From a person who wants to be identified as "Jenny":
I just wanted to express my gratitude for creating such a brilliant and supportive resource online. I am 22 years old, and I finally found the resources and connections to move out while being able to support myself. At first I felt obligated to keep in contact with my mom, believing her initial promises about teaching my younger sister (18 years old) to stop swearing at me and putting me down, and that she would prevent my dad from hitting me anymore. I've put up with, and even believed in the things my parents have told me, including that I am mentally retarded (I believed I had a learning and social disability). When I began to refuse to give up and just tell them what they wanted to hear (that they are always right and I am always wrong, that their abuse is deserved) I was told that I have a attitude problem on a pathological level. My mom does not acknowledge that what I've been through is 22 years of abuse. Some proof of this would be her telling me "Well your dad doesn't hit you every day" while she does not acknowledge that he threatens me everyday, and uses condescending profanities to refer to me, not even using my given name.
My sister was there the first time I truly felt my life was threatened, and was also there when I ran out the house to call the police on my dad. The first time I had the guts to verbally defend myself to him "Go ahead, throw that at me. I WILL call the police with this cell phone right here" --- the next day when my mom confronted him about it, he said "Do you know what that BITCH did to ME?" And he never apologized for traumatizing me over having 2 plates in the sink. After days like this, he looks at me when I come back from work or school and asks me in a sickeningly sweet tone, "Did you have a good day?" as though the abuse the day before didn't happen. Or perhaps to show he had "forgiven" me for whatever upset him that day. Yet she had the nerve to tell me "Mom and dad care and when you say they hate you you're putting words in to their mouths. Get a reality check, and go talk to your therapist." That was the last of her words to me, basically telling me not to talk to her. I've lost all trust in my family and since then I've realized how utterly foolish it will be to go back to a place where I will once again, not have the sanity or peace of mind to form my own identity and personality. She was never hit my either of my parents, and for some reason, my parents only attacked me physically, verbally, and emotionally.
There are not that many resources for children of toxic parents on the web or out there in general, and the loudest message out there so far is that I owe my parents the chance to stay in contact with me because they've raised me. But there is a reason I felt it necessary to move out, and I stand by my choice. The choice to cut all ties with my family who denies having hurt me, is also one I will stand by.
Emotionally, it is still overwhelming because I've been under the denial that my family will always be around no matter what, and that the abuse is just a part of being cared about fervently. My mind knows that there is no justification for the physical, mental and emotional abuse I've gone through. However my heart is broken because I had a thread of hope left in my mom when she said she understands me. I called her at a desperate time of need for my mom to hear me and understand me, and she just told me this: "Listen, it's me first, THEN you. Got it? Do you want me dead? I need to take care of myself before your needs are met" --- the fact that she said this to me while I called her crying my eyes out in a rented room hours away from a place that I used to call home, made me realize my reality once and for all.
Thank you again for creating such a supportive website. It's like a lighthouse for me. I want to keep believing that I can live the rest of my life without letting my toxic family back in to walk all over me as they have.