Photo by Two Dreamers

In the story of Quiet Fear, readers are initially led to believe that Lilly’s life with her family is idyllic, but sometimes there’s no place like home.

There’s no place like home, they say, but that can mean entirely different things to different people. It’s safe to say that for almost everyone, family is a very warm and inviting place where they can shed their worries and simply relax, chatting with siblings, parents, catching up with their lives, and recalling fond memories of their childhood.

Yet, for a significant chunk of the populace, family is the source of a lot of terrible memories. For some, it is a very dark place to be in and not somewhere they would want to go back to. Unlike the other individuals that people let into their lives, friends, lovers, colleagues, and all that, you don’t really have a choice in choosing who your family is. 

With your friends, you can decide to stop being friends. You can’t stop being family to your family. Blood is quite a possessive influence, and there is almost no way of extricating yourself from that–but you can try and distance yourself from a toxic family. Although, if you are someone who is still young, this can be especially difficult to do since your family is your only source to meet your basic necessities. 

Of course, everyone has issues with their family, but they are usually things that can be talked about and mended, worked upon–but for, perhaps, every ten families that are simply like that, there is a toxic family that someone wants to escape from. Sometimes, it’s confusing to know whether or not you’re even in a toxic family situation!

Quiet Fear by Cynthia J. Giachino

In the story of Quiet Fearreaders are initially led to believe that Lilly’s life with her family is idyllic and that sometimes there’s really no place like home. 

Playing in the countryside, the farmland, the pine forests of the Midwest, and flowing rivers, all the while with a strong spiritual connection, Lilly’s life sounds dreamlike and unreal. It was a life that you’d only see on the silver screen, but that was only the surface. 

You see, in actuality, Lilly’s life treaded between the past and the present in a perilous push and pull that threatened to swallow her in either complete love or complete dread. All her life was like walking dangerously over a tightrope. 

And when her son was born, it seemed possible for her to walk out of her life and become truly free, but she only discovered that with one foot already anchored to the horrific secrets of a toxic family, it would be impossible to escape. 

Lilly wants a normal life, one of peace and quiet, but will her family let her go? Will the fear that she carries inside her imprison her? With the demons of memory constantly hounding and harassing her, it’s difficult to answer. 

Can she be strong enough to endure the pain, or will she have intimate knowledge of what happens when secrets get a new life?

How A Toxic Family Operates

All families have some problems. There is no denying that. Some parents can be quite strict, and some children can be too rowdy. In the spectrum between bad and good families, it is fair to say that most probably fall squarely in the middle. That is because no matter the overarching philosophy of the household, whether they be traditional or progressive, the collision between characters and personalities always creates problems and issues–but these can usually be fixed through proper mediation and communication.

Yet, for a toxic family, mediation and communication are nearly impossible to establish. It would be a lot like herding cats into a station wagon. What you’ll get out of the experiment is likely to be a flurry of scratches and a rain of hair all over. 

That is why it’s quite important to take notice if your family has either bad but resolvable issues or bad but unresolvable ones. The difference between the two is what separates a toxic family from one that is merely bad. 

Here are some aspects you may want to take notice of the next time you’re interacting with family members to know whether or not you’re in a toxic family:

  • They try to control your behavior at all times.
  • They blame you for anything bad that happens inside the house.
  • They always say that punishment is only discipline.
  • They threaten to withhold your allowance or other necessities.
  • They judge you very harshly.
  • They ignore your opinions and feelings.

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