I've been heading towards estrangement from my parents for years and desperately trying to prevent it. I just want to check if there's any magic thing I could say/do that would help them feel safe enough to accept they need help to change
Both parents have trauma in their childhood (although they'd deny it) and are very emotionally immature. Their inability to manage their own emotional world in a healthy way led them to be abusive and neglectful of their children. I forgive them that - they literally didn't have the skills to step outside their own heads and own anxiety/low self esteem. But they had so many opportunities to accept help and they have the ability/privilege to face their weaknesses and learn and grow. And they have consistently run away and ignored it. They have consistently put their fear of judgement/Discomfort above the needs of their children.
Leaving home obviously helped a lot but when I call/visit all I get is emotional abuse and emotional neglect. My friends and family cannot understand why I put up with it. And now that I have self esteem I can't either.
I have tried to speak with them about their childhoods and got shut down. I've suggested therapy for them (it saved my life) but they refused. I set up family therapy for us but they refused. I offered for them to sit in on one of my sessions but no. I've offered books, discussions, shared how I feel and asked how they feel.... All I get back is that I'm being hurtful, dramatic and demanding. My sister tried writing a very detailed letter but that didn't work either.
I've spent my whole life grieving the family I wanted - do I have to now grieve the family I can't even speak to anymore? Or is there something I've missed?
How did your children help you see the parts of your parenting you need to change? What made you feel safe enough to apologise and make changes? They can't seem to tolerate any discomfort at all.
All suggestions gratefully received
Fenchurch Mon 10-Jul-23 13:28:31
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