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Disowning family members

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

As children we are raised in a family group and that means it is a "given" that we remain together forever - no matter what. It is only when we become young adults that we struggle heavily on that concept when we develop own minds, even our own values. These values and ideas on what family relations should be are realized when we share our lives with others. We find out that how we were and are treated by a parent or both parents is not the norm, unacceptable to the point where we are struggling with mental health issues like anxiety, guilt, depression and other illnesses.

And at that point of your life you turn to the very people that were fundamental in placing you in such a situation- your parents. The reality hits you- they put the walls up and point the finger at YOU!. This becomes the ultimate guilt journey for you because you have also always respected their wisdom and authority, now you are shattered and lost.

So not that your guilt is taking a journey of its own you do one of two things- you fight them or you give in. What a terrible situation to be in. With the fear of losing your parents (that often support each other even though one knows that the others treatment is unacceptable) you give in multiple times over many years. This often mean you just delay the final separation.


Beyondblue topic the definition of abuse- what is it?

So that is what abuse is but what action do you take? Is disowning a parent or family member the right thing to do? Well your own judgement is paramount as is your mental health, however when you are

  • verbally forced to comply with demands that are not, in your judgement, reasonable
  • physically violated
  • manipulated
  • demeaned
  • when limits are placed upon you not reflecting your age and independence
  • when parents control too much with your life and that of your children eg how you raise them
  • lack of religious freedom
  • any attempt at ruining life event like weddings

and so on you might need to consider action of separation for a period.

Sometimes you have to take the reins especially when your parent carries out unacceptable conduct.

Parents should be supporters of you and proud of you. They should be doting grandparents to your children not controllers of your parenting.

It's a two way thing so the reverse is also true. If anyone has desire to control or do abuse, you might have to seek counseling with or without them, that is a basic obligation toward other human beings- opportunity to save the family unit.


2 Replies 2

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi TonyWK

You have mentioned some excellent points that I think can bring us some peace of mind when discussed

Just a question if I may.....what about a sibling that continues to abuse our good will by always being super secretive despite us being open with our own lives?

I understand that we cant change people....no worries there.....I was only thinking about 'mutual' respect and where to draw the line

Another great thread topic TonyWKand thankyou


Hi Paul

An excellent relevant question.

Human nature isnt logical all the time. Trying to make sense of why some think/react the way they do will twist our own minds..

I once had 3 brother and one sister in laws. Each one had no solid reason to dislike me, I mean, they didnt even know me in the early days. But try as I did, I was disliked.

It only beame apparent when another man entered the family dating my sister in law, the men began to open up to me of their thoughts. They felt intimidated. The new member, like me was older and more knowledgeable than them. It finally made sense. The new man and I paid a price for our worldliness! Such knowledge became crucial for me when I had to figure out why my wife of 11 years used emotional abuse against me. She was 10 years my junior but hated my knowledge level. I challenged the familys arrogance!

It's just one example of unknown secretive thoughts. The same in the example you gave with a secretive sibling. He/she would be well aware of you making much effort towards them, full of your goodwill they dont see that attitude as reason to respond in kind, they see it as your weakness even foolhardiness. In their world lies a dog eat dog rivalry where only the strongest survive.

So about 30 years ago, having endured the above I began to change my perspective of "family". The saying goes "you cant pick your family" and "blood is thicker than water" I turned on its head as I work outside the box.

A few friends became pseudo sisters and brothers that shared the same commitment/openness levels. It's risky as it doesnt always work out but its also better than trying to extract draughts from closed doors.

Finally, the unknowns. For decades I wasnt close to my sister and for that long period I had no idea that my manipulating mother was bad mouthing me to her as part of her method of being the Queen of her world-power (divide and conquer ).

As with my ex inlaws people talk and they dont need a reason to bad mouth you if it makes them "one".

"Beware those that look sideways" is a saying best remembered by the honest and open.