Hurt people hurt people.


There’s a lot of advice out there for how to break up with a friend, a boyfriend or girlfriend but what about a family break-up?

Most of us are probably not in a mental or emotional position to “just leave” nor do we feel we want to, or that it’s the right thing to do. So what do we do when a toxic family member(s) is wreaking (and possibly reeking) havoc on our life?

How do we deal with the feeling of obligation, guilt, confusion and heartache?

It is important to note that not everyone’s family is there for support—a place to lean on, to call on or to go home to. Not every family is built on the premise of interconnectedness, compassion, support and stability. Sometimes family simply means that you share a bloodline. That’s all.

Some families build you up, some are so-so and some deplete you of any optimism.

There are relationships and friendships that just aren’t fixable—this includes family. There are situations that you can endure for only so long before you’ve out grown them.

In many cases, the way we were treated by our family growing up (even in the present) ends up being the same treatment we offer the world.

Often times the signal and energy we put out is similar to or exactly what we have experienced by others. And for most of us, this influential force has been our family. Think about it. Think about just how much the interaction, or lack there of, from our family, sets the tone for the quality of energy we give off during our lifetime.

What is unacceptable treatment?

Rejection, abandonment, not taking the time to get to know you or to be in your life, making you feel unwelcome, disrespected, overly competitive or hypercritical of you, pressuring or forcing you to be someone you are not, blaming, ostracizing, manipulating, belittling, neglecting and abusing you…the list goes on and on and on.

These types of experiences can make a deep imprint on our hearts (our being) and inhibit our ability to react without them being present in the back of our mind’s. Our reactions to life become skeptical, doubtful, fearful and we more often see the dark instead of the light in both people and situations.

These negative experiences can jade us for a lifetime, unless we learn to do whatever it takes to get ourselves into a positive nurturing environment and replace negatively influenced reactions with positive ones.

What are the signs indicating that you could use a break or change?

  • Your own health and mental well-being is damaged

  • You feel emotionally, physically and/or spiritually injured

  • The relationships with your immediate family/spouse/partner is suffering

  • There is violence, physical and/or emotional abuse

  • There is substance abuse

  • There are constant struggles for power

  • There is unnecessary distrust and disrespect

What to do, how to get out…

1. Get group help. If it’s possible and your family/family member is up for it, get counselling.

2. If it’s possible move out. Move in with a friend, your partner, an extended family member. Get to a place where people want to be with you, try to move into a nurturing environment.

3. Accept your parents or family member’s limitations. Know that you don’t have to repeat their behaviour. You are not them.

4. Allow yourself to get angry. Use it productively. Exercise. Do sports. Use art and creative expression. Write in a journal. Don’t withhold your emotions.

5. Seek guidance for yourself. Talk to someone, a counsellor, a life coach, your yoga teacher—anyone who will listen, someone you feel comfortable with. Ask for help with change and with taking risks.

6. Limit your time. Do whatever it takes to limit the amount of time you have to spend with the toxic family/family member. Limit visits, holidays, do what you can to prevent as much conflict as possible.

7.  Set healthy boundaries. Try to not allow yourself to get sucked back in. You can love and wish them the best from a distance.

8.  Learn ways to protect yourself. Practice meditation. Learn to be patient with yourself and others.

9.  Become aware of yourself. Observe your reactions. Become more self-aware in order to break negative patterns as much as you can.

10. Practice doing good things for yourself. Do things that build self-esteem. Do things you enjoy. Invite others that love you along.

11. Create balance in your life. Take care of yourself physically and eat a balanced healthy diet. Be aware and be cautious of things you may do compulsively (eating, shopping, drinking, etc)

12. Take charge of your life and your happiness. Don’t wait for others to give it to you.

Is it wrong to hold grudges?

Letting go can prove to be more helpful (even life saving) than grasping at toxic strings, looking for what ifs or chasing disillusioned beliefs. At the end of the day, we are all certainly in this together, but each of us have an honest obligation to do what is best for our selves.

You can be a lantern of hope, you can lead by example but you can’t force anyone to change.

Have you experienced a family break up?

Leave your suggestions in the comments.



{Love and respect me or leave me.}


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Tanya Lee Markul
Co-Founder and Chief Editor of Rebelle Society (you are here). She’s convinced that she once swam the depths of the deepest ocean and in the next round, grew over two hundred feet tall. In this life, she’s a vulnerable creation in process. She has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism & a Master’s in Business. In 2009, surrendering to the good fight within, she became a certified teacher of yoga. Now a full-time devoted student to the sacred art of self-discovery and creative expression, she spends her days on her yoga mat, in wellness experimentation and tilling the fertile soil of Rebelle Society, sharing bouts of black sheepish rebellion, self-acceptance and the beauty of darkness and well-being. Tanya is the creator of and She is also the co-founder and Wellness Alchemist at Rebelle Wellness. Get to know her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and at Sign-up for her free, weekly Newsie and contact her via email:


  • Rita commented on November 6, 2012 Reply
    Hey Tanya. The timing of your post was so right for me that it gives me chills. It’s just life telling me there are other people on my boat, probbaly – I tend to forget this. I’d like to add something ‘tough. «In many cases, the way we were treated by our family growing up (even in the present) ends up being the same treatment we offer the world.» And ourselves. And that sucks, that we perpetuate the evil doing it to ourselves. Anyway, I think one can learn to grow out of that. At least I want to believe so. Keep up the good writting:) Hugs*
    • Tanya Lee Markul
      tanya lee markul commented on November 7, 2012 Reply
      Hi Rita – thank you for your comment! I agree with you completely – we can grow out of all of it, if we really want to. I think it’s one of those things where you have to be determined to do the ‘healthy’ thing for you (and the family member) even if it’s cutting them off completely or creating super healthy boundaries. Big hugs. :)
  • Lauren commented on November 7, 2012 Reply
    I’ve ruined and rebuilt some close friendships and family relationships in the past couple of years – sometimes, you have to take it all down to the bare bones and start over. The ones that I couldn’t rebuild, they were the ones that I needed to let go of, they were weights dragging me down, not anchors keeping me in place. I feel no guilt in it now, but going through it, it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Yes, how we learned to love and be loved growing up carries for a lifetime but regrets can become the best teachers. Great post, thank you.
    • Tanya Lee Markul
      tanya lee markul commented on November 7, 2012 Reply
      I hear you Lauren! I love how you described them as weights dragging you down versus anchors keeping you in place and grounded. Great way to visualise it! It also amazes me what we are capable of — in terms of transformation and breaking habits and patterns we learned from our family. We are so much stronger than we think we are. :-) Hugs.
  • Tracy commented on November 8, 2012 Reply
    What an important message! This is especially difficult for those of us who believe deeply in community and interdependence, yet find ourselves born to relationships so difficult that they diminish us. Great advice! Thank you!
    • Tanya Lee Markul
      tanya lee markul commented on December 9, 2012 Reply
      So true —- and, sometimes it’s hard to understand and/or accept that sometimes family isn’t ‘blood’ and that family nourishment can come from outside the ‘family’. :-) :-)
  • Erika commented on December 8, 2012 Reply
    I was running away from my dysfunctional family. I immigrated to another country but unfortunately, my sister won Green Card and also came to the same city. She doesn’t live with me but keeps all her bags in my place and comes almost every weekend… I don’t want to move because I have a good job but I feel constantly depressed that I can’t just throw out her bags and not let her come to my place… I’m stuck in anger, frustration and hopelessness that I will never be able to get rid of the past!!! What to do???
    • Tanya Lee Markul
      tanya lee markul commented on December 9, 2012 Reply
      Hi Erika — just from my own personal experience, I’d recommend finding a healthy balance that works for you. Start with a small effort, then see where it takes you. It seems like you’ve already made the decision to do something about it, now all you seem to be waiting for is to ‘do’ something. :-) You can do whatever needs to be done. You can! Much love. Tanya
  • Susanna commented on December 9, 2012 Reply
    I’m not sure ostracizing family helps, but being aware of and taking control of your own interaction with them is better. The Four Agreements helps us take responsibility for how we feel about people, and how we respond to them, and we can choose not to absorb their dysfunction, and set boundaries, without having to kick them out of our lives. The Four Agreements (by Don Muguel Ruiz is $6 on Amazon ) The Four Agreements are: Don’t take things Personally, Don’t Make Assumptions, Do Your Best and Speak Your Truth. I have found that if I try to implement all four, I’m not setting myself up to “buy” or accept their crap, and by not responding the same way over and over, and not treating them the same in return as a knee-jerk habit, I’m healthier, and happier.. That’s the toughest part about family relationships, habits die very hard, and redefining the relationship seems impossible, but kicking someone out is never the answer because it almost always becomes an unfinished regret.
    • Deb commented on September 7, 2013 Reply
      Not necessarily. I saw the list in the post as things to do first. I tried them all. They were the staging ground to taking control of my own experience. This life is not beholden to others. It is an exploration and is not controlled by a rule book. I am at peace for the first time in my life exactly because I have been able to set myself free. When a family is committed to keeping secrets and taking down anyone who desires truth, it is a matter of survival to let them go. The interpretation from the outside may be “kicking them out”, but in reality I set myself free. I wish them well in kindness and love. I do not miss them. What never was cannot be missed.
      • Carla commented on April 5, 2015 Reply
        I agree. There is only so much abuse you can take. I don’t miss my family of origin at all. Looking back I don’t know how I survived. I am grateful beyond words to be free.
    • Philippa commented on November 11, 2013 Reply
      Yes, however, sometimes it is not possible to be able to erect these boundaries until you can have a break for long enough to be able to learn how to gain new skills in expressing and putting up boundaries. If you have not had the experience of having your boundaries respected by family members, and you have trouble finding your voice, and it seems as though every attempt to learn is thwarted by their behavior, then it is time to admit that you need to get away to be able to learnt these things. It doesn’t come naturally to everyone.
  • hayleyyoga commented on December 9, 2012 Reply
    Another timely article, thank you. I’m writing from the other side of this, but this serves as a good reminder, specially at this time of year. The moment I opened magic door number 3 “Accept your parents or family member’s limitations. Know that you don’t have to repeat their behaviour. You are not them”, gave myself the appropriate level of distance and embraced my anger at the situation, it unlocked the wisdom of my own heart. Not to say it was easy and I do falter ocassionally, we all fall back in to old patterns sometimes, especially when i take my eye off the ball, but I can say I work damn hard at being a Lamp! Light it up folks, let it light the way to your own freedom.
  • Michael Honke, MA, MFT commented on December 10, 2012 Reply
    A lovely essay which touches on themes in attachment, psychodynamic, and family systems theories. Well said and from the heart.
  • Jim Fry
    Jim Fry commented on January 14, 2013 Reply
    I’ve been blessed with a really close family with minimal negativity in the mix of my parents, four siblings and a host of children. What I’ve found as part of our magick is that whenever there have been minor issues, the two impacted tend to keep it between themselves and not drag the balance to the debate matches. No taking sides and no gossip train.In other relationships across my life, I’ve found that the most powerful tool for dealing with tyrannical behaviors is to always, look within first, and figure out why I am in the middle of the equation.
    • Jessie Fae commented on April 6, 2015 Reply
      This is how I feel! Speaks true to me. Although, integration into being has mostly been easier said than done. Will get there.
  • Daryl Morazzini commented on March 6, 2013 Reply
    You have no idea how helpful and timely this article was. Thank you so much for this.
  • Jezebel commented on April 8, 2013 Reply
    Great post. Many people will thank you for giving them “permission” to break up with their family. A therapist did that for me a few years back and I was so relieved to hear someone tell me that that decision was OK.
  • Deb commented on May 6, 2013 Reply
    I “broke up” with my mother when I was 21 years old. It was perhaps the hardest thing I’ve ever done. To give you an idea of how courageous I felt about it, I informed her of my decision by leaving a message on her machine. To Susanna who says ostracizing family is never the answer, I beg to differ. Sometimes it is the only answer. My mother is mentally ill. At the time, she could fake it enough to fool most people most of the time. Mostly she fooled herself, refusing to this day to admit she is mentally ill and needs help. She was in a downward spiral and had I stayed around to watch, I think I would have gone down with her. I left the country. For a while I had nightmares that she would find me. When you’re dealing with someone capable of reasoning, setting boundaries and not taking it personally is a wonderful strategy that I regularly employ. When you’re dealing with someone who is incapable of rational thought, the idea of boundaries and personal responsibility unfortunately just doesn’t hold up. While not everyone is dealing with a serious mental illness, I think there are a lot of people out there who, after a lifetime of suppressing their truth, struggle with rational thought and will just never respect your boundaries. For a long time I suffered harsh judgement from well intentioned folks who were entirely unable to understand how anyone could EVER cut ties with their mother. There had to be something I was doing wrong if I couldn’t work it out with her. I wasn’t accepting enough. To avoid those judgements I simply embellished the truth, but that was painful too. Life has since serendipitously provided me with the opportunity to connect with other people in my situation, and I have done lots and lots of processing of all the guilt and sadness, mourning the loss of the mother I will never have. It wasn’t easy and I doubt it ever is. But sometimes it’s your only chance for survival. It certainly was for me.
    • Alessa commented on May 12, 2013 Reply
      Thank you so much for sharing this… i have a similar situation. I broke up with my mother 4-5 years ago… I don’t even remember now…. she was mentally ill too but was able to hide it from most people. She was abusive from the time I was a baby… and continued to damage me in the most unbelievable ways. It was the only option…. some people say, like my sister who I had to give up because of my mother too, “if you know she’s sick, why can’t you just deal with it?” Well… because she’s abusive and she does affect me when she tries to hurt me with her words…even though I know her words are coming from a place of illness. I’m so much better off without her in my life. Grateful actually. I’ve still got major issues to deal with… but am grateful her sickness is not one of them.
      • deb commented on May 12, 2013 Reply
        Read The Memory Palace: A Memoir by Mira Bartok if you get a chance. It’s the story of a woman whose mother is severely mentally ill and how she and her sister cut ties with her to save themselves. It’s a beautiful book. The author suffered a brain injury so she speaks a lot about that too, but her relationship with her schizophrenic mother is a large part, and it really spoke to me. Good luck to you!
    • Janise Johnaon commented on June 23, 2013 Reply
      Well said Deb, not every family is a fairytale. I broke up with my “blood” family and now have so much love from my other family, which comes in all forms. thanks for sharing.
    • K commented on July 7, 2013 Reply
      “I think there are a lot of people out there who, after a lifetime of suppressing their truth, struggle with rational thought and will just never respect your boundaries.” Thank you for this; it really hits home. My mother is one of these people. Unfortunately, I’m back under her roof again — 35 years after leaving the first time — due to extended unemployment and lack of a better option. Our relationship was never good; she has not ever, does not now, and never will see me as a person, only as her child (despite the fact that I have spent all but two of those last 35 years putting a roof over my own head).
    • Deb commented on September 7, 2013 Reply
      From one Deb to another…well said.
  • Anny Fyreagle commented on May 12, 2013 Reply
    This is a very good article. I hear all the time that if taking care of eldery parents is causing my stress, why don’t I just walk away…. because it is just that simple… to someone standing, over there. Is that the answer? Just leave people stranded? Does that make me more like them? Ultimately I have to live with myself and I need to do what I am going to be happy with so I make whatever choices are right for me regardless of our past relationship. The point now is that they are nearing their end and they are scared. I have the ability to help them with this. Why wouldn’t I? It speaks to the person I AM, not what I have become as a result of anything. Frankly is surprises the crap out of me that my parents see me as kind to them as I am, given the rough ride they have given me for 48 years. And my affection for them has not grown in any way because I am doing this. The truth is, in their airing of regrets they have shared things that have made the hairs stand up on my skin. I am their confessor, among other things. This is a very dirty job. My point is that I have never let anyone define what my relationships are or are not, or what box they may want to stuff me in. This applies to family relationships as well. The automatic assumption that everything should look like a Norman Rockwell painting is sad. I’ve yet to meet anyone who tells me that any of their relationships are perfect. I’ve stopped trying a long time ago. Yes, it’s time to go, but ultimately, I will make that decision. It is MY freedom after all.
    • Janise Johnson commented on June 23, 2013 Reply
      You so speak the truth Anne!! hang in there!
    • Jay commented on August 3, 2013 Reply
      I respect your effort very much. My grandmother was very toxic and poisoned my mother and my aunt. My mother poisoned me with the bitterness. But as my grandmother closed in on 90, both her daughters stood by her and cared for her in her fragile state. I think I helped convince my mother to make the effort because I told her if she wasn’t willing to walk away in the past she should not walk away now that my grandmother was fragile, scared and basically helpless. My mother died of a sudden stroke two years before my grandmother passed but I think their relationship was healed toward the end. My aunt bore the brunt of the final months, given that she lived two blocks away. As a man I learned a lot about love from these people at the end. I think it makes up for some of the bitterness and spite they gave me to start.
    • Kimberly commented on June 5, 2014 Reply
      I did exactly as you….father with M.S. and my mother had brain cancer. You will never regret what you are doing for them!!! It’s hard and emotionally draining. You will have this indescribable peace within your soul for the rest of your life after they both are gone….. Growing up I made a choice not to be anything like my mom…. she became my teacher of what not to be or become when I grow up. You have amazing strength, and it shows…. stay strong :)!
  • Jasmina commented on May 12, 2013 Reply
    Sure, there are other options than leaving, but leaving a toxic person might be the right thing to do at a certain moment, while it does not have to be cutting off totally. I did all the options with my family members, and will share some for the sake of possible help to someone reading this. Moved out young, but without accusations – they did not know I was leaving them, we still were together often enough. In my solitude I dealt with relation to my mother, who was verbally and emotionally abusive. I did lots of meditation, speaking to her in my thoughts, telling her all that I needed to, and allowing her reply. Amazingly, in this way I got answers I needed to understand her and situations that formed her. This is how I could understand and forgive her. There was a time I thought my mom is mentally ill, but… The weight of society is hard(er) on women, I know that now, and she just felt trapped, unhappy, lost and unwanted. When I forgave her, I could start to accept her as she is, which led to her grief about how she treated us. Looking back, I see this process of healing we both had together. I am happy that she is now still accepting her self. With this came her acceptance of me. It is a long process for us, sure, and this is ok. Makes me content to know we did this together! I am very thankful for the process I went through with my mother – very valuable lessons that strengthened me in most important ways towards my own truth in this life.
    • Jay commented on August 3, 2013 Reply
      Your’s is a very moving story. My mother died suddenly out of the blue from a stroke. She was 61. I was 39. We had a contentious relationship from the time I was a teen. There was great love when I was a child but as I grew to be a large teenager she was unable to keep me constrained. After I left for college and rejected her Christianity we argued for a period until I left completely to go into a world of drugs, alcohol and blue collar work. She stood by me several times when I was a wreck but would continue to judge and berate me by unacceptable standards if I were functional. As I passed 30 and became a professional, she took a nose dive into self-pity and poverty. I had only achieved success through intense therapy and personal effort and basically took the position of avoiding her because I felt she was toxic and dysfunctional. I was cruel in my judgments. I knew that when I was arrested or committed it was my mother who was first to come to my side to comfort me and try and help me. But she only acted within the context of evangelical Christianity, something I cannot accept. This was our barrier. I had always hoped as I aged that we would become friends but as she dove deeper into her 50s and poverty and self-isolation I could not stand to even look at her. We would endure 20 minute visits every so often, with me letting my wife take the brunt of the interaction. After she died I learned that she had been date raped as a teen and forced to give up the child for adoption against her wishes by my grandmother. My parents later gave up another child prior to being wed. This was a year before I was born. I was raised to think I was the eldest and the apple of everyone’s eye. This new knowledge, a year after she died, completely broke my heart. This was three years ago and I have yet to recover. I feel so guilty that she could not look at me and say “I need you to love me because I did these things and I hurt.” I think I could have done that. As it was I despised her for her self-pity, which I did not understand. I hurts me very much to write this and remember my guilt at being unable to love her for being human.
  • Rachel commented on June 27, 2013 Reply
    I left the father of my 14 month old son after much heart ache and pain. Many years of feeling isolated and rejected….. The stigma of being a ‘single mother’, the fear of how I would survive, but ultimately – how it would all affect my son. 6 months after this, and being forced to still deal with a bitter man most days (for my son to see his father) my mother passed away, and I am unable live with my family or provide an extended family for my son, as his father wants us to remain ‘up here’… You know what though? I feel closer to my truth than I ever have in my life. I have learned more soul lessons in this time and not a day goes by that I dont feel gratitude tingling in my body for some little massive thing… And my son will see a woman that is trying her best and who’s intent is love. Even if some days its so fucking hard to get moving…
    • SR Atchley
      SR commented on July 14, 2013 Reply
      Rachel, I feel your pain. Stigmas be damned, single motherhood is hard. Sole responsibility for your decisions, which affect more than just you, is a heavy load. When coupled with the loss of your mother, for which I offer you my condolences, your path may seem hard to journey. Keep moving. We’re in the same boat, sister. Love and light.
  • Barbara Garcia commented on July 29, 2013 Reply
    Thank you for this article and thank you to all who commented. I had to permanently cut ties with my mother, who has a severe mental illness, for a little over a year now. I don’t know anyone who has been in this particular situation so I appreciated reading about those who can empathize. It is one of the most difficult decisions that I ever made, and still doesn’t feel quite real. As I have no brothers or sisters it was also a lonely decision. I still have to remind myself how disruptive it was to have her in my life. Thank you again for letting me express this.
    • Deb commented on August 22, 2013 Reply
      Hang in there, Barbara. Cutting ties with your mother is huge, and even after all the work you do to heal that wound, it will always be part of your life and part of who you are. Nothing can ever really make it ok that you had to make that decision or that your mother didn’t live up to her role, but if you let yourself feel the feelings and accept the not-ok-ness of it, you can start to find a way out. I had so much guilt when I cut ties with my mom. Her husband had just left her because he couldn’t handle her craziness anymore. How could I abandon her too? What kind of person would that make me? But her problems were so much bigger than I was, and she was bent on taking me down with her – showing up unannounced at my apartment and my job, telling wild lies about me to my father, including that she thought I was working as a prostitute. All this after years of subtle and not so subtle psychological abuse. And still I felt guilty, like a bad daughter, and so afraid, afraid that I would turn out just like her, afraid that she would never leave me in peace. That I would never be free to live my own life. But something inside me awoke and I rebelled. It was a very lonely, desperate decision. But in time the guilt and fear slowly turned to sadness and mourning. And after waking up to it every morning for a long time, one day I didn’t. Grieve for your loss, Barbara. It may have been your decision, but in the greater scheme of things, you were denied your mother. It’s not your fault. Best to you.
  • Pamelia H. Campbell commented on August 3, 2013 Reply
    Thank you SOOOOOO much for this article. Wonderful logic and sentiments. I grew up with a verbally and physically abusive narcissistic mother, and had a mother in law for 21 years who recently passed away who was extremely unhealthy in her narcissism and manipulation. My husband grew up in a home where on Sundays his mother would get her 7 children together and they would verbally attack and slay whoever she was displeased with that week. Quite often it was him, and he is also ashamed to admit he joined in with the arguments and was manipulated by her. Years ago we took training to become foster parents and learned quite a lot about psychological behaviors and actions, and at that point f clarity we decided to cut ties. That was about 10 years ago and his siblings have been furious ever since. But our sons grew up without fighting and abusive manipulation. We’re not a perfect family, but my boys have turned out wonderful, caring and amazing. It’s ok to walk away from a toxic situation even though we’re taught not to abandon family. It’s ok not to be involved in mental or even physical abuse and to have no tolerance for it. I had an amazing wonderful grandmother that I grew up right next door to. Having vast differences of influences between her and my mother, I was able to experience a loving and nurturing mother versus the constantly angry violent and verbally abusive mother. My grandmother loved me unconditionally all though we did not share the same blood. My step dad adopted me when I was 3 and it was the best thing that could happen to me. I realize I’ve rambled, but in closing I want to post a song that I’ve listened to many a time, that has helped me let go of toxic relationships and move on in my life. If the link fails look up Rascal Flatts ‘I’m moving on’ best song out there for this situation I believe.
  • Jaime Raby commented on August 3, 2013 Reply
    Thank you for this post I really needed it. I have a very large family as both my parents remarried after their divorce, I am the oldest of five siblings. Both sides of the families are very toxic and dysfunctional. They always doted on the boys, the girls were considered worthless. I always felt worthless. My father loved only his son, a son that was not his. And my mother resented her children for being girls. She also came from a toxic family. Growing up my mother and grandmother told me I would not be able to go to college so there was really no point in thinking I was going to go anywhere in life. My brother’s college was paid for, and my other siblings were paid for in some amounts. My mother allowed her husband to beat her, and beat me and my sisters. I left at an early age fearing he would kill us, but I could not take my sisters. But within a weeks time they came to live with me, my dad, brother and not so nice step mother. My mom was held hostage by my step dad in front of them, and when the police stepped in my mom left and went to another state with the daughter she had with the abusive husband. Over the years things for me just got worse and worse, my sisters hated me, I dropped out of school. I did anything and everything except drugs to get attention from my parents. I never got it. When I was 29 I went through an extremely bad break-up and I told an awful lie about being sick, just to get attention from my family. I felt so alone, and for whatever reason I thought that it was get me the attention I so desperately wanted. It just ended up driving an even bigger wedge between me and my family. I spent almost two years alone, sitting thinking about what I had done and since then I have been trying to change and not be that person. I got a new job and met the man who is now my husband. The first non abusive relationship I have ever had. I came clean about the lie to my family about being sick, but they never forgave me. I tried and tried to make up for it, but instead my mother looked at me and told me I was going to die for telling that lie, I really was sick in the end but it was something that could be treated, but my family did not care. The nicer I was to them and the more I tried to make amends and get them to like me, the more they hated me. All of my siblings are in toxic relationships and have abusive husbands. My mother is still with the man who tried to kill her on numerous occasions. And my father is still with the woman who did and does not want him to have anything to do with me and my sisters. One day I just got tired of all the chaos. I got tired of wracking my brain against the wall about what I could do to be noticed and liked by the members in my family. I started going to school but that did nothing in regards to my family thinking I was a better person, but it did make me feel better, I was finally accomplishing something and making my life better by doing something I’ve always wanted to do. I do know that if I ever have children, I will never tell them they will amount to nothing, I will never make them feel like I don’t care about them, or hold them back and not let them be happy. I will never harbor any resentment towards them. I always thought that families were supposed to love and support one another. Not hate each other and be competitive and put each other down on a continual basis. It’s been almost two years since I’ve talked to my father or anyone on his side of the family and six months since I’ve talked to my mother. My sister contacted me to tell me she is expecting her first child, but while I wished her well I also told her that I could not continue to be part of this family if they were going to keep throwing the mistakes I made, i.e. the lie I told, in my face. She proceeded to throw everything back in my face again after I said that. The last thing I said to her, was again that I wished her well and a healthy pregnancy and that the damage could not be repaired that has been done. Honestly, I still don’t understand why they ostracized me growing up, and made me the black sheep, other than the fact that I was different. I rebelled against everything they ever said and did to me. I refused to live the way they all lived, with toxic relationships and continuing the abusive cycle. Someone has to break that cycle and sometimes you have to walk away in order for it to be broken. Walking away was not something that I wanted to do, and more times than not I feel ashamed for growing up in such an abusive family, it seems to me that when you tell strangers you have been abused physically, mentally, verbally, they just want to throw you away with the trash because you are damaged goods. I tend to keep all of it to myself, and only speak to people I can trust not to make those judgements. Trust will always be an issue but I do the best I can with that. I often miss my family, I often wish that I could have fixed them, and we all could have been a supportive, loving family. But that will never happen. My only choice in the end was to walk away, to break that cycle. I apologize for the length of this.
    • Pamelia H. Campbell commented on August 3, 2013 Reply
      Proud of you for being able to walk away from this. Not many people can make a break from toxic relationships and work on themselves. Hang in there and take care of yourself. There’s a group on facebook called daughters of narcissistic mothers. I don’t go there often, maybe 3 times so far, but it’s a great group fr talking and realizing a lot of other people have made the break, and that it’s OK to have made a healthy choice in life like that.
  • Jaime Raby commented on August 3, 2013 Reply
    Thank you. I just sent a request to join the group. I appreciate the info!
  • deb commented on September 7, 2013 Reply
    Thank you for this article and all the comments. I am so glad to know I am not the only one that has suffered from toxic family members and made a decision to break off relations with them. In my situation it was my sisters. My older one abused me and ridiculed me my entire life. All of the family arguments and drama was blamed on me and I bought into it, until one day when I didn’t react. I then saw what the pattern was and it was always the oldest sister manipulating everyone. All my life I remember my mother saying “I don’t know why Christine hates you so much.” I never knew either, except I always felt inferior around her. Never good enough, smart enough, pretty enough…on and on. At my mother’s funeral I finally realized it was just the fact that I was born. When she gave her euligy during the funeral, all she spoke about was her relationship with Mom until she was 5 yrs old. It hit me like a ton of bricks, I was born when she was 5 yrs old. What happened to the next 50 yrs? I was 55 by then and she was 60. She had never forgiven me or our mother for me being born, no less my 2 younger siblings. After Mom died she went on a mission to destroy me and she almost did until I finally said “no more”!! My younger sister has spent her life trying to gain approval from the oldest and we had been very close. That relationship has been destroyed also and now the older sister has nothing to do with the younger one anymore. Stuck in the middle is the baby brother who is develope mentally disabled that wants a relationship with everyone. He is with me now that Mom is gone, he hears very little from the other sisters, maybe a card on his birthday or a holiday. One will invite him to come for dinner usually the day of the holiday or afterward, the other just doesn’t have time in her life for even a card or phone call. My life has improved tremendously by cutting the blood ties to these 2 destructive women. I have only skimmed the surface of my story, but it would take a book and many years of therapy to tell it all. Thankfully I have good friends who know my story.
    • Someone commented on December 29, 2013 Reply
      Sorry to hear that this was so bad for you. Ugh, stories like yours remind me that I’m not so unlucky. I have spent much of my life wishing I had a sister, but what are the chances she would be my friend instead of a pain in my ass? For every “my sister is a great friend” story, seems like I hear at least half a dozen stories like yours. Anyway, thank you for sharing… glad you have cut ties to these blood suckers.
    • Sandy commented on October 26, 2014 Reply
      It amazes me a 5 yr old could become so hateful. She is a toxic sister that doesn’t deserve to be in your life.
  • Elizabeth commented on September 7, 2013 Reply
    I am living through a family break-up right now, today. It is challenging and painful but ultimately the best thing for all involved. Thank you, thank you for this wonderful piece. I really needed to hear this right now, today. As always, a gifted Rebelle Society writer nails it. Keep ’em coming!
  • John Fitzgerald commented on September 7, 2013 Reply
    Thank you for writing this. I too am going through a family break-up and this helps. One major issue for me is my young son. I feel a need to be a daily presence in his life and yet I need distance from his mother. I’m feeling my way forward, taking little steps.
  • Josephine commented on October 24, 2013 Reply
    It’s difficult because I don’t feel like I can sever ties with my sister. She is extremely difficult and it always feels like every time I see her, she attacks me. It’s difficult because she thinks she is better than me, and in a way she is. She has a better job, a better house, all of that nonsense that really doesn’t matter to me. I love my job, I love my partner, and I love where she is. If you judged the world the way my sister views the world, she wins. But if you look at the world in my eyes, you’d see that I’m more than happy, content, and wonderfully satisfied. My only problem is that I think about what my sister says and what she openly thinks about my life over and over again. She says such mean things, and every time I never know what to say. I’m seeing her over the holidays, and already I am dreading the inevitable cruel words she will hand over to me without even a shred of guilt. That’s just the way she is. And what kills me is that she thinks she is helping me. I think she has affected the way I view the world because I always think I am wrong. In an argument, I always back down and I let people say mean things to me, even though their words will haunt me later on. I always wanted to be somebody special. Somebody people would look and think, Wow. But no matter if that happens, my sister would probably ruin it anyhow. There is no hope, really. It’s just something I have to deal with, especially for my mother’s sake.
    • Someone commented on December 29, 2013 Reply
      Well the holidays are basically over now, but next time, don’t go!! It’s your choice to go or not, and yes you have a choice! Tell your mother “I’ll come visit you another time when sister won’t be there.” End of story. People tend to think they have “no choice” when it comes to the relatives, but that’s the point of this article. You do have a choice. It takes courage… sending positive energy your way to find the courage to stand up for yourself. You’re an important person too… take care of you!!
    • Sandy commented on October 26, 2014 Reply
      Saying that you have no choice is a choice. She has absolutely no right to be mean, and you do not have to stand their and take it. You are allowing her to treat you that way. I bet if you told her to stop talking to you that way, she would stop. If not walk away. She thinks she is so much more than you. She may not come back right away, but I beat after she sees you don’t need her, she will come crawling.
  • Carey commented on October 30, 2013 Reply
    Yes, I have individuated from my family of origin (and extended family members who were/are part of the entanglement) and it has been quite a process. I have been in the process for over two years now. Just when I think I am where I want to be with it/them, I am faced with more to untangle/detach from and am faced with wanting even more of a deeper level of completion with them. I have followed what wants to happen inside of me and been gentle on myself as I make these big choices. I check in with myself often to see where I want to be spending my energy and choose to follow my inner knowing. It takes courage to choose yourself and your own aliveness when sometimes it means leaving behind those who you love (even if it was toxic, it was what I knew and I love them..). Life is for living though, and if a relationship with your family does not bring you joy and aliveness, then time to move on. I appreciate you writing this piece. So many people don’t think that they have a choice and many people don’t understand one’s choice to break up with their family. Thanks.
  • bbbetty commented on October 30, 2013 Reply
    The gaslighters, the manipulators, the supporters who weaken you rather than strengthen you, the, always a string attached, givers but in actuality, takers. These are all signs of a covert aggressive personality. (wolf in sheep’s clothing) and the worst kind of emotional abuse because it is so very hard to spot. They keep you off balance and controlled in relationships while putting on a perfectly nice guy, perfectly fake persona for the world to see. Oh my dears, if you spot the crack in the armor you will be dumped so fast, the door will slam in your face. There is no, “dealing” with these types. There is no, “working it out” or even trying to have any kind of compatible relationship for the children’s sake. And, the children do suffer because these covert/aggressive types, only know one way to have a relationship, their way. Unfortunately they will use the same manipulative tactics with their own child. Sometimes one must simple sever the ties or let their spirits slowly die under the constant stress of looking over their shoulder trying to figure out what is really going on. Never, in a million years did I think that this was the only option. But, in the case of covert/aggressives, it is. Because, being with these toxic people, even for a short time, is like willingly swallowing poison. Only you don’t know it until later, when your stomach starts to hurt, when your heart sinks as you realize, “My God, it happened again!” In a family, an individual has the right to feel protected and supported and should be able to trust the ones who are supposed to love them. Saying, “I love you” is easy. Showing it by being there for a family member, even when it doesn’t benefit you in any way, is the gold standard of love.
  • Warren commented on October 30, 2013 Reply
    Thank you. I’m experiencing this right now in my life. I am in the process of divorcing my wife of 32 years, and trying to leave behind a long term toxic (for both of us) relationship. My children are adults but have a lot of anger towards me. The divorce is something they knew was coming and there is never good timing for such a thing. The signs you list as indicating a change is needed help me to know that I am doing the right thing, even though this has cost me my relationships with my children. One thing you didn’t touch on is the grief you feel at the loss and diminishment of these close relations. I am proud of my children, and I miss them. And I mourn for the loss of contact with my grandchildren as well. But I understand the anger and resentment (as my brother said to me, ‘you had a perfectly good illness going, how dare you break the cycle’) and can only hope that someday they will move past it. Thank you again
  • peanutbutterhair commented on November 30, 2013 Reply
    I had a neglectful mother. but I have had trouble with other women all my life. I am an actress. When I was going to acting school many years ago, I met the meanest most despicable women. I was attacked physically by a girl who was a soap opera actress and was a victim of meanness by the other students in the class. As a child I was a victim of bullying by the other girls in the school. I was finally sent away to a boarding school where I did make some friends. Has anyone on this board have consistently negative experiences with women?: I’d appreciate feedback, especially from fellow actresses.
    • Someone commented on December 29, 2013 Reply
      Well I am not an actress, but I agree… women can be real bitches. I am a laid-back and non=aggressive person and have been horrified at how gossipy, petty, shallow, fickle, and sometimes downright mean and nasty other women can be. I don’t like being in groups of women for this reason. I have had some women in my life that turned out to be “frenemies.” (Apparently friends who turn on you have become so common that there’s a term for it now. :-o( I have had a few good female friends, usually in one-on-one situations. And yes I was bullied in school too… even as a kid I couldn’t comprehend the psychology behind those who would attack someone who’s just minding their own business. ?! LOL, maybe nasty women are found more frequently in the acting field? After all, they’re continuously working at the art of acting like someone they’re really not :-) That is a trademark of a sociopath, fooling others into thinking you’re someone you’re not until you’re ready for the kill.
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  • Someone commented on December 29, 2013 Reply
    Very good article. Church does a lot of damage in this area, they tell you to “just love” the abusive person. This mindset is based on the false idea that love conquers all. Sadly, this is a romantic-sounding and persistent myth that has done a lot of damage. Some people are psychotic to the point that getting away from them is the only answer. Others may be once-good friendships that have gone down the tubes and you have to end it to keep that person from pulling you down with them. With hurtful family members, sometimes a long-term break is the answer. I cut my parents out of my life for almost 3 years because of their hypercritical attitude, controlling behavior and negative comments. It took that long for them to admit to some fault and come around enough to where we can spend time together occasionally. I cut my brother out of my life about 10 years ago and haven’t talked to him since. He never did come around and I had had enough of his verbally abusive and emotionally unavailable behavior. I don’t miss him, I do miss the idea of having a good relationship with a caring sibling, but I have come to terms with the fact that he will never be that sibling.
  • Robyn W. commented on December 31, 2013 Reply
    Hi Tanya – GREAT post. I have battled with the question of family & friend breakups myself, over the years, and have done it several times. I can’t honestly say I regret severing contact with any of the people with whom I have. The concept of toxic people is something that struck home with me, hard, when I was attending Al-Anon several years back. I don’t still go (and maybe I should, but I have a problem with the Christianity-based steps). Even though it doesn’t fit with my personal beliefs, in every meeting I’ve gone to, the closing words included “Take what you like and leave the rest.” So I use that as my justification for going or at least leaving it on the short list of resources that help me live a better life. I strongly recommend finding a group like this if you have toxic people in your life, of any ilk, even if you can’t use all of what they give you. I digress. My favorite, and perhaps most-employed resource that I received in those rooms was the concept of Family of Origin vs. Family of Choice. My Family of Choice is my friends and the relatives who don’t drain the life and love out of me. I’m now okay with letting go of those that, though they may be in my Family of Origin, don’t necessarily have a place in my everyday life, my world. It’s been SO liberating. Thanks for a great post.
  • Leila commented on January 19, 2014 Reply
    Because we are deliberate creators as adults you only attract the experiences and relationships into your life that reflect the way you feel about yourself. So if you clean up the relationship you have with yourself the relationships you have with others will change to reflect that. In my opinion is is never about ending relationships for ever – that only speaks of non forgiveness which actually means there is some part of yourself you cannot forgive about something. what you extend to yourself you extend to others. when you truly love yourself you can forgive yourself anything and extend the same gift to others. In one of my poems I use the line ‘Only those in pain can hurt others’. They are not bad people – not one of them. they are just hurting. When you get to the place where you are standing up for yourself, re-defining boundaries, expressing anger and then forgiving and loving unconditionally – now that is real healing. anything else is incomplete and you will feel a piece of you is missing forever more if you are not connected to your own family. those who are put around us as our ‘tribe’ are put there by the universe for a reason to teach us lessons and help us grow. you don;t have to end things – just re-shape – as some other woman put – start from the bare bones again…very powerfully stated. I have been doing all of this recently and speak as someone who has seen many traumatic and what some would term ‘unforgivable’ behaviour in my family. But I must soldier on – they are my family and although we have had breakups we are now coming back together. I wasn’t afraid to lose them and I think that was the key. And – I spoke my truth and stood in my inherent power. I live my life differently now and although it is challenging the relationships are changing to accommodate that at my shaping. To reject your family is only to reject a part of yourself. Self love will lead you to their door. Only you will be powerful now – loving and kind, forgiving and…(and this is the crucial bit) take no shit from them any more. It will be a new adventure – one in which you get to know them from scratch again and they you. Who are you really? and who are they? You will find under all of the scars and the way they may have treated you are wounds they got from being treated similarly. Once you understand why they have become what they have become forgiveness becomes reachable one day….I have just reached that point tonight. I forgave someone very close to me. I cried with the beauty of it..and that’s why I wanted to share this. That is but one story I have many to go within my ‘tribe’. Thank you Tanya for such a thought provoking piece which perfectly synchronised with my current journey and I NEEDED to read. I LOVE the list of steps to help with this path so many of us are treading. I am grateful and excited to try them. I am also grateful for the list of unacceptable treatment which only backed up and confirmed the areas I was not happy about in my family. Its one thing to know it or think it – but to read it in print – is powerful. THANK YOU. Namaste my lovely xxxx
    • Lola commented on April 5, 2015 Reply
      Unfortunately not all families are here to help you grow and as deliberate creators most of us are smart enough to know this. Each situation is different and there are people I know who could have never gone back to their families for fear of losing either their life or their sense of self. Those like myself who have tried have been firmly put down and pushed away. I’m fine with it, I wished I knew better and trusted myself more, I’ve forgiven and moved on with pure love for them. I am healing everyday and in a great place for the first time in a long time. Your opinion of people “not truly healing” is based on ego and not of soul. Although having said this I’m glad you and your tribe have reached an equilibrium.
  • julesparker commented on January 19, 2014 Reply
    Im just coming to terms with the fact that my mother is manipulative in a passive agressive way that I haven’t been able to clarify until now. I feel guilty for being so angry . I just spend about 4 days last week helping her move only to hear comments like ” your cleaning that again!? What I didnt do a good enough job!? She was abused by her father and had unconsesual sex that resulted in a pregnancy that she gave up for adoption. she hasnt done therapy. She married a sex offender, my dad, and didnt protect up from him. Im so angry at her yet feel conflicted because she raised us (though she didn’t protect us).she acts like a victim. I would like her out if my life but woukd be chastised from other family members who say to just get over it. Im not ok with her behavior.its not ok with me. I am feeling torn. Timely article. Thank you
  • Ingrid commented on September 15, 2014 Reply
    I am crying.
  • Mari Rose commented on October 22, 2014 Reply
    Thank you for your incredible insight and thoughts. I am inspired to comment from the other side, as the walking disaster, as the unconscious abuser, as the one who treated the people I loved unacceptably and broke many beautiful, tender hearts. There is hope for us too. There is catharsis of loneliness, a non-duality of bleeding and healing, and a triumph in remorse, gratitude, forgiveness, and love. It is all there, it has always been there. It just takes some of us longer to walk away from our house of the rising sun, and toward the sun rising to a new day.
  • carol commented on April 5, 2015 Reply
    My oldest daughter was on drugs for 20 years. She had two children but abandoned them to me 8 years ago to go live with a bad man on another city. She saw the kids about three times a year and had no place to visit them except in my home. I allowed it for the kids, but she was still using meth and visits always erupted in angry outbursts. She went to jail and forced rehab and the program required that she move in with us. The lovely life that I had built with these two beautiful children has changed. Her very presence, her self-indulgent behavior, her expectation that I should be happy to support her again, just because she has for now quit drugs, is killing me and ruining my life. The peaceful lovely refuge of love that was our home has been infiltrated, and I am shocked that I despise her for it and cannot after months get past wanting her to just disappear again. Help me understand if I am the awful person and how can I keep these children and myself from being permanently damaged by this visitation.
  • Jessie Fae commented on April 6, 2015 Reply
    Thank you for this one. And all of the comments. It is, in part, where I am coming from now, again, and why I’ve had a hard time starting this fantastic detox guidance opportunity I am so grateful for! I find myself constantly questioning “is it me?” “I must be the problem..” if it is all a reflection, then I was born ‘bad’ and disgraceful because there has been abuse since I can remember. It is a really difficult place to be in because there is no denying a love for your mother, even when abuse is involved. There are even, somehow, deep set fears in that relate my mother to our mother earth, as well, and I do not want to turn my back to her. But considering she leaves her house once every couple of weeks, and is afraid of spiders and then some, maybe that is not the case. There are so many beings out there! And, to try to see a positive side, as a gardener, consider what happens to a seed when it starts growing. So is it all bad? It is ugly, sure.. but life can be. But isn’t that like emerging from the womb? So now the beatings are like that of the hard rains and winds on any strong plant, or the pressure that turns coal into a diamond. It would be nice if I could express gratitude for that likeness, without it being taken as a go ahead to continue abuse over the smallest of things. I am conflicted, at odds, stuck in stagnancy. Its gotten to points of wondering if there is any denying a strong disdain for her, as well. Or for myself for not always knowing how to respond. And those are the times when LEAVE is screamed the loudest. Boundaries are definitely important, and UNLIKE the tree, I am capable of moving. I certainly do not enjoy it, and certainly do not enjoy putting it on anyone else, either. This fear sometimes keeps me stuck in one place. It does feel selfish to pull myself away. Its once or twice a year that we seem to be able to find a common ground and actually talk about things as they are without these things being taken as a sharp offense. Its also incredibly painful to see your mother in such poor health, to try to help her where she isn’t interested, and then to hear that it is all your fault, and furthermore, the abuse from your childhood continuing. I have made a lot of progress, coming into my own, and out of the abusive cycles, over the last few years.. and now I feel I am apparently mastering the Cha Cha. One step forward, two back.. cha cha cha. It also scares me, that she could pass away before any true understanding or amends are made. And it also definitely scares me that in times of great upset and under attack, when discussing anything deemed impossible, I have wished for it to happen sooner. But I can recognize the latter as a reactive feeling. The former, undying love, is always there, even when shrouded in the latter. That is a big part of why I came back ‘home’ to begin with, her diagnosis of breast cancer. But she has not liked any dietary advice, and alas, I cannot be the corporate mongol she seems to wish me to be, simply because it is not within my realm of desires, what so ever. So it frightens her, that I am not monetarily wealthy. I understand that the way she was raised is a huge factor in a lot of this. Yea, seems to be a slight cycle of mommy dearest in the genes, and for this, I am horrified at the idea of ever having a child. Irrelevant, somewhat, but there have been a lot of suggestions lately, for whatever reason. I love children, but at this point, I’m still trying to commit to the detox! AH well, hope this comment was as scattered as I am, for the sake of authenticity. xo
  • Jessie Fae commented on April 6, 2015 Reply
    Oh and then theres all the times she screams ‘LEAVE’, with deadlines, from now, to two weeks, to 30 days, etc, so there is that. I just don’t want to give up on her. She fought a lot of hard battles for me to have the life I do now. I know in her childhood, she was dragged to church by her hair and had her artwork torn to pieces, etc. Alot of physical beat downs, as well as mental. Okay, yes, I suppose some of these things happened in mine as well, though not with church or art, and I usually blamed alcohol. Is this usual? I don’t like to complain about it, everyone I know seems to have had ‘mommy issues’, you know? What good does complaining do? But I feel it’s like some kind of elephant in the room that isn’t going anywhere until [s]he at least gets a name. My grandmother went through churches, psychiatrists, therapists, and then some, my mom was a party animal, and escapes into vodka and a ‘second life’ sort of video game she plays online. I hit the road, hitchhiked across the country for a few years and let go of addictions [I think] and religion. I definitely did some partying as well, don’t get me wrong. And had my fair share of unhealthy relationships, which I have (usually) blamed myself for in some way. So is everything we do that doesn’t address the matters at hand some kind of escape? Not to say it isn’t good to step away for a fresh perspective..
  • Jessie Fae commented on April 6, 2015 Reply
    That’s what stepping INSIDE is for..? ok ok ok
    • jill commented on April 8, 2015 Reply
      So much heartbreak (breaks my heart). Untangling the (mostly hidden) truths about our families requires SO MUCH courage, perseverance, and soul-searching. It means swimming upstream, against the current, and all too often, all on your own. Periodically doubting one’s self, one’s perceptions, decisions. But that seems to be the price one needs to pay in order to arrive at a place of peace, serenity. At least that is true for me. And I had many “tools” at my disposal. A degree in psychology, a job in the field, surrounded by therapists and psychiatrists and information about “healthy relationships”, and witness to a full range of diverse families (in action). And yet, when it came to my own family of origin, it took more than half my life to begin to see it clearly, and to recognize the need for me to distance myself from the ongoing dysfunction which continued to negatively affect my sense of well-being. I first thought that “discussing” my concerns would lead to an opportunity to repair some problems, but that proved to be overly optimistic (and unwelcome). When I realized that my openness and honesty were not “allowed” to be present in our relating, I made the choice to exclude myself from the proceedings. I figure, if the real me isn’t welcome (not to mention appreciated), what the hell am i doing here? I didn’t sign on to be an unpaid actress. In order to love others, I must first love myself. If I love myself, I remove myself from abusive situations (to the best of my ability). I believe we all have the ability to at least attempt to make changes in our lives, become better humans. I don’t want to judge others’ efforts, but I think it’s fair to consider whether others are even MAKING an effort. That to me is an indicator of how important their relationships are to them. Which is important to me. Peace to all of you. Don’t forget to love yourself.
  • Kimberley commented on April 14, 2015 Reply
    Hello & P.L.U.R to all ….which simply translates to peace….love…unity….& respect. Although it causes discomfort to admit, my past has from the age of 5yrs old been a monotonous cycle of heartbreak & pain. I am a 39yr old mother of 4 beautiful, wonderful,amazing personalities , my pride & joy in my children is the beauty i have embraced with them. I must have 1 of the most dysfunctional families i know. My parents must of been really bad at parenting as at 5 yrs old my sister aged 3& my baby brother ( roughly under 1yr old) & myself were taken into care& placed under its authority….which meant we would be in care till aged 18. Still to this day i am none the wiser as to why this happened…all i know is ( not sure who stated it) that my baby bro had evidence of child abuse….baby shaken syndrome WTF? evil ppl. Before going into care i do believe us kids were left home alone( i remember watching out of a window ) a bedroom door being locked , so we wouldn’t cause havoc whilst home alone!. I remember a few other things too but its too cloudy in judging or maybe i just refuse to believe those memories could of really happened because they are unthinkable actions to me!. Im going to shorten the story dramatically due to ( it would be too long ) . Whilst in care, my sis& bro were lucky enough to be homed with long healthy relationships. I myself went on to be rehomed in as many as 20 different homes & foster famillys. During this period i endured….mental, physical, emotional, & sexual abuse, so i was pretty mixed up yanno.Despite all that i actually managed to be a happy individual….carefree ….i just lived through my heart…. I feel ppl so deeply its untrue. The biggest prob is as an adult….. The ppl i have befriended uhh ….they have been some nasty lowlife characters who used my vulnerability of seeing good in ppl. Over the yrs it got so bad i now live a desperately isolated life with no friends not one….as my faith in ppl has been destroyed. Im at the darkest point ive ever been & its destroying my spirit. No one sees or know how badly depressed i am …i am an expert at hiding how i feel to the extreme i am not believed( great )!!. I am being forced by the government to go to work ( i am not ready for ppl yet ) & in doing this they r making the situation so desperate that im struggling to cope mentally. Ive tried to get help from doctors & what not but no one seems to care i mean ….my faith in humanity hangs by a thread. I feel i need professional help to me get my head & emotions back to a normal healthy level before mixing back into society ( the thought just petrifies me). Im made to feel like absolute poo!.Like my mental& emotional state r not worth attending. Even as a kid i never felt this alone & that to me is heartwrenching. Im a good person & i feel so far away from being a human that maybe insanity is beginning to make a home. The biggest point of this post though is ….even though my life has been thwart with pain….i myself remained a genuinely nice kind loving person. I could never hurt another being intentionally & would be distraught if i did. I am a ppl pleaser …i give …. I love everyone & everything unconditionally ( which is also my weakness)….. So my final thought here to share is….. NO MATTER what someone has gone through they can actually be more compassionate…loving…. & empathise than the average individual. I have nurtured & mothered my children to raise them as loyal….genuine…respectful…& well mannered individuals & i am very proud of them indeed. In the end ….. In life all that matters is love …. I have a never ending amount in my heart & i believe this is what keeps me going. I will keep goin….i have to for my kids , but for someone that has endured unimaginable pain i would sure appreciate some reciprocal love. It is not in my thoughts ‘ pain ‘ that defines ppl….to me …. The very thing that defines a person is ‘LOVE ‘. Apologies for the essay.

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