Preparing for Estrangement

Needing To Move Out of the Family Home

In an unhealthy family situation and you have made the hard decision to estrange? Do you need to keep yourself safe or rebuild your mental welfare? Here is a list of things to consider when needing to move out of the family home.

Practical Guidance

Important documents

→Firstly, make sure you have your identification documents – you may want to ask a friend to keep these safe. Sometimes these will be withheld from you to control you. Replacement copies are obtainable if you are unable to obtain them.

Recruit or tell safe people

→Inform your school or university so they are aware of the situation, if applicable. They may have resources to assist you. If you are in the UK, checkout Stand Alone charity.

→If you are in employment and are worried your parents will make a scene at your place of work, talk to your manger or HR so they can make additional provisions such that they can not come onto the premises or harass you.

→If you have any close friends, confide in them if you feel comfortable enough as they can be a source of support.

→Preferably seek help from a therapist. If you are in school or university they may be able to assist through their assistance programs. Not all therapists are good, so check if they have experience in family estrangement; some are bad and council you in reconciliation which is unsuitable for abusive, toxic or unhealthy families and/or non-functional relationships.

Living arrangements 

→Estranged Adult Kids often worry about where they will live. Don’t make yourself homeless with nowhere to go unless it is an emergency situation. Make sure you know how much living costs are (often more than you think!) and have a plan as to how you will afford housing and living costs. How will you support yourself?

Safeguarding personal information and security

→Setup a new email address and safeguard its existence from your parents. Same for your phone number. If safe, open a new bank account. You may need to set-up a mailbox to divert your mail to.

Potential fallout from moving out and estranging

→Be prepared for flying monkeys to come out of the woodwork. Flying monkeys are people who perform ‘abuse by-proxy’ on behalf of your parents. Often a ‘charming’ narcissist-type parent can recruit people to do their bidding, including getting back in contact. These people should also be blocked as they cannot be trusted and don’t have your best interests in mind.

→Keep a dated record of abusive screenshot, texts, emails, voicemails, harassing encounters etc. in case you need evidence for a restraining order / cease and desist order in future. It is also good practice to keep this up after you have estranged as we find often parents don’t accept your no contact boundaries.

→Ultimately, consider taking out a restraining order if you have concerns / actual examples of harassment or fear for your safety.

→Lastly, if you are worried about malicious threats / calls to the police refer to this malicious welfare check guide.


Grey Rocking Before Moving Out

Above all, whilst you are preparing to estrange and move out employ the grey rock technique in order to keep safe. Grey rocking is a technique to deflect or defuse further abuse from a parent.

You purposely acts as boring as possible during encounters with your abuser such that you provide little input and aviod reacting to, engaging with, or even acknowledging your parent’s attempt to manipulate or create a chaotic or toxic situation.

estrangement guides