Dear Dad | A Letter to My Emotionally Abusive Father

There have been a lot of people who have told me how strong and brave I am for starting to speak out against the abuse my biological father inflicted on me, but honestly, I have always felt I was hiding behind my blog/book. It’s easier for me to write down my feelings – it comes as a second nature. Speaking, however, is extremely challenging. I didn’t fail my public speaking class in high school, but sharing my feelings verbally is…well, it feels impossible most days.

Last year, I wrote a letter to my dad that I never sent. Now that I finally want to, I know he isn’t going to read it and he isn’t going to care, so I recorded myself to share with you all. When I first wrote the letter, I made the choice to not spend any more time thinking about my dad because he doesn’t deserve my time. So, this video is not for him, despite the title. It’s really for anyone who has gone through the same things that I have – to show that there is hope, to prove that you can find the strength to face your abuser, and this is for my sisters who are still living with my dad.

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3 Ways to Survive Around Toxic People

I’m going to cut right to the chase. You do not have to put up with toxic people. Remove them from your life. You deserve better.

I know that’s easier said than done though.

Maybe that toxic person in your life is your boss, or a parent, or an extended family member. It’s easier to say bye-bye to that toxic cashier or ex-friend from college, but family? Or your boss?

If you’re like most adults in the world, you will just continue to put up with the draining, exhausting life of being friendly with a toxic. And here are a few tips I’d like to share to help you get through those days.

1| Pretend they are a homeless lady on 5th Ave. I heard this line on Being Mary Jane Paul & I couldn’t agree more. Mary Jane had a big problem with a coworker – a pro-trump, bigoted white woman who got on everyone’s nerves. Mary Jane was going crazy herself, just trying to restrain herself from saying something. Her publicist gave her this advice & I think in many cases it works. As the toxic person in your life is just spewing irritating or hateful things, just nod politely and smile, and pretend they are crazy (cause toxic people usually are).

2| Pray. I know there is some flack going around about the people that pray instead of act (like prayers for gun violence). In some cases, however, prayer is probably one of your only options. I pray that the Lord give me the strength to not strangle the toxic in my life, to soften the heart of the person, and to help me continue being a light for them.

3| Be Honest. Most of the time, if you share your feelings with a toxic person, they will make it about them. They will do the whole “woo is me” bit, or they will be sooo defensive and you’ll end up feeling like the bad guy. I understand that being honest isn’t even worth it sometimes…but you’re also giving them a platform when you lie. If they push you in a corner and ask, “Are you mad at me?”, you want to say yes, but you say no because it’s a trap. No one wins. You say yes, and you’re about to receive crap. You say no, and you get to deal with the same behavior. If it’s a lose-lose, might as well be honest, right?

4| End the Relationship. Seriously, I know I already said it and it’s impossible in many cases, but it’s the best way to survive them. I was able to use this piece of advice on one family member, but it was a hard choice. And I feel so free now. However, I have another toxic person in my life & this one will not easily end. I’m trying some new things with this person and I can’t wait to share if they worked. Stay tuned and be sure to subscribe if you haven’t already.

Do you have any advice for dealing with toxic people? We’d love to hear it! We always could use all the help we can get.