Broken family ties: Do you have family members you have cut off?

Broken family ties: Do you have family members you have cut off?

Do you have family members that are estranged to you? Was it by choice or just life taking its course? These are some of the hard hitting questions that Stacey & JSbu posed to KZN on Wednesday afternoon. 

Two family members fighting

There is a popular saying that goes, 'Blood is thicker than water'. This saying is a metaphor that plays into the psyche that you should be more loyal to someone who shares the same blood line as yours then someone who does not. 

One can understand how this saying came about. If you think about it, our first relationships were our family relationships. It's a significant part of who we are, because our past is an integral part of how we view ourselves and the world. Our relationships and bonds with our families also influence our future adult relationships. 

Unfortunately, family bonds are not always a healthy source of comfort. Often a lot of us are exposed to very toxic family dynamics. An interesting aspect about families is that people can tolerate more bad than good, and even a strained family relationship can be considered satisfying. There is also the societal pressure of one can not abandon their family irrespective of how they may treat you. 

Surely, though, it’s when the bad outweighs the good, or the bad becomes a form of abuse, that we have to evaluate the health of that relationship for our own well being? For Stacey, this could not be more true, she has had to re-evaluate her personal relationships with immediate family members because they had become unhealthy for her. 

This is not to say that the decision is not excruciatingly difficult, whether it is your relationship with a parent, sibling, grandparent, son, daughter, or step-family members. It is important for you to relieve yourself of the guilt of putting your well-being first, so thinks JSbu. 

The chances are that if you have been evaluating strained relationships with your family, committing to cutting ties may bring a range of feelings such as anxiety, guilt, and even shame. The decision has to be a personal one for us all. Perhaps seek the advice of those you trust and, if possible, a therapist. Deciding to face these feelings and manage them is a brave step.

If you or someone you know requires the assistance of a professional to help navigate this decision, then you can contact the following counselors: 

Nozibusiso Nyawose 

Contact details: 0872502389

Thembelani Nyathi 

Contact details: 0872500160

Michelle Bennett

Contact details: 0872502042

Do you have family members you have cut off? Share your stories with Stacey & JSbu. 

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