When Family Boundaries are Challenging!

Updated: May 23, 2013

Dear Colette,

I have an extreme problem. Family members are controlling my life to a complete destruction. This is a confirmed fact.  I refuse to just be trampled by them but I do not know what to do.  I have tried everything to fight their negative influences and lies but they continue prevail in their efforts to devastate my earning ability and now my health.  Please help me by providing an opinion on how I could protect myself from them. – No More Control

Dear No More Control,

An extreme problem needs an extreme solution.

You’ve asked me for my opinion so here it is, strictly my opinion. If someone was devastating my earning ability and my health and I was letting it continue to happen, I’d have to ask myself what is the payoff for me remaining in that relationship?  I know it would break my heart to separate from my family but perhaps the pain of allowing my heart to break by distancing myself may be the healthier solution.

Before you dismiss my opinion, consider these two things.  Number one, don’t try to change people.  Recognize that people are exactly as they are. Second, no one can control your life unless you allow them to.  We stay in something abusive because we feel connected to that person. It will feel “wrong” to betray the family story by choosing to remove yourself altogether.  There is a payoff of familiarity that we get from family, but is that strong enough motivation to stay?

When we know our abusers, we know what they are, we want them to be different and we stay because we have this deep connection and obligation that we feel towards them.  Fighting doesn’t work. Removing yourself altogether is a way of neutralizing it. Make a plan to leave, be it all at once, or in small steps, but if you want to take control of your life, your finances and your health, it has to start and end with you, not them.

Love and blessings,
Colette Baron-Reid
Intuitive Counselor

If you have a question you would like to ask Colette, write to her at [email protected]All published questions and answers will be anonymous – we honor and protect your privacy. (Please, Colette respectfully requests that you do not ask for a reading as the anticipated response.)


Showing 10 comments
  • MizzC

    To: No More Control, you must be a special person. Know that you are special, evidently every one else does but they allow their dissatisfaction with themselves to propel them to “control” you. I bet you really “got it goin on” and don’t know it yet. Others fear YOUR joy and success or possible joy and success. Hey, crazy human nature. Be strong and love yourself enough to take control of yourself. I’m glad u and Collette shared. I have some situations within my Family andI have recently decided to “do me” and let others do themselves – without me. Much Love and Understanding to you. I feel better about having to distance myself from those I love as a result of your sharing.

  • Kelli Sappenfield

    I couldn’t agree more. I had to do this with my only sibling. It was not easy by any means but she had been a negative in my families lives for decades and finally I had reached my last straw when she went against our Mother’s well-being while she was in the hospital. Even Mom’s health team was wondering why I put up with her. Mom even said as she laid there knowing she would never leave the hospital alive; let her go, she may be blood in this incarnation but our souls know who are true family. Someone who opperates on such a conscious vabration that causes such negativity does not have to be kept in our vabrations hemisphere. Listen to your soul it will always keep you in good stead. Knowing you are in great company and loved much

  • Gail

    I was thinking of my family this morning and the decision I came to was to separate from them as I have a similar situation as NMC. I choose to have boundries in my life which in turn gives me control and not them having control. That being said, Colette I agree with your answer~

  • Antonia Brown

    No more control, Colette is right, I was in a situation where I gave up my life for my husband and children, I suppressed my spirituality, My husband became totally dependent on me.
    He would not make his own decisions on anything even finances, he became a dependent child and I already had one of those, I thought my son and I where close too.
    When I needed help with illness they abandoned me.
    I asked spirit for help, I ended up loosing everything, But have regained my in dependance
    I now work for spirit at a spiritual church, have my own unit am a lot healthier then I was,
    The only thing I really lost was pain, trouble.
    My son has even stopped me from seeing my grandchildren. I accept this.
    My eldest son came to my rescue. I know eventually I will see the grandchildren again because spirit is helping me. I let go and let god and am now free and happy.

  • Ping Xu

    Colette, I love what you said that ” it has to begin and end with you, not them” !

    No more control, I feel deep down in your heart, you know what to do. It is as obvious as your name– no more control! I take control ! 🙂 I wonder what is stopping you to take the step and make it happen. And I want to share with you that, most of the time, even though we really want to know, we wouldn’t know what would happen until we take the first step. While if we are following your heart calling, we will smile in the end, and we will be rewarded and supported by all the gifts and beauties along the journey.

    I believe in you, you can do it ! 🙂

  • Ellie

    I will put a different perspective on this. Sometime people are so insecure that they become very defensive and interpret any communication attempt, such as an innocent advice, as an attempt to control.
    So, it may be that the person indeed is so insecure and misinterprets everything. Been there.. I moved thousands miles away from my daugher to give her total freedom to live her life they way she wants. However even an innocent and very rare communication is always interpreted as a controlling. I love and miss her and grandchildren very much, however for her peace of mind, rarely contact her, she does the same. The same goes with her sibling.
    But what is sad, she turned into a control freak herself- she would not even allow her children to come to the phone without her being present- on their birthdays..
    So there are 2 sides of the story. Always

  • Ellie

    I meant to say she treats her sibling the way she treats me. She would not allow him to buy birthday gifts for her children without her approval. I love her the way she is, but my heart is broken.

  • Dawn

    I woke up this morning feeling weighed down by an issue that cropped up with my mum this past week. I wont got to much into but our family is very divided and there seems at present very little way to resolve it. My mum made some very hurtful comments more then likely unaware to herself but its comments that as a 36 year old woman I don’t need to hear any more. Over the years as a child I had some issues with my weight. I became fixated with my weight as a teenager and didn’t help by my mum always picking fault with my weight (even though I was only a size 8 and at times less) She pointed out every non existent bulge growing up that had massive effects not only on my mental health but my physical health to. Today I am 36 and proud to say I am a happy size 12 with some motherly bulges here and there. I had the pleasure of going shopping with her this past week where every bulge I had was yet again pointed out. Amongst that other issues with her have cropped up and I been very sensitive in energy began reverting back to my childhood years and how her insensitive comments used to make me feel. I also felt terribly guilty for thinking bad of my mother. This morning by divine intervention I came across this page! Amen to that. This lovely blog helped me get centred again. Shed a tear or two and finally say enough is enough. I choose now to step out of the control games and live my own life. Independent of my wounded family. Thank you Colette for re-affirming what I know I need to do but was feeling bad about having to do. Bless you.

  • Emily

    I believe we are all put here for a certain purpose.The people we are related to and our friends are in our lives to teach us . While some might teach us more than others it all impacts our Spirit in a substantial way. I am a highly empathetic individual and have struggled greatly with trying to reinforce boundaries in personal relationships. I agree with many of the comments that have been posted. It all comes down to one thing though…. No matter how much we care about someone we have to realize that repeated negative patterns are not healthy or rewarding for us to thrive and grow. Let us help those that WANT help , stay true to ourselves , and love ourselves flaws included. Take control of your life and choose to live in a positive and healthy environment . We all deserve it!!
    God Bless!

    • Dawn

      Amen xxx

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