Family is hard to deal with but at least they love you. What happens if they don't though? What happens when they treat you like you're not even there?
Families are meant to be your rock, your moral compass, your safety net and as an adult, your friend. They’re there to catch you when you fall, get angry when you shut them out, and love you enough to give you the freedom to make your own decisions. But some families aren’t like that. Those families take that safe space that you’re supposed to have and turn it into a full-on nightmare.
From the constant self-victimizing behavior to the complete control they want over your life, they never stop spreading the toxicity and you are their target. You know how toxic they are and so you try to avoid meeting them too often but whenever there’s anything urgent, you are right there with them. You know that they’ll find a way to blame you for the emergency that you rushed for and that they’ll use any method to make you their puppet to get their way. You stopped feeling comfortable around them and your friends have told you numerous times that you need to get away from it.
But how can you completely get away from the people who were supposed to be your guidance and support? Here are some reasons why you need to cut out toxic family members from your life. It’s not easy but in order for you to live a healthier life, it is necessary.
There’s nosy, then there’s controlling, and then there’s your family. They don’t care that you’re an adult with your own life because for them, they are your family and they rank above everything in your life. They never stop telling you what to do and they end up taking every decision out of your hands. From your work life to your love life, they want to know it all and they want you to follow every diktat they have about your life.
Sometimes they take it too far by installing tracking apps on your phone to know where you are at all times or they will use money to control you. Either way, it’s frustrating and exhausting to constantly have to worry about all your decisions being overridden by them. It affects how you perform at work and how you look at relationships.
Do you even remember a time when you weren’t being blamed for something? A vase could have broken while you were outside the house and it would be your fault for not staying at home. Your little brother could’ve gotten eloped and it would be your fault for supporting him. It could be your family member’s fault and it would somehow still come down to you being at fault.
They never take responsibility for their actions and it’s affecting your life badly. You find yourself constantly asking for favors to get them out of trouble or having to soothe the people they’ve wronged. It’s tiring you out and making you feel like you’re being pulled in all directions.
The constant threats are getting to you. They know how to hit below the belt and you never know if they’re actually going to follow through with their threats. And they love the thrill of having you on tenterhooks and at their beck and call. They could know you’re in a meeting and they will still call you to do stuff for them.
Sometimes, their threats involve withdrawing their love or telling another family member what you may have done that went against their wishes. It’s eating up into your personal life and you find yourself making excuses for them or refusing to socialize because of a family matter.
It’s just awkward around them now. They act as if they haven’t been killing your social and personal life and have been right and dandy all along. At family gatherings, they humiliate you by bringing up things that were personal and encourage others to laugh at your failures as well.
Even at just the immediate family gatherings, they’re constantly harping on the things you’re not doing right or that the reason you are not getting a partner is that you have huge flaws. At this point, you just feel like a stranger sitting at that table, disconnected from these people who were supposed to love you unconditionally.
With so much of a toxic environment around you, you unknowingly start to imbibe that. They’ve made you jaded and cynical about family and relationships, to the point that you end up carrying that same baggage into everything you do.
You try not to be like them but the longer you surround yourself with these toxic family members, the more you have to fight yourself to not be like them. It’s an emotional rollercoaster and it’s taking a toll on your mental, emotional and ultimately, your physical health especially if you have to bottle up so much.
Your feelings don’t matter. They never have. To them you may be a cash cow or someone who is just there to be their pet on a leash. They don’t care that you’re having a hard time at work or that you’re having issues with your partner. In fact, the only time they will listen is so that they can kick you while you’re down.
They don’t care that you’re in line for a promotion or that a close friend has chosen to gift you something special. They will probably bring you down by saying that all your hard-work was only rewarded because of pity.
Your life is not bound by someone else’s opinions and decisions and when it comes to your own family, it’s even more difficult to come to terms with this hostility and toxicity because it means you have to face the people who you’ve grown up with.
After all, they were there from the start and they are your own blood so how can you let them go. But letting go of them means that you get a chance to live your life on your terms. It means that they can’t belittle your hard work or mock your happiness. It’s a tough decision to make and an even tougher one to follow through but your health matters too. It’s time to let go.