OMG! Article on Parent Abuse by teen/adult children

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I did a search on "Parent Abuse" after my lovely chat with 35 last night and came up with this. Boy, does it ever ring a bell. Originally I posted a different article, but this one is much better. I posted it in it's entirety for discussion or just to contemplate. Here it is.

    Parenting: Separating from an Adult Child Who is Abusive

    Most parents want to believe our children could never do anything to us that would warrant putting them out of their life. Oh, if this were only true. Experiencing emotional, mental, or physical pain is hard for anyone. However, when it's your grown children that are inflicting it on you, it's even harder to make the decision that they cannot be in your life anymore, either temporarily or for good. I thought we could explore some of the reasons that do warrant a parent saying, "Enough is Enough" and ordering their grown children out of their lives. Most people are pretty familiar with all the press courage, and TV specials just how devastating it can be when kids are on drugs. There is no such thing as family when drugs are involved. The only thing the addict cares about is getting the drugs, and using them. Many times it doesn't matter what they have to so to get the money to pay for them. So many family members of drug addicts have nee through the agony of their children stealing form them, whether it be money, jewelry, family heirlooms, as long as it can be used to obtain their drugs. Many families suffer for years with this type of behavior. Some eventually, put their foot down and say No more. Too many just keep trying to help the addict. Well, you can't help the addict they have to help themselves. I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for them to be enlightened. You may suffocate to death while your waiting. This is a definite situation when parents must let the addict go, never to return until their clean and sober. If parents don't, they may end up the casualty, instead of the addict.
    Sometimes because of mental or emotional problems, grown children can inflict a great deal of pain onto their parents. Don't be fooled they can be just as devastating the addict. The only thing that's different is their type of child is addicted to inflicting emotional or mental pain on their parents through mind games, degradation, neglect, manipulation, verbal abuse, and blaming. As far as their child is concerned it is the parents fault for every lousy thing the ever happened to them. This type of child insidious with the amount of pain he inflicts. Often times you can spot the parents a mile away, they feel guilty about everything, and take full responsibility of why their precious little child didn't turn out right. Oh boy, does this child take advantage of that. There comes a time when the parents have to say enough, and let this child know he's on his own, and only welcomed back after he has taken responsibility for their life, and can treat family members as they should be treated.
    Last but not least is the rage-aholic, This grown child uses intimidation, screaming, cursing, and often times physical abuse to get what he wants from his parents. The parents are so scared they are afraid to do anything. As in any type of abusive relationship, this must stop, sooner than later. Again these types of parents usually take responsibility for their child's behavior as well. After all in their mind if they were only better parents their wonder child wouldn't be so angry. These types of parent's need to wake, get a restraining order and Not allow their grown child anywhere near them until proof of serious counseling regarding anger management has been done, and the counselor has the opinion this person is now safe to be around. They must never take the word of the abuser that they are okay. Most abusers are also very manipulative as well. Even with the okay be the counselor, it is not a given that everything will be fine. These types of parents need to take a strong stand for how ever long it takes the abuser to be well. Unfortunately, it may not be soon, or ever. The family member's safety is the number one consideration in this situation, Not how much you will miss the abuser, or that maybe in some way you have betrayed your own flesh and blood.
    Thinking about separating form a grown child is probably one of the hardest thing a parent would ever have to decide when it comes to their children. However, you know what they say, No One Ever Said Life is Fair. The most important thing to always remember is, that NO One no matter what title they may have in your life, child, parent, brother, sister, mother, father, or whomever, NO One has the right to abuse you in any way, and you ALWAYS have the right to protect yourself, even if that means saying goodbye to your child!

    Published by Hannah
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2013
  2. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    I wish my mother in law could get this but she's still enabling my sister in law, who is 60 herself!
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Yes. There are parents who feel the need to continue to take care of abusive relatives even when they are 90 years old and the child is 60. But any abusive relationship is this way. Some women stay with men who beat them for thirty years and then actually say sentimentally nice things about them when they finally leave or die. I know of a few women who did this. Blows my mind! Same with kids of abusive parents.
  4. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Sadly this was all I could think about yesterday when talking with my daughter. Thank you for posting it and helping me see this.
  5. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I really hope difficult child isn't heading down this road, but it sure sounds like it. Half the time I feel bullied by her.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Abuse is abuse. Our grown kids are just as dangerous as any abusers. It just isn't talked about as much, but that's starting to change
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    their type of child is addicted to inflicting emotional or mental pain on their parents through mind games, degradation, neglect, manipulation, verbal abuse, and blaming.

    and Yes!
    Last but not least is the rage-aholic, This grown child uses intimidation, screaming, cursing, and often times physical abuse to get what he wants from his parents. The parents are so scared they are afraid to do anything.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I have long thought that most psychiatrists/tdocs refused to recognize abuse of parents by their kids until long after it was way too late. I don't think I would trust a therapist to necessarily know if it is safe to resume contact. I would need to really know the therapist and why they think it is safe. I know at least a baker's dozen therapists who would say that I am crazy for saying gfgbro is abusive. I know ONE psychiatrist who 'gets' him, and tries to help him, but he won't really admit he needs it. Too many adult children who abuse parents are astoundingly awesome manipulators.

    It is nice to see that finally some articles are recognizing the problem though. For a very long time it was nearly impossible to find help if you were abused by your child. Our local DV center was great with me but they had to start pretty much from scratch to help me deal with the entire Wiz situation. I was the first client who admitted to being beaten and abused by her child and did not also have an abusive spouse. Usually they saw mothers abused by sons who were both abused by spouses or SOs. A child who was not abused but abused his mom? They didn't really know what to do. But they were open about that and were willing to TRY and it meant the world to me. Now they see more of it, and when they go to conferences or meet people working at other DV centers, they see that I wasn't so unusual except for my willingness to admit the problem. I know they have a few people each year with my problem. I hope and pray that someday this is problem we discuss as openly as we discuss addiction or child abuse.

    One BIG component of the help is dealing with the shame. I raised a child with so little respect for me as his mother that he abused me. It si taboo to discuss it because the majority of people just 'know' that I abused him in some way to make him treat me so horribly. It is hard to cope wtih, esp when you KNOW that you did every single thing you could to raise a happy, healthy contributing member of society. I have very few close friends outside this board because most of the close friends I had chose to firmly believe that I abused Wiz in some way. they didn't want me around their kids because I was such a horrible person. This was in spite of the hours we spent together, the way they saw me treat my children and theirs, and all things we did to build a very close friendship. I am just not that interested in becoming very close to people after having over a dozen people who KNEW me for years and years turn on me this way. A few have made overtures to rekindle the friendship, but most of them flat out said horrible things about me as a parent and person. it is easy to forgive them because they were so ignorant on the subject, but forgetting and rekindling relationship after being devastated that way is not a realistic expectation, in my opinion.

    I am so thankful this is being discussed, even an article here and there. maybe others won't be so ostracized and judged the way I was if they take action to stop the abuse.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Susie, you are so right about the shame. 35 was my first child and adored. He was never spanked or verbally abused. We got him tons of help, which never worked. I got two very different responses from different other parents, both clueless answers.

    1/If you just SPANKED him, he'd turn out fine (or a variation of "spoiled." Well, I treated Sonic, Jumper and pastry Chef the same way and they aren't abusive to other people)

    2/(pious voice) Something is wrong in the home. No child acts that way if he isn't mistreated.

    Even though my son is now almost 36, a few people I've trusted with my story have said, "I would never give up on my child. My mother took care of my alcoholic brother until he died and that's what I would do." So I stick to posting here. It helps that 35 is so far away. He never lived with us in Wisconsin. He was already grown up and living on his own. It's a blessing. People up here know about Julie, but not 35. And because there is so little support for abused parents, I keep his existence mostly to myself.
  10. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    You've given me so much to think about, MWM. I never did see anything either of my kids did as abusive. But when you look at this in a different light, all of it was abusive. And I've been feeding right into it.

    Susiestar, I agree with you, about the shame, about the guilt, about the judgment from neighbors and friends and most especially, from family. And here is the thing: I am judging myself and husband just as harshly. Which is exactly what happens in every abusive relationship. The abused person feels responsible for the abuser's behaviors and emotional reality.


    Paradigm shift.

    I need to think about this. Especially given that drug use is involved in almost every case ~ and was the defining factor, with difficult child son. WHAT IF IT WAS ALWAYS THE DRUG USE? We always looked at that as a peripheral issue, or as something we were responsible for, too...but what if drug use is what happened? In retrospect, I think difficult child daughter may always have struggled ~ with tics, with Tourette's, with night terrors. But difficult child son? Drugs, all the way.


    I am always posting about difficult child son changing overnight.

    Well, holy cow.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
  11. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Well, my goodness.

    I imagine that, once YOU (I) have made a decision to stop interacting with an abusive child, we will begin truly to heal. Leaving that emotional door open to your child indicates a willingness, a feeling of responsibility, for what the child is doing to himself.

    This concept is blowing me away.

  12. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Great article, Cedar. I think it sums up what all of us eventually have learned when dealing with a substance abusing adult child. We have to detach to survive as hard as it is to do.

  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I could only find a few articles on this, however it is beginning. Elder abuse is jumping into the spotlight and who is usually doing the abusing? Adult kids. I'm musing over how old a child can start being abusive and I don't care if the child is bipolar or tri-polar. I don't care if it's because of drug abuse or for any other reason.

    I am thinking that even at thirteen, a large child could become abusive. If they can seriously hurt us, they can abuse us. Are they old enough to understand they are hurting us? YES! Is there any excuse for abusive behavior toward anyone, unless it is in self-defense? That is the question.

    I am always amazed when I hear stories about parents who put up with it from forty year old kids because "he has problems." In my therapy group there is a woman whose brother, around age 60, still has a relationship with his forty year old son who physically knocks him around and he does it to have a relationship with the son's kids who live with his son. I'm not sure it's worth being knocked around even for the grandchildren. And I wonder if he knocks his kids around too and if CPS should be called. I'm becoming very jaded.
  14. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    I don't think you are becoming jaded, MWM. This whole concept of a relationship with your own child as abusive is something parents just don't consider. It happens so suddenly for most of us that we are still trapped in parenting mode long after the kids really are adults and we never even get it that our interactions with our kids have turned abusive.

    How frightening, to think about these kids taking responsibility for us, as we get older.