Fran’s old role in her dysfunctional, toxic family was to be the fixer, enabler and rescuer.  Her parents were an alcoholic and a narcissist.  They were incompetent at most everything in life except bullying and abusing the children, creating chaos and destroying everyone’s self-esteem.  Fran held it together for everyone while everyone ignored her hurts and her wants.  The rule for her was get over it and move ahead, which meant to give in, eat the pain and let them do it to her again and again.

Even when Fran became an adult and had her own family, her parents and siblings still expected her to drop everything and serve them with a smile, no matter how rude, abusive and taking her for granted they were.  If she resisted, she felt guilty and they twisted the knife; “Stop being selfish and arrogant.  Set a good example for your children.  Take care of us, your family.  If you don’t, no one will like you and you’ll die alone.”

Fran finally said, “No!” but they attacked her harder.
She said she was not playing her old role any longer.  Her parents told her she was responsible for ripping the family apart.  Her siblings said she was causing her parents too much grief, she should be a better person and overlook what had been done, she should rise above and keep the family together, it was her duty.

Fran laughed, agreed and told them exactly what she wanted.
Fran’s hurts and hints had been ignored.  Clearly they didn’t care about her feelings or boundaries.  This time when she was attacked, she laughed and said she knew that’s what they’d say, and she’d won a bet with her husband.  She was delighted to be the most selfish and stubborn of the children.  She was going to cause all of them grief because they needed the grief in order to grow.  They’d better get used to it.  She told them they were to blame for breaking the family.

They were taken aback that she wasn’t beaten into submission by their usual tactics.
She told them each exactly what they’d have to do to get back into her life.  And she waited.  She would not be the first one to approach.  After a while, some of them approached her with their usual name calling and manipulation.  She laughed at them, said that wasn’t good enough and hung up.

Fran’s husband and children cheered her on.
She was done with guilt and regret.  They started enjoying life together without Fran’s having to run off to be a servant to her toxic family.

Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation.  The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.

Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.

AuthorBen Leichtling