Why Cutting A Family Member From My Life Was The Best Decision I Ever Made

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family portrait

By Tylia Flores

Keeping in touch with family members is always important, but sometimes it’s okay to let go of toxic ones. I recently let go of a toxic family member, and I am not regretting it at all.

A few years ago, I decided to reconnect with my older half-siblings since we didn’t get the chance to grow up together due to unfortunate circumstances.

At first, I was so excited to connect with all of them and feel complete. But as time went on I started to realize that having a relationship with them had a negative effect on me.

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Every time my siblings called, they would try to talk to me about things that made me extremely uncomfortable. Our father’s choice to be in their lives rather than mine caused fights and stress to the point that I began to have a negative view of everyday life and my mental health.

As a result, I cut them off, and I don’t regret doing so. Taking this step was the best thing I could have done for my health.

As a 27-year-old woman trying to navigate her career as a journalist, disability activist, filmmaker, writer, radio show host, and author, it relieved me of a lot of stress. I realized I was spending my time and energy on something that didn’t fulfill my interests — physically, creatively, and mentally.

It was important for me to realize that the way I was living was not sustainable. It was time for me to make a change and focus on my goals. In order to pursue my dreams and live my life to the fullest, I made more conscious decisions.

Cutting off my siblings was extremely challenging for me because I love all of them with all my heart in some ways. But I also love myself more, and I put pride in my self-love.

I took the time out to evaluate what was really happening. I looked at the bigger picture and I had to make that decision, as much as it hurt me and continues to hurt me to this day.

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I knew it would be beneficial to me. It was what I needed to do to move forward and better myself as a human. It’s like an athlete cutting weight before a competition. It’s hard work, it’s uncomfortable, it may even hurt, but it’s essential to reaching their goals in the long run.

By separating myself from my siblings, I gained a sense of control over my life. And the stress of rebuilding a relationship instilled in me no longer existed.

My shoulders felt like they had been lifted. I was able to see the beauty in life again and regained my energy. Leaving the past behind allowed me to move forward.

That’s why I don’t regret the decision I made. Ultimately, my whole life was better for it.

It gave me a sense of freedom and autonomy that I had been longing for. I was able to make new decisions for myself and become the person I wanted to be. It was a difficult but necessary path to take, and it enabled me to live a life where I feel respected, appreciated, and valued.

Don’t feel bad if you have to distance yourself from a family member for your own well-being. You only live once, so live it well and stress-free.

Do what you need to do to stay true to yourself and keep your mental health in check. Remember, it’s okay to take a break and cut off toxic connections. You can always strive for a better future and build bridges when you’re ready.

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Tylia Flores is an author, activist, advocate, podcaster, and writer for Unwritten and Digital Fox. She writes primarily about disability representation, mental health, and lifestyle topics.

This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.