One thing (some) toxic people love to spout is “faaaaaamily” and “blood is thicker than water!”
Fun fact: That is not the correct usage of that phrase. The actual full phrase is “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.”
It means EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of what people think it does. It’s basically saying that the blood shed in battle bonds more strongly than simple (and unchosen) genetics. It also has evolved to mean that your family of choice — those you CHOOSE to have around you, those who build you up instead of tear you down — is a stronger bond than a family of origin — those you had no choice in being born into.
To be 100% clear here, I am extremely lucky and grateful to have a wonderful, supportive family who I’d go to battle for in an instant. I recognize just how lucky I am.
But I know people and am acquainted with many more who are not as lucky as I am and who feel obligated to stay in contact with toxic people who bring them down and stress them out simply because they are related.
So, let’s say it again for the people in the back — and anyone who might need to hear this today:
You do NOT have to keep toxic people in your life. It doesn’t matter if they are related to you. You deserve respect, compassion, and reciprocation in EVERY relationship in your life.
Yes, even from your parents.
There is an interesting and wonderful shift in that relationship (or there should be) as you go from childhood into adulthood and beyond. Your parents become advisors, bystanders in your daily life.
I still get some advice, a lot of love and support from my parents, but as I have built my own separate family, parents and grandparents naturally become “extended family.” Which is not a bad thing!
As my stepdad says, “If you do your job as a parent right, they leave you.”
And as the famous saying goes, “If you love something, let it go.” Because those strong bonds don’t disappear. I adore my parents and my gramma. Just because I no longer see or speak to them daily, I still have a very strong relationship with all of them. But it’s a very, very different relationship as a 33-year-old than it was when I was 15, 18, or even 21.
I don’t know if you needed to see this today, but if so — I hope it helps.