On Leaving Toxic Relationships
There are relationships I wish I’d left sooner, but I’m lucky I left at all.
Sometimes there isn’t so much a need to say something as there is to write. I’m not sure what I’m here writing about, but a lot has been happening in the circles around me, and a lot of things have surfaced in my own life that I’ve suppressed, ignored, and validated for those who did not deserve it. I’m not going to get into details on any of it right now—maybe someday I will but for now I don’t think I’m brave enough to share the encounters that flooded back to me with anyone but those closest to me—but I will just say that the women around me are so incredibly strong, and go through a whole lot.
It’s left me thinking a lot about the people who were once in my life, and who are no longer deserving of my time. In the past few years, I have cut out a whole lot of people. From a larger-than-life personality who had me infatuated to two friends who both judged my mental health against their own standards and tried to sabotage the things I’ve succeeded in, I’ve called it quits on a handful of relationships, both romantically-based and platonic.
It’s really hard in the moment to say you’re not willing to continue communication with someone you care about, or someone you invested a lot of time and energy into. But sometimes, your gut tells you what you need to know. Take my advice, ignoring it will be much worse in the long run. Sometimes we don’t know why we feel such a strong need to say goodbye to people who haven’t really done anything wrong...yet. I’ve had a few cases like this in my life and learned much later, sometimes things have already happened that your relationship blinded you from seeing.
Especially in romantic relationships, it’s so easy to get caught up in the infatuation, or the care, or the love: no matter what stage you’re at. It’s easy to validate another person’s actions or mind games just because you think they care. There are beautiful, loving relationships to be had. I’m lucky I’ve found one. But the people in my past who have harmed my mind, my body and my spirit were all I could see for a chapter in time. Even then, I’m lucky that something pulled me away.
With friendships, it’s a little different. I’ve found you either drift, or you end in fireworks. With a major blow up fight, feelings get hurt and horrible things get said. I cut a friend off in the middle of a fight like this, with a “I don’t need this energy in my life” and a blocked number, and I haven’t regretted it since. Even to myself, that seemed rash and a bit over-dramatic. But it was a case that let me see the details of our “friendship” so much more clearly when true, angry words started to be exchanged.
What I’m trying to say is: listen to your gut. There are so many times I look back and see that the signs were there for me to leave someone behind, but I didn’t. I waited and waited until the moment was strong enough I felt a pull in another direction. Life is too short for those who weigh you down, who hurt you, and who don’t believe in you. If someone isn’t feeding you love and positivity every day, let them go. You will feel lighter, healthier, and empowered. Maybe not right away, but in time.
There are times I wish I had stood up for myself and wish I had said what I’d wanted to say. There are conversations of “what ifs” that live in my mind: what if I had said “no” again? What if I had said “Stop talking shit about me to my friends?” What if I had said “Tell me why you don’t want to see me succeed?” If you want to say something, I urge you to say it. And in time, you will know why the words sat so heavy in the back of your mind, blanketed by fear of losing someone who doesn’t deserve your sympathy.