The days of putting up with toxic behavior from family members is a thing of the past. Some people have it drummed into them that family sticks together no matter what is said and done and that is a very unhealthy view and is the cause of a lot of people having their mental health impacted in the most horrendous ways.
There is only one thread that connects you to your family and that is blood. So why do so many people still stick around and put up with a never-ending cycle of toxicity, let’s call it what it is “ABUSE” and just because it is a family member doing it doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t cut ties.
Removing yourself from a toxic relationship is hard enough, but when that relationship involves a family member or more than one the hurt runs deep and the fallout from your decision it felt across the entire family, but that shouldn’t stop you.
There’s no easy way to do it, no instruction manual, it takes strength and will power to walk away to ensure your own mental well-being can’t be damaged any more than it has been.
Leaving them behind is a form of grief and as with any type of grief you go through a process, you feel pain, anger, betrayal, guilt, and confusion. It is a vicious rollercoaster ride that you wonder if you will ever recover and get off the ride.
Family members can and do take advantage of you and manipulate you into what they want. They interfere in your life as they feel they have a right to do so, the question is this; “Would you let an outsider abuse you this way”? of course you wouldn’t so just because they are family don’t let them get away with it either.
It takes courage you probably didn’t know you had to make such a decision and you should be respected for it, but instead, you find yourself being ganged up on by other members of the family, reminded of all the things this toxic person did for you, and they have no idea of the full reasons for your decision so blame you.
Any decent human being would step back and wonder why you have made such a drastic move, instead, the family are taking sides, what they are doing is enabling the abuser. You become the black sheep of the family wrongly so, as all you have done is called time on the bullshit.
What people fail to realize is that you have been a victim, you have endured emotional abuse, perhaps even physical abuse at the hands of those who are so the story goes supposed, “to love and protect you unconditionally”.
Manipulation by a family member is the worst thing to endure, they use verbal abuse to make you do things for them, or they outright lie about you or threaten to so that you will give into them, they are bullies and absolutely they are malignant narcissists.
When you remove yourself from the family you will be accused of being selfish and uncaring, you’re not and don’t let those accusations fill any of your headspace. You will already be dealing with more than enough emotions you have in what you are doing without some enablers wandering their dirty feet over your break for freedom.
The psychological long-term effects of living with a toxic family can take years to recover from and even though you know you are doing the right thing for yourself you will still have this niggling doubt whether you are doing the right thing and that is because we are conditioned to believe that to terminate relationships with “family” is morally and inherently wrong.
We are conditioned to believe that breaking away from one’s family means we are the problem, we are the cause, when the truth of the matter is, we are not, we have just had enough of the toxic environment and we happen to value our own well-being. You should never compromise your mental, emotional or physical health for the sake of tolerating a toxic family member.
Family isn’t blood! Family is what you want it to be. Friends are often better family to us than our actual ‘family’. Make your own family, those that love and understand you, that don’t sit in judgment and make you feel irrelevant and useless.
Be prepared for backlash if you cut ties, its how the toxic family works, they will try and pull you back in, they will perhaps come up with some dramatic story, just know these are the same abusive tactics they’ve used before, and you shouldn’t backpedal and accept them back into your life.
Unless they change do yourself a huge favor and stay away, be strong, and do what you have to do in order to stay sane. Most importantly of all, take care of yourself.