What if My Mother or Father Dies Before We Resolve our Relationship



resolving with parents before they die
though the road may be hard there is light..


 What if My Mother or Father Dies Before We Resolve our Relationship?

“I used to worry that my mother or father might die before we ever have any kind of understanding or resolution between us. As I grew in understanding about the truth and got to the bottom root of all the dysfunction, I was set free from that fear.” ~ Darlene Ouimet

It is one thing for me to worry that my parents might die, but it is a whole other insulting thing when people ask me how I will FEEL if my parents die and they ask it as a judgement question; a judgement against me. It’s all in the voice infliction; the tone they use and I used to react to that tone in the way that I reacted to it when I was a kid. That tone was meant to snap me back to compliant and ‘respectful’ and it worked on me. My “guilt, shame and self-blame button” was very sensitized.

 People share with me all the time how folks throw the following statement and question at them; “your father/mother is getting old and is in poor health, how are you going to feel if he/she dies?”  My response to this question is; “what does his or her health have to do with the reason that I don’t communicate with my parents?”  My parents had their whole lives to make a positive difference when it came to me. They made their choices, and apparently through the grid of how these type of statements are meant to be taken, my parents choices are acceptable but my choice NOT to put up with abusive and disrespectful disregarding treatment is NOT acceptable? That is insane.  It’s like people are so brainwashed by this whole thing that they don’t even realize how stupid it sounds to be told to accept abuse/neglect/disrespect just because ‘they’ are ‘family’.

I wonder why no one ever asks parents estranged from their kids “how are you going to feel if your son or daughter dies?” Judging by the way my parents act, they won’t feel anything.  

There are laws in place to protect children from some of the things that happened to me. Why are my parents exempt from those laws? Why is it up to me to put their minds at ease as they get closer to their final days on this earth? If I will reap what I sow, why does that saying not apply to them?

When people say “Your mother is getting old; she is sick, what if she dies?” I still fail to see what her health has to do with any of this. That question is a rabbit trail leading nowhere. Do they mean that my mother is old so I should let ‘bygones be bygones’ and forget all about it? What does one have to do with the other? What does the fact that my parents are getting older have to do with any of this? What about ME? What about what happened to me? Why doesn’t that matter? That is what I am addressing now. That is why I don’t see them; because I finally understood that I mattered ~ even if I only mattered to me. I finally mattered enough that I stood up to the way that they treated me and said “no more”.  And they refused to validate that there was ever a problem and they took the stand that the only problem was me, just as they always did. There was no place for my voice but none the less I HAVE a voice; and I have a choice too.

People will say ~”Your parents are getting old, you should give them a break”. Why doesn`t anyone ever ask my parents when they are going to give ME a break?  I understand that my parents are not admitting to anyone the reason WHY I don’t see them, or why I drew a boundary in the first place, so I can understand people not telling my parents that they should make the effort everyone thinks that I should make, but I don’t understand why people stick up for them and try to shame me, when I HAVE legitimate reasons for not seeing them. This sick and dysfunctional family system has its roots in the universal and widely accepted belief that PARENTS have rights that their children DON’T have.

Most of the time people don’t even care to hear the reasons adult children have for not seeing their parents; they just tell these adult children they are wrong. They automatically defend the parents without even hearing or caring about the reason behind the broken relationship. That is offensive.

It is dismissive and discounting. It is even more offensive when the reasons for not seeing parents ARE revealed and people still judge the adult child to be the one in the wrong. That is what this “what if your parents die” question is about. It is about parental rights and entitlement ~ something that YOU as their child don’t have in a dysfunctional family system.  People are so afraid that if they ‘hear you’ and validate your reasons for not having relationship with your parents, or for going no contact, that they might have to think about the dysfunctional relationships they have with their parents or even worse, with their grown kids. So often parents equate regarding their children as equally valuable with giving up their power and control over them. (and If giving up their power and control in favor of embracing equal value is something that they are not willing to consider doing, they insist on going down rabbit holes and changing the subject, always turning it back on the child, rather than giving their child a chance to be heard.)

Why do the controlling and abusive people have all the ‘human rights?’ When am I going to have the right to be treated with respect? What about me? It’s time that we stopped seeing the question “what about me” as selfish and self-centered! Why are these abusive and disrespectful people MORE valid than I am? When am I going to be VALID? And the answer to that question for me was “WHEN I DECIDED THAT I AM”

Something I had to realize and a big part of my healing process was that I am valid and that I have rights too. And I have the right to be treated with love and respect.  If my parents are getting old or if either of them is sick, that doesn’t change the fact that I have rights and it doesn’t change the facts about the way that I was treated by them in the past. They are not sorry. They don’t acknowledge the abuse. They never wanted to change or tried to change. So why is it up to me to be there for them when they were never there for me? (and although I am well aware that they fed and clothed me, they housed me, they took care of my physical needs, SO WHAT?? They decided to have a baby, legally that is the least that they HAVE to do.)  This whole subject is just another great example of the power differential between parents and children and however ‘socially acceptable’ it is, it is still wrong. I have equal value even if I am the only one in the world who sees that truth.

Just because so many people including my family don’t validate my equality, doesn’t mean I am wrong about it or that I don’t in fact have it. I do; we all do.  Each of us, every single human being has equal value.  I am not the one who is wrong for deciding that I was finally going to validate MY equal rights and value.

If my parents die before there is any resolution followed by reconciliation it isn’t because I didn’t try. I tried my whole life.

Please share your thoughts, feelings and fears around this subject of what if my parents die before there is resolution. The most common questions asked in this website and through private email are about the connection between healing and dysfunctional family issues. I answer several of them in the free guide available for download in the top right side bar here.

Exposing Truth; one snapshot at a time

Darlene Ouimet

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This article is linked to related posts, they are highlighted and in bold print.

Other Related posts ~ Emotionally unavailable Father the Message of Passive Abuse

Abusers who blame Victims and the People who support them

563 response to "What if My Mother or Father Dies Before We Resolve our Relationship"

  1. By: Daisy Posted: 26th March

    GDW, I don’t think I hate my parents, but I do despise them. I think you have every right to feel what you feel, and if it’s hate, then it is what it is. I think the strong emotions can give you the energy to stand up and say enough is enough, I’m not going to take it any more.

    Learning to accept my feelings, instead of repressing them, allowed me to heal from the damage done to me. Put the responsiblity where it belongs…

    Now I’m more at the stage of being able to let it go, I don’t want to give any more of my precious energy to it. I don’t think they’re worth it.

  2. By: GDW Posted: 26th March

    I love how honest this post + comments are! I have been wondering, is it socially appropriate to hate your parents? It seems like a lot of people here might? And have every right to. When I finally allowed myself to get angry at my father, I realized, I actually hate him. Not sure if this is something to work through, if it’s ok, all I know is, it is how I feel right now. I HATE him. Period.

    What people never seem to think about is why and where we ‘hate’ our parents. Most people I assume would judge such a statement. It’s like, where did that hate come from? I’ve been reading up on a lot of African American literature, as so much of it is so spot on when it comes to importance of human rights and the insidiousness of abuse. Like January said, I think so much of this IS like slavery, because kids, like slaves are not viewed/treated as human beings with RIGHTS.

    In the Biography of Malcolm X, he explains his anger as “the hate that hate produced” which I think sums it up perfectly. When I look back on most of my father’s actions and words towards me, they are fueled by hatred. I responded to his hatred. I did not create my own hatred of him out of thin air. I think that is so key. I tried, and tried, and forgave and forgave, but his hate kept rushing in like this waterfall. I couldn’t do it anymore. Finally, when I realized what was actually done to me, instead of living in denial, I realized how much I genuinely despise him. Not sure if this will ever go away, and truthfully I am far safer hating him, than loving him. His version of ‘love’ is a trap for scapegoating, that is all it is. Whenever I wonder if I love him/he loves me, I know I’m in deep trouble.

  3. By: Madison M. Posted: 26th March

    Gee I’m a rant tonight.. I was just reading Survival Mode and an Alternate View of Narcissism. And I am so glad to have read that, because as I stated before I was called selfish and felt that I was the person who did not care for others, most of my life, which led to me overcompensating and always putting others before me and in the reverse way not thinking of others. I just had to two points I wanted to get off my chest.

    I realized recently that due to other people seeing the way my mother treated me, they too treated me the same, minimal amount of family and a couple of my mother’s friends. It was so easy to be the target of those people because she had no respect for me. and she did little to correct their behavior. I think in part of looking bad, by arguing with them. Then other times she would stand up for me, if it was the day she wanted to be a mother. I also saw those same people treat others nice. I could never imagine why people hated me, but as I got older I realized they too had issues and saw a target not me.

    Second point or just statement I wanted to say, was I remember one incident where my mother told me, by law all I am required to do is feed you and keep a house of your head. they don’t state what I have to feed you, you can eat sandwiches and canned food for all I care. She made this statement, because she had been gone the whole day and decided to come home at 10pm to which I had not fed my siblings dinner and put them to bed, mind you I was only 14 years old.

  4. By: Madison M. Posted: 26th March

    Im Sorry Janurary that you had to deal with that… I’m unsure of the right words to say but I am glad you are here to share your story with us. Hopefully through everything we can help each other one comment at a time 🙂 You are worth so much more than 500.

  5. By: Madison M. Posted: 26th March

    Thanks you Darlene.

    Hello Diane.. I understand the feeling of wanting my mom to die as well. I feel so bad saying that, but I only felt like that as a child. My personal issue is with my mother and her only. I have a great supportive dad, my parents seperated when I was young, due to my mothers behavior. Her behavior is clear to my family, they have difficulty dealing with her as well, however some still encourage me to have a relationship with her.

    I have made it clear to them, if that is something I want that is something I will do, but only if that is something I want. They like to make me feel guilty because she relys so much on people to do things for her, not because she cant or is incapable, but because she is lazy and does not want to work for anything.

    Like Daisy said as a child, my duties were to clean up her mess, her boyfriends mess, who ever she was dating at the time, and just be her maid. and if the dishes were not put away by the end of the night or the floor clean I would be punished, and the punishment was not going to see my dad, grandmother, etc, this happened often, as to the fact I still had to do well in school or else that would result in more punishments. My grandmother use to say I have never met anyone who was on punishment more. I always felt like nothing growing up. and i felt that if she died I would finally break free and have peace, now I am an adult and away from her, i feel her death with take away all hope we will repair our situation, however i do not forsee or even want the relationship repaired while she is alive.

    Whenever asked about emergency contact…life insurance policy etc. i find it sad I cant even put my own mother. I want her to not have any access to my life or health, I dont even trust she would keep me alive if she had the chance. my mother dispises me because I have choosen to take a stand in my life. Then on the other hand she praises me and says how great I am. How much she loves me. I get so confused. My grandmother who I adore, both grandmothers were like mothers to me, which I think someone else said as well, often says your mother does love her children. and i use to agree.. but now i dont.

    when you love someone you treat them well, and when you find you are not capable of doing so because mentally you can not get yourself together, then the love you have should push you to get help. I have no kids at this time and I pray by the time I do i can be better than my mother was and still is. The love I have for them already is making me get the help i need. I get sad at times thinking about the person I could have turned out to be had I not had to grown up and be treated like a unwanted individual. I am working hard as an adult just to be normal. I deal with anxiety and low self esteem, because my house was never calm, you never knew what would set her off.

    Id work hard for money as a teen and if she needed it to pay her bills because she did not work, she would just take it, take it to go shopping etc. i was accepted into an honors school and she halfway made sure I got there, which almost led to me having to repeat a grade, not because I wasnt smart, but because my mother either was too mad to take me to school or was too lazy, or better yet wasnt even home from the night before. And if I was upset about that, i was made to clean all day, no tv nothing. Nothing I ever did was right.

    Last year she became livid with me because I felt she was spending to much time with her man of the month and not taking care of her children, who are young and were left alone for days, and she went on a rant of saying how she wished i was never born, and she could get rid of me, and if she died she didnt want me at her funeral.. the more time goes by the more I think that just might happen.

  6. By: Diane Posted: 26th March

    Nat, it always amazes me how many parents get to be middle aged….usually around their 50’s…that I have known to neglect, abuse, and use their children….and then they suddenly become aware of how old THEY are getting and it scares them into trying to make sure they don’t grow old alone. Not talking about the past certainly let’s them off the hook so that they can soak up allof the love and care and concern of the children ….and it gets to remain all about THEM! My father remarried after my mother died of cancer when I was young, and he chose to put his new wife first….and then their children together. He made a choice to always side with her over me ….my entire life….and the times we had alone were nothing special…he just didn’t want her around us so that there was nothing said that she would become ticked over and give him he’ll for it later. We tried to talk but we didn’t have any foundation of trust and equal respect between us, and he was emotionally unavailable to connect. I wasn’t allowed to say certain things to her or he would get on me because she was angry. I finally had enough even though I wanted a relationship and cut them off. I thought having any kind of relationship was better than none, but it wore my health down and emotionally it was too exhausting . I feel for you and send you peace and comfort tonight! I may not understand or relate with everything you wrote, but I do understand and feel for you about how difficult and stressful it all is!

  7. By: Daisy Posted: 26th March

    Hi January, sorry to hear you were treated like that.

    And they wonder why as children we act out when they treat us as though we have no feelings. $500 dollars for a child, wow, I don’t know what to say to that, except my daughter brought a cat 2 years ago for AUD$900. No wonder you walked away. I agree, life’s too short for all that crap.

    Hi Sharon, sorry to hear you were treated that way too. I wasn’t aware I so conditioned till I left home and saw other poeple’s normal. Made me realize how abormal my FOO’s normal was.

  8. By: Nat Posted: 26th March

    This was one powerful article as my younger sister and I are dealing with this issue. Our dear Mom who was a saint passed in2001. Growing up she did her best to shield us from our monster father. We walked on eggshells and he was always stirring the pot. He is a high functioning abusive alcoholic. He had a successful business and was always a good provider, financially. That’s it! When it came to showing respect to my Mom, sister and me, it just didn’t happen. Since I was dependant on them, I shut my mouth. Once I got a full time job, that’s when I started standing up to him and my Mom was always playing mediator. When my Mom was battling her illness, she asked him for some help and he said, “I wish you were f—ing dead.” How do you forgive that and then watch him cozy up with another woman? That was one of many nasty things he did to her and I can’t forgive or forget that. I will also remember what she said to a priest on her death bed when asked why she didn’t leave. She said, ‘Because he would’ve hunted me down like an animal!” UGH,! Not only was he nasty, he was very controlling and verbally and emotionally abusive. After Mom passed, I tried to forgive and develop a relationship with him but he was more interested in “having a life”. He was lying to my sister and me about everything and of course I saw right through it and would stand up to him. It’s been 6 years since I’ve been to our family home and I’ve only seen him once in that time. He showed up at my house and I kicked him out. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when he lied about moving a woman into the family home and then going and marrying her behind our backs, not that we’d attend. As it turns out, she lied to him that she was only married 2 times when in fact it was 4 marriages. That scum he is with will start lies to cause fights and he calls my sister up and gets her all upset. He doesn’t believe anything we’ve told him. She also lied to him that she had breast cancer. I researched her on the web and had it confirmed by a PI. I am so incredibly hurt and full of anger and rage that its affected my sleep and now I’m having gastrointestinal problems. I have depression and anxiety that has been exasperated because of all of this craziness. My sister and I feel like orphans since we don’t have any aunts and uncles to lean on for advice. My Mom’s sis died the year after her and my father and his sister haven’t spoken in over 30 yrs. I’ve gotten so angry with some that say he has a ‘right to have a life”. My reply was, Didnt my Mom?”
    That makes me want to spit fire. I’ve told a few that until they’ve walked in my shoes, don’t tell me how I should feel or believe.
    All of this dysfunction has done a number on me. Someone told my sister that we are damaged goods. That was horrible and if i ever see her, I might have my say with her. I’ve been in counseling, done ACOA, Al-anon and now at my wits end. I feel the only peace I will have is when he’s dead but then I have to deal with the “bought whore” since she’s in the family home at the beach that is supposed to go to my sister and me. I truly believe that she is a sociopath. So, needless to say, I don’t have any regret for cutting the ties but I won’t lie, I mourn for a father that I could have a nice relationship with and do things with. I tried to have a relationship with by spending the summer at our family home at the beach where he lives but he was at me about my weight, exercise and anything he could find fault with. I ended up telling him off, packing up my car and not going back. Today, he called my sister to say that he wants to talk with just her and me when he returns from wintering in FLA. his words to her are, “life is short and I don’t want to talk about the past..” Another words, in his mind, I don’t want to be held accountable for all of the pain and hurt that I’ve caused. Lets just sweep it under the rug and forget it ever happened and go on and accept my new wife. My words to him are … You destroyed our family, denied us of a healthy father daughter relAtionship because you don’t think you need help and would not fix your wrongdoings so “rot in hell”. God help you should you get sick because the whore won’t be there to care for you. She’ll throw you in a nursing home and then have a party on your money. . I know I’m rambling but I’m frustrated and the prayers aren’t working. I sure hope that there are better days ahead because I know that I deserve better and have been a good obedient daughter over the years.

  9. By: OnMyWay Posted: 26th March

    This topic is something I have had to work through a little at a time. My mother is in her 70’s and I have no expectations that things will be resolved between us prior to her death (or mine). My father died when I was 15 and there were no issues resolved prior to his death. Both situations have been painful to work through.

    As an adult I moved over 1000 miles away from my FOO because of the abuse and dysfunction yet couldn’t / wouldn’t detach emotionally for years thereafter. I have worried about someone dying and me feeling guilty that I stopped putting forth all the effort in the relationship.

    I’ll start with my mother. As a child I was rejected, neglected, & disrespected by her (to name of few). I was mocked and humiliated by her in front of others until I felt lower than all other humans. She acted like she was doing me a favor by allowing my to remain in the family despite the fact of how embarrassing it was for her to have me around. My job was to provide the narcissist with whatever she wanted / needed / demanded at the time. I havn’t been home in 9 years but have remained cordial over the phone. It would probably be a funeral that would prompt a return. If I did return my mothers siblings would not be supportive of me emotionally. They would try to make me feel guilty that I did not come home more often and it made my mother feel bad. And her sisters would tell me how much older I look; that I have gained weight since they’ve seen me last; all the horrible things my mother told them about me, etc. So maybe I won’t return to a funeral after all.

    My father died when I was 15. He lived alone and the cause of death was suicide (gun-shot to the head). There was no real relationship betweeen us prior to his death. I was always afraid of him. When he wasn’t drinking he was a “dry-drunk.” In the years since I have had all sorts of emotional trials / tribulations and wanted answers from my father so I could get closure emotionally. Sometimes I pretend like he is alive in the “spirit” form and I ask him why he did / said the things he did to me. I pretend like he tells me exactly what I want to hear: I am so sorry. I took out my frustrations on you and you did not deserve it. I hope you can forgive me and I promise to never hurt you again. I love you and did not treat you the way you deserve to be treated. I am so sorry. I feel terrible for what I did and how it has affected you. I am so proud of you.” I sometimes feel like I am glad that I didn’t have to deal with any more psychological issues with my father than what I did until the age of 15.

    One more thing – my mother-in-law lives only 30 minutes from my husband and I. She is a full-blown Narcissist and has made numerous snide, condescending, and cruel comments to me about all sorts of things to include parenting, cooking, the clothes I wear etc. I started telling my husband years ago I did not want to go to her house or be around her. My co-dependent husband said, “She is going to be dead pretty soon and we will feel horrible for not spending more time with her” (he will feel horrible). That was 15 years ago. He also told me 15 years ago that she may have “early dementia” so can’t be held responsible for what she says. She is still alive and dementia free. My husband has come full circle and is now completely away of his mothers behavior. We have worked out an arrangment where she will come over for Easter and my husband can visit her while I stay busy in another room most of the time.

    I used to have a greedy fear that if I went No-Contact with my mother or mother-in-law that I would be cut out of any will and / or life-insurance policy (and my spouse / children would be cut out too). So that kept me kissing up and shutting up for a long time. I have gotten past that now and it is a relief to not have to worry about it.

  10. By: Sharon Posted: 26th March

    Yes Daisy #58, my mother considered us chattel (slaves). She had us to fulfill her needs. She was always shocked when someone else didn’t consider their children chattel.

  11. By: Diane Posted: 26th March

    I think it has been about two years that I have not had any contact with my parents….and just today I was thinking about how I felt about that. Easter is approaching, and holidays and birthdays trigger “family” thoughts. I realized that I feel nothing but relief that I have not had any contact with either of them…and I still feel immense relief. I have thought many times about if they died, and I still feel a bit of guilt that I still feel this way…but I have had wishes that they would die for many many years. The longer I have been experiencing more and more healing this last year or so, the less I feel that them dying would be the ultimate freedom and relief for me, but I do still occasionally find myself thinking that way . It is a wonderful freedom all on its own to not have them in my life. I still find myself missing my dad from time to time….I always wanted so badly to have a special, close, warm relationship with him, but that never happened….he was at first an abuser, and then in later years he always took my “mom’s” side on standing against me. He was always emotionally unavailable. I had to realize that he simply was not going to love me or like me or relate to me in any ways that would be close and healthy love. So…the part in my heart that loves him isnt dead, but I refuse to have a relationship like we did my entire life…it is a total relief to not have him in my life…and if he died there really isnt any true loss for ME in reality. I enjoy the freedom of being able to detach emotionally these days and to realize these truths. I only wish that I had reached this place of healing and understanding in my 20’s and not wasted so much of my life being stuck! Wonderful blog!

  12. By: January Posted: 26th March

    Hi Daisy, in post #58 you wrote: “Does anyone else relate to feeling like their parents property?”

    Yes I have! My parents actually told me as a child that I was bought & paid for, & I owed them big time. I had to do exactly what they wanted when the demands were made. Ironic to learn about slavery in school & to hear that it was abolished about 100 years before my birth. Sadly, that did not apply to me…I was “kept” & used much the same way as slaves were for centuries. They told me they were obligated to keep me, even though I was more trouble than I was worth. They did officially adopt me, & money was exchanged in 1962. I found out about 10 years ago, that I really wasn’t worth that much…they spent in total about $500.00 US dollars for me. Sadly, I have never been able to do enough to repay them either outright or even by working off my debt. “Mom” is gone now, much to my relief. I dunno if “dad” is still alive or not. Last I heard he was not well. I have gone NC. I am not sorry about it, I don’t have to worry about him saying something offensive to me. All I want is peace. Life has enough issues without extra drama.

  13. By: Daisy Posted: 26th March

    I left school at 15 so I could get a job an “escape” from my parents. I finally achieved this at 17 and moved to another town 30kms away.

    I tried to go NC at various times in my 20’s by not giving them my address, but eventually they’d turn up on my doorstep for a “visit”, usually on a Sunday morning when my housemates and I were trying to sleep after a big Saturday night. They’d just pretend it was a normal visit, I was never asked why I hadn’t been in touch…so bizarre.

    I realised then that they felt they were entitled to be in my life, that they owned me and I was their property, and they could treat me in any way they liked.

    Does anyone else relate to feeling like their parents property?

  14. By: Madison M. Posted: 26th March

    Can someone please tell me what FOO means? Thank you 🙂

  15. By: Ruth Posted: 26th March

    I went no-contact 13 years before she died … her “revenge” was to re-write her will 2 months before she died which excluded me, but included her “ex-son-in-law” (yes, the man I divorced 3 years prior) … … … “blood-money”

    I have my soul and sanity intact!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th March

      Hi Ruth
      This reminds me of how important it is for some people to be ‘right’ and to make those defininging “I will show you” statements. “how dare you stand up to me” also coes to mine.
      But all that really matters is that ou have your soul and sanity intact!!!!!!!!!!!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Light,
      Thanks! I am officially gone tomorrow!

  16. By: Light Posted: 26th March

    Have a wonderful and restful vacation, Darlene! Sounds lovely!

  17. By: Sharon Posted: 26th March

    You go WendyMac *snapping*… LOL

    Piya, I would consider seeking acceptance, instead of closure. Closure would imply you are still trying to fix something. Acceptance would imply, you’ve accepted what was, that you could never change it.

    Darlene, I love your page, thank you. It’s sad we are all on this path, but at least we can encourage each other.

  18. By: WendyMac Posted: 26th March

    Sharon (19)

    “Guilt implies you’ve done something wrong. I have nothing to feel guilt for when it comes to them.”

    WOW – I have printed this quote of yours out and stuck it on my door – it’s sooo powerful to me. I am always feeling guilty about going no contact but there’s a small voice inside trying to shout that I’ve got nothing to feel guilty about. Think I’m going to use your quote as a mantra until that little voice deafens me!

  19. By: Linda Posted: 26th March

    Hi Darlene. Tanks so much for the reply! Here’s the thing, I am not sure that we are both committed to ‘working on it’. She blames everyone else for the stuff that happens to her. She has spent some time in jail and is kind of ‘out on the lam’. I was sort of willing to pick a point to start and go from there until I read all the posts about leaving the past in the past. As I said, there has been NC, except for a few texts from her begging to have her ‘mommy’ back. The last time I saw her, she was drunk, had stolen from us, and had lied about her whereabouts for the previous 6 months. She has lost her home, husband and everything. She is staying with a relative who believes that she only needs space.
    Thanks so much for the help and comments!

  20. By: piya Posted: 26th March

    I have been thinking about this for a while now.
    I remember not shedding a drop of tear when my dad died.
    And since i am no longer much in touch with my mom i dont know how i will react to her death.
    Maybe i wont attend her cremation or i would just keep a distance
    Since anyway i she is emotionally dead for me.
    There is no bond or attachment with her.
    I dont seek her forgiveness or any validation from her.
    All i seek is a closure

  21. By: GDW Posted: 25th March


    I am so sorry to hear about that. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to be on your own at such a devastatingly young age. That is criminal, what your parents did to you.

    I think it is interesting that you mention the ‘team’ of nacissistic/abusive parents. My parents too, were a team. I remember asking my father if I could have a separate relationship with him and my mother after moving out and he basically said no. He literally did not understand that concept! How nuts is that! But he does not see himself as separate from anyone- we are all extensions to feed off of. He insists everyone has the same opinion about me as he does even after I have asked them directly and they deny it. To him, everyone is him.

    He didn’t want to talk to me if I didn’t talk to my mother and kiss up to her, take her abuse first. It was weird. Most of his conversations center around her, and it’s one thing to love your wife, but to not have a sense of individuality and autonomy- is weird. Creepy, they are creepy people.

    I still cannot explain why this is, but it seems common (perhaps two are stronger than one? if anyone has any insight?)

    Anyways, thanks for sharing. I know how terrifying it feels to be out on your own long before you are ready- its crazy making when we grow up being unprotected by the only people who are meant to protect us.

  22. By: Kera Posted: 25th March

    mky/Melody Y,

    Thank you for sharing! It is always helpful for me to hear of others who have similar experiences! Somehow its easier to acknowledge my own story, when I see that I’m not alone or “just being dramatic” …

    Wow … when you said that your parents “can’t handle honesty”, that is SO true with my FOO! (and it’s not even the mean hateful stuff they dish out … it’s just a calm explanation of why their behavior is causing pain – they can’t handle that kind of bursting of their perfection image they have of themselves) And when you said that there is “Too much denial … to be real with them” !!! I have always been drawn to people who are just down-to-earth/tell-it-like-it-is people … and that’s because of my being seriously repulsed by the denial my FOO is living in! Our relationship never was based on truth and honesty – it was just, as you put it, a “pretend relationship” … all for the outward appearance of a ‘unified and happy/perfect family’ – regardless of the true condition of its members. I just got tired of putting on a fake smile so they could feel good about themselves – while I was privately crumbling away (and wanting to die) …

    Like Darlene has brought up several times on EFB – these abusive individuals have GOT to be reading from a different dictionary … they have their definitions all screwed up! (love,respect,honor … etc.) Its been very eye opening to see this – its been SUCH a help in the healing process! 🙂


  23. By: mky/Melody Y Posted: 25th March

    I have had to step back from all the work I’ve been doing on my relationship with my parents as well. Kera, your comments resonate strongly with me. This article also says a lot of what I have experienced too. I don’t understand how I can be expected to be close to people who can’t handle honesty or who try to manipulate me. There is too much denial with my parents to be real with them, and I won’t settle for just being nice anymore. It isn’t comfortable nor fair on anyone to have a pretend relationship. I, too, find it hard to have my relationship with God judged by my parents, but my standing with God is not up to my parents. The shock I’ve seen in response to such a comment shows my parents believe they have the right to judge me. They do not. Honoring parents does not equal accepting their control or judgement of me.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th March

      Your examples in your most recent share are so perfect. Those are the ultimate manipulations ~ I started to realize that those kinds of statements were huge lies. My mother always said that she loved her mother no matter what her mother did. I remember when it dawned on me that that wasn’t love and that what her mother did certainly wasn’t love either. I also read the bible enough to know how it is twisted by people for the purpose of control. Jesus was the original messenger of equal value for all people and when I say that to manipulative people they just shut up. What can they say? 🙂 How dare soemone think that they can use God/heaven/christ/ in that way! It is almost comical to me today because I know what they are trying to do and if they believed in any of the stuff they preach at others, they would be terrified of the results they are creating in their own lives!
      Hugs, Darlene

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th March

      Hi MKY/Melody
      Exactly ~ it is not up to your parents. They don’t have the right to define your relationship with GOD. The thing that I saw take the wind out of peoples sails is when I BELIEVED that they didn’t have that right. Then they knew the jig was up and that they lost their power over me. Everything that I have come to believe, and all the lies that I have set back to the truth, have been the foundation of my freedom and wholeness.
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Piya
      I understand what you are saying. Thanks for sharing,
      hugs, Darlene

  24. By: Kera Posted: 25th March

    Oh my goodness! I know I’ve already commented on this post, but I just had to share this …. Just a few weeks ago I got this letter from my mother … (packed to the brim with guilt trips, manipulations, etc. trying to convince me to just let things ‘go back to the way they were’ – rather than as they are now, where I have for months now – seriously limited my contact -and my children’s contact – with them due to their hurtful speech and abuse tactics) And in the middle of that letter she said:

    “”” Seeing my parents age is sad. If they should die, I want them to know how thankful I am for what they have done for me. I want them to know they are needed and appreciated. Including them in our plans is one way your father and I have tried to do this. I was hoping you and your family would do the same for us from time to time. Only if we give our parents the honor they deserve can we expect God’s blessing.”””” –

    The way she pats herself on the back for being such a ‘good daughter’ to her parents, and simultaneously point out that I am not living up to my daughterly responsibilities (according to her) … its pretty typical of her style of communicating … All the while, she’s just blatantly ignoring the fact that the ONLY reason she doesn’t get ‘included in our plans’ is because she is abusive. Unrepentantly, unfailingly abusive. Sheesh, even in her letter to try and convince me to ‘change my ways’ she is covertly abusive towards me (and even judging my relationship with God)- while putting herself on a pedestal … The multi-tasking these people do in their manipulative communication is amazing. …

    As I’d said before – I tried to remedy our relationship by having an adult conversation about it with her (actually, been trying that my WHOLE life … I’ve just finally decided that the ball is in her court and it actually has been the whole time – I can’t be the only one doing the work for this ‘relationship”. I can’t do it for her. So I’m dropping it and moving on…. I think she is missing me fighting so hard for our ‘relationship’ .(‘dance for me my little puppet! prove how much you value me! jump through my hoops! muh-hahaha!’). It turns out, there was nothing to fight for to begin with. The ‘relationship’ was crap to start with) Loved how you said you felt like you were ‘begging for scraps” !! I feel the same way. Like through words and actions, my whole life I was just begging them – “please, just give me something, ANYthing to let me know that I matter!”

    Anyway – This post is SO timely for what I am dealing with now! Thank you again Darlene!
    Best wishes to all!


  25. By: Daisy Posted: 25th March

    sorry, forgot to wish you a great holiday with your family…thank you

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