This idea is not mutually exclusive to family. You shouldn’t feel morally obligated to support your family, whether it be a father, mother, sister, brother etc, IF they are dragging you down and making your life more hellish. Being family doesn’t exclude them for taking responsibility for their actions. Culture has attached these grand emotional sentiments to ‘family’ and ‘friends’ that often manifest into poisonous relationships that everyone feels trapped in, but is obligated to stay in due to unwritten cultural rule of ‘family always sticks together’. We’ve ‘family’ on this huge pedestal that almost removes them from taking responsibility for the hell that they can impart on ones life.
Being family doesn’t mean you have to give unlimited chances to prove they can get their act together. It doesn’t mean you have to stand by their self destruction and watch them burn just because you want to ‘be there for them’. They end up not only burning themselves, but everything around them caught in the crossfire — that includes you. Why is it selfish to save yourself? Maybe it is actually selfish, but maybe that’s not a bad thing in some circumstances — maybe it’s exactly what’s needed. Maybe you’d feel too guilty to step back or walk away. Maybe you need to go down the chasm with them so they know they’re not alone and you know you’re a good person. Or maybe you need to stand up for yourself and realise when enough is enough. When you’ve climbed into the chasm a dozen times to save someone who doesn’t want to be saved, one day you might fall down with them and not return. Is that a risk you’re willing to take? Can your strength of character handle such suffering? Maybe it can. But maybe it can’t. Maybe you need to save yourself so you can one day help those who want to be helped in the future, those who actually can be helped and saved.