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10 Signs You Might Have Toxic Parents

We choose the best for our situation. However, since each case is very different I would never judge another for making the line in the sand for self-preservation. There is a lot to consider depending on severity, children involved, health issues etc. Suffice to say, no one cuts off their parent on a whim or without an emotional toll all around.


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Some of your points suggest children owe their parents something and it's cruel to cut them off but I challenge this assumption since the children here were not cared for. Maybe you think a women giving birth to someone naturally means they are owed by that child certain things for life. I disagree and in fact, that perspective is likely the cause many problems arise in the first place. Mothers taking advantage of that unspoken right. In all, cutting out a parent is not ideal or recommended as long as issues can be worked on with both parties not abusive to one another.

Self-preservation is valid, though. Yes, I think that each case is different, and yes, I think that people have to do what they need to do to protect themselves. What I am saying is that the term "cut-off" should not be so easily thrown around - whether it be from the parent to the adult child, or the adult child to the parent. The relationship itself is far too important. Some cases of abuse are extreme and may require a break, but my guess is that most are not. Relationships require work and insight on both sides. We grow through relationships.

This is difficult, hard and messy work. This is the work of our lives, coming to the place of forgiveness and acceptance. Cutting someone off is, in my opinion, not the best choice when considering a parent-child relationship. It should be reserved for only the most extreme cases of abuse. I'm hearing way too many stories of parents abandoned by their adult children and being cut off from having relationships with their grandchildren. They are at a loss to understand why. Something is going on where adult children feel somehow that this is OK. Even the lead in to this article, "do you have toxic parents" and how to handle them, seems to me to suggest that if you have a relationship problem with your parent, you just might have "toxic parents".

Sheesh - another way to put the blame on the other person. We abused kids are here to find understanding, not place blame. We are trying to find out why we hurt and how to fix it, because we had no proper parenting. Why do they constantly criticize and berate us? Why do they never offer even a hug? Why am I the only one trying to have a loving relationship here?

So, yes, when we keep running into a wall covered in poisonous barbs, we at some point have to stop, turn around, and walk away before we die. You can sit here and play semantics all you want. Blame us for not trying harder and harder and harder. Or you can look at the questions posed in this article and ask how your kids would answer them Do you get it yet?

Most parents love their children desperately. They have sacrificed and gone to great lengths, for years, to care for their children. They were not perfect. They made mistakes. But they do not deserve to be "cut off".

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Or called "toxic". Libbie, I don't think this article applies to "most" parents. I think toxicity is referring to something much more dire. Sure, I suppose someone can look at this and decide to irrationally label their parent toxic, if they are indeed looking to blame someone. I think they would be choosing to look at this from a pretty narrow lens in that case though.

In the cases of abuse the cut-off is not typically about blame, it's about trying to heal and being unable when the abuse is still happening. If you grew up being starved, beaten, left to sleep on a hard floor not because of money issues but to make sure you knew you didn't matter, watching one parent try to run over the other with a car and so on.

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10 Ways to Free Yourself from Toxic Parents - Live Well with Sharon Martin

These are things myself and others I know personally with toxic parents have dealt with. I don't want to discount verbal abuse, because it can be extremely detrimental as well.


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If cutting-off is used as a tool to punish the parent, or get back at them that's another story. Not even one that I'm going to pass judgement on, it's not my place, but I think a far different story than what the commenters here are talking about. When you are trying to get past PTSD or trauma it can be very difficult to heal when the parent who caused it is still triggering it.

Sometimes space or full cut-off is definitely and rightly needed. All parents make mistakes, some great parents make huge mistakes. I think the majority of people know that that is different from toxicity. I am very sorry for the adult children who suffer continuing abuse from parents and am in full agreement with you that sometimes it is necessary to cut off relations. They are truly "toxic".

And I agree with you that this situation is the exception, and does not apply to most parent-child relationships. The article is pretty clear that efforts should be made to heal the relationship. Most online articles are written, and tagged, to generate "clicks', and the use of the word "toxic" could be one of those buzzwords. All of that being said, there is a growing phenomena of adult children who are estranged from their parents in this country USA.

This is not a good omen for the psychological health of families. Estranged Parents "tried their best". When I would say, as a child, "I'm trying my best! If your children have estranged, "Your best" wasn't good enough and no, You don't get to say, "But I was a 'good' parent! If they have walked away? Chances are better then good You scored an 'F' in your child rens eyes. Trying to reconnect or 'fix' the relationship is futile until the abusive party can acknowledge their behavior. Who wants to "own" being an abuser? Sooner or later, if we're lucky, we realize that we are ALL abusers.

Some are more wounded and abusive than others, and boundaries definitely have to be set, but we are all connected and affected by each other.


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No one is perfect. Healthy families have learned not to let anyone in the family become the scapegoat, the person s chosen to bear the brunt of psychological discomfort experienced by the family as a whole. They each look honestly into their own behavior and responsibilities to the others. Both children and parents.

It’s Okay To Cut Out A Toxic Parent

You said, "Healthy families have learned not to let anyone in the family become the scapegoat My 'family' does not acknowledge their behavior toward Me as hurtful and I refuse to be their 'litter pan' anymore. They feel the way the treat Me is normal and fine. I disagree. When all avenues of compromise and reason are exhausted, estrangement is the last option. When in 'No Contact' I cannot be abused further. How they feel about my absence in their lives is not my problem.

You reap what you sow.