When I say toxic relationships most of you may be picturing a couple, their foreheads creased up as they yell profanities at each other with one of them suddenly towering over the other with a look of pure wrath plastered on his/her face. These are indeed some of the more prominent signs of an unhealthy relationships however there a plenitude of other subtler signs of toxicity in an exchange. What will follow is an elaboration on all that can and should be considered as hostile and abusive tendencies.
First and foremost it is essential that we firmly believe in one thing; ANYBODY can find themselves stuck in an emotionally draining – if not physically harmful – relationship. Men are equal as likely to be at the receiving end of such an ordeal and denying that implies grave indifference which must be prevented at all costs. ( I will dedicate an entire post for the sole purpose of addressing the issue of gender based expectations and stereotypes)
Sometimes it’s not a slap which resonates through your body and causes you acute distress, sometimes its the repetitive insults and taunts which pierce your soul shattering it into tiny pieces. That gut wrenching fear you feel at expression your opinions, the way your heart leaps and threatens to burst through the restrictive rib cage when your partner demeans you in public are all glaring signs of a relationship which is heading deep into the trenches of hell.
It is not just your partner who can be a source of torment or desolation for you. Excessively overbearing parents and manipulative, self-serving ‘friends’ can indeed be foes rather than friends as well. To be loved and to love should embody complete devotion and selflessness. A person who actually has your best interest at heart will be your halo in this world which is otherwise enveloped by darkness and melancholy; they will relieve your over-wrought mind instead of adding to the built up frustrations. A Sincere well-wisher is one who raises your morale on rainy days while simultaneously providing you with constructive criticism when needed.
Accepting that you have indeed been trapped within the treacherous claws of a toxic relationship is in itself a major breakthrough. It is unsettlingly easy to mistake it for a warm embrace, a safety net which is hard to let go. Realizing that you need help and coming to terms with it is the first step on the long and equally as daunting road to recovery. Know that falling victim to such heinous circumstances is in no way YOUR FAULT. You are (or were) not weak! You are undeniably strong; all you need is unwavering support be it from a family member, a friend or even a stranger you exchange insights with on WordPress.
If any of you have anything to add please comment below. I would love to read through a variety of opinions and personal experiences if you were to share them with me. As a parting note, for anyone who is looking for solace or simply someone to vent to I’m always here (virtually)!