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When Our Family is our Trigger

Often times I find myself in awkward situations due to the fact that at times my own family causes me major distress. Growing up I resented the picture-perfect families portrayed on the television sets- the ones who would sit around the dining room table and hold each others’ hands saying grace over a lovely home cooked meal. My family, like most, is made up of loud and obnoxious members who argue and cause scenes where they’re not supposed to and everyone has their own role. Nevertheless, in a more serious aspect, when it comes to the wellbeing of an individual, some family members’ actions are so negative that they often cause us to feel lingering negative effects. Some things that have been useful for me throughout these difficult situations have been using grounding techniques to help me stay in the present moment as well as simple avoidance of the person who triggers me.

5 Replies to “When Our Family is our Trigger”

  1. VRuiz says:

    Those picture-perfect families on tv are rarely anyone’s reality. I try not to get consumed in that false ideal of what a family “looks like” or what its “suppose” to.. b/c every family is different but I def see how that can make you feel some type of way. My fam is the same way and quite frankly, I’m embarrassed almost always. I’ve watched words turn into fist fights and I’ve also seen my family gather in prayer for strength. There’s always good times and bad times… but that’s what makes our families so unique… the way that we interact, the way that we handle things, and the way that we come together.

    There are def those fam members that have done more harm than good.. even to a point that they’re no longer allowed at functions or have caused people not to ever speak to one another again. I feel like sometimes FAMILY will do you the worst… & in the end, the obligation to help them or to stick around, will always be there until they really do something that can never be forgiven.The fact that they’re fam makes it so difficult b/c where do we draw the line.. how many times can you extend yourself until you realize your fed up or just drained. I’m with you Luz, I too use the avoiding techniques and even sometimes seclusion. I find myself straying away from certain gatherings just b/c I’m too exhausted to deal with it all. But, I know I need to talk about it more and I need to extend the convo to everyone in my fam in order for things to get handled… and more for me to be comfortable.

  2. Luz.Feliz says:

    I greatly appreciate your response and in particular your phrase stating “where then do we draw the line?” Quite frankly, I do not know what that is for me anymore. I love my family, but at the same time I knowingly understand that they are the major cause of my pain, my hurt, my struggles. I would do anything for them, but yet to move forward and get better I do have to put distance between certain people in order to be successful and begin healing. At times, problems within families are worse than problems amongst strangers.

  3. Sara says:

    I definitely get that feeling of wondering what it would be like to be that family that is picture perfect, but when I’m in that mindset I forget that relationships are way more complex that a simple photo because the truth is everybody’s got something. You know I’ve had some really hard times with my family and the hardest part about being angry with them was the fact that I also still loved them so much. I’m so grateful that our relationships nowadays have gotten soo much better but it was a long and often painful process.

    I also really noticed that the more I took care of myself and tried to be a better person, the improvements in how we interacted really got better. But it is so so important to try not to have expectations of how if I’m changing they should be too. The truth is it is far from perfect but I’ve learned that focusing on myself effects more than just me.

    It’s great that you are able to take a step back and trying to see what is the healthiest thing you can do for yourself, because your mental wellness is #1!!

  4. Luz.Feliz says:


    I whole heartedly appreciate your response to my post, and I can honestly say that it really spoke to me. The part that really stood out to me the most was when you mentioned how throughout your own experience you came to notice that focusing on yourself and being a better person was what led to you seeing the improvements within your family. I find that statement to be so powerful because of how much merit one person can have by just believing in the power of change and restoration within themselves. Belief in oneself is an amazing thing. Thank you for your post!

  5. Amily says:

    I love my family but I do better when I don’t live with them or near them. They used to give me a lot of crap about basically being myself. They didn’t like the books I read, the way I dressed or the music I listened to. You would think there was something bad about these things but the truth is they just weren’t accustomed to my interests. I am able to have a better relationship with them fro a distance.

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