Healthy Family Estrangement?

Feeling or being cut off from family, and especially around holiday seasons can feel lonely and even embarrassing. We are bombarded by media images and political messages about the ‘importance of family’ and ‘forgiving and forgetting’. But what if spending time with our families feels toxic? What if we feel toxic spending time with our families due to the stress (which can last days and weeks on either side of a visit or simple contact) but continue to do so out of obligation, denial within the family system itself, or the public image produced through estrangement. Undoubtedly, our true feelings can be out of sync with messages all around us. Family estrangement often comes with judgment and shame — coming from others (sometimes our toxic families) and ourselves. This helpful article discusses ways for owning our decisions and reducing shame around reduced or no contact, (this exists along a continuum) — and in doing so, realizing we have other options for creating a life where we feel a sense of safety and belonging. Are you feeling trapped in an unhealthy relationship with your family? Trapped by obligations, poor self-esteem and judgment? Do you need support working toward a more healthy way forward? Get in touch. I am here to help.

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