Toxic Family

*A note before you read this. After doing an audit of my blog in 2022, I have decided to leave content that speaks to the Christian I was at the time this was written. I no longer identify as Christian (and haven’t for a very long time.) I chose to leave these posts because it is who I was then and it is important to me to be honest and true with every iteration and evolution of self that I experience. I may decide to add comments to the end of posts like this as well

One of my most prominent goals as an adult has always been to become an emotionally healthy and stable person. I have issues. We all have issues. Most, if not all, of us come from some sort of dysfunction.  According to one book I’ve been reading on and off for about five years says that my family was/is a “severly disturbed family.” Agreed. “Real leadership is totally lacking. Chaos, uncertainty, confusion, and turmoil are the adjectives that describe these homes. Conflicts are never dealt with or resolved. There is no ability to look at issues with clarity.” Yep. That was my childhood…carrying on into my adult life.


You shall not make for yourself and idol..for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Drawing a genogram wasn’t necessary for me to understand where the most severe of the dysfunction came from. Of course, most of the people who are responsible are now dead. One is still alive, though, still causing chaos. Creating drama. Masquerading as the patriarch of the family, when in reality, in my reality, he’s been an Absalom in my opinion.


David’s son Absalom has something to teach us. It is a lesson in what true submission is and is not. I think we can agree that Absalom is a man who “bites the hand that feeds him.” Absalom lacks any sense of debt to his father, and there is no evidence of gratitude on his part. But more than this, there is absolutely no true submission to his father-king. Like Satan of old, Absalom sees himself as “next in line” for the throne. He does not submit himself to his father. Instead he uses his position and power to undermine his father’s authority and to disrupt his kingdom. Behind his father’s back, he speaks ill of his father, making him look bad in the eyes of others. And all of this is done to “get ahead.” source

Of course, David wasn’t innocent in everything. The difference between David and his son Absalom?


Absalom never owns up to anything he’s done. He thinks he deserves respect.

A dream woke me yesterday. Bitter and enraged, full of hate. Prompted from a conversation earlier and an email shown to me. I dreamed that I blogged all of the wrongs. Exposed the ugly. Everything I knew, all the stories, I put down here and ended with, “That is one funeral I refuse to attend.”

But I don’t want to be that person who shows no mercy. I don’t want to be bitter and unforgiving.

I also don’t want the toxicity in my life. I will not allow severely dysfunctional people to ruin my life, Phil’s life, or Zane’s life.

God has charged me with the keeping of my family. Phil and I are to raise Zane. I am given control by way of decisions, by God. I am not bound to remain connected with people who continually hurt others, hurt us,  for their own gain.


Generational patterns and generational bondage are strong. So, so strong.

Physical and emotional abuse, alcoholism, depression, sexual abuse, pride, unforgiveness, bitterness, grudge-holding, obsessive-compulsive disorder, co-dependency, enmeshment, suicide, adultery, bigamy, anger, prejudice, lying, hiding emotion, pretending none of this exists…

only a few of the chains i must shed.

God brings me out of Egypt and into the desert and he tests me.

Will I follow where he leads?


or will I allow the generational sin to follow me?

will I trust him to lead me and my family into the Promised Land?  Or will I fight and argue that things were so much better when I was a slave in Egypt?  Will I eat the Manna, the mystery? Or will I complain that at least I had meat in my place of captivity?

I’m determined to obey to God’s word’s to me.  I am disobeying by not addressing this issue of family baggage that I’ve carried my whole life.

He’s also pressed upon me the need for gratitude.

How am I to be thankful for a wretched display of morally bankrupt situations? Thank you, Lord, for all of the physical and emotional abuse, alcoholism, depression, sexual abuse, pride, unforgiveness, bitterness, grudge-holding, obsessive-compulsive disorder, co-dependency, enmeshment, suicide, adultery, bigamy, anger, prejudice, lying, hiding emotion, and God, thank you they pretended none of it ever existed?

It just seems wrong.

So I guess the journey will uncover just how to do the right thing, how to obey while unpacking the suitcases full of generational baggage weighing my spirit down.

“Our families and traumatic events in our histories often hand us negative messages or scripts that unconsciously direct our lives.”

“Going back in order to go forward is something we must do in the context of community…”

This is the community I choose.

I have no clue how it will end.

5 thoughts on “Toxic Family”

  1. I think your post is wonderful! This is such a hard journey. And you’re being honest, graceful, and giving it to God. Thanks for this post. It really speaks to me.

  2. This is a very hard thing to do. so many people can never even broach all this weight on them, but every step you take empowers you and those around you who see you fight. As someone who’s been there your voyage and strength to speak out causes so many ripples and strengthens so many people around you. The real sin is in denying, or staying quiet, or pretending such things never happen. Cast a light into those shadows and it will make your life a place where such darkness and horror can never live.

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  5. Perhaps it’s not so much a thanking FOR those things as gratitude in the midst of them and what happens subsequently. Please know that I don’t speak from personal experience (no, I haven’t lived a charmed life – there have been issues, but nothing near this), so I cannot know what it’s been like for you. But maybe it’s what God will do through that having happened. Maybe it’s the healing He will bring for you. Maybe it’s the work He will do in the lives of others through you. I won’t pretend to know, but I do agree that it would feel totally wrong to actually say ‘thank you’ for such atrocities. The fact that you’re wrestling through this right now, that you’re not continuing in the sins of your family, the fact that you’re choosing a different path – I think there’s really something to be said for that.

    I’ve added you to my prayer door, Michelle. It seems there’s so much I want to say, yet nothing that sounds worth saying. I am sorry that you’ve lived with so much pain. I am praying for you.


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