Aster you definatley have your hands full with that daughter. In no way am I criticizing you or your actions. As I said, I myself have cut off my family.
As I said to Cat once, everyone’s personal situation is different. So I can not judge you or your daughter.
I do not smoke, and I would never assume to be better than anyone, or rush to hurt or embarrass anyone like your daughter. Still I saw some things about her that I could understand and relate to from your first post. I was just sharing my feelings as another point of view for the reader who may think because they share one aspect of your daughter’s personality that they are bad people.
You sound like a very nice person and a good mother.
[This message has been edited by ffsmith (edited 07-20-2002).]<p>[This message has been edited by ffsmith (edited 07-20-2002).]
FFSmith, I am intrigued by the point you raised regarding empathy for the toxic people.
I could go crazy with this whole subject, but, I will simply reply to this one in particular.
I think what is beautiful about our humanity is our ability to see beyond ourselves and try to consider others feelings.
THe thing is, we do not know what they are feeling....
we can only imagine and apply our own experiences
to try to get an idea of where they are standing. This is called projecting. It is a vicious circle.
You see, I love my family, very, very deeply.
However, considering their position has been the cause of my eternal returning to the same dysfunctional situations over and again because it serves as a good excuse... because I do not want to hurt them.
But my mother spent her life with me beating the crap out of my sister and I and psychologically messing us up... playing games with our heads....
She sent my sister away and told me she was dead.
I stayed with my mother and she nearly killed me a couple of times. I do not remeber anything good about my childhood AT ALL.
My sister pops up in a group home and I go and bring her home,years later.
My mother stops the drugs but continues to drink, and ends up with hep C, stage 4.... dying. My sister has been under my wing for as long as shes been back because I continue to empathize.
See, I work hard, lots of hours, and get paid decent.
Everything I have I will give my sister half if she needs it. But when I was down and out, she was not there.
She is a good person.... but she looks out for herself, and I looked out for herself.
Meanwhile, my mother is having my stepfather call us and reem us out for not calling our mother enough....
(we never used to call her)....
She gave herself the hep by using, and ruined our lives in the process.... now, she wants us to wait on her hand and foot just like when we were little
because shes sick from the drugs that ruined our lives already.
I got to a point where I was carrying everyone in the family... my sis has 5 kids, a useless boyfriend,
and my mom hasn't left her house to visit me or my sis EVER. And she doesn't call.
I got real sick from working too hard and not taking care of myself, and of course, neither one of them were there.... I almost died.... with a wbc of 1 and a ruptured spleen.....
I literally almost worked myself to death trying to support myself and everyone else too.
I did not get a visit in the hospital from my mother.
I was left there to die.
And at this point, supporting my sister is only enabling her..... her lazy boyfriend needs to support his kids.
But you know what kept me going back and giving more? Fear that they would end up homeless or not trusting that htey would or even know how to take care of themselves.
I suppose my point is, I always empathized with them.
But the bottom line is that I cared for them more than myself, and more than they cared for me or themselves.
You cannot even begin to try to assume what another person may do or how they will react because that will only make you afraid to change it at all.
I do my best to love unconditionally, but there really IS a line and I will not allow it to be crossed anymore. It sucks to be left alone with your own burdens when they only exist because of the people who have left you alone to deal with them.
I say, take care of number 1. No one knows you better than you do, and no one can be you better than you can, and ultimately, thats all you really have to do in this life. Be you.
Good luck with your families. I know that walking away hurts. But staying hurts more.... and it may hurt them more if you stay in the longrun, too!
FFsmith, I understand what you are trying to say, but in a lot of cases, helping them only enables them to remain in the toxic behavior mode.
At some point and time the enabler (us) needs to practice tough love. It's not that we don't love them, but hey, we are responsible for ourselves, now it's time for them to take responsibility for themselves.
They have the ability, they just choose not to use it cause they have been leaning on us for years. At some point and time what is going to happen to them when all the enablers around them are gone. Are they going to shrivle up and die? I think not. More than likely they will do 1 of 2 things. They will either grow up & take responsiblity for themselves or they will go out and find another sap of an enabler to take care of them.
It's time for us that has been hurt by their toxic way's to say NO and practice tough love. What they choose to do with that is up to them.
Hope this helps you understand a little more.
On the Colondar thing, strain it with another kitchen tool, be it big spoon, plate or another pan. Good luck with that macaroni!! Cat
What do you think causes this toxic behaviour? In some cases, the toxic person may already feel rejected by their family? This is probably often an irrational feeling, but in some cases it could be rational, so creating an extreme distance between them and you could damage the relationship further?
PS I'm not meaning in your situation, just in a few cases?
Yeah, Cat, I do understand what you mean about your sister, I suppose what I was trying to say was similar to what ffsmith was saying (i.e. trying to imagine what the "toxic" person is feeling)... but you have obviously helped her in all sorts of ways, and she has thrown it back in your face....
I totally agree that it is not up to you to take responsibility for your sister. Lets hope that she finds a counselor who can help her, or that she can find some way to help herself.
Good luck, I agree that you are doing the right thing!
<p>[This message has been edited by Fuzzy Bear (edited 07-21-2002).]
I met a friend a couple of years ago that has 5 kids. The oldest was 9 years old. We hit it off really well but she was very unhappy about her life. Her husband only wanted 2 kids and she insisted on continueing to have babies. So he started refusing to participate in the family out of frustratioin. She never had time for herself and felt emotionally abused by her husband. She was also very involved in her Pentacostal religion and insisted that I become a member. She constantly asked for advice and everything offered was countered with a "but" she had every answer for why solutions would not work. I suggested that she do more things for herself, get her nails and hair done. Reach out to people with kids so that she could barter babysitting. I also told her to just take time for herself get some respite so that she could clear her head. She told me I was worldly and sinful. I began to feel overwhelmed with her opinions, judgements, and feelings. I decided that I would not be a trash can to her emotional garbage. I told her one day that we just were not right for one another and wished her the best. Oh my goodness, she was upset and refused to acknowledge me in public. I felt a little bad, but you know I would rather be alone with my integrity and honesty than to have company that causes misery. She was toxic for me! I have seen over the past couple of months that she now has new friends, guess what, with women that have children their own age. I spotted her and her husband holding hands, she smiles a lot and I even hear her laugh. She has gotten a job which she never would consider with me and she got her hair and nails done. I also noticed she now has lost weight, looks good in a tan and sports a beautiful gold (worldy?) ankle bracelet. The point to my story...Her and I were toxic together, not because there is something bad in one of us but that we are at different levels. Just because her and I did not work out well together, were not good together, does not mean she or I are less, it is just that she would do better with someone else. I am very happy to see her happy and smiling. What is toxic for me, might be the greatest thing that happens to someone else. CheerokeeMoon
i had a toxic relationship with my best friend for years that completely demoralised me and shattered the little self-esteem i had.
I remember when we moved schools together realising one day that i was actually more popular and being amazed.
i'v cut myself off from her over the years and it was the best thing i ever did.
i met her the other day and actually felt sorry for her. life is much the same at 20 for her as it was when we were 13.she's still concerned about who's "cool" or acceptable and has isolated many people bcoz of her high standards.
basically my point is that no matter how bad these people make you feel 'they're the real losers and will be left lonely when you stand up to them
actually i have a better relationship with my family now. i no longer blame them - or me - for my troubles. i came to an understanding. i let mom rant away on the phone - intrejecting uh huh - while i paint my nails or something. i listen to the improtant parts and just let her vent.
i have proven my worth to myself and no longer feel compelled to prove it to anyone else.
there are no easy answers. but every little step we take brings us closer to being well.
And in my case and situation. My mother was verbally abusive. I have chosen to forgive and move on. At least to some degree. My mom is still toxic for me as she tries to use some of those same manipulations she used with us as kids now in our adult life. I call her on it, when it no longer becomes tolerable.
In my sister's case. My sis is still blaming my mother for her so called "downfall" and all the things that have gone wrong in her life. She has even included me in this area as she believes I was treated better, got brand new clothes while she got hand me downs, etc. This is a bunch of crap. It is time for my sister to grow up and take responsibility for herself.
As I have mentioned before. What is going to happen to her when my parents are gone & I am gone. How will she care for herself when she can't even do it now at the age of 35? To me, that is very scary. Sis, grow up or suffer the repurcussions when there is no one left. Cat