Breaking Free From Your Horrid Parent

Help!  I can’t stand it any more.  I just want to break all contact with my mother. The trouble is I’ve said it so many times, and on each occasion, when I cool down I start to feel so guilty that I back off and just can’t do it.

But I can’t be her doormat any more, be blamed for everything and let her now abuse my children or rather one of them whom she seems to have something against.


If I talk to friends some say ‘just end it,’ but that is much easier said than done.   Others say  ‘surely it can’t be that bad.  She’s getting on a bit now.  Can’t you be a bit more patient?’  I want to shout ‘NO’ I can’t be more patient.  I’ve had more than enough abuse for several life times.  Instead I just nod my head.  They mean well but  they just don’t understand. 

This is a very common problem for offspring of a horrid parent.  

There are three ways to  withdraw yourself from your mother's life   You can cut her off in one firm action .  You can slowly and quietly reduce contact.  Or you can try to manage her from a distance.   This means not living close, not being available at all times and,  if, for example, she starts yelling down the phone, tell her politely that you have to go now and turn off your mobile. 

 It’s a matter of personal choice as to which path you follow. 

Whatever you decide to do be strong about it.  Don’t let anyone persuade you otherwise.  Don'e  even listen to yourself on a bad day when you feel wracked with guilt. 

If you do feel guilty think about your own family and especially the child your mother doesn’t like and ask yourself where your allegiance should be.  Tell yourself that it is vitally important to protect your own children from experiencing what you endured.  Then think how guilty you will feel if you keep putting your child in a position where your mother can hurt her. 

Remind yourself that you are still a good enough daughter despite not being in close contact with your mother.   

If you do choose to make a firm break, wait for several months before reassessing your situation.   Hopefully by then you will have a more objective view.  If you still feel you can’t abandon her altogether try to be less emotional.  Perhaps tell yourself she is an elderly neighbour  you need to care for now and then.  You can then set the agenda rather than dance to her tune.