Why do I feel responsible for my toxic family?

Discussion in 'Rants, Musings and Ideas' started by Witty_Sarcasm, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. Witty_Sarcasm

    Witty_Sarcasm Writer, Musician, Fun Lover, Magic Maker

    I feel like I have always been taking care of them, ever since I was a kid. I am the peace maker and basically I make sure they don't kill one another. My mom is always drunk and puts me and everyone else down, even sometimes while sober. She always needs to be the center of attention and to be involved in some sort of drama. I can't imagine how many times I have told her to drop and forget about something from the past, about me or another family member, or even a friend or a neighbor, only for her to bring it up once again.

    My mom told me I never do anything, but I do so much. If I didn't take out the trash, do the dishes, clean the house, even her own room, it would never get done because she never does any of it. I left her alone for a week once, and she couldn't even take out a single bag of garbage! The place looked like a trash heap when I got back there. Not to mention, she thinks that I am being influenced by "bad" people, and referred to my friends as "assholes" even though she knows none of them! I call it like I see it. I try to give her a reality check, but she gets offended. She says I'm not allowed to discuss my feelings with anyone. If I paint a less than perfect picture of her, that's a problem, but I only speak the truth. And it's not like I can talk to her about these things, because she just won't listen.

    So....why do I feel responsible for my family? I guess I would feel guilty if something bad happened to them, but that would be of their own doing. I can't imagine why I put up with it, unless I am just that defeated from years of mental/verbal abuse that I just accept it now.
     
  2. ThePhantomLady

    ThePhantomLady Safety and Support SF Supporter

    I'm sorry hun. Sadly that's often what a family like that does to you... but you can move on from it with some work.
    Would it be possible for you to distance yourself from your mother? By the sounds of this she is a very bad influence on your mood and welbeing. And you deserve to be treated better than that.

    While you feel like you are, you are not responsible for them. You are responsible for you, and they are for them. They are grown people now... and they should have know better.

    Do you have a therapist or similar you can work on these feelings with?
     
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  3. James5706

    James5706 SF Supporter

    Having read your post, It seems to me your mum resents the fact that you are very capable of "sorting" the family out, along with dealing with the daily chores of life. I would guess, that's all, or some of the things she clearly knows she's failed to be able to deal with. (rightly or wrongly)
    Putting your friends down when she doesn't even know them......, seems a clear dig at you for achieving all the thing she could not cope with.
    Maybe, an angry cry for help? Or self pity..... Either way, you are clearly very much needed and probably loved by the people in your family. So. Putting up with your "angry" mum may remain or ease. But either way, there are people who do love and appreciate you. If I were in your position, i'd concentrate making the people who appreciate you help happy. And as much as your mum puts you down, brush that aside and show her some love and attention.
    You're clearly a strong woman. I wish you all the luck in the world. :)x
     
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  4. Witty_Sarcasm

    Witty_Sarcasm Writer, Musician, Fun Lover, Magic Maker

    Yeah, I need to be able to break away from my family because I end up feeling bad most of the time. I need to realize I'm not responsible for whatever they do, because they should be able to take care of themselves by now.

    I don't see my therapist anymore, at least I haven't since last year. But I may need to go back there sometime.
     
  5. Witty_Sarcasm

    Witty_Sarcasm Writer, Musician, Fun Lover, Magic Maker

    It seems like she does resent me for being able to function somewhat normally. She could do that too, if only she got her act together. She keeps acting like her life is over, but it's not. There's always time to change it around. She is ok when sober, but gets a lot worse when she has been drinking.

    Thank you for the kind words :) Mostly I feel unappreciated by my family, but sometimes they can be kind to me. I have friends that I know I am important to, and I wouldn't want to hurt them or my nephew by giving up. So I guess those are big reasons why I am still here.
     
  6. Striking

    Striking Well-Known Member

    It is a horrible existence to live in a codependent relationship. You are hurting yourself and doing so for someone you will never be able to change. If you are unaware of what a codependent relationship is, be prepared to see yourself in the examples

    You may love your family very deeply, but you need to care for yourself first. This is a difficult thing to consider. You are not abandoning others, you are saving yourself first
     
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  7. Witty_Sarcasm

    Witty_Sarcasm Writer, Musician, Fun Lover, Magic Maker

    I agree with you completely. I think that other people in my family are co-dependent on each other, so I just picked up on that behavior. I am still learning to put myself and my needs first, because I have always had problems with that in general. I would rather help others than to help myself, but I need to work on that.
     
  8. Brian777

    Brian777 Safety and Support Forum Pro SF Supporter

    I can relate to this. Probably cause I see others problems as easier to fix than my own. Always been like that.
    Please don't neglect yourself, get away if you can, you deserve a better life.
    Brian
     
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  9. Witty_Sarcasm

    Witty_Sarcasm Writer, Musician, Fun Lover, Magic Maker

    I think it's sort of the same for me. Besides the fact that I feel I don't deserve as much as others for some reason. But thank you for your well wishes, I will try to work towards a better life :)
     
    Brian777 likes this.
  10. Brian777

    Brian777 Safety and Support Forum Pro SF Supporter

    I have low self esteem too, not sure where it comes from. I just know I spent a lifetime trying to help others, maybe to make myself feel better and never thought I'd be how I am now at 64yrs old. Time goes by so quickly. Take care of yourself :)
     
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  11. Witty_Sarcasm

    Witty_Sarcasm Writer, Musician, Fun Lover, Magic Maker

    I'm about half your age, but I feel I have wasted my whole life so far. But there is still time to turn it all around. I feel that no matter what age you are, you can always improve your life and do what makes you happy. Take care of yourself too, and I hope good things come your way soon :)
     
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  12. Striking

    Striking Well-Known Member


    Yes it is very difficult to free yourself. So much guilt to overcome. The feeling that you are a terrible person for putting yourself first.

    It's a very painful experience. But you have to do it. I know you are strong enough because you have carried them all for so long.
     
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  13. Witty_Sarcasm

    Witty_Sarcasm Writer, Musician, Fun Lover, Magic Maker

    I don't know if I am a strong person. Being a kind person seems to get me nowhere. I seem really lost in life, but hopefully I will be able to find my way.
     
  14. normaljoe

    normaljoe Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry to hear about your struggle. The mind of an addict is focused soley on itself. (judging by your statement she has a drinking problem) If the person is not center of attention then they are the direct victim of someone else. It is VERY hard to change this thinking. (work in psych/rehab). I would leave if I were you. I know the guilt may feel overwhelming but the first chance you get, leave. The family will devour you if you let them. I have my own toxic family, I no longer talk to my sister and have minimal contact with my mom. no one else. no cousins no aunts, no one. I dropped them all. You may feel alone at first but if you surround yourself with your friends (your best to judge your friends character) you wont feel lonely. Be brave enough to never look back. please do this for yourself. if you want to talk just pm me, I try to get on once a week. *hugs
     
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  15. Witty_Sarcasm

    Witty_Sarcasm Writer, Musician, Fun Lover, Magic Maker

    I am sorry to hear you also come from a toxic family. They can be really hard to deal with and make hard times even worse. I know I need to leave and keep contact with them to a minimum. I could make friends, but I usually get hurt, so I am starting to feel like I am better off alone, no matter how lonely I get.
     
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  16. normaljoe

    normaljoe Well-Known Member

    Alone is a poor place to be, you dont need a lot of friends, just a couple. :) i find distance is the best. I havent spent cristmas with my family in years. I either work or spend it with friends. Best holidays ive had thusfar. You will be fine! Dont let them make you out to be the bad guy, do what is best for you.
     
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  17. Witty_Sarcasm

    Witty_Sarcasm Writer, Musician, Fun Lover, Magic Maker

    I'm just scared I guess. It is scary for me to be alone, but also to be vulnerable with the chance of being hurt. I need to find a good space in between but not sure how to get there.
     
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  18. normaljoe

    normaljoe Well-Known Member

    Start taking steps towards independence, ie moving out or not giving them money or stop attending family get togethers ie thanksgiving or christmas (last one is prob not a good place to start). The point is as long as you start somewhere. If u feel like ur too alone, try friends first if u still feel too alone just call. You can pace yourself with this of course but ive found the quicker the better. Good luck! :D stay strong. Its always scary to shed something you are so used too. Even if it is something bad. Its comfortable, its what you know. But there can be so much more. You just have to believe in yourself and that what you are doing is best for you. <3
     
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  19. Witty_Sarcasm

    Witty_Sarcasm Writer, Musician, Fun Lover, Magic Maker

    I know I need to move out on my own, but the thought is scary. I was all alone for a week once, it was hard because I didn't really have contact with anyone. I don't drive so I am a bit isolated. It was scariest at night, but that's some irrational fear and I have it every once in a while. I need to try and get past all of those fears and just have the strength to make it on my own.
     
  20. DrownedFishOnFire

    DrownedFishOnFire Quieta non movere

    What about moving to an area with easy access to public transportation