Just because we are family, does not mean I have to deal with your toxic behavior…
Have you ever been in a space where you have had a terrible experience with a family and when you express concern you’re met with “they’ve always been that way, just let it go”? As if the behaviors should be swept under the rug like a little dust bunny they don’t want to let go. In today’s society we (millennials) are known for holding each other and ourselves accountable, working on traumas and triggers through therapy, but for some reason, when it comes to family, we enable those actions.
See, I’ve had several situations where “family” has mentally attacked me, said or did things that could have tarnished my image, even taken advantage of me financially and for some reason, the matriarchs said “its water off of your back”. WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT MEAN? Why do I have to allow that to affect me?
In black families specifically, there is this unwritten rule that says that you keep family business and trauma in house and take it to God. But because of this, nothing ever gets healed, and the hurt comes out in other forms like drinking, drug use, anger, abuse, etc. perpetuating a toxic cycle that now as an adult I must break.
It is not fair to the up-and-coming generations to have to take the brunt of your family’s issues because they want to keep everything secret. So, to be in a better space, there are a few things you should do for you and your well-being. Take a deep look at those relationships closest to you and note how this person makes you feel and how they treat you.
Understand that the toxic behavior that comes from your family members isn’t a reflection of you, but a reflection of them. Removing yourself from a toxic relationship is hard; there are no instructions to walking away and letting go those you love, but your happiness and peace of mind should be worth it. And be ok with seeking outside help. Therapy is a great way of getting those feelings out and getting help without feeling like anyone is judging you.
Your journey is yours alone, so live it up and make it beautiful.
(I am not a licensed doctor or therapist. These are tools that helped me, but everyone’s situation is different.)