I was watching the Netflix series “You” and it made me think about all the energy I put into people that were blatantly not good for me. I will not spoil the series for you but it’s about a guy obsessed with a woman that has literally in his mind brought the worse out of him. Sometime during the series he found another woman that was not as toxic but yet he still craved this toxic yet enticing woman. It made me wonder why people run back to the one thing they should walk away from.
This thought cannot be credited to me as it’s a line from one of my favorite songs “Walk Away” by Christina Aguilera. In the song she realizes this person in toxic but she can’t help herself. Although her heart is breaking she can’t stop wanting this person as he has become an addiction and she feels stuck. She even eludes to how she has tried to escape and did not. It’s an awesome and relatable song for someone that has experienced this. It’s a good song and can be heard here.
Personally, I’ve had so many toxic relationships I could not shake and I could not understand what the hell was wrong with me. Now out of those relationships I realized it was not so much them but things inside of me that felt like it was alright to stay and the abuse was acceptable. By the end of each relationship it hit the point of enough is enough or the person just used me enough and moved on. I don’t know which way was worse but both reasons made me feel worthless.
Worthlessness is one of those bottom feelings that make you do some horrible things you would not normally do. It separates you from the people you love you because “they will pry too much.” Some things are just too embarrassing to share with people that think the world of you. At least that is what worthlessness tells you. This seed of worthlessness was planted the day this toxic person started making you second guess your every move. At first the things you once loved are now stupid. And next your identity slowly fades into this other person’s identity. You don’t notice it happening until its too late…by this time you don’t even remember the stupid things you used to love.
You may initially reach out to a semi close person that makes you feel dumb for staying rather than being the sounding board you needed. This makes you feel betrayed and now tell you your toxic companion how they make you feel and in turn they make you feel like it’s your fault you are treated like this. You all of sudden deserve to be treated like this and now you are lucky to be with them. Because of this worthlessness feeling you believe it and do all you can to make it better. The more you do this, the worse your companion gets. Sometimes the verbal abuse transitions to physical abuse. Now you are battered in all directions and realize you need to get out of this.
So you pack your bags and leave, this is it. Two weeks you find yourself battered again, pack your bags again this is really it. A week later it happens again and no time for packing “I’m outta this for real”, you tell yourself. Three days later you lock the bedroom door to protect yourself. A day pass and you are prepared for it and go about your day. This abuse is now a daily routine…there is no more fight in you.
Sadly this is not hypothetical as it happens to millions of people and it has happened to me. I knew I needed to get out but I couldn’t how crazy for me to stay in this situation when I am aware of its toxicity? Easy. The feeling worthlessness has teamed up with defeat and self-loathing. Self-defeat is the lack of energy to buck against this. Self-loathing makes you feel like you don’t deserve better and it does not get better than this. Rationalization sometimes pops in and reminds you that maybe you deserve better however self-loathing interjects and lets me know that “no one else will want a run down person such as yourself.”
If you are going through any form of abuse…YOU CAN GET OUT.
It does not matter if its verbal abuse, physical abuse or sexual abuse it’s all boils down to manipulation. And as much as society compares the different forms of abuse they are all bad and it’s tearing down millions of people. Once the abuser can make you feel like life cannot go on without them the harder it is to escape. Abusers plant the seed of worthlessness and usurps your energy to make you feel defeated to the point of know knowing how to get out. Sometimes leaving the abuser is as appealing as cocaine is to an addict. You know it’s bad but you need another bump. And just like drugs the longer you stay the more likely you chance an overdose.
So, what’s next?
- Reach out to the person you trust and don’t turn back: If you feel you don’t have a person you can trust, run to a facility that can help you. You can call 1-800-799 SAFE (7233). All calls are free and confidential. If you are not at the point of walking away go to hotline.org and chat with someone until you can.
- Seek Professional Help: Talking with loved ones is sometimes difficult. Talking to a therapist is an option that eliminates bias opinions.
- Take it one day at a time: Feelings don’t shut off immediately. You will miss the good parts of this person and that is completely normal. If you have the urge to reach out call a friend instead and plan something to do with them. If they are busy you can write these feeling in a journal or volunteer somewhere.
- Be Patient With Yourself: Healing takes time.
Your situation may not be as intense as having to escape but staying self-aware in any relationship can help you assess any new negative emotional developments. Staying aware will help you quickly pinpoint the origin of emotions that were not felt before.
At the start of any relationship it is important to state your deal breakers a.k.a boundaries. Once this has been communicated be sure to stand your ground. If a person genuinely cares about you they will respect you and not use your triggers to their advantage.
Couples therapy is also a great option. Another opinion can either help to sort out differences or help you both realize the relationship should dissolve.
We only have one life and we deserve happiness, love, respect, and stability. Falling in love is an awesome experience but it’s not healthy if costs you…YOU.