To be honest, if you were born into a toxic family system, you will know. The signs are always there. Your unhappiness, uncertainty, fear, anxiety, and depression are solid indicators of your toxic surroundings.
Toxic family systems have a strong sense of power struggle, win/lose, black/white mentality, verbal, physical, financial, emotional abuse, secrets, and gossip.
You might say, well, that sounds like all families.
No, the defining factor is that these traits are a “normal” in toxic family systems. They are not considered wrong. They are normalized.
Often the person who stands up to such behavior and attitudes is considered the black sheep. And the one who conforms is the golden child.
The toxic family system will also have narcissistic personalities in the mix. These personalities divide and concur. For example, siblings will always be in competition and one who conforms will be rewarded (by the narc).
There is a lack of sincerity in the toxic family system. Often people are used as a means to an end. Children may lack strong, healthy friendships, and steer towards extremes in their nature.
The designation of golden child and black sheep will shift as necessary to keep up supply and keep everyone in line.
There is no winner in a toxic family system. Upon a closer look, everyone is living a miserable life and keeping up appearances.
The purpose of the toxic family system to keep the toxicity going. Often, the behaviors and he attitudes have been part of the system for generations. The cycle must continue.
It is difficult to truly identify a toxic family system as an outsider. Only if you have been a part of it, can you see what you have experienced. And how difficult it can be to escape.
If you are living in a toxic family system, I want you to know –
- You are not alone
- You have options
- You deserve to be happy