“An apology can be a wonderful thing so long as it is infrequent and from the heart. However, beware of the person who justifies bad behavior with apologies. For them it is a means to an end, and quite often at your expense.”
~ Gary Hopkins
Yesterday I wrote about how the energies right now are causing many sensitive and intuitive souls to back away from drama and poor behaviour in relationships. Instead, sensitive souls are seeking greater peace and harmony in their everyday lives.
I had lots of comments and messages from people who identified with that need for peace and who had been actively stepping out of or minimising difficult relationships, and I also had a few messages like the one below. Although this is a more extreme example the sentiments expressed were a common thread in my inbox:
Dear Nicole, I was wondering if you could help me. I am living in a difficult situation. I moved home from the city a few years ago when my father became ill, and I live in a flat under my parents’ house. I’m self-employed and I’m single with no kids, unlike my siblings, so it was decided I would be the best person to help out.
My dad is an alcoholic invalid who becomes physically violent at times, and my mother often takes out her frustration on me by verbally abusing me, hitting me or wrecking my stuff. On my birthday this year some friends came to our country town for the weekend to celebrate with me. My mum smeared faeces all over my car inside and out just before I was to drive into town to meet them for lunch. There is no taxi service in my town and I was so upset that I cancelled the lunch, and couldn’t get the car clean enough to meet them the next morning either and I was too ashamed to tell my friends what had happened.
My parents rely on me to drive them places, to manage their medications, do their shopping and the lion’s share of the housework. In the few years I have been home they have become increasingly frail and more and more dependent on me. Both of them drink and my mum is addicted to pain meds.
I am at the end of my rope. I’ve just turned forty and my parents may live for another twenty years or more. Respite Care won’t take them and the Blue Nurses will no longer come because both my parents have been violent towards them. Can you please tell me how to find some peace in my situation? It sometimes gets so bad that I consider self-harm.
Dear friend, I have some very simple advice for you. Call your siblings and have a family meeting. Don’t negotiate with them. You’ve done your time. It does not matter that you don’t have children or a partner. Your life is equally valuable! You are wasting your precious life on people who have no regard or respect for you. It’s time to leave.
Just because someone is a family member does not give them the right to abuse you and disrespect you. And just because you are a woman, and a single woman, does not mean you should get stuck with becoming a carer in such a difficult environment. Work with your family and health care providers or the appropriate departments to get a care solution for your family that doesn’t involve you. Or, just leave. Your parents are adults too. They are making their choices and you have the right to make your own.
To all of you dear readers who find yourself in a situation where a family member or loved one shames you, bullies you, intimidates you, hurts you, abuses you, disregards or disrespects you – please understand that being family is not an excuse for bad behaviour. Being family does not give anyone the right to treat you badly. And being family does not mean that you must remain loyal, subservient or tolerate abuse.
If you are a sensitive, intuitive or empathic soul and you are craving quiet over drama, peace over difficulty, safety over trauma, then do what is right by you and distance yourself from the relationship or situation. You can let someone stay in your heart but remove them from your life. This is your one precious life and you don’t get a do-over. Don’t waste it on people who can’t respect or care for you even as you care for and respect them.
I’m sending you so much love, and holding space for you to find the courage to choose a life that gives you back your freedom, Nicole xx
16 thoughts on “Being Family Is No Excuse For Bad Behaviour!”
Dear Nicole and reader. I too have been abused and damaged by alcoholic parents. I was able to leave the state and establish my own successful life.
I later became a single mother of five after escaping an abusive drug addicted husband. Incredibly I successfully brought up the kids with no family or other support and today they are doing well.
But here’s the rub. My middle son (who is a surgeon) completely disrespects me and has effectively cut me out of his life. This is particularly sad for my other four children. We have loving relationships and his behaviour causes us all pain.
Just this week I have finally decided to stop attempting a relationship with him as it just causes great distress. I love him and miss him but now feel immense relief from letting go.
You can’t be responsible for the behaviour of other people. I’m sending love to your reader and hope she finds peace and relief soon. Let go! ❤️❤️❤️
Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us, Sally. I’m glad you found relief in stepping away from trying to make your relationship with your son work. You can still love him and hold him in your heart while respecting the boundaries he has put up with you, and you with him. Much love, Nicole xx
I’ve had to recently cut some family out of my life because they were so toxic and horrible. Several of my family members couldn’t understand how I could do that “because they are family.” But I ask them this question “would you tolerate this is if it was just a friend?” They almost always respond with no and finally seem to grasp where I am coming from. Blood/marriage/chosen family does not give anyone permission to be horrible to you. You can try and talk it out but if they refuse to change their behavior, let them go. Thank you for your post, I related so much to this.
Yes! If we wouldn’t tolerate it from friends then why is it okay to tolerate that same bad behaviour from family? Letting go is the healthy choice. Love and hugs to you, Nicole xx
So glad I read the 2 articles in a row. I so needed to, I should remind myself to not complain since others have it so much more worse. Family does have a knack at getting to you and they almost always want you to apologise for their immature doings. At times it’s a silent struggle between loving them and being resolute at a disagreement. Frustrating.
Lots of love,prayers and hugs
Reading this made me angry, that poor woman being treated in such a disgusting manner by those she cares for. Yes it is time for her family to step in and take over. People who care for others and so often subject to abuse which is so wrong.
“I ask that all family,friends and neighbours live and work together in a most benevolent way, now and in the months and years to follow. May the hearts of all Beings come to love peace, and may it be better than I could hope for”
Thank you Nicole for your advice to the lady with the abusive parents and I hope she heeds it and finds the courage to put herself first before the needs of her parents or the disapproval of her siblings.
We only have one precious life and it should not be spent being disrespected, verbally and physically abused. I hope your reader is able to share a little with her close friends and get some emotional and any other support necessary to leave this situation and make a new life for herself. There maybe also be an Al-Anon group in the area, Al-Anon offers support to families of alcoholics.
I agree with another comment that said you are not alone and that is true but to everyone who is suffering as you are I would say leave, you are not responsible, you cannot change your parents, you deserve so much better. Every decade passes quicker than the last, my forties went quite fast but now in my mid sixties I cannot believe where my fifties and early sixties have gone………please leave before you waste another year of your precious life! x.
For the reader and writer of this important letter I too have been and still are suffering abuse from my parents. The only words of comfort I can give you and please heed them
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Big hug for your reader. Nobody should be treated this way. What a hard situation. But your advice is sound. Maybe even get the GP or social work services involved to inform the medical services that you are leaving your parents. There is a lot of talk on elder abuse, but this is also abuse. It sounds like the parents can be seen as vulnerable adults (eg very high risk of things going wrong when they don’t receive care), so from that perspective the GP should be involved. You have done more then your fair share dear reader. You have your own life to live and you need to look after yourself now. Take care, be strong, seek help. 😘♥️
Thank you Nicole. I am still estranged from my abusive alcoholic mother and that will probably never change because the last very time I spoke to her she told me she wished
I was dead. Even after a lifetime of physical and verbal and mental abuse from her I still care about her welfare. There is no love lost between the two of us any more but at long last I have given myself permission to finally be me and distance myself from her.
Recent events have brought my once estranged daughter and me closer together.
I have a good feeling that all will be right with my daughter and me once again.
I’m so pleased to hear the news about you and your daughter. Addictions cause such devastation in our families. And thank you for sharing your story about you and your mum. More people need to know they can survive this and put their own wellbeing first. Biggest hugs to you xoxo
Wow, what an amazing women but as you said time to go! This woman deserves a beautiful life full of love and happiness Her parents need to care for themselves as they have made their choices and don’t appreciate what she or anyone are trying to do. I will prayer that she has the strength to leave and to start a new chapter in her life enjoying time with her friends. Hop in the car love and go…do not look back!!
I know she’ll read these comments, Kylie. Thank you!
And for anyone else reading, family means in-laws and extended family too. There are so many of us sending you love, support and prayers. Know that you’re not alone xx
I am also adding that young woman to my prayer list. How sad that her parents treat her that horrible way and sad that she takes it. Unconditional love is amazing.
I still also pray for your young boy who tried to harm himself. Thank you for helping all those people. I pray for you to have the strength as well. Carry on my friend
Thank you, Marian, and Bless You! xoxo