ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Getting out of an abusive relationship

Updated on September 22, 2013
Abusive relationships come in many forms. Abusive parents are difficult to leave as an adult.
Abusive relationships come in many forms. Abusive parents are difficult to leave as an adult.

Although many abusive relationships are between lovers or spouses, there are other types as well. In my case, it was with my parent. Leaving a parent or parents is not an easy task. When you are 18, you can run away from home. When you are in your 40’s and you are the only person caring for your aging parent, it is not so easily accomplished.

Although many people in society are concerned with abuse of the elderly, the opposite is also occurring. It is not by chance that there are increasing numbers of reports about elderly populations running over people with their cars. When you go shopping in a grocery story you may have experienced the aggression of the elderly population as they use their shopping carts like weapons to push their way through the store.

Leaving an abusive relationship with an elderly parent is not an easy task. Modern society often operates under the assumption that the elderly do not abuse others. There seems to be a tacit agreement among the elderly to deny that they ever abuse others. In one study conducted in a nursing home, they found that in over 70% of the cases, the residents saw nothing wrong with their peers’ behaviors. This denial is often reinforced by religious teachings and societal guilt about the elderly. This denial often operates like a trap to keep the victims of abuse locked into the relationship.

The denial is made worse by the traumatic bonds formed that often keep the victim in the relationship. These bonds not only keep the victim in the relationship, they also silence the victims from speaking out. The reality is that there are some elderly people that are mean, there are some elderly perverts, there are some elderly criminals. Just because they are parents or grandparents does not mean that what they are doing is suddenly acceptable.

The first thing I had to do was to tell myself the truth about what was happening. I had to tell myself the truth about how my mother’s behavior was not acceptable. It was not because “she’s just an old lady”. She was abusive.

After recognizing the truth, the next step was giving myself permission to set boundaries. I also had to give myself permission to have a voice in the matter. When I quit letting my mother and society to dictate to me what was acceptable, I began claiming my freedom.

The boundaries at first were simple things. As I gained more success, I set more boundaries. With each boundary that was set, there came tests. She tested my boundaries. Each time I held firm, it felt like I gained a little more freedom and regained my own voice.

After setting some boundaries, and gaining emotional freedom, I then worked on attaining physical freedom. In order to do this, I separated myself from the abusive relationship in terms of legal obligations, and financial obligations. Many times these areas are used to keep people in bondage to the abuser, who has often exploited the victim using money or the law.

Once the legal and financial ties were severed, I took my escape plan the next step. I physically left the relationship. In doing so, I had to find a way to be “invisible” to not only her, but her friends and associates. Abusers often look at their victims as if they are personal property and hunt them down. Many shelters have privacy policies in order to keep their location and identity quiet. When a woman is trying to escape her mother, it is a little more difficult. Since the shelters often cater to women, another woman has an easier time gaining access to information. I had to find another way to become invisible.

Although it seems ‘radical’ to go invisible or ‘go underground’ in escaping abusive relationships, many times this is the only way to truly escape the abuser. The abuser does not accept your freedom. They often do not tolerate you being separate from them. Each day I was away from my abuser, I grew stronger. My voice returned, and my family was now safe as the cycle of abuse had been broken.

Elderly Violence

Elderly People can be violent too (funny)

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Sue St. Clair profile imageAUTHOR

      Sue St. Clair 

      7 years ago from I would rather be in Paris

      Estranged Daughter,

      Good for you!. It is hard to cut off contact. When it comes down to either saving yourself or saving them, you need to protect yourself. If you don't stand up for and protect yourself, it is darn sure that she won't

    • profile image

      EstrangedDaughter 

      8 years ago

      Awesome article! I cut off contact with my mom a few months ago and am still working through it. Sometimes I feel guilty because she's getting older, but like you said, she's still manipulative and abusive, and I don't deserve to be treated like that by anyone. Being "family" does not exempt people from the consequences of mistreating each other. Thank you for the great advice here.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)