DEAR ABBY: From the time that my father left -- I was 8 -- until I was thrown out of the house at 16, my mother was seriously emotionally abusive and neglectful. She frequently called me filthy names, made bizarre accusations that had no basis in truth, told me I was a "mistake," threatened me, publicly humiliated and belittled me.
I am now in my mid-20s and have had no contact with my mother for three years. My older brother is in denial about the abuse and insists that I forgive her and rebuild our relationship. He claims that she's sorry and she misses me.
I recently traveled back to my hometown and visited my mother. She treated me as though I were a stranger. Afterward, I felt that I could move on, knowing I had done the right thing in deciding to cut her out of my life. Now the rest of the family has turned their backs on me. I would like to maintain a personal relationship with them, but they think I'm a bad person for no longer having a relationship with my mother. Do you have any advice? -- LEFT IN THE COLD IN DULUTH
DEAR LEFT IN THE COLD: Only this: If the price of having a relationship with your family is tolerating their emotional blackmail and more abuse from your mother, the price is too high.