surviving no contact
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The Road to Acceptance

If you’ve been reading my posts for awhile, you know that I talk a lot about awareness and acceptance. They are crucial for healing from trauma, and they are crucial to properly advocate for your child. My husband was able to get the help he needed to get sober when he closed the door on denial and chose awareness and acceptance. Awareness and acceptance are also necessary components of a healthy marriage. Without a doubt, the hardest thing I had to to accept was that my relationship with my mom was toxic.  As a result, I made the decision to go no contact with her.

My mother is many things to me. As a child, she was the center of my world. I wanted more than anything to get her approval. I believed that somehow she would become the mother I needed if I kept believing and trying.

 She did terrible things to me, and as an adult I realized those things were abusive.  I understand that my mother is toxic. Yet, I have fond memories of her too. In some ways, the good memories made it harder to accept the truth. I have memories of her singing songs to me, rubbing my stomach when it hurt, and playing games with her.

When Brielle was born, I was determined to be the mother to her that I never had. Still, I hoped my mother could be a part of my life and part of my child’s life. After all, she was my mother, and she was Brielle’s grandmother. Although I hated what she had done to me, I loved her.

My toxic relationship with my mother

Several times over the course of Brielle’s life my mother got mad at me, and she would stop talking to me. As a result, she would also stop talking to Brielle. I warned her that this couldn’t happen. Brielle deserved consistency, and it wasn’t healthy to have her in and out of Brielle’s life. It was confusing and painful to try to wrap my mind around her behavior, and I didn’t want Brielle to experience this.

Three years ago my mother and I got into an argument. On that fateful day she told me she didn’t like me and wanted nothing to do with me. I felt like a knife was plunged into my heart.
 
I reminded her that Brielle was a child. There was no way she could see Brielle without making some sort of arrangements with me. She refused to communicate with me and sent me an email threatening to sue me for visitation rights. As angry as this made me, it also made me incredibly sad. She would rather take me to court than be cordial with me for the sake of her granddaughter? I knew on a rational level that her behavior was erratic at best, but knowing that my mom would go to such lengths to avoid me made me feel like the problem was me. What was wrong with me that my mother could just throw me away? Why did I have such a toxic relationship with my mom?

my decision to go no contact

After decades of wishing upon a star for my mother to love me, I looked at my innocent child and had to face reality. My mother would never be someone I could count on for emotional support. My mother is incapable of unconditional love. If I allowed her in Brielle’s life, it was inevitable that she would hurt my daughter in unforgivable ways. I had to accept going no contact with my mom.

Although my mom would eventually reach out to me (this wasn’t my first rodeo with her), I knew this wouldn’t change my need to go no contact.  I defriended her on Facebook and removed her from my email and phone contact list. Brielle knew that her grandmother was constantly in and out of her life. I had to explain to her that that kind of behavior is unacceptable, and I wasn’t going to allow that. One day I might tell her about my horrific childhood, but for now, I want her to know as little as possible. I had my innocence ripped away from me as a child, and I am determined to not have that repeated with my child.

estrangement was my only choice

My mother texted me two years ago. She said she missed us. It took every ounce of strength to not respond. I’d like to say that I decided to go no contact with my mom because it is what was best for me. Although that is true, the reason I had the courage to do it was because of Brielle.  My toxic relationship with my mom would translate into my daughter having a toxic relationship with my mom too. I went no contact with my mom to spare my daughter the pain of loving someone who cannot love her back in a real and healthy way.
 

There are moments of weakness where I think about the fact that my mother is getting older. I feel waves of sadness that my mother is now a stranger to me. Guilt absolutely creeps in from time to time, along with grief. I am mourning the loss of the mother I had,  and I am mourning the loss of never having the mother I needed.

 
Surviving No Contact

toxic relationship with my mom

It is a personal decision to go no contact, and everyone is entitled to decide what is best for them. For those of you that have gone no contact with someone who has brought you tremendous pain and suffering, I hope it brings you some comfort to know that I understand how hard it is to make that choice. I also recognize the bravery and strength it takes to do this.
I am proof that surviving no contact is possible. 
The biggest piece of advice I can give you when making (and continuing) this choice is to ask yourself if this person is capable of change. The definition of insanity is making the same choice over and over again, expecting a different result. I realized that I was acting insane for being on this endless roller coaster with her; hoping each time that things could change, that she could change.
 
Going no contact was a hard pill to swallow. I will never have the mother I needed. It took decades of denial for me to get to a place where I was aware and accepted that she cannot be a mother to me in the real sense of the word. My mother is toxic, and having her in my life would only bring pain to me and to my daughter. I will never allow anyone to do that to my child, even if the perpetrator is my own mother. To give my daughter the childhood that she deserves, I had to close the door on the person who destroyed mine.
 
I have had to accept a lot of hard truths in my life. Sometimes it took some time for me to get there, and other times I looked awareness and acceptance straight in the eyes. What I’ve learned is that you can’t reach the light at the end of the tunnel unless you are willing to walk through darkness. I never claimed that acceptance and going no contact is easy. However, like Robert Frost said, “I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
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2 thoughts on “Going No Contact With My Mother Because of Our Toxic Relationship

  1. Wow..I think we have the same exact mother. I have a toxic dad too. I’m no contact and thank you for your blog and sharing your story!! You are a beautiful writer and a great mom. If we break the cycle, we can show our kids love and kindness we never had. I waited too long and it was my adult kids (girls) who told me to walk. I stayed because I have a sis with kids and we were close. She defends my mothers erratic, cruel behavior because she’s afraid & always has been. She got the told of GC. I’m the black sheep but I’m out & thriving!! Thank you for sharing your story!

    • Hi, Linda!
      I’m so sorry for not responding sooner; your comment got caught with spam comments. Thank you for reaching out and for sharing your story. I am so sorry you had to go through this with your family. It is often the black sheep that is the bravest one. Doing things differently is going to upset many, but that is what allows us to break the cycle and do better for ourselves and our kids. Kudos to you for going no contact. It warms my heart to know you are thriving!
      Best,
      Randi

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