Dear Family: We’re Breaking Up

There are 3 things in life I fully believe to be true:

– Life is What You Make It
– You Are Who You Hang With
– Family is What (who) You Make It

Toxic Family Members

We can't choose the family we are born into.
Sharing DNA means you're related – It doesn't necessarily make you a family.
Before writing this, I spoke to 3 women who have all experienced toxic family in one form or another and have made the bold decision of eliminating these poisons from their lives.

It was almost uncanny listening to their stories, as each 'toxic family member' seemed to carry the same traits:

– They always play the victim
– They are narcissistic people
– They never apologize for their actions or words
– Your presence to them is merely out of convenience
– They will tell you (and others) you are 'mental' or 'crazy' and 'need help'
– Other family members/people cater to them because "that's just how so-and-so is"

I have a friend who once said it was easier to smile than to fight.  While I can (somewhat) agree with that, I also think – But why would I need to fight?  Because someone is DNA-related I should just roll over or push through? How is my fake smile any better (or different) than the toxic person themselves? I mean sure, you could handle the stress of being around a toxic person.  But do you want to? More-so, why should you have to?  Most of all it all comes back around with trying to make sure everyone else is happy, while you are miserable.  It has never made sense to me to take away from your own mental well being just to appease others.

It's all about letting into your life what you want to let into your life.  If you're willing to let the behavior continue, there is no blame to be shifted upon anyone else.  As another great saying (that stands to be true) goes:  What you allow, will continue.

avoid toxic people

Bettering Yourself, Mentally:  Prepare to take back YOUR life.
 
Life is What You Make It:
I realized this so much more after 30 years old.  I started to understand who the bad and the good were, what (or who) was dragging me down and what needed changed in order for me to successfully achieve the actual life I wanted to live.  It was then that I became interested in the Law of Attraction. I picked up 2 books:  The Secret and Excuse Me Your Life is Waiting.  Within chapters I was enthralled and literally watched the 'magic' play-out soon after.  These books changed my life.  While I am not suggesting that these books will change (everyone's) lives – I am saying that you control your happiness.  You control what happens in your life and only you can make those changes for the better, should you actually want them.  No excuses.

You Are Who You Hang With:

Since the first time I heard this saying, it has never left my mind.  And ever since then I have very carefully chosen who I let into my life and home.  That doesn't disregard DNA-family.  Today, I surround myself with good friends, even though it is few.  I don't have the need for everyone to like me.  The people in my life today are an inspiration, cheerful and fun.  Most of all, they are not deceitful.  They are not the people who talk behind your back as soon as you leave the room and they are the people who are happy to see me/us succeed with a good life.  There are no put-downs or bitter jabs here and there.  These amazing people are our cheering section.  Whether you believe it or not, toxic family (or relationships) not only have a direct impact on how you function in life, but how your children will function in life.  Little eyes see, hear and repeat.  I do not need to be a parent to know this, I once was a child.

Family is Who You Make It:
Just because this person is DNA-related family, does it disregard them as poisonous?  Is this toxic person someone you would be proud to say "That's my brother!" (or whoever).
As the popular saying goes, family is who you make it.  Just because you are born into something, does not mean you are deemed to live a life of misery with these people.  When it comes to "family" (dna-related or not), watch for those who clap at your wins and those who are sad for your fails.  I am always surprised when I hear people use the term "But it's family" when they are treated like garbage or overloaded with stress due to certain toxic people.  Likewise I am sure some are surprised when I answer back with "Yes, DNA-related. That's not what makes one family".

fake people have an image to maintain
The ladies and I discussed what would happen in death.  As in, what if that family member you rid yourself of, dies.  Would it make a difference?  Would it disregard how this person had treated you in life? With the 3 women I spoke to {myself included}, we had all come to the conclusion that of course it doesn't make a difference.  One thing that has always bothered me are the people that take advantage of (needing) attention once a family member (whom they've had nothing to do with while alive) has passed on.  Personally, I have always said there will be a guest list for my funeral.  If you have treated me like garbage while I was alive, do not praise me in my death.  This does go both ways.  Never seek the attention of others after a family member of whom you've had nothing to do with in life, passes on.
    •

When you are ready to move on and rid your life of poisonous family or people, there are a few things that may happen:

You may go through a feeling of guilt (and it's perfectly natural).

What can you do?
Have a good support system.  Your support system doesn't necessarily have to be someone who will agree with everything you say, but someone trusting and who preferably has no connection with the family member you are trying to rid yourself of.  You want the trusting ear that understands 'life' and does not hold 'venting' words against you.  Someone who understands the difference between blowing off steam and what you actually mean. Beware the wolf in sheep's clothing.  I can't tell you how many times I have 'forgiven' the same (wrong) person and trusted them to be my lending ear, only to have it backfire because they themselves were the manipulator.  Falling for their act was my biggest downfall.  Of course, I speak from personal experience with that.  But it's not far-fetched to realize (many) people are just curious and couldn't care less about your actual problem.

You may receive pressure/guilt trips from other family members to just 'let it go'

What can you do?
Stand up for yourself and do not back down.  Being pressured into doing something you do not want to do is not only manipulative, it is despicable.  Respect yourself enough to know what is best for your well being and your households well being. I think you will find this quite easy to do once you have reached your breaking point.  In our life, the straw that broke the camel's back was the treatment we received after announcing our engagement (Our Wedding Brought Out the Worst in Others)

This absolutely changed the dynamic of a few relationships, which are now beyond repairable. Please remember that you are allowed to be angry.  You are allowed to determine your own feelings.  And you are allowed to terminate toxic relationships without feeling guilty.  Those who (try) to guilt you, are toxic themselves.

You will feel a euphoric sense of weight lifted

What can you do?
Pat yourself on the back.  You have made it through the toughest and hardest part of letting a toxic family member (or person) go.  The 3 women I spoke to (yes, myself too) have all expressed how an immense weight felt like it was lifted afterward.  You feel stress-free and almost like you can breathe again.

Although I wish I could offer more advice and could discuss this topic all day, it's just impossible. Every 'toxic family member' story will be different and only you can decide when you have absolutely had enough.  But one thing in all our lives will absolutely remain the same:

•••••
We only get one life to live.
That's it and it's a short ride.
Ridding yourself of negativity and toxicity is allowed.
Do not be manipulated into believing otherwise.
•••••

Be strong for yourself and those you care for (spouse, children etc).
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.

It is empoweringrefreshing and wonderful to rid yourself of any poisonous people.
Go on, try it!  Live the life YOU want…with the happiness YOU DESERVE.

Have you rid your life of a toxic family member?
Share with me here, or on Wifetime of Happiness Facebook Page, I'd love to chat!

Take care,
Mrs White Signature

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