We address toxic family members and how to navigate (or end) relationships with them, connect by giving back, and offer suggestions on talking to you partner about starting a family.
This newsletter is being composed in an airplane as I travel what seems like a million miles to visit family I haven’t seen since 2019. A baby is crying just a few rows ahead of me, and I am reminded of the first long flight with my eldest and how she cried the whole time. This time she is sitting near me and reading her book, and it’s just another reminder of time passing and life’s ups and downs.
While I am eager to visit my family, I acknowledge it’s because I have positive relationships with these family members. These are family members that I like and enjoy being around. I have missed them. This is certainly not true of all my family relationships, and I know that for many, the holidays are rife with complex and sometimes toxic family dynamics.
This month’s blog article is about navigating these difficult and harmful relationships and includes suggestions on how to navigate ending these relationships, too (if that’s what you’ve decided to do). If you’re feeling anxious about spending time with family over the holidays or are already with family and feeling hurt, then perhaps this article can help.
As always, we hope you reach out if you need any additional support. Our email address is info@takeroottherapy, and you can reach us by phone or text at (323) 388-5578.
We wish you some rest and laughter this holiday season and joy in the new year.
Saba Harouni Lurie (she/her/hers)
On The Blog
How Do I Deal with Toxic Family Members?: The Mental and Emotional Toll of Navigating Harmful Family Relationships
In my family, we learned that blood is thicker than water. Our relationships with each other were to be prized, no matter the cost. So years ago, when I saw an Instagram post by another therapist I follow, a white one, suggesting that if you have a harmful family member, you should cut them out just like you would a malignant tumor, I was shocked! This seemed to challenge the core values my immigrant family instilled in me…
How to Help
How to Help Unhoused and Vulnerable Populations in Los Angeles
According to data from the official 2022 LA County Homeless Count, there are approximately 70,000 unhoused individuals currently living in LA. Almost 70% of those people are currently living outside or in unsheltered conditions. And things have only gotten worse since the outset of the pandemic, leaving LA with one of the largest unhoused populations in the country. As residents of this city, there’s no way to not have an awareness of the homelessness crisis but we’ve sadly become very adept at ignoring the effects that homelessness can have on a person’s mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. Instead, we often pathologize the unhoused, viewing them as a dangerous nuisance rather than people worthy of dignity and respect just like anyone else.
If you are interested in figuring out how to get more involved in helping to the expansive movement aimed at ending the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles, here are a few resources to check out:
– United Way of Greater Los Angeles: This organization is, among many other philanthropic pursuits, dedicated to providing resources to empower the most marginalized communities in Los Angeles. Over the course of their 100 years of service as an organization, they have managed to raised $62 million to help fund affordable housing initiatives. Click here to figure out how to get in involved.
– Donate to the Downtown Women’s Center: While monetary donations are always helpful, many of the women served by this organization are in desperate need of “in-kind” goods like toiletries, sanitary napkins, and undergarments. At Take Root we spend a bit of time each year putting together care packages with these items for the unhoused population in the neighborhood but donating through this organization is also highly effective.
– Bridge of Faith: This organization has a mission of trying to offer support and resources to emancipated young women who’ve aged out of the foster system and often have no safety net or guidance to keep them from ending up unhoused. Click here to learn more about how to volunteer.
Help Distribute Food To Those In Need with the St Francis Center of Los Angeles
Join the St Francis Center this holiday season in working to provide relief and support to homeless and extremely low-income individuals and families in Los Angeles. In their food pantry, you will help sort and organize groceries to be given out as a part of SFC’s comprehensive health and human services programs which are dedicated to caring for those most vulnerable in our community.
Volunteer opportunities are available Tuesdays – Fridays from 9:00am to 12:30pm. Click here to sign up for your preferred date.
Full address and details will be emailed to you after signing up.
Queerback New Year Bash 2023
Queerback is ready for another fun kiki for queers and friends! Come dance to your favorite throwbacks and bring in the new year! 2022 is over and it’s time to celebrate and bring in 2023!
FREE ENTRY all night!!!!!
Saturday, Dec. 31st at 9pm to Sunday, Jan. 1st at 2am
10 & 10 1/2
330 South Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90013
FREE PLANT FRIDAYS! with the California Native Plant Nursery
Join the folks at the California Native Plant Nursery and help to process cuttings, transplant seedlings, sow seed flats, weed, water and fertilize their over 50,000 plants being grown for local restoration purposes. As a thank you for your time and commitment, you’ll get the option to take home 3 of their plants to grow on your own. Please wear hiking or outdoor working attire, bring water/reusable water bottle, sunscreen, and a sun hat!
Friday, December 30th
9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Car Park for Sycamore Canyon
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320