First of all, it’s not as bad as you think it is. It’s actually healthy.
When the people around you don’t understand you anymore, be alone. Listen to your own voice away from their noise. Remember who you were before they imposed their lifestyles, opinions, and thoughts on you. Remember who you were before you met them or integrated yourself with them. Recharge your mind and your heart away from their energies. This is the time to be selfish. This is the time to ask for space. This is the time to find yourself again before you lose yourself in the crowd. Don’t wait until you no longer recognize who you are.
When you feel disconnected from everyone around you, it means you’re growing, you’re evolving, you’re becoming a new and improved version of yourself, you’re changing and people don’t react well to change. They want you to stay the same. They want you to be predictable. They want you to be the person who always accommodates them.
When you feel disconnected from everyone around you, it means you’re finally seeing a new side of life. A side that calls your name. A new city that doesn’t suffocate you. A new home that doesn’t make you want to run away. A new lover who doesn’t take you for granted and actually chooses you. New people you don’t need to argue with to make a point because they see thing the way you see them. A new culture that’s more aligned with your beliefs and values. You’re starting to see a glimpse of a better life, a better place where you belong, a place where you feel more connected to society.
Because contrary to popular belief, disconnecting from everyone isn’t a sign of depression or loneliness. It isn’t a sign that something is wrong with you. It isn’t a sign of despair. Sometimes it’s a sign of hope and optimism. You’re waking up. You’re realizing your potential. You’re not settling. You’re starting to learn that you are the driver of your life and you can steer the wheel in any direction.
You’re starting to wonder if maybe you haven’t been making the wrong decisions but making the right ones in the wrong place. Saying the right things to the wrong people. Doing the right things for people who don’t appreciate them. Trying to live a certain way in a place that doesn’t support the kind of life you want.
When you feel disconnected from everyone around you, disconnect as much as you can, for as long as you can because that means that when you come out of your isolation, you’ll know who you are, you’ll know what the next step is, you won’t be manipulated by others, their words won’t get to you, their opinions won’t matter. You won’t feel like you’re trying so hard to fit and failing anymore, you’ll be confident in yourself. You’ll know where you belong. You’ll understand that you felt disconnected for a very valid reason and that’s going to be how you save yourself from drowning and sail away to find a happy home.
I’ll be honest, I can be a bit of a pessimist sometimes, but when it comes to modern dating? I’m not even trying to be optimistic anymore. I suppose I’ve finally come to accept how things are in the age of never ending social media, and to be frank, I’m not really okay with it. So I’m done with modern dating, and let me tell you why.
I’m done with having fragile relationships (if that’s what you can call these “things”) with no forward momentum. There is no point in texting me every day if you don’t intend to do anything other than have the same conversations.
I’m done with the term “talking” as opposed to “dating.” It doesn’t necessarily mean that anyone expects to have you change your relationship status immediately, but would it really kill you to say you went on a date rather than you just “hung out” with someone?
I’m done with finality being hammered into shattered egos even harder with being unfollowed and unfriended. As if it isn’t enough to be strung along and had your time wasted.
I’m done with seeing numerous articles on my newsfeed written about what to do and what not to do in regards to dating. Aside from common sense stuff, a lot of this drivel is just written for people who are too afraid to be open and honest from the get-go. Why complicate things when generally, you just know who you do and don’t vibe with?
I’m done with the ridiculousness of making guys feel creepy for approaching a girl. Here’s how it goes: a guy approaches a girl, if she isn’t interested, she politely declines, and they both move on. It’s so simple, and it works both ways. It isn’t creepy to let someone know you’re interested.
I’m done with the entire concept of a person who wears their heart on their sleeve being the “loser” of this asinine game. So what? She approached a guy and got rejected. Unlike you, who missed out and will never know. The earlier you know, the sooner you can move on.
I’m done with guys and gals alike feeling like they can’t be sad when someone ghosts them, because you can’t lose what you never had, right? Wrong. You are allowed to be upset, you are allowed to be angry and sad, you’re even allowed to reach out and politely ask for an explanation. Just don’t hold your breath on a legitimate response.
I’m done with games. I texted you back immediately because I like you, I’m genuinely interested in what you have to say, and I’m not insecure enough to feel like I need to wait 20 minutes when I’m not busy.
I’m done with people putting up with all of the aforementioned things, despite the fact that almost everyone is tired of dealing with these things.
When I was growing up, my household looked different from the idyllic families that were portrayed on the television shows I enjoyed.
I often wondered if I was the only child who had a family life that had so much tension, anger, and unhappiness.
As a highly sensitive child, I often believed it was my fault. If I could just be easier, funnier, more pleasing to my family, then everything would be OK.
These feelings, along with the stress I was experiencing at home, wreaked havoc on my mental health and self-esteem. If this is something you can relate to, I am here to tell you that you are not alone.
Why is my family dysfunctional?
My family is dysfunctional because we regularly experience conflict, misbehavior, or abuse in a way that causes some members of the family to accommodate such inappropriate actions.
Dysfunctional families are often the result of one overtly abusive parent and one codependent parent who turns a blind eye to the misbehavior. Dysfunctional parents may learn their behavior from their own parents.
In some cases, when one parent does not object to the dominant parent’s abuse, the children will be misled into believing the dysfunction is their own fault. In my case, we grew up into this family believing that the situation is normal.
Dysfunctional Family Characteristics
Although dysfunctional families are all different, they often share some principal characteristics. Some defining traits of my dysfunctional family include:
~Lack of empathy
~Emotional or physical abuse
~Drug or alcohol abuse
~Fear and unpredictability
~Disrespect of boundaries
Dysfunctional Family Roles
Each member my dysfunctional family has a role that keeps the cycle going.
The enabler (or caretaker) protects and takes care of the problem parent in order to keep the family going.
He or she takes on the burden and responsibilities of the problem parent to prevent them from going into a crisis.
The hero takes on the role of making the family look good. This over-achieving person is good at making everything on the outside look normal.
(me)The scapegoat is often the child who exhibits negative behaviors that take the attention off of the main problem in the family.
(me)The lost child is the quiet one who tries to escape the situation. This child often avoids interactions with other family members, leading to a lack of social development in the long run.
The mascot works to lighten the mood and break up the tension within the family. They often use humor to distract from their problems instead of facing them.
If you are living in a dysfunctional family, you can probably identify the people who are in these roles in your household. Here are some common unhealthy signs of a dysfunctional family, first hand.
~You think about how you will do things differently.
If you already know as a child that you will parent children one day differently than the way you are being parented, this is a red flag.
~There is enmeshment.
If one member of my family spends an extreme amount of time dealing with the problems of another family member, or they take personal responsibility for another family member’s emotions, this is enmeshment.
Boundaries exist in healthy families where everyone is responsible for dealing with their own problems.
This doesn’t mean people don’t ask for help, but it also doesn’t mean family members blame each other for their personal problems. smfh…
It does mean that a family member doesn’t feel personally responsible for the solution.
~You never stand up for yourself. (me)
If you find yourself in situations that are clearly not your fault but default to thinking that you could have done something differently, it may be a sign that you are living in a dysfunctional family.
For example, let’s say there’s a big fight at my family dinner table between my parents or a parent and a sibling.
While a healthy reaction to this would be to know you didn’t cause the fight, you may assume it was your fault for not preventing it.
~You are a people pleaser.
This is a survival trait that may develop as a result of being abandoned or experiencing neglect on a regular basis.
Pleasing other people is an attempt to win them over when you fear their criticism. You hold onto the belief that if you’re nice enough, this person will not abandon you.
You probably developed this trait to be able to detect the mood of the adults around you so you could respond appropriately.
~The holidays are not joyful.
No matter what types of holidays your family celebrates, there are sure to be times where the whole family gets together to try to enjoy a special meal or exchange gifts.
If you dread these occasions and never find joy in them, it may be due to a dysfunctional family situation.
Holidays tend to add stress and unmet expectations for everyone, but a dysfunctional family can be thrown into a tailspin as a result.
~They alter the truth.
Dysfunctional families often twist their intentions, experiences, and even the memories that they recall to avoid being held accountable.
This behavior is also known as “gaslighting.”
There are a lot of ways that someone in your family can distort you, what you want, and your life experiences both with and without them.
No matter how they distort the truth, if someone is doing it, they’re a toxic person.
~There is constant conflict.
Of course, all families have conflict sometimes, but if there is never a break from the conflict in the family, and people are always at odds with each other, this is a sign of dysfunction.
This conflict could be verbal, physical, or even silent — but with tension so thick you could cut it.
It often occurs between the parents, whether they are divorced or married, and is witnessed by the children. Even after marriage, seems to happen 15+ years divorced….
~Allowing teasing to go too far.
Families should not have a bully. Humor and teasing can be a healthy mode of interaction in families, but the key to this is whether or not it feels loving and comfortable for everyone involved.
In dysfunctional families, emotional abuse can be disguised as “I was just kidding, don’t be so sensitive.”
This not only allows the original criticism to stand, but it also adds an additional criticism of someone displaying an “incorrect” reaction to a situation.
Also, this person is essentially being told that they don’t have the right to their own feelings, which is a classic sign of dysfunction.
Some people in my family, if they are reading this can point this person out no problem..
This blog has taken me weeks to months to complete as I gather my thoughts and feelings to have the courage to spill them, knowing my family will eventually see it.
but at the same time, they will also realize how true and correct it is. Trying to put my personal experience into a third person view was somewhat difficult. While recognizing all the negative aspects, I have figured ways that have kept me afloat all this time.
How I have learn to deal with my dysfunctional family:
~Don’t Try to Change the Past
It’s important to remember that you can’t change the past and the dysfunction at the core of the family will likely always exist.
You can’t change people and sometimes you need to just allow yourself to have a healthy distance.
Don’t try to make up for the past or recoup lost time by trying to salvage relationships that are past the point of repair.
Instead, protect your well-being and move forward by creating a family of your own that has healthy and thriving relationships.
~Avoid the Victim Mentality
You may have been cheated out of a healthy childhood, but don’t allow this victim mentality to continue on into your adulthood.
Don’t let your past control your present by failing to become a well-adjusted adult.
Create a new identity that does not focus on the pain you endured in the past.
If possible, try to find the strength to forgive.
If you are able to do this, do it on your own terms and just allow these feelings of forgiveness to help you let go of the past.
~Define Who You Want To Be
Make a conscious effort to know who you want to be and to work toward becoming that person. This may take some time depending on the severity of your family dysfunction.
Learn more about emotional maturity and how to communicate effectively in relationships.
Just understanding the emotional abuse and dysfunction in your primary family can help you define what you don’t want to be.
Become the parent that you wish you had had so your own children grow up in a loving and secure environment.
Become the partner or spouse you wish you’d witnessed in your parents so your relationship is strong and healthy.
Did you grow up in a dysfunctional family?
If you’re reading this post, it’s likely you experienced some of the behaviors and situations described here.
I’d like to commend you for taking action and learning more about the difficulties you experienced in your family.
Don’t allow your past to infect your current and future happiness. You can move past the pain.
Ultimately, the most effective way to heal from a dysfunctional family is to live your own fulfilling life.
You’ll always be connected to the dysfunction you have endured, but your long-term success and happiness are in your own hands.
When you understand this, you’re already on your way to healing.
Go ahead and embrace the importance of negative emotion. Your emotions and the way you feel is your guidance system and it is telling you everything you need to know.
If you feel negative emotion, then you are either resisting how things are in the present moment, resisting something that was in the past, or resisting something that you think might be in the future.
Take a moment to reflect on this and see if this is true for you.
As human beings lost in our own stories, we immediately point to the outside world to create excuses as to why we can’t be happy and at peace right now.
We tell ourselves ”If that had turned out differently, then I’d be happy.
If he/she hadn’t done that to me, then I’d be happy.
If this goes the way that I want it to go, then I’ll be happy”
The moment you stop resisting life and pointing fingers at the outside world, the more a deep sense of joy and inner freedom will arise within you.
You’re an eternal being. Your consciousness cannot be destroyed. The greatest joy that you can feel is when your being comes into alignment with the very deepest, eternal, aspect of your consciousness.
What’s the one thing that you can do to allow your soul to come into alignment?Resist nothing. Surrender to everything that arises in the present moment without judgment.
Everything that you are searching for will arise from within you at a deeper and more profound level when you stop resisting what is happening.
Do you ever those days where you’re like what the actual fuck is happening today? well, today was one of those days.
The past couple of days i have been in this odd, discomforting mood. No beginning or end to where this sudden overcast mood of pain and sorrow even came from.
This morning i woke up and i had so much anger within myself. Yes, this seems to happen more often than i’d like it to but today was different. I thought i had most of these issues under control, you know with the new changes in life. Turns out, i am more sad now about the positive things in life that are happening than the negative. Is this normal?
I had a phone call with someone today who berated me and kind of fed me truth i did not want to believe. I am not even sure my life is good right now. In all honesty. I am a very indecisive person and when it comes to life decisions, i am the worst. He said “girl, you’re almost 25..there are no more excuses for the things happening in your life anymore”. Shit hit me like a train… The littlest words…
It is like most of these people who are no better than you, have the most to say.
The one time i feel i am progressing and headed toward the right direction, a different part of my life is falling into shambles. How do you even balance these emotions and parts of your life in a healthy and alert way.?? Like i am so unaware of the things happening on the opposite side of whats currently happening..Not sure if it’s my mind trying to avoid or if it something that just developed in a plan.
In other words, todays feeling felt like emptiness, it felt alone.
I have always been a one man band of support and confluence within myself. Recently, i’ve been finding myself missing important things happening around me but id rather catch up on sleep because i’m basically working my life away. No one actually sees this but me.. I am a very tired person. I work to fill the void of emptiness and to pass time but it is also keeping me from everything. I keep blaming the jobs for this but it is 99% in my control.
I’ve been writing subtle more precise and to the point blogs lately but after todays torture, i just needed to ramble some shit. Hoping maybe it would make me feel better.
We need to nurture ourselves regularly in order to build ourselves up. We become more vulnerable to the effects of stress when we haven’t. Even if you think you’re just dealing with a bunch of daily annoyances, those tiny little things can add up. What we do on a regular basis very much affects how we will respond when we’re in a very stressful place.
I recently saw a really interesting picture quote saying “Just Because You have a bad day, doesn’t mean you have a bad life”.
I can really relate to this quote. Life will always have its ups and downs and we cannot control that. Life will bring happiness, disappointments, frustrations, confusions, misunderstanding, jealousy, fortune, fortunate situations, unfortunate situations, different feelings, emotions, bad days, good days, you name it. I think it is very important to realize that just because you have a bad day, don’t go around saying you have a bad life and your life is not going to get any better, bad things always happen to me, the wrong people always come around me, I am always stuck in a middle of a bad situation, My life is gone to the drain.
KEEP THIS NEGATIVE SHIT AWAY FROM EVERYONE
These things should not be even said. Life is here for a purpose, you are here for a reason on this earth. You were not put on earth for no reason. God chose you.
Life is an incredible and wonderful thing. Life is beautiful only if you make it beautiful. Never ever under-estimate your life. Life is a great thing. Believe in me when I say this, just because something is not happening for you right now, it does not mean it ever will. You have to be patient. There is a right time for everything and there is a time for everything in life in balancing work, school, family, friends, community outreach programs, outings, parties, vacations, house work, cooking, and much more.
Never say you have a terrible life. It is all in your mind. It is mind over matter and matter over mind. Never look at life as a glass half empty. Always look at it half full.
As i was recently searching recent topics, I came across this. This one really hit me hard and I had to address this situation as I have heard people around me many times saying they have a bad life, and that Life really sucks and everything. Life does not suck. It is all just an illusion in your mind for you to think that way. Never think that way because when you think in a certain way about something it will always mean it that way to you. Do not think so much about it.Life is a great gift. We go to sleep, we wake up and we’re alive is all that matters. Life is a precious thing. It is all in the way you look at it, Never ever sell yourself short on anything and especially about what you think of what your life is. Where is that positive vibe? Use positivity everyday in your life and use that energy. It will take you places in life. If you’re too negative and always telling people about how bad your life is, it will not get you far.
Just wake up every morning and keep smiling and be happy you’re alive and kicking. Life is about waking up in the morning being amazing and positive during the day and going back to bed. Remember some people do not get another day. everyday is a second chance. Keep up your chin, keep your head up high, aim high, stand tall and keep on going!
People often associate those in toxic relationships with someone who is weak. Someone who doesn’t have enough self-respect to walk away. Someone who is tolerating a lot less than they deserved.
But as someone who lived through the turmoil of the ups and downs and endings just to begin again, I look at myself as really strong. Strong for coming out on the other side. Yes, a bit tainted but no one walks through fire not getting burnt a little.
I thought I was strong for hanging on so long. Strong for believing in someone and respecting my own feelings enough to not walk away. Strong for loving someone that much.
When people ask about him and our relationship, I don’t look back at it negatively. I look back at it and I see love.
Love underneath the ashes and the chaos we created in each other’s lives. Because maybe it wasn’t just him that was toxic. I think more than that, I was toxic to myself for continuing to run in circles I knew would lead me to the same place.
The truth was, it was me that ended it. I never wanted to give up on him. I would have kept trying. I would have tried until I completely self-destructed. And in time I did.
He was like some drug and every hit took me to this high and I always came back wanting more. I don’t know much about drugs but I know people can be as addicting as any hard substance.
That’s all an addiction is, trying to find comfort in the same thing that’s destroying you. I said goodbye one night and it didn’t even hurt anymore. I was completely numb to it. And that’s what was so scary about it. I had been hurt so many times it didn’t even faze me anymore.
But the hard part wasn’t the ending. It came with a thank you on his part because I think he finally knew what he put me through.
There was no doubt I loved him and I would have done anything to make it work. In fact, I had. I invested time and energy into something that would end in complete destruction but I still fought for it. I fought like hell for it.
But it was a toxic relationship.
It was a relationship full of mind games and doubts and questioning every move I made and every word I said. It was every fight always ended in me apologizing and it somehow always being my fault. It was saying things just to piss each other off and knowing exactly how to.
But then it was the good stuff too. It was the nights together where I wanted time to freeze in that moment. It was every bad day he was the one I knew I could turn to.
It was with a simple look and a short phrase he knew something was up and he knew just to hold me. The honest truth was he knew better than any person in my life and I loved him for that.
It was every day waking up to his texts and every conversation ending with I love you. I don’t know if he knew how in love with him I was. But even with the bad stuff, he set this template for everything I wanted in a person.
And I know that sounds crazy. How can a toxic standard be the one I had? But the truth about toxic relationships is they aren’t all bad all the time. There’s a reason people tolerate the bad stuff.
But it ended and I moved on.
But in everyone, I dated I looked for a piece of him there. Every date I’d sit across the table and think about him. He ruined dating for me a bit after that because even after it ended, he still consumed so much of my heart.
Then there were the negative effects a toxic relationship had on me. I questioned everyone’s motives after that. Every new person I expected there to be some catch. Some chick on the side. Some fight that would lead us to make up again and run in circles. I expected to be treated bad.
Until I realized normal relationships aren’t screaming and fighting and royally fucking with you. I began to be treated like I deserved and I’d run from it. I began to meet really great guys and I pushed them away.
Then I began to search for other toxic relationships to fill this sick void and get that hit I needed. And when I found people like these, all that happened was an ending of me crying myself to sleep, same story different guy. But there was something painfully comforting about what I was used to.
Life after a toxic relationship is like recovery in a way. You have to admit to yourself there’s a problem and it isn’t something to be fixed in a partner. It’s something you need to fix within yourself first. Then you need to be able to identify it and step away from anyone or anything that will bring you back to that self-destructive path.
You have to build yourself up in such a way that even when you’re tempted you don’t want it. Because you understand the effects it has on you.
I sat across a coffee table looking prettier than I had ever in the time he knew me. And he grabbed my hand and looked me deep in the eyes. He told me I never looked more beautiful. And the honest truth was I felt nothing for the person sitting across from me.
I think a piece of me would always love him and I think a part of me would always look for his better qualities and potential suitors but I didn’t want him anymore.
I looked at him and knew maybe we weren’t meant to be, in the forever sense I hung onto so long as an adolescent. There was a bitter sweet moment that came with that followed by a feeling overcome with peace.
And it was only after not getting what I wanted did I finally get what I deserved.
She’s bled from poor decisions that sliced her esteem wide open; and from unguarded boundaries being obliterated; and she’s bled willingly, because that’s what you do when people you love are anemic or have been hit by life—you give them your blood. Here, I have lots, it’s fresh and warm. I’ll make more.
She has gone through the eye of a needle, stripped, shed, pared down to the pure pith of her power.
The few people who have seen her so naked will never speak of that beauty to anyone else.
She knows that when people are ready, they’re ready, and they’re never ready before they’re ready. Still, she holds the light for your readiness, because she knows how sweet it is when the time is right.
She’s modest, but bold to the depths. She knows that initiations are waiting for everyone to claim them. Courage is key.
She’s asked people to leave her house because they were consistently rude.
Now, she asks after the first offense—she knows where things are going.
If you don’t respect her, there’s not much to talk about.
It’s usually a succession of rigors—rarely a lightning strike—that earns her the license to teach. Her lessons can be precise, like the diamond that cuts diamonds. Essentially-focused.
“She knows that playing nice perpetuates irresponsibility, but that kindness is wildly fertile.”
She’s mindful of the how and the who in her bed, because it’s always more than that.
She doesn’t spiritualize immorality, but she understands it. She has no time for excuses, but all the time in the world for intentionality.
She reveres accountability, which includes using the sword of justice, and singing operatic praises for things
done the good way—or even attempts at the good way.
Scarred. Faceted. Radiant. Wide.
She’s so tender she prefers to whisper about her true nature, or write a poem. Abstract. Protected.
When the initiated woman tells you that “everything will be okay,” you tend to believe her.
She uses compassion like a lever to see what’s really going on.
She applies willfulness sparingly, like gas to fire. (’Cause she is the fire.) She awaits, but gets on with things.
“She can tell you with calm and certain sympathy that love is the shortest distance between you and me.”
A couple of months ago I had another terrible descent into depression. I was doing too much and not letting myself have any time to relax. Now, I seem to be doing just fine other than a few isolated incidents.
I saw a therapist. He told me exactly what to do to get better, and I did it.
But the one thing he said to me as I was leaving has stuck with me more than anything else. I’ll never forget it. This principle has been critical to my ability to take better mental care of myself.
Depression is like a tunnel, not a cave.
Here are a few ways that this analogy holds true for those of us with depression.
1. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Depression is not permanent, and it’s not your fault, either.
Sometimes, all you have to do is just keep moving and you will make it through.
But whether or not you are moving, the light is always there. Through therapist visits, self-care, and medication when necessary, you can reach that light at the end of the tunnel.
Sometimes the light can be difficult to see, yes. These are the days that we have to admit and even accept where we are to be able to turn our minds towards the light that is coming.
This is one of my best techniques for coping with depression on difficult days. I just simply accept it. I treat it for what it is — a sickness. Like the cold.
I continue to live the day recognizing that I can only do so much, and at the end of the day what I’m experiencing is a chemical imbalance that I did nothing to cause.
And at the end of the day, I know that the light is going to be back again.
2. There are days of light and days of darkness.
And some days both.
Think of a train traveling through a mountain range. This train might go through multiple tunnels on its journey. Sometimes the tunnels are close together, and sometimes they are far apart.
There are days that we are happy.
Days that we are sad.
And days that we may experience these feelings and more, back and forth, all day long.
But just because you are experiencing happiness or sadness that doesn’t mean that days of happiness aren’t ahead. And days of sadness as well.
Remembering this fact has at least two benefits.
First, we can recognize when we are down that better days are always coming. We can learn to enjoy the journey.
Second, on good days it’s also important to recognize that we may be susceptible to a day of depression at any time.
3. Take in all the light you can when in the darkness.
Do you know what your eyes do when you are in a dark area? Your irises enlarge so that they can take in more light.
This is what it means to let your eyes adjust to the darkness. This is why you can see better after a little while of being in the dark — because your irises have become larger and are taking in more light.
If you were on a train that was in a tunnel, your irises would become larger the longer you were in the tunnel.
Your capacity to take in light would increase.
Teach your mind and heart learn to grow to take in more light when you are in darkness.
Whenever you are depressed, do whatever you can to take in more light. Literally, go outside and soak up the sun to increase your Vitamin D, which has been shown to be a key ingredient in mental health.
Exercise, sleep, a healthy diet, and solid boundaries are all at the top of the list for effective ways to treat depression without medication.
Start small though. I had to start with sleep because I knew that it was something that I actually felt like doing. We all know how hard it is to get up and get moving when we’re depressed.