First of all, toxic relationships isn’t something I normally talk about, let alone put out there for the whole wide world to know. But here I sit, feeling guilty, emotionally drained, and to be honest, pretty angry on what is otherwise a beautiful summer night.
Toxic relationships hurt.
It hurts on many different levels. It’s physical and emotional. A hurt that makes it painful to look to the past and to the future. Toxic people are like a weight sitting on your chest controlling your breathing, or lack there of. That weight is painful and exhausting, but has nothing on the emotional pain it causes. The emotional pain can be endless and stretch far past the toxic person themselves, invading your relationship and feelings with yourself and others in your life. They will leave you feeling beaten, battered, and wounded by this invisible, but very real, pain.
Emotional abuse comes in many forms. It doesn’t have to be someone screaming at you and calling your names. Slowly, and over time, a toxic person can cause the same trauma and abuse by simple statements and actions. Just don’t expect them to ever take responsibility for those actions. Most often, they are the victim. So buckle up, and get ready for them to take you on yet another guilt trip. It’s not their fault after all, it’s yours, or so they believe. Again, to create feelings of guilt in you. They will leave you feeling guilty and ashamed of who you are. Time and time again they will feel victory in making your feel this way. And the pain doesn’t end there.
There is the loss. Not just the obvious loss once you remove that one identified toxic person from your life, but often the loss of many other people who fall into the trap of lies from that person. A toxic person will drive a wedge between you and others to make themselves feel right. They will feel justified in telling the lies about your actions. After all, everything they are saying must be true if everyone else believes it too.
Personally, I have lost some of the most important people I had in my life growing up. It’s devastating to me to think these people actually believe the lies. Did they ever really know me at all? If it was so easy for people who have known me my whole life to believe these things, maybe it is all true. Maybe I am that horrible of a person?? Questioning your self-worth gives them more power over you.
Goals of a Toxic Person
Creating self-doubt and guilt is a goal of a toxic person. They grow stronger by making you feel weaker. Pointing any of this out to them only gives them more power. A toxic person will only hear what they want to hear. They don’t care about your feelings at all. Situations are always about them. What they want, what they think and how they feel. Often they will twist the situation to make themselves the victim. This will only get worse if they begin to feel like you are cutting ties with them. Once you stop believing their lies and playing by their rules, they have to work even harder to paint you the bad guy.
All of this pain and suffering can become overwhelming. For a while, I let it consume me. Simply receiving a phone call could instantly reroute how my whole day was going. I was letting it control me. I knew it was happening, and I was fully aware of what was going on along with the person behind it all. What I didn’t know how to stop it.
Who is Toxic?
Now would be a good time to explain my situation. It is one that is hard for many people to understand. To this day, I’m still on the receiving end of judgment for it. You may feel that about me too as you read this, but I feel like I have to share it because I know I am not alone. I am not the only person in the world that has had to cut their mother out of their lives.
My mother. The one person that is supposed to love me unconditionally, always have my back, be my biggest supporter and biggest confidant, is in fact, the same person who has caused all this pain in my life. But wait, you’re always suppose to love your mother. She gave you life and took care of you. These are facts I can not deny. She did give me life as all mothers do, but that is where the mothering ended for me.That in it’s self, is where a lot of my hurt lies. She was supposed to be all those things to me, but she wasn’t. Now, I could go into detail and give example after example of times she showed signs of her toxic personality growing up, and the hurt, but I simply don’t have the energy for it. I don’t have the time to give up to her anymore.
Time is so very precious. We hear it all the time in so many situations, but it’s true. A moment passed is a moment we never get back. I have spent way too many moments trying to make sense of it all. Trying to figure out why she is the way that she is. As a mother of two amazing daughters myself, I can’t justify it. I just can’t. I have learned though, that I don’t have to make sense of it. It’s not my cross to bear. I can’t change the way she is, or how she acts not matter how much I try. I have given her chance after chance to prove to me she is different, but the end results remain the same.
We all hit a breaking point. After I had my first daughter, I reached that point. I was watching her hold my precious daughter. The moment of watching my mom hold my daughter and feed her should have been a special moment for me. One of those moments that melts your heart, but it wasn’t. My child’s grandma was too busy talking about herself to realize the baby in her arms was sucking on an empty bottle. That she needed her mouth wiped, needed burped, and needed taken care. She was in the arms of someone who was meant to take care of her. That innocent baby was placing all her faith in that fact, and my own mother was too wrapped up in her own story to even notice.
I knew then, in that moment, a moment that was set up to be a precious moment we would all remember, became my breaking point. I knew I couldn’t put my child(ren) in her hands. That I couldn’t let them become victim to her toxic personality as I had been my whole life. They deserved better than that. I deserved better than that. Let me repeat that.
I DESERVED BETTER THAN THAT.
So was that the end? Did I stop wasting time on her that I should be spending with people who deserve it? Was it all really as easy as saying good-bye and closing that door?
Nope, not at all. I still deal with it. Although, it is getting easier and less frequent, the pain still comes back. It might be someone asking me how my mom is doing, or what she’s up to. A simple question for the majority of the world, but steals moments from my life. It forces me to recognize something I try to keep buried.
Today, I had to recognize it again with a forced encounter that stole moments from my life. I let myself go back and the anger took control. I let her take control and force me into being that person again. A person that I don’t like. I lost moments with my family over the past, but I can say that I don’t let it linger as long anymore. I (mostly) moved past it to spend the rest of my day with my family, but as we all know, the day can catch back up to you as it draws to a close. So thank you for letting me use you all as a sounding board, and a way to move past it at the end of the day.
Now, if you are reading this and thinking I’m way out of line for cutting my own mother out of my life, I’m happy for you. Truly, I am. I’m glad you have a life that makes it hard, if not impossible for you to imagine this happening. I’m not asking your to feel sorry for me, or even to try to understand or agree with my choice to end that relationship. We all walk different paths in life, and I’m just sharing mine.
If you are reading this and feeling like you wrote it yourself, know that you are not alone. You are not the only one who has felt the attack over and over from someone close to you. The pain is real and you should feel no guilt in acknowledging that. Know that you don’t have to live life with that toxicity invading everything you do.
You can break the cycle and live life toxic free!