Letting Go Of A Toxic Relationship (Part One)
Looking back on the seven tumultuous years leading up to the eventual breakup from my toxic ex (the covert narcissist), there were many red flags and warning signs from the universe telling me that I needed to get out of the toxic relationship I was in. But what I did not understand at the time is that letting go of a toxic relationship isn’t an easy process and most definitely doesn’t go through the ebbs and flow of a ‘normal’ breakup from someone who is otherwise emotionally intelligent and stable.
Healthy vs. Toxic
When you are in a healthy relationship and it has run its course, the two individuals involved will reluctantly, but over time, agree to dissolve the relationship and go their separate ways or they may naturally drift apart for whatever reasons. Now, that’s not to say there are no hurt feelings or some sort of betrayal experienced or felt by both parties during the process of the breakup, but everyone involved eventually get’s over it and moves on with their life free of any lingering, toxic residue from that relationship; of course, there will always be some element of regret, but that’s to be expected.
On the other hand, when you are involved in a toxic relationship over time, your ability to trust your intuition is weakened, thus, making focused, intentional, empowered decisions—such as breaking up with someone who is emotionally destructive and isn’t treating you with respect will seem impossible to do. Furthermore, because of the ongoing trauma of staying in such a destructive relationship and the gaslighting you’ve likely experienced, it may have crippled your will-power to stand up for yourself and bring to light a recurring issue within the relationship, but every attempt you make to resolve the issue you were shut down and made to feel as though you are over-reacting or even silly for assuming the worst-case scenario – sound familiar?
What are The Pros and Cons of Staying?
As a result, you decided it would be easier to suffer in silence rather than experiencing the shame of not being able to hold on to this wonderful, fictitious person who has portrayed themselves to be someone they are not. Such tactics were employed by my toxic ex regularly to keep me on my toes, so that I would always second-guess myself and question where I stood in the relationship with him. Maybe you are unable to let go of your relationship for a different reason, but at some point you must ask yourself, is this relationship worth fighting for? Any woman who has survived being in a toxic, emotionally abusive relationship will tell you that the eventual results of remaining stuck in such a relationship include the slow erosion of her self-worth, self-esteem, and self-image.
I later realized that my ex’s goal was to diminish my self-worth and to keep me in a never-ending loop of confusion, drama, cheating, and lies. So how did I eventually break away and reclaim my self-worth and, ultimately, my life after letting go of such a destructive relationship? I had to acknowledge that the person I once loved and who I thought loved me was a fictitious character pretending to be someone he wasn’t. I had to own up to the fact that, deep down, I intuitively knew this relationship was toxic and NOT in alignment with my core values. I also learned through trial and error that when you are dating a toxic individual such as a covert narcissist—the process of letting go is never a linear one.
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