He got drunk (same as every night, let’s make that 6 out of 7 nights), and I overheard him spewing the words: “She is so fat. She sits on her arse the whole day” over the phone. This was after he told me that I won’t be able to fit on a bicycle, I look big in ripped jeans, and I look bad in pajama shorts.
Living across the globe with a person who couldn’t give a flying f*ck about my needs or feelings. I couldn’t bare one single moment longer. Yes, I was sitting on my arse the whole day – because I was working, hard, towards my dream of becoming a full-time writer – While having to support his beer drinking and gambling habits.
Yes, I didn’t feel like going out, with him, watching him ogling at other girls, flirting with them in front of me – buying them drinks with my money or embarrassing me with inappropriate and offensive comments. Trying to keep track of his scatter brain ridden with a thousand thoughts all at once was exhausting. Feeling constantly inadequate because nothing I did was ever, ever enough was debilitating.
But… I love(d) him…
I loved him with every fiber of my being and at the same time I wanted to strangle him (which I sometimes nearly did) that he hasn’t even given me a second of his time to actually notice that I was in a deep depression suffering from anxiety and insomnia.
At this point, the only thing that was keeping me going was devouring a saucy sandwich while playing Candy Crush. Anything to avoid sitting outside in his cigarette smoke while he goes on and on and on about himself… Never interested in stories I’ve written, clients I’ve signed, or dreams I have of the future.
Let’s not get into the mad details of this insanely toxic relationship any further. Because this isn’t a story of sorrow, resentment, hate, and bad vibes – NO, I want to share with you how I finally said ‘goodbye’, broke away from his toxic obsessive and controlling grasp and went on to rediscover myself. Read along to find out if you should step out of a toxic relationship.
After hearing his drunken words I cried one last time, without him even noticing of course or feeling remorseful about hurting me for the millionth time. I looked at myself in the mirror –
Jeesh, what have you become? Am I fat? Am I lazy? Am I all these things he says when he climbs drunk in bed at night? He says he loves me, his actions says something different though? Girl, look at you! You look horrible! Where’s your spark? GET OUTTA HERE!!!!
I got on a plane two days later. This time a meaningless morning ‘sorry, I was drunk’ (usually accompanied with a boner pressed against my leg or another lie) didn’t work. I was done fighting, done trying to teach him manners. As I evidently was taking on a mother role in the relationship. I know, very sexy, right?
Needless to say, it was one of the hardest decisions of my life. Leaving him, (for the second time), – I said it was a toxic relationship… usually a lot of ups and downs, ons and offs.
On the airplane, I felt relieved, stressed, exhausted, and heartbroken. For the first time in a very, very long time I had a moment where I could just check in with myself. Not worry about my ex and whether he had a job, finished his assignments, or was a good guy at work. Just me.
Yup, I’m literally dying. What most people don’t really realize is that a toxic relationship can cause horrible side effects that is usually accompanied with anxiety and depression. Now, I was left to deal with the trauma. And I was going to do it – I wanted out of this toxic relationship and I was going to overcome it no matter what!
Luckily, I’m blessed with the most amazing family. My sister and her husband offered to let me stay with them for as long as I needed.
Side note: My sister suffers from PCOS, (my uninformed ex once called her the president of a fat club) learn more about her weight loss and personal journey by watching this.
HOW DO YOU SPOT A TOXIC RELATIONSHIP?
In most cases when people are in a hazardous relationship, they won’t actually know that they are. In all honesty, not either one of the partners actually know that they are part of a cosmic f*ck up.
Yes, a narcissist or manipulator have ways in which they maneuver within the relationship to control and actually gaslight the other person. Grooming them as well as introducing a serious love bomb into the equation. You aren’t aware that you are part of their sick game, until you are completely love struck.
As my ex used to say, ‘Bringing the A-game’ – this later made me realize that perhaps he knew what he was doing all along. A sick mental mind game played on empaths, rescuers, naïve, and vulnerable people.
Am I in a Toxic Relationship?
If you aren’t sure whether you are in a toxic relationship or not, here is a list of the tell-tale signs:
The Relationship Moves Really Fast
It went from meeting in a club, to kissing, to spending every single night together, and now they want to get married. A toxic person usually darts onto someone pretty quick, they need a supply of sex, of love, of compliments, someone who might help them rebound off of someone else or pose as a plaster for emotions they can’t deal with.
In many cases, a toxic person will prey on someone from their past, if they can’t find new bait. Having past memories as a leverage helps in honing you down.
After only a week or two they will start proclaiming their undying love. Their social media will be filled with photos of the two of you, they will tell you how amazing you are, how perfect the situation is in which you got together, etc. During this love bombing stage you will miss all the red flags – love truly is blind.
Any man or woman who wants to be serious in a relationship, won’t jump into one without considering a few determining factors first. Sure, you might have a great chemical attraction, but are you actually compatible? How well do you really know this man/woman? Guard your heart until you know for sure.
Toxic people don’t like waiting around, they’ll move onto the next best thing if you aren’t available to them. If they are really smitten with you, they’ll wait around for sure, but be certain that they always have someone waiting in the backdoor to fill whatever void is inside their dark hearts.
Chances are, that this relationship is built on a series of lies. You only discover the truth about a situation long after the lie has been told. Your partner is constantly lying in order for him to avoid conflict, or god forbid, feel any remorse for his actions.
Experts have stated countless times that Trust is a fundamental pillar in building a great relationship. When there are lies upon lies upon lies, there can’t be any trust. Trust you me, that the toxic person will use deflection methods in order for it to seem as though you are the one that can’t be trusted. Don’t be fooled – it’s a mind game.
Showing respect for each other’s privacy, secrets, space, dreams, believes, hobbies, bodies, and belongings.
I am pretty liberal when it comes to certain topics – especially women rights. Whenever I would get angry towards my ex, because he would provoke me, he would throw it back in my face. He would laugh and say, ‘oh, Women rights!’ I once even hit him through the face after he taunted me. I know… I’m ashamed of that behavior, there’s no excuse to get physical or hit someone that you love out of anger.
How in the hell did I end up with a masogonistic prick like this? Someone who I thought actually respected my views, and in some cases shared them…O, this brings me to the next sign of a toxic relationship…
He/She Has Changed Drastically
In order to get you to love them, toxic people will use different tactics to win you over. This usually includes statements like, ‘wow, we are so much alike,’ ‘we have so much in common,’ ‘I love everything that you love’. He/She is using a mirror-effect in order for you to feel connected, understood, and not so alone.
And now? A few months later and he isn’t actually into art galleries, poems, or museums. He doesn’t like waking up early in the morning when you thought you were both ‘morning people’, oh, his/her parents weren’t as bad and unsupportive as they have claimed to be. Oh, he wasn’t the victim of a previous relationship where he claimed that they were all ‘crazy psychopaths’.
It dawned on me, I have no idea who this fictional character is anymore. I love someone, that I thought I knew but who doesn’t actually exist in the real adult world.
I want to add something shocking. Being insanely oblivious and naïve, I fell in love with my ex while he was abusing substances. I only discovered he had an addiction further into our relationship. When I would pose my concern and confront him in that he is a changed man, he would reply: “Maybe I should go back on drugs again, since you fell in love with that guy!”
This messed with my mind – Was I the kind of person who fell in love with a drug addict? Was I this dumb? As a result, I would stay – proving to myself that I’m delusional and that I am in fact in love with this new person in front of me.
Verbal, Physical, and Emotional Abuse
When your relationship hits a space where it’s okay to hit one another, or say horribly mean things to one another without anyone even flinching – then it has reached a toxic level beyond control.
Gaslighting, manipulation, guilt tripping, forcing, blackmailing, threatening, name calling, and mindf*uckery aren’t things that should be near a healthy relationship.
Words Don’t Equal Action
A classic form of toxicity is when a partner promises the world with no results. I’m not talking about ‘yes, I’ll take out the trash’. Big promises like ‘I promise on my mother’s grave that I didn’t flirt with that girl’ or ‘I promise that everything I’m doing is for us’ – how is flirting with that girl, spending all our money on alcohol, and you trying to control my every move good for us?
If promises aren’t being kept, then it’s creating a false sense of future. ‘When I have a better job I’ll be able to…’, ‘if we could just live in another city then…’ ‘I promise I won’t stay out until the next morning’ – NOPE, NOPE, NOPE. If your words aren’t carrying any weight now, then it won’t mean anything in the future – no matter what the circumstances.
You’ve Turned into Someone You Don’t Recognize
You’ve become someone who is constantly fighting, feeling anxious, always nagging about things that never used to bother you, and who has no more passion left. Take a moment, right now, and check in with yourself. How are you truly feeling? Do you feel like you’ve grown as a person? Or is your partner dragging you down?
If you’ve changed into someone you don’t recognize anymore because of the relationship you are in, then… re-evaluate your situation.
Your Friends Say So
If there’s one thing I have learned over the past couple of years it’s to actually listen to your close friends. You know, the one who would actually call you out on your sh*t. Close friends, moms, sisters, brothers, and fathers have objective views to when it comes to picking a partner.
Voicing their concerns about your choice in partner, should raise awareness. Trusting their guts might be a good idea. Since at the moment, your gut is filled with butterflies and is blind to any bad vibes or sneakiness that your love interest is portraying.
You’re Becoming Isolated
If you were an extroverted socialite turned into an introverted house cat, then something is up. Sure, it’s great spending time together over weekends cuddling up in front of the television, drinking wine, and chatting the night away…But if you find yourself in a position where you don’t talk to any of your friends, aren’t making any new friends, and can’t remember the last time you actually saw people – something is wrong.
Toxic people usually want you for themselves. They don’t want you roaming the streets having a good time without them. It’s fine when they do it, but not when you do. Your phone will blow up with messages on nights you do decide to go out with a friend, resulting in avoiding going out because having to deal with an insecure partner at home who will accuse you of cheating becomes too much to bare.
I remember numerous times saying the names of my friends, my ex would never remember who they were in my life. I stopped sharing stories of my past life with him – he wasn’t interested anyway.
You Feel Down and Drained
Spending time with your significant other should make you feel encouraged, motivated, and happy. If you don’t feel joy or bliss in their presence then why are you even with them? This doesn’t mean you should feed off of their positive vibes and drain them in the process, but people in a healthy relationship should actually boost each other’s confidence, energy and motivational levels.
You Don’t Matter
After they’ve got you in their grasp, you will become a slave to their needs. Nothing that you feel passionate about will ever matter. This includes your feelings. A person who is selfish will do only what they want to do.
I know you’ve been brainwashed, but in any healthy relationship both partners will partake in a few activities to please the one they love. This means going with you to the doctor, visiting that museum, watching the soccer game, and doing things that you love because they love seeing you happy and passionate.
It will be a common occurrence that they’ll do something for you. But it’s twisted in a way that whatever they do, they do to make them look good. They’ll buy you a gift and either expect something back or want you to praise them for spending so much money on it or picking the perfect item.
Know that whatever they do is not for you – but for them.
You Don’t Like Them Anymore
If you find yourself thinking ‘my boyfriend is an asshole’ more than 90% of the time, then chances are – he actually is. Why do you want to be with someone that doesn’t show compassion to other human beings, animals, coworkers, or their own jobs? If he/she is an asshole to others, they will be an asshole to you too.
You Feel Broken
This exhausting ex of mine usually joked around saying, “I’m going to break you” – and yes, he did, but only for a fraction of a moment. Feeling broken while you should be with someone that makes you feel whole, isn’t healthy.
If someone loves you, they won’t break you. They won’t blame everything that they do wrong on you. They will make you feel cared for, protected, loved, and secure. No matter what words they speak to make you believe otherwise. Trust your gut. I know it’s difficult to step out of it – but you’ll never know how strong you are until you have to do something brave.
Woman! Gorgeous, wonderful, mesmerizing woman! Yes you! If you are in a toxic relationship and you need to breakup, I understand – it’s bloody tough. Everyone in your life is probably encouraging you to leave him, right? Because they care and they have no emotional connection to him.
So, take that step. You don’t have to waste any more time being put down, feeling devalued and broken. You will heal – it’s going to be tough. But you can do it!
Hold on to those people, the ones encouraging you to aim higher, to let go. With the right support you can get out of this!