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Cutting Off Toxic Family Members

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posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 08:45 PM
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Originally posted by KyrieEleison
reply to post by Mister_Bit
 


It's ok! I totally understand.

The best thing you can do is make sure this person is not left alone with them as much as you possibly can and make sure you are always able to check in on them if they are - even a simple text message with a code word that only you two share will do.

This may come across as being "clingy" but if you are concerned for their welfare then who cares??


Absolutely. SO completely agrees. And now I'm going to channel my SO since he thinks I can do a better job of typing apparently (secretary, really? lol!).

He isn't sure if your girlfriend is still living with her parents or not as you mentioned a younger sibling being involved as well. He said that if she is still living with her parents, then breaking her out of it is going to be just about impossible because she's in it every day. The best thing you can do if that is the situation is be there as a support network for her and to help "lift her back up". Basically, if she's being torn down on a daily basis then she is never being given the opportunity to actually thrive and gain the strength to say "enough is enough". By being there as a supportive listener and as someone who focuses on what is positive about her, that gives her self esteem a chance to actually develop. He advises against forcing any issues, ultimatums, and the like because that is reinforcing the negative aspects of her life to which she has developed self defense mechanisms to shield her from. What could end up happening is that she will see you as the one who is negative in her environment. That holds true regardless of whether or not she is still living with her parents.

If she is not living with her parents, then, as Kyrie suggested above, go with her. If you know that her parents will behave (they sound a lot like my parents on that one, btw) in the presence of "outsiders", then that will basically prevent additional abuse from taking place. When something does occur, again, be that supportive listener who brings her back up while avoiding the negatives. This is really tricky and I can attest to that. Initially, after actually overhearing my mother without her knowledge, my SO tried suggesting to me that my mother was a psychopath a few years ago. I outright rejected it and defended her. It actually took me having the space away from them plus a positive support network external to my family to actually rip it all down.

How that happens is that slow building up of the self esteem. You can tell her that what they did was wrong and unjust, but make sure that you also tell her how great she is and how she deserves so much more. Hopefully, over time, she'll get to the point where she is strong and confident enough to see that things are foul and will be assured of a safety net and support for saying "no more".

It's not overnight. It takes a long time. It took me one year "in it" with my SO's emotional support to start becoming aware just how noxious everything was and realizing that I needed to remove myself from them entirely. . It took me 4 years to get to the point where I will no longer tolerate any abuse whatsoever. Definitely takes time and patience.




posted on Jun, 8 2013 @ 11:56 AM
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reply to post by WhiteAlice
 
Thanks for the reply.

I was actually writing a long reply with more details but decided against it. She is living at home, but that is due to circumstance where she had to move back. She was thriving on her own.

I will continue to support in the best way I can and be an ear to listen. I have taken steps to help find a another place for her to live as requested by her. Her parents found out she was 'googling' for places to live and said they wished she was dead and now she can't access the internet without their permission (she is over 40 for heavens sake)... they are sick in the head.

Anyway, thanks for the reply and advice, I appreciate it



posted on Jun, 8 2013 @ 03:41 PM
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reply to post by Mister_Bit
 


Yeah, they've done a number on her. My case was pretty similar to be honest. I actually "ran away" at around 30 to a remote part of the US for almost a decade. When things went south very badly (read severely abusive relationship), I moved back home. My parents, who had ignored my pleas of help/escape, were very quick to provide lodging for myself and my children with my father but also agreed to send me back to college so I'd never have to be dependent again. They even went so far as admitting that it was their fault that I had not finished (whole long story in itself and it's ugly). I almost prophetically told my SO the night before I hopped on the plane to come back that I felt like I was a "fish jumping out of the pan and into the fire". Within 3 months, everything went back to "normal". What went on is convoluted, bizarre and overall, freaking ridiculous. Fire indeed.

If she is in a similar position, then she actually may have a substantially good chance of breaking free from this cycle. For me, the time period far away from them, albeit filled with abuse, was enough to allow me fresh eyes on them and the fact that I had gone through severe abuse during that time also pushed me to my limits. As soon as the abuse started again, I was struggling internally between acceptance of their treatment of me and that sense of no more out of pure survival. With my SO's support, the "no more" attitude won the day. I can honestly say that even if they pretend everything is fine, my parents know very well that I'm not to be messed with and will strike back in a very legal manner. Part of the thing is that, when you do get away and come back as an adult, it creates a whole lot of cognitive dissonance to suddenly be treated like an abused child as opposed to an adult.

She can get to this point. She's been out and she's going to get out again. Take Kyrie's and my SO's advice. I'm rooting for her utterly.



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 12:56 PM
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reply to post by ButterCookie
 


Wow! That’s a heck of a story, ButterCookie.

I guess I’ve been fortunate because I don’t have any toxic family member like that. I have cut ties with toxic friends in the past so I understand the concept. Having read many of your posts, I can assure you that you are definitely the sane person in that equation.

S&F



posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 01:18 PM
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reply to post by ButterCookie
 


Just a quick word of support... I think you can see from the amount of response you got that your situation is far more common than you might have thought. I can barely contain my true, inner reaction when someone in the social work/counseling field uses the term "dysfunctional family". One of the things I point out when attempting to help another deal with their problems AND the ideas thrown at them by whomever has been counseling them is that, unless you are with them at the end of the day and that front door closes, you have no way of knowing how "normal" their life is.

IMO, "dysfunctional family" covers pretty well everyone I've met in the last 60 years. It's just a matter of degree...

When I finally cut all ties to my family I made it clear that they were not to **Call, Write or Come Around**. A couple of months later I got a sizable envelope in the mail from a law firm I wasn't familiar with. Upon opening the envelope a quick scan of the cover letter said that "since I had requested no personal contact", the following letters were being forwarded to me. The lady they had retained did me the courtesy of ending with, "It is entirely your choice to read the contained or not. They are of no legal consequence."

Pretty cheap shot and a clear example of how manipulative and underhanded a family I come from. Having been off work for a year and a half, I can't afford NOT to open an envelope from an unfamiliar law firm.

I DID, though, follow her advice. We had some wood in our chimenea that needed to be burned so it all was ash before my wife or kids could try to talk me out of it. They were burned unread...

There's a line in an old KISS song called Easy As It Seems:
'Cause it's easy as it seems, when you're walkin' out on your dreams, you just walk away.



posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 02:45 PM
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reply to post by CornShucker
 


Wow..Thanks for sharing.

Ya know, my 'family' hs a family reunion coming up later this month, and I really am not into going. A bunch of fake people, forging fake, temporary friendships.



posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 09:48 PM
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Originally posted by ButterCookie
reply to post by CornShucker
 


Wow..Thanks for sharing.

Ya know, my 'family' hs a family reunion coming up later this month, and I really am not into going. A bunch of fake people, forging fake, temporary friendships.


After writing a lengthy response and then reviewing it, I decided it might be best to say this:

If it were me and I knew for sure I'd reached the fork in the road, I'd put my foot down. My place in life may be much different than yours. Mine had reached the point of deciding how much I was willing to carry in order to avoid pointing out the load was never mine to bear. Hopefully, you aren't there yet.

Just never forget that the most disarming thing you can do is provide an honest and immediate response to a deliberate @sshole. They will spit and sputter a considerable time before finally pointing out that you clearly misunderstood....



posted on Sep, 2 2013 @ 01:25 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 






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