Are you in a Toxic Relationship?
Almost always, toxic relationships involve either an intimate or love relationship. Toxic relationships usually involve someone you love or someone in your family.
This person has a hold on you for whatever reason. In reality, you, for some reason, allow this person to have a hold on you and subsequently, your life.
If you are an independent adult, there is no reason for any person to have control over you. Breaking away means you have to make it a conscious choice.
To make that choice powerfully, you need to look hard and truthfully at why you entertain this person and why you allow them to have such control over you.
Looking at Yourself in a Toxic Relationship
Are you trying to prove to this person?
This is a powerful question and it will help you get to the bottom of what is really driving the dynamic between you and the toxic person.
For example, in a parental toxic relationship, your mother or father might tell you how much they have done for you and they try to take credit for your success in life. Meanwhile, you are still reeling internally from the damage they caused you in life. As a result, you may subconsciously choose to play small, rather than confront them with the truth, which will only cause a conflict that you will lose and have lost many times before.
You confront this parent or guardian the only way you know how, by holding yourself back. You subconsciously make yourself ‘unsuccessful’ by their definition, to prove (in a passive way) how much they have damaged you. Because you are not allowed to speak your truth in the relationship this cycle deepens with destructive results to your inner self.
To prove to them how they damaged you, you mess up your own life. And that would be self-sabotage.
See how messy this can get! This situation is particularly deep-rooted in relationships between a toxic mother or father and their children. Toxic parents are skilled at brainwashing their child from early on to never challenge them, by making all the issues in the relationship about the child and not themselves. The toxic parent is, after all, always right, and challenging them only brings conflict, arguments, and they may even cut you off for awhile.
Toxic People NEVER See Their Faults
In your silence, you choose other ways to voice your bitterness to unfair treatment. You might subconsciously wear your wounds like a badge to prove to them and other people how they messed you up? But a toxic person never sees that they are wrong. No matter what you do to get the attention you may seek, they truly do not think they ever did anything wrong. In fact, they might even call you crazy for carrying on about things that are not true.
Toxic people will never admit that they are wrong, nor will they own up to any faults of their own. They are perfect; beyond recourse, they see everything their way and their way only. You can not reason with them. The only way to defuse the effects that a toxic person has over you is to change yourself or change the way you engage with them. That, however, can be difficult to do.
Looking Deeply into YOU!
Knowing why you let this person have control over you will reveal more about you than them, and it will shift your focus onto yourself and off of them. This is healthy and marks the beginning of your transformational healing.
I know it can be hard to separate yourself from a toxic relationship, especially when the connection is deep, rooted in tribal needs and satisfies some emptiness or longing you feel. Usually, acceptance is a big motivator for people in toxic relationships. Somehow you want them to accept you, but they never will accept you for who you are; that is part of the power they hold over you. And that is part of the buzz you get from it, forever chasing after something, feeling you have to work for their love, their attention, their acceptance, their approval.
So ask yourself, WHY? Why do you keep craving their approval? Explore this on your own and it will start your healing process. This also allows you to hold your pain outside of yourself and objectify it somewhat.
Healing from a Toxic Relationship
Many of us are wounded, and this is why we work through shit our whole lives. If there is ONE thing a toxic relationship is screaming loud and clear at you, it is that you need to nurture and love yourself to the depths of your core. That is where you will get the most healing by putting your energy back into yourself, not outward to someone who will never give you what you need.
In fact, NO ONE can ever give you what you really need. NO – ONE. As soon as you expect others to satisfy you, love you, help you, whatever…. you will for sure, be disappointed. This is a hard fact of life. You are an adult now, you gotta give that to yourself.
Disconnected from Yourself
Toxic relationships thrive when you are disconnected from yourself. It is the dynamic that makes it work. Toxic people pick away at your wholeness so they can feel better and more powerful and that is all that matters to them. Toxic people are deeply wounded yet you must help yourself first.
Steps to Finding Peace After a Toxic Relationship
You have tried and tried and tried. You have indeed given more than you ever got back. Nothing ever seems to work, no matter how hard you try to make the relationship work. So here is a brea-down of some easy steps to help you disengage.
Number 1: Walk away. It doesn’t have to mean forever, but leave it for now. Maybe it will be forever, perhaps not. Gracefully bow out of the conflict. Create space between this person and yourself. If you can do this respectfully even better, but get out.
Number 2: If they reach out to you, be strong, don’t get hooked back in. Keep the distance. Your healing is more important. If this person cares about you, they will respect that. If they keep trying to reconnect with you, do not engage.
Number 3: Deep personal healing. Make quality time for yourself. The urge when leaving a toxic relationship is to fill your time with other things to ‘do.’ Fight the desire to do this as you may easily fall back into another unhealthy relationship. Safeguard yourself, become a happy hermit, take up yoga, art, listen to soothing music. Do whatever it takes to get connected with yourself. Avoid building new relationships and even re-evaluate ALL of your relationships. If they drain you, or you find you are not your true self in them, let them go.
Number 4: Enjoy your freedom from pain. Start to feel the quiet, low drama new world you are now opening up for yourself. It will feel strange; you may want to escape but hang in there. Experience this new level of calm. Listen to trailblazers in this deeply soulful place, such as Eckhart Tolle and Anita Moorjani.
Number 5: Accept and embrace how you feel. You will feel sad. It is unfortunate to have to let go of someone you love. However, you might be able to keep the relationship, but you will need to have firm boundaries before engaging with them again. This healing might take months and even years before you feel powerful enough or safe enough to see them. You may end up choosing never to see them again. Accept whatever you are feeling, stay in tune with your inner self.
Number 6: Enjoy the small moments in life and reconnect with the real you. You indeed are all you need. You need to give yourself the time and space to do so. Peace is the greatest gift you can give yourself. You will soon realize just how stressful the relationship was and that it cost you more than you were able to see while you were in it. Enjoy your new-found freedom, and never look back.
Please share this blog or comment below if you are in a toxic relationship or would like to share your experiences in working through one.