When Family Becomes Too Toxic

Highest Standards, Nationally Recognized:

Intensive Outpatient meeting

Contributor Merylee Sevilla shared her experience with cutting family ties on Elite Daily:

“I broke up with my parents and most of my family when I came out as gay. Growing up, I spent years and years unknowingly sacrificing my happiness and my mental and emotional health in the name of family. I believe I had to do anything and everything for them. And that’s because most of us have been trained to believe that turning our backs on family – no matter how bad or abusive they are – is reprehensible. But, that belief is severely flawed.”

The idea of family is one that leads us to believe in connection, closeness, respectfulness, people whom we can depend on and trust, and more. If you have family relationships that are based on these premises, you likely have a good support system. While most of us try to uphold these critical components of a relationship, we cannot control the way our family treats us. Some of us may believe that holding onto family no matter what is best, but this is not always the case. A toxic family member can cause danger to our overall sense of well-being, safety, and recovery.

There are several cases you should consider for terminating a family member from your life:

  1. When the relationship is based on mental, physical, emotional, sexual, or verbal abuse of any kind.
  2. When the only time you have contact with them is negative; if they put you down or make you feel bad about yourself each time, they do not serve as benefit to your life.
  3. If the relationship causes so much stress that it’s impacting other areas of your life, such as work, school, and home.
  4. If you find yourself becoming obsessed with what your family members are thinking about you or if they are talking about you.
  5. When your relationship is one-sided; if there is no real reason why they can’t make any effort, it’s time to move on.
  6. If the basis of your relationship with them involves asking for money.
  7. When no-win games, blame games, and silent treatments dominate the relationship. If you’re constantly wondering what the next interaction with them is going to be like and if they’re always playing games every time they don’t get their way, it’s time to let go.

These are just a few reasons, but ultimately, you need to listen to your heart to decide if it’s time to let go. Your health, happiness, and recovery depend on it. Make the decision that is right for you.





Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery treatment center. Our licensed, experienced health care team truly cares about your recovery and will work with you to develop tools to overcome your challenges and better manage your symptoms. Make the decision to seek help today, and call us at 888-958-7511 for a consultation.

We will work with most out of network PPO and POS policies

Call to verify your insurance benefits today!