What do I mean by toxic relationship? There are a lot of different types. Someone can be…
- Physically abusive
- Emotionally abusive
I’m sure there are others, but these are the main ones I’ve come across. Your child, especially a special needs child, is the best reason in the world to put an immediate end to these types of relationships. Typically these are discussed in the context of spousal abuse, but it also applies to friends and family members as well. Here are some examples of toxic behavior…
- A family member hits your child out of anger for misbehaving with no communication as to what they did wrong or how to improve.
- A friend, angry that you no longer see them, tells you how lazy you are for not getting together more often. They are persistent and continue to put you down, even going so far as to accuse you of making up your child’s health problems to avoid them.
- A family member insists you make medical decisions for your child in the way they would like them made. They constantly seek information and even go so far as to call doctor’s offices to try and get information. They may even lie to the office staff about their level of involvement in your child’s care in order to skirt HIPAA regulations.
These situations are damaging to your health and your child’s. The energy spent dealing with them is energy you no longer have to spend on your son or daughter’s health condition. It’s not always easy, and it’s difficult to give specific advice on this because everyone’s situation is a little different. If you’re not financially dependent upon someone in any way, I wouldn’t recommend continuing the relationship. If it’s a particularly close relationship (mother, father, etc.), then maybe take some time apart as a break and invite them back into your life slowly when you’re ready. Maybe identify conditions to continued contact such as not butting in on medical decisions, not commenting on how poorly your house is kept, or leaving the discipline to you.
You deserve to be treated with respect. You deserve to be treated well. There is absolutely no reason to allow someone to abuse you or your children, physically or emotionally. You’re a grown adult. No one has any right to control your decisions and actions. Anyone trying to tell you otherwise isn’t worth the damage they cause in you and your child’s life.
No one who’s had to do this, especially with a close family member, will claim it’s easy. Gather as much support as you can while you’re making the break. Know it’s best for your child and don’t hesitate to send me a message if it helps. My thoughts and prayers are with you.