie. I really hurt them and its effecting my mum but my mum has not idea about my craziness. I kind of want to make some sort of amends with the relatives I have mistreated and leave on some sort of high, well the best I can create, just for my mums sake really. Im really not bothered about seeing these relatives again but there Im always going to have some sort of connection with them, especialy as my gran(my mums mum) is getting older in age. I just want to run away and never come back.

Helen 3 years ago

When I thought things were improving - they have now got worse. My relations can contact me from now on but I will not be contacting them any more - they don't care what they say or don't say, so I am cutting them off now, I'll acknowledge, be polite, and be friendly, but after their cruel words I have now had it and am calling it a day with them.

movingonow1 3 years ago

Oh Helen Im sorry to hear things have got worse for you. I have tried and tried to get my Sister and her husband to see that their daughter my niece is likely to be suffering from a mental illness. They seem now to be taking some notice and easing up on her. But I know if it goes wrong they will be cruel to me again. Im keeping my distance from my sisters they have always used me as their kicking ball.... Every time I think it would be good to make contact with them I stop and think about how I felt when they said such cruel hurtful things to me, or when they ignorned my request for help and support. When I think about how I felt and that knowing they could still do / say / hurt me again I know I will not make contact with them again. Im now someone with no siblings and that is official in my life.............

Rose 3 years ago

For the past three years or so I have been having conversations with my brother about how I want us to become closer, and not just him and myself but our other siblings as well (there are five of us total). We've all been through a pretty crappy childhood due to huge mistakes their birth mother and my father made, mistakes my birthmother and my father made... things that children shouldn't have gone through, we did. I had always thought that when we got into our mid-twenties/early thirties that we would be able to have conversations about it or at the very least put it all behind us and have more than crappy childhoods in common.

For the longest time he told me he understood where I was coming from, my desire to be closer to my family, and that he wanted the same things. However, right before we were going to hang out he had seen something on my facebook page (a conversation between my friend and myself about birth control and not having children until we were ready) and he kind if lost it. He posted pictures of him and my neice on my page, a video of him and her sledding, and told me to look up lyrics to a song (that essentially had talked about how my niece was unplanned but she's his everything). When I confronted him about it, he had just said he was having trouble sleeping, that he had taken sleeping pills and had a knee jerk reaction. I explained to him that I was not referring to my niece at all and that I was sorry he took it that way.

Well, ever since then he has kept his distance from me, even though I have apologized. He was getting married and I kept trying to ask him what was going on with his wedding, you know like how is the planning what are you up to, and he would just give me really short answers. I would see on his facebook that his half brother from his Mom's remarriage were involved in his wedding and it was hurtful to me. eventually I asked him if there was a specific reason why he wasn't including me or my sister or my Mom (who helped raised him, taught him how to read... etc) and he said no and then he told me he was planning on involving me he just didn't know if I wanted to be.

So, after the wedding, my fiancé and I were going through some tough decisions and trying to figure out if my fiancé wanted to join the military or not (My brother had just retired from the military after more than 10 years of service). Every time that my fiancé tried to get ahold of my brother, my brother gave him a vague response and never gave him a time frame on what would work with him. Eventually I told my brother I was really disappointed that they could meet up and he went off saying that it was our fault that we didn't make enough of an effort.

At that point, I became fed up with his attitude and his treatment of me so I removed him from Facebook because I was sick of seeing how he could spend plenty of time with his Mother's side of the family but it was like pulling teeth to try and get him to spend any time with me (He would post pictures of him and his brothers going out, or holiday events with his Mom's family). I had previously told him that that really hurt me.

Eventually, my brother realized that I had removed him and his wife from facebook and asked me, "Can you explain to me why you removed my wife and I from facebook?" I explained to him that I was really hurt that no matter what I did he didn't seem to have time for me, that I had been trying to communicate with him why I was hurt, and that I decided I didn't want to see posts on facebook that were hurtful to me anymore so I figured distancing myself that way would be a good idea. He then said, "You do realize you are contradicting yourself by saying you want to be closer with me but that you want to detach." I said to him, "We can have a relationship offline." To which he said, "well let me know when you want to re-establish this relationship".

He then went on to have a birthday party for his daughter, invited both my sisters and my mother but purposefully did not invite me. He eventually told my Mother he didn't feel he did anything that I had not warranted as well as calling me selfish.

It has been about 6 months since all of this more or less came to a head and he hasn't tried to talk to me at all; although he told my Mother that him and I should really talk this out. I feel as though I have done more than my share to communicate how I was feeling, why I did what I did, and it just really hurts because it feels as though he does not care enough to fix things with me. Or to even accept any responsibility in our fall out. I get really uncomfortable when I think about family get togethers because I do not know how to act around him. I am not the kind of person that pretends like everything is okay when it isn't. Right now, I hate whenever someone brings up my brother or his wife, especially now that they are pregnant because I wish that I could be involved but I don't think he deserves my time. I wish that my Mother and my sister wouldn't talk to me about him. I have told them both how I feel and I have said that I don't want anything to do with him yet they keep talking to me about it.

I guess I just am wondering if I am doing the right thing by staying away from him and is there anything else I should be doing?

Helen 3 years ago

To movingonnow1 - Thank you for your kind words. I am glad your sister and brother in law are at last taking notice of you, and I shall be keeping my distance now from these relatives who cannot see beyond their own noses. Thank God I live where the people are friendly. I hope things become better for you.

Helen 3 years ago

For me, because family relationships have now become so difficult I have decided to cut out the negative and only stay with the positive. I have been told the senior and most authoritative members of my family that I have been a nuisance to all of them with my persistence in keeping in touch with them. I have never been allowed to be myself and have never been allowed to have my voice heard by them. I will not be looking back now but staying with what is good for me for the present and for the future. My character has changed considerably which my relations cannot come to terms with hence their attitude towards me, so I am going to stay positive for the present and for the future. For me the past has gone and is no use hanging onto as it only makes one miserable and what is the point of that. A Happy Easter to all.

Helen 3 years ago

I have just emailed to my cousin with whom I can rely upon for important information so that it relieves me of further contact with those negative relations so that they and I can now get on with our lives. It has taken all this time for me to conclude that this is the right course to take now so that there are no further emotional downsides with themselves and me.

Helen 3 years ago

To Izettl and to all those who supported me - thank you once again. Things are now improving for the better for me. I am now sleeping better as a result and I have now more confidence in myself. If you don't hear from me for a while it is because all the bitterness has now gone.

I wish everyone well and hope things work out better for all.

God Bless and Goodbye.

Donna-1 3 years ago

Update: Yesterday I finally did the deed. I set letters to my mother, brother and sister telling them that at least for now, I am completely detaching from them. For the sake of my own health. Now the hard part will be not answering their calls, emails, attempts to visit, etc. I respect that they have their own lives, their own needs, but these don't necessarily intersect with mine. I had such a good night's sleep last night!

movingonnow1 3 years ago

Hi Helen I think from some of your postings you live in Wales UK. I also live there if you want to keep in touch let me know.

Helen 3 years ago

To movingonnow1 - That is good to hear that you live in Wales - my email address is - Helen with lower case. I live in Pontwelly, Carmarthenshire almost next door to Shell Petrol Garage and CK supermarket. If you are ever up this way you will be welcome to look in. The Shell Petrol Garage will tell you where I live.

Helen 3 years ago

To movingonnow1 - Yes I would like us to keep in touch.

movingonnow1 3 years ago

Hi I live in Aberystwyth my email is do get in touch margaret

Helen 3 years ago

To movingonnow1 - I sent an email to your address above - perhaps it has got lost on the way.

Helen 3 years ago

Due to illness in the family, I am now leaving this hub site - God Bless to all

izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Helen, I am sorry to hear about an illness. Certainly write to let us know you're ok.

I'm glad you and movingonnow have exchanged contacts.

Helen 3 years ago

To Izettl - Thank you for you sympathy - it is my brother David who is ill - he has had xrays taken and had a blood test taken - it is now a matter of waiting for the results. I have told most of my family - they and I are getting on much better now. My brother has been a heavy smoker most of his life which doesn' t help. I am myself fine thank you - hoping to win the lottery ! as I am in a financial rut at the moment, but am managing. I look into this hub site nearly everyday so don't worry - haven't completely left !

Helen 3 years ago

To Izettl - Follow up of news of my brother David - got in touch with the home where he is being looked after - and the office told me that they are looking after him well - which is reassuring. My doctor told me I have a little high blood pressure and I am now making efforts to lose 6 stone.

PAUL 3 years ago

I had a wonderful relationship with my sister my enitre life, but about 7 years ago, I noticed several things changing in her life. Her husband would screen all calls to her. Yes she has a cell phone, but simply stop taking my calls. It was hard for me to directly talk to her about this, so I would talk with other brothers and sisters. They said jus hang in there. I am now at peace and wish my sister only happiness.

izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Helen~ I have ongoing health problems, chronic conditions, but hang in there and try to be a good support system for your brother as well as take care of yourself.

izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author


Some things people just have to figure out or deal with themselves. We all go through rough spots in life and being patient with your sister is probably best. Keep a watch out for obvious signs of abuse within her relationship, and if that occurs you can give her a business card or number for a support or intervention type of professional help.

jennifer stewart 3 years ago

i have no ties so i have nothing to sever bye

Helen 3 years ago

To Izettl - Thanks

Lulu 3 years ago

You make some very inciteful observations, but I am distracted by your grammar ... The continual misuse of the word effect for example

Who else in the family does it effect? When it should read Whom else in the family does it affect.

Effect is a noun; affect is a verb

And who is the subject, whom the object of the verb.

I'm sorry to be so picky, but I especially found reading effect over and over to be a distraction from an otherwise well thought out blog.

Helen 3 years ago

To Lulu - not all of us are perfect.

Helen 3 years ago

To Izettl - I will not be making any more comments for some while as I now need to get myself back to normality after having endured a lot - so am concentrating on myself from now on. Thank you again Izettl and to my supporters for having helped me through a very difficult time. God Bless.

Helen 3 years ago

To Lulu - Thank you for correcting me. Goodbye.

movingonnow1 3 years ago

Hey I looked back on Helens entries and I can't see what Lulu is going on about. But then the question I ask is does that really matter ? we are not here entering a English language exam. Please don't let us get into a debate over this, it detracts from the whole point of why this site remains.

izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Thank movingonnow and Helen. I think you made the point!

Lulu, people are my niche. Grammar is yours. Don't be sorry about being picky, I'm just so glad I'm not you. If you're this picky with a random stranger, I can't imagine how you are on yourself. Admittedly I wrote this with a baby bouncing on my lap. I love to write, kept me sane when I stayed at home with a baby so here is something you can try...entertain a baby while writing a blog. Then I'll come critique it. Fair enough. You are great at grammar. I encourage and appreciate constructive criticism, but honestly yours wasn't constructive. You gave me a half ass compliment that had no point really. There's a million places on the Internet that could use a grammar nazi.

aloneranger 3 years ago

Amazing place this is , many thanks.

I grew up being the eldest child of 3 to 3 different fathers. My mother always treated me differently, I was told my father was a bad person, mother used to see him in me, looks-wise and take her anger out on me. My sister is 2 years younger than me and apparently her father although having drug problems which he died of , was the love of my mothers life, she was always spoiled and getting away with everything and anything. My brother was born when I was 14, I was left a lot to look after him, I did this willingly as I had already been looking after any small children in the extended family from a much younger age. A lot of responsibility. His father tried to touch me and I never was able to tell my mother as she would not have believed me. I left the family home at 18, looking back I did this to get away from the dysfunctional life of a mother and step father constantly drinking an fighting . Even after leaving, my mother controlled me in many ways. At family events for many years to come I always felt like an outsider .

Fast-forward to about 5 years ago. ( I am now 45) My mother was always in my home , sometimes several times day , if I was not at home she would drive round looking for me and calling and texting me till she got me, and then quiz me about why I had been out of the house. At this time was a single having had a 13yr relationship fail,I had tried to save it but the father of my then baby was doing bad drugs and would not admit it or seek help or infact talk about it. I had no choice but to leave for the sake of my baby. So a single mum, I chose to look after my son, still being put upon by people to look after their kids, including my sister.

On day a cousin asked how my mother had got on at "the family dinner", I knew nothing of it. Next time she came I asked her about it (I would not have went even if I had been invited) and instead of telling me about it, she was FURIOUS that I had found out about it. Ranting and raving ,shouting and swearing, so much so that my neighbours appeared to make sure I was ok. She left promising to find the person who told me and confront them. This is when I realised she had been keeping her life with me apart from her life with my siblings and cousins etc. She did not speak to me for over a year. Till she was diagnosed with cancer. This is when my sister got married . I was not invited. I was there for her during this time, but in the last weeks, my sister and brother took over and would not allow me to be near her, we still chatted and texted till my sister took her phone away. They did not contact me to tell me she had died. I heard through a relative. The even worse part was that she did not want a funeral or service of any kind. That was really hard to cope with. I feel there was no reason for my sister or brother to fall out with me, Iknow it was a lot of bitching and nastiness. They even tried to cut me out of her will. Left my name out of her obituary, and claimed I had never loved her. I since found out that my father was not a bad person atall, he just did not love her as he couldn't trust her. I found out today that my brother was married 2 weeks ago , a huge wedding. I just feel that all the love and giving and being there for them all brought me nothing but heartache. I would not have put up with such behaviour from friends or indeed strangers. People don't understand my situation, that now my only next of kin is my 16 year old son. Sad but true. I just hope neither of my siblings comes to me looking for a kidney or something, it may sound harsh but they already had my heart and ripped it apart. I don't have the horrible feeling of being bullied and used and abused to suit them, but it is hard having no family atall. I hope at this late stage in life I can move on and learn to trust again.


movingonnow1 3 years ago

Met up with one of my sisters recently who I have not seen for a long while. Over the years she has said things which have been very hurtful and certainly taken there toll on my emotions. I have worked hard all my life and earned every penny, but have also tried to be a generous human. I looked at her and thought how sad she is and when I got close to suggesting keeping in touch, I stopped and thought of how she as treated me. It might sound trival but about 15years ago when money was very tight and I was struggling. Her husband had just sold his business and she visited me in her Porsche and during a meal made a comment " well there is only so much you can do with another million pounds " Her presents were always at the best a joke, at the worse insulting. For my 60th she gave me a plastic shopping fold up bag, the year before she gave me paper napkins. She as no children I have just one lovely son who is now at University. She would send him a £5 or £10 note for Xmas or Bday. Her and her husband would make derisive remarks about our home ie our double glazing, how cheap and naff white double glazing looks. Our cars, our clothes..... Cutting ties with her .... as helped me build up my self esteem and have decided not to maintain much contact with her

Donna-1 3 years ago

Feel drained today. When I don't contact my mother every day, she says she is going to die. That I absolutely must contact her "so I will know you are all right." What she wants is to feel I need and love her. She wrote this ridiculous letter to me last week when I failed to call her 3 days in a row. She told me she was so glad I would never leave her (!) and how kind I always was to her (!) and that I am the only person who understood and cared for her (!). And on and on she went, ending it by saying she sings my praises to anyone who will listen. It was like wishful thinking. I read it to my therapist, and she said, "Your mother is sick."

izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Alone ranger, so sad about your mom, but even worse the way your family/siblings have behaved. I hope you can move on and it would be worth the time and energy to spend getting back on track without them for now...instead of wasted time and energy on them. I wrote this hub years ago and it has proven to me, after working hard to mend some broken ties, that they are broken with those same people I write this. Just not worth the time and energy. Thanks for sharing your story.


Your sister sounds horrid. Very superficial. Those kind of people don't stay long in my life. Best to ignore her behavior.


I can relate. My mom is nearly as bad. She calls me three times a day no fail. If I don't answer once a day she calls my husband to see if I'm ok. She will call to tell me not to drive cause I was tired that day. Ugh. I feel your pain...she gets worse with age sadly. I ignore it mostly, I know she means well, but there is some neuroticism to it so I keep my distance. Thanks for sharing.

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izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Lena, thanks for your support. Your hostile remark lets me know you are part of a problem or you are the one in 10 million that doesn't have family issues. I wish you well.

Helen 3 years ago

I can't believe it is four weeks since I last commented. Am now getting my life back to some normality, and am feeling a lot better for it. I am trying to get interested in other things to take my mind off those negative relations. It is, you could say, their loss but my gain, and I think my friends have noticed a more positive outlook in me. I wish everyone well and hope things sort themselves out for yourselves.

Red Valentine 3 years ago

Thanks so much for this Hub, izett1. Who knows how many more of us are reading and benefitting from this besides those who post.

It is very nice to have it all kind of spelled out and also to see how similar and familiar a lot of the stories are.

Maybe most of us would never put up with any of this mess if a new person came up to us and treated us so shabbily. But with family, it can be such a confusing swirl. It just doesn't make any sense why people would want to consistently treat a family member so poorly.

I have cut off several of them through the years. It is interesting you said they get worse as they get older. I have noticed that myself but never heard anyone say it. Another thing that changes, is that as I get older, I am much less likely to put up with nasty people, whoever they may be. Best wishes to all of you.

izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Helen, Good to hear from you and I think diversion is healthy way to get your mind off things.

Red Valentine,

that's my hope is that it can help many, and most importantly help them feel they're not the only ones with these family issues and struggles. I hear you on putting up with less nasty people as you get older. Me too!Thanks for stopping by.

ReadyToGo 3 years ago

Hi, I just found this and felt reassured. Even though I'm 22, I've wanted to cut ties with my brother for years, and while I knew I needed to cut ties, my mom would be sad about it--to be honest, I'm not quite sure what she'd do or if she would let me cut the sibling ties.

I am the eldest and only daughter, and I have two younger brother. K is only a year and a half younger than me. We should have been close enough in age to play together and have a great time, but no. I have no clue what happened, but my simple "I'm mad at you" evolved to "I completely hate you and want nothing to do with you." My mom is a big believer in not being able to hate anyone and would probably write me off, but I know how I feel, and, honest to God, I hate K. I also have some resentment towards her even though I don't want us to be apart.

Normally if a child was misbehaving, or did something bad, there would be some sort of punishment. Grounding from electronic items were usually effective until K found a way out of it. If K bothered me, Mom would just say "Just ignore him." If ignoring bullies at school never worked, why would ignoring a sibling work? Then, when he was grounded, he would purposefully annoy her to the point where she would take him off the grounding. One time K made a deal to eat three jalapenos to get off the grounding.

I love my mom, I do. She's never judged me, she has encouraged me on, but with K, I don't get it. Yes, our stepdad treated him like a scapegoat, but if he's doing something he shouldn't, or is being extremely rude and disrespectful, he should be called on it. Not be babied and spoiled.

He talks over me, he's stolen things, and borrowed things only to never return them, he constantly asks Mom for money with no thoughts on how to pay her back (and Mom just gives him the money anyway), then when I'm forced to let him "borrow" money from me, he makes Mom pay be back instead of paying me back himself. He even claims that he's a perfect human being. I wish I was joking. He's 20 and he still whines at mom for stuff. Not to mention that he's only had relationships with girls to have sex with them.

What irks me now most of all is that my room isn't my private place anymore. I have no place or thing that hasn't been touched by him or my youngest brother, N. N has learned from K that it doesn't matter whether or not to knock on a LADY'S door. I've had to be roommates with K for the first ten years of my life, and spent the next nine years being roommates with my grandma. I have never had my own room until only a couple of years, so when people just walk in my room I feel like I'm being invaded. Of course when K walks in, the feeling of anger is heightened because it's combined with everything else plus anticipation for the future. And of course, my door doesn't have a lock--not even the cheap ones where even a penny could unlock it.

To create what ever boundary I have left--my words, my feelings, my thoughts, and my mind--I have chosen to ignore him at all costs in hopes that he will get the hint and he has to either do the same and ignore me as much as he can, or to change his attitude completely. After almost a year of this, not much luck.

Like tonight. Mom and I are bonding over a TV show, K comes home from his new job as a dishwasher, asks if he has to wash the dishes since it's his night. I volunteer since I had forgotten mine yesterday. He and Mom talk, and I focus on the show, ignoring him. He blocks the TV and tries to "interact" with me. The wrong way. The smug look on his face is hint enough that he doesn't want to "bond" or properly "converse". He says something. I raised the remote and tell him to get out of the way. He tells mom to do something about me. I tell him I haven't even done anything. He says something semi-threatening, I say "Do it." He steps forward, I raise the remote again, and then it ends with him knocking stuff off the table.

I grabbed my things and headed to my room without another word and make sure to barricade my door with bags of clothes. Mom comes up, knocks because she knows I like knocking, I remove the clothes and open the door, and she's the one apologizing this time. She's never apologized for whatever K has done to me before, and despite my resentment, I feel she shouldn't be the one to apologize. But I feel she finally realizes that her scapegoated son is now treating me like the scapegoat.

Luckily, Mom has received a job transfer out of state and K has decided to stay in the state with friends. It won't be long before several states are between us, and I am very much looking forward to the physical and emotional cut, even if it means being separated from my friends, who have felt more like a family than my own.

In a few comments, some people have said that if I don't regret cutting all ties, electronic communication and all, that I'm selfish, or some other negative comment on my humanity or morality, but I honestly don't think I'll regret it even for years to come. I just don't think this can be fixed, and I'm am more than content to just drop the relationship altogether if only for him to finally leave me alone. Maybe I'll try to mend a distant relationship later, I'm still young, but only when I feel I finally have a space all to myself (in the form of an apartment), and when he's changed his narcissistic and chauvinistic attitude. If he never changes, then he shouldn't expect me to do anything for him.

Tippy 3 years ago

Lulu you spelled 'insightful' incorrectly.

Great article! Thanks for this. I am estranged from my parents and felt a lot of guilt since they don't see the grandkids, and boy does my mom play that card. However, it has been almost a year of blessed silence and I feel wonderful. No negativity, anxiety when the phone rings, etc. Life is just getting better. I am not happy it had to come to cutting off contact, but there was too much there that was immoral, illegal, and probably just the tip of the iceberg as far as what we knew. It's good to know I am not alone, but sad that so many have to deal with this.

Rakita13 3 years ago

Dear Izettl,

Thanks so much for this. It's helping already, just reading through and knowing I'm not alone.

Even as I write this, I can hear my 30-year-old brother yelling and calling me names to my single mother in the kitchen. I'm his 24-year-old little sister, and I've just come home from being out all day. Without a word uttered or contact made and just going straight to my room, I still somehow managed to disturb him.

My story starts 2 years ago during my 2nd year of university. That was when my mother's nephew and his family decided to stay with us before assimilating into our country. From childhood, and before immigrating here at 9, I remember his violence and conniving ways. He was so needlessly mean that he would sometimes come over to our house back home, and make up lies about me and tell mom that I was outside swearing just to see me punished.

Anyhow, unsurprisingly, he grew into a 36-year-old money-obsessed cheap venture capitalist who abused his wife and hated all things female (yet he stayed with his single-parent aunt).

During his stay, my mom, not wanting to deal with his open violence against his wife in front of his children and us, decided to jet on a vacation. I was left with them and my brother. (Now, my brother has a history of being a spoiled mama's boy without any discernible talent, who's always been jealous of me, yet has been mama's boy. Not surprisingly, he has abused me as a child when mom wasn't home. A long history of violence which included him slamming the 9-year-old me against walls for petty reasons, while our immigrant mom, who couldn't afford a babysitter entrusted my care to him while working at a factory.)

Anyway, when she left, I was in my exam period. A stressful time in general. But I came home to find all the food eaten, and my cousin hitting his wife. I told him to stop and not do this at my home. he stopped and then hit me. I said, 'don't touch me in my own - get out!' He called to my brother who was in the other room saying: 'Stop your sister from opening her mouth or else I'm not responsible for what happens to her.' My brother's memorable response was: "Do with that crazy bitch what you want."

When mom came back and they were gone, I told her all about it. She said it was all my fault. We lost face in our extended family, and how dare I kick them out. Meanwhile, my brother decided to teach me a lesson for being so inhospitable, and beat the living bejeezus out of me in front of my mom, who very weakly tried to stop him. Finally, she stopped him as he was grabbing a kettle of boiling water, ready to throw it at me.

I left home and stayed with friends but many family friends got involved and wanted to see me back in my home because they didn't want our family to be broken. So I came back with promises that my brother was moving to California. He did, only 4 dreadful months later. However, my whole exam period was for naught and that whole academic year was thrown down the shoot.

He left, and my mom's relationship with me recovered. In fact, it was even awesome at some point.

Then, my brother invited us to visit him during XMAS break. I was leery but apparently, my mom really wanted us to make up for her. (This, by the way, after she still claimed the whole cousin thing was my fault, including my being beaten up by my brother.) I went. He was very generous and friendly with us. But sure enough, his careful world needed just the feather's touch of disturbance to set him off. it was my unwillingness after a long day of activities to go see 'Flight' at the theatres. This unleashed a hell so horrible that he refused to say goodbye or acknowledge me at the departures at the LAX airport.

Now he's back for the summer again, and sure enough, everything is destroyed. I was so stubborn and adamant about my family being loving and whole that I all too quickly forgot how easily they fed me to the wolves two years ago, without once apologizing.

Now, I had my big piano recital. And in his jealousy, my brother started a whole episode an hour prior, and ensured that we were late to my own performance! I was adamant on his not being present as I could not perform with him in the audience. So thankfully, he left. Yet, while my recital received a standing ovation, my mother refused to talk to me since due to the hurt of my banishing my brother from attending the recital. (Now that I recall, when I graduated high school and won many academic and distinction awards despite the family situation and abuse from my brother, i remember my mom being bitchy and unfriendly to me instead of proud. Odd. And my brother's credentials in academics and work are unremarkable at best..)

It's been two days since. And neither have talked to me, though they certainly yelled and talked about me while i've been in the room. My mom has offered me my inheritance (not much but a definite help in my now 2 years instead of 1 remaining at university) in exchange for never seeing my face again. And she's asking for my house key as I depart.

It's a hard decision. The same one I faced two years ago when she gave me money to never come back, but I didn't want the money, I wanted a mother.

My delusions about my family and my stubbornness to be a part of it are now gone. I hope for the best...

(Maybe now that the love or lack of love of my mother for me is no longer the focal obsession of my life, I can finally develop my own relationships. Up to now, my mother was my only concern and interest.)

Thank you Izettl, and everyone, for opening my eyes. I never knew family members had roles. I was the convenient scapegoat who was blamed for everything but turned to for fixing - even while being the baby of the family. In reality, my brother will always be 'the baby' in more senses than one.

Rakita13 3 years ago

I forgot to add tat after my cousin's departure, when my brother beat me up, I made the life-changing decision to call the police on him. As I was dialing, my mom begged me to hang up lest I be disowned by her. I called. The police arrived and when they started to ask my mom questions, she blamed me for everything and said I was the one to blame, who started everything. My brother meanwhile, tried to tell the police I had a mental illness. (Even though, thanks to years of his abuse and saying I had a mental illness, I went to several psychiatrists and some at university, all of whom told me there was nothing wrong with me and that I just needed to get the heck out of my toxic home cause it was evident my brother would never move out since mom made it so easy for him.)

MoGirl 3 years ago

I cut my brother out of my life two days ago. I have had a low-contact relationship with my mother and him for several years. For a period before that, I was no-contact with my mother. My mother was emotionally and physically abusive to me when I was growing up. She is manipulative and passive-aggressive to get what she wants. In our household, I was the scapegoat who was never good enough. My mother was the type of "parent" who would say that she "had to" beat me or that I left her no choice but to slap me or say horrible things. She has never acknowledged how inappropriate and abusive she was. She routinely insists that she was a wonderful mother, and she has no idea what she did wrong. I went through therapy and realized that I needed to work on boundaries. My therapist believed my mother has narcissistic tendencies.

Over the weekend, my brother threw a serious e-mail tantrum because he was worried he might be stuck serving as a caregiver for my mother, who is having surgery soon. As the child of an abusive parent, I don't feel much obligation to play that role with her. My emotional connection with her is nonexistent. We rarely communicate. We only see each other for holidays, birthdays, and other special events.

My brother sent an ugly e-mail in which he called my feelings "stupid" and told me I'm "hateful." I was told that I need to put on my "big person pants" and "get over it." I also learned that I'm passive-aggressive for attempting to have a low-contact relationship with my mother. According to him, my relationship with my mother should be full contact or no contact. Anything else is passive-aggressive. He claims I'm avoiding the problem with her because according to him I have never addressed it with her. He evidently believes that if I explained the problem to her properly that she would somehow grasp the error of her ways and we could all "heal." He made a sales pitch about how capable of change she is. He assumes I haven't tried to talk to her.

First, I told him that I wouldn't accept disrespectful communication from him. He replied and tried to smooth it over by saying that he perceived his e-mail to be the first step in the healing process so we can all put this behind us. He tried to justify the insulting and inflammatory language in his e-mail by saying that he was just being "direct." If I was offended by it, then the problem is that I can't accept criticism. I was "choosing to be offended." I replied again and told him I wasn't interested in participating in his healing process. I get to have my relationship with my mother, and he gets to have his own relationship with her. He should pursue what he wishes to pursue with her, but he should leave me to have my own relationship with her.

This, of course, was not acceptable to him, so he piled on the guilt and manipulation to coerce me. Now he has decided that I am angry and full of rage because I'm "making a conscious choice not to heal" with him. He also attempted a low blow by saying I am my mother. It wasn't a surprise.

If anyone is emulating my mother, it is my brother because of his use of abusive language and his attempts at manipulating me. Though our relationship has been strained for many years, I have decided to put the whole thing behind me.

I know that I don't have to tolerate people in my life who treat me this way. I deserve to have my thoughts, feelings, and decisions respected. I felt some guilt the past few days as I struggled with what it means to cut him from my life, but today I'm feeling more free.

Helen 3 years ago

This week I have been told that my brother has been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. I am quite upset as I was also told he has from only 4 to 12 months to live. I have informed some of the relations - some have been brilliant - the others have given lame excuses for not returning my telephone calls. I can no longer understand human nature at times. We must be living in strange times.

Donna-1 3 years ago

It is difficult, Helen, I know. My brother, who has been a distancing workaholic for most of his life has been retired for a couple of years now. He is showing signs of early onset Alzheimers. My dad died of Alzheimer's in 2005. So all of a sudden, when my bro has the time and inclination (and maybe because he senses the cognitive changes in himself) he now wants a relationship with me. Kiss the boo-boo and make it better, right? Well, I don't know him any better than I know a stranger on the street and feel reluctant to try to resurrect what was never there in the first place. Neither of us is good at the type of work necessary to build a relationship and keep it going. I have my own life, my own friends, my own preferences. I meet him for lunch once in a while when he comes to help take care of my mom. But it's like there is too much water under the bridge.

Helen 3 years ago

To Donna-1 - I am so sorry to learn of your brother's Alzheimers. This world can be a cruel place sometimes. There are times when we all need each other to lean on. I know how you feel. I spoke to my brother earlier today to request me to find a telephone number of an old childhood friend of his - I obliged - but I requested my personal details not be given out due to past issues with this childhood friend - too lengthy to go into. My advice is to grab for any oment that can be repaired - as life is too short. I wish I could go and see my brother in England - I live in Wales, but I financially skint - have no car - and have medical problems - with two dogs to look after. My brother would only be able to see me for 2 minutes - so to do all that travelling there and back would not make sense. Grab the moment when you can is my advice before it is too late.

Donna-1 3 years ago

I know it is "never too late." But it is like someone appears out of my distant past and says, "Hey, let's be best friends because we had the same parents." Who is this person? Where have they been all this time? If having the same parents is all we have in common, why do we need a relationship? With my long-time friends whom I see frequently, share commonalities, go to church with, talk over problems, pray, we have a history of caring for each other and about each other. It just seems rather odd, to me, to use genetics as a basis for these kinds of expectations. And seems rather artificial to just try to pull a rabbit out of the hat.

Red Valentine 3 years ago

My feeling is, unfortunately, just because someone is a relative is no guarantee that they are a positive influence in your life. Yet we often feel that is how it "should" be, and that might be what causes more misery than the original situation. I'd rather be happy and peaceful with people who uplift me, whether they are relatives or not, rather than stuck in misery with someone just because of a coincidence of birth. Remembering that is the problem.

Helen 3 years ago

I have reconsidered my situation and now realise that Donna and Red Valentine are right. My relations used me when I lived near them but because I live in Wales I am now out of the "family circle" and I am best where I am happy and peaceful with people who uplift me. Thank you to Red Valentine and to Donna-1. However I am still in contact with my brother.

Helen 3 years ago

A local friend suggested to me that my brother's illness does not affect most of the relations - hence their negative response - this makes complete sense as well.

Sue Bailey profile image

Sue Bailey 3 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

First let me say that I don't think I have ever seen so many comments on a hub. Thank you for writing this, it told me what I needed to know. Actually I probably knew it all along but didn't want to face up to it. I have a toxic son who only ever contacts me when he wants something or disaster (normally of his own making) strikes. He has been abusive and problematic since he was introduced to skunk cannabis and other drugs by a peer. This situation has been going on since he was 11 years old and has almost broken me. I have been stressed for many years and have developed all manner of illness including cancer three years ago. I am distancing myself as much as I can but he is only young and I cannot cut ties completely. I am starting by not being so readily available and have moved house so that I am not so close to where he lives now. I am not becoming involved in his dramas anymore and have told him so. All my well intentioned rescue missions have just enabled him to continue his chaotic lifestyle. He has to learn to help himself now. The probable outcome will be that he turns to crime (not for the first time) and ends up in prison. I can't meet his demands for money any longer so if that is the way he chooses to solve his problems then so be it. Voted up and shared. Thanks again

Donna-1 3 years ago

Sue B -- what a tragedy for your family. It doesn't sound like you have abandoned him, even in deciding he must learn to help himself now. Part of being a loving parent is knowing that when a child has chosen a self-destructive path he has also chosen the consequences. No happy solutions, but you never know -- perhaps being responsible for himself and his actions will turn his life around...for the better.

Helen 3 years ago

Unless asked - I will not be back.

movingonnow 3 years ago

Hi slightly off the thread but felt I needed to share this moment. I have been married to this man 35years and have always cleaned, cooked, etc even funded house holidays etc etc. He as never contributed to our marriage the only good thing is my lovely 20 year old son. I have my own bedroom and and really it is like living with a lodger. Anyway today I cleaned the bathroom and the floor was still wet... he walked straight pass me over walking on the wet floor saying I need to use the loo... In the past I would not have said anything I would have just gone back in and cleaned over his prints. But this time I just said in a calm controlled manner " when you have finished you will find the floor cloth by the chair so you can clean up the floor " After I said it I felt so good .... But then of course about 5mins later he said well say thank you !!!!!!!!!

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marion langley 3 years ago from The Study

What a great topic. It can be so difficult staying emotionally objective when we deal with those we have the longest histories with. Knowing what our responsibilities are and are not and holding to that can make all the difference. Thank you for the sound advice on priorities, boundaries, and personal responsibility.

Donna-1 3 years ago

There are probably 10,000+ times I have wanted to detach entirely from not only my family, but from everyone I have ever known. I want to start over somewhere else, some other empire far far away, somwhere where everyone is normal, including me. The trouble is: who gets to decide what is normal? Is there even such a thing. Are our families of origin normal? I have read "scientific" studies saying that only 3 to 15% percent of families are normal, also known as "non-dysfunctional." So wouldn't that mean that "normal" is the larger percentage, the dysfunctional percentage? We would all like to fit into that 3 to 15%. But even they are not perfect.

I know my family is deep into the dysfunctional end of the continuum. If I did detach and go my own way, could I escape what has already happened to me in the way of traumatic memories and stress? Of course not. But why stay on and make even more of these traumatic memories day after day, month after month, year after year?

red valentine 3 years ago

Donna, I feel for you. I can't say for anyone but myself, but I love my peaceful, sane existence where I feel cared for and supported. I am grateful for it every single day.

People who have some sick need to rob me of my basic feeling of well-being in life or who just don't care or even notice that they do, they are just not with me. They're not mine.

Maybe only those who do belong in your peaceful, sane existence and care about and support you should be considered "family." Even if it's just a pet or if you are a family of one. The others belong at a distance or gone. I know we only have answers for ourselves, so just a thought. Best wishes.

Fritos 3 years ago

Thanks........this helped me.

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Efficient Admin 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

It's amazing how many people come from hurtful families. I know they are blood related and all that but if all they do hurt you and you get depressed and unhappy being associated with them, it may be time to back away and take a timeout.

izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Sue B~ I wouldn't supply money to him or rescue efforts. Just love him and not get involved in the drama. I had to do this with my own mom. When she divorced her second husband, she started coming to me with her drama (more than just a few things) and coming to me for money (for her hair appts and other unnecessary things). Its so hard but I realized I am facing enough stuff in my life right now and relationships work two ways. I have a disability and two young children, I would hope she would recognize that and realize I have enough on my plate.

The way you and I can tell if the relationship is off balance is if these people (my mom and your son) only or mostly come to us when they need something from us. And you have recognized that. Sad, but true. A little distance will begin to set some boundaries.

movingonnow~ Sounds like you need to give this man a cloth more often. I would have done the housewife strike. My husband straightened out his attitude after I stopped cooking. Do some research on assertiveness and gaining respect from others.

Marion Langley~ thanks for stopping by.

Donna~ in the mental health field we have diagnostic criteria that applies to all mental illness; has it been going on for more than 3-6 months consistently? And does it effect your life in a major area, like work, like enjoyment of life, etc. I think the same can be said about family issues. Does it affect you to a point that it disrupts enjoyment of your life or an aspect of your life? Only you can answer that.

I've heard the old saying about not leaving your problems behind if you move somewhere else, but I don't worked for me. recently I had my 20 yr high school reunion and returned to the small town I was from after about 15 yrs. I don't miss that place and yes I believe when I moved I re-invented myself. I changed and do not identify with myself and the town I'm from.

izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Your welcome Fritos.

Efficient Admin~ Yes! Exactly! Thanks for stopping by.

Mary T. 3 years ago

I have cut all family ties with my son, because he made the statement that I didn't deserve his respect, and during this whole time he was using me to get all the money that I had in the bank to buy things such as furniture, food, pay his rent, and truck payment, light bill , he owes me $ 18,000.00 and tells everyone that he is not going to pay back one red cent of the money. He just received money from a lawsuit, and went out and bought his wife a car, and neighbor friends son and whole bunch of things, and bought his wife's mother a car, who has done nothing for them the whole time that they have lived in Tn. But right now they are in Ky. spending all kinds of money, so is it wrong to put a lawsuit against a family member who says that I'm not his mother, but the person who adopted him is his mother, who has mistreated him since he was nine years old, then kick him out when he was old enough to leave. Then tells people that he hates her for what she put him through, and then turns around and does the same thing to his real mother, does any one think that this is wrong ?

Red Valentine 3 years ago

I don't know, Mary T. Of course it's not right to borrow $18,000 from someone and not pay it back. But then I read about "the person who adopted him when he was nine years old," and my guess is there are much deeper issues here than money. I don't think I'd sue. I can't think of anything worse than already having all that emotional ugliness with a loved one and dredging it up again in court. Even if you win, do you really win? But that's just my feelings, and then I guess it depends on how much you need the money, too. Good luck with it.

Paradise 3 years ago

Mary T. one word of advice.....walk away, walk away, walk away, you will never win this war don't amp it up with a court case.

movingonnow 3 years ago

I have just had the most awful email from one of my sisters saying she wants no further contact with me.... Why ? because she jumped to the wrong conclusion that I had told my niece about my other sister going bankrupt... she never asked me just jumped in and sent me a rude email.. I have always been the one my sisters have blamed for anything that goes wrong with the family... I have kept quiet about all the things that they have done to me or said to me ... so in the end I decided to email her back and tell her some things I have had to put up with ... first being rapped by my sister when I was 13yrs old and then when I was 35 finding out my other sister was visiting be not because of me but because of my husband ... I saw them in a passionate snog etc ..........I have always kept it to myself but Im just so so fed up with being the escape goat for all the problems of my bloody family ......

Helen 3 years ago

To movingonnow - I am so sorry to read of your ongoing issues - regrettably that is life - there are those who are considerate and others who are not, as I will explain after my note to you. For your sake try not to blend in the background - it is difficult - as I have been there myself.

Helen 3 years ago

I have heard shocking new this week - upsettingly for me my brother is dying of advanced lung caner - my brother told me - can you believe it - his trustees who are also our relations went to see my brother and asked him if he would leave some money in his Will to themselves and to the other trustee - their request was to my dying brother - what my brother does is his business - but I was shocked and never heard anything like it before. I was not going to come back but had to get this off my chest.

Helen 3 years ago

To movingonnow - Apologies - typing error - mean to say try to blend in the background.

izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

I am so glad many of you come back to update stories. I love that this has evolved into a forum and I read it...not always commenting. Helen and Movingon sorry. Helen, I've cut ties with two of my aunts over my grandpa's Will. They cut my dad out completely, taking advantage of my senile grandpa. then when I inquired- on my dad's behalf because he stopped talking to them years ago, they completely stopped talking to me- no contact. So I know what this is like. My aunts have bragged before over being millionaires from other family members Wills.

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