Dealing with Toxic Parents | Kati Morton

(electronic music) – Hey everybody, happy Thursday. Now today we’re gonna
talk about toxic parents. Before we jump into that,
are you new to my channel? Welcome. I put out videos on
Mondays and on Thursdays, so make sure you’re subscribed and have the notifications turned on so that you don’t miss out. But let’s get into some important topics because I received a question and it says, “Hey Kati. “I have a really difficult
time with my parents “and I’m just not really sure
if you can shed some light “on how to deal with
parents that are so toxic.” I’ve gotten this question
from a lot of people because A, there are parents and B, sometimes we live with them, and C, it makes it really difficult
and we also love them and it’s just so complicated. But I have a lot of helpful
tips that will hopefully get you to a healthier and happier place and maybe even make the
relationship better. And my first tip is to get into therapy. And I know that may
not be available to all but I’ve also done some videos
in the past with Better Help. It’s a great resource online for therapy. So that’s something that
if you can’t access it where you are, maybe that’s
another way to gain access to therapy, but also if
you’re in a school program, you can go to your school
counselor and they can refer you to someone, or if you are
an adult and have a job, a lot of them have HR departments
and you may have an EAP, it’s called an employee assistance program which offers free therapy. Or you can call your
insurance and get a list. There’s a lot of ways to get therapy, so don’t feel like it’s impossible, don’t feel like it has to be expensive. A lot of therapists will
work on a sliding scale, but it’s just really vitally
important that we get into therapy so that
we have a place to vent and to talk about all that
we may be going through and most importantly, to get some support. And I know that a lot of people just say, “Hey, get into therapy,
it’s really important.” But just, hear me out for
a minute and I’ll tell you kind of why I believe it is so important. I think therapy helps because
the relationship is different than any other relationship we’ve had. The relationship we have with
a therapist is one-sided, which in normal life isn’t
healthy, but in therapy, it is so vitally important
to making therapy work because the therapist is
putting that whole hour or two hours a week or
however long you see them towards you and understanding you. Which means you get to tell
the story from your perspective and there’s no one judging
you and there’s no one saying, “No, that’s not how I
remember it happening,” or, “I don’t know, your mom
actually seems pretty nice “when I see her.” No one’s back talking you. No one has any perspective,
a therapist only knows what you tell them and
that can be really healing, not to mention that a therapist
isn’t gonna yell at you, they’re not gonna lash out. It’s not a scary place,
it’s not a romantic thing, it’s a very benign,
healthy, happy conversation that you can have in this safe space, free from any judgment or anger. And I know that that seems really crazy but if any of that’s
happening in therapist, if your therapist is angry
or anything like that, that means it’s a bad therapist. I have a whole video I’ll
link in the description about how to know if you’re seeing a bad and a good therapist so we make sure you get put with the right one. But therapy can be healing
because that relationship is different, and so
just trust me when I say it’s really important. And I honestly believe
therapy can help any of us, but if we have a really toxic parent or even just a toxic family environment, having a space that is ours,
where we can talk about how we feel and how these
things are affecting us can be really, really healing. So I encourage you, do it
today, reach out, speak up, and get the help that
you need and deserve. And my second tip is, set
and uphold boundaries. Now I know a lot of you are gonna say, “Hey, my parents won’t respect them “and they’ll step over them “and it’s just not even worth doing.” It’s always worth doing, and here’s why. Boundaries, in a perfect world, would be something that
we would be able to communicate to another persona
and they would respect it, and they would uphold them with us and they would understand. But in a toxic environment, it’s important because it protects us, as the person setting up the boundary. Let’s say we have a really abusive, whether it’s emotionally,
physically, sexually, doesn’t matter, parent in
our life or just toxic, just coming in and telling us
shitty things about ourselves, which is really emotional
abuse by the way. But if they come into our
room and do that to us, maybe we study at a friend’s house, maybe we stay at the library at school. I would limit the amount of
time that you spend at home and then I would look into
maybe getting a lock on my door. If it’s okay. I don’t want you to be in an unsafe, I don’t want to create a more
unsafe environment for you like physically or emotionally, but I would spend the least
amount of time around them and I would try to
communicate as much as you can to what safe is for you, but that you wish that they
would talk to you this way, or it’s really hard for
me to communicate with you when you yell, or whatever you can say to start letting them know what’s
okay and not okay for you. And I know that that doesn’t
work in every scenario, but boundaries are always important, even if the boundary is,
I’m not gonna be at home for more than two hours at
a time unless I’m sleeping, because it’s just too much for me. Or, I know when that one parent gets home, and I can leave, I can join that one club that meets at that time,
that will get me out. There’s a lot of things that
we can do to minimize our time. If we don’t live at home, it can be, I’ll only talk to my mom or
dad, whatever parent it is, when it’s on my terms. And so I’m not gonna ever pick
up the phone when they call, it’s only when I call,
and that’s just a boundary I’m gonna set up because when they call, they’re always yelling. I don’t know what it is
but you’re gonna have to take some time to recognize
what is upsetting to you because boundaries, our body tells us when someone’s crossed our boundaries. It usually makes us really uncomfortable, we can get really rigid,
or we can shrink down. We can physically feel
when a boundary’s crossed. That’s why, start paying
attention to that. Start noticing what it is they do or say or what things they said
in motion with other people in our family that we find so upsetting and then I would minimize
the amount of time you’re engaging with
that kind of behavior. And find ways that you can
kinda distance yourself from it. And it all depends on whether
you live with them or not, but you can figure it out. If we don’t take care of ourselves first, we’re not gonna be able
to engage with people in a loving, healthy way. So don’t let that one person in your life take that from you. It’s okay to set up healthy boundaries, and if they earn trust and respect back, we can alter the boundaries as needed. They’re a living, breathing
thing we can change as we go, but we’re gonna need to
protect ourselves first, and so recognizing when
they overstep, how we feel, and then placing them and upholding them and communicating them as much as we can, whatever keeps us safe, is
really important and imperative when dealing with a toxic parent. And my third tip, save
your money and get out. If we live with them, I
know this only pertains to if we live with our
parent but I know that a lot of you told me you
do and you can’t get out. Save your money and get out. We have to keep ourselves
safe, and I know a lot of you are like, well my
siblings are still there. I know this is hard, but
you don’t have to keep dealing with the emotional
abuse or the physical abuse or just the toxicity of your family to protect your siblings. I know that’s hard. But they’re on their own
and you’re on your own. Yes, if you get out, you could
have them come live with you if you can afford it, but
we just need to get you out. And also think about the kind of, if you’re the oldest child in your family, you’re a role model
and you’re showing them that it’s okay to speak up and get out. That family life isn’t healthy, ’cause we don’t want them
to think that that’s normal and something they should strive for. We want them to know it’s not okay, and so in a way by leaving,
you’re actually showing them that you can be courageous, you’re demonstrating all
the things you’re hoping that they will do too,
and so save your money. Get a part-time job. This could even be moving in
with another family member or a friend, get out as soon as you can, because the longer we’re
in a toxic environment, the harder and harder it
is for us to tear ourselves out of there and the
more we start to believe all the negative, nasty
things they say about us. But trust me, they’re lying. They just feel shitty about themselves, and it’s overflowing onto you. But you don’t have to take it. So save your money, get
out as soon as you can. And my fourth tip is
figure out what you want from the relationship. You, not anybody else. Not what society says a
relationship with a parent should be like, not what your friends have with their parents, not
what you’ve seen before. I want you to consider what you want and what you need from that relationship. Take some time. I would journal, I would go for a walk and just think about it, whatever
helps get your mind going in a safe place, I want you to
just consider what you need. And then, maybe write a letter
that you don’t send to them. Or maybe start journaling
about how it feels to recognize what you need from them, and maybe that’s upsetting. Maybe you’re upset about
how much you need from them or how little you need from them. Give yourself some time to
kinda process it through and recognize this. And then the second step
is to take what you need and want from them and
I want you to compare it to what they’re able to give. And I know this is hard and
I would actually recommend this part be done with a therapist because it can be really sad and
it can be really hard. But it can also be something
that you do on your own. I would just encourage you
to take the time to do that, because often we have
these expectations of what a parent should be and
what it should look like. But this is what they’re able to give us. But then this is what we maybe need. And so we’re gonna have
to find some middle ground where there are certain things
that they are able to meet, like maybe we just need
to have some kind of relationship and that means
that we need to call our mom or dad like every two or three weeks for just like 20 minutes ’cause
we just can’t cut them off. We’re gonna have to figure
out where we can meet in the middle because there
is gonna be that middle point. It’s just gonna take us a
little while to figure it out, so that’s why we start with what we need from the relationship,
and then we consider what they can actually
give us and we try to kinda meet in the middle in
a place that feels okay where we won’t be constantly disappointed or put in a toxic environment, but we’re also cultivating
the relationship that’s important for us. And just take some time. It’s all about you and
what you need, nobody else. And my fifth and final
tip is get other support. Whether that is a therapist,
and that was my first tip was to see a therapist but
that could be a therapist but I’m also talking about other friends and other family members. Maybe you have other
family who also agrees that that parent is a total jerk and they don’t like them either. It might be good for you to
have someone you can talk to about it and they also know the person, so it kinda gives you a little place to commiserate about how terrible it is. But if this toxic parent is an alcoholic or a drug addict, there’s
also Al-anon or Alateen, which are free support
groups for family members of those who struggle,
who have addiction issues, and that can be really,
really helpful too. Even if you’re not comfortable speaking up in a group setting, it
can just be really healing to hear somebody else share their story and you can see some of the
similarities to your own. And it reminds you again
that you’re not alone and nothing’s wrong with you. And I know people are
always scared to join groups but it can be the most
healing when it comes to addiction because addiction
affects the whole family. So just make sure that you’re
getting additional support. Whatever that could look like for you, maybe it’s groups at school. Maybe it’s joining, I don’t
know, going to and joining on another group over there, or maybe you join an intramural sport, just make sure you have
other things going on that keep you busy, keep
you out of the house if you live with them, and
give you new support systems, new friends and people around
you that you can talk to about all you may be going
through because I find, overall, the more we talk about something, the less power it has over us. The more we keep that
toxic parent a secret and think that it speaks poorly to us, the more it’s gonna affect
us and so I would just encourage you to start
sharing with those you trust and love and start talking
about it more and more until it loses any of that
emotional power over you, because that’s really
what the whole process in therapy is about, is to
get us to talk about something and to express what’s going
on without it having any emotional charge for us. And so the sooner we can start doing that, the sooner we’ll start feeling better. I hope you found that helpful. I know so many of you are
stuck with toxic from members and stuck in homes where
you just feel trapped. But know that you’re not stuck forever and we can get you out. Hopefully these tips,
those five tips kinda help set things up for you and
give you a perspective and some next steps you can take to work towards a
healthier and happier life. This video has been brought
to you by the Kinions on Patreon. If you would like to support
the creations of these mental health videos, click
the link in the description and check it out. But as always, let me
know in the comments. Have you been in this situation? Is there something that I missed, something that you wish I’d talked about? Let us know in those comments down below. And I will see you next time. Bye.

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