Should I cut my parent out of my life?


#1

My parent covertly molested me as a child. (This means that while there was no direct touching, there was still behavior, gestures, words, and actions that were clearly inappropriate and of a sexual nature which were deeply disturbing and no less difficult than overt forms of abuse.)

The relationship has been destructive for me since as far back as I can remember. This parent is high strung, excessively emotional, controlling, has been physically abusive, etc. The good times are good - until something sets them off.

Over the years I have tried to deal with this to have a relationship with this parent (who denies any such behavior and refuses to apologize).

Yet whenever this parent is in my life, I begin to fall apart. Even a simple phone call can upset me for hours on end. And visiting with this parent in person has become more toxic than I can take anymore. Just seeing this parent pull up in a car makes my entire system churn and experience such feelings of anger and misery that I cannot bear it anymore. I have truly tried. It is no longer just the persons negative qualities which affect me - it is this persons very presence and voice which causes such terrible reactions in me that the suffering is too difficult to explain.

I no longer know what to do. For the last 2 weeks, I have not spoken to this parent after a massive argument. But I have been so much more at peace.

Close friends who know me and have seen me suffer from this parent over the years feel I should cease contact. I know this is drastic - and it hurts me to think of it - but it is as though this person has become so toxic to me that even the slightest involvement in my life causes such unbearable suffering and brings out a side of me that is so awful (intense feelings of anger that even reach rage to the point of shaking just from SEEING this person. I feel these feelings around NO OTHER person).

I know that people would say to accept it as a penance, but the level of toxicity is so much deeper than an ordinary tumultous relationship. I feel the pain and anguish of sexual abuse constantly in this persons presence - I fear they are looking at me sexually, I dont want them to touch me, hug me - that it becomes unbearable in a soul torment that drains all virtue and goodness out of my soul.

Is my only option to truly cease having this parent in my life? How do I handle this? I know that it is going to cause my parent pain to be disconnected from me, and I feel guilty for that, but I feel as if I will never be saved if I cannot break free of this person and heal the wounds that keep digging deeper :(


#2

this is no small matter.

please see a counselor and a priest who can commit to direction for you. and stay exceedingly close to Jesus in the sacraments.


#3

[quote="monicatholic, post:2, topic:205644"]
this is no small matter.

please see a counselor and a priest who can commit to direction for you. and stay exceedingly close to Jesus in the sacraments.

[/quote]

Very well said. Remember that we, on a public forum on the internet can't give medical advice (whether it be psychological or not) and this is clearly a case that needs such.

We CAN however, pray for you-and we surely will.


#4

I have not seen my father in twenty years. It took fifteen years for me to move on from what happened with him (abuse, among other things), but I finally forgave him (the power of the Eucharist and Reconciliation is what finally did it). There came a point a few months ago where he sent me a message saying "I might not have time left. I want to make some contact before I die". I thought about talking to him, letting him know I forgave him for what he did to me. Then I looked at my wife. My beautiful, wonderful wife.

And that confirmed for me there was no chance in hell I'd talk to him.

He's not going near my wife, and he's not going near my children. What he did to me came close to destroying me and took away fifteen years of my life. And now I carry that legacy and I wonder if his (and his family's) sins will be passed on to me. I don't need him in my or my family's life.

Make no mistake, if God calls me to do it, I'll talk to him. But always remember that there are times in our lives where we must simply just cut ourselves away from people. Time and space, even in the context of a marriage, can be useful and healthy. I'm not a professional councilor or anything.....but as someone with "daddy issues" I can safely say at this point you should consider stepping away from this parent for some time. At least until you can forgive them, because I don't think you've been able to do that yet.

Trust in the Lord and the Sacraments. Specifically, the Sacrament of Penance will give you a lift. The Eucharist will bring you so much closer to Christ. And although not a Sacrament.....fast. Fast from something, anything and offer it up. Voluntary Poverty gives me such much freedom, and although I'm not saying fast from everything.....find something (doesn't need to be food) and fast from it. Offer up that fast to the Lord.

As has been mentioned, seek council. That could prove useful. But above all else you must forgive.

Yeah, forgiveness. I know, you're thinking WTF should I forgive this parent for. I assure you that as hard as it may be.....to forgive someone is a rich blessing, and the Lord will reward you greatly. You can find possible closure and move on with your life.

"But Melchior_, you said you forgave you father. But you also said you have not seen him in twenty years!".

I'll say "we are all called to forgive. But we are not all called to reconcile".

The two are not mutually exclusive.

Twenty years. I don't regret it in the least.


#5

[quote="Melchior, post:4, topic:205644"]
I have not seen my father in twenty years. It took fifteen years for me to move on from what happened with him (abuse, among other things), but I finally forgave him (the power of the Eucharist and Reconciliation is what finally did it). There came a point a few months ago where he sent me a message saying "I might not have time left. I want to make some contact before I die". I thought about talking to him, letting him know I forgave him for what he did to me. Then I looked at my wife. My beautiful, wonderful wife.

And that confirmed for me there was no chance in hell I'd talk to him.

He's not going near my wife, and he's not going near my children. What he did to me came close to destroying me and took away fifteen years of my life. And now I carry that legacy and I wonder if his (and his family's) sins will be passed on to me. I don't need him in my or my family's life.

Make no mistake, if God calls me to do it, I'll talk to him. But always remember that there are times in our lives where we must simply just cut ourselves away from people. Time and space, even in the context of a marriage, can be useful and healthy. I'm not a professional councilor or anything.....but as someone with "daddy issues" I can safely say at this point you should consider stepping away from this parent for some time. At least until you can forgive them, because I don't think you've been able to do that yet.

Trust in the Lord and the Sacraments. Specifically, the Sacrament of Penance will give you a lift. The Eucharist will bring you so much closer to Christ. And although not a Sacrament.....fast. Fast from something, anything and offer it up. Voluntary Poverty gives me such much freedom, and although I'm not saying fast from everything.....find something (doesn't need to be food) and fast from it. Offer up that fast to the Lord.

As has been mentioned, seek council. That could prove useful. But above all else you must forgive.

Yeah, forgiveness. I know, you're thinking WTF should I forgive this parent for. I assure you that as hard as it may be.....to forgive someone is a rich blessing, and the Lord will reward you greatly. You can find possible closure and move on with your life.

"But Melchior_, you said you forgave you father. But you also said you have not seen him in twenty years!".

I'll say "we are all called to forgive. But we are not all called to reconcile".

The two are not mutually exclusive.

Twenty years. I don't regret it in the least.

[/quote]

Perhaps you can at least write to your father and tell him you forgive him but choose not to see him.


#6

I have not seen my father in over 20 years. His presence was very destructive and disruptive in my life. I forgave him a long time ago (even gave him a second chance after I had him removed from our home, and he blew it) but I refuse to let him be a negative influence in my life.

There is a very big difference between forgiving someone, and allowing them to continue hurting you.

People have told me that I love him and want to reconcile with him. Nothing can be further from the truth. I've moved on with my life and I'm better for it.

Whether or not you choose to cut your abusive parent out of your life is up to you. I'm only saying that not allowing an abusive family member to hurt you again is not the same thing as not forgiving them.


#7

[quote="momor, post:5, topic:205644"]
Perhaps you can at least write to your father and tell him you forgive him but choose not to see him.

[/quote]

I could do that, but I simply don't feel the desire or call to. At the end of the day I've forgiven him. I know this, the Lord knows this. If the Lord calls me to contact him I will. But if He doesn't, I don't need to.

The man manipulates people and uses/abuses them to get what he wants. I want no part of it unless God calls me to. Zero. There is nothing wrong with cutting someone out of your life if they are going to cause you to sin or drive you to ruin, regardless if they are parents or not. We are only called to reconcile with God, which could be one of the reasons why we call the Sacrament Reconciliation.

I stand by what I said to the OP; cut out the parent (maybe not for 20 years). Forgive, but move onward without the person. And seek good council from someone you trust.


#8

[quote="Rence, post:6, topic:205644"]
I have not seen my father in over 20 years. His presence was very destructive and disruptive in my life. I forgave him a long time ago (even gave him a second chance after I had him removed from our home, and he blew it) but I refuse to let him be a negative influence in my life.

There is a very big difference between forgiving someone, and allowing them to continue hurting you.

People have told me that I love him and want to reconcile with him. Nothing can be further from the truth. I've moved on with my life and I'm better for it.

Whether or not you choose to cut your abusive parent out of your life is up to you. I'm only saying that not allowing an abusive family member to hurt you again is not the same thing as not forgiving them.

[/quote]

Another member of the 20 years club. We should make a group or something.

"There is a very big difference between forgiving someone, and allowing them to continue hurting you".

Well said.

God bless, and I'm glad you've found peace. Hopefully the OP can as well.


#9

Yes. By all means. The only contact you owe anyone in regards to this waste of blood, is to do what you can to prevent him from abusing others.


#10

I too have had to cut an abusive family member out of my life. In my case it was my brother. Now I am not telling you what to do (I will always respect your judgement) but I will tell you how it worked out for me.

I have NO regrets whatsoever. I have not come to the point of forgiveness yet like the other 2 posters but I do strive for it.

Before I cut my brother out I though long and hard about it. These were the 2 questions that were on my mind

1-) Have I tried everything in my power to work it out and the only reason we can’t work it out is because he is not willing to?

2-) If ever the day comes when I will need him (for financial or emotional reasons) and he turns around and says ‘You cut me out of your life go fly a kite’ will I be able to live with the fact that he will have that power over me

Since I was able to answer yes to both those questions, I cut him out.

But there will always be a price. This puts a terrible strain on the time I can spend with other family members (since I will not be in the same room as him)

God Bless

CM


#11

[quote="Melchior, post:8, topic:205644"]
Another member of the 20 years club. We should make a group or something.

"There is a very big difference between forgiving someone, and allowing them to continue hurting you".

Well said.

God bless, and I'm glad you've found peace. Hopefully the OP can as well.

[/quote]

I'm glad you found peace too! :) It seems like a completely different lifetime ago, doesn't it? There's no reason to subject you, your wife or you children to that. You're wise to leave him behind and very blessed with the family you have.


#12

Rence, it does seem like a lifetime ago. I certainly feel older than I am, that's for sure.

[quote="cmscms, post:10, topic:205644"]
I too have had to cut an abusive family member out of my life. In my case it was my brother. Now I am not telling you what to do (I will always respect your judgement) but I will tell you how it worked out for me.

I have NO regrets whatsoever. I have not come to the point of forgiveness yet like the other 2 posters but I do strive for it.

Before I cut my brother out I though long and hard about it. These were the 2 questions that were on my mind

1-) Have I tried everything in my power to work it out and the only reason we can't work it out is because he is not willing to?

2-) If ever the day comes when I will need him (for financial or emotional reasons) and he turns around and says 'You cut me out of your life go fly a kite' will I be able to live with the fact that he will have that power over me

Since I was able to answer yes to both those questions, I cut him out.

But there will always be a price. This puts a terrible strain on the time I can spend with other family members (since I will not be in the same room as him)

God Bless

CM

[/quote]

It takes time to forgive, CM. A lot of time. That's something that Chiara21 needs to know; when Rence and I speak of not talking to people for 20 years.....the forgiveness didn't happen at the start of that. I can't speak for Rence but it took YEARS for me to come to grips with things. The time and effort was worth it in the end though.

Chiara21, you must be patient and be resolute if you decide to move forward and cut out this parent. And know the results may not be immediate, but in the long-term God will reward you.

And there is a price.....but the cost is smaller than the alternative.

I'll pray for you CM. Hopefully you can slay the struggle and forgive your brother.


#13

[quote="Chiara21, post:1, topic:205644"]

[LIST=1]
*]covertly molested me as a child
*]relationship has been destructive for me since as far back as I can remember
*]high strung, excessively emotional, controlling, has been physically abusive, etc.
*]denies any such behavior and refuses to apologize
*]I begin to fall apart
*]Close friends who know me and have seen me suffer from this parent over the years feel I should cease contact.
[/LIST]

[/quote]

You have to ask?

I know that people would say to accept it as a penance

That is stupid advice.

I know that it is going to cause my parent pain to be disconnected from me, and I feel guilty for that

Would your feelings be hurt if you abused your own child and when the child grows up, the child cuts off contact with you? Wouldn't you rather accept it as the normal, natural outcome of your abuse?


#14

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