There's too much to do. You're drowning in tasks and responsibilities that have been put off for days, not to mention your own mental health that you've neglected for this person. Everything on your priority list has been set aside so that you can help them out. You've dropped your own plans and even lost sleep because you know it would mean a lot to them if you helped. After painstakingly doing everything in your power to complete the task, they look you in the eyes, completely ignoring everything you just did. "Nobody ever helps me."
If this were a romantic relationship between two people, the support would be overwhelming for the one who dropped everything in a heartbeat to be the hero.
"Why do you keep doing things for someone who doesn't care?"
"You don't have to be with someone that doesn't appreciate you."
"You deserve someone better."
But what happens if that person is your family? Your siblings? Your own mother?
When it comes to family, we tend to try a little harder for them. Blood ties are the first and some of the most important relationships we as human beings will ever have in our lifetimes. It's almost instinct to want to go the extra mile for a family member because of those ties.
The sad thing is those blood ties are also what makes it easier to dismiss toxic behavior with excuses like, "They didn't mean it that way," or, "That's just the way they are." No one ever immediately jumps to the conclusion that a family member is toxic. In fact, it's hard to accept. Who wants to say that they're not on good terms with a family member? However, as human beings, we can only take so much until we break; we can only take so much until it's considered abuse.
The hardest thing about dealing with toxic family members is accepting that they are in fact abusive because abuse doesn't always leave you with scars to show. Many people think, "They didn't hit me. I'm not being abused." The truth is abuse is a shape shifter that comes in different forms, and it will hurt you in ways you never even realized it could. Just because someone is family doesn't mean that the abusive behavior is excused.
Abuse comes in the form of controlling behavior, such as trying to prevent someone from getting a job. Being forced by a family member to alienate yourself from extended family is another way abuse rears its ugly head. Minimizing, shifting the blame, and gas lighting are forms of abuse. Withholding love as a form of punishment, criticizing every little thing you do, dismissing your dreams and achievements as nothing to be proud of while insulting you for even celebrating them, those are all forms of abuse.
You should never feel paralyzed by fear because you're afraid to death of the consequences of doing something wrong. Anxiety should never encapsulate you when you see someone's name flash on your phone. You should never be forced to tears in public because you're being berated over something insignificant.
If you would never watch a dear friend go through any of this with a significant other, why should you let yourself go through it with a family member?
Cutting people out of your life for good should be a last resort. When you've done all you can only to go back to square one over and over and over again, it's time to admit that the toxic person in your life just doesn't want to change.
If you are someone who is at the end of their rope because of a toxic family member, it's okay to cut them out of your life for your own mental health and safety. At a certain point, you can only do so much to help someone and try to fix a relationship before you start hurting yourself in the process. There's a difference between going through tough times with someone and that someone just plain making things tough on you for no reason. Don't set yourself on fire to keep others warm.