Removing yourself from a toxic relationship with a family member is hard. There are no instructions to walking away and letting go of a toxic person, but it's a worthy process to pursue your own happiness and fixing the internal damage which emotional abuse inflicts.
Having a toxic family member who constantly takes you on an emotional rollercoaster ride on a regular basis leaves you with a range of conflicting feelings like confusion, obligation, pain, guilt, betrayal, anger, and grief. Taking the next step of letting go of family is incredibly hard, guilt-riddling, and takes a tremendous amount of courage.
A family member will take advantage of the fact that you are family – a bond that is supposed to be enduring, loving, and respectful – to manipulate and hurt you because they know you will find it very hard to remove yourself because you are family.
If you are going through something like this, I understand. It wasn't until recently that I decided that it was time to cut ties with someone who was a member of my household. After going through an entire childhood of emotional abuse I realized that ending all contact with that relative was the best route to take so I can continue living a healthy and happy life.
Some told me it was selfish to leave a loved one hanging, but the decision to cut ties with the relative was one of the hardest, but the best decisions I've ever made. That decision only came after I realized the outcome of my experiences with childhood emotional abuse. Now as an adult, I'm able to see the negative psychological effects I've developed because of the toxic relative.
We are conditioned to believe that to terminate relationships with “family" is morally and inherently wrong.
We are conditioned to believe that if we end relationships with them that we are “bad" and no one wants to be or feel like they are an inherently bad person.
We get it, your connection with your family is supposed to be this mythical bond that nobody and nothing can break—however, sometimes it's okay to distance yourself from certain family members, even if that means cutting them off indefinitely.
You should never compromise your mental, emotional or physical health for the sake of tolerating a toxic family member.
Even after you distance yourself from that toxic person, it will still take time to recover from that abuse, and that's okay, too. Family is a subjective term, so you can form a new family from your supportive friends. Surrounding yourself with supportive people will help you reinforce the positive change that you need in your life.
The toxic person in your life might try to gaslight you into thinking that you're actually the abuser. They will likely claim that they've been victimized because you're avoiding them, just because they give you the false sense of change or because they've made you feel remorse. These are the same abusive tactics they've used before, and you shouldn't backpedal and accept them back into your life.
I don't want you to hate toxic family members, that's not the reason for this article. But until they change, you may have to stay away from them. If you can't stay away, then be strong and do what you have to do in order to stay sane. Most importantly of all, take care of yourself.
I wish you luck and hope that you find peace in the midst of adversity.