Setting boundaries with your abusive parents

Here are some ideas for those people who are not comfortable fully cutting off their abusive parents, and want to establish good boundaries.

Start with distance contact. Only emails or only texts. If they exhibit abusive or demanding behavior, tell them you will not respond until they apologize.

Do not answer phone calls from them. Only talk to them when you are ready. If they call and you are feeling emotionally ready to talk to them, wait until the phone goes to a message, and then call them back. Make the contact on your terms.

Don’t let them control your meetings. You set the date and time of any physical contact. Do not let them bully you into when you meet.

Do not meet with them in their space. Go out to lunch with them, meet in a public space, or have them over to your space on your terms.

Don’t be alone with them. Bring a chaperone/emotional bodyguard with you when you have physical contact with them.

Don’t go into a physical contact with them where they control when you leave. Always give yourself a way out. if you don’t drive, make sure someone can come pick you up, fast.

And the absolute key

Do not tolerate any abusive behavior, or boundary breaking behavior. The moment they cross a boundary, withdraw your contact, and don’t re-initiate until they apologize or are ready to engage within your boundaries again.

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