One of my first posts on TiniwanaTalks was an open letter to my Mum. I spoke about our relationship and its real time effects on me. Think of this post as the solution to the problems i talked about in Letter to Mum(my). ( this post is no longer available)
“Toxic Parents”- capitalised because of how devastating the term is. Even more so when spoken by a child of Toxic Parents. The best way to spot a Toxic Parent is to ask a child of said parent if they experience a sense of impending doom when “Mum” or “Dad” flashes on their screen in the form of phone calls or text messages.
Toxic Parents have a way of making you feel responsible or even deserving of their mistreatment. They tend to be very manipulative and don’t put their kids as a first priority.
Ive had my fair share of dealing with toxic parents. i’ve tried to be the perfectly respectful African Child and remained quiet about their behaviour and i’ve even tried to cultivate relationships with them. It wasn’t until last year that i decided that enough was enough and my parents had no real role to play in my life anymore.
I told myself it was okay to block their numbers and carry on with my life.
In November 2018 I moved out of my mum house to be closer to my new job ( first job in a law firm). My mum was on board happy even and helped me move out. We celebrated Christmas as a family and all seemed well.
Sidebar. My mum has always been super critical of me. She has really high expectations of me so my being human and a child i made mistakes as i grew up. Several of which she holds against me and throws back in my face in the form of criticisms. Minor examples of my Mums criticisms are;
( In front of company) ” You’re so difficult to talk to” – I find myself worrying that people don’t like me and i developed a stutter for a while because of this comment.
(After i got my degree) “We’re not celebrating you until you get a job”- this was after she said no to helping me move out of my Uni accomodation after i finished uni and it was literally one of the first things she said to me as i walked into the door.
( when i was 7 and my teeth big front teeth had just come in) ” I can’t believe you were smiling at people with your teeth like that – this might explain why i don’t post toothy smile pictures anymore.
You get the picture- she wasn’t very nice to me.
Because of all the criticism my relationship with her at this point was one were i always expected to be ambushed with what i was doing wrong. She walks into a room and i flinch and I always expect to be attacked whenever she tries to speak to me.
So back to November after i moved out all was well but i still expected something bad to happen because acute aprehension was the only way to survive my Mum.
When i left home in 2018 i had left my room in basically the same state it was when i lived there just without my clothes and electronics. i had intended to come back and get the rest of my things but to me they were safe and i didnt have space for them in my new place.
I get a text from my Mum asking me to come pick up my stuff because she’s turning my room into an office. So me and KB my boyfriend drive to her house and knock on the door.
I’ve always prided myself on being an empath so i can feel it when someones off. It’s like there’s a thickness in the air that makes it hard to swallow. As soon as i hugged my Mum hello i knew something was wrong. But i knew better than to ask. i said my hellos and went to my old room to start tidying up and taking my things. To my surprise none of my things were in there.
I asked and was promptly told that my things were outside in some bin bags ( trash bags)…
It was raining………………………..
There were electronics and formal ( expensive af) clothes left in my room. Again I said nothing and collected all my things. When I was done i went in to say goodbye. WET AF BTW
This was when my Mum attacked. It was me, KB my stepdad and her in the living room. Without going into too much detail, she accused me of many things including “punishing her” for something by hiding something important to her. She did all this with dramatic flair. To the point where my usually mute StepDad had to intervene. She basically said i wasnt welcome in the house anymore and asked me to hand over my house keys.
Not being the one to be humiliated I basically told her that she’ll never hear from me again and I’ll never step foot into her house ever again ( which i haven’t !)
But to be honest I was shattered. I’ve always felt like I was alone but being kicked out from my permanent family home left a huge gaping gap in my life.
I went home with Ans and put on my favourite “ I have to cry this out movie” Lilo and Stitch. It makes me cry because of the line
“ Ohana means family and with family no one gets left behind”.
Because I feel like both my parents left me to go live their lives with their new families. Every single time that line gets thrown out I cry like the first time I watched Pokemon 2000
By the time this has happened I was already quite distant from my Dad and I only really saw my Mum because we were in the same city and shared the same four walls.
I did make a lot of attempts to keep in touch with my Dad but my calls were ignored and texts intermittently answered. I tried to organise dinner/ lunch plans to catch up and even tried to introduce Ans to him.
Whenever he ignored me I’d always say “ he has 8 other kids besides me, I can’t expect him to have time for me I’m 26!” It was only after he ignored me trying to call him about arranging a meet up with Ans that I stopped trying with him.
My Dad should have time for me and I shouldn’t be chasing him for it like a debt collector.
So after my Mum told me to get out I realised that keeping my parents in my life was causing me more grief than pain. I weighed up my options this way:
1. I was neither financially or emotionally dependant on either of them since and before graduation.
2. They never had time for me. My mum was busy with her new husband. My dad with his kids and girlfriend.
3. Direct contact with them left me feeling hollow hurt and criticised to the point of no return and regularly triggered depressive episodes. ( For reference. Ask my friends about my Mum not saying happy birthday to me at my 26th 🥴)
4. Indirect contact especially with my Dad and his new family. Was a constant reminder that I had no place in his life. Uncle Dad had turned to Acquaintance Dad.
5. All these reasons combined made me realise that I really don’t need these people around me.
It just so happens that a few months after “The Chucking Out” I got offered a position at a more reputable law firm with a massive pay rise. So I moved to Manchester.
Being far away from my Mum was like a weight lifted off of my shoulders. My anxiety virtually stopped and my depressive episodes dramatically decreased.
The months after the chucking out I was constantly looking out for my Mums cars wondering if she found my new address and had come to ambush me