Posted by: Kate
Around half a decade ago I started to have a mental breakdown. As a child I suffered some pretty severe trauma that was semi-treated (thats a tale for another time). This trauma and unlearned ability to handle or cope with it had really started to affect me in adulthood.
So I did something dramatic. I removed myself from the situation which meant I cut myself from my family. There was some minimal interaction from them. Honestly, it really only involved my parents passing away.
The most recent being my mother. She passed a little over a month ago. I was doing ok with them. I had my guard up and had my boundaries in place. I had several discussions with my siblings. One thing one of them said really affected me.
It didn’t affect me in the sense that I lost control. I didn’t affect me in the sense that I got upset. It affect me in the sense that I learned something.
I learned that this wasn’t an environment that was going to help me. In the discussion it was insinuated that I was never go to change; at least that is what I felt was being expressed. I know that this statement is not true for me (for my sibling it may be and they have a right to those feelings) but for me I know how far I have come and my goal for the future.
It made me really see the toxicity of the environment I grew up in. The judgement placed on me (and possibly on my siblings as well). After this realization I started to reflect on my upbringing. How I always felt stigmatized because I had mental health problems. How I learned to just stop opening up to anyone in my family. How much better I felt when I didn’t feel obligated to participate in family events.
As much as I have grown and changed I feel as though that environment hasn’t. Knowing that will really help me in the future. I hope those who read this will learn that it is ok to remove yourself from an environment that you feel is toxic to your growth and mental health.