Life After A Toxic Relationship…
People often associate those in toxic relationships with someone who is weak. Someone who doesn’t have enough self-respect to walk away. Someone who is tolerating a lot less than they deserved.
But as someone who lived through the turmoil of the ups and downs and endings just to begin again, I look at myself as really strong. Strong for coming out on the other side. Yes, a bit tainted but no one walks through fire not getting burnt a little.
I thought I was strong for hanging on so long. Strong for believing in someone and respecting my own feelings enough to not walk away. Strong for loving someone that much.
When people ask about him and our relationship, I don’t look back at it negatively. I look back at it and I see love.
Love underneath the ashes and the chaos we created in each other’s lives. Because maybe it wasn’t just him that was toxic. I think more than that, I was toxic to myself for continuing to run in circles I knew would lead me to the same place.
The truth was, it was him that ended it. I would never give up on him. I would have kept trying. I would have tried until I completely self-destructed. And in time I did.
He was like some drug and every hit took me to this high and I always came back wanting more. I don’t know much about drugs but I know people can be as addicting as any hard substance.
That’s all an addiction is, trying to find comfort in the same thing that’s destroying you.
He said goodbye one night and it didn’t even hurt anymore. I was completely numb to it. And that’s what was so scary about it. I had been hurt so many times it didn’t even faze me anymore.
But the hard part wasn’t the ending. It came with a thank you on his part because I think he finally knew what he put me through.
There was no doubt I loved him and I would have done anything to make it work. In fact, I had. I invested time and energy into something that would end in complete destruction but I still fought for it. I fought like hell for him.
But it was a toxic relationship.
It was a relationship full of mind games and doubts and questioning every move I made and every word I said. It was every fight always ended in me apologizing and it somehow always being my fault. It was saying things just to piss each other off and knowing exactly how to.
But then it was the good stuff too. It was the nights together where I wanted time to freeze in that moment. It was every bad day he was the one I knew I could turn to.
It was with a simple look and a short phrase he knew something was up and he knew just to hold me. The honest truth was he knew better than any person in my life and I loved him for that.
It was every day waking up to his texts and every conversation ending with I love you. I don’t know if he knew how in love with him I was. But even with the bad stuff, he set this template for everything I wanted in a person.
And I know that sounds crazy. How can a toxic standard be the one I had? But the truth about toxic relationships is they aren’t all bad all the time. There’s a reason people tolerate the bad stuff.