Life After Toxic People
It seems today’s world is surrounded with drama, and if it’s not there’s someone wanting to add some. Recently I posted about the serious issue of domestic violence, and the month is declared Domestic Violence month to bring awareness to the issue. Is it by accident that it’s also Family Health month and Mental Illness Awareness month? How often do those get linked together?
Why is it that if you degrade, criticize and belittle a child, a woman, or the elderly and there is specific laws against it but a man…well control away? As mentioned in the previous post, it’s often the man who is the target, and it seems an unwillingness exists to look at the situation rather than the age or gender of the people involved.
If I were to be verbally abusing Diva – who does not understand context as a human – there would likely be multiple people come forth to head the situation off, some to remove her from the situation. Yet a man is supposed to just take it, because – well men are men. What?!
If it’s illegal to belittle and degrade someone why does it matter if they’re between 18 and 70? Why is it allowed to continue until he retaliates, then he’s wrong for doing so?
I think of someone I knew many years ago – nice guy, imperfect, but aren’t we all? A friend…the kind of friend to sit and talk with and not have to explain. Sometimes cool sometimes kind of unnerving. This was not someone I was involved with beyond a friend, but it was a front row seat to emotional abuse that was undeserved, unprovoked and inexcusable.
A girlfriend with typical indecision of youth explored life away from him with a trip to California. Personal issues kept him busy at the time, and in the midst of it I gave him a key so he’d at least have somewhere to go if things got rocky where he was. There was no more to it but that didn’t stop a 2 a.m. phone call tirade after a few too many and “friends” filling her head with more insecurity. When he walked into the room with her and realized who was on the phone it was stopped, or redirected.
Not all that seems to be IS. Everyone needs friends, social time, space to do what they want to do that maybe their partner doesn’t. We all had a life before getting married and nowhere in the vows does it say there’s a promise to give up feelings, friends and loved ones as part of the package.
At that time, dealing with issues myself there was little tolerance for accepting seeing someone else controlled and belittled. As long as he did what she wanted things were great, and he learned. It wasn’t enough to include her in activities, but to include only her in his activities. Loving? Give up your life except for me isn’t loving – it’s toxic. It hurts, and it hurts to watch.
Several years ago when we got Bella, as a young pup of 4 months she was a submissive sort. Missy bullied her badly, and although we corrected Missy, it got worse. At six or seven months old Missy would growl and Bella would lay on the ground in order to appease her tormentor. Missy is twenty pounds soaking wet – no match for a young German Shepherd. In her mind, she had to prove she wasn’t a threat. All she had to do was stand up. One day she did…and Missy needed help then as self defense from a dog three times her size who was fed up being bullied there was no more negotiating.
Sometimes we need to reach that point to just stand up. Toxic people don’t have our interests at heart, and it can be a long path back to healthy. It doesn’t always wrap up nicely in “5 easy tips to…” articles on newsstands. It can be a lot of tears, relying on supportive friends and finding those things that make you happy. Be patient with yourself – a hard one for some.
Regular readers might think they don’t know anyone these things apply to, but statistically it’s in rural areas as well as urban ones. There’s life after toxic people.
Chances are you know someone who has found it. Stand up for a healthy, happy you. You deserve it.