You must have imagined what a family should look like, or even fantasized about it. A happy group of people who genuinely love and care for you, look out for you, support your goals, dreams and are present, every step of the way. If you’re lucky enough, you might be surrounded by your dream family- who are lovingly devoted to ensuring that you are living your best life and having a great time as well.
Unfortunately, this is not the case for many people.
Toxic family members and weird family dynamics are more common than we like to admit, mostly because it doesn’t fit into our general aesthetic of what a family should look like. But the truth is acknowledging that your family relationship is toxic and recognizing the potential harm it can cause you, is the first step to dealing with it.
Dealing with toxic family relationships can be a nightmare most of the time. Nobody wants to deal with unsupportive, unreliable, abusive relatives, so how then do you handle toxic family relationships without letting them overwhelm and control your life?
Take a break from them.
Taking a break gives you time and space to strategize and think of your next course of action. If you share a living space with these family members, you may want to figure out how to move out and get your accommodation, etc. Taking a break from all the toxicity allows you to make better, informed decisions without getting overwhelmed.
Create boundaries and enforce them.
As much as you may love your family, setting boundaries at this point is very essential, because it places an invincible wall between their toxicity and your wellbeing. You must ensure that they do not break these boundaries and that you continue to enforce them as well. You don’t want a lot of toxic energy around you, trust me.
Live in the reality.
Life is not a fairytale, and as much as you’re in love with the idea of a happy, supportive and healthy family, you must recognize that this isn’t your situation at this time. You can’t change people and the earlier you realize this, the better for you. Stop breaking your heart by letting people walk over you in hopes that they’ll change in the future. It is impossible for you to fix them.
There are often a lot of emotions to unpack when dealing with toxic family dynamics. So if you ever need help, reach out to a professional and get it. Do not trivialize your pain, anger, regret and all the myriad of emotions you are feeling during this. Don’t be ashamed to seek help.
Start again. Love again.
Even though you may have to love your family from a distance, don’t be afraid to give out love. Buy a pet and raise it, buy a plant and groom it, do whatever helps you and channel all that love into other people, animals or even activities.
No one wants to deal with a toxic family, but there’s not so much you can change about it. Focus on your healing and wellbeing, and everything else will find its place soon enough.
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