Toxic Relationships in Black Family Households


Many people have been all for removing toxic relationships from their lives and separating themselves from negative energy to protect their own. As important as that is, it’s not easy for everyone. Can you imagine how much harder it is when you receive that same kind of toxic treatment from parents? Unfortunately, parent toxicity is a hushed topic in the Black community and is more common in families than one would think. Not everyone is aware that they may have grown up in a toxic household but they carry the baggage to prove it.


We may have all experienced the occasional spanking for not following directions or lecture for talking back. This is a part of the discipline that comes with parenting as most people believe. However, there is a hidden pain behind relationships with parents who are manipulative by using their actions and words. Verbal abuse and emotional neglect have left children living in fear and experiencing psychological distress. Psychological distress tends to be a generational matter in black families, something that our parents have from their parents and unfortunately, we gradually become a part of the cycle. We see our parents struggling to cope with emotional damage from their childhood and unintentionally bring it into our own lives. This distress can be identified as feelings of rejection, low self-esteem, and poor decisions. A child’s troubles are not addressed because their parents’ troubles never were when they were younger. It is okay to talk about emotional health within our households and the problems that surround it. Many people think it makes one look weak, but it is actually everything we need to build a stronger foundation for our families.

(Source: Twitter)

In order to break this cycle of emotional neglect in the black community, it starts with us. We have the power to instill within ourselves routines of self-care, empowerment, healthy relationships, and healing. It is okay to seek professional help and get the necessary care to cope with burdens from the past. This is most important for black males who are seemingly never encouraged to understand their emotions and feelings. Right now, by making a change in our own lives, we are setting an example for our children. Our families will no longer be victims of the lack of emotional availability. We will rise up from this cycle of fear, rejection, anger, and hurt and begin to uphold confidence, reassurance, love, and well-being.