Dealing with a parent who has in the past been abusive...

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Joined: 14 Jul 2019
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,754

20 Feb 2021, 3:14 pm

Sounds like you are off to a great start and moving in the correct direction. It took me a lot longer to separate from my well-meaning but emotionally-abusive mother. Now I can call a stop to some things --- "what would be helpful here is [this]" or "that is not helpful for me". Recently she was arguing with my dad while I was on the phone and it occurred to me for the first time to say "give me a call when you're free again" rather than listen to the mess. I'm fortunate that my mom has done a lot of work. If my mom were yelling at me: not acceptable. I'd ask her to stop or kindly hang up or leave ("I need to go, catch ya later"). If she were yelling about something, I would try to help her, but if it got to a certain level, I would need to kindly put in my earplugs (no offense, this is what I need to get through this), or take a break (I'll be back in 5 mins --- with my earplugs :wink: ).

I said something last during a family visit that lit my mom up like a nuclear bomb - she ran from the room. My sister tried to blame me and I stood firm that I cared for our mother and it was my mother's responsibility to emotional regulate herself, not for me to avoid all sensitive topics of conversation. My sister wasn't convinced (she's mean still), but my mom came back, I explained myself, she owned her s**t and we have a really good hug/cry.

Good luck!