The Voluntary Life: Parent-Free By Choice: An Interview with Vickie Bergman

5 December 2011

Parent-Free By Choice: An Interview with Vickie Bergman

Vickie is the author of the Demand Euphoria Blog and Parent-Free By Choice Blog. In this interview we discuss the concept of "Parent-Free By Choice", which is the choice of some adults to voluntarily separate from one or both parents. Vicky talks about why this choice, although quite widespread, is viewed as a taboo subject. Vickie shares her thoughts on whether or not adults who choose to cease contact with their parents are "running away" from issues that they should stay and face up to:

"There is this whole stigma about "running away from your problems". It starts with kids and bullying in school where everyone says running away from a bully doesn't do anything, you have to stick in there and face it. That carries over into our family relationships: this idea that "no matter what they do to you they are still your family" and you are supposed to toughen up, figure it out, forgive or whatever. I think that is unfortunate because it allows people to keep treating each other badly. I think running away from somebody who is treating you badly is actually a good thing because you deserve better and you shouldn't put up with it. I think removing yourself from a toxic situation is good for you."

Here are Vickie's thoughts on the question of whether people owe their parents anything:

"I have often thought about this concept of your parents giving you the "gift of life", but I always think about that word gift and think about how...if it is truly a gift then you don't owe them for it. If they gave you a gift then they shouldn't be charging you for it every day of  your life. A lot of parents call it a gift and then make you feel guilty for everything they do for you."

Vickie's blog, Parent-Free by Choice, offers a supportive environment for people to anonymously share their own stories about their choices. As Vickie explains;

"No matter what happened to them in childhood or how their relationship [with their parents] is now, if they feel like it's not a positive relationship then that is all that matters and they should have the freedom to get out of it."


Podcast Episode

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