Can there be a “call” to break up with your parents? Yes, I am an adult woman living many hundreds of miles away from my parents, but they run my life. I have a sense of indebtedness towards them. They are my parents, for crying out loud, and what if I am totally wrong and off base about my entire childhood? Do I just cut them off?
But relationship with them is killing me. It is draining me of my lifeblood, just as they did when I was little. Somehow, they still are in control. That phone call. The name that pops up on my phone and sends my world spinning. That first birthday of our baby that they just have to fly out for, and I have to feign excitement. Why would I let them ruin a time of joyous celebration? MY child. Not theirs. They already ruined their own child.
But how? How do you cut it off? How in this great big world can I possibly say to my parents that my relationship with them is harming me and my family and that I need more space? Not just a little breathing room, but I don’t want to ever hear from you again.
My entire life has revolved around caring for my parents. My sole purpose was to make sure that they were always emotionally stable. I protected them from everything, especially from myself. Now, once again, I am the greatest threat to them. I hold this time bomb, and one day soon, I am going to have to bite the bullet and call it quits. I will hurl the bomb at them and watch them explode into a million pieces. And my world will shatter. As they crumble, so will I. Because, we all know, that they hold the key to my demise.
What is the “godly” thing to do? I am either all about my present family or all about my parents. I either protect my husband and children or protect my parents. Can I do both? Can I protect everyone? Can I guard everyone’s feelings and make a decision that will not hurt anyone? My primary role is to protect and care for my children. Their safety and well-being is paramount in the hierarchy of important things in my life. Honoring and loving my husband is my other primary role. I am a “daughter” of sorts, but that is not my primary role anymore. I am no longer a secret-guarder. I am no longer the one who has to keep my mother from committing suicide or my father from attacking my mother. I am no longer the one who has to endure the consequences of my parents’ choices. Thus, it seems to me that the “godly” thing is to cut my parents off.
But here is the other rub: Can I emotionally handle the consequences of this break up? Will I unravel? Will I splinter into the thousand pieces that I constantly labor to hold together? Will the stress of all of this release crazy amounts of cortisol into my unborn child? Or is it the opposite? Will the trauma that comes up with every conversation with my parents drive me to complete madness? Will the long term stress of trying to live a double life wreak havoc on the well-being of my family? What is more damaging?
So here I stand, in limbo, in the in-between, in this half-in, half-out, undecided, cowardly place. I will probably remain here for a while.