signs that your family is abusive:

  • you feel the urge to hide from them whenever you’re vulnerable
  • you cannot bear the idea of them seeing you cry
  • when you’re hurt or in pain, you don’t go to them because you feel
    they’ll tell you that you deserved it or that it was your fault
  • you don’t feel like you can confide in them, either because they don’t
    seem to care, or try to control how you act, or yell at you and punish you, or
    use the information against you
  • you feel very self-conscious around them and keep expecting criticism
    and insults
  • you can’t tell them about your struggles because you already know
    they’ll side against you
  • you keep things in your life secret from them because you have a feeling
    they would ridicule, humiliate, and judge you if they knew, or take everything
    away from you
  • you feel scared of letting them know when they hurt you
  • you feel scared and guilty when you so much as think about them in a bad
  • you feel the urge to remind yourself of all the things they did for you,
    whenever something bad comes up, to be sure that you’re seeing them the way
    they want to be seen by you
  • you’re scared of being accused of being a burden to them
  • you’re scared to hold them responsible for things they did to you,
    because you know they would argue otherwise, and insist they had full right to
    do what they did, or that you made it up
  • you have the inner sense of dread that nothing you ever do or say will
    be taken seriously by them, and your life will always look like a joke to them
  • you dream of living far away from them and feel guilty for wanting to
    cut them from your life
  • you don’t feel like you’re really important in comparison to them, it
    feels like it’s better to just step aside and let them be important, your life
    doesn’t matter as much anyway
  • you’re worried about how your every action might affect their life,
    their reputation and social standing
  • you feel that they’re ashamed of you and you’re trying your best not to
    bring further shame on the family
  • you feel like you’ll owe them for the rest of your life and nothing you
    ever do will be enough to erase the debt, and this fills you with dread and
    feeling of being trapped
  • you don’t count on their help when you’re in trouble, you’re scared of them
    finding out and punishing you for being in trouble in the first place
  • you don’t count on them sharing their resources with you, you know you
    have to be grateful for how much they’ve given you already and feel like you
    have no right to ask for anything more, even if you need it
  • you can’t feel warmth or safety when surrounded by family, instead you
    wish you didn’t have to be there, and seek a place to hide and protect yourself
  • holidays spent with family are just painful and something you try to
    endure instead of enjoy
  • you can’t imagine a world where you’re free and not defined by these