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toxic family

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by jonowen, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Hi Casper, thanks for your reply. My pupils' exams are all over and they all seem to have done OK (results in August will tell!) we are now practising for our end of year talent show and my head is thumping with all the drumming etc!
    Hope you are feeling better, sorry to hear you were ill, hope you will be much better and able to enjoy the summer holidays.
    Your family sounds like mine, but mine just pick on me - I can't say anything truthful about my sibs. as my mother is the biggest tell-tale you'd ever meet. I havn't heard from any of them for 8 days now and I feel stronger and happier, so I will be trying to think positively for as long as I can.

  2. Hi Jon
    I know exactly what you mean, My family are extreamly toxic (all except my Little sis who is only slightly toxic) and I have recently decided that I can take no more and refuse contact with my parents.
    The problem I have with my family is that not only is nothing I do good enough, but any decisions i make are the wrong ones. I have never had my parents tell me they are proud of me for any achievements I have got.
    I was told to drop out of university when I mentioned failing an exam (I resat and passed), The fact that I actually went to university was totally against my parents wishes, Becoming a teacher was even worse!!
    when I was off work recently due to suffering from depression after a miscarriage my Mother told me that it was all my own fault and that I brought everything on myself, yet in the same breath told me that she was there if i needed to talk.
    When I miscarried earlier in the school year she told me that it was a good thing as I could never look after a child, I had no commen sense.
    I could go on and on about the things that have been said to me to undermine my confidence and self esteem, and it has only been through counselling that I have realised how toxic they are and that I need them out of my life.
    I hope you are well.

    RG xx
  3. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    We could be sisters!
    Hope you have a relaxing weekend RG and don't think of your tox-fam - they're not worth the worry are they?
    Joni x
  4. Jonowen, you have my deepest sympathy. I come from a similar family set up. My sister and I are 'bad' and always have been (beaten, neglected and kicked out at 17), my other sister and brother are 'good' and can do no wrong. My 'good' sister and I live far away now (not near each other) so my parents have cosy get togethers with their two favourite children and their families. My sister wasn't even invited to my other sister's wedding (due to my mother). I'm 38 and I've never really come to terms witht the pain that this abuse and lack of love has caused me.
    Both my sister and I have tried to commit suicide several times and she is on high doses of anti depressants. I would say that we both have high levels of anxiety at all times and have trouble dealing with other people appropriately. (I tend to be very defensive and overly aggressive instead of assertive).
    I would say that my parents have really blighted my life. I have tried talking to them and not talking to them (once for 6 years) and TBH neither made much difference. At the moment I haven't seen them for 3 years but send all the correct birthday cards and speak to them on the phone a few times a year. This is enough to keep them at arm's length without actually fighting. They don't really want to see me anyway. My sister is angry with me for speaking to them and sees it as a betrayal of her. It''s so hard to say what is the right thing to do. I do believe that if people are causing you pain then you need to push them out of your life. Just because they are blood relatives doesn't give them the right to bully you and you wouldn't stand for it if it was coming from friends or work colleagues.
    Good luck whatever you decide. I know how it feels and it is totally horrible. There is a book callled 'Toxic Parents' (I think) which is meant to be really helpful in our situation. I'm going to get a copy of it for me and my sister. Feel free to PM me if you need to talk. So many people don't understand how it feels to be in this dilemna.
  5. LOL - very true
    I have found it so much better now that i just don't think about them, don't contact them and stay far away.
    I am extreamly lucky in that I moved away from home when i went to uni and never went back, and even etter is the fact that i am moving out of the country in 6 weeks so will be even further away and harder to contact.
    I realise to some people that this seems really harsh but it is a matter of survival and maintaining my mental health..
    I am planning on spending the weekend in the pub watching rugby and chillaxing with friends. Hope you have something relaxing planned too Joni
  6. I have a copy of this book, my counsellor told me to get it and it is really worth getting and reading.
    So much of it hit home for me and best of all no where in the book does it say that you should forgive your parents in order to move on, sometimes it is est to keep them at arms length.
    You are so right FBB, so many people just think that you should put up with parents and families even when they cause distress (psychological and well as physical) and that when you do distance yourself you are a bad person. It is soooooo not true!
    My friends have noticed a marked improvement in my happiness and genral well being since I stopped talking to my parents (i am like you send appropriate cards but thats about it) in that last few months..
    I hope you are having a good weekend to FBB

    RG xx
  7. Oh I'm so angry! Just been to visit my parents (dad been critically ill in hospital for 2 weeks and only came home on Wednesday) and today I'm greeted with a very angry mother. Apparently she believes the load of old sh1te that my sister's husband is spouting today (probably on my sister's behalf, seeing as she is the one I don't get on with) - despite the fact that I don't speak to or have contact with my sister and have told her husband that I want him to stop contacting me! So once again my relationship with my parents has been derailed by my sister and her problems. My mum, of course, just has to get involved and take sides - but only ever with my sister. Sorry, just needed to rant.
  8. ((((Dinx))))
    Hope your dad is ok.
  9. Thanks, randomgirly. He is getting better day by day, but I'm not welcome there (again) so probably won't see or hear from him until he is fit and well enough to sneak around when mum isn't there.
  10. Don't know what to say Dinx except that you have my sympathies. Sounds like at least you have a good relationship with your dad.
  11. Only when allowed to, FBB! Guess we are all pretty much in the same boat here. Not easy, is it?
  12. Totally understand how you feel. Earlier this year my dad remarried. He 'forgot' to mention it and only told me when he found out I'd heard off someone else. He told me it was a quiet affair. I then saw the photos - all the children (5 of us in total - ages 14-25) were there except me. I was and still am incredibly hurt.
    It isn't the first time and I can't forget about it. I sometimes think that cutting the ties would be easier, but one thing I want more than anything is to feel part of a family.
  13. God just reading through all of these posts has made me realise that the feelings I have towards members of my family is scarily not unique! (and uite reassuring too I might add).
    I have an older sister (a lot older) who helped raise me when my mum died, I was left with my semi-alcoholic father and after weeks/months(?) of counselling sessions have realised that both sister and father have left me emotionally screwed up regarding relatonships with men. Anyway that's one I'm dealing with but the sister has leukhaemia, huge debt problems and I have bailed her out several times big style (as my other 2 sisters have). Bank holiday monday she asked for a lift to B and Q but on the drive there she took umbridge at something I said (admittedly I was peeved and a bit shirty but not really bad) and demanded I take her back home and haven't heard from her since! I only got a mile down the road and she wouldn't even let me drop her at her door despite the fact I had to drive past it!
    Anyway, I haven't heard from her and that's a relief as all she does is talk at me, ***** about people or moan and it is soooo draining.(OK a bit unfair as sometimes she can be really nice and supportive - but just not that often) I'm happy not hearing from her but next saturday is my nephew's 18th birthday party and I'm sure she'll be there. I know she does make scenes at family "dos" so I really don't want to go. I'll be going on my own too and just feel crappy about it. She is a bully, a liar and full of bitterness and resentment as she used to be the "queen bee"of the family and now she's seen everyone else do well for themselves whilst her life has unravelled. In many ways I feel really sorry for her and have tried to help her but I've come to the conclusion she is just not a nice person and I'm happy having no contact. So what do I do next saturday?
    Sorry a really self indulgent whinge but to everyone who's posted on here (((hugs))) I think the only answer is treat people as you want to be treated and maybe making your friends the family you want is the answer?

  14. I don't really know what to advise, but I do sympathise JRT. Would it be possible for you to attend for a short time and just give her a very wide berth? Ignore her and leave as soon as any unpleasantness starts?
    I'm lucky that I have a fabulous brother who can see through all the **** and understands exactly what is going on. It has brought us much closer together and he has decided, for himself, that now the battlelines have been drawn yet again that he is standing firmly with me. So while I'm estranged from 3 members of my family, at least I have my brother. What saddens me most is that I cannot have any sort of relationship with my dad whilst my mum and sister are still playing these games, but I kind of blame him a little too. He won't acknowledge that there is anything unfair or wrong in what is happening, just that 'everyone is upset' and he 'doesn't want to add to the upset'.
    Families, eh... who'd have 'em!
  15. I've been in this position several times JRTowner and am going to my brother's wedding next year where there will be loads of family nasty undercurrents. I would suggest going to your nephew's party - don't avoid it or she will have succeeded in bullying you. If she is civil, be civil back then move away quickly. If she starts any **** just say 'I don't think this is the time or place for that discussion' and change the topic, then move away.Look her in the eye as you say it and have strong body language. It takes two people to make a scene. Don't degrade yourself by giving her one.
  16. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Thank you all for sharing these toxic-stories. I have read "Toxic families" and would recommend it, but part of me said that all the cases discussed couldn't be true (paranoid after all the emotional put-downs over the years); however, realising on here that I'm not alone has been a huge help.
    JRT, don't miss out on your nephew's party - hold your head high and be as civil as you can (easy to say, I know!)

    joni x
  17. Interesting development.... email from my mum saying that I should still come and see my dad (he would like to see me and we don't have any issues between us) and that she will keep out of the way. For my mum this is almost an apology!
  18. thats good Dinx, hope it continues
    I have just found out via facebook that my sister might be having a c-section on thursdy if they can't turn the baby.
    I don't mind that she didn't ring, but i know when i tell her i cna't come down this month as i am broke after paying deposit on my new flat i will get a right earful.
  19. Thanks, RG. Don't give her a chance to give you an earful - cut her off, before she gets going, with some excuse or other. I have trained MrDinx and the kids to interrupt phone calls with urgent requests using a prearranged signal that means 'help! get me off the phone right now'.
  20. Sounds like a plan Dinx, you would think she would understand as I am moving to LUxembourg and not just down the road, but apparently that just makes me a selfish b*tch.
    Go figure [​IMG]

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