Do we ever get over having toxic parents?

My parents are two of the most toxic individuals I know. One more than the other, for obvious reasons.

I rang my mother this afternoon to ask her something. I was at the hardware store at the time. My father answered the phone. He asked me how I am, which is the second time this year he’s asked me that – the first being on 5th February, which was exactly one month after my first round of surgery. He’s doing well.

After I’d picked myself up off the floor, I explained to him that I was out shopping and could I speak to Mum please. He’s quite deaf so just getting this message across without everyone in the entire city overhearing was quite a feat.

Then he cracked it with me because I didn’t want to have a big chat with him. He never usually speaks to me, not even when I’m in the house with him, so why today I have no idea.

Then my mother comes on the phone and we talk about hardware. She tells me I shouldn’t put a screw in the wall because, really, “you should get the workmen to do it.” We debated the merits of paying the workmen $120 to put four screws in the wall when I could probably do it myself, but she said “you might stuff it up.” So, of course, I believed her and went home. I guess her feminist traits aren’t as strong as I thought. And my level of healing not as great either.

On the way home I started feeling guilty that I hadn’t spoken to my father at length. He’s an old man, and despite being a complete b@st@rd and one of the rudest individuals I’ve ever met, shouldn’t I just be nice to him?

By the time I got home I was hysterical. Hysterical because I’d felt guilty about thinking I should talk to my father when he never usually gives me the time of day. Hysterical because my mother is completely incapable of giving me support and stuck in some 1950s housewife routine. Hysterical because, surely, I should be over all this by now, right? And hysterical because I felt so stupid letting myself get hysterical over this.

Seriously, when will I ever get over being affected by them like this? WHEN?

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3 thoughts on “Do we ever get over having toxic parents?

  1. Hi Kerro,

    “Hysterical because, surely, I should be over all this by now, right?”

    No. It takes as long to heal as it takes. “Should” should not be a weapon that we use to beat ourselves over the head with. But it happens. So don’t worry about it. Just being aware that it happens can help you to change the pattern.

    “And hysterical because I felt so stupid letting myself get hysterical over this.”

    You felt stupid. You weren’t being stupid. We do what we do because of what happened to us. Seeing it, responding to it, working on it, those are all things that take a lot of inner strength and courage. Good for you.

    Good and healing thoughts to you.

    Kate

  2. Hey Kerro,
    Don’t be so dam hard on yourself! I’m thinking maybe the better option would be to call a friend on this kind of thing. This way you avoid the whole scenario. You keep reaching out and get disappointed. I would reach out less and be less disapointed and upset! Remember you can’t change them, only yourself. Hang in girl!

  3. I don’t think we get over having toxic parents. What we can do is sort of grow around it. One problem is the way the patterns are ingrained and it takes a lot of getting round them. But I do believe that once you do you can see more clearly than many people with less toxic parents. Keep reminding yourself that you are a beautiful person and no one in their right mind would have made you feel otherwise. (They are not in their right minds!)

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