There will always be people who are committed to misunderstanding you and may even refuse to accept you. They can be friends or acquaintances, but sometimes they are actually family members or in-laws. When it crosses over from dislike to straight up disrespect is when things get real. And by real, I mean real rough!
It’s taken me years (nearly a decade) to wrap my head around the idea that I don’t have to tolerate a toxic person just because they are a family member.
One of the hardest decisions is knowing when to walk away. It requires an unbelievable amount of self-reflection and strength. A therapist once told me that most people cannot ever bring themselves to cut ties, even when they know it’s the right choice, because they are too afraid of the fallout.
You wouldn’t hesitate to remove a tumor if it was harming your health, and it’s the same with a truly dysfunctional relationship.
I’ve unfortunately had to walk away from several relationships with family members. While each of them were for different reasons, the root problem was the same – a toxic, unhealthy relationship where mutual respect no longer existed.
These are some of the realizations that helped me gain clarity, peace and closure with my decisions.
To those I have walked away from:
Whether you love or hate me is out of my control.
An explanation of my life, past or present, isn’t owed to you.
Your behavior says more about you than it does me.
You will never get to know me know if you’re committed to misunderstanding me.
The consequences of your actions are yours to bear.
Your opinions of me are none of my business.
Seeing how much I can tolerate is not the true test of my character.
Not every action deserves a reaction.
It would’ve been great if we had gotten along, but it’s okay that we don’t.
Your refusal to accept me is your problem, not mine.
I don’t have to put myself at the center of the mess you created.
Your inability to accept accountability doesn’t change the truth.
I make no apologies for protecting my family against anyone or anything, always.
Your attempts to downplay my accomplishments don’t strip me of my successes.
My self-worth doesn’t need to be proved.
Your unfair judgment and criticism is simply projection of your own insecurities and shortcomings.
I cannot make you respect me, but I can distance myself from further disrespect.
I can cut off a relationship that brings only pain and turmoil for my own peace.
You don’t get to tell me how I should heal from the pain you caused, because hurt hurts.
Hurt people hurt people.
I hope you find the answers you need.
I hope you find the closure I’ve found.