Dealing with Toxic Family
When we think of “family” there’s likely some positive preconceived notion of mom, dad, and kid doing something together.
Unfortunately, there’s a large population of individuals who shudder when they hear the word as it triggers a negative emotional response.
Not all families get along and for those in that situation, lets talk about how to navigate those tumultuous familial waters.
What’s going on inside your home?
What goes on outside the home matters little compared to what’s happening inside.
You’d be surprised how many families are putting on a mask which hides their contempt for one another once they walk outside their front door.
Broken families are hard to recognize, they’re even harder to escape.
Dealing with the judgement, chastisement, and personal attacks which will ensue if you bring your family’s drama to light is no easy undertaking. It’s because of this that I needed to write this piece.
There are people suffering in silence, unaware of how to escape the negativity that is their own family.
Having a toxic family is nothing to be ashamed of and there are resources available for those in these trying predicaments.
What happens when your “safe space” is toxic?
I recently recorded a Podcast with Anthony Mig; a man who is a friend, FoE brother, and father who applies Peaceful Parenting to the raising of his children.
Listen to it here: Ep 089: The Family Alpha Podcast – Peaceful Parenting (Better Fathers)
During that podcast Anthony says something along the lines of “We all accept that the world can be a dark place, but why do we not recognize that within our homes that darkness does not have to exist?“
To all the parents and spouses reading this, is your home a safe haven for your family?
To all of the children dealing with toxic parents, are you aware that this is not your fault or responsibility to fix?
Inside the walls of the place you call home, is there acceptance and open connection or is there fear and isolation?
My sister’s fiance recently said (concerning the COVID-19 quarantine), “I feel bad for the kids who are abused at home; it’s terrible for the ones who looked forward to going to school because it meant they could get away, even if only for a few hours.”
Children are so innocent and to think of one living in fear of their parents, that’s heart-breaking.
To also see husbands and wives finding themselves trapped in close proximity to individuals who stifle their happiness and create nothing but conflict, drama, and stress in one another is disheartening.
Not all families get along and for those in that boat, we need to get you out of there.
How to mentally deal with a toxic family?
Turn to the Internet: I know the whole “inter-webs” gets a bad wrap for how crazy it can be, but there’s also some safe havens where logic, decency, and community are given top priority.
There are men and women leading groups where discussions on “taboo” subjects are held every day.
Your broken family is not off limits to discussion and dissection; find the right community and you may find others who are in the same place as you and I truly believe that one of the greatest tools for mental healing is knowing, you aren’t alone.
YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and even Reddit have communities dedicated to healing, addiction, abuse victims, and broken homes.
You aren’t alone in this and while there is a possibility for an echo-chamber to be developed, a majority of these groups consist of real people looking to get out of or better deal with their current situation.
The worst thing that can happen is you isolate yourself further thinking nobody will “get it” because that is not the case, you just need to reach out and become a part of the conversation.
How to end the grudges?
If you’re looking to be the source of healing the fractured family, then you have to recognize (everyone does) that it’s past time that the daggers were put away and grudges were dropped; walking around a house as if the floor were made of eggshells is no way to live.
It increases anxiety, depression, anger, hate, self-loathing, and decreases the ability to live a happy life filled with purpose and connection.
I recently released a piece titled ‘Social distancing with a Family‘ and in it I say, “We’re living in a time where big government is telling us we need to stay away from one another.
The byproduct of this separation from friends and extended family is that it has the potential to make your family closer than ever.
We have an opportunity during these stressful times to find peace and connection with our loved ones, if we do it right.“
The Corona Virus may be exactly what it is you needed to “restart” your home life and familial connections:
- Now is the perfect opportunity for you to stop the cussing, yelling, and physical abuse (spanking, hitting, slapping)
- Now is the perfect time for you and your wife to get back to a place where the scoreboard is put away and you start acting like you’re on the same team.
- Now is an excellence time for you to stop with the judgments and snide remarks; nobody is at their best when they are always being judged and critiqued.
Let’s get back to how the family unit should operate; let’s get ourselves taking steps to create an environment which fosters optimized living and connections.
It starts with you, my reader.
Whether the son or daughter, mother or father, husband or wife, you can become the source of the solution.
Is it guaranteed to work?
No, some families are beyond repair and the best action is separation and distance; let us not think that’s the answer to all of the families facing issues.
You’ve now consumed a message which is an opportunity to wake yourself up to how you’re living and how you could/should be living.
So, what’re you going to do?
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