Earlier this year I was told in so many words that I was essentially obligated to associate myself with a family member who is unhealthy not only for myself but for my children, as well. The premise for this assertion was simply because I am related to them and one day this person will be dead.
First of all, let me just point out the fact that we all die. Do not allow anyone to manipulate you into having a relationship with someone just because said person will die one day. We all have to hold Death’s hand as we walk into the unknown at one point or another. Who’s to say you won’t die first? There is no way to know when any of us will die. So I believe death should never be used as a pawn in a game because in the end we all lose the game of Life, now don’t we?
We should be less focused on how we treat people because they die and more focused on how we treat people because they live.
Secondly, just because someone shares DNA with you, it does not mean you are obligated to sacrifice yourself for them.
Well she is my mother…
Well he is my father…
It does not matter who they are, they do not have a free pass to harm you and you are not required to sit back and take it if they do. If a spouse was belittling you, controlling you, and abusing you would people sit back and say “Well s/he is your spouse you have to forgive them”? No they wouldn’t. They would tell you to divorce them and find someone who treats you with respect and dignity. Why do we not apply the same rules to our family?
It’s this kind of mindset that keeps the ball of dysfunction rolling and we wonder why we have so many maladaptive adults in this world. We are brainwashing each other to accept abuse as “love” and that we must allow it if it is coming from our family.
Your family can absolutely love you (and you them) and still be toxic to your overall health. Abuse isn’t black and white and neither are family dynamics.
Do not sacrifice yourself for those who wouldn’t even pull you from the water if you were drowning. Do not martyr yourself for the sake of family. If there is someone in your life that causes you to fall asleep at night crying; have panic attacks every time your phone rings; and makes you want to harm yourself, you have to confront them. There is a chance they do not even see that they are hurting you. However, if they are unwilling to change for you, Cut. Them. Out. Period.
It does not matter who they are, if someone truly loves you they will not purposefully abuse you. If they really cared about you, they would be willing to take the steps toward being a better person for you.
Just because they love you due to a biological connection to you, that does not mean they are capable of true love.