When should you go no contact with a parent? Women looking into the distance while on her cell phone...
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15 People On The Moment They Knew It Was Time To Go No Contact With A Parent

From subtle realizations to breaking points.

Maybe your childhood was mostly fine, but your mom has always been a little manipulative or guilt trippy. For some, their upbringing was downright unsafe — physically, emotionally, and mentally. And since our political climate has become more and more divisive, parents and adult kids with opposing views have had a harder time than ever being civil about their views. As going no contact — cutting someone out of your life entirely — has become more and more commonplace, it may be something you’ve considered for yourself. Here, 15 people share the moment they knew it was time to cut off one or both of their parents (and in some cases, their entire family). They all agree it’s not an easy choice, but the peace they’ve found has been worth it.

They became parents themselves.

“When I had kids and I knew exposure to them would not be good. It was also when I realized how much pain had been caused and putting myself in the role of a dad and reflecting. Like no way in hell would I do that. So yeah, zero contact. As my kids are now adults I’ve thought about reaching out.” — Airon, 46

“When I had my first and only child and realized she didn’t care about her either.” — Katrina, 22

“I became a mom, and I knew I couldn’t trust my parent with my child’s physical or emotional well-being after how he had treated me. The idea of letting him around my baby at all was repulsive. I went no contact to keep my child safe, which made me realize that I was worth protecting, too. I wish I had understood that sooner.” — Katie, 30

“For me, I had been ready to do it because of the way I was treated. Then I gave birth to my first child. I watched her get treated the way they treated me. Then my second was born and they shunned her also, and I refused to sit back and watch it. I knew at that very moment I was done. Treat me how you want, but to do it to your grand babies? My children? Absolutely not. It was over.” — Kayleigh, 35

She uncovered a huge secret.

“The moment I knew it was time to go no contact was when I found out I had another brother. He was 10 years old when I found out about him. His mother was my mom’s high school student (17). My dad was 42. My mom didn’t know it either, which is insane because we both saw her pregnant. My dad’s a narcissist so of course there was never an apology and I just never contacted him again and he never tried to contact me.” — Tabatha, 38

Their mental and physical health was suffering.

“I knew it was time to go no contact with my dad when my peace and mental well-being were being compromised when I received a call or text from him. It also took a week or more for me to recover mentally from visiting with him.”Lindsey, 31

“I would say the moment was when I realized that I ruined my mental health in order to please them.” — Ashley, 33

“I went no contact with my immediate family in October 2022 after ending up in the ICU from the stress of pleasing my mother. While I laid in that bed and heard about the jokes that were made about me being on my deathbed I knew it was time to cut everyone off associated with her.” — Shonte, 33

Her comment went too far.

“When I was going through four years of infertility and my mom said maybe God didn’t intend for me to be a mother. She wasn’t a great mom before that but that’s a whole other story. I went through three miscarriages and multiple failed infertility treatments. That was the start of low contact. I only allowed that because my son was their only grandchild.” — Vikki, 57

Nothing was changing.

“I went no contact with my mother and brother after it became clear that her decades of abuse to her children would never change and his disrespect would never change. I am 51. I should have done it years ago.” — Kristina, 51

“I went no contact with my only living parent twice now. First time was during the 2020 presidential election due to my mother trying to shove her political beliefs down my throat and alcohol abuse. I decided to allow her to come back into my life in 2022 so she wouldn’t miss out on my children’s lives and it seemed like she had gotten much better. I went no contact with her again about a month ago. My breaking point was, once again, her shoving her political agenda down my throat, along with her trying to be narcissistic and manipulative towards me.” — Stephanie, 30

She was tired of the unequal treatment.

“I had a day off randomly during the week because I had worked over the weekend. I spent several days trying to do something with my mother. Literally would be like, ‘Hey, I’m off Thursday, want to go get a pedicure? Hey, Thursday I have some time, want to grab lunch? Want to go shopping Thursday? I some extra money coming in from overtime.’ Crickets. She never responded until she tells me, after several attempts from my part, ‘Oh [your sister] is off Thursday, I need to see what she’s doing.’ In other words, I am second to my sister and have no kind of importance to my mother. It was a bucket of cold water, but I saw the situation for it really was.” — Marie, 41

It came up in therapy.

“It took until I got into therapy for an entirely unrelated issue, or so I thought. I traced some issues back to my childhood and worked forward, reliving some pretty traumatic moments of physical and emotional abuse from my parents. After a while, my therapist asked if I felt that trying to have a close relationship with my parents as an adult — my mom in particular — was serving me. Spoiler: it wasn’t. I was able to give up my guilt for being somewhat distant and make it an intentional choice to protect myself. I’m no longer subject to their toxic ideas of family. I’m thankful to have the insight to share with my sister, who is struggling with the same things now.” — Rachel, 36

“I knew it was time to go no contact when by therapist said, ‘Why are you here?’ and I said that I think I needed to cut off my family but I wasn’t ready. Going no contact with my mom ended up leading to everyone in my extended and immediate family. It’s sad. August will be 10 years since I last saw anyone in my family and started going no contact.” — Cayla, 36

“I was in therapy at the time, and it helped me see the impact it was having on me to continue to try and have any sort of relationship with my parent. I realized it was impacting me to where I had to have such defenses up during those interactions, that it got impossible to take them down with anyone. I felt like my loved ones deserved more of me than I was able to give. I was trying to keep a relationship with no reconciliation from what had happened. The biggest thing was accepting him for who he was and determining what I had to do as a result of that. That was a long process — it took me several years until I had the strength to walk away and not look back. Now, because of that, I don’t live with those walls up anymore, and I love the people around me better, mostly because I love me better. The work is worth it.” — Melissa, 49

If you’re considering going no contact with someone in your family, hearing others’ “aha” moments might resonate with you. And if you’re someone who has always wondered how anyone could cut off their own mom or dad, well, this ought to clear it up.