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It’s Okay to Shut Them Out

by M W 4 years ago in advice

If someone is toxic, let them go.

Do you ever wonder what your life would be like if a certain person (or people) wasn’t a part of it? Well, if they do nothing but stress you out or create dangerous situations... just let them go. Even if it is a parent or a sibling, there is absolutely no shame in cutting them off. You have to do what is best for you.

I have experience with this, personally. The person I cut from my life is my dad. He’s an addict, drugs and alcohol. Now, growing up things were always great, or at least they seemed that way to a child. I’ve since learned that that isn’t actually the case.

My father has always been an avid weed smoker. That’s fine with me, I have no issues with it. But when I was 14, about to start my freshman year of high school, he started doing the more serious drugs, and really abusing the prescriptions he was taking for all of his back problems.

He had always been the kind of person who hid things and lied, even about ridiculous small things. This is why it took us a while to figure out what was actually going on. Money would disappear, even MY money, not just from my parents’ account. He’d be gone an absurd amount of time when he was only supposed to be going out for milk or cigarettes.

Then, my normally pleasantly plump father started losing weight. He claimed it was due to a diet he was on, and maybe the rest of us should eat better like him. This was not true, he just wasn’t eating at all because he was too high and sleeping most of the time.

By the end of that school year, my mom decided to leave him. A week later, dad was in jail for possession. When he got out after a month, mom let him come live in our new house against my wishes.

While I don’t *think* he’s done anything quite like that since his time behind bars, he has overdosed a few times and also been arrested for DUIs. He’ll go years in between incidents. Just when you think he’s finally over all that stuff, he surprises you with slurred speech or excessive drinking. It became extremely exhausting.

Two years ago, my mom left him for good. I’ve never been more proud of her. She’s so much happier without him.

I’ve tried to keep my distance, but have only been truly successful in avoiding him in the last 15 months. Two of my sisters have kept in touch with him the whole time, and the other recently had a baby and has begun reaching out to him. I haven’t seen him since his brother’s funeral.

My life is so much different now. I don’t wonder when the next time will be that I find him passed out on the porch, or in such a drugged state that he literally cannot move or speak. If someone tells me he’s been drinking again or back on drugs, it won’t disappoint me the way it used to.

I have a boyfriend who he’s never met, and I’m not even sure he knows exists. We plan to have kids someday, and that fact almost makes me want to talk to him again. He would definitely approve of this relationship. But I just can’t make myself send him a message.

The moral of this story is simple. No matter who someone is to you, you don’t have to keep them in your life if they are not enhancing it. Their absence might make you sad every once in a while, but the overall quality of your life will improve drastically.



I’m a 26 year old nanny, who loves dogs and kids. Co-habitating with my boyfriend of not-quite a year, figuring life out together.

Read next: My Thoughts on Love

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