Posted in Abusive Relationships, Blogging, Family, Mental Health

There seems to be a lot of toxic people out there…

I’ve noticed recently that the search terms that bring people to my blog the most are ones about removing toxic people from your life. The blog post that I wrote back at the beginning of this year about my decision to cut my sister out of my life, entitled “Removing toxic people from your life, even if they’re family…” gets around 20-30 views a day lately. Now, I know that it’s possible that not all of those people are actually reading my entire blog post, but the fact that that many people are searching for advice on how to deal with toxic people in their lives is shocking and sad to me.

When I first wrote that blog post and the ones that followed dealing with my relationship with my sister, I never expected that anyone would be able to identify with my situation. I braced myself for negative comments about how I was being selfish, or how I would eventually have to give my sister another chance because she was family. But those comments have not come. Instead people have recently been commenting about how my story reminds them of their own story and have been asking for and giving each other advice on how to deal with their situations. I never expected to be giving people advice on how to decide whether or not to cut someone out of their life. When I wrote those blog posts I felt like a complete failure as a sister, and as much as I hate the fact that anyone else might be going through a situation like mine, it helps to know that I am not alone in this. The guilt over my decision has lessened considerably and I hope that my story will help others to let go of any guilt that they might be feeling as well.

When I was first struggling with the idea of no longer allowing my sister a place in my life I kept having the thought that “this isn’t how things are supposed to work. You aren’t supposed to have to cut your sister out of your life.” I felt like I had failed in some way. Until I realized that the fact that my sister and I couldn’t have a “normal” healthy relationship had nothing to do with me or my choices. I couldn’t choose how my sister interacted with me. The success or failure of my relationship with my sister was not solely my responsibility. A relationship where only one person is doing all the work to keep it going is not worth it. A relationship where one person is being abusive toward the other is definitely not worth it.

Like I said before, I never expected to be giving advice on how to decide if you should cut someone that you think is toxic out of your life, but since so many people have been ending up at my blog while looking for this sort of information I think I’ll share a bit of my advice here in this post. I recently wrote a reply to a comment that someone else had written on my blog asking for advice on her situation and I’m going to go ahead and post my reply here with some added emphasis.

How you should proceed really depends on whether or not you actually want to have your sisters in your life or not. If you want to try to have a relationship with them then you should go ahead and allow them to continue to be a part of your life. However, if the only reason that you are considering giving your sisters another chance is because they are making you feel guilty, that is not a good enough reason to allow them back in your life in my opinion. You should have a relationship with them because you actually want to, not because you feel that you need to. Perhaps you should take a few days  with absolutely no contact with your sisters in order to figure out how you actually feel about the situation. Don’t read any emails from them, don’t take any phone calls, no contact at all. It doesn’t matter what your sisters say, if you feel that your life would be better off without them being a part of it, that is your decision to make.

Also, if you do decide to give your sisters another chance, make sure that they know that there are some ground rules for how you expect to be treated if they want to continue to be a part of your life. If they can live with those rules and you can have a healthy relationship with them, then great. But, if you find that you are unhappy with your relationship with them you have the right to end it at any time. You need to do what’s best for you.

I hope that this was helpful and that things work out well for you. Good luck.

And now I will leave you with a song that always reminds me of my relationship with my sister and why she is not a part of my life. “It Ends Tonight” by The All-American Rejects. Here are some of the lyrics that really jump out at me and remind me of making the decision to cut my sister out of my life.

“Your subtleties
They strangle me
I can’t explain myself at all.”

“Maybe it’s best you leave me alone.
A weight is lifted
On this evening
I give the final blow.

When darkness turns to light,
It ends tonight”

“I can’t explain what you can’t explain.
You’re finding things that you didn’t know
I look at you with such disdain”

“Just a little insight won’t make this right
It’s too late to fight
It ends tonight,
It ends tonight.

Now I’m on my own side
It’s better than being on your side
It’s my fault when you’re blind
It’s better that I see it through your eyes

All these thoughts locked inside
Now you’re the first to know”

 

Links to more posts about my relationship with my sister can be found on my “My Toxic Sister” page on this blog.

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6 thoughts on “There seems to be a lot of toxic people out there…

  1. Dear Controlled Chaos, you have made such a difference in my life!! I did not know anyone else existed who had a sister like mine. Your blog has changed me immensely because I now know, for sure, that walking away from my sister three years ago was the only option left that I had. I had tried for years to make it work, and she would be good for a couple of months, after we reconciled, but then would revert back to her old ways of trying to control my life, and from afar I might add, and the constant subtle put downs (or blatant put downs, depending on her mood) and the extreme negativity, every sentence out of her mouth was negative. Every time I would tell her something wonderful, she would freak out and put it down for this reason or that. She is arrogant, self important, negative, hateful, spiteful, mean, nasty, rude, and let me see now, what did I leave out? And she honestly thinks she has the right to be so, to anyone she pleases; I call it arrogant entitlement. It was always very embarrassing to be around her. I did feel guilty about walking away because it made me the black sheep of the family to “just some”, but I just didn’t care anymore. Like you said, you have to ask yourself “does she enhance my life; does she make my life better and more joyful?” and if the answer is No, then you really have your answer. I searched on the internet for years now, for some relief as to what I had done by eliminating her from my life, and this is the only place that I found my peace. I had to find someone else who had gone through the same thing in order to be at peace with what I did, even though I knew I had to in order to save myself from anti-depressants, irritable bowel syndrome, sleepless nights, poor appetite, full-blown panic attacks, low self esteem, and more. She almost destroyed my soul; I thought of suicide so many times you would not believe, because I figured if I was gone it would just make everything so much easier for everyone and then she would have to find someone else to abuse. She made me feel so insignificant that I didn’t deserve to be alive anyway. I did have counselling (didn’t help me much because the counsellor told me there was nothing wrong with me, that my sister was the one who should have been there) and also hypnotherapy which is what saved me!! The hypnotherapy and reflexology saved my life and I am happy now and at peace and just hope that continuing with the periodic hypnotherapy that I can regain my self esteem and heal the severe damage that she did to my kind and loving spirit. Anyway, thank you, thank you for what you have given me. I hope you are doing well yourself.

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    1. I… wow. Thank you so much for your kind comment Shelley. I am so very happy to hear that my story has helped you. Writing it and getting feedback from people like you has helped me a lot as well. When I wrote my story I also had no idea that anyone else was going through any situations even remotely similar to mine. To read about people having people in their lives that are so very similar to my sister has been an eye opening experience for me. It has helped me to be even more at peace with the decision that I made and stronger in my resolve that I *do* have the right to do whatever is best for me in my life, regardless of what others might think. It feels less like I am somehow living my life “wrong” because I did something that “we just don’t do”. (I hope that last sentence makes sense…) Thank you for your comments. 🙂

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      1. And yes, in response to this post Controlled Chaos, I also still feel that living our lives, the way we are now, is not the way it was “supposed” to be, because we shouldn’t “have to” eliminate family members from our lives; it just feels “wrong” and I know exactly what you mean; it is really hard to put into words but I know the feeling inside of me. It feels in my soul “backwards”, like the reverse of something, we are supposed to want family members in our lives, not get rid of them. But, like you, it feels less like I am living my life wrong as the days go by. And since I met you, it just reinforces that we did the “right” thing in order to save our own personalities and the right to be who we are, not who someone was controlling us to be; it was just like being with an abusive husband, only it was a sister, but the damage was just the same I am sure.

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  2. @Controlled Chaos. What can I say?! I am also going through one of the a million and one episodes with a toxic sister. . She doesn’t call me names or act mean towards me, but hers is silent. She will go telling people all these lies about me. About how I live in her house…yet she is the one who lives in my house and walks in and out the way she wants, leaving me and my younger sister to take care of her daughter without remorse or even a thank you.. Last week, her boyfriend wrote me a curt email with issues he must only have got from her. I was so hurt. I am planning to walk out on her so she can fend for herself and her daughter. Unfortunately, I fear she will slither back into my life as she always does. Not wanting to be independent, but leeching on me and always abusing my generosity. She is always in competition with me, why I have never known. Because of her and part of my family, my life has come to a standstill because I am told I ‘have to take care of family. There are times I have contemplated suicide just because of this one toxic sister. I feel bound. They follow me around like my shadow…I can’t seem to shake them off.

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  3. How sad & yet refreshing, to find out that I’m not the only person with toxic siblings. I’m the oldest & can relate to the babysitting, which I really didn’t mind, too much.My first real insight was about ,forty years ago my Mother was moving and the “siblings” were arguing over her things (she was moving “with” her things)
    It was then I realized how bad it would be when our Mother would be elderly & eventually pass away.
    What has actually occurred is far worse than I could ever have imagined it could be. They have been unbelievably cruel to our Mother, which I find worse than what they have been doing to me. It’s started when our step-father was dying & they were cruel to him .After he passed his attorney suggested that I sue them or liable and slander. You name it they have said it or done it in the past 4 to 5 years. While I have the responsibility of caring for our Mother. ( and administering her Trust, etc ) And with three of them against me, I can only be grateful that they have all moved out of state.
    Now any correspondence must go through an attorney, that represents me as the Trustee.
    They have been threatening to sue me ( to get control of our Mother’s money) The Attorney
    doesn’t understand what their rational is, as everything is to be divided equally between the four of us.
    ( Nothing extra for my duties, which is fine with me ,) I ‘m a nurse and I have been happy to care for my Mother. I can’t even care for my Mother in my home, as one of them accused me of hastening our step-fathers death. (He was Hospice at that time , as My Mother is now.)
    “We pick our friends , not our relatives.”
    This too, will pass.
    Brave your storm with firm endeavor, let your vain repinings go. Hopeful hearts will find forever, roses underneath the snow.
    Cooper
    Terry

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