When Parents Are Too Toxic to Tolerate By RICHARD A. FRIEDMAN, M.D. Article continues here. With the holidays upon us, I thought it would be appropriate to post this article. I have often said I wish I could divorce a certain verbally & emotionally abusive cousin. I finally did in 2007, I guess you could say I disowned her. I no longer go out of my way to be nice or even cordial to her. Sometimes it's difficult because her mom is my all time favorite aunt, but she and I have talked and she kind of understands. My mom however doesn't get it. :irked: She thinks that since we have so few family left I shouldn't excommunicate anybody. I've survived abusive relationships by walking away, why should I continue contact with an abusive family member? As difficult as it might be to implement, I think that your own mental health and safety are of paramount importance. If that means you have to cut ties between you and your parent(s) so be it. Being a martyr doesn't win you a prize . . .unless of course you consider migraines and bleeding ulcers a prize. Quite often as adults we create a new family without even realizing it. Your new family isn't necessarily the person you married or gave birth to, it's the people you choose to love, whom are no blood relation to you. The people you can count on no matter what to love and support you. Isn't that what a family is supposed to do?