5 TIPS to Deal with a TOXIC parent while living together?

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 Let's get into this important topic because I received a question And it says, Hey Katie, I have a really difficult time with my parents and I'm just not really sure if you can shed some light on how to deal with parents, that are so toxic. 

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And I've gotten this question from a lot of people because Either A they are parents and B, sometimes we live with them and C, it makes it really difficult and we also love them and it's just so complicated.

 But I have a lot of helpful tips that will hopefully get you to a healthier and happier place and maybe even make the relationship better. 

How to Heal From Toxic parenting

And my first tip is to Get into Therapy and I know that may not be available to all, but I've also have done some videos in the past with better help. It's a great resource online for therapy. So that's something that if you can't access it where you are, maybe that's another way to gain access to therapy. But also, if you're in a school program, you can go to your school counselor and they refer you to someone, or if you are an adult and have a job. 

A lot of them have HR departments and you may have an EAP, it's called an employee assistance program which offers free therapy or you can call your insurance and get a list. 

There are a lot of ways to get therapy. So don't feel like it's impossible. Don't feel like it has to be expensive. A lot of therapists will work on a sliding scale, but it's just really vitally important that we get into therapy. So that we have a place to vent and to talk about all that we may be Going through and most importantly to get some support.

 And I know that a lot of people just say, Hey, get into therapy, It's really important. But just hear me out for a minute and I'll tell you kind of why I believe it is so important. I think therapy helps because the relationship is different than any other relationship we've had. 

How Does Therapy Benefit to Cope With Toxic Parents?

The relationship that we have a therapist is one-sided, which normal life isn't healthy but in therapy, it is so vitally important to make therapy work because the therapist is putting that whole hour or two hours a week or what, however, long you see them towards you and understanding you.

Which means you get to tell the story from your perspective? And there's no one judging you, and there's no one saying, No, that's not how I remember happening or I don't know. Your mom actually seems pretty nice when I see her. No one's back talking, you, no one has any perspective, a therapist only knows what you tell them and that can be really healing.

 Not to mention that a therapist isn't going to yell at you. They're not going to lash out. It's not a scary place; it's not a romantic thing. It's, it's a very benign healthy happy conversation you can have in this safe space free from any judgment or anger. And I know that that seems really crazy, but if any of us happening in therapy for a therapist is angry or anything like that. That means it's a bad therapist. I have a whole video I'll link in the description about how to know you're seeing a bad and a good therapist. 

We make sure you get put with the right one, but Therapy can be healing because that relationship is different. And so, just trust me when I say it's really important and I honestly believe therapy can help any of us. 

But if we have a really toxic parent or even, just a toxic family environment, having a space that is ours where we can talk about how we feel and how these things are affecting us, can be really, really healing. So I encourage you to do it today. Reach out speak up and get the help that you need and deserve. 

And my second tip is Set An Uphold Boundaries. Now I know a lot of you are going to say, hey my parents won't respect them and they'll step over them and it's not even worth doing. It's always worth doing and here's why?. Boundaries in a perfect world would be something that we'd be able to communicate to another person and they would respect it. 

And they would uphold them with us and they would understand. But in a toxic environment, it's important because it protects us, as the person setting up the boundary. Let's say we have a really abusive whether it's emotionally, physically sexually, doesn't matter parent, in our life, or just toxic just coming in and telling the shitty things about ourselves, which is really emotional abuse by the way. 

But if they come into a room and do that to us, maybe we study at a friend's house, maybe we stay at the library at school. I would limit the amount of time that you spend at home, and then I would look into maybe getting a lock on my door. If it's okay, I don't want you to be in an unsafe.

 I don't want to create a more unsafe environment for you like physically or emotionally. But I would spend the least amount of time around them and I would try to communicate as much as you can to what, you know, safe is for you. 

But that you, you know, wish that they would talk to you this way. Or it’s really hard for me to communicate with you when you yell or whatever you can say to start letting them know what's okay, and not, okay for you. 

And I know that that doesn't work in every scenario, but boundaries are always important. Even if the boundary is I'm not going to be at home for more than two hours at a time unless I'm sleepy because it's just too much for me. 

Or I know when that one parent gets home and I can leave, I can join that one club that meets at that time and that will get me out. I mean, there are a lot of things that we can do to minimize our time. If we don't live at home, it can be. I'll only talk to my mom or dad, whatever parent it is when it's on my terms.

 And so I'm not gonna ever pick up the phone when they call, it's only when I call. And that's just the boundary, I’m gonna set up because when they call, they're always yelling. I don't know what it is, but you're gonna have to take some time to recognize what is upsetting to you. Because boundaries our body tells us when someone's crossed our boundaries. 

It usually makes us really uncomfortable, we can get really rigid or we can shrink down it can we can physically feel when boundaries are crossed. And that’s why start paying attention to that. 

Start noticing what it is they do or say, or what things they said in motion with other people in our families that we find so upsetting, and then I would minimize the amount of time that you're engaging with that kind of behavior. 

And find ways that you can kind of distance yourself from it. And it all depends on whether you live with them or not, but you can figure it out. If we don't take care of ourselves first, we're not gonna be able to engage with people in a loving healthy way. 

So don't let that one person in your life take that from you. It’s Okay to set up healthy boundaries. And if they earn trust and respect back, we can you know, alter the boundaries as needed. 

They're living breathing things that we can change as we go. But we're going to need to protect ourselves first. And so recognizing when they're overstepped, how we feel, and then placing them and upholding them and communicating them as much as we can whatever keep us safe is really important and imperative when dealing with a toxic parent. 

And my third tip. Save Your Money And Get Out. If we live with them, I know this only pertains to if we live with our parents but I know that a lot of you told me you do and you can't get out. Save your money and get out. We have to keep ourselves safe. And I know a lot of you are like, well, my siblings are still there. 

I know this is hard, but you don't have to keep dealing with the emotional abuse or the physical abuse, or just the toxicity of your family to protect your siblings.

 I know that's hard but they're on their own and you're on your own. Yes. If you get out you can have them, come live with you if you can afford it, but we just need to get you out. 

You Can Also Read These Resources on How to Deal with toxic parents-10 tips for coping with dysfunctional, alcoholic, or toxic parents

And also think about the kind of if you're the oldest child in your family, you're like a role model and you're showing them that it's okay to speak up and get out. That Family life isn't healthy. Because we don't want them to think that that's normal and something they should strive for. We want them to know, it's not, okay? And so in a way by leaving you're actually showing them that they, you know, that you can be courageous. 

You're demonstrating all the things; you’re hoping that they will do too. And so save your money. Get a part-time job. This could even be moving with another family member or a friend get out as soon as you can because the longer we're gonna toxic environment the harder and harder it is for us to tear ourselves out of there. 

And the more we start to believe all the negative nasty things they say about us. But trust me they're lying, they just feel shit about themselves, and it's overflowing onto you. 

You don't have to take it. So, save your money and get out as soon as you can. 

And my fourth tip Is Figure Out What You Want From The Relationship. You not anybody else. Not what Society says, a relationship with a parent should be like, not what your friends have with their parents, not what you've seen before. 

I want you to consider what you want and what you need from that relationship. Take some time, I would journal. I would you know go for a walk and just think about it, whatever helps get you, you to know, your mind is going in a safe place.

 I want you to just consider what you need. And then, maybe write a letter that you don't send to them or maybe start journaling about how it feels to recognize what you need from them. 

And maybe that's upsetting, maybe you're upset about how much you need from them or how little you need from them. Give yourself some time to kind of process it through and recognize this. And then the second step is to take what you need and want from them, and I want you to compare it to what they're able to give. And I know this is hard and I would actually recommend this part be done with the therapist because it can be really sad and it can be really hard.

But it can also be something that you do on your own. I would just encourage you to take the time to do that because often we have these expectations of what a parent should be and what it should look like, but this is what they're able to give us. 

But then this is what we may need. And so we're going to have to find some middle ground where there are certain things that they are able to meet. Like maybe we just need to have some kind of relationship and that means that we need to call our mom or dad every two or three weeks for just like 20 minutes because we just can't cut them off.

 We're going to figure out where we can meet in the middle because there is going to be that middle point. It's going to take us a little while to figure it out. So that's why we start with what we need from the relationship. 

And then we talk we consider what they can actually give us and we try to kind of meet in the middle in a place that feels okay where we won't be constantly disappointed or put in a toxic environment. But we're all so, you know, cultivating the relationship that's important for us. And just take some time. It's all about you and what you need nobody else. 

And my fifth and final tip Is Get Other Support. Whether that is a therapist and I was my first tip was to see a therapist, but that could be a therapist.  But I'm also talking about other friends and other family members. Maybe you have another family member who also agrees that that parent is a total jerk, and they don't like them either. It might be good for you to have someone where you can talk to about it and they also know the person. So kind of gives you a little place to commiserate about how terrible it is. 

But if this toxic parent is an alcoholic or a drug addict, there's also Al-anon or a lateen, which are free support groups for family members of those who struggle, who have addiction issues and that can be really, really helpful too.

 Even if you're not comfortable, speaking up in a group setting, it can just be really healing to hear somebody else share their story. And you can see some of the similarities to your own. 

And it kind of just reminds you again that you're not alone and nothing's wrong with you. And I know people are always scared to join groups, but it can be the most healing when it comes to addiction because addiction affects the whole family.

 So, just make sure that you're getting additional support, whatever that can look like for you. Maybe it's groups at school, maybe it's joining, I don't know, going to meetup.com and joining another group over there or maybe you join like an intramural sport.

 Just make sure you have other things going on that. Keep you busy. Keep you out of the house if you live with them and give you new support systems, new friends, and people around you that you can talk to about all you may be going through.

 Because I find overall, the more we talk about something the less power has over us, the more we keep that toxic parent a secret and think that it speaks poorly to us the more it's going to affect us.

 And so I would just encourage you to start sharing with those you trust and love. And start talking about it more and more until it loses any of that emotional power over you. Because that's really what the whole process in therapy is about is to get us to talk about something and to express what's going on without having any emotional charge for us.

 And so the sooner we can start doing that the sooner, we'll start feeling better. I hope you found that helpful. I know so many of you are stuck with toxic family members and stuck in homes, where you just feel trapped. 

But know that you're not stuck forever and we can get you out, hopefully, these tips those five tips kind of help set things up for you and give you a perspective and some you know next steps you can take to work towards a healthier and happier life.

Dealing with Toxic Parents | Kati Morton

 

 Signs you might have a toxic parent include:





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