“It’s one thing if a person owns up to their behavior and makes an effort to change. But if a person disregards your feelings, ignores your boundaries, and continues to treat you in a harmful way, they need to go.” —Daniell Koepke
No matter who they are, family or not, no one has the right to hurt you for their pleasure. Escaping a toxic family is not about hating them; it is about loving yourself.
It is not uncommon for many of us to have some strong ties with our blood relatives (i.e. our family).
A strong bond is created between us from birth that reason and logic can’t seem to separate us from.
This is precisely why cutting toxic family members out of our lives can be very difficult, despite all their hatred and animosity towards us.
We can feel guilty for leaving them. We can feel ashamed for not loving them. And we can be racked with a lot of remorse for not wanting them in our lives.
But, we shouldn’t.
In this article, I want to explain why you should not feel sorry about leaving your toxic family behind and moving on with your life.
I also want to offer a few ways on how you can leave your toxic family.
Understand this; you can have a mom but not a mother.
You can have a dad but not a father.
You can have siblings but no brother or sister.
And you can have bloodlines but not a family.
Family is people you connect with and who want the best for you and vice versa. Just because you share the same blood does not mean you are family.
Take this from someone who knows all too well about toxic family members.
Disclaimer: This article includes affiliate links!
Escaping A Toxic Family: Why You Should Feel No Shame, Guilt, or Remorse
“Fear of breaking family loyalty is one of the greatest stumbling blockages to recovery. Yet, until we admit certain things we would rather excuse or deny, we cannot truly begin to put the past in the past, and leave it there once and for all. Unless we do that, we cannot even begin to think of having a future that is fully ours, untethered to the past, and we will be destined to repeat it.”― Ronald Allen Schulz
It has been researched and well documents that children who grow up in toxic household environments grow up with a myriad of mental issues that are easily preventable.
A few issues of concern that arise in children who grow up in toxic household are:
- Low Self-Esteem
- Extreme Anxiety
- Codependent Mentality
- Lack of Self Identity
- Have Trust Issues
- They Blame Themselves For Everything
- Can’t Say “No” To People Without Feeling Bad
- Develop Health Issues
Growing up in a toxic narcissistic household is akin to growing up in a warzone.
Children are always on edge, made to feel like they are the enemy, even when it clear they had nothing to do with whatever the parent(s) are blaming them for, and they are forced to live their childhood feeling worthless.
Why You Should Feel No Shame, Guilt, Or Remorse
The phrase “I didn’t ask to be born” can come off to some people as being snobbish, but for those of us who have grown up in a toxic household, often, it does feel better if we were never born.
And this is ALL the reason why leaving these monsters is worth it.
They may not value our lives, but our lives matter. Our dreams and goals are just as important as theirs are.
Our happiness and success are what our lives should be about.
The gall of these people think we are here for their pleasure and tend to their every beck and call is a ludicrous way of thinking.
These crappy parents (and I use the term parents loosely here) bring children into this world to destroy a life for their pleasure.
There should be no shame, regret, or guilt over leaving them behind.
Toxic families live to hurt the perceivable weak person in their family.
They function by having a scapegoat and shifting all of their problems onto the scapegoat.
There is nothing to gain from living in a household like this, but there is so much to lose from staying.
As illustrated above, a child can develop a myriad of mental illnesses due to growing up in a toxic household.
To stay means to remain a sacrificial lamb for their depravity. To leave means to live your life to the best of your abilities.
How To Escape A Toxic Family
Escaping a toxic family can depend on a few factors, with age being a major factor.
If it is a young child, it can be easy or challenging. If a child can reach out to a teacher at school and let the social workers know what is going on in their household, it is possible to get that kid out of that household.
But the laws are quite tricky, and in individual states, the parents’ rights are paramount.
As a teenager, it is possible to divorce your adults from your life and live independently.
As a young adult, it may seem more straightforward to do this, but with years to maybe two or three decades of particular conditioning, leaving is not that easy due to the programming they have been through.
Social Workers And Kids
As a frontline youth and family social worker, you receive reports of abuse and neglect from a hotline respondent or law enforcement and are charged with investigating these allegations. You are typically assigned to go into the home and assess the child’s safety, determine if the child is safe in the home or needs to be removed immediately, and identify ongoing services. A plan is developed for both the child and the parent, which may or may not include criminal charges or a plan for reunification. Social workers then monitor the child and family on an ongoing basis.What Are Child and Family Social Workers?
Social workers have a great chance at helping kids have safety and stability in their lives.
However, more times than anyone would like, there are still kids who get stuck behind in these toxic households and end up becoming just like their toxic family members.
However, there are many success stories, and social workers can be an excellent way for children to leave their toxic household.
Being emancipated means your parents are no longer responsible for providing you with food, clothing, and shelter. It also means you can get a work permit, earn money, and decide what to do with your earnings. You can also legally live on your own and do other things, like rent an apartment or sign a legal contract.What You Need to Know to Become an Emancipated Minor
This is an excellent option for teenagers who cannot deal with their toxic family abuse anymore.
Now, of course, this is not as easy as just going to court and asking to be emancipated, but this may very well be a significant step in the direction to free yourself from the toxic family’s grip.
Walking Away As A Young Adult/Adult
Walking away from a toxic household may seem more comfortable than the two previous entries, but this one may very well be the most challenging as thoughts and ideas have had a long time to settle into the minds of young adults.
Uprooting these thoughts can be a nightmare of an endeavor.
I can recall myself walking away from my family and how I felt like I was betraying them, despite all the BS they put me through.
I recall how I felt guilty at not loving them or reaching out to them.
Being loyal is tough to cut these feelings of being loyal, thus making cutting ties with a toxic family member alk that much more difficult.
The levels of conditioning that we go through can be hard to break. Having stayed in a toxic household for 2 to 3 decades can kill a person’s self-esteem.
But more than that, it can destroy our sense of who we are as a person.
We have become so conditioned to believe that we must be punching bags for our family that to dare to think we can have a better life outside of them is not conceivable to us.
So how do we break the connection?
Look at where you are right now and think about where you would like to be.
Ask yourself, why are people your same age in loving relationships, have excellent and good friends, can travel the world, and are living life to its fullest?
Why can they have it, but you can’t have it?
Who gave your family this authority over your life?
No one, that’s who!
You must dare to live your life the way you want to live it and do so un-apologetically.
You have everything in you to break the psychological bonds that your family has placed on you.
As I said in the beginning.
You can have a mom but not a mother.
You can have a dad but not a father.
It is possible to have siblings but no brother or sister.
And you can have blood ties but no family.
Family are people who look after each other, and if you find that the people who look after your well being are not of your blood, they are family.
Don’t be fooled by blood because blood ties will destroy your life.