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5 Things Not to Say to Someone Who Is 'No-Contact' With an Abusive Parent

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Editor's Note

If you have experienced emotional abuse, sexual abuse or assault, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741. You can contact The National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.


Whether you know an individual who is estranged from their mother and/or father or you are one, it’s hard to grasp going no-contact with a parent. Never again having communication with them, seeing them, having them as a part of your life. For those on the outside, it’s even harder. Sometimes people unknowingly cause you pain voicing their own opinion about your very personal decision. Here are just a few words that shouldn’t be shared when you encounter one of these healing individuals:

1. “You only have one mother/father.”

While this may be technically true, if they are abusive, have they really earned a title reserved for those who so lovingly take care of their children? Why, because we only have one mother/father are we obligated to subject ourselves to abuse? Do we not deserve safety?

2. “Family is everything.”

Yes, it sure is. But guess what? You get to choose your family. Your friends, those who stand by you with love and loyalty as opposed to antipathy and judgment. That is your family, your tribe. Don’t ever let DNA shackle you to abuse. You deserve better than that.

3. “Blood is thicker than water.”

Look it up. This is a bastardized version of the original quote which actually meant the blood of battle is thicker than the water of the womb. Again, those who stand by you and fight beside you are far more valuable that the toxic individuals whose egg and sperm you happened to have descended from.

4. “Just ignore it.”

No matter what kind of abuse is being hurled at you, should anyone ever ignore being called vicious names, being slapped, being sexually abused, being lied about constantly, etc. How does one “ignore” those things?

5. “Just forgive them and move on.”

Oh, *sigh* this is my favorite. Closure doesn’t end with forgiveness. In my opinion, it doesn’t set us free. What we do is, to the best of our ability, recognize the trauma we were dealt, be cognizant of what it has affected in our lives and relationships and do our best to break that cycle and give ourselves the love we have always deserved knowing we are worth it. (If they try to use religion to convince you, recognize this is also abusing behavior.)

So, the next time you encounter someone who has gone “no-contact” with their parent(s) and/or family members, keep in mind they don’t need that pain compacted by opinions. They need to hear things like, “I’m here. You deserve all the love in the world. I’m so proud of you.” If you are someone in this predicament, give yourself and allow others to give you the love you deserved as a child and still do today.

Getty image by Frederic Cirou

Originally published: June 26, 2021
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