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Old 05.01.2011, 11:44
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Toxic relationship between kids and parents

Hi,

I am trying to find some information on the forum about relationship between a kid and a parent but I can't find much more than problems with the mother-in-law.

I was curious how those who do have a toxic relationship with one or both of their parents come to term with it and how they learn to live and heal from it.

Did you always have this huge misunderstanding with the parent(s), if you have kids, did it help or actually made it worst?

My situation is pretty simple; a mother with deep psychological issues who did everything to put her daughter down, all her life. Who makes sure she feels miserable and what ever the daughter will try to do to please her, will never be able to achieve. For the mother, no one is enough capable, no one is enough good for her and her best hobby is to talk in everybody's back, daughter included. That is probably 1% of the whole situation but enough said.

Here is my piece, what's yours?
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Old 05.01.2011, 11:54
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Re: Toxic relationship between kids and parents

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Here is my piece, what's yours?
Tackle problems early, and talk directly to the person...

If you can not talk about things that annoy you then cut your losses early and part ways...
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Old 05.01.2011, 11:56
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Re: Toxic relationship between kids and parents

That's interesting.

My Mother had exactly this relationship with her Mother (my toxic Grandmother).
She was an accidental baby, never really wanted and made to feel that every day of her life.
My Grandmother is now mid-nineties and my Mother has no contact with her. So no healing there.
My Mother was more or less good to me, but not able to show much affection and it was difficult to please her. Consequently, I have realised that still in my adult life, I crave affection and approval and I can only think it stems from here. I can control it but I feel it burning inside me still.
My Father was often absent (working abroad) and when he was around, he was not the most tolerant person.
It all affects a child, perhaps mostly in their confidence, but with willpower you can forgive (if not forget) and get on well with your life.
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Old 05.01.2011, 12:11
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Re: Toxic relationship between kids and parents

Nil

I totally relate to this and feel for you.

Without going too deep into things, I experienced exactly the same issues with my Mom and ended up having to walk away entirely and for good from our relationship which for me now is only an association by blood and nothing more. The end result is that I've never felt better in my life and there will be no going back . . .

Not that I blame her entirely, as there are always faults and issues on both sides. However, this started from childhood, and as such, in her role as the parent, with way more knowledge, experience etc than I, she really ought to have known and done better in a lot of ways. That said, however, and after reading many books on spirituality, I accept that we all of us, even when we do things that later turn out to be not at all good, are doing so based on the knowledge available to us at that time in our lives. It is often, only when we look back, we see that things we did then, were so terribly wrong but we did not realize it at the time . . . I hope this makes sense?

On a spiritual level I have forgiven both her and myself as to what happened and when I think of her now, especially as she is now quite elderly, it is entirely with compassion and the occasional thought of what might have been had things been better between us.
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Old 05.01.2011, 12:24
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Re: Toxic relationship between kids and parents

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I accept that we all of us, even when we do things that later turn out to be not at all good, are doing so based on the knowledge available to us at that time in our lives. It is often, only when we look back, we see that things we did then, were so terribly wrong but we did not realize it at the time
Sorry but I disagree with this totally. Some people are just vile, nasty, brutish pieces of work who live solely to get pleasure from others misery.

My sister is one such as this, and I haven't spoken to her or had anything to do with her ever since she sent me an email telling me my kids ( who were 6 months old and 3 at the time ) were going to rot in hell because I wasn't raising them in a religious manner.

With some people it is better to wipe their existence from your mind and have nothing to do with them
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Old 05.01.2011, 12:27
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Re: Toxic relationship between kids and parents

I think it is interesting to see how people are able to stop to see their hope in a relationship and begin to see the relationship as it is in reality.

Probably what is the most painful for me is to see my mother giving to others what I am so craving for.

Even knowing that she does it only in the purpose of looking good and great in other people's eyes, it does affect you, because you keep dreaming of getting it yourself and it never happens.

If you have a mother who keeps the apparences really well and hide the dirt to others, it is very difficult to deal with this reality because you are the only one who sees the truth in her.

In my case, my grandmother was the one who kept me sane and she was the one supporting me when I was a teenager. She knew to well her daughter but couldn't do much beside comforting me.

I guess Ishaka got it right. I would need me too to close the door of what I keep dreaming of and smell the reality.

To cut a parent off your life must be a pretty hard work.
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Old 05.01.2011, 12:28
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Re: Toxic relationship between kids and parents

I have got a similar relationship to my parents.
We are Hungarian, both of them come from poor families with lots of war injuries (psychological mainly). We are not jews and my relatives were not deported but still suffered a lot. My mother's dad was taken by the Russians for a year after WW II. My dad was an outcast all his life and after the 56 revolution he could not work in his profession.
My grandparents had to move a lot within Europe and in Hungary.
They have got many more burdens.
In our country getting psychological help has not been in fashion until recently (whoever turns to a shrink is considered a fool) so my parents could not get any.

So I could come to terms with all these sufferings and I understand them. However my healing is a sustained one as I naturally miss attention, affection, love, care, etc. I saw a psychologist for 1.5 years, took part in a psychodrama group and took part in some Hellinger family constellations.
All these together helped me a lot.

I gave birth to my daughter when I was 30 and she initiated this long journey for me.
She loved me in a way that nobody ever did before.
She was always so glad when I looked at her.

Now I realized that I cannot change them - I have to change how I deal with people who treat me badly.
There is no way of "talk to them" as they are not open for such a discussion.
Now the situation is that I do not keep contact with them for two years now. Well, they don't keep contact with me. It takes two to tango.
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Old 05.01.2011, 12:42
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Re: Toxic relationship between kids and parents

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Sorry but I disagree with this totally. Some people are just vile, nasty, brutish pieces of work who live solely to get pleasure from others misery.

My sister is one such as this, and I haven't spoken to her or had anything to do with her ever since she sent me an email telling me my kids ( who were 6 months old and 3 at the time ) were going to rot in hell because I wasn't raising them in a religious manner.

With some people it is better to wipe their existence from your mind and have nothing to do with them
I can fully understand your sentiment.

You are so right. For one's own sanity (and those you are responsible for), these types of characters - family or not - are best treated as though they never existed.

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Old 05.01.2011, 12:46
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Re: Toxic relationship between kids and parents

This thread makes me feel so sad, but so grateful that i come from such a loving family.
I feel for you all, but as they say "you can't choose your family".
Wishing you the strength to make the right decision.
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Old 05.01.2011, 12:50
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Re: Toxic relationship between kids and parents

My mother have so much hate in her heart that she is not able to love anyone. Not even my dad or step dad. The reason she was with one and is with the other one has nothing to do with love.

Many times she told me that she didn't want kids and she had to have them because it was what was expected back then. She would have stop at her first but the ''pressure'' was there to have a second one.

Great feeling as a child to feel so much the love!
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Old 05.01.2011, 13:10
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Re: Toxic relationship between kids and parents

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I think it is interesting to see how people are able to stop to see their hope in a relationship and begin to see the relationship as it is in reality.

Probably what is the most painful for me is to see my mother giving to others what I am so craving for.

Even knowing that she does it only in the purpose of looking good and great in other people's eyes, it does affect you, because you keep dreaming of getting it yourself and it never happens.

If you have a mother who keeps the apparences really well and hide the dirt to others, it is very difficult to deal with this reality because you are the only one who sees the truth in her.

In my case, my grandmother was the one who kept me sane and she was the one supporting me when I was a teenager. She knew to well her daughter but couldn't do much beside comforting me.

I guess Ishaka got it right. I would need me too to close the door of what I keep dreaming of and smell the reality.

To cut a parent off your life must be a pretty hard work.
It is indeed hard work and it does not come naturally.
I can see you are deeply hurt
Let me suggest you to get some help.
You need a Mitfahrer in this process. I had some "talk out" therapy but the majority was more indirect and much more helpful - imaginative therapy, playing out, experiencing, feeling. These cannot be done on someone's own.
Hellinger family constellation is really strong. You have a family and you have its supportive force despite all that you experienced.
You can accept your past and use it as an aid. You will be able to enjoy your life without questioning yourself if you really deserve it.

Book suggestions: Susan Forward: Toxic parents
Clarissa Pinkola Estés: Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
http://www.clarissapinkolaestes.com/
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Old 05.01.2011, 13:11
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Re: Toxic relationship between kids and parents

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My mother have so much hate in her heart that she is not able to love anyone. Not even my dad or step dad. The reason she was with one and is with the other one has nothing to do with love.

Many times she told me that she didn't want kids and she had to have them because it was what was expected back then. She would have stop at her first but the ''pressure'' was there to have a second one.

Great feeling as a child to feel so much the love!
Nil

This is an incredibly difficult time for you at present but if you can, try and look on things from a compassionate view as well and recognize that your Mom, is also a victim of her circumstances and which likely resulted in her being the way she is today.

Don't get me wrong. I am not for one second condoning her behaviour because at the end of the day, it is my belief that we are all ultimately 100% responsible for our actions and the repurcussions and consequences of them - good or bad.

I do believe, however, that looking at things from a compassionate perspective (assuming you are not doing so already) will be of great benefit to you as you go through this process. It certainly helped me.
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Old 05.01.2011, 13:18
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Re: Toxic relationship between kids and parents

Thanks girls, a lot to think about and to try to deal with.

It is more a daughter-mother thing? Do guys have those issues too? We don't hear much of it... Maybe the guys are better at taking their distance?
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Old 05.01.2011, 13:19
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Re: Toxic relationship between kids and parents

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I think it is interesting to see how people are able to stop to see their hope in a relationship and begin to see the relationship as it is in reality.

Probably what is the most painful for me is to see my mother giving to others what I am so craving for.

Even knowing that she does it only in the purpose of looking good and great in other people's eyes, it does affect you, because you keep dreaming of getting it yourself and it never happens.

If you have a mother who keeps the apparences really well and hide the dirt to others, it is very difficult to deal with this reality because you are the only one who sees the truth in her.

In my case, my grandmother was the one who kept me sane and she was the one supporting me when I was a teenager. She knew to well her daughter but couldn't do much beside comforting me.

I guess Ishaka got it right. I would need me too to close the door of what I keep dreaming of and smell the reality.

To cut a parent off your life must be a pretty hard work.
Nil

In my case it was right for me to do this in order to preserve my sanity (and yes it was an incredibly difficult decision to make) but that's not what I am advocating for you or anyone else in a similar situation.

Everyone's situation is different and ultimately you will be guided by your inner self to do what is right for YOU. Just take your time and it will come . . .
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Old 05.01.2011, 13:42
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Re: Toxic relationship between kids and parents

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Nil

This is an incredibly difficult time for you at present but if you can, try and look on things from a compassionate view as well and recognize that your Mom, is also a victim of her circumstances and which likely resulted in her being the way she is today.
I totally agree with this. My mum and her mum has the most turbulent relationship ever. Growing up, she never failed to bad-mouth my nan and expressing her bitterness whenever possible. I hated that, as I am very close to my nan, who was the one whom I spent a chunk of my childhood with, whilst my parents were out at work.

As I grew older, I started observing that mum's actions and reactions to various situations are exactly what my nan used to do to her. Pointing that out to her only enraged her further. Things got slightly better when I moved to the UK for studies and work because we had thousands of miles between us.

She has somewhat mellowed over the years, but she is still fiery and tempestuous if her buttons are pushed. I guess thats just who she is and how she is a product of the relationship with her own mum. I love her to death because she is afterall, my mum but for both our sanity, she can only be tolerated in small doses like a 15 minutes phone call once a week.

A close friend of mine has a similar relationship with her mum and she lost her to breast cancer a few years back. Her response when I asked her how she felt is something that I will always remember and carry with me for the rest of my life: "All the animosity and anger I've felt towards my mum disappeared when I saw her on her death bed. She is afterall my mum and I wish I could have done more to mend the bridges."

What she said really was a wake up call for me. I've simply learnt to accept that mum is much more set in her ways than I am, hence I dont expect her to change - but I can control my actions, words and thoughts - I soon learnt how to deal with her. Do the psychological scars of our relationship over the years still haunt me? Absolutely. Sometimes I have to bite my tongue from bringing up certain things just to shut her up when she's becoming impossible (or it will be another full blown argument - emotional blackmail, blah blah blah).

Its become easier for me over the years to bite my tongue and walk away from the argument. The hardest part is how to deal with the frustration and injustice of it all. I wanted to shout "I so effing hate you" many countless times - but I know I really dont. Thats what keeps me afloat. I am still learning how to cope how to never to let it fester, dwelling on the negativity/pain, and change how I view my relationship with her.

I also have to keep telling myself to be mindful of how I deal with my child in future so as not to be caught in a vicious cycle.
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Old 05.01.2011, 13:51
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Re: Toxic relationship between kids and parents

I don't want to go into details, but have also had a strained relationship with my mum. I always wanted her to accept me for who and what I am, recently I realised that, in wanting her to change, I was effectively not accepting her for who and what she is.

The load lifted, I don't see or even speak to her often but when I do it is now so much easier. The comments and remarks I see now as her own unhappiness and not as a true reflection on my character.

All the best, hope this helps a little
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Old 05.01.2011, 16:09
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Re: Toxic relationship between kids and parents

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(...) Things got slightly better when I moved to the UK for studies and work because we had thousands of miles between us.
(...)

What she said really was a wake up call for me. I've simply learnt to accept that mum is much more set in her ways than I am, hence I dont expect her to change - but I can control my actions, words and thoughts - I soon learnt how to deal with her. Do the psychological scars of our relationship over the years still haunt me? Absolutely. Sometimes I have to bite my tongue from bringing up certain things just to shut her up when she's becoming impossible (or it will be another full blown argument - emotional blackmail, blah blah blah). (...)

Its become easier for me over the years to bite my tongue and walk away from the argument. The hardest part is how to deal with the frustration and injustice of it all. I wanted to shout "I so effing hate you" many countless times (...)

I also have to keep telling myself to be mindful of how I deal with my child in future so as not to be caught in a vicious cycle.
All those parts was my way to deal with it. With a kid, I thought it will be easier, it isn't, it is actually worst. She wants to see my daughter and complain that she doesn't see her enough but when we do more than 8000 kilometers and spend 2200 chf of flight tickets only just to give her this chance, she treats me and my husband like disturbance. She spend the whole time to criticise and make us feel unwelcome. My husband never saw that in his entire life, he couldn't believe that someone can act like that with her child and he came back disgusted.

2 weeks, once a year. That was what she had to deal with to have some good time with her grandchild.

She blowed it up! And manage to put that on MY fault, ME the ungrateful child.

I am back to step one, the before all the good resolutions, the Summerain's statut quo blowed off and I am in a point of non return. Too much pain, too much misery, too much guilt that I should have never ever accept my entire life.

You carry your child and give birth to her, how can you possibly do this to her? Something as to turn wrong in the mother's head. And now what I have been working on for so long isn't enough anymore to keep me going straight.
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Old 05.01.2011, 16:18
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Re: Toxic relationship between kids and parents

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All those parts was my way to deal with it. With a kid, I thought it will be easier, it isn't, it is actually worst. She wants to see my daughter and complain that she doesn't see her enough but when we do more than 8000 kilometers and spend 2200 chf of flight tickets only just to give her this chance, she treats me and my husband like disturbance. She spend the whole time to criticise and make us feel unwelcome. My husband never saw that in his entire life, he couldn't believe that someone can act like that with her child and he came back disgusted.

2 weeks, once a year. That was what she had to deal with to have some good time with her grandchild.

She blowed it up! And manage to put that on MY fault, ME the ungrateful child.

I am back to step one, the before all the good resolutions, the Summerain's statut quo blowed off and I am in a point of non return. Too much pain, too much misery, too much guilt that I should have never ever accept my entire life.

You carry your child and give birth to her, how can you possibly do this to her? Something as to turn wrong in the mother's head. And now what I have been working on for so long isn't enough anymore to keep me going straight.
I might have misinterpreted your post, but if I didnt, I am sorry for stirring up such emotions in you Nil. Each relationship is different - dymanics, chemistry, the personality of both parties and their treshold for bullshit. Hence we all deal with it in different ways.

Maybe its time to back off from her, for your sanity sake. Whatever you choose to do, I wish you the best.
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Old 05.01.2011, 16:34
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Re: Toxic relationship between kids and parents

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I might have misinterpreted your post, but if I didnt, I am sorry for stirring up such emotions in you Nil. Each relationship is different - dymanics, chemistry, the personality of both parties and their treshold for bullshit. Hence we all deal with it in different ways.

Maybe its time to back off from her, for your sanity sake. Whatever you choose to do, I wish you the best.
You didn't do something. I was just trying to say that I tried this too for many many years and sadly, even this isn't enough anymore. I hope you'll never have to do more to be confortable about your mother. I sadly realised that for me, it isn't enough, again!

The problem I see and I don't think that she gets is that she likes it or not, I am the one who makes her grandchildren and eventually, she will have to find a way to deal with me if she wants to have some relationship with them.

My mother believe that respect should come inconditionnally (it is an english word? ) What ever she says to me, what ever she does to me I should be respectful and thankful for her. But honestly, if you believe that you get respect from terrorising and mistreating someone, you go on a wrong road. You'll get hate but no respect.
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Old 05.01.2011, 17:00
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Re: Toxic relationship between kids and parents

It is important not to carry the negative emotions on thru your life and so hurt other people.

Because of my Mother's and Grandmother's feud, we as kids were forbidden to visit GM and punished if we did. This leaves a mark.

I made sure my daughter, now a teenager, grew up with loads of love and encouragement.
My reward is my lovely well-balanced, self-assured and happy girl.
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