I am a 43 year old male who's parents are deeply religious to the point of radicalism. Over the years we have never been able to see eye-to-eye on anything and I have received nothing but condemnation, criticism and blame from them. They are the most intolerant, bigoted, hypocritical people I have ever met in my life.
I suffer from Tourette's Syndrome which my father suggests is really a "sign" that I'm posessed by demons and devils and tells me that by taking medication, I am calling God a "liar". Anyway, I can't go into all the background and detail at the moment because it would take forever but the bottom line is that our differences have become so great and our disagreements so nasty lately that it has gotten to the point where they have disowned me and I am not "allowed" to call them anymore unless I "apologize".
I HAVE apologized, sent nice gifts, run up my phone bill (only to get shouted at and hung up on), wrote many warm and friendly emails to them, etc and all I ever get is a lot of venom in return.
Has anyone else here ever been disowned by their parents or gone through this at my age?. It's really a life-shattering event and has lead to severe depression for me.
Your counseling is the best thing for you right now.
Trying to "make up" to your parents will only undo any good that your counseling is doing you.
You cannot change other people - and that includes your own parents... They have been effectively brainwashed by what could loosely be called a "religion" because any bona fide denomination I know would not lead a parent to turn on their child no matter what their age.
My sister-in-law has rejected one of her daughters
first at birth by adoption
then at age 23 shortly after they were "reunited"
& again a couple of years ago.
The niece-in-law continues to try to connect with her mother and it is very painful to even watch from the outside. I cannot imagine how you or she feels.
It is way easy for anyone here to just say "give up & walk away"...
I would suggest that you stick with the counseling, call for a one year "break" where you don't see or talk to them, and MOST of all -
Family is truly where you find it. Keep an eye out for people of all ages that you can connect with. There are people my mom's age that important to me, and one's the age of the children I will never have.
Christmas & Thanksgiving can be with people like those, or serving dinner to the homeless and people who have no family either.
I don't think there is a THING you can do to change your parents unless they were to break from the church they are now affiliated with.
The best you can do is to continue to be the best person that you can be, to grow, to be kinder to others than they have been to you.
I think you're going to land on your feet. Who knows, you could end up leading a support group for folks who are going through what you are...
Hi there - although I can't relate totally to this, I can relate a bit here. I have always had a troubled relationship with my mum, and like your parents have done to you, I was always criterzied as a child, made to feel small, feel unloved, hated infact. Infact due to my childhood, I can't love my mum, I don't feel bad about that, it is what she taught me.
I also can relate a little to having a disability, I have type 1 diabetes, I got this at 18, and to this day, she has always told everyone it was my fault that I got it, as I ate two many sweets as a child.
Like your parents, my mum (not my dad) also looks down on people, thinks your opinion is not valid etc etc.
Sorry, enough about me, I would say, in view of my own expereinces, your parents are not happy in their marraige, and are taking all their disappointments in life out on you, a bit of a scape goat maybe?
Are you an only child? also, the fact that you have Touretts Syndrome, maybe your parents have never been able to accept that, maybe they feel it is their fault, blame themselves etc. I am assuming that they are not tacktile parents? and so don't know how to show you affection, or maybe they think showing emotions and love is a form of weakness.
If that is the case, then you have to feel sorry for them.
Where opinions are given, and my mum disagrees or vice versa, my mum always took it to be an attack, or me trying to cause an augument, where the truth was, we are just different people with different view points. Your parents should respect you for your views and thoughts on things.
Your dad saying that Tourettes is being posessed by demons and devels, and by taking medication is like saying God is lyeing is TOTAL MADNESS, does that mean that someone like myself who injects daily to stay alive, is going against gods wishes, and calling him a lier?
Sometimes Religion is taken to far, and people can become delusioned by it.
Don't ever feel ashamed for having Tourettes, I know it is difficult to live with, but can be managed with the right medication.
I would say, we can't chose our parents, and some muck up big time, but at least you have a clear conscious, and don't seem to have any malice towards them.
You have sent gifts etc, it is for them to contact you now.
Be strong, they are the ones with the underlying problems.
Well they certainly aren't practicing some of their very own 'rules' within religion are they? Like the one about not judging others? Or perhaps the one about forgiveness?
They sound like closed minded, selfish bigots.
While I'm not sure entirely why you put so much effort into these people who have been so cruel. I know they're your parents.. but wow :\ That's just ... heart breaking. I definitely feel for you, I was surprisingly disowned from my fathers parents (grandparents) basically, a few years ago. But I just let it go. They were mean people, I don't need that in my life, it's just not necessary.
They aren't practicing what they preach, and if they can't see that they really are beyond help
Both my sister and I have at different times of our lives been disowned by our parents. Yup, it was due to their religion. We didn't buy their BS ideology and hated their heavy guilt-trip conversations. They saw us as sinners. I spent my twenties thinking I was some awful evil person, but through therapy and reading lots of self-help books, I eventually decided that they can take me or leave me. I don't need their approval anymore. My parents changed their beliefs (again) about 7-8 years ago, and now we are civil with each other, but not very close in any way.
I suggest counseling also, it helps.
It upsets me terribly to read about the situation you are in. I haven't experienced this directly, but I have had periods of huge difficulties with my parents, and, in the extended family, parents who have disowned their children for religious reasons.
I think your parent's behaviour is disgusting. But there is also nothing you can do to change things at this point.
In the meantime, please do not make your happiness contingent on approval from them. I know we all have that hard-wired in - but I decided early on that I would not make my happiness (as an adult) dependent on my parents' insane whims and predjudices.
I took a big step back - no unpleasantness or engaging in fights - just never really contacted them except for birthdays etc.
Concentrate on making YOUR life full of love and laughter and security.
I never went to counselling - with the benefit of hindsight, it may have fast-tracked me by ten years or so.
Over time, with both my parents (and the extended family parents and their children), everything has worked out and we are now very close.
I don't think you can engage meaningfully with your parents at this stage; I think you should divert your efforts into building a happy life for yourself at this point - and from what I have read stress can make managing your condition much worse. Over time, your parents may come to a point where they realise the error of their ways, and then you can keep building your relationship. But in the meantime this is not a healthy thing for you to be spending energy on.
Please do not take any of their venom on board - do not let it impact on how you see yourself, or sabotage your life. Let it go for a while, without any guilt, and it may come back in the future where your parents change their stance so that you can have a healthy and positive relationship with them.
I all too well know how you feel. I never was really told by my mother that she disowned me but my father did. The funny thing is that my father abused me in more than one way and yet my mother never saw fit to do anything even after being told. So I was left to fin for myself and I ran away 3 weeks before graduation. Because he got so hard on me. We have through the years been civil to each other at times and yet theres been times I've confronted him and really had some hard years. Don't see him much since he leaves in Texas and I ran away from there to MS. I still live here and bee married for 22 years now. Also the funny thing is, my MOM like I said never vocally said she didn't really love me. The part she did was she never said ANYTHING. She wouldn't listen to me. Didn't act as though she loved me. My children aren't close to her. She took my brothers little girl and raised her as if she was her own and now that girl has 2 babies under age 3 and preg. again. She didn't make my children feel loved like a grandmother. I understand she had to raise her own children and my brothers and now her great grandchildren. Thats just it she always put my brothers daughter and my other sister ahead of me always. She would play my sister against me. And I caught her about 2 years ago and I let her know it. She has called me 1 2 times in two and half years. We also live within 10 miles of each other. Anyway, sometimes we do get caught up in the RELIGION part of things and thats exactly what it is religion. Not salvation. We are suppose to JUST LOVE, simply just love each other. I know it's hard though, because I've still not concoured how to react to my mom or dad. I just keep my distance. But still I do think of them. Just easier to stay away from them than to keep letting them hurt me and my family.
You people are the ONLY family I have left. I'm sorry this is such a short post. You people deserve FAR MORE than this for all the help and support you have given me. I was amazed at how well all of you were able to relate to my situation and how many of you are going through the same ordeal. My father has completely blocked me from calling his phone or sending him email. No matter how nice I am to him, it only makes him feel "empowered" and the more he continues to hurt me. God bless ALL of you. I love you all dearly!!!!
- Regards, LT
Last edited by LonelyTraveler; 10-11-2006 at 04:29 PM.
LT, are your parents by any chance JWs? Because they are notorious for shunning people, even members of their own family, who don't conform to their ideas. It's a very sad thing and I've seen a very good friend of mine have this happen to her because she was a member of that religion.
That being said, I think that your only option is to just live your life as best as you can. If they ever come around, then great. But if not, then you just have to continue living your life for you. It's very hard without your parents to be there for support and guidance, but you may surprise yourself at how strong you really are, and how well you will do on your own.
I've completely and permenantly disowned them as of yesterday evening. They have everything blocked now (emails, phone, etc) and all forms of contact have been completely blocked. Yesterday, I spent four hours writing them a very warm and friendly email trying to patch things up and I was able to verify that they immediately deleted it. So much for my efforts. My father has got to be one of the most impossible and unreasonable person on earth. It's either his his way or no way at all and he can never be wrong about anything. If he thinks chocolate cake should have cream cheese icing and you tell him that you think the best icing to use is banana cream, you have just "contradicted" him and will get hung up on or be accused of being "argumentative". I just can't win and I've tried over and over again for years now. Thank's for all the replies. I really appreciate that a LOT!!.
Yes i have been through a similar situation with my mother, (i have tourettes as well)thankfully i have one sane normal parent and love my dad very dearly.(they are divorced) anyway the point is, without going into very embarrassing and intricate details which are not needed for the point....it look me quite a while to just accept that some people will never learn they will never compromise, listen, etc etc. my mother is a pathalogical liar who tried to hit and scream and embarrass the tourettes out of me for years
i tried over and over again to be sympathetic, ignore the lies, accept her, even tried to get her some help all to have it thrown back in my face and i finally realised that despite her being my mother there was no point in continuing to try to have a pointless and clearly not real love ( i dont think she is capable of feeling and knowing real love )so therefore i consider it a loveless relationship with her and it was best just to wish her the best and cut all strings loose. maybe this sounds harsh to some people but you choose your friends not ur family and if anyone had friends who did what she did to me then you wouldnt stay friends with them or expect me to. and i tried alot to get through to her to no avail and when it is affecting your own self worth and giving you depression there comes to a where one day i just thought i do no need this strain, this emotional black hole which sucks me in every second of the day and to be blatantly truthful i have not missed her at all. the fights, the screaming, the hitting, all of it is gone and yes when you start to think about the past and things that went on you get sad but over all i is a weight that is lifted off my shoulders just to realise she will always think she is the one who is right and will not listen or care about anyone elses opinion and everyone else is **** compared to her. she is who she is and i can accept then but i dont want anything to do with it. this is just her and good luck to her and her success in life but i do no have to deal with it anymore and it is a relief.
and this is what i am saying to you, maybe look at it in a different light if ur parents are going to be like this well then maybe its a blessing in disguise maybe the obligation you feel to them because they are your parents should be let go. if they wont accept you then thats their problem and i think you could be happier without carrying their misery and guilt around on your shoulders.
Wow, it's amazing how this topic is pretty common. I too am going through a similar situation. I'ts my Mother. She has been in and out of my life countless times. I hav'nt talk to her since August on my Birthday. She lives far away from me, sent me a B-Day card but never called (unlike her). The next day I decided to call her and thank her for the card and she was very short with me. I looked at the card again and at the very bottom it read "I would have sent you a gift, but you would'nt have liked it". Huh? I have since wrote her to ask what is going on and that I was sorry for what ever I did. I told her that I had no clue what she is upset about and to please call me or write...Nothing..
My issues do not have to do with the religion part of it, but I do beleive that my mothers issues have something to do with her up bringing. Her Mother dis-owned her right up to before she died last year. I can tell you that the cycle is broken. I wrote in that letter to her that I will always love my children unconditionally, communication is always open and that I will always be involved in their lives as long as I live.
Do you have children? You cannot change anyone that doesn't acknowlege thier wrong doing. Not even your parents. I know you are very hurt by this, but uinfortunately there is nothing much you can do. One thing that you will always no in your heart is that you were willing to love back no matter what. I however, am numb to my mother's actions. I am worn out trying all my life to play her little games. My decision is to send her pictures of her Grandkids and cards for the Holidays. She will never b able to blame anyone but herself for missing out on my life as well as her Grandkids.