My mother & step father abused me physically & mentally as a child till they kicked me out at 17. After that, they basically dealt with me only to use me. I've been helping my step-father who has COPD w/my mother who is in Hospice at home. He has became abusive and demanding so when I had enough, I cut ties on the advice of the Hospice Social worker. Quite frankly I gained weight - BP was up & migraines increased. I think my body was saying get away! Now at times I have guilt, thinking of recent times where they were vulnerable. Setting boundaries or going less has not worked, I tried it - they're too selfish. 5 other siblings stopped contact awhile ago. It's tough cutting ties with people who hurt you when you know they need help. The emotional pangs are tough...

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Have you put "abusive parents" in search? You will find you are not the only one. I am really surprised at the amount of members who are or have taken care of parents who have abused them in some way. I have found that there seems to be one child who has some compassion and tries to be there for them and the abuse goes on. That child backs away and still feels guilty. Such a shame. No one deserves to be mistreated. A child who has been abused should never care for the abuser. I bet there is a Golden child among those siblings who have stepped back.

You tried to help. It wasn't appreciated. Your parents have made their beds. What goes around comes around. Its just a shame their come around is when they r the most vulnerable. I suggest you find some counseling. If you can't afford it, there are places that charge on scale. You owe these people nothing.

In my layman opinion, you are looking for love that isn't there. And by doing that you become vulnerable and they sense that. Please, stay away. These people have no idea what love is. They probably feed off of each other. Look up the word Narcissist. I bet u will see lots of similarities.
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cherokeegrrl54 Mar 2020
Truthful and exactly on point!!!
Sadly, a lot of us have had to go no-contact with siblings or even parents who are so toxic they cause us physical distress.

I had migraines all the years I was growing up--constant and they really affected my ability to function.

I get married at age 20 and migraines disappear. Hm.

After I was married, it took some time for me to realize that my mother was one of my major triggers. As an adult, continual stress will get to me--and mother is still alive and still triggers a h/a if I don't watch it.

Yes, guilt still eats at me, but I don't know why! All 4 of my sibs are as offboard as they can be with her and she LIVES with one of them.

To give you an idea of how wacky my mom can be: I was dxed with cancer last year. Thinking she should hear it from me, not through the grapevine, I went to see her and told her. Her response? "Well, daddy will be glad to see you". Daddy dies 15 years before.

So I go no contact for the 6+ months I am doing chemo, sick as a dog and bald as can be. When I finished and my hair was coming back (not much, but I wore a scarf) and I go see her to let her know I'd gone into remission and she looks at me and says "Oh, and you used to be my prettiest child". WTH?

Gone no contact again, I just...can't.

Before the cancer, I was PT CG for her, as hard as it was. I stepped out of the picture completely and she never even noticed.

Give yourself some time and don't call or visit your folks. It's truly a sad thing when we feel our parents are the 'worst' for our mental health.

And you are NOT alone.
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anonymous1028824 Mar 2020
Thank you for your support & honesty. Happy, it went into remission, that's awesome! I had a similar baffling exchange w/my Mom in the past in some of my earlier cut ties attempts. I had just left my Wall St. position in 1995 due to depression & was feeling devastated. My world was collapsing. When I told her via phone, she replied: Does your father have enough insurance to cover me if he goes 1st --- WTH (heck)!!!
My heart goes out to you. I am 69 yrs old and my mother who is 93 yrs and still living, was a toxic person to me, and who also grew up in an abusive home-alcoholic parents, sexual abuse, emotionally bankrupt parents, etc. We can't change the past, but, we can change ourself and our future. Even at my age, I still wonder why she did what she did when I was growing up. She began signs of dementia in her 60's and is currently in late Stage 3 and doesn't even recognize me. Out of 3 children, two older brothers, none of them wanted to take care of her personal & financial affairs, so I did. She was declared incompetent by the courts about ten years ago and I was appointed her trustee, POA and guardian of person. With much help, I have shifted my thinking and attitude to be grateful for whatever positive things I got when I grew up, i.e. food, a house, good schooling, a family, clothes, etc. I try not to dwell on the negative things and stop blaming her. Its not for her sake, it's for mine. I try to let go on negative energy. Although, I do all her financial affairs, managing her caregivers, etc. I don't visit her much. I remember her at holidays with a card and flowers. But, maintain very little physical contact with her. That's all I can do without compromising my emotions and causing me stress. I hope you can find a middle of the road solution for you. Good Luck and God Bless You.
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MBFoster Mar 2020
This is very helpful. Thank you.
I so sympathize. I think women are often conditioned to help, even against their own best interests. Frankly I think you are right to put yourself first for a change. Caring for an abuser is beyond the call of duty. Everyone gets old, even the cruel ones. Aging doesn’t give them a pass for having abdicated their own parenting obligations. Take care of yourself. Hugs (or elbow bumps)
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anonymous1028824 Mar 2020
I'm male...
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You should not feel guilty about stepping away from people (I will not call them parents) that have abused you.
You do what is right for you.
You can feel guilty for stepping away when THEY feel guilty about the abuse they put upon you and possibly your siblings.
I am sure studies have been done that show that people that have been abused have the same symptoms as anyone that has been diagnosed with PTSD sometimes called PTSS (post traumatic stress syndrome..rather than a disorder)
And the symptoms you mention are indicators of that. Take a cue from the military, they do not knowingly put someone back into combat that has PTSD, so do not go back into combat yourself.
Take care of yourself first. Heal your wounds.
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I never understand how guilty people feel when toxic people in their lives are finally moved away from. But I guess that is because I had just great parents. Gentle honorable loving supportive people who taught me to see myself as able, capable, a good decision maker. BAD parents lead us to believe it is OUR fault, that WE, the children are bad. And it is so hard to move away from, so hard to have self esteem necessary. We all have limitations. A healthy mind raised by loving parents recognizes that, and does the best it can, forgives itself from failings. An injured mind just suffers. It suffers when it DOES everything, because that everything is never enough. And it suffers when it leaves these dreadful people because it believes what it was taught--that it is all your fault.
You aren't a Saint. You are a human being, and a decent one, at that, because psychopaths aren't the slightest interested in any of this. THEY never feel at fault! If you were a Saint we could fill you full of arrows, then pray to you for the rest of our lives so you could continue to "fix everything" for us. It hurts me to see decent people like you torment yourself. You have a few chances in life for a good family. The one that you were born to and the one you make later in life. So now make yourself a decent family, whether of blood or not. And help people to understand that they are good and decent and able and loved. It will bring you so much pleasure. Hugs out to you.
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NeedHelpWithMom Mar 2020
Oh, Alva. Say it again, please. It is so important. My mom always wanted me to believe everything was my fault.

The truth is that it wasn’t my fault. In fact, parents who abuse also provoke. Why? Then they get to kick twice. Once, because of who they are and because they set their child up to rebel so they can point out that we rebelled. It’s evil. It’s cruel.

I am not saying that I am perfect. I never want to be a perfectionist like my mom. Perfectionists are miserable and want to make others miserable.

It starts in childhood so it isn’t detected by the child until therapy in adulthood. Want to hear the confusing part? We long for love so much that we forgive over and over, until we break.
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Boundaries are for you - not the ones who are abusive. They may never change, but that does not mean you must continue to be abused. Their actions led to this situation the loss of your company and help. If you feel you must do something: keep in touch with your parents caregivers, send letters, and occasionally help financially (if needed). You don't have to call or visit.
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Nobody should put up with abuse. I am a Christian, and as I understand the biblical directive, we are to make sure our parents are not starving in the street, but that does not mean we have to be a part of their lives beyond that if they are toxic people. You need not feel guilty at all. You can take care of them from a distance.
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Zki529—-doesnt matter if youre male or female, if your parents abused you and from your post they still are, please go no contact and perhaps get counseling to help you deal with the guilt feelings. Also, google FOG (fear,obligation, guilt). I think it may help you. Blessings to you for peace and happiness going forward. Liz
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Your guilt is irrational. Guilt is for when you did something wrong. You have done nothing wrong.

Read self help books about self esteem. If you can afford a therapist, work with one to develop your self esteem.

Setting boundaries is about Y-O-U and not them.

"...Setting boundaries or going less has not worked, I tried it - they're too selfish..." By not enforcing your boundaries, you have allowed them to bend and cross them. Stop blaming them; they are who they are. When people show you who they are, believe them.
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nice1971 Mar 2020
But when you are raised by a narcissist you always feel guilt. When you are young you truly feel you are doing wrong because she is not happy. When you get older you realize she will NEVER be satisfied with anything you do for her. You will have always failed her in some way no matter what. As the child of the narcissist it is hard to not feel guitly. It truly is engrained you in from early childhood.
By the time you realize you don't have to constantly make them happy they are elderly and then you feel guilty if you don't take care of them all the time. Who else will do it?
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