I see too many people who are disappointed in their blood family. I’m not talking about the garden variety disappointment that we all see. I’m talking about a life of abuse, neglect, and shame on the part of your blood relative. People who on the outside who present that everything is fine, but behind closed doors, speak of unthinkable acts committed against them.

Sexual assault, physical beatings, intimidation, and bodily shame, just to name a few. What does a child do when their mother or father tells them they ruined their life? How are they supposed to feel knowing that the same person, or the people who are genetically programmed to protect them, end up destroying them internally? They begin to doubt their worth, their abilities and their very existence because their family has bad blood.

Let this be your wake-up call. Sometimes blood is bad. Sometimes our protectors are the instrument of pain. Realizing this is the first step in healing. It’s okay to get rid of bad blood. Many times your guilt will be associated with letting go. Either from you or from the person who committed those transgressions against you. But it is a trap. The family is designed to nurture, not annihilate. And if you are in a healthy position to wish something better for yourself, you should run.

I have never seen someone who wishes to be healthy as a character flaw. It is a statement of faith and affirmation of oneself. That you are valuable and viable. It’s not your job to accept their criticism, abuse, or endure neglect, all because someone lacks basic human compassion.

We’ve all heard the saying that hurt people hurt people. While this is true, I say that hurt people hurt people, and it is not your job to suffer with them and sink into that den. Blood or not, you deserve to be happy. And as you move away, you will need a safe space and a new support network. You will need to learn a new set of skills. It will take time to understand that not all people are willing to overcome it. You will need to learn new behaviors that take you out of your comfort zone. You have to resist the urge to feel guilty for wanting a healthy life. And as he does so, he is rewriting the internal script in his mind.

This is a process. Start by seeking professional help. Set some limits. Say goodbye to everything that does not help you evolve. If you are still reading this, this is your moment. Let go of judgment and anger. They are also as destructive as bad blood. There are support groups, online groups, therapy, coaching, self-help measures, and much more. Jump headlong and save yourself. Let today be your affirmation that you are important.

Not all families are the same. And life is not always fair. You matter And if you are the one who caused the bad blood, may today be the day you acknowledge your part in their pain. Offer an apology. If they need space, honor it. Get help. Learn to forgive yourself and then gain new skills. The best apology comes in the form of behavior change. And if you’ve lost them forever, keep them in your heart and keep the door open without intruding.

Bad blood. Walk away. It doesn’t make you a bad person. Because the pain will not stop if you are constantly infected.

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