“I want to end my relationship with a toxic parent who caused me trauma – what’s the best approach?”
Set firm boundaries
Boundaries are like the guardrails on a winding road, keeping ussafe and on track. They’re the unwritten rules we set for ourselves when interacting with others, ensuring our emotional, mental, and physical health stays intact. Without them, we risk losing our individual identity and becoming enmeshed or codependent with others. And let’s face it, that’s not a good look.
When our boundaries are loose or nonexistent, we’re setting ourselves up for resentment, anger, and burnout. But saying no to others or situations can be uncomfortable, even downright scary. It’s like standing up to the school bully, but instead of a wedgie, we’re protecting our own well-being.
So, what do we do? We determine what we need (or don’t need) from those around us to maintain our emotional well-being. We set our expectations for their interactions with us and then enforce them. Toxic parents may resist our boundaries because it prevents them from being in control, but we’re not here for that. We’re putting ourselves in the driver’s seat and taking control of our own lives. It’s time to hit the gas and leave those poor boundaries in the dust.
Be prepared to disengage
Get ready to walk away if a parent crosses the line or makes you uneasy. Have a game plan (aka a killer excuse) and make a swift exit-whether it’s in person or virtually. Don’t fall for their trap-just say no to getting sucked into their negativity. If you absolutely have to, acknowledge their negative comments and then leave. No need to fuel the fire or keep the conversation going. Keep in mind, it’s not your job to handle their feelings. You do you, boo.
Limit the information you share
It’s a bummer, but there are some people out there who just can’t resist using our personal info as a weapon. They’ll go out of their way to push our buttons and make us feel like crap. So, until they prove themselves to be trustworthy, it’s best to keep our cards close to our chest. Trust is a key ingredient in any healthy relationship, but toxic parents will use our secrets to hurt, control, criticize, or manipulate you. Don’t feel like you have to spill your guts to them (even if they’re your parents) – it’s totally up to us what we share and when. Only open up if it feels right and comfortable for you.
Don’t expect them to change
As kids, we all want to make our parents proud. It’s a natural desire to want to please them and earn their love and approval. But if you grew up with toxic parents, this desire can become a dangerous trap. You start to believe that if we just do something right, if we just make them happy, then maybe they’ll finally change. Maybe they’ll stop being so critical, so controlling, so abusive. Maybe they’ll finally see how much we love them and start treating us with the kindness and respect you deserve.
But here’s the hard truth: it doesn’t work that way. No matter how hard we try, no matter how much we sacrifice, we can’t fix our parents. We can’t change them. They have to do that for themselves. And in the meantime, we’re the ones who suffer. We give up our own dreams, our own happiness, our own sense of self, all in the hopes of pleasing someone who may never be pleased.
So here’s what I want you to know: you have permission to choose yourself. You have permission to put your own needs and desires first. You have permission to say no to your toxic parent’s demands and expectations. You have permission to set boundaries and protect yourself from their toxicity. You have permission to live your own life, on your own terms, without sacrificing your own well-being for someone else’s sake.
It’s not easy, I know. It’s scary to stand up to a parent, especially one who has been abusive or controlling. But you deserve to be happy. You deserve to be loved and respected for who you are, not just for what you can do for someone else. So take a deep breath, and give yourself permission to choose you.
Take care of yourself
Toxic parents can be a real nightmare to deal with. They never seem to take responsibility for the chaos they create, always pointing fingers and blaming their children for their own shortcomings. But fear not, my friend! You don’t have to face this alone. Surround yourself with people who truly care about you and can help you navigate this tricky relationship. It’s important to give yourself space to feel whatever emotions come up – they’re all valid. And don’t forget to educate yourself on toxic parents and how your family dynamics impact you. Knowledge is power, after all! If you can’t avoid contact with your toxic parents and know they’ll trigger you, make sure you have a backup plan. Bring someone who will support you and prioritize your well-being. You deserve to be surrounded by love and positivity, so don’t settle for anything less!