This will most likely be the only place where I talk about having a sibling. I purposely avoid this topic and avoid adding the slightest mention of him in any of my posts. He is not the role model that the idea of being the “oldest sibling” should offer.
I love my brother very much, from a distance. Mainly because that is all I can handle. After dealing with so much in life, one needs to pick the drama that is dealt with and I chose my kids and dealing with things at home versus dealing with the constant drama having a relationship with my brother provided. It can be exhausting trying to keep up with it all. At the moment we are on a no-contact block. I’ve put us in a social media time-out from one another. In order to control the amount of drama that is provided. It is very freeing and helpful when distance is needed.
My main reason for sharing this is because I want to encourage those who need to block family from their lives in order to break the toxic environment they are in, so they can heal and move forward. Sharing DNA does not require “putting up” with everything they dish out. I’m not suggesting that we disassociate ourselves from family just to do it. I am suggesting that if family is hurtful, mean, and can’t live one single day without causing harm on you and your immediate family, it’s OK to distance yourself from them. It is a healthy decision and may be the only decision you can make in order to have peace where it is most important; in your own home. We have no control of the level of hurt family can cause, but we do have control of what we take in.
I’ve had to sit back and take inventory on my life. While trying to recover from everything that I’ve gone through and to hopefully gain some kind of momentum on a happy life, I’ve had to make the decision that life is worth living and worth enjoying. Sometimes, that will require changing what we allow to be a constant in our daily routines, including dealing with the toxic relationships that we feel stuck in. Contrary to my life’s history, I was not born to be anyone’s emotional or physical punching bag.
I’m notorious for making lists. I have them all over my table where I work my blog. If you are struggling with how to gain control of your life and how to prioritize your emotional bank, make a list.
- Write down what you consider to be emotionally draining, writing everything down skipping nothing. Extended family, friends that are not supportive, social media, and etc.
- Prioritize your list making sure that you put the most important aspects of your life. Job, kids, marriage, etc.
- Pick at least five to give your focus to. You only have so much energy in one day. You could choose, dropping off and picking kids up from school, running errands, house keeping, dinner, and time for your significant other while kids are sleeping. Master what you choose and add things in slowly that are positive influences.
- When anything out of your immediate list comes up, decide to deal or not deal with it. I most of the time choose to not deal with it. So much less stress for me to just say no.
- Say no often. It is OK to say no. We have enough to deal with as adults and if our plates are full, don’t add to your stress level by adding negative things back in. Take control and most importantly – Keep control!
Once I was able to set stronger boundaries with my own life and control what I took in, I feel I was able to make better choices for my immediate family and my life became so much richer because of it. You have the strength and power to do this! I have faith in you!
One last piece of advise on toxic relationships that I think is very crucial to personal growth is forgiveness. Without forgiveness we do not have the beginning stages of recovery. This isn’t a get out of jail free card for whoever has hurt you. It is most definitely a means to help yourself to get past your emotional trauma. Do it for yourself. You are worth it!