I hope you can help me. Over the past year I have found myself in the middle of a feud with my siblings.
We all own equal shares within a home. I suppose the problems that have surfaced were inevitable, as we are all strong characters and we all have different ideas as to what is best for the property moving forwards.
As we have grown older, we have found it difficult to communicate respectfully with one another. Some terrible and hurtful things have been said, which has caused a great deal of pain. To be frank, my family members are hostile and aggressive, incapable of remaining calm and doing what is best for everybody. All they see is what is best for themselves. I have become a target of their hostility recently. In spite of my best intentions and hard work, I have received a torrent of abuse. Stress has begun to kick in and I feel that the situation is affecting my well-being. I simply have reached a point whereby I have had enough.
Do you have any suggestions as to what I can do to find peace of mind?
Peace of mind. It is something that we all deserve and it is essential for our health. Unfortunately, as you have discovered, rifts in the family such as this can be a major source of stress, especially given that the reactions of others are beyond our control.
Whenever property is a source of contention, the situation can often feel impossible to appease. It reads as though the tensions amongst your siblings have escalated to the stage the feud has come to feel irrevocable.
It sounds as though there is a deep struggle at play here to achieve a compromise suited to each of you. As you have no doubt experienced, without compromise there can be no harmony, particularly when family members are incapable of thinking beyond themselves.
Family counselling is a process available to you, if you collectively wish to resolve the problem at hand and is perhaps something for all of you to consider. However, it may take substantial time for your siblings to be open to a process such as this, if at all. Personal counselling is also something for you to think about. It may prove helpful in light of the pain that has been unearthed and provide you with the opportunity to reflect upon what aspects you are able to control within this situation you are facing. The process will also be helpful to you in laying down the foundations of forgiveness and letting go of what has been said to you over the course of this year, which is no easy task.
The point being, communication is key, be it spoken or written if preferred and you should consider it a tool that will support you in conquering your stress. I am sorry to hear the pain that this experience has caused you. It is because of this pain that it is paramount that you are able to enforce boundaries with your family members moving forwards to ensure no further distress is caused for you. By boundary, I mean communicating respectfully and calmly what you will no longer tolerate. In defining what is not an acceptable way to treat you, be it verbal abuse, disrespectful attitudes or threats of violence, you are safe-guarding yourself from the poor behaviours your family are actively demonstrating.
All you can do here Tarik, is your best and lead by example. Whether your family members choose to follow your example is up to them. You may find that your family repel your efforts to attain peace or resist the boundaries that you attempt to put in place. Knowing when to walk away therefore, is vital as there comes a time when you have no choice but to prioritise yourself. If this is the case, communicate clearly that if your family members wish to speak with you in a decent manner, then your door is open to them. Until that time, your door is closed.
It is important that your sense of self-worth remains intact, therefore self-care is critical. I appreciate that it is difficult, but focusing on your sleep, health, diet, joy, work and future needs can only serve to make you stronger. Meditation, exercise and spending time with those who lift and support you will also help to combat your stress levels.
I hope in time that your family members will learn to treat you respectfully. Until that time, choose you. Negative experiences with loved ones often serve as a life lesson and can in fact be positive for you in the long run. If anything the stress you have endured up to now, reaffirms for you that anybody who threatens your peace of mind from here on out must not be prioritised before yourself.
Take good care Tarik. Wishing you the peace you absolutely deserve,
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