If you have grown up with a family system that is terrified of separation, that places family above all else, the thought of taking a break can be both terrifying and wonderful.
It can be terrifying when you just think of the responses. You already know the tyranny of attacks that will be coming your way, the talking about you behind your back, the guilt tripping. Oh, yes, the guilt tripping!
It is often difficult to find the right words that will not upset people you care deeply about. Let’s face it, you can have ALL the right words and those people are still going to be upset. As a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) it was a big deal for me to upset the family. It was SO much easier to toe the line and be quiet. Until I couldn’t.
Sometimes the right thing to do for yourself is to take a break from a toxic system. You don’t always have to declare that is what you are doing, but sometimes it is kinder to be clear. The trick is to explain the situation without blaming anyone. As soon as someone starts to feel blamed, guess what the response is … yep … defensiveness.
Being able to express your needs in a clear and non-blaming way takes practice, but it can be learnt.
If you have been thinking about taking a break from a toxic relationship now could be the time. The potential gifts for you are:
- More authenticity
- Clearer boundaries
- Clearer understanding of the relational dynamics
- Feeling less triggered
- Having more perspective
One of the most potent ways to unpack toxic relationships is with a therapist. It is transformational and powerful work.
Good luck on your healing journey.
p.s. if you are working on your mother wound, I have a FREE “Heal the Mother Wound” e-book as a gift for you.