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I recently cut ties with my very toxic family

Community Member

Hi, my name is Julie. I am 53 years old and have suffered depression and anxiety since I was 15. For the past 4 years I have been non medicated and coping well. But this year I am finding it harder and harder to start each day. I recently cut ties with my very toxic family, I did this after my mother informed me she had cancer. I understand that some might think my actions were cruel but I am struggling to care at all that my mother is dying. She abused and neglected me all my life and no matter how hard I try I just cannot feel empathy for her. I have a wonderful family of my own, two children whom I adore and yet I still feel like I have nothing to offer anyone. I am surrounded by people who care but still feel so alone. Have I done the wrong thing by cutting off family who show no interest in my life or my families life? I feel like Im rambling here, please know I have tried counselling many times but it has not been a succsess for me. I hope someone out there can help.😐

7 Replies 7

Community Member

Hi Juli. I can understand where you're coming from and why you cut the ties. It's possible no-one understand what's happened at home because they weren't there. When we try and explain about toxic home lives it's difficult because, unless others have witnessed how you were treated, getting them to believe is an uphill battle. If you are happy not seeing your mum, this is your call, no-one else's. In some ways being there for her now, would seem a bit hypocritical. Have you tried talking to your mum about your feelings, the way she treated you. Do you have siblings you can talk to about this? It's possible your mum couldn't be there for you because of other commitments. I realise that sounds like I'm defending her, I'm not. Some woman are not maternal and baby's are not high on their agenda. If this is the case, perhaps 'clearing the air' would be a good thing now. Perhaps by giving her a chance to explain her treatment of you, she might apologise. You don't have to empathize with her, but by talking to her, getting her side, as it were, you might start to feel differently.

There are 100 different reasons for the way she neglected you, I would, at least, give her a chance to explain.

Cheers Lynda.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Juli,

I know exactly where you are coming from. My parents were both toxic & having them in my life was hell. After many years of torment I finally realised they were never going to be the parents I wanted or needed. I cut them out of my life & built my own life without them.

They have never accepted me. Everything has always been my fault. Now my parents are in their 80's & becoming frail. My mother got in touch & invited me to her 80th birthday. With hesitation I went & then again later to my fathers 80th. It didn't take long for their old behaviours to resurface, so I've walked away again.

I've made my peace with that part of my past. I know they will not live a lot more years but the thought of their deaths calls forth absolutely no interest or caring at all. I may not even be informed. I like it this way.

So I think I do understand where you are coming from. Trust your own feelings. Don't let anyone pressure you to do anything that feels wrong for you. We were there, they weren't.

Take care, Lyn.

PS My mother was 80 before she told me for the first time in my life she loved me. It was too little & way too late.

Community Member

Hi Pipsy, thanks for your comments. I have told my parents my feelings in a letter because that was easiest for me. I have been met with total silence.....

In a strange way I feel free finally and your post convinced me that I did the right thing.☺Thank you.

Community Member
I am leaving my toxic family behind. They have decided to permanently kick me out of home for no reason. I have tolerated over 30 years of emotional, physical and financial abuse. I can't even stay with my grandmother until I find somewhere to live due to interfering family members. No-one deserves to be treated like this just before Christmas. I have been used up and spat out by my immediate family and they don't care about my mental health deteriorating and that I am now homeless. As of the 28th December I have nowhere to live. I have deactivated my facebook, will change my phone number and if I decide to speak to my family again it will be on my terms. I told my father straight out I never want to speak to him again.

Community Member
No Julie you are not wrong, I am unemployed can't work due to illness, have limited income, been in and out out of hospital five times and been told I can't come home or live with relatives. So, they are the cruel insensitive ones not you. You must have been treated pretty badly to have cut your mother off when she has cancer but if she abused and neglected you and showed no concern for your well-being then who are we to judge?

Hello Tweet-Heart, I'd like to welcome you to the forums and feel sorry for how you have been treated, no one should ever be punished by abuse.

There are emergency accommodation places for you to contact, but if I give you these my reply won't go through instantly, however, some of these places are The Salvation Army, Anglicare, Human Services or Quantum, these will be in the phone book as I'm not sure where you live.

Hope to hear back from you.


Hi Geoff

Thanks, have tried all these options. I am not eligible for public housing and if I was the wait time is 10 years. There are no rooming houses available that are suitable for me I have tried them all. I can't get supported independent living through the NDIS and my support co-ordinator can't assist me with housing. I am out of options, I am looking into caravan parks. I am on Newstart with limited income. I am in deep trouble. I want nothing to do with my family.

Can anyone out there please help me find somewhere to live?

I am staying with relatives until 28th December and from that date have nowhere to go.