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You can’t choose your family

There’s this social requirement that says no matter how bad family members are, you need to remain connected with them.

I call bullshit on that.

What about those family members who are completely toxic to your life? Who do their best to drag you down, demotivate you, destroy your self esteem, crush your identity, abuse you or assault you? Should you remain connected with them?

I think not.

We’re always told you can choose your friends and your partners, but you can’t choose your family, and thatĀ “Some things you can choose, but others you can’t, so you have to try to make the best of what you have where you have no choice.”

Rubbish. You’ve always got a choice to disconnect from people that are taking from you without giving back to you, who are completely toxic to your life.

You don’t owe them anything, no matter what they try to tell you, so you can’t let any feelings of obligation keep you connected with family members that aren’t helping you in your life, but are instead demanding you help them.

Let them go. Move on.

I’m in the process of letting go of my family.

My brothers have been on unemployment benefits since they were both 15 years old. They’re in their 40’s now. The only time they talk to me is when they want to ask for money. Then they’re silent until the next time they want some money. The only reason they talk to our mum is to ask her for money.

My mum is racist. She thinks anyone who’s not white should be shot with extreme prejudice. She’s told me that if I marry an Asian woman that she’ll disown me.

You know what? Let me make it easy for you and I’ll disown you first.

You’ve given me nothing but grief throughout my life, with the constant abuse from as early as I can remember. You’ve engaged in continuous derogatory and hateful comments about your own children for as long as they’ve been alive. Your determination to tell everyone that will talk to you that you wish you drowned all your kids when they were born, then you wouldn’t have had the shitty life that you’ve had is disgusting. Your attempt to create an illusion of blissful romance between you and dad after he died, when all you did was nag and berate him and wish you never got married in the first place, is evidence of your inability to cope with your own guilt. I can imagine that to him, his dying was a blissful release from being married to you.

I’m over it. I’m over these social obligations that say no matter what, we should stay connected with our families. There’s nothing that makes me think remaining connected with my family is a worthwhile obligation for me.

Now that I’ve had my ‘dummy spit’, what about you? Do you have any family members that you think you’d be better off disconnecting from, or disowning? Do you think you need to stay connected to people that are bad for you, simply because you’re related?

Maybe it’s time to change your mind about that.

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