It seems that many people have some very black & white opinions when it comes to those of us raised by abusive parents. No doubt you have experienced some of that thinking first hand. Hasn’t at least one person told you that parents always love their children, you’re not honoring your parent by setting boundaries, your parent didn’t abuse you because they never hit you or other similar comments?
There is another example of black & white thinking & it comes with going no contact with your abusive parent. Many people assume that eliminating your parent from your life means you hate that parent. Not long after my mother died, I ran into an acquaintance. He said, “I’d say I’m sorry to hear about your mom, but I know you’re glad she’s gone.” I thought later that no doubt many people think exactly the same thing.
What people who think this don’t realize is the children of abusive parents don’t always hate their parents. Some do, yes, but not all. In fact, I would guess that most love their parents. It’s their behavior they hate.
These folks also fail to realize that because we don’t hate our abusive parents, we end up with a lot of confusing & mixed feelings about our parents. Those feelings are seldom validated, even by some who have survived similar situations to ours. Some I’ve spoken with actually got angry at me for not hating my parents like they did. Some also said I needed to accept that they’re just evil & forget about them. People can be very cruel sometimes!
For those who are in the position of having gone no contact with their abusive parent(s), I just want you to know that whatever you feel, your feelings are valid!
If you hate your parent(s), that is valid. It’s understandable to feel that way after someone inflicts horrific abuse on you!
If you love your parent(s), that too is valid. We all only get two parents & that gives them a very unique position in our lives. It’s understandable to love them even if they have hurt you terribly.
If deciding to go no contact was an easy decision for you, that is valid as well. You knew what you needed to do & followed through with it. That is great you were able to do that!
If deciding to go no contact was a tough decision for you, that is valid too. It’s a big decision, & not always an easy one to make. Some people naturally struggle with that decision more than others.
I also want you to know that protecting yourself is ok! It’s a good thing to do, even if you are forced to protect yourself from your parents. Not all parents are capable of loving their children or being good parents. It isn’t your job or duty to tolerate their abuse just because they’re your parents.
Protecting yourself from them also doesn’t make you a bad person, heartless, spoiled or a fake Christian. It doesn’t mean you’re dishonoring your abusive parents, either. It means you are putting your mental & emotional health above your parents’ sick need to abuse you, & there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Having chosen no contact with my parents, my heart truly goes out to others in that situation, because I remember the struggles, the guilt, the doubt, the intense anxiety & the useless & even cruel input of others at that time. Many people have been in this situation other than you & I. You’re not alone! If you need support, there are plenty of online options. There are counselors & pastors that can help as well. Mostly, there is a loving God who wants to help you. Let Him. You won’t be sorry!