Toxic

Toxins are all around us. They can range from manufactured, bacterial, biological, just to name a few. Dictionary.com says,” a toxin is any poison produced by an organism.” Certain people are arguably poisonous to each, therefore making their relationship toxic. A toxic relationship is not isolated to romantic relationships. It can be any form of association between two or more people. Maybe one or more of the involved parties have been abused mentally, or verbally.  The reality of this type of abuse is hard for some people (both in and outside of said relationship) to even see, let alone accept. Even though the bruises are not always visible, their effects have been proven to be even more long-lasting. If these participants then go to create toxic relationships with future generations, at what point does the cycle break? It has to be a concise design, one that might literally make you question your own sanity. The person has to choose themselves over a hazardous relationship.

I wholeheartedly believe in talk therapy. I also believe in the power of talking to other people, whether it is a friend, a spiritual adviser, someone with more life experience, whatever. There is a difference between being told something by multiple people over time, understanding something on an intellectual level, and putting both, what you have heard and understand to be true, into practice. The hard work then lands solely on the individual attempting to rise above the toxic relationship and its created environment. Only when boundaries are set and the healing begins will the requiring cycle shift its orbit.

I’ve learned over the years that sometimes distance, whether it be in miles and/ or mental space, is also one of the only real ways to heal from a truly toxic relationship as well as to gain perspective.  When I was a child, I saw various members of both my own family and friends’ families that just up and left and moved away.  They totally uprooted themselves and moved to various parts of the country, in rare cases, the globe.  From up on my high horse, where I sat, not that long ago, I judged those people as deserters.  They totally abandoned their families with just the occasional visit or more drastic cases of cutting ties altogether.  To be fair, I was very young and was constantly listening to the adults around me, but that is where the true problem starts.  It is as children we are drowned in this unrelenting “lessons” taught to us by people we look up to for guidance and to model behavior.  I now can see why it is so necessary to separate your self totally in order to begin the healing process.

I think the saying “blood is thicker than water” is true. Now, though, I believe it in a more cynical way and interpret it differently than I once did. Family relationships have thicker ties that might have to do with genetics and the amount of history between these small groups of blood-related people.  “Water” (friends) come and go throughout your entire life, sometimes without a second thought. That is just part of life, but in order to untangle your life from the thick vines of “blood relations”, who you always thought had your best interests at heart, is like no other battle you have ever had to fight.  I do not believe just because you are blood-related to a person you are allowed to be mistreated and disrespected by them repeatedly.

I also feel that people can and should develop their own families or what I like to call my ‘Village’.  In my idealistic world, everyone’s village is very diverse, by race, ability, age, economic status, etc. A portion of my people blood related yes, but that alone does not necessarily make you part of my village/circle/family whatever you refer to your support system as.  A support system also implies a certain amount of give and take. Neither give nor take should be quantified or qualified.  It does not always have to be tit for tat.  It is very scary to set limits and/ or to say goodbye to people you love fiercely.  Feeling alone while fighting your battles is not for the faint of heart. Remembering your true worth is what will feed your strength to set up the ground rules you want to live by.  As those toxic walls start to crumble, it feels amazing to step into the sun.

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