TERMINATING TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS
Having been the one to end a relationship and being on the other end of the break up, I've learned that although the physical relationship ended, it doesn't really end until you can detach yourself completely. I have once written a blog post on this topic before. It was about realizing that I was (and still am) a doormat, if you've read it before, you might recognize a few bits and pieces within this post.
In every relationship that I am in I usually end up giving too much of myself to the other person. No matter what the nature of the relationship is, I tend to care too much and neglect my well-being. As of late, I have been cutting off toxic friendships and finding closure through accepting the past and within myself. Although I could be portrayed as the bitch who just ghosted someone, I did it for my own good. Sometimes I just need a break from a relationship that requires a lot of effort because I need some time to breathe and recharge. It doesn't necessarily mean I want to stop being your friend, it just means I need to take time for myself and focus on my happiness. With that being said, I do this with my best friends as well. I will cancel plans and stay home for weeks on end because I feel the need to recharge myself or else I'll go crazy. But this is not to be mistaken for cessation of a relationship.
It usually takes me way too long to realize when I am being taken advantage of. It took me a while to realize that I was a doormat because I didn't want to believe that this is who I was. Usually my parents warn me to be careful, that I'm too nice to those I love and care for and that would some day backfire right in my face. Even though I listened to their advice and was cautious to not wear my heart on my sleeve. I subconsciously wore my heart on my sleeve anyway and none of their advice could prepare me for the disappointment I had to face at the end of a relationship. Besides my parents often telling me how extra I am being for someone else, I have few who also tell me how thinly I spread myself out for someone else, I never listened and every time I ended up with a broken heart. At the end of a long companionship, I usually dwell for months on end before realizing that the way I was treated was inexcusable and I deserve much better than what I received.
Looking at the past relationships I have been in, I have learned a lot. From what it's like being in a relationship with someone, learning the difference of dependency between a friend and a lover and most importantly, myself. I learned about the kind of person I am. I've learned that I will bend over backwards, walk the world twice and more for you if I care about you and it didn't matter whether or not you would do the same. In fact, it didn't matter if you even truly loved me, I was so blinded that even though you were clearly only using me for whatever reason, I ignored it. I probably saw and knew that you were using me but I chose not to see it. I chose not to see the horrible attitude but instead insisted that it could've been because they were having a bad day even though I knew that they weren't. I fooled myself to ease my cognitive dissonance. I dimmed my own light so that they could shine brighter, bigger and better because I believed that it was necessary to sacrifice everything and anything possible to make them happy but in the process I ended up compromising my own happiness.
As a kid I was always quiet and timid and as I grew up I kept those qualities but somehow gained the reputation of being mean. I am often told by my friends that before they got to know me, they thought I hated them or that I was insanely mean and because of this reputation, I started of thinking of myself as someone who had this hard exterior, someone who was tough and couldn't be taken advantage of no matter what. I think that by believing that I was who my reputation portrayed me to be, I was invincible from everything including heartbreak. With this false sense of confidence, I thought that everything I endured by those I trusted the most was normal, it wasn't anything I couldn't handle, I mean after all I believed that I was someone who couldn't be hurt. I don't know if this mindset makes sense but this is how I saw myself for the longest and this one of the main reasons that delayed my realization of how I needed to cut off these toxic people in my life. The idea of terminating a detrimental relationship terrified me. I was scared of how those people would feel, what they would think or what they'd think of me. Again, I cared more about their feelings than my own. Being such a passive person, I didn't even know where to start.
Here's an example of the termination of a relationship:
After my period of grievance, I was completely exhausted from sobbing and feeling bad for myself so I wrote out all of my feelings in my journal because I'm sure that my friends and family were tired of hearing about it, plus it felt more cathartic to just write it all out. Every single time I find myself doing a complete 360°, going from devastated to enraged and even resentful. I cut off all contact and deleted all pictures and went cold turkey. I felt a strong presence resentment and I wanted nothing more than to better myself to return to my old self. The one that didn't rely on anyone and especially the one that didn't walk on eggshells fearing the wrath of a loved one. I know that not everyone can pretend that a relationship didn't happen but the way I saw it was that you can either spend your days wallowing and wondering what you did wrong and blaming yourself or you can take matters into your own hands. Stand up for yourself, even if it's for something little, just do it. You'll feel better after you do. Don't be afraid to cut someone out of your life that has a negative impact on you. You do not deserve to have someone bringing you down all the time, no matter how shitty you may think you are. Take care of yourself, you've been taking care of others for far too long. It's your turn to be looked after.
It's easy to lose yourself in a relationship, it's common. I know that I didn't mean to do so, I think that I just happened to care too much. I gave more than what I was receiving. Growing up, I was taught to do nice things for people and to not expect anything else in return and I guess that just stuck to me. I never expected to receive the treatment that I was dishing out back, but to receive a shitty attitude in return just makes me feel worse. There are no words in the world to describe how it feels to try your hardest to make someone happy and to get that response in return. It really brings you down and make you feel like you're not enough and never will be. Sorry to be an entire cliché but even since I found this quote on the inter-webs, "We found each other but we lost ourselves,". I found this to be entirely relevant because I find myself just becoming too invested even if I was never treated with respect. I never cared, until now.
Take time to reflect. Think about how much you give, and how it makes you feel. If you give your all to something or someone and at the end of all of it, you feel like shit, that's a red flag. That is an unhealthy relationship and the faster you catch that, the sooner you can take action. Unfortunately it has taken me too long to realize that I was not actually loved but rather, used. Now that I can clearly see what was going on and who I was during that time, I am able to notice how I was "weak". But now I can use that to my advantage. I can look at where I went wrong and learn from that. Even though it was a tough time in my life I can use these mistakes that I have made in order to help me grow as a person.