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How to know if you are in a toxic family

Today is international family day, I have to admit that when it comes to this department I am pretty blessed. Does my family irritate me? Yes, I probably irritate them too. Are they a source of frustration (read older siblings, read deputy parents)? Again a big yes but they could say the same about me. However if I had to choose my family all over again,  I would choose the same people.  My family is my resting place, the well I go to refill on love, joy and wisdom (sometimes unwanted advice).

However dear reader I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that families can be toxic. Often a child who’s molested or raped is raped by a family member. I was raped by a cousin, a friend of mine was raped by her uncles. Often families do not report this and try to hide it under the mat. Thereby protecting the perpetrator and the survivor takes on the guilt. Let’s not forget families that reject their children who do not subscribe to their values or sexual orientation. Families that reject their kids for not following the career paths they have envisioned for their children.

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Below are some of the signs you might have a toxic family.

  • You avoid family get-together, when last did you go home? Do have a queasy feeling when you have to go visit family?
  • You feel perpetually infantilized. Your parents stunt independent growth by exerting the same level of control they had over you when you were a child.
  • Asserting boundaries leads to drama
  • You neglect your own emotional needs
  • You lack a strong sense of identity
  • Physical, emotional and or sexual abuse
    These are not the only signs but are a few of the clear indicators. So if you have related to more than two then something has to be done about it.
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Creating your own family

I believe being self-aware is important so you can ensure that you are not the toxic family member. We also need to acknowledge if said toxic family members have made a concerted effort to change,  we need to forgive and let go of the resentment. Should you choose to sever ties with your family do not feel guilty, it’s ok to create your own family. My only advice is that seek professional help so that you do not pass on that cycle of toxicity onto your children. Hope you enjoyed reading this as much I enjoyed writing it. Do let me know in the comments about your family dynamics and don’t forget to share the link.

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1 thought on “How to know if you are in a toxic family

  1. A great read.

    Indeed families are meant to be the strongholds of society. After all, they say blood is thicker than water.

    It is sad, however, when family becomes toxic. The people that love you the most are the very same people that can hurt you the most.

    I sympathise with those that have been abused by their very own family. I pray they find true healing that can only come from God.

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