How do I truly let go and move on even though I still have occasional interaction with abuser?

answer series-01
This is the first of the Wounded Child Answer Series. A little over a week ago, I put out a quick and easy survey that asked two questions. The answers were poignant, profound. They deserve to have meaningful, well thought out answers. Your comments are welcome, as well as your participation in the survey.

There are actually two questions here. The first is how does one let go and move on with their lives. The second is how do we handle having our abuser being in our lives.

The central concept to moving on with our lives is control. By control, I’m talking about our belief system. Who or what do you believe controls your life? If you believe that your life is controlled by others, or that your past controls your present, you will have great difficulty with every aspect of your life.

Growing up, we were taught by our abusers that they have all the control, and that we are powerless. If, as adults, we still believe that our abusers have control over our lives, then we will remain stuck in the same patterns. So before you can let go and move on, you must examine your beliefs, and uncover those beliefs that minimize your power and keep you small. Any belief you have that keeps you from growing, that keeps you from healing, is a false belief.

I liken these false beliefs to an unlocked gate that we refuse to pass through because we believe it is locked.

This leads to the second part of your question. Continued interactions with your abuser is only going to reinforce those false beliefs. Abusers want to maintain their control over us. They will keep the false belief system alive because through it, they remain in control. Therefore, you must first debunk the false beliefs and replace them with the truth about yourself. Then you must be strong enough to set ground rules for future interaction with your abuser. If the abuser refuses to abide by those rules, then you have to ask yourself if it is in your best interest to continued contact with this person.

Please read my post, “Those that harmed you cannot heal you.”

In my program, “The Wounded Child’s Journey,” we talk about letting go as one of the last parts of the healing process. There are many steps that must be completed before we are able to let go. We’ve been told throughout our lives to, “just let it go.” It’s not that easy. These are wounds and scars. You cannot let go of a scar—it becomes a part of you. So letting go and moving on is not about pretending the past didn’t happen. It is about the stories we tell ourselves about what has happened, and the degree the past still affects our present and future.

What we have to let go are our attachments. In the fourth module of “The Wounded Child’s Journey,” we learn about the different kinds attachments and then do an inventory. We must know what we’re holding onto in order to know what we must let go. Among our attachments are our unmet basic needs, our relationships, our habits and our false beliefs. In order for us to get to the point of being able to release those attachments, we must first go through the steps of the first 3 modules.

To learn more about “The Wounded Child’s Journey,” sign up to receive access to the first video of the program for free at

3 Responses to How do I truly let go and move on even though I still have occasional interaction with abuser?

  1. I finally decided to stop talking, helping my Mother who was my abuser. I made the decision to. Simply walk away. It’s been 3 years now, and I deal much better with memories, my siblings and I are closer. My life without her has improved. Only one of 5 siblings speak to her today. I can say that at 54 years old, I finally love myself, and have had much personal growth.

  2. Though I said goodbye to both my abusive parents a year and a half ago, I have had very brief phone contact with my mother a couple of times. I’ve had to establish firm No Contact boundaries, and I should cut ties as well with my only sibling. My spouse and I have been in 12 step recovery programs for 25 + years and it is our way of life. When my mother expected us to enable my brother whose license was suspended due to a 2nd DUI offense, that was when I realized those relationships had to end, for my well being and that of my cherished family of choice. For the past 30 years I put up with cynicism and ridicule from all of them for my life choices, now here he is over 50, divorced and unable to stay sober, yet swears up and down he’s not an alcoholic. What they all don’t know is that the next time he is arrested, should our parents be deceased, we will let him stay in jail. The judge will order him to either a treatment program or jail. Although we hope it never comes to that, we are not obligated to caretake someone who thinks recovery is for the weak.
    I didn’t take “back” control, I decided that it was MY life, OUR life, and we are more important than the incessant demands of chemically dependent bullies who will never, ever change.

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