Family: The most complex word. The responsibilities, the fights, the get togethers, the consistency, the love, the separation. I could not describe it even if I tried. Family is a very hard thing for some, and one of the most beautiful things to others. What matters is how your family treats you, the way they respect you, the trust you hold. If you do not have any of these things and feel as though you are "forced" to continue holding on to this family member, I am here to let you know it is OK to let go. You do not owe a single explanation to anyone for why you live the way you do.
Now, I am not talking about the group of young kids or teenagers and children. It is very hard to remove a family member when you are young and have nowhere else to go and rely on this person for so much. I am discussing adults and young adults who have the capability to do so, but feel as if they can't. You have so much to live for, and soaking in negativity every single day is rough, you are not a sponge- so stop soaking it all in.
Some signs you should cut a tie with a family member is when you feel any of these things:
-Not accepting you for you
All of these emotions are very easy to feel, but so hard to shut off. Like I said before, family is complex. But let's wipe away that, "She's still my Mom/He is still my Dad. She is still my Sister/He is still my brother," No. It doesn't matter who they are, when you are not being respected and you are being mistreated, you end it. "Still" means nothing.
It is extremely hard to do this, believe me, I have been in your shoes as well. You love this person, you want to have that bond with them, but when you are always feeling neglected or sad based on their actions, it is best for you to walk away. Respect is earned, it is not given, same goes with trust.
If you find yourself ever struggling and unsure on what to do about this person: weigh out the pros and cons. Take a look at your list. If you see there are so many cons, and barely any pros, it may be best to rethink this relationship. Now, if you find yourself seeing an even amount, it may be in your best interest to speak to a close friend or relative and see what advice they offer.
If you feel as though you are comfortable reaching out to this family member and expressing yourself, do it. But please remember, people do not change and will most likely take this as an attack on who they are.
For example, let's look at 2 fictional characters at a family dinner. Johnny is constantly being put down by his Aunt Mary. She criticizes everything he does, makes fun of him in a passive aggressive way and questions his life choices. Johnny ends up feeling humiliated in front of everyone and even starts to second guess his own decisions, which is sadly the result of being gaslighted.
When you look at the way Aunt Mary treats Johnny, you feel sad for him. You wouldn't want to have this relationship yourself, so why continue allowing people like this in your life?
I have cut ties with my family members before, and I will always support anyone who feels as though they have to due to unhealthy circumstances. You deserved to be treated well and with respect and kindness. Anything below that, cut it off.
Once you remove said person out of your life, it truly does feel like weight has been lifted off of your chest. No more anxiety about seeing him/her, no more worries about humiliation and blame. You can be yourself with no hesitation. This does come along with sadness and some guilt though, so do not beat yourself up if you feel that way. You made the right choice.
Always remember to stay true to who you are. What matters is how you feel and how you are being treated, let all the rest go. Treat people the way you want to be treated and never settle for less. Let the, "He/She is still my….. Go." It doesn't matter who they are. Always respect yourself first, and never allow yourself to be disrespected by anyone.
This is not an easy process, but I will continue to offer support to others who are in need. Focus on the people who love you and support you and your decisions, throw the rest out.
Always remember the water that was there when blood wasn't.
Love Always, Mel.