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Thread: accepting your parents don't love you, is it possible ?

  1. #1

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    accepting your parents don't love you, is it possible ?

    I have practically no contact with my mother and any contact I do have is her emotionally abusing me, it's been on and off like this since I was 5 and my parents split and I moved in with my dad- when I was younger physical abuse too. I've lived with my dad since and he seemed to stop caring or 'parenting' me around 1-3 years ago. He is also emotionally abusive. I want to not care about my relationship with them but somehow I always do and just continually end up upset, it's effecting my personal life more and more. What can I do to stop caring?

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    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Talk to a trusted teacher or adult relative about this.

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    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    I have accepted now that my father doesn’t love me or more effectively can’t due to his serious mental issues. It took me till my 50’s to get to that. If you have the option to explore this in therapy I would.

  4. #4
    Gold Member thisisrichey's Avatar
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    yo know i asked this question of a good friend (more than 1) in my lifetime and it's really weird.. but they all said "you need to accept your parents and move on.. othrwise you'll be stuck here for life." That didnt make sense to me and i didn't believe them.

    However, that ended up being the correct assessment. So here is what i've learned and what's helped me to not let this be an obstacle or a hinderence in my life:
    1. You need to accept the fact that your parents DO love you. They do. Somewhere deep down, because they ARE your parents - they love you.
    2. Realize that what has frustrated you about your parents and how they've treated you - is not about whether they love you or not (they do), it's about all this other psychological crap that gets in the way that makes them unable to, or not know how to - show and share that love with you. Put another way - they are doing their best and showing you the only love they undersatnd or know.

    If you can accept and acknowledge these 2 things - then this will no longer be a hinderence in your life and you WILL be able to move on without this holding you back.

    Now, #2 doesn't mean that what your parents are doing IS what loving peopel SHOULD do. But realize it's the only thing they know how to do. I realize that my dad grew up in a very disciplinarian home where in their generation an culture, families were all about authoritarian figures. the parents were the bosses, the kids were the slaves. Because HIS family was structured like that - that's all my dad knows as what "love" is. Therefore, even though it isn't what you or I call love - that's all he knows. He THINKS that's love!

    When I finally realized this - i no longer get mad at my parents for how they are. Well i get "mad" and "frustrated" but i am not "mad at them" or blame them anymore. I nkow they're just doing their best. I know that's what somebody taught them as being "love" and that they're showering me with it means they mean to shower me with love - it's just a messed up version of love.

    Lastly, i've learned that it's okay to create distance and separate myself from that "love" they give me and not have to take it. As an adult, I need to OWN my own happiness and fulfillment and if my parents "love" isn't helping in that - then I don't take their "love" to heart so deeply and kinda just brush it off as, "yeah they mean well.. its' all they know..." and not get too hung up on it, trying to change them anymore, trying to get them to act different. I just go with it and when they do things to upset me - I increase the distance a bit. When they get the hint and start acting more admirably - i decrease the distance. (Trust me.. in a weird way.. they know and will adjust accordingly... in their own way of course). And this is how i've been able to re-train them a bit not to change their fundamental things - but train them on how i communicate to them (without fighting or making a big deal of it, and still be respectful) when they're acting up and not.

    They are who they are.
    Just like we are who we are (as their kids) and dont' like it when and if they try to change us to their vision, instead of letting us be ourselves.

    Hope i said something helpful and useful.

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  6. #5
    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by thisisrichey
    yo know i asked this question of a good friend (more than 1) in my lifetime and it's really weird.. but they all said "you need to accept your parents and move on.. othrwise you'll be stuck here for life." That didnt make sense to me and i didn't believe them.

    However, that ended up being the correct assessment. So here is what i've learned and what's helped me to not let this be an obstacle or a hinderence in my life:
    1. You need to accept the fact that your parents DO love you. They do. Somewhere deep down, because they ARE your parents - they love you.
    2. Realize that what has frustrated you about your parents and how they've treated you - is not about whether they love you or not (they do), it's about all this other psychological crap that gets in the way that makes them unable to, or not know how to - show and share that love with you. Put another way - they are doing their best and showing you the only love they undersatnd or know.

    If you can accept and acknowledge these 2 things - then this will no longer be a hinderence in your life and you WILL be able to move on without this holding you back.

    Now, #2 doesn't mean that what your parents are doing IS what loving peopel SHOULD do. But realize it's the only thing they know how to do. I realize that my dad grew up in a very disciplinarian home where in their generation an culture, families were all about authoritarian figures. the parents were the bosses, the kids were the slaves. Because HIS family was structured like that - that's all my dad knows as what "love" is. Therefore, even though it isn't what you or I call love - that's all he knows. He THINKS that's love!

    When I finally realized this - i no longer get mad at my parents for how they are. Well i get "mad" and "frustrated" but i am not "mad at them" or blame them anymore. I nkow they're just doing their best. I know that's what somebody taught them as being "love" and that they're showering me with it means they mean to shower me with love - it's just a messed up version of love.

    Lastly, i've learned that it's okay to create distance and separate myself from that "love" they give me and not have to take it. As an adult, I need to OWN my own happiness and fulfillment and if my parents "love" isn't helping in that - then I don't take their "love" to heart so deeply and kinda just brush it off as, "yeah they mean well.. its' all they know..." and not get too hung up on it, trying to change them anymore, trying to get them to act different. I just go with it and when they do things to upset me - I increase the distance a bit. When they get the hint and start acting more admirably - i decrease the distance. (Trust me.. in a weird way.. they know and will adjust accordingly... in their own way of course). And this is how i've been able to re-train them a bit not to change their fundamental things - but train them on how i communicate to them (without fighting or making a big deal of it, and still be respectful) when they're acting up and not.

    They are who they are.
    Just like we are who we are (as their kids) and dont' like it when and if they try to change us to their vision, instead of letting us be ourselves.

    Hope i said something helpful and useful.
    I agree we have to accept our parents for what they can’t give. They can’t give what they were not shown, for the most part . It takes somebody extremely unusual to give what they were not given. We also have to accept that our parents are just your average day normal Jane and Joe not demigods or models of perfection. They are every day flawed people .

  7. #6
    Gold Member thisisrichey's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ~Seraphim ~
    I agree we have to accept our parents for what they can’t give. They can’t give what they were not shown, for the most part . It takes somebody extremely unusual to give what they were not given. We also have to accept that our parents are just your average day normal Jane and Joe not demigods or models of perfection. They are every day flawed people .
    Yo know it was my baby brother that told me this years ago - but i was still too stubborn to understand and believe it.
    We all grow up thinking of our parents as our super heroes and that they know all, take care of all. But in the end, they are just humans like us who get thrown into the "real world" and are all just trying to survive. None of us are perfect. None of us always have the solution or know what to do. The first time you realize this about your parents - it's devastating. It's very hard to admit your dad isn't "super dad" but "just a normal person dad."

    So very good point! We also need to accept - that mom/dad are just normal people like us doing our best to figure it out as we go. We need to accept that we can't put them on that pedastal or expectation level that they need to be perfect and have a solution for everything.

    This also helps along the whole "accepting them for who they are and how they act" - especially when those things are things you wish they did better. I mean hey - we all have our things we SUCK AT. We need to give our parents a break and allow that they SUCK at things too.... but that doesn't mean they don't love you. Every parent loves their children. There just is no choice in the matter there. (Learned that one when I became an Uncle. There is NO WAY i can NOT love my niece and nephews ever - no matter what they do...)

  8. #7
    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    My mother does say that my father does love me even though they themselves have not been together in like 27 years . She says he does love you he’s just not capable of showing it . Whatever love he has is stuck in there . I have just had to accept that my father is a truly sick sick individual by luck of the genetic lottery and the horrible treatment of his parents.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by thisisrichey
    1. You need to accept the fact that your parents DO love you. They do. Somewhere deep down, because they ARE your parents - they love you.
    .
    I just take issue with this.
    Just because someone can procreate doesn't automatically make them parents and doesn't make them loving.
    Besides, we don't know what they are thinking.

    Love is an verb. It's the actions behind it that define it.
    Just rhetoric, that's all :)

  10. #9
    Gold Member thisisrichey's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ~Seraphim ~
    My mother does say that my father does love me even though they themselves have not been together in like 27 years . She says he does love you he’s just not capable of showing it . Whatever love he has is stuck in there . I have just had to accept that my father is a truly sick sick individual by luck of the genetic lottery and the horrible treatment of his parents.
    I would more correctly revampe your mother's statement to: "he does love you. he's showing you the only love he's ever been taught. unfortunately it's not a very healthy version of love he was taught when he was growing up."
    that is a much more powerful way to illustrate and drive hom the point that they are doing what they know or were taught by their parents. And this is much more about how well and what they were taught by their parents - and so on and so on and so on.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Sorry for your pain and confusion.

    Read richey's post over and over, and over and over. Really good stuff, that.

    I have my own version of this with my father, who checks just about every single box of negligent parenting imaginable. Sucks, but it's the card I was dealt, a card that has affected me my whole life and will, in ways, continued to do so. I'm 39, for perspective.

    Where I generally net out—and it took some time, and therapy, to get here—is that my father loves me the best he can. Sadly, his "best" hovers around most people's worst. That's just a fact, no different than the fact that you're reading these words on the internet. His own issues and shortcomings—dude is basically governed by a well of shame that eclipses his meager reserves of love—prevents him from showing me love in any way that feels, well, loving.

    There are some exceptions. Those are nice, if also confusing. But all in all I just accept, like Seraphim, that his capacity for love (of me, of anyone) is severely limited. That acceptance is not some permanent zen state, of course. Sometimes it makes me angry, sometimes it makes me confused, sometimes it makes me very, very sad, and sometimes it makes me feel like I am broken in places where others are not.

    But over time all those reactions have softened, because I'm no longer waiting for him to become someone he isn't. I keep a certain level of emotional space between us—a certain part of my core that I don't allow him access to, and that's just how it has to be, so that I can experience love—of others, of myself—on a higher, purer level than he is capable of.

    Good luck and big hugs. Takes a lot of bravery just to write what you wrote. Know that people are listening, that you are heard, and so not alone. And know, most of all, that you are loved and worthy of love.

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