Actress Angelina Jolie had a chaotic relationship with her father growing up.
As a result, she became estranged from him and even changed her last name to disconnect from all her painful memories.
She says, "I don't believe that somebody's family becomes their blood, families are earned."
Titles mean nothing when you never felt close to someone who was supposed to be there, but offered little to no support.
Does this sound familiar?
Here are 6 side effects of growing up in a toxic family.
One: you have a fear of being manipulated.
Toxic families often involve some sort of daily manipulation between 2 or more family members.
Manipulation is a serious form of mental and emotional abuse.
Whether you've been directly manipulated or watched someone you love be a victim to it, this can cause you to grow fearful of this toxic behavior.
As a result, you may become avoidant of others in order to protect yourself.
Two: you struggle with developing your self-identity.
People who come from toxic families often struggle with image and low self-esteem issues because they weren't nurtured to have confidence in themselves.
You might have grown up with parents who never respected your boundaries, often verbally abused you, or didn't allow you room for you to develop your own beliefs, dreams and interests.
Consequently, you begin to see yourself in a negative light.
Instead of having nurturing parents who helped you accept your flaws, mistakes, and failures, you faced harsh criticism on a daily basis.
Without a healthy sense of esteem, one can miss out on fulfilling their talents and potential.
Three: you have difficulty trusting others.
Children first learn how to form relationships with others from their parents.
Toxic parents often give children a reason to close up, and they become distrustful of the world.
When you learn to put walls up out of fear of being vulnerable, it makes it hard for you to connect and relate with others.
Four: you have trouble interacting socially.
Studies from Texas Woman's University shows that adults who were raised in dysfunctional families reported struggles maintaining romantic relationships and overcoming their insecurities because they feared losing control.
As a result, many of them would deny reality and their own feelings.
When you grow up in a household that exposes you to neglect, abuse and mistreatment, the last thing you want to do is get close to people who might let you down or betray you.
Five: you have anxiety overload.
According to a study published in The Journal Of Behavior Therapy And Experimental Psychiatry, people who were raised in a dysfunctional household are more likely to be diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder.
As a result, children who grew up in a toxic environment are at risk of developing problems with their academics, social life and impulse control, because their brain is continuously exposed to cortisol, the stress hormone.
Systems of Generalized Anxiety Disorder include headaches, irritability, muscle tension, sweating, constant worrying and feelings of restlessness.
Six: you deal with the trauma by going through emotional cutoff or estrangement from your family.
Once children from toxic families grow up into adults who can financially support themselves, they often experience emotional cutoff or estrangement to disconnect from their unresolved family conflict.
Emotional cutoff, coined by American psychiatrist Marie Bowen, is a process that involves either physically distancing oneself from a family member or avoiding sensitive topics in a conversation to reduce anxiety.
Some people choose to disconnect from their family members because it's better than drowning along with someone who hasn't changed or been treated for their unhealthy behavior.
Have you experienced these side effects?
We know that sometimes it might seem impossible to recover from them, but we're here to offer a safe, judgment free space where you can talk about what you've faced.
If you're feeling brave, please share your story with us down below.
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