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Readers Respond: Breaking Free from Toxic Relationships

Responses: 77


Share Post: Were you involved in a relationship that was more hurtful than loving? Were you able to break free and begin forming healthier relationships? What life lessons did you learn? Are you okay now? Or are you still struggling? Share Your Experiences

Narcissist Sister

I feel your pain. I have most selfish self-centered sister you can imagine. She has abused me all my life physically, emotionally, and financially. She is ten years older then me, she gave herself the entitlement to have control over my life. Although I am 30 years old, married with children. She still demands my time and energy, and she never respects my boundaries. After all these years of abuse, I decided stop being her narcissistic supply.
—Guest bella

Bad Friends

Although my situation was not as severe as some of the others here, it was still psychologically damaging. 2 of my ex best friends and my half sibling would give me advice about everything and they were always right and I was always wrong. Not really, of course, but they kept trying to mold me into someone I'm not. They would insult me and say horrible things to me under the guise of being good friends and how they would never lie to me and using the excuse of telling me the truth to say things friends should never say to each other. Yes, there is such a thing as helping correct a friend to prevent embarrassment, but it's another thing entirely to shame your friend for being the beautiful individual they were meant to be. What they would say hurt and tore me down, but I didn't ditch them because I couldn't fathom that these 'friends' would really be so mean. I made excuses for them for years, lying to myself as they tried to change me. I got tired of it and eventually grew strong.
—Guest Kaia Rose


My Father left welt marks on the back of my legs when I was only a little girl. He was so angry and raised his leather belt above his head and laid into the backs of my legs as he held me by the wrist. My childhood memories are scars. How can someone who is your Father become the most feared person in your childhood and do so much damage to your life as an adult? My future would be bright if I was loved as a child... the bullying continues in my Adult life, my biggest fear is the human race.
—Guest Rose

Toxic Controlled Life

It's hard to fathom explaining this insanity, let alone briefly. I don't know anything anymore. Literally. Not always intentionally, my mom has been killing me since birth. Had me at 17, without much detail she's an exceptionally high functioning narcissistic, suffocating, controlling, hurting, addict, combo of (my description but definitely would meet criteria) borderline/bipolar/multiple personality, deep down a loving/good/kind woman. Though I did well-learned how to stay sane and meet the bare minimum with her and excel in school, sports, getting out of there and going to college. I didn't do well enough escaping. Truly because of her I am very ill, moved back in with her, barely any money, hardly working but kept the small part time job that is in my dream path.To summarize: I've accepted that my family will never change, they mean well but I know I have to get out. Sick, no money, got rid of all the toxic people so no one to help, and on top of that if I leave her she'll have noone. It's MISERY!!!
—Guest hopingforhope7

Severed Ties - Happier Now

I'm 60 ..a grandmother, wife, mother. My elderly parents are abusive. My father is a narcissist and mother "feeds" me to him to keep their marriage strong. I have always "taken it" because they are my parents. But I have had enough. They do not respect my home, my husband or me. It is deeply painful but I finally realize they will kill me. They are in their 80's and healthy. I on the other hand have suffered from adrenal tumor that I believe was caused because my adrenals had to protect me from my father who beat me and you never knew if it was Jekyll or Hyde who was in the room. My mother would use me to divert his abuse away from her. I had a ruptured colon and ileostomy. I am strong and have healed but realize their abuse is what has caused my illnesses. I can just visualize them coming to my funeral and saying..."she died so young, tsktsk" I cannot let that happen, so I have severed ties. I send cards for all occasions but no verbal communication. Is this wrong?
—Guest Anne

Abusive Men, Abusive Mother

I was abused by my mother throughout my childhood and from 1996-2005 I was physically abused by my live-in boyfriend and he abused my children. He hit my son continuously with a pair of pliers and hit my daughter a lot and even hit and beat on our own child. I have bad dreams and cannot have a good relationship with my children today and my new boyfriend of 3 and a half yrs.
—Guest margaret crittenden

Bully Sister

I have an older sister who is very controlling to me. She is a bully. She was a school principal who retired, but still work for the system when needed. She thinks no one knows anything or can do anything but her. She is very mean and hateful - she appears to be jealous of me. I have 7 brothers and sisters. I am the only one who she bullies. She kisses up to her son and can't seem to communicate with anyone else in the family. When I tell her about herself and how she hurts me with her shouting and screaming at me, she begins to scream and hang the phone up on me. I am very humble, quiet, and outgoing. A lot of people tell me they would like to have my personality. I lost my mother, I told my sister once what others have said, and she looks at me like, you!. It really hurts me badly. I am considering counseling. I am there for everyone in my family, but they are not there for me. My older sister, is causing me to not want to be around her. I don't know what to do. HELP!
—Guest Nan

A Mother's Love

I was raised in a house full of dysfunction! My mother, if she loves me, I would never know. I grew up in a vicious cycle of sexual, emotional, physical, and mental abuse. My mother is the reason for all this! I don't know if she was raised like this but she abused my siblings and I for years. She also put us down mentally, destroyed me emotionally, and for her greed of money, let a man friend of hers molest me! I'm sadden because life spiraled out of control in front if me! To be honest, I'm a college grad, childless, late 20's, and attractive! Although, I may have little, I fought to acquire these things.( although my mom didn't want these things for me) even with these things, there is sadness deep in my heart! My life feels in shambles! I'm consistently judged for my bad attitude, the way I care too much, and told how I'm too loyal! I'm only dishing out what I've received and what I want to receive! I want to be happy so bad but this sadness and depression at times kills me.
—Guest Misunderstood

The Best Is Yet To Come!

I was 35 years old when I got with my cheating alcoholic boyfriend. I was left with a beautiful 5 year old son who is now 16 years old. His grandmother recently passed and left everything to her abusive sons. He uses the money to play my son against me by buying him expensive gifts every Sunday when they visit. My son has become defiant and sneaky. He even has that same sneaky look his father had when he was up to no good. This is very stressful. Instead of holding my son the blame for his challenging behaviors, I chose to fight him head on. I began to call his school to check up on assignments and I stopped arguing with him. I no longer reward his behavior as I used to do the same thing to his father. Although, I feel hurt that his grandmother didn't include anything separate for us in a will. After all I thought she cared about my son's well being and we talked all the time. I even drove her around when necessary until the end.
—Guest Superwoman

psychopathic nurture

As the only child to my mothers second marriage I have always been a black sheep. It seemed my older siblings were being raised seperately with different rules to me- they could come and go as they please and so could their friends, meanwhile I was be being kept in lockdown! I was always at home with my mum, who was always too busy to make quality time for me(Hello-your child needs you) at the time I thought it to be reasonable. But now almost 30 years old, pieces start to come together like a jigsaw puzzle. Throughout my many failed relationships, I have mastered codependancy, from both sides of the table. I have seen liars and cheaters, mental and physical abusers-I have been these things too, but what tipped me off was the narcissism, it's like the blue veins in my body try to remove and it's terminal! My mother is the same, and I have always believed my poor dad was a victim until recently, now I know he is just as bad! They make me feel crazy-I'm not! Not without them around
—Guest specs

41 Years of HELL! Letter to Toxic family

FOR 41 YEARS dealing with my Whole Family. It is been very hard, what i truly feel is though I am on the Outside of the bubble and all my family members are inside, and I’m looking in from the Outside of the bubble of all the dysfunction going on with my family. I was conditioned to believe I was the f*** up and I have spent years not understanding my parents “Love Language, and unwillingness to respect us, protect us and give us kids Unconditional Love, to hear them say…”Hey, I’m Proud of you” I have spent many years trying to prove my Worth to them. The truth and realisation of a toxic family was evident when i went into therapy. Yes I got caught up in Addicted Gambling, and will soon enter Recovery for this to. Being in therapy I did see Just how MUCH unhealthy crap was handed down to me and going on with all of you. I was also diagnosed with Bipolar2 disorder, and my entire family treated me like a Freak. I guess ignorance is Bliss. None of you hid how you all felt.
—Guest Bella CT

Bullied & belittled by my mother

I am 20, my sister is 18 and I live with her and my mother and father. My father completely lacks backbone but I love him and am proud and grateful for everything he's given me, which is a lot and would be more if he could. He hasn't been a brilliant dad at times but in general he's good. My mother on the other hand used to be good, now however she is the single most vile person I've ever met in my life. She uses my dependence on her because of a disease I have against me, she takes my sister's side over everything and blames the fact that I insult her intelligence and call her stupid. I have done this, only when all three of them are screaming at me and I'm not to blame and both her and my sister are being idiotic. I won't let them get to me now, I'm hoping to get a better job and for my dad to loan me money and then I am leaving this house. I am going to control my disease all by myself, I will find the strength. I am being bullied because my mother loves my sister much more than me.
—Guest sick to death

Living with a disease

My family is a disease. I've experienced much of what many of you have already described, but in short, my mother is a witch of the most narcissistic flavor, and she has generated a gang of girls in the family against me. My father is a blind dumb ass who refuses to deal with any if these problems. I am having severe anxiety and panics attacks at the mere thought of them and don't know what to do. They have ruined my good nature as a person, stolen what I have worked for since I was 5 yrs old and expect that I deserve nothing from the family fortune and worst of all they are all working hard as they can to destroy my life. I'm exhausted and spent, not sure what to do... Not sure how much longer I can hold up....pls help...
—Guest MoonJuice


My family has clearly set me up to be a flunkie. My sister stole my money and wont return it and my mother is forcing me out the house. I been on DEPAKOTE for a week over this.
—Guest Abigneal

Learn to unlearn toxicity

I was emotionally, physically and sexually abused. A mother who preached the Bible at home but broke every rule. She demanded loyalty and obedience or I faced the hot iron rod. Father was working and never home. I was the black sheep and my mother made my siblings watch me be hit till filled with bruises. Hated her and the church and all my siblings too. I left home at 14 and never returned. I never saw her again. All my sisters were raped by abusive men and one brother ended up in jail for beating his wife. What I am most afraid of now, is who I am today. Though it is in the past, it is still embedded in my mind's-eye. Every trigger and intolerance are the more reasons to get mental health. So I did! Completely broke away from the family, continuing therapy, medication & building a healthy boundary with my spouse. Sharing who I am what I can take and cannot, be honest and processed-oriented. It took guts to face the past and not contribute any part of my toxicity to anyone!
—Guest Lighting up my own way!

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Breaking Free from Toxic Relationships

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