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10ThingstoRememberaboutToxic(harmful)FamilyMembers

May3rd,2015by:MarcChernoff

Source:
http://www.marcandangel.com/2015/05/03/10thingstorememberabouttoxicfamilymembers/

Familyissupposedtobeoursafehaven.
Sometimes,however,itstheplacewherewefindthedeepestheartache.

Lettinggoof(orbreakingupwith)atoxicfriend,boyfriendorgirlfriendisonething,andtheresplentyofadvice
outtherefordoingso,butwhataboutlettinggoofatoxicfamilymember?
Mostofusarenotinapositiontojustwalkaway,nordowefeelthatwewantto,orthatitstherightthingto
do.Sowhatdowedowhenafamilymemberisliterallyspoilingourliveswiththeirtoxicity?Howdowedeal
withourfeelingsofobligation,confusion,betrayalandheartache?
Firstandforemost,youmustacceptthefactthatnoteveryonesfamilyishealthyoravailableforthemtolean
on,tocallon,ortogohometo.Noteveryfamilytieisbuiltonthepremiseofmutualrespect,loveand
support.Sometimesfamilysimplymeansthatyoushareabloodline.Thatsall.Somefamilymembersbuild
usupandsomebreakusdown.
Second,youmustunderstandthatatoxicfamilymembermaybegoingthroughadifficultstageintheir
lives.Theymaybeill,chronicallyworried,orlackingwhattheyneedintermsofloveandemotional
support.Suchpeopleneedtobelistenedto,supported,andcaredfor(althoughwhateverthecauseoftheir
troubles,youmaystillneedtoprotectyourselffromtheirtoxicbehaviorattimes).
Thekeythingtokeepinmindisthateverycaseofdealingwithatoxicfamilymemberisalittledifferent,butin
anyandeverycasetherearesomeuniversalprinciplesweneedtoremember,forourownsake:

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1. Theymaynotbeaninherentlybadperson,buttheyrenottheright
persontobespendingtimewitheveryday.
Notalltoxicfamilyrelationshipsareagonizing(unbearable,painful,distressing,worrying,heartbreaking)and
uncaringonpurpose.Someoftheminvolvepeoplewhocareaboutyoupeoplewhohavegood
intentions,butaretoxicbecausetheirneedsandwayofexistingintheworldforceyoutocompromise
yourselfandyourhappiness.Andashardasitis,wehavetodistanceourselvesenoughtogive
ourselvesspacetolive.Yousimplycantruinyourselfonadailybasisforthesakeofsomeoneelse.You
havetomakeyourwellbeingapriority.Whetherthatmeansspendinglesstimewithsomeone,lovinga
familymemberfromadistance,lettinggoentirely,ortemporarilyremovingyourselffromasituationthat
feelspainfulyouhaveeveryrighttoleaveandcreatesomehealthyspaceforyourself.

2. Toxicpeopleoftenhidecleverlybehindpassive(inactive)aggression
(violence,anger,violentbehavior,attack,offensive,anddefense).
Passiveaggressivebehaviortakesmanyformsbutcangenerallybedescribedasanonverbalaggression
thatmanifestsinnegativebehavior.Insteadofopenlyexpressinghowtheyfeel,someonemakessubtle,
annoyinggesturesdirectedatyou.Insteadofsayingwhatsactuallyupsettingthem,theyfindsmall
andpettywaystotakejabs( poke,dig,punch,irritate,disturbance)atyouuntilyoupayattentionand
getupset.Thisisobviouslyatoxicrelationshipsituation.Itshowsthispersonissetonnot
communicatingopenlyandclearlywithyou.Keepinmindthatmostsane(sensible,reasonable,normal,wise,
commonsensical)humanbeingswillfeelnoreasontobepassiveaggressivetowardyouiftheyfeelsafe

expressingthemselves.Inotherwords,theywontfeelaneedtohidebehindpassiveaggressionifthey
feelliketheywontbejudgedorcriticizedforwhattheyarethinking.Somakeitcleartoyourfamily
membersthatyouacceptthemforwhomtheyare,andthattheyarentnecessarilyresponsibleor
obligatedtoyourideasandopinions,butthatyoudlovetohavetheirsupport.Iftheycareaboutyou,
theywilllikelygiveit,oratleastcompromiseinsomeway.Andiftheyrefuseto,andcontinuetheir

passiveaggression,youmayhavenochoicebuttocreatesomeofthatspacediscussedinpoint#1.

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3. Theywilltrytobully(terrorize,frighten,harass)youintosubmission
(surrender,givingin)ifyouletthem.
Wealwayshearaboutschoolyardbullies,butthebiggestbulliesareoftentoxicfamilymembers.And
bullyingisneverOK.Period!ThereisnofreedomonEarththatgivessomeonetherighttoassault
(insulting,abusive,aggressive,impolite,rude,violent,unpleasant,physicalattack)whoyouareasaperson.Sadly,some
peoplejustwontbehappyuntiltheyvepushedyouregotothegroundandstomped(trial)onit.What
youhavetodoishavethenervetostandupforyourself.Dontgivethemleeway(flexibility,
freedom).Nobodyhasthepowertomakeyoufeelsmallunlessyougivethemthatpower.Ittakesa

greatdealofcouragetostanduptoyourenemies,butjustasmuchtostanduptoyourfamilyand
friends.Sometimesbullyingcomesfromthemostunlikelyplaces.Becognizant(aware,mindful)ofhowthe
peopleclosesttoyoutreatyou,andlookoutforthesubtlejabs( poking,digging,punching,irritation,
disturbance)theythrow.Whennecessary,confrontthem(dealwithit,challengeit)whateverittakesto

giveyourselftheopportunitytogrowintowhoyoureallyare.

4. PretendingtheirtoxicbehaviorisOKisNOTOK.
Ifyourenotcareful,toxicfamilymemberscanusetheirmoodybehaviortogetpreferential(special,
favored,superior,better)treatment,becausewellitjustseemseasiertoquietthemdownthantolisten

totheirgrouchy(badtempered,complaining,irritable,illtempered)rhetoric(speaking,language,words).Dontbe
fooled.Shorttermeaseequalslongtermpainforyouinasituationlikethis.Toxicpeopledont
changeiftheyarebeingrewardedfornotchanging.Decidethisminutenottobeinfluenced
( effected,affected,impacted,stimulated,encouraged,change,inspire,haveaneffecton )bytheir
behavior.Stoptiptoeing(stopmovingsilently)aroundthemormakingspecialpardons(dontaskthemcould
yourepeatthat?whatdidyousay?Imsorry,what!)fortheircontinuedbelligerence(anger,violentbehavior,
violence).ConstantdramaandnegativityisNEVERWORTHputtingupwith.Ifsomeoneinyourfamily

overtheage21cantbeareasonable,reliable,respectfuladultonaregularbasis,itstimetospeakup
andstandyourground.

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5. Youdonothavetoneglectyourselfjustbecausetheydo.
Themostpowerfulrelationshipyouwilleverhaveistherelationshipwithyourself.Practiceselfcare
everyday.Seriously,ifyoureforcedtoliveorworkwithatoxicperson,thenmakesureyougetenough
alonetimetorestandrecuperate(buildupyourstrength,recover,getbetter,getwell,restoreyourform).Havingto
playtheroleofafocused,rationaladultinthefaceoftoxicmoodinesscanbeexhausting,andifyoure
notcareful,thetoxicitycaninfectyou.Toxicfamilymemberscankeepyouupatnightasyouconstantly
questionyourself:AmIdoingtherightthing?AmIreallysoterriblethattheydespise(hate)meso
much?IcantBELIEVEshedidthat!Imsohurt!!Thoughtslikethesecankeepyouagonizing(unbearable,
painful,distressing,worrying,heartbreaking)forweeks,months,orevenyears.Sometimesthisisthegoalof

atoxicfamilymember,todriveyoumadandmakeyououttobethecrazyone.Because
oftentimestheyhavenoideawhytheyfeelthewaytheydo,andtheycantseebeyondtheirown
emotionalneedshencetheirrelentlesstoxiccommunicationandactions.AndsinceYOUCANT
CONTROLWHATTHEYDO,ITSIMPORTANTTOTAKECAREOFYOURSELFsoYOUCANremain
centered,feelinghealthyandreadytolivepositivelyinthefaceofnegativitywhenyoumust
mindfulness,meditation,prayerandregularexerciseworkwonders!Dontstress.Doyourverybest.
Appreciateeachstep.Forgettherest.

6. Iftheirtoxicbehaviorbecomesphysical,itsalegalmatterthatmust
beaddressed.
Ifyouvesurvivedthewrathofaphysicalabuse(cruelty,illtreatment,violence,neglect,manipulation,insults,verbal
abuse,namecalling,foullanguage,hurt,harm,injure,shouting,callnames,takeadvantageof)inyourfamily,andyou

triedtoreconcile(settle,resolve,patchup)thingsifyouforgive,andyoustruggled,andevenifthe
expressionofyourgrief(sorrow,heartache,pain,unhappiness)hadyousuccumb(giveway,givein,surrender)to
outbursts(explosion,outbreak,suddenoccurrence)oftoxicangerIfyouspentyearshangingontothenotions
(ideas,philosophy,thinking,acceptedwisdom,concept)oftrustandfaith,evenafteryouknewinyourheartthat
thosebeautifulintangibles(indefinable),uponwhichloveisbuiltandsustained,wouldneverbereturned
Andespecially,ifyoustoodupasthebarrierbetweenanabuserandsomeoneelse,andtookthebrunt
(force,impact,burden)oftheabuseintheirplaceYouareaHERO!Butnowitstimetobetheheroofyour
future.Enoughisenough!Ifsomeoneisphysicallyabusive,theyarebreakingthelawandtheyneedto

dealwiththeconsequencesoftheiractions.

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7. Althoughitshard,youcanttaketheirtoxicbehaviorpersonally.
Itsthem,notyou.KNOWthis.Toxicfamilymemberswilllikelytrytoimplythatsomehowyouvedone
somethingwrong.Andbecausethefeelingguiltybuttonisquitelargeonmanyofus,eventhe
implicationthatwemighthavedonesomethingwrongcanhurtourconfidenceandunsettle(worry,
disturb,upset,bother)ourresolve(determination,firmness,workout).Dontletthishappentoyou.Remember,

thereisahugeamountoffreedomthatcomestoyouwhenyoutakenothing
personally.Mosttoxicpeoplebehavenegativelynotjusttoyou,buttoeveryonetheyinteract
with.Evenwhenthesituationseemspersonalevenifyoufeeldirectlyinsulteditusuallyhasnothing
todowithyou.Whattheysayanddo,andtheopinionstheyhave,arebasedentirelyontheirownself
reflection.

8. Hating(extremedislike,cantbear)themforbeingtoxiconlybrings
moretoxicityintoyourlife.
AsGandhioncesaid,Aneyeforaneyewillonlymakethewholeworldblind.Regardlessofhow
despicable(shameful,disgraceful)afamilymemberhasacted,neverlethatebuildinyour
heart.Fightinghatredwithhatredonlyhurtsyoumore.Whenyoudecidetohatesomeoneyou
automaticallybegindiggingtwograves:oneforyourenemyandoneforyourself.Hatefulgrudgesarefor
thosewhoinsistthattheyareowed(payable,due,tobepaid)something.Forgiveness,ontheotherhand,is
forthosewhoarestrongenoughandsmartenoughtomoveon.Afterall,thebestrevengeistobe
unlike(different,contrasting)thepersonwhohurtyou.Thebestrevengeislivingwell,inawaythatcreates
peaceinyourheart.BeOKwithwalkingawayRejectionteachesyouhowtorejectwhatsnotright
foryou.

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9. Peoplecanchange,andsometoxicfamilyrelationshipscanberepaired
inthelongrun.
Whentrust(hope,reliance,dependence)isbroken,whichhappensinnearlyeveryfamilyrelationshipatsome
point,itsessentialtounderstandthatitcanberepaired,providedbothpeoplearewillingtodothe
hardworkofselfgrowth.Infact,itsatthistime,whenitfeelslikethesolidbedrock(rocklayer)ofyour
relationshiphascrumbled(collapse,crush,falldown,fallapart)intodust,thatyourebeinggivenan
opportunitytoshedthepatterns(example,plan)anddynamics(lively,active,selfmotivated,energetic,fulloflife)
witheachotherthathaventbeenservingyou.Itspainfulworkandapainfultime,andtheimpulse
(desire,urge,wish,force,pressure)willbewalkaway,especiallyifyoubelievethatbrokentrustcannotbe
repaired.Butifyouunderstandthattrustlevelsriseandfalloverthecourseofalifetimeyoullbemore
likelytofindthestrengthtohangin,hangon,andgrowtogether.Butitdoestaketwo.Youcantdoit
alone.

10. Sadly,sometimesallyoucandoisletgoforgood.
Alldetailsaside,THISISYOURLIFE.Youmaynotbeabletocontrolallthethingstoxicfamilymembers
dotoyou,butyoucandecidenottobereduced(cheap,low)bytheminthelongrun.Youcandecidenot
tolettheiractionsandopinionscontinuouslyinvadeyourheartandmind.Andaboveall,youcan
decidewhomtowalkbesideintotomorrow,andwhomtoleavebehindtoday.Inaperfectworldwe
wouldalwaysbeabletofixourrelationshipswithtoxicfamilymembers,butasyouknowtheworldisnt
perfect.Putintheeffortanddowhatyoucantokeepthingsintact(unbroken,undamaged,unharmed,
together),butDONTBEAFRAIDtoletgoanddowhatsrightforYOUwhenyoumust.

Thefloorisyours

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Eachsectionoffersanoverviewofandaseriesofactivitiespertainingtoaparticularbehaviorcaretaking,
controlling,manipulation,denial,repression,etc.enablingustopersonalizeourownstepbystepguideto
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behavior,demonstratethatwhileitmaynotseempossiblenow,wehavethepowertotakecareofourselves,
nomatterwhatweareexperiencing.

PunctuatedwithBeattie'srenownedcandorandintuitivewisdom,TheNewCodependencyisanowner'smanual
tolearningtobewhoweareandgivesusthetoolsnecessarytoreclaimourlivesbyrenouncingunhealthy
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ReadersComments/Feedback

Cyndy
May3rd,2015at9:32pm
Thankyouforthisandespeciallyfor#10.Igrewupbeingphysically,verballyandemotionallyabusedbyafamily
member.Therestofmyfamilypretendedtherewasnothingwrong.Whentheuglinessbegantobedirectedto
myspouseandchildrenIendedallcontactandhavebeensomuchbetterforit.Itwasnteasybutitwastheright
decisionforme.

Rachel
May3rd,2015at9:40pm
Thankyouforthis,Marc!ThetimingofwhenIreadthispostissospoton.Ivebeenhavingahardtimedealing
withsomeonewhosbeensotoxictomeforthelongesttime(worse,shespartofmyimmediatefamily)andthis
helpedshedsomelightonwhatIneedtodo.Ivebeenstressingoveritforthepastseveralmonths,andyour
bookandemailshavebeenhelpingimmensely.Readingthisrightnow,though,isexactlywhatIneeded.Thank
you.

KevinB.
May3rd,2015at9:49pm
IrelatetosomuchofwhatyouvewrittenasIvehadtosetboundariesand/orremovemyselffromtoxic
relationshipswithbothfamilyandfriends.Ivealwayshadthegoodsensetoknowthatitsokthatpeoplemovein
andoutofonesinnermostcirclebutneveractuallycontrolledwhoIdidanddidntwantinitmyself,untilIwas
older.Thereliefandpeacethatcomeswithchoosingtonolongerbemanipulatedandabused(yes,itisaformof
abuse)byatoxicperson,asdifficultasitlikelyis,isofgreatreward.BeingabletobreatheagainisthebestwayI
candescribeit.

Caroline
May3rd,2015at9:53pm
Thankyouforthisarticle.Tosomeextent,weallhavetolearnbytrialanderror,butyourlistremindsusthat
werenotaloneinthesekindsofstruggles,andthattherearemanydifferentmethodstotrytounderstandand
dealwiththepeopleinourlivesthroughbirthorextendedfamily,whowelovebutmaynotnecessarilylike.Ialso
appreciatetheinclusionofthelastone,Sadly,sometimesallyoucandoisletgoforgood.PerSandiLynn,
BecauseatsomepointyouhavetorealizethatsomepeoplecanstayinyourheartbutnotinyourlifeIttakes
timeforustomakepeacewiththat,evenafterexhaustingallouroptionsfrom#19.Thanksagain.

SandraPawula,AlwaysWellWithin
May3rd,2015at10:26pm
Imalwaysdeeplymovedbythecompassionateperspectiveyoubringtosensitivetopicslikethis.Inaworldwhere
somanypeopletellustobanishtoxicpeoplefromourlife,itsrefreshingtoseesomeonewhooffersaloving,
compassionateapproachbalancedwithsoundprinciplesofselfcare.

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LisaThomsonthegreatescape
May3rd,2015at10:46pm
Ivehadtodisengage(separate)frommyfamilybutthatmadethingsworse.TheycouldntfacethefactthatIwas
hurtbythem.Insteadtheywanttofocusonmydecisiontodistancemyself.Theyarethevictims(sufferers).When
Itriedtoreconcile(settle,reunite,resolve,merge,patchup),theymadenoeffort.Also,Iwanttomentionmanytoxic
peopleusesarcasm(taunting)astheirweapon.ThentheyjustifyitbysayingWhat?Iwasonlyjoking!Friends
likethathavenoplacewithmeanymore.Itsimportanttorecognizethataspassiveaggressivebehavior,asyou
pointout.Greatarticleandthankyouverymuchfortheaffirmationandinsight

Bob
May3rd,2015at11:04pm
Divorcedafter23years;Thoughtwehadagreatfamily.Imusthavebeendelusional(believingdisgracefulthings,sign
ofmentalillness,behaviorthatisjustnotrealistic),tonotseeherhate.Xwifepoisonedmyalmostgrownchildrens
mindstome,duringthedivorce.IfittooktheX23yearstofigureoutIwasnttherightguy,fine,buttopurposely
compromisetherelationshipofthefatherandkids;unforgivable.Hopingsomedaythekidswillunderstandhow
muchIlovethem,andtheywillacceptmyapologyforevidentlynotbeingagoodenoughfatherfromkeepingthis
familychaos(disorder,confusion,madness,mess,unruliness)fromhappening,andlosingthisunrecoverabletime.

Katie
May3rd,2015at11:23pm
Igrewupwithextremelyabusiveparentsandfinallyhadtocuttiescompletely.Thisresultedintherestofmy
familysidingwiththem,soIhavenocontactwithanyfamily.Despitethisresultandhowharditwas,Iambetter
offforit.FamilycanbewhoyoumakethemandIhavesomegreatpeopleinmylifethatmakeupfornothaving
myrealfamily.

Donna
May3rd,2015at11:59pm
Icurrentlyhavenocontactwithatoxicfamilymember.Itsissoincrediblypainful.Hewasabusivegrowingup,got
inmeds(medicine,medication)andwasdoinggreat,gotoffmedsandwentdownhill(downward).Wentforavisitto
adifferentfamilymeme(anidea,belieforbeliefsystem,orpatternofbehaviorthatspreadsthroughoutacultureeithervertically
byculturalinheritance(asbyparentstochildren)orhorizontallybyculturalacquisition(asbypeers,informationmedia,and
entertainmentmedia)betandhebehavedlikewewerekidsagain.ThistimeIhadnoproblemtellinghimIlovehim

butcanthavehiminmylifelikethat.Ihadtolearnthatwasokaytotellpeopleyoulovethembutthatdoesnt
meantheyhavetobeinyourlifethroughyearsofcounselingandafterahorribledivorcetoahorribleman.
Lettinggoofthatguiltwassuchanincrediblefeeling!Iamsomuchhappierandhealthiernow!

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Chris
May4th,2015at1:53am
Thankyouforsuchacompassionatearticle.Ihavesomeonewhostoxic,passiveaggressiveandmore.AndallIve
donetodateistoapologizeandseekforgivenessandlettingherbe.Icouldnthavereadthisatabettertime,
whenheraggressionhaspeakedandImconstantlystrugglingtojustifyuponallthejabs(poke,force)thatare
takenonme.
Lettinggoishard.ForIloveher.Ifearthatshewillcarryonwithherlifeasifnothingmattered.Butthen,ifIfear
thattoday,anditsreal,thenmaybeitsbetterthatIlearntoacceptitandmoveon.
Lifewithoutherwillbeavoidforsure.Buthavingheriskillingmeeveryday.
Youveinspiredmetowritetohertoday.Expressthis.Andputitonthetable.AllIknowisthatIwontsignouton
herandletherknowthat.Shewillalwayshavemysupport.Justnotwhensheisouttohurt,ithurts.ButImust
dowhatsgoodforbothofus.Andhopefully,thistoo,shallpass.

Feeling
May4th,2015at3:19am
IchangedsomefamilyrelationswhenIquestionedwhetherIwouldbecomefriendswiththemifIweretomeet
themonthestreets.Theanswerwas:noIwouldrunfromthem(includedmyfather).Thatopenedupmyeyestoa
lotofthepsychological(mental,emotional)abusethathadbeengoingon.Well,gladIcametotheconclusionbut
stillwouldwishitweredifferent.

David
May4th,2015at3:29am
Thankyoufornormalizingtheendofmyrelationshipwithmyhalfsister.Sheseemedtothinkherrolewasto
bringmedownapegortwoateveryopportunity.Shesidedwithmyexwifewhenwebrokeupandnevereven
listenedtomysideofthestory.WhenIfinallygotsickofitandbitback,herresponsewaswell,welljustleaveit
atthatthen;haventheardanotherthingfromherin7years.
Itwashurtfulatfirst,butIgotoveritandnowlovethefreedomofnotbeingguiltintoperformingtoherliking.
Thanksagain.

Seline
May4th,2015at4:09am
SotrueMarc.Ihavedealtwithlongtermtoxicrelationshipsinthepast.Thesoonerwebuildboundaries,orend
things,thebetter.

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Diva
May4th,2015at4:23am
Thankyou,Marc.Imfeelingdepressedsincethepastfewweeksduetoexactlythesameissue.Thetoxicfamily
membersare:myparents.
Ihavehadatroubledchildhoodbecausebothmyparentscouldntkeeptheirownrelationshipontrack.Itusedto
beacoldwarsituationatalltimes.Mydad,analcoholic,wouldntcomehomeforweeks(sayinghesontour)ata
timeandmomandIwouldbealone.TheyhavebeenfightingsinceIcanfirstrememberanythingatall.Although
theydidntseparateandarestilltogether,andkeepgettingnormalattimes,itsstillprettybad.ThankfullyImin
collegeandlivingawayfromthem.Theystilldoinflictpressureonmeforchoosingmycareerpathsandtryingto
makeeverydecisionforme,butIdontthinkImgoingtolistentothemmuchnow.
Itkillsmesometimeshowmyfatherbehaveswithme.Ihaventtoldthistoanyofmyfriendsoranyone.Iusedto
tellmomearlierbutstoppedafterIrealizedshestooengrossed(absorbed,occupied,engaged)inherownworries.I
guessitdoesnotmattertoherorhim.ButIlovethem,Marc.Iwishtheydsitandaskmehowmylifeis,how
everythingisgoing,howAMI,whenIgohomeforthevacations.Insteadofspringingupnewcareeroptionswhich
theythinkImustfollowifIwantagoodlife.Ireallyhopemysiblingsdonthavetosufferthesameway.AndI
wishthingscouldgetalittlebetter.Doreplyifyoucan,Idbeforeverindebted(grateful,thankful)toyou.

N
May4th,2015at7:12am
OMG!!Thisisonetopicpeoplehardlytalkaboutinmycountry,India.Awesomepost,asalways,Ireallyneeded
thisone.
ThanksMarc&Angel!!

Sheila
May4th,2015at7:31am
Ialwaysgetsomuchoutofreadingyourarticles,butevenmoresotoday.
Wehavebeenstrugglingforthepast3+yearstohelpourdaughterwithhermentalhealthproblems,butthepast
13monthshavebeenanightmareattimes.Wearegoingthroughacalmperiodatthemoment,butweknow
throughpastexperiencethingswillgobacktohowtheyhavebeen.
YourarticlemademerealizejusthowtoxicshehasbeenandthatIhavetolookaftermyself.Butitshard,shes
ourdaughter,weloveher,butat18wehavetoconsiderthatshemaybebetterbeingindependent,butlettingher
knowwearethereifsheneedsus,Ineedmysanityback!
Thanksagainforyourthoughprovoking&inspiringarticles.

Jane
May4th,2015at7:32am
Iamintheprocessoflettinggoofatoxicrelationshipwithmybrother.Myparentsfellilloverthepastfewyears
andsubsequentlydiedandhecouldnothavecaredless.Untilmoneybecameinvolved;hestoodbyandwatched
megiveupacareer,alifeintheU.S.,ahome,friendsandgobacktothecountryIwasbornintotakecareofmy
motherandsubsequentlyherestate.Someonehadtodoitbutitwouldhavebeenmucheasierwithtwopeople.I
dontregretdoingitformymotherbutIcertainlydontwantanykindofrelationshipwithhim.Astimeisstarting
topasssodoesmymemoryofhim;HeisnotsomebodyIwouldwantasafriendletaloneafamilymember.
Thanksagainfortheposting!
Page15of30

Sarah
May4th,2015at7:38am
Iamtheonethatistoxic.Iusepassiveaggressivebehaviorfrequently.IlookbackatmychildhoodandseethatI
ammymother.Thatishowshebehaved.Ihavetriedtochangethebehaviorbuthavehadnosuccessyet.
ThoughIfeelthereasonsIgetmadaboutarefounded,IknowImhandlingitwrongandusethesilenttreatment
toshowmyanger.Iknowthisiswrong.

Boitumelo
May4th,2015at7:56am
Thankyoufortacklingunfacebookableaspectsofourlives.Knowingthatrealities;suchashavingtolivewithtoxic
familymembersarenottheseworsesecretsthatwetocarrytoourgravesisarelief.Knowingthattheconfusion,
splitloyalties,guilt,andshamecanbedealtwithinamannerthatislovingtooneselfisbeautifulknowledge.
Thankyou!

Fred
May4th,2015at8:18am
Sheilatouchedonareasonthatmakescuttingthetieswithtoxicfamilymembersalltheharder:mentalillness.Its
hardenoughwhenthefamilymemberisneurotypical(tosomeonewhohasanormalabilitytoprocesslanguage,in
contrasttopeoplewhoareontheautism(amentalcondition,presentfromearlychildhood,characterizedbygreatdifficultyin
communicatingandformingrelationshipswithotherpeopleandinusinglanguageandabstractconcepts)spectrum(range)),

butwhentheresamentalillnessinvolved,ourbrainsplaythisitsnottheirfaultgame.Toxictheymaybe,but
addmentalproblemstothemixandweconvinceourselveswehavetoendure(bear,tolerate,suffer,undergo)the
abusebecausetheycanthelporcontroltheirbehavior.Wrong!Toxicisstilltoxic,nomattertheunderlying
cause.Theonlywaytofixatoxicrelationshipistoendit.

Poorna
May4th,2015at8:28am
ThanksMarcandAngel!Thetimingofthisarticlecouldnthavebeenbetter.Ihavebeenstressingmyselfand
shoutingatothersforthetreatmentIreceivedfromaparticularfamilymember.Iamfindingitverydifficulttolet
goandmoveon.Ihopethisarticlewillhelpme.

Maryn
May4th,2015at9:00am
Ileftaverballyandemotionallyabusivemarriageafter32years.Ithoughtmarriagewasforbetterorforworse
andworsewasaninfiniteconcept.Ifinallyrealizeditwasafiniteword.Hehadnointentionofgoingtocounseling
andhadnoneedtochange.Ileftthemarriageandafter10yearsIamfinallythesamepersonallthetime.Ino
longerweartwofaces,havetwopersonalities.Iammytrueselfallthetime.Myexisstillthesamewithhis2nd
wife.Thankyouforyouraffirmingarticle.

Page16of30

DorothyPrior
May4th,2015at9:19am
Iseemtohavebeenwaitingforthisarticlefor75+years!!!!!!!(Mytoxicrelativeisno98,mentallyalertandstill
goingstronginthebusinessoftryingtocontrolmylife!Ihaveworkedtofreemyselfformany,manyyears,andit
hastakentime,andhardworkandagreatdealofmoney!Aswellasthesupportofverygoodlongtermfriends
andother(wider)familymembers.SlowlyIhavelearnedhowtofreemyselfovertheyears,learnedhowto
understandmoreofthedynamic,learnedtorecognizethetoxicfamilymembersownbaggageandother
damagefromtheirchildhood,andcontinuetostrugglewithkeepingmyselffreeand(atleast)notaddingtothat
personslifeburden.Lifehasnotbeeneasy!
However,therearesomevery,verygoodbitsinit,andforthatfactalonelifereallyshouldbeenjoyedand
celebratedratherthanwasted.
Yourexcellentarticlehelpsgetthingsintosomesortofrationalperspective.Thankyou.

T
May4th,2015at9:29am
Thetimingforthisarticlewasperfect!!Itoohavehaddifficultieswithsocalledtoxicfamilymembers,
domineering(bossy,dominant,forceful,overassertive),emotionalandsometimesphysicalabusefromrelatives
particularlymyyoungersisterandfather.Thewaymysisterhasmanipulatedfamilymemberstellingliesonme,I
foundmyselflikeacorneredrat,withmymotherandothersiblings(apersonsbrotherorsister)roundinguponme,
finallyledmetosnaponedayandItoldmydadinanemailexactlywhatIthoughtofhimandotherfamily
members,becauseheneededtoreaditsohecouldunderstandexactlywhatIwastryingtosayandhecouldnt
putthephonedownonmeandnotheartherestofit.
Soafterthat,Inocontactwithhimanditsuitedmefine.However,formygrandmother(whoIlovedearly)that
wasadifferentmatter,shefeltstuckinthemiddleandtriedtogetmetogobacktothesocalledfamilyfoldand
theotherrelativestriedtousehertogetatme,butitwasntgoingtoworkandshesoongotthemessage.

Allie
May4th,2015at9:40am
ThanksforthisarticleIvegotalittlefamilyreunioncomingupthissummerandforsixmonthsnow,Ivealready
beenmentallypreparingforit!Willneverforgettheday,yearsago,Iwasgoingthroughatoughtimeinmy
marriageandmyimmediatefamilyturnedagainstme,onememberviciously(cruelly,nastily,brutally,inhumanly,
violently,sadistically,meanly)repliedtoaletterIdsentcommunicatingwhatIwasgoingthrough,andIminmy
therapistsofficecryingmyeyesout.HefinallypointedoutthatA)Mylettertomyfamilywasthebesthedever
readandB)Myfamilywasntemotionallyhealthy,Iwas.IwasFINE!OMG,thebestthingthateverhappenedto
me!IhadtodealwiththemagainwhenIfinallygotdivorced,butIverymuchstoodmygroundandbecauseIdid,I
havebetterrelationshipswitheveryonebutmyonesiblingandIhavehopeforher!Havingthelistoftoolslisted
above(IdlearnedminethroughtherapyandLifeSkillclasses)isdefinitelythebestandhealthiestwaytocope
withthesekindofpeople.RememberingthatYOUREtheemotionallystrongoneofthefamilyiswell,liberating!!

Page17of30

MelissaWilson
May4th,2015at9:50am
Thanksforwritingonthistopic.Itseemslikeoneofthehardestthingstodealwithwhenafamilymemberis
toxicforus.

Weeitherfeelobligated(forced,dutybound)tohavetheminourlivesorwehavenochoicebuttosee
themeveryday.
ThebestthingthatIhavefoundfordealingwithsomeonelikethisistohaveboundariesinplace.
Avoidtalkingtothemaboutcertainthingsifyouknowtheyaregoingtobecriticalorvisitandspeak
withthemlessoften.

Itsnotalwayseasy,butjustbecausesomeoneisafamilymemberdoesnotmeanthatwehavetobesubjectto
theirtoxicity.

Sandy
May4th,2015at9:51am
Strugglingwithmysisterwhoisnegativeandclingy;myfamilyhasjustpurchasedabeachhomeandIwantto
spendChristmastherewithmythreegrownchildrenandgrandchildrenwithoutthestressofhavinghertherebut
sheinsiststhatsheiscomingforChristmas.WearestayingathomeandspendingThanksgivingwithherandIhave
invitedhertovisitlaterinJanuarywhenshewillbetravelingtoherwintervacationspot.Sheisnttakingnoforan
answer.Howwouldanyofyouhandlethis?

Kim
May4th,2015at10:19am
Yes,

lettinggoofpeoplethatdonotwishyouwellandarenothappyforyouwhenyouresuccessful,is
thebestthingyoucandoforyourself!
Andifsomeonedoesnotseeyouforwhoyouareandtriestomoldyou(bullyyou)intobeingacertain
personforthem,theytooneedtogo.
Theexamplesin110allreflectpeoplethatarekillingyourspiritandstuntingyourgrowth.

LeiLaniLucero
May4th,2015at10:51am
Iseesomuchofmyroommate(whoislikeasistertome),and,honestly,Iseealittleofmyselfinthese
descriptions.Ihavetakenthestepstopracticeselfcare,bybeingaroundpeoplewholiftmeup,andacceptme
forwhoIam,andkeepremindingmyselfthatherbehaviorisbornoutofherviewpoints,butthescary,honest
partisseeingthatIhavebeenpracticingsomeofthetoxicbehaviorsinmyrelationshipwithher.Thanksfor
openingmyeyes,andkeepingmyheartopentothewondersofthisuniverse.

Page18of30

LeighB.
May4th,2015at11:09am
Threeyearsago,mysisterandIhadanargument,andIdecidedtoend50+yearsofabuseandmiserybynot
reconcilingwithher.Withherwenttherestofmyfamilyherchildrenandgrandchildren,whomIlovedearly.I
cannotbegintodescribehowincrediblypainfulthishasbeen,andhowmanypeoplebelievethatIamthe
problem,nother.ToxicpeopleareoftenJekyllandHyde(onehavingatwosidedpersonalityonesideofwhichisgood
andtheotherevil);sonicetotherestoftheworld,andsoawfulbehindcloseddoors.Worstofall,manyfriendsand
relativesdonotunderstandthatsheandIhaveneverhadaclassicsiblingrelationship;wehavebeenfightingsince
dayone.Buttheyjudgemydecisiononthebasisofthegoodrelationshipstheyhadwiththeirsiblings,and
continuallytellmeIwillregretthis.Icanttalkaboutitwithotherrelatives,soIseldomtalktothem.AllIknowis
thatfortherestofmylife,Iwanttobefreeofherdrama,herlies,hervictimhood(forwhichIhavebeencastin
theroleofperpetrator(doer,performer,executor)),andherabuseofotherpeopleinourlives.ItsaboutwhatI
wantmyfuturetobeandnotretribution(revenge,justice)forthepast.Butthereisnoproceduralmanualfora
messlikethis.WhatwillhappenifIshowuptocertainfunerals?WhatwillhappenifIdont?WhatamIobligated
totellheraboutotherrelativesshesneverbotheredtomaintaincontactwith?Itsaneverendingproblem;I
cantgetridofitcompletely.Icanonlyminimizeitsimpactonmylife.

LeighB.
May4th,2015at11:12am
@Sandy:TheonlythingyoucandoistellherthatyouwanttospendChristmaswithyourchildrenand
grandchildrenonly,andthatshecannotcometoyourvacationhomeforChristmas.
Andbepreparedforfireworks(explosive,sparkler)andugliness(cruelty,evil,unattractiveness).

Tara
May4th,2015at11:12am
Lovethispost!RemindsmeaboutmuchofwhatMelodyBeattiediscussesinherbooksCodependentNoMoreand
TheNewCodependency.Goodstuff!GoodreadsthatIfeelmanywhocommentedonthispostandfeelthey
benefitedfromthispostshouldread!SelfcareisSOveryimportant!

Yvette
May4th,2015at11:54am
ThisarticlehasgivenmesomecomfortthatImadetherightchoicetostanduptomyfatherrecentlyandrisk
losinghimforgood.Idoubtmyselfeverydayandlookforthegoodthingswevehadbetweenus,butIneedto
remindmyselfofthetoxicnegativityheinstilledinourrelationship,andthehighlevelofanxiety(nervousness,
worry,concern,unease,fear)Iexperiencedwhendealingwithhim.Thanksforgivingmeamentalbreak.

Page19of30

Jacqueline
May4th,2015at12:13pm
Ihadalightbulbmomentwiththisarticlebigtime
IhaveabigguiltbuttonandIamseriouslyfartoosensitiveformyowngood,IknowIamtoblameforalotforI
haveusedmanipulativebehaviortomakeothersfeelsorryformeandthatsgivenbulliesalltheammunitionthey
needed,victimmentalitytoo.ButthefactIexplain,questionandanalyzeconstantlyisnotgood,ithaswornme
outphysically,mentallyandspiritually.
Iwasbroughtuptopleaseandlabelsplacedonme,Ihadlittlerespectformypeersandmyself,soIneedto
forgive,letgoandmoveoninthatorder.
IaminaplacewhereIconstantlyoverthinkthingsandthisrendersmeuseless,insteadoflookingatthe
problemsIneedtoworkonfindingasolutionsthisisfarabetterwayforyoukeepmovingforwardratherthan
goingroundandroundandfeelingavictimandhopeless.IamaskingGodforbreakthroughandwisdom
Thankyouforthisarticlebothtimelyandverywise

Puglee
May4th,2015at12:42pm
Weregoingthroughsuchasituationsothispostprovokedmetorespond.
Idonotdisagreewithanythingthatwasblogged.
Butalsoasstated,everysituationissortofuniquesoeverysuggestionmaynotbeapplicable.
Ibetthemajorityoftheseconflictsoriginatefromunresolvedsiblingrivalry(competition,opposition,enmity,
challenge,jealousy);bringingchildhoodemotionsintoadultlifewheretheyarenotappropriate.
Iprefertorefertothebehaviorasdestructivealthoughtoxicworkstoo.
Individualswhochoosetoremainwithinafamilystructurebutpersist(continue)withthisdestructivebehavior
revealsadeeperissue.Itmaybethatthisindividualhasproblemsmaintaininghealthyrelationshipsingeneral,not
justinafamilyenvironmentandtheychoosetoblameafamilymemberswithwhomtheymaygetawaywithit
andwhowillbehurtandfeelguilty.Theygetasenseofrevengeandcontrol.
Siblingrivalry(competition,opposition,enmity,challenge,jealousy)willautomaticallyinvolvebothsiblingsand
parent(s).
Ifthereissomethingaboutanotherpersonthatbothersyou,theappropriate(suitable,proper,right,correct)
behavioristodisassociate(detach,break)withthatpersonnotkeeppounding(hammering,beating)away.Ifyouare
onthereceivingendofsuchanimosity(hatred,illfeeling,enmity,dislike),(whichiswhothispostisaddressed)you
arebestadvisedtoavoidcontactwiththetoxinsorelseaswasdiscussedinthepost;yourlifeandyourother
relationshipswillbedamagedasaconsequence.Getoveryourfeelingsofguiltorobligation,andbreakitoff.
Thiswasstatedintheblogpost.
IfIhaveatoxicrelationshipwithafamilymember,itwillnegativelyaffectmeandabsorbaninappropriate
amountofmytimeandenergy.Iwillbeaskingtheotherfamilymemberstotoleratetheconsequencesofthe
neurotic(fearful,phobic,disturbed,overanxious)relationship,andthosefamilymembersmaywiselychoosetoopt
out.Sothetoxicindividualsmissionisfurtherenabled.
Hopeyouallfindyoursolution.

Page20of30

ReneeCohen
May4th,2015at12:48pm
Brilliantarticle!Ihavestruggledallmylifewithwellmeanttoxicloveandtheoutcomehasbeenthatdont
recognizeorcareformyneeds.Onlynowattheageof48amIstartingtorecognizeboundariesbutisnotan
automaticthingformeandIhavetoremembertorespectmyself.Thankyouforunderstandingandsharing.

Giacomo
May4th,2015at12:52pm
ThankyouforyourFBreply.Mycaseiskindofcomplicatedbutyourtipshelpedmetotakedecisions.Inmycase,
mymotherisachronic(constant,neverending)paranoid(fearful,mistrustful,unreasonable)andnegativeperson
24/7.Itisverydifficultformetoabandonher,particularlywhensheis87yearsold.Ispentmywholelifefiguring
alloutbutIcouldnotmakeit.
Yourhelphasbeenparamount(supreme,top).IhavenowtakensomeshortcutstomywellbeingandrightnowI
knowwhattodo.Ireallyappreciateyourcaring.Withallmylove

Janie
May4th,2015at1:59pm
Ioftenreadarticlesaboutdealingwithtoxicpeople,yetthisisthefirstarticletohaveexactlywhatIamlooking
for,asdealingwithtoxicfamilymembersseemstobeabitofatabootopic.Mostotherarticlesonlydealwith
friendships,coworkers,acquaintances,yetthetoxicpersoninmylifeismymother.Shehasverballyandmentally
abusedmemyentirelife,andwhenIquestionedherortriedtostandupformyself,shethrewherCatholic,you
havetohonormebecauseImyourmotherbeliefsinmyface.ShemademefeelasthoughIhadnochoicebutto
believeherwhenshedsaythingslike,NomanwouldeverloveyouRecentlyIstartedtalkingtosomeone
professionally,andsheshelpingmetorealizethatthosehorriblethingsIvebeentoldarenottrue.Ihavealong
roadofhealingaheadofme,butforthefirsttimeIcanactuallyseealightattheendofthetunnel.Thisarticle
nicelyreinforcesthatwedonothavetoacceptbehaviorsorwordsjustbecausewesharebloodwithsomeone.
AndassadasIamtoreadeveryonescomments,IamalsocomfortedtoknowthatImnotalonewerenot
alone.Wereallinthistogether.

Page21of30

TracyNatiom
May4th,2015at2:53pm
Manythanksforthisarticle.Giventhenumberofreplies,thistopicneededaddressing.And,therearelikelymany
morethatdidntreply.Iagreewithyourpointsand@MelissaWilson.Illaddthatmostwouldnotletafriend
abuseourfriendshipandbecometoxictous;wewouldmoveon.Thattypeoffriendshipwouldnaturallyjustdie
off.But,atoxicfamilymemberissoloadedwithfeelings.
Onascaleof110,howtoxicarethey?

Ifitsaparentthatsgoingthroughtheagingprocessandgetstoxicbutwasnotpriortohitting75(p ic k
a n age ),Iveputupwithmoreaggravation(annoyance,irritation,stress,frustration)forobviousreasons.
But,eventhenIhavesetBOUNDARIESandIvestuckwiththem.Itshardbutitissohelpfulinproviding
care.
Astootherfamilymemberswhobehaveinpurposive(havingordonewithapurpose)pushingourbuttons
mostofourlives,Ilearnedthatboundariesarethekeyforme.

IlearnedmuchaboutsomepersonalitiesintherapyIsoughttospecificallylearnaboutthesepersonalitiesand
understandifIwasdoingsomethingtoprovokeandhowtomaintainafamilyrelationshipwithsomeverydifficult
personalities.Oneoftheindividualsisveryemotionallyormentallyill.Iputupmyboundariesmanyyearsago.
Hugerelief!Yet,hertwosiblingsmuchyoungerthanmemustlearntheseprinciplesyoulaidout.Ifnot,their
feelingscouldgoindifferentdirections;justin20stheirfeelingsrangefromrage(anger,temper,trend)totryingto
havelovingtalksandmoments.Iwillsay,withproperboundariesIwasabletomaintainalovingrelationshipwith
mybrotherandhiswife.Ourlovewasfirmlyrooted.BOUNDARIESdowork.Onemayneedtotweakthembut
theywork.
Withthementalillnessinplay,onemayneverbeabletohaveamutuallylovingandsupportiverelationship.Id
sayonemustmakepeacewiththat,understanditisnotpersonal;limittopicsandnumberofinteractions.Read
upaboutthementaldisease.Toughlovemaybeneeded.Peopleuseitwithaddictionandotherbehavior.Bean
advocate(supporter,believer,activist)forgettingsustained(nonstop,lasting,unbroken,neverending,repeated)
counseling(therapy,psychotherapy,psychoanalysis,analysis).Thanksagainforthistopic.Andthanksforthereplies.If
folksherecanswingit,getcounselingiftoxicpeoplearegivingyouguilt,rageandyoudontknowwhattodo.
Goodluck.

Sharon
May4th,2015at3:22pm
IseesomanyoftheseissuesinmyrelationshipwithmyhusbandbutImreallynotsurewhichoneofusisthe
toxicone.Therearesomanythingsthatcandescribeeachofus.Thiswasnotalwaysthewayourrelationship
betweenushasbeen.ItstartedafterIgotcancerandIhadalotofcomplicationsandphysicalandmental
problemstoworkthrough.Hewasminimallysupportiveatthattime.Igotcanceragainandhewasnotsupportive
atall.Mycomplicationsgotworse,tothepointwhereIcouldbarelywalk.IhadboneonbonekneeproblemsandI
neededsurgery.IhadputitoffbecauseIvealsobeentakingcareofmyDad.Iknowallofthesethingshave
contributedtoourrelationshipproblems,myresentment(anger,dislike,hatred)becausehewasnotsupportive,his
resentmentbecausewecantdothingsbecauseImalwayssick,ImnotthesamepersonIwasbeforecancerandI
amtheonlyonewhotakescareofmydad.Ifeellikewearejustroommates.Imafraidtoaskhimtogoforany
kindofcounselingbutIthinkitswhatweneed.IknowhelovesmeandIlovehimbutIkeeptellingmyselfthat
whenmydadleavesus,Iwillhavethetimetoreallyworkonourrelationship.Imworriedthatitmightbetoolate.
IknowthismayhavegoneoffthesubjectbutIhadtogetitoutofmysystem,maybeseeingitwrittendownwill
helpmefinallydomorethanthinkaboutwhatIneedtodo.

Page22of30

rose
May4th,2015at4:11pm
Sadlywewouldloseseeingourgrandchildrenifwestooduptoourdaughterinlaw.Soverytoxic!

Dawn
May4th,2015at6:49pm
Ithinkyouwrotethisjustforme
Toxicpersoninmylifeismyyoungadultson,adrinkeranddruguser.Ivebeentakinghisabuseand
destructivenesssincehewasateenager.Imovedoutofmyownhousetobesafe,hestilllivesthere,andIam
goingtohavetoevictinordertogetmyhouseback.InthemeantimeImworkingongettingmylifeback.Theysay
toughloveworks;Illhavetoreportbackonthat.Thanksforyourposttoday.

Katie
May4th,2015at8:46pm
Thankyouforthis.ItiswhatIneededtoread.Thetoxicpersoninmylifeismyexbestfriend.Itisrelevant
becauseweusedtobesoclosethatwewerelikefamily.
Thingshavechangedalotinthelast23years.Weusedtobecloseanddoeverythingtogetherbutthings
changed.Iwasswappedoutforanothermodelbutexpectedtocomebackintothefriendshipwhentheother
ended.
Sheisnasty,bitterandjealousofanythingandeverythingfrommynewhousetogoingbacktoschool.She
dismisses(reject,setaside,fire,sendaway)mydreamsandanythingIsuggest.
Iusedtobehorriblysociallyanxiousbuthavegotalotbetteroverthelast18monthsandIwonderifthathas
contributedtothedemiseofourfriendship.
IhavecometorealizethatthefriendshipistoxicandIvespentthelast68monthsdistancingmyself.Imatter
tooandIdontwantthatkindofnegativitythismorning.
ThingshavebeengoingwellwiththatbutthismorningIgotanemailfromherwantingtorekindle(renew,
reawaken,revive,regenerate)thefriendship.Noapologyoracknowledgmentofhowshesbehavedandnoindication
thatshewillhavechanged.
Idonthateher(Ididbutasthearticlesuggestedthatjustleadstomoretoxicity).Ihaveforgivenherand
movedonbutImnotkeentoexposemyselftothesituationagain.

Steven
May4th,2015at9:00pm
Thankyouforthispost.Idivorcedmydadnearly30(!)yearsagobecauseIcouldnttakehisangerandrefusalto
acceptmeforwhoIamanylonger.Irecentlydecidedtodothesamewithmytwinsister,forsimilarreasons.It
hurts.Itshard.ButthesetwodecisionsremainamongthehealthiestIhaveevermade,andthisarticlereminds
mewhy.
Page23of30

Parzival
May4th,2015at9:21pm
Achildofthe60s&70sIdidntrealizethatwhatIhadbeengoingthroughgrowingupconstituted(represent,add
upto,setup,create)physical&emotionalabuse.ThenIstumbled(fall,hesitate)untoBradshaw&TheFamily&
JohnBradshawswork.Iworemyabuselikeabadge(button,pi,symbol,emblem)untilIreadAliceMillersworksin
the80s/90s,alongwithM.ScottPeck&learnedthevalueofforgiveness.AttendedaRev.TerrysermoninSan
Diego&learnedthatwhatyouthinkofmeisnoneofmybusiness.ACourseinMiraclesbroughtmetothe
realizationofthevalueofforgiveness.Andsynchronicitybeingwhatitisformetoday,Iorbitaroundapersonthat
hassomeofthefamiliarwoundsImacquaintedwith.Butdarnit,wouldntyouknowthatinsharingthisarticle
todayIwastoldbymyfriendtosubstitutethewordtheyin#1withmyown.Alwaysfeelsabithurtfultobe
regardedastoxicuntilIremindmyselfwhatRev.Terrysaid.
Manytimespeoplecanmirroryou&itcanbesomewhatseeminglyaccurate.Othertimestheymerelyproject,
buthereIamdecadeslater&theoldwound(s)reopenandallIcanthinktodoistosendblessingsbacktomy
friend&tomyself,andreflectonthedepth&meaningofcompassion.(DalaiLama,ThchNhtHnh)
Thanksforthetimelyarticle!Nowonwiththework

Kell
May4th,2015at10:13pm
Thanks,MarcandAngel,forthesegreatwisdoms.Whenitcametocrunchpoint,myMotherchosetostaysickand
Ichosetogetbetter.Ihavetopayfortheguiltofnotmissingher,butIpayitgladlyandjoyfullyeveryday.
Itdoesgetbetter.

Page24of30

Kate
May4th,2015at10:14pm
Forsomereadersthere:Ireallydontgethowyouareblamingyourchildrenforyourmisery.Imean.Allyou
parentsthere.YOUaretheparents.Yourchildrenarenotyourparents.
Ithurtstoseeyourownchildrentosuffer.Irealizeit.Butblamingyourchildrenforcausingpainforyoubecause
youcareaboutthemisjustwrong.
Idontsayparentscantakeeverythingandbejustfine,thattheycantbehurttoo.No,notsayingthat.Butyou
candoyourbestbylistening,bymakingthemknowthatyouarethereforthem,bylettingthemknowthateven
ifyoucouldntunderstandallthethings,youwillsupportthem.
Itisreallyallyouneedtodo.Andeverybodycandoit.Butparentsarereallymanytimestheonlyoneswhowilldo
it.Soyouhavetodoit.
Ithinkthatmanytimesthebiggestproblemisthatparentsthinkthattheyhavetobesomethingmore.Andwhen
parentsfeellikethat(stronglyorweakly)itappearsmanydifferentways.Exampleblamingyourchildrenforyour
struggle
Andifyouarethereforthemandnotblamingthemforyourmiseryandstilltheymakeyourlifelikelivinghell
thenIamsurethatthereissomethingsowrongwithyourchildrenthatyouwillneedhelpfromsomebody.But
still.Noreasontoblameyourchildren.

Chas
May4th,2015at11:00pm
Youcantpickyourfamily..Butisntitlovelythatyoucanpickyourfriends.

Sandra
May4th,2015at11:17pm
Sotimelyformerightnow
Ihavebeentoldbyafamilymember,mytwin,thatIamnotagoodperson,thatIhaveneverbeenthereforher,
thatIamaterribleaunt/friend/sister/younameit!
Ihadnoideashewasupsetwithmebutoverthepastyearshavebeentoldoverandoverbymanythatsheis
meantomeandIneededtostanduptohernotinmypersonality,soIwasalmostblindsidedwhensheattacked
mewithallthis.
Myquestioniswhatyoudowhentherearechildreninvolved.IstillwanthertochildrentoknowmeastheirAunt,
andtohavearelationshipwithmychildren,theircousins!
Thanks.

Page25of30

Happy
May5th,2015at3:04am
Greatremindersthatitsokaytoletgooftoxicfamilymembersforthesakeofyourownsanity(goodsense,
wisdom,reason,understanding,commonsense,judgment),safety,andhappiness.Ivehadtowalkawayfrommytwin
sisterandherfamilybecauseIhadtocuttieswithmysistershusband.Hehasahistoryofphysicallyabusingmy
sister,aswellasverballyabusingher.Hesalsocheatedonherinthepast.Afteranincidentwhichincludedhim
threateningtohurtmyfamily(mother,father,sister,etc)andbeatingmysisteruntilherfacewasswollenallover,I
wascompletelydisgusted(shocked,sickened)withhimandtoldmysisternottogetbackwithhim.Having
witnessedandexperiencedmymother,mysiblingsandIbephysicallyandverballyabusedbymyfathergrowing
up,domesticviolenceissomethingImstronglyagainstandwillnottolerate.Iwouldhopemysisterwould
recognizeitherselfandnotnormalizethatasahealthyrelationship.Howevermysistereventuallygotbackwith
himandmarriedhimsoIforgavehimforhishistoryofdomesticviolenceandacceptedhimasfamilyhopinghe
changed.Howeverhehascontinuedbacktohisoldwaysandnowhasbeenhurtfultowardsme.Itstartedwhen
heforbid(stop,prevent)mysistertoletmeandmylongtermboyfriendstayatmysistershomeforChristmas,said
Iwaswelcomebutnotmyboyfriend(whomhesnevermet)andliedaboutwhyIcouldntstaythereuntilmy
sistertoldmethetruth.Mostrecently,hisfamilymembersgotintoaphysicalaltercation(argument,dispute,clash)
withmysisterandhesidedwiththem,includinghisbrotherwhosaidhewouldbeatmysisterifheeversawher
alone.Shealsolostherjobfromit.Herhusbandalsocursedheroutandtoldhershewasstupid,afailureatlife,
etcbreakingherdownmentally.Shedescribedittomeasherbeingatherlowestpointinherlife.Whenmysister
contemplated(consider,think,plan,lookat)adivorceandItoldherIsupportedherdecision,hefoundoutIsaidthat
andturnedagainstmeandhaspreventedmefrommakinganycontactwithmysisterandmynieceandnephew.
WhenIcontacther,herepliesinsteadofherinsultingme.IvesincerealizedthatitismysisterslifeandIcanno
longerbeapartofitifshewantstostaywithsomeonewhoisabusiveandattacksanyonewhostandsuptohis
abusivebehavior.Mysisteralsohasmadenoattemptstocontactmeorstanduptoherabusivehusbandandhas
insteadgiventohisdemands.Ialreadyhaveahappylifeandthiswassomethingthathappenedtoridmeofthe
negativepeopleremaininginmylife.Thankyouforhelpingmereaffirm(repeat,sayagain)thisistherightchoice.

Carly
May5th,2015at5:54am
#2,#3&#5
Thankyouforaddressingthis.Mostwouldhaveusbelievethatthecurefortoxicrelationshipsisjusttoleavethe
relationship.Itsnotquitethatsimplewhenthetoxicpersonisaspouseorfamilymember.
IguessIhelpedmyselfbymovingthousandsofmilesawayfrommyfamilywhenIwasayoungadult.But,without
knowinghowaffectedIwas,Imarriedsomeoneequallyasdifficult/toxic....

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Nancy
May5th,2015at9:16am
Mymother,whois87,livesinNYasdomythreesisters.IliveintheSouth.Ihavetogothereonceayear,usingmy
vacationtimeandatsomeexpense,toseemymom.Butdealingwithmysistersandtheirtraumaanddramaisno
fun.Oncemymompasses,Iwontbegoingupthereanymore.Noonecomestoseeme,althoughtheypass
throughtheairportonthewaytoseefamilymembersofspouses.TheyattackedmeonFacebook,soIblocked
them.
Itishardtohearotherpeopletalkaboutsistersweekendsandhowmuchtheylovetheirfamilyandhowtheir
momistheirbestfriend,whenIhaveneverhadthatasanexperience,andIknowIneverwill.ButIhavemyown
kids,andIamstrivingtobethemomasbestfriendtothem.Ifoster(promote,encourage,carefor)good
relationshipsbetweenthethreeofthem,andsocounteract(frustrate)pastandpresenttoxicitybymaking
differentchoicesformyself.
ImgladIdontliveuptherewiththem.Distanceisagoodsolutionsometimes.Thanksforatimelyand
informativepost!

Jacqueline
May5th,2015at10:29am
DearHappy,thecommentyouleftissuchasadstorywhenyouarebulliedtothatextentlikeyoursisteris,you
stopbeinganythinganymore,andyouknowwhatsgoingonbutfearandtorment(suffering,pain,torture,taunt,
harass,trouble)arealwaysthere.Dontabandonheritssosadbecausesometimesyoureallydontknowwhich
waytoturn,andoftenwiththesesortstheyareniceoneminutethanproperevil,theymesswithyourheadand
reduceyoutonothingmakingyoufeelpowerlessandhavinghadthisitknocksallyourconfidenceaway.Ihave
noanswersforasolution,butyoumightbetheonlyonewhooffershercompassionandlovewhenallelsearound
herishorrible.
Love

A
May5th,2015at3:10pm
Ihave4sistersand2brothers.Iamtheyoungestby10yearstomysiblingwhoisclosestinage.WhichmeansI
didntgrowupwithmyfamily?MostofthemweregonebeforeIwasinschool.Itriedtofitinforthefirst35years
ofmylife.Withmyentirefamilywithheartachebeingmyonlyoutcome,Ialsocantseemtounderstandhowany
mothercouldlove6ofherchildrenbutnotme.Sheisnumber1toxicmembertomeofmyfamily.Mybrothers
andsistersfollowingher,Mymotherbeing85yearsinageIhavestruggledwithhowtoliveinthesamecityasher.
Noneofmysiblingsliveinthesamecity.Ihavetakenthestepofremovingmyselffromherverbaltoxicity.I
haventspokenwithhersinceDecember2014.However,shecontinues,withoutmyknowledge,topop(explode,
burst,bang,crack,drop)eachandeverygoodbubbleIcreateinmylife.Thelatestbeingalmostsucceedinginhaving
meevicted(expel,turnedout)frommyhome.Sheisverymanipulativeandanybodywhomeetsherthinkssheis
thegreatestpersonintheworld.Sheprobablyistoeverybodybutmyself.InowknowIwillhavetomoveaway
tohaveanyinnerpeaceformyself.ThisistheBESTarticleIhaveeverread.Formehavingthevalidationfromthis
articlesingstothecoreofmysoul!Inowhavenewtoolstohelpmeletgoofthehardestpeopleinmylifetolet
goof..onesfamily!Thankyou

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J
May6th,2015at8:24am
Inmycase,thetoxicpersoninthefamilyfeelstheyarethevictim;nottheotherwayaround.Creatinghavoc
(madness,disorder,mess,confusion),dysfunction(disruptionofnormalsocialrelations),cruelty(unkindness,meanness,
harshness),andabusewithinthefamilyasachild,adolescent,andadultandthencontinuingwithcloseextended
familymembers(inlaws,niecesandnephews),causingsuchhurt,itbecamealltoomuchfortherestofusleading
tohavingtoturnourbacksonthisperson.Oncethathappened,thismemberwenttootherfamilymembers
(aunts,unclesandcousins)withthesob(cry,weep)storyofhowcruelwehavealwaysbeentothemleadingto
thosefamilymemberstakingthispersonsside.Thishascausedagreatdividewithintheentireextendedfamily
structureand,whilethereisamourning(grief,sorrow,sadness)periodforthelossofthesepeople,myimmediate
familyhascometotworealizations;oureverydaylivesaremuchmorepeacefulandfilledwithlove,andthose
familymemberswhohavetakenthispersonsside,withoutanyefforttoknowtherealstory(andthatisthecase
withmostofthem)arereallynotworthseekingouttomaintainrelationshipswiththemaswell.
WhileIhavecometotermsforthemostpartwiththesituation,readingthisarticleandthecommentshavereally
helpedagreatdealsoIthanktheauthorforwritingthis(thepassive/aggressionsideofitissotrueinmycaseand
reallyistheweaponofchoicecontinuingtothisdaywiththepostingsonsocialmediaagainstmyimmediate
family).Ialsothankthecommenterswhohavebravelypouredouttheirheartshere.Itishelpfultoknowand
bringsaffirmationthatsometimeswhatonehastodotoremainsane(rational,sensible,reasonable,sound,
normal,wise,commonsensical)istherightcourseofactionandthatitismuchmorecommonthanyouwouldthink.

Beena
May6th,2015at9:49am
Thebestrevengeislivingwell,inawaythatcreatespeaceinyourheartIreallylikethatlineandwilltryto
followit.

RoseCostas
May6th,2015at1:20pm
Itissadtosaybutmostofushavesuchapersoninourfamily.Ifoundoutthatstayingawayfromthatpersonis
thebestwaytodealwiththesituation.

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LisaRenner
May6th,2015at2:52pm
Iamgratefultoreadyourarticles.Ihavenotfoundhelpanywhereelse.Mygrownkidshavechosentocutme
completelyoutoftheirlives.IhavealwayshadalowselfimagesoIimmediatelyblamedmyselfandbeggedfor
reconciliation.Ineverhitorcalledthemnames.IalwaystoldthemhowgreatIthinktheyare.Iadmittedand
apologizedforeverybehaviorIthoughttheymighthavehadanissuewithindesperation(worry,fear,nervousness,
hopelessness)togetonetextoroneacknowledgement.Itwasawasteofmysanity(goodsense,wisdom,reason,
commonsense)andmytime.Iworkedfor18yearsatafactorybuildingcarstoprovideforthem.Iwasexhausted
mentallyandphysicallyonadailybasis.Imadebadrelationshipchoicesandwentfromonefailedmarriageto
another,thenanother.Mylastchild,whoiswithmenow,16,hadafatherwhocontrolledmeandmy3kidswho
dismissed(letgo,reject)me.Iamsuretheyhavetheirreasons.Iwent10yearsofnorelationshipsatall.Thenat
theendofthe18yearskillingmyselfworkingIquitmyjob,pulledoutmyretirementand401kandmetsomeoneI
chose.Nowweliveaparttoworkonouryoungestchildsneedfirst.Notlikethemenbeforewhokeptafterme.I
puttheoldrelationshipsaheadofeverythingelse.Ithasbeenover2yearsseparatedfromwhatIthoughtwasa
goodrelationshipwithmyolderkids.Wewentonyearlyfamilyvacations,spentallholidaystogether.NowIam
notallowedtoseemygrandkidsasifIamacriminal.Idecidedlastmonthtostop.Stopfeelingsorryformyself.
Itsaworkinprogress.Butsincerethankstostartmeonmyjourneytowardsfindingmyselffirst.Thenhopefully
mykidswillseewhoIreallyam,again!Stilllost,butgraduallyseeingthelight,moreeachday.

MarcChernoff
May6th,2015at11:04pm
@All:Thankyousomuchforallthethoughtfulandinsightfulcommentsandemailsregardingthispost.Imgladso
manyofyoufoundthisinformationhelpful.
Sinceafewofyourcomments(andmanyofyouremails)requireindepthresponses,AngelandIaregoingtosit
downthisweekendandaddressthemwhenwehavetimetogiveeachresponseourfullattention.Wellbein
touchviaemail.

Suzanne
May7th,2015at9:27am
ThisarticleisexactlywhatIneededandyetitopenedsomanymorequestionsandemotions.Idookforatime
andthenanotherepisodeoverwhelms(overpower,beatcrush)meagain;ourtoxicitycomesfrommyinlaw
family.Dysfunctionofguilt,silence,passiveaggressivebehavior,entitlement,alcoholismneverhealedproperly
andmentalillnesstotopitoffiswhatImarriedinto20+yearsago.Ilovemyhusbandandhavesuchahardtime
eventhinkingofhisextendedfamily.Hiscontinualneedtopacify(calmdown)thembyfixingtheirproblems
withmoneyissendingustothepoorhouse.Theyask,heconcedes(admit,allow),wearebothangryandour
securityjustcontinuestodisappear.Nooneishealthier,standingontheirown2feet,takingresponsibilityfortheir
badlifechoicesandmymentalhealthhasgoneweak.Ihatethem,Ifeelguiltyforfeelingthatwayandmyanger
towardsmyhusbandoverwhelmsmeattimes.BoundariesarenonexistentandIamfeelinghopelessandnow
needtofindajobtohelpsupportourfamilyof5whilemymilandbilsitontheirbuttsdayinanddayoutwithno
jobprospectsorinterestintheminsight.Anysuggestionsfromothersthathavebeendownthisroadformylong
termhealingwouldbegreatlyappreciated.

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Frank
May8th,2015at2:45pm
HiMarc
Icanrelatetosomeofthis.
Ihadafamilymemberwhotoxicbehaviorwasofamoaning(complaining,faultfinding,dissatisfaction),wingingbully
andmyparentslethergetherownwaytohaveaquietlife.
Icouldntwaittogetawayfromhomeandthetoxicity.Istillkeepcontactinherebutnowsheisneedyand
somewhatbitterattheworld.Notsurewhyasshewasalwaysthefavoriteone.

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