The word “toxic” became fashionable a few years ago. And suddenly everything became toxic: relationships, parents, boss, environment, atmosphere,… What is the toxicity in human relations – a beautiful catchy word or a defining characteristic, leading to a diagnosis and begin treatment? This September 26th spoke at the family club Michael and Catherine Burmistrov.
Photo: Anna Radchenko
- Children and their parents: What parents want from children and what children want from parents?
- Parents, don’t shout!
- How parents teach children to be afraid of
- “You have it lying on the lawn, it is indecent” – why my mother’s words, we bombed three days
- What is the danger of parents with smartphones in the hands of
The theme of toxicity is a very complex, multifaceted, and every matter connected with her a lot of questions and lots of answers, starting with the definition of toxicity and ending with possible recommendations. Several psychotherapists from different schools and trends: Tatiana Orlova – Gestalt therapist, a specialist, who has more than 20 years of experience in domestic violence, Marina Linkova – specialist in work with adolescents, and child and family psychologist Ekaterina Burmistrova has shared his views on the problem and proposed conclusions, in which you can find answers to their questions.
I figured out that I stole and planted these parents
“My birth didn’t need anyone. I knew from early childhood, and adults around me were broadcasting this thought constantly. The Pope at the time of their acquaintance with her mother was a promising University student, and the emergence of a three-room apartment of his parents ‘ 18-year-old pregnant saleswoman was not pleased anyone. My future mother, don’t be a fool, once said that the health of spoil will not, and they with the father went to the registry office and formalized “a shotgun wedding”.
All my childhood we lived with the parents of the father. Grandma already cringe when I called her grandma, and a beautiful, young, slender (she was 40 when I was born) – one time I even got my lips over it from her… the Mother didn’t pay me much attention the first three years, and then it suddenly hit me that I need to be educated, and began: “fool” “I’ll give you to the orphanage”, “why are you so ugly – I don’t know” (grandmother echoed her words: I said, as I first saw it, immediately thought: the child born without love is always ugly), “don’t disfigure your soul.”, “try it pay – will kill” and so on.
We were friends only with his grandfather. He was quiet and a very calm unlike my mothers, nervous dads, who tried to go home as rarely as possible, and Granny, all my life I have associated with the Snow Queen. We were friends. My best childhood memory: my grandfather sitting on a Park bench, eating ice cream, talking feet, the sun is shining, I untied the lace, and the grandfather lays his ice cream and brings it to me. Mother would yell: “Fool, walk like a rag doll? Don’t see that my Shoe was untied?” Grandma would say: “Your crooked fingers even it can’t.” Dad would have looked and somewhere silently left. And his grandfather took and tied.
He died when I was eight. And then I thought to myself that I stole it and planted it, but one of my lovely real parents would find me and take away. Same as my classmate Anka – I once saw they waited for her outside the school, holding hands, and when she came out, hugged together, like a dance around her did. I’m not hugged ever, my head did not come that so it is possible.
I tried to win their praise, did everything around the house, always studied on “perfectly” (after the mother of three took me by the hair and banged his face against the wall), on all claims and name-calling tried not to answer (received face). But no matter what I did, it was not so: I’m not so cleaned, not cooked, not moving, not dressed, according to his mother, I was continuously disgraced all – that opened “your smelly mouth” at a party, that I threw up on the bus when the motion, that tore my stockings… Mother often said that I ruined her youth, told “what I just did, when you had the stomach to get rid of you”, and so on and so forth.
When the father she was silent, but he was at home very rarely. When they divorced in my 10 years, I learned that he had been in another family. Behind him she as it was called, because despised, and later, when I realized that can’t hold hate. When they decided to leave, she immediately told me: are you going to communicate with him – kicked out of the house, you will live like a bum, to wander through the stations. Before that it almost never happened in my life, but still sometimes he has appeared, bringing candy or some toy, and then he was gone altogether. The father quickly realized that it is better not to join with me in contact, not to make me worse, and the relief disappeared from our lives altogether.
We moved to the village, my mother’s mother (grandma of the city organized a celebration on the occasion of our departure, I heard she invited the guests saying “finally this habalki moves” – and I like all in nature was not). Rural grandmother was nothing, if not beat, but like a mother, thought I was worthless, wild, “words can not say”; when I found out that I wet at night (it lasted up to 12 years old), told all the neighbors (“this Mare grew up, and blows into the bed like a little”). That then was in school, I don’t even want to remember.
I grew up, and now the mother has called me “a prostitute” (I quickly found out what it is, but first kiss actually at the age of 19, was afraid of men to stupor, shied away, when I was approached by the boys). All I was doing was not so wrong, my friends were morons, my music is ugly, my clothes are terrible.
At 19 I got married, to leave, to go away a mother screamed that I was ungrateful wretch, like me, have to strangle in the hospital, and so on.
Do not communicate with her for ten years. Can neither see nor hear her. Tried several times – when my son was born, we were at her place, and when I saw how she treats him, I grabbed him and drove off, sped away, then cried half the night.
I dream that she never appeared in my life. A friend wrote a post in “Vkontakte”: my grandmother died, and her older daughter came to say goodbye when it was clear that she was just leaving because she didn’t forgive, they say, that’s not right, she once wrote: where did you get that? What do you know about their relationship? She said, no, we must forgive, we must love, because it is a sin, it’s wrong… And I told her: you have a child facing the wall beat – would you forgive? And for the “cry’ll kill you” – forgive (and it really could kill, multiple concussions)? And for “such ugly land is” forgiven? I’m here, ‘I said, – my mother never forgiven and never forgive”.
The term “toxicity” helps us to understand: it’s not your fault
Toxicity is the conversion term that is taken from the book by Susan Forward “Toxic parents”. This definition implies that there are people who by their actions and deeds towards other people poison their life and personality. The primary symptom of any “toxic” relationship is the fact that they sacrifice constantly to inspire a sense of guilt and inferiority, which remains with it after the end of the relationship. That is in fact communicating with a “toxic” person destroys another person and, if the parents affects the rest of his life, changing him as a person, and he may never feel successful even when there are formal indicators of success (good job, happy family, high grades, and so on).
Like any term that begins to be shared with the masses, “toxicity” quickly became applied to any situation, person and relationship, and everything we dislike in the other person, was the reason to consider him toxic.
What good is the wide spread of this term? It allows the person inside to put on some kind of regiment the relationships that were in his life, and to make the first move to change something.
The first step towards a “detox” is to recognize that such people and such attitudes were. And the presence of the term “toxicity” just helps a lot to understand that, first, it wasn’t them and it wasn’t their fault that it happened that way, and secondly, to see that they are not alone with this story. In a country where the need for psychotherapeutic aid greatly exceeds its availability, the main effective mechanism is the self help and help each other. What is needed, and such terms and community where people can share experiences and see that their stories are not unique.
In the group on Facebook “Toxic parents/Toxic parents”, created to ensure that everyone could speak about his parents poisoned my childhood, more than 25 000 people and every day there are about 30 new posts, as a rule, stories. Stories often resemble each other and are written like a blueprint: similar words of parents, actions of the same threats, everyone has their own pain, and though she seem insignificant, it is clear that, regardless of severity, for it is his most painful.
He is toks and I was in a white coat
However, the term as any, gone to mass, toxicity contains, however, certain trap. Calling the partner or father “toxic” people, as it removes the responsibility from himself: “Oh, he’s A “Tox” all you wanted”, and not even trying to change something in the relationship, in their own perception of that person. What is the point to change if he is to blame?
And in the mind of the “victim” may be a dead-end black-and-white model: he – toks, and I was in a white coat. Therefore, to speak out and understand what in your life was “toxic” people is only the beginning. Thereafter, another piece of work, complex and usually long – because if the relationship has long been unbearable, they will not become quickly unbearable. But you have a wonderful opportunity to assume authorship of their lives. This requires, of course, psychotherapy, difficult, long.
Psychotherapists tell us that sometimes when a person who goes to therapy and begins to read the “psychological” book, it comes to one of the sessions with the words “we, you then have six months to Tinker, dismantle my life, and he is, “Tox”! Everything is clear, and what is there to understand!”, and goes – however, after six months went back because of recognition that the other person is “toxic” enough to change the situation.
Psychotherapy is a long and difficult path, and difficult not only emotionally. Many expect that the psychologist will immediately give their hands a tool to solve this problem, but, first, this tool would normally not receive, and secondly, it should be understood that in therapy there is only one person, and the second, the “Tox” – mother, husband, father – it doesn’t go.
Besides, if we are talking about parents, often to the “toxicity” of a person is added to his age, which makes it more tolerant or willing to change the attitude.
But in any case, recognition of the problem and naming it is possible if not forgiveness, then at least making his unbearable relatives.
Easy to talk about forgiveness when you’ve never been in this situation, but how can you forgive when everything inside hurts, when all life grew together crooked and askew because of this man…
The past should be allowed to stay in the past
Any abuse in childhood, physical or psychological – is a strong long-term injury with long-term consequences. And psychological violence is no less serious than physical: he is about 2/3 of suicides. And if the person lived long in the condition this violence, the trauma is even deeper and heavier.
When we talk about “toxic” parents, we usually mean the violence or only psychological, when a person is humiliated, devalued all that important to him, suggested to him the idea that he doesn’t need anyone, or even physical – when he was beaten. And if that person is not helped to deal with his feelings of guilt, inferiority, whatever he’s doing is wrong.
– Survivors of trauma are divided into three categories, – says Ekaterina. – The first are those who continue to stay with the injury, and what happened in the past, is happening now for them, the most intense experience in their lives is connected with the past. They live there, they are almost there. A classic example – people who have passed war. Inwhich is “survivors”, those who can after an injury to function, but most of them remain in the past. And still others – those who managed to survive the trauma, to process its consequences and lives life to the fullest in the present day.
The naming of a parent or partner “toxic” can cause a person will come out from injury, and will remain in it, accept the fact that he was a victim, and will not be anything to do with it. And the past need to let go is to let it become the past – important, significant, greatly influenced you to be a part of life, but already passed.
When we were kids, our parents needed support
It should be understood that “toxes” didn’t come from nowhere, did not come from the planet inhabited by evil creatures. Usually toxic parents grow from children who were themselves victims of the aggressors – their parents.
This chain stretches in the previous generation, and aggression “of toksa” is evidence of his helplessness, inability differently to respond to the situation. Temporary toxicity can be the consequence of the fact that the person is in a difficult psychological situation (e.g., the mother found out about the betrayal of the father) and another fashionable phrase – analiziruet his aggression, which is not “present” to the person for whom it is intended, on the child.
Sometimes the way to overcome this aggression is to show that you see hiding under her love for you and concern about you, and to demonstrate compassion, his love, and regret that all that happened. When we were kids, we were looking at parents from the bottom up and wanted them to support, but didn’t get it, but really when they needed support. And when you are an adult, you know that she is desired by him, and give it to them, then the relationship can stabilize.
“Yes, and get out of here! She crawl on all fours”
“We have lived together for three years, but the impression I have for life. And, although it was quite a long time, I’m still trying to find a time when caring attentive boy turned into a hysterical psychopath, plow me:
Yes your mother is my mother and my finger is not worth it!
– You need someone this thick? Look at you, at you, even in the subway with pity look!
He knew that it is important for me, my weak points: Mama faith, my job, and beat them regularly, and now I can’t even remember what started the fights in the relationship that was after these, we were arguing every six months and completely different, and then almost through the day.
– There is no God! To believe in God is to show his ignorance! People who something know know one can only hope for yourself! So I’ll say: God is bad, and that you hit me with lightning? No? Lightning, where are you?
Quarrels began from nothing: I had not looked, I spoke with friends and forgot about it, thereby showing that he is not important to me, I’m doing now with work, so she matters to me more than him, and so on. And when hysteria after these scenes started me, he said contentedly:
– You’re hysterical! and comforted me, and spoke gentle words, and even repented and apologized, “it’s all because I love you.”
To live like this was absolutely impossible, I was antsy, nervous, were ready to cry with or without reason. One day, talking to the masseur, who gave me anti-cellulite massage (“only the money is transferred to these charlatans if I ate less and walked more, not to be fat”), and suddenly I saw his reaction, I guess I tell you something strange, because his eyes widened and opened his mouth, and when he said, “you have It very sick?” – I cried, and cried, crouched on his couch.
I tried many times to leave him, but he, for a moment before saying, “Yes, Yes, and get out of here! She crawl on all fours!” – immediately began to die or he was crawling on his knees, tore his clothes (literally), crying (“I don’t remember what I said, but that’s because I’m afraid to lose you, you are the most beautiful, the best”), and one day drew from the cupboard a bottle of vodka, ripped off the lid and gulp my eyes drank all…
Once I still left. In November, without clothes and in Slippers (he locked my coat and shoes), he chased me, I ran, lost Slippers and ran away. Did not take the phone, messages not answered, knowing that he was somehow again able to persuade me and I’ll be back. He came to his parents, shouting under the Windows, and watched for me outside my house (I tried to leave the house with my dad, he was asked to go there for my things). Once went into a clothing store, the saleswoman told dress, and I said:
– I can’t, I’m overweight, and I always remember her cheerful, healing laughter:
– Girl, you have a 44 size! You see yourself in the mirror for a long time saw?
More tedious and illogical relationships in my life, never was and hopefully never will. I had then to go to a therapist. Today, several years later, when I married beloved and loving me man, which would never have occurred to do all this, I don’t understand one thing: how could I do to prevent this in your life? I have no guilt, only confusion and regret why I didn’t ended the relationship sooner. But again I could not, so they could not, and boy, that did – I went to a therapist to say this phrase”.
To change the relationship, all of them are alive
Acquainted with the term “toxicity”, many begin to wonder: instead of “toxic” is my partner? Maybe it really is in this, maybe all of our difficulties in relations from that? You know, when a woman in late pregnancy asks the obstetrician-gynecologist: “Doctor, I have something going on, it isn’t contractions?” he says: “If you have a question, so it’s not contractions – contractions you will know.”
So here, if you have a question, “toxic” your partner, then most likely it is not “toxic” because it is not impossible to find. Another thing is that the “toxic” partner is really often tries to instill the idea that he’s just okay and it’s in the wrong or you wrong. To understand these relationships, and most importantly, save them if you are faced with such a task is a request to work with a therapist, preferably a steam room. If you go to the therapist personally, the specialist will help you at least understand its limits, including at the level of the body (this is important if you live with a toxic partner). And from the point of view of the therapist, it is better to not work with the installation of “”toxic” husband”, and that “we have problems in relationships” is, as we have said, makes you active, passive victim of the evil “of toksa”.
If you have a question in relation to yourself, ask your relatives, people who know you and your family. For example, a modern mother, striving to be perfect can me to yell at the child to imagine himself knows that, and in this case, a very useful assessment of the third parties.
The easiest way of dealing with such relations is to stop them, says Ekaterina Burmistrova. – People have realized that relationships are wrong, change them like they can’t, and the only way to break them. But as a psychotherapist, whose customers constantly or getting a divorce or want to divorce, I recommend: before you get out of the relationship with her husband, mother, father – first understand them. Until you realize that there are “toxic” as the poison is eliminated from the body, which had a period of decay, do not get out of this relationship.
Otherwise you can play a bad joke the law of repetition of the plot, when a woman, say, breaking up with an alcoholic, and after some time finds himself in a relationship with a man drinking, but behaving exactly the same as the previous one.
If to change the relationship, both people are interested (but not so much that one thinks that he is all right, and the problems of the second), then there is a good chance to do it with the help of the therapist. If the attempts to change such relations involves two – the mother and child, husband and wife – there is a chance to exist in them otherwise. If interested in this only one, perhaps the only way to change something is to create between him and a distance, if we are talking about parents, and to get out of the relationship, if it’s about the partner. Yes, indeed there are relationships that are maintained without damage to itself is impossible.
It is very important to try to change the relationship, all of them are alive. A time when you realized that you were or are in a relationship with a man – that time when you can take authorship of their lives for themselves.
Sometimes it can help a simple phrase which shows that you see that love and appreciate her, “Mom, thank you for interfering, I know you do it out of love.” In any case, this is a serious work that does not end on the fact that you understand that the relationship is “toxic”, but only begins.
Announcements of upcoming meetings and information about the family club of Michael and Catherine Burmistrov:
Ksenia Knorre Dmitrieva