As a child, I didn’t have a normal upbringing like most other kids my age had. Whereas they had loving and supportive families, my family was cold and critical. They were completely toxic and treated me in ways that a child should never be treated. Sadly, I didn’t even realize at the time that all of this wasn’t normal.
It’s only when I grew up and saw how much I was struggling with simple things compared to everyone else that I began to see what the problem was. I know that I’m not the only one in this situation, and perhaps you can relate to it too. So, here are 5 hardships you’ll understand if you have a toxic family.
1. Being Overly Critical
You’re so used to people judging your every move. Every toxic person in your family did that to you every single day. Sadly, it can be hard to shake that sense of inferiority, even if you’re not around them anymore. Because of that, you’ve become overly harsh on yourself. You have a hugely critical inner voice that constantly tells you that you’re not good enough and that you’re doing everything wrong.
Living with toxic people all around you is one of the most stressful situations to be in. This is especially true in childhood when it can drastically affect your mental development. It causes intense trauma for the victims along with possible symptoms of PTSD. As a result, most people who have lived in this kind of dynamic have some kind of anxiety disorder. Unfortunately, because of your trauma, you’ve found yourself in the same situation too.
3. Difficulty Communicating
Toxic families all communicate in different ways. For you, it may have been that any kind of emotional behavior or affection was completely off the table. Similarly, it could have been that everyone in your family was quick to anger or also gave one another the silent treatment. That kind of upbringing shapes how you learn to communicate with the rest of the world. As a result, you can have serious issues with knowing how to communicate, showing emotions, and letting others in that can continue on far into adulthood.
4. Questioning Reality
You grew up on a battlefield. Being completely surrounded by toxic people that you have no choice but to love is completely traumatic and horribly confusing. Since you never really had someone to show you what was normal and what wasn’t, you’re still unsure about it. Because of that, you find yourself questioning reality and trying to figure out how to navigate the world all on your own.
Families should support each other. They’re meant to care for us, love us unconditionally, and support us throughout our whole lives. It only makes sense that if we don’t have that, we can begin to feel hopeless. Not having a normal family has left you feeling unloved and worthless. Likewise, you’ve begun to see the world as something negative and cold. You even find yourself feeling desperately depressed because of it all.
It’s beyond unfair that some people don’t have the families that they deserve. As well as that, it’s truly heartbreaking how much having a toxic family can affect someone. Your trauma ends up becoming a part of who you are, and it works its way into every aspect of your life. Most of all, it makes every single day a struggle.
To the person reading this who has a toxic family, know that you will get through this. You were strong enough to survive them and you are strong enough to keep surviving. Keep healing and learning, one day you will become a new, happier person.