Toxicity in family, can't take it anymore

So, this morning I was riding with my dad to get my sister’s car because it the steering wheel was working right so I parked it at a sprint gas station for two nights and when I got into the car he was telling about how my dad’s gf son, let’s call him D and his gf M, over heard some things my sister and she does get loud when she fly’s off the handle with stuff.

So, D overheard my sister saying some things about his mom and said that she called her a hoe and some things about how she’s sick of her or something like that and it started when I told her something about what our dad said about her buying a cake around thanksgiving. I don’t remember the conversation itself or all that was said but I told my dad that, that’s not what she said and he was talking to me about how she just like my mom and have her ways and how it’s best for her to live by herself which I definitely agree with.

Stuff like this happens because I end up telling her what dad says about my sister behind her back because I felt like she needed to know I guess? Now I am wondering if I am the one instigating things…I mean things get out of hand when I tell her what happens and she does get angry and get loud where everyone can hear here. I am not sure if this is the best thing for me to do but I am thinking about start keeping conversations just between me and dad so there would be less chaos but one thing my sister was right about is that our dad does need help and I believe they both need to sit things out and talk about it with a therapist…please, I need advice on this.

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Sounds like a therapist would be a good idea. Everyone letting everything out and hopefully looking for solutions.

Hey Annie!
First of all, I’m sorry you’re dealing with all this drama in your family! It’s no fun to be all caught up in the middle of family drama.

Here’s something that might be helpful to you. It’s not normal or healthy for a parent to talk to their child about another child. I would highly recommend telling your dad that you don’t want to hear him say anything negative about your sister anymore. Essentially, “If you’ve got a problem with her, you need to talk to her about it.” It’s way too stressful to be in the middle of this kind of conflict in any situation–but even more so when it’s family!

It sounds like it eats you up to hear your dad say things about your sister–especially when she’s not there to defend herself! I highly recommend setting those boundaries so that your dad knows that it’s not okay for him to talk about your sister to you.

I’m sure you are right about your family needing therapy (don’t we all!) but just remember that you can’t force them to get healthy. All you can do is try to remove yourself from the unhealthy situations as much as possible. One of the most frustrating things in life is that we can’t make people make the decisions that we know are best for them.

My suggestion is to lead by example. Refuse to be part of the toxicity/drama/gossip. If your dad starts talking crap, say, “Hey, I reallly don’t want to hear this. So, if you want to keep talking about my sister then I’ll just go out and get some coffee. I’ll be back when you cool off!” Not sarcastic or rude, just matter-of-fact. “I love you. I love her. I’m not interested in being in the middle of all this.” And I would try to make an effort to do the reverse with your sister… though the sibling dynamic is significantly different than father and daughter.

I love your heart. You obviously love your family deeply! Just remember to love yourself enough to set up boundaries so you don’t go crazy!


Thank you. I will start keeping things just between me and dad or sister and try to gently approach him about therapy and the things he say about her


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