There are a lot of articles online about ‘toxic’ people and ‘toxic’ relationships. Sometimes I nod my head in agreement as I read them but there are times when I pause and reflect on what ‘toxic’ means and what a damaging and convenient label it can be. My understanding of toxic is anything that damages me in some way. It’s easy to see how a poor diet or lack of exercise can be harmful to our wellbeing. However, what about if the source of damage is in your family. What then?
Many people simply didn’t grow up with the Enid Blyton fairy tale where everyone cared for each other and showed how much they loved each other. You might have experienced painful or confusing relationships. You might have felt bullied, disapproved of, humiliated, pathologised or positioned as the family scapegoat. You might be the one that everyone else thinks they know and the focus of all family jokes. What a damaging experience. How could the people who say they love you treat you so unkindly? Sadly, it’s a familiar story.
When you understand what’s going on, you can make some choices. To make the choice to say ‘this is no longer ok with me’. How you decide to action that is tricky. You may feel guilty because you might be the one with the endless well of empathy. What a vicious circle to find yourself in. If you need some help to talk things through and understand how you might take better care of you and your needs, please get in touch.