The thing about breaking the cycle of dysfunction (which sounds like a snap but in reality involves many layers and much time and effort) is that we really must own our choices as we move along with it. Inevitably, we will find ourselves having to interact with others who are up to the neck in emotional toxicity (such as siblings, like when a parent is facing an advanced illness), and we may struggle with making comparisons and trying to figure out what our own course of action should be even though it may differ drastically from how our siblings are choosing to act during high-stress times. We must remember that our lives are the way they are now because of choices we made a very long time ago. Even though we might have been through some tough stuff that we very well may have brought on ourselves (and are still working hard to stay healthy and free), we saw into the future very early on and made our choices way back then about how we wanted things to go later on. We must protect the life we have grown; we made our choices, and it’s time for us to own them. We do not have to let other people’s insecurities cause us to be insecure. And just because we aren’t being carried away by our emotions (as maybe used to be the case) doesn’t mean we have to jump into someone else’s runaway ship. We are the stable ones because that is exactly what we have been growing all of these years. We are the strong, level-headed, and wise ones because these are the qualities we have sought out and have been working hard to develop in our lives all of these years. We must not let ourselves be swayed for one second. It’s kind of a good feeling (though still troubling) to finally see and feel the dysfunction from the outside—because that means we are out of it at last and have some true detachment.