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Topic : Toxic Family Relationships

Number of Replies: 1900
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Created on : Thursday, July 07, 2005, 09:18:00 am
Author : dataimport
Whether it stems from substance abuse, violence or manipulation, some family relationships are harmful and need to be terminated until the abuse stops. Are you involved in a toxic relationship?

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September 22, 2008, 4:55 pm CDT

I am told I am toxic

My daughter tells my husband and myself that we are "toxic"  ,  her three children live with me and I have custody of them since 2008 they were placed in our care Jan 13, 2006  and have not been able to go home since... we have given our daughter every chance possible she chose to protect  the father of her children  and not protect them from the violence... she soon started into another relationship with another man... (cannot keep a job  either ,,, and crack involved in both relationships)  she gave birth to a beautiful girl June 7, 2007,,,, this child was picked up by CAS  when she was 1 week old...   when do you say no.... I believe I have had enough and I need to cut her out of my life.... she is living in a boarding house ... she is 33 here boyfriend is 26.. I had to stand up for the children  but I could not take on the baby  now she is a ward of the crown.. I feel like may daughter died... i cannot relate anymore to her...
 
September 26, 2008, 7:50 pm CDT

My story and the stigma of my decision

After growing up in a household where violence and alcohol was commonplace, I came to the painful conclusion several years back that it was best for me to cut all ties with my parents.  It was not done in anger, nor was it done to spite them.  It was only after much therapy and many attempts to set boundaries with them that I realized it was time to say goodbye and not allow them to continue their now insidious abuse of me as an adult. 

 

While those closest to me understand my decision, there are those who don’t understand it and either want to fix it, or try to guilt me into reconciling.  I now feel as if I can’t be honest about this decision because of the stigma that comes from not having a relationship with a family. 

 

My childhood was one long nightmare.  My alcoholic dad was a very loud and angry man who would beat me regularly over minor offenses.  He would follow up these sessions with a teary drunken apology.  My mom was uneducated, never worked, and was a very bitter woman overwhelmed with all of her kids.  As the first girl of the bunch, I was singled out for her disdain, disgust, indifference, and yet she wanted full control of me at all times.  Never heard an “I love you” from her, and barely remember even getting a hug.  Although she didn’t go after me physically as often as my dad, she stood by while he beat me and I vividly remember seeing a sick satisfactory smirk on her face whenever she would tell on me, knowing full well what it would lead to.  Because I was treated this way by them, my brothers thought it was ok to treat me just as bad, both physically and sexually.    

 

Fast forward to my late teens/early 20’s, I moved out at a very early age and despite a serious lack of social skills and insecurity that just about consumed me, I did well for myself.  I bloomed and became a successful businesswoman who took pride in her accomplishments and for once, her looks.  It was then that for some reason they saw some worth in me.  They wanted me to come to every family gathering and paraded me around like a pony.  The gall still amazes me, but they would actually sit back and enjoy kudos from others for raising such a daughter.  It was at this point where the public “I love you’s” and hugs began… 

 

As I got older, I still played the game of “we’re such an awesome family”, dutifully attending all family functions, and at the same time, adhered to my mom’s scripts.  See, whenever an uncomfortable topic would come up, she would immediately chime up with her warped version of events to gloss everything over.  For instance, because she was uncomfortable with my femininity, she would chop my hair off.  Now that I have long hair, I am often asked if it was always like that.  If my mom was around when I would say it was short, she would immediately chime in with “it wasn’t that short, and that was the style”.  No mention of her telling the hair dresser not to listen to me, to just cut it short.  Or, if someone commented regarding how small our house was and how did we all fit, she would immediately gloss this over with “well the kids were smaller, there was always plenty of room”. 

 

After I got married, and became a parent, I realize that I needed to learn how to parent.  I was heads up enough to realize that I was at risk of either repeating the cycle of abuse, or going full board the opposite way and not instilling structure in my child’s life.  This was also the time when I started therapy.  Then, one day when my Daughter was younger, I had what I can only describe as an awakening.  It came in the form of a phone call between my Daughter and my dad.  I saw her face, she looked confused and when I got on the phone, I heard a voice from my past.  It was my dad’s drunken slurry voice on the other line, and in an instant, I was a powerless child again without any control. 

 

Now it’s not that I never heard that voice as an adult, I think the catalyst was that my daughter heard it.  After the call, and fortunately out of sight from her, I cried like I have never cried in my entire life.  All the tears that I held in over the years trying to be brave burst forth, and for once, I cried for the lonely girl that I once was, who suffered a long time in silence.  It was then that I saw with clear eyes the full extent of the abuse that I grew up with and just how incredibly toxic my family is. 

 

For the first time in my life, I spilled the beans.  I told the family secrets to a therapist.  It was chaotic and intense being completely 100% honest about everything since it went against the family creed of keeping secrets and lying by omission.  I realized then that in a sick way, I was still very much tied to my family.  And with my open eyes, I realized that they were still very much abusing me. 

 

It was during this time that I learned a little more about alcoholism, and learned what a narcissist is. It was also when I realized that some serious boundaries needed to be set up between me and them including making sure that my Daughters time with them was monitored for her protection.  Had my first honest conversation with my mom, asking her some hard questions about my upbringing, all the while explaining that I want to have an honest relationship with her.  She either denied or claimed to not remember.  I was in tears during this call but the only time she cried was when she turned the conversation around to her, and talked about what she endured growing up…Although I wasn’t expecting someone who seemingly has no feelings to suddenly feel something, I was hoping that she would at a minimum, acknowledge my feelings.

 

I began setting boundaries such as if they are in my house, I do not want to hear gossip about others. (She is a major gossip who likes to play her kids against each other)  In addition, I asked that they keep their drinking to a minimum around my Daughter.  Most important of all, I told them if she is over their house, they are not allowed to drive her anywhere. (Although my mom drinks less, way too much alcohol is being consumed for either of them to be driving)  Needless to say all of my attempts were a bust.  They not only drove my daughter (asking her not to tell), they took her to catechism (knowing full well I do not share their beliefs nor am I raising my Daughter with them) classes behind my back, they even tried negatively talking to my Husband about me to deflect anything that I might be saying about them, and all the while boo hooing to everyone who will listen about what a horrible and mean daughter I am…

 

After one last booze infused Christmas gathering, I decided enough was enough.  With the support of my loving husband I decided that the only way I could ensure that my focus remains on MY family (i.e., him and my Daughter) is to say goodbye.  I was not about to waste anymore energy trying to fix or even maintain a relationship with them.  Since they couldn’t accept boundaries, I knew they wouldn’t accept a goodbye from me.  So without any fanfare, I/We simply faded away from them and for the first time in my life, I was genuinely happy. 

 

As is the case with every toxic family, if they see you moving away from them, they try to pull you back in.  I cannot begin to tell you the lengths they have gone to try and lure me back into the fold.  I’ve even moved out of state and when they realized this, they cried to my in-laws asking for my new contact info, all the while bemoaning that they have no idea why I am “doing this to them”.  They now once again have my contact information so a clean break was not to be. 

 

So here I am today, in a position where I’m genuinely happy, and yet I get a bit down when I’m faced with judgment for my decision.  In my heart of hearts, I know the important people in my life understand, and that I shouldn’t allow others to make me feel bad.  I guess the issue is that while I don’t shout it from the roof top, I do want to continue to be honest when I'm asked about my parents and siblings.  And my wish for a subject as controversial as this one is that others can agree to disagree with me and move on.

 

Has anyone made the decision to cut ties with their toxic family?  And if so, are you feeling the same way?  I’d really like to hear from you. 

 

In the meantime, many blessings to each and everyone on this board for being brave enough to  tell their stories.  

 

 
September 29, 2008, 4:08 am CDT

me too

Quote From: equinelvr

After growing up in a household where violence and alcohol was commonplace, I came to the painful conclusion several years back that it was best for me to cut all ties with my parents.  It was not done in anger, nor was it done to spite them.  It was only after much therapy and many attempts to set boundaries with them that I realized it was time to say goodbye and not allow them to continue their now insidious abuse of me as an adult. 

 

While those closest to me understand my decision, there are those who dont understand it and either want to fix it, or try to guilt me into reconciling.  I now feel as if I cant be honest about this decision because of the stigma that comes from not having a relationship with a family. 

 

My childhood was one long nightmare.  My alcoholic dad was a very loud and angry man who would beat me regularly over minor offenses.  He would follow up these sessions with a teary drunken apology.  My mom was uneducated, never worked, and was a very bitter woman overwhelmed with all of her kids.  As the first girl of the bunch, I was singled out for her disdain, disgust, indifference, and yet she wanted full control of me at all times.  Never heard an I love you from her, and barely remember even getting a hug.  Although she didnt go after me physically as often as my dad, she stood by while he beat me and I vividly remember seeing a sick satisfactory smirk on her face whenever she would tell on me, knowing full well what it would lead to.  Because I was treated this way by them, my brothers thought it was ok to treat me just as bad, both physically and sexually.    

 

Fast forward to my late teens/early 20s, I moved out at a very early age and despite a serious lack of social skills and insecurity that just about consumed me, I did well for myself.  I bloomed and became a successful businesswoman who took pride in her accomplishments and for once, her looks.  It was then that for some reason they saw some worth in me.  They wanted me to come to every family gathering and paraded me around like a pony.  The gall still amazes me, but they would actually sit back and enjoy kudos from others for raising such a daughter.  It was at this point where the public I love yous and hugs began 

 

As I got older, I still played the game of were such an awesome family, dutifully attending all family functions, and at the same time, adhered to my moms scripts.  See, whenever an uncomfortable topic would come up, she would immediately chime up with her warped version of events to gloss everything over.  For instance, because she was uncomfortable with my femininity, she would chop my hair off.  Now that I have long hair, I am often asked if it was always like that.  If my mom was around when I would say it was short, she would immediately chime in with it wasnt that short, and that was the style.  No mention of her telling the hair dresser not to listen to me, to just cut it short.  Or, if someone commented regarding how small our house was and how did we all fit, she would immediately gloss this over with well the kids were smaller, there was always plenty of room. 

 

After I got married, and became a parent, I realize that I needed to learn how to parent.  I was heads up enough to realize that I was at risk of either repeating the cycle of abuse, or going full board the opposite way and not instilling structure in my childs life.  This was also the time when I started therapy.  Then, one day when my Daughter was younger, I had what I can only describe as an awakening.  It came in the form of a phone call between my Daughter and my dad.  I saw her face, she looked confused and when I got on the phone, I heard a voice from my past.  It was my dads drunken slurry voice on the other line, and in an instant, I was a powerless child again without any control. 

 

Now its not that I never heard that voice as an adult, I think the catalyst was that my daughter heard it.  After the call, and fortunately out of sight from her, I cried like I have never cried in my entire life.  All the tears that I held in over the years trying to be brave burst forth, and for once, I cried for the lonely girl that I once was, who suffered a long time in silence.  It was then that I saw with clear eyes the full extent of the abuse that I grew up with and just how incredibly toxic my family is. 

 

For the first time in my life, I spilled the beans.  I told the family secrets to a therapist.  It was chaotic and intense being completely 100% honest about everything since it went against the family creed of keeping secrets and lying by omission.  I realized then that in a sick way, I was still very much tied to my family.  And with my open eyes, I realized that they were still very much abusing me. 

 

It was during this time that I learned a little more about alcoholism, and learned what a narcissist is. It was also when I realized that some serious boundaries needed to be set up between me and them including making sure that my Daughters time with them was monitored for her protection.  Had my first honest conversation with my mom, asking her some hard questions about my upbringing, all the while explaining that I want to have an honest relationship with her.  She either denied or claimed to not remember.  I was in tears during this call but the only time she cried was when she turned the conversation around to her, and talked about what she endured growing upAlthough I wasnt expecting someone who seemingly has no feelings to suddenly feel something, I was hoping that she would at a minimum, acknowledge my feelings.

 

I began setting boundaries such as if they are in my house, I do not want to hear gossip about others. (She is a major gossip who likes to play her kids against each other)  In addition, I asked that they keep their drinking to a minimum around my Daughter.  Most important of all, I told them if she is over their house, they are not allowed to drive her anywhere. (Although my mom drinks less, way too much alcohol is being consumed for either of them to be driving)  Needless to say all of my attempts were a bust.  They not only drove my daughter (asking her not to tell), they took her to catechism (knowing full well I do not share their beliefs nor am I raising my Daughter with them) classes behind my back, they even tried negatively talking to my Husband about me to deflect anything that I might be saying about them, and all the while boo hooing to everyone who will listen about what a horrible and mean daughter I am

 

After one last booze infused Christmas gathering, I decided enough was enough.  With the support of my loving husband I decided that the only way I could ensure that my focus remains on MY family (i.e., him and my Daughter) is to say goodbye.  I was not about to waste anymore energy trying to fix or even maintain a relationship with them.  Since they couldnt accept boundaries, I knew they wouldnt accept a goodbye from me.  So without any fanfare, I/We simply faded away from them and for the first time in my life, I was genuinely happy. 

 

As is the case with every toxic family, if they see you moving away from them, they try to pull you back in.  I cannot begin to tell you the lengths they have gone to try and lure me back into the fold.  Ive even moved out of state and when they realized this, they cried to my in-laws asking for my new contact info, all the while bemoaning that they have no idea why I am doing this to them.  They now once again have my contact information so a clean break was not to be. 

 

So here I am today, in a position where Im genuinely happy, and yet I get a bit down when Im faced with judgment for my decision.  In my heart of hearts, I know the important people in my life understand, and that I shouldnt allow others to make me feel bad.  I guess the issue is that while I dont shout it from the roof top, I do want to continue to be honest when I'm asked about my parents and siblings.  And my wish for a subject as controversial as this one is that others can agree to disagree with me and move on.

 

Has anyone made the decision to cut ties with their toxic family?  And if so, are you feeling the same way?  Id really like to hear from you. 

 

In the meantime, many blessings to each and everyone on this board for being brave enough to  tell their stories.  

 

I cut all ties in May 07, after a huge fight with my dad.  My mom went behind my back to my kids school functions to talk to them when I sent her a letter tellling her that if she continued I would put a restraining order in place.  So, she responded by sueing me for visitation of my kids.  Said at the hearing that I am prone to overeacting and this was just a fight that has since blown over.  Since, I cut ties I have less stress in my life and my kids behavior has improved.  My parents told me that they have veto power over any decisions that I make and if they want to see the kids I can't stop them.  Since the first hearing was to see if we could come to an arrangement and I said no contact.  We are to have evaluations that cost $300 per.  I haven't heard a word since.  The law is on my side.  My ex came to see the kids and my parents gave him a sob story and asked him to let them see the kids.  I reminded him that the case is also against him and they will use anything he does in court against him.  He didn't let them see the kids however he gave the kids presents from them which I took and promptly returned.  I said no contact means no contact.  It has gotten easier as time goes on.  No more drama, No more being played, they are still spreading rumors about me. So what, who cares.  Good luck to you.  Stay Strong.

 
October 12, 2008, 2:47 pm CDT

Life i cant explain it

 

I'm Donald

From Arkansas

 

 

~love is the life. and pain is reminder we are all not dead yet. its just a matter of how we look at it as abused people. some are stronger than others. but hating back only hurts and kills ourselves. i am guilty of this. becosue i wanted revenge towards my Biological Parents. i had to break the cycle. my children will never endure what i went through not becosue i am bitter towards my parents is becosue i dont want to be petty. indeed i never want to see them again......i have forgiven them, but moved on with my life. what can i say i almost hung myself becosue of them.

 

Best wishes to all with love in christ

 

Mr. Donald Little

 
October 14, 2008, 9:17 am CDT

Toxic Family Relationships

Quote From: tammyo1973

My homelife was abusive from a young age. Mental and verbal and emotional mostly. I have been punched by my dad. THings ended up being good with us until I married a nice man and my dad lost control of me. My hubby works 80-100 hours aweek, I get to stay home. We have a really nice house. I have 2 children, one from a boyfriend 14 years ago and our toddler who is 3. My 14 yr odl was molested by an ex husband of mine. She has been diagnosed with bipolar, ptsd, and anxiety disorder. My parents wanted me to NOT press charges on ex husband for the molestation. ARE THEY CRAZY i guess so.

Then when my daughter was diagnosed with bipolar, they told me it was my fault and if my husband and myself would spend more time with her she would be ok. We live with her so we spend all our time with her...

I had to have her admitted to a psych hospital (not fun for a mom) and my dad said I should be the one who is locked up.

Anyhow things go tso back we stopped talking for about 1 year. I have begun speaking to them again but cannot get past the last couple years of the stuff with my daughter. Whenever I bring her up in conversation and what is going on with her illness they change the subject or tell me to go to schurch. I do go to church and do not get me wrong I believe and have faith. BUT a mental illness just doesn't go away. Why don't they get it,

I try to not talk about my daughter with them and then they say they feel left out. SO then I end up not talking to them at all.

Am I wrong?

Tammy~ You're 31 years old. You and your family have been abused enough. You are more than capable of making the right choices. What I'm going to say is what I am doing today. Go file a VPO on your parents and ex-husband. Do what needs to be done. Your family is suffering by your indecision and pain. THEY WILL FIGHT YOU OVER THIS!  IF THEY CALL, CALL THE POLICE. IF THEY DRIVE BY, CALL THE POLICE. THEY WILL STALK YOU. THEY WANT CONTROL.  THEY WILL MAIL YOU LETTERS. CALL THE POLICE.

 

I wish I would have done this years ago. If you don't. They will call you crazy. They are the problem. Find peace. Find yourself. You can't do anything about the past but you can change the future. Only YOU can stop the abuse!! 

 

                                                                                                   God Bless                  

 
October 19, 2008, 10:56 am CDT

Toxic Family Relationships

I am almost 45 years old, yet when I speak with my oldest daughter, I can be reduced to the emotional level of a 5 year old.  My daughter is convinced that I abused her as a child ... yet of all three children, she is the only one who feels this way.  I have no idea how to deal with this anymore and today I was so tempted to just remove her from my entire life.  bad side is that I would never get to see my two adorable grandsons anymore then.   I am so upset and confused as to what I can do to fix the issues, yet no matter what I try, it is never good enough, or she feels I always have an ulterior motive.  she believes I am the devil himself and refuses to accept any responsibility in any of this.   

to give you an example of what she was like growing up ......  at the age of 7 - this all occurred durring 1 summer :  she broke into a person's house on the next street, all to get the ice pops in his freezer.  she soaked someone's blow-up plastic pool with lighter fluid and lit it up.  She stole 50.00 out of my purse and spent it at the store where she wasn't suppose to be.  She stole work money from my purse as well.  she regularly stole candy and other items from the nearest convience store.  things only got worse as she got older.   yet she believes I caused all of this to happen because I was so dreadfully abusive to her.   ?!?!?!?!?!!?!??!!??!     

can someone clue me in here on a good way to deal with this now-adult person please.
 
October 21, 2008, 10:54 am CDT

My boyfriend's crazy mother

I'm 19 and my boyfriend is 20. He has told me that ever since he was around 7 his mom has been a bad mother to him. Never paid attention to him and was always yelling at him. His mom has been taking his pay checks and putting them in a dual bank account. His card for it is locked so only she can take out money. He had over $10 000 saved up in it and his mother recently took it all out and paid off her debt with it. He has a truck, sell phone and soon an apartment to pay for and she just took it all. She told him this when he told her that he was going to move out with me. He had two camaros and he told her he was going to sell those to pay for our first and last rent. She handed him a receipt saying that she had sold the two camaros that were under his name. This when he finally cracked. He told me what she did and he actually had a few tears. I have never seen this boy cry and neither has anyone else. He wont take her to court and no one is doing anything about the stuff shes doing. She tells him that she has raised him since he was born there for he owe her. About 2 weeks before thanksgiving his mother told him that she loves the neighbor's boy and she doesn't even love her son. A few mornings ago she woke him up by punching him and then yelling at him because he didn't want to give her his paycheck and she said "if I wouldn't go to jail id kill you right now." Who says that to their son. Who says that to anyone. I come from a very loving family so I'm not use to this. It grosses me out, gives me headaches and I'm about to crack. I don't know what to do. I don't want to talk to her because she wont listen to me and id end up making everything worse. She told him if he moves out the only think he gets is the clothes he wearing. I'm scared shes going to screw him over again and he never gets out of there. We had found the perfect apartment yesterday and now we cant get it and I'm having so much trouble finding another one for December. Please help me. No one else will. His dad just sits and watches and same with his older brother. She doesn't do anything to his brother. He gets whatever he wants. I'm so stuck and its driving me crazy and I'm scared for myself and him.
 
November 6, 2008, 3:37 pm CST

Toxic Family Relationships

Quote From: equinelvr

After growing up in a household where violence and alcohol was commonplace, I came to the painful conclusion several years back that it was best for me to cut all ties with my parents.  It was not done in anger, nor was it done to spite them.  It was only after much therapy and many attempts to set boundaries with them that I realized it was time to say goodbye and not allow them to continue their now insidious abuse of me as an adult. 

 

While those closest to me understand my decision, there are those who dont understand it and either want to fix it, or try to guilt me into reconciling.  I now feel as if I cant be honest about this decision because of the stigma that comes from not having a relationship with a family. 

 

My childhood was one long nightmare.  My alcoholic dad was a very loud and angry man who would beat me regularly over minor offenses.  He would follow up these sessions with a teary drunken apology.  My mom was uneducated, never worked, and was a very bitter woman overwhelmed with all of her kids.  As the first girl of the bunch, I was singled out for her disdain, disgust, indifference, and yet she wanted full control of me at all times.  Never heard an I love you from her, and barely remember even getting a hug.  Although she didnt go after me physically as often as my dad, she stood by while he beat me and I vividly remember seeing a sick satisfactory smirk on her face whenever she would tell on me, knowing full well what it would lead to.  Because I was treated this way by them, my brothers thought it was ok to treat me just as bad, both physically and sexually.    

 

Fast forward to my late teens/early 20s, I moved out at a very early age and despite a serious lack of social skills and insecurity that just about consumed me, I did well for myself.  I bloomed and became a successful businesswoman who took pride in her accomplishments and for once, her looks.  It was then that for some reason they saw some worth in me.  They wanted me to come to every family gathering and paraded me around like a pony.  The gall still amazes me, but they would actually sit back and enjoy kudos from others for raising such a daughter.  It was at this point where the public I love yous and hugs began 

 

As I got older, I still played the game of were such an awesome family, dutifully attending all family functions, and at the same time, adhered to my moms scripts.  See, whenever an uncomfortable topic would come up, she would immediately chime up with her warped version of events to gloss everything over.  For instance, because she was uncomfortable with my femininity, she would chop my hair off.  Now that I have long hair, I am often asked if it was always like that.  If my mom was around when I would say it was short, she would immediately chime in with it wasnt that short, and that was the style.  No mention of her telling the hair dresser not to listen to me, to just cut it short.  Or, if someone commented regarding how small our house was and how did we all fit, she would immediately gloss this over with well the kids were smaller, there was always plenty of room. 

 

After I got married, and became a parent, I realize that I needed to learn how to parent.  I was heads up enough to realize that I was at risk of either repeating the cycle of abuse, or going full board the opposite way and not instilling structure in my childs life.  This was also the time when I started therapy.  Then, one day when my Daughter was younger, I had what I can only describe as an awakening.  It came in the form of a phone call between my Daughter and my dad.  I saw her face, she looked confused and when I got on the phone, I heard a voice from my past.  It was my dads drunken slurry voice on the other line, and in an instant, I was a powerless child again without any control. 

 

Now its not that I never heard that voice as an adult, I think the catalyst was that my daughter heard it.  After the call, and fortunately out of sight from her, I cried like I have never cried in my entire life.  All the tears that I held in over the years trying to be brave burst forth, and for once, I cried for the lonely girl that I once was, who suffered a long time in silence.  It was then that I saw with clear eyes the full extent of the abuse that I grew up with and just how incredibly toxic my family is. 

 

For the first time in my life, I spilled the beans.  I told the family secrets to a therapist.  It was chaotic and intense being completely 100% honest about everything since it went against the family creed of keeping secrets and lying by omission.  I realized then that in a sick way, I was still very much tied to my family.  And with my open eyes, I realized that they were still very much abusing me. 

 

It was during this time that I learned a little more about alcoholism, and learned what a narcissist is. It was also when I realized that some serious boundaries needed to be set up between me and them including making sure that my Daughters time with them was monitored for her protection.  Had my first honest conversation with my mom, asking her some hard questions about my upbringing, all the while explaining that I want to have an honest relationship with her.  She either denied or claimed to not remember.  I was in tears during this call but the only time she cried was when she turned the conversation around to her, and talked about what she endured growing upAlthough I wasnt expecting someone who seemingly has no feelings to suddenly feel something, I was hoping that she would at a minimum, acknowledge my feelings.

 

I began setting boundaries such as if they are in my house, I do not want to hear gossip about others. (She is a major gossip who likes to play her kids against each other)  In addition, I asked that they keep their drinking to a minimum around my Daughter.  Most important of all, I told them if she is over their house, they are not allowed to drive her anywhere. (Although my mom drinks less, way too much alcohol is being consumed for either of them to be driving)  Needless to say all of my attempts were a bust.  They not only drove my daughter (asking her not to tell), they took her to catechism (knowing full well I do not share their beliefs nor am I raising my Daughter with them) classes behind my back, they even tried negatively talking to my Husband about me to deflect anything that I might be saying about them, and all the while boo hooing to everyone who will listen about what a horrible and mean daughter I am

 

After one last booze infused Christmas gathering, I decided enough was enough.  With the support of my loving husband I decided that the only way I could ensure that my focus remains on MY family (i.e., him and my Daughter) is to say goodbye.  I was not about to waste anymore energy trying to fix or even maintain a relationship with them.  Since they couldnt accept boundaries, I knew they wouldnt accept a goodbye from me.  So without any fanfare, I/We simply faded away from them and for the first time in my life, I was genuinely happy. 

 

As is the case with every toxic family, if they see you moving away from them, they try to pull you back in.  I cannot begin to tell you the lengths they have gone to try and lure me back into the fold.  Ive even moved out of state and when they realized this, they cried to my in-laws asking for my new contact info, all the while bemoaning that they have no idea why I am doing this to them.  They now once again have my contact information so a clean break was not to be. 

 

So here I am today, in a position where Im genuinely happy, and yet I get a bit down when Im faced with judgment for my decision.  In my heart of hearts, I know the important people in my life understand, and that I shouldnt allow others to make me feel bad.  I guess the issue is that while I dont shout it from the roof top, I do want to continue to be honest when I'm asked about my parents and siblings.  And my wish for a subject as controversial as this one is that others can agree to disagree with me and move on.

 

Has anyone made the decision to cut ties with their toxic family?  And if so, are you feeling the same way?  Id really like to hear from you. 

 

In the meantime, many blessings to each and everyone on this board for being brave enough to  tell their stories.  

 

I too have to deal with a toxic familys but it is my husbands mom and step dad and his evil drama drivin sister.  We cut ties from his alcoholic mom and step dad in 2003 when our son was just 2.  We also cut ties with his evil Sister because she enjoys hurting others and creating toxic hurtful drama and turning my husbands mom against us.  Now we are dealing with his step mother that has major anger issues and control issues. She is slowly turning my husbands father against him and I. When we have talked to her in the past she has taken things we have said out of context and used it against us. We think she is suffering from insecurity, feeling Jelouse of us and not feeling loved by her husband. She has driven my husbands sister and brother away from the family. She has been charged with abusing the sister and had to go for anger managemnet. We dont feel comfortable letting our son go out to see gramma and grandpa if grandpa isnt home in fear she will possibly physicaly or emotionaly hurt our son.  I'm hoping we can some how work out our differences and stay a family so my husband doesnt have to live a life without any parents. But time will only tell.  Some times I regret us breaking away from his mom and step dad. I feel like im to blame for our leaving them, even if it is for the best!   Best wish's to you and I pray you will have piece in your life!!

 
November 9, 2008, 8:13 pm CST

toxic family relationships

hi my name is kelli i was watching one of your programs on toxic familys. How parents can munipulate there childrens minds. that show was very touching it reminded me of the book "THE CHILD CALLED IT" author is Dave Pelzer. How his mother munipulated her family including the father. she abused the children. she was an alcoholic. i think  when the topic of munipulation was on,  Dave Pelzer should of been a guest on the show.
 
November 14, 2008, 8:45 am CST

Food For Thought

"Enmeshment refers to an extreme form of proximity and intensity in family interactions...In a highly enmeshed, over involved family, changes within one family member or in the relationship between two family members reverberate throughout the system... On an individual level, interpersonal differentiation in an enmeshed system is poor...in enmeshed families the individual gets lost in the system. The boundaries that define individual autonomy are so weak that functioning in individually differentiated ways is radically handicapped."

 

"We're enmeshed when we use an individual for our identity, sense of value, worth, well-being, safety, purpose, and security. Instead of two people present, we become one identity. More simply, enmeshment is present when our sense of wholeness comes from another person."

 

"Enmeshment doesn't allow for individuality, wholeness, personal empowerment, healthy relationships with ourselves or others, and, most importantly, a relationship with our Higher Power."

 

“If a parent loves a child as a substitute for a friend or partner, emotional chaos will follow, often across generations.

 

Instead of adding meaning to life, toxic entanglements support manipulation, emotional blackmail and codependence.”

 

The shared experiences and love that bond family members are the basis for some of the strongest relationship bonds that humans can experience. While we need strong nurturing family bonds to function in a society of families, many people are bonded by unpleasant or toxic beliefs.

 

If you experienced trauma or abuse, you may suffer relationship bonds as limiting beliefs and dysfunctional habits that impact your family, work and social life. You may suffer from identity loss that bind you to certain people or groups.  The strongest bonded relationships seem to be based on a shared sense of identity. Relationship bonds can be substitutes for identity - and hence a form of identity loss. Often, dysfunctional behavior appears to be based on toxic beliefs that support pleasant feelings of connection and identity.

 
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