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Disowning my family

Community Member
Tonight was finally the night I disowned my dad, step mum and siblings. It’s been a long time coming and although I feel relived, I am also devastated.

Since living with them when I was 15, I was constantly yelled at, sworn at and accused of doing things I hadn’t done. Never had they let me explain myself when I made a mistake, rather they would scream and remind me of how unwanted and how much of a disappointed I was. I once confided in my step mum about how I was getting depressed again (I had tried to commit a year ago before this) and she told me I belonged in a mental institution.

My parents continually tell everyone how great they are and how they never put their children down and it infuriates me because it’s total bullshit. They let everyone know that they have done everything right to raise their children when in actual fact they have emotionally damaged us. They’ve turned my siblings against me and anything I’ve confided in them with has gone straight to them. I’m 21 and don’t deserve what has happened but I feel guilty for telling them I no longer want anything to do with them. My step mum responded with “good riddence, looking forward to a much better 2020 now that you aren’t in it”.

I guess I’m just needing advice or someone to tell me that what I’ve done is okay. I’m so scared I’m going to cave when I begin to feel sad in a few months and I don’t know how to make sure I stick to what I want and to cut all contact. Any advice would really mean a lot.
6 Replies 6

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Gracee and welcome to the forum family,

I'm in awe of you. Having the strength to say enough is enough. Deciding to put your own health and well-being first. Neither of these are easy choices to make especially when it involves family.

It isn't an easy journey disowning family. I haven't spoken to my sister in well over a year and it is still hard. But when people hurt you enough some times stepping away can be necessary to protect yourself.

What your stepmother said was cruel, it made me angry just reading it. No wonder you've had enough. It might sound silly but in moments when I want to give in I think of why I said 'enough' in the first place. It is hard though if you usually forgive.

Do you have any other support from friends or other family? It does help to make sure you have other people around you. It helps me anyway to be reassured that I'm not overreacting when my self doubt hits.

Reading your post the practical matters came to mind first. I wondered if you have somewhere to live, financial independence and have anyone other than your Dad and step mother to go to in an emergency?

Also have you considered seeking out a counsellor or similar so you know you have someone to talk to face to face as well as online here?

I just wanted to reply to let you know we are listening and this is a safe place for you to join in wherever you like. Please make yourself at home here. You're not alone.


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Gracee

You are an incredibly powerful person. Sometimes, it's not until we're pushed to breaking point that we actually come to break free from something or someone who puts us down, keeps us down or brings us down. So, where to from here?

Choose the people in your life who you can rely on to raise you. Those who raise our spirits and consciousness as well as raising positive opportunities to grab onto are the folk to look to. Without a doubt, there will be great challenges on the path ahead yet they will be challenges to rise to. Now that you've begun raising yourself through such a courageous move, the only way is up, into your true brilliance. By the way, if you gradually establish a circle of people who enjoy raising each other, if the sad times come these people will have your back. Even if you only have one of these people in your life at the moment, that's the start of your circle.

A mantra I try to live by is 'Replace the word stress(ed) with challenge(ed)'. This gives me greater clarity in raising myself. Instead of feeling the stressors getting the better of me, I ask 'What am I being challenged to do in this situation?' It's always an exercise in consciousness which helps rid me of the self doubt or negative self talk.

Gracee, that comment your stepmother made is truly horrible (putting it mildly). I'm mum to a 14 and 17yo and couldn't imagine in a million years saying something so cruel to my kids. Try turning this comment around so as to become one of your own positive mantras: 'Good riddance to abuse and a lack of consideration and higher consciousness. Looking forward to 2020 vision regarding a future of clarity, brilliance and personal power'.

I imagine, as you begin to take the steps to move on out of this family situation, you will be met with further hurtful comments. Whilst I wish I could be there with you every step of the way, the next best thing I can think of is to have you carry a piece of advice that provides positive navigation:

Be conscious in assessing the vibe of something or someone. Yes, sounds a bit strange perhaps but this can lead one to become quite tuned into life.

  • Is this person vibing high or low? Are their comments vibing high or low? Is this situation vibing high or low (is it one of great opportunity or not)? And so on. Avoid making an emotional connection with the lows, unless for good reason, such as accepting the challenge in helping raise someone.

I wish you only the best as you keep on rising 🙂

Community Member

Hi Quercus,

Thank you for your kind words and responding to let me know that there are people out there listening.

I am financially independent and have been since I was kicked out at 17. I’ve just gotten a new job as a high school teacher and have secured a home with my partner. Those aspects don’t scare me as my partner and mum are great support systems and have helped me quite a bit throughout the past few years. I think the next step for me is to speak to a counsellor about the emotions and feelings I have inside to help me move on with my life. I just keep imagining all of the nasty comments my step mum is telling the family about me which has been worrying me.

I know that I’m not in this alone but I have lost a significant portion of the people closest to me by cutting ties with her and my dad. I know one day it’ll start getting easier and I’ll keep reminding myself why I’ve made this decision.

Hello Gracee and a wave to The Rising too,

I'm thankful that you returned to post more. Hearing that you have the support of your Mum and partner is great news.

Your work sounds great too! You'll have lots of colleages who will hopefully help lift you. I work at a school too (not a teacher though) and it can be a wonderful workplace. I love The Rising's post about seeking out people who raise you up. What did you think?

Being in the education department should mean you'll be able to access an Employee Assistance program which your work pays for. Seeing as you're open to talking to someone this is a good place to start looking. I'm not sure how many sessions you can get but I know it doesn't have to be related to work.

As to your step mother poisoning people against you that is something unfortunately out of your control. I know this particular worry so well and it can utterly consume you if you let it. It isn't remotely easy to let this worry go but it's important to try find ways to manage your anxiety.

Is it ok if I ask if you use social media? If you do it is worth considering whether this helps you because it allows you to follow hurtful comments and even feel excluded just by being ignored. Cutting ties with people you love like your siblings is hardest of all because often we want to know how they are. But that can also mean allowing ourselves to be hurt. It is worth talking to your partner and Mum about and deciding what you want to be updated about.

I hope you find some peace in your decision. You deserve to be treated with respect and kindness and when you've been put down for so long it can be hard to accept you deserve better. You do.


Community Member

Hi Gracee

I feel your sadness, raw and numbing. I received a blackmail attempt on New Year's Day from my father. I am 50 years old. This followed several cruel messages in November which I chose not to respond to and spoke to my counsellor instead. As a result I have ceased all contact with my parents. My mother astonishing sees nothing immoral in his conduct so sadly, my connection to her, and through her to my Grandma and Grandpa is now severed.

I've been battling depression since May. Work woes left me feeling no sense of purpose. I felt unloved, unsupported and used by husband and felt I was not worthy of love and unemployable. I questioned my existence. Seeing a counsellor, initially through Employee Assistance Program has helped tremendously. Reaching out to acquaintances who have become close, supportive friends helps tremendously. I still have bad days, some really bad like New Years Day but I have a circle of love around me. I will be ok.

You are an incredibly strong young lady. Be proud of your strength of character to stand up to bullies. You are resilient. You are love.d You are going to be ok.

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome,

I'm loving the love here in this thread.

I think you are brave, even though your grief will test you for quite some time.

My sister and I disowned our mother 9 years ago and frankly it has been the best thing for our mental health and stability. Some times we have to think with our head and not our hearts.

So, some ideas- keep busy. If you have a down time about missing them then allow that to subside, have a cry then stand up and DO SOMETHING...like hobby, a country drive, a animal sanctuary, etc. This is a classc way of diverting your mind to things you see and that is distraction.

Finally, keep an open mind. I say this because as a dad of a daughter, and I've been in a step parent situation, your dad might just see the light and realise what he has allowed to occur. Then if he tries to visit you and is rejected immediately you wont ever know his intention.

Now, I have another daughter that I also do not see. She is 27yo and has strong traits of her mother that I cannot tolerate (narcissism). But, I know one day she will visit as she has in the distant past. I have decided that if she does I will allow her to talk with a drink and a little hospitality. However I will not budge on my views of her cruelty to me and not budge on allowing her to get away with her techniques. Why would I do this? Well, it is 100% for my benefit not hers. See guilty feeling (like you described you have) is a terrible symptom to endure. If I rejected her, yelled at her, told her never to knock on my door again etc and she cried and walked away I would feel guilty that I didnt allow her to speak. Now say she was to tell me that she had therapy and realised she has treated me poorly and she apologised, I might not start a meaningful relationship with her but I might decide to see her twice a year over coffee to monitor her progress.

So please consider your father might regret his lack of support.

Apart from that well done in making a stand and like Quercus said "your step mum's comment are bad. Write them all down and file them away for future reference.