How do you deal with a toxic parent who wouldn’t leave you alone?

I got into a fight with my dad, where he then spitefully and angrily said “sorry”, then kneeled before me while grabbing my feet...

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Oh love. He sounds abusive. I’d recommend you find a therapist who can help you find your way through this, and help you think about what relationship you want with him, and how to manage that and keep yourself emotionally and physically safe.


This isn’t a toxic parent, this is an abusive parent. There may be some cultural things at play BUT it sounds like you are allowing him to disrespect your boundaries. Dr. Henry Cloud’s book Boundaries was excellent in teaching me how to give consequences for boundary breaking. And you may not want the family script to change. I’m the caretaker in my family and for years solved everyone else’s problems. While I enjoyed complaining about it, it was years before I was ready for the hard work in fixing it. Good Luck!


What SM1 said... strongly second that. I went to therapy 5 years ago to deal with my emotionally abusive father. Decided to cut him off 3 years ago and I’ve been happier since. Not recommending cutting yours off, you have to choose what works for you... and therapy can help you think about what you want, process and come to terms with the situation.


OP- it was hard at first. He’s the master of guilt- trips and, he’s ‘victim-playing’ is oscar worthy. I was the one who always called and visited, so when i stopped, everything stopped. He tried reaching out months after and both times he played victim (tears and all). Both times he told me I didn’t love or care about him like my other siblings. It was all about him. So i deleted all his contacts and unfriended him online. I can go for months without thinking about him now. It helps that i live far from him too. I have healthy relationships with the rest of family.

1. Therapy helped me evaluate the relationship. I had so much anger because if him. Every-time his name came up, I’d get so mad and start crying. The emotional scars he left were deep!
2. Therapy also helped me deal with the guilt. I still find myself apologizing to people even when they’re wrong because I’m used to it..

Toxic relationships are draining. This doesn’t even describe much of what happened- i could write a series of books on that relationship.


I back away feeling disturbed, only for him to close in to me and cup my face while screaming at me. Later he proceeded asking him to slap him since I’m so upset by him. Not wanting to, pushed him away, for him to close in again, then proceeding to slap himself repeatedly.

Things of this nature happened often to me and my mom in my childhood, and am now rewitnessing it again. It was probably my mistake to come back to my hometown in March.

The thing is, I’ve always wanted to keep my distance from my dad - he’s always been emotionally and borderline physically abusive. However, he is obsessed with being a part of my life, and wouldn’t respect my boundaries when I tell him I need space away from him. For as long as I can remember, I’ve told him repeatedly the things he do make me uncomfortable, but he keeps doing them, all the while forcing himself on me.

To make things worse, my mom doesn’t see his behavior as inexcusable. She has been and still is trying to patch things up between me and him and get us to ‘get along’ (despite being subject to a similar kind of treatment herself). Maybe she’s accustomed to the abuse that she doesn’t see it as such. I’ve tried for years but now I’ve given up trying to get her to her senses.

Now I rented out an apartment in my hometown as I can’t got back to my parents’ home nor NYC. I can only hope that he’ll leave me alone and not find me here.

Unbiased third party to help guide you through this whether that’s a therapist, counselor, pastor, life coach. Whatever you believe in doing.

I’m sorry. Plenty of empathy and hugs. I’m so far out (20+ years) from a toxic parent relationship but your words ring so true.

My experience says to put yourself FIRST and implement boundaries (emotional and physical) with your parents. You need boundaries and an unwavering sense of wanting to get thru this, along with practical, non-dramatic professional therapy. Without a game plan you put yourself at risk for even bigger psychological scars that will color your nerves, stress level, health, friendships, and coping mechanisms.

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