10 Signs You Have a Toxic Mother, Father, etc.

People often come to me for help with this. Instead of always typing the same answers in an email, I decided to make it into a blog post. So here is my advice to them, and you…

TOXIC PEOPLE ARE NOT FIXABLE SO DON’T TRY. The way toxic people act is because of an internal struggle they bear inside of themselves but is taken out on those around them, or their target.

It is not your place to “fix” them, and they often have no idea why they feel the way they do, do the things they do, and hurt the people they hurt. Yet, they continue to do it; this in no way makes what they do justifiable.

There are also those toxic people with personality disorders who understand what their heinous words and actions do to others, but find their behavior defensible. Of course, it never really is, but in their minds, they will always find a way to justify the means.

Toxic individuals are aware of the chaos they create around them. Some do so intentionally, others may be good people who do not know how to exist in the world without forcing others (you) to compromise their (your) happiness to their infliction.

Toxic people create drama and live in a world of negativity. They are essentially addicted to the drama – the negativity – the toxicity. When life is calm, it is disorienting so it doesn’t last long. Creating an argument, or turning a tiny issue into a huge verbal battle, is sure to bring their unhappy world and mindset right back. SO, take a hard look and decide for yourself if you can tolerate their behavior for a lifetime – because it will likely never go away… OR if its time to make your own well-being a priority.

This may mean that you distance yourself from this person by spending less time with them, not sharing personal information, or disconnecting entirely – temporarily or permanently.

YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO CREATE A HEALTHY (& HAPPY) LIFE FOR YOURSELF and there will come a time when you say, “enough is enough.” You are a person who deserves to be treated with love and respect. You cannot possibly grow if the sunshine is always being snuffed out by a raging storm.

You will not love yourself or live a positive, flourishing life – a life you absolutely deserve – in the wake of a toxic person who purposefully hurts you and keeps you from true happiness.

TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT YOU ALLOW: these toxic individuals often manipulate, lie, are passive-aggressive, hurtful, or physically abusive, yet continue to act this way because you allow it in your life.

What are you doing to stand up for yourself and to stop the way they treat you? How do you react when they disrespect and hurt you? What is the toxic person’s reaction when you choose to stand up to them? When you confront a toxic person, do not expect it to go smoothly. 

Because they often take your distance as a personal attack, an insult if you will, or rejection, you will often see manipulation at it’s finest. A family member will often play the victim and try to corral other family members against you because they feel you have hurt them. They may use their emotions to influence other family members and isolate you, and they may treat you harshly in return. It is common to expect lies, victim stories with you being the “bad guy”.

Toxic people will often flat out lie about what you have gone through and why you are disconnecting from them. They will usually make up new stories to disarm your interpretation of the truth and will seek to redirect the indictments they feel you are accusing them of. Again, to make them appear to be the victim.

The things the toxic person says, what those around her will say to you, and accuse you of may make you feel like the crazy person. Know that the redirection is just another manipulation to make you question the validity of your claims, recollection of your account of events, and even question your own emotions. You may even feel that you are crazy, overreacting, or dramatic.

Do not question yourself. You have every right to stand up for your well-being, for your emotions, and for your sanity. It does not matter if it’s a family member or a friend, you do not have to tolerate toxic behavior when it affects your well being.

NO KIND OF ABUSE IS EVER TOLERABLE. Anyone who physically hurts another is likely breaking the law and there are consequences for their actions. If someone if emotionally manipulating, bullying and abusing you, know that you deserve better and that it’s OK to let go and walk away – whether from your parents, siblings, adult children, or another family member

No amount of love, forgiveness, guilt, grief or prayer will fix a person who is broken and purposefully hurting another (you) because of the rush they get from inflicting chaos and pain. The person you need to save is yourself.

Practicing self-love and self-care every day will feel like a new concept, but over time, you will see and feel it was the right step towards a new and fulfilling life.

The time it takes to heal from walking away from a toxic person may be swift but other times, it can take years and cycles of anger, grief, sadness, relief, and finally contentment. The human mind likes to know “why” but trying to find the ‘why’ to the actions of a toxic person is usually a fruitless journey. It is one you will inevitably try to figure out for yourself, but in order to let go, you must be okay in likely never knowing those answers. Don’t give your personal power to trying to figure it out, that only serves to prevent the healing of your “scars”.

They have no justification for the way they are and the things they do and cope with the fact you aren’t like them. Are you prepared to let go – temporarily or permanently – and are you prepared for the fallout from potentially other family members or friends? How do you know when to walk away from family? Are you ready to start letting go of family?

Will you be able to continue to remind yourself that YOU are valuable when you are cycling through the stages of letting go? When you feel like giving in and picking up (or answering) your phone, can you be strong enough to know that the journey is long and hard, and each time you want to give in, it WILL get easier?

The way you feel is important and, if this is the journey you choose to take and in all the loneliness and heartbreak of it, know that you are not alone – there is support. More importantly, there are so many people like you who have chosen to be incredibly brave and embark on the path of their own happiness, just like you.

TOP 7 REASONS PEOPLE TERMINATE RELATIONSHIPS WITH FAMILY MEMBERS:

1). When the relationship is based on any kind of abuse, mentally, physically, sexually, verbally, or emotionally. When the relationship is based on manipulation, overt, or covert, you can be sure you are being used and abused. When you are living in constant anxiety never knowing or being able to predict how any engagement is going to turn out, it is time to love yourself enough to let go.

2). When the only contact you have with them is negative. The contact you have with them serves to bring you down, put you down, and/or make you feel you are not good enough, or you haven’t done enough for them.

3). When the relationship creates so much stress that it affects the important areas of your life at work, home, or both. When your emotions are totally caught up in defending yourself and wanting to explain yourself, and the chaos of your relationships with these people is all you talk about, it is time to let go.

4). If you find yourself trying to right the wrong’s (gossip they told about you), and you are constantly being ostracized to the point you lose sleep over it, you have been poisoned with their toxicity. Gossip only serves one family member, the one telling it. Yet you can be left feeling defenseless against the false beliefs about yourself. There is usually a ring leader gathering the troops for the assault and because they are joined together, you begin to wonder whether it is you who has or is the problem.

5). When the relationship is completely all about the other person and there is no real reason why the other person cannot make any effort toward the health and maintenance of the relationship with you. One-sided relationships are set up for your failure. When you realize there is never going to be an “enough” place for you to reach in the relationship, you need to let go and start to focus on your own healing. Remember you should never be more invested in someone’s life than they are.

6). When and whether the relationship is only about borrowing, or needing money.

7). When crazy-making, no-win games dominate the relationship (ie: silent treatment, blame-games, no-win arguments that spin around on you), there is no point in continuing in this battle. Verbal warfare is never the place you will convince them of anything and these kinds of verbal interactions are set up to be their way or the highway.

One CLASSIC sign of a conversation or piece of advice going nowhere is when your well-intended help is met with “Yeah, but…”. 

10 SIGNS YOU HAVE A TOXIC FAMILY MEMBER:

1). You Feel Sad And Down Around Them

2). You Feel Angry Around Them

3). You Don’t Want To Go See Them

4). You Find Yourself Having To Take Care Of Them

5). You Feel Drained Around Them

6). You Feel Numb Around Them

7). You Can’t Say Anything Right Around Them

8). You Feel Forced To Be Around Them

9). You Feel Unlike Yourself Around Them

10). You Feel Like They Control The Relationship

Unlike healthy relationships, which have highs and lows, and struggles now and then, a toxic relationship is poison to the people involved. The excuse of “being blood” or “being family” is no excuse. Families should be safe havens for the people within them, a shelter of love, hope, support, and affection in a vast world.

** BENEFITS OF LOW OR NO CONTACT? **

Aside from no longer putting yourself in the path of constant maltreatment, you will likely enjoy:

~~ A sense of peace (all the jitters of constantly expecting an emotional ambush will be gone.)
~~ A sense of empowerment (for the first time, you may be protecting yourself.)
~~ A sense of being a real grown-up (no longer having your life dictated by anyone else (ie: toxic parents)
~~ Freedom (to make your own choices)
~~ Holidays you can enjoy (without the drama, the demands, the painful interactions)
~~ A sense of being more authentically “you”
~~ A better use of time (in doing what you want)
~~ Growing more comfortable in your skin
~~ Discovering new facets of your personality which were buried under the toxicity.
~~ New fulfilling relationships with emotionally healthy people
~~ Joy in being untethered (emotionally)
~~ A voice that speaks the truth
~~ A voice that says what you don’t like, what you do, what hurts you, what gives you joy—all without fear of repercussions
~~ A better view of the world (and less feeling like the world is going to ambush you with its demands, pains, and abuse)

Some of these benefits will come immediately from putting a halt to the toxic relationships while other benefits, such as finding one’s voice and living without a notion of guilt, may take time and even therapy…

People who come out of deeply toxic relationships often have a form of PTSD, so the movement from feeling run over and emotionally exhausted to feeling happy can take time, patience, and support. Be sure not to rush it and to nurture yourself.

BOTTOM LINE?

Choose You. Choose Happiness and Peace. Choose Your Emotional Well-Being.

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Ms. Mozelle MartinFMHP, FHWE, PhD.

  • 35-year  International Forensic Handwriting Expert
  • Author:  What I Learned From Watching CSI
  • Contracted Forensic Mental Health Professional for Jails & Prisons
  • Creator of The Housecall Analyst forensic book series
  • Forensic Consultant since 2007 – FindMeGroup.org
  • Former Forensic Consultant – Criminal Minds TV show
  • Media Commentator for ABC, NBC, TruTV, Crime Watch Daily, etc.
  • Plantologist, Pianist, Photographer, and Artist

www.MozelleMartin.com

Are You a Yeah-Butter?

It started back in the 1990s when I received new Clinical Graphology clients. Those who said, “I’m going to try this program” were not committed.

Not only were these clients deceiving me (albeit unintentional), they were deceiving themselves. You see, when I heard them say, “I’ll try”, what I really heard was, “I am giving myself permission to not follow-through. I am giving myself permission to fail”.

Sure enough, those people did not engage with the process in the exact way they were instructed. In essence, they chose to fail, and then justified their failure by saying, “Well, I tried, but the program didn’t work for me.”

NO, YOU DIDN’T – YOU DID NOT TRY.

THE PROGRAM DID WORK FOR YOU – YOU DIDN’T WORK FOR YOU!

People who achieve their goals commit to the “I will” and “I do” types of phrases. As the saying goes, “Do or do not. There is no try.”

Have you ever been married before? If so, remember the time you got to the altar and expected your soon-to-be spouse to say “I do”? What if s/he would have said “I’ll try” instead? How confident would you have felt about spending the rest of your life with that person? That sure would show a lack of commitment, wouldn’t it?

So if you would not say “I’ll try” to a person you love and want to spend the rest of your life with, why would you say “I’ll try” to yourself? Don’t you love yourself more than anyone else? Well, whether you do or not is really irrelevant because either way, the only person you are guaranteed to spend the rest of your life with is YOU!

If you have never been married, have you ever dated or known someone who was emotionally distant or had a fear of intimacy or fear of commitment? It’s the same thing… when you entered into a relationship with that individual – whether as a friend or lover – s/he was behaviorally saying “I’ll try”. Again, how confident did that make you feel? I’m sure you would agree that also shows a lack of commitment.

Next, think of the old habits we try to integrate or replace with new habits.

How many times have you said something like this?

· “I’m going to try to eat healthier”

· “I really have to try exercising more”

· “I need to at least try to make more money this year”

· “I am trying to be a better listener”

· “I want to try….”

How many times have you failed? Probably more times than you’d like to admit.

WHY?

Because saying “try” gives you permission to not follow-through and to fail”.

So what can you do instead of saying “I’ll try”?

Commit to taking an ACTION STEP.

Maybe the action step is signing up for another self-help program, reading a new self-help book, or attending a powerful workshop. Whatever it is… go for it!

I know, I know… you’ve tried all of that before and nothing changed.

There are a couple main reasons for this:

(1) You didn’t follow through with what you were guided to do. Experts who create a program or write a self-help book tend to do so in a way they know works. If you sign up for their program or read their book, it’s because you want to change. That means you should follow it exactly as provided. If you don’t, please take responsibility and be accountable… it is cowardly and childish to blame the product or service.

(2) You aren’t quite ready for the change you’ve been trying to achieve. That’s totally okay… there will be more opportunities to try. What I mean is, you can hear the same thing over and over for years from various people and you may say “the timing was just not right”. In truth, the clock, days, weeks, months, or years that have passed you by has nothing to do with it. Instead, you are either ready or you are not ready but, until you are ready and fully committed to taking an action step and fully following the process, nothing will change.

So in the meantime, are you continuing to waste your precious time?

As Dr. Laura Schlessinger would ask, “Between now and dead, is this how you want your life?” I only ask that because excuses are abundant; there will always be something trying to sabotage your success if you allow it. It may be a person, lifestyle, finances, beliefs, doubts, worries, etc.

I know, I know… change is easier said than done. This is true. However, I would bet that you have known what you’ve needed to do for a very long time but found a way to distract yourself instead. When it’s something you want to do, you jump right in. But those are usually the fun or safe options, the ones that help you avoid your inner turmoil and pain. Yet, when it’s something you have to do – even if you believe in it – you dodge it like a bullet.

As long as you allow your mind to justify the excuses you come up with, you will continue immersing yourself in a bathtub full of self-sabotage.

I have a question…

Are you a YEAH BUTT’er ?

One of my pet peeves is hearing “yeah, but…”

Someone very close to me used to love asking me for advice. Every single time without fail, when I provided her with very realistic, affordable (usually free), and powerful options, she responded with “yeah, but…”

Last time she did this I responded with, “Are you asking me so you can actually reach out to these resources, or are you asking just so you can say “yeah but” to me one last time?”

Needless to say, she no longer asks.

So yes, there will always be reasons as to why you can’t, shouldn’t, won’t succeed, should wait for a bit, or should just give up. But if you continue this way, you are inviting more of the same into your life… the very things you have been trying to change.

Now if the current situation is working for you… awesome. Um, but then… why are you reading this?

If you’re sick of someone always telling you “yeah but…”, get them this gift or the one below… maybe then they’ll get the message 🙂

yeah but

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Ms. Mozelle MartinFMHP, FHWE, PhD.

  • 35-year  International Forensic Handwriting Expert
  • Author:  What I Learned From Watching CSI
  • Contracted Forensic Mental Health Professional for Jails & Prisons
  • Creator of The Housecall Analyst forensic book series
  • Forensic Consultant since 2007 – FindMeGroup.org
  • Former Forensic Consultant – Criminal Minds TV show
  • Media Commentator for ABC, NBC, TruTV, Crime Watch Daily, etc.
  • Plantologist, Pianist, Photographer, and Artist

www.MozelleMartin.com