How do I heal my relationship with my crazy back stabbing family!!
Ah, I love that question because it implies that there is some magical way to make your dysfunctional family functional through some 3 step or 12 step type program. So sorry to burst your bubble but for some of you, that may not be possible. Especially if someone in the family has a mental health issue like borderline personality disorder, bi-polar disorder or my personal favorite Histrionic personality disorder. Or if there is any kind of drug addiction involved.
So, in that case the better question would be “How can I learn to accept the limitations of my family and get my needs met in other ways?” Ahhh…a problem that does indeed have a step by step solution..mine has 5 steps to be exact.
In most cases acceptance of what is works better than “trying to get along” while living life on pins and needles with them waiting for the next explosion. Here’s my 5 step strategy and you have already heard the last step.
- Acknowledge what you are dealing with: If it’s addiction, call it addiction and don’t try to explain it away with “he just gets mad sometimes” uhg… I hate that one.
If it’s a mental disorder like Bi-polar, you may not know the exact label but acknowledge “mom’s not right and she behaves irrationally sometimes and/or she has a creative relationship with the truth.” No prizes for sugar coating anything here.
- Get some replacement family: Often friends or even distant relatives can offer more support than your family of origin might be capable of. If your circle of friends or mentors is not wide enough, it’s time to go shopping for some new friends.
If this is hard for you try saying to the universe “I am now accepting applications for the position of…(mother figure, father figure, new BFF-whatever you need) and see what shows up.
- Create hard boundaries: If you must have interaction with them… let’s face it you likely will, figure out what rules you need to put into place for your own emotional safety. Things like, not giving them money, conversations by email only, or just limiting the conversations to a certain time limit…I love a good 5-minute rule.
- Work on your own issues with them: Professional counseling is a great tool, I highly recommend it. I also know a good hypnotherapist (hint Its ME!) And there are about a million books on how to deal with family out there, I am sure amazon will sell you a few hundred to get you started.
- Acceptance what is: Maybe they surprise you and they become the kind, loving, supportive family you hear about on TV or maybe they don’t but that’s not anything you can control. Your job is to be honest and accept where they are, create your own support system and live your very best life. And love yourself no matter not nice thing your mom says about you to anyone who will listen. (Totally random example given of course)
But most importantly, know that you are loved and that everyone understands family is complicated. Did I mention you are loved? Also, valued and very important to the world.
Author of the books “The high Income Healer” “Tales from the Trance” & “Feed your Real Hunger”
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