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Growing up, I was always told that family will always stand by you regardless of what happens and that friends should not be trusted. For years, I believed this statement.
Being an adult, I began to see things differently. Friends are considered as family and actual family members as enemies. Over the past year, my family members felt it was necessary to take my freedom away from me and accuse me of going off the rails simply because I was living with a bad influence AKA my cousin. My life consisted of going to work, going to the gym, and coming home. Very rarely did I meet my friends. Was I doing anything wrong? For months, one by one family members made me seem like the "bad guy" for absolutely no reason. I was heartbroken and still to this day, I feel hurt. I eventually moved backed to my parents' home when I finally realised why my family members wanted me away from my cousin. She is toxic!! She not only ruined her own life but is set on ruining everyone else's. A personal attack by my cousin made me question whether the last few years we spent living together was genuine. Looking back, I noticed how she controlled others to benefit herself. I was living with a narcissist and almost got trapped in her lies.
The family members I believed were attacking me were actually saving me and I hated them due to my cousin's influence on me. She made me believe she was supporting me but instead telling them lies about me so that everyone is held up on watching me rather than following her do the things she shouldn't do. A very selfish act!! I was blinded by the fact that she took me out for meals, bought me gifts, backed me up, always listened to my problems, and had a laugh every time we were together. I loved her and still do. However, there is never enough love to justify someone's bad acts.
Sometimes you can't tell which family members are genuine so below is a list I wrote of events that occurred for me regarding my cousin.
- She was acting as if she was superior to everyone.
- She showed jealousy when anyone succeeded but pretended to support them.
- When talking about her past, she always plays the victim.
- Very disrespectful to her elders but when she needed anything she was very sweet. (Taking advantage of people)
- Giving the incorrect advice to her younger siblings—essentially framing them.
- Talking about everyone behind their back before distancing you from everyone whilst maintaining relationships with everyone.
- Giving false hopes and pleasing the person she was in conversation with rather than stating the truth.
- Strategically waiting for events to occur to shift the blame on other people.
- Faking emotional breakdowns for attention and turning every situation as an attack on her.
- Overly confident in everything she did and secretly finding out information to use against someone in the future.
- Supporting family members incorrectly and when the tables turn acting like she wasn't part of it.
The events listed above are only some of the actions I noticed. It may not seem serious but toxic people have a way of carrying out daily activities to harm people and making it look acceptable. Slowly, they succeed in destroying someone.
If you have a family member who consistently makes you upset and then knows how to cheer you up, or talks about other members to you badly but is sweet to them in person, RAISE YOUR RED FLAG!! It's the smaller actions over a period that go unnoticed, which contribute to the destruction of a person. Be careful and once you find out, WALK AWAY. Karma will pay a visit to them, one day or another.
A toxic person is not family but in fact an enemy. It is hard to walk away from family members who you have trusted and loved unconditionally. The heart will ache for a long time and may never heal but keeping a toxic person in your life will one day kill you. Keep the good memories with that person and move on. Be thankful to have noticed a toxic family member and live your life. Cry, walk through the pain, and come out the other side stronger.
Being family means you help one another during bad times rather than going against them. Within family lies loyalty, respect, and gratitude. Don't be blinded by the relationships formed by blood. Not all of them are genuine.
Thank you for reading.