Are you prepared to bid farewell to your toxic mom? There are some strategies you can employ to detach yourself from your toxic parent.
If you have simply had enough and feel it is better for your overall well-being, then you know that you are making the right, if hard, decision. This decision is also complicated by the various scenarios in which you might find yourself, taking into consideration not only your own health and stability but that of your mom’s.
I know how difficult it is to disentangle yourself from a narcissist—especially when it’s your mother. Nevertheless, at some point, you have to take into account your own emotions and your own independence, as well as the welfare of your own family if relevant.
Saying goodbye triggers a whole host of reactions. Prepare yourself by choosing the method that’s best for you. You also need to prepare yourself for the reaction you may get from her.
Read on for ideas on how to care for yourself, how to let go emotionally, and how to approach the goodbye with clear intentions and a calm demeanor.
Goodbye to All That and More
You have good reason to letting go of a narcissistic mother. She has ignored your boundaries and continued to manipulate and humiliate you, and you feel that her toxic behavior can no longer be tolerated. Here are seven ways to prepare yourself for a final goodbye.
1. Learn to Be Realistic
As you prepare to say goodbye to your mom, manage your expectations of what might happen. Many people, no matter how ready they may feel to break ties, cannot help but hope that a last-minute reconciliation might occur. They will often approach the goodbye with the expectation that this final straw will jolt the narcissistic mother into reconsidering her ways.
This is almost always completely unrealistic. A narcissist who has driven you to the breaking point will not be cowed by the cutting of ties. They simply don’t know how else to behave. But you do, and you are making the brave choice to make your life happier and healthier.
2. Taper Off Contact
As you confront the practical realities of saying goodbye, you might find that a slow but steady tapering off from contact with your mom is a compassionate path for both of you. It will give her the opportunity to face the consequences of her behavior, should she be able to do so, while it will give you the time to grow accustomed to the break.
Start with ending holiday visits to her space and forbid her presence in your space altogether. Next, end in-person contact, followed by slowly cutting off phone calls, texts, and any other messages. Don’t drag the process out for too long, though, as it can compromise your resolve and give her inroads that you might regret.
3. Be Unwavering
Once you make the decision to say goodbye, stay firm in your commitment to cut off ties. It is too emotionally exhausting and psychologically damaging to hesitate, going back and forth between contact and no contact. This is especially important if you have other family members, siblings or children, who would be dragged into this drama.
Ultimately, your display of strength will inspire others around you to sever their dysfunctional ties to her, and it will make you feel more and more resilient as time goes by. You need not make any apologies for your actions, as you are not the one who is responsible for the break.
4. Relinquish False Hope
Often, children of narcissistic parents are trained to serve the demands of the parent to the exclusion of their own needs. This is simply the way narcissists are as parents. Thus, saying goodbye to the narcissistic mother elicits feelings of guilt and inadequacy—how could you do this to her? Learn to acknowledge that your choice is based on her inability to treat you with respect and empathy.
Remember that your decision doesn’t affect your narcissistic mother as much as they affect you. She will not suddenly get better or change her wily ways. You have to let go of the hopes you’ve harbored over the years that something miraculous will make her see your point of view.
5. Write a Personal Letter
The act of committing honest words to paper (or screen) can help you sort through your feelings. Even if you don’t intend to actually send the letter to your narcissistic mother (it likely wouldn’t do much but antagonize her), it can be a profoundly liberating act for you. Deciding to send it would be a ceremonial symbol of the final goodbye.
Or, you could write a letter to yourself, committing yourself to the cutting of ties and reminding yourself as to why it’s the best thing for you and your family. Keep the letter in a safe place, and when your resolve weakens, reread it to regain your strength.
6. Find New Family
Another symbolic way in which to say goodbye to a narcissistic mother is to seek out and establish new family bonds. The family that you create can be your own—partner and children—or it can be a unit made up of friends and mentors. You don’t have to be blood relations to be a family.
This signals to you that your goodbye is final, while it provides some comfort as you separate yourself from your toxic past. It can also indicate to your mom that you are no longer an extension of her, but you are both an autonomous individual and a happy member of a new, healthy family.
7. Special Considerations for Death
There are some special considerations to contemplate if you are saying a final goodbye to an ill and/or dying parent. You must search your heart and soul to find what feels right for you. For some people, leaving it at no contact feels safer emotionally, while for others, a final goodbye will prevent future guilt.
Every individual must make this decision for themselves, and it may be prudent to seek out some professional help to assist you in wading through the psychological difficulty that this moment represents. Saying goodbye could be a way of honoring the relationship without harming yourself.
Saying goodbye to your narcissistic mother will inevitably be fraught with psychological pitfalls and emotional tension. Make your decision carefully and firmly, preparing yourself to navigate what will be a tricky landscape. Whether you make the break suddenly or taper off communication over time, be sure that you care for yourself in the process.
Relinquishing the expectation that your mother will change is important to your intentions. Confronting and dealing with your feelings will help you become stronger, more independent, and ultimately happier.
Saying goodbye to a narcissistic mother can be difficult, but a free copy of my “Narcissistic Rejection Guide” can help. You will learn how to say no and even push back against her narcissistic manipulation as she tries to change your mind. Get the guide by clicking here and I’ll send it directly to your inbox for free!
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