How I Healed From My Toxic Family
So this is a post that I’ve been wanting to write for awhile. I’ve been putting it off because first and foremost, I always aim to share positive, encouraging and supportive content. A lot of my content is surface level (outfits, makeup, travel, etc) and while I love sharing that and will always continue to do so, I also want to use my influence for good. I love sharing things that I believe strongly in and that have a special place in my heart, but I don’t love being vulnerable and I don’t love sharing things that are painful or too personal. It’s difficult to share your heart completely and at the same time, you never know how something is going to be received. I’m often unsure of whether to share certain things on here because I don’t want to seem like a Debbie downer but at the same time, I realize that I have this platform for a reason and feel like I would be doing a disservice if didn’t share my own personal struggles and how I overcame them. I do feel like it’s my job to not only share my feminine outfits, beauty secrets and favorite skincare products but to also bring light to certain circumstances and awareness to things that most people shy away from. Even though it’s hard to share these things sometimes, I think that if I can change even just one person’s life then it’s worth it <3
Almost ten months ago, I opened up about something significant in my life – I had made the very difficult decision to cut off nearly all of my toxic family. I won’t spill the story because I already covered that in a previous post but instead, I wanted to offer closure to those of you that have been following along and encouragement to those of you that are going through a similar situation.
After a vicious cycle of emotional, mental and financial abuse, I decided to distance myself from my toxic family. As someone who has always wanted a loving, caring and supportive family, this was a heartbreaking but necessary choice. I blocked and deleted phone numbers, blocked social media accounts and cut all ties to these people. At first, I felt liberated and FREE, something I hadn’t felt before. But then I started to grieve. It felt like literally every person in my family had passed away at the same time and in a sense, they did. I cried a lot and for a while, it was very hard to heal… especially during the holidays. It was hard to find someone to talk to about the situation because to be honest, a lot of people couldn’t relate. I found healing through a number of things: playing music, making art, listening to podcasts, and just keeping myself busy in general. I also continued my weekly sessions with my online Betterhelp therapist and this may have been the most crucial aspect of my healing.
For some reason, therapy always seems to send the message that there’s “something wrong” with you and that couldn’t be further than the truth. At first, I wasn’t so sure about my sessions. I thought this was something that I could do on my own and I didn’t want to be labeled as “weak.” But I was wrong on both accounts. Sometimes you need a different perspective… a fresh set of eyes that has no connection to the situation at hand. There are things that I learned from my therapist that I wouldn’t have given a thought to otherwise. It also brought to light various issues that stemmed from this situation that I wasn’t even fully aware of – body image, self-esteem and my fear of success, just to name a few. This experience was honestly such a blessing and I feel like it has helped me in more ways than I can even fathom. Not only do I feel better about my decision, but I also feel more equipped to help others heal from their circumstances as well.
For so long, I had forgotten who I was. Of course, my blog persona is not really an alias – it is and always has been 100% me. I wear pink more than one person should, I have way too many dresses, I giggle at everything and I smile until my face hurts. I’m the bubbliest person that you’ll ever meet, I’m a Jill of all trades and I genuinely care about other people and try to help them succeed, even if they don’t always do the same for me. So when I say that I had “forgotten who I was”, I mean it on a deeper level. For many years, I was told that I was too this and too that. I wasn’t pretty enough, tall enough, smart enough, skinny enough, talented enough or good enough. I wasn’t ENOUGH. And while I knew this was completely untrue, these words started to break me down little by little until my subconscious believed it. For a long time, I lived to please other people and I tried over and over to show my family that I was enough just so I could feel loved. Even with all of my accomplishments, my pride would turn to disappointment because I realized that I could never match the perfection that they were seeking. And if I wasn’t “perfect” in the eyes of those I cared about, then I wasn’t good enough for myself either.
When I made the decision to cut off my toxic family, a lot of people didn’t understand. In fact, they still don’t understand and I probably made even more enemies from it because “family is everything.” But the thing is, when you go through something like this, you have to stop caring about what other people think and make a decision based on what’s best for YOU. You absolutely do not have to put up with toxic people in your life that constantly make you feel bad about yourself and there is no rule that justifies what the definition of a family is. You do not have too be tied down to someone that tears you down constantly just because you are related by blood. You have a choice in all of this and I don’t think it’s wrong to be selfish when your well-being is at stake. Contrary to what people may think, a family can come in many forms (friends, a co-workers, clubs, etc) – a “family” encourages your dreams, supports your goals, finds value in your company and loves you unconditionally.
Through this experience, I not only developed an inner strength that I didn’t even know I had but I also found the person that I once thought was lost. This was such a painful situation for me initially and I’m excited to say I’ve come out on the other side feeling happy, healthy, and confident in all aspects. I don’t feel anxious, upset or sad and I truly don’t feel any hate in my heart for anyone. In fact, I feel the opposite – excited for all the new possibilities of what life can be and most importantly, I know that I am enough.
There are many reasons why I didn’t want to write this post, but there’s only one reason as to why I shared it – to give courage to those of you that are going through something similar… because that’s exactly what it is – a courageous act. I hope that if anything my story can serve as encouragement and inspiration for those of you trying to find happiness after dealing with toxic relationships. You are beautiful, strong and amazing. You can do this. You deserve this… and I promise you that it’s not selfish in any way.
I don’t plan to revisit this chapter of my life so it’s officially… CLOSED. Cheers! 🙂