I thought I was helping a toxic boyfriend become better by staying with him, but I was actually allowing him to drag me down into the dirt with him. Soon I became just as toxic as he was and it was scary. Here are 11 ways in which it happened.
I grew a short fuse.
I started to feel moody all the time. This was so weird because usually I’m pretty upbeat and resilient. However, my emotional landscape had taken a beating and I was taking it out on those closest to me. I was quick to lose patience and just wanted to be left alone.
People didn’t like being around me.
In the same way that I used to dread hearing from my BF because I feared what he would need from me or what he was going through as an addict (sometimes it was just too much because he was so manipulative), I think my loved ones started to feel that they didn’t want to be around me. They had to walk on eggshells around me, and I can’t say that I blame them!
I started pushing people away.
It’s hard to walk in the light and be surrounded by great people when you’re being brought down by a narc who loves to live in the darkness. I couldn’t handle being around the wonderful people I had in my life, so I started to isolate myself. This was really unhealthy and had me moving even closer to my toxic ex.
I fought with people.
It didn’t help that I’d often get into disagreements with my loved ones who could see that I was miserable. I just didn’t want to see the truth that my partner was never going to get help and never going to be the boyfriend I wanted him to be.
I became a terror.
I’m not the type of girlfriend to fight with my partner. I’m a lover, not a hater. But with this guy, I was at the end of my rope. As the relationship progressed, I started to lose patience with him. I was always picking fights with him and this behavior shocked me. I soon realized it was my way of trying to get away from him. Part of me secretly hoped that he’d cut ties with me and I’d be free because whenever I tried to leave the relationship he always pulled me back in with guilt.
I couldn’t deal with stress.
Any little bit of stress that I experienced in my life would make me feel anxious and like I just didn’t know how to deal with it. Again, this shocked me. Usually I’m pretty good at handling stress, but I think my toxic ex was stressing me out so much that I had no other resources to deal with extra problems that life threw at me.
I forgot myself.
When you focus so much on the person you’re dating and you try your hardest to help them, it’s really easy to neglect yourself. That’s what I was doing. I reached a point where I didn’t even care about my own happiness or health. It was all about them.
I became depressed.
It’s no wonder that I became really down and depressed. I didn’t want to do things that I used to love doing, I didn’t want to see people I treasured and I gave up on myself. It seemed to happen so quickly.
I had no love to give.
When someone takes all your energy and love, it’s really hard to find some for the other people in your life. That’s what was happening to me. My friends would be fun and happy, and I’d be zapped of energy. I had no time to see them. When I wasn’t with my boyfriend, I just wanted to crawl up in bed and sleep.
I made people feel used.
This is the point I’m most ashamed about. I wasn’t exactly up for a Friend Of The Year award. Even though I’d been neglecting my friends, there were times when I needed their help. This took the form of me opening up to a friend about what was happening with my ex, and he had the good heart to listen to me and offer me advice without judging me even though I had been ignoring him for weeks. With another friend, I was left stranded one night after my ex took off and she was the only one I could call. She came to help me, and I felt so guilty because I hadn’t been there for her due to how my sick relationship was ruling my life.
I allowed myself to be treated badly.
This guy destroyed my confidence and self-worth. He made me feel like nothing, so I stayed with him. This was by far the most toxic thing I could’ve done. I lacked so much self-love, it was heartbreaking. I felt like I didn’t deserve to be happy and I didn’t deserve the love that those closest to me were always willing to give me, even in my darkest days. It’s really thanks to them that I got away from that a**hole.
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