Some of my writings come more easily to me than others. This however was one of those times it did not. I’ve been really struggling to finish this blog for quite some time now, mostly because in my heart I kept hoping there could be a different ending to it but for my own mental and physical health which have both been equally suffering of late I somehow needed to close one of the chapters of my story that triggers much of my distress.
I am surrounded by so much kindness and support in my life both from loved ones and strangers alike, it truly is immeasurable, but what if the one place you expect it from the most is just too far from your reach?
I grew up in a home with two parents who showed their love in two very different ways through two VERY different styles of parenting (I wrote about one of those parenting styles several months ago: https://youareenough712.wordpress.com/2021/12/15/helicopter-parenting/). They clashed constantly over their parenting styles (I guess it’s no surprise they are no longer married!) and as a result I found myself caught in the crossfire. Unfortunately though it was only after I became ill and began to untangle many impressionable memories from my childhood through hours upon hours of therapy that I finally began to understand how much of my upbringing left me feeling so inadequate and unworthy later on in my life.
Family bonds us and is also supposed to keep us strong and safe. Unfortunately though not every family unit follows that same pattern and sometimes it may mean having to cut ties with a loved one. That is not to say that you ever lose that yearning for their love or approval, it just means you can’t have a relationship with them. Removing yourself from a toxic family relationship is sometimes the only way to help you heal; and sometimes in order to move toward that place of healing you may have to leave some things or some relationships behind in order to do so.
The wounds that get left behind may never fully heal but the boundaries you set are a great first step toward forgiveness in your heart which in itself I know can be very healing.
You can’t change someone who doesn’t see any issue with their actions which is why sometimes you have to take that first step on your own and if I’ve learned anything over the last many years it’s that if you allow yourself to live in a world filled with guilt or continually let things slide to keep the peace it will only create more hurt inside of you.
Sometimes our loved ones who we believe should protect us or love us unconditionally may not have it in them or have the capability to be what we need them to be or like them to be but we can respect them for who they are which sadly may need to be from a distance.
There comes a point when the relationship may be causing you more harm than good, when plenty of chances have been given, when you are made to feel like everything you do is wrong, when you feel abandoned, when they are constantly criticizing you behind your back, when it’s difficult to communicate your feelings for fear of being criticized to your face, when nothing you say or do is ever good enough, when they make you feel guilty, when they manipulate, blame or gaslight you, when they can never apologize for their mistakes, when you’re always feeling let down, when you have to beg them for their time or never make you a priority, when you always feel like you are walking on eggshells and can never just be yourself around them, when they don’t hear you, when they violate your boundaries or can’t respect the word no, when your feelings are ignored and your limitations invalidated or when seeing them only sparks negative emotions or leaves you more emotionally drained after an encounter with them then as difficult as it may be, cutting off contact all together may be the healthiest thing for you to do.
I’ve experienced a wave of emotions while writing this; relief, sadness, anxiety, guilt. I’ve given up hoping they’ll change. I’ve given up fantasizing that one day they will see how much they have hurt me or made me feel unworthy of their love. That is beyond my control. I’ve told them how I feel too many times to count. I’ve told them how they make me feel more times than I can remember and more importantly I’ve told them what I need from them.
I know many people will read this and think, “but they’re your family”, or “life is too short”. Toxic is TOXIC whether you share the same DNA or not and you are right, life is too short, too short that is to do anything other than what’s best for you, especially when it comes to your mental and physical health.
You don’t owe anyone an explanation and no one gets to decide what is best for you, afterall you are the CEO of your life which means you are the only one who gets to promote, demote or terminate the people you choose to surround yourself with.
*thank you to my friend who had sent me the original quote by Tony Gaskins a while back. I’ve read it a thousand times since and have been saving it for just the right moment*.
Original quote ~ “Evaluate the people in your life; then promote, demote or terminate. You’re the CEO of your life!” Tony Gaskins, Motivational Speaker.
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