Sometimes you have to let go of a friend that is being toxic, or a romantic partner that is too possessive or controlling. And that it very hard already. But what happens when you have to let go of the person that is supposed to love you the most ?
The hardest part is probably to realise that your parent is being abusive. Just like in any toxic relationship, realising that there is something wrong with it is very tricky – partly because sometimes, the abuser will make you feel like it’s your fault. It’s your fault if they’re being violent, if they insult you, if they get mad at you, etc. And sometimes, your abusive parent will even say the worst thing they could say : “It’s because I love you.” They say they do this to teach you a lesson – but don’t you worry, they still love you, they say. And maybe they do love you. They probably do. But associating violence with love is something you should never do, because it teaches the child that they don’t deserve anything more than this. It teaches them a model of unhealthy relationship, which might later lead them to having abusive partners.
Furthermore, you have to realise that it is okay for you to let go of them. First of all, please know that a parent should never hit you or insult you. It’s never acceptable or excusable. For some strange reason, some parents think it’s their right to hit their children, and that it is an acceptable way of teaching them a lesson. The truth is, it’s not. Once again, it teaches the child that violence is an acceptable way of resolving conflict, and teaches them to fear the parent instead of trusting them.
So, it’s never okay for your parent to hurt you in any way. What is okay, however, is for you to let go of them. And sometimes that is hard to realise, because well, they’re your parent. They’re your family, they’re supposed to love you unconditionally, not hurt you. The thing is, though, family is not defined by your parents. Everyone has a different definition of family. For some people, it’s their romantic partner ; for others, it’s their friends. You should know that you deserve people who will love you in a healthy, selfless way. And if your parents can’t do that, trust me, someone else will.
You might also think it’s selfish for you to cut your parents off. The truth is, it’s not. If they’re being toxic to you, you don’t owe them anything. I know it’s easier said than done, but you have to treat this relationship like any other abusive relationship. If a friend was hurting you and making you feel miserable, you’d remove them from your life, right ? Well, it’s the same thing with your parent.
Letting go of them can be a hard thing to do, though, especially if you’re a minor. If you feel like your home is not a safe environment for you, and you feel like you’re in danger there, there are ways to get out of it. Seek help from a friend’s parent, a relative, a teacher, a therapist – basically, any adult that is able to get you out of this situation. If you need to, and if you can, you could move out with another relative or at a friend’s house for a while, whilst things settle down at home. There are also websites with professionals that can help you, and find solutions for you if you are in an unsafe environment. Here is a link for a child helpline in the United States (but there are similar ones in every country). Please don’t forget that you are not alone : there is help available, and you can get out of this. This situation is very hard, but it is not permanent.
In conclusion, please remember that you are not selfish for cutting off one or both of your parents. Nobody deserves to be stuck in an abusive relationship, especially in their own family, who is supposed to love and support you. You are deserving of a healthy, loving family. And if your parents aren’t able to give you that, you are more than allowed to try and find it elsewhere.