If you have ever dealt with poisonous family members, you've probably felt for Meghan Markle, now the Duchess of Sussex, for the last few months.
Weeks before her royal wedding on May 19, her half-brother Thomas Markle Jr. made headlines with a devastating letter to the tabloids, claiming she would cut off her family and urge Prince Harry to reconsider the marriage.
Last week, her half-sister Samantha Grant – the loudest of all vociferous Markles – escalated the family feud with a series of angry tweets on her private account targeting the former actress. Several outlets captured screenshots of the tweets.
"My father is not embarrassed to love his daughter! The Royals are embarrassed that they are so cold," Grant wrote on June 1
"Like would it be if you paid tribute to your own father? "Enough is enough," Grant continued. "Act like a humanitarian act like a woman! If our dad dies, I hold you responsible, Meg!" (Grant is reported to be performing in the upcoming season of British "Celebrity Big Brother"), so prepare for more of this "Taunted Sister".)
The Tweet tirade occurred two days after the father of Duchess Sussex, Thomas Markle, had told The Sun that his daughter was "scared" to be a king and that she was since the day after her wedding with Prince Harry, he has not spoken to him anymore.
It can be difficult to see a family drama happening on such a public stage – even more so if you have equally difficult family members and can identify yourself. It may not be easy for the new American-born Royal.
In that sense, we have asked family therapists to give the advice they would give the Duchess of Sussex – and anyone else with venomous family members. 19659009] 1. Sometimes the best line of defense is silence.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have remained silent about their family except for a carefully worded statement published shortly before the wedding at Kensington Palace.
That may be the best; When you're dealing with venomous family members, retreat is usually your greatest form of protection, said Sherrie Campbell, a psychologist in Southern California.
"Toxic humans do not usually change, even their kindness can be a form of manipulation," Campbell said. "I do not think she has any ties with them to hurt her, but to protect herself, and Meghan has to remind herself that she deserves to be loved without games, manipulation, and scapegoat."
second Make fair but tough ground rules if you decide to get involved.
Marie Land, a psychologist in Washington, D.C., told HuffPost that the Duchess of Sussex's family can not recognize how hurtful her unilateral public spitting is. When dealing with family members who seem to be targeting floggings, it is perfectly appropriate to disrupt communication or at least establish hard but fair ground rules.
"Meghan is an adult and she can tell her family that she is open to conversation and engagement under certain conditions," Land said. "It could be something like" I'm happy to talk to you and work on our relationship as long as you do not talk to the media. "I would say that's a pretty low and reasonable bar for the other Markles to hit."
3. Realize that it is common for adults to distance themselves from the family.
Many grow up and realize that their family of origin does not have their best interests. To distance oneself emotionally from people you love is "one of the toughest human tasks out there, but sometimes it's necessary," said Carrie Barron, psychiatrist and director of the Creativity for Resilience program at Dell Medical School, Austin, Texas , 19659005] "Dare to do what you did not have, but go on," she said. "It's important to fight the natural urge to be near your poisonous family of origin and try to work it off, peel it off, when others condemn you for not inviting them to your home or wedding, or you have blocked the phone line, then be it. "
4. Lean into the friends and family you supported.
Sources say that Duchess Sussex's relationship with her siblings was always tense. She also seems to keep her dad at arm's length after it was revealed that he had staged paparazzi photos before the wedding.
Meanwhile, her relationship with her mother seems to be tight.
"We can just have so much fun together, and yet I will still find so much comfort in their support," she said last summer by Ragland in Glamor. "This duality co-exists as well as with a best friend."
This natural propensity to a parent is perfectly fine, said Tina B. Tessina, a psychotherapist and author of It Ends with You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction
"It's for her Okay, if she prefers to be connected to her mother, who seems to understand how she behaves, "Tessina said. "It's okay if someone responds well to people who respect and treat them well, and distance themselves from anyone."
. 5 Also embrace your new family.
The royal members have no lack of experience in dealing with unruly family members. (Remember that Edward VIII voluntarily abolished the throne to marry the American divorce of Wallis Simpson?) Her reluctance to comment on the Duchess of Sussex's machinations is probably intentional, Land said.
"Instead of answering any story, if they want to support it as best as possible, the royal family should focus on listening to Meghan and occasionally asking her, not constantly, if there is any way they can help," Land said.
The therapist added, "She has lost a sense of control over her life with all the gossip her family has publicly circulated, she must feel that she has some power in the situation and that she is do not have to deal with the added stress of feeling guilty because that affects the royal family. "
6. If people condemn you for separating enemy family members, try to get it started.
There is no lack of judgment when someone makes the decision to break away from a family member. The Duchess of Sussex had its fair share of critics, especially Piers Morgan. Earlier this month, the TV personality wrote a comment in the Daily Mail denouncing the "stony silence" of her "former friend" against her father.
From the outside, however, it's easy to judge, Baron said. Mostly, those who did not grow up with poisonous family members do not understand that family separation can feel like a survival act.
"It takes tremendous courage to let go," she said. "Meghan has to identify with people who excite her with her good character, her heartiness, liveliness and humanity – in her case, people are like her mother, and then she and everyone else with a venomous family should follow the words of the poet Mary Oliver and you live "a wild and precious life" without guilt or fear. "