For those seeking guidance and healing, trust your feelings and protect your boundaries for feeling safe and loved in your life– a person who received the genuine love of a parent as a child always desires to have them in their life and doesn’t feel it to be an obligation or stressful–it’s that simple.
In other words, if part of you is very stressed and feels obligation when you have contact with a parent, listen to what that part of you is saying and honor those feelings. Do you feel safe to express your feelings with your parent and be respected? A parent who is open to your requests for respect and genuinely remorseful about past damage to your foundational years is to be given a second chance of course, but trust your feelings on this as it can impede the healing process if you “re-attach” before all the painful layers that resulted in deep mistrust and self-doubt have been worked through and released. A loving parent will be patient while you heal in your own space and time and with no contact if necessary and they will keep the unconditional love coming. Unfortunately this kind of turnaround in a previously emotionally abusive parent is rare and there needs to be evidence of: looking inward to grieve their losses, grow, and take responsibility for their actions upon others, empathy for the feelings of others, genuine remorse, and a visible change in the depth of their other relationships too (friendships), and a consistent ability to really listen and “see” you and help you feel safe while you heal. Only later, when you are feeling strong and whole and able to comfort yourself through the many triggers that may come up in life, then you can reevaluate your boundaries with your parent if you feel comfortable. Let your feelings of safety and inner peace be your guide.
Sending you warmest caring wishes as you continue to heal,