Family-cutting ties

A

Anonymous.

I recently cut ties with my sister and her children. I feel guilt for cutting ties with the kids, but not with her.
She's a constant reminder of my childhood. She's exactly like my abusive mother. I feel so much better mentally but now feel very guilty because the kids mean a lot to me as I don't have children.
Has anyone cut ties with their family and regretted it? I guess my fear is missing out on their lives but it makes my mental health suffer to be in contact with them.
 

ladee

MyPTSD Pro
I'm sorry you are missing the kids. Also sorry that you couldn't stay in contact with them. Saving ourselves is really hard sometimes when we have to also leave others behind that we love.

I have had to leave all my family behind. No regrets and no guilt that I can remember. For me, it was always constant flashbacks and emotional upheaval. I had to do what I had to do.

At some point in the future, you may be able to make contact again and have solid boundaries and be more sure of yourself with your sister. We don't always know how these things turn out.

Just take care of yourself.
 

enough

MyPTSD Pro
had to make the call and caught myself looking back a few times. But I know, if I think about it long enough, that it was the best thing to do. Guilt comes as a part of the human condition, the desire to be included in the group and not an outcast goes way back to our very first thoughts as humans. Decisions like getting away from someone that does us harm require a deeper thought process, and if I get past the easy thoughts like guilt and stick with it until I am rehashing the reasons I made the decision, I am way past guilt and truly, truly feeling sorry for them and their loss.
 

fern

Confident
I cut off most of my family except for 2 people. They are toxic, and enable the sibling who abused me for years. It really sucked to let go but I knew it was for my wellbeing, and I gave them the opportunity to reach out when they have changed.

Now my brother is having a baby and honestly it rips me apart to not be there. I feel like not only am I missing out on the relationship with this child, but I am feeling robbed of the experience of having family.

It is very much painful but I do NOT regret my decision. The priority is taking care of yourself. My heart goes out to you for this situation, and the pain you feel in not being connected to these kids in your family. You might decide to find ways to reconnect with them in the future- but for now, you're doing what you need to do. I'm finding that setting boundaries often feels complicated and painful, but I dont regret doing it.

Hoping you are well
 

Jane5050

New Here
Dear Fern, I am sorry to hear of your situation. I am in the process of doing it, but it's not helped by the fact that my emotionally abusive mother is my landlady until December. I finally confronted her after being stuck at home for 7 months due to furlough and said she is a bully. I wanted to know why she dislikes me. My dad died 17 years ago. She is 71 and I am 43 and my husband only stopped as a temporary agreement as tenants. She is fine to my husband (who has witnessed a lot of verbal abuse from my mother). It is the belittling, constant criticism, put downs, the remarks of 'you do nothing, your husband does everything for you.' Without being conceited I am studying at Oxford, and have just been elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (but haven't told her this as she ignores me). She's on the phone laughing away to my two older sisters and goes round their house. When I ask why I don't get an invite she says 'because of how you treat your mother'. She tells me coldly that I can leave by christmas, and not one family member other than my sister's partner has reached out. They do not see how she speaks to me, which includes shouting at me, opening my mail, getting into moods if I don't reveal who I speak to on zoom or by phone. My older sister knows there's a rift and only yesterday asks my mum what furniture she is getting rid of before my mother goes to Devon. My mother carries baggage from her own abusive childhood and the irony is she is behaving towards me exactly how she is treating me now. The reality is that my bedroom serves as an office and I can only go downstairs when my husband is around. I think my mum has neurological issues, but when I enquire about her coughing or anything she usually tells me to 'shut up' She has now gone round to her family and friends gossiping about me. I have to cut ties for good.
 

mumstheword

MyPTSD Pro
Dear Fern, I am sorry to hear of your situation. I am in the process of doing it, but it's not helped by the fact that my emotionally abusive mother is my landlady until December. I finally confronted her after being stuck at home for 7 months due to furlough and said she is a bully. I wanted to know why she dislikes me. My dad died 17 years ago. She is 71 and I am 43 and my husband only stopped as a temporary agreement as tenants. She is fine to my husband (who has witnessed a lot of verbal abuse from my mother). It is the belittling, constant criticism, put downs, the remarks of 'you do nothing, your husband does everything for you.' Without being conceited I am studying at Oxford, and have just been elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (but haven't told her this as she ignores me). She's on the phone laughing away to my two older sisters and goes round their house. When I ask why I don't get an invite she says 'because of how you treat your mother'. She tells me coldly that I can leave by christmas, and not one family member other than my sister's partner has reached out. They do not see how she speaks to me, which includes shouting at me, opening my mail, getting into moods if I don't reveal who I speak to on zoom or by phone. My older sister knows there's a rift and only yesterday asks my mum what furniture she is getting rid of before my mother goes to Devon. My mother carries baggage from her own abusive childhood and the irony is she is behaving towards me exactly how she is treating me now. The reality is that my bedroom serves as an office and I can only go downstairs when my husband is around. I think my mum has neurological issues, but when I enquire about her coughing or anything she usually tells me to 'shut up' She has now gone round to her family and friends gossiping about me. I have to cut ties for good.
That sounds incredibly hurtful and confusing @Jane5050.
I hope you are able to get out of there soon.
It's so weird when family members who have treated us terribly treat other's well.

I'm dealing with that with my mum and my ex as well. More so my ex as I don't think my ma is that great to anybody, but my ex is being decent to our (grown up) kids but has been so God-awful terrible to me.

I think it's like you said, that someone has to get the projected abuse that they dealt with and it's us. I once told my ex "You have mummy issues" in an arguement, which he point blank denied, but it was pretty obvious that he was projecting on to me.

Transference, is that's what they call it?

Anyway, I find it very confusing and devaluing and hurtful. Maybe it's the familiarity and living with her that's a trigger for her?

Or maybe it's the narcissist thing where there are "Golden children" and then there is the target/scapegoat; their kindness only extends so far and it's more of an act to gain something but they can't keep up the act with everyone, someone has to be the target for their inner rage and unhappiness.

Whatever it is it's very undermining and leaves one feeling a bit gaslit and confused. Coz if they can be nice to other's why can't they try a bit harder to be nice to us?

Sorry if I'm bringing to much of my own situation into this, and it's not helpful, I just feel for you, being targeted by your mum like that. You don't deserve it and, it sounds like, the sooner you get out of there, the better.
Wishing you well @Jane5050. Cyber hugs if you are comfortable with them.
 
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Jane5050

New Here
Thank you very much for the kind words. Just recently feel like I go two steps forward two steps back. Thought I made some headway with my mother last night, and she talked alright with me and my husband. I came into the room to make an effort with my mother and older sister this morning, who had her back turned towards me on the sofa talking directly to my mother about her own issues, making me feel like a bystander. I chipped in about geneaology and got a small polite response, I talked about something in my life, and got a terse 'congratulations'. I apologise for being self pitying but I am so fed up, especially with the older sister. I will be glad to leave in a month's time.
 

Jane5050

New Here
Thank you very much for the kind words. Just recently feel like I go two steps forward two steps back. Thought I made some headway with my mother last night, and she talked alright with me and my husband. I came into the room to make an effort with my mother and older sister this morning, who had her back turned towards me on the sofa talking directly to my mother about her own issues, making me feel like a bystander. I chipped in about geneaology and got a small polite response, I talked about something in my life, and got a terse 'congratulations'. I apologise for being self pitying but I am so fed up, especially with the older sister. I will be glad to leave in a month's time.
A huge thank you for this thread, and for being supportive. A small update: Mum and I sat down yesterday and have both agreed to draw a line under this. We are taking one day at a time. Of course - the best thing by christmas is that I will have a place of my own and can set firmer boundries. The twist in this is that my older half sister who's 11 years older than me had shared a small email I sent her - which she shared to my mother. That doesn't excuse my mum's behaviour and I realise we will never have a 'lovey-dovey' relationship, but I want to work on having an amicable relationship with her. She has promised to visit me in Windsor, and I when she goes to Devon. I think my half sister is taking advantage of the rift (I overheard her talk about furniture when my mum moves) which is quite revealing. She wasn't adopted by my late father and has made jealous remarks before about me being the spoiled youngest one. The very fact that she shared a two-line email and didn't reach out to help build a bridge between us means that I now have to be on guard around her games. But thank you very much for sharing your experiences.
 

Still Standing

MyPTSD Pro
Has anyone cut ties with their family and regretted it? I guess my fear is missing out on their lives but it makes my mental health suffer to be in contact with them.
I finally cut ties with my brother, last year. It was the best thing I have done with my family. No more playing "pretend" that we were family. No more trying to fit into a family unit where I was never accepted. No more feeling rejected and left out. By cutting the ties, it cut the bite of the memories of abuse and horrible hate and fights between us, as siblings, in our childhood home. I have no obligations to him, now. I have no regrets. He has his family life and I have mine. The two shall never connect again. No looking back. This decision was like taking the noose off that was around my neck concerning him. My heart is at peace, now, and I am content with my decision.
 

WonderWriter

Learning
I severed ties with my dad and my aunt. I feel bad because I used to be close with my cousins, and I sometimes chat with them on FB but things won’t ever be the same. Both my dad and my aunt have accused me of being a thief, but the only thing I ever took from them was the self-loathing they they transferred to me.
 
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