Simply Nerdy Mom: When Families Are Toxic

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

When Families Are Toxic

Everyone has them: toxic family members. Some are lucky enough to only have one or two, but for a lot of people the entire family is littered with toxic family members. 

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I've had the misfortune of having to deal with a few toxic family members myself. Two in particular on different ends of my family. These types of people can be exhausting to deal with; mentally, emotionally, and even physically sometimes. You should know that you don't have to sit back and take it just because they are family. 

It usually starts off with denial. You never want to believe that family would intentionally hurt you or maybe you think they are just dealing with a lot themselves so you just don't speak up about their treatment of you. Hey, I've been there. I allowed myself to be verbally and mentally abused by the same family member for 14 years. But eventually you get tired of it and you speak up. This is when you will know for sure if they are toxic. A toxic person will deny, place blame on others, and make every excuse in the book. In my case, I was habitually apologizing for feeling bad about the way I was treated. A narcissist's ammo against you is to make you feel badly about pointing out that they aren't treating you right. They deflect. 

A toxic person will manipulate everyone around them. They are users and will drain you of energy, love, money, and anything else they can get from you until you have nothing left in you. That's when they will move onto the next person. Toxic people have no boundaries. They will control you and have to always be "right". They lie, never take responsibility, and love to play the victim.  

I'm going to be honest, typically toxic people don't see any problem with the way they treat others, so they very rarely will bother to try and change. However, it's worth noting that there are times when the person just doesn't realize how bad they are hurting you or others and do want to change. For that, you can always try family counseling. There are many reasons to consider family counseling, and it may be just the thing you need to get your family back in a positive vibe again. 

Obviously if this doesn't work, the next step is to go no contact. I have been no contact with one family member for almost a year now. That person refuses to acknowledge their faults and continues to blame others for their actions. In this instance, it's just more beneficial to cut ties all together. No one needs that kind of negative atmosphere that toxic people bring with them and surround everyone they come into contact with. Removing a toxic person from your life is going to be a process. They are going to fight you ever step of the way, and you better believe they will throw you under the bus every chance they get as punishment for finally taking a stand against the abuse. If you are able to, surround yourself with a support system. You are going to have moments where you feel you are over reacting by cutting these people out of your life and you will need that support system to get you through it. Just remember that you don't owe them, or anyone else an explanation. By taking a stand you are showing that you know your worth and will not accept mistreatment. 

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