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Finding Peace After a Toxic Relationship

Hardly any words can come close to describing the pain you feel when you realize that the person who was once your best friend has become your worst enemy.

It’s a deeper kind of loss, because it’s not like that person just betrayed you. Life betrayed you.

This kind of relationship isn’t easy to leave. You’ve become so accustomed to the bliss of being with someone, that the shock of this sudden stroke of evil isn’t real to you. You stay in it, hoping things will get better – that things will get back to the way they were.

Friends start warning you. You don’t listen. Because this isn’t who you fell in love with.

And as you hold on, your significant other teeters back and forth between the two sides of what seems to be a split personality. But you know that at some point, that last straw will be drawn – that the very core of your existence won’t be able to take it anymore, and that you’ll have to let go.

Once you do, you’ll get unexpected arrivals at your doorstep at 2AM and 120 missed calls on a night you’re just trying to enjoy with your friends. And you’ll listen to all the words you wanted to hear when things started to go wrong. 

As much as you want to comfort your partner as they’re crying, clinging onto you – you can’t. Because what you were put through was so much worse than this.

When you’ve experienced the depths of a young love with someone who ended up turning on you, trying to possess you, you grow up on a level that most don’t reach until way later.

For one thing, you certainly aren’t desperate for another relationship. Once you’ve gotten past the trauma of your toxic relationship, you’re not about to settle in a relationship for the sake of having someone. In fact, you might even develop a wild streak that goes on for a bit of time after the relationship ends. While some will whine and pine for a significant other, you’ll remind them that they should just enjoy each moment of being free to do whatever (and whoever) they want to. 

When you’re in new relationship, you’ll spot the warning signs before it’s too late. It’s not like the signs weren’t there in your first one, it’s just that you didn’t know how far things would actually go. And you’re not to blame for that. But by now, you’ve got a sixth sense for this kinda thing.

This goes hand in hand with one very important point, which is that you’ll never let anyone control you ever again. The second you feel like someone’s trying to manipulate you or tell you what to do, you run. Instantly. Because there’s no bringing you down. Now now, not ever.

You don’t doubt that you loved your ex. Or that your ex loved you – even if it was in a twisted way. But when your ideas of love failed to match up, so did the relationship. It only existed on two planes: one of pure joy and the other of pure misery, which wasn’t the right fuel to make it last. You look back on the good times and laugh, and reflect on the bad ones to remind yourself of how far you’ve come. 

It’s not that you’re not open to the idea of love again. It’s just that when it does happen, you’ll go in with open eyes.

For more of Defne’s writing, follow her on Facebook.