How family toxicity can help us understand ourselves

Adrian George Nicolae
2 min readJul 17, 2022
Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

I recently saw this movie called The Book of Life, which while it has some similarities to another one that came afterwards, Coco, it is quite different in other ways.

I’m not going to spoil much, but I will say that the subject of family is quite prevalent in both, yet more so in TBoL.
And not just there. I’ve been following Japanese media in most forms (manga, anime, movie) and have noticed, so it’s nice to see it in Western media, too, especially in an animated form, things being said.

The main one being said, is that while your family and relatives will have your back, they are also toxic, and are looking to mold you into something that they’d like to see/be.

This is something I’m seeing a bit more in Western media, with some of the more popular ones being Encanto, Turning Red, The Adam Project, and Everything Everywhere All at Once.
Granted, two of them are also animated, yet they have a common thing. The initial toxicity of the parents towards their child(ren) and how they overcome some things to make said parents understand that it’s not okay, and to accept them for who they are.

Back in the day, maybe even twenty years ago, but I primarily remember more from movies made in the ’80s, that it was the parents’ way (which is generally the father’s) or the highway, which is why you saw a lot of different kinds of things that makes one identify Americana with.

I’m sure this is going on for aeons, however, nowadays, with the advent of propagated media, internet access, and hurt people who dislike the status quo, we are changing what we’d want from our parents, in a way.

There is still a lot of work to be done.
But can you imagine a place without any wars, where the only war was within you, and that would also be healed?
You know, a world where good news would get more clicks than bad news. Because, otherwise, the main difference between now and Ancient Greek/Roman times is that we have internet. Cool, huh?

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