Anonymous Mom: I’m Disowning My Parents

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disowning parentsAnonymous Mom is a weekly column of motherhood confessions, indiscretions, and parental shortcomings selected by Mommyish editors. Under this unanimous byline, readers can share their own stories, secrets, and moments of weakness with complete anonymity.

My parents are both dead now. They died a month ago and I’m still grieving. The problem is they are both very much alive, a 20 minute drive from my house.

Yes, now in my mid-30s, I had to disown my parents. Having a mother with borderline personality disorder had finally taken its toll.

This was a long time coming, but when it happened – when I finally told them, “I have no parents,” – I don’t think it was any less painful than actually losing your parents to sickness or a car accident. I think losing a parent is always painful.

I hate when people say, “People can change,” Or, “They’re old!” or, “How can you just cut them off like that?”

I’ve also asked myself these questions numerous times. But the truth is, my parents made me feel as they have always made me feel. Like I was drowning. I have always felt that even if I were actually drowning, depending on my mother’s mood that moment, she may or may not try to rescue me.

I had to disown my father too, because after all these years, especially during my childhood, he didn’t step in to “save” my siblings or I from my mother’s vicious streak. He, too, was under the roof of borderline personality disorder and was probably just as scared as we were — and still is.

I’ll be brutally honest: I feel like I hate my mother and I have no respect for my father. I have all the symptoms of an adult child of a borderline personality disorder parent. These include, but are not limited to, huge self-esteem issues, panic attacks after talking to or seeing my mother, and I’m wary of trusting people.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was when I told my parents I had a serious medical issue and asked if they could they please help out with my children for a couple of weeks. They said they couldn’t until May.They are both retired and their excuse for not helping out was so pathetic, it’s heartbreaking for me. For years, before I disowned them, I asked myself, why do I walk into this?

I haven’t been able to look my parents in the eyes for over a decade and when I used to see my mother, shivers immediately went up my spine. To grow up with a mother who never once told you she loves you is only the start of my upbringing. The lack of love affected both of my siblings, too. One tried to kill himself when he was younger and the other moved half way around the world because in his words, “I couldn’t stand mom and dad.”

I didn’t move. I didn’t try to kill myself. I disowned them instead.

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