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Toxic Relationships

“He’ll change.”

“Everything is fine.”

“Maybe I’m the problem.”

Lies. These are all lies I have told myself in relationships but at the time they seemed completely true.

“He’s not abusive.”

“It’s just who he is.”

“We were meant to be.”

I try not to regret anything in this life. What would be the point? I can’t go back and change; I can only move forward and learn but when I think about the way I let people treat me in the past, I get sick to my stomach. I think about the lies I’ve been fed, the emotional abuse I’ve endured, and the anxiety that worsened with each passing day.

My ex once asked me if he gave me anxiety. What I could not say, what I would not say, was this:

No. A person does not simply give another person anxiety but you definitely make matters worse. You play games with my mind. I feel worthless. I feel unwanted. I feel CRAZY. I second-guess every little part of our relationship but for some reason, I am sure I know that you care and that deep down, you love me and what we have is real.

You know what? It was real. A real bunch of crap.

One night after a particularly rough day, my best friends sat me down. I didn’t realize at first it was an intervention for the relationship I was in. I didn’t realize I needed an intervention.

I was able to get strong enough to make a change but even as I broke up with my abuser I found myself convincing him that I was the problem. That I wasn’t mentally stable enough for a relationship. That he deserved better. For some reason, I couldn’t endure the thought of breaking his heart the way he broke mine. It took a long time to work through the pain that seared through me from that relationship. Even now, I can still feel the effects it left:

I get anxious, I worry, I panic if someone doesn’t get back to me right away.

Did I do something wrong?

I get lonely, I get sad, I cry.

Why doesn’t anybody care?

But I’m working through it. I am learning to love myself while simultaneously loving the man I am dating at this time. He may not know it but he helped me heal in ways I couldn’t heal myself.

I’m in two very healthy, loving relationships right now: one with my boyfriend and one with myself (you know what? They’re both pretty cool).

It’s not easy but it is possible to recover from this.

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