My Dad Hurt Me So Much I Finally Had to Cut Ties

My Dad Hurt Me So Much I Finally Had to Cut TiesWhen I tell people that I hadn't talked to my dad for a year or so before he died, I cannot tell you the number of times I get all sorts of looks of horror as if I've committed some awful crime.

I realize that some people feel as though family members should get a lot of extra chances, even if they've hurt you deeply. In fact, I was one of those people.

But now I say "screw that." These days, I'm all about protecting my heart. If only I had done that sooner.

I admit that most people understand there's probably more to the situation than me simply writing off my father. And not just because some of them know me and know that I wouldn't give up that easily, but also because situations like this usually involve repeat offenses or something pretty awful that would make a person finally say, "ENOUGH."

I started to look at my relationship, or really lack thereof, like I would a friendship. Or heck, even a business relationship. At what point when you feel like you're constantly getting burned or treated poorly do you decide that you've had enough?

Probably a lot sooner than you might with your own father.

But really, how is it that much different? You're putting your heart out there, outstretching your hand for it only to get crushed. And slapped.

And while I'm a pretty strong person and like to consider myself someone who doesn't give up easily, as well as someone who's willing to work on her problems, I've decided that at a certain point, I needed to take care of myself and my own feelings.

Sure, I could certainly greatly lower my expectations, which probably would be helpful.

Or I could decide that there's not anything I can do that I really feel I should do and move on.

This is pretty challenging, of course, because, well, I think we all want to believe that the person will change.

Now my father died before I had kids, but I probably would have written him off sooner if I had been a mom when he was still alive. I mean, if the other person isn't even really making an effort to see or talk to them, why should you try to continue that relationship for your children? What message is that sending them -- that one person sometimes has to take all the responsibility to keep a relationship going?

It's not something I would take lightly.

But I truly believe at some point you need to put on your "big girl" pants and decide you deserve better. And if that person isn't going to respect you and offer some sort of glimpse of hope that they're willing to engage with you in a meaningful way, your energy can be spent on other more important things and people.

Have you ever "broken up" with family or close friends?


Image via Cuba Gallery/Flickr

emotional health, mental health, relationships

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mom2212 mom2212

As painful as it is, I'm almost there with my own father. I know in the pit of my stomach it's not going to get better and I just need to resolve it the best way I can and that hurts. 

britt... brittneyleigh88

I cut ties with my father for the same reason. Tons of heartache every time we talked. I realized I was an ear to talk into about his problems. It's been... 6 years now, I guess.

nonmember avatar Jesse

Yes, both parents, mainly because of my mother. It was 15 years in the making and a very hard decision, but I feel so relieved. I used to be ashamed of telling people until I realize it's more common than I thought. Maybe this generation is not up for taking shit from family members.

Danielle Cole

So few people understand this.  I don't speak to my mother or my step father anymore, and I never will.  I get a lot of well meaning people trying to convince me to give them another chance.  But there are some people who don't deserve second chances, and child abusers/appologists fall into that category.  Thank you for sharing your story!  I wish more people could be so open.  People need to know that it's okay to protect themselves.

kenle... kenleymom

I didn't speak to mine for yrs. About 2 yrs ago I let him back in......only for him to tell my child about my past. Right before Christmas he was in a restaurant that I was meeting my mom family at. He got mad and walked right passed my child and didn't speak to her. She has not asked to see him or call him. I think at 9 she knows how he really is and she done also! He has issues that he will not get help for.

Sarah... SarahHall58

I totally get it. My dad isn't very nice to me. And it's even worse now that I'm pregnant. He doesn't care about me or his grandson. I'm getting close to cutting it off.

nonmember avatar Mimi

I stopped talking to my mom. She treated me bad but my brothers and sister like royalty. So now I can't talk to any of them. The only thing she could tell me is because I'm "too much" like her. Most people say she's not as bad as I say but I literally cry when I think about how I was raised because I don't want my daughter going through that.

PRIMA487 PRIMA487

I had a step mother who at times I thought she must have thought she gave birth to me. She got possessive of me to the point she wanted to take me away from my grandmother(who raised me). When my grandmother died she talked shit about her. Even told me she didn't love me. So obviously I had to cut her out and my father got mad because I wouldn't deal with her, so we didn't speak and he left me out of his will. But you have to cut toxic people out if you want to be healthy.

zandh... zandhmom2

Well I understand how sometimes you need to cut toxic people out of our lives, it's important to always find a way to forgive them in your own heart so you don't become a toxic person too.  My stepfather was a horrible man while I was growing up and it took years after i was grown to forgive him.  While I never told him personally that I forgave him for all of his cruelty, just knowing in my heart that I did brought much peace to my life.

nonmember avatar Blush

And actually sometimes a lot of good can come of this. I learned I could have a relationship with my father on my own terms and after a break of over a year I was able to let him back into my life. He seemed to get it and suddenly appreciated our relationship. Our family had a history of toxic parent/child relationships and we broke that. I don't think we ever would have if I hadn't set those boundaries. By the time he passed away there was real love and affection that had been missing.

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