What To Do When Family Hates You, A Black Sheep’s Memoir

Growing up is hardly ever a smooth sailing transition. Before you get to open waters, you’ve got to watch out for the riptides. Interestingly, for better or for worse, we’re not alone. That’s where family comes in. They’ve got your back. They are all you’ve ever known. They assure you that you can always feel safe with them.

But that’s not always the case now, is it? We live in a reality where life is never a one-size-fits-all scenario.

Going back to the topic of growing up, it is a journey that calls for tough decision making. There are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ choices. All that exists are the ones you make, and that calls for you to be wholly responsible for them. It is only natural that not everyone can agree with your wants and needs. It goes without saying that they just don’t see themselves in them.

In such cases, the right thing is hardly ever the best thing. This is the part of growing up where your perceptions of the people you once grew up with changes. You will begin to mould your own definition of the concept of family. And that’s okay. Change is the only thing that is constant, and family dynamics aren’t an exception to that.

Here are some things you could do when you feel hated by your loved ones. Let’s give you an idea on how to work through negative sentiments healthily.

1. Validate yourself

So it has been made clear; no one cares about the way you feel. Your cries and pleas have gone unheard. Not everyone is open to finding solutions. There are people who are intent on simply finding fault.

Upholding your thoughts and emotions is the first step to becoming emotionally independent. It won’t always be easy to accept the way you feel about people. Who could blame you? A part of you just feels betrayed. Perhaps time and time again.

Validating yourself isn’t about putting your needs before anyone else’s. A lot of people don’t get that. It’s about listening to yourself as much as you would cater to others. The one’s who say otherwise are only gaslighting you to believe that you are acting selfish.

Well, here is an interesting fact about gaslighters that you probably did not know about: They thrive on other people’s dependency on them. Hence explaining the authoritarian personality front they put up with people.

2. Burn your bridges

Nothing says “F*ck you!” harder than when the people you once thought you could trust the most start to turn against you in favour of their own ideals. When it comes down to choosing between sticking with one’s beliefs and accepting someone else’s, you may very well call that sunk cost.

Take your grievances with family in stride. It’s not that your ties with them are beyond repair. You are just outgrowing them. The circle of life continues with you starting your own family, or if that’s not your cup of tea, co-habitation and solitude.

Whatever helps you sleep at night, there’s got to be that understanding that things cannot and must not go back to the way things used to be, or the way things are. The possibilities are endless. With all the degrees of toxicity you’ve endured within a family, see into it that you wouldn’t have to live with that ever again.

No one is saying that you shouldn’t be seeing your folks again. That decision is entirely for you to decide. However, your relationship dynamics with them must certainly change. That includes with setting newer boundaries, establish your new responsibilities, and that your lapdog days are over.

3. Invest your time with other more important people in your life

Friends are the family you choose, so they say. When you’re the black sheep of your family, you couldn’t possibly resonate with this any more than you already do.

Yet it can be hard. When one comes from a home built on the foundations of discord and resentment, trust is a concept alien to you.

My advice would be to find yourself in good company. You’ll often know it when you see it. Relationships are a trial-and-error, and one’s ties with family is no exception to that rule.

Another part of growing up is by setting your own set of priorities. No one could tell you how to do that, because they won’t necessarily go through the lengths for you, as you would for them.

4. Hope for a better future

Your life encompasses a whole lot more than just your family. You can machinate your future so big that the people you once knew could mean so little to you. It’s all about knowing your own worth.

There are times in life where the best ‘F*ck you’ you could give to people are the ones that go unsaid. Be glad in knowing that there is a future to look forward to.

How ever your life will look like, that will be the time you get to determine who will be in it.

5. Limit your interactions with family

Why do this, you may ask? It’s because you simply can.

It always helps to be respectful, put on a smile, and turn your back away. Even when tensions are at its peak, the worst thing you could do is add more fuel to the fire.

Talk to them as you normally would; just don’t see them as often as you used to.

Everyone is the villain in someone else’s story. While we all hurt each other, you shouldn’t, by any means necessary, be the one to harm others.

As far as you’re concerned, you just want to keep your sanity. So, lock yourself in your own room, go out for long hours, or disappear into your other passions.

6. Bide your time

With each passing day, solidify your chances for a clean and decisive escape route. The general rule of thumb in life is to always work with what you’re given. Everyone has different tools and opportunities to work with because not everyone has the same set of problems.

Whether you are focusing on your career or education, the time and effort will pay off.

You can’t control the way people treat you, but you can decide on how you react to every given situation. Here’s a pro tip: Do whatever that helps you sleep at night. There is no better (and healthier) time skip than sleep.

7. Have someone to confide your problems to

Not everyone likes to admit that they need help, much less hear that suggestion from others, but it would do you good to at least consider it.

A therapist, or counsellor, does a lot more than just listen to your grievances. They shed light on what certain angles that you’re probably not seeing, correct what thought processes that are deemed faulty or inaccurate, and they may even offer coping strategies as you work your way to a healthier lifestyle.

Until that day comes, there is no shame in seeking for help. You may feel alone, but you don’t necessarily have to be. There is courage in looking for what’s best for you.

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