20 People Who Chose To Distance Oneself From A Parent’s Lack Of Empathy
Family relationships are often considered the cornerstone of our lives, providing love, support, and a sense of belonging. However, sometimes there are unfortunate instances where individuals find themselves compelled to sever ties with a parent.
This decision is never taken lightly and is usually the result of deeply-rooted issues and personal boundaries that have been repeatedly crossed. When a Reddit user asked about reasons why people make the difficult choice to cut ties with “that” parent, people revealed their stories shedding light on the complex dynamics that can lead to such a drastic step.
More info: Reddit
When my parents were in the middle of their divorce, my mom moved out and went to live with her parents. They had a camper in the yard where she was staying, but she would still be in and out of the house multiple times a day, so it’s not like they never saw her.
One night around 1am she texts me and tells me she’s in the hospital, and has been there for three days. I ask what’s wrong, and she tells me she’s been diagnosed with “broken heart syndrome” and her cardiologist says that she only has six months to live, unless my dad calls off the divorce.
She’s obviously insane, so I play along. I ask what her cardiologists name is, what hospital she’s at, her room number, etc. I immediately call the hospital she claims to be staying at.
First I ask for the patient switchboard. Tell them her name, and what room she’s in, and lo and behold, “we don’t have anyone in that room by that name”
So at this point, I explain what my mother has told me, and I ask if there’s a Dr. Blank that works in cardiology there. “No, I don’t think we have any doctors here by that name.” Thank you, I assumed you would say that, sorry to bother you.
In the morning I call my grandmother. “Hey, is mum okay?” Of course she is, she went to work this morning. “Really? Because she told me she’s dying in the hospital.” My grandmother called her at work to confront her, and this idiot hangs up, goes to her car, and just sits there pretending to be passed out until one of her coworkers finds her and calls 911. When paramedics arrive and she “comes to” she tells them she took a bunch of pills in a suicide attempt. They rush her in, the hospital calls me, and my grandmother and I rush in to meet her.
She’s “unconscious” when we arrive, but very much living, and the doctor obviously knows this, so he pulls us into another room to talk to us where she can’t listen in.
He tells us they’ve run several blood tests and she absolutely did not take any pills. If she took anything at all, it wasn’t enough to show up in her bloodwork. He basically tells us he’s diagnosing her a liar and sends us all home, with a mandatory therapy session booked for her. She did go to her session, but only the one. She learned a couple deep breaths and decided she never needed to go back.
This isn’t even the craziest thing she’s done or said to me, but it was the thing that made me never speak to her again
Well the last straw was when my father convinced my grandparents to get me kicked out of their house while I was finishing up university by telling them that the hookah I was partaking in every few weeks was an illegal drug. During finals which was pretty fun.
Oh and the part where he told me he hoped I died by getting in a motorcycle crash. Followed by weeks of incessant voice-mails of him drunkenly threatening me wanting to meet up for a fight.
There was also that time he beat the s**t out of me when I stood up for my mom during one of his drunken rages at a camping trip.
Oh and who can forget that one time he left me a voice-mail telling me “this is your fault” and then shooting his gun into the air making it seem he had just offed himself. But it was just a manipulation tactic. That was a fun one.
Nothing like some childhood trauma to make someone grow up quickly.
Edit: wow this got a lot of attention. For anyone wondering, yes, I did use this as a role model of what not to be as I got older. I haven’t spoken with pretty much any of my family except my mother for the last decade. I’m in a loving relationship now getting married this year and do not plan on having any children. My dad’s last name dies with me.
Had a mental health crisis and my parents cut me off from all my resources. Took my meds away, took car keys, canceled my phone plan, froze my bank account, and my mom even went in to my job and told them I was crazy, had me put off work indefinitely.
I was 28 and lived alone, they told people I had a drug problem, my mom even called the cops on me several times over the next couple weeks when I wouldn’t talk to her. I got assigned a case worker because I was considered “high risk for petty crimes” because cops had dozens of calls from my parents.
They’ve been manipulative and emotionally abusive my whole life but this was a new level of insanity. They ripped my whole life apart and I’m still working to rebuild it. We haven’t spoken at all in several months, had to file a police report recently because my mom started stalking me and my partner around town. Thankfully it’s been quiet since then
He screamed and beat me every day of my 15 years of childhood with him. I would get silent to try and get away, and that would throw him into a blind rage. A child sitting silent would set him off. His voice rings in my ears, his blood red face with his brilliant blue eyes in contrast, the spit all over my face. When I was little and he would throw me into the rocks outside. I was horrifically abused. Every. Day. Of. My. Life. I can not stress enough, this was every second of every day.
It got to the point where I trusted no one. Absolutely no one. I can’t even look people in the eyes. Like a beaten dog in a cage; I would bite everyone’s hand that tried to help. I had no one come to my aid. Including my mom. That was my stepfather, and she would watch, encourage, and join in against me.
For a while, he destroyed my humanity and left me a husk. I’m just beginning to find that humanity again. I’ve come an extremely long way. It was me who sought therapy.
My mother often said, “Your sorry daddy never cared enough about you to pay child support,” but I found out later, he had money order receipts. He was a career Navy man so he’d have been forced to pay.
She stole two of my paychecks when I was a single mother, signing them over to herself in her sweeping left handwriting, I’m right-handed.
The final thing that made her my EX-mom was when she let two drug addicted so-called caregivers steal liquid morphine which was meant for her dying fourth husband. He died in miserable pain at home without relief. She disowned my adult sister, who confronted her about it. Mom always said, “I can stand anything except a liar or a thief,” but she was both.
She hired a guy to shoot the girl I dated (and then later married)
I feel like there are so many points where she is dead to me but she managed to keep making it worst.
1) Murdering my cat and her kittens to punish me at 12 Yr old
2) Beating me whenever she is in a bad mood as a kid to teenager
3) After slapping the s**t out of me infront of her coworkers in her own office, she attempted to murder me by dragging me up a building and trying to push me over, forcing me to jump down telling if I wanted her to be happy, I would jump when I was 17. I was rescued by her coworkers who dragged her away from me.
For context, I was working for her and my mom left a cheque on my table to pass to her employee. I picked up and look at the cheque and placed it face up on my table because I was busy going back to typing. Her employee complained to her about that and this was her over reaction towards me.
4)When I was married, she told me that she prayed everyday that my husband would cheat on me and dump me.
5) In my near second marriage, she went to my ex fiance to thrash talk me, saying I would make a terrible mother for his child. Basically my ex fiance asked me what did I do to make my mom hate me so much and I dump him for that as I can’t marry a man who pretty much got convinced by my mom I am the problem.
Can all this really ever be forgiven?
When confronting her, her excuse is that I am her daughter, she gave birth to me so she has the right to do whatever she wants to me.
My mother couldn’t stand my wife. Twelve years after we got married my mother still referred to my wife as ‘my roommate.’ She was constantly trying to break us up.
After my father died I stopped contact with her completely. She passed away last year, twelve years after my father. She was such a spiteful woman . . .
I used to be my dads favorite child because I was the youngest. It’s as the more I grew a conscious and saw the s****y things he did like beat my mom, the less I wanted to be associated with him. I remember I was a good student in school, mostly straight A’s and he would ask me why I didn’t wake up at 6am, and study 12 hours that day. I remember one day I was on a laptop reading a sports article and he got upset that I wasn’t reading educational stuff and ripped the laptop away from me by the screen and threw it (This is the what I mostly tried to use to do my schoolwork). The more I list it, the more it sounds worse tbh and it sucked cause I couldn’t tell anyone how dead I felt inside. With mostly straight A’s, I remember he told me it wasn’t good enough and it was s**t and I needed to be studying 12 hours a day and like the next day u remember he got in a fight with my mom and put his hands on her and I got involved and he told he wished I was dead and never born and I kind of wanted to commit suicide suicide after all of this cause I just felt neglected by everyone and felt like no one really gave a s**t. I don’t know how I made it through alive in my teen years. I mostly don’t talk to him anymore but now I just feel emotionally dead inside and anything resembling fun is not allowed because I feel guilty cause I was having fun. To anyone who reads this, I appreciate you taking the time to do so. There’s so much more that happened in between those years but I’ll leave it at that.
She knew I was being abused from age 3 onwards and let it happen. Multiple men. When the last one raised his hand to me (I was 24) I went completely NC. A few years later she got cancer, I let her back into my life, I invited her to my wedding, where she spent the entire day talking about how it was a shame I couldn’t lose more weight in time and insulting every aspect of the wedding quietly to my now-MIL who had helped with everything.
I sat her down a few days later (she was staying at my house as the wedding was far from her home) and asked for the comments about my weight to stop. I used all the language I learned in therapy, explaining how it made me feel, trying to not be accusatory but instead cooperative. She started scream crying and ran out of the room. I left to stay with my in laws. I haven’t seen her since. She won’t be meeting the baby I’m pregnant with and when she dies, I won’t be attending the funeral.
Well my dad died when I was 14, which kinds f****d that one up.
But my mother is a steaming pile of human garbage how kicked me out of home because I wasn’t being loving, friendly and supportive of my brother. He had moved back home while waiting for the court system to put him in jail for being a pedophile.
He showed no remorse. He victim blamed. He minimised his actions. He acted like he had never done anything wrong.
I get that she had to support him. I understand that she is the one who needs to house him and do the jail visits and all that. But to tell me that I need to be his f*****g friend during all of that. For trying to say that some of his actions were because of my previous issues with him. For trying to say that a 2 year old led him on, or actively participated. For trying to blame the child’s mum and extended family on that side. She can go and get in f*****g bed with that scum, and the day she is finally dead the world will be a better place for it.
And that was only the straw that broke the camels back so to speak.
Long story short. My brother got shot and was in ICU for a month. My brother’s condition went south and my parents were MIA. A decision needed to be made wether or not we pull the plug. That decision fell on me. At 24, I had to make that choice with no parents in sight and I decided to pull the plug.
My girlfriend died, my cat died, my car got stolen—that’s not even the whole list but it all happened so fast.
I called mom for some love and support. She told me, “just remember: everything bad that happens to you is YOUR fault.”
Thanks for the pep talk, ma.
Welp, story time I guess.
I have reached *this* status with both of my biological parents. I’m a 35m, and am gay. Both of my parents are religious to an extreme. I came out rather early in teen years. I didn’t really have a deep relationship with my dad, but I knew to draw the line when he basically came to the conclusion that my homosexuality was because I was possessed by Satan and his demons. After I went no contact I think he just disowned me. Haven’t spoken with him since my early to mid 20’s.
My mom on the other hand… Well, that was more emotionally messy. I won’t go too much into details, but it was probably a combination of things.
I had recently moved back in with her. That was definitely where I first f*cked up. My mom, and her family are what I would call “traditional Catholic”. And she is very devoted. I think she was hoping that my moving back in meant I was moving back into the faith. I had, and still have, no intention of being part of a religion that has the ***literal*** definition of homosexuality in their catechism as “*being intrinsically disordered.”* and *”incapable of love in the way that God intended it.”* We’ve had many disagreements over the years, but honestly, I think it just finally sank in. It all went down on Jan 30th, 2020, just before the pandemic hit. It was around 2am in the morning on a Saturday night going into Sunday morning. I was coming home from work, and came home to find the locks on the house had been changed, there were two suitcases outside the door with my insulin (I’m a type 1 diabetic) in one and some clothes shoved in another. Mind you, this was over the weekend, and in the city we were in the homeless shelter closed at 7pm Friday. And if you weren’t in, you weren’t in. So I had no where to go. I tried calling my mom, but she wouldn’t answer any of my calls. She then called the cops because I wouldn’t leave. I was on foot without a car. She then proceeded to file a restraining order on me. Thankfully, I was able to find a sheltered place to sleep for that night, but that was the start of my journey as being homeless for the next 2 years.
I lost pretty much everything that night. I had never felt so abandoned. And what’s f-ed up is that even to this day, I don’t know what happened to tip her over the edge.
Things are better now. I’m in a different city about 2 hours away from all that. I am still trying to get back on my feet. But this city’s homeless programs are far better then where I came from. I have a small studio apartment, I’m seeking therapy for complex PTSD, truama, and depression. I’ve been seeing a psychiatrist, and am working with a case worker who is helping to make sure I get all that need. But where I drew the line with my mom came 6 months after the first restraining order.
She. Renewed. The. Restraining. Order.
After I had clearly moved 2 hours away. While I was living in a WHOLE OTHER TOWN! All after I reached out to her through a third party (staff member at the shelter I was staying at) when the pandemic hit because I wanted to make sure she was okay. That was the moment my desire for any kind of relationship with her died. I have accepted it, and am working on bettering myself and my life.
Anyway, sorry for the long story. But thank you for this post, it was actually really cathartic. And encouraging, thinking back at how far I’ve come. I hope and “pray” we all get safely to where we are going. Be kind to yourselves all. <3
My mom introduced my older brother to heroin. He passed away early last year from an overdose. I don’t think I can ever forgive her for taking the only family I’ve ever really cared about away from me
After a childhood ripe with physical, emotional and psychological abuse followed by limited contact through my 20’s, I finally decided to confront my mother. She agreed to go to therapy with me. A couple days later she started asking questions about the cost to which I said I’d pay. A couple days after that she was asking about how often we had to go. A couple days after that she said she didn’t want to go because I’d “expose her.” I was then told that the abuse I endured was my fault because I had given up on being a good son.
This all happened 4 years ago and I went no contact immediately after. My life has gotten better since then.
My mom has been a s**t mom my whole life. She put me in a motel at 14(f) didn’t believe that our land lord tried to r**e me, beat me for flushing her drugs at 8 years old, a bunch of horrible s**t that I got past. What did it for me was how she treated my lil brother.
He was her “do over” baby as she lost all three of her other kids. She gaslit him, manipulated him, pushed him to an eating disorder and ignored it when she found out. He came out as a lesbian at 12 and trans at 14. She constantly dead named him, told him he was going through a faze, and tried to isolate him.
We talked several times about how this could lead to her destroying her relationship with him at best him committing suicide at worst. She would play nice for a day or two and be right back at it. She kept this up through his highschool years. Not surprisingly he wanted to move out immediately at 18 and asked if he could stay with us. She got wind and decided she would move to a whole a*s different state with him and force him to stay with her. She threatened suicide if he left her, cut us off from communicating completely and started packing everything they owned so they could move right after he graduated.
As soon as he turned 18 I flew out and got him. He has been with me ever since. When I got him, he had the life skills of a 10 year old and the personality of a mouse. He said he was sorry for literally anything and everything, too scared to go outside by himself. Now he has a driver’s license, a job, goes out on his own to explore. He is in therapy and making great strides. How my mother treated my brother was the straw that broke the camels back.
Soooo much trauma from a narc Mum. After a suicide attempt because I had miscarried my baby, she sat in the family conference and said she’s not surprised because my Dad also has mental health issues. My brother (we were adults at the time and he was living with me due to being homeless and no job) pushed me through an internal glass door, he has anger issues and untreated ODD, he also beat my dog because he stepped on her while she was sleeping and she snapped at him. My Mum came home and when I told her what happened she took my brothers side, told me I’m a b***h like my Dad (they were divorced). So I don’t speak to either of them, it’s been 10 years. It’s difficult to come to terms with cutting toxic people from your life, especially family. But your mental health and wellbeing shouldn’t suffer because of anyone.
Trauma dump…sorry in advance.
SA at 7 by a teen we went to church with while his and my parents watched TV in the other room with my little sister. The most they did was tell me it didn’t happen and to move on. Continued to drag me to that house for movie nights. Had blocked it out for years until I could afford my own therapy. Which brought back some of those memories. Apparently things that hit hard enough, your body sorta forces you to forget them, black them out. I confronted them about it and they told me “yeah but that was so long ago. It doesn’t matter anymore”
They also played favorites. To where the favoritism became a joke between lil sis and I. She hates feeling like an investment to them and we both hate the blatant “golden child” situation. Grandmother had passed and left money for my sis and I for college. They took it all to pay for sis’. (We are 2 years apart). I saved up and got my car, they bought her two. I saved and bought my first house. They bought her one 20k pricier and down the road from me.
Needless to say….it took far longer than it needed to for me to say “okay. It’s time to end this”. And years and years of healing. Daily I’m scared I’ll never get my confidence back , I’ll never like who I am etc. It sucks. And at this point it’s up to me to heal and move on, because they brush off any attempt of closure, understanding, or sympathy
Tldr: both parents failed to be a secure place for me.
The world started out cruel and continued to be so for most my life. Realising Im never going to be able to address or fix the issues with them..and decide to move past it on my own. Was the best and hardest decision
Sorry again for the dump. Omg. Felt better to get it out though..and sorry for typos.. it’s late and I’m on mobile.
Short and simple answer: He started treating my son the way he treated me when I was growing up. Ended up going NC before my daughter was born. No way in hell was I going to expose my kids to the trauma I endured as a child.