It’s Okay to Say Goodbye

I’ve read a lot of blog posts about toxic relationships and how to eliminate them from your life. Usually they are the trendy “How Too…” blog posts. Which, don’t get me wrong, are great and very easy to read because of how simple, yet profound, they are. Another common blog post about toxic relationships is the post that lay out all of the reasons why it’s perfectly fine to remove those individuals from your life, even if they’re your parents or siblings. To be clear, I think it’s very valuable to have these types of posts and I bet that they have helped a lot of people. The only problem I have with these posts is that they never touch on how incredibly hard it is to actually follow through with ending the toxic relationship with a family member. I have yet to read a post that openly states how excruciatingly hard doing something to that degree actually is for an individual. It’s really easy for these blogs to express to their readers why it’s okay to do something and why they think you need to do what they’re telling you to do – but they never address the biggest issue: overcoming the internal fear, regret, struggle, and mental repercussions of ending the relationship.

I understand

This post is going to share my struggle with eliminating toxic relationships from my life, especially one that involves an immediate family member. I’m going to touch on how hard it can be to even make the decision and follow through with it, how it’s okay to struggle and to be angry with other’s opinions, and how once you finally make the choice to end the relationship, it’s okay to simply just be okay.

To start, I’ve been struggling with this decision for years. It has been a very complex and complicated experience for me. I continuously toyed with the idea of ending the relationship, but it would always end with me feeling like I would be full of regret and angst later on in life. Someone very close to me battles from alcoholism but, like most, isn’t willing to admit to the problem. Not only will they not admit to the problem, they aren’t willing to see that if they were willing to get help and get sober, then most of their family members would stand by their side through all of the tough times. Unfortunately, this ultimatum has done no good and no headway has come of it.

The hardest part is feeling like you come second to alcohol – at least that’s the hardest part for me. Not only does it stink feeling like you aren’t as worthy or as important as booze, but the abuse that comes along with the alcoholism takes its toll on everyone involved. Like I said earlier, I’ve been scared that temporarily ending this relationship would mean that I will have major regret if they decide to get sober and our relationship rekindles. My biggest concern was that this very important person in my life was going to miss out on my wedding, first child’s birth, first big career promotion, or whatever the case my be, and then when they are sober I am going to be filled with regret for not “toughing it out.” But I finally realized that’s not my regret to carry, it’s the toxic persons regret and I can’t carry that burden for them. I should not regret putting my own mental health and wellbeing first, I should be prioritizing my own health and wellbeing instead of fearing the repercussions. It isn’t my repercussions to fear or face later on, it’s theirs.

They made the chose to choose whatever was making them toxic, you tried to help for however long you could. You did all that you could.

Other’s Opinions

I’ve been full of rage throughout the years trying to deal with, ignore, or address other people’s opinions about how I chose to deal with this toxic relationship. It has truly been a major pain in the butt. I mean, what right do other people have to tell you how you should handle your relationship with your mother, father, or sibling? They have absolutely no right, and their opinion is absolute garbage for that reason. I can’t let their righteous, ignorant opinions make me feel bad any longer.

They mean nothing for these very reasons:

  • They have NEVER experienced what you’ve experienced
  • They are not there day in and day out like you’ve been
  • They only know one side – which is generally the manipulators
  • They aren’t family and truly have no idea what goes on inside the walls of the home
  • They listen to the sob story of the manipulator and believe that you are being selfish for putting yourself first and not bowing down to the toxicity
  • They aren’t willing to step in long enough to find out what reality really looks like with the toxic person
  • They are only in the toxic persons life for a short period of time and typically, you’ve never met them – how do can they possibly have an opinion of your character if they’ve never met you? They can’t.

In my opinion, their opinions mean absolutely nothing and as hard as it is to ignore them, that’s what’s best. Trying to exit toxic relationships are extremely hard. I’ve received phone calls, texts, social media messages, and emails explaining to me that I’m a terrible person for giving up. They usually consist of someone telling me that I’m a selfish person for doing this to a family member, that I’m killing this person and breaking their heart for not being there, I’m the daughter so how could I turn my back on a parent? It has been extremely challenging to try and ignore the insults, harassment, and judgement from individuals that I don’t know. Thankfully, slowly but surely you learn that it’s for the best and none of their bullshit is worth your time, energy or emotion. You know what’s real and what’s not, never forget that.

It’s okay to just be okay

I finally, finally, finally, ended a toxic relationship with a parent. It has been the HARDEST thing I have ever done, and probably will ever do. I’m about to graduate college and this person won’t be at my graduation ceremony – in fact, I’m even leaving town to avoid walking at my graduation partially for this reason. I have been struggling with making the final choice to tell this toxic person that I cannot do it anymore for my own wellbeing and health. I’ve been trying to build up the courage over the course of months and months just to be able to tell them that I cannot continue this relationship unless they are sober and in rehab. As a daughter, saying this to a parent, I thought it was going to be impossible. But, I finally did it – tears (lots and lots of tears), angst, anger, sadness, and relief.

I’m doing okay. I am surviving. I am alive. In fact, I feel a huge weight lifted off my shoulders for finally cutting ties with this toxic person. I don’t feel scared or nervous about social events, tough conversations, or alcohol induced fights. If anything, I am anxious and ready for the day that we get to enter each others lives again, totally sober. I am so excited for when that day comes. That’s what makes eliminating toxic parents, siblings, or whomever out of your life worth it. Not feeling stressed or worried day in and day out. Finally being able to go about life without having to walk on eggshells. And hoping and praying for the day that the relationship rekindles on a healthy note. Even if the day never comes, you at least know that you did everything you could and the ball is now in their court. It’s on them to get healthy, to eliminate the toxicity from inside them, and it’s their responsibility to put their family first in order to fix the damage that has been caused.

I’m okay because I know that I have exerted all of my efforts. I have given all that I have and I have tried everything possible – multiple times – there’s no reason to feel guilty or embarrassed by making the choice to cut ties. I feel proud of myself, my growth, and my strength to finally be able to do this for myself. This choice is not selfish, this choice benefits both me and the other person. Whether they realize it or not, this might help make them realize that sobriety is the key to making all of us whole again. It’s because of those reasons that I am okay, and why making this choice was and will continue to be okay.

I know it’s hard, scary, uncertain, and intimidating to remove toxic family members from your life. I know that everyone is going to have an opinion about what’s right and what’s wrong. What you should do and what you shouldn’t do. But none of that matters, all that matters is what is best for YOU and what is going to make YOU the healthiest and happiest. Therefore, the right way to go about eliminating toxic people is your way. It is not my way, your best friends way, or a “How Too…” blog posts way. The only right way is the way that’s right for you.

#YouDoYou – The Bon

Full disclosure: I’ve been writing this post since October. I have been struggling with this post for months. I have been scared of going public with this decision, scared of finally finalizing it and making it a reality… I know the person whom I am referring to will end up reading this. I know that it is going to cause them pain – which breaks my heart. I’ve been scared of hurting them and potentially dealing with the harassment and judgements of others…. But I can’t keep protecting and enabling them. I can’t keep pretending I’m okay and that this relationship is healthy or normal. So, I’ve finally gained the courage. And if anything, I hope this helps someone else in a similar situation. If you think that you are the only one that struggles with these decisions or if you think you are the only one that faces these hardships, you are not. You are not alone, you are not selfish, and you are not an outcast for feeling this way. The struggle and the challenge of getting to this point helps make you stronger and should make you realize the amount of love you have for the toxic person. This decision is not you claiming you no longer love them or that you no longer care for them. This decision is you maxing out your love for them and trying to do what’s right for everyone, instead of continuing to enable their bad behavior and toxicity. This decision shows that you are strong.


2 Responses to “It’s Okay to Say Goodbye

  • You are doing the right thing! You have to take care of your heart and your mental when those you love arent willing or able. And I would agree. No one understands unless they are living in the house with you and even then everyone still interprets the events differently! Be strong and take care of you!

  • Meghan Fryer
    5 years ago

    I really needed this today. Thank you Bon. This hits home to me. <3

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