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Victim Blaming & Familial Emotional Abuse

Over the past two years I’ve watched as my husband gained the strength to take care of himself and his mental health, by ceasing all communication with toxic family members. A healthy, and positive, choice he made for himself, that has allowed him to heal and grow.

During this process, I’ve noticed that there is a very inherent problem in our society- defensive, reactionary responses to a victim setting boundaries. We need to normalize not telling people who’ve cut ties with their toxic family, that we “hope they can eventually get over it” or we “hope everyone can get along again someday”. We desperately need to normalize not victim blaming and guilt tripping when a person chooses to cut out toxic family members.

It’s not a matter of getting along. Abuse is abuse, and it’s not something anyone has to get over. It’s completely okay if they never talk to their family again, if that is the healthy solution for them.

How someone who has been emotionally abused and/or mistreated chooses to process and protect themselves is not for anyone else to decide. We need to stop pushing this “But they’re family” narrative and instead consider that someone just might be able to decide appropriately, who is damaging to their emotional well being.

Work on allowing people to set their own boundaries without judgement. Stop minimizing familial emotional abuse. The belief that we should be unequivocally committed to family no matter what, is harmful and unrealistic. It protects the abuser and dismisses the victim.

It isn’t “sad” when someone cuts off contact with toxic family members, implementing boundaries is a beautiful and healthy act of self care, and self love.

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