"I used to think family was a right, but it's a privilege..."
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
21-11-2017, 03:22 PM
"I used to think family was a right, but it's a privilege..."
"...it needs to be earned." - Marshall Eriksen, How I Met Your Mother

This is an earth-shattering quote from my favorite character on the only sitcom I've ever enjoyed watching. Hearing this honestly made me emotional.

Without going into too much detail, there's a member of my family who has treated me like shit my entire life. They were not around when I was young and have failed to be there for me over and over again throughout the years. This broken relationship has left me with some personal issues that I still deal with today. While I feel pretty good about where I'm currently at in life, I have definitely went through some personal struggles and I can quite honestly ascribe most of the struggles to a single person in my family. Over the years I have tried therapy with this person, have tried making weekly lunch dates so we could reconnect and try to get to know each other, but all of my efforts have failed time and time again. This person continues to try to win me over to this day (often with money or gifts) but I refuse to let them in anymore.

The point I want to get at concerns the rest of my family, though. Despite how much evidence shows that this person has only been a toxic influence in my life, other members in my family, who are quite honestly not very informed on my situation, continue to push me and push me towards having a relationship with this toxic individual. They tell me, "Well they have a good heart, they just have some of their own issues," and all types of things along this line. All the while they completely disregard the emotional turmoil this individual has put me through. If there's anything I want to get across in this post, it is the idea that family is a privilege and not a right.

For anyone out there dealing with abuse, neglect, emotional manipulation... any of these things in relation to your family... You are not required to continue to take the abuse. Maybe you're still living at home... move out as soon as you can. Maybe other family members hold things over your head or guilt you into accepting abuse or neglect or manipulation. DO NOT allow this. Respect yourself, love yourself and set realistic, reasonable boundaries, ESPECIALLY with your abuser(s). You can either be a victim in your life or you can take responsibility for you and what you can control and make the changes necessary for you to be happy.

Depression, anxiety and other mental health issues are sometimes uncontrollable. Sometimes the most we can do is take a pill or go to a therapy session with a professional. Obviously there are other natural, holistic ways to deal with things, if you believe in that kind of stuff, I don't. But control what you can, to whatever extent is possible or reasonable. Those issues are within your mind and can stay within your mind, but how other people treat you is another issue entirely... DO NOT allow family to convince you that you should put up with anything you're not comfortable putting up with. This is not okay and this is not acceptable. Of course, make sure your boundaries truly are realistic and reasonable. We can't set a boundary that requires someone to hop on one foot every time they talk a walk with you. It's a silly example, I know, but you get the point.

Family IS A PRIVILEGE. Period. If you treat people you love well and they treat you well, all is well. But you are not required to take abuse or neglect or manipulation from someone simply because they are family. Blood may run thicker than water, but so does shit. If people in your family are toxic and there is no possibility of repairing the relationship, CUT TIES with them. PERIOD. No excuses, no anything. Do not put up with anything in your life that you are not comfortable and okay with.

We don't need to blame the people that have hurt us for the rest of our lives and we certainly should not make excuses for our own failures or shortcoming because we were hurt at some point by someone we care(d) about. This is not healthy and in my opinion is quite counter-productive. This does not, however, mean we have to forgive and forget. That's a bullshit phrase that is thrown around way too much. I don't forgive this individual, and I probably never will. You don't need to either. But do not let it consume your life. Recognize it, deal with it, do what you have to do to move past it. If that means forgiving them, so be it. But do what you need to do to move on with your life and do things that are meaningful to you.

Much love,
Rubber Band Money Gang

Evil_monster
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like RBMG's post
21-11-2017, 03:57 PM
RE: "I used to think family was a right, but it's a privilege..."
Hug I'm sorry you went through all of that.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-11-2017, 04:02 PM
RE: "I used to think family was a right, but it's a privilege..."
(21-11-2017 03:57 PM)jennybee Wrote:  Hug I'm sorry you went through all of that.

While I appreciate that...

...My life experiences have made me who I am. This situation in particular has turned me into someone who is very steadfast about giving and receiving respect from people whom I consider to be important to me. It taught me how to set boundaries with people and it taught me how important it is to teach others how to treat you.

We are much more responsible for how we're treated than we often think and once you learn to take control of whatever is within your radius of control, you will, I think, become a much happier, healthier and productive person.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes RBMG's post
22-11-2017, 10:52 AM (This post was last modified: 22-11-2017 10:58 AM by BikerDude.)
RE: "I used to think family was a right, but it's a privilege..."
There's a significant amount of time you can't get back.
In terms of support..... just perhaps your time might be better spent?
Just playing devil's advocate here really.
Maybe less thinking more doing?
If when you are done "solving a problem" you are just sitting in the same place have you solved anything?
9 out of 10 times family happens.
After that it's like William Munny in Unforgiven said.
"Deserve's got nothing to do with it"

[Image: barfly_condenados_pelo_vicio.gif]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-11-2017, 03:22 PM
RE: "I used to think family was a right, but it's a privilege..."
(22-11-2017 10:52 AM)BikerDude Wrote:  There's a significant amount of time you can't get back.
In terms of support..... just perhaps your time might be better spent?
Just playing devil's advocate here really.
Maybe less thinking more doing?
If when you are done "solving a problem" you are just sitting in the same place have you solved anything?
9 out of 10 times family happens.
After that it's like William Munny in Unforgiven said.
"Deserve's got nothing to do with it"

Not sure I really follow what you're saying
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-11-2017, 04:23 PM
RE: "I used to think family was a right, but it's a privilege..."
Me either, RBMG. (re: above post)

Your honesty is refreshing and uncannily timely for me. Lately I've been sloughing my way through some family shit so deep that it's started to crest over the top of my hip waders. Toxic is toxic and there comes a time when you just have to say "enough." If other family members don't like that, then that's their problem, not yours. Chances are good that before it's all said and done those family members will find that, given enough time, the toxic one will turn on them as well. Especially once you aren't around to kick around any more.

Where are we going and why am I in this hand basket?
"Life is not all lovely thorns and singing vultures, you know." ~ Morticia Addams

"You're only given one little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it." Robin Williams
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes outtathereligioncloset's post
25-11-2017, 12:08 PM
RE: "I used to think family was a right, but it's a privilege..."
(22-11-2017 04:23 PM)outtathereligioncloset Wrote:  Me either, RBMG. (re: above post)

Your honesty is refreshing and uncannily timely for me. Lately I've been sloughing my way through some family shit so deep that it's started to crest over the top of my hip waders. Toxic is toxic and there comes a time when you just have to say "enough." If other family members don't like that, then that's their problem, not yours. Chances are good that before it's all said and done those family members will find that, given enough time, the toxic one will turn on them as well. Especially once you aren't around to kick around any more.
Absolutely. I'm glad my post could be helpful, even the tiniest bit, for someone going through something with family. These issues are often the hardest to deal with because we find ourselves thinking, "This is my family, am I being too harsh with this person? Shouldn't I just forgive them and move on?" But when someone proves time and time again they are no good for you, family or not, they gotta' go.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
25-11-2017, 01:10 PM
RE: "I used to think family was a right, but it's a privilege..."
Nothing wrong with boundaries. It sounds like you've extracted at least one good thing -- a learning experience -- from this. Sorry you have to go through this.

Is this person an addict -- alcohol or drugs? If so, you can find good support at Al-Anon.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-11-2017, 11:30 PM
RE: "I used to think family was a right, but it's a privilege..."
(25-11-2017 01:10 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  Nothing wrong with boundaries. It sounds like you've extracted at least one good thing -- a learning experience -- from this. Sorry you have to go through this.

Is this person an addict -- alcohol or drugs? If so, you can find good support at Al-Anon.

Yes - pretty much every issue I have with this family member stems from their drug abuse.

This almost adds to the problem because as this person goes long periods of time being sober, the rest of the family will say things like, "See, they're okay now, you just need to let go of the past," almost suggesting that the things that happened before don't really matter or affect the present.

It's tough, that I'll admit. But I'd like to think that the older I get the more positive I draw from all this than negative. Life is messy and, as they say, you play the cards your dealt.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: