When you step into the new year, leave behind the negativity and anxiety that they cause you and make yourself your #1 priority.
No matter how much their words hurt you or how much they were able to manipulate you, you may have told yourself, "but they're family" and convinced yourself that they would change. For years, you may have told yourself that this the person who raised you, or the person you grew up with, or the person you share the same DNA with. But there's absolutely no reason why you should put up with a toxic relationship, even if it's with a family member.
This new year, put a meaningful New Year's resolution on your list to cut ties with your toxic family member. Here's why.
For as far back as your memory goes, you may have been letting this person override everything you say. They may have abused their power and made you sacrifice all your needs just to fulfill theirs. You might have felt like the relationship was always about them but it's now time to finally let things be about you. Let 2020 be the year where you are finally the #1 priority in your life, without letting the unreasonable whims and fancies of a toxic person holding you back.
You might still be able to hear those rude comments and insensitive words ringing in your mind even years later. With their mean remarks, they managed to convince you that you weren't good enough. When you cut ties with them, you might find that you're entering the new year with a crushed self-esteem. But you will walk through the year with a renewed sense of self and rekindling your relationship with people who truly value you. With the voices of verbal abuse finally shut away, you will finally be able to stand up for the kindness and respect that you deserve to be treated with.
Every single time you were in a room with them, you may have felt anxious and jittery, never knowing what they might say or how they might react. "When the relationship creates so much stress that it impacts the important areas of your life at work and/or at home," wrote Sherrie Campbell, clinical psychologist, author and radio host, for HuffPost. The moment you let go of the relationship, you are also letting go of the constant anxiety and stress. And the other relationships in your life will finally have the space to flourish.
Year after year, you may have carried the old scars of the toxic relationship with you. But this time will be different. Leave the pain behind and look forward to all the new beginnings that will come your way this year. When you let go of all the negativity that they fill your life with, you will finally be able to chase after that dream you've been putting off and spend more time with people who fill your life with love and positivity. Most of all, you will reconnect with yourself, realizing that there is so much more to you than all those flaws that your toxic family member convinced you of.
After being connected to them for so long, you might feel guilty about ending ties with them. One of the first steps is to "acknowledge that it’s abusive. You need to stop minimizing and denying the harm that your family member has caused," said licensed psychotherapist and codependency expert, Sharon Martin, who wrote for PsychCentral. Martin also suggested giving up "the fantasy that they will change." It may even have been fear that kept you in the relationship for long, but you deserve to have healthy emotional well-being that's free of emotional and psychological abuse.
"The only way to heal is to remove yourself from the abusive relationship," wrote Martin. When you walk away from the toxic relationship, you will finally start believing in yourself and build yourself back up. You can always consider seeking professional help to get you through the process better. By doing so, you are taking away the power that the family member had on you and reclaiming it. As you stand at the threshold of a brand new year, waiting to step forward, let go of the emotional baggage that's wearing your shoulders down and walk into the year with a lighter heart and a happier soul.
Disclaimer: This article is based on insights from different sources. The views expressed here are those of the writer.