Toxic relationships aren’t something that just happens. Most of the time it starts off like any healthy relationship. But over time the combination of you two becomes toxic. Suddenly you end up in this emotionally abusive relationship where you don’t even realize the damage that’s been done simply because the damage occurred over a period of time. When one is in a toxic relationship, you don’t see how bad it is. You don’t see how much it hurts. You grow numb to the pain. You dismiss the bad parts while clinging to the good parts that act as a highlight reel.
You think it’s love but what it really is, is loving half of one person while being in denial of the toxic parts of them that project onto you. Whatever it is, they take it out on you. You’ve become an easy target because you forgive easily. You don’t take it too personally. But the emotional toll it has on someone to constantly be treated poorly, impacts every relationship you have afterward.
To end a toxic relationship is hard in itself, but to recover from one is where the real challenge begins.
You suddenly become skeptical of everyone. Someone shows you their best and you expect the worst. You enter every relationship not just lacking trust within another, but you don’t even trust yourself anymore.
You associate relationships with control and not something mutual where you meet halfway.
You think your best isn’t good enough because every time before this person looked for any mistake you made, any excuse to lose it on you, any reason to go after you, and they did.
You learned to tip toe and walk on eggshells because you never knew when they’d lose it.
And maybe it wasn’t physical abuse, but emotional abuse does just as much if not worse damage.
When you mess with someone’s head and you blame them for everything suddenly they second themselves, suddenly they question their choices, suddenly they doubt themselves and they seek the approval of those around them.
Overthinking. Overtrying. So much effort towards someone who doesn’t deserve it. But you don’t see it that way. What you learn to is, you see yourself through their eyes.
And along with them picking you apart, they groom you so much that the things they used to say to you, you’re now saying to yourself. A negative stream of blows they turn into self-destruction.
They are constantly striving to be good enough but when your best was never enough, you learned to point at yourself and not the other.
Because in toxic relationships, you learned kindness came with strings attached. Favors came with ownership. Gifts were used for blackmail and manipulation.
Toxic relationships are more about what you do to boost someone else’s ego or how you make someone else look. You are never your own person but rather an extension of someone else. Through that, you fail learning your own identity thinking all you are good for is what you can do for someone else. Your own self-worth begins to be defined by someone else and through someone else’s eyes.
Then you begin to believe everything they say. They manipulate you so much even if you did pull away or leave, they don’t even have to say anything to get you to come back. You do so on your own.
Toxic relationships are just running in these circles that never really end. Your emotions are some game to them. And how you react, gives them this high because they have this influence on you.
You never really feel free from someone toxic because even when you walk away, they hold you without touch. They’ve conditioned you and impact you even in their absence.
You look at yourself and see them.
So even after goodbye, they are a ghost that haunts and turns you into your own worst enemy.
Walking away isn’t the hardest part it’s, reteaching yourself what you deserve in a relationship.
It’s learning to forgive someone who will never say sorry, but also learning to forgive yourself for letting the relationship linger.
It’s learning who you are at your worst and making a choice to never be that weak or vulnerable again and allow someone to control you like they did.
It’s repeating over and over again good things about yourself, when the voice that’s on repeat, says something negative. It’s being able to distinguish whose voice that really is.
Toxic relationships teach you what love actually is and what it isn’t.
Love isn’t control. Love isn’t manipulation. Love isn’t blackmail. Love is not being someone’s property. Love is not taking all the blame. Love is not being someone’s punching bag. Love is not circles you run in. Love is not liking only half of one person and tolerating the bad sides of who you are. Love does not criticize you. Love does tear you down to build themselves up. Love does not need I’m sorry, I still love you after tearing you apart.
You learn about the love you want. You learn about the love you need. You learn that this will never happen again.
Toxic relationships destroy you from the inside out, but a toxic relationship doesn’t mean that’s all that’s in store for you.
Healing from toxic relationships starts with taking responsibility for your own actions, but also understanding you aren’t responsible for someone else’s.
It’s not your fault.
When you realize that your relationships change.
You’ll meet someone good, kind, and genuine, you might not believe it at first, but there’s something about the person who pulls you in when you are afraid to get close to anyone, there’s something about the person who teaches you you didn’t deserve any of this and I’m going to be the exception.