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What are the benefits of being estranged from your parents/family?
April 9, 2013
4:58 pm
Beth
Guest

I am on the other side, the parent that is estranged.  I do not condone any behavior the parents must have inflicted upon the children who have written on this thread.  It is sinful that any human should be treated in that way.  I was abused by my daughter, she was arrested and served time and probation from the conviction, yet her belief is that she did nothing wrong.  I know what abuse feels like and estrangement, it hurts beyond comprehension.  It is my daughters choice to be estranged, I wish I could show you all on this thread the love you deserve.  May you find peace and love in your life.

April 9, 2013
3:19 pm
carolyn
Guest

My heart goes out to you, Anon for being treated in such a demeaning, abusive and traumatic manner by your parents.  It is difficult for me to even read about it.  I hope you have or are able to receive some therapy to heal from all the emotional wounds.  In your case, estrangement is emotionally and physically necessary for you to protect yourself and your child.  I do believe that most of us estranged mothers on this website do not fall into that category.  I pray that you continue to take care of yourself and keep yourself safe.

April 9, 2013
12:57 pm
Anon
Guest

Let's see, benefits...

 

Well

1. No one refers to me as b*tch anymore. I no longer get called a dumb f*ck, stupid b*tch, ugly b*tch, ungrateful b*tch, f*cking whore, or nasty f*cking slut.

2. No one digs 2 liter bottles out of the trash to fill them up with water and throw them at me. That was one of my mom's favorite things to do. I haven't had a pot of water on the stove chucked at me in a long time either.

3. My ulcers have finally healed.

4. I no longer break out in painful stress hives all over my body.

5. It's been months since anyone hit me. 

6. I no longer feel like crying when I hear about a "mother's love"

7. I've taught my son that no one has the right to abuse anyone else, not even if they gave birth to them. 

8. I don't have to spend my hard earned money buying gifts for people who only respond by criticizing the gifts until I cry.

9. No one laughs at me for crying anymore.

10. I never again have to see or hear my father laugh, snicker and smirk when a woman on TV is smacked, raped, beaten or killed. 

11. I will never again be forced to kill an animal that I love. 

12. I no longer have to keep secrets about my parents' criminal acts.

13. I no longer have to live in fear of my parents' convicted rapist friends attacking me.

There are more but that's just off the top of my head. I'm very happy being estranged.

January 2, 2013
5:52 am
Anonymous mom
Guest

My heart goes out to you, Leila.  I commend you for having the courage to leave such abuse and feel for your mother that she was not able to deal with her demons.  You certainly have suffered and do not have to defend your actions.  To Grace's defense, I am sure it is difficult for most of us estranged mothers to even imagine a mother treating her child in such a way as our situations do not involve abuse on our part.  My best to you and have a great 2013. 

January 2, 2013
4:33 am
Leila
Guest

Grace, the 'present' thing was the most minor thing my parents did. My mother physically and emotionally abused me every day until I was 18. The emotional abuse continued until I cut her off when I was 26, with the support of my therapist. Other family members who know my mother an her ways have fully supported my decision too. Why are you so angry? Would it make you feel better to hear some graphic descriptions of the abuse I suffered?

December 27, 2012
10:39 am
LH
Guest

Grace said 

Is that it?  Is that the extent of the 'abuse' you've received from your parents to warrant not wanting to care for them in old age?

Why would you assume that was the sole problem she had with her parents?

December 27, 2012
10:01 am
Grace
Guest

Leila said
I think if I were still in touch with my parents, I would resent caring for them as they failed to do that for me when I was growing up. I'm aware that even people with good parents find caring for them in old age stressful, emotionally taxing, and a financial burden, so I am very glad I don't have to deal with that.

 

As for presents, I was also told why my presents were unsuitable, and a waste of money. When I was a kid and used my pocket money to buy my dad a present, he just told me off for wasting HIS money (where else was I supposed to get the money?) And when I stopped buying presents for my mum when I got sick of her complaints about them, she would sulk for weeks and use any opportunity to bring it up and use it against me. So for me, it is a huge relief not to buy presents for them anymore. Also, I'm happy not to receive presents from them either as my presents were always hideous items of expensive jewellery that my mum loved to wear... They knew I didn't want it and would never wear it, but would go mad when I showed my disappointment. 

 

I don't want to give my parents presents or care for them in old age. What I would like most of all is to have different parents to do those things for. Obviously that's not going happen, so I'm trying to make the best out of a bad situation. I'm trying to see the benefits of my situation rather than feeling sorry myself, which is hard not to do, especially at this time of year.  

 

Is that it?  Is that the extent of the 'abuse' you've received from your parents to warrant not wanting to care for them in old age?  I've got news for you Leila.  Most of us have had your experiences regarding unsuitable gifts etc.  Most of us have feel that way about parents, most of us don't relish having to care for them in their old age - and then we grow up and realise we have a duty and a responsibility to do just that.  And most of us develop a backbone and get on with it.

December 18, 2012
8:38 pm
Leila
Guest

I think if I were still in touch with my parents, I would resent caring for them as they failed to do that for me when I was growing up. I'm aware that even people with good parents find caring for them in old age stressful, emotionally taxing, and a financial burden, so I am very glad I don't have to deal with that.

 

As for presents, I was also told why my presents were unsuitable, and a waste of money. When I was a kid and used my pocket money to buy my dad a present, he just told me off for wasting HIS money (where else was I supposed to get the money?) And when I stopped buying presents for my mum when I got sick of her complaints about them, she would sulk for weeks and use any opportunity to bring it up and use it against me. So for me, it is a huge relief not to buy presents for them anymore. Also, I'm happy not to receive presents from them either as my presents were always hideous items of expensive jewellery that my mum loved to wear... They knew I didn't want it and would never wear it, but would go mad when I showed my disappointment. 

 

I don't want to give my parents presents or care for them in old age. What I would like most of all is to have different parents to do those things for. Obviously that's not going happen, so I'm trying to make the best out of a bad situation. I'm trying to see the benefits of my situation rather than feeling sorry myself, which is hard not to do, especially at this time of year.  

December 17, 2012
11:31 pm
LH
Guest

Sorry, most of your points aren't benefits for me.

 

1) I'd love to be able to care for them in their old age without abuse. However, seeing how things are going, that's not going to be possible. I'm not going to be able to care for them, and it's going to hurt.

2) I'd love to be able to give my father presents. It would be wonderful to show him my love and caring without being told what's wrong with my present and why I should never have wasted my money on it.

3) Maybe, maybe not. I helped my grandmother as much as I could during her last illness and I was at her deathbed, and it made dealing with her death much easier. OTOH, Grandma wasn't abusive. It may be different when my abusive parent dies. Quite a number of adult children of abusive parents have told me that what hurt most at their parent's death was the loss of the dream of a good parent, not the loss of the parent they actually had.

4) If our relationship were healthy, I would have complete independence and freedom from my parents while still having a close, loving relationship with them. The parent/child bond isn't supposed to take away the adult child's independence and freedom!

5) is a real benefit. In my family, you weren't allowed to leave relationships that hurt--not even casual friendships. If someone treated you badly, you were supposed to ask yourself what you did wrong and fix it. If the answer was, "He treated me badly because he's an alcoholic and I didn't cater to him enough," then you sucked it up and catered harder. Learning that sometimes relationships can't be fixed and you need to walk away to save yourself has been priceless.

 

But I can add something to your list:

 

6) Not having to take their abuse any more.

December 17, 2012
10:14 pm
Leila
Guest

Here are some things I came up with:

 

1) No need to worry about caring for parents in old age

2) No need to worry about Christmas/birthday presents for them

3) Possibly easier to deal with their death/s 

3) Complete independence and freedom from them

4) We are more likely to take action in relationships when we are treated badly

 

Can anyone think of any other points? 

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