Before You Read This Article

This is not the type of article in which I will tell you, “Fuck your family!! They are a bunch of crazy fucking people!!!”

And, equally, this is not the type of article where I will tell you to “just forgive them” and be their slave and pet.

I understand that, as Tolstoy pointed out, every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

Your hatred towards your family can be different than the person next to you.

Therefore, don’t expect to find one solution for all the family problems.

I understand that you might be resentful.

I understand that you might be puzzled.

And I also understand the fact that family relationships are governed by cultural, and even religious, factors.

Last but not least, I understand that some families can suffer from emotional blackmail, controlling behaviors, and all sort of behaviors that leave their sons and daughters trapped and crippled.

I will keep all that in my heart before my mind as I write this article.

And I invite you to read this article with an open heart before an open mind and be ready to read what you haven’t hoped to read as well as what you have hoped to read.

Ready? Let’s start.

Why Do I Hate My Family?

Here are a couple of obvious reasons:

  • Resentment: it happens when you don’t get your needs met and you don’t speak up for yourself. You don’t speak up for yourself mostly because you can’t.
  • Anger: this one is obvious. You get angry for whatever reason. And if you suppress this anger, you will get more resentful.
  • Fear: you fear that you would upset your family members if you did something. And if this something was important for you, you would feel more resentful and maybe get angrier. Or, in the most extreme cases, you fear that you would get hurt by them, which breeds more anger and more resentment.
  • Toxicity: a toxic environment is a place where people don’t feel safe and they don’t get their needs met. It’s a place where emotional damage is perpetuated. Emotional damage, in turn, creates more wounds and deepen the old ones.
  • Holding them responsible: you believe that it’s them who have screwed you up and it’s their fault and More of this below.

Even if you hate other family members for their toxicity, the parents have the major role. And dealing with that is often the key to handling any other family member and setting boundaries if necessary.

It is obvious that you can hate your family for reasonable reasons. They have hurt you. The environment was toxic! But…

How to Recognize a Toxic Environment?

This is one hell of a question. Here three good, reliable resources:

One: here is a quiz from the book Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, rejecting, or self-involved Parents that is written by Lindsay C. Gibson, a PsyD, clinical psychologist who specializes in individual psychotherapy with adult children of emotionally immature parents:

I hate my family because my parents were emotionally immature.

(Note: You can get this book for FREE, as an audio version, from here.)

Two: This article: Do You Feel Safe And Secure in Your Life? It describes how the secure, safe environments look like and how the toxic, insecure ones look like. It also talks about the abuse that leads to the creating of toxic environments in which one doesn’t feel safe.

Three: This article: I Am Bullied as an Adult by Those 3 Toxic People. It describes the behaviors of 3 types of toxic people so you can spot them. Toxic people create dysfunctional environments. In your case, you might need to check if your family members possess any of these traits.

Now, people usually decide to recover from this insanity

They ask themselves the question, “How can I recover?” and they get a few answers.

One answer that seduces many people is: hurt them. It’s often an unconscious answer, for admitting that you actually want to hurt your own family is shameful.

So, here is the next question some people may ask:

How Can I Hurt My Family?

While you might be thinking that you are getting your revenge, you are actually just adding fuel to the fire. You are making the relationship and the environment more dysfunctional. And eventually, dysfunctional relationships and environments lead to resentment and anger and fear and then hatred.

So, what is the result? More conflict, more resentment, more toxicity, and thus more hatred.

Sometimes this “hurt” manifests itself in a very subtle way.

You want to prove that you are right and that your family is wrong. That you are smart and your family is stupid. Again, regardless of the fact that you actually might be smarter than your family, this will only screw things up more.

A better series of questions can begin by asking:

Is It Useful to Hate My Family?

Let’s examine that.

We need to examine two concepts:

  • The concept of hatred itself.
  • The fact that you probably hate your family because they have hurt you (or they are hurting you).

Let’s start with the latter.

“My family have hurt me. They are the reason I am fucked up emotionally and psychologically right now. And they don’t intend to stop.”

Some families are too dysfunctional. Some are mildly dysfunctional. And some are less dysfunctional than the rest. But there are no perfect families and we all get hurt somehow.

So, the hurt is real. The damage is done. And when you look back, it wasn’t all your fault.

Our families sometimes perpetuate our insecurities by treating us as if we are not enough.

Insecurities and unhappiness, sooner or later, will go out of control (we will know why below). It starts with questions like, “why am I so fucked up?” And to find the answer, they go and examine how they got hurt. And it’s just a matter of time before they reach the conclusion that their families have fucked them up and that they hate them for it.

But wait! There is a missing piece here. Why the thinking process has to be this way?

Simply put, because of the second concept, which is hatred.

What Is Hatred?

Hatred is toxic because it is the accumulation and exaggeration of toxic feelings and beliefs. It’s an ugly mash-up of the ugly feelings and ideas inside one’s self.

Resentment and anger, as we have mentioned above, can lead to hatred. Jealousy can lead to it. Disappointment and frustration can lead to it, too.

And if you are still wondering, it’s not healthy at all to walk around with all this toxicity inside.

I like the quote which says, “Hatred is drinking poison wishing that your enemy would die!” because hatred hurts you more than it hurts the people you hate.

And by the way, hatred is the extreme.

It’s totally normal to not like someone or something or to get upset by them. Hatred is when all of this goes out of control to the point where you get sick thinking about that person and be preoccupied with this hatred to the point of expressing it by a Google search!

Hatred is Fueled by Blame

A few paragraphs ago, I mentioned that hatred is the result of some toxic emotions, beliefs, and ideas.

Those little, ugly emotions and beliefs get together in one place and become one big ugly thing called hatred.

But those tiny, ugly emotions can’t glue together without a special type of glue. And because they are toxic and shitty, they need a super toxic and shitty glue.

Do you know what that glue is?

It’s blame.

First and foremost, let’s define blame:

Blame is the act of refusing to accept responsibility and holding someone/something else responsible for whatever has gone wrong. It’s the act of refusing to be held accountable because you don’t believe you are responsible in the first place (or you don’t want to accept the responsibility1This definition is my own. I didn’t grab it from a dictionary or a psychology manual or something.).

But why is Blame Toxic?

Because we use it to escape being held accountable for our issues2And blaming is usually associated with weakness because you give whoever you blame the power..

We take all these toxic emotions we have toward our family, all the wounds we have, and all the issues we suffer from, and put them together. And in order for them to stand still, we need the glue, which is blame.

We need to put the blame on whoever created those problems for us in the first place: our families3By the way, it doesn’t have to be your fault to be responsible for fixing it. See here. Someone breaking into your house is not necessarily your fault, but it’s still your responsibility to keep your house safe and to defend yourself against this intruder..

So, we blame them. Hatred is developed4If we don’t use blame and deny our responsibility, the hatred would be towards ourselves. That’s another discussion which can be started here. And about how to not develop any type of hatred, that’s also another discussion which can be started here..

Not pleasant to read, I know.

What About Forgiving My Family?

People talk a lot about forgiving your family and letting go of the past. But what many people don’t quite understand is that forgiving can never happen unless you are stronger than the abuser.

A boxing champion can forgive someone who pushed him, but a helpless weak teenager can’t forgive a person who pushes him around. The champion can kick the guy’s ass; however, the teenager can only get his ass kicked.

Forgiveness, therefore, is for those who are already strong enough and are no longer affected by the harassment because they can respond better to it.

Not surprisingly, the boxing champion might be the same helpless teenager. He just accepted his responsibility for protecting himself instead of blaming his father for never teaching him to stand up for himself5And when he learns to protect himself, there is no harsh feelings toward his father. No hatred. Just acceptance and compassion, which will lead to forgiveness instead of hatred and resentment. It’s a win-win.. And he worked to become stronger.

If It’s Not Helpful, Don’t Do It

This article is here to break down the idea that hatred is not helpful.

Hatred means that you are stuck in the blaming mode and that you denying your responsibility.

That’s not pleasant for many people to admit. And a lot of people may probably discard this article.

But if you are one of those who got touched by this article and decided that this might be true, I invite you to stop doing what is unhelpful. Stop this hatred6Hatred doesn’t have to turn into love and affection. In fact, once you start accepting responsibility and start working on your character, the hatred will probably turn into compassion, even if your family is toxic7I don’t deny that some families are toxic and that you really need to get away from them. But this is not about them. It’s about you. It’s about becoming a better person and not getting eaten up by this hatred8Sometimes, you do have to get away from your family. But if you got away and you are still the same person with the same hatred, this hatred would haunt you wherever you go. You are doing this for yourself., because, if you think about it, it will really hurt no one but you.

Start by looking at your problems and deciding that you are responsible for solving them. They don’t make you a bad person and there is no shame about having them. And start working on yourself. Do whatever it takes (reading, seeing a therapist, working on your true dreams, exploring yourself…etc.)

One day, you will look back and be able to truly forgive your family because you are in a better place now.

I don’t downplay the pain you might have suffered because of your family

And I don’t think it’s easy to be raised in a chaotic environment. However, I wholeheartedly believe that you can be in a place of strength when you accept the responsibility and stop blaming your family and start working on yourself.

If Eminem can go from a place where he used to cal his mum, “selfish bitch!” to a place where he is able to tell her the next, so can you.

“But now I know it’s not your fault, and I’m not making jokes. That song I no longer play at shows and I cling every time it’s on the radio . . . But ma, I forgive you, so does Nathan9His brother., yo, all you did, all you said, you did your best to raise us both . . . But I love you, Debbie Mathers, oh, what a tangled web we have, ’cause one thing I never asked was where the fuck my deadbeat dad was, fuck it, I guess he had trouble keeping up with every address”

Obviously, he still has some issues with his father. But there is something beautiful about being able to say these beautiful things about his mum, especially for someone who has been an Eminem fan for a long time.

Important Note

This article is not a substitute for needed-therapy or for hard conversations.

If you have troubled relationships with a family member, you are advised to see a therapist or have an honest heart-to-heart conversation with that person. And, in fact, that is actually one way you demonstrate that you are responsible for your emotional well-being and that you are willing to improve yourself and unpack the emotional packages which weigh you down.

Is that difficult to do?

If so, then you probably need some soul-searching.

But misguided soul-searching can lead to dark places. If you don’t have a map, you may end up more lost than you have started.

I recommend that you reflect on your relationship with your family while getting professional help. This article is just the start. However, If therapy is not an option, for whatever reason, then this doesn’t mean you cannot get any professional help.

Professional help can be found through reading. Books, that are written by real experts in that field, can be very effective. I personally read a lot of books in many other areas I was struggling with because therapy or mentoring weren’t options. And it was fruitful.

13 thoughts on “I Hate My Toxic Family: How to Survive with This Hatred<span class="wtr-time-wrap block after-title"><span class="wtr-time-number">13</span> min read</span>

  1. I hate my family except for my mother cause I can understand why she couldnt take care of me as a kid. When I told my parents about being group-raped a few times as a kid, they went silent and 5 minutes afterwards they started to talk about something else they thought so funny they laughed. My family is the one of the most evil I know about. When my father reads about women and girls getting raped by people with dark skinn he makes sure that I know about it and take it seriously. He takes his own memories very seriously but when I told him I saw people getting killed as a kid he immediately questions it and says that “memories are the most unreliable things that exists” and blah blah blah.

    I truly believe that he is evil along with relatives that bullied me while I was going through all of those horrible stuff as a kid. I believe they truly had a great time while doing all of the horrible things they did to me, cause they sure seem happy today with lots of good friends and support, my sister (who is one of them) even tells me that I should just let go of the past and that I ponder too much while trying to make me feel embaressed about things I did as a kid when I thought I did nothing wrong. I will never forgive them for what they did to me, but I dont think hatred is a bad thing when youre a good person, only when youre a bad person.

    On top of it all my cousin made me completely isolated by pretty much threatening me that I would get bullied by her and others if I would hang out with my childhood friends so I broke up with them completely and havent ever been able to ever recover from it so I have had 0 reliable close friends since the age of 11 and Im 26 now.

    I have no hope about ever getting help and I keep pretending to my family and relatives that I have 0 problems with them and that everything is fine and I will never tell them that I hate them because they have done everything to lose their chance of ever getting to know about my true self and my true feelings.

  2. This article made me cry, feeling that I do relate to all of these things. But now I realize that only I feel like this in my family. My father yells at me for crying. He hates it. Every time it happens they never understand what was wrong. I hate his yelling, I hate that I feel like my mother doesn’t care. My brother just plays video games, gets tutored and fails in tests. He used to vape when my parents were away on a trip. It made me depressed and anxious of telling my parents of what he was doing. I didn’t tell my friends of how I was really feeling. And the worst part was this was right after my birthday. I felt like I was falling into a year of darkness and hate. After a couple of months it was a bit better. But then I felt like it came falling down. Now I’m having arguments with my parents. My brother is getting ruder by the minute. My parents don’t listen to me that much. Like they can’t even hear what I’m saying. My heart aches thinking that this all happened in only one year. My friends have no clue of my true feelings. I feel like if i tell them, they’d leave me. And they’re the only people I trust anymore. I don’t want to risk ruining everything…
    Please don’t email me. I just wanted to tell only one person.

  3. My teenage grandchildren are hateful. My son and two of my grandchildren live with me and they all say hateful things to me on a daily basis because I had to quit my job and take care of my mother before she passed away. I hate to get up in the morning and don’t know how I even cope each day. They are hateful and do not appreciate anything they do for me so I am not going to do for them anymore.

  4. “Start by looking at your problems and deciding that you are responsible for solving them.”

    Haven’t figured out how to solve them yet.

    The problems come from being the sane one in an insane asylum.

    Before you roll your eyes, consider the following:

    1) Of 4 siblings in the family, I have a sister who is also mostly sane (if I am mostly sane).

    2) When my brother was in prison, 12,000 miles away, I supported him as best I could. I worked with the US embassy until they were able to get him into his own cell, instead of one populated with 6 members of that country’s organized crime syndicate. I got a Pulitzer prize-winning author to sign a book and write him a letter, I found an affordable health insurance plan that ensured he could get badly-needed medical care as soon as he was deprted and set foot in thsi country again. The list continued. The first thing he did when he saw me was explode at me, before I could geta word out. He is prone to uncontrolled rage, and there have been other examples throughout his life. He hasn’t worked in the 10 years since his release. Nor has he helped with any of the family problems, such as:

    3) When my youngest sister went off her medicine, became psychotic, moved into her landlord’s house while it was being remodeled to escape the imaginary people who were following her and caused $20,000 in damage in a day, I stopped working and spent my time trying to find treatment for her post-hospitalization, which took months, and did what I could to keep her out of jail and out of court, with my well sister’s help. We were successful. So what? She’s angry and resentful, and when medicated, has either borderline or narcisstic personality disorder. In other words, she’s an entitled snot.

    4) While she was in a psych rehab facility (11 months), my father was diagnosed with cancer, collapsed during radiation and eventually died. I took over the finances because my mother has Alzheimers. y father left a disorganized mess that took me almost 2 years to untangle (I took paperwork 2 hours to my home in garbage bags and went through it – I even found gold coins mixed in with the 50 years of records). This would have cost $300,000 to $500,000 for professionals to do; I pretty much quit my job during that time (I have my own business, now destroyed) which paid $100K to $200K per year. I’m still trying to work and my sister and I are trying to keep my mother in her home until she needs to be institutionalized.

    5) All of this was dumped on someone already overloaded. My wife had abandoned myself and our two surviving children two years before my sister and parents needed attention; she claimed that our deceased daughter had been murdered (it was an accidental death) and that I had been a terrible father to her. She cut off our surviving kids.

    I’m burned out, fed up and feeling used. I’ve had 44 days of vacation – since 2010. That includes a full 2.5 days this year.

    The last thing I want to do is associate with this family. I’d like to be able to retire some day, but at 60, I’m too broke to ever think of that, and wouldn’t be if I hadn’t had to take over for irresponsible, rude goofballs. My sister is as burned out as I am. There are too many weirdos in my family, and too many touchy people, ready to explode at a moment’s notice.

  5. I hate my family and I hate my mom for what she has done in the past. My dad and her split almost 14 years ago because of fights, and my dad apologizes and me mom won’t forgive him. I feel like she has an evil heart for not caring about him at all and she tells me that she hates him everyday. It hurts me so much knowing that my own mom hates my dad so much. I also hate myself fo hating my family and it makes me feel like a bad person cause my mom does so much for me, She pays for everything I have and takes me to do fun things, so I just feel like a terrible person for hating her after what she has done for me

  6. That was the best artical ever. I feel light where I did feel dark. Unbelievable! I love it that you mentioned Marshall Mathers! You have a way with words! Love it!!!

  7. I am 28. I come from a family of hardened alcoholics. Countless times iv helped my near blacked out mother up the stairs at night, though often she just stays on the couch. I have a brutal fear of becoming a father because my own is such a failure. I have never gotten a single thing from my father but money. He is the type of person to buy you a sandwich without asking then as you are half way through eating it he will treat you like a fucking parasite. I dont think he wanted a 3rd child. For most of my life he wouldnt be able to be in the same room as me without starting a fight. Sometimes all it would take is for me to look at him across the dinner table and he would threaten me with violence, esp as a child. I grew quickly a lot! I grew up rough in the words of Johnny cash, lots of fighting and violence and i think this is why he never put his hands on me. Though he acted like a tough guy i could always see the coward just behind his eyes and he could see the truth behind mine. I am ashamed to admit that as a child i used to day dream of him punching me so that I could feel justified in lunging across the table and attacking him. He has never had any emotional control and because i despise that in him i wont allow my own emotions to run wild.

    I have dyslexia and couldnt read until i was about 15. My family is very intelligent in the traditional sense, and almost everything they have ever said to me(esp my father) has been an insult about either my intelligence or weight. I am 6’4″ and as of writing this 220lb, even when i got down to 180 i was ridiculed mercilessly. I believe it has become the instinctual interaction with me because they actually have nothing else to say. None of them had the empathy to understand that I couldnt communicate when younger due to my extremely limited language ability. So they tore me to shreds everyday.

    I am accomplished in many ways. Been to 16 countries, business owner, author, investor, sculptor, builder, yada yada
    I have achieved things my family cannot understand. They live in tiny bubbles and have the arrogance that accompanies small fish in a microscopic pond. And yet with them is the only place on earth my input is without value. Even in fields in which i am actually a studied expert, my 2 cents is not just ignored but denied and argued. I once had my dad try to argue that UV light doesn’t damage your eyes….. He is a scientist. He knows he is wrong but cannot accept it and would rather fight endlessly than admit to any degree that I am correct.
    Recently i left a place in the world where i was happy, I fit in, i was respected, trusted, well paid, happy and loved. I left that place to come back to my family after many years. They lay on the guilt for me being away, esp my brother who has children.
    Now that i am “home” i realize what i always knew. That there can never be a permanent place for me here that i will not end up resenting. One week i am on the other side of the world drinking whiskey with a billionaire and the next i am sleeping on the floor of my brothers house with dirty blankets and a shit stinking dog. My brother lives lavishly in a large house mind you, there is simply no bed for me. On a side note it is a common joke in my family for everyone to point out that I will always be the default shit heel. Someone has to endure a shit situation due to whatever reasons? Its me, always and forever. And I know tomorrow morning after long nights in soft beds and a few cups of coffee they will shit on me for being tired and stiff, as if I didn’t sleep on a hardwood floor. And i dont drink coffee.

    To the others who will read this. Distance is the only solution I have ever found that mostly works. When i was in China i would occasionally realize i was thinking about my family and i would step back mentally and look at how angry i had gotten due to those thoughts. So I would say to myself “stop wasting energy on those ppl” and id push the thoughts aside. But now that I am home they cannot be ignored. I realize now i must leave again. And perhaps permanently.

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