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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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March 4, 2009, 10:50 pm CST

Sister and mother issue

Im the oldest of two girls in my family.I am also a single mother at 19. My mother has been a single mother our whole lives. She has gone out of her way to make sure that the two of us had anything and everything we needed. She is a recovering alcoholic and is always working. My sister is 17 years old and a junior in high school. She is always trying to put my mother and I down. She claims that we don't know anything about her and that we dont understand anything about her. We both have tried to talk to her about why she thinks that but she will just blow up with arguments. She has always tried to be the center of attention since we were very little. But over the past few years her attitude towards my mother have been soo hateful. She has no respect for anyone. She treats everyone like dirt, my mother seems to be the target more than anyone. My mother does everything she can to make my sister happy, but its like nothing ever helps. Everyday its the same old thing. When i see my mother she jsut looks so drained. My mother is a cancer survivor. She has been in remission since 2007. Im scared that my sister is going to stress her out soo bad that shes going to get really sick again. Everyday that i see my mom she just looks more and more tired. My sister tells my mom that shes a b***h, a horrible mother, she doesn't desereve anything, shes the worst person in the world, she doesnt do anything for her, ect. My mom has tried taking her to a therapist, but my sister lies and tries to tell them anything she thinks will make them point the finger at my mom.  It hurts me so bad to see the way she treats my mom. I cant sleep because part of me thinks that something is going to happen to my mo while shes sleeping. I doubt my sister would every do anything, but that thoughts always there for some reason. Im stressed out because my moms always being treated like a dog by someone she gave birth to and whom she spends every penny that she can on. I'm not saying that i was the perfect child, but i have grown up and i have apoligized for everything that i have ever done. I have more respect for my mom than anyone in this world. She has taken me in when i had no where else to go. She helped me through my pregnancy at 18. She was there to hold my hand when i gave birth to my beautiful baby girl. I cant stand to sit there and watch my sister tear her down. I need any advice.
 
March 9, 2009, 7:25 am CDT

Clarification on sibling molestation

Quote From: sandygirl09

Over forty years ago I caught my siblings having all out sex in a bedroom of our home while my parents were at work.  My oldest brother and my youngest sister shocked me all to heck you could say!  I tried to stop the two, and the reply I got from both was horrifying to me!  My brother claimed he was "teaching" her all about sex so she could please a man later in life, and my sister at the tender age of ten, was so please with herself said " I let him do it all, and I really love it!"  God, I ran to the bathroom and threw up!  They both threatened that they'd deny the whole thing if I told my parents and that I'd be the one to get in trouble, so I never told anyone.  Ever since then, my sister has been promiscuous, got pregnant at an early age, ruined my senior year in high school with her pregnancy and abortion, she's on her fourth marriage, and lies about everything.  Now, she tells everyone my brother raped her, that I'm a horrible person, which I'm not, and she twists everything I say or do around so much that I can't have a decent relationship with her.  She's such a convincing liar, her new husband believes everything she says!  Poison doesn't even begin to describe her these days.  My family stays away from her at all cost.  My oldest brother has of course never taken blame for his actions, and became an alcoholic, I'm the only one of us who never became a drug addict or drinker thankfully, but every day I struggle with the day I saw the two of them and the fact that I never said anything to my parents.  My mom knew how manipulative my sister is, but she has since passed away.  My dad has always considered my sister his favorite to the point that when she did get pregnant and have her first abortion, he sent her to Europe with the boy for a month to "recoup" he called it!  I never even got a senior gift due to that!  Nice huh?  I helped her a couple of years ago when she begged me to come stay with her when my dad was sick, and I was tricked into thinking things were good between us, like she actually stopped the lies for a while.  When I got home, she started the rotten lies, the nasty phone calls, emails, etc.  Then, one day, she calls here and says " hi I just called to tell my sister I love her".  Like nothing ever happened.  I feel like I'm living in one of those freaky sci-fi movies where someone escaped from the looney bin! help!

I just read your post and Im amazed! Dealing with a difficult sibling is never easy or simple but I felt so strongly about this post that I feel I must be as straight forward as possible.

Your sister was 10 when the sex occured - the age alone makes that rape. It sounds to me like your brother took advantage of her youth and vulnerability and she said she liked it in a misguided attempt to avoid getting into trouble. You can also be sure that if this had been going on for a while before you discovered them - your brother would have trained your sister to deny everything, probably threatening her or telling her that everyone would blame her if it came out.

It sounds like your sister reacted in a very similar way to others who were sexually abused as children - she's promiscuous, she looks for love through sex and seems to have a warped view of intimacy. She probably loves and hates you in the same way that she loves and hates your brother AND the same way that she loves and hates herself - just as she blames him, she might blame you by association but most of all she probably blames herself and takes it out on you because you're the one who saw it happening.

Of course her husband believes her - wouldnt you want your husband to believe you?
It sounds like your sister grew up being made to feel ashamed of what happened to her and like she deserved it - she medicates herself by lying, abusing substances and generally having a destructive lifestyle.

Has she ever had counciling for what happened to her?

Have you two ever talked about what happened?

It seems to me like there are many issues that need to aired here - I would definately recommend some kind of family councilling and work on establishing an open dialogue. Also know that what your sister does is compulsive and is a front for a hurt and scared little girl - that doesnt mean everything she does is excused - but it does mean that it's not as cut-and-dry as She's A Bad Person.

 
March 10, 2009, 6:29 pm CDT

brother who wants to spank my 4 year old

  For almost 3 months my 4 year old and I have been living with my brother. My brother and I disagree severely on the ways that my son should be disciplined. He thinks that spanking is okay, and I do not. He also wants my son to eat vegetables and thinks that if my son doesn't want to eat the vegetables that his plate should be taken away and that when my son gets hungry enough he will eat. I do not subscribe to these tactics for getting him to eat vegetables.

 

My brother also thinks that I am too sweet to my son and that I should be tougher. My brother likes to tease/torment my son by taking his toys away and claiming that the toy is his , while my son screams and cries. If I have to leave for even a few minutes there are occasions when I come back to hear my son shrieking while my brother is growling and making monster faces. My brother thinks this is funny. I do not and have explained that it is stressful and unacceptable to me.

 

Despite my sentiments, my brother continues to tease/ torment my son, with threats like"I'm gonna get you one day." And comments like ,"your mommy may not spank you, but I will, and I'll smack the pea out of you if you ever do that again,and I don't care what your mommy says.' My son is a typical 4 year old , and IMO he doesn't warrant this sort of treatment. My brother likes to constantly lecture him about the importance of being behaved and will lecture me about how my son will end up in jail if I don't correct behavior problems.

 

There are many other instances of what I consider to be toxic behavior occuring here. What I would like some feedback on is how harmful  these interactions may be to my son. Sometimes I think that I am the one who hurts the most, but another voice tells me that this could be potential disaster.

 

When my son awakes in the morning and locks our bedroom door  and tells me that this is so uncle B can't come in and bother us. (My brother,  does on occasion wake us up to engage me in conversation, and then becomes angry and yells at my son when he wants to interrupt us, or wants my attention.) breaks my heart. 

 

Sorry for the rant, any feedback is appreciated

 
March 15, 2009, 11:25 pm CDT

Why?

Quote From: mbbaker

  For almost 3 months my 4 year old and I have been living with my brother. My brother and I disagree severely on the ways that my son should be disciplined. He thinks that spanking is okay, and I do not. He also wants my son to eat vegetables and thinks that if my son doesn't want to eat the vegetables that his plate should be taken away and that when my son gets hungry enough he will eat. I do not subscribe to these tactics for getting him to eat vegetables.

 

My brother also thinks that I am too sweet to my son and that I should be tougher. My brother likes to tease/torment my son by taking his toys away and claiming that the toy is his , while my son screams and cries. If I have to leave for even a few minutes there are occasions when I come back to hear my son shrieking while my brother is growling and making monster faces. My brother thinks this is funny. I do not and have explained that it is stressful and unacceptable to me.

 

Despite my sentiments, my brother continues to tease/ torment my son, with threats like"I'm gonna get you one day." And comments like ,"your mommy may not spank you, but I will, and I'll smack the pea out of you if you ever do that again,and I don't care what your mommy says.' My son is a typical 4 year old , and IMO he doesn't warrant this sort of treatment. My brother likes to constantly lecture him about the importance of being behaved and will lecture me about how my son will end up in jail if I don't correct behavior problems.

 

There are many other instances of what I consider to be toxic behavior occuring here. What I would like some feedback on is how harmful  these interactions may be to my son. Sometimes I think that I am the one who hurts the most, but another voice tells me that this could be potential disaster.

 

When my son awakes in the morning and locks our bedroom door  and tells me that this is so uncle B can't come in and bother us. (My brother,  does on occasion wake us up to engage me in conversation, and then becomes angry and yells at my son when he wants to interrupt us, or wants my attention.) breaks my heart. 

 

Sorry for the rant, any feedback is appreciated

My feedback is quite simple. Get out of your brother's home now. Why would you put your innocent little child in such danger? Your brother has all sorts of problems that aren't yours to sort out. You have a child who you are responsible for and your brother's way of dealing with your son conflict with the way you deal with him.
Re-read your message your brother sounds abusive. Find somewhere else to live, you owe it to your son.
 
April 3, 2009, 6:39 am CDT

When do I give up - father is a alcoholic

I need to know when I need to give up on my father. I am 27 years old and my father is a grown man (57). My mother is not in the picture and my father has raised me by his self since I was 10. Ever since I can remember my father has been an alcoholic. When I was young he would work and provide clothes and food on the table but drank every day about a pint or more. Go to work drunk. He had no control over me because he was not the father he should have been, I did what I wanted. I was taken away from him at a point due to his drinking and I was uncontrollable. He went into rehab when I was about 17 (his work made him) and he was good for a year or two and then started to drink all of the time. For as long as I can remember we never got along cause of his drinking but I love him dearly, he is my only parent. We learned to get along even though he drank. Over the past few years his drinking and drug use has became ridiculous. In 2008 he was drinking so bad I took time off of work and tried to help him, he went into rehab 3-4 times last year. He will do good for a few weeks or a month or so and go right back to drinking. He uses excuses, im an alcoholic, my back hurts, im depressed, or the doctor diagnosed me bi-polar. You know the typical excuses. I’m so mad cause I helped him with rehab, visit him, helped him with his work, bills, car payments, Short term disability, etc. I was acting like a wife, I’m his child and have my own life. But I cant stop helping cause I love him. Well, at the end of 2008 he was drinking so bad and spending his money like crazy. He got a DUI/OWI, got fired from his job, lost his apartment and had no where to go. He lived in WI and I live in IL (a few years a go I moved here to start my own life). Me and my boyfriend drove to WI and helped him move all of his stuff to storage, I spoke to my mom, someone who I hardly speak to and asked if my dad could live with her for awhile till he got on his feet. She said yes but no drinking. Well, he messed that up and was drinking and lying about it. She kicked him out. Then he moved to my aunts house (his sister). Not a good move, she is an alcoholic and druggie herself and her husband. They don’t work either. But he had no where to go. After he was there for awhile his drinking continued and I guess he spent like 400.00 on crack and pills. I knew he had to get out. Me and my boyfriend recently moved out together to start a life together. My boyfriend came up with idea to have my dad live with us so he can start fresh and new because we care. So, again I go to WI and help him move to IL with me. The agreement was NO DRINKING and FIND A JOB stop collecting unemployment. He has been here for 3 weeks now, no motivation and has been drinking this week. Me and my boyfriend are not comfortable going home to a place WE PAY FOR cause he drinks,he talks non sense, im a biker, and outlaw, I killed people, and how he wants to do drug deals. Well, me and my boyfriend had a bottle of vodka and gin in OUR BEDROOM HIDDEN away. Well yesterday we came home and he was drunk AGAIN – disrespecting our wishes. I was in my bedroom going through my drawers and guess what, HE WENT THROUGH OUR PERSONAL STUFF AND DRANK THE LIQUOR! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! My boyfriend is very livid. He doesn’t want him there. To make things worse its tearing me and my boyfriend apart, we argue now. I want to let go of helping my dad and realize this is who he is. I’m 27 and need to worry of my own life at some point. But I feel bad if I stop helping. I have done everything I could. He is behind in his car and has a court date set cause Chrysler wants the car back. I will go over his finances with him and how much he gets for unemployment and show him what he needs to pay to get caught up, I even have him on a budget where I give him limited money. How much lower can you go in life, lose your job, house, live with your ex-wife, sister and now your daughter?!

 

Any suggestions? When do I stop helping? I want my own life back and live stress free.I want ot be married and have children, with this route of me always taken care of him and stressing, it will NEVER happen. I think he wants this lifestyle and will always be an alcoholic. Some people truly stay as alcoholic.

 
April 22, 2009, 6:36 pm CDT

when enough is enough?

How do i move on from people were i feel i've tried and there's no solution? I've done the best i can at this point and time and really need some help on my own healing from family members. Don't get me wrong, i am not saying this is all one sided but would like some guidelines on healing myself before i can readdress the issues.

 
April 28, 2009, 7:42 pm CDT

He Leaves Me & Makes Me Look Bad

After 18 yrs of empty marriage, he told me he wanted a divorce, said he left the marriage 16 yrs ago.  We had 3 teens in 2005 and I was devastated.  But unknown to me at the time, he had gone ahead and warned all my family and his of his plans to end his marriage with me, telling them that he didn't like my personality and that I was impossible to live with.  These were just excuses for a man who was a quitter from the get go.  I was a role model wife and friend to him, I was a loving daughter-in-law and a loving sister and daughter to my family.  The only problem seemed to be that he was "perfect" and could do no wrong and he began to complain about my weight  soon after my 3rd child was born, my weight was not obese, however, he got his family and mine to get on my case and embarrass me.  I then tried to find who I was, doing things other than being trapped in his house, such as my hobbies and tried to make some good friends, all to be shot down by him, he refused to associate with them or he would cut them all down, he even didn't like my family and told me so.  But that didn't matter when it came to his time to leave me, he wanted to "take me out" and make me look terrible.  I have lost almost everyone in my life.  My sister won't speak to me, my in-laws, sister in laws --won't speak to me, my parents took his side in pity on him and invited him and his family to all the holidays and therefore I refused to go.  It was bad enough that he left me.  I didn't need to see him at anniversary parties and holidays too.  My parents began to defend their decision to my children, telling them you're mom is not here because she is anti-social and possibly mentally ill.  This was so far from the truth and caused me seek professional advice, and the psychologist told me that the relationships were toxic and to move on without them.  I know he is right.  It has been awful hard.  I'm trying to start over, having a very difficult time, still dealing with all the rejection.  It has been 4 yrs since.  I don't know if I will ever recover and move on and feel good again.
 
May 2, 2009, 9:21 pm CDT

i know

Quote From: plumblossom

After 18 yrs of empty marriage, he told me he wanted a divorce, said he left the marriage 16 yrs ago.  We had 3 teens in 2005 and I was devastated.  But unknown to me at the time, he had gone ahead and warned all my family and his of his plans to end his marriage with me, telling them that he didn't like my personality and that I was impossible to live with.  These were just excuses for a man who was a quitter from the get go.  I was a role model wife and friend to him, I was a loving daughter-in-law and a loving sister and daughter to my family.  The only problem seemed to be that he was "perfect" and could do no wrong and he began to complain about my weight  soon after my 3rd child was born, my weight was not obese, however, he got his family and mine to get on my case and embarrass me.  I then tried to find who I was, doing things other than being trapped in his house, such as my hobbies and tried to make some good friends, all to be shot down by him, he refused to associate with them or he would cut them all down, he even didn't like my family and told me so.  But that didn't matter when it came to his time to leave me, he wanted to "take me out" and make me look terrible.  I have lost almost everyone in my life.  My sister won't speak to me, my in-laws, sister in laws --won't speak to me, my parents took his side in pity on him and invited him and his family to all the holidays and therefore I refused to go.  It was bad enough that he left me.  I didn't need to see him at anniversary parties and holidays too.  My parents began to defend their decision to my children, telling them you're mom is not here because she is anti-social and possibly mentally ill.  This was so far from the truth and caused me seek professional advice, and the psychologist told me that the relationships were toxic and to move on without them.  I know he is right.  It has been awful hard.  I'm trying to start over, having a very difficult time, still dealing with all the rejection.  It has been 4 yrs since.  I don't know if I will ever recover and move on and feel good again.
 no one cares, i know
 
May 4, 2009, 1:30 pm CDT

Toxic Family Relationships

Quote From: plumblossom

After 18 yrs of empty marriage, he told me he wanted a divorce, said he left the marriage 16 yrs ago.  We had 3 teens in 2005 and I was devastated.  But unknown to me at the time, he had gone ahead and warned all my family and his of his plans to end his marriage with me, telling them that he didn't like my personality and that I was impossible to live with.  These were just excuses for a man who was a quitter from the get go.  I was a role model wife and friend to him, I was a loving daughter-in-law and a loving sister and daughter to my family.  The only problem seemed to be that he was "perfect" and could do no wrong and he began to complain about my weight  soon after my 3rd child was born, my weight was not obese, however, he got his family and mine to get on my case and embarrass me.  I then tried to find who I was, doing things other than being trapped in his house, such as my hobbies and tried to make some good friends, all to be shot down by him, he refused to associate with them or he would cut them all down, he even didn't like my family and told me so.  But that didn't matter when it came to his time to leave me, he wanted to "take me out" and make me look terrible.  I have lost almost everyone in my life.  My sister won't speak to me, my in-laws, sister in laws --won't speak to me, my parents took his side in pity on him and invited him and his family to all the holidays and therefore I refused to go.  It was bad enough that he left me.  I didn't need to see him at anniversary parties and holidays too.  My parents began to defend their decision to my children, telling them you're mom is not here because she is anti-social and possibly mentally ill.  This was so far from the truth and caused me seek professional advice, and the psychologist told me that the relationships were toxic and to move on without them.  I know he is right.  It has been awful hard.  I'm trying to start over, having a very difficult time, still dealing with all the rejection.  It has been 4 yrs since.  I don't know if I will ever recover and move on and feel good again.
Hey PlumBlossom,
   Wow! The fact that you have survived this much negativity is a testament to your strength. I think your family have far deeper problems than you ever did by not sticking by your side when the times were difficult. The most you should feel is sorry for them. You have given too much over the years, as you have pointed out, to be judged by people that are not capable of seeing your point of view. You have done well to take your therapist's advice and sever your ties with these judgmental, narcistic people and move on. They do not deserve the right to call themselves your family. But you're past that now, I hope, and trying to heal.
   I hate to use the word rejection. It assigns blame to one person and that someone is right and that someone is wrong. This is not the case with you. Rejection does not reinforce what a wonderful loving woman you were raising your children, being a faithful wife and what a great companion you could be to someone else now. There are going to be scars and changes that you have had to deal with going through this ordeal, but don't live on the negative side of your experience or you are going to be haunted all your life. Part of moving on is finding those strengths which make you the kick butt woman that got through all this crap. You've showed us here that a person can persevere through unfathomable emotional stress. Most of us here have bent low to the ground just going through part of what you have gone through. Keep up the good work and be proud of what you have accomplished.
Pass some of that strength over to me.
Twisted Poet
 
May 14, 2009, 2:07 pm CDT

Toxic Family Relationships

Quote From: lettec

I need to know when I need to give up on my father. I am 27 years old and my father is a grown man (57). My mother is not in the picture and my father has raised me by his self since I was 10. Ever since I can remember my father has been an alcoholic. When I was young he would work and provide clothes and food on the table but drank every day about a pint or more. Go to work drunk. He had no control over me because he was not the father he should have been, I did what I wanted. I was taken away from him at a point due to his drinking and I was uncontrollable. He went into rehab when I was about 17 (his work made him) and he was good for a year or two and then started to drink all of the time. For as long as I can remember we never got along cause of his drinking but I love him dearly, he is my only parent. We learned to get along even though he drank. Over the past few years his drinking and drug use has became ridiculous. In 2008 he was drinking so bad I took time off of work and tried to help him, he went into rehab 3-4 times last year. He will do good for a few weeks or a month or so and go right back to drinking. He uses excuses, im an alcoholic, my back hurts, im depressed, or the doctor diagnosed me bi-polar. You know the typical excuses. Im so mad cause I helped him with rehab, visit him, helped him with his work, bills, car payments, Short term disability, etc. I was acting like a wife, Im his child and have my own life. But I cant stop helping cause I love him. Well, at the end of 2008 he was drinking so bad and spending his money like crazy. He got a DUI/OWI, got fired from his job, lost his apartment and had no where to go. He lived in WI and I live in IL (a few years a go I moved here to start my own life). Me and my boyfriend drove to WI and helped him move all of his stuff to storage, I spoke to my mom, someone who I hardly speak to and asked if my dad could live with her for awhile till he got on his feet. She said yes but no drinking. Well, he messed that up and was drinking and lying about it. She kicked him out. Then he moved to my aunts house (his sister). Not a good move, she is an alcoholic and druggie herself and her husband. They dont work either. But he had no where to go. After he was there for awhile his drinking continued and I guess he spent like 400.00 on crack and pills. I knew he had to get out. Me and my boyfriend recently moved out together to start a life together. My boyfriend came up with idea to have my dad live with us so he can start fresh and new because we care. So, again I go to WI and help him move to IL with me. The agreement was NO DRINKING and FIND A JOB stop collecting unemployment. He has been here for 3 weeks now, no motivation and has been drinking this week. Me and my boyfriend are not comfortable going home to a place WE PAY FOR cause he drinks,he talks non sense, im a biker, and outlaw, I killed people, and how he wants to do drug deals. Well, me and my boyfriend had a bottle of vodka and gin in OUR BEDROOM HIDDEN away. Well yesterday we came home and he was drunk AGAIN disrespecting our wishes. I was in my bedroom going through my drawers and guess what, HE WENT THROUGH OUR PERSONAL STUFF AND DRANK THE LIQUOR! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! My boyfriend is very livid. He doesnt want him there. To make things worse its tearing me and my boyfriend apart, we argue now. I want to let go of helping my dad and realize this is who he is. Im 27 and need to worry of my own life at some point. But I feel bad if I stop helping. I have done everything I could. He is behind in his car and has a court date set cause Chrysler wants the car back. I will go over his finances with him and how much he gets for unemployment and show him what he needs to pay to get caught up, I even have him on a budget where I give him limited money. How much lower can you go in life, lose your job, house, live with your ex-wife, sister and now your daughter?!

 

Any suggestions? When do I stop helping? I want my own life back and live stress free.I want ot be married and have children, with this route of me always taken care of him and stressing, it will NEVER happen. I think he wants this lifestyle and will always be an alcoholic. Some people truly stay as alcoholic.

I understand your situation. For as long as I can remember, my father has been an abusive alcoholic. I have told him several times over the years that his drinking was getting in the way of our relationship, and yet he refused to stop. The straw that broke the camels back was when I went to visit him, and noticed bruises on his girl friend's arms. She told me she was in his way, and he shoved her aside. I confronted him about this, and told him that I wanted him to seek help, like AA, or some sort of rehab.

Well needless to say he believes he does not have a problem, and because of if it we do not talk. It has been a few years now, and I do not feel any regrets for making the decision I did. All he was doing was hurting him self.

The only advice I can lend is you have to let go. You can't help someone who does not want to help them self. It took me long enough, and WAY too many tears to come to that realization. If your father really valued a relationship with you, he would see that his behavior is only hurting you, and him self. If you continue dealing with HIS problems, your only going to exhaust your self, and that is not healthy.  Well I wish you all the best of luck in the future, and hope things turn out.  
 
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