People Who Cut Ties With Their Family Share Why They Did It.
There is a wonderful quote by Maya Angelou that goes, "Family isnt always blood, its the people in your life who want you in theirs: the ones who accept you for who you are, the ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.
Unfortunately, in some cases, immediate family and blood relatives have to be cut out. Sometimes it's a neglectful mother, an abusive, aggressive father, or aunts, uncles and cousins that take advantage of you and have zero remorse for their horrible actions.
In this article, people who cut off their family for good reasons share their stories.
[Source can be found at the end of the article]
My parents divorced when I was two and my father was still pretty active in my life. His mother watched me while my mom worked, until she had a stroke when I was six. Shortly before that, he had gotten married to this vile woman who made it clear that I had no place in her family. Numerous things happened when I was left in their care, the worse among them was being forgotten all day in a pool and had after around 8-12 hours my ginger butt was blistering and oozing.
After a while I start to try to force distance between myself and my father. I stopped taking his calls, quit engaging with him.
When my mom and (Step) Dad moved to California they moved my grandmother out of the home that her husband, my grandfather built in Houston to a 3rd rate nursing home, gave my childhood toys to his wife's grandson (Classic TMNT, Legos, GI Joes) and sold everything else of value.
She died in 2006, I was only told that the woman who helped raise me had died via my mother's younger sister who was married to my Father's best friend. We haven't talked since.
So, my father wasn't physically abusive, but he screwed over everyone in his family keeping his wife happy.
Serving in Iraq, my family didn't bother telling me my Mother had died. I found out via email two weeks after funeral. By the time I got home, they had divided all of her possessions, I got a brown envelope with 4 pictures of her in there. Got up and left, never went back. I married a girl from overseas, try to get her a Visa, my Aunt finds out, sends letter to the Embassy stating that I'm an unsavoury character, and that the marriage was most likely a scam. Visa denied, I'm now leaving the country.
I didn't totally cut them off but I moved across the continent and refuse to visit. My mom said that if I wasn't her child she would want nothing to do with me so I don't initiate contact with her. I just don't see the point in maintaining a relationship where you don't want one.
I don't speak with my mother. She allowed me to be abused by her boyfriend when I was little. She was messed up on pills. Whenever she left the house I'd beg her to take me with her and she never did. I tried to form a bond in my adult life but she kept bringing up the past when I told her not to. And then I cut all ties.
My mum was a horrible person. She was emotionally abusive and neglectful my whole life. She only had kids for the benefits. My brother was 18 months younger than me but because he was taller she would often mix up our ages. She often mixed mine and my sisters names up. I hated her for years but I finally cut her out when I was 19. My Dad died from cancer just before my birthday. In an argument, when she tried to convince me my sister is a prostitute (she's not) my mum used my Dad's recent death to try and hurt me. I walked out of her house and haven't seen her since. I'm 24 now and when I meet new people I just tell them both my parents died.
They barred me from even visiting after I came out to them. Among other things, they called me mentally ill, they said they were glad I wouldn't be having children, they said that God would punish me for my "lifestyle choices," and they blamed me for making them respond like that.
My mother is a drugged out alcoholic that basically had zero positive impact on my life. I didn't have the courage to cut her out of my life (fear of triggering another suicide attempt) until I had kids of my own. I love my children and they will not be witness to the same things I've seen.
I feel no remorse. And anyone else living with such toxicity in their lives; there is no shame in cutting ties with family members. Protect yourselves and find a way out.
Because a simple text from my father would send me into a full blown anxiety attack. A message from my mother stresses me out, but not as badly. I shouldn't feel so unsafe from the people who are supposed to have been my biggest safety net, but I DO feel unsafe, and I deserve better than that.
Dad owes me $10,000+. A while back my mom showed me all the these statements of the account that was holding money I was to be receiving from a lawsuit settlement. Continuous in/out transfers of funds to his personal accounts. I was naive to think he'd ever do something like that when I was coming out of high school and going to college.
The father's side of my family is full of extreme alcoholics, drug abusers, child molesters, and yes, as of recently, a murderer.
I cut off contact with them years ago and chose to live my life without that sort of things. I don't have to see it, worry about it, waste resources trying to help them (when they don't want to be helped), etc. I can go on living my life with the values, ethics, and morals that the other side of my family raised me with, live my own life, and build a successful, socially-contributive household of my own... and have done so.
Think of it as risk vs. reward. It's nice to have interactions with them and you'll feel guilty for not contacting them and you even start to miss them but it's never worth their emotional recklessness that they hurt you with. Simply put; life is better without that person in it. Essentially any kind of act of kindness or interaction or even an inheritance is not worth emotionally wrecking yourself for a few months.
I never had much of a relationship with them. I always felt like an outsider and unloved. I never loved them but I don't hate them so much anymore. My mother was emotionally/verbally abusive when I was growing up and my father never stood up to her.
I guess the only positive thing I can say is they tried their best. Maybe my expectations were too high. I don't know.
Because my mom decided she would rather be with her drug addict boyfriend and do meth than take care of her 17 year old and 12 year old daughters. She moved from Tennessee to California and left them with her drug addict husband who sells meth. She likes to pretend everything is normal and fine but I haven't talked to her since she left and I don't intend to.
It's not that I cut my mom off, but I will only talk about superficial stuff with her when we do talk and nothing personal. The thing is, she will always try to tell me nothing is my fault and I never have to take responsibility. When I was in school, every bad grade was the teacher's fault. When I struggle at work it's my boss's fault. When my relationships fail its my ex's fault. She means the best but it took over a year of living in her house as a NEET after college to realize the toxic influence she has on my life. I love her but she makes me a terrible person.
They were upper middle class which gave me everything they wanted growing up. They never hit me or abused me or anything like that. However they never got to know me, saw any value in me independent of themselves and generally always spoke down to me. Most people dont understand how that can be enough to cut them out but I dont care, my life is better now than before.
I cut off my mom. She's a depressed alcoholic and she mistreated me and my two sisters for as long as she had custody. She went before the courts with a known drinking problem, got 50/50 custody. She drove drunk with us in the car sometimes. She almost killed herself several times, ending up in the hospital at least three times. Finally, after almost killing herself again, my dad took her back to court. The judges agreed she shouldn't get to see us. However, she was allowed visitation at my dad's discretion. We were put in therapy for trauma. I refused to see her and hoped that my sisters would follow suit. They didn't. Lo and behold, six months later she pulls a knife on my stepdad and my younger sister. They're not allowed to see her anymore, I still refuse to this day. If I never see her again it will be too soon.
Growing up instead of encouragement they would criticize me to bolster their own self esteem and destroy mine. It came to a head during a divorce and the criticism turned to outright sabotage behind my back. I could not think of a way to continue on with people in my life actively trying to bring me down.
Have not completely cut them out but are on the verge of cutting ties with my family. My wife is very family-oriented and we are struggling with it. But the main reasons are they are violently unstable, man-children. Father recently said he was going to kill himself in front of one of my siblings as well as her children (his grandchildren), mother got her legal weed card and is high24/7 (I am pro-legalization but she cannot function). The reason we have begun to split-off is because we are discussing having a child and realized we would not feel comfortable allowing them near our future kid.
My biological father was never present in my life, so I didn't meet anyone on that side of my family until I was 10 years old. The person I met was my father's dad.
After getting him sent to prison, that entire side of the family had nothing but hatred for my brother and I because apparently we were the monsters in that situation. We decided no contact was the best thing for everyone.
I've since met my dad, and even tried having a relationship with him, but he's too much of a stranger while trying to be an overbearing father so it makes me uncomfortable and I've been trying to keep plenty of space between us.
I cut off my dad's side of the family because all my cousins are older than me and my brother (by 5-10 years) and since we were kids they would just bully us and my uncles would start encouraging them... Next thing you know, growing up I realized they are just uneducated jerks who talk trash about everyone, and honestly, I don't need that in my life! Can't wait to eventually get married and not invite them!
After my mom passed away, her family were total jerks to me. They'd yell at me over things that were in no way my fault, basically using me to get their anger and frustration out. So I said nope, and cut them out. I was 18, recently turned 26 and haven't spoken to any of them since.
I might be cutting my dad's older sister out soon too. She's an alcoholic and is causing a ton of crap, my grandma passed over the summer and the estate has still been untouched because she contested it and is suing my dad because she's pissed that she wasn't the executor. There are some other reasons too, but a lot of it is jealously and anger fueled by booze. She started including me on group texts last week, despite the fact that I have absolutely nothing to do with what she's raging about, simply because I'm an adult and should know what's going on. I got tired of her harassing me, so I blocked her number. We'll see what happens.
They were over the top controlling. Needed me to pick up the phone 4+ times a day, visit 1-2 times a week, and constantly criticized my choices. Heaven forbid I missed a phone call, then the triangulation and guilting would start.
But that wasn't enough. It wasn't enough when they gave me panic attacks. It wasn't enough when they made my husband weep in his workplace. It was finally enough when I had my little boy, and was watching them manipulate him. Telling him that he would never be as cool as they were, and that he 'owed' them for every little thing, when he was just 2 years old. It made me realize just how purposeful it was, and how damaging it could be.
Three therapists told me to leave, but I didn't listen. I needed that 'mama bear' backup to get out. The last therapist told me "In saving your son, you might finally save yourself.
After my parents died my only remaining grandparent decided that I must be megarich and that she wanted some of the money. (I wasn't megarich, it's just that her definition of "rich" encompasses literally anyone who has a job) She teamed up with my drug-dealing uncle, fresh out of jail for armed robbery and GBH, and they stalked me for about two years. Phone calls at all hours, often threatening in tone, turning up to loiter outside my building, following me in the car, that kind of thing.
I was young and scared and didn't want to incur the wrath of the rest of the family by calling the police, so I just kept my head down and rode it out until I was finally able to move and escape from them. I was a bit sad to have to cut off from the entire family, as there were a few relatives I liked, but they were all too close knit and messed up.
I realised I had to cut off my dad to protect myself emotionally when I was really young.
He used to say he was coming to take me for the weekend and then never show up. I'd still be sat there with my bags packed hours after he was supposed to come. My mum would eventually ring him and I'd hear them arguing over the phone in the other room, then she'd put me on the line and I'd pretend I wasn't crying while I listened to his excuses and apologies. Eventually he stopped even pretending he would come.
It was the most painful and humiliating thing I've ever lived through. I was a really outgoing kid and slowly this just killed my self esteem and confidence.
Years after all this he tried to rekindle a relationship but I wasn't interested. I had a strong suspicion it would end in tears...mine, not his...and I wasn't up for round 2 of all that.
I don't talk to my dad because all it is is us disagreeing with each other. He's never happy for me and wants me to live my life as a copy of himself. I like my life just the way it is, but he's always trying to guilt trip or bribe me into doing things I don't want to do. Phone calls from him stressed me out because I knew it meant a fight of some degree was coming. I guess the breaking point was probably when I told him I was dating a transwoman and said we WERE going to get married and if he didn't want to walk me down the aisle... I didn't get any farther into that sentence. He said he didn't want to, that he wouldn't attend my wedding and that I need to change my ways right now, lest I lose my chance of becoming a baby factory as God intended. I stopped talking to him not long after that. If you're not gonna put any effort into having a loving relationship with me, I'm not going to either.
Growing up my dad poisoned my mind against most of the rest of my family. When I turned 18 I joined the military and sent money to my father to help support him until he found ways to support himself. Shortly thereafter I began to realize that a lot of my childhood had been pretty messed up. He was psychologically abusing his new girlfriend and would call me to... I don't know - 'brag' about it or something. I told him he had to stop because she loved him and he was treating her horribly. He didn't get it and eventually I hung up on him.
He killed himself. I wound up contacting my extended family to let them know, only to discover that they didn't hate me and that a lot of the stuff my dad had told me about them was lies.
My middle sister is an emotional vampire. Everythings got to be about her and her feelings. I finally blew up on her in February after I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I asked everyone to not say anything until I was comfortable releasing the information. So of course, she goes and tells a mutual friend about it less than 24 hours later.
This friend was her boss like 2-3 levels up, and Sister wanted to make sure I could get the time off when I need to take care of you. Which 1. I didnt ask you to do that 2. You completely tried to make my cancer diagnosis about you and 3. I had asked you to keep your mouth shut!
I found out about this, because Mutual Friend called me to see how I was feeling. Since I quit talking to her, Ive gone through treatment and recovery, lost over 30 pounds and Im much less stressed.
Best decision Ive ever made.
My dad has been a really passive parent my whole life. I saw him once or twice a year my whole life. I was 34 when we found out we were expecting a little girl.
My dad wasn't always financially stable, and was in the horse racing business. I decided to invest a small amount of money with him in a horse, with the plan on building up a business so he could move close to me. Putting him in my daughter's life and giving him some financial stability.
He basically stayed where he was, made me handle all the horse liability. We were doing well for the 6 months we were racing, without him being there. He could've made the jump and built upon the success, but stayed where he was. I got out of the business and cut ties. He never once came to see my daughter.
I didn't want my daughter to deal with the same disappointment I dealt with my whole life. Just comes down to that side of the family didn't bring anything of value to mine or my daughter's life.
I cut off my mother. I didn't feel like a human anymore around her.
She would disappear for days when I was young. I remember being so hungry sometimes that I would put A1 steak sauce on crackers because I wasn't able to make food or didn't have food. I slept on a couch or a futon while my mom took the queen size bed. She would drag me by the hair or pinch me until I bruised if I messed up on a chore. When she found out her boyfriend had sexually abused me, she told me she loved him too much to make him leave. That was when I felt I had truly lost my human value to her.
When I got older, I moved out as fast as I could. Even when I was free she would call me, message me, and even try to find me where I worked to berate me or tell me I was an awful daughter. One of the last calls I had with her, she called me worthless and awful because I wouldn't give her money. She wasn't even excited I had gotten married and told me I'd be a bad mother anyway.
I haven't contacted her since and probably never will.
Less than half an hour after my mother died, my great aunt told me I had no right to be in the room with her body because I am a drama queen who never truly loved my mom. I was 15 years old. That's not something you say to a kid who lost a parent.
I am way better off without that toxicity. I am lonely, but safe.
Quitting a job can be a liberating feeling, but it can also be scary as hell... especially if you don't have another job waiting for you on the horizon.
Thanks to Redditor BurningDruid13, we have some answers to the following question: "Have you ever quit a job, without another lined up, for your mental health? How did it turn out?"