TOXIC PARENTS

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Submitted Date 03/06/2019
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“You only have one mother and one father, cherish them. I know that your mom hurts you. However, that is your mom, and you must honor her.”

In our culture, we are taught to honor and obey our parents at all cost. We are to take care and stay in contact with our loved ones despite what they have done or are doing to us. `For example, a woman in her mid-twenties has decided only to call her mother twice a year due to her mother’s verbally and manipulative, abusive ways. Nevertheless, other family members will urge the young woman to keep her mother close and to ignore her venomous tongue simply. Sound familiar?

Our parents did the best they could to raise, teach, nurture and lead us with the knowledge they had. We wouldn’t be where we are today without their wisdom and lessons on life. There are moments that we will cherish that involve our parents sacrificing and withholding their dreams for the sake of your well-being. With that being said, it can sound harsh to set strict boundaries with parents or to cut them off. Especially, being that we have been conditioned to believe that cutting off our parents is inherently wrong. Nonetheless, considering your well-being and how your parental relationships could be holding you back, you may have to.

A toxic parent is a parent who abuses their children verbally, physically and/or sexually, as well a parent who is inadequate or ignores their children's emotional needs. Sometimes these patterns are so established they continue into adulthood, and often are either not recognized or addressed.**

Monique West, a licensed therapist and Founder of Awaken the Power Therapy states the risks of being raised by a toxic parent. See the list below:

· Chronic Self- Doubt or inability to make a decision

• You could medicate your feelings with drugs or alcohol

• Finding abusive religious affiliations to take up where your pathological parents fell away

• You may have emotional intimacy problems or jump from relationship to relationship fearing abandonment or being alone

• Or you may engage in what they now call ‘sexual anorexia’ — the forbidding of yourself ever to be intimate or loving with someone else

• Chronic caregiving of others that results in increased frustration or burnout

• A total disregard for your needs or self-care

• You could battle depression or chronic anxiety

• Or fight nagging pessimism about your future or the world around you

• You might be dangerously naïve never trusting your instincts and being constantly taken advantage of

• You could have eating disorders, sexual addictions/other sexual disorders

• Or obsessive compulsive behaviors.”

If the things mentioned above sound familiar, you may have to reconsider setting up boundaries. If those boundaries are disrespected on a consistent basis, it’s time to let them go. If you are at the place of planning to sever ties with parents, it is recommended that you begin the process with a counselor or a licensed therapist. If you do not have access, at least choose a mediator. Do not do this alone. You are not alone!

No one on this earth is perfect. Everyone has their handful of flaws, wounds from the past and fears. Though, the latter doesn’t leave toxic behavior under the pew. Our imperfections should not be a justification to have toxic beings in our space. Neither should we brush off our vital need to protect our emotional well-being for the sake of a familial relationship? We are more valuable than toxic relationships. We are the gatekeepers of our peace, joy, and growth. On the road of self-love, protecting those three attributes are imperative for a safe, prosperous and healthy life. You deserve that!

 

 

Sources

"Is It Okay To Cut Out A Toxic Parent From Your Life?" Counseling.Org. July 27, 2016. Accessed November 3, 2016. https://www.counseling.org/news/blog/aca-blog/2016/07/27/is-it-ok-to-cut-out-a-toxic-parent-from-your-life.

 

Streep, Peg. "8 Toxic Patterns in Mother-Daughter Relationships." Psychology Today. February 2, 2015. Accessed November 3, 2016. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/tech-support/201502/8-toxic-patterns-in-mother-daughter-relationships.

 

Williams, Helen. "Toxic Parent- What Is a Toxic Parent?" Consistent Parenting Advice. Accessed November 7, 2016. http://www.consistent-parenting-advice.com/toxic-parent.html.**This source is unfortunately no longer available

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