Is blood really thicker than water?

posted 1 week ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
Member
3628 posts
Sugar bee

It’s always ok to distance yourself from a toxic relationship. 

However, I find that putting it into practice with family can be more difficult. 

I have had to distance myself from my sister quite a bit and I’ve actually set a boundary that I will no longer go visit her (she lives in a different state).  I still will talk to her on occassion, but our relationship has changed throughout the years because she is just not in a good place in her life and she can be very toxic to be around.

My mother is the same way (they are very similar people), but I struggle to cut her off as she is older and has stage 4 lung cancer and I just feel it’s easier to set some boundaries for my own sake, but not having to deal with conflict.

 

Post # 3
Member
626 posts
Busy bee

No. I have zero contact with anyone in my blood family. Havent in 10-15 years.

My family has become to friends and in laws, and people I chose to be family. Theyre more family than my blood family ever was.

Post # 4
Member
8967 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

View original reply
@queenbre:  You don’t owe anyone anything. If a relationship is toxic then end it. If you can’t bring yourself to fully end it then put up strict boundaries. Life is too short to waste it on people who don’t have a positive impact on your mental health and happiness. 

Post # 5
Hostess
9940 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - Chicago, IL

I have toxic family members. As an adult, the people I keep in my life are those that earn their keep – by showing love and respect. Those that can’t love and respect me for who I am are no longer considered “family” to me. I have an uncle and great aunt that said absolutely horrifying things to me, which can never be reconciled. So yeah, they are no longer a part of my life and I no longer recognize them as my family.

Post # 6
Member
3971 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2016 - Manhattan, NY

View original reply
@queenbre:  I don’t believe that toxic family members deserve to have space in my life just because we share some DNA. As an adult, you get to decide who is in your inner circle. I choose to focus my efforts and energy on people who have a positive presence in my life and put distance between myself and those who do not. 

Post # 8
Member
275 posts
Helper bee

I am estranged from my brother. It’s been 2 years. We had the most toxic relationship which was made worse by his horrible wife. I made the decision to cut them out of my life. It does upset my parents however, especially my father. 

Post # 10
Member
5571 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2017

View original reply
@queenbre:  for me, blood is absolutely not thicker than water.

I prided myself on maintaining limited contact with my mother, for me it was a testament of my healing from an emotionally abusive childhood. If I could maintain some minimal contact and still live a happy, healthy life, to me it meant my healing was complete.

Then I became pregnant with number two. A week after I told her (I told her last, though before a social media announcement) she lied about having cancer for the second time in our lives.

And she wrapped two of my sisters up in it, they lashed out at me and treated ME like I was the bad guy for being upset that she was caught lying about cancer AGAIN. They treated me in such disgusting, nasty ways that it caused a major rift. And only one person is to blame for that (aside from them not learning to disregard the bullshit my mother spews to them about me being a hateful vengeful unforgiving monster) and it’s my mother. She tried to drag me into the garbage by sending an innocent phishing message and I didn’t respond, I blocked her on everything. I haven’t looked back, she’s been blocked since November. She probably found out second hand that baby  number two is a girl and I have no plans for her to meet the baby or to be a part of my life any time soon.

My sisters have been harder, but the longer it goes on, the more it makes sense to distance myself from them as well. They aren’t blocked but I don’t reach out to them and I grey rock if they reach out to me.

My one sister told me that we can’t move forward if I can’t apologize and see my wrong doing in this. She was unable to tell me what I did that she thinks I need to apologize for, she just told me that if I don’t know what I did, then I’m worse than she thought. She hasn’t spoken to me in months, she hasn’t asked about her niece or her unborn second niece, she hasn’t asked about how her pregnant sister is doing during the pandemic, she was radio silent on my birthday and Mother’s Day. The more time passes, the more solid I become in my decision to remove her from my life.

My other sister was running her mouth about having secrets that would destroy me if she spoke them (pretty sure she thinks I lock myself in a bathroom and shoot up heroin while pregnant and leaving my four year old unattended because that’s the garbage that my mother feeds people). She was saying I shouldn’t be a parent let alone having another one.

They have been harder because their toxicity is a relatively new realization.

But I don’t want that in my life. I don’t want to be guarded, I don’t want to have people around me who lie about me or who take vulnerabilities of mine and throw them in my face.

No thanks.

Eta, my sister wanted me to apologize for forcing her to treat me the way she treated me. She couldn’t tell me what I did and I asked her more than once. Toxicity 101

Post # 12
Member
5571 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2017

View original reply
@queenbre:  I’m one of six, my older sister and I are closer than ever, and she gave me the best advice. When looking at situations in your life, ask yourself what you would advise a friend.

This resonated with me because I can be unreasonable with myself. I would be much kinder to a friend, it was a step towards being kinder to myself

I’m glad my story helped you, sometimes we feel alone in these  situations but we are far from alone

Post # 13
Member
633 posts
Busy bee

Only you have the ability to determine whether a relationship is “toxic”, and you have no more of an obligation to “work on things” in a toxic situation with blood relations than you would with a friendship. I think a lot of people probably tend to stick it out longer with family than other relationships, but that isn’t necessarily always a good thing. I’ve seen quite a few friendships “canceled” due to behaviors or disputes that were ultimately fixable and would be tolerated blindly in a family situation, and sad situations where someone chose a family member’s side over a non-blood-related friend simply because “blood is thicker than water”. I haven’t experienced the opposite very often—most of the people I know who have cut off family members did so for the sake of self-preservation, not some rhetorical sense of loyalty. It shouldn’t matter who’s related to whom, if someone is doing you emotional or physical harm, you have every right to distance yourself from them. 

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