• 💖 [Donate To Keep MyPTSD Online] 💖 Every contribution, no matter how small, fuels our mission and helps us continue to provide peer-to-peer services. Your generosity keeps us ad-free, independent, and available freely to the world.

Complex relationships with family/parents - how often do you talk?

Not open for further replies.


My parents, brother, and I all have complex relationships with each other. I live 3k miles away from them (moved >6 years ago). I'm wrestling with how to navigate my needs/wants in terms of frequency of contact/communication with them. It's pretty clear with my brother - we don't talk. I'm finding it tricker with my parents, and that is what this post/question is about.

I haven't been in contact with my mom since the beginning of June because we got into a conflict, she was pushing something on me, I laid boundaries clearly, she didn't respect them, I laid them again, she didn't respect them, etc. I told her I was going to stop responding if she continued, and she reacted by saying something she often used to say when I was a kid - it pushed me over the edge. This is the first time I am deliberately not in contact with her. I'm in my late twenties.

The space from her has highlighted how much guilt I felt and still feel within the relationship and more generally, with both of my parents. The guilt is heavy and taking time to unravel. In the meantime, I don't want to talk to either of them (Please just leave me alone!!!). I'm tired and exhausted, even though the relationships are much better than when I was a kid. I think a lot (but probably not all) of these feelings are from the past, and I'm questioning how much I should let them influence decisions I make about current communication/relationships.

My dad tends to message on weekends wanting to talk. It's not even excessive asking with him - the last time we spoke by phone was two weeks ago. We talked for several hours. We have exchanged a text here or there since then, but that's about it. He's not making excessive demands, so why can't I bring myself to message him back or call? I feel guilty for wanting to be left alone. I feel guilty when we do get on the phone and talk. He says, "let's not go so long between talking again, ok?" and in my head this immediately translates to guilt.... because I don't feel the same way....I know many people have parents who don't want to talk to them. It makes me feel ungrateful and selfish. I am concerned I'm being unreasonable.

How often do you talk to your parents, particularly when/if the relationships are/have been.. complicated? Or more generally, how have you navigated these kinds of things?

Thanks so much.
But my brother? I havent talked to him in years. I don't have any ill will towards him, I just can't have his drama in my life.
Yeah...my sister cut me off. It really didn't take very long for me to undertand it's her problem and not mine and get over it. She is in communication with everyone else, though, and does things like send them gifts (through my mom) to holiday gatherings (that she doesn't come to). After a few years of everyone making a big deal of that in front of me, I put a stop to it. If mom wants me to come over, they deal with gifts from my sister beforehand.
I had a difficult relationship with my parents. My mother divorced my father when I was one year old. She studied and worked, so I was raised by my grandparents until the age of 7. I rarely saw my mother, and at that time she had another boyfriend with whom she spent a lot of time.
When they broke up, I again began to live with my mother. At first everything was fine, but then she began to say that I was the mistake of her life, that she was unhappy because of me. I was too young then to understand it.
When I turned 13, she had a new husband, with whom she still lives. They had my sister, whom I love and with whom we communicate well. But from that moment on, my mother became simply unbearable - I turned into a house servant, and only my stepfather tried to protect me from her. I was glad to move out of them at the first opportunity.
When I started living alone, she called me and said that I was a bad daughter and did not care about her, that I left her. It hurt me to hear such accusations, because I studied and worked, and no longer depended on her.
The last straw was that she somehow found access to my messenger and found a correspondence with a guy that we were going to sit in a bar after work. She began accusing me of being an alcoholic and a disgrace to the family. Then for the first time I raised my voice at her, and stopped all communication with her. I do not miss her at all and have no desire to communicate again. My stepfather tries to apologize, but I have no strength for this family.
Not open for further replies.