Like a lot of people, I have focused more on my family and extended family more than I have focused on myself. Not only do I focus on my kids and my husband, but my siblings, my dad, my nieces and nephews.
It started when I was a child and was told on many occasions that I would grow up to be a snobby, disloyal person that would care more about taking my dog to the vet than attending a funeral of a family member. This was told to me from a young age from my mom and my siblings that I would basically become so successful that I would look down on people.
I spent most of my life trying to disprove this. I was always there when I was needed. I babysat when asked. When I went to college, I would come home for the summer to help my family. One summer I spent money I received from my internship buying my sister and her kids food and on gas driving them back and forth to school.
When my sisters needed money I tried my best to get the money. I wanted my family to be alright and I did what I could when I could.
On the flip side, I never felt there was anyone out there to help me. When I needed things or support I didn’t have it. It led to my depression and hopelessness. I looked in all the wrong places for that help. I took all the bad behavior and swallowed my pain to help them despite how it affected my health.
When I was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder and really understand what that meant, I realized that stress and not sleeping would only make things worse. I have lots of family. I have lots of blood relatives but the circle that surrounds me is very small. I spend a lot of time blaming myself for that. It was my social anxiety disorder that led me to distance myself from people and guard myself. Maybe it was my fault that was not close with a lot of my family members. I know that there are times I have backed off by choice.
Then something happened. I became fed up. My older sister decided that despite all that I have done for her I was expendable. She lives in a world where she is a perfect mother and has her life together and anyone that says different is judgmental and trying to bring her down. Despite the fact that I took in her child and worked my butt off to make sure she had an amazing life. Despite the fact that I let her take advantage of me she still only cares about herself and no one else.
My brother spends his life using and abusing people and decided that I was expendable and threaten to come to California and beat me up. He called my kids ugly and that he was done with me all because his girlfriend at the time had money he wanted to exploit.
I was finally fed up with letting myself be used and abused. Words were expressed and I realized that my choice to distance myself from my family was for my own self preservation.
When I was younger I had no choice but to subject myself to unjust treatment of certain people my life. As an adult I had other responsibilities and obligations. I felt cursed. I felt cursed with empathy. I have spent my life absorbing the emotions and the pain of others and it has ruled my life.
If I am to get better, I have to remove the toxic people from my life. No matter if the toxic behavior is coming from my family or from friends. I have three kids and a husband that need me and need my time. I love all my family but those that are trying to harm me or disrespect me and my family need to go.