People Who Went No-Contact With Their Parents Are Revealing The 'Final Straw' Moment That Led To Their Decision, And I Have No Words

Warning: This post contains mentions of abuse.

We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us the “final straw” moment that made them go no-contact with a toxic parent. Here are the shocking — and heartbreaking — results:

1. “My father told my mom, whom he’d been married to for over 40 years, that he had found someone else who was ‘loving and communicative’ IN A LETTER. He is a narcissist who did nothing but bully my amazing mom for years. He gave her that letter, and she told him she’d read it when she was ready (he had moved out at that point), and he continued to act like nothing was different despite knowing full well what he had written.”“He’d done a lot of horrible things up to that point, but cheating on her was the last straw for both me and my brother. I found out today that he has essentially joined a whole other family while leaving the rest of us behind. He’s such a coward and a sad excuse for a human being. Have been no-contact for months, and it’s been the best decision.”

—39, Canada

<span class="copyright">Fiordaliso via Getty Images</span>
Fiordaliso via Getty Images

2. “I’d grown up with my parent frequently lying to people outside our family about big and little things. Some were scams on good people, and I had to cosign the lying frequently. We had a general rule of keeping family business within the family. Fast-forward 20 years, and I learned I’d been being lied to as well about everything, including the circumstances of my birth, my parent’s relationship, and subsequent divorce.”

“What is worse, they had been gaslighting me for YEARS about these things, even when I asked direct questions. When I finally became a parent myself, that was it. I couldn’t take it anymore and ceased all contact. Yes, I realize my parents will lose out on their grandchildren, but I cannot force them into a life of lies.”

—38, Ohio

3. “I went no-contact with my dad. He had always been emotionally manipulative, especially after my parents divorced when I was 9. But the last straw was when it was Christmas Break during my senior year of high school. I was supposed to spend Christmas with him, but I did not want to spend it with him. He then proceeded to CALL THE COPS ON ME. A 17-year-old.”

“He texted me and said he was going to have them get me out of my mom’s house and into his at whatever cost. He also refused to sign my passport, so I had no form of ID for, like, a year and a half. Went to court multiple times over it, and (thankfully!) even the judge saw through his BS.”


<span class="copyright">Jordan Lye via Getty Images</span>
Jordan Lye via Getty Images

4. “Having been emotionally abused by my father my entire life, my mother died suddenly, leaving us alone together. Never did I know what a horrendous being he really was until then. I tried for two years, looking after him, but he turned my entire family against me, revealed an affair he’d been having, stalked me, and, the very last straw, destroyed the power of attorney document he’d had me sign years ago.”

“In a way, that set me free, but boy, did it f*** me up realizing he never wanted me to exist in his life.”


5. “I’ve been no contact on and off with my mom for 17+ years, and every time I try and see if she’s changed, she hasn’t. I recently had my first child, and as a new mom, I missed that connection, so when she reached out, I replied. It went okay at first, and when I finally showed her pictures of my daughter, I told her that I was not posting pictures of her on the internet. She said she accepted that. Things were fine on and off, but she would make comments that annoyed me, but not enough to cut her off until one day, she made my daughter’s photo her Facebook profile picture.”

“I was so upset, and she acted like it was nothing and took hours to remove her photos. She finally did, and I refused to share any more photos. She then began lashing out at me, and I blocked her. A year later, she somehow got unblocked and messaged me after seeing a comment I left on a cousin’s photo. I made it clear I didn’t want to talk to her, and she began lashing out instantly ... told me that I’m a terrible mother, even though she has never seen me as a mother nor has she met my daughter — all while expecting access to us. I’ve finally learned my lesson.”


<span class="copyright">LittleCityLifestylePhotography via Getty Images</span>
LittleCityLifestylePhotography via Getty Images

6. “When the $200,000 that I transferred to my mom’s account wasn’t enough, and she called it, ‘Merely $200,000.’”

—40, USA

7. “My dad has always been extremely judgmental and quite the vapid narcissist. Nothing I ever did was good enough, and years of therapy unraveled all of the trauma he’s caused me. With all of the criticisms he gave me growing up, I started putting on myself. I was now never good enough for myself, never good enough for anything worthwhile to happen in my life. I tried my entire life to get his acceptance, support, and love. I even changed my major in college just to appease him. I finally met my wife, and I now have the unconditional love I so longed for. When we got married, my dad didn’t call or text.”

“I took it upon myself to be the bigger person and sent him a pic of us after our big day. His reply? ‘Yeah, your brother told me.’ It was a long time coming to cut him off, but I’m so much better for it.”


<span class="copyright">SimpleImages via Getty Images</span>
SimpleImages via Getty Images

8. “They urged me to maintain a relationship with another family member who they were well aware was verbally, emotionally, and mentally abusive towards me my whole life — and all others in their life — after I’d decided to go contact with that family member. They have never truly understood the importance of mental and emotional health, or made it a priority in their lives, or the lives of the family they raised.”

—Anonymous, USA

9. “I once had an amazing relationship with my mom; I talked to her every day for at least an hour. After my stepdad died, I was the only child to help her move back home (they had been living 11 hours away). It took multiple trips. I found and closed on a home with some property for her, repaired her (non-running vehicles), and fixed up her new place (painted, replaced carpet, etc). Our relationship deteriorated when she made it obvious to my son (15 at the time) that she didn’t love him because of who his father is.”

“I lost it, called her a bad human, reminded her that he was the ONLY grandchild to help her move (out of six), and said a few other things that I don’t regret. I had hoped to repair the relationship, however. Fast-forward five years. My partner of eight years was murdered. We had been friends for over 20 years. I was devastated and heartbroken. I saw my mom in a local grocery store and was walking up to her, intending to give her a kiss on the cheek. She must have seen me out of the corner of her eye because she started backing away. I stopped about five feet away from her. I took a deep breath and said, “X died, mom.” She met my gaze, SMIRKED, and said, “Oh, I know.” Needless to say, I haven’t spoken to her since. I miss my mom.”

—49, USA

<span class="copyright">Nitas via Getty Images</span>
Nitas via Getty Images

10. “I set a boundary for the sake of maintaining a peaceful environment regarding topics that I don’t want to be discussed in my home when my parents visit (politics, conspiracy theories, etc.), and I was accused of censoring them. This was the moment I realized that any effort to have a relationship with them would not work if they were not willing to put ‘their rights’ aside for the sake of our relationship.”

—41, Kentucky

11. “Not my parents, but my husband’s mother. We had a good relationship for years, even though she was out of her mind. It was always directed toward other people, so I tried to never let it bother me. My husband and I briefly separated, and she said some offensive stuff about me to him. He told me. We got back together, and I continued to be civil and attend family functions. Then, the 2016 election happened, and she went off the deep end. She said some offensive things to me out of nowhere on social media, and it exploded.”

“I agreed to a ‘family meeting’ to help my husband because he felt stuck in the middle. It turned into a screaming match, and she spewed wild lies that I actually had receipts for. When I went to pull out those receipts, she lost it. However, we left that meeting with, ‘We are going to work on it and be better.’ Fast-forward two months, and we visit and have a good time and act like everything is okay. We leave, and she pocket-dials me, calling me all sorts of horrible things to my father-in-law in the background. I’m listening while my husband drives us home. She picks up the phone and realizes I’m there. Acts like she didn’t call. I hung up, looked at my husband, and said, “That will be the last time I ever deal with your mother again.” It’s been eight years, and it was the greatest decision I ever made. I still have slight auxiliary inconveniences because of our kids, and she’s still his mother, but to not have to deal with that woman face-to-face has been the biggest relief.”

—38, Colorado

A Poling Station sign beside some railings
A Poling Station sign beside some railings Peter Meade via Getty Images

12. “I’ve gone no-contact with my father twice. The first time was right after he and my mom divorced. He lived near my brother and was actually pretty involved in my brother’s kid’s lives, but after the divorce, he sent a letter to my brother letting him know that he would not be a grandpa anymore, that this time was about him (it’s always been about him), and that he was going to focus on himself. This broke my niece’s and nephew’s hearts. My own children were very young at the time, and they didn’t really know him, so I decided I wouldn’t let this man hurt my children. About eight years later, my oldest daughter started asking about him. I told her I didn’t have a relationship with him, but if she wanted one, proceed cautiously.”

“By this time, he was remarried and settling down again, and again had a relationship with all his other grandchildren. But I was determined to let my children decide what relationships they wanted once they were older. So, we had an uneasy reunion, but as far as I could tell, he was being kind to my kids. About two years after that, my brother was getting married. I had been seeing my boyfriend for a year and wanted him to meet my family, including my kids, at the wedding. Well, my narcissistic father walked into the wedding with a huge chip on his shoulder (probably because he wasn’t the center of attention), and when I went to introduce him to my boyfriend, he just walked away. Not a word was said. Even to this day, seven years later, he won’t say a word to my boyfriend at family functions. No one has any idea why, not even my siblings, who still have relationships with my father. My boyfriend is the kindest man I know. So, I went no-contact for the second and final time. He lives in another state now, so I doubt I’ll ever see him again, and I’ve made my peace with that. It’s not easy having a relationship with a narcissist, and you have to cut the toxic people out of your life so you don’t get sucked into it, even when it’s family.”

—47, Colorado

13. “I always had a rough relationship with my mom, and it got worse when she cheated on and eventually left my dad for his brother. We were in a better place, and she agreed to watch my 1-year-old daughter while I went on a babymoon for my second child. She had agreed to do this months in advance but ‘changed her mind’ weeks before our trip when she realized she had to take a vacation from work to watch her. This was admittedly the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

“We haven’t spoken in over a decade, and she doesn’t know her grandchildren at all; she’s made no effort.”

—36, Wyoming

<span class="copyright">StockPlanets via Getty Images</span>
StockPlanets via Getty Images

14. “The final straw with my parents was when they would not support my decision to attend college in another state, even though I was offered a scholarship and I had already worked hard at community college for two years. They would have preferred me to stay home and keep raising their three other children and continue cleaning their home (even though my mom stayed at home). I was Cinderella, and my going to college would ruin their plan for me to continue taking care of everyone else. This was also more obvious when they threatened to call the police and say I stole my own car (since my dad’s name was also on the title), and they didn’t want me to have it if I was leaving them.”

“I was young and naive, and I complied. They showed further ‘support’ by giving my car to my younger sister (who then crashed it). I eventually got my car back and removed his name from the title, but it took 10 years and many years of therapy to get there.”

—32, Florida

15. “My grandmother passed away, and my mother and uncles (who all own their own houses and are fairly financially stable) made sure to keep me, my sister, and our cousins out of the will. There were multiple properties (nothing too fancy, but a condo in Boca and a small cabin in Vermont) and some money. I found this out at the funeral last June and felt disgusted by the greed of the boomers in my family but kept quiet. I was a hard worker (fully employed during a challenging grad school program and having two jobs at other times). I never gave myself a break with an ‘I just have to get through this’ attitude. My husband and I had taken a single vacation in our ten years of marriage, and it was in 2014 (only because he got a disability settlement, and we decided to splurge a little).”

“The month after the funeral, I confessed to my mother that I had been working so hard and still had so much debt ... She said, ‘I wish I could help you.’ She most definitely could help me, but she would rather have a summer cabin. I slowly stopped answering phone calls/texting back and then emailed both parents a little before Mother’s Day to let them know that they would not be hearing from me.”

—Anonymous, New Mexico

<span class="copyright">Juan Silva via Getty Images</span>
Juan Silva via Getty Images

16. “My husband and I went no-contact with his parents. The final straw after years of crossed boundaries, disrespect, and emotional incest was when my mother-in-law screamed at my mom. My MIL had paid for a cheap flight for me to go to Phoenix to get my car. It was a flight in the middle of the night, and I was supposed to drive my car (which we weren’t even sure still worked) back to Salt Lake City alone. After my flight was delayed multiple times, I asked my husband to come pick me up because I wasn’t comfortable taking the flight anymore. My MIL, who was with my husband at the time, lost her mind and started screaming at my husband, saying that they would never pay for anything for us ever again if I didn’t take that flight.”

“Mind you, I could either reschedule the flight for the next day or get a full refund. But my MIL decided that I absolutely had to take that flight. My mother happened to call my husband during the fight, and my MIL ended up screaming at my mom to tell me to ‘man up’ and take the flight. After that, my husband and I had a loooooong conversation about how his parents had affected our individual mental and physical health and our relationship. There were many other horrible things that happened, but that was the final straw.”


And finally...  17. “When I finally started therapy at the age of 40, I realized that we had never really connected to my parents. My father worked all the time; my mother dominated the house with her temper. The phrases she said to belittle me and negate my feelings all came up in therapy. I realized that I rad no desire to try for an authentic relationship as I would have to fight against my parents’ engrained dynamics and their assuredness that nothing was wrong in our family the entire time.”

“I just decided to let go of the pretense I had put on for decades.”

—43, Nevada

<span class="copyright">Catherine Falls Commercial via Getty Images</span>
Catherine Falls Commercial via Getty Images