This is a struggle for many in the survivor community. We are constantly reminded by well-meaning friends, and society at large that “family always comes first”
But, should it always?
“It’s a common notion that blood is thicker than water. Family is family. You’re stuck with them forever. But are you?
A lot of people — though they’re perfectly bright and independent — tend to accept this idea without protest, even though they’ve been plagued with family stress for years on end. I accepted it too… until I realized I didn’t need to. “
One of the lessons that should be required learning for many of us, is that even with family, we get to set boundaries. We get to decide how much, or how little, we interact with other human beings. Also, what I decide is the way I want to set my boundaries, doesn’t mean yours need to be the same. As Carly lays out in the article below, there are quite a few things to consider, but it is your decision, and you should always put your own mental health first.
In the end, if your family is hurting your mental health, it’s not worth it. You need to take care of that before you can consider what role you want to play in your family.
For too many abuse survivors, being told that blood is thicker than water when it was that blood who abused you, is down right infuriating. For others, who had parents who didn’t believe them when they tried to tell someone at a young age, or other family members who insist on them not bringing it up and letting bygones by bygones, the same thing applies. I’m not here to tell you where you need to draw boundaries around the people who are family, but not at all supportive, but I will insist that you draw a boundary somewhere. To not do so, is to not take care of yourself.