How can we stop bullying in our lives by our toxic adult children? These adult bullies blame you for everything in their past and for all their problems now. You were not really a bad parent; you didn’t do anything particularly wrong.
But when you’re with them for a while, a seemingly good visit turns ugly because they blow up and verbally or physically attack you. No matter what you do, you’re wrong. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
Sometimes, your child has married a controlling bully who hates you or wants you to bribe them with money with sucking up to them in order to get what you want – like seeing your child or grandchildren. And your child goes along with their arrogant spouse’s harassment and abuse. I’m sorry – that’s the worst kind of pain and emotional blackmail.
Sometimes they’re nice in public and only attack you in private, so you look bad if you say anything critical about them.
Even when you do what they want, later they change their mind and they attack you for having done the wrong thing.
They trigger your guilt for every little parenting mistake and your wishful thinking that if only you said the right thing or gave them enough, they’d finally forgive you and straighten their miserable lives out.
You’ve tried to do everything they want. You’ve accepted all the blame. You’ve given them all you have. But they still blow up and abuse you. They’re always right and you’re always wrong.
Now you have to face the bitter truth. You’ll never say the right thing that they’ll accept; you’ll never do enough; they’ll never forgive you and act nice. They’re still trying to get what they want by beating you into submission.
You keep trying to prove that your intent and behavior was caring, but you can’t prove it to them. They always twist everything.
You’ll never stop their attacks by begging, bribery, appeasement or the Golden Rule.
You have to protect and defend your personal space from pollution by toxic predators and bullies who dump their toxic waste on you. Think of your personal space – including your car and home – as an isle of song; your own precious island. You have to keep narcissistic, righteous, nasty, hateful bullies off your island.
Even if the toxic polluters are your own flesh and blood, you can’t allow them to trash your environment by abusing you – in public or in private.
I know it’s painful and scary. If you protect yourself, they’ll withhold your grandchildren, while they tell them how rotten you are.
It’s also very hard if you’re the second spouse and the grown kids are from first marriage. Even if you were great to them before, now they abuse your spouse and maybe you also. But the spouse you want to protect, insists that you stand by and watch them being abused. How painful is that?
If you continue to accept abuse, even just to see the grandchildren, your child or their spouse will still never forgive or like you. But as your grandchildren grow, they’ll learn by the example you set in taking the abuse. They’ll learn from their parents that the best way to get what they want is to beat someone into submission, to blackmail them emotionally or to withhold what they want most.
What you let be poured into your life, you must deal with. Be careful. Guard your personal ecology. Don't allow anyone to poison your life – even your children.
Demand quality from yourself and others. You'll get what you put up with, so put up only with quality.
What’s the price of tolerating bullies, even for a good cause; slow erosion of your soul.