Obesely Speaking

The brain and obesity

The Old Brain Says "Please Come Home for Christmas"

You don't want to go home for the holidays. They don't want you to come home. Yet, thanks to evolution and the brain, not going home is harming your health. Read More

poor advice...what if your

poor advice...what if your family is toxic, abusive, or alcoholics

thank you for your comment

My advice is to love them anyway. The task would be to find a way to not allow their toxicity to invade your mind. My mother was toxic and very abusive and when my father died, I took care of her in my own home for 10 years, the last 5 of which she was non ambulatory. She had many psychological issues, I learned as a child not to expect things from her that lay outside her scope of possibility. I see abusive behavior, substance dependance and toxic behavior as illnesses. Illnesses that are hard to deal with... but in my mind family and friendship is defined as "those who start funning in the door, when everyone else is running out." Leaving an abusive alcoholic alone is similar to me to leaving a person dying of an aggressive cancer alone. I don't believe in choosing which illnesses get compassion, and which do not. I do understand, like there are those who are not strong enough to visit cancer patients, there are those who are not strong enough to be with toxic alcoholics. Best of luck to you.

Toxic family should NEVER be cut lose?

I appreciate your advice to love toxic family members and find a way to interact with them while minimizing stress to yourself (and them too). I did that for a long time. Mostly by living far away. At least that way many of my boundaries were distinct without frequent hurt feelings and fights. But I made it a priority to keep in touch and visit.

But there are circumstances when loving should be done from afar, even with 'no contact' whatsoever. I found that out. I became the family scape goat. By the time I realized I was being lied to, lied about, accused of causing and doing all kinds of things present and past, it was too late. When I finally knew what was happening nobody in my family asked what my side of the story was. When I tried to tell it, it just didn't matter. Nobody listened. I have zero contact with my family of origin now. I was disowned by some, the rest I cut off.

The years since that happened have been hard. I coped by crying a lot, eating too much, and learning about personality disorders and psychology. This blog seems like a good fit. But really, sometimes contact with toxic people should end. Even if they are family. I still care about my family, but what good would it do to reestablish contact? I can love them from afar with less chaos, abuse, drama and fear. Even at this distance I'm afraid of what two family members might do to me or my kids if they could get away with it.

Thank you

Thank you for your response. You have to do what is best for you. I cannot say what that is. I can say one should never say never. So your point is taken. I stand corrected.

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Billi Gordon, Ph.D., is Chair of the Advisory Committee for Collective Concerns in Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

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