What do I DO with “toxic” relatives?


Ok, here it is, my secret shame: I have 2 “toxic” relatives. They make my life a living hell, they demean,belittle, disregard,degrade,and devalue me. I am treated like a piece of dirt, talked about behind my back, even “plotted” against, undermined, sabotaged,over-ruled, dismissed,ignored,mistreated, they get together and “gang up” on me,etc.. so you get the idea. Even when I TRY to reach out to them, to forgive and move past, they rebuff, reject,and “attack” me.The cycle keeps repeating itself over and over and over again. They are always critical, insulting, and hurtful.I think my very existance annoys them! They make me feel worthless, unwanted,unloved, demoralized,meaningless,discarded, unimportant, last in life, dejected, beaten-down,defeated, and the like, only negative emotions and hurt.I don’t like the way they make me feel about myself.I don’t believe in therapy,however, and am just left to my own devices to try and deal with it.They, for their part, refuse to see their part in it, and blame me; somehow everything’s always MY fault.They tear me down and break my spirit yet somehow I’M at fault.

They are people the Scientologists refer to as “Suppressive Persons”; negative people who cause extreme stress, anguish, grief and overall discomfort and emotional harm to those around them. They are the kind of people who can make life unbearable. One of my “toxic” family members has got to be one of the most hateful,spiteful, unforgiving, grudge-holding, self-serving,mean-spirited, nasty,and hurtful people I know! To be closely related to her is unimaginable.She is a hard person to live with and a difficult person to try to love.Unfortunately, you can’t “choose” family…

One of them I have such an aversion to now as a result of years of torment and being a “thorn in my side” and the “bane of my existance” is I can’t stand the sight or sound of her; I hate EVERYTHING about her; her smug ,smirking  face, her nose, her squinty eyes, her annoying laugh, her grating voice, her snotty attitude, her sense of entitlement, etc.. you name it.Everything about her just rubs me the wrong way! I feel badly I feel this way, and I try SO hard to be forgiving and to reach out and try and try again but it never gets me anywhere; I am only pushed farther away,rejected, and nothing ever changes. I have come to the decision that they are simply “toxic” relatives and  the best thing for my emotional well–being,healthy state of mind,self-esteem,stress level,and emotional health  is to simply distance myself from them..you can only do so much.Some people just don’t change and sometimes it’s best to just let go and move on.Not everything can be fixed.

I remember once my son saying that just because you’re related to someone doesn’t mean that  you get along. This makes perfect sense actually, and makes me think of this exact situation. I guess some people just clash and don’t get along, and there will always be resentment, anger, issues, hurt, rivalries,unfairness,and the relationship serves no useful purpose for anybody and the best thing is just to stay away from eachother, or in extreme cases, no longer have anything to do with eachother EVER again; break free of an unhealthy situation for good and forever  and everyone will be better off.No looking back,just washing my hands of it and just starting over with the hurt of the past behind you…no more feeling unwanted,unwelcome, and worthless in my own life.No more feelings of hopelessness, despair, being trampled on, pushed aside, and picked on.

I struggle as a Christian with all these negative feelings, hard feelings, anger, hurt, and the “uncharitable” way I feel towards these people.I bring this up at Confession time and time again.I struggle with these weaknesses and conflicts. Afterall, aren’t Christians supposed to be  loving and getting along well with others and not have negative feelings towards them? I feel badly I feel the way the do even though at the same time I also realize it’s justifiable considering the hurtful way they have treated me over the years. All I can do is pray, leave it with God, do the best I can under the circumstances,and hold on, knowing someday soon  they will be gone; I won’t have to live with them,and like this, forever or for much longer…one day I will be free.

19 thoughts on “What do I DO with “toxic” relatives?

  1. i know exactly how you feel, i have brothers, older than me in my family that treat me the same way. THIS TREATMENT HAS BEEN TAKING PLACE SINCE I WAS A CHILD. Now that im an adult they still try to cut me down and belittle me. No that my mother is past away, they try to seek further controll by trying to tell me she wants them to LOOK OUT FOR ME. They dont look out they just try to use me and when they cant use me and order me around they get mad. I dont care , i just live my life the way i want, no matter how they talk. No grown person has to suffer any type of abuse from another GROWN family member. Stay away from them, when they criticize let it go in one ear and out the other. Let your life do the talking and live in such a way that they look bad for always talking about you.

  2. I am sorry you are undergoing this painful phase. You are not alone. I divorced my toxic relatives recently. Things get a lot worse when inheritances are at stake. Believe me, you don’t need to forgive them for all those put downs. You need to get away from them before it is too late.

    In my case, my toxic brother who had engaged in subtle sarcasm for years, and had abandoned chilcren, and much more. Took half a million of dad’s money and cast elder dad into the street for me to take care of for free and he wrote me in his arrogance, that’s too bad. He snook around, setting this up for himself. He tried to abuse me as well. I spent a year taking dad crying to a lawyer, who finally got the property back. But eventually he convinced dad, after throwing him out, that I was the evil one and they both left, like two blood sucking bats into the night waiting for another victim. I was left with legal bills and dad’s apartment and lease.

    So, believe me, never let it get to this stage. I am 57. Cast them out of your life now, before it is too late and you end up with a huge bill and needing therapy from the toxics. They are all crazy, they will continue to abuse you and you need to just move on. The mistake I made, is the same as many of us make. You think that blood ties mean something. They don’t. They simply make it easier to emotionally abuse you or use emotional black mail.

    • Wow your brother sounds exactly like mine: no conscious , mean and completely unaware of others feelings and actions. I am so sorry for what you have been through. I gave just been through a very similar experience and it is brutal, it can eat you alive.

  3. I can totally relate to your story. I have the same situation with my family. My older brother and sister, as well as my mother are all narcasistic. I was always the scape goat. It seems the best thing is acceptance and moving on I agree. Cause we can’t control people, and we also can not take responsanbility for their behavior and actions. The only one in my family I identified with or felt a bond with was my father, and he died when I was young. In a way, as everyone, I’ve felt some what familyless since. My mother is toxic, manipulative, controlling emotional vampire. I finally decided its not healthy to have her in my life all the time, and I block her phone calls so she can’t call all the time. I do keep in touch calling her periodically. As far as the rest of the family goes, I sort of am the black sheep. My brothers and sisters don’t call me, and I don’t really feel like I’m part of the group anyway, so mabye its for the best. I agree, moving on, not dwelling on what can’t be fixed is about all you can do. People do not change. No since holding out for that. Let go, let God. I guess after reading this, it nice cause I know I’m not the only one.

  4. I have toxic in-laws. Especially my husband’s brother’s wife. I tried several times to get along with her and I always justified talking to her because’ we are family.’ She and her husband plus children moved to the United States . The husband came first A whole year without me charging him rent or toilet paper soap or food. Then I had the whole family for another month while they got an apartment. They didn’t buy any food not even a gallon of milk or bread and of course no rent. I paid to get their papers, We gave them a car. Actually sold it to them but never saw a penny. She would never call me or visit me. The only time she would call or appear in my house was to sell me something or ask to borrow money which she never paid back. She also burned others like neighbors and new friends. When I asked her if my daughter could spend the night because I had to go out of town for a dr. appt. Her answer was one that she was not happy and that who was going to take them to school. I was about to tell her to take them on the car you never paid. She is very ungrateful and only looks to what is for her. She has her husband with lies exagerations etc turned him against us. She plots things to cause not only damage to us but my children. Every time I hear from her its when she wants something and in the past I would fall for it and them she would turn around after doing her a favor and push me to the side and plot damaging things and comments. She has done various remarks to me and family members which she expresses negatives about me and my children like commenting that my daughters are sluts. I feel happier now that I don’t talk to her; she has tried talking to me but again its because she needs something. I am able now to say no and no. I no longer feel beat up by her in which my husband and children would suffer seeing me upset. And she says she is christian and even direct a bible study but she doesn”t do what she reads.

  5. She sounds just like this using two-face “best Friend” I used to have. She just used me for what I would buy for her, where I would take her, or what I could do for her but she’d go behind my back and talk smack about me,and tried to turn my other friends against me. Who NEEDS people like that?

  6. I grew up in a very toxic household! And they are still miserable to this day. I do not have fond memories of growing up and NEVER had a true relationship with either of my parents or sister. My mother was Jackle & Hyde, you never knew what personality you would get. She constantly nagged, verbally abused me , yelled, screamed and fought with my father. And on the turn of a dime was nice and bought us off with material things. My father was never home when I grew up, never spent time with me, and my sister is a toxic narcissist. As an adult I have cut off contact with my sister and have distanced myself from my parents, only seeing them when I have to. My advice is JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE IS FAMILY DOESNT MAKE THEM GOOD FOR YOU! YOU MUST PROTECT YOUR SPIRIT AND YOUR SOUL FROM TOXIC PEOPLE. THEY DO GET WORSE AS THEY GET OLDER. It took me years to realize that they were never true family and were not good for me. I focus on the “CREATED” FAMILY I NOW HAVE. A loving husband and 3 gorgeous kids. That is what is important! Stop feeling guilt! God will not punish you for protecting yourself! Surround yourself with positive uplifting people that bring joy to you! I have struggled with toxic family all my life and life is to short to waste your time!

  7. The Bible also says “Do not throw your pearls before swine they will turn on you and
    rend you!”

    Also “Your enemies will be the members of your own family”

    Distance yourself? Yes this is ALL that you can do!

  8. Wow! I wish I had known this quote from the Bible earlier. I could not understand why my birth parents and relatives never encouraged me or appreciated my achievements and talents. I kept trying to improve myself and better my self only to make them like me and appreciate me. In the process, I became too hard on myself, being almost cruel and leaving no room for mistakes, trying to be impeccable so that they accept me and like me. Now it is dawning slowly that my own intelligence and skills annoy them even more. The better I get the more they dislike me, the more they cannot stand me, the more they try to put me down, the more they try and make me submissive to them. For the life of me, I did not understand why they behaved like that with someone so nice and talented as me. I would encourage people like that myself and in fact love their talent.

    Ghosh! and to find out that these supposedly “parents” and relatives who are meant to be looking after and looking out for you beahve like this is heart-breaking.

  9. I also grew up in a household with toxic, narcissitic people!! I decided enough was enough, and walked away from all of them 10 years ago ( I am 49 now). The best thing I ever did in regards to them. Since then, both parents have died. One at 72, the other at 81. BOTH died completely unchanged. Still going strong in their manipulation, guilt and control til the very end. I have not felt one moment of regret or sadness about removing them from my life. As others have stated on here – people don’t change. Either you enable their behavior by your presence, or you move on. Simple as that!! There is absolutely nothing forgiving about staying involved with toxic people. Genetic ties, in and of them self, do not at all mean there is any real love between the people. Infact, so much of the time it is just hate being played out. There are a lot of people who literally thrive on hate interactions, and feel entitled to “own” and control the people who are genetically “tied” to them, for their use. Codependency seems to be what so many dysfunctional/toxic people call “love”. They have just as much capability as being a nourishing person as anyone else. Too much justifications and excuses for the peoples toxic behavior go on in those kinds of relationships. Such nonsense. People are how they choose to be!! End contact, and move on from any toxic person…relative or not!

  10. My relatives have always been toxic even when we were still kids. Some of my cousins used to bully us, and speaking for myself, I was usually called as “lacking personality” or being a “goody-two shoes”. My one aunt always gave them new gifts like watches or toys while we recieved different gifts– I got a silicon bra pad at age 9 and a car freshener as a christmas gift another time. But we grew up and learned to live with it. Recently, though, it has all become worse. I have personaly encountered their bullying and back-talking about other reatives so I know what they are like. My mother is the only in-law that still comes during family gatherings because all the other six in-laws have had conflict with the toxic relatives. They are always belittleing us including my father, who is their own brother, even if he is a doctor, since my dad practices not in big hospitals but in private practice at our town. Plus, I didn’t know that having a couple of branded clothes was a crime! They are always talking and snapping remarks like we act like snooty rich kids. I think they should look in the mirror, though. They are always checking or inspecting what you’re wearing like grabbing your bag or suddenly looking at the label on the back of your top without asking. They even make remarks about us going to medical school. How it was a bad decision. But the thing that really gets on my nerves is how they are ganging up on my sibling. I wouldn’t be bothered if it was me but I see them looking at him and whispering, rolling their eyes. I even sometimes hear them say mean things in passing. They don’t even know that he made a suicide attempt last year. And even if they did, I’m sure they would criticize instead of help. We told our granparent about this and he said not to tell anyone– including our reatives who are his own kids. I am always just afraid that there will come a time I will break. That I will not tolerate how they treat us. That I will have to fight with them because they are affecting my sibling horriby. I am even more afraid that I might be like them. But I pray to God to always guide us to the right path…and be forgiving. And that may He make them realize the error of their ways and change.

  11. You just described my entire family

    My entire family are ignorant southerners who think that they are smart by being cruel to others

    They actually think that they are intelligent when no one even bothered to go to college

    My mother never got out of 3rd grade
    Her mother is a whore who has more than 10 kids and I suspect my mother to be a product of incest as no one knows who her dad is

    I understand the extreme embarrassment they must experience but it doesn’t make my situation any better

    I wish I could just divorce them but I am stuck as I feel I would not be able to show them if I were ever to get married

    They are all just to terribly toxic and I am shocked to know the degree to which they have come to that point

    Mental illness
    Every kind of abuse
    Narcissisitic personalities
    Spiritual abuse of every kind
    Physical abuse of every kind
    Mental abuse of every kind
    Un supportive
    Against education of any kind
    And these are the things I’ve witnesses

    I’ve been threatened and intimidated frequently by my narcissistic mother as she tells me that I can not prove anything that goes on here

    If you were to meet my mother or any memeber of my family you would be drawn in by their evil charm

    It’s amazing how they present themselves as to sweet and godly

    Makes me sick actually

    They know that they can get away with abusing family members as the standard protocol for handling the situation is for the victim to go get counseling

    I think the police should be called
    charges filed
    Indictments to be made
    Jail terms served

    Where is God now ? These people live a very very very long time

    They have to fake being sick
    It’s amazing

    If I could just understand why God doesn’t take them
    Or why doesn’t the golden rule

    ” what you do to other comes back to you ”
    I’ve never ever seen it happen that these abusive people who know what they are doing get what they deserve from inflicting pain on others

    I’ve seen professionals say oh they have a disorder and you should understand that

    Really ? A group disorder no it’s a family practice !
    No one can make these monsters accountable

    So they continue on protected

    Maybe we should create an organization who’s purpose is to convict these monsters by their deeds

  12. You need to cut off ties with your toxic relatives. They are not good for you. You have to love yourself enough to cut off ties with your toxic relatives and move on with your own lives. Pray to God to give you the wisdom and strength to do that.

  13. This site came up when i just looked-up “toxic relatives” and I’m so glad I came across this.

    My mother and sister are very controlling and try to manipulate people. They hold grudges and give guilt trips if you don’t ‘do’ what they want.

    All I feel from them is disappointment and guilt; never any love or acceptance.
    They say “I love you” to me, but actions speak louder than words.
    Even if my sister does something nice, it is negated quickly by her being mad at me for something (half the time I don’t know what it’s for, or it’s for me simply not doing what she thought so should’ve done).

    It gets very exhausting, me always being the one on the receiving end of their guilt and disappointment (which is ironic because THEY are the ones who disappoint me! hah) but like many others on here have said, it is never their fault. It’s everybody else.

    I honestly pity them, going through life so bitter and judgemental.

    I don’t want to never see them again, because they are all the family I have, but I am also realizing that I need therapy in order to get over how they’ve treated me all these years.

    I need coping mechanisms in order to not let how they act affect me.

    (I have also thought that it was ME but am aware enough to know that it’s not me; I have tried and nothing is ever good enough for them.
    I’ve also had mutual family friends tell me that they’ve been treated the same way, so that’s how I know it’s not me as well)

  14. I know exactly how you feel there’s also a lot of rumors going around about me I have an idea where its coming from and considering moving with my mom however don’t want any more problems. I would like to cut off ties sometimes.

  15. My family has been toxic all my life. They have been belittling, controlling, mean and hateful. The worst has been my father and one of my twin sisters. To this day, my father treats me like I can’t do anything right; the twin sister belittles me almost constantly and speaks to me in a hateful tone of voice, also she twists things that she tells relatives and tells them that I’m the one with the problem! What has helped me is attending church (I had to find out who my allies are because not everyone there has been nice and respectful towards me) and keeping my distance from them.. Frankly, I could care less if they ever contacted me, but every few months, they do. I just try to let the put downs go in one ear and out the other. I have people in my life that are supportive of me and I don’t need them in my life.

  16. Hey me and my partner of 15 years have two kids daughter/step daughter 18 years old now and my son is 8 nearly 9. Usual family stuff what everyone goes through kids playing up etc etc only when it comes to myself disciplining my partner goes all moody n gives me the cold shoulder. When she disciplines them even if at times she can go ott, I don’t say anything and stand by her. She not one for talking problems through either, I have to be mystic meg. When I express my feelings how I’m feeling, it’s as if they don’t count or if she even cares. Whenever she in the wrong it’s always my fault. Iv tried to be their for her support her etc etc but she just keeps pushing me away making me feel like crap. N sometimes it can take days b4 she be ok again but never gets sorted. It’s to the point where iv just left her to it. Iv tried so many things to get quality time together, it just never happens. Iv asked her if there’s someone else? Is she ashamed be seen with me? What’s wrong with you? I’m here if you need me! But now it’s taken a big affect our relationship. We hardly talk, when I do I get sarcasm or nasty remarks or ignored. It’s to the point where I’m feeling outcast, unwanted. I can’t be happy around them anymore. There’s an atmosphere. Every time I try to talk to my girlfriend about it she gets aggravated n starts shouting. Tells me to oh fuck off. To the point now where I’m ready to leave. The daughter seems to think this is ok also.

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