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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Tired of the Emotional Pain Caused by Relatives? Choose Your New Family

You grew up with them.  You know more about them than they care to admit.  They blamed you for things you did or didn't do.  They shamed you for being you.  They told lies then acted like they told the truth.  Your family.  Your good-for-nothing family!  Someone may have told you once, "You can choose your family."  Maybe it's time to let go of the old and welcome the new.

Too often people put up with so much from others because of titles, past favors, old gifts, fond memories, and more.  But when do you ever reach that point when you are free--totally free from the pain these people have caused you?

One-by-one my stable-minded relatives let go of the toxic kinfolk.  There was the uncle who often drank too much, bye!  The aunt who was out doing who knows what with who, bye!  The cousin who was often in trouble with the law, bye!  The beggar, the liar, the abuser, all gone!  The victims had enough of the pain.  It hurts to argue with a stubborn relative who refuses to see his own destruction.  It is exhausting reaching into the fire to pull someone out.  Heroes get tired of saving the damsel in distress.  Family eventually burn out from protecting family.

I recall there were relatives who looked much better when I bumped into them away from the family  holiday events. The survivors were no longer dealing with certain relatives.  Sure, they missed them from time-to-time, but they knew that of they let these people back into their lives, they would pay for old and new offenses.  It didn't help that the trouble-making relatives didn't let go easily.  They would lure their victims back in every now and again with a party invite, a sad story, a funeral announcement, a gift, or an offer to baby-sit.

What did it take for the survivors to finally let go and welcome new "family" into their lives?

1)  They found lives of their own.  They stayed involved with activities they personally enjoyed rather than go along with family tradition/programming.

2)  They found people who supported them mentally, financially, spiritually, etc. outside of the family circle.

3)  They refused to do what relatives wanted when they wanted and how they wanted; instead, they put themselves first.

4)  They stopped making excuses for disrespectful relatives.  They stood up to the bullies.

5)  They went low and no contact when boundaries were not respected.

6)  They didn't subject their children and grandchildren to toxic relatives and their lifestyles.

7)  They changed phone numbers, addresses, avoided online connections, etc.

I admired those who got free from my dysfunctional kinfolk.  I saw early on that they had been troubled far too long by them.  The survivors had chosen a different path, one of peace, prosperity, and protection.  They were deserving of their new found family and friends!  I am proud of them for it.  I too, had left, moved on.  It's a great feeling not to be shackled by others' dysfunction.

Nicholl McGuire


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