How to cope with a dysfunctional family and remain sane yourself.
My birth family is dysfunctional. Very dysfunctional.
Last night around 11 pm I got a text from my sister demanding that I check email and reply to her email right away. I was already getting into bed and did not do that.
This morning I woke up and took a walk like I usually do. Then I came home and had breakfast. During breakfast at 8:10 am, I received another text from my sister, demanding that I read and reply to her email. This demanding text contained a threat to me personally in addition to her demand.
This is just the way my birth family is. My own mother does not even remember my birthday, nor have my siblings ever done that.
I replied to my sister’s text that her threat was unwelcome and that she should stop communicating with me until her anxiety subsided. I did not read her email.
Instead, I spoke with my adopted Mom about this. She gave me three things to remember when I deal my dysfunctional birth family.
- Don’t let others cause me upset.
- I cannot make someone care about me or treat me with respect.
- I cannot have a healthy relationship with everyone. I cannot control others’ decisions and how they decide to treat me.
My adopted Mom loves me for who I am. She treats me with respect. She cares about me. I choose to spend my time with her instead of dwelling on the issues with my dysfunctional birth family.
So if your family is dysfunctional and you wish to be a functional human being, remember the three things my adopted Mom told me to remember. Also focus on what is positive in your life.
Remember Philippians 4:8. Think about what lifts you up. Do not think about the things that bring you down and poison your mind and spirit.