Cutting Off Toxic Family Members

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posted on May, 22 2013 @ 10:39 AM
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Hey ATS,

I want to start this post by first saying that I love having ATS as a family
.

My problem is blood relatives that have been toxic for many years now. They consistently seek drama and negativity, and will even stir up 'mess' when there is none.

The woman that gave birth to me is such person. Years ago, I made the decision to cut her out of my life due to a long history of abuse; emotional, psychological, and verbal. As an adult, I often wondered why my grandmother, her mother, would always side with my mother depsite her cruelty to me, to the point where I begin to see her (grandmother) role in the abuse. She would often say, "I know she keeps hanging up on you and cursing you out; but keep calling her and tell her you love her- remember you only have 1 mother".

Following her advice would only add to my hurt, as my mother (and her) seemed to enjoy watching me 'chase' after my mother.

I stopped.

Soon I start to see that grandmother was not the 'dear old grandmother' that I thought she was. I begin to see through her deciet and manipulation as well. It became apparent that these two women were bad for for my well-being

Later, I begin to see that the only communication from my mother was negative. She would call maybe once or twice a year, literally, only if she'd heard I lost a job, entered an abusive relationship, financial troubles, etc. Never anything else like birthdays or holidays.

Once when I was not working and had faced eviction, my mother told me that I could only live with her if I dropped out of school and 'quit being so uppity' by looking for office work- take minimum wage and quit chasing the college 'dream'. She told me to quit being too good to accept welfare.

Ever since I have been in college after my military service, I have been told to 'quit the college "thing" ' by my family members. I tell them that I am trying to be successful, gain wealth and independence, and become a great example for my 3 children.

So much that I am leaving out, trust me, but my family members are completely and utterly dysfunctional.

One thing that I learned from a good friend to do whenever they bring their drama to me (by phone, text, or in person) was to change the subject and talk about something positive in my life. For example:

Grandmother: Hey (ButterCookie). How are you?

Me: Great!! And you?

Grandmother: Oh I'm doing just fine. Listen, I heard that you and (my son's father) were arguing about something the other day. What was it? (salavating for drama)

Me: Ohhh, that was nothing. We were able to work it out (probably a lie, but I won't give her the satisfaction). Anyway, I'm soooo glad you called. I am getting ready to take the LSAT for law school and write start applying at various law schools such as .......I'd like for you to help me narrow down my choices."

Grandmother: Nahh...don't have time. Anyway, I have something to do. Bye now.

Basically, positive news is a repellant to them.

Many of you know a little about me. As a black woman in a circle of impoverished family members, essentially, I "dared" too much for them. I dared to 'leave the plantation' by:

wear my hair natural (not permed)
not voting Democratically
seeking higher education
not wanting to be comfortable living on welfare
not being religious

I basically started this thread because I have come to realize that 'family' is who you make it. We do not get to chose our blood relatives; therefore I believe that we are not bound to them, especially if they are toxic.

Water is thin, and blood is thick- but too much blood can make you sick.

edit on 22-5-2013 by ButterCookie because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 22 2013 @ 10:57 AM
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Oh, we have many people on here who have dysfunctional or otherwise outright harmful (for mental health not physical) families.

I think you're right to break the chains and flee if you feel uncomfortable, just remember that those who wish to change the status quo may at times have to do it alone in isolation. From my own experience though, breaking away and finding a new is the best thing i ever did. I was the 1st to go to University and found myself a hot little thing with an IQ that would challenge Einstein. Most of my family have been bitter ever since.

Your friends advice is the best method tried and tested time and time again. Far from opposing forces attracting, positivity makes negative people and experiences flee like nothing else.

I say keep it up whilst remaining polite and courteous. Your doing no harm, following your own beliefs and it's likely if any of your family members are truly bitter they will try harder to make you negative but don't let them. Eventually they may even come to you in regret of there own bitterness.

The only difference i can think of is that i have a all white british family, my many African friends have very close and judgemental family but usually in the good ways. Like you though when they try to break there current path for various reasons they face resistance but make it out the other side.

Cheers


EDIT: Also a side effect you may face is they may see what your doing and try to 'guilt trip' you by saying you don't care about them. Do not fall for this cowardly tactic, carry on.
edit on 22-5-2013 by MongusePro because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 10:58 AM
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My whole family even my mom! They all LOVE drama! IR's frustrating because I hate drama and just want everyone to get along but that isn't going to happen. I can't even have thanksgiving and christmas with my sisters and brothers cause they hate each other!



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 10:58 AM
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ButterCookie-

I'm so sorry you've had to deal with people like this in your own family. I know all to well what that is like, unfortunately. Growing up in an environment like that, it is hard to break free.

Although I was able to - thank God!

I encourage you to keep on seeking to make a better life for you & your children.

No disrespect - but please don't listen to their advice. They have their own issues to tend to and should not be dragging you down!

If you were my daughter - I'd be very proud.

Stay your course & stick to your guns!



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 11:04 AM
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Just stay away from them my whole family is a bunch of A$$****s I hope one day I can get away from them.



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 11:07 AM
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Good on YOU kiddo!
For me it was a bunch of religious nuts ....(.im still going to hell in a handbasket....:@@

The Drama queens abound....
They are a waste of air.
God bless those who help themselves!
much love!.......... stirling



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 11:07 AM
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reply to post by EvilDuck
 


For your attention, a perfect example, I rest my case OP. Good luck to you.
edit on 22-5-2013 by MongusePro because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 11:09 AM
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Thanks you all...I really meant that. Again, family is who you make it, and we are not bound by blood relatives.

And ATS is my family.



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 11:24 AM
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Wow, you have a grandma. You know, grandmas usually have inheritances. Cutting them off has some drawbacks.

So sweet of you to smear the characters of your family on the Internet.
What is going to happen when you have one of your own and your kids talk about you on their Internet, which will probably come with mandatory video by then.



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 11:25 AM
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reply to post by MongusePro
 


You are absolutely correct!!

Yea, she told me about that method a while back, and it works like a charm everytime.

People that gravitate to you in your down times (not to help, but to use it as entertainment) and flee when you discuss your happiness are NOT good for you.

I've had to try this same method on my dad just friday night. It was hillarious!! For starters, I was having some behaviorial issues with my teenage son, and the news got spread to various family members...not from me, but from my son's dad who called to say that there was something going on and that I wouldn't tell him. Mind you, he has been out of my son's life for the whole 16 years that my son has been alive, only to call when he thinks he can get custody enough to stop child support.

For drama purposes, surely, my dad called after he talked to my son's dad. Keep in mind that my dad has ignored me all spring, especially when I've called to say that I won a wrting essay at my University, will be graduating with honors, recently got hired to work at a prestigious downtown law firm, and will be attending law school next fall.

Dad: Hey (ButterCookie).

Me; Hi Dad. Long time no hear from.

Dad: Oh, I've been busy. Listen, (son's dad) called and I hear that (my son) is going through some bad things. He and I have agreed that its best that you send him to live with him (out of state).

Me: No thanks. Its been 16 years without him. We can manage.

Dad: Now listen, (ButterCookie), if he goes down the wrong path, it will be ALL YOUR FAULT

Me: Really, I raised him, been thru the good times and bad, and (son's father) has NEVER been in the picture. yet, it will be my fault?

Dad: Yes, you think you are better than the rest of the famaily, just because you are in school and work with lawyers. You have always tried to be 'uppity'.

Me: (Realizing that I was getting angry)...Guess what dad?? I am going to need your address to mail you invitations to my graduation next year. I am so exicted! And I will love your help on some practivce questions for the LSAT

Dad: WHAT???

Me: Yes. I'm going to be applying really soon. I'm graduating with honors and....

Dad: (ButterCookie)!! I didn't call to hear that mess. I want to know about this mess I heard...

Me: What's your address so I can mail out the graduation invitations?

Dad: (Hangs up the phone)

CLASSIC!!!!



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 11:27 AM
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Originally posted by Sandalphon
Wow, you have a grandma. You know, grandmas usually have inheritances. Cutting them off has some drawbacks.

So sweet of you to smear the characters of your family on the Internet.
What is going to happen when you have one of your own and your kids talk about you on their Internet, which will probably come with mandatory video by then.


Again, we are not boud to people solely by blood relation. If they are toxic, they are not good for you. If I had been describing an abusive boyfriend, you would suggested that I leave that relationship.

Blood relation does not permit abuse.



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 11:28 AM
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Toxic relatives. I hear you! I've been dealing with a certain Passive/Aggressive relative who tells awful lies to get attention from those around her ... lies at my expense. No contact is the best contact .... and I try to keep it at a minimum when I have to talk with the person.

You aren't alone. I wish you luck ....



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 11:38 AM
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reply to post by ButterCookie
 


Well he's 16, he has hormones racing left and right, up and down and round and round. He's going to have some behavioural issues, it's normal. It's called part of growing up, as you know it's your job just to take it on the chin and try to guide him as best you can. It's also a dangerous time though, if his grandad is adamant on intervening and trying to sway opinion he will try all avenues. My personal opinion is just give your son a quick reminder about were his grandad has been for the last 16 years and ask him if he thinks him getting involved would be for the better? A talk about it would hopefully positively reinforce the notion that he's toxic should the situation arise but obviously don't talk ill of him, let your son do the thinking. Reminding him that all you've done and achieved is for his and the rest of your families benefit wouldn't harm either.

Cheers



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 11:46 AM
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Buttercookie.

I would say I'm sorry that you have to cut them off but in reality it's probably the best thing you could do.
Many of us here know EXACTLY what you're talking about. For a moment I thought my wife was who wrote what you did. It started to parallel what she has been through with her family.

I recently disowned my sister like my wife has cut both her mother and grandmother off.
All over backstabbing drama that we both refused to participate in any longer. It's like they fumble through their existence and only come to life when there is something negative happening to someone else. Almost like they feed on this negative energy of others. Only when someone is more miserable than them do they feel accomplished. It's like the crabs in a barrel analogy of how the crab can never get out of the barrel because the lower ones always pull them back down as they try to get out themselves.

We started cutting them loose after my wife and I were talking with a real good friend who told us both that if we were to ever have peace in our lives we would first have to remove all of the negative influences. That's what we did and my wife and I both have way less stress which was effecting her physically and both of us mentally.

We don't get to pick and choose our families before we come into this world but we can pick them afterwards.

Another saying is you can only count your true friends on one hand. For all of those who think otherwise, just wait, one day you'll agree.

Good Luck! I wish you peace.



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 11:58 AM
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Oh, I feel your pain.

I'm there everyday.

Dysfunctional isn't the half of it.



Good Luck.



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 12:03 PM
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reply to post by TheLieWeLive
 


You are absolutely correct!!

Yep, they seem to come to life when there is negativity. And backstabbing?? I can't even begin. For example, there was a time in my life where I faced eviction while out of town (active duty military). The eviction occured, I was notified by the landlord, and needed to quickly retreive my items. I called my 'relatives' and asked if they could go by the home and retrieve whatever was left. They agreed.

They called an hour later saying that sadly, nothing was left. My son's baby items, my military uniforms, awards, new furniture...everything.

Years later, things were more situated and I had bought a home. I got a call from grandmother that a 'friend of hers' was having a garage sale and had items that I may want. She said to give her $100.00 and I could get table, clothes, etc....I paid her and in comes my male relatives with....

my old table.

I knew it was mine, but I kept quiet for the sake of 'the family'.

I was visiting the grandmother on a holiday. At first, I thought surely my eyes were playing tricks on me. I noticed that a few of grandma's pictures on her wall were...

mine.

I went into my uncle's room (who had been living with grandmother) and looked at a picture on his wall.

The stove that was in grandmother's shed? Mine.

I sat down and took a deep breath.

Me: Grandmother, why are my pictures on your wall, the ones that everyone claimed were stolen during the eviction.

Grandmother: Oh...you know....I'm not sure. Your mother gave them to me. (ButterCookie) Why are worried about it anyway; that was years ago. Quit being so 'dramatic'.
edit on 22-5-2013 by ButterCookie because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 12:16 PM
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Originally posted by Manhater
Oh, I feel your pain.

I'm there everyday.

Dysfunctional isn't the half of it.



Good Luck.


I'd be careful where to tread, glass houses and all that.

Pip pip and cheerio.



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 12:38 PM
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reply to post by MongusePro
 



The 'subject-switch-a-roo' method works wonders!!

You can feel the hatred from them when I do that; it not only shows that they did not upset me or drag me into their drama, but it also shows them that no matter how hard they try to stop me and distract me, I will still accomplish my goal.

I read about these types of behaviors of famly members. Basically, some people have negative intentions for you and subconciously want to see you sabataged, even though on the surface they say things like, "Yay- good for you".



edit on 22-5-2013 by ButterCookie because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 12:42 PM
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Originally posted by ButterCookie
Hey ATS,

I want to start this post by first saying that I love having ATS as a family
.

My problem is blood relatives that have been toxic for many years now. They consistently seek drama and negativity, and will even stir up 'mess' when there is none.

The woman that gave birth to me is such person. Years ago, I made the decision to cut her out of my life due to a long history of abuse; emotional, psychological, and verbal. As an adult, I often wondered why my grandmother, her mother, would always side with my mother depsite her cruelty to me, to the point where I begin to see her (grandmother) role in the abuse. She would often say, "I know she keeps hanging up on you and cursing you out; but keep calling her and tell her you love her- remember you only have 1 mother".

Following her advice would only add to my hurt, as my mother (and her) seemed to enjoy watching me 'chase' after my mother.

I stopped.

Soon I start to see that grandmother was not the 'dear old grandmother' that I thought she was. I begin to see through her deciet and manipulation as well. It became apparent that these two women were bad for for my well-being

Later, I begin to see that the only communication from my mother was negative. She would call maybe once or twice a year, literally, only if she'd heard I lost a job, entered an abusive relationship, financial troubles, etc. Never anything else like birthdays or holidays.

Once when I was not working and had faced eviction, my mother told me that I could only live with her if I dropped out of school and 'quit being so uppity' by looking for office work- take minimum wage and quit chasing the college 'dream'. She told me to quit being too good to accept welfare.

Ever since I have been in college after my military service, I have been told to 'quit the college "thing" ' by my family members. I tell them that I am trying to be successful, gain wealth and independence, and become a great example for my 3 children.

So much that I am leaving out, trust me, but my family members are completely and utterly dysfunctional.

One thing that I learned from a good friend to do whenever they bring their drama to me (by phone, text, or in person) was to change the subject and talk about something positive in my life. For example:

Grandmother: Hey (ButterCookie). How are you?

Me: Great!! And you?

Grandmother: Oh I'm doing just fine. Listen, I heard that you and (my son's father) were arguing about something the other day. What was it? (salavating for drama)

Me: Ohhh, that was nothing. We were able to work it out (probably a lie, but I won't give her the satisfaction). Anyway, I'm soooo glad you called. I am getting ready to take the LSAT for law school and write start applying at various law schools such as .......I'd like for you to help me narrow down my choices."

Grandmother: Nahh...don't have time. Anyway, I have something to do. Bye now.

Basically, positive news is a repellant to them.

Many of you know a little about me. As a black woman in a circle of impoverished family members, essentially, I "dared" too much for them. I dared to 'leave the plantation' by:

wear my hair natural (not permed)
not voting Democratically
seeking higher education
not wanting to be comfortable living on welfare
not being religious

I basically started this thread because I have come to realize that 'family' is who you make it. We do not get to chose our blood relatives; therefore I believe that we are not bound to them, especially if they are toxic.

Water is thin, and blood is thick- but too much blood can make you sick.

edit on 22-5-2013 by ButterCookie because: (no reason given)


I can sympathize. Our family could probably fill a Jerry Springer episode and more. I got in touch with my biological mother who walked out when I was 5 about 3 weeks before Mother's Day trying to be the "better woman" and all that. Instead I got chewed out for not calling her for Mother's day. She also decided to tell me how horrible my family was and how much they hated her, 37 years after she walked away. To me, I could care less if my family thought she was the greatest thing ever or the worst, it was at a time when I really didn't want to hear it, and I didn't want to hear an hour of it. It's making me rethink my "better woman" philosophy. I sympathize. Hold your head high and remember you are where you are because you got yourself there, whether family is happy for you or not.



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 12:53 PM
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reply to post by happyhomemaker29
 


Exactly!!

Grandmother tried to get me to fall for that 'better woman' thing. In all actuality, she perpetuated the abuse, insisting that I continue to chase my mother, who wanted nothing to do with me.

I'm gald you brought this point up.

I was reading about these types of situations and one person's testimony has got my mind in overdrive.

The person had a mother that wanted nothing to do with him, despite all his efforts of chasing and begging. He soon realized that it was because of this, his adult relationships follwed suite: he would chase after women who rejected him.


I can personally say that I have been there, mostly in abusive relationships with men.


I remember I followed grandmother's unhealthy "advice" and wrote my mother a 3-4 page handwritten heart-felt letter, begging her to be a part of my life. When I called her to ask for her response, she replied that she had used the letter for firewood in her fireplace.





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