Lots of people eventually find themselves in blissful relationships that last forever, but at some point, most of us have to deal with a relationship that doesn’t have such a happy ending. When I found myself in a toxic partnership, I managed to get out eventually, but not before my life took a few heavy hits.
I Lost Myself. You might have heard people say this and not quite understood it.
I know I have, and I figured they were being dramatic until it happened to me. My confidence was shot to hell after countless nights of wondering where he was or who he was with. I was once the girl who turned heads when I walked into the room, and suddenly I couldn’t even lift my own head. I was once the girl who went to her parents’ house every Sunday for dinner, and I turned into someone who didn’t call her friends or family for weeks. I have since then found myself again, but it took a lot of self-help, reflection, and tons of Sunday dinners at home.
I Was In Massive Debt. Being the hard-working woman I was and still am, I had a pretty decent savings account.
I also wanted to shower my significant other with expensive things and an even more expensive apartment. I signed a twelve-month lease and paid for the entire twelve months on my own from day one. We broke up three months into the lease, and I eventually kicked him out by month five, but the amount of credit card debt I had racked up was crippling. My credit score dropped and I had no money. I’ve since fixed my credit score and broke even with my debt, but it was rough lesson to learn.
I Gained Weight.
Whether I want to believe it or not, I’m an emotional eater. I eat when I’m sad, bored, happy, tired, all the above. I’m a pretty avid gym goer, but once my relationship took over my life, I stopped going. We went out to eat and spent time inside watching movies and not being active. I hated how I looked and how I felt, but didn’t do anything about it.
I Changed My Beliefs.
I was always avid on not wanting children, but when my significant other and I started talking about our future two months into the relationship, I found out he wanted kids. I would tell him time and time again that kids weren’t worth the hassle and debt, and he disagreed. After a pretty terrible fight, he threatened to break up with me, so I told him I changed my mind and wanted kids. I know now to not change my beliefs and values over a guy.
I Developed Anger Issues.
I was never an angry person, but seeing my ex made the worst parts of me come to the surface. We would fight until we were both in frustrated tears, and we went to bed angry more often than we went to bed happy. I felt this uncontrollable fury well in my chest when I was around him: a clear sign that we were bad news for each other.
I Let Myself Down.I’ve always been my own number-one fan and personal cheering section, but my ex changed all that.
I stopping putting myself first and started putting him first. Even my thinking patterns changed, wondering if he would like my decision or approve of what I was wearing. Its scary to think back and realize I allowed someone to do that to me.
My Career Didn’t Matter Anymore.
I was always avidly pursuing my dreams of becoming a writer and even put myself through college, but my ex didn’t believe in my choices. He would constantly tell me that writing wasn’t a career and no one made money from it. He would put me down any time I would tell him about a career opportunity, and I made the mistake of letting him.
I Only Wanted To Make Him Happy.
The first few months of my relationship were a constant push and pull of making each other happy, but slowly it became about only making HIM happy. He was a musician and I was a 9-5 office manager, so when he would guilt trip me into coming to his late-night shows, I would oblige knowing full well I would hate myself in the morning. Sleepless nights seemed like a good trade to keep him happy and keep an eye on him. I know now it was never worth it.
I Developed Anxiety.
Never in all my years was I plagued with anxiety until I suffered my first panic attack with my ex. I’d gotten home from a very long and stressful day of work and just wanted to relax, but he wanted to take me out. I obliged because I wanted to make him happy. As I was trying to squeeze into my jeans, my breathing changed, and the next thing I knew, I was in my bathroom having a full-on panic attack. I was so overwhelmed by fatigue from fighting and lack of sleep that just putting on my jeans triggered me.
I was scared to fall in love again… and still am.
It’s been almost four years since I ended the toxic relationship, and I’ve yet to allow myself to fall in love with someone new. Now, I see love as almost a black hole that might consume me again. To say I lost hope would be dramatic but to say I am cautious is accurate. I’ve tried dating apps and being set up through friends, but nothing has surpassed a few dates. I’m trying to be open to the idea of finding love in the future, but until then, I’m choosing to put my efforts towards my own happiness.
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