Why Couldn’t I Just Walk Away From My Toxic Relationship?
Life is a weird thing. You go out of your house one day with one kind of mood and you come back with an altogether different set of things to think about. The world has so much to offer, but you never have a surety that all the offers are worth accepting. The eve of my twenty-sixth birthday was when it all began.
When I met him I realized why the world goes gaga about aquamarine eyes. By the conversation we had, I had assumed that possibly this would end as a fling. And honestly, I thought I got lucky on my birthday. But to my surprise, things weren’t as short and simple as I expected them to be. On our first night, he held my hand, turned towards me and asked me if there was any chance we could get to know each other better without being physically involved with someone else. I was shocked and surprised because as a single woman in Los Angeles, this might’ve been the first time when someone I had a fling with wanted something concrete with me right after we hooked up. I don’t mean to sound sexist, but when was the last time you met a man who was willing to be exclusive to you and expected the same in return while you’ll build something worth-while? Was this a joke or a fairytale? Whatever it was, it made me happy. It was the warmth I had been longing for, without even realizing.
Things went quite fast after that (not like they were any different before). Within a week, my now ex formally asked me to be his girlfriend and I couldn’t help but say yes even though I was a little creeped out by his hasty decision making. So yes that’s how our relationship started. Weeks that followed were beautiful. The honeymoon phase is always the best part about relationships. There was too much love, amazing sex, gifts, a lot of talking and goofing around. However, in spite of all these things, we never had an opportunity to establish strong trust. It’s like the house we made had a brilliant structure but its grounds were weak.
Within a month, I started seeing the real loopholes in our relationship. His excessive jealousy, over-thinking, paranoia took shape of aggressiveness, and before I could even realize, it was out of control. His accusations kept increasing every day and I tried everything in my power to calm his insecurities down but nothing ever seemed to work. Therefore, I initially decided to look past these things, thinking they were just mere issues that would settle with time. They say, when you look at someone with rose-colored glasses, all the red flags look just like..flags. And I guess that’s exactly what happened.
We broke up a couple of times and I tried to see different people but I always went back to him because somehow it didn’t feel right with others. I was so used to the on and off relationship and drama that it almost became a routine. It started affecting my mental health and I never paid attention to it. The fourth time we broke up was also the final one. We were at a bar which I wanted to leave because I had an anxiety attack, and he accused me of wanting to leave the bar for another guy. He threw some money on my face and asked me to get back home while he stormed out of the bar himself. It was humiliating. I went behind him, calling his name but he was furious and just wouldn’t listen. There were a few women who saw me chasing him and asking him to stop. They told me to let him go and that I deserved better. He charged on them when he heard it and made them leave the spot. It was in this moment that I understood the kind of mess I had gotten myself into, all in the name of love. It was disappointing, humiliating and of course, my heart and self-respect were in pieces. I could barely afford to look at myself in the mirror after what I made myself go through. I owed myself the biggest apology.
I spent days blaming myself for everything that had happened to me. I wanted to know where I went wrong and why I didn’t walk out of this on and off relationship drama long back. After a lot of thinking, these are the theories I came up with:
1. I as a person wasn’t concrete
When I had met him, I wasn’t a strong person. I lacked self-love and held on to anything that felt a little like love. It was as if I wanted someone else to make me feel good about myself when it was actually my job to do.
2. Pain felt normal
I had a rough childhood and I was used to my family ill-treating me. It didn’t make much of a difference when my partner started doing the same.
3. I didn’t know my deal breakers
I wasn’t exactly sure of what I wanted from a relation, what I could take and what was absolutely unbearable to me. I knew extreme jealously annoyed me but I didn’t know that disrespect would make me really walk out on somebody.
4. I was addicted to the drama
I didn’t realize how harmful it would become for my mental condition. I just took it as a distraction.
Now that I know where I went wrong, maybe I am a little more prepared to see the red signs before they completely ruin me. I have started to take care of myself better because I know that the way I treat myself is the way I teach others to treat me, and honestly, it is doing wonders.
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