Sunday, September 09, 2007

Toxic Parents

I have toxic parents and since my father died in December, my mother has been on the attack. We moved back in with her to help her and trust me, everythign below is coming true each adn every day, multiple times. I am kind of tired of always having to be on guard. I am really thinking of moving out. It would be better for me. You would think that after all these years, all the fight would be gone out of her. I think it has just intensified. She has been saving up all sorts of things that do not make any sense at all. I think she is crazy. If you were to hear some of the stuff she claims, you would think so too.

I am not sure what to do. I think we will have to move. It will be the only way for me to have any peace. I miss having my own place. I do believe now that this was a bad idea. She has not changed. She is the same abusive person she always has been.

Once you get going, most toxic parents will counterattack. After all, if they had the capacity to listen, to hear, to be reasonable, to respect you feelings, and to promote your independence, they wouldn't be toxic parents. They will probably perceive your words as treacherous personal assaults. They will tend to fall back on the same tactics and defenses that they have always used, only more so.

Remember, the important thing is not their reaction but your response. If you can stand fast in the face of your parents' fury, accusations, threats and guilt-peddling, you will experience your finest hour.

Here are some typical parental reactions to confrontation:

  • "It never happened". Parents who have used denial to avoid their own feelings of inadequacy or anxiety will undoubtedly us it during confrontation to promote their version of reality. They'll insist that your allegations never happened, or that you're exaggerating. They won't remember, or they will accuse you of lying.

    YOUR RESPONSE: Just because you don't remember, doesn't mean it didn't happen".

  • "It was your fault." Toxic parents are almost never willing to accept responsibility for their destructive behavior. Instead, they will blame you. They will say that you were bad, or that you were difficult. They will claim that they did the best that they could but that you always created problems for them. They will say that you drove them crazy. They will offer as proof the fact that everybody in the family knew what a problem you were. They will offer up a laundry list of your alleged offenses against them.

    YOUR RESPONSE: "You can keep trying to make this my fault, but I'm not going to accept the responsibility for what you did to me when I was a child".

You can chase a butterfly all over the field and never catch it. But if you sit quietly in the grass it will come and sit on your shoulder.

No comments: