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Thoughts on Going No Contact (long)


New member
I'm interested in hearing from those of you who've gone "no contact" with someone your family. Whether you went NC with your parents as a result of their lack of acceptance of your AGR, or an ex with whom you have a child, or a sibling who slept with your former spouse, I'm interested in your experience with going NC.

I am seriously considering going no contact with my parents and sister. Some of you are familiar with my situation; others may wish to search the site for my posts to get a bit of background.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the NC is warranted. The one thing that's stopping me is that neither of my parents are well. Mom is 72; Dad, 77. Both have memory issues--Mom's is a short term memory issue which developed subsequent to a TBI sustained in a school bus wreck when she was 11. Dad's is subsequent to undergoing anesthesia during knee replacement 2 years ago. Both have chronic conditions. Mom has ITP (a blood clotting disorder which is not hemophilia) and Type II diabetes. Dad has rheumatoid arthritis.

That said, they've been "not well" for quite some time and they use being "not well" as both a means to elicit sympathy from me and a means to control my response to their inappropriate behavior. If they're unwell, I "can't" be angry with them because I've just discovered that my father called my place of work and asked to talk to my supervisor, then tried to pry her for information for the purpose of "checking up" on me. Or that they've called the claims adjuster and provided information regarding my insurance claim. Or that they've contacted my landlord. Or that they forgot to tell me Mom was in the hospital. Or that they forgot to tell me Dad was in the hospital. Or that they've had an anniversary, Mother's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas dinner and intentionally did not include me. Or that they were entrusted with telling me that my cousins were in from out of town and there was a family BBQ at Auntie such-and-such's, and forgot. My adult life, and my sons' childhoods, aren't just marked by such hurtful instances--they're an entire f-ing series.

I've long recognized their behavior toward me as legitimately abusive. Not unkind, or insensitive, but abusive and harmful to the point of causing me and my sons (who are now adults) to experience anxiety, depression, and cumulative PTSD. I've worked on me--I've been on medication, gone to therapy, and so forth for nearly 30 years. My sons are struggling to work on themselves. I am aware that there are things I will always struggle with, but for the first time in my adult life I've achieved and maintained wellness for several years.

This past week, Mom allowed her blood sugar to climb to over 400. When she called me on Wednesday, I told her that she needed to call the doctor. I told Dad that she should call the doctor or he should take her there. They didn't go that day. But they made sure Dad's sister, who is an 82 year old widow who lives independently and has her own health concerns, knew Mom's blood sugar was over 400 and that she was refusing to call or go to the doctor.

On Friday, I learn through a third party who felt I had the right to know that Thursday afternoon, Dad brought Mom to the doctor--a 75 mile, 90 minute drive--over several hours of Mom's objections. It seems that Mom had ultimately been persuaded to get in the car because my sister was bringing my nephew to an appointment at the same clinic.

Friday evening, I called my sister to get the straight story before I called my parents. After I received the "unavailable" message that her carrier provides when its customers are in a "no service" area, I called Mom. I knew something was wrong when Dad answered Mom's cellphone--that's a thing that doesn't happen. I asked Dad if Mom had been to the doctor (the best way to deal with them is to feign ignorance), and he said "they're with her right now." At 7:48 on a Friday evening, if Mom is with the doctor there's either an ambulance at the house or they're in the ER. I immediately asked Dad if Mom had taken her medication. He said "as well as she usually does" which means he had no idea. I asked if he knew what medication she took, and he said [my sister] was bringing the medication list from her house (which is an hour from this particular ER). Then Dad asked me who he was talking to, which marks the first time in my life that my father did not immediately recognize my voice. I told him who I am, and asked him where they were. They were in the ER; Mom's blood sugar was out of control.

Then my sister calls. When I ask what's going on, she adopts the same tone with me that Mom uses when she's poo-poo'ing something serious, or that Dad uses when he thinks I'm asking something that isn't my business, and proceeds to tell me that Mom hadn't been feeling well. TF, she "hadn't been feeling well." I interrupted and said I knew Mom's blood sugar had been over 400 and they were in the ER, and asked if I needed to be there. No, I didn't. I asked if they'd named her Power of Attorney (PoA) and executor, and she said yes.

At this point, I excuse myself and end the call. I am livid. Not because they named her PoA, but because they named her executor. Now that it is no longer the heat of the moment, I realize she probably did not hear me completely. I know from the same third party that they still don't have a will, you can't have an executor if you don't have a will.

When Mom gets home, she calls to let me know she's home. I told her I'm relieved she's home, encourage her to take better care of herself in future (she gets no sympathy from me, because she brought this whole thing on herself by choosing to not take her meds, monitor her diet, or have any sort of exercise regimen), and tell her I'm quite upset to learn in the midst of a crisis that they have quite obviously had a family meeting that did not include me, nor was it even thought to let me know of the decision. Then I learn they made this decision two years ago, while Dad was in the hospital for his knee replacement.

The same knee replacement no one told me about until after it happened. The same knee replacement that he came out of with anesthesia dementia, and was in the hospital longer than expected...but no one told me. And had to be transferred to long term care...but no one told me, for two to three weeks. And during this entire time, he was asking for me.

My sister and I, and my mother and I, have had several conversations about Mom and Dad's need to appoint a medical Power of Attorney, do their estate planning (draw a will and name an executor), and make their final wishes known. During any one of these conversations, either one of them could have mentioned that the PoA had been taken care of. I don't care that they didn't name me--I'm already someone else's PoA, and I quite honestly don't want that responsibility for either of my parents. I'm upset because of an entire host of other things related to the situation, but not that.

Through my relationship with Lovey--now in our 8th year!--and by extension, friendships with his longtime friends, I'd already come to realize that my parents' and sister's behavior toward me is far worse than I previously realized.

This incident with Mom's health this past week was enough.

Whether I go no contact or not, I am unlikely to know in a timely manner if anything serious had occurred with regard to my parents' health. They won't inform me, nor will my sister. Even if I did know about it, I am not empowered to do anything about it. So, I'm of a "why bother me with it in the first place, then" mindset.

I merely want to be sure that I am choosing my response, rather than reacting to a situation.

Thanks in advance,



New member
Effects of Ostracism

I was researching the psychological effect (to me) of certain behaviors my parents and sister exhibit toward me. The more aware I am of the real effects of invisible cruelties such as intentionally excluding me from family events and discussions an adult, and isolating me in my childhood, the more I become more convinced that I need to cut ties with my parents and sister.

However, I become less sure that I need to do so formally via a "letter of no contact."

A couple of articles on the effects of being ostracized:

Professor: Pain of ostracism can be deep, long-lasting

Effects of ostracism are a health concern



I think that you are not that sure of what you want to do. I do not think that you should bother with a no contact letter. Simply let things go slowly. Do not return calls, do not initiate conversations. Center your love in people who really appreciate you.


I've never been close to my family and have at times gone years without seeing them. In fact I have not seen my Father since I was around 16.

For you to be contemplating this it could be healthy for you not to bother with them. I think some family members think that they can treat their relatives like crap and it is all ok because that is what family does. I know my mother has that attitude where "Blood is thicker than water" and "We're family" but it seems I am only wanted when they want something and I am usually treated like crap anyway.

I certainly wouldn't bother with any contact letters or explaining your situation or case in any form. Just drift from them, start missing get togethers and don't respond to emails/text messages etc so quickly if at all. See how it fits you.
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